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re: some thoughts on Ted's queeries about art and self esteem and, oh yeah, looping
an interesting topic, true. I still (being 50) have problems with
self-esteem, not so much in my daily and (non-musician) professional life,
but definitely when making music. Especially when jamming with people who
are very professional musicians, the fear to be judged and the self-image
that I actually can't play very good still often makes me disappear - I
don't dare to stand out and play solos, or to take initiatives. Rather, I
play with too little volume. And this even though people usually tell me
afterwards, I think I like what you played but can you turn it up a little
> Does low self-esteem come from internal sources or external?"
I'd say the self-esteem thing (high or low) is a self-image, a bunch of
deeply seated ideas about ourselves. This society is built on comparing and
competition. We suck that up with our mother's milk, and depending on how
were configured in the beginning, and conditioned during our early years,
end up with a self image that we are either better or worse than others.
Just like the other parts of our self-image, it is continuously held up by
habitual - and usually unnoticed and therefore unconscious - ways of
thinking. Comparing and judging, mostly. Either I'm not so good and they
better, or they aren't so good and I'm better. Or, what do they expect and
can I meet their expectations to that they love and admire me.
I guess one way to deal with it is to slowly recondition ourselves, by
facing our fears, like Rick does with his solo voice loop shows, learning
that one isn't so bad after all, and getting a better self-esteem over
I'm also trying to stand out more during jams and trust my musical
more. Just like one gets more used to play on stage when one plays more on
Generally, I'd say it is necessary to closely watch the unconscious
comparing/judging thoughts right in the moment when they come up and do
their thing. When watched closely they become less unconscious and
automatic. The more I spend time watching the same things going on again
again, the more I see that I'm acting like a programmed machine most of the
time. Oh well. But sometimes in these moments when I see that clearly, I
Oh my god. Let's start a psycho/meditation group and do looping retreats.