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Do Some Musicians Seem Delusional To You?


ggm1960

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On 6/15/2019 at 5:05 PM, daddymack said:

Please, no, lead singers, at least, lead singers who do not play an instrument, should be hired only if none of the instrumentalists can sing...and then only if they have their own PA system.

IMHO, of course...and based on decades of experience. The only exception: a beautiful woman with a voice like an angel who actually studied music would be acceptable...

and she must own a van...

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On 7/24/2019 at 3:43 PM, Notes_Norton said:

Fantasy is reality when you are in the entertainment business, Voltan ;)

 

In fact, to escape from fantasy, we read non-fiction books.

 

Notes

our animal sanctuary and rescue pretty much keeps me grounded in reality...  that and focusing on getting my wife out of her wheelchair, since the accident. 

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On 3/5/2019 at 8:21 AM, Kramerguy said:

I'm pretty sure that when a bunch of guys sat around and decided that they were going to form an 80's glam metal band and to make it obnoxious and offensive, that everyone rolled their eyes at them too.

 

And now we have Steel Panther :)

I joined a band in 1986, that I ironically, replaced Satchel ( I'm not going to post his real name).

The band wanted a Malmsteen / Vai type of guitarist. We mostly gigged big backyard / keggar parties. The bass player was a huge egomaniac / crybaby. He had some many Illusions of being an MTV musical super star. If we would take a break, he would assume this super star persona, so bad, it was like pouring sap on our heads. His jealousy was appalling, he would complain, " The singers getting too many Chicks" and " Your getting most of the praise for your guitar playing". We were gearing up to do a U.S.O. tour for Europe, Asia and who knows maybe some shows for pinguins in Antarctica .... He sabbotaged the band before we were set to hit the road.

Years later, I caught up with the guy, still playing bass but playing old 60's RnB, Oldies and Tex Mex music. All he talks about is how he's going to be a star . All he talked about was man we should have done the U.S.O. thing, how he regretted ruining that band and that he wanted to reform that band .... Patheticly, the guy is 50 and still living with his Dad and Mom. Some folks .... Never learn or grow up , still a 17 year old kid inside.

Edited by AJ6stringsting
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On 8/23/2019 at 2:05 PM, Notes_Norton said:

I didn't know about your wife's accident. I do hope she heals quickly and completely.

Notes

Thank you, I’m afraid neither of those are in the cards... but then she’s walking without crutches up to 15 minutes at a stretch and she was told she would never walk again...   

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My son (a drummer) played for several years (throughout high school and early college) with a "Clown Band".....yes, a band that wore clown outfits...  When my son was playing with them I asked the founder of the group (who was 84 at the time...6 years ago...) how the band started.

He told me that a fellow drummer approached him in 1975 saying that he had an idea to start a clown band...  "I told him that he was cuckoo" when he asked me that....but I went along with the idea as he needed a partner.

They recruited area public school music teachers (that still played their instruments) and put together a childrens' stage show of about 20 minutes in length (music, juggling, jokes, skits...rather entertaining/fast paced).

They performed everywhere; daily, at regional fairs, festivals, (sometimes 5 sets per day at 7 day festivals).  They were popular.

In about 2000 the band started to play primarily in parades.  My son (as a high school kid) was getting $70.00 per one-hour parade when he joined.   They were doing about 35 performances a year at that point.  It was an excellent job for a high school kid: excellent $ for playing drums...

The one surviving leader of the band retired the group 4 years ago......

 

What started out as  a crazy idea worked out...  you never know.....

 

 

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As a performer/music teacher (retired public school/currently at the local university) I have seen many delusional views of talent....both by performer(?) and parents/family of which.

It seems that many local singers/players are only marginally talented at best.  Just because someone can comp a basic 3 (or 4 if your lucky) chord progression on Guitar (in E or A usually) and sing an octave semi-in tune they consider themselves to be artists/musicians....nothing can be further than the truth.

When I am not gigging I go out in my area to support the local music scene (coffee shops, etc.) but I am usually disappointed by the talent (or lack there of) of the performers.  Most of them are truly "into" what they do and believe that their efforts are music voodoo....

Yes, "you gotta start somewhere" but what I hear is "minimal talent" performances most of the time.  

Musicians in my area are always commenting that the bar-gig scene doesn't pay nearly as well as it did back in the day (80's)...  It's because bars (in my area) are bombarded with so-called single musicians that come loaded with tracks, etc. (technology is inexpensive these days...thus anyone can afford it) and will play for free/cheap...   Many of which think that they are truly talented but the truth is: if you remove their friends/family from the audience you will see who is really there to see the "talent".

