I can't stand listening to myself most of the time

Jazzcaster21

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As I listen back to a gig I did this past Saturday, every so often I say, "well that's not too bad" but most of the time I think "man, this sucks". I then think about why it sucks: bad time, poor phrasing, etc, etc. and what I need to work on; it's a long list. :rolleyes:
I know we are our own worst critic but, do you ever think to yourself that you should just not play anymore, sell all your gear and find something else to do?
People were telling us how great and awesome we sounded, etc, etc. but sometimes I just think they are being nice. Maybe I am just being overly harsh on myself but I what I hear is not the same as what they are hearing obviously.

Maybe should I have waited longer before I listened back to the gig.

Thoughts?
 

Papanate

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As I listen back to a gig I did this past Saturday, every so often I say, "well that's not too bad" but most of the time I think "man, this sucks". I then think

Maybe should I have waited longer before I listened back to the gig.

Thoughts?

Yeah - why are you so critical of your playing? I record everything - I've learned to accept what is essentially the way I play - I embrace it - no one sounds like I do - but through constant listening to myself I've accepted the best parts and work out the parts that aren't as strong - overall I've improved every year - and it comes from recording everything and critiquing the work.
 

Robert H.

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Many of us are our own worst critics. That’s ok. We improve that way. But also, stop and accept what others are saying/hearing. You can usually tell a real compliment from a polite one. You must sound decent to others - which is important.
 

SmokinJoe992

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As I listen back to a gig I did this past Saturday, every so often I say, "well that's not too bad" but most of the time I think "man, this sucks". I then think about why it sucks: bad time, poor phrasing, etc, etc. and what I need to work on; it's a long list. :rolleyes:
I know we are our own worst critic but, do you ever think to yourself that you should just not play anymore, sell all your gear and find something else to do?
People were telling us how great and awesome we sounded, etc, etc. but sometimes I just think they are being nice. Maybe I am just being overly harsh on myself but I what I hear is not the same as what they are hearing obviously.

Maybe should I have waited longer before I listened back to the gig.

Thoughts?

I have never heard a recording of myself singing or playing that I liked.
 

elihu

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I’ve been doing a weekly thing on bass for 10 years that’s recorded and I think it’s a 3 steps forward 2 steps back situation. Yeah I hear mistakes but my singing has dramatically improved. And I could sure tell when my amp changed from a 100 watt combo to the 500 watt Hardke.
 

teletail

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I have just the opposite problem. While I’m in the moment I tend to be super critical. When I listen back it’s almost always way better than I thought.

I left a band about five years ago because I hated the way I played with them. About two years after I left I found a recording of our last gig. I girded my loins and listened to it and couldn’t believe how good it sounded. I liked about 95% of what I played. I thought, I wish I could play like that guy!

I think the problem is that we focus on the one wrong note, not the 99 right notes.
 

Jazzcaster21

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Yeah - why are you so critical of your playing?
That's a good question.
I guess because when I listen back to myself I DON'T hear what I like in other players - even things I may have transcribed and tried to work in to my own playing. However, I know why that is and I don't want to bore you with the details. :lol:

Plus, it takes time to have things that you practice off the gig start to show up subconsciously ON the gig. I can be impatient with my progress sometimes too. The longer you play guitar, the more you have the peaks and valleys. Perhaps I am in a plateau state right now.
Anyway, you are only as good as your last gig as they say. I have another one coming up this weekend and a chance to do it all over again.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.
 

bigbean

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When I played for a living (a long-ass time ago) I was performing for long stretches four or five hours, five nights a week plus rehearsals and some studio work. I got really sick of listening to myself play. Not just on the "parts" but the solutions to the improvisational aspects inside the performance would calculate too much the same to entertain me.

One response would have been to practice to add to the vocabulary of possible solutions to the situations presented by the material. Another was just keep doing the same things that worked OK for everybody else in the room and have another drink.

Hmmm, I usually didn't choose wisely.

