Fear Is The Mind-Killer.

László

Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
35,004
Location
Michigan

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

-- Frank Herbert, Dune, 1965

As some here know, I've been in the ad music biz a long time. I've never been fearful of whether a client will like my work, because 99% of the time, they want rock or pop music, and that's easy for me to write and deliver. School of Rock is a musical show, not a real deal thing (and yeah, I know, there's a chain of music lesson places, and OK, but...). I've been well paid for over 32 years to write, play and produce that stuff.

Orchestral Music?

Well, brothers and sisters, that is a horse of a different color.

It took me a long time to work up the courage to put my orchestral work out there in the world. I mean, you put music out that you're not 'qualified' for, and who knows what can happen? People might tell you that you suck!! ;)

I'm not conservatory-trained in orchestral music. But, the things you learn from kids...

I was having a discussion with my daughter, who's a visual artist, about my talented granddaughter, who's doing professional musical theater. I was saying how much I've learned from my little 11 year old sweetheart about 'putting it out there'.

Something she said last summer really caught my attention. After completing a season (80 shows) of professional Sound of Music performances in Chicago at the Marriott theater, instead of performing a role or singing something she'd already mastered, she did a tap dance performance at her summer camp on talent night. She was a beginner at tap.

I asked, "Weren't you a little nervous just being a beginner?"

She said, "So what? None of them can do it."

The things you learn from the honesty of little kids. She isn't afraid to put it out there! And why should she be?

Then I thought not only about myself, but about other people who might be shy about posting their music here or elsewhere. And you know what? None of us can be you. You're unique. Your music is unique. You have instruments, Chances are, you're pretty good at using them.

Fear is the mind-killer. Record your stuff and post it. Ignore the fear of criticism. No one is going to tell you it sucks. None of us can be you!
 
Last edited:
Of course I need to go on. Blah blah blah, and ignore this whole thread if it's obvious to you, it's not all that obvious to me! ;)

Everyone in every field has their limitations. In my case, there are things I don't know how to create. It's not that I can't think of a thing in my head, I just don't know how translate the idea to get from point A to point B.

I know what my limitations are, and I'm VERY aware of them.

But then I realized, so what? No one else is thinking about my limitations, they're simply thinking about whether they like the music I CAN do, despite my limitations.

It occurs to me that, given the infinite possibilities of music, even Beethoven and Stravinsky had some limitations; no one knows how to do everything.

My conclusion is that it's OK to put music out that's limited by what you know how to do, and it's also OK to grow, and produce stuff that has fewer limitations. This is regardless of age, background, music theory knowledge, whatever.

Do it. Fear is the mind-killer!
 
Last edited:
Groovetastic advice and outlook. I had too much fear growing up and starting out, too.

Edit: Sorry, I originally got to wordy and shared too much.
 
Last edited:
OK, I'll be the first to fall on the sword...
Here's a recording we made last night at practice. A cover of the Doors - My Eyes Have Seen You
We just learned it last week. My drummer recorded it on a small Zoom handheld sitting on a chair near the rear of the dance floor.
That thing captures zero bass, so I:
1) Created 3 tracks in the DAW
2) Added a 12 band EQ to all three tracks
3) Boosted the bass on track one
4) Boosted the lead guitar a bit and panned it a little left
5) Boosted the vocal a bit and panned it slightly left.

Rendered, raw, sloppy, and obviously not serious but fun nonetheless.
Kill me now... :D

 
Of course I need to go on.

That's what I was afraid of.

200w.gif
 
"What if they don't like it? I don't know if I could handle that kind of rejection."
- George McFly

True words Laz, and your stuff is great!!! I now post my live project videos after 30 years of this kind of pontificating.

I think most of the hesitation is I didn't enjoy listening to it. Once it got to where I enjoyed what I was hearing I figured SOMEONE else would like it too...even one other person :)
 
Along similar thoughts is don't be too critical as well. That to me could be a part of the fear limiting process. I have to remind myself all the time that if I lay down a track and it just doesn't sound like I wanted it to that it is a single track and will sound much different in the mix with everything else. I am much more of a live player than a recording guitar player. I am trying to flip that around and be more of a recording player. I have always second guessed myself and then not finished the songs because it didn't sound like it will when it is fully mixed. I know this is the case because I have mixed things for other people that I didn't like the tracks but ended up with a good product at the end, using those tracks.
 
