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theabsurdman
11-03-2014, 10:45 PM
Anybody else get this?

I attended a family gathering at the weekend and plunked out a few tunes on a borrowed uke (wrong size for me) with every fluff on my part being met with general ridicule, "don't give up your day job" .. "you'll starve if you ever have to busk for a living" etc. etc. cue much hilarity.

Slightly dispiriting when you are trying to pick up a new skill.

I must point out that I'm a relative beginner and make no claims for virtuosity whatsoever.

bonesoup
11-04-2014, 12:04 AM
What you saw them doing was insecurity and envy. Play even more in front of them next time - that's how you do it.

Sabantien
11-04-2014, 12:26 AM
You could always ask them to show you how it's done. :D

DownUpDave
11-04-2014, 12:27 AM
Family members are suppose to take shots at you.............that's how they show their love. At least on Modern Family they do.

wayfarer75
11-04-2014, 02:45 AM
You could always ask them to show you how it's done. :D

Good one!

I don't play in front of my extended family, though. I play for myself most of the time.

VegasGeorge
11-04-2014, 03:28 AM
Try not to be discouraged. I know it's hurtful, but we've all been through it. Even experienced players can feel nervous when playing in public, and that kind of edginess makes us more sensitive to such remarks. One problem for beginners is the fact that "music" today means CDs and broadcast programs to most people. And, obviously, what they are hearing all day long, every day, are professional musicians who do play like Heifetz. You can be sure that most of those who took jabs at you (1) were doing so in a good natured way, and (2) have no appreciation of how difficult learning an instrument can be. You should excuse their ignorance. You've reminded me of a story. One day as a student of the French Horn, I was standing in a friend's back yard overlooking a canyon. I had my Horn, and was belting out Wagner's Valkyrie theme as loud as I could over the canyon, when the gate opened and in walked my friend's mother, Sue Vidor. She had been married to Heifetz in her younger days, before marrying King Vidor. She had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face as she approached me and said "Thank you for the grand entrance music!" Of course, if you know the operas as she did, the implications of her remark are not all that favorable. But she was being charming and funny as always. So, even as your playing improves beyond casual reproach, you will find times when you may wonder how well it's being received.

Ukejenny
11-04-2014, 03:41 AM
The ones who want to talk you down would never have the guts to get up in front of people and do what you did. What you are doing is wonderful. Keep going.

stevepetergal
11-04-2014, 03:46 AM
You say "much hilarity" ensued. Did you have fun?

DaveY
11-04-2014, 04:10 AM
I guess if you were playing fiddle in front of them they'd have said "Oy! You're no James Hill!"

IamNoMan
11-04-2014, 04:11 AM
One of my favorite sayings is "illegitimi non carborundum" -"Vinegar Joe Stilwell". This applies here. Family dynamics are a train wreck at the best of times. There are 6 members in my immediate family. Three of us are crazy. Clinically insane if you prefer. Its acase of bad genes. Runs in the family. Except Nobody knew this until I was ~50 years old. Talk about dysfunctional, Oy Ve! The only things my pop and I can do together is talk finance and play music. This is my dad's version of 3/4 time XXXxX XXXxX, -he calls it 2/3 . This is my Dads's version of a march XXXxX, XXXxX. Well we can play music together, with a little bit of forbearance on my part. Otherwise its Kvetch, Kvetch, Kvetch. They weren't even impressed when I got a paying gig at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

They are your family. Love them even if you can't stand them. When you hear the wise cracks realize they have to rely on the "Wit" for validation. You are a Musician. You don't need validation, (well your not gonna get it from your family anyway).

George, thats a marvelous anecdote. Jascha, doesn't he busk in the Subways?... No that was Itzhak Perlman. He was just down the way from Jimmie Galway.

RichM
11-04-2014, 04:16 AM
They are your family. Love them even if you can't stand them. When you hear the wise cracks realize they have to rely on the "Wit" for validation. You are a Musician. You don't need validation, (well your not gonna get it from your family anyway).



Yeah, this says it best, I think. It sounds like you could have pulled off Beethoven's 9th flawlessly and you still would have received some snark. I think you have to shrug it off and realize you're playing music because you love it, and not to impress your family. Love of music will pay you back thousands-fold, regardless of whether you achieve mastery or just enjoy screwing around.

theabsurdman
11-04-2014, 04:37 AM
Hey! thanks all for the encouragement and the Heifetz anecdote (7 degrees of separation eh?)

I did manage one win that night - as my cousin was wibbling on about his favourite band, I was able to pitch in with "Pinball Wizard" from memory!

I'll keep practising.

RichM
11-04-2014, 04:43 AM
I am reminded by this discussion that my older brother was an extremely accomplished clarinet player, and later saxophone. He won awards for his playing, was a featured soloist in community orchestras, and eventually achieved a measure of success playing sax with some very well-established stage acts. He was, by any measure, an extremely skilled and talented musician.

I bring this up because, growing up, we gave him nothing but grief. As you might expect, achieving his level of talent required a lot of practice-- and a clarinet constantly practiced in a standard middle-class home-- well, there's no place to go to escape it. Many of my childhood memories have a soundtrack of clarinet scales being practiced in the background, as he played that thing non-stop. I can't tell you how many times we begged him to stop playing "that damned horn" (yes, I know a clarinet isn't a horn, but we didn't care).

