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Old 03-20-2014, 04:40 AM   #21
Winch
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Default Re: why am I so nervous

Right.....I won't be as nervous next time!!
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:37 PM   #22
warpiper
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Default Re: why am I so nervous

I've been piping for the past 25 years and still don't really know how to settle myself before a contest. I don't struggle at all playing at a wedding or funeral, but when it comes to competing solo in front of a judge, I begin to fall apart. My hands tighten around the chanter, my mind wanders, and I'm constantly evaluating my performance rather than enjoying the tune I'm playing. I've even fiddled with my tape on the chanter even thought minutes before it sounded just right. So here's my strategy for my next event:

1. Practice all the tunes on both the chanter and more importantly on the pipes. Play each tune through to the end as if playing for the judge.
2. Get some good practice chanter work in on the more difficult parts of each tune to work out the kinks and improve execution and musicality.
3. Play the completion tunes out in public for others to see, critique. Play for your instructor, bandmates, or anyone that all listen.
4. Arrive early to your solo event. Warm up at least 20 minutes so your pipes settle in. Don't mess with the tape unless you absolutely must.
5. Play some aires in front of the judge before starting your solo piece. Fine tune if necessary, but hopefully it won't be necessary.

Thoughts? Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Terry
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #23
Pip01
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous



Greetings, warpiper,

I do not intend this to sound daft... and certainly
not... lighthearted... about your situation...

... but... and if is at all... achievable...

can you possibly picture the judges... with a potato...
or some such... sticking out of their ear? :)

After all... they are... just plain (and some very plain)
human... and they put their pants on... one leg at a
time... and have the same foibles... and shortcomings...
as everybody else!! :)

Just a thought... and hope it helps...

Regards, and Good Luck with it!!,

Pip01
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With what a brave carouse...
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:54 PM   #24
CelticHiker
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous

Warpiper,

The nerves thing hits everyone it seems, even the best at the highest levels, so donít feel like you are alone.

Some things that were suggested to me, that seem to have worked, are as follows:

We donít compete playing the practice chanter, so donít practice competing on the PC, play the pipes. If the is a tricky bit, work on it on the pipes not the PC, that way you are fixing the problem on the instrument you are going to be playing at the competition.

Donít practice until you get it right, practice until you canít get it wrong. Itís easy to say, and people roll their eyes, but if you really do your best to get your tunes down to the point you could play through them no matter where you were at, how you feel, or what might be going on around you, the nerves situation gets must better.

Record yourself playing the full tune, and with the mindset of ďthis is the competition performanceĒ. No matter what happens, treat it just like you would a competition and the recorder is the judge. Then wait a while, I usually wait over night, and then listen to it as a judge would. I make notes, both positive and negative, and then use those notes to guide my practice.

Your idea about getting to the competition early is a good one, but one of the best pieces of advice Iíve found is to limit myself to no more than 20 mins warmup before an event.

Hopefully you will find something that works for you and can get the nerves as under control as possible!
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:23 PM   #25
el gaitero
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous

So,in this 4 year old initial thread and post Redmist....how goes it today?
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:15 AM   #26
Steve Law
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous

Yes, I’d like to know too....

Didn’t notice the 2014 date to begin with but my story sounds very similar to Redmists, but a couple of years later (I even grew up in Derbyshire!).

18 months back into my old band and I feel warmly welcomed but while the fingers are slowly getting better, the memory is as bad as ever, and I certainly won’t be considering any solo wedding/party gigs for a while yet, even though I used to do them at the drop of a hat.

I think it’s mostly because I can recall how I used to be able to play but am a few miles short of that at present... once I can feel the glow of that old fire then maybe I’ll reconsider.

As for solo competition.... probably not, I think.

Come on Redmist, tell us how it’s going for you, please...
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:02 PM   #27
Chris C.
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous

The only addition to the list I can think of is make sure the tune you are competing with is one you actually like.

Competing with a tune that's a 'great competition tune', but not one you really enjoy playing is at least a partial recipe for foul-ups.

My two cents.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:15 AM   #28
CalumII
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Default Re: why am I so nervous

Quote:
Originally Posted by warpiper View Post

Thoughts? Any other suggestions?
How often do you (or anyone else) play in front of your competitive peers or teachers/judges in a non-contest setting? It's not quite the full contest experience, but I can assure you that knowing that (say) Roddy Livingstone is listening concentrates the mind somewhat.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #29
Roddy Livingstone
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Default Re: why am I so nervous

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
How often do you (or anyone else) play in front of your competitive peers or teachers/judges in a non-contest setting? It's not quite the full contest experience, but I can assure you that knowing that (say) Roddy Livingstone is listening concentrates the mind somewhat.
I recall posting on these forums a couple of years back on this subject, from an adjudicators perspective (but I can't find it now when I have searched for it!)

Anyway, the gist of it was along the lines that the starting point is every Piping judge wants competitors to play well. After all, none of us are in it for the money and, who would want to sit all day not enjoying listening to the performances offered?

Also, I stressed that 'crit sheets' are "critique sheets" and NOT "criticism sheets". The are (hopefully) written with the aim of providing constructive feedback and should be approached by competitors with this in mind when reading them.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:48 AM   #30
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Why am I so nervous

Good to hear Roddy.

Tips I'd give? You know the old saying? 'don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong'. It is soooo true. I think a lot of nerves can be canned by preparing correctly/thoroughly.

The second is perspective, why are you doing it? Remember its supposed to be fun! I try to look at my performance as 'my time'. My time to play, to let the pipes sing, sort of strut your stuff if you like.

And third, don't be afraid to fail. I've had catastrophic failures and broken down and left the boards in a wave of shame and disappointment. But I don't get hung up on it. if you did you wouldn't do anything. Look at what went wrong, fix it, move on. Just have a good look at yourself and be honest. I find it quite cathartic.

Enjoy
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