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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
reggie miles Open mic acts that completely blow (95* d) RE: Open mic acts that completely blow 26 Mar 11

Are there those who are blind to their own shortcomings, musically and otherwise? Yes. Should we openly or publicly ridicule them for being that way? I think, that by doing so, you run the risk that the person being singled out may find out about what is being said and will be hurt by the negative comments. The resentment that might accompany that outcome could manifest itself in any number of unpleasant ways, not the least of which is his continuing to play, because he knows that it's getting under your skin and he wants to get even with you for your unkind treatment toward him and his musical efforts. You know, a tit for a tat.

If you think that the guy is knowingly singing poorly because he knows, that by doing so, he's going to reap your angst, well, that's a bit twisted. There has been more than one television show that was based on exactly that premise. There have been a number of hidden camera shows where the point was to captured the reaction of folks who are getting their buttons pushed by some actors or actress doing something irksome or weird. Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

It didn't sound like that was the case in the initial description of the fellow here. It sounded more like he was clueless and didn't know it. Then, to top it off, he took the same negative posture, as others were taking about his act, toward other player's performances. That would make him clueless and rude. His rudeness, toward other players, might be a learned attitude, a byproduct of him being exposed to others, in the same scene, treating fellow players the same way.   

Musical folks, being creative sorts, I can't help but believe that there certainly are more constructive and creative approaches to alleviate or lessen the situation to the benefit of all. Should we be polite and hope that our example of tolerance might be influential in those that we find are less than capable of coming to some understanding of their need for growth? That course certainly seems like a decent way to respond.

The path that many take toward musical growth is via emulation. They hear something that they like and it strikes a chord within. Many then come to the realization that it is their desire to echo that style of music in their musical efforts. So, they try, in any number of ways, to gain the skills and techniques needed to become proficient in that pursuit. Some pay for private music lessons. Others are exposed to music in their school programs. Some, like me, have learned, almost exclusively, without the aid of anyone to guide their steps.

There are advantages and disadvantages in every form of learning. The study of proper time honored techniques in the study of music can help a student to advance and master a great many styles of playing. The freedom in self taught directions can lead players into never before paths of enlightened artistry. However, without adequate guidance, either approach can hinder players and cause them to become mired in common pitfalls.

Music plays such a prominent role in so many different aspects of our various cultures, is it any wonder that so many wish to become involved with playing, writing, singing, arranging, composing, producing, recording and performing it? The internet has played a huge part in the proliferation of music of all kinds to a greater number of people on the planet than ever before in recorded history. This exposure, along with the availability of relatively inexpensive instruments and learning tools of all kinds, has caused an unprecedented number of people, of every skill level, to want to jump on the band wagon, so to speak and jump up on stage to share their musical expressions. In this stampede, for the glitter and glamour that the limelight of the stage offers, it's inevitable that not every act will be to everyone's liking and some will be a challenge to experience.

It sounds as though, this fellow could really use some helpful guidance. It doesn't sound as though anyone is willing to befriend him and offer him some friendly advice about how to improve his abilities. Turning him into an arch fiend or anything worse that what he is, isn't helping. So, why don't you, and all of the other musicians who know about him, draw straws to decide who is going to buy him a drink after his next set and talk to the guy. Get to know him and share some of that vast wealth of info, that you possess, about how make his performances work better.

If he takes the advice to heart and he may, if it's being offered in a friendly and helpful manner, he may come to realize his error(s) and learn how to improve. I think that most folks are willing to increase their ability to accomplish any particular enterprise. The one thing that holds them back from that goal is they simply don't have any idea about "how" to go about it.

For instance, I'd love to know how to find a great agent or agency that would help me to book shows all over the world but I simply don't know how to go about finding one. I don't actually know anyone that uses an agent or an agency. If I did, I could just ask them how they managed to locate one. Without specific knowledge about where to go, what kinds of questions to ask, who to talk to, I probably seem like a bumbling idiot to those who have already managed to find an agent.

Much like those on the one side of this discussion, there are those who know me and have heard me play, who might possess the information that I'd like to have but they will never share that with me. They might think me haughty, or that my eyes aren't green enough, or that I don't play enough like this or sing enough like that. Who can say for certain exactly why? There might be any number of reasons why they are unwilling to share what they know with me but the fact that they aren't willing to do so means that, in all likelihood, I may not be able to progress, to move on from where I am now.

I'm not saying that, if everyone I knew sent me a great agency recommendation, I'd necessarily find a good one. What might be good for one friend might not work for me at all. I might just choose to ignore every suggestion sent my way. Or maybe, I'd stumble across my own lead to that end, just as I've stumbled my way through every aspect of this pursuit. However, the chances are greater that I'll succeed if I have the support of those around me.

In this world, there are lots of barriers that keep us from progressing. The sharing of knowledge is an important key to breaking those barriers of understanding that hold us back. There is no end to what can be accomplished when we say yes to to the idea of sharing knowledge with one another.

Just think of how many would regard your efforts, at changing this one person's abilities for the better, as a huge and wonderful gesture on your part. You would be regarded as a hero among all those that had previously murmured their discontented groans about his abilities. You would win the praises of all who thought that it couldn't be done.

So josepp, you've just got to ask yourself one question. Are you up to the challenge?

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