Daniel uses this famous phrase as a jumping off point to explore how we often make excuses for our shortcomings as musicians, and offers some ways forward to support a musical life of honesty, integrity and purpose.
What’s covered in this session:
- Daniel unpacks the phrase “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools,” looking at some of the ways we make excuses and blame circumstances around us for our musical shortcomings.
- Daniel describes how his gigging life in NYC and beyond often involves substandard house gear or backline rentals, and how working with this gear offered some serious revelations on this subject.
- Daniel offers some examples of how we can change our attitude to address potentially difficult circumstances, both in our musical and personal lives.
- Daniel shares a story about watching a video of Delfeayo Marsalis’ sextet, and seeing drummer Herlin Riley make beautiful music under potentially difficult circumstances.
- The Four Agreements, a very simple yet extremely powerful book, was a significant catalyst in helping Daniel live his life with greater integrity. Here’s a summary of the agreements as discussed in the podcast:
- Be impeccable with your word. “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.”
- Don’t make assumptions. “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life…”
- Don’t take anything personally. “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering…”
- Always do your best. “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret…”
- A small but interesting discussion of the quote “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools” that explores the nuances and broader implications of this phrase.
- Delfeayo Marsalis and his sextet performing “Track 13 (Blues) at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival.
- The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz.