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  #1  
Old 05-24-2010, 04:12 PM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Musicians' egos

Larry's Band Drama thread got me thinking about musicans' egos. Obviously not all, but I always find the idea of being full of yourself because you play an instrument well kind of weird.

We've all met them. You'd think they'd discovered a cure for cancer but all they do is make music - and it's not as if there aren't usually heaps of better players out there. Get to the top - players like Steve Gadd and Vinnie - and they seem so down to earth.

What's it all about??
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2010, 05:10 PM
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Tommy Two-Shoes Tommy Two-Shoes is offline
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

a lot of the big headed musicians I've met tend to be the types who play at home in their bedrooms, can play their parts very well, but never have a successful band. I don't really get it. I think everyone definitely has a level of ego in their playing, I think it's healthy to know and be able to tell people what you can do (and, just as importantly, what you can't)

Generally though, the musician big egos I've met tend to not have had much experience playing with other musicians. I think doing that enough times really brings people down a notch.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

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Originally Posted by Tommy Two-Shoes View Post
a lot of the big headed musicians I've met tend to be the types who play at home in their bedrooms, can play their parts very well, but never have a successful band. I don't really get it. I think everyone definitely has a level of ego in their playing, I think it's healthy to know and be able to tell people what you can do (and, just as importantly, what you can't)

Generally though, the musician big egos I've met tend to not have had much experience playing with other musicians. I think doing that enough times really brings people down a notch.
I've noticed the same thing. It kind of makes sense; of course you're going to think you're pretty great, if you've never left your bedroom and played with anybody better than you. Usually these are the kids who spend hours and hours learning Dream Theater songs note-for-note to post on YouTube, but if you ask them to improvise a 12-bar blues they are suddenly at a loss for what to play. They haven't yet learned the distinction between playing your instrument, and playing music.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

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Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
Usually these are the kids who spend hours and hours learning Dream Theater songs note-for-note to post on YouTube, but if you ask them to improvise a 12-bar blues they are suddenly at a loss for what to play. They haven't yet learned the distinction between playing your instrument, and playing music.
Superb post----------------
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2010, 06:10 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

..

Dont know, Pol.. egos arent always about arrogance.

They can be defense mechanisms, protective shields, masks to cover up low self esteem etc.. but what do I know, I'm just a humble guy who plays great drums.

...
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:49 PM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

I remember being young that when it came to sports I was "all neighborhood." The further in school I went, more "all neighborhood" guys showed up and the pecking order was rearranged. Then I got to college and even sat on the bench some of the time. How dare they?

And now musicians. An acquaince of mine decided he was "all neighborhood" on the guitar so he moved to Hollywood to become a big star. There were guys much better than him playing on the street corner. He was home as soon as his apartment lease was up.

A lot of musicians are great until they leave the "neighborhood" and see the world and get carved up a wee bit. They may be the best in their band, the local band scene, or of all the players they know. But once they meet some real competition they chill a little. Like Larry's guitar player who had some of the wind taken out of his sails by the sax player.
Fragile ego, connected to low esteem, connected to immature attitude. Happens all of the time.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
They can be defense mechanisms, protective shields, masks to cover up low self esteem etc
That certainly explains why the more successful drummers (or actors, artists, etc.) tend to not have an overblown ego: they're secure with their success. But that doesn't necessarily preclude someone from being unpleasant or hard to get along with, and there are musicians, actors etc. who have poor reputations. But it's not an ego thing, it's just their personality, and would exist whether they had artistic success or not.

There are exceptions of course, and defending bad decisions by saying success went to their head is a favorite excuse. But those types are far outweighed by more modest, grounded, 'nice' folks.

Typically, those who deserve an ego are the least likely to have one. And all to often, the opposite is also true.

Bermuda
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

To me it feels like this: As a beginner or intermediate-beginner one starts to realize the things one has learned, and is proud of it. You begin to hear certain things others play, get them, and that makes you feel good.
The better one gets - the deeper one begins to understand the instrument, the history of it, what's already be done with it - the more one realizes how small one is. "I know that I know nothing." That makes you humble.

While I agree with the above posts, I think there's one more point:
As a drummer you spend hours and weeks and years to develop your abilities. You practice your a** off, rehearse, gig, transcribe, play .... , so your sensitivity, your ear, your mechanical abilities, your speed reaction etc etc grow. Depending on the own character and esteem I think some guys can develop quite a high-profile picture of themselves because of the above reasons. Hope you get what I'm trying to write...
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:15 PM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

It is simple as this: The ego is not master in its own house. - Sigmund Freud
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

Working in drum shops we had an observation:

The Pros came in, asked for what they wanted, chit chatted for a bit, paid, and left.

The amateurs came in, sat down on a drum set and tried to show off their chops.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Typically, those who deserve an ego are the least likely to have one. And all to often, the opposite is also true.

Bermuda

Bermuda nailed it. The biggest musician egos I've seen were on small-time musicians who either never played with anyone or thought they were all that just because they were in a band and/or made a CD.
Conversely, most of the established professional musicians I have met were the most down to earth people.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Musicians' egos

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
That certainly explains why the more successful drummers (or actors, artists, etc.) tend to not have an overblown ego: they're secure with their success. But that doesn't necessarily preclude someone from being unpleasant or hard to get along with, and there are musicians, actors etc. who have poor reputations. But it's not an ego thing, it's just their personality, and would exist whether they had artistic success or not.

There are exceptions of course, and defending bad decisions by saying success went to their head is a favorite excuse. But those types are far outweighed by more modest, grounded, 'nice' folks.

Typically, those who deserve an ego are the least likely to have one. And all to often, the opposite is also true.

Bermuda
great post bermuda,
I agree 100% there is a fine line though of being confident & being cocky IMO.

I've came across a few singers in my years of jammin' in bands that suffer from L.S.D..................Lead Singers Disease LOL

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