How to Have a Great Performance — Alex Taylor Lessons
Performing is scary and hard — but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips to use to achieve your best musical performance:
The #1 thing you can do to have a good performance is to prepare ahead of time. By experimenting and building muscle memory through practice and rehearsal, you’ll have explored and developed nearly every possible way you can perform a song. If something doesn’t go according to plan, you’ll be so comfortable with your work that you can go with the flow.
Whenever we get nervous, it can be hard to keep focus. You’ll default back to your most comfortable and ingrained habits. By preparing adequately ahead of time, these habits will allow you to have a great performance regardless of how nervous you get.
Nerves are inevitable, so whenever that happens…
Breathing is one of the most underrated human activities. I always tell my students that if you don’t breathe, you die, so you better just breathe. Not only does breath give us life, but it also calms us down in times of trouble. Getting in touch with your breath by breathing deeply before you go on stage can help keep your emotions in check.
You can even breath on stage (shocking, I know). If you find yourself thinking too much or getting nervous, focus on a deep breath that fills your stomach, then exhale that whole breath. Do this a few times and I guarantee it will help you stay focused.
I find it really useful to have a routine for performances. This can be long and elaborate like planning exactly what and when you’ll eat on a performance day, or short, like taking three deep breaths before going on stage. Routines help our brains normalize and compartmentalize things, and this can be helpful whenever there’s a lot going on prior to a performance.
Having a routine also ensures that you’re taking the appropriate amount of time for yourself. If you’re having a show and are expecting a bunch of family and friends to attend, make sure you set some boundaries so you don’t exhaust yourself entertaining and hosting.
Just remember, above all else…
You’ve put in all the work, you’ve got people coming to enjoy that work, so enjoy the payoff! The reason we want to perform is because it’s thrilling and fun. Let yourself listen to the music you’re making and enjoy it. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more your audience will as well. A true win-win situation!
Next time you perform, try out these techniques and you’ll be on your way to show stopping performances!
Originally published at https://www.alextaylorlessons.com on September 7, 2020.