guitar-playing feeling

The other day Logan got in touch to say this:

“I still suck at playing in front of anyone… I even suck at recording myself!! I can play along with a number of songs fairly well that you have taught and am very happy that I’m actually learning them. BUT as soon as I have someone (or a camera) in front of me – the songs go out the window!!! I know it’s just something I need to continue to work on, so no problem there – I’ll get there eventually!”


I remember that feeling pretty well.

It’s so annoying how your playing can all fall apart as soon as there is an audience or a camera present.

I remember playing some gigs about 7 or 8 years ago.


It was the first gig I’d played in a long time and there was a packed room.

My heart pounded before getting on stage.

Sweat dripped down my back as I started tuning up.

I fumbled my way through the first song.

Overall, I think I did well to hide the nerves and enjoyed it after I’d settled in.


Then, a week later, we played another gig, and I felt better leading up to it…

But boom, like a switch being flipped…

As soon as I got ready to go on stage….

My heart started dancing wildly, the fingers tingled, and the butterflies raged in my belly.


“Damn, isn’t this meant to get easier?” I thought.

This was worse than before.

I had simply forgotten it does get easier, but this stuff takes time.

It was only when we built up momentum and played 4 or 5 gigs in about 2 weeks that these feelings passed.


Being up on stage and doing it more and more just got me comfortable with the situation.

By the time we’d played the last gig of the bunch, I felt excited to get up on stage AND did so without the sickening feeling taking over.


Now, I know from talking to many of you and getting 1000s of emails from you over the years that not everyone wants to play on stage, and some can’t imagine playing in front of anyone.

…But whatever your goals…

Be it jamming with others, playing for family, or confidently getting the guitar out at an open mic, you can do it.


A good place to start getting comfortable with any of the above is to:

Record yourself playing every day for two minutes.

Just play a couple of bars of music.

Ideally, play the thing you play best.


Get it sounding smooth, quickly hit record, go through it a few times, and then stop the camera.

You don’t even have to watch the recording back each time.

And the more you do this routine, the more confident you will become.

The above little two-minute routine will help, so it’s well worth giving it a go…


Of course, it’s not just about confidence though, but it’s about having the skills.

…Because your confidence will grow along with your playing ability.

So for more help with the skill side of playing guitar, check this out:

Find out more about how to fix the “7 stumbling blocks” and grow as a guitarist


I hope you enjoyed that, and you have a fun day of practice!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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