Some of that was losing respect for the audience. Some of it was the other things going on with me at the time and general personal issues. Whatever, the future is hard enough to optimize, the past is gone and will not return.

Music itself usually isn't the problem. Monetizing music is the where things get problematic. At his point I have the happiest balance in years. My current efforts revolve around extending that forward for the next while. Rock on.
 

Papanate

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That's a good question.
I guess because when I listen back to myself I DON'T hear what I like in other players - even things I may have transcribed and tried to work in to my own playing. However, I know why that is and I don't want to bore you with the details. :lol:

Don't you like what you play? I mean it's you and your guitar personality - but still I would like to be bored with the details....
 

Jazzcaster21

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Sure. In the moment, if it feels good to me then I am (usually) enjoying what I am playing. This occurs when I am in the zone or flow state, the place were we all strive to be as players (right?). However, if the the gig is just not feeling right, or I am don't feel like I am playing well then it can be more of a struggle to enjoy it. I think we all know when we are playing the best we can vs not, at least I can.

One thing I WILL say is that I have been pretty happy with my tone which is a big plus because I constantly battle with that.
 

Jazzcaster21

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One response would have been to practice to add to the vocabulary of possible solutions to the situations presented by the material
The constant battle: practicing new ideas and then getting to the gig only to wind up playing the same ones you have been playing for a while because they are automatically there! :rolleyes:

Sometimes, I tend to try and learn too much new information which can lead to a jumble of ideas in the moment and maybe not always a coherent musical statement. Again, I am nitpicking about myself. I also like to improvise and try and come up with new things on the spot which may or may not always work and that comes from having played jazz for over 20 years. It's all about taking chances.
 

netgear69

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Remember when we could not play the guitar and you watched some average Joe just about string together a few chords and how impressed you was ? when that is how the non playing audience see and hear it
I have seen gigs where the sound is just noise pollution and the tone deaf congregation lap it up
If it makes you feel better check out Pink Floyds Animals tour bootlegs stellar musicians making a god awful racket
 

Jazzcaster21

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I don't mind my playing, occasionally it. can be quite good, but I can't stand the sound of my own voice....even if I hit the notes, it doesn't come across as intended, for whatever reason
I think that is just how it is. Others can like how we sound but for us personally...not so much.
 

Jazzcaster21

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Remember when we could not play the guitar and you watched some average Joe just about string together a few chords and how impressed you was ? when that is how the non playing audience see and hear it
I have seen gigs where the sound is just noise pollution and the tone deaf congregation lap it up
If it makes you feel better check out Pink Floyds Animals tour bootlegs stellar musicians making a god awful racket
Good point.

Animals is one of my favorite PF records but I haven't heard any of the bootlegs of the tour
 

11 Gauge

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I think this is part of the reason that I try to avoid being recorded, because I just don't generally like hearing the sounds I made, beyond just at the immediate time that I made them.

But to elaborate, I don't have a problem with making mistakes (and I make plenty of them!). It's more to do with just my own quirky choices of phrasing, or how I might accent things. I'm left-handed but play right-handed, so it honestly just makes things sound a bit different (and IMO not 'different better').

This is probably also why I haven't written or recorded anything in a long time now. I basically have to come up with compositions that fit my quirky style when I do so, and then everything ends up sounding 'synchronously quirky'.

Possibly the one thing I do like is that I seem to have a strange knack (or at least preference) for anything in 6/8. I can listen to that on playback maybe once or twice.
 

blueruins

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Struggling somewhat with this myself.

If I focus on being grateful for what I am able to do that is healthy.

Maybe really embracing the fact that music is a skill that can never be fully mastered and one is always a student. Keeping that joy of discovery instead of judgement.

I’m really trying to focus my attention from what I’m doing mechanics wise and just listen to the music coming out as if it were someone else. For me this is a real paradigm shift.

Instead of judging myself I am thinking, I would like to hear this or that and adjust accordingly.

Sort of pretending I’m listening to another player is helping me, I think.
 




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