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The Horrors of Errors

The Horrors of Errors


The Horror of Errors

In this article I answer a question on quora about errors. Errors are a difficult topic for me personally because I have a history of being extremely hard on myself if things are not “perfect”. So much so that my self judgment at times completely paralyzed me and sure took the fun out of performing at times. It took me a long time and a lot of encouragement from my teachers and band mates to get better at handling mistakes. I also consciously worked on myself to be able to support myself and deal with nerves, judgment and perfectionism.

One of the most helpful tactics was that I started to record my gigs. That botched fill I played that ruined the whole evening for me? In the recording it is but a blip.

This going for an elusive perfection can take the feel,  groove and connection with the audience out of it; and, it can stop any kind of risk taking in its tracks. Yet, risk taking spices up the experience, makes interaction possible on a much higher level and is such a great challenge and experience! When it “works” it was so worth taking that risk! If it didn’t, there was something to be learned for next time.

Most importantly, I had to learn to find a different relationship to my own playing and the pernicious judge living inside of me. This is a journey and I feel good to be on it. In my experience, the effort paid off greatly.

I hope you find my answer useful. (If you cannot see the text box below, click here)

Read Ariane Cap’s answer to How do I handle my bass play errors when I’m playing with a band? on Quora

Here is an article on how to give constructive feedback. Small tweaks have a big effect….

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5 Replies to “The Horrors of Errors”

  1. I always loved Victor Wooten’s comment, “the right note is never more than 1 fret away” Which I think he got from MIles Davis. So ALWAYS going for that note that you hear in your heart/head is the right thing to do….if it sounds really awful move it one fret either way and it is going to be correct (to some theory or other that you can grandiosely explain afterwards or not).

    1. Yes, it is a great empowering quote! The exercise I was alluding to in my article is one where he had the participants play a few notes after him, but they had to do it in rhythm and without losing the groovin’. No “fishing around”, no “false starts”. An awesome exercise! Thanks for your comment

  2. I, like you, am quite hard on myself and will try to prop everyone up in case the same happens to them. In a gig or concert setting i have learned it’s just too late and the most important thing is just have fun, regardless. Recording yourself is the best though worry at home afterwards. Let the embarrassment afterwards push you.

    1. Thank you for your comment. And yes, strangely being good at supporting others and not so good at supporting self often strangely goes together. I think it is important when listening to the recording to apply the same encouraging tone we would apply to others. Here is a related article that talks about ways to give feedback, whether for self or others. Let me know what you think. https://arisbassblog.com/creating-feedback-loops/ thanks for your comment!

  3. “Better not look down if you want to keep on flying, put the hammer down keep it full speed ahead” B.B.King

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