Perfection – The Enemy Of Art

Perfection – The Enemy Of Art

Recently I was fortunate to get the opportunity to record drum tracks for a new album project. I love doing this type of work and was thrilled to be hired through a referral from a mutual friend. I pride myself on always being prepared and knowing that it’s my responsibility to not only perform at a high level, but also artistically provide what the artist is looking for.

As a musician, I constantly strive to achieve my best, but often find myself falling into the mindset of thinking I could have done better. What we need to remember that as an artist, we tend to only hear or see the things that challenged us and not the successes we overcame. We fall into the trap of self-doubt and hold ourselves back. 

We tend to see our art or performance as a final result and forget about the importance of process. I often find that when I go into the studio, I get an idea of how I want my part to go based on who or what I am inspired by, but when I am finished the performance, I only hear the mistakes I would change based on the mindset of perfection and forget to listen to the performance as a whole. It’s remarkable how one small, unintended element can tarnish your perception of the performance. 

I attended a great clinic by drummer Benny Greb years ago and he said that when listening to recordings of your performance/practice sessions, it is essential that you find a minimum of 5 elements about your work that are positivebeforeyou find the parts you strive to improve. When you learn to listen with a positive mindset, you can then begin to see that you have achieved some level of competency and skill. Once you learn to appreciate your journey, you will then view challenges as opportunities to grow. 

Your art is essentially a snapshot of this stage of your journey. Striving for constant perfection is not only going to discourage you in your process, but also affect how you observe and present your work to others. Embrace the successes of your journey, take pride and inspiration in the opportunities to express your creative side. Don’t let your need for perfection become the enemy to your artistic vision.

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