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  #1  
Old 07-27-2010, 04:57 PM
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Lloonnee2 Lloonnee2 is offline
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Default Dealing with inferiority complex...

I'm not sure if its called an inferiority complex, but sometimes I just look at great drummers (Senri Kawaguchi in particular) and stare at them in awe, while wondering to myself "Why am I not as good them? These people have exceptional skills in drumming, and they're way, way better than me." Then I'll look at where I currently am and get a bit down, since I get the feeling that I wasted the years in which I could've picked up drumming on stuff like gaming, and that if I had picked up drumming earlier, I would be at their level, or have at least a semblence of that skill which they exhibit.
Somehow watching when watching other people play, the nagging feeling of regret comes back to me. It could be envy, jealously, admiration, or just having an inferiority complex. Just wondering, does anyone else have these sort of thoughts from time to time, and if you do, how do you get out of it?
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

All I can say is, is that you made your choices. How you deal with those choices is totally up to you.

You can regret having 'wasted the time', which I think, wastes more time, or, you could pull yourself up and do something about it.

If you're working on drumming and you like it, then you should continue to do so. Obviously, the players you admire took a different path than you did and there's no guarantee that had you started at the same time that you would be just as good. Working on an art form to hopefully some form of mastery is NOT a race. Everyone finds out they get there at their own pace. And besides, even if you did get really good, getting there only helps the realization that there's so much more out there to learn, so it really is a non-stop journey.

Don't give up, keep plugging away at it. At least you realize that you did waste a bit of time, but are you going to make up for the lost time or just stop?
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:18 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Drumming is not a competition, it's an art form. Nobody is going to ever go to anyone's house with a huge trophy engraved "Best Drummer". The magazine opinion polls are laughable. And you have no way of knowing if this guy Senri started playing just as soon as his feet could reach the pedals.

Lighten up! Why did you start playing drums - to have fun and express yourself, or to win a nonexistent, undeclared contest?

If you get down on yourself every time you encounter a drummer who's "better" than you, well, there won't be much time left to have fun playing drums.

When I encounter someone who KNOWS more than I do, or is DOING something I've never seen, I get excited. I try to learn what it is they do. I go sit down with them for a bit. Or I take a lesson and ask the teacher, "dude was playing what sounded like this with his left hand on the hi-hat while his right hand was..." ... and I grow!

People start drumming at various points in their life. I started when I was 14 after dalliances with other instruments. To be sure, when I started out, I was far behind those who had started a couple of years before I did. And I thought, "Man, I wasted some time not getting started earlier."

Then I was luck enough to catch the great Louie Bellson on the Tonight Show. At this point Louie was in his late 60s and had been playing for most of that time. And for a guy in his late 60s, he tore it up. He was amazing, and my jaw dropped.

Was I thinking, "Man, he's so much better than me, he started earlier, I wasted all that time I didn't drum since I was the age of three?" No!

What I thought was, "Man, if I keep at this for fifty years, that's what I'll sound like, having PLAYED for fifty years."

I'm halfway there and pretty pleased with the progress so far.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Everyone gets that from time to time (well, I would assume they do, anyway), even the drummers you admire most. I'm willing to bet that even guys Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers and Virgil Donati probably look at other drummers and think "I wish I could do that".

I can either sit down and regret not spending every waking minute sitting behind my drums when I was younger, or I can enjoy playing and spend my time wisely now. I know which choice will get me further. Basically, regretting past choices will get you nowhere except bring you down. I've long since realised that although I think I have a fair degree of musical talent, I don't have the drive or discipline to spend hours every day practicing my chops. Maybe it's a genetic thing, or maybe I'm just a lazy bastard. Regardless, I choose to try to change what I can, and use the rest of my time living my life and enjoying myself and my hobby. I have a band that plays music that I enjoy playing, and we're just about to release an album and head out to do some gigging. Even as an average rock n'roll meathead drummer, I've taken music much further than I thought I'd ever be able to, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride.

Did that make any sense? Probably not. I think I was basically trying to say that regrets will get you nowhere. Look at and listen to your favourite players and use them as inspiration instead of letting regrets and a sense of inferiority drag you down. You'll be happier for it, and chances are you'll be a better musician for it too.

Last edited by Naigewron; 07-27-2010 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

About ten minutes ago I cracked a co-ordination problem I've had for eight years.

Don't worry - practice right and you will get better!
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

WADR, if you want a bleeding heart answer, you won't get one from me. Good for you that you realized you aren't happy with your past choices. Past is gone. Start doing what you think you should have been doing today and don't squander your precious time lamenting the past, instead use your past mistakes as a guideline on what not to do today, to improve your present frame of mind. You are thinking toxically. Stop it!

