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Pete Howlett
12-25-2017, 03:35 PM
One of my Facebook club members pointed me to this:

https://www.cumpiano.com/a-pedagog-s-lament

I could have written this... you really do have to pay your dues in this business.

sequoia
12-25-2017, 07:22 PM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free. Very Californian I know, but that is my take... Aloha Pete! I love you.

Pete Howlett
12-25-2017, 11:17 PM
The article is written by a Californian no? You do have to prove yourself to become a master at anything. In Japan, you are usually in your 40's before you are considered anything near approaching the zenith of your craft... If you read the article Cumpiano is focusing on those who think that a 5 month immersive program at the Roberto Venn ~School qualifies them to be called a luthier!

DownUpDave
12-25-2017, 11:24 PM
I enjoyed that article. What I found very interesting was it was written in 1988, well before the internet and electronic media age. I just assumed he was talking about the now generation with a smart phone in their hand 100% of the time looking for instant success. Apparently that mind set was prevalent before social media, every generation through the ages has been like this.

I did not take this as negative, not at all, I took this as a truism. If you want to get good at anything, fishing, moutainbiking, skiing, playing the accordion, flying model airplanes you have to put in your time. Paying your dues is just one way of phrasing it. Honing your craft has a nice ring.

Graham Greenbag
12-25-2017, 11:29 PM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free. Very Californian I know, but that is my take...

That’s not how I read the article. I have found that the more experience (and memory of it) that you have of any task does improve your skill level, as such the price you pay for improved skills is the time and effort invested. Who you actually pay those ‘dues’ to I couldn’t say, maybe it depends on whether you are self taught or guided by a master of the craft (who may or may not charge fairly), but there is an exchange.

printer2
12-26-2017, 04:29 AM
Heck I have been paying my dues for 45 years, not in luthiery though. If something needs to be built my sister says, 'but you are a natural at it'. No, no natural, a lot of 'how can I salvage what I just did?' I do have a leg up on building instruments having the experience I have. But I am new to fine woodworking and I still think of my works as amateurish. Mind you the current state of expectations are far higher than was the case a hundred years ago, or those that can not imagine how the thing was made and are impressed by anything that holds a set of strings. I am told (just two days ago) I should build and sell custom instruments. Not quite up to that level yet, maybe in a few more years and more than a few more instruments.

But this is from someone that has been around the block a few times and might be of the same opinion of Cumpiano. I don't see him as saying you are to be in servitude to anyone and have to grovel and know your place before you get ahead. More that you to be in servitude to the craft and spend some time learning the ins and outs of it before you think you hang up a shingle and leap when you are just learning to jump.

resoman
12-26-2017, 04:54 AM
Sequoia, paying dues is a reality. It doesn't matter if you are a uke builder or uke player or whatever; paying dues is a reality.
Inescapable

DPO
12-26-2017, 08:17 AM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free. Very Californian I know, but that is my take... Aloha Pete! I love you.

You appear to have totally missed the point.

Graham Greenbag
12-26-2017, 10:47 AM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free.

I’ve been thinking about your words through the day and a book that I’m reading prompts an alternative understanding of them, unfortunately it’s not one that I can easily put into words. There is a process to learning about anything that takes time, patience, application and effort but the reward for that investment is competence and maybe even excellence. I’ve indicated what the journey is to reach competence and we are mostly agreed that the journey is tough. However, things are different if you’re of the mindset that doesn’t mind a tough journey, that enjoys the challenges, that draws strength from defeats and that takes pleasure and reward from the passing milestones. Electively enjoying the journey or process puts the issue in a very different light, well so I think and I think that that is the point you are trying to make.

pritch
12-26-2017, 12:38 PM
unfortunately it’s not one that I can easily put into words.

Seriously, you need not have worried. :)

printer2
12-26-2017, 04:37 PM
I’ve been thinking about your words through the day and a book that I’m reading prompts an alternative understanding of them, unfortunately it’s not one that I can easily put into words. There is a process to learning about anything that takes time, patience, application and effort but the reward for that investment is competence and maybe even excellence. I’ve indicated what the journey is to reach competence and we are mostly agreed that the journey is tough. However, things are different if you’re of the mindset that doesn’t mind a tough journey, that enjoys the challenges, that draws strength from defeats and that takes pleasure and reward from the passing milestones. Electively enjoying the journey or process puts the issue in a very different light, well so I think and I think that that is the point you are trying to make.

Well said. When I tell some people that I make instruments they sometimes say, 'You must love doing it.' No, there are some things I really enjoy, at times building does not fall into that category. But I want to get to a certain level of skill and I know I will have more than enough mistakes to live through before I get there. And once there I will just challenge myself more.

Peace Train
12-26-2017, 05:28 PM
I’ve been thinking about your words through the day and a book that I’m reading prompts an alternative understanding of them, unfortunately it’s not one that I can easily put into words. There is a process to learning about anything that takes time, patience, application and effort but the reward for that investment is competence and maybe even excellence. I’ve indicated what the journey is to reach competence and we are mostly agreed that the journey is tough. However, things are different if you’re of the mindset that doesn’t mind a tough journey, that enjoys the challenges, that draws strength from defeats and that takes pleasure and reward from the passing milestones. Electively enjoying the journey or process puts the issue in a very different light, well so I think and I think that that is the point you are trying to make.

That which is laborious, time-consuming, and frustrating is work. That which is joyful, fun, and exciting is play. Deriving income from what you love and inspires you has everything to do with play as long as the mind remembers not to fall victim to what many others consider drudgery. Einstein may have said it best, “Play is the highest form of research.” He also “played” the piano and violin. Hard work has nothing to do with it.

