Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Is my ego too fragile?


keysplease

Recommended Posts

Last week I was talking with some bandmembers. One guy (new to the band) was saying something about a well-known former keybaord player he used to work with. I wasn't paying attention, but it seemed like he was praising the guy, and all I remember hearing was "I didn't mean anything by that"...so he probably said something like he was the greatest he'd ever heard or worked with -- I don't know because I wasn't listening until I heard his "I didn;t mean anything" quip.

 

Why does this bug me? Do you hate when someone is extolling the virtues of another player --- especially if you think you are as good or better? How should I handle it? Should I get a shrink? :freak:

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I would feel the same as you and I guess most people would. A shrink is not a solution to your 'problem';-)

 

Your ego is not too fragile, on the contrary, it is too strong. You identify yourself with your playing skills, which makes you vulnerable for critique. The solution is to detach yourself, to step back and take a deep breath. But, of course, this is easier said then done. Just look at the mental and physical reaction caused by the critique, observe it and then simply let it go. Really, that is all there is to it. The critique is NOT about you, it is only about your skills which evolve and change over time. Your skills are not fixed in time and they dont define who you are as a person.

 

Dr. Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to Marino's 'Random Thoughts'

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/18/t/021588.html

 

and tell us what you think. There's always somebody better. Work harder; practice more. You just play like yourself. Don't worry about it. You're OK

 

 

....unless, of course, you really do suck [just kidding!] :D

 

Lighten up!!!

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny story. My band is looking for a drummer and this combo of a guitar player and drummer found us. So we played with them on the 6th and musically all went well. When I spoke with this other guitar player a few days afterward, he made positive remarks about all the current members of the band. That is, all except for me! :wave:

 

I know it's possible he might not have said anything about me because he was talking with me and some people are funny like that. But if he were to join the band (we have another jam coming on the 20th and we'll decide after that), he'll have to put up with me whether he likes me or not BECAUSE IT'S MY STINKIN' BAND!! :D:P

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, memory is a fuzzy thing. That player might not be as phenomenal as he remembers. And sometimes people just SAY stuff like 'this guy was better' to get under your skin; it might not even be true! If he wasn't trying to get under your skin he wouldn't have said 'I don't mean anything by that'. Forget it!

 

And besides I bet that whoever he was, he couldn't make a badass photoshop 4 manual Nord organ!!

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keysplease,

 

If it bothers you too much, I would straight ask the guy about what was said. Maybe it wasn't that bad after all. Often we tend to exaggerate little problems and they become bigger than they really are as we build our own scenarios about them. Also, some of us are more sensitive/emotional than others, so you have the right to express how you feel, even though as I said it might have been not so bad a conversation after all.

 

I'm glad you talk about how you feel, because in my case I gave up doing gigs a long time ago because of rude/drunk people during gigs. I wish I could have a bigger "carapace" against those situations. But if some bad comment happened in my band though, I think I would have handled it better, since they are your "coworkers" and you have more possibilities to solve the problem. In the case of perfect strangers who are impolite, to me it's more difficult since you don't know how it can turn out.

 

In any case, I sympathize with your hurt feelings and understand how you feel. Again, if it bothers you too much, discuss it in a relax fashion with the guys. :wave:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by keysplease:

Should I get a shrink? :freak:

Mr. Keysplease...

 

Should you get a shrink?

 

Yes and no.

 

Yes, you should talk with a 3rd party who is not someone you're married to, not a friend, not a coworker.

 

There are two things a psychiatrist will do for you. One, he or she can help sort things out by talking through them. You've got to get to the bottom of what's bothering you before you can figure out how to make things better. Two, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication. I'm not a proponent of taking medicine I don't need. However, I never thought much about how we all sometimes self-medicate with beer and stuff. (...and stuff being the operative phrase for many.)

 

I have found a lot of folks who post on The Keyboard Corner think a lot like me. Am I oversensitive sometimes? Sure. Does it kinda make me crazy thinking about it over and over and over again? You bet. Does the general public think like musicians, and particularly keyboard players, do? Well, that's up for debate, but I think there are a lot of commonalities among us here on the forum.

 

It doesn't hurt anything to chat on the forum. In fact, it can be a big relief to find that some of us have been through exactly what you're experiencing now. Sure, I often have to apologize for being long-winded here. But I try to make up for it by being a pretty good listener and submitting productive feedback when I can. It's definitely a two-way street.

 

So, you might want to talk with a shrink if you think that a combination of talk therapy and medication is what you need.

