Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Can You Dig It?
"You are so great, I absolutely love what you do. I've been really paying close attention to your performance, and I really have a great appreciation for your talents....."
What musician wouldn't enjoy hearing such a compliment? It's so good for the ego, and always nice to find out that someone is paying attention when often it seems like nobody is even listening. And yet...
Professional musicians also live in dread of the possible follow-ups that often come on the heels of such glowing praise. Two come immediately to mind:
1. "I love what you do... and I want to hire you. But I'll need you to basically change everything about what you do. I know you can do it, because you are so talented!"
2. "You are so great...do you ever let anyone sit in with you? I brought my harmonica/guitar/violin/horn. Lots of bands let me sit in. We can just jam and I'll solo over your groove." This one often comes after a few more lines of buildup, like: "I can really appreciate what you do, because I used to play professionally myself...I had a record contract...I just play for fun now...I do a lot of open mic nights..." and then he (or she) reveals he has a harmonica in his pocket, or his "axe" is in the car...
Now I understand that this is how some people show their appreciation. But frankly, some people think every musical performance is an opportunity to impress their friends and themselves with their amazing musical talents, by imposing themselves on a professional musician's gig.
Couldn't they just say, "Hey man, I really dig what you're trying to do up there," and leave it at that? I think we could all live with that.