When I switched instruments from bass to organ in 2010, I wanted to start playing gigs as soon as I could. My attitude was that I knew that I ‘sucked’ at it, but the best way to learn to play was to get out there and do it. I figured my band could do music that people would enjoy, and it nobody would really care that I wasn’t that experienced. I knew enough about music in general to fake my way through.
Now that I’m seven years into playing the keyboard, I’m finding that it’s not useful to think of myself as a beginner. There’s a difference between saying that I ‘suck’ (don’t know anything about my instrument), and having the attitude that I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me.
I’m not a beginner any more. I’ve got 26 years under my belt of being a professional musician under various guises, and I know a lot. I have enough practicing and training on the organ to tackle difficult things. It’s no longer okay to say I’m not good enough to do a certain thing- that’s simply a cop-out which limits me. It isn’t fair to me or people around me who might depend on me to be a good musician.
Instead, I look at things which used to seem impossible and I know that all I have to do is break them down into smaller components, and master each component. I’m learning to disengage that part of my brain which thinks I’m not good enough, and then trips me up in the middle of doing something that I’m perfectly able to do.