You can only compare yourself to yourself. Really. Forget other drummers skill level, they're just a source of frustration for you anyway. Get to work on yourself, shed your past and don't look back. There's plenty of time.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Embrace it....look at what they are doing and try to apply any cool ideas to your own playing. Beg, borrow, steal.......in short, learn from them. Adapt the elements you like and make 'em your own. Watching people who do things we can't is how we progress. See it as inspiration rather than competition.

All you can do is keep playing and get better.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Drumming is not a competition, it's an art form. Nobody is going to ever go to anyone's house with a huge trophy engraved "Best Drummer". The magazine opinion polls are laughable. And you have no way of knowing if this guy Senri started playing just as soon as his feet could reach the pedals.

Lighten up! Why did you start playing drums - to have fun and express yourself, or to win a nonexistent, undeclared contest?

If you get down on yourself every time you encounter a drummer who's "better" than you, well, there won't be much time left to have fun playing drums.

When I encounter someone who KNOWS more than I do, or is DOING something I've never seen, I get excited. I try to learn what it is they do. I go sit down with them for a bit. Or I take a lesson and ask the teacher, "dude was playing what sounded like this with his left hand on the hi-hat while his right hand was..." ... and I grow!

People start drumming at various points in their life. I started when I was 14 after dalliances with other instruments. To be sure, when I started out, I was far behind those who had started a couple of years before I did. And I thought, "Man, I wasted some time not getting started earlier."

Then I was luck enough to catch the great Louie Bellson on the Tonight Show. At this point Louie was in his late 60s and had been playing for most of that time. And for a guy in his late 60s, he tore it up. He was amazing, and my jaw dropped.

Was I thinking, "Man, he's so much better than me, he started earlier, I wasted all that time I didn't drum since I was the age of three?" No!

What I thought was, "Man, if I keep at this for fifty years, that's what I'll sound like, having PLAYED for fifty years."

I'm halfway there and pretty pleased with the progress so far.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Drumming is not a competition, it's an art form. Nobody is going to ever go to anyone's house with a huge trophy engraved "Best Drummer". The magazine opinion polls are laughable. And you have no way of knowing if this guy Senri started playing just as soon as his feet could reach the pedals.

Lighten up! Why did you start playing drums - to have fun and express yourself, or to win a nonexistent, undeclared contest?

If you get down on yourself every time you encounter a drummer who's "better" than you, well, there won't be much time left to have fun playing drums.

.
Well said.

Yes, many of us have these moments. I've been playing for 20+ years, have lots of experience and education behind me, and I still feel like a beginner half the time.

But drums are about the art and the music, not who has the best chops.

Look at how many songs on the radio, or how many drummers have had successful careers playing more basic parts. Even some of the most technically advanced drummers make their bread and butter playing 2 and 4.

Embrace what you can do and never stop learning. No one drummer knows it all.

And if you want a laugh, read/watch some interviews from top guys. Terry Bozzio is very humble, and doesn't consider himself all that good. Neil Peart loathes his own performances 1/2 the time, and Mike Portnoy is always talking about how other drummers can do things he can't. And the list goes on.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Like jojo mayer said: It's not a competition for chops, but musical ideas.
Everyone can get good chops with practice. What separates you from other drummers is what you're saying with your instrument. Be it simple or advanced.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2010, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

When people are feeling self-conscious I usually just tell them to "grow a pair."
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2010, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

You've deviated way off course when you go down this path of thought. I've found - still do - there's usually something else at the root of these feelings. You may feel the same way about other things, no?

The first and best thing to do is hang with another drummer, be it a teacher or just another guy who plays. Preferably someone more experienced (and advanced) and go over this and get it out of your system.

When I walked into PIT many years ago to begin my studies (the old building on Hollywood Blvd.), I remember it like a bad dream: As I walked up that steep flight of stairs to the iron gate, I could hear a guy in a lab down the hall absolutely killing it. I felt like having a panic attack right then and there. But I said, "No, I didn't travel all the way here to be a wimp; I came here to play like that!"

And it wasn't easy, trust me. I was used to kudos from all the guys I played with back home on the bar circuit; I got to L.A. and realized all of that was nonsense. What helps is that most guys who are where you want to get now know what you're feeling and know the cure: play, play, and then play some more.

It's a mind game; it's your mind. Do with it what you will but play through it if it's about making music and not something else. You may find playing isn't your thing. I know plenty of guys who walked away from it and were very talented, but they simply lost the passion. Make sure you still have that first, or you really are wasting your time aspiring to a level you'll never reach without it. It's cool to play recreationally too. Figure out which way you want to go first. It may take time, but you'll know at some point whether you're really in it for the music or something else if you pay attention; the feelings of inferiority will vanish when you do.