 

On the other hand, we're always hanging around & are glad to listen and offer our opinions if that helps - just read the "Random Thoughts" thread to get a good idea of this.

 

Plus, we're a lot cheaper. :thu:

 

Good luck,

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KeysPlease, I tried to write this earlier and it farted and flew out the window like a bad joke.

 

I have been working with a guitar player who is talented but has problems with most of the good players he has played with. It bothered me the first year that he gave me no respect. To the point of bad mouthing me to others, which I later found out about. After the first year I decided that I didn't need his approval to find my worth. It's been three years now and we still work together in one of the three bands that we started out in. I have learned that he is a depressed individual who has to down grade others for his own self worth. Sad but true. I let it go with a grain of salt.

 

The bass player in one of my projects is always talking about getting me together with his organ playing buddy. This guy has some organ chops but his timing drives me nuts. It would work about as well as playing with a guitar player whos is out of tune.

 

Interseting side note the guitar player above is only working in one band steady (with me) and I am in one other working band and have just been asked to join an award winning local band. I guess I ain't so bad after all.

 

POINT: don't let it bother you

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

keysplease,

 

What you describe happens to me once in a while, too. I think it comes from the need for approval and measuring yourself by other's responses. What Tom (...gas in the car) said regarding counseling is spot on. In addition to what he said, I would recommend a few things that have worked well for me:

 

1) Humble yourself. I do not mean put yourself down. You truly must ignore how you feel about your playing and be extremely TRUTHFUL. You might be worse, or you might be better - just face whatever it is. If you do that often enough, you will find that you will not be as embarrassed when others speak more highly of someone else's playing ability in your presence.

 

2) Talk about your feelings openly, honestly, and completely with someone who is genuinely listening. The key there is the person you are speaking to. They should be great listeners and should talk more about you than they do about themselves. They should ask great questions and should not try to give quick solutions (even though you want one). Just getting things out can make you feel better.

 

3) Realize who you are. You ARE sensitive, admit that openly. Realize you probably are better than you used to be and not as good as you want to be. Accept that others ARE better than you.

 

I agree with Tom in that you probably have something deeper going on if you easily get upset. Try to determine what that insecurity is all about if you can. A psychologist or psychiatrist might be good if you have the money - it's pretty steep.

 

In analyzing what you said, I would say you are simply insecure that the former keyboard player might be "better than you". So what? Maybe he really is better than you; maybe he is better than you will ever be. Be realistic about that. And when the guy said, "I didn't mean anything by that", he was stating that he didn't want you to feel badly about it. Many times, the "greener grass" syndrome causes them to say that.

 

I would first assume the other player really might be better than me and respond something like, "Wow, it'd be nice to see this guy, maybe he could teach me some stuff." And you have to HONESTLY feel that way.

 

It bugs you because you are measuring yourself by the statements (praises or lack thereof) of others. Measure yourself by an instructor or someone who is trying to be constructive.

 

Having said all that ... yea, it bugs me too. I get the same way sometimes. I think it's pretty normal. Maybe I should start a thread "Are you sensitive to other's comments?" Or, if I wait a while, maybe stepay will do it :D (just kidding Steve). Some people might say they really don't care what others think, but most of them really do - it bugs them deep inside too.

 

Lou

---------------

To B-3 or not to B-3, that is the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of the above said is true, but let's not forget that there's also the matter of taste.

 

We all have differences in tastes, some subtly, some drastically, and that other keyboardist may simply be more to your guitarist's taste than you are. That doesn't make you any less skilled or whatever, so your view of being "as good" shouldn't matter. It's as simple as the two of them sharing green as a favourite colour, while yours might be red.

 

However, if you admire your guitarist's music and you really like what he does, then you could look further into what makes that other keyboardist stand out in his mind. It might be as simple as the fact that he plays more reserved and comps differently - some guitarists like space, some like more interplay, etc. And if you really wanted to seek that out, you could ask him what he liked about his playing. Whether or not you want to take that on-board however, is up to you.

 

We all have room for improvement, but if you don't particularly think what the guitarist is achieving with his music is what you'd like to do, then don't worry at all about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jook, that's funny, because I had the idea of writing something similar just before I got to your post.

 

Better is such a stupid term when it comes to music, at least once you get past a certain level. Is Keith Emerson "better" then Rick Wakeman or vice versa? No, they are just *different.* One may be more suited to a certain band or style than another, or like jook said, more preferred by the guy in your band. Maybe a better example would be to say is Keith Emerson better than Benmont Tench? What would Emerson do if he sat in with the Heartbreakers? He might be able to do it, or he might make everyone go "peh!" Same goes for Tench in ELP or any other band Emerson would be in.

