- Apr 16, 2007
- Coastal Virginia
Realize that the journey is the reward more than the destination.
Very good points. I remember going to a Bad Company show in the 70's. The band was just too exact, too "perfect". I want a live performance to sound like a live performance, this concert sounded like someone put on Bad Company's greatest hits CD.There is a very old saying that comes from the days of sail in the navy, and it's "polishing the cannonball."
This refers to taking too much time to calculate bearing and range to the target to guarantee an accurate shot. Part of being effective in battle is not achieving a perfect firing solution every time, but one that's 'good enough' to get the job done. It a battle, time is critical because the enemy may light the fuse before you do and if they land one on you where it really hurts, you are out of the fight.
Later on in the days of the old west, lawmen and gun fighters would say the best way to gain an advantage was to "take your time in a hurry." If you draw and fire too fast, you might miss. And if you move too slowly, the other guy just might ventilate your duster before you can do the same to him. Being perfect is hard, and it has drawbacks. Being 'good enough' is good enough.
When recording music, finding that ideal balance is not easy at all. Perfection in the recording process completely sucks the humanity and soul out of a musical performance. Stuff like The Grid and pitch correction turns music into a mechanical product, like punching out cookies with a cookie cutter.
You need some drift in BPM and imperfect vocal pitch to get any sort of groove into a piece of music. Just because there's a button or a knob on a piece of recording gear does not mean you have to use it. That is the problem with most popular music today, I think. It can be made perfectly, so it is made perfectly. It sounds clinical, cold, and impersonal.
Another consideration is this: ever been to a live show and went home thinking it was the greatest musical performance--and then later listened to a recording of it and thought the band was not that great? Part of the perceived perfection at the show is the experience of the environment...the 'energy' in the room. That is the thing that's missing when listening to a studio recording. It's also why it's a common practice to "sweeten" live show recordings later in the studio by reheating the tracks like leftovers and taking out the bits of egg shell in the process.
Many bands and artists often do not listen to their own records when they're released, because the experience of getting something in the can is so stressful. Time is money, and sometimes shortcuts get taken because it's really the accountant (not the producer) with their hands on the faders.
Jeebuz. This turned into a diatribe. Sorry!
I started my nephew with guitar about 20 years ago. When he made it clear he wanted to learn, I gave him a standard Tele and a Vox amp. He had a great time for many years, making good progress and not making many of the early mistakes I had made.Perfection is the enemy of good enough.
Exactly!I started my nephew with guitar about 20 years ago. When he made it clear he wanted to learn, I gave him a standard Tele and a Vox amp. He had a great time for many years, making good progress and not making many of the early mistakes I had made.
Then, he got into the shredder genre. I tried not to wince when he'd show me what he was working on. It was more of an auditory assault than music, but I encouraged him anyway. For the time he had to practice, it seemed to me he couldn't go much further with that style of play.
Recently, I asked him what he was doing with the guitar these days. He told me he hadn't played in over a year, that his practice room made him sad. I asked what had happened. "It depressed me that I couldn't sound like the guys I was listening to," he said. He would beat himself up during practice time. He told me anything less than perfection in shredding was not fulfilling to him. Shredding, he explained, is not forgiving.
I wanted to say, dude, maybe you aren't cut out to be a shredder. Maybe you don't have time to be one. But I get it. I once put my gear away for about three years. We have to give ourselves permission to move on, to find what makes us happy, whatever it might be. When I heard someone say "the notes you don't play are often more important than the ones you do," something fell into place.
When I heard someone say "the notes you don't play are often more important than the ones you do," something fell into place.
Am related by marriage to a classical performance guitarist. He has stayed with us at times on his tours. It's fascinating, even a bit weird, to watch his rituals on the day of a performance. The same outfit, the same shoes, exact times for eating, cutoff time for caffeine, time to dress, arrival time at the venue, etc.why do the coldplay albums not 'get' me and the live do?
could it be on stage they have more fun and this shows in being relaxed?
you can go to far with perfection and it can drive you to a form of superstition.
a story i did read in a magazine about a famous guitarist.
they were rehearsing in a big dry swimming pool.
he had to record some solo's
he had his lucky favorite guitar, amp, pedals, t shirt, boots and other favorite things he really needed to ware and use to get the best recordings.
but than, o no it was not perfect, his lucky orange guitar cord was not connected in his rig.
being relaxed (no not under influence) and having a good time makes you shine
i would not be surprised that his trade is another ballpark.Am related by marriage to a classical performance guitarist. He has stayed with us at times on his tours. It's fascinating, even a bit weird, to watch his rituals on the day of a performance. The same outfit, the same shoes, exact times for eating, cutoff time for caffeine, time to dress, arrival time at the venue, etc.
That's quite the tabe top you've got there, bud .If you have not read The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten, check it out. This is the best book on how to play music I've read...and I've read a bunch. Wooten does not teach the reader to play music, but he shows how to learn. It is eye opening. EAR opening.
His whimsical style at the beginning takes a little getting used to, but stick with it because it is really that good.