Monday, May 25, 2015

Building confidence

One of the questions I get asked the most is, "how do I get more confidence?" when playing taiko.

I sometimes talk about how to "sell it" by "faking it", which requires some acting chops and an ability to focus on intention.  But there is another way to gain confidence: repetition.

Do the same thing over and over and you will get more comfortable at it.  If you don't feel comfortable playing songs, practice them over and over until you know them inside and out.  A lack of confidence usually comes from fear of making mistakes - take the fear away, and confidence has room to grow.

While it's best to practice with the group on the actual equipment you're to play, you can practice anywhere.  You can do it in without gear, just going through the motions.  You can close your eyes and visualize yourself doing it if you're serious enough.  You can sing the song through while doing the dishes, even.

Not confident with solos?  Set them.  Unless you're soloing in 12 brand-new songs for a show, odds are you can script solos for the songs that have them, and practice them like you would the song.  Less to think about, less chance to make a mistake, less fear.

Even with a ton of practice, time is going to be the biggest factor.  The more months/years under your belt, the more confident you'll be.  But if it's an issue you face now and you want to work on it, then you have on it!

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