First post in a while, it's been pretty busy for me... with all the interviews being scheduled, recorded and then edited.
Last comes the photoshop and premiere work for social media.
I've been wondering about what to talk about for this post (5 drafts over the weeks!) and so I decided to get a little more personal - I promise if you're someone who feels kind of like a "misfit" (danzig era only) you'll get something out of it!
"I only play with people who have talent."
At sixteen years old I purchased my first electric guitar.
I had been playing for a few months on an acoustic and felt like taking the jump. A blonde peavey telecaster. Next, a small bass amp and -not-worth-mentioning brand distortion pedal that would carry my practice for the next few years.
I think it was because I knew I had no hobby - it wasn't to become anything more than I was... other than there was some idea that I knew I wanted to DO something with myself. Staying up late was the normal. Soda was normal. Video Games were normal. I wasn't very healthy, and my social life was relatively crap.
At this time, a lot of deaths in the family were happening at the same time (another story) and I found it relatively easy to cope with how I felt through listening to and playing music... I was always a shy kid too and was a bit of a hermit. Atmospheric music became a huge thing for me... King Crimson, Brian Eno. Loved electric blues, rock, funk, surf, punk - Funkadelic, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Beach Boys, The Ramones... I really got carried away! It's almost cliche, I'm sure you're thinking... kind of embarassing. I wanted to be able to just PLAY. I tried hard to picture a mental image of a fretboard - or guitar tabs for a song whenever I had the chance to daydream.
When you look at the motions, of someone who knows what they're doing;
"Art in Motion" on canvas... explosive strumming or hitting drums... beautiful photography... lifting weights...
I know the notes of a piano.
But to sit down and play with meaning or intent? I couldn't do it confidently.
Unless you want the riff from "In A Gadda da Vida" over and over...
So, explaining the title.... I won't ever forget sitting with a friend, strumming a guitar and singing a few beatles songs... when we finished I suggested joining a band or reuniting sometime after high school (So naive, at 24 I'm lucky to meet anyone within a few years). His response, "I only play with people who have talent". Now, in his defence it's a joke and on my part I completely sucked - but man do I remember going home and giving a long hard thought about what "good" or "talented" was. I almost wanted to give up... deep inside, I was probably kind of hurt.
I don't have much music in my family background (TONS of painting though, another story), and spent my youth nights listening to compilation albums and laying in bed watching midnight TV reruns of Kenny Rogers selling "Sounds of the 70s" (we didn't have many channels). What "good" was I? There were people who had been playing longer, had better ears, faster fingers... and I was just trying to get one gig at a high school.
What I did do right, and I'm not saying in any capacity that I'm "good" - is I practiced every day, and from there it continued into college. Barring some days where you're "just not into it" of course (you didn't take me that literally, did you?) it was a 2-6 hour session most days. On weekends it was all I did. I actually told people not to give me compliments. It was a constant effort to become better than the day before, and to become more confident in my playing.
It really does bum me out to see that it's mindset that really changed how I, at least developed Skill. Holding any instrument, hearing music, playing with it makes me feel good and I don't really need money or anything from it.
I'm self critical. I'm self doubting.
I'm passionate. I'm concerned.
Now, this is my hypothesis. Many factors affect how to approach (and react to) every task, but the key thing to developing a skill is starting to appreciate the skill... and all the work put into it... you will have more fun, become tuned into learning much more, and be less stressed. A good teacher (or employer!), knows how to motivate... and it's hard to motivate yourself if you aren't used to it, or haven't been taught.
It's not talent, it's skill.
It's hours, not years.
If you have that thing you enjoy, be critical... ask people...don't let em drag you down and don't depend on em.
In recent months I have been thinking more positively and I feel it's helping me deal with so much in my life, and after over a decade of being a self-diagnosed negative person... I'm unfortunately seeing a lot more of it now than ever.
I'm sure you'd agree too.
King Crimson - Matte Kudasai (Live)
Kalle Mattson - Avalanche
Monk Montgomery ~ Reality
Some - Steve Lacy