Day 200-- on mediocrity
Sunday, March 25, 2007
After years of dodging the truth, I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that I'm a pretty mediocre musician. I can't stand this, really; I've been playing instruments since I was seven, and feel like I should be better.
I play trumpet well, I guess--even though I've not played much in the past year, I have a ton of experience. (I was never good with improv, though.) But everything else...blah. I've reached this plateau on guitar where I'm better than the guy strumming Dave Matthews songs on the grass who is trying to woo gals, but I'm not good. And I have a really hard time singing and playing simultaneously. I'm a fair bassist--confident at least--but my plucking fingers wear out easily. On drums, I can do a few neat things and do some basic jazz fills--but, considering that I learned drums before any other instrument, I should be better than "can play basic beat." I'm also an average singer: I definitely was a blending voice in choir (which is cool to me), but I'm sometimes ashamed to sing by myself in front of people. And I can play chords on a piano, but that's it.
Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I'm focusing too much on being the jack-of-all-trade, and while I'm definitely not a master of none, I'm also not a master of being average. I'd love to just play more and get better. Lessons never worked well; in fact, I learn well when playing with other people. I really want to book a gig at the coffee shop, but if I do it'll be the same as all of the other shows I've played in the past: me fumbling through songs, shyly forgetting words, shaky hands mashing chords. No amount of practice has been able to fix this.
What does fix it, however, is me playing with other people. I flourish in musical settings where I have to depend on another, and vice versa. Maybe that's a hint to not do a solo show.
posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 3/25/2007 12:21:00 AM,
- At 2:36 PM, Russ said...
I know the feeling. I can blend in well with others, but never have been able to do solos well. My voice shakes, cracks, and other things as well. However, I don't think that makes me (or you) mediocre. Our talents lay elsewhere, even in giving that snotty soloist the backup they need.
I often prefer choirs better than the soloists within as it is. Maybe that's why I like being RP so much--no soloists!