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> Compete Only With Yourself.
Daniel Robinson
post Sep 19 2008, 04:45 PM
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I have seen alot of threads lately here and other places i go about people feeling discouraged when they compare themselves to others.

It seems these topics seem to come in waves...but i digress.


Playing guitar, or any instrument for that matter is a personal journey, we may share our experiences and try to gauge our playing against others. But its like comparing apples and oranges.

If every guitarist gave up because they heard someone they perceived to be better than them the world would have a handful of guitar players...boring.

Just because you don't have the technical skills you want doesnt mean you don't have something to contribute to music. Technical skills come with time and effort, but there are things that you do right now that cannot be duplicated by anyone, no matter how masterfully gifted they are.

I know especially here alot of people idolize Muris, we all love Muris and watching and hearing him play can you make you feel inadequate with your skills. Does that mean that you can't acheive success as a player? I certainly hope not. Muris is where he is because he spent alot of time behind the guitar. The reason for it sucks of course "War".

This doesnt take away from the fact though that the hours and hours that were spent everyday honing his skills.

Tony Macalpine in an interview pretty much said the same thing, it has to be a labor of love when he was younger he said he had to give up his social life, instead of going to the party on Friday night, or going to concerts and all that he gave all that up to spend more time honing his craft. You have to want it that bad that you shut down everything else and just dedicate yourself to music. In alot of ways playing guitar is a lifestyle, its not a 9 to 5 proposistion.

As far as your skills go, just because you aren't where you would like to be doesnt mean that you are inadequate to make a contribution to the world of music.

Let's say that you write a song, and Muris did a cover of it. Sure i bet he could play it note for note, emulate all the little nuiances in it etc. and so forth. But the fact of the matter is no matter how hard he tried, he would still sound like Muris. He wouldnt sound like Daniel, or Joe, or Ivan or anyone else here for that matter.

You have to learn to embrace the fact that you are a unique individual, technical skills are only part of the equation, there are in fact things you were never taught that just came naturally that no one can perfectly duplicate. It could be as simple as tone even.

A good example of this in my own experience, i was building a patch on my GNX, trying to get a specific sound i was looking for, my bass player/ keyboard player came by. He likes things to have a really bright sound, he was dogging me cause all my patches have a really dark quality to them. So i decided to let him try and fix it the way he wanted cause i was curious.

He picked up my guitar and started to play on the same patch with the same settings etc....as soon as he sounded a few notes it was actually too bright sounding. Something about his fingers, how he picks who knows. It was my patch and it still sounded like him. The patch i made was already "Bright" but the way i play has a darker sound to it.

You are unique, don't forget that, it could be tone, it could be vibrato, it could be note choice it could be alot of things. Just don't give up because you perceive something is wrong with it, bringing your technical skills to where you want them is just time and effort. But the "What" that makes you you has always been there just refine it and let the world enjoy You!


Daniel


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fatb0t
post Sep 19 2008, 04:58 PM
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Very profound.
"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded." - Hendrix
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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 19 2008, 05:05 PM
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I agree with you Daniel

When you are younger you need idols , as you grow up you eventually improve and create your own style which you pursue for the rest of your life.

Cool post !


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RIP Dime
post Sep 19 2008, 05:21 PM
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I agree, music is art, not a competition. smile.gif


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Skyla°Lit
post Sep 19 2008, 05:21 PM
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Amazing post, Daniel! So so very very true smile.gif

I'd also say to those that can't help but compare themselves to others every now and then that a stronger person perceives "perfect" as an encouraging challenge, a weaker person perceives "perfect" as a discouraging personal defeat.

Not mentioning that the "perfect" part is an illusion in itself...

Just make a choice to be the strong one once the decision is made smile.gif


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skennington
post Sep 19 2008, 05:50 PM
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Very inspiring post as always Daniel. I've always thought of musicians like physician's, their always practicing! Always room for improvement! smile.gif Never known a doctor to really compare themselves to another. Of course, some are better than others, but each brings something different to the table.


