Hello friends, back at it on this rainy tuesday. I'm looking forward to that break I was promised in a few weeks. Anyways, this weeks topic is about the importance of playing with other musicians, and the proper mentality to effectively create and improve. Realistically, it doesn't matter who you are, you will play with another musician at least once, and if you want to play more than once, you'll learn how to act. Cool? Cool! Let's get into it.
There is no one in the world that you aren't good enough to play with.
Nope, it's just not true. Look, there are amazing musicians in every town of every area of the world. Seriously, there's an unfathomable amount of talent. But because of that, you should realize that you are just as valuable as them and just as able to create and express. Ideally, you should remove the phrase "better than me" from your vocabulary. It's negative reinforcement and if you do end up playing with someone like that you'll be trying to outshine them or shying away from playing; either way, it's not healthy artistry. If you feel like you need to identify the difference between you and another player, it's "He/She is better than me at _____ (Blues, Writing, Singing, etc.), but I have my own talents". And is that worth saying? Most definitely. Do not be intimidated by the players you respect. Instead, get close to them and show them how you would love to learn from them. Even the top players remember what it's like to meet idols, large or small. A determined and open minded individual can go a lot farther in that situation than someone who just plays well and doesn't quite care beyond that. Remember that half of your battle as an artist, player, writer, producer, etc is just being likable and giving people good reasons to have you around. When I went to Nashville last spring, a very big producer told me and other Berklee students something very important- he called it your "Hang Factor". That means how fun you are to have in a studio, how reliable you are- it's a very important quality in most successful musicians. You want to be the type of person that improves whatever environment you're in. That will breed better musicianship, creativity, and all in all, put everyone in a good mood and keep them there. That will take you very far. The best musicians gravitate towards the people who let them have the most fun (while still being professional of course) so always keep that in mind.
I'm running just a bit short on time, so I think I'm going to call this part 1, and part 2 will be out next tuesday, keep an eye out for it. Sorry about that! Have a great week everyone!