Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Musicians and the art of self flagellation

Hey folks, quick post today.
A recent FaceBook post got me thinking about how hard musicians are on themselves. We work, we listen, we hustle grants and gigs, we write and record, and above all we practice, all the while telling ourselves we're "not good enough". Sound familiar? An even more perverse aspect of this attitude is the idea many people have that this negative self-talk is "good for us" and "keeps us humble"!

Excuse my language but.......BALONEY!!!!!

Like many of us, when I was a young musician I would repeatedly tell myself I sucked. When I was playing and practicing, as well as any other activities I attempted. I made slow progress on my instrument and writing, was miserable, and eventually developed tendonitis.
Eventually, I started doing work on myself and my self image, both on and off the drums. I read many books, recited positive affirmations to myself, and started working on loving and accepting myself.       ( I'm still working on it. Like music, it's a lifetime process!)
Lo and behold, after a while, I was making way more progress even though I was practicing less, I was having way more fun playing music and living my life, and MY TENDONITIS DISAPPEARED!!!

Don't get me wrong, we still have to work hard and dispassionately assess and work on our weak areas. We would do this like we would kindly help a friend or anyone we cared about. But not being as advanced as so and so ( another fool's errand, believe me) DOES NOT MAKE US A BAD PERSON!

In short, yes, absolutely strive to be the best musician ( and human) you can be, but do it in a gentle and loving way!

Now, what are you going to do today to celebrate yourself and your musicianship? You have a great gift and you are creating more beauty in the world! Try thinking about that before you practice next!