 

Some people are delusional as they think that they are musicians.

(pardon my pre-coffee morning rant)

 

   

 

 

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I think part of what we are seeing now is the 'participation trophy' mentality extending into the arts....we have lowered the bar on actual performance standards...youtube demonstrates this daily. Anyone can be a potential star by posting any ridiculous thing they can catch on their mobile device.  There are no gatekeepers anymore...everyone is star in their own mind.

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"mentally extending into the arts" is true....

 

My wife watches those singing shows (Voice, etc.) all the time and when the show does interviews with some of the contestants and they say "for me, as an artist....".  Hmmmm, in most cases the person being interviewed is  just a singer, period; singing someone else's song with a band/or backing track.   Adding a few groans, changing a couple of notes, closing the eyes (as if in pain) while singing a longer note - does not make him/her an artist (at least a musical artist).  There is another kind of artist that comes to mind..........

 

wow - I'm on a roll today!!!

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Artist schmartist. I'm an entertainer.

I'm a damn good sax player, wind synth player, and backing track maker. I'm a decent singer and an adequate but limited guitar player. I also play bass, drums, and keyboards. The composing I do is improvisations on sax, guitar and wind synth and I'm very good at that. But of course, there are others much better than myself, and others not as good. That's life.

I'm in a duo that has worked steadily since 1985. Before that many other bands. At one time I was in a band that was the opening act for headliners when their hits were top 10 on Billboard. I was in a house band that hosted jam sessions where heavyweights, real jazz stars, used to come to sit in (the guitarist taught jazz at the University of Miami and was in Ira Sullivan's band for a while).

I play rock, disco, jazz, country, blues, Musica Latina, Afro-Cuban, and many other styles. I've even played in classical bands and won "best" sax player in the state when I was in school. I'm not a rock musician. I'm not a jazz musician. I'm not a reggae musician. I'm not a country musician. I'm just a musician. I'll play whatever people want to hear and in whatever style they want (with the exception of rap and EDM, I don't think I could pull that off)

Artist???? I don't think so. If others think so, that's ok. I'm just a damn good entertainer, making a living doing music and nothing but music, playing whatever puts food on the table, having fun playing it, and doing it to the best of my ability.

I'm having a great life because playing music is better than any day job I can think of. I just have fun, entertain the folks, and bring home the bacon. To make things better, my wife, best friend, and lover is my duo-mate. We met when we were in different bands and when our bands both broke up, we decided to join forces. It's a match made in heaven.

I don't know what it takes to be an artist, and I know that term is sometimes abused for commercial purposes, and whether it's Taylor Swift or Buddy Guy or me, we aren't artists, we're just singing musicians, and some of us have better gigs than others.

When I was opening for major stars, most of them were pretty down to earth regular musicians. A few had the big ego, they forgot they were just musicians and singers and thought they were on that pedestal that the public can put you on.

Right now in our area, nobody wants to pay musicians so the quality goes down. That's good and bad for us. Good in that we are desired more because we are better, bad because they undercut us so badly we can't charge what we want and haven't increased our rates in a long time.

There are open mic nights around here, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sometimes Tuesday too. What kind of quality can you expect there? It's variable, some are good, most are poor, some are terrible, but don't expect art there either.

It's really easy. Practice your craft, be professional, play what the audience in front of you wants to hear, entertain them, do a good job, have fun, and don't worry about art. Life is short. Have fun.

Some write run of the mill rock, jazz, folk, or country songs. Art? Not as far as I'm concerned. Some can be very, very good and well crafted, but not a thousandth of what goes into a great symphony. To me it's craft, perhaps fine craft, but craft non the less.

You want real art in music? It's there, by the likes of Shostakovitch, Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Suk, Mozart, Saint-Seans, Prokofiev, Grieg, Smetana, Janacek, Borodin, de Falla, and some of their modern contemporaries. Where to draw the line under that to separate art from craft and eventually from kitsch? I don't worry about that, I just play music. And I remember they call it PLAYing music for a reason.

Insights, incites and perhaps a minor rant by Notes

 

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On 11/2/2019 at 6:54 AM, Mike M said:

It seems that many local singers/players are only marginally talented at best.  Just because someone can comp a basic 3 (or 4 if your lucky) chord progression on Guitar (in E or A usually) and sing an octave semi-in tune they consider themselves to be artists/musicians....nothing can be further than the truth.

Some people are delusional as they think that they are musicians.

