I made some remark about breathing and wished I’d kept my mouth shut. I’d gone to buy some grass and this guy was there who I’ve seen a few times before and was a bit of a dick. I was only making conversation and mentioned something about how we don’t need to think about breathing, it’s an automatic and unconscious act our body performs without giving it thought.
Next thing I knew this guy is going at me with ‘science’ up the yin-yang about breathing, I don’t know whether he was on something, but he lectured me in front of everyone while I sat there. After what seemed an eternity, he stopped talking with an attitude of what do you think about that then?
All eyes were on me for a reply. I just stared blankly. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, he said so much I’d forgotten who I was and what life was all about.
When I think back, what I should have done is jumped up and put him in a headlock and burned his nose with a lighter and asked him, ‘What do you think about that then science boy?’ But I’m not like that. I sat there quietly trying not to look too embarrassed and just took it up the arse.
So we were all sitting there and music is playing and the conversation turns to music and being a known local bass player someone asks me something about music. You want to talk about bass, music or timing, I’m your guy. So I proceeded to divulge the secrets of bass and music from the ‘Book of Steve’ and would you believe that Dr Breathing Boy started to chip in with his ‘expert’ knowledge on rhythm and percussion. Listening to what he was saying I realized Science Boy must have been having percussion lessons from someone. He dominated the conversation, divulging all his ‘wisdom’ about music to the group. I just sat there and listened. I’m usually like that; I don’t usually have a need to shout from the rooftops about everything I know.
I casually talked about one of the best ways to practise your timing was to practise what I call your ‘fours.’ As an example, if you listen to 99.9% of all pop music on the radio, it’s in 4/4 time, simply meaning there are four beats to the bar. If you want to be a better musician and develop your timing you should learn to count this simple structure accurately because it underpins everything that you’ll ever do in modern music.
Simple really, but only took me thirteen years to learn that one.
Of course Mr Science Inhalation Specialist Beats Boy didn’t agree and went off on one of his long rambles about Latin percussion rhythms, syncopated beats and all the rest of it, I just let him roll. He had some good points, but I knew what I was talking about because I’d been living and breathing music everyday up until that point for fifteen years. I played in numerous bands, was gigging regularly, recording in the studio and at home, practised music in-between all the music I was listening to and had sex to music. I was into music; I had some ideas about music, bass and timing. If you didn’t ‘get it,’ you didn’t ‘get it.’ I couldn’t be bothered to explain it to this guy; he didn’t know anything about me, who I was or what I did. So I just got a bit stoned, said my goodbyes, left the group and went home to play the bass and that was that.
About a week or so later I went back round to get some grass and walked in the door and would you believe amongst the people sitting their was Mr Science and Tempo Authority Beats International Boy himself. I walked past, nodded and said ‘Alright,’ but made sure to sit on the other side of the room; I didn’t need or want to talk to the walking Encyclopaedia.
But something was different.
It seemed like Encyclopaedia Beats Boy was trying to get my attention. I was way too busy pretending I was talking to someone else and couldn’t see him.
But I couldn’t side step the issue anymore; Encyclopaedia Boy was trying to talk to me. He actually said: “Hey, Steve, I’ve been practising my fours.”
What? Did I here Dr Inhale/Exhale Beats International right?
If you want to get my attention, just talk about bass or music, my ears prick up, but put Steve at the front of those words, even if you say it softly in a crowded room – were good to go, whoever you are. Breathing Beats Boy was talking to me about what I suggested he do to improve his timing, he was practically worshipping me. He started telling everyone how great I was at timing. A very different scenario to last week.
I thought about that over the following months and I believe he felt pretty smug about himself and how great he was, he must have told his percussion tutor about a guy he met (me) who was talking about some bollocks about practising really simple basic beats slowly, while they were talking about how great they were at practising fast Latin and Cuban funk rhythms and all. I believe that his tutor probably said something along the lines that that guy really knows what he’s talking about, takes YEARS to understand those simple truths. You would have to be really dedicated before you can understand anything about what’s really involved.
It felt like Mr Cuban Encyclopaedia Beats Boy had a desperate need to apologize to me.
He told the group he was leaving for university or a job, something, I wasn’t paying attention, but I remember he wasn’t coming back (Boo Hoo). As he was going out the door he was really enthusiastic about saying goodbye to me, and how he would be practising his ‘fours.’
Why the story?
Just because someone can talk the loudest for a long time doesn’t make them an expert. We all know what we think and we think we know, we’ve been around, we get it, you know?
But here’s the thing: if you’re not ‘up and at it’ everyday like a professional – you don’t know, you believe you ‘get it,’ but you don’t know what’s involved. You know and understand something intellectually, but you don’t know it experientially. You’re not walking the talk.
Took me thirteen years of playing, sleeping, living, breathing and eating bass before I even began to know what I was talking about in that area. It just so happens that all the time I’ve been in marketing it has been thirteen years I’ve been doing this everyday. Getting other people to like, know and trust me enough to give me money for what I know didn’t happen overnight.
You might have bought books, tapes and videos and had conversations with people about this online marketing thing, but when you’re in the ring and getting a bit bloody and knocked down and have the battle scars to prove it, it’s a whole different universe. Believe me, and then some.
If you want to know what ‘fours’ you need to practise and focus on or if you want to know how to do anything you want to do. Talk to someone who’s already doing what it is you want to do.
If you’ve ever thought about packaging your knowledge and experience into a lifestyle business that matters… Click Here and let’s talk.