It’s Okay To Take Pride In Your Work
This past week I got to put a couple things under my belt, and it felt really good.
First, I completed my duties on the feature documentary that I had been editing since about late October-early November. I still can’t really talk about it yet but, considering how much material was involved, I’m very proud of the state that it’s currently in. And I’m truly elated that not only the Producer/Director but some of his trusted constructive critics thought the flow and storytelling of the piece was done really well. I can’t explain how amazing that is to me, considering this is the first time since I started editing roughly seven years ago that I’ve put something of this kind of bulk together. Even now, when I look at its current, fully laid-out form, I can’t really recall how I got it there. It was certainly an experiment in faith and meticulous organization, not to mention laborious creativity.
Of course, it helped that the subject matter was right up my alley. More on this soon, I hope.
Second, as part of another project that I cannot yet talk about, I spent roughly four hours in a recording studio (over the course of two visits) laying down bass guitar tracks for ten possible songs. No, it’s not an Ender Bowen project – it’s something else entirely. My favorite part of the experience thus far has been working with the producer/engineer Josh, whose senses of arrangement, musicality and rhythm are almost completely in sync with my own. In fact, he happened to point out on both nights that I was one of the tightest bassists he’s ever recorded, and that I make his job easy (not only in that I get the job done quickly but in that I leave him with very little editing to do). I told him then that that was an incredible compliment but I still don’t think he understands how truly wonderful a thing that was to hear. For one, I pride myself on rhythm – I started as a drummer (as did he), and timing and rhythm are extremely important to me. For another, it makes me happy to be a part of what’s making the people around us – the people helping us – happy. I’m really excited about what’s being created over the course of the next month and I can’t wait until it sees the light of day.
Beyond that, it’s just amazing to me (and here I’m going to toot my own horn, as it were) that bass guitar is probably the most recent of the instruments I can play that I picked up and, yet, I appear to have really come into it. It really started out of necessity – in the early days of recording my own stuff I didn’t have people I could lean on to play bass. I would typically pick up a bass guitar and add some rudimentary, basic lines to hold down the chord structure. Though I did, over the following years, play it more and more often (I even played the instrument in a backing band for Michelle Ari in 2008-2009), it wasn’t until last year that I really put myself out there as a serious bass player (which, in turn, landed me into this project). In a certain sense, it doesn’t surprise me that bass guitar has really attached itself to me, and I to it. After all, in many ways, bass is the perfect melding of rhythm and melody – where these two seemingly opposing forces (percussion and guitar, for instance) coagulate into and are held together by this one, powerful, thudding force of nature. I love playing bass more than I ever enjoyed playing guitar. And when you have a fabulous drummer to snap into rhythm with (as I happen to have for this project) I can really feel the gravity of a song centering around me.
Well… that explains a lot, too, doesn’t it?
In any event, I’m sharing the above this week because I believe it’s important to be proud of the things you accomplish. And I don’t mean arrogantly so – I mean in a way that you can look back and say “I did that”, even if – and maybe even particularly when – you don’t know how you did so. And especially when you’ve been putting the work in.
It may look like the end is nowhere in sight. But don’t give up – it will be. Only when you stop does it completely disappear.