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Thread: The Fear Zone

  1. #1
    Eruption DaleT's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 07:47 AM
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    Default The Fear Zone

    This nothing more than a rant.
    I am 43, with now about 3 years of guitar playing under my belt. I can not deny that I must be going through some sort of mid-life crises. Why else would an individual of my age put themselves through the torture of trying to learn a complex instrument, when their age already puts them behind the learning curve. Oh-no!, not just simple melodic chord patterns, but to the degree of complexity of the man himself, EVH, right down to every artificial harmonic, pick squeal, whammy bar dive, etc. presented in each piece of his works. Up until I was forty, I was a perfectly happy, well adjusted individual. What the hell happen!?, Why didn't I just go buy a new bright shiny red corvette, like most men who go through this crap do! After all, I already know how to drive, it wouldn't be near as maddening. Instead I have been reduced to tracking my ever so busy 14 year old son down, and begging him, yes literally begging, for him to sit down for just a few minutes and show me a riff. A riff that after hearing it over and over, slowing it down to as slow as one beat per minute, down loading the tab, practicing it for weeks for hours upon hours per day, I can not get. A riff, that my barely out of diapers 14 year old son, upon hearing can play flawlessly. And just to put the added twist on the 'ol nipple, will play it again, and again using an endless number of chord variations. If he wasn't my son, I'd shoot him. "Surely," you might ask, "after three years, even a forty plus year old man, who has been very dedicated to practicing several hours a day, has been able to make some sort of progress?" AHH YES!, I have, I have indeed! I can now play several VH tunes, with Pretty Woman, Unchained, Sinner's Swing, and Panama being among my best thus far. There are others, as well, from such great bands as, Boston, AC/DC, and even a 'lil Hendrix, being among them. "So why the rant?", you might ask. You might even state, "Those said tunes from said band seem to be a fairly good accomplishment." If you did, I would be inclined to agree with you, for I have exceeded my expectations, more than ten-fold. The problem you see, is this...I just can't play the fuckin' thing in front of anybody!!!

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Rick S's Avatar
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    06.23.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    Default

    because you get so nervous ?

    1. just like playing , playing in front of people takes practice and its normal to be nervous.

    2. at first play in front of people you re comfortable with and who are positive , and if you make a mistake , just aknowledge it with a "shit " or goofy grin. then go back to playing.
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  3. #3
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick S
    because you get so nervous ?

    1. just like playing , playing in front of people takes practice and its normal to be nervous.

    2. at first play in front of people you re comfortable with and who are positive , and if you make a mistake , just aknowledge it with a "shit " or goofy grin. then go back to playing.
    Basically.

    I actually don't get nervous when I'm playing VH in front on people. It's only when I show them something I came up with that I get a bit antsy.
    "It's always a Catch-22 situation. They hate you if you're the same, and they hate you if you're different."
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    06.19.15 @ 04:34 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick S
    because you get so nervous ?

    1. just like playing , playing in front of people takes practice and its normal to be nervous.

    2. at first play in front of people you re comfortable with and who are positive , and if you make a mistake , just aknowledge it with a "shit " or goofy grin. then go back to playing.
    What he said. After 22 years, I'm still nevous playing in front of people and I get stage fright. It takes me a few songs to calm down. It may never go away completely, but the only way to get used to it is to do it over and over again.

    Keep in mind that:

    - The average person/non-musician is in awe of the fact that you can actually play an instrument and won't notice your screw-up as easily as you will.

    - If you fuck up don't stop and dwell on it. This is one I still struggle with. A mistake is much more noticeable when it's followed by silence. Just shake it off, pick up where you left off asap and keep going.

    It gets easier. Best of luck.
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    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    06.12.15 @ 12:43 PM
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    lol... thats why you get in a bad ASAP, so all the noise drowns your mistakes.

    oh... and a wammy bar is a must.. any of the guys in a one guitar band will know what I am talking about.
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    Eruption DaleT's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 07:47 AM
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    I appreciate the input guys, I really do. I have always had a fear of doing anything in front of people that I may feel I am being judged. I know speaking or performing in front of people is a fear a lot of us have, but I believe mine is at more than at a ridiculas level. A large part of it stems from my obsession to do everything as much as possible perfect, for constant fear I will be judged by it. Funny thing is, I actually get laughed at more because of my obsessions than if I would just let it go. My wife laughs at me more than anyone, not in a hurtful way mind you, but she has taught me to see how ridiculas I am and laugh at myself. Just a few examples, I fold my clothes with a ruler, ensuring every article of clothing is the same size before putting in the drawer. I'll mow, remow rather, the lawn after my son, not because he missed any spots, but because the lines in the grass were not perfectly straight. And the list goes on. This of course comes out in my guitar playing. I am a fanatic at trying to get every note, every nuance, every feel of a riff perfect, which I know is an unrealistic expectation, but I cannot help myself. Add an audience of just one person, and I choke up, knowing that who ever is watching is going to turn into Simon Cowell and rip me a new one. I always wondered why I was like this and my wife for the first couple of years didn't understand it as well, because afterall I can even admit it is fairly odd behavior. Then she met my father for the first time. After that weekend, driving home she said she had figured it out and asked me if I was ready to know. Of course I said I was. She said she never met a father who put-down, criticized, and scrutinized every little thing someone did, let alone their own son, as he did. She went over everything we had done together with my father that weekend, as well as his verbal input that went along with it, and she really opened my eyes. I realized that is the way he has always been, and I took it for normal because I didn't know any better. Anyway already went on another rant, but that is why I have such difficulty playing my guitar in front of anybody, including my wife and two sons. This has been a long standing problem that I don't see getting better in the near future, but I have noticed an improvement with a few beers, LOL.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    So...you're a perfectionist.

