AndresGuitarAcademy's Blog

Just another weblog

Fear and The Perfomance Pendulum Effect

Posted by The MindMusicMentor on December 24, 2016


Fear and The Performance Pendulum Effect

Ofcourse the higher the pendulum goes up on the left – it will go to the exact same height on the right when You let go.

And that’s exactly how it is with people who perform for the very first time.

In those moments, just before they strike the strings on that first chord – every sense in their body is telling them to not play, and yet AFTERWARDS when they’ve done it well different people describe their motion diffrently.

I remember wayback after show number 1, Dad Pete called me to say his son had trouble sleeping that night – he couldn’t believe he’d played on stage – and he was reliving the magic of that moment, over and over again instead of going to sleep.

I had someone else who described the feeling as intense euphoria, and a text straight after the show asking ” Hey are we all going to a club after”  and I have had others tell me it’s like all their fear has actually disappeared, for the week.

So what is going on ?

Well in a real sense the fear You experience moments before is like fuel for the sensations, the euphoria, the elation You will experience on the other side.  You know the higher the pendulum goes on the fear side, then when You let go, hen You allow then the Pendulum goes to the same height on the other side.

So if there is a lot of fear, then that is going to lead to euphoria.

Now don’t me wrong, I’m absolutely not saying that one day you pick up your guitar that’s been gathering dust, where You can just about play a G chord – and the enxt day you’re playing on stage – it doesn’t work like that.

But here is what does happen for those who are ready to play, moments before they do play.

Because the F in Fear stands for forgetting.

One thing I have discovered is that literally moments before someone performs for the first time – there is all that doubt in their mind – it’s like they genuinely believe they have forgotten how to play.

Fortunately they haven’t actaully forgotten all that I coach people to do, is to trust and play.

Why because they have literally built up a substance of skill that scientists call Myelin.

In his book The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle talks about how through training, practcie and focussed repetition you build a substance of skill – this is something that some people call the mind body connection.

This means that all You need to remember, when You’re ready to make your stage debut, and that is something we would always discuss first, is the first chord of the first song.

And why is that – because

  • when you play the first chord of your fist song for the first time, during your first ever perfomance in front of family and friends
  • The magic of myelin takes over – its like your hands seem to already know what to do

Because in that moment before you play, when you are actually ready to play, Your mind is running real fast with all kinds of doubts trying to deceive you – and sometimes all it can take is a reminder of all the successes You have had –

  • of all the immersion Lessons, where You have focussed and practiced what I call Priming Your Musical Mind – getting out of distracted life mode nd into muic making mode,
  • where You have successfully been guided through the various transition points in your playing – not just how to change chords in time, but also how to strum and play in time
  • And not only that but You are also trained in how to start well and also end well – so that You can easily navigate your way through any mistakes, and slip ups in chord changes

And most important of all, now – when You make your stage debut – there’s always safety in numbers as You can see here…


Showing 7 Student Guitars Playing At Once

Because way back for show number 1 – things were very different. Back then there were no workshops, no stepping stones between  going from Guitar Lessons to The Stage – and also there was no safety in numbers.

Back at show number 1 it was only 1 student on stage.

It wasn’t until show number 7 that we discovered the huge impact of attending and playing at the Workshops.

You see back at show number 1 – it took nearly twice as long for students to set up, to be ready to play as it did to actually play their stage debuts.

And it was show number 7 where we actually shaved a whole hour off the show – why ? Because people knew what they were doing because of all th workshop events that they attended in between. And this is why now one of the most important things before anyone is even considered for making their stage debut is how many workshops they have actually attended.

Confusing Psychological and Physiological Fear and Sabre Toothed Tigers

Sometimes we might think that ” we should just be happy” – and yet sadly things don;t work out that way.

The best that I understand – our minds have NOT evolved to make us happy – instead our minds have evolved to ensure that we survive.

Years ago as cavemen we would have been on alert for sabre toothed tigers.

And what I believe has happened now, is that we all too easily confuse ancient physical dangers with psychological fears – in other words when You experience a psychological fear, that just shows up out of the blues – it might feel very real in that moment – whereas infact it isn’t real.

And I am very direct at sharing this with students – in a real sense F.E.A.R can be thought of as an acronym standing for False Evidence Appearing Real.

So when it comes to Playing, for example when You are ready to perfom for the first time – all You do is simply Trust and Play – You allow the magic of Myelin – the scientific substance of skill that you have trained, and developed, the mind body connection that you have built to take over.



There are no sabre tooth tigers that get into our Shows, Workshops, Immersion Lessons or any other kind of special event!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: