You Are Your Own Worst Critic

If you are a musician, you are likely your own worst critic.  I know I am.  I know how long it’s been since I’ve played that song/performed in this kind of group/practiced/etc.  Perhaps that’s why it’s not up to your standards.  Even if you play the gig, and felt that you didn’t nail the song as well as you could have, it doesn’t mean you’ve played a bad gig.  A few years ago I had a show in Camden, Maine.  In the middle of the set, I broke a string, and the guitar went out of tune.  Not good.  I was stuck up there for a while before the band had a break and I could take care of it.  As bothered as I was about the whole thing however, it didn’t seem to matter to anyone else.  The band didn’t notice.  The crowd even started to dance!  This is a good example of how the way you perceive something isn’t always the same way your audience does.  Another guitar teacher and I were talking about this a while back.  There were days we thought that we were just KILLING it and playing really well, but no one said anything.  And then there were shows where we felt we were playing crappy, but we got glowing praise.  I’m not saying don’t do your best.  Always do your best.  But do cut yourself some slack.  Nobody is going to stand up and point fingers at you if you play ‘F’ instead of ‘F#’ in the 7th measure of your solo.  Especially with improvising - you can make any note work.  If it’s jazz, all the better. 


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