Advice


DKdelta9
Registered User
Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
DKdelta9
Registered User
Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
11/27/2022 2:37 am

I don't know if this is the right place to post this question. I think I'm in an odd, self-created dilemma. It's probably more of a philosophical or psychological issue than a pro musician one. But I'm tossing it out in hopes that I connect with someone who'll give me a new perspective, or some profound bit of advice. 


I started playing the drums as a serious endeavor at about the age of 12. I got my first paying gig within a couple years. In high school I fiddled around with guitar and piano and then took up those instruments more seriously during my 20s. I ended up gigging as a professional bassist for a number of years, fronted a couple rock bands as a singer/guitarist, and I accumulated a tremendous amount of recording equipment and started producing music over the course of a couple decades. I've also been teaching students on four instruments for a long time.  All along I still took gigs on drums here and there and due to my early start in life, that's probably my most competent instrument. 
When I hit middle age I settled down and started a family. Having two young kids almost extinguished all practical possibilities, and motivation, to produce or even gig much for about 5 years. 
 Cutting to the chase - I'm at a point when I really want to tie up loose ends on dozens of half written/recorded songs and return to some kind of professional music life. But the dilemma is with regard to what to focus on instrumentally. I go around and around like a cat chasing his tail on this - with a thought process something like


"Drums is my best instrument and I should really focus on that and practice every day. I could take plenty of drum gigs and play at a pretty high-level with good players, I'm not very interested in playing with a mediocre bar band. On the other hand, I probably enjoy playing bass more and if I hunker down I'm sure I could excel there as well. However, I've always wanted to be a more confident guitarist, and I wonder what my potential would be if I practice guitar every day? But who the hell needs another guitar player? What would I do with that? I've got friends that are brilliant guitar players, and in my 40s, how good would I actually get? Why wouldn't I improve something I am already quite a bit better at?"
And if that's not enough, I've always wanted to work through a couple of great piano books I've worked in here and there over the years.


None of this is a humble brag. I know that being a dabbler, and a jack of all trades, means i'll always be a master of none. However, I really do genuinely enjoy playing all those instruments. There's not enough time in the day to get a lot better at ALL of them, and failing to focus on one makes me overwhelmed, so I don't work on anything!
Feel free to hit me with any obvious wisdom that I'm just missing. 


 


peace 


DK


 


 


 


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
11/27/2022 5:07 pm

First & foremost find a way to appreciate & enjoy the skills you have.


There are a lot of people with the desire to learn.  But they lack the time to build skills.  Or they didn't make or have the time in their youth to build a foundational skill set to rely on.  There are people with the skills but have other priorities with no extra time for the luxury of deciding which instrument they'd like to improve on or gig with.


Any of the paths you mentioned could be a source of enjoyment through achievement:  finishing original tunes, getting a gig drumming, improving your bass or guitar playing.  I think it's mostly a matter of you deciding which one would be most personally satifying & fulfilling to you & giving it a go.


Make a list of pros & cons.  Prioritize your desires & musical goals.  Enjoy the skills you have & appreciate you have the luxury of choosing!


Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2
DKdelta9
Registered User
Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
DKdelta9
Registered User
Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
11/28/2022 1:40 am
#2 Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

First & foremost find a way to appreciate & enjoy the skills you have.


There are a lot of people with the desire to learn.  But they lack the time to build skills.  Or they didn't make or have the time in their youth to build a foundational skill set to rely on.  There are people with the skills but have other priorities with no extra time for the luxury of deciding which instrument they'd like to improve on or gig with.


Any of the paths you mentioned could be a source of enjoyment through achievement:  finishing original tunes, getting a gig drumming, improving your bass or guitar playing.  I think it's mostly a matter of you deciding which one would be most personally satifying & fulfilling to you & giving it a go.


Make a list of pros & cons.  Prioritize your desires & musical goals.  Enjoy the skills you have & appreciate you have the luxury of choosing!


Hope that helps!

Thank you Chris. I appreciate your time, and I'm going to think about what you wrote. I suspect that you're right that any path will be fulfilling - I probably just need to take action. 


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,310
11/28/2022 12:03 pm
#3 Originally Posted by: DKdelta9

Thank you Chris. I appreciate your time, and I'm going to think about what you wrote. I suspect that you're right that any path will be fulfilling - I probably just need to take action. 

You're welcome!  You've got the right idea!  Make a plan & put it into action.  If you need to adjust it later, then at least you know you are doing something constructive & trying to make progress.  Best of success!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4
Rumble Walrus
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Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 501
Rumble Walrus
Registered User
Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 501
11/29/2022 5:14 pm

Hey DK,


Sounds like what we used to call "Choice Overload".  Luckily, it doesn't sound like you have any bad choices are in there.


If you genuinely don't have a preference, try chance! Assign each option a number, roll a die, and give that 6 months. At the six month mark, do it again.


Have fun,


Rumble


# 5
DKdelta9
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Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
DKdelta9
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Joined: 11/27/22
Posts: 3
11/30/2022 1:57 pm

šŸ˜Šsimple yet profound ty 


# 6

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