Stage fright can become a huge problem for a musician, especially if it keeps that person from performing.
What is the solution? Of course, good preparation can help one feel secure, and then there are other mind-relaxing practices such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation. But for some, these solutions don't help, and a sizable percentage of musicians have found help in using beta-blockers, that is, drugs such as Inderol, which reduce overall heart rate and temper that fight-or-flight response. People can get judgmental about "using drugs," but if you've ever been on stage, in the spotlight and then felt the full effect of a harrowing panic attack, you're likely more sympathetic.
For some people, beta blockers have simply helped on an occasional basis: getting through a tough audition or even just getting through a period of heightened stress. For some, it's simply something they use whenever they perform. Others have tried it and not liked the effect, and yet others have never used it at all.
Have you used beta blockers to help with performance nerves? Did you find it helpful? What other strategies have helped you either cope with or avoid performance nerves? Please share your thoughts in the comments section after voting.
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