Steps to Getting Over the Fear of Performing Music in Public

OK, you’ve been jamming at home in your bedroom for a while now, having some fun, feeling pretty good, and it’s about a “no-brainer” to improvise, at least, with your blues scales. That’s Wonderful! You have arrived! Mission accomplished.

But now… The band at cousin Abigale’s wedding wants you to sit in! Your whole family knows you’ve been practicing, and maybe even a select few have been lucky enough to hear you jam a bit in private.

Oh! The Shock! The Horror! The Terror! The Humiliation! The Embarrassment! (need I go on?) How can you bare your very soul to the masses?! Quick! Throw your instrument in the trash! Hide it (and you!) under the bed! Deny that you’ve ever even held one in your now sweaty hands!

Relax. Breath deep. You know that you can improvise just fine. A bit (or even a lot) of stagefright is very normal for first timers. Getting over it comes in stages (of course! Ha!).

Stage 1:
Fear. “They’re all gonna laugh at me!” “What if I stink?” “What if I make a mistake?” “Is my fly open?” “My slip showing?” “A piece of toilet paper stuck to my shoe?” These considerations are all very natural (even if we know they’re a bit irrational). Just accept it. It’s simply part of your first steps. But hey, you’re just starting out. How dare they think anything but positive thoughts towards your efforts?! Just who do they think they are anyways?! And who appointed them your judge and jury?! Go ahead, get a little mad about the situation. It will lead you right to…

Stage 2:
Get Irreverent. Pretend you don’t care. The whole audience is just a bunch of ignorant slobs who probably wouldn’t know a wrong note if it flew off then end of your instrument and bonked them in the head anyways! (again, not that there even is such a thing as a wrong note in improvising). It has helped some (including this author), to imagine that the whole audience is sitting on the toilet! (I’ll leave the visuals up to you).

Now, you could probably stop right there in your stagefright therapy. Many have. There’s not much room for fear when it encounters things like humor and anger. Especially anger. The rock n roll world is full of intense, aloof, and mysterious angry-at-the-world folks. And many times audiences worship these types, I think, mainly because “it” (meaning anger or even any kind of intensity at all!) is something most folks don’t get to express in a normal day (or life!) themselves. Which brings us to…

Stage 3:
They need us. Yes, some fears are real. And just maybe your audience is too ignorant to “get it” (and, maybe not). But ultimately, music is a service to the listener and us musicians are the providers of this service… servants, if you will. It is also my personal belief that there is more to music than merely sound, and listeners receive more than we may yet know how to measure. With it rides all kinds of feelings and sensations, hopes and dreams (of the listener and performer), even healing, and God knows what else. It is our responsibility and honor to be a conduit for any of these things. Assimilation of this “sacred” stage makes your stagefright journey complete.

How To Care For Your Musical Instrument

Why would you need a piano cover or piano bench covers you would ask. Well, like any other precious thing, the piano too needs protection from dust, scratches, and other external damage risks. It would definitely go a long way to ensure that the piano is unharmed by the so many factors natural or otherwise. For example, someone may come and inadvertently scratch it by placing things on it; something could be spilled on it and the like. If you care for your piano, you care for your piano and bench, you would ensure that both are covered and protected from any possible harm. Other ways to ensure that your beautiful piano stays in good condition are:

1. Keep it in a dry and cool place – this is very important especially if you live in a place where you have high humidity in the air year-round or a good part of the year. Humidity is basically water so continuous and sustained exposure to humidity could easily destroy your piano in no time internally and externally. Heat can also be bad for the wood, and the fine internal wires of the grand musical instrument. It is therefore important that you keep it in an air-conditioned room where humidity and heat do not get to it. These two elements of nature are its worst enemies.

2. Have it tuned at regular intervals – once every 6 months to one year, it is a good idea to have your piano tuned and over-oiled. In this way you will always know what is wrong with it and also prevent any damage. Tuning would ensure that the musical instrument is always ready so its owners would enjoy the beautiful music it makes. Servicing and oiling would help keep the piano well-maintained both inside and outside.

3. Have the surface polished carefully and regularly – the same way oiling of the internal parts of the piano extends its life and performance, the same way waxing helps with the surface of the piano. The waxing will always give the piano a beautiful finish and protect it from scratches and spills. Over the beautiful polish, especially if you are not using the musical instrument often, throw a cover on it which would ensure that the polish stays good and your piano protected.

4. Keep playing – though it is not always possible to keep playing the piano, you should. This is good for you as well as the piano. When you play the piano you not only make music, but also relax and inspire yourself at the same time. Music, studies show, enhances the power of your brain to absorb knowledge and information while it relaxes your mind and body just as a session of meditation would. For the instrument, playing as often as you can, would keep it in good shape.

5. Check it often for pests- there are thousands of pianos worldwide that were consumed by termites and/ or mice. Ensure that your beautiful musical instrument does not fall prey to such a disaster; check it often.

How To Play Songs On a Guitar

For many people once they have started to learn how to play the guitar find that as soon as they have the capabilities they are looking forward to learning how to play songs on a guitar that have been composed by other musicians. Often in the beginning they find it extremely difficult especially as there is such a large choice of songs for them to choose from and a lot of them are far too difficult for those who have only recently begun to play the guitar.

However in this article we will be taking a closer look at some ways in which you can learn how to play songs on your guitar.

Firstly it is important that you get as many recordings and song books as well as copies of the sheet music relating to all those of your favorite songs which you are looking to learn. Then you should start to learn each one of them one at a time. This is an extremely important step when it comes to learning how to play the guitar and will ensure that you learn to become a much better guitar player much more quickly. It is also extremely important that you start learning to play the songs that are the easiest and are either what a teacher would consider to be on the same level or lower level than you are already playing at.

When it comes to learning to play songs on your guitar then you have the choice of either learning to play them by listening to various recordings of the song that you are interested in. Or if this seems some what difficult as your ears have not become fully accustomed to the sounds that each chord makes then you may want to consider through using either music books or through sheet music or tablature books. In fact the best way to learn any songs on a guitar is through using a combination of all of these. Plus using a combination of all of them will make it much easier for you when it comes to learning to train your ears to hear what you are playing more effectively. This is even more essential especially when you have decided that you are ready to move on to learning much more complex an difficult songs in the future.

There are a number of different places where you can purchase good quality music books, sheet music and tablature and chord chart books from. Your local music store is probably the best place to start but then you can move on to the much larger and more well recognized stores such as Borders. Also you can easily purchase these particular items for learning how to play songs on a guitar over the internet as well. Generally when making a purchase over the internet you may well find that they have a special delivery services and that they are able to provide you with next day delivery on your order.