most of the mediocre musicians i know gig as much or more than the really good ones i know.  reason:  the really good ones practice so much they are socially inept.  my advice take the day off from practicing,
crack open a brewsky and watch a ballgame.
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...and after the ballgame and a few brewskies, haul off and sing some jimmy buffet tunes as loud as you can
but they don't gig with the good ones..!

i'm right???
most musicians are just closet nerds dressed up in fancy clothes.

i've never met anybody good on their axe who wasn't a total dweeb -- they just hide it better than your average chess club effwad.  through drugging or boozing or just having the smarts to not be a total spazz.
hehehe - i think this site could do with a glossary!
dear jaledin. i am an amateur musician and i have many friends who are working, super, jazz musicians who have a wide variety of interests.if you are suggesting that mediocre is better, then that is all you will ever be. wake up and hear the music the real music


interesting, i have seen the opposite.  the greatest musicians are also the most fun to hang out with in my experience.  monty alexander, he's a warm, friendly, funny guy.  bob florence, rip, was the same way.  

george cables, bill mays, john clayton, ray brown, clark terry, walt wagner, jiggs whigam, benny green, john stohls, chic corea, pete christlieb, bob cooper, hank jones, kenny barron, michael brecker, joey defransesco, jeff hamilton, mark murphy, eldee young, and just about every other jazz great i've had a chance to share some time and conversation with have been friendly and accommodating with their time.

however, none of these people will feel that way about some musician freak that comes up to them acting all weird and stuff.

people are mirrors.  if a lunatic comes up to you, you're going to back away, be scared, and try to end the situation.  if a friendly person comes up to you, you'll be friendly in response.

so maybe people who see musicians as socially inept are in fact socially inept themselves and what they are seeing is a reflection.

practicing 12 hours a day is crazy, yes, but putting in three or so focused hours a day is enough time to reach lofty musical goals and i highly recommend it.

not practicing is giving in mediocrity and if playing in coffee shops and bars is your goal, then mediocrity is for you.  my personal goals are bigger than that, though, so i'm going to keep on practicing and gigging until i make them happen.
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i kind of agree tho, the socially inept part..  i mean, you spend too much time bathing in your own musical work, and if you loose contact with what an average joe thinks of feels, then it becomes technical excellence at the price of socio/psychological connection.  i'm kind of in a similar situation where even moderatelly practicing is taking up most of my free time.  sure does damage your social life and social skills.

of course, i don't think this relates directly to practicing less tho.  i mean, it's like a puzzle.  you just have to keep your priorities straight (but not "music or nothing"), and work things out.  sure there are those that sacrifice "normal" time for practice time, but perhaps there are other things that can be sacrifices. (like drunk time)

it all relates back to why write or produce any music at all.  music inspired only my music is an academic writing, and so i think it's always important to maintain a broad and deep emotional capacity.  i think to give positive inpiration, you need to be positively inspired yourself, and obviously locking yourself up in practice isn't a good route.  dunno, maybe i'm just a little bit more relaxed about getting better.

bottom line is tho, you do need good people skills and a fine tuned business common sense to be financial successful in anything, so it's not really something that you have the option to sacrifice.  definitely easier said than done, it's an aspect i'm definitely working on, but i have my ups and downs.
again, i think mike is being silly, but at the same time makes a good point.  i find practicing to be a very introverting experience.  as a result it's very easy to become an introverted performer.  i know that happens to me.  

last night i went out with my wife and her band, to hear a band she used to be in.  i was dancing like a fool (literally) and loving life - the players had that familiar blank gig stare on their faces (until they saw me dancing - then of coursed they laughed their butts off)

so - i play at home for fun and spiritual nourishment.  i go hear others to socialize. (and act like the drunks that i must have secretly envied all those years:)
...and i missed seeing the yellowjackets live to do it!
hey i'm a dancing fool too, maybe we should start a support group.
practicing is refining your tools. preparing to communicate on stage.
it isn't imporant if your extraverted or inroverted as long as you get your message across to the crowd.
yep - everybody's different - for me, i can be very entertaining - joking, interacting, schmoozing etc...but when i start playing i kinda retreat.

i like the support group idea - i spent the first 48 years of my life not dancing.  now i have a blast doing it:)
just for the record, mike, when i was using "you" and such in my long message, i was referring to whoever is reading the message, not directing it at you.  sometimes it's hard to get the sound of my voice in the typing!
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i never practice. i only rehearse.

maybe it's just a frame of mind.  

to me practicing is something your dowdy old maid piano teacher made you do which always seemed like some sadistic form of punishment.

rehearsing on the other hand is exciting and is taking you one step closer to playing that great new number on stage - for money.
the only way for me to get better is to practice.  how else can i work out a cool new lick and it's variations in all keys except by sitting down at the piano and working it out?

as i've said before, practice is from the head, in the studio, and performing is from the heart, on stage.

discovering something new and then working it out so i understand how i can use it in my music, that's some kind of magic for me, and since   90% of my gigs these days are solo piano (pays 5x as much as group playing), i get to incorporate the new stuff i've been working out during practice into the music i'm making on the gig.

i learned to really play music on stage in korea where i had my first house gig.  six nights a week, four hours a night, for 15 months.  i didn't practice during that time, but we had a great band. it was very tight, energetic, and when we came back to seattle for a couple months while waiting for the next gig to start, we played as much as we wanted in clubs and for casuals.

a while after the whole asia thing was done (8 or so years) i eventually moved to aspen where i landed a house gig at the ritz.  a few days later i thrashed myself skiing and couldn't ski for three months... when i got back on the hill, the season was nearly over.

during my rehab there was nothing to do, so i practiced all day long, and in that three months, my solo piano chops grew and grew and didn't stop growing. it was amazing.  i learned a new tune every day, maybe two or three new tunes, then i'd play them at the gig that night.  i probably averaged 10 hours of playing a day during that time.

the point, though, is that this wasn't the first solo gig i had, but it was the first time i seriously practiced for an extended period of time, learning tunes, working stuff out.  that's when i realized that practice equals growth, and just gigging equals money to pay the bills but little else.  

i've had that mentality to this day and spend some time almost every day focused at the piano working things out that i didn't know before.  the only way i can keep going in this business is to practice the things i didn't know until they are a part of my playing, it's the only way i can rationalize playing music. if i'm not aiming for the top, what's the point?

there are a lot of pro musicians in the world, and a lot of them work all the time, but i see a lot of pro musicians gigging all the time because they are good at getting gigs, not necessarily because they are good at playing music.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
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