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Oct 29, 2022 - 12:10:11 PM
10745 posts since 3/19/2009
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As for me, I can jam all day, and 3-4 your jams are not problem especially at a festival.. BUT when I'm busking, no matter how much I try, I can't seem to go over 2 hours because of MENTAL fatigue.. Performing/busking is different than jamming.. What are your experiences with getting mentally Fried from fiddling..?

What I'm referring to is NOT physical fatigue but Mental fatigue.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 10/29/2022 12:25:56

Oct 29, 2022 - 12:30:04 PM
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3217 posts since 9/13/2009

Performing, sometimes, depends on the performance context.

But it's generally not from fiddling, or playing music part. 

Solo act is no doubt more work.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 10/29/2022 12:31:47

Oct 29, 2022 - 4:04:42 PM
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2874 posts since 10/22/2007

Naw. Many times I've sat and jammed for 5 or 6 hours. We'd have been longer if not for spousal hunger.
But doing anything for 10 hours straight seems like another kettle of fish. I mean, I can't lay in bed for 10 hours straight.  As far as shows, I think the physical fatigue contributes greatly to the mental fatigue.  3-4 hours, I used to stand. Even a stool doesn't afford lower back support. 

Edited by - farmerjones on 10/29/2022 16:12:00

Oct 29, 2022 - 5:53:06 PM
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Earworm

USA

423 posts since 1/30/2018

In most jams, though, you don’t really have to be “on” 100% though. Not every tune is perfect and it pretty well comes out at the end. You have each other. Performing / busking, though, requires something more.

I love to reach that point (even practicing) where my head’s just “full” and I guess I need to stop and process for a while. That’s just a cool feeling.

Oct 30, 2022 - 4:56:56 AM
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17 posts since 12/28/2020

Agree with this. Performative fiddling puts extra pressure on. I don't feel it playing for dances, because the focus is not on me. Same for lessons or even playing in an orchestra (oops, classical reveal). But for teaching a class, or recording videos where I have to be "on" gets me very fried. I have to take a hike to clear my brain in order to turn around and do it again right away.

I haven't busked in a long time, but I didn't find it fatiguing in the same way. Maybe I just wasn't working very hard, or there were breaks with no one around. It's easier with a friend.

Oct 30, 2022 - 5:22:33 AM
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3217 posts since 9/13/2009

I think the most fatiguing situations for me involve being front man, trying to engage the audience with words (words is hard); patter and such. There is also an aspect of thinking (overthinking)... worry about keeping flow going; reading the audience; what to play next (brain farts with that); set list is good idea but maybe should alter it on fly? Maybe now's not the time to sing all 40 verses of ballad, of unrequited love and murder? Even for fiddle tunes, how long and they maybe all sound the same?

Busking I find can be even more stressful, that regular stage venues... can also involve how to grab their attention in the first place, to notice you, get to stop and listen. 

Oct 30, 2022 - 5:42:53 AM
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10745 posts since 3/19/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by MeganBeller

Agree with this. Performative fiddling puts extra pressure on. I don't feel it playing for dances, because the focus is not on me. Same for lessons or even playing in an orchestra (oops, classical reveal). But for teaching a class, or recording videos where I have to be "on" gets me very fried. I have to take a hike to clear my brain in order to turn around and do it again right away.

I haven't busked in a long time, but I didn't find it fatiguing in the same way. Maybe I just wasn't working very hard, or there were breaks with no one around. It's easier with a friend.


True, busking with a friend helps.  I kibitz with passers by just so I'll not have to fiddle so much and that helps lessen  mental fatigue. 

Oct 30, 2022 - 6:48:53 AM
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6185 posts since 8/7/2009

I love to play. I enjoy performances - especially when I'm prepared for it. Frontman, support, band, or solo - I usually don't have any problems. Except when the performance has me standing in one place for more than an hour or so. I feel great while I'm performing - but when I stop and have to move or bend down - I suddenly realize how tired I am -especailly as I go older.

Busking by myself is different (for me anyway). I've done it, but I prefer not to. It's hard for me to stay motivated trying to entertain folks who didn't come to be entertained. But I enjoy busking with a friend or 2.

Oct 30, 2022 - 7:47:20 AM

RichJ

USA

800 posts since 8/6/2013

It's interesting to hear comments from "performance" fiddlers. I kinda' lump fiddle interest into three, maybe four categories' - those who listen, those who play and those who perform (get paid to play). I guess there's also a fourth - those who jam (play with others and don't get paid). Seems logical that getting paid to play could be the most stressful of the bunch. After all, isn't it similar to that other thing people get paid to do, yeah ya' know...work. This post sorta' relates to another recent one about playing when your pooped or stressed out. Not being a performance fiddler I guess I can't understand the pressures associated with that kind of playing. The closest I came to anything along those lines is when I belonged to a couple of fiddle clubs that got paid to occasionally play in small restaurants and country fairs. I hated it.

Oct 30, 2022 - 8:38:33 AM

14140 posts since 9/23/2009

I pretty much fried my fingers and my brain and my once-broken, but now recuperated, but now stiff and sore bowing arm last night by playing Gardenia Waltz until I just couldn't do it no more...all by myself, well two Chihuahuas groaned next to me, but Mike hurried and tried to sleep off the whole idea. I still sound awful on Gardenia Waltz...lol. But I fried it and it fried me...I should just go ahead and call it Kentucky Fried Gardenia Waltz...crispy and carbonated to boot.

