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Joyful Uke
03-27-2016, 06:13 AM
I've posted articles by this person before, but thought I'd post this one, too.

The Self-Evaluation Bias: Do We Really Sound as Bad as We Sometimes Think We Do?

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/self-evaluation-bias-really-sound-bad-sometimes-think/

I got a laugh out of these lines:

"The great violinist Jascha Heifetz once remarked1 that we should always be happy when performing. After all, if things are going well, we should be happy that were having a good day. And if things are going badly, each note we play gets us closer to the end, so we should be happy about that too."

And:
"As Mark Twain once said, Ive lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

But, it was an interesting article on evaluating ourselves.

I don't perform for others, but still think it's helpful.

natchez
03-27-2016, 08:04 AM
Neat article- thank for posting the link to it!

plunker
03-28-2016, 02:00 PM
I've posted articles by this person before, but thought I'd post this one, too.

The Self-Evaluation Bias: Do We Really Sound as Bad as We Sometimes Think We Do?

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/self-evaluation-bias-really-sound-bad-sometimes-think/

I got a laugh out of these lines:

"The great violinist Jascha Heifetz once remarked1 that we should always be happy when performing. After all, if things are going well, we should be happy that we’re having a good day. And if things are going badly, each note we play gets us closer to the end, so we should be happy about that too."

And:
"As Mark Twain once said, “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

But, it was an interesting article on evaluating ourselves.

I don't perform for others, but still think it's helpful.

I performed once, I choked, sooooo bad. When the dog stops howling I think I got it right.
I think all of us are either too hard or too eay on our selves.

AndrewKuker
03-28-2016, 09:07 PM
I worked live sound for years and one thing I found is that just about any musician publically disappointing themselves is the worst. Worse than any mistake they could make. Self criticism is the smelliest fart note ever.

Have fun! First and foremost. The energy you give is half of what people hear.

Rllink
03-29-2016, 03:48 AM
I do play and sing in public quite a bit. I have played coffee shops, open mics, and have set up on the street corner. I have not always been that way. I didn't play a musical instrument before the ukulele, and in fact, before I took up the ukulele I did not even sing in church. Like many, my fear of public speaking was almost overwhelming, and the thought of public singing was something of a nightmare. But I've pretty much overcome all of that.

One thing I noticed, is that a person does not have to be good to be good. I have met a number of musicians, that set up on street corners, at a farmer's markets, or at some festival, and perform. Some of them are not real great singers, some of them are not real articulate with their instruments, but they are great performers. I don't know what it is, but they are. They get invited to perform again and again. I heard a quote for Pete Seeger who said that the first time he heard Bob Dylan he thought that Dylan was the worst singer he had ever heard. A month later, everyone was trying to sing like Bob Dylan. So I use that knowledge to tell myself that I don't have to be good to be good. Because it isn't about getting every note, it is about getting people to feel what you are feeling.

At one time I did not consider myself a very good singer. As I said, I didn't even sing in church. So I took singing lessons, determined to learn how to sing. What I learned was that the secret to singing is to sing in your own voice. Don't measure yourself to someone else. Don't try to imitate someone else. Sing your songs in your own way. I feel like that is an important thing to embrace whether it is singing, or playing the uke, or anything actually. You are never going to be someone else, because they have so more practice at it. If you use someone else as your measure, you are always going to come up short. But you can be yourself, and if you do that, no one else will measure up to you.

Okay, enough of that. Sort of sermony, wasn't it? I liked the article, by the way.

ProfChris
03-29-2016, 04:38 AM
This kind of self-evaluation bias comes about because you're applying the wrong test to your performance. The clue is the word "performance", which (as Rllink has noted) is not the same as "playing". Imagine two scenarios:

1. You play and sing every note spot on, but the audience is dozing off and melting away. At the end you get polite, faint applause.

2. You hit bum notes, forget a song part way through and have to start again, but at the end the audience is whooping and cheering.

Which was the best performance?

The point is that performing is something you do for your audience, not for yourself. So the test for success is how well you pleased/entertained/saddened/delighted them.

All the good performers I know could give you a list of the mistakes they made, once they were off stage. But they all say that the audience doesn't notice most of them, and they know because they are focused on that audience.

Booli
03-29-2016, 04:38 AM
If you are confident enough, or can 'act' confident enough on stage, you will magically convince the audience that you are a better performer than YOU think YOU are...

i.e., it's an 'act' for the 'stage'...and just play the part confidently and you'll be fine....

Joyful Uke
03-29-2016, 05:02 AM
I don't perform for anyone, but am looking at it from the point of view of critiquing myself. I hate to record myself, because I'm very critical of what I hear when I play it back. OTOH, I've learned a lot by recording myself, (got some specific things to work on as a result), so I force myself to do it every now and then.

In terms of performing, I suppose it might depend on who your audience is. I have a lot of friends who are professional musicians, (classical), so they don't even know that I have a ukulele. LOL. But, I know a lot of other people who would be thrilled to hear someone strum a C chord, and think it's great. I might be able to fool that latter group into thinking that I have any ukulele ability.

70sSanO
03-29-2016, 07:58 AM
Interesting read. One thing I learned playing live, in a band environment, is to never ever stop. Miss a riff or section, just keep trudging through. I'm amazed how little people listening pick up on.

But whether people are more critical of themselves does depend on each individual person. I have heard some lead guitarists who would benefit from a little bit of self criticism.

And then there are American Idol auditions (contrived or not)...

John

Jon Moody
03-29-2016, 09:08 AM
I don't perform for anyone, but am looking at it from the point of view of critiquing myself. I hate to record myself, because I'm very critical of what I hear when I play it back. OTOH, I've learned a lot by recording myself, (got some specific things to work on as a result), so I force myself to do it every now and then.

Recording yourself and listening back is a tremendous tool for learning (if you can get past kicking yourself for screwing up and treat it as such), especially if you don't have a teacher and are trying to improve on your own.

When I was starting out and gigging in a jazz trio (bass, sax and drums), we'd record every single performance and listen back. And while we all had varying levels of being self-critical, for us it was more to champion those sections that DID work, that solo that was quite spectacular, etc..



Interesting read. One thing I learned playing live, in a band environment, is to never ever stop. Miss a riff or section, just keep trudging through. I'm amazed how little people listening pick up on.

Best advice by far.

Funny story; I was playing in a theatre pit (completely forget the production), and at intermission the Music Director comes over with a big grin, and says "Well well well, so it appears you ARE human and screw up like us after all!" and I looked to him and said "No, that's just the first mistake you caught."

Rllink
03-29-2016, 10:33 AM
I have trouble recording myself. I like to play to an audience. I think it is because I can draw strength from them. A recorder is just so non-responsive. But I have recorded myself, both sitting by myself, and while I am performing. I think my performances are better than when I'm just playing to the recorder. But I can not bring myself to sit and do a video recording with the intention of putting it on the internet. Same thing, I just find it hard to have a meaningful experience with a lens sitting there staring at me.