Ups and downs are the way of life. One day, we have many good things happen and we feel pretty good about life. The next, something happens where our mood starts to go downhill. This is a very normal part of life, and as a musician, this can be distressing.
As I write this, I'll just say that I had sort of a "medium to down" day as far as music is concerned. I've been forced to play a lot of challenging and uncomfortable music in the last few days and its made me feel inferior as a musician. I listen to people like Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, Seamus Blake, Mark Turner, ETC. and it just makes me feel downright lame! The stuff they are able to play and the musicality they play with is just humbling.
In times like this, my thoughts usually go like this: "is this jazz thing even worth it? Do I have what it takes? So-and-so famous player sounded better than me when they were my age and had already made it in NYC with the big time players..." And I just start comparing myself to everyone else! I start making the music all about me, and that's not very much fun.
So tonight, I decided, "you know what? If I really want to reach that level, it doesn't just happen. Those guys PRACTICED a lot."
So here I am, working on tone exercises, improvising over changes, practicing big band charts, and working up scale patterns for my lesson. And you know what? It's hard! I'm tired at the end of today! But I know that if I really want to reach the next level of musicality, I need to work harder.
Today's lesson: even if you're tired, just get into the practice room and set out to accomplish your tasks. Even if its 15 minutes, you can say you practiced today. And you might just get that elusive second wind...
is a saxophonist/composer residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.