Jump to content

The most accomplished musicians I know are the most humble


ChordGirl

Recommended Posts

  • Members

A little backround: As some of you may know, I bartend in a very small music venue. It's a hole in the wall place (allbeit, a very cool one!) that holds less than 50 people inside, and up to 120 on the patio. I absolutely love working at this place, because we get such a rich mix of people, many local artists and musicians among them.

 

But once in awhile, I'm just blown away when I find out someone I know is much more than they appear.

 

For example, last night, the guy I took a handful of guitar lessons from this winter had his full band there. It turns out, their drummer has a grammy. Not only did I not know that, I certainly didn't know Chris (my teacher) was playing with a grammy winner, nor did I know that Chris himself got his music degree at Berkley and his masters at Juliard. I've known him pretty well for a couple of years now through working at that bar, or so I thought. I picked him as my teacher because he is a calm, patient, knowledgeable, skilled man who I thought could handle my hard-headed learning style. :o He was even like "I'm flattered that you chose me to teach you." So then I find all of this out last night. Humble.

 

I also slowly found out I know two of Albert King's ex-bandmembers that toured with him for 2 and 3 years respectively--one I know very well. He's an absolute doll. I knew him personally for a few months and had heard him play a couple of dozen times before someone told me that he's on the SRV AK album. I've sat in with both of them, and one of them actually came to my little variety night and backed me up for a set. :)

 

 

Anyway, after last night, I have been thinking about just how blessed I am to know these guys, but I would never have even known it, because none of them ever would've casually mentioned their accomplishments to me. It's pretty inspiring as a musician for me, and almost brings me to tears. (Give me a break, I'm a chic!) :lol:

 

I just thought I'd share that, because I've been thinking about it all day, too.

 

Do any of you know musicians like this--accomplished, yet they'd be the last one to tell you so?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

one of my teachers is like that. He plays piano and is a pretty accomplished jazz musician. I take a "social history of rock and roll" class with him, and occasionally he'll throw in a "Yeah, I got to play on a few shows with B.B. King, he's a great guy" or Muddy Waters, or Johnny Winters... the list goes on. He only mentions them because we ask him to, he is surprisingly shy about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

When i left school I did a year of music business promotion at college.

 

The tutors had all been around the blocks several times.

 

You had guys there that had several worldwide hits. guys who'd toured the world, and some who still did. guys who'd written songs for Tina Turner, Madonna and just about every big other top 40 pop artist since the 80s. Guys who knew the stones and zepellin on first name terms.

 

None of them would boast about anything except this one prick no one liked.

 

His biggest claim to fame was doing his roadie for bon jovi when they rolled through town in 1992:facepalm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Very interesting topic. I've found the same thing...I've also found that it is really true with regard to technical proficiency on an instrument...all the musos I've known that were absolutely PHENOMENAL when it came to technical profieicieny (i.e. sight reading AND TRANSPOSING IN REAL TIME anything you throw at them, able to play insanely difficult pieces, were incredibly on point with theory, etc.) had no ego about it at all, in fact they usually didn't even identify themselves as musicians! It was nuts. It's so crazy cuz pretty much all of the musos I know that SHOULD be really proud of their ability aren't, and then there are quite a few hacks that have no {censored}ing clue what they are doing and really are nothing to write home about that think they're the {censored} and go out of their way to identify themselves as musicians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've noticed that most good musicians tend to be fairly pragmatic about their influences. Ask them where a song came from and they'll say something like: "well I was basically trying to do a take on (so and so artist) but then I decided to drop in a few parts inspired by (so and so genre) and of course without (favourite artist) who I'm practically ripping off anyway I wouldnt be playing music."

 

Ask a guy who doesent really know what he's doing and he'll say: "well I dont even know how to describe it, but suffice to say its TOTALLY DIFFERENT from anything you might have heard before."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've noticed that most good musicians tend to be fairly pragmatic about their influences. Ask them where a song came from and they'll say something like: "well I was basically trying to do a take on (so and so artist) but then I decided to drop in a few parts inspired by (so and so genre) and of course without (favourite artist) who I'm practically ripping off anyway I wouldnt be playing music."

 

Alex Skolnick was very much like this example when I met him in 2008. :thu:

 

Ask a guy who doesent really know what he's doing and he'll say: "well I dont even know how to describe it, but suffice to say its TOTALLY DIFFERENT from anything you might have heard before."

