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Performing advice

Live Performance Musicians: Rules of the Stage

Click here for some useful tips for independent bands/musicians - guest post by Jordan Gaw

Performing in pubs

If you're unsure about whether you are (or your daughter/son/child in your care is) old enough to perform in a pub, here's the guidance we've received from Gloucester City Council. If in doubt, if you're a young person, always check with your parent/carer, and with the pub, before agreeing to perform.

If you're under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult in a pub.

If you're under 16, it's advisable that you have permission from your parents too. 

Some pubs have unique conditions restricting any children from entering and their own policies as to whether or not they want to allow it. Some local authorities also have their own bylaws prohibiting any children in pubs, but we're not aware of any bylaws of this nature in Gloucester City.
 
We've not been able to find any guidance on young people performing in pubs (please let us know if you know of any), but the British Beer and Pub Association have a short Guide to children in pubs.

Performing on stage

It’s weird. You may be able to play something perfectly at home, but when you play for your teacher or on stage, you start to make mistakes!
This happens to everyone. Not just your friends and bandmates, but also professional musicians, athletes, actors…Somehow, when the pressure is on and we really want to do well, it becomes harder to perform at our best.
If you’re like most musicians, a voice inside you wakes up and starts to criticise every little thing you do wrong. It’s like your brain is in overdrive mode to keep control of everything that’s happening and ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. But as you might have noticed, it doesn’t really work all that well.
In fact, you should be doing the opposite. You want to let go of those thoughts and just play… Of course, that’s easier said than done. How can you get better at not thinking as much on stage and being in the zone?
  1. Realise that most of your thoughts don’t make sense when you take the time to think them through. Sure, you might think that the mistake you just made has ruined the concert. But actually, no one in the audience noticed. And if they did, they don’t care. People come out to shows to have a good time and not to notice mistakes. This is just one example. These automatic negative thoughts tend to be either unproven or untrue.
  2. Try to not engage your thoughts. When you think ‘Oh no, a mistake! What now?!’ it can be tempting to follow that train of thought. We’re used to following our thoughts all day. But if you can let thoughts just float by and not engage them, you can just focus on playing music. They won’t have such a hold on you. So when you find yourself distracted by thoughts, try to gently bring your attention back to the music (without berating yourself for having been distracted).
  3. Of course, all of this takes practice! The more performances you’ve played, the better you’ll get. But fortunately, you can also practice at home! By creating situations where the stakes are slightly higher than you just playing something on your own, you can practice getting in the zone and playing at your best. For example: pick a song, grab your instrument and give yourself just one chance to play that song flawlessly, from start to finish. Another option is to record yourself playing the song.
Want to know more about getting in the zone on stage? Check out the full article here!

 

This page is being developed - if you have any information about ongoing (not time-limited) performing opportunities for young musicians, advice you'd like to share, or suggestions for what you'd find helpful, please let us know by emailing makemusicglos@gmail.com   Thank you!

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