The First Nashville Show - Well...How'd it go?
First off. The show was awesome. Playing guitar in Nashville is like (Cali pause 🌴) the coolest thing ever when you are aspiring to be a singer/songwriter who's relevant in the music industry. I am extremely grateful to be out here.
Disclaimer: Everything below is all good stuff! In order to learn from mistakes and improve, you have to recognize your flaws. I'm simply doing just that, learning everyday. I'm not upset about anything. 90% of it went well. I'm writing this post to help other newly touring musicians chill out on game day.
The Performance: The Good, The Bad, and the WTF's
Overall, I made few technical errors while performing. But, I made a few rookie mistakes that I try not to make anymore when it comes to the entertainment portion.
---------- Since the show, I think I have realized why! Keep reading
Hell Yeah's! - They happened!
I tend to play well under pressure. I told myself that before the show and I performed with passion and the rigor of a practiced musician.
People really liked the show. They told me to my face. So, I didn't have to guess😌
The sound guy even gave a good review. (Cheers)
I sold several CD's! THANK GOD! or whoever.
I acted calm when I didn't feel so calm. Score.
I left with a better understanding of my ability and knew right away where I needed to grow.
I HAD A TON OF FUN. #lovemyjob
What the fuck's - Happened?
I apologized! YUCK. "I'm sorry for being a little awkward, we live in a van so we don't get that much interaction during the day..." They laughed but, generally speaking, I try not to apologize on stage. It makes people realize odd things that they didn't before.
I mentioned that I had recently been sick. No need. It only makes the audience look for mistakes.
My practiced dialogue flew out the window. What the fux?
I ignored my setlist at times and it made for a less balanced hour. In regards to moving through fast and slow songs, I could have paced it better.
I know not to do these things so what happened?
What I think Happened: (Most Important Part)
For me, I needed to remember that every show has potential to be a big show. You never know which venue is going to be the one that changes everything. Whether it's in Nashville, TN or Cortland, NY, they are all equally important and should be valued as if they could have a high impact on your career. That way, you are always ready.
After psycho-analyzing last Friday, I realized that I had a mild case of what I now call the, "Nashville Nerves." When they strike, they cause you to temporarily forget about the progress you've made in the last 6 months or, in severe cases, the last decade.
😳<-- SEVERE NASH' NERVES
Before the show, the sound tech mentioned to me that, "Nashville musicians get super nervous when they play New York City for the first time. They build it up to be this great big thing." I laughed during the conversation because in New York City, I felt total control...only to find out that, after our conversation, I too would get hit with the "Nashville Nerves."
For anyone getting ready to play in Nashville or any other reputable city - It's not the place that causes you to choke up; it's your own perception of the show and what you think it means to your career that'll get ya.
CHILL 🥶- They are all a big deal.
Your job up there is no different than it ever was. The stage might be larger, there might be more speakers and a sound check might take a lot less time; but, ultimately, you are in control.
Practice everyday, drink Throat Coat, smile a lot (or whatever you do) and execute.
James VanDeuson - "Feeling great about my "Nashville Nerves" and what they taught me."