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A Great Compliment???

Rob Naylor 19 Jan 12 - 02:40 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Jan 12 - 03:59 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Jan 12 - 04:15 AM
Silas 19 Jan 12 - 04:23 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Jan 12 - 04:29 AM
Will Fly 19 Jan 12 - 04:31 AM
Rob Naylor 19 Jan 12 - 04:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jan 12 - 05:16 AM
Rob Naylor 19 Jan 12 - 06:17 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Jan 12 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,AlanG at work 19 Jan 12 - 07:04 AM
Will Fly 19 Jan 12 - 08:13 AM
Rob Naylor 19 Jan 12 - 09:43 AM
kendall 19 Jan 12 - 02:44 PM
Genie 19 Jan 12 - 06:08 PM
olddude 19 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM
kendall 19 Jan 12 - 07:30 PM
Joe_F 20 Jan 12 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 21 Jan 12 - 12:32 AM
ClaireBear 21 Jan 12 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 21 Jan 12 - 08:21 AM
ClaireBear 21 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM
Micca 21 Jan 12 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Jan 12 - 02:56 PM
Rob Naylor 22 Jan 12 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Jan 12 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 22 Jan 12 - 04:06 PM
Bert 22 Jan 12 - 06:14 PM
Rob Naylor 23 Jan 12 - 03:57 AM
Will Fly 23 Jan 12 - 04:12 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Jan 12 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 23 Jan 12 - 03:01 PM
John P 23 Jan 12 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 02:40 AM

I made a CD of 8 songs for a friend of mine just after Christmas. she's a very straight-talking kind of woman who tells it like it is.

I saw her last week and she said:

"I've listened to your CD a few times now and, do you know, it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact, the guitar playing is surprisingly good in places".

I told her that if I ever make a *real* CD (for selling...unlikely!) then that would be emblazoned across the cover :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 03:59 AM

Oh dear.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:15 AM

If "nowhere near as bad" is a compliment, I hate to think what this woman's insults are like. There's a difference between straight-talking and plain insensitivity.

There are times when you need to be blunt and absolutely honest if someone asks your opinion, when withholding a negative response may deprive the asker of necessary information or warning - but this ain't one of 'em. It would not have hurt her to withhold her dire expectations, which in fact turned out to be groundless anyway. What's the point of telling you that? It's only going to inflict pain. At best it's a case of engage-mouth-before-brain.

And if you made this recording specifically FOR this woman, her reply is truly inexcusable.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Silas
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:23 AM

Actually, I would be dead chuffed to receive a compliment half as good as that!


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:29 AM

Self-esteem is a funny one for performers - we have to think we're pretty good to get up there at all, but for most of us there's that nagging sense that this time it could all go bad, this audience could be the one that sees through us.

A long-time folkie I know - I'll call him Doug, because that's not his name - struggles a lot with this, to the point of very rarely performing at all these days. A few years back he got it together to record a CD, and came to the local FC with a kind of white-label sampler, which he was giving away to anyone who expressed an interest. He came back the next week, and I witnessed this exchange:

Fellow Musician: Doug, hi. Here's that CD.
Doug: What? No, I *gave* it to you. You keep it.
FM: Oh, it's all right, you have it back.
Doug: Don't you like it?
FM: Oh, it's good, it's fine, it's just not really my kind of thing.

Doug (to me): There you go, it's official - I can't give it away!

Incidentally (fellow musicians with mostly-hidden self-esteem issues), which do you think is potentially more hurtful - "your music's not very good" or "your music's good but I don't like it"? Perversely, I think "I don't like it" comes across worse - after all, if it's not very good you can always improve.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:31 AM

Straight-talking indeed, Rob. How it was said and you react to it actually depends on how good and trusting your friendship is. I can't comment on that.

Wouldn't mind meeting her - does she come to the High Brooms sessions? I relish a bit of in-your-face criticism from time to time! Tones up the blood... :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:55 AM

Pip: Love it!!!

Bonnie: She'd never heard me play/ sing before and yes, the CD was made specifically for her. She'd possibly heard other people commenting about my fumble-fingered attempts to play in front of an audience where nerves almost always reduce me to a jelly. I was a lot better just playing into a mic at home. So possibly her expectations were low to begin with from word of mouth. I didn't have a problem with it!

