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Musicians: Dealing With Frustrations

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The Freio Music Podcast
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Frustrations among musicians is an elephant in the room worth talking about. You will need to deal with it if you are to thrive in the industry.
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How do you deal with those moments where you're super frustrated? Yeah, like sometimes I'll only practice for like, 15 minutes or 20 minutes. I'll like run vocal scales for 20 minutes. Or like right now. For instance, last night I'm working on his finger picking Paul Simon. Um oh, God, Still crazy after all these years and literally I got through the first two staffs, which is literally like the intro. It's like four chords, But the way that the cords move there, it's just like it's not actual like it's not like, Oh, you're playing in a flat minor. It's like, No, it's just like this weird formation of one. So I'm like sitting there. I did it for, like, 15 minutes, and I'll go back again tonight, but I think it's like as I've gotten older, the frustration level has kind of calmed down because I know enough now, after I've learned so much that I'm like, Okay, like it'll come like just knowing that you keep kind of chipping away at it like it'll come and that's that consistency. That's like, really important with learning music, because you have to be really consistent with it and If your fingers aren't getting it like you have to do it so slow, that's the key is like as slow as you possibly can because then you're physical memory. Well, then take over more. You'll be able to program your physical memory more by doing it slow. So a lot of times when people learn stuff that kind of blow through it, like I used to do that a lot of fiddle tunes or like Irish tunes And then I would try to do it slow and you mess up a bunch. So it's like if you can do something really, really slow musically, you know you got it in your body and you just speed up the tempo. Yeah, because that's that's where you want it. You don't want it in your mind. You want it in your body. You want to be able to, like, feel work through it, not necessarily think through it, because really, I find there's this awesome book. Effortless mastery by God. Who is it? Kenny Shepherd? Ken Shepherd? I'm not sure who's ever list mastery. Look it up. It's and it's It's a lot about that where it's like the mental mind it's It's based off the idea of meditation as well. Same thing, because when you play, it's the best to get into that meditative state where your body is playing the instrument, not your mind, like you're feeling through it. And is that book specifically for a musician or is he a musician? The writer he is, he's a saxophonist. Okay, is that the right way to say saxophonist? He plays his ex, and, um, he was, like, big in the New York scene for a while and um, yeah, he wrote this. And I think he's a piano player to um yeah, he just It's really sure it's like a pdf you can get online or I think I got the audio version of it. And it's gorgeous because it's really like implementing meditative practices within the playing of music. And a lot of like dealing with the ego, too, because I think that, like, you know, musicians come up against ego more than more than anybody. Because there is this, like you have to have an extreme sense of belonging in any creative form. So, you know, it's like I'm meant to be here, like, even if I mess up like I'm here. My existence matters. Here's my song like that's that weird kind of balanced musicians have to play because you do have to have an insane, strong sense of belonging at the same time, you have to be humble enough to not let that get in the way of the art, if you know what I mean. My other favorite book, which I religiously listen to over and over again is Elizabeth Gilbert. Big magic. Have you done it? I'm gonna This I'm not gonna lie like it's a little obsessive. Like this is my fourth time this year alone. Listening to this year, we're like, we're 15 days into the year. Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I'm including this is in 2019. Well, this is my first time again this year, literally. I mean, it was two days in the car, and I'm already blew through it. They have it at the library. I also go to the library. Yes. Um, but this book, I mean, she talks about that same thing about putting any creative art out there is like, you have to have this very extreme sense of belonging. So that you can kind of come up against all of that backlash that you may or may not have, you know, And usually you're more than accepted in the world, you know, or honestly, more than anything you come up against, people are like, Oh, cool. And then they move on with their lives like and that's what I like to tell creative people is like, People are kind of too busy to care, But then when they do care, it's like they really care, You know, like the people I look up to, the writers, the people. I'm just like obsessed, you know? But it's like beyond that other people who put stuff out there like Oh, cool, that was great. And then you move on, you know, so that that helps you. Yeah, that helps you as a creator, because you're like it means everything. And it means nothing at all. Like that's the most important, like contradicted thinking that you need as an artist as well as like, you have to