No one is listening to the things you can’t do. No one else has an internal dialogue about the practicing you’ve been doing, all the things you want to be able to do, and all the frustration you experience trying to get better. That’s only in your head. It’s real, but it doesn’t exist outside of your head.

So when you play, no one is listening to all the things you wish you could do. All they can hear is what you’re doing in the moment. And as long as the things you can’t do can’t be done, you might as well not think about them either in that moment. The time to focus on new concepts or develop your abilities is in the practice room.

Our job is to commit to what we’re playing and to be present with ourselves and the audience when we’re performing. Thinking about other things you want to play, or being embarrassed that you’re only capable simple playing isn’t your job. People don’t pay to watch us daydream about the future. And we don’t serve people by doing that either. Our friends who want to jam with us want to jam with us, not some imaginary person that you want to be.

By all means, practice and get better. But when someone is listening, really commit to playing what they’re listening to. They’re listening to you, so just be honest about what you have to offer.

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