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Having Confidence on Stage

Having Confidence on Stage

There are times in life when you will be nervous about performing. That’s just a simple, unchangeable fact of life. There’s nothing you can do about that. What you can do, however, is to think about how you handle the nerves when you are onstage.

One of the biggest points that sets beginners apart from seasoned pros is how they value their material while onstage. It’s all too common to hear someone saying “Sorry, that was rubbish” after a song, or “I don’t know why I’m playing this, its not really finished”. While it may sometimes come across as self-deprecating and humble, more often than not the audience finds themselves thinking “well if its not that good then why are you playing it?” You should try not to apologise for your songs – if you genuinely didn’t think they were any good then you would probably not be going to an open mic night to play them. Have confidence in your work, don’t try to judge it by other people’s standards, just write your very best songs and get them out there for people to enjoy.

There will always be times when you have to play after someone that you really like and respect. Sadly, we very often hear people saying “that last guy was amazing, I could never hope to follow that”. Instead of trying to compare your work to theirs, try to think about how your work differs to theirs, how your individual style can offer the audience something they didn’t get in the previous set. The whole thing can work to your advantage, in fact – if the previous person really did play a great set then they will have warmed up the crowd for you. Use this momentum to make a great start into your songs.

It’s true, there’s a fine line between appearing confident and coming across as just plain cocky. Just remember though, the audience are there to be entertained. They come along to open mic nights to see people play their songs, not apologise for them.

The most important piece of advice anyone can give you is just to have fun. I mean, really, it’s not like you’re pouring out your soul to a room full of strangers or anything…

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