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Thread: Tensing Up

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Tensing Up

    I have a bit of a problem...

    Whenever I'm practicing with my band, during the faster songs I have a bad habit of tensing up and playing faster than I'm supposed to. Because of that, I throw my band off and it's just horrible. I do fine on my own, but when I'm with my band I get so nervous at the thought of performing and I just stress out.

    I guess what I'm really asking is, well... Do you have any tips on relaxing into the beat? And getting over stage fright? I'm gonna be performing this Friday, so PLEASE help!!!

    (btw, we CAN'T re-schedule! The leader tried!)

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Experience is the only thing that will really fix it. I hate to condone the use of alcohol, but I always drink about 2 beers right before we start. It helps me relax and loosen up. After the first set, I then can switch to water or soda. You could do the same with any activity that helps you relax mentally and physically....like stretching, jogging around the block, etc..
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Hm... I suppose so.

    Ha ha, I can't really drink a beer lol, but yeah, I'll try to find something that helps me release some of that stress.

    Maybe Just Dance 2014 will help XD

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    I find that wearing sunglasses helps me to shut out the audience and focus on the music.

    The way I got over stage fright is by playing a lot in front of people. I sometimes play on the sidewalk or in the park, people watch me.

    Stay focused on keeping the beat steady and the tempo correct. The speeding up problem will likely disappear as you gain more experience.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by 8beat View Post
    I find that wearing sunglasses helps me to shut out the audience and focus on the music.

    The way I got over stage fright is by playing a lot in front of people. I sometimes play on the sidewalk or in the park, people watch me.

    Stay focused on keeping the beat steady and the tempo correct. The speeding up problem will likely disappear as you gain more experience.
    We had a band called Whiskey bent play at one of our motorcycle rallies and that's what the drummer did. he wouldn't wear them except when he was playing. When I talked to him he said he'd been playing 30 years and he always liked to wear the sunglasses because it made him feel like there weren't so many people out there!

    Take care!
    Take care and seeya!

    Jim

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by drumm1n_g1rl99 View Post
    Hm... I suppose so.

    Ha ha, I can't really drink a beer lol, but yeah, I'll try to find something that helps me release some of that stress.

    Maybe Just Dance 2014 will help XD
    Well I chew gum. I find alcohol dehydrates me, especially on a long gig or jam nights where'd I be playing a lot of hard hitting material....summers here are especially humid. That's when I'd have plenty of water and maybe something like Gatorade. If it's at a more relaxed jamming situation, or say a less vigorous situation, like if I'm mainly called to do percussion, playing a party, etc, then I might have a drink or two as I socialise.

    You just got to put the gigging time under your belt....you play more, you'll be more relaxed. That just comes with experience and time.
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    I
    Here is something a buddy of mine who has been playing longer than I have, who always gets the jitters before a gig...who uses a programmable metronome with an ear bud in his left ear...he has all the tempo's to the first 30 songs in order off the set list and reprograms another 30 during the first break. Once he clicks the band in...he locks into the rest of the band and everything else is disregarded. He focuses his eyes on the vocalist when they are singing, or the lead instrument during lead rides and keeps the bass man in sight as well.
    This might be something you could do rather easily. Watch the singer ... glance over at your bass man, when the lead rides come in, watch whomever has the lead ride at the time but never lose sight of your bass man - you and him and maybe a rhythm guitar man or keys man ARE the Pulse of the band and by focusing your mind on them ...you lose interest in the crowd.
    Give it a try ... its easier than you might think.
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I hate to condone the use of alcohol, but I always drink about 2 beers right before we start. It helps me relax and loosen up. After the first set, I then can switch to water or soda.
    I'm not a fan of using alcohol as a first resort to calm the nerves. The main reason is that it's all too easy to use drugs or alcohol as the 'go to' place when stress comes on in life. This increases the chances of it leading to addiction later on because we've then trained ourselves that every time stress comes on, we should turn to alcohol or drugs. After a long career, I've seen many friends become addicts and one even died recently. A cousin of mine recently committed suicide. He had problems at home and turned to alcohol to relieve the pain. In a drunken stupor one night, he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

    I'll give one more example of the opportunity to make better choices. I have several friends that are now addicted to sleeping pills. Some people, as they get older, have trouble sleeping. It's all too easy to just start taking sleeping pills. Doctors prescribe them like they're handing out candy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative side effects. I'll take one now and then but do everything I can to avoid them. I use other sleep techniques instead.

    So do yourself a big favor. Work with a metronome, practice your basic rudiments, familiarize yourself with the material, warm up before the gig, use mind exercises, etc. but stay away from the alcohol. You don't need it.

