Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Beginners, Intermediate, +
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Beginners, Intermediate, + Discuss issues, tackle problems, share experiences, ask questions, and look for specific help...

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-17-2019, 11:21 PM   #11
Chris C.
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 374
Default Re: Controlling nerves

Whatever the issue may be (I think most beginners at piping, or playing in a pipe band deal with it from time to time), it definitely is not age.

I would try to nail down one of the band's tunes (maybe a slow air at first) until it's automatic. Then give it a go.

When I started in a band it was just one tune I sat in with. Then the others were added as I got them up to speed.
Chris C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 04-18-2019, 12:50 AM   #12
Mac an t-Sealgair
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Eilean Siar
Posts: 260
Default Re: Controlling nerves

Lots of good advice here.

The old saying 'don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong' rings true. Solid preparation will help, and allow you to focus on the togetherness part.

I try to put myself in the situation I'm trying to conquer during practice. So for solos I'll practice in my kitchen give myself 3 mins to tune then have to make a good fist of the tune. Then when it comes to actually competing, in my mind I put myself back in my kitchen!

So for your band situation, I would try playing along with a recording of your band, then when it comes to the real thing in you mind put yourself back in your practice space.
Mac an t-Sealgair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 04:31 AM   #13
Piping Potential
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 69
Default Re: Controlling nerves

Have you tried talking to your band mates about your problem? Just being open and honest with them is likely to ease your nerves a bit. And unless they're complete jerks, people enjoy helping others - look at all the good people on this forum! More than likely they will try and help you overcome your anxiety. There are probably even some who have experienced the same thing you're struggling with.
Piping Potential is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2019, 11:56 AM   #14
Dan Bell
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 859
Default Re: Controling nerves

Two approaches:

1. When you practice, imagine yourself in the situation that makes you nervous. Try to simulate that response. The more you expose yourself to the stress, and realize that nothing awful will happen, the less stressful the experience will become.

2. The total opposite: when you're IN the stressful situation, try visualizing yourself in a situation that does NOT elicit the stress response: imagine that you are playing at home where nobody can hear you.

Which approach works better (or if a combination of the two is right for you) is very individual. I am a big believer in visualization and mental preparation, however.
Dan Bell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2019, 03:25 PM   #15
EHamitlon
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 13
Default Re: Controling nerves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
Two approaches:

1. When you practice, imagine yourself in the situation that makes you nervous. Try to simulate that response. The more you expose yourself to the stress, and realize that nothing awful will happen, the less stressful the experience will become.

2. The total opposite: when you're IN the stressful situation, try visualizing yourself in a situation that does NOT elicit the stress response: imagine that you are playing at home where nobody can hear you.

Which approach works better (or if a combination of the two is right for you) is very individual. I am a big believer in visualization and mental preparation, however.
Not a bad recommendation. I don't have enough experience to give advice about playing in front of an audience. But I have spent most of my life having to do public speaking, and giving presentations to an audience. In my mind the audience becomes a single entity, one person if you will.

I remember in my late 20's absolutely dreading having to give a presentation to an audience. But after doing it a few times, I actually got energy from it. It's intoxicating, in a good way.

I highly recommend doing it as often as possible. Seek out opportunities to do it. Believe it or not, eventually it will become something you enjoy doing. You'll actually start to crave it.
EHamitlon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2019, 03:56 PM   #16
zarb
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 584
Send a message via AIM to zarb
Default Re: Controling nerves

