Posted by Dave Tucker on February 10, 1999 at 17:48:33:
In Reply to: Manic practice syndrome posted by Sean Chisham on February 10, 1999 at 17:10:10:
Man oh man, Sean, can I ever relate!!!!
I have a theory...
Practicing is such a rollercoaster, as we all know. Some days everything comes popping out of the horn and you just WISH you had an audition! Other days, as you mention, you feel like crud, even though those around you don't hear a difference, or in the case of your recordings, YOU don't even hear a difference.
I believe this frustration comes from the fact that you're experiencing growth. I believe playing milestones are sometimes reached subtley, even unknowingly. And when we pass an unpronounced milestone we subconsciously expect more from ourselves. When we don't get it, we feel we're getting worse when in actuality, we're trying to do something we've never been able to do before.
We all know our growth comes in spurts, just like a child. Sometimes we can't wait to get the horn to our mouths because it feels like every sound we make is an improvement over anything we've ever played. Sometimes the growth is slow and frustrating. This, I believe, is where we experience the most "valuable" growth. It's a test of our mettle. It's a test of our resolve. And it's certainly a test of our patience! I believe this is a time we should go easy on ourselves, however, for we are still much like that developing child. We'd never spank a child if he falls down trying to learn to walk. And you know, children don't even seem to care when they DO fall!