Simon’s Performance challenge

//Simon’s Performance challenge

Simon’s Performance challenge

If you are here then you must be on the mailing list, thank you for being a part of this site, I really appreciate you!

So, have you taken the plunge? Are you in preparations? Do you have a story to share about your public performance? Share it with us in the comments below.

2015-05-20T02:05:25+00:008 Comments


  1. Bernard May 20, 2015 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Hi Simon,
    I tank you for your email about the performance challenge. I have a small personal challenge coming next Saturday, I will play two pieces in a church. Reading your mail is for me a good source of inspiration to get the right attitude.
    I started learning classical guitar 6 years ago at 58 and performing in public is not obvious for me. Just reading your email is helpful.
    Tanks again.

  2. Linda Shepherd May 20, 2015 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Hi Simon
    I just want to endorse all you have said. Performing is a wonderful goal, not just for the reasons you have given, but having such a goal on a regular basis has helped me through my cancer treatment. We have what we call ‘Open mike’ nights in our local bar. I play here regularly. It used to be just folk songs, but as my voice deteriorated through my treatment I was encouraged to both carry on, and to present some classical guitar, which no one else does. It was a nerve-racking experience, but after a false start and great encouravement from all present, I succeeded. The applause was gratifying, and the comments I received made me want to carry on.
    It has been challenging, and remains challenging because my cancer treatment last year wrecked my nails. I have had to really work hard ln producing good tone with my finger pads. Just as I think my nails are growing again, they shred. Having the performance goals means tvat I think about my music and do not dwell on my cancer, whic is now thankfully under control. As you so rightly say having something to work towards keeps my practice focused. I now always have new pieces to work on in readiness for the next outing. With the help of on-line teachers line yourself, I now enjoy my guitar more than ever before, and look forward to each performance amongst friends who appreciate the diffuculty and clearly enjoy the music.
    My next outing is tomorrow, and needless to say I have no nails again!

    Thanks for all your tips and suggestions.
    Best wishes from France,

    • Vivien Laura Verey January 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply


      Hi Linda,

      i have problem nails – not for the same reason as you, but mine are naturally weak and brittle and so often they would split or even completely broke off and stopped my practice for a couple of weeks, til they grew again; this really slowed my progress. So I took myself down to the local nail bar, explained the problem to the guys there and they suggested an acrylic coating, which is painted on top to strengthen the nail. That was a year ago and I have never looked back. Now I just go there every 3 weeks and in10 minutes i am good to play again. I just have to remind them not to make the acrylic coating too thick as this makes for a less bright sound.

      Good luck with your playing and best wishes forbyour health.

      Hampshire UK

      • Simon January 29, 2016 at 6:21 am - Reply

        Hi Viv, have a look at synthetic Myrrh for nails. It might help strengthen your nails.

  3. Ben Riley July 30, 2015 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Before I share a few of my performing experiences, I just want to say that this is the best, most structured, comprehensive, classical guitar website on the web in my opinion. As a college student majoring in classical guitar, this website has been an invaluable resource for me, so I want to first thank you (Simon Powis) for this terrific website! I am a guitarist (acoustic, electric, and since last spring classical) and singer/songwriter, and started performing in public about four years ago at my local CSA’s vegetable pickups. I was awful! I would noodle on my electric guitar (not amplified!) My poor audience! Fast forward two years and I started to get some local gigs at farmers markets and some local restaurants playing either acoustic singer songwriter stuff as a solo musician or rock covers with the band that I was playing in. Nowadays I do most of my gigs in the summer (mostly as a solo musician) and try to mix in a few classical tunes into my set of classic covers and original songs. Performing has taught me so much about what I need to work on, has greatly improved my self confidence as a musician, and it is something that I have enjoyed more and more the more I do it. I didn’t actually play classical guitar at all until last spring, as the only guitar major option at the college I wanted to attend was classical oriented. As I want to pursue music as a career once I graduate, performing is obviously something that I want to do as much as possible and it has made me a much better overall musician-not just guitar player.

    Thank you all for reading this, and thank you Simon for this great site!

    • Simon July 30, 2015 at 1:28 am - Reply

      Hi Ben, that is such a lovely message, thank you for taking the time to write it!
      Hope the site helps and that you keep including the classical pieces in your performances.


      • Ben Riley July 31, 2015 at 1:23 am - Reply

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I actually had a two hour gig at my local farmers market earlier today and played three classical pieces towards the end. Anytime I do this I am never sure how it will be received by my audience, but I got a surprisingly good response and will definitely try to make a habit of playing a few classical tunes at more of my gigs!

        Thank you for this great site, Ben

  4. Tom Conlon January 24, 2016 at 1:45 am - Reply

    When my wife and I lived in the (then) small town of Steamboat Springs, we volunteered to give a little concert to the residents of the extended care facility. It was an appreciative audience even though we weren’t accomplished musicians. We later gave a free hour-long Christmas concert at the museum there. It was a challenging and uplifting experience. We were scared to play in front of people we didn’t even know. We learned a lot about music, including simple arranging for two instruments. It gives us more appreciation when we attend professional concerts.

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