Overcoming Stage Fright

Does the thought of playing music in front of people keep you up at night with dread? Hopefully, the tips I give in this video will help you overcome the negative effects of performance anxiety.

First, as I mention in the video, a great book on this topic that also contains great advice on practicing and many other musician related topics is The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness by Gerald Klickstein. Gerald taught me classical guitar briefly when I was a teenager at the N.C. School of the Arts. He had me do many of the same procedures found in this book and they did a lot for my stage confidence.

Your comfort level when performing has to do with many things including your own personality traits, your past performance experiences and more.

The key to dealing with and eventually overcoming the fear of performing for others is to set in motion a string of positive experiences from performing. There are many way to accomplish this, and in this video I will tell you my personal favorites.

I hope these tips will help you find a greater confidence while performing and help you reach greater musical heights.


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Overcoming Stage Fright


  1. Tim Gorman on November 17, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Wow! Carl is an amazing guitarist and teacher, but after watching this stage fright video; Carl is also an amazing motivational speaker! I’ve struggled with debilitating stage fright for a few years now and I like the idea of playing way below my skill level to gradually build confidence. Like Carl stated, as a guitar player I tailored my performances to play at the peak of my skill level. I figured that no one would be interested in a basic guitar player/singer. At the next open mic opportunity I’m going to play ‘easier’ music to sing over; and work at cultivating a few basic and decent performances even at the open mic level.
    Thanks Carl!

  2. Mboomjockey on December 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Hello Carl, I resemble this video, when friends stop over and ask me to play, my hands shake and I play like it’s my first day.
    I have enjoyed playing along with your lessons. I have read a few comments in several lessons. I would agree that you are a very good teacher. I have really advanced in my playing ability and confidence.
    I’m an older player, with a lack of any lessons (self taught) this has been a great motivation watching the videos.
    Thank-you Carl

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