How to Overcome Stage Anxiety

Turn anxiety into excitement and overcome stage fright. It’s a simple shift that can enhance your entire performance experience.

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I take my glasses off and turn slightly to the left. Since I’m blind in my right eye, problem solved!

If the anxiety starts creeping in I focus on my bandmates until it feels as comfortable as a practice.

Anxiety stinks, my hands can shake and that makes playing harder.

Breathing properly (where your stomach rises and not your chest) will help a lot. I personally use that one to fall asleep at night within 2 minutes and it bugs the wife.

It takes me 2-3 songs for the initial anxiety to go away and be replaced with excitement. In a show with 40+ songs, it goes away relatively quick.


Hi dear people, I have no idea if this will help later on at a performance, but the video was very soothing and it all sounded very logical, Cortney McDermott has a great voice and appearance… and luckily this video doesn’t end like this the old Justinuitar videos with the tasmanian devil :slight_smile: … but which I also love.
With best regards, …and happy holidays with your loved ones,

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I am allergic to adrenaline. My dentist proved this when he gave me an anaesthetic injection containing adrenalin (to reduce bleeding time) and I was close to passing out! My “fight or flight” primitive reflex makes more than enough adrenaline. Waiting to perform, the obvious solution is “flight”, once on stage the only option is to “fight”; play your best ever even though you are as ‘high’ as Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.

Many people have a similar problem with “exam nerves”. Properly prepared I never had a problem but at degree level, when I knew that I had not revised sufficiently, a whole Atomic Physics paper became a blur and I was unable to answer a single question. Retrospectively, I could have scraped a pass but ‘nerves’ and ‘panic’ ​denied me another chance.

Later, I suffered severe nerves on management development courses where the objective of the tutors was to stress the participants by assigning tough assignments late in the day to be presented at 9am. Even though I had a ‘friendly audience’ I felt nauseous, could not eat breakfast. Oddly, at the end of my prepared presentation, ‘performance’, I relaxed, perched on the font of the desk and confidently asked “Any questions”?

Many famous performers admit to feeling nauseous or even actually throwing up before appearing on stage. Techniques to reduce performance anxiety do help; for me it was antenatal classes from an excellent teacher from the ‘National Childbirth Trust’. Playing to an audience who you fear will boo you off the stage pales into insignificance compared to helplessly waiting and comforting your wife/partner in labour. Imagine all those WWI troops “going over the top”; you are dead if you don’t but give them hell and you may live to fight another day!

Hi Alan and welcome to the Community.

Very insightful comments. On the old forum we did a kind of test for a Livetsream with Justin as host and the few of us that took part were absolutely bricking it. Most of us had done our first online Open Mic a few weeks earlier and the gig with Justin came a week before the next one. It got talked about quite and bit and his advice was how you channel it into your performance, readily admitting that he gets those same feeling when doing a really bid gig with headliners. So looks like we are all in the same boat and the more you do it the better you get at handling it. But I doubt it ever goes away.



Funny how certain topics here bring up old memories.
I remember in my younger sporting days playing rugby league, we had a coach, who, when it came to finals time, would always throw up in the dressing room just before kickoff. He was always fine after that :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Great video. I’m going to revisit this regularly. The background guitar is nice too - lot of open strings, key of D?

On guitar I have a hard time with solos / lead lines. When my part is out in front I get really tight and blank out like I don’t remember anything I practice. I think its that first note that bothers me. I’m ok after that.