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IanD

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IanD last won the day on August 9

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About IanD

  • Birthday 08/01/1965

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  1. @Wim VD1, you’re really proving your versatility now. I love this one! Very well done. Ian
  2. Well, I did it... I finally performed at my first ever open mic - and survived! I was encouraged to do it by another performer from the show at the top of this thread. She told me about an open mic she goes to at a nice pub that's on once per month. I went along last month to watch and committed to perform this time. When I went to watch I realised how important song choice is, a few people said to me "if I'm going to the pub, I want to hear songs that I know and a few sing-alongs". I noticed that there was a young woman with a beautiful voice and finger style guitar playing 'Fields of Gold', but no-one was watching (except me) and you couldn't hear her over the din. I tend to play/sing, slow and miserable songs when alone - no good methinks. I found it really difficult to pick some songs though that everyone will know, are more upbeat, that I can play comfortably, that I can sing comfortably. I settled on 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', 'Daydream Believer' and 'Paint it Black' (yes. miserable but everyone knows it!). Anyway, on the night the venue was incredibly quiet with far less open mic performers and far less patrons than last time - probably not a bad thing for first time. When I got up, I announced at the mic that this was my first open mic ever, anywhere and was amazed to get a huge cheer before everyone gathered round and actually stopped talking to watch - whoops, I just inadvertently created pressure! Massive cheer at the end of the first song and then everyone returned to their usual private conversations. I was really pleased how it went. I actually didn't feel too nervous, and people said I didn't look nervous, but the symptoms of nerves appeared. My hands shook, I rushed a bit and missed some chords. I had memorised the songs, but took lyric and chord sheets as a crutch in case I froze. I ended up with my eyes glued to the music stand which impaired the overall performance slightly. Overall though: yes, really pleased. I've now done it so no more excuses. The audience were really supportive and probably wouldn't even notice the mistakes if they weren't watching so closely on the first song. I'm determined now to get back out and do it regularly. I've found some other venues and will try to get out to do one live performance per week if possible. Sorry about the long thread. If anyone reading this would love to perform live but thinks it would be impossible due to nerves, then I say if I can do it - anyone can. You just have to be patient, practice a lot, find performance practice opportunities, simulate performance environment (use a mic/p.a. and create distractions) and finally get out there and do it. First time probably won't go so well - KEEP GOING! Ian
  3. @Wim VD1, I just caught up on your last two solos. These are great. The second one is particularly good, completely flawless You are doing so well. Ian
  4. @Six Stringthanks! it’s so helpful to hear that many people experience the exact same things, I thought I was a freak 😆. Good luck with the show! Ian
  5. @Pat L, @pkotof Thanks for the great tips. I have decided to go and do my first ever Open Mic, a set of three songs, on Friday this week and all this encouragement is really helping. I saw something on LinkedIn this morning, relating to athletes, but equally valid here: "Anyone has the ability to give up, not everyone finds the strength to keep going". We should all keep going! Ian
  6. @Popeye You did look a little nervous when you performed at the gathering, but you did great and everybody enjoyed your performance. I have experienced all of the things that you did and am convinced that the way to overcome it is to get out there and do it regularly. Thanks for the nice comments. Ian
  7. Well done Mandy, you're rockin' that Rod Stewart look! Ian
  8. Very wise words from Diane. Yes, this a very normal part of your development - we've all been there. Plateaux do regularly occur and the cause often seems unfathomable, then one day they mysteriously clear without apparent rhyme or reason and you're climbing again (my wife rides a horse for a hobby and she finds exactly the same thing!). The key is to NOT let it discourage you. Yes, you do need 'recovery days' and my wife and I often talk about how, in our respective hobbies, the challenges seem to often miraculously sort themselves out when you're not actually practicing. I have found that sometimes it can help to have a day off physical practice but practice in my mind instead, visualising the practice - strangely I make less mistakes that way 😁. Finally, the most important point. Guitar playing is FUN. Don't let practice become a chore that you don't look forward to. Give yourself some time to just mess around and explore the instrument. Do some crazy stuff with it, experiment and have fun. Keep going, you WILL progress with patience, perseverance and practice. Ian
  9. Thanks Neil, Singing and playing at the same time are definitely harder than separately, but I do like to hide behind the guitar 😁 Ian
  10. Thanks Cap! Yes, I've noticed how the smallest, unexpected things can cause a distraction and then everything seems to go to pieces in that nervy environment. As part of my prep this time I deliberately tried to simulate as much as I could - I had my wife try to distract me or put me off, I practiced with and without a mic and amplification, I had the guitar too loud and too quiet and the same with the backing track and mic. I'd recommend to anyone thinking of playing out to get as much experience as possible and try to simulate a real word (non-ideal) environment in practice. Ian
  11. I have found that I sometimes get so nervous when playing in front of others that it's debilitating. I forget the lyrics, sing in the wrong key, my hands shake and can't find the correct strings and I often just look terrified. I'm determined, though, to keep at it and have been working hard over the last couple of years convinced that it'll get easier with more practice and experience. I was very fortunate to attend the Guitar Gathering in Nashville in June this year and my good online friend @gotto and I put our names down to perform the Bob Dylan song 'Forever Young' as a duet. It was a great experience, and one I'll never forget, but my nerves did appear as I stepped up on stage and I struggled - sorry Greg! However... my fabulous singing teacher gave me an opportunity to perform at her Summer Concert one month later and I decided to have another go at the same song, sadly this time without Greg. I put in loads of preparation and rehearsal time, made my own backing track so I wouldn't feel quite so exposed, and my teacher, Heather, and her colleague, Laura-Jane, kindly offered to provide backing vocals. There were over 200 (friendly) people in the audience, but fortunately I couldn't see them because of the stage lighting 😆. Anyway, I was very pleased with how it went. Could it be better - yes; were the guitar chords and strumming about as simple as they come - yes; did I go slightly out of sync with the drum beat at one point - yes. However, I think this is genuinely the first time I have performed live without making any errors with lyrics or chords. I enjoyed every minute of it! If anyone out there would enjoy performing live, to any kind of audience, but puts it off because of nerves or lack of confidence - I say just go for it. Somebody recently said "nobody ever died of embarrassment". Everyone has to start somewhere and is bound to improve with practice. Ian
  12. Great job @Wim VD1, sounds like you had lots of fun doing that one. Ian

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