“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt
One of the most incredible features of music is how it can break down walls and bring people together. Everyone loves music. We’re wired for it. Music is true soul food and as musicians we experience this in some truly profound ways. Yet in order to develop to our full potential as musicians, eventually we need to get in the arena, put our music out there and allow ourselves to be seen and heard. For some folks getting in the arena may mean playing an original song in front of family and friends, for others it may mean learning a tune and posting it on YouTube for the first time. Maybe for you it means going to your first jam session or trying out for a band. Taking those first steps can seem a little daunting, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The world needs to hear your music and you need the feedback in order to develop to your full potential. Deep in our hearts we know that even our best performance has at least some imperfections. But the goal of creating music and sharing music with others isn’t about perfection. At it’s best it’s about connecting with others and expressing yourself through an incredibly powerful art form. Remember that beautiful music isn’t necessarily difficult to play. Whether you are just getting started or have been playing for many years I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and get into the arena.
Rob Anderlik is a professional musician specializing in dobro and Weissenborn guitar. He is an active member of the music scene in Chicago and a frequent collaborator with players in a variety of musical genres and maintains an active schedule of gigs and studio projects. He can be found on the web at http://www.robanderlik.com