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PREACH IT: Developing Your Talent Is About Being OK with Sucking...

If you read this blog regularly, you know I'm a child of the grunge music age.  So when one of my grunge idols speaks about talent, I think we should listen.   Foo+Fighters

So much so I typed a quote from Dave Grohl (drummer for Nirvana, founder of the Foo Fighters) out of a freaking Delta Air magazine on my way back from Canada this week.

Check out the quote - It's money, baby:

""When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, "Oh, OK, that's how you become a musician, you stand in a line for eight f****** hours with 800 people at a convention center and then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it's not f****** good enough.'  Can you imagine?"

"It's destroying the next generation of musicians! Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old f****** drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in, and they'll suck too.  And then they'll start f****** playing and they'll have the best time they've had in their lives and then all of the sudden they'll become Nirvana.  Because that's exactly what happened with Nirvana.  Just a bunch of guys that had some S***** old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy a** s***, and they became the biggest band in the world.  That can happen again! You don't need a f****** computer or the Internet or American Idol."

Soak on that last paragraph a little bit.  Wow.

Buy some tools to do something you kind of enjoy and suck.  Get together with others who suck and have a blast.  Become the next Nirvana becauase you weren't focused on being glitzy.  You were focused on the craft.

Go find what you love to do.  Start playing some noisy a** s*** with others. 

Be orginal.  Maybe you'll become your industry's Nirvana.  Why not you?

Comments

Iamjeffhavens

Great article! Too often people don't want to start things because they won't be perfect right away. It's nice to hear from someone successful that he started by being terrible just like the rest of us mortals!

Joe

Just what you promised - very good post. Listening to Neil Young's autobiography, Waging a Heavy Peace, and he has a similar (albeit more dated) take: Do it for the music and the rest will take care of itself.

Kent

On Grohl, he gave a great speach at SXSW this year - well worth looking up and listening to - and one of his thoughts was along the lines of "how do you think Dylan would have faired on American Idol?" Having talent vs. being talented within the constructs of a certain prototype are two different things!

Mary Faulkner

I heard that clip on the radio. Dave Grohl rocks. And I love that he supports the idea of individuality and failure in the same comment. One of the music teachers in the jazz program at my college would admonish timid musicians who were so afraid of screwing up that they played their instruments very quietly. He used to say, "If you're going to make a mistake, make a mistake of passion!" Heck yeah.

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