Saturday, January 12, 2008


Are you a big fish in a small pond, or vice versa?

I remember when I was about sixteen, I thought I was the bomb. Armed with my dangerous Jackson RR3 V guitar, I was blowing the roof off garages with neoclassical shred in a town that Good Charlotte called home. (Waldorf, FYI.)

A few years later, I started teaching next door to some real musicians, and realized my mistake. Actually, there were several. With the advent of YouTube, it further highlighted what I'm about to tell you.

If you think you're good, you probably need to jump into the next size up in fish ponds.

I was a big fish in a really tiny pond. The pond was about...two garages large. Once I started really learning, and being around some guys who knew their stuff, I felt like my skills had gone drastically downhill. However, just like that goldfish that looks so tough in a fishbowl, and then appears infinitesimally small in the ocean, so to happened with me. My talent didn't diminish - the field just got tougher.

Now for the good news. They also say that the fish's growth is tied to the size of the body of water. In other words, the bigger the pond, the bigger the fish. I'm not sure if this is true on a scientific front, but I know it's correct for skill.

Presented with an ocean of unknowing, or sometimes, like the unwanted goldfish, the toilet and adjoining sewer of uncertainty, we are forced to either learn, or die (musically.)

There's the guys who, upon seeing the pure genius of the guitar gods, loudly declare that they'll never be that good, and hang up their guitars in defeat. (Or worse, continue to inhabit their small pond.)

Then there's the doers, the movers, and the shakers, who say "That is cool, and I've got to do that."

I just jointed the gym a few days ago, and that's a perfect case in point. I had been working out at my house (a small pond,) and feeling pretty good about my progress. Then, I walked into the weight room at Gold's Gym. Man, I feel like a skinny little twig!

But I'm also inspired to really work hard, and to really push myself to get in shape. I can either quit, or get my act together. Just like when I'm around great musicians.

The decision to quit wishing, and start reaching for the stars is a very exciting one. I'm working on that with my music and with my workout. And well, I should probably do the same with my whole life!

How about you? Ready to jump out of the koi pond, into the ocean? It's a bit chilly, but the surf's up. What are you waiting for? Get on YouTube, and instead of leaving a nasty comment for some tremendously talented person, get back to the woodshed! Let it remind you of how far you have to go, and more importantly, how far you can go. Listen to that arena tour coming to a town near you. Don't you really want that? Make it happen. Better get started. There's not a minute to waste.

Rock on!

(As a side note, I'm very excited about this cheap little mp3 player I got...Now I won't be forced to work out listening to lousy rap videos and Hillary Duff songs...For example, I was on the treadmill the other day, and the tv showed a "nun" in a short skirt...Yodeling. It was Gwen Stefani. How the heck am I supposed to get anything done with that? Hendrix bless mp3's.)

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