is anyone ever satisfied with their playing?

mikel

Platinum Member
No ones is saying they don't enjoy playing drums. I love drumming. And just like you, I can hardly wait for my next gig.

I'm also not suggesting that teachers tell their students that they suck. I agree, if a teacher told me that all the time, I'd look for another teacher. The take away from this saying is:h if you, the student, can't admit that your playing needs improvement, then I, the teacher, ave no time for you. This is an excellent policy to have, especially if you want to mold great players instead of being "a baby sitter" - to reference another thread.

Encouragement only goes so far. Music is a cut throat industry, where overconfidence is shattered easily, especially if you can't back it up with phenomenal ability. The sooner a serious student can get used to that, the better... If I had a teacher who was overly positive, I would find another teacher, much sooner than if the teacher was a hard ass who told me I sucked.

Without the unbridled ambition to be the best drummer you can, your playing will stagnate and inevitably decline; drumming is a very perishable skill. The greatest players that we idolize had this. Its was their inherent disposition to improve and their ambitious curiosity of the musical unknown that made them the players that they are.

If you are satisfied with being satisfactory, go ahead and be that, to each his own. But while you're sitting around being content, I'll be studying my craft, getting better, faster, and smarter, like many other hungry individuals.
If you did not already think your playing needed improvement surely you would not be wasting money on a teacher?
 

mikel

Platinum Member
great post Mike....really well spoken and was a pleasure to read

but again I feel there is a misunderstanding where some are mistaking not being satisfied with not having joy in what we do or are being self defeating

thats not it for me at all ...and obviously I can only speak for myself

I love what I do ... and lots of others must as well because I am constantly working

and i am never happier than I am when I sit behind the drum kit unless I am holding my 5 month old daughter

to me being satisfied with your journey means you are content and in my mind that translates to the hunger being gone

I love playing drums, I do it for hours and hours everyday and I am the happiest person in the world when I am doing it .

I love expressing my deepest emotions of that very moment with other musicians .... I actually live for it .....it has literally kept me alive ..... literally and I am forever grateful

but satisfied?....never

in my mind....and again I am speaking for myself ..... if I say to you that I am satisfied with my craft ....then I just told you that I kicked my feet up, patted myself on the back for a trek well traveled and am content with my journey arriving at it's destination.

I am happy as hell...full of joy making music.....but I hope to whatever powers that be that I am never satisfied

I live by what I have repeated multiple times in this thread

being content in ones craft is artistic suicide

now off to the gig where I am sure I will have an amazing time expressing myself .... just one more adventure on the journey
You don't get it Tony, do you?
These are not absolute facts or "The way things are" that you post. They are simply the way things are in your life and your world. My situation is not like yours, you don't know me and I don't know you. We all have our opinions and stating that It is artistic suicide not to do this, or to do that, may be true for you but not for others, and certainly not for me.

That is why I, sadly, lost it and sent that last reply to your post.I take my last reply back and apologise. Have a good Xmas.
 

Bonzobilly

Senior Member
For me the answer is yes and no. Sometimes I listen to myself and feel great. Confident that any band to have me is luckier because of it. Other times, I feel like I just suck. Like everyone else is better than me. It's ok though. The way I see it, it keeps me balanced and ready to improve while being able to sit back and also be proud of myself.
 

Polska

Member
I know I could always do things better, but I've learned not to beat myself up over it. Best quote I read was something Bruford said in "When in Doubt, roll". Something to the effect that he can look back fondly at past recordings realizing that the drummer doing the playing at that time was doing the best he could do at that time.

That's the way I think. I don't cringe when I hear live recordings, I just work on the faults. I'm proud of the few discs I've been able to record, and even though I could go back and do things different, I don't regret that they are out there.

I think one needs to always strive to do better, but not be so critical that you can't enjoy where you are at this given time. I always hate reading when artists talk about how they can't stand their previous recordings (cause you know, the new one is the best!). Well if you can't stand them, why would I buy them??

If you're never satisfied at all, perhaps it's time to move on?
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I have to say that for the greater part of my professional career I was definitely satisfied with my playing. I was working a lot, I was playing great, and life was good. Life was good because I was playing well, I had my own style that kept me working and I was playing well because I was satisfied with my playing.

My satisfaction with my playing came through, it was a part of my style, I was communicating my love for what I was doing. How could I have played so well if I wasn't satisfied with my playing?

I've watched hundreds of the greatest drummers in the world play, anyway a hell of a lot of them. Those guys looked pretty satisfied to me.

I remember, at a Neville Brothers concert I kept my eyes and ears focused all night only on Willie Green, and he's a bad m**********r. He looked real satisfied!

The drag of it is that you won't get anywhere near that level without playing all the time, playing with other musicians, all the time.

It's good to be satisfied with your playing, to be confident, to be ready, to be a competent drummer enjoying working at your trade. That's what we all were shooting for in the first place, isn't it?

It doesn't mean that you suddenly don't want to learn more, that you don't want to play better. Of course you do! That's what got you to the level you've reached now, the level where you're satisfied with your playing.

One more thing: If you're not satisfied at what you're doing then quit doing it.
 
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mikel

Platinum Member
how many times in that post did I say I was speaking strictly for myself?

how many ?

count them

again.... reading comprehension is a learned skill

seeing a pattern here?

hmmm,,, who doesn't get it again ?
I tried, I tried, but you still have to be Mr Right. OK If that makes you happy, fine. Out.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
It's good to be satisfied with your playing, to be confident, to be ready, to be a competent drummer enjoying working at your trade. That's what we all were shooting for in the first place, isn't it?

It doesn't mean that you suddenly don't want to learn more, that you don't want to play better. Of course you do! That's what got you to the level you've reached now, the level where you're satisfied with your playing.

One more thing: If you're not satisfied at what you're doing then quit doing it.
Don't ever leave this place, my friend.....nor you Mike!!

Great post Jay. You and Mike have both covered the ground that I've been searching for, but have been unable to articulate here. I see both sides of this coin and I see a hell of a lot of merit in both approaches. But the balance captured in a few recent posts at least allows us to see that there is plenty of room to adopt a little of both without fear of compromising. Hope it sheds some light, offers some balance and broader perspective for others as well.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
So I just looked up satisfaction on m-w.com and content was not a major part of the definition. However I think that the OP means being content with your playing level and not if drumming brings you enjoyment or fills a desire in your life.

What I gathered from the dictionary is that being content means you do not have a desire to improve. You a fine with where you are. Tony is correct in saying in the artists world contentment is not good. An artists world changes around him and he needs to change with it to add to his success.
 
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