This past weekend I played about 50 minutes of original DADGAD Fingerstyle guitar Hymn arrangements for a private event. I wanted to share what I learned and am still learning about playing so many notes and having the ability to remember each note even when nervous in front of lots of people.
I have found that I ( and I think a lot of people) have a strong left and strong right brain when it comes to remembering and playing a lot of fingerstyle DADGAD guitar notes and not forgetting them. In the past what has happened with me is that I have practiced my guitar for hours and then felt really good about things, only to find that when I get on a stage in front of several hundred people I kind of freeze up and have no idea what notes to play. Now the funny thing is that I have played in front of a crowd of over 7,000 people (some years back and only one!) and I have played in front of just 4 or so people and the SAME thing happened, I would get nervous and then would freeze up and have not idea where to go in the song. A really terrible feeling indeed!
So this past Saturday I was able to play 50 minutes of DADGAD fingerstyle guitar songs in front about 230 or so people while never freezing up! I wanted to share with you the two things that have helped me so much and kept me from this freezing thing!
The first item is that of how to practice strategically. I learned a method on line some years ago (like 10 years ahhh) and basically you close your eyes and visualize the melody of the song and tap it out on your knee or a table or something. Then you do the same with all the right hand fingering of the DADGAD notes. Then finally you do the same thing with the left hand notes on the guitar fretboard. Then you practice again with that same remembering technique. This has done wonders with my remembering songs and notes in front of people
Now for the most important thing that I have learned to do that helps me remember DADGAD guitar notes for fingerstyle guitar while playing in front of any number of people. I rely on finger memory a lot BUT the thing that I have learned is to tell your left brain to quiet down and stop trying to get in on the action and I even pray with my left brain while watching my hand play from finger memory and I just watch them, a strange but very effective method. The job of my left brain is to just make sure that my right brain finger memory for the song being played is not criticized or messed up in anyway.
I have had so much more success playing lots and lots of my songs without any issues now in front of people because of these two things.
I will try and make a video on this later. It does sound a bit spacy and almost like hypnosis but I think it is learning to really use both sides of my brain in a very stressful and scary situation and making it really work!!