How do you deal with the feeling of inferiority?

I think you have a great point here. I almost always chased some kind of greatness in everything I did. Bathed my self in the appreciation of others. Never have I been so humbled…

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Mine goes back to my childhood. I was never quite good enough in the eyes of most except my Grandpa Eddie. He was a great singer ( think the 3 tenors and then some) but always encouraged me in everything I ever did. I lost him when I was 17 years old and the rest is history :pensive:

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I know I’m a bit internet culture damaged compared to most but in general I agree with the answers here.

As was said a lot it does not make sense to compare.
I would understand when you regularly meet people who play better than you but you have to keep in mind that you are on the internet. Almost any person in the whole world can publish stuff. (A bit exaggerated but you get what I mean)

I was used to being in the top 5% of anything I do (sports, maths, games, general knowledge) when compared with local people. Sorry if that sounds arrogant but it’s the way I experienced it.
That changed when I spent more and more time on the internet and it took time for me to adjust to that or to realize that it’s not me that’s gotten worse - the scale of comparison is just blown out of proportion and to determine self-worth externally is generally not a good idea.
Yeah, you aren’t as good as a 7 year old prodigy but then again - who is except those prodigies? And how many of them exist in the whole world? It’s as if you started hurdles and immediately compare yourself to olympic athletes.

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I think that this is just a problem caused by the way we communicate now days. The internet, for all of it’s advantages has disadvantages too. In days gone by, if you had completed Josh’s B2B course you would have been the most BADASS bass player the village had ever seen. Unfortunately now we compete with every village in the world. Of course there are “special” people who have a “gift” and they will always be better than you… deal with it (THIS IS THE REAL WORLD). There are also people who don’t have a “special” gift who just work a lot harder at it than you and that makes them better than you. There are also people whose parents forced them to learn from an early age whilst we were happily playing and exploring and being kids. Good luck to all those who devoted their (early) lives to a specific life long venture, I admire you. But I don’t wish to trade my life for yours. I have and will continue to devote exactly the amount of time that I can to learning bass but I have many other things that I am BETTER at and many other things that have a better claim on my time as a human, specifically, being a Dad. I can’t help but think this is a first world problem caused by social media. I like to think I drive well …" but I can’t drive like Lewis Hamilton so I must be a failure"… NO… NO…F-ING NO. Who cares?? Play your bass, enjoy it. If you don’t , then sell it and buy an F1 car and start practicing.

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I think this is HUGE for every damn aspect of life these days.

First, I should tell you that I feel this all the time. I had a conversation with an insanely talented guitar player on a session where we both laughed at the feeling of “why are they paying me to do this? Don’t they know there are so many better players out there??”
Imposter syndrome, insecurity, a brutal knowledge of our own shortcomings… all of it. It’s all there.
Pretty standard, normal stuff and - as has been pointed out in the lovely comments above - there are lots of ways to dig yourself out of that nasty hole.

But there is a lot to what @russki98 says as well - The internet has fundamentally changed the way we approach and experience everything.
To give every internet connected individual the power to be a published artist/writer/musician/personality is so damn crazy.
The way it affects us as musicians is intense.

Here is my most valuable take away in my life (and one that is brutally affected by COVID):

Playing music with other humans is what this is all about.
When you’re learning in isolation or playing in isolation, it seems like the goal is to shred the hardest (because that’s what people will watch on YouTube. No one is watching solo bass groove of country western song videos… are they??). It’s not. The goal is to play music with humans for humans.
When you do this, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best.
It matters if you can get the job done, if you’re a good person, if you’re fun to hang out with, if you’re easy to get a long with, if you know the material, and if you’re able to keep up with the band/people/jam session.

I freaked out before a high-pressure studio session one time, so I called my bass guru. He laughed at me because he could tell I was freaking out because I was afraid I’d choke.
He told me the story of this legendary session dude he knew in LA. The guy got all the calls. He played the simplest bass lines, but they sounded good. They had groove. And he was a nice guy… who worked more than all the brutal shredders.

Music is a form of human communication.
When you talk to people, it doesn’t matter (and is usually annoying) if you’re quoting Tennyson and Tolstoy and Chomsky or whoever and using big words… People play music the same way they make friends.

So.

Clearly this is a subject near and dear to my heart, and something that I’m always thinking about.

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Damn @Gio… That really hit the spot. Everyone has been so amazing for sharing how they feel about this but that is it!

