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I am sure this happens to most people, but I absolutely stress out before auditions. I have an audition next January and I am already stressing out about it! I hate the stressed feeling and when I get stressed out over an audition it makes me not want to play my saxophone because I know that playing will stress me out even more. Does anyone else experience this too or is it just me??? I don't know what to do and I really don't want to be stressed out for the next six months! How do other people manage their audition stress?!
 

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planning... like baking a cake, and two different types of cookies at the same time...

you have to do the planning in reverse.

july - 2011 - decide what you want to play at the audition and their requirements... understanding scale construction. i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6,b7,1... is there an aural component? i used the program auralia and focused on only 3-4 intervals in the custom setting crunching hundreds in a 30 minute block.

August-2011 - can play all pieces looking at them... doesn't matter if it's a bit slower... identify those difficult three-four bars... also the technical exercises to "get that top D at the end of the piece in tune" etc... you could even write out those excepts from all the pieces on a separate piece of manuscript so can just look at 'the bit's i need to work on' section in you practice schedule...

September-2011 - record yourself with garageband (mic purchase?)... using these recordings as temp tracks... even put a tiny bit of reverb on it so YOU can listen to it... you will need headphones if you want to improve those tracks each time you play them...

october- 2011... scales/arpeggios are pretty good now... ?? how is you aural recognition going... do you need to rehearse with a piano player?

november- 2011 - can play pieces from memory 85-90% accuracy.. working on endurance now... having the recording of yourself will, if you forget a bit... still be able to hear it being played before you remember the next enterance.

dec-2011 - remember to practice over christmas break... "have i found a good reed for the audition yet?"

jan - 2012... audition... pieces... scales.. remembering - "the journey you undertook to get where you are now"...


as an after thought... photocopy each piece 6 times (new copy each month)... so you can write your own instructions or even use a highlighter underlining different things... this also lets you look back and remind yourself along the way how your are progressing.
 

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Great advice, tristanhall. :)

dealing with audition stress... just try not to procrastinate too much, that just makes it way worse.
Also, it's stupidly simple, but I just try to remember that stressing doesn't help anything. Either you're going to work towards it and be as prepared as possible, or you're not. And if you've done everything you should have done and you don't get it.. maybe it wasn't meant to happen right at that moment. there's always next time, etc etc.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I am sure this happens to most people, but I absolutely stress out before auditions. I have an audition next January and I am already stressing out about it! I hate the stressed feeling and when I get stressed out over an audition it makes me not want to play my saxophone because I know that playing will stress me out even more. Does anyone else experience this too or is it just me??? I don't know what to do and I really don't want to be stressed out for the next six months! How do other people manage their audition stress?!
It's very very common, I have a few tips in this article:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/stage-fright-performance-nerves.html

If it gets really problematical, then this is something you can get help for, e.g. I know sombebody for whom a hypnotherapist is doing wonders.
 

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Plenty of time to to prepare. I'm not sure what to advise. There is enough time to be more than comfortable playing the notes. Be confident. Practice. Know the material so well you could play it upside down. Confidence that I will not screw up reduces my stress levels tremendously. I you're still freaked even knowing the material - it might just be you need more time performing before you find your comfort level. It's a bit like skydiving - the first time you are scared sihtless - by your 1000th jump, it's become a chance to enjoy the serenity that comes with floating free through the sky.
 

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Plenty of time to to prepare. I'm not sure what to advise. There is enough time to be more than comfortable playing the notes. Be confident. Practice. Know the material so well you could play it upside down. Confidence that I will not screw up reduces my stress levels tremendously. I you're still freaked even knowing the material - it might just be you need more time performing before you find your comfort level. It's a bit like skydiving - the first time you are scared sihtless - by your 1000th jump, it's become a chance to enjoy the serenity that comes with floating free through the sky.
This bears repeating------if you are not already making and taking as many opportunities as you can to perform before others, you should start doing so immediately. Been there! Eons ago I had severe performance anxiety about public speaking, singing, or playing; it only yielded to many angst-filled experiences of doing so.
Ruth
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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This bears repeating------if you are not already making and taking as many opportunities as you can to perform before others,
One thing you can do is to contact some nursing homes and volunteer to do some playing. They will be grateful for the entertainment and won't really care what level you are or the occasional wrong note. It's a great way to get some experience playing in front of people.
 

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Some great advice already posted here. Do you have a teacher? If you're in it alone, your stress might just compound over time without guidance from someone. With that being said, you have plenty of time to prepare for your audition. Figure out what you want to play, and keep listening to recordings/performance of musicians who inspire you. Make sure you're in control of the music when you practice. If you're having trouble, move the metronome back a notch.

I don't know what your audition is geared toward, but this is an excellent article on practicing that I think would be of great benefit to you.

http://web.ysu.edu/gen/fpa_generated_bin/documents/basic_module/2007_Umble_Practicing_Effectively.pdf
 

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Very simple advice given to me by my old clarinet teacher.
Practice til you can play it in your sleep. When the time comes the notes will all be there, then all you'll have to do is remember to breath.
My reply, That's what YOU think!

Sometimes it works...
 

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Very simple advice given to me by my old clarinet teacher.
Practice til you can play it in your sleep. When the time comes the notes will all be there, then all you'll have to do is remember to breath.
My reply, That's what YOU think!

Sometimes it works...
Yeah. Some days are better than others. We (my corp group) opens this summers show with the intro to a TOP song. I play the intro on tenor because the next tune is a tenor song for me. We end the show with the same tune but I play Bari. Sat pm, I strode boldly on stage and belted out the Bari part - on my tenor :(. I've been playing this stupid set for weeks! I was thrown off my game for half the set. It rattled me hard for some reason. Your advice is great though - the caveat is that whatever can go wrong - will. You better practice until you can play it in your sleep with a split reed and a pad missing ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice everyone! I will try a couple of your suggeestions and hopefully this will help me relaz a little more!
 

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I am in exactly the same boat right now (preparing a college audition for around January; I've done countless auditions before and I get so nervous that I'm physically sick and don't want to play anymore), and these replies will hopefully relax me too! I'll pray for you too, if that's okay, because it's something that definitely makes me feel better :)
 

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Same boat! I hope it's big...

I've been thinking this essentially... I play because it makes me happy, relaxes, etc. My auditions, are just me playing with someone else in the room to relax with me.

Just get their expectations, and have everything down. Make it so they CAN'T REFUSE you.

-Bubba-
 
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