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An effective performance

Lewis.S

Member
Messages
117
Hi everyone,

I'm playing a solo in a school concert next week, and its a new school, so I would like to do as well as possible, I'm playing a grade six piece, anyone have any tips for an effective performance?

Thanks in advance,
Lewis
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Rehearse with the accompanist (or if it's to a track, get your music teacher to listen) and get them to give you some performance tips.
Relax, you'll play better. Imagine the audience wearing only their underpants or something...!

Nick
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Better still Imagine Nick giving you this advice in his underpants.................... :shocked::w00t:;}
 

AdamBradley

Member
Messages
134
Playing something that other schoolkids will think is cool rather than a bit geeky is something I never mastered. Then again I played oboe all the way through school, you're on sax already. I think you're on to a winner.

Biggest thing for me is to relax. With a wind instrument being tense and on edge screws up your breathing, and I found I couldn't hold notes straight if I was overly anxious, start going all wobbly.

Nerves are good, it's adrenaline, but don't let it overwhelm you. Deep breaths beforehand. Oh, and enjoy yourself :D

Also, at this time of year silly christmas hats are a must.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
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2,362
I'd go along with the try to relax thing above anything else. As for imagining anyone in their shreddies - WHY? That could seriously damage such a youngster. :w00t:

Out of interest what piece are you playing?
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,955
To add to the advice already given:

Prep your instrument the night before. That means making sure you have at least two good reeds ready and a clean mouthpiece. Give the mouthpiece cork a shot of grease...if you have to tune on the fly you don't want to have to wrestle with a dry cork.

It's always worth running a cloth over the instrument - it might sound trite but a lot of players feel they play better on a clean horn.

Make sure the horn is warm before you take your solo. If the hall is cold your horn will lose heat very quickly - you can maintain it by fingering a low Bb and gently blowing air down the horn.

Confidence is key - and if you make a mistake, don't compound it by pulling a face or grimmacing. Maintain that confident look - most punters only know you've made a mistake if you point to it.

Above all, don't worry about it.
I once played a long, long solo exactly half a semitone out ( the guys in the band had changed the key and hadn't told me - and I couldn't hear myself ). I thought it sounded a bit odd, but at least two punters in the crowd came up afterwards and said what a cracking solo it was.

Good luck!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
So follow Sue's advice and imagine them all WITHOUT their shreddies..................:shocked:;}
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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As for imagining anyone in their shreddies - WHY? That could seriously damage such a youngster. :w00t:
It's an old trick, used a lot in public speaking/sales presentations as well. The Idea is to bring the audience down to your level as mere mortals with real poblems, rather than imagine them as critical gods loking down on you and so increase your nerves. The first version I heard of this was to imagine them constipated, sitting on the toilet, shreddies around ankles, straining to work the poblem out. The danger is.... If your imagination's good enough (try adding in spotty hairy legs, knobbly knees, skinny pencil legs, a touch of bow legs, red face with suitable gimace... ), you'll burst out laughing instead of relaxing - especially if someone in the audience strikes you as really pompous and a good fit for your vision...... I'd guess in this situation the headmaste wouldgenerally be a good candidate.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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On the music side, pick something that talks to you - as well as the audience. Something you enjoy playing and is well within your ability: ballsy blues, rock....

Avoid eyeballing the audience, and if you nerves are bad, look over them towards the back of the hall. And think positive - you're there to share your music/entertain, not to impress.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
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2,362
:)))
So follow Sue's advice and imagine them all WITHOUT their shreddies..................:shocked:;}
Yes that's exactly what I do! But I imagine the face and George Clooney and the body of David Beckham on everyone

Kev - I'm aware of the trick - I've used it many a time in work presentations etc. The point I was trying to make (light heartedly) is that Lewis is a youngster and it could scar him for life. He has enough to contend with at his tender age :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Kev - I'm aware of the trick - I've used it many a time in work presentations etc. The point I was trying to make (light heartedly) is that Lewis is a youngster and it could scar him for life. He has enough to contend with at his tender age :)
Ah well, maybe it helps someone else who's not aware of the technique.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Just to give some support Lewis, I'll echo the good advice here. I've done live TV and radio interviews and spoken to audiences of between 1 and probably 500 people. Prepare well and be confident. They don't know what you are going to do or how you will play so even if you know you've made a mistake, the chances are they won't notice, so just carry on.
Keeping warmed up and in tune is also important. I played trumpet in the school band (a long time ago....). Most embarrasing was a Christmas carol service. We warmed and tuned up in the music room then carrried our instruments down the road in the cold and into a cool church. First carol and we were all miles off tune. So do what Stephen said and blow lots of warm air down it.
Good luck. You'll be fine.
YC
 

Lewis.S

Member
Messages
117
Thanks!

Thanks so much for the great advice everyone! I'll take note and tell you how I get on, it's next wednesday.:welldone

Out of interest what piece are you playing?
I'm playing Gypsy Songs by Jozsef Balogh, it involves me shouting 'hey' at the end! So it should be fun!

Cheers everyone,
Lewis
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
As the performance is of a Gypsy genre, why not include a Gypsy Rose Lee interpretation?

Don't go as far as Jim did, though.
 

jtyler

New Member
Messages
9
Just ignore your audience. Don't even look at them, glue your eyes to your music. Don't think about doing well for them, think about doing well for the piece's sake.
 

dorono

Member
Messages
28
When I practice at home, I often try to imagine that I'm playing center stage at Carnegie Hall. And when I'm playing on stage, I try to play with the same comfort level as I would in my own house, but I make sure to enjoy interacting with whoever's playing with me.

Remember, the audience is on your side, and they want you to do well. If you're at the performance, it means you're *supposed* to be there, it is no mistake, so above all, have fun with it - it's not an exam. :)
 
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