Why is it so hard for me to get started?

by Andrea
(Maryland)

I've been playing bass guitar on and off for about 3 years. I don't know why its so hard for me to practice. I want to be perfect right away and I don't think the famous musicians actually practice and I just expect to get well known right away and it wont happen like that and for some reason I don't realize that. I don't wanna mess up. Don't want to play something wrong. So I don't play at all. its all BS and i do not know what bridge i have to get over to play. I don't want to accept it if someone says it may not be for me. maybe I do wanna get known/famous.... because I feel so empty and ignored now......and I know that people don't play to get known. They play because they enjoy it.



My question is, how do I become more positive mentally and attempt something that is a risk and see my interest in music as just that-an interest, instead of a ticket to fame?

Ben's Answer:

You're making a lot of assumptions here: that famous musician don't need to practice, or that famous people only do what they do because they love it, but don't have any real desire for fame. Definitely not true. Professional musicians practice a lot (if they're good). And most people who get to that level started out playing obsessively, and many continue to practice constantly. Few high level musicians are really musical geniuses. A virtuoso can play with hardly a single lesson. But for the rest of us mortals, you have to work at it. The biggest factor in success is opportunity. Those that get the chance to learn, to get educated, those that get encouraged and supported by their parents. Those who have tough teachers who are their role models and mentors -- they are the one's who make it to the highest level of skill.

The person that practice every day has thousands of more hours of experience than the person who practiced a couple of times a week. It adds up. It's just math.

Many famous performers LOVE being famous. They love being on stage. They love being seen and appreciated. It's not a true cure for depression and low self-esteem though. Not all famous performers are happy. In fact a lot of them are not. You have to learn to love yourself for who you are, not for what other's think of you.

I suggest you find an excellent bass teacher who you take lessons from weekly, and who is tough on you and expects you to practice. Find a teacher you respect and admire, and it will be the best investment of your life. You'll gain much more than musical skills. You'll also learn to focus, to get what you want, to have discipline, and to respect yourself more.

There's no wrong reason to want to master an art. If you have at least some basic, natural musical ability, than you can do it if you don't give up.

And most importantly - you MUST make mistakes! If you don't make mistakes, you WILL NOT learn anything. Being a perfectionist, fearing messing up, is putting yourself in chains. You cannot progress in any skill unless you fall down - again and again. Human beings learn through trial and error.

Michael Jordan missed about ONE HALF of all the shots that he ever took. He failed 50% of the time! And he's one of the best and most famous players in basketball history.

Make as many mistakes as you can.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz

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