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comment by rezzeJ
rezzeJ  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

I'm sorry that I rarely have an intriguing story or pertinent observation to share with all you great people in the pub. I love visiting this thread every week and reading about your experiences. And I feel like I'm taking and giving nothing back. But interesting, personal life reflections are somewhat hard to come by when you spend 90% of your time sitting in a room working on music.

I know more about your weekly lives that anyone outside my direct family, even though I've never met any of you. And, in a way, I think that's rad. Maybe some people think that's sad. At times, so do I. But it takes a concerted effort for me to remain on the straight and narrow, grinding away at my music. Any activity I do outside of that grind is like a hole that I have to climb out of to get back on the path. Sometimes it's worth it, but most times I just don't bother. It's an existence of few highs, but also one of few lows. I guess that's the path I've chosen for now, but I don't know how long it's sustainable without losing some sort of essence of what life is. Even for someone who is mostly content with that lifestyle.

There's a Kayak club around the corner from where I live. I'm thinking of attending a session on Sunday.

flac  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh hey, I know that feel. I'm spending about 4 - 6 hours on my days off just practicing my guitar chops now. I spend most of the rest of the day listening to music, watching video lessons, etc. I still put in about 2 hours even on days when I'm working. I finally got myself a nice guitar with my tax refund, but it weighs a ton, and I'm starting to get some minor back problems. Womp womp.

Have you ever read The Practice of Practice? I got it on a whim a few weeks ago and it sort of rocked my world - the actual practical advice is helpful and all and it's made my practice sessions more fruitful, but the big thunderbolt moment for me was the chapter (6) on talent.

He talks a lot about the research of Carol Dweck, whose main interest is the negative effect that praise and the perception of talent (or ability) as innate/fixed has on our growth and sense of self worth. This blog's summary is kind of new-age-y, but it was really well explained in the book, and took me down a whole bunch of pegs. The author basically had a laundry list of all my bad habits, self-worth issues, and excuses for not putting more of myself into my music, while also making me feel a lot more comfortable about where I already am as a musician. It lit a pretty big fire under my ass, but also helped me feel more interested in live performance again.

I've played music in public twice since I moved to Portland about 1.5 years ago - once was at an open mic a year ago, which I completely bombed, and the other time was at cgod's house a few weeks ago before D&D, just because I saw his guitar laying around and had some time to kill. The latter was quite nice, mostly because nobody was really listening that much, or expecting anything.

It's been a while since playing music for people was fun for me, mostly because my chops fell by the wayside when I started recording music and had infinite takes to get things right. I get really nervous when I play, especially if it's my own music, largely because I feel like my skills are never where they should be, or the music doesn't sound the same live as it does recorded. I finally realized that it does not matter one fucking bit what the recorded music sounds like, because NOBODY will have heard it in whatever coffee shop I'm playing in. The only one expecting the song to sound a certain way is me, because I'm the only one with an idea of what it "should" be, and what all the other instruments would be doing if they were there. It's helpful for me to remember that music is not at all high stakes, and most people aren't paying attention to me anyway.

Not sure if you play live music, so not sure what use this will be to you, but this combines both music and other people rambling about their emotions, so I figure it may be of interest ;).

I would definitely recommend the above book, if just for that chapter alone. It's on Audible as well, if that helps at all.

rezzeJ  ·  319 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Glad to hear you're still putting in the hours. I was impressed with playing on You Drank Some Darkness, so I can only imagine how much you're building upon that now. Sweet guitar too!

I haven't seen that book. I have played and enjoy playing live, but not much recently. I do dedicate a reasonably amount of time playing instruments though, so it can certainly still be relevant in that way. I read some of the preview about practising slowly and it seems really interesting. I'll add it to the list.

I can relate to the endless pursuit to get the perfect take when recording. It can make you go kind of crazy. But you're on the right track in letting go of that perfectionism when playing live. Partly because, as you say, some people won't even be paying close enough attention to notice. But more the fact that any minor mistakes and fluffs- that in a recording would be immortalised and forever noticeable- exist for a second or less when you're playing live. If you nail the show overall, people won't remember that you didn't fret a note correctly or messed up a fingerpicking pattern.

I look forward to hearing your future output!

flac  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Also, to finally answer the question you asked like a month ago: learning the standards has been going well, though I out aside piano for now to focus on guitar.

These are the songs I have memorized, and have written solo guitar arrangements for:

Like Someone in Love


When I Fall in Love

Freddie Freeloader

Autumn Leaves

A House is Not a Home

A Child is Born


Lady Bird

Waltz for Debby


When you Wish Upon a Star

WOW that looks like a lot of songs now that I actually wrote them out. Cool.

OftenBen  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I NEED to hear you perform that set.

I'll do rhythm guitar and backing vocals for you all day.

flac  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You just might get your wish! I'm living with a few jazz musicians this summer, so I may be doing some recording with them. We shall see...

Didn't know you played guitar - quite a talented group, this Husbki lot.

OftenBen  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You just might get your wish! I'm living with a few jazz musicians this summer, so I may be doing some recording with them. We shall see...

A thought, completely idle.

First few sessions, record everything, if people are cool with it. Just see what comes out.

    Didn't know you played guitar

I dabble. Posted a few things in the past with a less than optimal mic. One day I will find all the necessary bits to record properly.