Comparing musicianship…

Sligo Jazz used to be my one of least favourite weeks of the year.

It was the week where I got my yearly reminder that there are many musicians out there who can do things that I can’t do. The week where in the past, I often felt inadequate and inferior as a musician, and was so busy feeling like this that I couldn’t enjoy the amazing music that was on show.

Now I love Sligo Jazz. I still get reminded every year that there are many musicians out there who can do things I can’t do, but I now realise that it’s not anything I should get upset over, or allow to interfere with my enjoyment of the music.

It’s just that they have done more practice than I have, committed more hours to their instrument.

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Students in my class this morning doing the 3-min scales challenge got vastly different results, not because some are better musicians than others, but because they had spent different amounts of time practicing their scales. The ones who had done more practice got better results.

And once you realise and internalise this fact, it becomes less personal, and more about the business of practice.

If you want to get better as a musician – some might say it’s simple – do more practice.

But it’s also not that simple – because actually doing more practice is not always easy. It requires commitment, dedication and sacrifice. But it can be done. And it will open doors for you.