Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvir, Philip John Lee and Craig Eros who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





RE: Beta blockers and other performance enhancing drugs   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: <<   <   1 [2]
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
bobbywest87

 

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr. 9 2017
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

I take a combination of Wellbutrin (for anxiety) and Adderall (for attention) and that seems to work incredibly well when it comes to performing or practicing. I think it's the combination of the two that takes performance anxiety away; however, as others have said the best way to reduce anxiety is to practice religiously with the metronome until you are a comfortable level above the song you are playing.

The Adderall portion also really helps me focus while practicing - it puts me into a kind of zone (for lack of a better word) where my brain is incredibly focused on what I'm doing and is absorbing knowledge on what is working, what isn't, why I'm making mistakes, how to fix them, etc. My practice efficiency doubled since starting Adderall (I needed it for work-related issues but it works for guitar too which is nice). I'm not suggesting that everyone should immediately start running out to their nearest psychologist, I'm just pointing out what has worked for me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 8 2017 16:53:10
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I don't really know any "pieces" of music and I'm not sure people want to hear choreographed flamenco without the singer and dancer. Maybe I could string some falsetas together and wing it....


and thus the solo flamenco guitar is born!

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 8 2017 17:31:13
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

quote:

I take a combination of Wellbutrin (for anxiety) and Adderall (for attention)

Well that is a concoction my friend! Be careful with that.... I hate uppers so I likely wont be trying this. lol I was prescribed Wellbutrin as an 8 year old for depression, looking back, who the F&*& gives an 8 year old depression pills? I wasn't depressed I was poor and the only white kid in my school, and having trouble finding my place, don't dope me up!... Maybe it did help though..... lol

quote:

and thus the solo flamenco guitar is born!

I've come full circle! hahaha

I'm actually really glad to see people being so candid about this. Unless your a constantly gigging pro, performing is a bit nerve wracking. Rewarding, but nerve wracking. I suppose If I was performing multiple nights a week and needing drinks every time I'd look deeper into some sort of cognitive reconstruction but for someone who performs every 2-3 months I think some tequila or beta blockers will be just fine.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2017 2:51:37
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

never thought this thing would be so widely spread amongst us guitarists... I had a good amount of live performances now but I never ever made use of performance-enhancing "drugs" of any sort. the stagefright kind of fades away after 10-15 minutes and after that I'm completely comfortable. but then again performing solo is something completely different. this experience is something I still need to make.
and just regarding one's own health, it doesn't sound very good to take this stuff before every single gig, especially if one gigs a lot :/

_____________________________

My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2017 8:54:05
 
sig

 

Posts: 296
Joined: Nov. 7 2007
From: Wisconsin

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I'm actually really glad to see people being so candid about this. Unless your a constantly gigging pro, performing is a bit nerve wracking. Rewarding, but nerve wracking. I suppose If I was performing multiple nights a week and needing drinks every time I'd look deeper into some sort of cognitive reconstruction but for someone who performs every 2-3 months I think some tequila or beta blockers will be just fine.


As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I've used beta blockers in the past and occasionally use them now. I find that after the first couple of bars into the song, the jitters are gone. What I find a bit difficult is being able to stay in the moment and not think about the crowd or my feelings about how I am playing at the moment. I find that if I stay in the moment and keep a clear head I play just fine. Even more difficult falseta's and passages are much easier when I don't think about anything and just play.

The other thing to remember is we are really sticking our necks out when we play. There is no "band" to hide behind, no distortion to mask a wrong note. Its just you and your instrument. Even with accompanying, a mistake will be heard like a shot.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2017 20:19:06
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

quote:

and just regarding one's own health, it doesn't sound very good to take this stuff before every single gig, especially if one gigs a lot :/

I'd agree with this but 3 or 4 drinks every couple months isn't hurting anyone, certainly if I stepped it up I can't keep that up.
quote:

Even more difficult falseta's and passages are much easier when I don't think about anything and just play.

