Playing Guitar in Public: Getting Past Your Insecurities

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Shy Guitar Girl

Never let anyone make you feel inferior

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing” – Theodore Roosevelt

Shy Guitar GirlIf you have always dreamed of playing guitar professionally, it’s time that you get out there and do it. Don’t worry about your insecurities. If you let your insecurities overpower you, you will never be able to realize your dreams of becoming a professional musician. I know this for a fact, because it took me more than 20 years to get over myself and realize that I had something to share with the world.

I never had a lot of self-confidence to begin with, and the people around me made it even worse. My mother used to pay for my guitar lessons, and therefore thought she had the right to demand that I play for her friends whenever she wanted me to. Unfortunately, while I was playing she would point out every single note I missed, mention if something didn’t sound quite right, etc. I didn’t even dare try to sing, because she would really come down on me.

After a while, it got to the point where I didn’t want to play for anyone, out of the fear that they were just going to pick me apart.

Then of course there were all the people who said I couldn’t be a good guitar player because I was a girl, or they would say, “You’re good, for a girl”.

What in the hell difference does that make? I would try to tell them that I wasn’t good for a girl, but that I was good, period.

Unfortunately, the more I heard about how I couldn’t be any good, the more I believed it until I actually gave up playing for 10 years. I mean, I wasn’t ever going to be any good anyway, so why bother?

It got to the point where I couldn’t even enjoy playing the guitar just for myself, because I was always worried that someone would hear me playing and tell me how terrible I sounded.

I’m not going to go into details about a lot of things here, but let’s just say that a huge personal event in my life changed my attitude about a lot of things, including playing in public. Following this event, I began out going to karaoke bars to sing, and my confidence started to build. Then I started entering singing competitions, not so much to win but to prove to myself that I could actually get out there and do it. It wasn’t long before I was bringing my guitar along, and I was soon asked to play for pay.

I am now finally in a band as a rhythm guitar player and lead vocalist, after 30 years of dreaming about it but not having the guts to do anything about it.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that you should never let anyone make you feel inferior.

Whether you are a beginner or if you have been playing for 30 years, you should still be happy in the fact that you are accomplishing something. Don’t let what others say keep you from doing what you love.

If what you love is playing the guitar and you want to be a performer, do it. You never know what is going to happen until you try, and you may find that you have been missing out on something really great for a long time.


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