One of the instructors at the Stick Seminar — and I won’t say who because I feel that the instructor’s words were passed to me in something approaching confidence — told me that there are too many Stick owners and not enough Stick players. I vow to always strive to be one of the latter.
Stick owners buy a Stick for many reasons, probably chief among them being that it is “off the beaten path.” They embrace the Stick for its novelty more than for its musical possibilities, or because someone they respect plays it, or because they like the idea that they will be one of a relatively small number of players. A Stick player embraces the Stick because it makes a useful vehicle for expressing the musicality the player already possesses. The Stick can even free the player from limitations of other instruments.
There were a number of seminar attendees who (only IMHO) didn’t seem to have a lot of natural musical talent, although the majority of these professed to play many different instruments. I would be curious to hear them play those other instruments, to get an idea of how many Stick owners are also guitar, piano, or bass owners as well. ?
It’s not a value judgment. There’s something very valiant about struggling against a disadvantage (such as a lack of natural talent) to become proficient at any skill. But to do this, you must first and foremot be honest. That is the only way you can start to improve — by honestly assessing your present level and making a personal plan of attack for shoring up the areas where you are weakest.
Do this insofar as it helps you attain your personal goals. If you are happy being more of an owner than a player, your goals will be different from a player’s goals. There is no shame in that. The only shame is in dishonesty, especially when it is dishonesty with yourself.
Are you a Stick player visiting my blog? Where on the spectrum do you fit?