Enjoying Every Note You Play
If you're like most musicians, you will feel good about some performances and practice sessions but disappointed with others. The key is to not give in to musical depression. In fact, don't even accept ambivalence. Given the right attitude, you can enjoy every note you play.
Always Play Your Best
Sometimes a gig, rehearsal, or practice session may be going downright rotten. However, don't play judge and jury and hang yourself midway through the session. Play every note like you really mean it. Don't get lazy or cynical. Always play your best. If you feel disappointed at the end of the day, let it go. Get on with the now and maintain your faith in tomorrow. You can't change the past but you can learn from it.
If you decide that playing the drums is not for you, that's okay. Just don't come to this conclusion through pessimism. It should be the result of a thoughtful decision to pursue other interests.
Here are some other rules of thumb: Never degrade yourself in front of others, accept compliments, and, above all else, make sure your self-criticism is productive. You will only get worse by slinging insults at yourself.
If others criticize you, hear them out. Try to learn from their insights. Don't take it personally, even if somebody is coming on a little strong. Understand that 99 percent of the criticism you will hear will be directed toward your current or most recent performance(s), not your overall abilities and potential. Finally, always remember that every person has the ability to make improvements, so take criticism in stride.
If you're disappointed in your work, be careful of your internal dialogue. Instead of saying “That was awful,” say “I will do better next time.” If you make a mistake, admit fault. Accept your musical responsibilities. However, never turn on yourself. Many musicians end up being their own worst enemies.
You will also enjoy playing more if you have a realistic outlook. Most musicians never get rich and famous. Most musicians never see their name in lights on a marquee.
Music should enhance your life. If you find that it doesn't, think about why. If it's because you're a ruthless self-critic, or you have unrealistic goals, you will probably never fully enjoy the gifts music has to offer. On the other hand, if you take your progress one day at a time and maintain a positive attitude, you will find that music is quite rewarding.
Vanity and materialism shouldn't be the impetus behind your decision to play the drums. Music making should be about personal enrichment. If you make some money along the way or if you become fortunate enough to make a living playing drums, wonderful. But don't expect to move mountains. Just enjoy playing and take pleasure in the fraternity music brings. If you have a “pie in the sky” attitude, you may soon find yourself very frustrated and unhappy.