Santa
12-26-2017, 09:12 PM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free. Very Californian I know, but that is my take... Aloha Pete! I love you.

Thought long and hard about this, I find your inference that the English are dogs and slaves offensive, totally lacking insight, no I'm not a Brit.:mad:

Andyk
12-26-2017, 10:26 PM
I totally disagree with that sentiment. Paying dues is so negative. Basically it says you have to become a dog or a slave to live or learn. Soooooo English. Maybe I missed something and maybe my outlook on life is wrong headed but I don't think so. I say follow the self and be free. Very Californian I know, but that is my take... Aloha Pete! I love you.

Looks like you stepped on the land mine this time round Sequoia. However being an English man and having visited Scotland and spent 4 years in Wales many years ago I have been called a lot worse than a dog or slave so I wouldn't worry.
In your defense I think everyone should be allowed to have a view on this forum and having read some of the responses I think we all need to embrace different opinions rather than singling out or whatever...
Just saying we should be able to disagree but still get on. We are talking Ukuleles not world politics.

printer2
12-27-2017, 04:24 AM
That which is laborious, time-consuming, and frustrating is work. I find doing a fret job these things. Trying to get a perfect finish ranks up there also. Having a side break also sucks. Bindings that don't want to behave....


That which is joyful, fun, and exciting is play. Deriving income from what you love and inspires you has everything to do with play as long as the mind remembers not to fall victim to what many others consider drudgery.

Learning how to do a task, do it better. Having an idea that you want to try and seeing it come into being. The satisfaction (and relief) of finishing a working instrument washes the above away.

ksquine
12-27-2017, 07:44 AM
Strange....I must have read Cumpiano's book 50 times over the years but never looked him up online. Glad I didn't because he seems like a real pompous ass from this post.

Maybe he should have served as an apprentice to a real pedagog. He might have learned that having contempt for your students isn't a great way to inspire them to go on some life long quest to master a craft. "Everyone wants to BE but nobody wants to BECOME." Evidently that goes for teaching too, jerk.

sequoia
12-27-2017, 06:03 PM
The article is written by a Californian no?

Actually he is from Puerto Rico... However I retract my statement as being harsh on the English which was unfair. I apologize and I blame the wine and the metal splinter in my thumb for my crankiness. .. I think my point was about the whole "paying dues" way of learning which implies a master/student relationship. Sure there is a huge learning curve in lutherie and teachers and students is a fine relationship. I just find Cumpiono's attitude arrogant and off putting that's all. That said, I think he has some real knowledge to impart.

DPO
12-27-2017, 07:05 PM
Actually he is from Puerto Rico... However I retract my statement as being harsh on the English which was unfair. I apologize and I blame the wine and the metal splinter in my thumb for my crankiness. .. I think my point was about the whole "paying dues" way of learning which implies a master/student relationship. Sure there is a huge learning curve in lutherie and teachers and students is a fine relationship. I just find Cumpiono's attitude arrogant and off putting that's all. That said, I think he has some real knowledge to impart.

Well done for the apology.

mds725
12-27-2017, 07:13 PM
I try not to think of "becoming" as paying dues. To me, the connotation of "paying dues" is that you have to do something you wouldn't do voluntarily in order to get a reward. Nobody likes to "pay dues." I'm not a luthier, but I am an ukulele player, and I had to devote a lot of time to going from being a complete novice to becoming even mediocre. And while that may sound like "paying dues" to some people, I don't think of it that way because I enjoyed every minute of it. The art of "becoming" rather than "being" implies a journey, but if you enjoy the journey, it won't feel at all like "paying dues." Just my non-luthier two cents.

Santa
12-27-2017, 08:53 PM
Actually he is from Puerto Rico... However I retract my statement as being harsh on the English which was unfair. I apologize and I blame the wine and the metal splinter in my thumb for my crankiness. .. I think my point was about the whole "paying dues" way of learning which implies a master/student relationship. Sure there is a huge learning curve in lutherie and teachers and students is a fine relationship. I just find Cumpiono's attitude arrogant and off putting that's all. That said, I think he has some real knowledge to impart.

Another well done from me as well Sequoia, we all have our moments.

Bad luck about the splinter, can be very painful.

Hakugyu
12-28-2017, 07:02 AM
What is lost when the money comes in is the joy of being a beginner. I am no luthier, or even a professional woodworker, but I have been at my particular trade for 34 years. I have had my share of trainees. The best ones (the ones that made it anyway) were the ones who truly enjoyed the discovery of things. I do think the article spoke of experience, maybe in a negative perspective, but it's true that the young are not imbued with much patience. if a trainee's goal is to make a living at what they are learning it can be even truer. The patience is supplied by the master. I try to harness the enthusiasm where I find it and use teaching moments to temper it. I know what it's like to have the view of experience, I also remember my heat and exuberance as an apprentice.

Rllink
12-28-2017, 07:17 AM
What is lost when the money comes in is the joy of being a beginner. I am no luthier, or even a professional woodworker, but I have been at my particular trade for 34 years. I have had my share of trainees. The best ones (the ones that made it anyway) were the ones who truly enjoyed the discovery of things. I do think the article spoke of experience, maybe in a negative perspective, but it's true that the young are not imbued with much patience. if a trainee's goal is to make a living at what they are learning it can be even truer. The patience is supplied by the master. I try to harness the enthusiasm where I find it and use teaching moments to temper it. I know what it's like to have the view of experience, I also remember my heat and exuberance as an apprentice.Very well said. There are teachers, and there are preachers. I've never learned much from preachers and pontificators.