Do You Know How to Add Pressure to Your Practice?

Staying cool under pressure requires practice

Do you remember a time when you had it all sorted in the practice room – but everything fell apart at the gig itself?

Maybe this happens a lot. You always get the material solid in practice – but, somehow, that doesn’t seem to be enough on stage.

And just spending more time practicing doesn’t seem to improve things.

​Fear not ​– ​it might only take a slight tweak in exactly HOW you practice to turn this situation around.

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9 Attitude Tweaks That Hold the Secret to Playing Your Best

Think right - play right

Music requires great skill. There’s no getting round the fact that it takes long hours of practice to hone your craft.

But music also needs confidence and focus.

I’m not going to claim that changing your thinking will magically transform you into one of the all-time greats. If your technique is flawed, then it’s still going to hold you back.

But technique is only half the story if you want to achieve the levels you’re capable of.

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The Secret To Remaining Calm in The Face Of Disaster

It’s every musician’s worst nightmare. Something has gone horribly wrong.

Maybe a string has snapped on your guitar. Maybe there’s a complete train wreck – the tune you’re playing falls apart totally and irreparably. Maybe one of the band members hasn’t shown up.

Or maybe they’ve shown up in such a bad state that they don’t belong anywhere near a stage.

Something beyond your control has messed everything up and there’s nothing you can do to fix it now. So how do you respond?

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Do You Play Better In Practice Than Performance? These 7 Reasons Explain Why

Ditch the frustration that comes with playing better in practice than performance by learning to play your best when it counts

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

You’ve basically got it covered in the practice room. It’s not that everything’s perfect, but you’re reasonably happy with where you are, and you can see yourself making consistent progress.

When you get up on stage to perform, though, it’s a different story.

Things which sounded inspired just a day or two before come out sounding dull. Material that you had mastered becomes shaky, or even falls apart altogether.

You find yourself just trying to get through the experience rather than playing freely and really enjoying yourself.

And the most frustrating thing is that there doesn’t seem to be any reason why this happens. So what can you do about it?

Well, there are at least 7 things which can contribute to the problem. In this article I’ll tell you what they are and how to tackle them – so that you can play consistently at your best and feel truly proud about your performances.

Here's what we're going to cover:

  1. You're not used to playing in a performance context
  2. You're not comfortable with the feeling of pressure that performance can bring
  3. You're stuck in a practice mindset
  4. You resent the conditions rather than accept them
  5. You're trying too hard
  6. You care too much
  7. You need to strengthen your self-belief and think positively

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Music Can Be Easy

The performance is about to begin.

In a few minutes, I’ll step onto the stage with nothing between me and the audience. I’ll be put to the test.

All my hard work, all my practice is suddenly in the past now. I can’t go back and revisit any problem areas. There is only this present moment.

Somehow, though, things are different this time.

The journey that I’ve been through – the new perspective that I’ve discovered and accepted has changed me.

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Are You Missing Something Vital Before You Start to Play?

Do you find that you start every performance physically relaxed, completely in control and full of confidence? That the notes just come out effortlessly, exactly the way you want them to? That you’re completely focused on the music, without any worries or distractions tugging at your mind?

That’s the goal, but so few of us actually achieve it.

And it turns out that a lot of the secret is not about those first few notes, but the moments immediately BEFORE we start playing.

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Stop Taking Your Practice Mindset onto the Stage

You’ve worked so hard on how you practice. Got the process streamlined and efficient to maximise your learning.

All your exercises are laser-focused on what you want to improve. You can get into that practice mode effortlessly, spot any imperfections straight away, and immediately calculate what you need to do to fix them.

But did you realise that every step you take that improves your practice could be dragging your performance down?

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Is Your Definition of Success Condemning You to Unnecessary Worry and Doubt?

Have you ever given what you thought was a terrible performance only to come off the stage and have people telling you they thought you played brilliantly? That they really enjoyed it.

It left you confused.

That new material you’d spent ages working on didn’t come out right in your solo. Or maybe you’re thinking of that glaring mistake you made in a part that you should be able to play easily.

How could they not see how bad it was?

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How to Make Peace with Your Mistakes

Everything’s going so well – the music’s flowing and it’s a joy to be playing. Then, suddenly – it happens.

Out of nowhere, you mess something up.

You’re thrown rudely out of the present moment and your mind gets stuck in the past.

On that mistake.

All the earlier enjoyment is gone in an instant. More mistakes follow as your mind is unsettled and distracted.

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