    My first band and I went through that "We're not good enough" phase for almost two years. We had impossibley high standards for music, both what we playe AND listened to. Then came the night when we got talked into having a keg-party at the remote house on the Big Sur coast that was our practice pad. By then we had 15 songs, most of them were Santana and Greatful Dead songs with Clapton and Skynnard thrown in. We figured 25 people would show up, well it turned out to be over 200.

    "Oh SHIT!"

    We hid in the house as long as we could but had to start playing to head off a fight/riot situation (that's another story). So we popped the garage door and started playing. I looked out and there were just so many people and I think I looked at my shoes for the first three songs. If you saw us that night you would have thought we were intense and serious guys, we looked that way because we all thought we were sucking. I only had two solos that night and I didn't believe that a person could sweat like that without dying. It was like I had a couple of hoses in my shirt.

    Finally the set ended and we tucked our tails between our legs and hid inside the house for another hour. We didn't hear the people clapping and cheering. Turned out we played pretty good and everyone had a good time. For the rest of the week I was 'Big Man on Campus", with guys and girls coming up and telling me how great the set was. I couldn't believe it.

    Thus I learned a lesson that every performing guitar player here will attest to:

    You can play your best set ever on stage and nobody will notice. You can also have the worst night of your life and that's when people come up afterwords and tell you how great you were.

    Since you are a perfectionist/controll freak, your problem is that for all the control you have over the music, your sound and your playing, the one thing you can't control is the audience. Also, because of that telling story about your father, you're picturing him sitting out there. You should picture your best friend and your wife instead. The fact is that if you go out there and have a good time then your audience will too. If you go out there and pretend to be something you're not, the audience won't go along with you.


    Play songs you like. Don't be affraid to let it hang out. Practice by yourself and as a band, always try to do better. AC/DC and Green Day are not RUSH or Dream Theater, nobody gives a crap and the fact is that the guys in the last two bands probably have albums by the first two bands in their collection. You are only as good as you are right now and even Eddie Van Halen isn't Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen 1.

    Good luck and have fun. The fact that you're so honest in your posts is a great sign that you want to change, that's great and you should let your band help with that. You should also know that everybody gets nervous before a show and the guys who don't usually suck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300
    Thus I learned a lesson that every performing guitar player here will attest to:

    You can play your best set ever on stage and nobody will notice. You can also have the worst night of your life and that's when people come up afterwords and tell you how great you were.
    Absolutely true.
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    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300
    So...you're a perfectionist.

    My first band and I went through that "We're not good enough" phase for almost two years. We had impossibley high standards for music, both what we playe AND listened to. Then came the night when we got talked into having a keg-party at the remote house on the Big Sur coast that was our practice pad. By then we had 15 songs, most of them were Santana and Greatful Dead songs with Clapton and Skynnard thrown in. We figured 25 people would show up, well it turned out to be over 200.

    "Oh SHIT!"

    We hid in the house as long as we could but had to start playing to head off a fight/riot situation (that's another story). So we popped the garage door and started playing. I looked out and there were just so many people and I think I looked at my shoes for the first three songs. If you saw us that night you would have thought we were intense and serious guys, we looked that way because we all thought we were sucking. I only had two solos that night and I didn't believe that a person could sweat like that without dying. It was like I had a couple of hoses in my shirt.

    Finally the set ended and we tucked our tails between our legs and hid inside the house for another hour. We didn't hear the people clapping and cheering. Turned out we played pretty good and everyone had a good time. For the rest of the week I was 'Big Man on Campus", with guys and girls coming up and telling me how great the set was. I couldn't believe it.

    Thus I learned a lesson that every performing guitar player here will attest to:

    You can play your best set ever on stage and nobody will notice. You can also have the worst night of your life and that's when people come up afterwords and tell you how great you were.

    Since you are a perfectionist/controll freak, your problem is that for all the control you have over the music, your sound and your playing, the one thing you can't control is the audience. Also, because of that telling story about your father, you're picturing him sitting out there. You should picture your best friend and your wife instead. The fact is that if you go out there and have a good time then your audience will too. If you go out there and pretend to be something you're not, the audience won't go along with you.


    Play songs you like. Don't be affraid to let it hang out. Practice by yourself and as a band, always try to do better. AC/DC and Green Day are not RUSH or Dream Theater, nobody gives a crap and the fact is that the guys in the last two bands probably have albums by the first two bands in their collection. You are only as good as you are right now and even Eddie Van Halen isn't Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen 1.

    Good luck and have fun. The fact that you're so honest in your posts is a great sign that you want to change, that's great and you should let your band help with that. You should also know that everybody gets nervous before a show and the guys who don't usually suck.

    Simply one of the best posts I have ever read!!

 

 

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