When I was younger I used to "roadie" for a bunch of local musicians who were busy on the wedding and corporate party circuit. While I was overworked and underpaid I did get a bit of an education. One of the things that I learned was that sometimes a good song was made great by an inspired performance. And while the players that I worked with were all phenomenal musicians, the sublime performances were rare and special.
Fast forward to my own performance Sunday at our twice yearly "recital"... To date, each time I played in front of the students and other family of my music school I have played something new. Typically built on a musical idea from the very week of the performance. This time, I decided to repeat. Of course, I very much wanted this performance to be better than the first one.
Instead, I got what what retired CBC hockey commentator called "cranial vapour lock." Early in the performance, I had trouble "seeing" the scale shapes that I was soloing from. At one point, after flubbing a transition, I even couldn't remember which buttons on the looper pedal to stomp. I don't think the performance was a disaster but because of the brain freeze, the bad has been maginified to biblical disaster proportion and the good? Was there any?
Explaining this to my friend Sean, consumate professional musician that he is just smiled and said, "just like golf."
I would end on that but for those that don't play golf, the lesson is this. Golf can be a fun game even if you lack skill right up to the point that you start really trying. Then it can quickly become maddening. In short, just relax.
And so I take a breath and wait for the damning evidence to appear on youtube.