OK, I'll be the first to fall on the sword...
Here's a recording we made last night at practice. A cover of the Doors - My Eyes Have Seen You
We just learned it last week. My drummer recorded it on a small Zoom handheld sitting on a chair near the rear of the dance floor.
That thing captures zero bass, so I:
1) Created 3 tracks in the DAW
2) Added a 12 band EQ to all three tracks
3) Boosted the bass on track one
4) Boosted the lead guitar a bit and panned it a little left
5) Boosted the vocal a bit and panned it slightly left.

Rendered, raw, sloppy, and obviously not serious but fun nonetheless.
Kill me now... :D

Really nice! You guys got into it!
 
Along similar thoughts is don't be too critical as well. That to me could be a part of the fear limiting process. I have to remind myself all the time that if I lay down a track and it just doesn't sound like I wanted it to that it is a single track and will sound much different in the mix with everything else. I am much more of a live player than a recording guitar player. I am trying to flip that around and be more of a recording player. I have always second guessed myself and then not finished the songs because it didn't sound like it will when it is fully mixed. I know this is the case because I have mixed things for other people that I didn't like the tracks but ended up with a good product at the end, using those tracks.
I think it's more difficult to be a live player. One take, for all to see. At least in the studio you can grind until you get it right. I've been to TONS of live shows and my favorite always been the ones that kill it live. I've seen quite a few that are really good in the studio, but are kind of lackluster in a live setting.

Have you ever considered recording a live album?
 
I just came for the thread title - I lived for Dune in my 20's. A nice post, and your granddaughter's got some gumption, doesn't she!
I felt that Frank Herbert was talking both for the character and for himself as a writer, with that line - after all, he had to work up the nerve to become a published author, which as we know isn't an easy thing!

But yeah, Dune was a wonderful book; if memory serves I read a trilogy (it's been a long time since I read the books, so correct me if I'm wrong, I remember there was an Asimov Foundation trilogy).

My granddaughter's the real deal, and a great kid. She's got a highly developed sense of what she's doing, and why she's doing it. A conversation with her is almost like talking with an adult.

Last fall, she had a role in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof in Chicago as the youngest daughter of Tevye; it was originally a Berlin production staged very differently from the usual way you see it done. The show was stunning, and reviewed well in The NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, etc. Ten years old at the time! This spring, she's got a lead in School of Rock, another regional theater show in Chicago, and I can't wait to see it.
 
Speaking of fear (on a small scale)...................................

Last Saturday, I was on stage at sound check of a well-known national recording artist. While on stage, I commented to the singer how cool I thought his guitar was. He said, "Do you play?" and I relied, "Just enough to really embarrass myself here." He handed me his guitar which was "live" at soundcheck. :eek:
The angel on my one shoulder said "Go for it dude! This is one of those once in a lifetime thingys."
But the devil on the other shoulder said, "Get real; you ain't worthy!"

The devil (partially) won. :(

I played a few open chords and a bit of pentatonic scale, and quickly handed it back. Not sure how I kept from sh*tting myself, and I acted like the guitar was burning my hands. I honestly don't even remember it ringing through the PA. :rolleyes: "The Mind killer" got me!!!

I wouldn't trade the experience, but I wish I hadn't let anxiety overcome. Later, I thought of all the riffs/songs I could have played including some of the band's music.......................................
 
Speaking of fear (on a small scale)...................................

Last Saturday, I was on stage at sound check of a well-known national recording artist. While on stage, I commented to the singer how cool I thought his guitar was. He said, "Do you play?" and I relied, "Just enough to really embarrass myself here." He handed me his guitar which was "live" at soundcheck. :eek:
The angel on my one shoulder said "Go for it dude! This is one of those once in a lifetime thingys."
But the devil on the other shoulder said, "Get real; you ain't worthy!"

The devil (partially) won. :(

I played a few open chords and a bit of pentatonic scale, and quickly handed it back. Not sure how I kept from sh*tting myself, and I acted like the guitar was burning my hands. I honestly don't even remember it ringing through the PA. :rolleyes: "The Mind killer" got me!!!

I wouldn't trade the experience, but I wish I hadn't let anxiety overcome. Later, I thought of all the riffs/songs I could have played including some of the band's music.......................................
I am fairly certain I would have reacted exactly the same.
 
Back
Top