Will: The friendship is very good and very trusting and I did't have a problem with her saying it...I just thought it was rather funny, and was amused that she'd expected it to be so totally crap that she got a pleasant surprise.

She doesn't go the the High Brooms sessions....sessions etc aren't really her bag. Ian's met her...I took her along to the Nick Pynn gig in Ditchling last year which she enjoyed a lot. Vicky's the girl who sometimes comes to High Broom sessions with me, but she's not very critical at all....except that she makes for the loos when one or two of the unaccompanied singers start up! I'll see if I can get Julie along to one though...maybe the next Ditchling Bull session as she likes the food there.

Incidentally, Will, although we thought the High Brooms Tavern would be closing down in January, the brewery's asked Roy to stay on for another couple of months so there'll be at least 2 more sessions there before the pub becomes a block of flats or whatever. Next one is 26th Jan and might be the last with the ceiling furniture, which is all going for auction in Heathfield fairly soon.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 05:16 AM

I once did a gig in a place called Waterhouses outside Stoke on the Ashbourne Road. The Royal Oak.

The guy comes up to me with the money at the end, he says - very good! In fact, you're the second best bloke we've had.

goes with the territory....


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 06:17 AM

"Second best" is fine....now something like "Seventh best" would have been a bit of a back-handed compliment :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 06:36 AM

How do you interpret "not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be"? Struggling to put a good face on that one, I must admit -


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 07:04 AM

If one of my friends had commented that anything I did was "not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be" I would take it as a very good compliment.

You should hear what they say when they REALLY don't like something!

Alan


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 08:13 AM

Rob - I'll definitely try and get to the February session at High Brooms. Can't make the January one as I'm otherwise engaged. See you at the Bull on 29th Jan?


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 09:43 AM

Will: I'll be at the Bull on the 29th, and I'll try to be not nearly as bad as I might have been :-)

Bonnie, as Silas and AlanG imply, I guess it depends on what normally passes as a compliment among your friends. I know that her expectations were low and I'm happy that I exceeded them :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 02:44 PM

Reminds me of the story about the hillbilly who somehow got a date. He had no clue what to do or how to act, and when she sat on his lap all he could come up with was "I believe you sweat the least of any fat person I know,"


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Subject: Damning with faint praise
From: Genie
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 06:08 PM

I was thinking of a variation on that one, Kendall.    It was a guy who had a blind date and had been taught always to say the nicest thing he could to people, but his date was stupid, ugly, overweight, and rather smelly. All he could come up with was "You don't sweat much for a fat girl."

It reminds me of the time when I got - believe it or not - one of the best pictures of me ever, for my driver's license mug shot.   More than once, IIRC, when I'd show my ID to, say, a grocery store clerk, I'd get a comment like "That's YOU??"

Seriously, if someone has only heard you unamplified in a large or noisy room or playing an unrehearsed song at a song circle or maybe in a setting where stage fright got the best of you, they might well be very pleasantly surprised to hear what you sound like on a well-rehearsed song recorded in a studio.    Rob, your story of your friend and why she might have had lower expectations for your CD make sense.    I might feel insulted if some people told me something like that, but from some other people I'd take it as a real compliment.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM

LOL
I been there myself .... one lady commented at an open mike session one time, well maybe he will recover on the next song ... couldn't stop laughing


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: kendall
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 07:30 PM

At the National storytellers convention in Jonesboro Tennessee, an young man said to me, "I like your stories a lot but why don't you tell them with a Maine accent like Marshall Dodge does?


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Joe_F
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:19 PM

The cheapest compliment I have heard: "I'll pay you three-quarters of what you're worth."


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 12:32 AM

The one that sticks out for me was at the launch party for our band CD. After tyhe gig, a bloke (who had a couple of beers, but to his credit brought a copy) cane up and said "Enjoyed the gig, it was almost worth getting out of bed for" Wasn't sure how to react to that one!


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: ClaireBear
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 02:10 AM

I was once complimented for my "creative use of dissonance."

Still makes me smile.

