Beating Stage Fright
There are probably very few if any singers, who will admit that they don’t get ‘butterflies in their tummy’ before performing.
Fear and nervousness are a bad combination to any singer.
Let’s face it, when you’re scared, you’re not having any fun, especially on stage.
A loss of concentration will cause you to avoid hitting the right notes.
Are you a victim of singing anxiety? You’re not alone.
The good news is.. it can be overcome!
We will first explore what stage fright is, what causes it, and how to avoid such causes?
There are also practice exercises provided below which you can incorporate into your singing routine to help ease your anxiety.
With fear out of the way, your confidence will increase, allowing you to move closer to a great sounding voice and performance.
The 7 Common Causes Of Stage Fright
A survey once reported on the top feared things by most people. Of course, things like financial problems, deep water, sickness, and death made the top ten.
But… the number one fear out of all of them was stage fright.
What is stage fright?
Stagefright is anxiety, fear, and in some cases a phobia that is triggered by the act or even the thought of performing in public like singing, speeches, or acting.
Symptoms include heart pounding, shaky hands and legs, perspiration, body tingling, dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach, dizziness, and jitters. Not to mention the desire for avoidance at all costs.
7 Reasons For Stage Fright:
> Lack of Confidence. Even though you’ve practiced a thousand times. You just don’t see yourself being good enough to sing in front of others.
> Over thinking. When your mind gives you a list of reasons to question whether you are ready. Unless these conditions are fully and perfectly met, you may feel you will fail.
> Lack of preparation. The importance of rehearsal cannot be over emphasized . Unless you commit the time necessary to warm-up, do regular voice exercises, along with mastering your singing material, you won’t feel the confidence of being truly prepared.
> Fear of crowds. Sometimes the more isn’t always the merrier. It’s you against all of them. And worse, they’re all staring right at you!
> Afraid of being judged. With all of the eyes on you comes the realization: What they are likely thinking of you? Did they notice your timing was off at the start and how you were a little off key hitting that high note?
> Past failures and regrets. “I could tell by the lack of applause that my last performance stunk. I knew I should have picked a different song..I’m not sure I could get up again..”, you say to yourself. You feel paralyzed and shut down.
> Comparing yourself to others. Have you ever got up to sing a song at Karaoke, right after the most amazing singer in the room? You thought you were pretty good, but now you are feeling really intimated.
10 Tips For Overcoming Stage Fright
1. Visualize. Have you ever heard of a remedy to public speaking? Some recommend that you pretend your audience is naked, therefore placing you in a position of confidence. Well, it’s not necessary to view your audience naked, but visualizing is a very powerful way to build confidence. It allows you to ‘experience’ success before the event and it prepares you to ‘see’ yourself at your best.
2. Your Posture. How many times has your mom or dad ever told you “not to slouch”? Good posture not only makes you appear more confident and appealing. It is also one of the most important parts to singing. First, it supports great air flow, which is key to a great singing. Also, it helps you avoid tension, which can be detrimental to your voice.
3. Breathing. Focusing on your breathing when you are singing will enable you to relax, but more importantly, keep you in tune with the movement of your diaphragm as it moves up and down. Each song requires different breathing patterns according to the pitch, pace, and power.
4. Warm up with breathing exercises before you perform. Start with some deep breaths in and slow, and controlled as you exhale. This will prepare you to sing an entire set list of songs before you get to rest.
5. Work with other singers. If you don’t see it as a competition, you can greatly benefit by singing with others. Listen to and watch as they perform. You can learn a lot just by observing others sing. If you’re feeling really brave, give singing harmony a try. Blending one or more voices can be fun and improve your ear to music.
6. Feeling the emotion in the words and the music is so important. We listen to music because of the way it makes us feel. So it is vital to understand and be able to express what the song is trying to convey. Is it heartbreak or happiness? Find out and sing accordingly!
7. Practice. If you really want to eliminate fear and build confidence, then repetition is necessary. That means you need to set aside time to practice the stuff that makes a great singer. The more you can train your voice through practice, the more natural your voice will develop.
8. Connect with your audience. Whether you are new to singing in public or not, one little trick used by some professionals is to look for friendly faces in your audience. Observing them sing along and cheering for you can help you to remain calm and have fun.
9. Try Karaoke. Have you ever sang in public before? If not, how about trying Karaoke? If you consider yourself amateur than it’s a good place to start. None of the other aspiring singers in the crowd are likely to be professionals, so there’s no need to feel self-conscious. In fact, seeing others push their own fears aside and sing in public can be a great support to your ability to sing before others. Remember to show your support for others and they’re likely to support you.
10. Take voice lessons. There’s more to singing than simply mimicking someone else’s voice to their song. It’s about developing your own voice and singing style. For some, online singing lessons have proven beneficial.
Famous Despite Fears
According to an article by the Huffington Post, famous singing stars as Adele, Barbra Streisand, and many others have suffered from stage fright from time to time.
Johnathan Knight from New Kids On The Block reportedly once walked off stage during a concert due to anxiety. But this hasn’t caused him to cancel any tours.
Just like these stars, you too can overcome the fear of singing in public. Remember, you’re not alone.
Take the time to review the outlined singing tips.Eventually, you will not only enjoy yourself by focusing on your originality when you are out on the stage, but your spectators will be having fun with you. At this stage you are unstoppable!
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