Monday, May 19, 2014

That's mine!

Ever feel like you “own” a part?  Something that you feel you "deserve" to play because you've been playing it for a long time??

Someday, the odds are someone else is going to learn it from you, or practice that spot while you play another position, or even perform it instead of you.  How does that make you feel?

I’ve definitely had parts that I’ve played more than anyone else in the group.  After years playing a particular spot, sometimes it was hard not to play it, because I felt like it was “mine”.  But that’s silly.  I mean think about it...

My goal should be to play any spot in every song, and play them all well.  That benefits me and it benefits the group  So let’s say I get to that point.  Should I be the last soloist in every song then?  Should I be on the most challenging spot in each song?  Should I play the more specialized instrument in each song?  And even if the answer is “yes”, does that mean no one else ever should?  After all, their goal is ideally the same as mine.  So it either becomes competition, or selfishness.

Competition I can understand because some groups work that way.  If you can play better than the other person, you can take their spot.  But in taiko, it’s not that common and would lead to where a few players get all the glory while others don’t get as much chance to develop.  When I was newer, I really wanted some of the spots I get to play a lot now.  Now that I “have” them, should I deny them to other people?  How’s that fair?

Of course I love playing certain positions.  But it speaks to my ability as both an artist and a teacher if I can help someone play those parts.  It’s one thing to play something well, but can I get someone else to do it as well or better than me?  Not as easy.  And if I’m actually good at playing that part, I’ll still get to play it again.

So if you ever feel like “well, I need to be playing that part”, ask yourself why?  Is it out of ego?  Are you worried it won’t be played as well without you?  Unless it was a part specifically written for you, odds are other people will (and should) learn and play it after you leave the group.  Even better that they do it while you’re still around so you can help teach it to them!

No comments:

Post a Comment