Friday, October 3, 2008

Max Hsu

I have a confession, I feel like I suck at guitar right now. Lessons have been great and I'm learning a lot, but the biggest change has been that I realize how little I know about guitar. I had kind of assumed I knew around 80% of everything there is to know about guitar and that last 20% has hazy and stuff I could get by without. Well, since lessons started I've realized I know more like 20%... at least it feels that way. I had also gotten used to being able to play basically anything I tried to play, but now I'm running into limits with speed and things like sweep picking that are really slow going. I also ran into my own junk, like letting guitar define me. All those things kind of culminated last week and I decided to not to play for a week or so. It was good to just let it be. When I decided to play again it was good to just play for fun. My drummer housemate and I jammed for a couple hours. I didn't worry about playing wrong notes or thinking through the theory of what I was playing, I just jammed. Making music is fun. End of story. If I get to the point where I'm playing or practicing for some other reason I need to stop and reevaluate. That's not to say practicing will always be fun, but my goad of practicing should be to allow myself to have fun making music as a result. Not so people will be impressed with me or for bragging rights or whatever.

So why is this post titled Max Hsu? He's a producer, the keyboardist for Superchic[k], a song writer, and darn good photographer. He also writes a blog I've been reading for a few years. He really believes in chasing your dreams and working at it. His writings have been a major source of musical inspiration and I'm not sure where I'd be at without them. I decided to read through some of his old posts today for some more inspiration and I decided they're worth sharing. Here are some quotes and links to blogs you should really read!

If talent is an issue, than get someone to help you or teach you. Ask around. I am one of the least talented musicians in the biz, but I make up for it with effort. Remember, success requires 2 of the following 3 things, talent, passion or discipline. I believe I got here on passion and discipline. You can too. It might be hard getting started, but that only makes the story better and you will discover what courage and character you have.

Life is Uphill - On working at it (anything) even though it's hard.
Starting Badly - On writing songs
Good is the enemy of great. Planning is the enemy of doing. Palpatine is the enemy of Yoda. - On getting stuck in the planning stage of chasing your dream
Just Showing up - 90% of being successful is just showing up.

Check out the rest of his blog, it's all good stuff! or use the link on my blog roll, it's been there since the start!

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