You can’t really sing or play the guitar. When you sing and play in front of people they are all going to find out you are not that good. Those are things that other people are born to do.

        For a long time I thought those words in my mind before every time I played and Tuesday, March 20th , 2012 was no exception. That was the night of the first 3rd Tuesday night Songwriter’s Guitar Pull at Cloverdale Playhouse Theater.

        Joe Thomas told me about the idea for the event and asked me if I wanted to participate. I was excited about the idea and began to prepare for it.

        At the time I was going through a difficult period. The weariness of winter had taken a toll on me along with all of the other insecurities of playing music for a living and not being well-known enough to make very much money. Add that to my ever present self-doubt about my musical ability or lack thereof and I was pretty miserable company for myself.

        But the prospect of a Songwriter’s Night in a great setting gave me hope and something special to look forward to and those were things I was in desperate need of.

        I began working on my songs and trying to write new ones and my spirits were beginning to lift. However, the closer the 20th came the louder that ever present doubt in my mind became and I began to get paranoid.

        I hear a lot great musicians talk about remembering Grandpa’s guitar when they were five or singing in the choir at church when they were in elementary school. I had no memories or stories like that. I never owned a guitar until I was in college and I didn’t play my first gig until I was thirty-three years old.

        The night before the event I was up practicing and feeling extremely restless about the following evening. I thought about faking being sick so I wouldn’t have to play but I couldn’t let my buddy Joe down so that wasn’t an option. When I was about to really freak out I took a sharpie marker and made up a symbol to draw on my hand to remind to simply ‘Commit to the Song’ with everything I had in me and regardless of the outcome I was going to know I did the very best I could.

        That sounds pretty corny I know but long ago I gave up on making the doubt in my mind go away. That was impossible. I had also learned from experience that when I tried to play it safe and perform a song without screwing up it usually didn’t sound very good and not only did I know it but it was reflected by the audience as well. I learned that if I put every ounce of effort I had into delivering a song, without fail, something good always happened and that voice of doubt went a way for a while.

        March 20th, 2012 was the best musical night of my life to date and not because I may or may not have delivered a flawless or great performance but it was truly the first time I had ever given one hundred percent of myself to an entire performance of songs I had written.

        I wanted to relate my experiences and thoughts with you to hopefully encourage you do something you may have always wanted to do but were scared to try. I had a lot of people help me along the way with my musical journey even though I had absolutely no ability whatsoever in the beginning. What I did have was a passion for music and with a little help the rest took care of itself.

        Whether your passion is gardening, walking a mile after not exercising for years, learning to paint, riding a bike after not doing so since you were a kid, building a birdhouse or writing a poem, it doesn’t matter. Just decide what YOUR SONG is and commit to it. You will be amazed at the result…I promise.

       

 

             

       

 

           Symbol I created that night. 

 

Comments

Mary October 29, 2015 @03:08 pm
Awesome kinda dollar sign, sword-in-stone with serpent like Om insignia there. Powerful bro!

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