Am I a perfectionist or am I just shit?

Portrait of the artist plagued by doubt: note, those weeds weren't there when the sitting commenced. Nor the hole in the knee of his jeans.

Ah, that age-old existentialist question, second only to “I think therefore I am. Or am I?”

I spent the whole of yesterday (when not eating breakfast/brunch/lunch or doing the Morrisons Shuffle*) trying to get a decent recorded sound out of my acoustic guitar. Thought I’d cracked it a couple of weeks ago with the two mic set-up I was using, but changed my mind and started experimenting with mic positioning. One mic. Two mics. Close up. Far apart. Finger picked. Strummed. Beaten against the nearest wall…

At the end of the day, the sum total of my recorded works for that day was zero. Which unfortunately is about my average so far. Though in fairness, Fernando Torres has a goals per game ratio which is only a little better than my average, and I cost around £50,000,000 less. So I am arguably better value for money. Can’t argue with statistics, can you?

So this search for acoustic guitar nirvana: is it worth the pain? I ask myself: does my audience care about the guitar sound? Would they recognise a great acoustic recording if I smashed them in the face with it? they heard one? And I would guess the answer would most likely be “no”.

Then I ask myself, do I care about the guitar sound? Would I recognise a great acoustic recording if I heard one?

Then I say to myself “Goddammit! You’re talking to yourself again!! What’s the matter with you!!?? You’re losing it, Smith!”

To which I reply “oh that’s typical! Avoiding the question again! How can we go on living like this?” and storm off to my room.

Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen: sometimes, in the quest for the perfect acoustic guitar sound, I’m forced to question my own sanity…

* Note: the “Morrisons Shuffle” isn’t a euphemism for anything rude: there are a lot of OAPs in my home town, and the Shuffle is a way of walking us more able-bodied citizens have to adopt when shopping in the local supermarket.

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5 thoughts on “Am I a perfectionist or am I just shit?

  1. Consider university, you can legitimately do little and achieve less on a daily basis but get more out as a whole whilst expanding your universe looking for the next (euphemism coming up) big bang theorem or in your case, that 1 song in a million.

    • Dave, it’s not the songs that’s the problem, I’ve got at least 10 albums-worth of songs that I consider complete i.e. lyrics, melody, chords. It’s just recording the damn f**kers that I’m having a problem with!! Once I get started, once I find my sound, once I find my voice, there’ll be no stopping me!

      I reckon I’ve got til Christmas to find the b@st@rd things… but if you find them before I do, give us a shout.

  2. Maybe your trying too hard Gary.
    Why not avoid those big polar opposites, just for a while, and get into in a mediocre Walla Shuffle.
    My Aunty used to say if you take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. Im not sure if thats a euphemism!
    Weeds, are you sure? A weed in time could save 9. There’s nothing wrong with a perfectionist.

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