CGC 057 : Performance Advice for the Amateur Classical Guitarist

//CGC 057 : Performance Advice for the Amateur Classical Guitarist

CGC 057 : Performance Advice for the Amateur Classical Guitarist

In this episode of the Classical Guitar Corner Podcast, Simon walks through five tips to help you better prepare and make it through live performance situations. You’ll get advice on the long lead-up to the performance–preparation, which pieces to choose, and so on; the few weeks just before the performance; the day of the performance; during the performance; and just following after the performance.

If you have a performance coming up in the near future, or if you’d just like to begin planning for a performance, then the tips Simon offers in this episode are essential!

2018-01-21T01:32:45+00:00 15 Comments


  1. Steven January 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Thanks again Simon. Very powerful advise. I thoroughly enjoy your podcasts and think it is wonderful that you and your team put so much effort into sharing your experiences and wisdom (freely) with us.

  2. Jeff Peek January 21, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Simon. When I joined CGC last March, I didn’t have any interest in performing, but my experience with the community has changed this. Also, I had a recent invitation to collaborate with two professional classical musicians, and this might result in small-group performances at some point. They have have a lot of performing experience, but it’s all new to me. Your touchstones for formulating a plan make the “bigger pond” look a little less deep and cold!


  3. Linda Tsardakasg January 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    This is an excellent topic and so important for amateur players. Thank you as always!

  4. Stuart Godfrey January 23, 2018 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Thanks for this Simon, very informative and helpful.

  5. ARMANDO BALTRA January 25, 2018 at 2:43 am - Reply

    Thank you, Simon. You touched on so many excellent points.
    I particularly liked what you said about how to handle mistakes while performing. Very good.
    When David Russell was once asked about mistakes on stage, he said that he never delves on what happened. Instead he thinks: “The next phrase will be the very best I play in this recital.”

  6. Jim Simpson January 25, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Simon, thank you for this sound advice and for sharing your experience in this way.

    Kind regards,


  7. Pam January 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    I’m performing tomorrow in an open mic…… all wonderful advice! I’ve experienced the cold hands before performing and I will definitely try the big movement suggestion. Thank you Simon!

  8. Michael Steinbrecher January 29, 2018 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Thanks, Simon. Great advice as always.

  9. giuseppe January 29, 2018 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Sorry not to understand, if some willing to write the most important suggestions, I can translate it, Thanks

    • joannes March 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Giuseppe,

      i can send you the main points with email attachment for the performance preparation
      not sure how to do that here.



  10. Ken Pendleton January 29, 2018 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks Simon for the thoughtful advise. I want to practice what you have suggested in advance of the summer school. I want to learn to play in front of others, so I’ll give it my best. What do I have to lose? If I practice playing daily, I should be able to learn to play in front of others as well, with practice by using your advise.


  11. Gino February 6, 2018 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you Simon! It was so interesting! Although performing is not a specific goal for me at this point, this makes it more tempting!

  12. Lauren February 18, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Love this tips. I’ve struggled, forEVER with musical performance anxiety… grew up playing completely alone (self taught) and playing became a sort meditation – learning to play publicly has been a long term slog-like challenge. Progress had been happening but slooooow.

  13. Mark Campbell February 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    About halfway through listening to this very helpful podcast I was reminded of the motto of my favorite Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Jim Loy: “Preparation = Performance”. Another military maxim which emphasizes how inextricably linked performance is to how closely one is able to duplicate the details, conditions, environment, etc. of the actual experience itself, is the motto: “Train Like You’re Going To Fight.” And while walking onto a stage, guitar in hand, to face a welcoming audience entails considerably less actual risk than finding oneself in combat or performing a harrowing marine rescue hundreds of miles offshore, at night, in a thunderstorm (to invoke a not uncommon Coast Guard scenario), the challenges to mind and body, in the moment, are not all that different. So the wisdom in this podcast, provided by a seasoned professional who has “walked the talk,” provides the tools to enable anyone willing to act upon them to enter the performance arena able to tell themselves, “Ok, I’ve prepared for this in great detail, I’ve done it before successfully (the more times the better), and I can do it again.” Much easier said than done of course, and I’m far from there yet myself, but I look forward to putting Simon’s helpful advice into action over the next several months to see where it takes me. Thank you Simon for sharing this with us!

  14. Marg Sherringham March 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your wonderful advice Simon delivered in such a friendly manner as always. If someone had told me all these things when I was studying classical guitar in my late teens and early twenties, I would have been very grateful, and kinder to myself.

    I used to perform in a duo, and after coming off stage I would inevitably apologise to my partner for each and every little thing I could have done better. He would just smile and say, “I don’t believe in holding post-mortems”. We still play together now, every fortnight just for the enjoyment of hearing the blend of our guitars and feel that musical connection. Apart from an interruption at one stage due to health issues, we’ve managed to keep that routine going for 30 years.

    I love the podcasts!

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