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Always the Critic

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DekeDog, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

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    I have noticed that for years I listen to live music critically and the enjoyment tends to be secondary. I've always thought that I would never want to pay for a performance that I could do better, and when I hear mistakes, that sticks in my mind more so than the enjoyment of the overall performance. I can't help it.

    I've never performed music that I couldn't play flawlessly, it's why I've shied away from difficult material. The more confident I feel in playing something, the fewer mistakes I make. I can't shake the idea that either most people don't hear the mistakes or don't care. I think a lot depends on the overall quality and sophistication of your playing. Hendrix once said that people copied his mistakes. Miles Davis and John Coltrane basically said that mistakes are opportunities... that works mostly in jazz, because improvisation rules.

    We have season tickets to our state philharmonic orchestra. If I hear a mistake, it ruins the performance for me when I should be paying more attention to the interpretation of the music and the overall aesthetics.

    Is anyone else cursed with this?
     
  2. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    good ears can be a burden, but you are at least aware of the dilemma. :)

    Seeing J. D. Souther live once upon a time, I formed the opinion that he was a better piano player than guitar player, and yet that didn't seem to impose any burden on his success. Excellent songwriter, too. Go for the positive?


    Moon boots.png
     
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  3. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    I don’t think most people hear mistakes. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve had people rave over how wonderful something that I played was when I was cringing the whole time and thinking, “I’m stinking the place up!”
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Fortunately I don't play anything flawlessly.... in fact, I rarely play anything the same twice.
    Or it can be unfortunate also.
    I've thought about this a lot, the challenge of "winging it" seems to be the reason I enjoy playing actually. The pressure is on, people are listening, you must make it work! Otherwise I will be bored in a minute... literally.
    I have an inventor's brain or something. Not sure.
     
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  5. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

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    I never play a lead line the same way twice either, but in a performance, I usually stick pretty close to the plan. Mistakes can take place in many forms... playing a wrong note, rhythm, etc. I think the key is attitude (not caring about mistakes) and confidence in your own playing. I think confidence comes with experience. But this doesn't stop me from being a critical listener.
     
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  6. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    The types of music where people don’t make mistakes is usually not the kind of music I listen to. Perfect execution isn’t the point of music, I don’t listen to music for technical virtuosity.
     
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  7. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    Unless it’s glaringly obvious — pitchy vocals, out-of-tune instruments, off rhythms — I tend not to notice or care. Sometimes the off notes or mistakes add to the ambiance for me. It’s why I like recording on tape personally...the lo-fi adds something to the performance.

    I did once see a blues performer at a festival whose guitar was dreadfully out-of-tune for almost the entire set. It was almost a semi tone sharp. He seemed not to notice until right before the last song but the enjoyment was ruined for me.

    I notice my own mistakes far more, although often the audience or rest of the band doesn’t notice (again, unless it’s outrageously bad).

    My partner, however, is a classical musician. She notices my mistakes after only hearing two notes and rakes me over the coals about it, although sometimes I think she does that to wind me up. She also once questioned why I like the Rolling Stones because to her they sounded little better than an average garage band.
     
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  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    What's the goal, really?
     
  9. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.
     
  10. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I think I have pretty good ears, and I do notice when a mistake occurs in a performance ... but it doesn't ruin anything for me any more than seeing an Olympic skater slip or a gymnast take an extra step on a dismount.
    My acquaintance enters piano competitions. You hear a mistake here and there, but generally what separates the winner from the runner up is subjective execution and stylistic choices.

    Anyway, I don't think the problem here is good ears ... I'm thinking some kind of obsessiveness, no offense intended.
     
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  11. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds exhausting.
     
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  12. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I was like that in my early 20's. The more gigs I played and the more I played with players who were fantastic, the more I just found myself appreciating it vs. competing with it (or wondering 'do i measure up' or 'why not me?')... the world, especially music, is a place of wonder... why do these guys have hit, why did that guy make it? why didn't this guy make it?

    One of my friends told me once 'you listen like a producer' and he meant that not only did I listen to each little part, but I listened for if I thought it was the 'right part' or the best that could be done in that spot etc.

    I said, 'only when we are doing that' the rest of the time I listen, I just let it wash over me and see how I feel.

    My wife tells me that before she met me, she couldn't pick out all the instruments and now she can and now she hears 'little things' in songs that either make her love the song or not like it at all...

    It is good to have a bunch of tools, but it almost never means the time spent on a job is less, it usually increases it and your expectation for result is almost always pretty hard to achieve.
     
  13. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    II my opinion there are so many bands that never make mistakes, yet they're not even close to being good. There are bands that make a lot of mistakes, still their performances are great.

    I can appreciate perfect, but sometimes the mistakes can be the seasoning that makes it perfect.
     
  14. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    When I was a regular concert goer, it was always disheartening, when artists performed their hits, note-for-note. I wasn't wanting a facsimile of the recorded work.
    I'm the same, as a player. I like to take risks and liberties. I seldom play a tune the same way twice and that keeps a song fresh and exciting.
     
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  15. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If it wasn't for Mistakes, I wouldn't even have a show!
     
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  16. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    Depends on the music. Classical compositions should be flawless, played as they were written.
    Technical progressive rock/metal is also somewhere that a mistake will be obvious. I'm talking about Dream Theater, Blotted Science, etc. Those forms of music are like a jigsaw puzzle. Everything fits another piece exactly, no room for improvisation. I've played in bands like that, and I've even written pieces that would not work unless everything was performed precisely as written/expected. On the other side is jazz, where everything is played in the moment and things evolve in seconds. A 'mistake' can spawn a whole section. I've seen Jeff Beck a few times, his improv skills are spectacular but there are times when a line just didn't work, other times it was pure perfection. It didn't wreck anything for me. He is taking chances every time he plays because it is NEVER the same. To me that is the pinnacle, where you can play the same song thousands of times and it will be pleasantly different each time. As for blatant mistakes, they make my eye twitch, like sucking on a sour lemon. Bar bands often make me cringe, no matter how many beers I've consumed.
     
  17. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    What is that saying....

    ummm....

    Oh yeah.


    To err is human.


    To forgive, devine. (means 'godlike,' or something we should aspire to).


    So to not forgive is to err.

    So...
     
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  18. Spudly

    Spudly TDPRI Member

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    A mistake is starting a song in A that is supposed to be in E. Everything else is just notes going to the next note.
     
  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Playing sheet music as written ... all the notes correctly, in pitch, and following the instructions or directions of the score (terms in Italian, German, French, Latin, English, etc.) does not a flawless Classical performance make. Once you get to the level of professional Classical musician, it's the judgements and subtleties that define competence, and experts endlessly argue these facets of the music.

    It may be fair to say that a listener must be a professional Classical musician, an accomplished Classical teacher, a musicologist, or a knowledgeable and specialized critic to assess a Classical performance properly.
     
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  20. stonetone7

    stonetone7 Tele-Meister

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    The only thing that grates on me is out of tune instruments and pitchy vocals.

    Otherwise I’m along for the ride. Sometimes it’s bumpy but that’s frequently part of the fun.
     
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