 

   

 

 

There is a lot of that going on around here also. There are so many guitar noodlers you'd think it was 1983, so many seem to act as if they're trying to be the next Jimi Hendrix or SRV. Now, I'm not opposed to noodling the guitar, I've been doing it since my teens myself, but it just wears me out to watch it endlessly and amazes me that it still seems to be a big deal among "musicians" even when it seems the general public is not all that interested in it.

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On 11/4/2019 at 6:09 PM, Notes_Norton said:

Artist schmartist. I'm an entertainer.

I'm a damn good sax player, wind synth player, and backing track maker. I'm a decent singer and an adequate but limited guitar player. I also play bass, drums, and keyboards. The composing I do is improvisations on sax, guitar and wind synth and I'm very good at that. But of course, there are others much better than myself, and others not as good. That's life.

I'm in a duo that has worked steadily since 1985. Before that many other bands. At one time I was in a band that was the opening act for headliners when their hits were top 10 on Billboard. I was in a house band that hosted jam sessions where heavyweights, real jazz stars, used to come to sit in (the guitarist taught jazz at the University of Miami and was in Ira Sullivan's band for a while).

I play rock, disco, jazz, country, blues, Musica Latina, Afro-Cuban, and many other styles. I've even played in classical bands and won "best" sax player in the state when I was in school. I'm not a rock musician. I'm not a jazz musician. I'm not a reggae musician. I'm not a country musician. I'm just a musician. I'll play whatever people want to hear and in whatever style they want (with the exception of rap and EDM, I don't think I could pull that off)

Artist???? I don't think so. If others think so, that's ok. I'm just a damn good entertainer, making a living doing music and nothing but music, playing whatever puts food on the table, having fun playing it, and doing it to the best of my ability.

I'm having a great life because playing music is better than any day job I can think of. I just have fun, entertain the folks, and bring home the bacon. To make things better, my wife, best friend, and lover is my duo-mate. We met when we were in different bands and when our bands both broke up, we decided to join forces. It's a match made in heaven.

I don't know what it takes to be an artist, and I know that term is sometimes abused for commercial purposes, and whether it's Taylor Swift or Buddy Guy or me, we aren't artists, we're just singing musicians, and some of us have better gigs than others.

When I was opening for major stars, most of them were pretty down to earth regular musicians. A few had the big ego, they forgot they were just musicians and singers and thought they were on that pedestal that the public can put you on.

Right now in our area, nobody wants to pay musicians so the quality goes down. That's good and bad for us. Good in that we are desired more because we are better, bad because they undercut us so badly we can't charge what we want and haven't increased our rates in a long time.

There are open mic nights around here, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sometimes Tuesday too. What kind of quality can you expect there? It's variable, some are good, most are poor, some are terrible, but don't expect art there either.

It's really easy. Practice your craft, be professional, play what the audience in front of you wants to hear, entertain them, do a good job, have fun, and don't worry about art. Life is short. Have fun.

Some write run of the mill rock, jazz, folk, or country songs. Art? Not as far as I'm concerned. Some can be very, very good and well crafted, but not a thousandth of what goes into a great symphony. To me it's craft, perhaps fine craft, but craft non the less.

You want real art in music? It's there, by the likes of Shostakovitch, Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Suk, Mozart, Saint-Seans, Prokofiev, Grieg, Smetana, Janacek, Borodin, de Falla, and some of their modern contemporaries. Where to draw the line under that to separate art from craft and eventually from kitsch? I don't worry about that, I just play music. And I remember they call it PLAYing music for a reason.

Insights, incites and perhaps a minor rant by Notes

 

That's a loaded post.  Not sure really if it's that simple. There is tons of art in other music.

Edited by Outkaster
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On 11/12/2019 at 2:27 PM, Outkaster said:

That's a loaded post.  Not sure really if it's that simple. There is tons of art in other music.

Depends on your definition of art vs craft.

I have a very high definition of art, perhaps too high. There are some great pop songs in many genres out there and I enjoy many different types of music from 3 chord blues to symphonies and a lot of genres in between. But when compared to what some composers do with great symphonies, the gap is way too large.

Example:

I played Dvorak's 9th symphony in school. I love the piece, owned 3 different copies of it (wore out an LP), bought a CD, heard a better version on the radio and bought it. I've heard it live a half dozen or more times, the best version being from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. After hearing it thousands of times I can still hear something new.

A couple of years ago I was listening, and in the fourth movement Dvorak took half a main theme from the fourth movement, spliced half a main theme from the second movement on it to make a new melody. He took the part of a theme from the first movement, made a bass line out of it and a snipped of a main theme from the third movement as accompaniment. And it sounds so natural that after hearing the symphony hundreds of times and being able to sing along with that part, I never actually realized what he did.

