Note- the song video’s at the bottom.
There’s no shortage of self-appointed experts on just about whatever subject on the internet (hi!), and I’m more guilty than most of searching through these in search of “the answer” (whatever that is).
“Don’t worry about perfection, you’ll never reach it.” -
Incidentally, I thought it was Frank Zappa who said this, which just goes to show my quote recall is (appropriately) less than perfect. My brain obviously categorises thinkers by their facial hair. (My error lead me to this page of Zappa quotes, which I recommend.)
So I’ve uploaded a video of a rough demo of a song I’m working on, mostly because the weather was nice. I’ve been thinking a lot about the advice I’ve received from Brian Thompson (as described in my last post) and one recurring theme is to get stuff up and out there. This is obviously true, but I’ve been questioning why musicians often don’t. I don’t believe it’s simply a confidence issue, though this surely plays a part. There are two aspects that I’d like to highlight briefly:
This is clearly tied to, or perhaps an aspect of, confidence. The name give the gist, but Wikipedia has a good summary of the more formal thinking. The studies I’ve read cite academics as their examples, which leads us to the problem as it pertains to “creatives”, if you’ll allow the convenient term.
There is no barrier to entry as a musician. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this has implications. If I meet someone and they say they’re a doctor or a barrister or similar, there is an automatic understanding of what this means; they have passed specific tests. A clear amount of work has been done, and they have been assessed and found able.
Obviously there is testing in music- but Paul McCartney can’t read music, and despite this preventing him from passing fairly rudimentary standard tests, he’d be judged as fairly capable by most… (et cetera, et cetera…) This isn’t just about music either. What if you daub paint?
Some musicians have spent truly staggering amounts of time practising. Undoubtedly more time (to pick one variable) than many (at least newly qualified) doctors. I’m not trying to make any personal point here, nor am I trying to malign the rightly high status of people who making others healthy for a living.
There is no definitive point of arrival for a musician, and this can leave a great many feeling like imposters.
Waiting for permission (vs. asking forgiveness)
There are a number of other names for this, but the central point is borderline glib; shit, it’s even a bumper sticker.
It’s a real problem though. I sincerely believe a large part of a rock star’s appeal is that they’ve self-actualised. I don’t really have a lot to say about the problem, other than to highlight that it’s massive, and a largely invisible barrier to the life you want (*Vomits*- sorry). Here’s an article with some good advice about it.
The bloody song, finally…
And so, we arrive at(or skipped to?) the video that prompted this post. As I said above, if I’m honest, the main thing that got me to record this today was the weather. This is just a snapshot of a song in progress. It also has a harmonica part (get me!). Anyway…. I hope you enjoy it, and would love for you to comment and subscribe to my youtube channel if you like what you hear.