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Fran
post Sep 19 2008, 06:45 PM
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Good reading! I agree, music is not a competition by any means. Good post Daniel smile.gif

Edit: typo

This post has been edited by Fran: Sep 19 2008, 06:46 PM


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JVM
post Sep 19 2008, 07:00 PM
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Good post Daniel. But I would warn anyone from letting their guitar playing affect their social lives that much wink.gif You should have plenty of time to practice and still go to the show or hang out with your friends. Maybe sometimes you should focus on practicing, but music is communication and what do you really have that is worth communicating if you're cooped up in your room practicing all day? Better yet, go put ON a show, or even go out to the park with your friends and bring an acoustic.

But it does take practice and thats all there is to it.


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sigma7
post Sep 19 2008, 07:05 PM
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i agree...you are very wise Daniel Robinson


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Canis
post Sep 19 2008, 08:30 PM
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Yet another brilliant advice from you, Daniel ^^
And so true. Find your own style, and don't be "The Next Kirk Hammet", for example..

Personally, I get motivated by people that's better then me. When I see the Muris, Kristofer, David, either of the Marcuses.. or any of the instructors here, I say to myself: "Yes! Yes! Give me more! Play something sick!" laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Canis: Sep 20 2008, 12:25 AM


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Scott Gentzen
post Sep 19 2008, 11:43 PM
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QUOTE (fatb0t @ Sep 19 2008, 11:58 AM) *
Very profound.
"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded." - Hendrix


I haven't touched my guitar in 2 weeks now. I needed that quote. tongue.gif

Daniel's post is pretty inspirational too, but comparing myself to others isn't really my problem. I know there's always going to be someone better than me and I'm ok with that. I'm just hard on myself when everything I do sounds like crap. I get better when I practice, I just need to keep practicing.


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Muris Varajic
post Sep 20 2008, 12:18 AM
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Great advices and thoughts Daniel,thanks!!

Tho I would add that sometimes it IS good to compare
yourself with other players,good players of course.
Not to realize how bad are you eventually
but to get more motivation to practice/play
and to learn some new stuff.
And as the time goes,you'll find your own signature and
way to express your music thoughts and ideas. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Muris Varajic: Sep 20 2008, 12:19 AM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 20 2008, 12:51 AM
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Great post Daniel, a very nice story, I like it a lot. Individuality and character is crucial for becoming a good musician. Also relationship to music and instrument is crucial, and people feel that.


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SensE
post Sep 20 2008, 01:08 AM
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very well said. Time and effort are the enemy, no one else.
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Jose Mena
post Sep 20 2008, 02:54 AM
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Great words, although watching others gives me a little push, but I agree at the end it doesn't matter that you can't play a Steve Vai song note for note, you can still create great music and contribute to the guitar world with your own sound


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Guitarman700
post Sep 20 2008, 03:00 AM
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thanks Daniel, i REALLY needed to hear that. ive been down about my playing lately, but your words were very inspiring. Thank you.


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Danilo Capezzuto
post Sep 20 2008, 09:54 AM
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You Daniel...you...have just wrote a piece of music bible. I agree with you, one of the best treads ever! Chapeau! wink.gif


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holoshreder
post Sep 20 2008, 12:54 PM
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Daniel
you have no idea how this thread just helped me smile.gif

thx mate


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Eat-Sleep-andJam
post Sep 20 2008, 01:27 PM
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May I first say that Daniel raises a brilliant point, thankyou for the wonderful thread smile.gif

QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Sep 19 2008, 03:18 PM) *
Great advices and thoughts Daniel,thanks!!

Tho I would add that sometimes it IS good to compare
yourself with other players,good players of course.
Not to realize how bad are you eventually
but to get more motivation to practice/play
and to learn some new stuff.
And as the time goes,you'll find your own signature and
way to express your music thoughts and ideas. smile.gif



I do agree with Muris here. When I first got my guitar, my buddy did aswell. I saw that he started getting better then me and I got motivated to get better then him. ( He was playing some Cream pretty early.) So without that motivation of having to compete, I wouldnt be where I am now.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 20 2008, 08:44 PM
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Great post Daniel - thanks!

I look at it like this - you should be happy when you have come to the point that you want to put the guitar down. Everybody has been/will be there, and it just means that you have your chance to prove that you are more persistent than others. And that will give you an advantage.

In the end it's the persistent who wins.


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