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How to perform well when it matters?

5227363129_040abe9541_bHave you ever gone into a concert feeling that you are well prepared only to find out that your playing skills almost magically disappeared?

I don’t know about you but this is definitely something I am very familiar with. And if it happened to you before, you know how terribly it feels to practice hard for weeks only to observe that it was not enough.

Your confidence goes immediately down which only worsens the whole situation. And unfortunately, there is not much you can do right at that moment. Basically you can only hope for the best.

Why you cannot perform well when it matters?

The reason why you cannot perform well when it matters is really quite simple. You haven’t prepared enough.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Maybe you have practiced your songs over and over again (which by the way I don’t think is a good strategy to become extraordinary guitar player) and maybe you have even spent quite a long time with your preparation, but everything you did was done in the safety of your practice room or rehearsal space of your band.

And that’s why your playing suffers under pressure.

This kind of practice won’t prepare you for situations when the stress is high.

It is much different to play when there are one hundred people staring at you than playing in your practice room. Your hands are cold and sweating, your breathing is shallow, your guitar doesn’t feel like yours and you can’t hear what you are playing. These are the real conditions and not your “grab a coffee and watch TV” guitar practice.

If you want to take your practice session to the next level, you’ve got to put yourself and your band members under pressure.  You’ve got to feel that it really matters what you play and how you play it. The better you can duplicate the conditions of a concert during your preparation phase, the more effective it can be.

Of course, the best preparation is to play a lot of concerts in front of people, but that is not always a possibility.

I want to show you few ways that can help you to prepare better for your next gig. It is all about making it harder and putting some pressure on ourselves while we still have time to correct mistakes. In order to be better live performers, we need to reach out of our comfort zone.

These tips really helped me to become more confident with my playing when it counts. Try it and see if it works for you. Continue Reading →

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