Oct 30, 2022 - 9:48:08 AM
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6092 posts since 9/26/2008

If you all were to see Lee busk, you'd get a better understanding of why he gets "fried." Lee is working the pedestrians, telling jokes, engaging the children (which draws in the parents and their money) and he he's pretty good at it IMO. He is truly there entertaining/working for his tips.  Me? When I buskI just sit on a bench or some steps, put the open case off to the side and play whatever I feel like playing. If I get tips, great; if I don't, I got some fresh air and an hour or two of time playing my fiddle. Win/win in my book. 



I'm in George's camp, the music is never mentally tiring, especially if other musicians are involved. I tend to feed off the other person/people I'm playing with (like a musical vampire? laugh??????) and as long as they want to keep playing, I will too. Exception is being physically tired, but not mentally. In a situation where there might be long stretches of playing (festival, party, long day of jamming) I find it's easy to maintain myself as long as I can eat occasionally and eventually get some sleep. The mental part on those occasions actually gets easier with time, the second session is easier than the first, the ones after that become almost subconscious in their ease, where the fiddle seems to play itself regardless of whether I know the tune or not. 

Oct 30, 2022 - 11:19:23 AM
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10745 posts since 3/19/2009
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It is not just busking to kids, Billy.... Lately during the weekdays there were few kids so I had to shift gears..having Harry guess people's ages, offering to give a tip back if they are short when buying a beer, telling them I'll loan them money if they need a little to buy jeans with no holes in them, telling them to not give too big a tip to Harry because he just needs a carrot and they should spend more on a meal.... telling ladies that a man (husband) is following them and they need to keep an eye on their purse.., asking if their dog is a 'rabbit' dog? So far nobody has taken offense.. I've quite tactful....yada, yada, yada... and I'm sober doing this.. It never ends.. no wonder my brain gets fried!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 10/30/2022 11:20:26

Nov 1, 2022 - 8:18:39 AM
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14140 posts since 9/23/2009

All I can say is keep going, Lee…must be nice to have people nearby who want to hear you play…however fried you get…hope you do enjoy it.

Nov 1, 2022 - 9:00:51 AM
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Erockin

USA

241 posts since 9/3/2022

I've gotten there in a short time. Lots of notes, numbers and fingers, melodies, and so much to remember.

Nov 2, 2022 - 6:20:58 AM
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2079 posts since 4/6/2014

Picking melodies/progressions up on the fly and being expected to be able to take a break on a tune i have only heard a couple of times before is extremely mentally tiring for me nowadays. i haven't done it now for a few months but last time i did, my brain just shut down and i couldn't even find the key folk where playing in, let alone work out the changes, and figure out a bit of a break...Time to put the fiddle on my knee and give it a rest imo.

Nov 2, 2022 - 6:36:58 AM
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Earworm

USA

423 posts since 1/30/2018

You know, so long as you end on the right note and have fun along the way, the rest is just details. So goes life.

Nov 2, 2022 - 7:27:01 AM
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684 posts since 7/30/2021

Yes, I could never do what Lee does! Just the audience interaction part would fry me. :-)

I get mentally tired when trying to learn new tunes in person from other people...I'm still not great at learning by ear, and there's this pressure to pick it up fast since they are taking the time to teach it, so by the time I've learned the new tune, my brain feels fried. So in my case frying only takes...15 min?

Then for the rest of the time, my brain lies gratefully limp while I play only tunes I know well...

Nov 2, 2022 - 8:14:11 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1091 posts since 6/22/2016

"end on the right note" - I'm tired of all these rules!

Nov 2, 2022 - 9:25:03 AM

14140 posts since 9/23/2009

lol. Sorry to be the obligate drifter, but this reminds me of when I took Russian 101 and 102 as a perk, 6 hours free tuition, when I worked in the university library...just for "fun." Lol...well it was fun, but I'd study for a while and try to read some Dostoevsky in the old Russian, older than the Russian in our class...I'd be struggling along but functioning when suddenly I would have a brain meltdown...like...ok...no more Russian, no more English...just no more!!!! It's ALL the same jibberish.

Nov 2, 2022 - 11:16:35 AM
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3217 posts since 9/13/2009

I kind of forgot about how mentally fatiguing or mental frustrating some jams can be. Esp. as outsider, beginners, or playing with total strangers. 

Besides just trying to pick up unfamiliar tunes; and/or even adjusting to unfamiliar style.

Social anxiety, dealing with unfamiliar, comfort zone, self conscious worry other think, expectations, 

 

As well, trying to lead; dealing with some other aspects... like too much of others bad timing; or wrong chords, and other aspects... can get mentally frustrating after an hour or so.

Nov 2, 2022 - 11:53:49 AM

2079 posts since 4/6/2014

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler

I kind of forgot about how mentally fatiguing or mental frustrating some jams can be. Esp. as outsider, beginners, or playing with total strangers. 

Besides just trying to pick up unfamiliar tunes; and/or even adjusting to unfamiliar style.

Social anxiety, dealing with unfamiliar, comfort zone, self conscious worry other think, expectations, 

 

As well, trying to lead; dealing with some other aspects... like too much of others bad timing; or wrong chords, and other aspects... can get mentally frustrating after an hour or so.


The story of my fiddle jamming life.

But i have met some kindred spirits through the Melee. And had some fun along the way.

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