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Flying Hands Music School in Louisville, Kentucky


The Benefits Of Relaxing When You Perform

We teach guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, piano, violin, drums, percussion and voice. I will try to cover these specific instruments for this blog. It benefits all musicians to try and relax when playing, especially with others. It's a tricky balance to let your body settle in enough to do the technical stuff, yet be able to pour on the adrenaline when needed. If you can get in a mindset not to push too much you will have better time, phrasing and control over your instrument and voice. That being said, adrenaline is the part of the performance that transmits energy.


Stringed instruments such as guitar and violin require a coordination that brings together both hands in a unique way. If you think about it, the left and right hands are doing completely different jobs on a guitar or violin. One hand is doing the fingering on the fretboard, while the other hand is attacking the strings with fingers, a pick or a bow. Guitar is typically played upright in a "lap" position even when held by a strap while standing. Violin rests on the shoulder and the bowing hand is driven by the arm. This all takes a form of relaxation to get things right.


Drums use all four limbs but the hands and the feet strike very differently. You have to mentally relax because if you overthink it, drums can become difficult to coordinate all moving parts of your body. Drums are very exciting so trying to relax a bit can be a real challenge. Being the timekeeper, a drummer can get fired very quickly for rushing tempos.


Piano is a little easier from the standpoint that both hands are attacking in a similar motion; however the left hand many times creates a steady bass line or accompaniment, whereas the right hand is playing chords, melody or fleeting solos. Posture and hand placement are very important for All instruments (including singing), with varying degrees.


Voice depends on pitch, posture and breathing. How many times have you seen a singer/vocalist blow it on The Voice or America's Got Talent because of nerves? Breathing techniques and posture can help a musician relax. Vocalists and horn players that jog usually have more stamina and stronger lungs. There's no doubt that outside practices such as meditation and good health habits are certainly beneficial in the journey of mental relaxation, as well as the physical demands of performance.