 

And I know at least TWO guitarists who talk EXACTLY like this (and think they are the absolute {censored}...well, they're half right anyway). :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I suspect often times humility comes from age and experience. A person who's actually had some success has probably also discovered just how tough it is to find any financial success in the music business and perhaps is just glad to be able to play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There's an open mic here I've started going to that is like this. A humble pub full of down to earth looking people. Any one of them could be serving you in the supermarket or fixing your tap washer in the day.

 

At this place, there's no end to the flow of them that just walk up on stage and blow me away with their musical skill. It's just amazing... and for the price of a beer or two you can sit there and be entertained all night. Far out!

 

GaJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I know a guy who came to my town to escape some folks that were after him. He is a shredder that has some noteriety. He has amazing technical facility. And is a complete ass. He manages to get backstage and hang out with Alter Bridge and Zakk Wild and Dream Theatre and such cuz he has a slick line of {censored} and has a small amount of success and did some touring in the 80's in Europe.

 

And he is a complete prick. Every time he gets his mug in a magazine, he comes in the store where I teach and throws the mag down and walks out. Each time he gets thrown in jail for DUI, he lies about it and says he is going for a clinic tour in Italy. He's a trust fund baby and a drug addict and alcoholic and is in his mid 40's but says he's 32 and has a mohawk. He makes no money in the music biz aside from pawning the instruments he 'endorses'. He lives off about 10 lessons a week, money from drugs, and his trust fund money. It's been 12 years since his last disc. But to hear him tell it, he has 3 discs in pre production with Mike Portonoy on drums etc....

 

He talks {censored} about folks behind their back, then backs down when confronted. He ran around town telling folks I was a racist. It blew up in his face as the folks he ran his mouth to have known me for some 15 years and know that's not who I am. He made the mistake of telling that to an african american friend of whom I was the best man at his wedding. He also didn't know that my friend married a white girl.

 

He also told folks when he got to town that he'd have me out of business in 6 months. That was 7 years ago. I have 50 students a week, he has trouble keeping 10. I do about 100-150 gigs a year and his only gigs are at a booth at Namm (I work for a manufacturer and play at a booth too, but I don't claim it as a gig)

 

And he is a fantastic player with tons of talent.

 

He's an asshole with a slick line of {censored}.

 

Man....thanks for letting me rant...that {censored}'s been on my chest for a loooong time....whew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Yawn. Yet another thread that we all need to conform, go along, get along...sorry I am a student of the EVH blow you off the stage school of music...all the weenies can exit to the left, leave your hot chicks behind...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Some great stories! Thanks for sharing...

 

 

 

Like many things in life, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.

 

I think it's probably a combination of these two things. :) Three of the aforementioned people have modest to less than modest homes and vehicles, and the 4th I don't know about. I'm sure they've all played with players that could blow even them away, too.

 

I just think it's really cool, because they could all have big heads, and in my opinion, rightly so! :lol: Yet, they're not like that at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Yawn. Yet another thread that we all need to conform, go along, get along...sorry I am a student of the EVH blow you off the stage school of music...all the weenies can exit to the left, leave your hot chicks behind...

 

I have no idea how you got that out of this thread. :idk:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

really the super good players and singers , tend to understand that bands are the sum of the parts and you can never have a band that has the constant drive to sack their weakest link and survive. Now that not to say they will tolerate hacks.. but then tend to look at things from a bigger more broad perspective. They want a situation that works rather than one that never can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

...where'd you leave yours?

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

Honestly though, I think I saw her milling around in front of the Guitar Center.

 

The sign out front said "King of the Blues audition TONIGHT" or some such thing.

 

She seemed pretty dis-interested in all that as she bummed a smoke off of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

:p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The amazing musicians and songwriters that I've met certainly fall in line with the OP's description. In addition, they were all huge music FANS. They would talk passionately about their influences and were aware of what was new that was worthwhile.

 

I'm sure that the jerks are around, too. But, talent without personal skills is a poor combination in an endeavor that's all about working with and reaching people.

 

js

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Yawn. Yet another thread that we all need to conform, go along, get along...sorry I am a student of the EVH blow you off the stage school of music...all the weenies can exit to the left, leave your hot chicks behind...

 

 

It's funny how people live in bygone eras.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

lol....well I wish I was playing guitar in the '80s...let's recap..

 

- Guys still liked girls

- Musicians actualy could play...

- The music rocked, and guitar solos were cool.

 

So what happened? Oh, yeah....everyone turned into walking talking vaginas...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...