#4 – You Is Who You Is

That sounds like some repressed Yoda shit… but really it’s “give yourself a break for whatever choice you’ve made for the direction of your life… and just allow yourself to be you.” The music is more authentic that way.

I bring this up because for YEARS…and I DO MEAN YEARS, I beat myself up not ever being where I wanted to be chops-wise, career-wise, etc. I always would complain about not having time to practice as much as I would like because of needing to have a day job…or being in 6-7 bands, there is always a rehearsal, or a show to learn, and while that IS practicing…it’s a different type of practicing, and not one that advances your chops or musical knowledge. 

In my old age, I’ve realized that my life is what it is. I am who I am. I have the time that I have, and while I could etch out more time…and sometimes do… my life IS my life. Once I learned that lesson, and stopped complaining about it, I could enjoy what and when I was able to play with a new found freedom and reverence. Just playing each note with all the guts and blood I can muster, using whatever-little I know as a base, and having as much fun as possible… emoting every ounce of energy into the room I’m playing in.. well, that’s a satisfaction that is difficult to properly convey. 

I remember, again, Luke telling me (after getting sick of my beating myself up all the time-and slobbering all over his sleeve about how incredible he plays) “dude…give yourself a break…I just play more than you do.”  I think him saying that put me into that re-evaluation stage of my life. I came out the other end of it playing better than I ever have, and being perfectly fine not knowing what I don’t know… happy to pick up a new little tid-bit here and there as I go. It free’d me up to just play! Coincidentally, thinking this way helps me get to “the place” in my head I’ve always tried to get to much more easily and consistently. Much easier to let go and just trust what I hear in my head… and brave enough to just GO FOR IT!

I hope this resonates with someone who might be holding themselves back by being too hard on yourself, and remembering to enjoy the ride!

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