Essential Secrets 101: Put on Your Game Face
Put on Your Game Face
Remaining Calm in All Circumstances
No matter what happens in a performance, you cannot allow your audience to know that you’re unhappy with your playing. You’ve got to remain neutral, showing no signs at all that anything’s wrong. Reveal nothing.
Essentially, when you’re on stage you are as much an actor as a musician. The role you’re playing is an extremely confident poker player, willing to bluff whenever necessary.
The good news is that your audience does not know your intentions. If something doesn’t go according to plan, the audience will never know the difference unless you give away the secret. The not-so-good news is that every nuance of your body language is in plain sight. Anytime you react to what’s happening musically—whether good or bad—your audience will notice.
To work on your game face, try these virtuoso performer tricks:
1. Never stop playing. Keep going as if you meant to do whatever you just did.
2. Move in time to the music. Continue moving in time even if something goes wrong.
3. Do not roll your eyes, move your head, smile, or make a face if you mess up.
4. In the practice room, make a mistake on purpose just to see if you can recover quickly.
5. If you played an articulation wrong, play the rest of the phrase to match it.
6. Absolutely, positively do not say anything—especially “Sorry”—if you hit a wrong note.
7. Never stop playing. This will cause a train wreck. (Yes, this was the first trick on this list. It’s so important, it’s mentioned twice!)
By developing these skills, you will build confidence, increase your level of focus, and master the bass more quickly. You will also change your perception of what it means to perform well. Remaining cool and collected—rather than playing every last note perfectly— will be your new measure of performance success.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET