Audition nerves remedies

December 9, 2004 at 06:14 AM · All-State audition's in less than a month...and I'm freezing up, and my excerpts are sounding worse than ever.

I seem to lose the ability to play passages I could easily do only a week ago... My fingers are slipping, my bow is insane, and I seem to lose all ability in regard to what I'm playing.

I guess it's audition nerves, but do you guys have any remidies?

Replies (7)

December 9, 2004 at 06:29 AM · Greetings,

yes. Study the scores until you know them backwards. Taht way you are praciticng and perfroming on a musical basis and this should override the fear caused by focusing on a disembodied line which doesn`t make enough musical sense,

Cheers,

Buri

PS also bribe the judges with prunes

December 10, 2004 at 01:13 AM · I get really nervous before my youth symphony auditions.

What helps me is a lot of slow practice, and long, relaxed bow strokes. Since your fingers already know/knew the music and the technical aspects of it, my guess is your current situation is definetly from nervousness. Reduce that, and the technical mastery will still be there.

Also, don't overpractice. Like Buri said, studying the score is always a great thing to do. Listening to recordings, as well; and playing along a little if you feel like it (but don't be intimidated by tempos or anything).

Good luck! And remember, bananas boost performance.

December 10, 2004 at 02:15 AM · what are the excerpts from?

December 10, 2004 at 03:07 AM · It sounds to me that anxiety is causing you to tense up. Make sure that you practice the music as if you have never seen it before, carefully, at different tempos, with a metronome,etc. Also invent exercises and drills, starting with one note repeated many times, then adding the next note to it. Tape yourself and sing along to it,or listen to recordings. Focuss on the music and nothing else. Distraction is the main factor to nerves. I recommend to memorize and practice with your eyes closed. This is how you can keep your enviroment the same anywhere you go. It works for me! Good Luck!

P.S. Don't forget to breathe. Always start playing after an inhale and never on an exhale. Have the opening running in your head so that you can set the tempo securely.

December 10, 2004 at 03:33 AM · Hi,

Here is my own two cents as a violinist and teacher... I would recommend definitely slow practice and to alternate that with run-throughs of your excerpts, including some in front of people. And don't neglect your regular routine of technique, etc.. That really helps in calming down, keeping the mind in check, and keeping you in shape.

Most important I think, is to be aware also of your mental control. The more your mind gets into qualitative thinking rather than quantitative one, the worse things will become. Practice objectively. That will be helpful. Keep the inner negative self-talk in check, and better yet, turn it off. It will only distract you from playing and will create more harm than good, as it is really very subjective, and doesn't add to much to the actual playing. Aside from that, good rest is always good advice, and yes, bananas really are great and there is truth in that old legend!

Good luck and Cheers!

December 10, 2004 at 03:44 AM · Gregory,

I'm not sure if Buri will agree with me on this, but my Alexander teacher here at school always tells us to play as you exhale. Many violinists (including myself) have gotten into the (bad) habit of starting to play as we inhale. My Alexander teacher says that this constricts the windpipe, leading to further unecessary tension in the shoulders, neck, and upper back.

December 10, 2004 at 03:49 AM · Greetings,

I don@t know enough about what you are doing to comment. One of the interesitng aspects of AT as opposed to yoga for example, is that it usually avoids the topic of breathe completely except to state that if the body is being used well then breathing will occur when necessary .

Personally I inhale beofr eI play.

Most important thing is not to stop....

Cheers,

Buri

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