Simple Ways to Beat Pre-Performance Nerves: A Go-To Guide

  • Reading time:6 mins read
  • Post category:Music Discussion

For any performer, there’s nothing that comes close to getting on stage and showcasing your talent in front of adoring fans. Whether you’ve hit the big time and packing out stadiums or you’re performing in a quaint, intimate bar, getting yourself psyched up for the event can bring on butterflies and nerves.

What you may not know is even the biggest stars in the world deal with stage fright. If you’re a bag of nerves and find yourself trembling before your call time, don’t worry! It’s totally normal, and once you get out there, any worries will quickly flutter away. But, if you need our advice, here are some ways to beat pre-performance nerves and grace the stage feeling confident and ready for the show of your life.

Try Deep Breathing Exercises

As showtime nears, your stress and anxiety levels may go through the roof. If your heart is pounding and you’re struggling to relax, why not try out some deep breathing exercises? Take some slow, deep breaths in through the nose, before exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeating this over and over can help calm your nervous system and get you ready for the show. Many musicians swear by meditation too. The great thing about meditation is you can do it just about anywhere. Whether you’re at soundcheck, in the dressing room, or even on the toilet, finding the right meditation technique can be a lifesaver when gearing up for a show. 

Do Some Exercises

For musicians who are sat twiddling their thumbs, counting down the hours till the gig, why not use this time as an opportunity to exercise? If you’re starting to get butterflies and can’t focus on anything else, working out can be a great way to get your heart pumping, relieve stress and tension and get you ready and raring to go for your performance. There are lots of exercises you can do in your dressing room too. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, as the last thing you want is to pull a muscle or get a stitch moments before hitting the stage! 

Use Positive Self-Talk

If you’re the anxious type, it’s natural to have nerves before a gig. Unfortunately, you may let negative thoughts cloud your brain, which can affect your performance. Rather than being in the mindset of everything is going to go wrong, you need to start using positive self-talk. When you think positively, this can help you feel more upbeat and in control. Keep telling yourself that you’re going to smash your performance and wow the crowds. When you’re optimistic, this can help alleviate stress and pre-gig nerves. 

Play Games

Speaking of smartphones, your device may be your best friend if you’re dealing with pre-gig nerves. If you need to take your mind off what’s about to happen, why not play some online games to keep you entertained and occupied? Lots of musicians play online casino games that can be a fun distraction. Play Live Casino have an array of exciting titles to check out. Also, look at PlayLive casino guides where you can learn how to play Book of Dead and other games. To truly zone out, grab your headphones and find somewhere quiet to enjoy a spot of gaming. 

Go For a Walk

If you’re in the gig venue and find you’re getting cabin fever, it may be wise to take a step outside and go for a walk. Nothing beats getting some fresh air, especially if you’ve got a big gig coming up. Going for a stroll around the vicinity can be a great way to relieve stress and nerves. Make sure you’ve got Google Maps on your smartphone if you go for a wander, as you don’t want to get lost if you’re somewhere unfamiliar! 

Stick Relaxing Music On

If your mind is going into overdrive, you may need some soothing music in the background to help you relax and get ready for the show ahead. While some uplifting tunes can get you in the mood for your gig, you may need some time to really calm your nerves. Therefore, it’s wise to opt for relaxing songs that bring your stress levels down. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones which you can pop on, shut your eyes and really get into the music. 

Practice, Practice, Practice!

This one is a must for any performer – make sure to practice, practice and practice some more before your gig! If you’re a bag of nerves, you may be in the mindset that you’re not prepared enough for the show. Should this be the case, factoring in some practising is a no-brainer. Whether you go over lines, dance routines, or stage positions, practising just before you go on will minimise the risk of making any mistakes once you’re out there. If you’re a musician, use your downtime before the show to fine-tune your instruments. 

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine 

We appreciate that you may love nothing more than a cup of coffee or a beer to have energy for your gig. However, these stimulants may give you a boost, but they can send your nerves through the roof too. With that said, it’s always wise to stick with water before a show. If you’re fuelling your body with alcohol and caffeine, you’re going to be incredibly jittery! This can only make your stress and anxiety worse. The moment you get on stage, you’re going to have a natural high anyway, so it’s wise to leave these stimulants till after the show.

It’s common for musicians to experience pre-performance nerves before a show. It doesn’t matter how big the stage is or how many people are in the audience, if you’re dealing with nerves and feel they’re getting the better of you, try out any of our suggestions above. When you find a tactic that works for you, this can help you feel more relaxed, excited and ready to hit the stage and perform at your best.

Visit our merchstore!