put all of your work all of yourself, into these creations and like it is the most important thing to get this line right. Like if this line is not right like it won't work like I have to work so hard on this one line and then you have to go up and play it to a crowd of No. One. It doesn't matter, you know, Shit, whatever. It's not working on an album. Cut that song. It's out. You know, you have to have this kind of like, really balanced sense of contradiction in your mind. I think to work through all of that interesting and to not get down on yourself about it. Really, Uh, and to not let somebody else judge your value, you're creating your own value because their opinion isn't like. I like to think that there is me and my writing and what I make, and then I put it out there. But there is this threshold of out there and in here, and so anything I put out there is no longer mine. So the opinions on it, the people who love it, who listen to it, that is, there's now, you know, it's not mine anymore. And that's the important distinction to make. Because once it's somebody else's, then you have no like their opinion, whether it be good or bad. It's not about you, it's not. It's not about any, like there's that threshold. You're like there's a wall, you know, like you're the creator. That's your job is to create your job, isn't to, like, think about other people's ideas about what you've created really well, said Point, that you're making that. Basically, your job as a creator is to create, and it's not to react to somebody else's opinion. And they're just opinion is a reaction to your work. So there's no need to react to a reaction exactly. And it's really tough now in this day and age because of social media. People do that on their regular life. You know, it's like, Yeah, it's really and I think that point, especially with creators or honestly, anybody who makes anything like If you're making a business making this, it's like take feedback with like a humongous green of soul, you know, and just really like, take what feedback resonates with you more than anything. Everything else it's like it doesn't matter who said it, what anything like unless the feedback really resonates with you. I mean, I don't know. I tend to just like stick it all in her pocket. Don't really go from you know. It's like you were asking me like, Oh, did you listen to the last interview like? Nope, didn't like even with my albums like I don't listen to my albums because I'm not there anymore. That's that's out there. I'm over here on what I'm generating, you know, the next stuff and out of curiosity, do you? How do you balance that approach of, like not taking any feedback, but maybe soliciting a select few friends that you really trust or musicians that you look up to or how do you get? Um, I don't know if it's called feedback or just like creative criticism from people that you will listen to. Not necessarily that you're going to act on it, but, like a sound engineer. Well, like if I'm working with someone in a project that's a completely different experience, like, I'm talking about people who haven't been involved in any step of the way, you know? Yeah, or, like, you know, your friend who you haven't seen in four years listen to your album and they're like, have an opinion about it or something like That's what I'm talking about more than like, if I'm like my producer, my engineers, like they're, like, hand in hand with me on that and like, I'll be like, What do you think of that line? Like, How is that? Like I'm very back like or like a band member that I'm working with, Like my drummer. He'll help me with arrangements and like, that kind of stuff I'm very big on, like you need that. You need that as a creator, you need somebody to bounce your stuff off of. But it's very particular upon who you do that. Like some of my friends, you know their style of music, like what they listen to isn't my style of music. So I hesitate to show them in a real way because I'm like, you're just gonna love it cause you love me, but it's like it's maybe not like your like what you would listen to, like your super into the Grateful Dead. Like I'm playing like indie music, you know, like it's not your vibe. But like my friends who are like, no, all the indie bands that I do, I'm like Yo like I would love your opinion on this. Yeah, I think it's asking for opinion to if you need it, and and a lot of times, like we all know what all no points of my own works. And I'm like That's not really working or like that needs to be tweaked. And if somebody kind of mentions a similar thing, I've already had in my head that I'm like, proof cool. Yeah, like that's when those those times make sense. Even if the person hasn't been in the project, it's like, Oh, you definitely hit on something. I also noticed because it it's important to have feedback in that way because you are creating a thing for people. But I think like just because of our nature, with social media and where we are as a society like that's a really you know, temperamental thing. And like, you have to make sure who you're getting your feedback from, like, just be very particular about it, I guess, and not just, you know, like, Oh, I only got so many comments on this photo, but I got to a bunch on this video like, Why is this? You know that kind of shit and you just that's like you can't you just got to, like, put it out there and move on
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