When I perform, my right hand gets very very shaky and it completely makes me sound bad. Everything else is fine, I get nervous but I don't forget my notes or get brain farts, just my right hand is so shaky my playing sounds unstable. Can anyone help me with this? I really want to fix this problem.
It‘s hard to say. I had that when I was a beginner and even a few years in. I remember I was once playing for the first time with an orchestra and was asked to play alone. I knew the notes but started shaking so much that I overheard a flautist commenting on it and the conductor telling him to shush. It was totally in my head though. When I started feeling more confident it got much better. I think what helped me was to really believe that I could do it, since I had done it so many times before. Good luck!
It is one of the symptoms of "stage fright," brought about by excess release of adrenalin in your body, sometimes referred to as the "flight or flight" syndrome. Fiddlers lose their right arm stability, wind players lose they diaphragm (the muscle that pushes their lungs). Actors get the problem, singers get the problem. I've been told (by a performing physician) that pre-performance vomiting suppresses the adrenalin response.
Try taking longer bows when it occurs. It will help relax your arm, which will help limit the tremors to some degree.
In addition to the metabolic effects of adrenaline, there is the context, the situation, the culture. The "toxic perfectionism" of our classical performance world doesn't help. I play my worst on the other side of a screen from an audition committee of three. Playing in an orchestra or even second violin in a quartet is no problem.. And playing in non-classical genres neutralizes the stage-fright, I've done half-improvised amplified solos in front of thousands and just smile at the mistakes-the audience doesn't care. Being 100% technically prepared helps. One risky spot can ruin your composure for the whole piece. Experience helps; repeat performances will be less nervous than the premiere. jq
Does your hand get freezing cold too?
Perform as often as you can -- even in offbeat venues like a garage, or an empty gym at school, or a local park. I've done all three -- and then some. Take every opportunity to let people hear you -- as long as you're not disturbing the peace.
Jane, I seem to have some of the same issues as you. I just performed two weeks ago and my hands were freezing right up until playing, and then right after, they warmed right up. I have Raynauds otherwise, so regular exercise, yoga/meditation, staying warm, good sleep etc are all very helpful.
That's a really common problem. Like many said, it's all in your head. So go on stage as much as you can, and play for as many people as you can. That's the only way it helps. No amount of practicing behind closed doors will help this. Another thing that helps is to have a "pre-concert" a few hours before, play for a small audience like your friends and family members.
Jim, why exactly do you advise against the use of beta blockers, apart from cold hands which can be remedied & doesn't happen to everyone who takes them? I have yet to meet a doctor who isn't fully on board with musicians using beta blockers.
I would like to say I have yet to meet a doctor who isn't full on board with any patient using any kind of pills. Using any kind of pills against stage freight is not necessary according to my experience.
I had and to a certain extent still have that problem. Stage fright effects people differently. In my case it is almost always the bow arm and hand. What helped me was to work really hard on bow technique in general so that I can control the bow better when I'm on stage. That took a long time but has helped me a lot.
"According to my experience", with all due respect, says it all. For some of us it goes beyond the norm and pills become necessary.
"According to my experience" means my personal experience as well as the expetience with many students during my teaching career :-) I was suffering stage freight a lot during my teen age and studies. Than I realized how to get rid it. It is only about your mind and approach. Stage freight may limit you, as wel as hype you up to play much better than you eved did at home. Pills can only mask some of the symptoms as they usually do in general.
I tend to favor this as well^^^^
The word 'crutch' actually works in my favor here, since crutches are used to level the playing field for people who are physically disadvantaged. You wouldn't tell someone walking with crutches to "stop depending on medicine and try deep breathing" etc., as they are only using them out of necessity.
What else have they tried?