Andrew Victor wrote:
"I've got no real advice other than to try reducing the dose of beta blocker. Through experimentation I learned I could reduce my dose to 5 mg, this reduces the side effects I get from that medication. I know the whole adrenalin response is all in my head and I know of people, who when they realized that were able to stop using the medication for stage fright. But since it has worked so well for me and gave me back the use of the whole bow all the way to the frog even in solo performance situations. For me the situation has always been worse on violin than cello.

I've been using beta blockers for 40 years of public performances - but only for solos and small chamber ensembles where I will be heard, never for orchestral performances except when I have a solo. My right-arm shake problem started on violin at age 17 after I'd been doing a lot of public solo performances for 3 years with no problem at all. The problem did not affect my cello bowing until my mid-20s. It was a total surprise when it began at 17, but then it got worse over time and it was another 26 years before I learned about the use of beta blockers (Inderal) in 1977 at the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop. There was a roundtable discussion the first night night by a number of professional performing artists that was well attended by all participants in the workshop - and also probably by every professional musician in San Diego. The subject of using Inderal came up as an audience question and the medical doctor (violinist) on the panel responded reluctantly. There was also a good bit of audience response, even professional orchestra musicians in the audience mentioned having used Inderal for auditions.
Thank you for the response.  I never thought about decreasing the dose.  I do agree about being in the head.  I used to shake sometimes in my legs in high school but have gotten better.  I will probably use it for important solos but for others I will still try to try without and see if I can compensate with technique and relaxation.  It kills me because sometimes I have no problem performing but when I have a problem I have not been able to eliminate it.   At least now it may be visible though you cant hear shaking in my tone.  




Last Edited By: cellistnyc May 4 17 12:54 PM. Edited 1 time.