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RE: Low Self Esteem and Looping
Ok, I'll chime in here, since I inadvertently got the ball rolling!
(really! It's Ted's fault!)
My first thoughts of reading Rick's post was thinking of my last music
teacher, Richard Peikoff... http://www.bogdoc.com/mukti/home.htm
Richard is a badass fingerstyle/slide guitarist, with an immense
knowledge of harmony. I met him through former LD lister, Cliff Novey.
It was essentially my first time seriously studying with anybody, and
I've been playing for over 15 years.
I studied with Richard for close to two years, and the most striking
thing that happened during our studies was when I actually 'relaxed'.
Richard and I had many conversations about this. I was, and still am,
so hung up on my 'mistakes', and what I 'don't know', that I would get
all twisted up inside and think too much about what I was trying to do,
and how I was failing miserably at it.
We would resort to doing excercises, where we would limit my
possibilities. Trying putting a drone down on your looper, and then
pick five, four, or even three notes to play a melody with. And only
play those notes. Keep it simple! Expand on limitations. See what I
mean? Once you quit worrying about what you 'don't know', your
creativity opens up, you relax, and the muse comes unexpectedly knocking
at the door. Fun!
Reminds me a bit of Eno's sentiments that the limitations of certain
gear and hardware interfaces is actually GOOD. It forces you to be
creative and work within certain parameters. I just had a conversation
with Mr. Novey this last weekend where we both expressed our frustration
with software, in that the 'limitless possibilities' were somewhat of a
gilded cage. You are always thinking "ohhh...I SHOULD be able to do SO
MUCH MORE with this"
mmmm...another helping of self-imposed guilt, please!
Now, through an extraordinary sequence of events, I stopped studying
with Mr. Peikoff almost a year ago. He made some very poor choices in
communicating with me during a VERY stressful time in my life. When I
needed some compassion and understanding, I got told that I "whined a
lot about my lack of ability" and that, in order to move forward, I
needed to "be like an athlete" with my studies. In other words, buckle
down, shut up, and practice.
Fine, that may work for some, and I am paraphrasing terribly here with
my interpretation of what happened. Richard Peikoff remains a fantastic
teacher. However, at the time, it sure wasn't what I needed to hear,
and really messed with my head in regards to music.
Anyway, that's my touchy feely input. For me, I've always had a
questionable sense of self-esteem when it comes to "my music". I've
NEVER wanted to be a solo musician, but have, at times, been forced into
it in order to complete things that needed to see the light of day.
Bands have always been more inspiring and gratifying, but keeping bands
together seems to be more difficult than keeping a marriage together,
from my experience. I think I'm just realizing that the sharing of
experience and comraderie of multiple musicians working together is just
as important as the music itself for me.
I've just joined a trio, playing bass, so my spirit is happy to have
some comrades to make some music with.
And the gear still sits here, taunting me....
"if you were REALLY a musician, you would have produced so much more
work by now"
an interesting quote:
"A related strategy is to let go of any idea you have as an accomplished
master and simply do the work. Whatever is yours to realize will come
out of the work, not from a picture you put on your wall. The light
around good work is itself achievement and contentment; the rewards of
mastery come of their own when the work is true. This advice is easier
to give than follow, but maybe it can help transfer your work energy
away from the future and into the present, in the sounding moment where
W. A. Mattieu - from "harmonic experience"
Yours in Putzdom,