I used to play with a bass player who, like the rest of the band, sat at the bar after the gig. The only difference was he still had his bass with him and in between sips of his pint would practice a few scales or finger exercises.
Here’s a great pic of Micheál and Seamie jamming in the green room last weekend while the theme night was in full swing yards away from them.
Or look how happy and comfortable James Blennerhassett looks with his ukulele bass!
Some musicians are more comfortable when they have an instrument in their hand. Others are happy to do the gig and not touch the instrument again until the next time they have to.
It’s one thing separating yourself physically from the instrument. Bigger problems can arise when you can’t separate your perception of yourself as a musician from your perception of yourself as a person.
If that happens, then a bad gig or a bad solo or a wrong note makes you a bad person, and your opinion of yourself goes down, and confidence issues and sometimes mental health problems can take root.
There are lots of wonderful people who are bad musicians. And lots of great musicians who I’d be happy never to share their company again.
If you can be a good musician and a good person, then more power to you! If you are struggling with something musically though, don’t let it take over your life. It’s meant to be fun.