Embarrassing - playing in front of others

Yeah I didn’t make a public service announcement that “I’m getting really better at guitar.” There are a few people in my life that know I have been working at it. Friends know that it is a hobby of mine and that I have been putting more effort into it. Big picture it really wasn’t a big deal. It was just a frustrating moment and part of the journey I suppose. A humbling moment lol. I like your idea about the noodling.

Oh best thing I ever did for progress no doubt, you cant beat someone who knows exactly what to do watching and correcting you. They also give you structure and a pathway. If you can find a good one I’d highly recommend it.

Talking of being out of pocket my teacher is a gigging musician and has a guitar of every type, he lets me play any of them, I tried his Les Paul a little while ago, mine should be here Monday :joy:

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What a wonderful thread to start my day. Now that I’m finally progressing through throbbing fingertips, weak arm muscles, fading geriatric memory, grip-of-death fretting and left hand-right hand disunion, I get to start worrying about paralyzing stage fright. Thanks a lot guitar friends!

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This is a place for all sorts of topics not an assault on your progress or to scare you lol. Everyone here is at a different stage in their journey and sometimes seeking guidance to get through difficult times. Sometimes just to vent (like i did).

I can promise you that all of the issues you described in your reply will get better as long as you continue to dedicate yourself to the instrument. I was being a bit of a baby in my post. It was not meant to spark fear or worry. Keep playing and don’t worry :slight_smile:

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OK Jesse. I am not afraid. I’ll just go practice a three chord song…

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I think some of us are players and some are performers. There’s a big difference. I too get lost when playing in front of others. I don’t sing well so I am trying to play songs with chord melody. It is easy to get lost. I always do better when playing with someone else. Strength in numbers, I guess. I suggest trying to find a jamming buddy to get used to playing with someone else. Also, I joined an on-line acoustic group that met via Zoom during the pandemic. I was nervous as hell to play. But I saw that some other players were much better than I and some not as good. The refreshing part was they were all non-judgmental and supportive. I think it’s actually easier to play in front of musicians than non-musicians. Players get it. Don’t give up. You’re not alone in this.

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I don’t have to be in front of anybody for this to happen. I’ve played for years and some days I wonder why. Other days I think I could have been a rock star. I don’t know how professionals can handle it. And yes, they have bad days too.

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I have so many days when I think I’m just wasting my time. Then I remember that it’s not like I have anything else to do. Could fire up my ham radio, I guess.

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Hit the nail on the head! I have a lot of time on my hands these days and it’s much more rewarding than drinking haha.

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Isn’t that the truth! Even with the bad days it’s still the best companion I’ve ever had.

I think may relate, there are even memes about this happening

don’t be afraid to make an actual list on a little card that is in your wallet or something.
Give them an order that fits you, warming up from easier to hard.

This is your first setlist, congratulations :wink:

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Love this!
I play (poorly) for myself solely. If I ever had any intention or ability to do this at a higher level, I would have achieved that standard many years ago. Instead I just bash out some chords, licks and riffs that ultimately no one else really cares about.

I get pleasure from trying to play, watching videos about playing, reading about guitars (such as on here) and looking at all the eye candy from a GAS position, and that’s ALL that really matters to me.

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Apparently I need to do the same!

If you can play in private, your muscles and brain have been trained.
If being heard, tuns your hands to stone, the problem is probably in your head :wink:

Josh Turknett is a practicing neurologist and passionate banjo player. He combines his neurology training and experience, to produce podcasts and books about learning to play an instrument.

In this video, he lays out the origins of stage fright with a few science based suggestions that may you help overcome stage fright:

https://www.brainjo.academy/5-ways-to-crush-stage-fright/

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I’m in the same boat as you, and all I can tell you is that the secret for me was detailed preparation. I absolutely hated public speaking but I had to do some talks and I got through them by working out exactly what I was going to say, then practicing in an empty room imagining that I was talking to a crowd. I was so well prepared on the topic and the whole presentation process that it gave me confidence.

It is the same musically. I would suggest getting one or two “party pieces” and learning them inside out. Get so you can play them in your sleep. My piano teacher once told me: “Don’t practice till you get it right - practice till you can’t get it wrong”. If you can get at least a few pieces that you absolutely can’t get wrong, and these are the first you pull out, then you will start to relax and be able to do more.

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If you are comfortable playing to yourself then it’s probably a little performance anxiety and probably not quite being as comfortable with the song as you think. We’ve all been there and the best way to get over is to try and perform in a “safe” space. As others have said recording yourself, uploading to the community and asking other for comment is a good starting point. Once you are comfortable with that then there is also a Community Open Mic that runs once a month online. If you can do that then you’ll be comfortable playing in front of others.

I’d echo others here that there comes a point when you need to stop using the song app and go solo…it’s great to start with but can become a bit of crutch if used for too long. It tends to hide whether you can carry a song on your own.