Learning to play with others is a separate skill. Just like any skill, it is easier if you start small. Get an instructor or a band member to sit with you and the practice chanter and work through a tune or a few. After you have that down with others, work through the tunes on the pipe. After you do the work, the skill gets better. So does the remembering of what you play in a group.
__________________
The older I get, the more certain I am, that everything should be made from blackwood, beeswax, reeds, shellac and bits of string...
zarb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2019, 06:42 AM   #17
Pppiper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,009
Default Re: Controlling nerves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo52 View Post
I am 66 year of age started learning 3 years ago joined a local band, but I have great problems trying to play along with other members of the band. At home I have no problems the minute I try to practice with the other band members my mind goes blank. I have only played the pipes 3 times in front of people on my own, only a couple of tunes even then I struggled to remember the tunes, I get very nervous and really doubt myself. Anyone any tips on how to relax or am I just to old, I did have a tutor until 2 months ago was getting a lesson once a week. Have been so embarrassed with it that I can not build the confidence up to go back to band practice
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am about to give up.
Firstly, disabuse yourself of the idea that age is an issue in any way. I don't know where/how this nonsensical notion has managed to get around, but it's certainly widespread, and drives me mad.

Physical issues aside (and there can be ways around this too), there's nothing to hold back older learners apart from their own assumptions of mediocrity. So get those thoughts out of your head, and you'll be much happier for it, right from the off.

Youths have an easier time learning things, that's all. Somehow, folks then seem to assume this therefore means that older age is a detriment. IT'S NOT. It's less easy, that's all. Not impossible, not insurmountable ... less easy. And nothing worth pursuing is easy.

Sorry ... that subject is becoming a sore spot for me. When I was a pipe major I would issue demerits if anyone referenced their age as an excuse for a playing issue/error. (20 reps of taorluaths for every mention of age, etc)

As to nerves in general, I do feel that they can be controlled. Just like pursuing the pipes themselves though, by no means is it an easy task, but it can be done. Just getting out there and trying is one of the hardest parts, and you're already doing that.

Before your future outings, actively remind yourself of a few, oft-forgotten truths:
  1. "I've put the time in, I know these tunes." ... if you don't, then that's fine ... get back to work until you do =)
  2. No one in the circle (or in your audience) is willing/wanting you to fail. They aren't there, ready-and-waiting with pitchforks, itching to vivisect you for any/all errors.
  3. Continuing with the above item of logic ... if you stumble ... IT WILL BE FINE. The sky isn't going to fall, steak won't become brussel sprouts, and cats and dogs won't fall in love with each other ... it will be FINE.
  4. And of course, the better you know the material, the harder it will be to stumble. You still may .. and that's FINE. So brush yourself off, and get back to work. ONWARD.

One more tip ... more than anything else, work on mentally linking the first 5 or 6 notes to the name of each tune. VERY often, when I have trouble grabbing a particular tune out of my head on the spot, I'll then resort to heavily working on internalizing those first 5-6 notes of a given tune. If/when I can conjure up those few notes, then the rest of the tune comes on its own (if I truly know it). And for multi-tune sets, work again and again and again on playing the final 5-6 notes of a preceding tune into the next.

It's not hard, you just need to keep working on it until it sticks. If you can conjure up your social security number on the spot for an angry RMV clerk, then you can do this as well.

Funny side note, with a stage group I've played with, sometimes I'll have trouble remember how some of their tunes will start. I'll jot down the notes I need to remember decoratively on the top of my right forearm with a Sharpie. People think it's a tattoo, which is the whole idea ... really, it's my little cheat-sheet =)

Anyway, I feel that, in many respects, you're being FAR too hard on yourself. This happens to a lot of people, so you're not alone. If they can do it, then so can you.

Give yourself more credit ... get back to work ... and then try again. And again ... and again ... and again.

All the best,
~Nate

Last edited by Pppiper; 04-23-2019 at 07:05 AM.
Pppiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2019, 09:37 AM   #18
Mojo52
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Falkirk Scotland
Posts: 28
Default Re: Controlling nerves

Thank you everyone for your very kind encouraging words and advice.

I have been practicing with one of the pipers from the band I am in since I started this thread, after all the encouragement from everyone. I plan to return tomorrow night to the band practice with the Alloa Bowmar Pipes and drums Scotland.

Thanks again everyone for your advice and encouraging words, I will update you all on my progress
Mojo52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:03 PM.