Ive been fortunate to have a period of growth over the past 8 months or so in playing, and personally, so there's been little looking back. A bad gig can throw things all out of sort. We played a trio gig tonight that just wasnt good, not happy with how I played, hacked up a bunch of tunes I though I knew, or once did, and was inexplicably nervous prior to playing. Afterwards, the club owner, who is ever supportive and was actually cool with the show - it wasnt complete disaster, just poorly played - mentioned to me that a prominent jazz club owner who was in attendance at our one off Muddy Waters night, came in and ripped it afterwards. Some of the rips are warranted, it was thrown together, a one off, first time and raw band deal, but anyhow, these things tend to coalesce into an unhealthy amount of self-doubt, being a hyper-sensitive artist as I am. So there's the initial reaction, what does he know, blah blah, reasoning to myself why that opinion is invalid. But its not. Its part of this thing as the further and further we get out in front of people, and the more chances I take with other projects, not everyone will enjoy it, some people will be rubbed wrong, and some may simply have a correct and valid opinion on a nights music that was not up to what was hoped for. So take it and grow from it, or be destroyed and grow defensive and attack the source, thats the choice. It happens in everything, everywhere, not just with music, thats just what my little life revolves around. 

     So about the gig tonight, I played poorly, presenting another choice to make. Mire in self-pity, attack the audience for not getting it, or constructively criticize the self and grow from it. The last is the hardest option to take, but the healthiest and only choice if we are to have any sort of longevity and persistence, not to mention a healthy heart and conscience to emote from on a nightly basis.... which is what I need to have good gigs, to do what we do and feel. Detachment from results is so difficult when we grow up with completely innocent motives to create and share. Naivete somehow has come to imply stupidity, but in its true sense, naivete nurtures honesty. When experience confronts the altruistic outlook, it hurts. And there's a lot of options as to reactions. Writing this, I think, helps me take the healthiest one.

   So doubt sets in after a combination of feedback and self-criticism, and the mind spins. "Im really not a jazz guitarist, I dont play like Pat Metheny, or Jonathan Kreisberg, or on down the line.... maybe everyone thinks Im a fraud, perhaps this whole attempt at life in the music industry is ill-fated and presumptuous. I probably completely suck". Ten people told me it was great, but the one who trashed it, thats the one I remember. Truth is, Im not a jazz guitarist in the sense of the aforementioned masters of standard repertoire, and I dont sing like Muddy Waters when we do our one off Blues Revue. Thats true, and its fine. The further we get down the line, more we're out, standing to be judged - willingly - the more it becomes apparent the only relevant matter is honesty to self. That includes practicing when you dont want to, doing the business legwork, and taking criticism - even when non-constructive - in stride. You have to love it all and keep cynicism at bay. There are a number of factors that play into a single person's reaction to the music and thats just not something we can control as musicians, all we can do is present honestly. 

  So thats my unfiltered rambling after a bad gig. Hope to temper it on Friday after a great A Love Electric gig.... and at the next Blues Revue, and on our next jazz trio gig. Because I honestly love all that stuff, and will keep playing it, and working to make it as honest and well-crafted as it can be.

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