Like A Little Bird
“If you give it good concentration, good energy, good heart and good performance, the song will play you.” -Levon Helm
Running through songs and rehearsing before a show are a lot like training and running in the traditional sense. The elements are the same: tempo, good form, consistency, proper breathing. Even dietary considerations are similar. Stay hydrated. Don’t eat too much or too little before the race/show. Dairy? No good.
The mental hype is also the same. There is a date on the calendar circled in red. You tell all your friends and family about it. Nerves and excitement converge in such a way that it becomes hard to tell which is which. Down to making a checklist of things to bring, it’s the same. Swim cap? Check. Running shoes? Check. Guitar picks? Got ’em. Tuner? Uh, oh.
The pep talk I give myself before anything that makes me a little nervous is the same no matter what I’m doing: Practice, show up, do the best you can and let God do the rest. Simple. A friend reminded me the other day of why nerves are ok. His simple text read, “Nerves mean you care! You’ll do great!” So true! Being nervous or stressed means you give a crap about what you’re doing and that is a blessing, to be doing something that you love. Anything perceived as a negative can be harnessed for good. Nerves can be used to one’s advantage. I find that a little bit of the jitters gives me the edge I need to perform.
So tomorrow night, I’ll be getting a check off my musical bucket list and playing a show at the Bluebird Cafe. Here’s to remembering the words to my own songs and remembering to bring my tuner.