Now IMHO that takes great art and even the great cuts from The Moody Blues, King Crimson, ELP, ELO, Yes, Beatles, and others can't come close to that level of art. I may love the music, think it is artistically crafted, the playing is phenomenal, and everything else can be superb. But to me it's still craft. It can't compare to what Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, DeFalla, Saint-Seans, Prokofiev, Amirov, Shostakovitch, Mahler, Janacek, and so many others created.

I play sax, flute, wind synth, guitar, bass, drums, keys, and vocals and have had the good luck to have played with or warmed the stage up for some of the biggest rock artists in the history of the genre and a few top jazz men too. When I think of those symphonies, calling myself an artist just seems like I'm inflating my ego. I'm a damn good musician.

Like I said, perhaps my standards are too high, and I am not the supreme arbiter of art and taste so feel free to disagree.

Insights and incites by Notes

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1 hour ago, Outkaster said:

I kind of disagree.  I have opened for a lot of people also.  More people will know Bob Marley around the world than Dvorak hands down because of accessibility and what Bob did politically though music.

Popularity and are are not mutually inclusive.

McDonalds is the most popular restaurant in the US - does that make it's cuisine fine art?

One in twenty American homes owns a Thomas Kinkade painting or print - but you won't find him hanging in any fine art gallery hanging next to a Rembrandt, Singer-Sargent, Dali, or any of the others.

I don't think either McDonalds or KinKade could be considered fine art. They are perhaps the most popular in their field.

There's art, craft, and kitsch. I think what we pop music folks do is more fine craft than either art or kitsch. It's somewhere in the middle.

To equate what we pop and jazz players/composers do to what composers of great symphonies do sounds a bit pretentious to me.

I'm a damn good sax and wind synth player, a decent singer, bass player and drummer, an adequate guitar and flute player, and a hack keyboard player. Every year I was in school I sat first char all-state which is rare for a tenor player, it goes to an alto by default. I write excellent aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box judging by the comments and repeat business I get. I practice my craft and was given a gift of talent (Thanks Dad!). Do I consider myself an artist? Nope. I'm just a pop musician lucky enough to make a living on my own terms doing music and nothing but music.

You may disagree as there is no definitive answer.

Notes

 

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Revisiting this (rather long) thread:

I live one hour south of Boston in which there are several music schools; Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory).  These schools are producing some great musicians.  At any given time there are 1,000 bands in the Boston area, most of which are trying to find a niche.

I totally support someone's "vision" as to what they are trying to create (gotta give them credit for trying), however, some visions are a bit far-fetched but why not(?) I say.

Back in the late 80's/early 90's I was playing in the horn section of a local blues/reggae/ska band.  At one point we had a sax player from Boston play with us.  I remember sitting with him during breaks discussing harmony / patterns, etc.  He had chops.

He told me that he was in an experimental trio that plays a grunge/blues/funk merge using a two-string slide bass, baritone sax, and drummer.......  A couple of months later he disappeared (stopped playing with us).

Two years later I am watching Conan O'Brien one night and the featured band was a band from Boston: Morphine  There's Dana (the sax player!) playing with-that-experimental-trio on Conan O'Brien!!!!

Morphine went on to play the Rome/London/NYC/LA circuit for a few years until the bass player / singer OD'ed on a gig...

Creativity starts with a vision....  What some may have thought as a silly concept worked for them.

The caveat for that band was that the drummer/sax player were excellent musicians, the bass player / lead singer made a niche for himself.

 

 

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I think the whole problem lies in self-identification. If you consider yourself a bad musician, then it will be so. As for others, it's simple - they just do whatever they want as long as they don't violate your personal boundaries. This is a big philosophical question about who I am and who others see me as. We studied this in college and it was quite interesting. I even remember an assignment for which I used the examples given here: https://samploon.com/free-essays/who-am-i/ just to get inspired and get more information about the problem. Musicians are creators. I played in a band with my guys in college and we really liked what we were doing, although there were different reviews. Both positive and negative. From that moment I remembered the lesson forever - you are what you want to be. Waiting for others is inappropriate and pointless in my opinion. 

 

Edited by Kyle_Birney
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On 10/28/2022 at 9:30 AM, Kyle_Birney said:

I think the whole problem lies in self-identification. If you consider yourself a bad musician, then it will be so. As for others, it's simple - they just do whatever they want as long as they don't violate your personal boundaries. 

except plenty of terrible musicians are self-deluded as to their competency....and lots of great musicians are overly humble.

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