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  1. #51

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    The way I see it a lot of people use the T word as an excuse.

    Some people are really talented. But, also, so what?

    How does this relate to you? I mean it's nice to listen to them obviously. And it's interesting when you see it up close.

    But I think question like this are a bit introspective really. The main thing is create music, and enjoy doing it. And if it pleases you, work on your shit.

    There's no point being that outcome dependent.

    I suppose if you are looking to make money in a job and wanting to know if you are wasting your time, but in that case maybe playing jazz isn't the best idea anyway.

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  3. #52

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    I think it's just very strange to try to assess one's own level of talent -- doing so throws one between the scylla and charybdis of obnoxious self-puffery and false humility and fishing for compliments. So I'll put it in different terms. Music feels natural to me, like it's a completely normal, unexceptional thing to do. Wanting to get better at it, and being able to focus on learning new music or new idea or techniques feel natural in the same way. Whether it sounds good is a whole other question, one that I don't think I can answer objectively because I'm too aware of all the mistakes I make and ways in which I miss the mark.

    John

  4. #53

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    "Who has no talent but plays anyway?"

    I resemble that remark.

  5. #54

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    Nevertheless, I persist.

  6. #55

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    My sentiments exactly. At almost 72, I study with a jazz guitarist who is older than I am. I work hard at my craft, recognizing that I am doing this to learn as much as I can absorb and apply. I have been playing a long, long time and it has always come easy to me. But no amount of ability, IMO, replaces working hard to improve the ability that one has. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to study classical guitar. Never had the time to do it in this life.

  7. #56

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    there is a differance from recognising your talent and false ego

    if you are competing at high levals, you have to beleive in your talent and have confidence , because people will walk over you if they smell weakness .they will walk over you even if they dont smell weakness and they will test you . you wont even know it half the time

    they wont do it to your face, they will stab you in the back . they may even have other reasons to back stab you, but its on you to stand up for yourself .if you arent competing at a high leval , you wont understand this , but this is reality . its not so much me against them , its fighting for your space , and understanding the hiarcial agendas that are driving the competition

    you have to nurture your talent and beleive in it. you have to water it like a plant. record yourself and if you hear a part you like, embrace it and like it and eliminate the parts you dont like. play in front of a mirror and see how good you look playing .

    some people just dont like to hear someone have self confidence. they dont like to hear someone say "i think im as good as any of these people and i can prove it"... if someone is putting you down to build themselves up, then you have a negative false ego. but there is nothing wrong with beleiving in your talent, knowing what your talent is and taking it into the arena with confidence and pride .

    if you have a vision that is truly your own, you will have to fight for it . no one wants to give up their position in line they have faught hard for and allow you to pass to the front without some elbowing under the boards

    im not saying everyone will like your talent or recognise it , but you better recognise it, beleive in it , nurture it , and be able to stand up for it

  8. #57

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    Yeah, get out the way of musical gladiators, they bring a whole 'nother kind of talent for competing in the arena, and you better know they believe in themselves.

  9. #58

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    cos , my message is not "get out of the way" , that was never my intention

    im not tryin to brag on here on this thread. im hearing people self effacing about their talent, kind of putting themselves down , im trying to tell people to not do that . im trying to say beleive in your talent , not brag about things you cant do , but embrace and hug the things you can do.

    from the very moment you go to the corner bar to ask for a gig , audition for a band , take a record around for airplay , go to a record company to try to get a deal , try to push the record you produced etc , you have to have some kind of confidence in what you do, especialy to take the rejection that is out there.

    and even if you get rejected for something that has nothing to do with talent, all these fontes you want to get accepted by , many of them will be implying you wont get what you want because you arnt talented enough

    ive been in far too many groups where there is the napoleonic person that wants to vamp on someone and they will use putting down their playing as the way to take out their ambitions.

    its the false ego person who will use peoples desire to have their playing liked , to put them down or reject them , is who you have to get out of the way

    im not saying be condident about limitations. recognise your limitations , but, nurture your talent. and be able to defend yourself if someone is trying to put you down , even if its in your own mind

    the last thing im trying to convey is "get out of the way" on here

  10. #59

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    Or as Bruce Forman puts ‘you have to be a bit of a badass’ - that’s attitude and swagger to some degree, believing in your competence and legitimacy as a musician. Because you aren’t going to convince anyone else of it if you don’t believe in it to some extent.

    gets harder as you get older of course.

    All the NYC players have it obviously. I don’t think it means being a dick, in means taking that to the band stand.