I am a super social bug and everything new I learned it had been the social aspect of it was the drive to push myself forward with it.

I was having 14 hour bus trips every weekend once to do scuba diving. Was going out to dance 4 nights a week when I started learning tango…

This is what I am missing. The interaction. Seeing other people getting frustrated and picking themselves up. Helping them to lighten my load and find help when I feel down.

@eric.kiser 's question really triggered something in me. When I decided to get back to learning the bass I had very vague motivations

  • To have someone playing music at home to inspire the kids
  • Making music with the family (eventually)
  • Playing with/for improvised dancing

With Eric’s question I got a great inspiration to create this video yesterday. First of many to come and to share with other dancers and musicians as a “challenge”.

Simple score for dancer/musicians out there.

1.Play your instrument (or sing) observing empty space and record.
2.Dance to the recording of your music and make a video if it
3.Combine the video and music easiest way you can.

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This is something that only happens on the bass, nowhere else, and it means that you suck at it and should stop playing.

// The forum can consider this an intelligence test.

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@Fahri - Love this!
Dancing with kids is the absolute best.
Making this video and the music to go with it is also rad.

My daughters only want to dance to “Fame”. Or not at all. And by “dance” it means dad picks them up and swings them.

BRAVO BRAVO for the vid and getting the human connection in there.
That’s a very sweet thing to share.

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Well to be honest this was supposed to be a solo. He just walked in and stole the show! I had the ear buds listening to the music I played 5 minutes earlier but he is not hearing it.

You, Eric and all others have been amazing support! This was also the interaction I needed.

I made two other videos today. Just for the sake of it. It’s amazing to record outside!

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Holy shit @Fahri! That was f@cking AWESOME!

What you played. The concept of playing with space. The whole setup for the dance. The video. The intrusion of your son. Absolute gold, buddy.

If I could put together one of those a year I would feel on top of the world.

@Gio Thanks for… all of that.

My only real goal when I started was developing an outlet that encouraged more human contact. My expectation was that what I would need to work on at any given time would be informed by these interactions. Things haven’t gone as expected because… COVID-19.

Having to change my goals have met with much stumbling. I just try to keep thinking as small as possible to make focusing, on what to do next, easier.

This has been a pretty great thread. Thanks everybody.

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Great job @Fahri,
Nice tone from the bass , great video with your son that you get to keep forever, enjoyed the intimacy and the fun.
Keep on rocking.
Cheers Brian

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I’ve come to realise that of the most destructive ideas that you can carry, believe and hand over to others is the concept that some people are born with talent.

I’ve literally heard a mother tell her kid that they need to find what it was that will unlock their hidden talent.
So what is going to happen is that kid is going to have a go at everything, expecting one of these things to be what they’re amazing at.
And of course, nobody is born with the incredibly complex neurological patterns that enable complex skillsets.

People seem to forget that balance and muscle control is an incredibly complex skillset.
So is language.
Yet, nobody has ever been famous on youtube for popping out of their mother and immediately strolling around, engaging in conversation.

However, people point at young people with highly developed skills and claim that they’re obviously born with these skills.

What an awesome way to use a belief system to feel that you’re a lesser being of some sort.
If you want to hamstring someone, just get them to believe that they’re born deficient compared to someone else who has magical talent.
If you want to feel bad about yourself, just find someone better than you and compare yourself to them.

It’s called a fixed mindset and the book “Mindset” by Carol S Dweck should be required reading by the entire human race.

When I see someone who is masterful in what they do, I consider the time that they spent learning to do it.
I admire their dedication. I’m impressed by their effort.
Quite often I’m blown away by their expertise.

But I never have a feeling of inferiority and I’ve never felt a feeling of superiority from those that I’ve watched.

Without exception, they have always encouraged me and offered me advice.
My musical friends know that I understand their level of committment because now I’m participating in my own bit of it.

In order to be good, you must first be prepared to suck at something.
I’ve sucked at a lot of stuff.

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Holy crap this became such a wholesome thread :blush:

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@admacdo, well “talent is overrated” is one if the first arguments of B2B as well and I took it to heart and convinced myself to it… “Why I probably won’t be the next Victor Wooten” has many more explanation to it than simply him being gifted.

