What’s the deal with everybody being so anti-mistakes?

We want everything to be perfect, or at least we want people to see us as “mistake-free” people who have their act together.

You know what I call those people? Booooooring.

A friend of mine is a well-known producer here in Nashville. He’s worked with lots of major artists and has some serious clout. But you know what I like about him? He makes mistakes, AND he doesn’t mind telling you about them.

Just the other day he told me about a concert he was asked to play bass for. The band called him the day before, and he agreed to play.

So he sat down with the album, and wrote out charts for himself. The band failed to mention that they’d be doing one of the songs a half-step down from what’s on the album.

When that song came on, my friend was playing along, a half-step higher than everyone else.

To hear him tell the story, it’s pretty hilarious. A lot of people would NEVER tell that story about themselves. Heaven forbid you should seem (gasp!) human.

As much as we like people to have their act together, isn’t there something engaging and refreshing about seeing how someone works THROUGH a mistake?

I would argue that without a bunch of mistakes, you can’t possibly be very good at anything. Mistakes are a breeding ground for learning and getting better.

So the moral of the story? Get in there. Make a mistake.

That’s the EXACT approach I took with the Production Club. While some people might shoot hours and hours of footage, and have it edited down and polished to exclude any mistakes or imperfections, I didn’t.

I let the camera roll. You see me make mistakes, mess stuff up, and (most importantly) FIX those mistakes.

Imagine you’re learning to play golf. Since you won’t be that great at hitting the ball where you want it to go, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the rough.

Which would be more helpful for you — learning from someone who always hits it in the fairway and never has to hit from the rough?

Or learning someone who makes the occasional mistake and then teaches you how to overcome it?

I’d take the second one, personally.

That’s real life. That’s where we all live.

If you want a picture-perfect guide through the recording process that leaves you feeling like you can’t possibly make mistakes and still create beautiful music, don’t join the Production Club.

However, if you’re wanting a real-world look at how to create a great-sounding recording entirely in a home studio, I’ve got you covered:

www.HSCProductionClub.com

To many more mistakes,

Joe Gilder

  • tcv

    C’mon, man. You know the score. Mistakes — perceived or actual — expose you to nasty, soul-crushing criticism, especially on the Internet.

  • If the band played the song a semitone lower than the album, but he was still playing normal then he would actually be playing a half-step HIGHER than the band, Joe…! hehehe

    • Jon

      That’s what Joe said…

      • Ha ha! I actually had it wrong the first time, then I went back and edited the article, so you’re both right! 🙂

  • Jon

    I think one thing with it is that most musicians don’t have very thick skin to begin with, so making a mistake and having someone point it out can be really embarrassing or even infuriating to us.  I know I get super embarrassed if someone is around to hear me make a mistake.