SUPPORT AT THE GRASS ROOTS
It's a source of great hilarity to go back and listen to early recordings of my own music while I was young. Particularly hilarious because some of it really, really sucked. I often wonder why on earth someone didn't just stop me and advise that I might be better off playing air guitar.
So how do you build the confidence to keep going, to overcome the time when you clearly DO suck, even to your own ear?
As a grunge kid I was never really encouraged to practice scales, to learn sheaves of chords, or to study theory. But in Dunedin there were always places to play, successful and friendly mentors, and a group of friends willing to use whatever means necessary to put on a gig, however unlistenable. In short, everything you could want to be encouraged to just 'keep going'.
Today one of my favourite experiences is to go to a gig, listen to a local band I hadn't previously thought much of, and be blown away at how good they are after a lot of encouragement and practice. It's proof positive to me that this city has still got that great support and encouragement at the grass roots of music, where it is needed most.
Keep sucking until you don't
Karl Bray (The Prophet Hens)