His real “gift” on the other hand was his older brother who when 8 years old started teaching to play bass to a 2-3 year old Wooten. And he said there was no one around them telling them they weren’t good enough at it probably at any point…

How many of us had access to any piece of instrument when we were that young let alone someone older than us to look up to and learn from? In my house or near family not a single person had any hobbies. Not even knitting can you imagine? I might have never seen anybody demonstrating any skill that wasn’t part of their job ever…

Time is the second big aspect. Doing something you really like a lot when you have a lot of free time to do it and having mental real estate for it, is the real gift.

My personal challenge is to do it as a 36 years old with two children and 8 hour day time job. Where I feel lucky if I can play 20 minutes each day…

That’s why it sucks for me to see those people online or offline. Because they already had the time for it and it will take me many times more time.

This is why “inspiring my children to play instruments” is on top of my list. Because children don’t do what you tell them they do what you do…

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What you have might be twenty minutes a day, but you also have two children to demonstrate to that you can get better at anything if you work at it.
Demonstrating the work to them at a young age, is far better than telling them that they’re clever. Showing them the benefit of working towards their goals will give them a far better life skill than being a parent that magically can play bass because he did twenty years of practice before they were born.

I have few responsibilities. I can do what I like. I’ll never be anything other than a competent bass player in years to come.
This is to fill in the holes of my knowledge so that I can die having learned to do things until the day I stop breathing.
I will not pass being a better human to any children, like you will.

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Hey man, that 9 year old shredding? He’s 9. Has he been doing it since he was 8? 6? 5? Who knows?

There are a lot of things kids can pick up well, that we as adults, may have a hard time with. But you have to ask yourself one important question - do YOU enjoy it?

If YOU enjoy doing it, it doesn’t matter how good other people are. If people can hear your progress and so can you, even better! I get bummed out sometimes when I think, I’ll never get as good as the folks I see on YouTube or know in real life, and that’s the problem.

We need to base our self worth on what WE accomplish and not what OTHERS do. I found that at 46, I wanted to learn BASS. Why? No idea. But I can say that it has made me happy, it has brought my creative side back AND in some crazy way, has made me a more relaxed and thoughtful person.

Do. Not. Worry about how others are doing - WE all get there when we can.

Keep at it.

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I think this a great thread- a lot of wonderful insight and opinions. I’m not exactly sure why, but for me ever since I started this bass journey almost 3 years ago, there has a been a feeling that I am not taking the “proper road” by concentrating on theory, technique and having the self discipline to do things correctly. (Including not coming anywhere close so far to finishing this course yet!)

For me, an early goal was to play with others. So I concentrated on learning a few songs that I liked. (And specifically selected songs with easy basslines)

After about a year, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and attempt to put together a band using Craigslist. I was very upfront about my limitations, and with great anxiety I showed up for the first time. I cannot describe the joy I felt (and still feel) plugging in my bass and rattling the walls along other live musicians! Although I still get nervous each and every time we get together.

I realize this might not be your exact goals or interest, but I just wanted to show you a different path that is working for me. Yes, I have yet to memorize my fretboard and I continue to use improper fretting techniques that feature an over abundance of micro moves- but, bottom line is that I’m having a blast and even writing and recording my own songs… I am still very intimidated by actual musicians, and lack of self confidence is always just under the surface.

Stay with it- you can create your own happy place, regardless of how intimidated you may feel when looking at the abilities or progress of others. I started late at age 56 so you got plenty of time!

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You’re a good example because you’re making cool and interesting music right now, even before finishing the course. And to me (as in, for my own personal goals), that’s all that really matters. So I think you’ve been quite successful :slight_smile:

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When I started my journey in music wise person once told me there will always be someone better than you and you will always be better than someone else. So just enjoy where you are and enjoy the journey.

I started out playing drums when I was about 10 years old all by ear, I tried to take lessons but quickly got bored. I learned how to play by listening to the records back in the day. By the time I hit my 20s I stopped playing music all together and move down to a different part of my life. But once I hit my 40s I wanted to get back in the music again so I decided I’ve always liked the guitar, so I went out and bought a guitar and began that journey. It took about 6 to 8 months Sometimes I was really frustrated and wanted to give up but I remembered that wisdom someone told me long ago. I am glad I stuck with it and now I am really enjoying the guitar over 10+ years in and I just recently started playing the bass with the same attitude. I could not read music if my life depended on it LOL. I learn mainly by visual means YouTube videos playing with other musicians etc.

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“There’s always a bigger fish.” One of the most sanity-preserving lessons in life, which can come either easy (if you’re smart) or excruciatingly hard (if you’re like me) :slight_smile:

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