Staying Positive About Your Playing

Staying Positive About Your Playing

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14 comments on “Staying Positive About Your Playing

  1. Tony Hillman says:

    Have fun with it, keeps the effort positive.

  2. Paul Marcil says:

    great timing. I played a gig last night that I was disappointed in my playing. it was outside and my drums sounded bad and I felt everything I played sounded bad. I left feeling badly about my playing in general. Your lesson showed me that I am not the sum of that playing experience and my next two gigs this weekend will be fine. Thanks Steven. You’re a great teacher, player, and motivational speaker.

    • Stephen says:

      I completely know what you’re talking about. We all deal with that mental battle on a regular basis (myself included).

      Have a fun weekend of playing music!

    • hey paul, I experienced a thing which happens to me on big stages or outside. the tone of the drum feels dead, you feel like you’d have to play really hard and loud. for me it feels like wanting to run in a dream but you can’t.
      Maybe you know what I mean. My solution for this issue is telling the technician to give you bassdrum, snare drum, toms and overhead mics to your monitor together with the other instruments you want to hear. make clear what you personally need to have a good sound on stage which feels good for you. the loudness-levels of the individual instruments are very important. if it doesn’t feel right I tell the technician to make the drumset louder on my monitor, it often solves the problem. this is, of course, a very subjective matter and depends what conditions you find at the venue :)!
      greets, mathis

  3. Scott Barmby says:

    Thank you Steven for this video. I always seem to have a mistake somewhere on a gig. My inner attitude would be ” What will I screw up next?” It is comforting to know I’m not the only one who focuses on mistakes. I would ask my wife, “did you hear my mistake?” She would say that she didn’t hear any problems. When I discussed this with a lead guitarist, he said that people won’t even remember it. Now I just go easier on myself and like you said, its gone. So, I just make a note and do it better next time. Perhaps it is just focusing better on what I’m doing during a song.

    • Stephen says:

      The great thing about music is that it’s constantly in motion…so those mistakes move by quickly and are gone.

      Years ago I started keeping a “mistake” book. After the gig I would write down all of my mistakes. Then I would make a short action plan for my practice time on how to not have that happen again. Doing this (at least for me) kept me focused on improving instead of dwelling on the actual mistake. And it also SERIOUSLY cleaned up my playing and gigs.

      I made a mistake just the other day at a big gig. It was being filmed. Second run through I missed a cue. They did it differently than they had done the first time…but they didn’t bother to tell me that was happening. So it looked like I screwed up. By the time I had dialed in the tempo on the click there was a bigger down time than there should have been. They had to edit that part out of the video and all. We all make mistakes. I’m just glad that one got taken off of the video ;^)

  4. Tim says:

    Nice lesson. I recently had a friend tell me someone who lives on my street said I sucked at the drums. I laughed it off saying “If it sounded good I wouldn’t be getting better”, which I do believe, but It still got me down a bit.

    • Stephen says:

      I tell everyone…I sound HORRIBLE when I practice. Because exactly as you said…if you sound good all of the time in your practice time, you’re not pushing yourself.

      But here’s the biggest thing…don’t listen to what a friend of a neighbor said. I get that it can get you down, it does me as well. But you know the truth. Stick to that and keep pushing…you inspire me bro!

  5. Tony says:

    Thank you for this!
    One of your best instructional videos yet!
    And no drumming lol
    So many of my students come to me distraught because they have been comparing their insides to someone else’s outside!
    That said, ever try a deep fried Twinkie?

    • Stephen says:

      Awesome, so glad it hit home with you. Some of the best drum lessons I’ve ever had didn’t involved any drumming.

      And I’m from the deep South…I have tried almost every food deep fried lol

  6. Mick Kareolot says:

    Stephen, you are da man.
    I am a licensed social worker – and being able to have conversations with people and speak to them such that they can hear what THEY need to hear is critical in my work. You have that down, my man. You know how to speak from your own experience when necessary (we call that “use of self”) and you always keep what you’re talking about focused on your learn-ees. Great teacher!
    – Mick

  7. Julian says:

    Hey Stephen
    This is great! Thank you for these words.
    I’m my own worst critic. Yesterday, I played a rock festival and when I turned up there was a band playing, so I watched them for a bit and I thought “man, he’s good” and it immediately set me thinking that I wasn’t good enough.
    Anyway, I played the gig fine and then going home later in the car I call my wife and she asks me how the gig was and immediately I’m like “well I wasn’t good enough” and I start putting myself down, not thinking that I actually had played just fine.
    Your quote that you gave in the video is, or will definitely be a great help ????
    Thank you sir!!