Genesis' Steve Hackett: If You Don't Make Mistakes as a Musician, You Won't Get Anywhere

"Stop criticizing yourself and get on with the job," the guitarist says.

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Genesis' Steve Hackett: If You Don't Make Mistakes as a Musician, You Won't Get Anywhere

Classic Genesis guitar champion Steve Hackett discussed the importance of properly processing musical mistakes, telling Total Guitar:

"Stop criticizing yourself and get on with the job.

"Don't worry about mistakes. They're all part of the job. If you don't make mistakes, you won't get anywhere special.

"It's not about screwing up, it's about having this kind of Airfix kit of disparate ideas and trying lots of things out. You should also allow yourself to do things that personally move you, because I'm continually making this mistake these days when I write songs.

"I think, 'I'll just write this song for myself. I don't think anyone's going to like it, but maybe no one will notice because it's just one song on the album!' Invariably, that will be the song that people say, 'Ah, I really like that,' and what I thought was the most personal ends up being the most universal. I'm always relearning that lesson, so don't be afraid to pour out your heart and take risks.

"Don't play the game from the outside looking in. Play it from the inside looking out. Be honest and use things like an actor does. If you want to write a song that's full of love and passion, allow yourself to think of that early lost love, whatever it was and you'll find you'll key into those feelings.

"Use pain, use joy, use everything and realize that music is all-powerful. It's wonderful medicine. It can heal. It's much more powerful than I thought it could ever be.

"When I was a kid, I got seriously sick at one point and I was able to see soundwaves and they would come towards me. They absolutely terrified me, but I believe that I was in an altered state. I don't believe I was hallucinating this at all. I could see them and I could hear them. I don't know anyone else who's had that facility, but it happened at a time when my chromatic harmonica was broken and I couldn't get it fixed and my father was away for a year.

"I think that loss of music was all part of the malady. I was terrified of these soundwaves that were coming for me and I could hear the electrical charge that went with them as well, the crackle. They were a distressed gold color. They were coming for me and I thought they were going to kill me. They were terrifying monsters but there they were, and they had to be harnessed and honored."

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'll just step up here, and... is this the synesthesia bandwaggon?
    Vicryl 2.0
    nah.. he has mentioned about the synesthesia story multiple times before. even read about it on an old Circus rock magazine that was published in the 80s. 
    Playing a solo and make a mistake?  Just repeat it...people will think you're edgy and atonal