Busking at Music On The Streets in Bondi Beach

I've been playing guitar for around 6 years now, and I can strum up a decent tune on my own or playing with friends. But I get nervous playing in public; I feel anxious and my mind wanders through a series of stressful thoughts like “I'm crap!”, “They (whoever is listening) won't like it”, “They won't like the song I've chosen”, “My singing sounds bad” etc etc. It's exhausting! The first time I played guitar for an audience was in my guitar class, and although I was nervous, it went really well. The teacher wanted us to have a good experience playing in front of people, and the best way to conquer the fear was to play in front of a friendly crowd who were all in the same boat as beginner guitarists. The next time I played in front of an audience was in a comedy club, doing a variation of American Pie with humorous lyrics. I was so nervous that my left hand couldn't make the chord shapes, and the anxiety got worse the longer I played. One of the guys in the audience yelled out “You've killed a great song!” Damn hecklers! Damn anxiety! Damn damn damn damn damn! It was a few years before I wanted to play in front of an audience again. However, now with those few more years practise under my plectrum, I wanted to get over my fear of playing in public so I signed up for Music On The Streets in Bondi Beach. This was the first time I was going busking for money, and I was both excited and nervous. Would I be able to do it? Would the fear take over again? Would I make any money? The only way to know was to give it a go. (more…)

By Graham, ago