All the best to you!
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:37 AM
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Lloonnee2 Lloonnee2 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Thanks for the replies, I guess I should make better use of my time practicing from now on. instead of mopping around ._.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloonnee2 View Post
Thanks for the replies, I guess I should make better use of my time practicing from now on. instead of mopping around ._.
Don't think too much! Play :)
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

hereīs another thought that helped a buddy of mine:

he always compared himself to other guitarists and songwriters - negatively, mind you.

he was comparing himself to 10 or 12 of the top pros out there and sighing ĻI just donīt know how he did this or how she did that !!!Ļ

well, i explained to him...that stuff is personal...thatś THEIR groove.

Mike Oldfield couldnīt NOT think in 19/6 : P or whatever. thatś how heś made.

of course you canīt write lyrics like Joni Mitchell...thatś her groove. sheś made that way...thatś just how it comes out. sure, they refined it, of course... but i doubt that even they would say that they have Perfected their grooves.

by the same token, they (most likely) canīt play like each other either. they certainly donīt sound like each other.

in fact...neither of them could sound like YOU even if they tried their hardest. thatś YOUR groove that God gave to you and no one else could do it better than you.

just DO YOU !!!

he said it changed his life.

i remember a Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) article where he said he just could not figure out how Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) counted his songs. ĻEvery time i count it, i get 13/12 and a half/ i donīt get it ???!!!Ļ, he said.

and so it goes.

of course you should continue to work on covers and styles other than your own, but never think you can out-them them or even match them at their own game.

just do you.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Check out this angle. All (or most all) of these drummers replying to your question (including me) are of different styles and skill level, but none of them are putting you down because of the way you feel. The truth is that most of us drummers like and respect other drummers that are just solid drummers in their own right,and even ones that are just happily giving it a solid effort.
I myself am a semi progressive Rock drummer. There are alot of drummers that are more advanced and technical than me but there are also some drummers that play alot simpler than me that I totally dig and respect.
Try asking yourself if when you hear drummers that might not be as advanced as you, do you look down on them or do you respect them and have a good opinion of them.
How you feel is probably the same as most of us drummers feel so keep it up and like some others said on this thread, just be you and find your own style while still learning what you can from other players.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
Like jojo mayer said: It's not a competition for chops, but musical ideas.
Everyone can get good chops with practice. What separates you from other drummers is what you're saying with your instrument. Be it simple or advanced.
I think you mean "Musical idee-ers."

But seriously, Jojo's philosophies on drumming are so spot on. Whenever I feel down on my self the way OP is describing I remember these simple concepts and it helps me focus on the now and inspires me to try and create new things.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

I've always seen drumming as a never ending learning experience that could never be mastered. A challenge of the highest sort. A challenge that couldn't be trivialized in a week or a month or a year. An avenue of life that never ends and always had something new and exciting to explore.

It is still this way, though my technical prowess has blossomed into full capability. In 20 years, I've been able to train my muscles to whip out virtually any combination of notes over my four limbs, essentially being able to play any pattern at almost any tempo. In short, I can play just about anything playable. Still, despite being able to play pretty much anything conceivable, I feel like I am at the beginning of the road because this 20 years I've spent learning has mostly been in the physical aspects of drumming.

The artistic, self expression part of drumming is revealed when one can remove the mechanical 'chops' part from the equation. Now it comes down to conscientious choices in what I will play, and how I make it feel. Emblazoning my playing with my personality. Since we are all growing on a personal level at all times in our life, this artistic, self expression can never truly be mastered and that will ALWAYS give us something to work on.

Don't be discouraged by hearing another musician who seems to have chops greater than you. There is no human being on this earth more important than you, and you have something that no other person can have. You.

Be confident, always.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloonnee2 View Post
I'm not sure if its called an inferiority complex, but sometimes I just look at great drummers (Senri Kawaguchi in particular) and stare at them in awe, while wondering to myself "Why am I not as good them? These people have exceptional skills in drumming, and they're way, way better than me.
If someone has "exceptional skills" it means that they are not only more skilled than you, but the vast majority. You're not Robinson Crusoe there. Otherwise, they wouldn't be exceptional, would they?

Give credit where credit's due and enjoy what they have to offer ... and enjoy what you do too.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

play drums because they're fun to play, because you love everything about them. that's it. if you don't, sell the kit and get something you do love to do.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with inferiority complex...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8s View Post

The artistic, self expression part of drumming is revealed when one can remove the mechanical 'chops' part from the equation. Now it comes down to conscientious choices in what I will play, and how I make it feel. Emblazoning my playing with my personality. Since we are all growing on a personal level at all times in our life, this artistic, self expression can never truly be mastered and that will ALWAYS give us something to work on.
I like this part....
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