I once asked a very famous musician, “Why don’t you ever get nervous when playing important gigs?” His response was “If I get nervous, I don’t play well”. This, of course, is true, however, not all of us can consciously control our anxiety when performing. In fact, knowing we won’t play well if we’re nervous can have a compounding effect and make us even more nervous! Learning how to overcome nerves is important for every performer.
Nerves can be a common experience for performers, but there are strategies you can use to help overcome them. Here are some tips:
Practice, practice, practice
One of the best ways to build confidence is to rehearse your performance as much as possible. The more familiar you are with your material, the more prepared you will feel.
Spend time before your performance visualizing yourself succeeding. Imagine yourself performing confidently and flawlessly. This can help build positive self-talk and increase your confidence. Visualize yourself in your practice room when you performed perfectly with confidence.
Deep breathing and relaxation techniques
Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Try taking slow, deep breaths and focus on your breath, taking your mind off your performance for a few moments.
Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, use positive self-talk to build confidence. Tell yourself that you are prepared and capable of delivering a great performance.
Reframe your mindset
Instead of seeing your nerves as a negative, try to reframe them as a positive. Nerves can be a sign that you care about your performance, and can help you stay alert and focused during your performance.
So how to overcome nerves when performing?
Remember, nerves are normal and it’s okay to feel a little anxious before a performance. By using these techniques, you can learn to manage your nerves and perform with confidence. The higher your level of confidence, the less anxious you will be and the better you will play.