#1
It's kinda funny. Music is used to get rid of your stress, but at the same time, making music can cause alot of stress. I often feel as though I have to prove myself to people. That people won't know I'm a good guitarist and musician unless I act cocky and always point it out. When I don't put myself out there performing, I feel really stressed. I didn't get into music to be the best or to be cool or popular. In fact, rock music is highly unpopular in my high school, where people don't know who AC/DC is. I got into music to enjoy myself. For example, I recorded an album last year that didn't do well. For a good while I gave up on my own music and just played in my band. Now I'm back into my own music and I wrote a collection of songs that really expresses me well. But I'm constantly worried no one else will understand. Any tips on how to regain that satisfaction of doing what you do without comparing yourself to others? Thanks!
#2
If you're a good guitarist, people will notice and tell you without you pointing it out for them. In fact if you go and tell someone how great you are, they'll mostly just think you're a wanker, and not care about your guitar skills.

It's actually quite interesting once you get to the professional/semi-professional leagues of musicians, you're not really allowed to toot your own horn, because there will ALWAYS be someone better than you. What becomes more important is that you're reliable, social and can do the job.

Of course there is a bit of ranting and raving behind the scenes about certain people's skills, and the odd audience member will praise you like a god.

Once somebody tells you that you've made it to the level of "Awesome Guitarist Mk III" will you be happy then? I can assure you that if you are, guitar is really not your thing because EVERY guitarist or musician that I've meet who I'd classify in the "Awesome" category will always be quite modest about their skills. They aren't self degrading, but they'll just tell you whether they can do the job or not. On the flipside I've met many a guitarist who claim to be in the "Awesome" category, perhaps through self-delusion or being told that by their friends. In fact they tend to be awful both in terms of reliability and skill level. Your aim should be to improve yourself constantly, not retire at a certain quality level.

Axemanchris told me around 2 years ago that skill and gear are not the primary functions you seek when looking for a new band member, and I'm starting to come around to that idea (although not "quite" there yet). I think we'd both agree though that reliability is the foremost quality that you seek in a bandmember, as we've been stranded many a time because the bassist decided to get stoned at home instead of fulfilling his obligations.

But anyways, music isn't a competition. People will listen to music that they like, and that guitar competition that you're finding yourself sucked into, it doesn't exist outside the world of amateur guitarists. Perhaps dropping that competition will help make you more of a musician in the future.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by FenderMayer
It's kinda funny. Music is used to get rid of your stress, but at the same time, making music can cause alot of stress. I often feel as though I have to prove myself to people. That people won't know I'm a good guitarist and musician unless I act cocky and always point it out. When I don't put myself out there performing, I feel really stressed. I didn't get into music to be the best or to be cool or popular. In fact, rock music is highly unpopular in my high school, where people don't know who AC/DC is. I got into music to enjoy myself. For example, I recorded an album last year that didn't do well. For a good while I gave up on my own music and just played in my band. Now I'm back into my own music and I wrote a collection of songs that really expresses me well. But I'm constantly worried no one else will understand. Any tips on how to regain that satisfaction of doing what you do without comparing yourself to others? Thanks!



Just enjoy it for what it is and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 22, 2011,
#4
Music isn't causing you stress, your desperation to be popular is.
Actually called Mark!

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#5
Quote by AlanHB
But anyways, music isn't a competition. People will listen to music that they like, and that guitar competition that you're finding yourself sucked into, it doesn't exist outside the world of amateur guitarists. Perhaps dropping that competition will help make you more of a musician in the future.


brilliant.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
I think it depends on the application of playing guitar.
Like, at cover gigs, I generally feel a bit stressy, because there will be people there to rag on you in some way or another (luckily last gig I had it was the singer who got slight abuse (in the form of "take your shirt off", but my Dad decided to get drunk and shout offense at me...first and last gig he's invited to!), so I feel I have to be a bit flashy and play as accurately to the song as I can.

Or in youtube videos, not that mine are exactly great, I feel that I need to play fast, because that's what any guitarist on youtube seems to want to watch, so it always falls a bit flat.

But when I'm at home, when it's just me to worry about and I can do whatever I want, it doesn't matter if I **** up something, I can get back up and try again, that's when the stress relief of the instrument comes back for me.
If it's jamming to a backing track, learning a new tune, writing music, any of that stuff, I always feel a lot more peaceful because it's only myself I'm "competing" with.
And unlike the majority of people who "judge" my playing, I tend to give myself constructive criticism (on a good day ).

So yeah, I think if you step back from the rat race that is competing guitarists, you'll find a bit more peace in the instrument. Obviously it's hard to ignore the nature that is modern guitarists treating it like a sport, but you can't let it eat you up or you'll end up as a purely chops musician playing Flight of the Bumblebee at 600bpm.
#7
Let's take this out of music for a second....

You're hiring an electrician to re-wire your basement. Is this electrician the best electrician in the world, or even in the country? If he isn't, how important is that to you? I mean, it's not like you're looking for someone to create the Sistine Chapel of electrical panels and transformers, right. You want someone that will show up when he says he will show up, do the job he says he is going to do, and have it done properly, on time, and on budget.

Right?

Now, if you are a plumber, and you are looking for an electrician to help start up a renovation business, you'll want someone who is:
-reliable
-honest
-fun to work with
-committed
-competent enough to do any electrical job thrown his way
-doesn't ask for more money than is reasonable

Right?

I mean, who cares if he can do the Sistine Chapel of circuit panels and transformers if he's an arrogant prick who doesn't show up half the time? Who cares if he is the best electrician in the world if he wants half a million dollars just for showing up? In fact.... for the most part..... who cares if he is the best electrician in the world? As long as he is good enough to do what he has to do on a consistent basis, you're good to go!

If I'm starting up a Dream Theatre tribute, I need a guitarist that's even a few notches up from pretty damned good. I want someone - NEED someone - who will make me want to wet myself every time I hear him play. If I'm cranking out some Nickelback, Green Day and Franz Ferdinand in my weekend cover band.... the Dream Theatre guy is probably NOT the guy I'm looking for.

And in the end, the average listener doesn't know the diff anyways. Kurt Cobain is a guitar hero. Enough said.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Thanks for the replies. The main reason I think I'm kinda stressed out is because I've kinda lost focus on the reason I play music. I have a band and we have gotten pretty popular around our area in the last few months. That kinda mislead me and had me seeing dollar signs and pretty girls. But now we're on a brief break from gigs so i have the chance to really play guitar for myself. I'm starting to get back on the right track, letting m emotions lead my playing instead of thinking "I wonder if that blonde in the front row will like this tune". I am not an amazing musician by any means, but I am solid at what I do know to play. I'm also working on an album, and I'll donate all the proceeds to various charities such as SickKids, Canadian Cancer Society. This will help others as well as help myself realize that music to me is all about helping people and inspiring yourself and others.
#9
You got stressed from gigging your Local scene? The phrase "dont get ahead of yourself" comes to mind.
Anyway, the thing about proving yourself to others is natural really. I sort of think, as long as you can prove to yourself (to begin with) that you're a good guitar player, the rest will follow. The next progression of being a good guitarist in your own house to being a good guitarist in a performing situation is pretty big though.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.