    I’ve been fortunate to play with musicians who have that. It actually makes gigs a lot more fun and easier. Being a badass actually means less ego because you need to be very well prepared or you won’t be a badass, obviously.

    Certainly a needy player who has less confidence in their ability and needs building up all the time has no less ego. And I know who I’d rather play with... and I’ve certainly been that second person.

  11. #60

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    (Although I suppose it is a classic New York thing to commit to whatever stupid thing it is you’ve chosen to do with terminal serious commitment. Here we just rip the piss out of each other. No ambition will go unpunished. Especially northerners who have turned it into an artform.)

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I think it's just very strange to try to assess one's own level of talent -- doing so throws one between the scylla and charybdis of obnoxious self-puffery and false humility and fishing for compliments.
    Quite so. But you guys are forgetting the Dunning Kruger effect. There's some guys here that have this attitude as if they are God's own gift to jazz guitar (constantly pontificating on just about everything and giving advice all over the place) whose playing I find so weak that I suspect that exact psychological effect must be in operation. It happens all over the internet. Some people invariably overestimate their powers. Look it up. Dunning Kruger.

    The mind can be a weird thing. Dunning Kruger often leads to self puffery by those that should woodshed more.

    DB

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos
    the last thing im trying to convey is "get out of the way" on here
    I was reacting to your mentions of competing, which is evident with some players, and not in others. I don't view music or art as a competition, so I do get out of the way of folks that feel that is their motivation. People play music for different reasons. I played with this old bassist who played in big bands and the local symphony. He said he played solely for the glory and the applause. "Why else would anyone play?" was his question.....my neighbor Buzzy said he played for the chicks....

  14. #63

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    ".my neighbor Buzzy said he played for the chicks...."

    haha well , i cant argue with that

    and if people arnt competing , even more reason not to get on themselves about their "talent ", they should really get into the pure beauty of playing , get into the enjoyment with out judgement

    but the act of playing profesionaly , can set you up for judgement . even in small cities , its even worse , because people will smile in your face and everyone is freinds , but, they play the hiarcial games copying what they think their idols do . you could be lucky and have a small group you trust and play together and never have to hold your ground profesionaly .

    but, i kind of think its like the people who have other than music gigs on here, probably have a leval of confidence in the work they do get paid for . unfortunatly , music business opens it up really large for people to play games when money is involved , and that means testing people , behind the back put downs , hi arcial agendas , but , its the same thing, you have to convey a basic leval of confidence to step in a paid situation with people you dont know and hold your own , and gain their confidence in you.

    i just hate to hear people automaticly putting themselves down ...yeah, dont brag , know your limitations , dont put others down , but, dont doubt your talent , no matter what leval .....there is going to be something each individual does that will make their aproach unique to them

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I was reacting to your mentions of competing, which is evident with some players, and not in others. I don't view music or art as a competition, so I do get out of the way of folks that feel that is their motivation. People play music for different reasons. I played with this old bassist who played in big bands and the local symphony. He said he played solely for the glory and the applause. "Why else would anyone play?" was his question.....my neighbor Buzzy said he played for the chicks....
    I've always played for the sheer joy of it. There's nothing like live music. And the best seat in the house is on the bandstand.

  16. #65

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    Re: DB's post above. It's hard to disagree. I'm hoping that fact that I see myself in that comment indicates I have some basic capacity for self reflection.

    Really, that thought... who am I to advise anyone on anything? It's a great and healthy thought to entertain at the very least. ESPECIALLY if you want to be an educator.

    I mean I try to pass on advice that helps me, but on the web everything sort of transmutes into this other thing; the web makes one weirdly militant. I think there's lots of people who seem super adamant and full on, who in real life would be pretty chilled out. I knew a couple of people IRL on the forum and they came across differently in person.

    This forum is ... an extremely weird and quite embarrassing addiction.

    But I do enjoy many of the people here, esp. the strange ones, and there are some honest to god good players too. I've discovered some great ideas here, and got my Gibson though it, even got some gigs, so it's not a total waste of time haha.

    I think the idea of bringing a confidence to the bandstand is super important though. Great musicians can be disarmingly humble and open, but they always bring it. That's a good way to be, if you can make it happen. It's kind of a paradox, and I think that comes from letting a lot of things go, it's not just talent.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos
    ".my neighbor Buzzy said he played for the chicks...."

    haha well , i cant argue with that

    and if people arnt competing , even more reason not to get on themselves about their "talent ", they should really get into the pure beauty of playing , get into the enjoyment with out judgement

    but the act of playing profesionaly , can set you up for judgement . even in small cities , its even worse , because people will smile in your face and everyone is freinds , but, they play the hiarcial games copying what they think their idols do . you could be lucky and have a small group you trust and play together and never have to hold your ground profesionaly .

    but, i kind of think its like the people who have other than music gigs on here, probably have a leval of confidence in the work they do get paid for . unfortunatly , music business opens it up really large for people to play games when money is involved , and that means testing people , behind the back put downs , hi arcial agendas , but , its the same thing, you have to convey a basic leval of confidence to step in a paid situation with people you dont know and hold your own , and gain their confidence in you.

    i just hate to hear people automaticly putting themselves down ...yeah, dont brag , know your limitations , dont put others down , but, dont doubt your talent , no matter what leval .....there is going to be something each individual does that will make their aproach unique to them
    Great advice. And the way I feel.

    The dear departed Duncan Lamont (worked with Kenny Wheeler, Benny Goodman, all sorts) once said 'NEVER apologise for your playing.'

    This can actually be VERY hard to do. You get to the end of gig and you feel you've played badly. All you want is validation and some sort of clue that you played the gig well enough. NO. That's a trap. You have to let go.

    But his book 'the Streetfighter's Guide to Improvisation' is partly about this stuff. And he was one of the sweetest and gentlest people I've met.

    This isn't jock stuff. Professional musicians have to deal with a lot of bullshit.

  18. #67

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    I started this thread and havent really commented as I've enjoyed wheres it's gone.....the interpretations and misinterpretations. The longer they go, the more they diverge, etc.

    I do have one comment with regards to the recent path it's taken regarding confidence, performance, etc. I think it IS similar to jock stuff or any other endeavor where someone has to perform.....the actors stage, the bandstand, the ballfield. To me, it all seems to have huge overlaps in the hurdles one faces.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think the idea of bringing a confidence to the bandstand is super important though. Great musicians can be disarmingly humble and open, but they always bring it. That's a good way to be, if you can make it happen. It's kind of a paradox, and I think that comes from letting a lot of things go, it's not just talent.
    Experience has made me confident in my musicality, and know I will make a valid contribution to whatever music situation I find myself in. Usually it has more to do with knowing what not to play, but you can't be afraid to bring it, if the music calls for it. It's so cliche, but I like to play with others that serve what's best for the music, in the moment.

  20. #69

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    This forum is ... an extremely weird and quite embarrassing addiction.
    It gets especially weird and embarrassing because you have some guys that can't play changes spouting theory and advice all over the place. What's the point in that?

    In the end playing is behavior. It is NOT knowledge (I know all this theory ...). And NOT attitude (I am so advanced ...)

    The playing never lies. Never.

    Listen. I don't care if somebody can play or not. Not at all. Nice people are nice people. Just cannot stand posers. Just be honest and do not try to impress others with advisory skills and theory knowledge. Use your clips or vids instead.

    I think the idea of bringing a confidence to the bandstand is super important though.
    No man. Bring good playing to the bandstand. Nothing more embarrassing than a delusional loudmouth wannabe being frowned at by other players. I have hosted a jazz jam for many years and seen my part. If you can't make the changes your attitude is not going to help you.

    I am a bit grumpy this weekend after having had to deal with an internet imposter while selling a guitar ... I apologise for any hurt feelings.

    DB
    Last edited by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog; 06-01-2020 at 06:42 AM.

  21. #70

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    big differance from a jam session and profesional compitiion

    ive run jam sessions also , never again , and just to sit in you need some kind of confidence

    there is also a big differance from someone throwing around attitude and someone having confidence

    anybody auditioning for a gig,in a situation playing with people for the first time, going to ask a club owner for a gig, trying to get air play for their record, going into the studio to record, trying to put out their vision , taking their group onto the bandstand or festival etc has to have some kind of confidence

    the people on here arnt throwing around attitude, they are being hard on their talent, and i dont think they have to be hard on their talent

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos
    big differance from a jam session and profesional compitiion

    ive run jam sessions also , never again , and just to sit in you need some kind of confidence

    there is also a big differance from someone throwing around attitude and someone having confidence

    anybody auditioning for a gig,in a situation playing with people for the first time, going to ask a club owner for a gig, trying to get air play for their record, going into the studio to record, trying to put out their vision , taking their group onto the bandstand or festival etc has to have some kind of confidence

    the people on here arnt throwing around attitude, they are being hard on their talent, and i dont think they have to be hard on their talent
    Agreed mostly. But this forum is the internet, not the real world of professional competition. For me all that counts is the playing. The music. If that is ok you can have all the attitude and confidence in the world. Still, many great players have no attitude at all. I have met many of the top players of my country (a.o. Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson) and cannot honestly say there was much attitude going on in these guys. Confidence yes. And with reason.

    DB

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    It gets especially weird and embarrassing because you have some guys that can't play changes spouting theory and advice all over the place. What's the point in that?

    In the end playing is behavior. It is NOT knowledge (I know all this theory ...). And NOT attitude (I am so advanced ...)

    The playing never lies. Never.

    Listen. I don't care if somebody can play or not. Not at all. Nice people are nice people. Just cannot stand posers. Just be honest and do not try to impress others with advisory skills and theory knowledge. Use your clips or vids instead.

    ...

    DB
    That last statement especially... when I hear someone giving a lot of advice, I look for the clips. I"m a talker by profession, I teach. I also know it's easy to pontificate all day about "method" in my particular discipline, but when it comes to actual research, people talking about methodology all the time fall flat. Some of the best researchers don't say much about "methodology." Someone once asked me what my "research method" was. I told them, "I don't do research. I hunt for stuff."

    Anyhow, as a middling player looking to improve I only care about what people who can play have to say. So I look for the clips. If they can't play, I don't care what they say. IN a medium here where we don't know each other, samples of our playing are our passports to credibility. I have so many clips out there documenting in detail my utterly elementary grasp of this music, I know I can't pontificate about theory because someone will pull up one of those clips and say "Really?" It's wholesome.

    All that to say... I agree with DB. I have only ordinary musical "talent' but I have an inordinate love for this music and this instrument. So there it is.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    It gets especially weird and embarrassing because you have some guys that can't play changes spouting theory and advice all over the place. What's the point in that?

    In the end playing is behavior. It is NOT knowledge (I know all this theory ...). And NOT attitude (I am so advanced ...)

    The playing never lies. Never.

    Listen. I don't care if somebody can play or not. Not at all. Nice people are nice people. Just cannot stand posers. Just be honest and do not try to impress others with advisory skills and theory knowledge. Use your clips or vids instead.
    I think that's key. But as I say, the internet has a way of making people, including me, more this way...

    No man. Bring good playing to the bandstand. Nothing more embarrassing than a delusional loudmouth wannabe being frowned at by other players. I have hosted a jazz jam for many years and seen my part. If you can't make the changes your attitude is not going to help you.
    Confidence, I said, not unfounded arrogance. A good player will often be confident. Some of confidence comes from competence, sure, but I know (as do you probably) a few very competent people who are plagued with crippling self doubt. If you bring that to the bandstand, you will sell yourself short, there's no two ways about it.

    I also know good musicians are constantly seeking validation (I can be like that too) - these players are a bit of a drag to be honest. So bonsritmos advice makes sense to me...

  25. #74

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    I think that's key. But as I say, the internet has a way of making people, including me, more this way...
    I remember you leaving the forum some time ago because you thought it did not help your playing much (or something like that). So why did you return with such a vengeance? Just curious.

    DB

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I know I can't pontificate about theory because someone will pull up one of those clips and say "Really?" It's wholesome.
    LOL. The line of the day Lawson! I appreciate your honesty. It is really refreshing and wholesome indeed! Maybe I should use this phrase ("Really?") under the next theory thread.

    DB

  27. #76

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    I started playing at 14, no talent but a burning desire to learn. I taught myself from a classical book, I played in Rock bands including a very good power trio where I played bass. Years passed I played less got married my wife's entire family played county music so I learned that along with gospel. I got with some guys and we played gigs for a few years doing country and Southern Rock(Segar, Skynard) I stopped playing after that for 10 years. A friend and great singer decided to seriously pursue a country music career. My sister financed a recording session for him, during these sessions I met Larry Van Loon, a fabulous Blues pianist and vocalist. I heard my first diminished chord and I was hooked. I bought every book I could find at the time(no youtube) learned a bunch of chords which I used when we played gigs, the next huge influence was hearing a jazz guitarist in Merle Haggard's band (Clint Strong) I was Wowed! I'm far too lazy but now in my retirement I am trying to get serious about learning jazz. I don't have talent, my ear has improved tremendously over the years. I have followed a certain Dutch jazz guitarist for a while, he knows of what he speaks. He swings with the best of them. I might know how to use a melodic minor scale but I would never profess to know anything. For me jazz is a language that I am still trying to speak, I know how to say "Hi" or "Hows the weather" today but I can't translate for anyone. I think that is DBs point, you might know a few words but you ain't no translator.