    Relaxation Techniques
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    What you're experiencing is called nerves and anxiety. Nothing is going to fix this except for becoming confident in your abilities and skills, knowledge of the material, gigging experience and practice.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    What you're experiencing is called nerves and anxiety. Nothing is going to fix this except for becoming confident in your abilities and skills, knowledge of the material, gigging experience and practice.
    This.

  11. #11

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    Maybe try focusing on your breathing, taking nice big breaths....its kinda like meditation, ya know? The booze suggestion leaves much to be desired.....shouldn't be your goto solution....

  12. #12

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    You have to really listen to all the other band members. You tense up and just
    focus on just what you're doing and not listen to them you will continue to get
    lost on your timing. Can you hear them real good? I mean REAL good!

    Don't look down at your kit to much, you should know where everything is at.
    Watch your band, smile and don't worry about them dorks in front of you guys!
    Last edited by Ray on the Drums; 03-25-2014 at 07:27 AM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumm1n_g1rl99 View Post
    Hm... I suppose so.

    Ha ha, I can't really drink a beer lol, but yeah, I'll try to find something that helps me release some of that stress.

    Maybe Just Dance 2014 will help XD
    Good , I can't get behind having a few beers before playing, it will make you sloppy. I'd recommend getting a metronome with a set of earbud headphones and setting the tempo during band practice and playing along with it. If you have a smart phone there are a few different free metronome apps available, I use the ludwig app on my iPhone.
    Last edited by NPYYZ; 03-25-2014 at 08:27 AM.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Try this, it sound weird but It worked for me when I was younger.

    I noticed that when I was tense my grip would tighten up. So instead of worrying about anything else I would focus on keeping my grip relaxed.

    It worked for me ;-)
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  15. #15

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    everyone is different, for me i actually play better in front of an audience

    but like other members said its experience thats the main problem in most cases ..or lack off

    once the audience is in a good mood ..you will find things will be easier ..after the first song things will fall into place, before you know it the set will be over.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    Experience is the only thing that will really fix it. I hate to condone the use of alcohol, but I always drink about 2 beers right before we start. It helps me relax and loosen up. After the first set, I then can switch to water or soda. You could do the same with any activity that helps you relax mentally and physically....like stretching, jogging around the block, etc..
    This is it right here. Experience. That's about it. Relax and play the songs.

  17. #17

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    Know the intros and endings of each song like the "back of your hand". The audience will remember those parts more than a blazing guitar solo in the middle. Once you find yourself beyond a complicated intro, the middle is where you should be "in the pocket". Then nail the endings and your confidence will set for the entire night. As other's have said, "relax and enjoy the time on stage".

  18. #18

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    Originally Posted by inthpktplayer:
    "What you're experiencing is called nerves and anxiety. Nothing is going to fix this except for becoming confident in your abilities and skills, knowledge of the material, gigging experience and practice."

    That's it!
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  19. #19

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    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simply Steady.

    What I mean by that is, when gigging, especially your 1st few dozen gigs keep it simple. Your band will be much happier if you keep good time rather than nailing the 32 note 2 bar double kick fill. If you miss a few small ghost notes or don't get to the floor tom on a fill no one will notice but you.

    You can practice till the cows come home and it does help immensely but the only way to play that confidently on gigs is to gig. It comes easier for some, others like me really have to work at it so just keep it simple and steady and you will be fine.

    When I feel myself wandering or I miss a bd hit I really try to buckle down and concentrate on the sound of my hi hat or ride whichever I am keeping time on and that usually pulls me back in rather quickly.

    Don't sweat it, smile and have a blast..Most people watching will at some point in the night wish they could play drums
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simply Steady.

    I've heard it: Keep It Simple Stupid

    lol
    -Steven

  21. #21

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    MDK makes an excellent point. If you ARE nervous, just keep it simple and concentrate on the basic beat. Don't worry about fancy fills or complicated beats. Work into more complicated stuff as you become more comfortable. You might ask your bass player to help you as well. It may help if he/she makes occasional eye contact with you or turns to face you periodically. It might help you keep a handle on your excitement and grounded in the song.

    Also, can your band schedule the fastest songs that you have issues with later on in the night? Like, after you've had a chance to get 5 or 6 songs under your belt?
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 03-25-2014 at 08:32 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Tensing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by drumm1n_g1rl99 View Post
    I'm gonna be performing this Friday, so PLEASE help!!!

    (btw, we CAN'T re-schedule! The leader tried!)
    Well how did the gig go?

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