Who struggles from stage fright? When I was first starting to play, I found myself locking up before every performance. Not only did my stage presence suffer, but my playing suffered too! After years of performing across the country, I find myself doing the same 3 things before every performance.
1. Practice In Worse Conditions Than I Play.
Touring in a heavy music band, we often played bars and clubs with terrible sound and almost no light. I started practicing before tours by playing with my eyes closed while jumping in circles. I looked crazy, but it helped me feel comfortable knowing I could play my songs no matter what happened on stage.
2. Visualize My Performance Before I Play.
Before every gig, I go through the music, whether it's a call list of 75 tunes for a wedding or a musical book, and visualize myself playing each song. I close my eyes and watch myself perform each song and think of alternative ways to play a difficult part. By "playing" the set in my head, I can work out all the kinks before I play my first note.
This is going to sound simple and easy, but I often find myself holding my breath when I get to a challenging part of a song. For singer/songwriters, you may find that you're singing over your planned breathing points and then struggling to catch up. By focusing on breathing during a performance, before performances, and while practicing, you can help shake the jitters while on stage.
What do YOU find to help your stage fright?!