It’ll be fine!

A good friend of mine called Bob is a phenomenal optimist. He’s also a phenomenal guitarist, but first and foremost I think of him as uniquely optimistic.  Usually about once or twice a year we somehow end up hooking up to play a gig together – usually with little or no opportunity for preparation or rehearsal – and sometimes playing songs that neither of us is very familiar with…and everytime we play, no matter how big the occasion and no matter how unrehearsed we are, he always says with absolute confidence and assurance:

‘it’ll be fine!’ 🙂

And somehow (!) he’s always right.  And for all my worrying and concern over things we haven’t prepared for, because of our experience perhaps and because of our genuine passion for what we do, it always works out well. Really well!

I guess there’s something to be said for being an eternal optimist. The worst that can happen is that you’re wrong and it all goes pear shaped. But probably more often than not it doesn’t go pear shaped, and therefore the net result of your optimism is simply less stress, less worry and more fun!

I think also it probably comes down to whether you like to improvise or not. Whether you thrive on being in a position where you’ve got to go with instinct, or whether that scares the death out of you! I remember a guy in school called Matthew Cripps who was playing the trumpet in a particular song and during rehearsals was told that he had to do an improvised Solo for about 4bars in the middle of the song. It didn’t matter what he played and it didn’t need to be perfect – it was just supposed to be improvised and on instinct. I remember him asking if it would be a problem if he learned his improvisation note by note?  I guess the thought of making it up on the spot was simply terrifying for him! So instead he opted for the more difficult task of composing a specific solo and then trying to disguise it to sound as if it was being improvised!  I think a lot of people would do the same thing.

But there is something magical about occasionally flying by the seat of your pants and seeing what magic can happen.  Of course the preparation must be there and the skills must have been developed in advance…but then having a little optimism and fearlessness and seeing what happens when you just let it go.  Chances are it’ll be fine. Chances are it’ll be even better than that 🙂

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