That's family for ya :)

VegasGeorge
11-04-2014, 05:31 AM
.... I was able to pitch in with "Pinball Wizard" from memory!

Well, there you go! I was never much good at playing from memory, and these days I'm lucky just to remember my first position chords. So, even as a beginner, you can count yourself as being way ahead of the curve. Frankly, I'm looking forward to Google Glass, thinking that I can hide my music charts and chord diagrams in there! Good show! Keep practicing and play in front of others as often as possible.

RAB11
11-04-2014, 06:19 AM
Frankly, I'm looking forward to Google Glass, thinking that I can hide my music charts and chord diagrams in there! .

Dude you've just blown my mind. That's genius.

Rick Turner
11-04-2014, 06:34 AM
Fire your family and get a new one.

mm stan
11-04-2014, 07:09 AM
Prove them wrong.....see who gets the last laugh.. :)

pritch
11-04-2014, 10:13 AM
Even experienced players can feel nervous when playing in public,

When Joshua Bell "busked" in the Washington Metro he admitted to being nervous and "stressing" before he started. "What if they don't like me? What if they resent my presence?"
This from a player who can make $1000 a minute.

In case there are still people who haven't seen the Pulitzer winning article, check out "Pearls Before Breakfast" on the Washington Post website. Well worth the time it takes to read it.

IamNoMan
11-04-2014, 10:18 AM
Hey! thanks all for the encouragement and the Heifetz anecdote (7 degrees of separation eh?)

I did manage one win that night - as my cousin was wibbling on about his favourite band, I was able to pitch in with "Pinball Wizard" from memory!

I'll keep practising.Just what is the meaning of wibbling?

theabsurdman
11-04-2014, 10:42 AM
Just what is the meaning of wibbling?

Can mean anything; it's a metasyntactic variable beloved of UK English-speaking computer scientists (guilty).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasyntactic_variable#English

... probably derives from Monty Python,
or Black Adder:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2DCExerOsA

Down Up Dick
11-04-2014, 12:35 PM
When I was a mere beginner on the trumpet, my mother would insist that I play something for the visiting guests. So I would stand amongst 'em and blat out some kiddie tune that I had half learned. But they would all continue to talk and laugh and chat. Then, when I was done, they would all clap for me even though none had listened. I always felt like a dork.

It's a wonder I ever learned to play anything especially by myself in front of anyone. :old:

hollisdwyer
11-04-2014, 01:33 PM
I guess that there are times when we wish we could choose our family like we do our friends. Luckily for me my friends and family have been supportive of my Uke passion. In my recent vacation to the USA I felt it OK to play, if only as background noodling, at get togethers. Here's a photo that was taken at a reunion at Katz's Deli in NYC with friends, some of which I hadn't seen in 50 years.
72571

CeeJay
11-04-2014, 01:55 PM
Yeah, this says it best, I think. It sounds like you could have pulled off Beethoven's 9th flawlessly and you still would have received some snark. I think you have to shrug it off and realize you're playing music because you love it, and not to impress your family. Love of music will pay you back thousands-fold, regardless of whether you achieve mastery or just enjoy screwing around.

...now when you say "screwing around"...I mean ..I know that can be immensely pleasurable...possibly ...I would imagine ....but what has it got to do with plinking a uke ?:smileybounce:

ksiegel
11-04-2014, 02:32 PM
I have mentioned a few times that I'm a retired firefighter. As anyone associated with any emergency services can tell you, that group is like an extended family.

And the razzing is merciless, and unending.

When I stopped into Fire headquarters last year (I can't remember the reason), a couple of the guys mentioned that someone had seen one of my videos on YouTube.

It happened to be an extemporaneous take of "Life Could Be A Dream (Sh-Boom, Sh-Boom!)" , and pretty soon most of the department had seen it, and were making fun of me to each other - and of course, no one ever bothered to call me...

The day I was in the station, after the ball-busting started, I looked at one of the guys, and said "Seventy-three videos on YouTube, and you're chopping me because you saw one? Maybe you need a third grader to show you how to use the internet."

He stopped, mid-sentence, and mentioned another firefighter who is a musician (and has a second career as a performer), and said "You know, we were laughing about the video, and John watched it, and said "Hey, you know, he's pretty good! Look at how he does that...' "

I guess my point is, families bust on you. Let them. Just keep on doing what you're doing, and have fun.

That's what it is all about, isn't it?



-Kurt

IamNoMan
11-04-2014, 05:59 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN-hI4leQNc&index=25&list=RDyCPst8ggKZU

Nuff Said?

itsme
11-04-2014, 06:20 PM
One problem for beginners is the fact that "music" today means CDs and broadcast programs to most people. And, obviously, what they are hearing all day long, every day, are professional musicians who do play like Heifetz.
So true. Much of the "listening public" is accustomed to recorded performances that have been mixed and sweetened in the studio.

There's something to be said for homemade music. I think most people would appreciate it if they had the opportunity to experience it. :)