C


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 08:21 AM

ClaireBear. Great...Might just nick that one for future use, If you don't mind!


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: ClaireBear
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 10:01 AM

Not at all -- steal away!


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Micca
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 11:36 AM

Claire ,so long as he didn't pinch your assonance!!!


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 02:56 PM

Other than liking the lady......does she know anything about music?
What you got, is called a 'Backhanded Compliment'. 'Not as bad as...' means she was surprised..at least a little. Keep working on your stuff..when the heart comes out right, YOU'LL KNOW!.....and she'll probably fall out!

GfS


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 04:42 AM

I know it was a backhanded compliment. And I'm happy that she thought that the result exceeded her expectations...but maybe not so happy that her expectations were so low in the first place :-)

She doesn't know a great deal about music, to be honest...but then neither do I : I just try to keep improving and extending my very limited knowledge and skills.

She did identify that my voice seemed more controlled and powerful in the songs I sang in higher keys, which fits exactly with the fact that I've recently started singing most of the songs I do in the higher range of my voice, after advice from *real* musicians that I should try it. And she also identified the "surprisingly good" guitar in songs/ parts of songe where I had been pleased myself with the guitar work at that point. So she was being at least a bit analytical.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 01:44 PM

Yeah...and then did she seem...ummm...'anxious' to turn the conversation back to her?..Talk to me.

GfS


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 04:06 PM

i've had much worse said about my efforts in the past'rob.thankfully i found others who encouraged and appreciated the effort' and with consistent breathing and throat etc exercises i like to think i've progressed a lot.seems to me that the friend was a bit insensitive unless you asked for her evaluation.it was meant 'i assume 'as a gift and having heard you myself'i see no reason why it should not be a pleasant one.pete.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 06:14 PM

I think her biggest compliment was when she said "I've listened to your CD a few times now"


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 03:57 AM

Pete: Thanks. The recording was (IMO) actually quite a bit better than what I usually manage live...you've seen my nerves in action! And I do think your performances are well worth listening to...I wish I could get the power into my voice that you can. Maybe I'll ask you for some tips on those throat exercises.

Bert: Hadn't thought of it like that, but you're right. The fact that she actually listened "a few times" has to indicate that it wasn't so bad as to be unlistenable :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 04:12 AM

Rob, I would say - very simplistically perhaps - that power comes from the diaphragm and control comes from the throat. You'll find lots of discussion on the 'net, I'm sure, about 'head tones' and 'chest tones' and all other sorts of technical stuff. In my practical experience, (and my voice has sometimes been likened to a junior foghorn) singing from the stomach is what gives you projection (not to be confused with volume).

One of the problems about singing sitting down - which is what we tend to do in singarounds and session, and even folk clubs - is that there is less internal freedom to let the chest, stomach, diaphragm, etc., do their job. I've spent most of my musical life standing up to perform in bands - albeit with a mic - and you get far more projection, IMO, standing than sitting.

The lack of an audience - and thus adrenalin - when recording at home can also make it the performance less lively and dynamic than it would be live.


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 06:43 AM

Thanks for the tips Will. It's definitely something I need to work on (along with many other areas!!!)

Last week I tried for the first time standing up to play (at home) and there was a definite improvement.

At the moment I'd trade a bit of a lack of dynamism for keeping the adrenalin level down to a point where I can at least let my right hand do some accurate finger picking rather than helplessly watching the arpeggios dissolve into fumbling nonsense :-)


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 03:01 PM

The best backhanded compliment I've had was from a chap who came up and said: "I really like your lady's fat arse."
He was referring to -- at least I hope he was referring to -- a comedy song we do called "My Bottom Is Wide".
Well, as long as you've entertained an audience...


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Subject: RE: A Great Compliment???
From: John P
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 03:42 PM

After more than 30 years of playing traditional folk music, I've stopped expecting anyone to actually like what I do. I now only get serious about criticisms from people who LIKE folk music and who know anything at all about how I'm playing it. Compliments from anyone are nice, of course.

My dear mother is very proud of my musical accomplishments and loves seeing me play. One night after a show, she said something like, "That's really nice, but don't you think you'd be more popular if you played music that more people actually like?" Hee hee hee . . .


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