Totally, this incident where I messed up the singer and dancer couldn't believe it, I played that falseta perfectly every single time we rehearsed. It's because I didn't think about it, I just played. This time in my brain I'm thinking "Uh oh, falseta coming and my hands are still shaking, what am I gunna do?" Worst thought to have at that moment. I'd post it but the dancer is weird about posting things online.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2017 0:32:48
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador
I'd agree with this but 3 or 4 drinks every couple months isn't hurting anyone, certainly if I stepped it up I can't keep that up.


absolutely, drinking in moderation won't hurt at all. one drink or two to loosen up isn't a bad idea, I rather meant xanax and all that other stuff with my statement.

_____________________________

My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2017 8:37:59
 
Brendan

Posts: 260
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

Nerves were ruining my enjoyment of playing. They're still a problem, but they don't kill the joy like they used to. Here's what I did:

Read the Inner Game of Music.

What Ricardo said: practice the material religiously against a metronome. Play it at a wide variety of tempos including achingly slow, at various capo-settings, on different guitars, on various chairs, sitting on the porch, etc, to reduce the vulnerability of your competence to small perturbations in the playing conditions.

Always warm up at the gig. Never accommodate the people who expect you to pick the guitar out of the case and just play. In your pre-performance warm-up, do your fiddliest arpeggio and tremolo exercises, so slowly that you are playing them perfectly. If you make the smallest mistake, go slower. Doing very fine muscle movements very slowly will calm you down, and will re-couple you to your guitar. After half an hour of this, your fingers will know where the strings are, and you will know in your tripes that you can in fact play the guitar.

Vital point: do your pre-performance warm-up in total isolation, just you and the guitar. That way, you don't feel embarrassed at playing one note per second as you do your exercises, and you won't catch nerves from the dancers, who will spend this time working themselves up into a right old tizz.

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2017 9:05:31
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

This time in my brain I'm thinking "Uh oh, falseta coming and my hands are still shaking, what am I gunna do?"

If 3-4 drinks or beta-blockers will actually stop you having these thoughts, then fine (well, not really IMO), but I have to suggest it's these thoughts you need to work on.
Much better to be able to perform without any chemical help.
I know it's harder when you are only playing in public occasionally, but that does at least mean you have plenty of time to get it sorted before the next gig!
All the stuff people have been saying about preparation and practise etc. is crucial but addressing nerves is worth doing, even if you only gig occasionally.

I was told that the shaking is due to lack of oxygen, and that this is related to one of the instinctive responses to fear.
As well as fight or flight there is, apparently, a third option, which is to freeze (and hope the sabre-toothed tiger walks right past not noticing you hiding behind the tree, I guess.... ).
In the freeze response we hold our breath and/or breath really shallow.
I don't know if all this is true with good science to back it up, but the guy that told me about it said he would run round the block before a recital to combat nerves!
I find just slow, deep, calm breathing helps, both before and during playing works pretty well.

You can combat the negative thoughts with deliberate positive ones - you can say to yourself "easy" or something like that to blot out the crap thought.

I found out by accident a way to "practise" performing in preparation for a gig when I started to get nervous a few days before a performance in a theatre.
I was practising at home and found myself thinking about what it was going to be like with all those people sitting in rows quietly listening
(instead of round tables in a restaurant eating and drinking).
The kind of negative thoughts you describe started to crowd my mind and I started making loads of mistakes.
I thought to myself "hang on, I can do this, this is easy" and carried on practising. Playing improved.
Then I started to drift back to thinking about the big stage I would be on and the rows of seats.... playing got worse.
So I tried to bring my focus back to breathing naturally and just playing the music.... playing got better.

The theatre gig went ok. I won't say I wasn't nervous on the night, or that I played perfectly, but it went ok, no disasters.

It's something I have been playing around with and working on ever since, it's a work in progress.
Now I intentionally imagine the scenario with the audience etc. before a gig, and combat the nerves before I even arrive at the venue.
On the night I keep my focus on breathing easy and just playing the music. Hear it in my head and let my hands follow.
If negative thoughts drift in (eg. "WTF am I doing here in front of all these people trying to pull off this falseta I can't really play") I can switch right back.
Sometimes I might think "easy, easy" to break the bad thought and put my focus back where I want it. It seems to work for me.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2017 16:28:11
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 598
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

