Had a lot of fun playing my piano gig and thanks to the patience of Brent and Jessie, I am slowly improving.
I thought I'd talk about some things in context of some gigs I'm doing this weekend. On Saturday I'm playing at the Rex with Mike Murley's septet and on Sunday I'm at the Glen Gould studio with Seamus Blake.
Now the gig with Murley will be very fun and I'm very used to the material and in fact, a lot of it has mainly been performed/recorded with only me as the drummer. As a result of this I have no possible "bandstand ghosts" to compare myself to.
The gig with Seamus (which will be just as much fun, mind you) will be a little different. I haven't played with him for a while, and as usual, he's been playing with the cream of the crop of the New York scene. Here's a great example of him playing a tune we'll probably do on Sunday with the incredible Bill Stewart on drums:
Now, there would be a time not so long ago when my thinking after viewing the clip above would go something like this:
-"Bill sounds great with Seamus."
-"Bill Stewart can do a lot of things I can't on the instrument."
- "Therefore, I must SUCK!!!!!!"
I think one of the benefits of being a little older ( and not necessarily being concerned with becoming a star or anything like that) is I've come to accept my playing: all of it, with all it's strengths and weaknesses. I can't play like Bill Stewart, but I can contribute to the music in my own way, and that's all I can do. Also, trying to play like some lame half-baked version of Mr. Stewart would be the worst thing I can do, and would be insulting to both of us.
I guess what I'm getting at is that we work, practice, and listen etc, and then when it's time to play (or record) we need to accept what we can contribute and do that to the best of our ability.
Keep on working on being the best you you can!