This morning I was reading an article that talked about dealing with Stress and Anxiety. (The article was referring to situations where you're about to perform or do a presentation on stage.)
Well, the advice was “don't fight it.”
Don't try and push it out of your head the fact is that you need to ride with it. Face it and look at it more as the excitement.
They say don't look at it as “I'm the not good enough, this is going to be horrible or however negatively you may think of the situation.
We all know what fear is when we go to stand on stage and perform.
However, when I look over what I've been doing to get ready to do performances and I usually perform solo without any other musicians. (I play an instrument called the stick. The Chapman Stick for those that are uninitiated and I sing at the same time.
This has proven to be quite a challenge for me in the same way that I guess the piano players like Billy Joel, Elton John or Leon Russell might deal with when they are performing solo.
You have to dumb down your playing to be able to sing on top of it and keep the groove going. You don't want to leave out too much musical information, so that people recognize the song itself.
So I guess the question I'm asking other musicians is, how do you deal with solo performances?
I'm thinking of singer-songwriters, you know the guys and gals who get up with a guitar and perform the numbers by themselves. Usually strumming while singing and once they get more comfortable in their playing they start to do more fingerstyle type of arrangements a la James Taylor.
So basically how do you prepare yourself for a solo performance? How do you plan your set so you can ride the fear? Will you touch the crowd with your performance? Will it be viewed as foreign and boring (or ignored)? How do you plan all this? Let me know what you think.