...and don't think that the audience will pick up many errors. Most bad performances are where a player signals a mistake to the audience by grimacing or swearing at themselves when they play something badly, which most audients (i.e. the audience) either don't hear or care about. Audiences are in a contract of goodwill with the player, if they're not, it doesn't matter what they hear. So don't worry and relax.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2017 18:31:01
 
laughingstock

 

Posts: 35
Joined: Jun. 30 2016
From: Texas

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

Another thing that has worked for me is to find something to get MAD about- a phone going off, an unruly kid, the sound guy being drunk, some jackass hitting on your girl while your up on stage- anything. Playing pissed off, not piss drunk, can sometimes pull a good performance out of me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2017 5:10:33
 
elroby

Posts: 142
Joined: Mar. 25 2007
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

Pro prano LOL

Seriously, don't rely on anything but yourself for this


Performance anxiety is a complex issue, it's the body poisoning itself with adrenaline. The advice to 'rely on yourself' is a bit simplistic since it's what's inside oneself that is part of the problem (and the solution). It can be a debilitating and career ending condition so laughing about it is not helpful either. There are tons of books, articles and blogs you can read. I really enjoyed this book:

http://sarasolo.com/playing-scared/

Good luck man.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2017 22:59:16
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to bobbywest87

Thanks elroby! I am going to start looking into "healthier" ways to deal with it. I realized after, it was the first time in my life I was ever completely sober for a performance, even including my terrible 14 year old thrash band days. I performed the next day with some people that I've performed with before and they asked "How are you always so cool when you have to perform?" I was honest and said "'Cus I'm always half drunk."

I've got a friend who's a talented electric/metal player that has now had to quit two bands due to the success the band was beginning to achieve. His first band was Warbringer who's pretty successful in the metal world and he had to quit as soon as the audiences started getting bigger than a couple hundred people. He says it made him sick for days before hand and just killed his ability to play. He practiced a lot of mindfulness, thought he got over it and joined another band and the same thing happened. It's a shame as he's really talented and had basically put all his eggs in the "be a rockstar" basket.

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2017 0:40:30
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13248
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to elroby

quote:

ORIGINAL: elroby

quote:

Pro prano LOL

Seriously, don't rely on anything but yourself for this


Performance anxiety is a complex issue, it's the body poisoning itself with adrenaline. The advice to 'rely on yourself' is a bit simplistic since it's what's inside oneself that is part of the problem (and the solution). It can be a debilitating and career ending condition so laughing about it is not helpful either. There are tons of books, articles and blogs you can read. I really enjoyed this book:

http://sarasolo.com/playing-scared/

Good luck man.


No doubt scientifically a complex issue...however....if you can't laugh it off or if we take ourselves and this specific problem too serious, there ends up a mountain that was once a mole hill. While my advice might seem "simplistic", I find it the only real solution. It's all in the mind. You either trick it, or it tricks you.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2017 12:20:18
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

if you can't laugh it off or if we take ourselves and this specific problem too serious, there ends up a mountain that was once a mole hill.
While my advice might seem "simplistic", I find it the only real solution.
It's all in the mind. You either trick it, or it tricks you.


I checked your previous post,

quote:

Practice with a metronome religiously, all your falsetas everyday so you become like a machine...
you want to go on stage only with expressive feelings don't think about anything just let your well rehearsed body take over at that moment. It's 100% mental.


I don't think your advice is simplistic, and it's certainly not wrong.... it's absolutely necessary to be totally prepared....

....but people who are at a high level and prepared are still poleaxed by fear, and that is the other part of the equation, also mental.
That is the thing that we have to conquer and overcome if we are afflicted by it, because that fear can interrupt the machine-like well-rehearsed body, however well prepared we are in terms of mechanical practise.

whether it's lack of oxygen as a result of restricted breathing caused by tension stimulated by fear, or whether it is "the body poisoning itself with adrenaline", either way it can be a serious problem, and as such needs to be taken seriously and addressed.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2017 15:10:45
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Beta blockers and other performa... (in reply to elroby

quote:

Performance anxiety is a complex issue, it's the body poisoning itself with adrenaline.


you say it's a "complex issue" but "the body poisoning itself with adrenaline" makes it sound simple!

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2017 15:12:52
Page:   <<   <   1 [2]
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: <<   <   1 [2]
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.0625 secs.