 

Depending on the day it happens, I can react in a number of ways, from the "ha ha" I posted above to being really bummed about it. In your case, it does look like you've extrapolated some negative things that you did not actually hear the other band member say. One has to be very careful about doing that and hearing the worst. Just because he said the other guy was really good and then said he "didn't mean anything by it" doesn't mean he said anything bad about you, direct or implied. Look at things objectively - does he seem to like you in the band? Has he paid you any compliments? Is the band going well? Don't look for problems where there are none. If you tend to get bugged, then make yourself look for positives, complements, to balance things out.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keysplease, (it's a rambling post )

 

I just finished watching Alexis Suter's Live At Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble CD/DVD with her band and Bruce Katz on Piano and Organ. I emailed her over Xmas to see if see needed help with any gigs, we used to worked for the same record company a few years ago with The Kerry Kearney band and she sang in KKB on the bigger shows and we shared recording companies with HipBone records . I'm on a slight sabbatical from KKB right now. She told me 'I have Bruce Katz as my keyboard player now and someone else for backup'. I knew about Bruce before I emailed her and not about the backup guy! I have 3 of Bruce's CD's and really dig him. I have grown as a player the past 3 years though.I have ALOT of respect for his playing and I know people would think he was the 'best they ever heard' in that style of Blues/Jazz Piano/B3 playing. His albums may truly support that view, they are awsome at times. But the world is a large place! He's going to be doing the NAMM show for the new NORD unveiling it BTW.

 

Bruce has alot of projects and work going. I do not know him personally. I play at home alot and am not a full blown Pro, but have almost worked as a full pro the past few years. He is Berklee trained according to his resume somwhere online.

 

The new Alexis Suter CD/DVD needless to say has the DVD and after just listening to the CD a fewdays ago I put the DVD on this Sunday morning and I started "Doing That Scrapeyard Thing"......watch ... listen.... off to my piano, back... watch.. listen ..a little mo playing etc.....u get the picture!

 

He's alittle more refined than me in an ensemble setting with a band and vocalists as the Alexis Suter band..... and has more experience and is more professional to some degree in that setting than me...It was great because I used to play with alot of her bandmates and that band, so!

comparing was natural, I consider myself fortunate in that regard watching/hearing Bruce, what an opportunity to check stuff out!

 

But there is something about the essence of my playing that's nothing like his! He's deeper this way.... I'm deeper that way.....You have to get hip to that sh@t, we all do as players!

 

Having studied Be-bop for many years with a Jazzman, he straightened me out on this issue a long time ago. Because Be-bop/Solo Piano is such a personal personal expression, part of the 'chops' I were taught was in terms of dealing with this very problem when confronted with a "better" player in terms of maintaining growth. Many times it is true about another player. But how we cope with that is as important as learing how to play good double time. You can't fold when exposed to a more advanced player. It 'should' affect you, but coping with that is key, as is how we respond to someone's else's perception off another player.

 

Remeber always, It's about YOUR athestic in regards to yourself! You are responsible to keep yourself grounded in terms of low-selfesteem 'traps' and learning and moving forward as a player.

 

Studying with my coach/teacher was really helpful with alot of this sh@t!

 

Overly competition and crital thinking about yourself can set you on the wrong track! Wanting to investigate aspects of another player in a calm controlled healty inqusitive way is the way to go. Sinking to deeply into negative feelings when confronted with a more advanced player can be a slippery slop. If you want to investigate another players approach, give yourself a year to get into another players double time lets say, or understanding his harmonic approach. Record and slow down their music. Don't copy thier playing per-say. Let it seep in through the bottom of you, slowly, not that you wouldn't play stuff note for note at home after you get going with it... You'll feel better about yourself longterm if you put the energy into investigating the stuff 'you' were curious about and still maintain your sense of self and selfesteem....

 

 

There should be an understanding of the magnitude of accomplishments , beauty and achievement in terms of an art or culture to enrich and reinforce it's environment, but music is not the Olympics or the MIT entrance exam or The International Piano Competition for the average musician on a day to day basis. Nobody can exactly do what you do and that has to be remembered at all the times to keep a healty mind and an even keel! Somebody believes that someelse is better, fine! IF you are going to lose a gig over that perception that's a hard thing, but if your not, stay even. Even if you lose the gig, keep moving forward as 'Yourself".....very important I found!

 

Read Robert Persig : 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' and the foolowup 'Lila'. If you get into the 'Metaphics of Quality', that idea philosophically does straighten things out, did for me alittle, along with my teachers infusion to support my ego with 'ego chops'. Jazzmen know alot of sh@t.

 

Just keep working! and keep a 50 ft mental distance from extreme egodriven or overly competitive types. Alittle competition is good in my view but at some point you have to draw the line on it, if your mental state isn't right, you tend, I find, to cut yourself out of the equation, and eventually in the end, will have a weaker 'thing'! It's hard sometimes but try not to compare too much and stay 'open'!

lb

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well keysplease, I had to take a dose of my own medicine today. I played keys in the church band today and who showed up between the first and second services? The former leader of the team. The guy is really hot on keys (or so I and others seem to think) and there he was, about to listen to ME. It was not the same situation that you were in, but similar in that I started to feel like a real zero. There are several at the church that really would like to see this guy come back.

 

Anyway, I thought I would really screw up a lot of parts knowing the guy was in the congregation. I was extremely surprised to find out that I actually played better the second service, even with the strange feeling of knowing he was listening. I wonder why that happened. Who knows?

 

So, I guess your post was right on time for me to deal with my own situation. Thanks!

 

Lou

---------------

To B-3 or not to B-3, that is the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Keysplease - frankly, I think that guy's comment counts for absolutely nothing. I wouldn't think there was any serious consideration behind it.

Try to switch roles for a moment: YOU are talking with someone about some fabulous drummer, when your drummer suddendly show up, so to be sure he won't take offense, YOU say, "I didn't mean anything by that." :D

Musicians talk about other musicians all the time; being always tactful is impossible. I'd just forget about it. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Marino, and all who responded!

 

Marino's right, I suppose. For the record, I've been playing for a long time, on and off, and I'm no slouch. I just can't stand situations like I described -- especially because I go out of my away to avoid hurting other players' egos -- whether they're monster pros or beginners.

 

 

Originally posted by marino:

Hey Keysplease - frankly, I think that guy's comment counts for absolutely nothing. I wouldn't think there was any serious consideration behind it.

Try to switch roles for a moment: YOU are talking with someone about some fabulous drummer, when your drummer suddendly show up, so to be sure he won't take offense, YOU say, "I didn't mean anything by that." :D

Musicians talk about other musicians all the time; being always tactful is impossible. I'd just forget about it. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keysplease,

 

I think it was probably just an innocent remark by the guy. . . . I had a big 2nd post but widdled it down to this! Gotta stop that! I know it's Basically what others have said!

 

Sorry about my overkill post before. It took me a long time to learn how to feel good about myself in terms other piano players and my own playing so it was territory I was well versed in. ... Just thought I'd share some of the insights my teacher gave me and how I applied them.... it might have been overkill.

 

ps:

And to also Brag about how people I played with use Bruce Katz now......how great for me by association, ha! I love to name drop, helps me feel like I'm getting somewhere talk about fragile ego's!

 

lb :D

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why waste your time being upset about something THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN HEAR? Talk about looking for things to worry about! Seriously, even if he WAS praising the other keyboard player, in all likelyhood he would praise if he was talking to other people about your band. One thing to realize is that it no matter how good someone else is it doesn't take anything away from how good you are. Just let it go!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply -- I was so out of sorts that I actually was going to call him and ask what he said -- but I'd look like a paranoid jerk -- whoops! I resemble that remark :D

 

Originally posted by Nu2Keys:

Why waste your time being upset about something THAT YOU DIDN'T EVEN HEAR? Talk about looking for things to worry about! Seriously, even if he WAS praising the other keyboard player, in all likelyhood he would praise if he was talking to other people about your band. One thing to realize is that it no matter how good someone else is it doesn't take anything away from how good you are. Just let it go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

keysplease,

 

I side with those who say to just let it go. As has already been said, there is always someone better out there unless you're the best player in the WORLD! If you bring it up you'll look like an ego maniac. His view would be (and rightly so), "what, someone can't be better than YOU"?

 

My last band was the most talented group I've ever played with (as a GROUP). Our bass player was a former session player (he did that for a living) and as awesome a player as he is (and MAN is ahe GREAT), he's still not the best I've played with. I played with a guy in San Francisco who was unbelievable. He made his living writing jingles, but man could that guy play bass (guitar too). Point is that both could easily (and did) make a living off of music, but one was slightly better overall than the other one.

 

For me, most of the guys I end up playing with have never really played with a keyboard player before (often times a saxophonist or some other instrument guy who also plays chords on a keyboard once in a while), so I end up being the best keyboard player they've ever played with. I know that if they just looked a little harder...

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...