WHO DO YOU SOUND LIKE ?
Years ago, I brought in a brand new Chorus effect pedal to one of my weekly gigs. At the end of the night, the bartender complimented me effusively: "Great sound tonight, man: you totally sounded like Pat Metheny !"
I never brought the darn pedal to the gig after that...
One other time someone commented on how I reminded him of the great late Belgian guitarist René Thomas, even though I had never listened to him (at the time).
An old friend of mine likes to call me the "french Wes Montgomery"...
And just the other night, an enthusiastic listener went on and on on how I reminded him of "Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, John Hall (I think he meant Jim Hall) with shades of Mundell Lowe" etc.
You get the idea.
I'm not listing those comments to brag about my sound-- in fact, it would be the opposite. Those comparisons are simply not what we Jazz musicians like to hear after a gig. Even though fans mean well and are genuinely telling us that they enjoyed listening to us, they are not doing it the right way. Oh, I'm sure that in most cases they are only letting us know that they listen to Jazz and that they know some important players, but they should try to congratulate us differently.
See, we don't like to be told that we sound just like our heroes. Even though we often have worked hard at emulating some of our favorite players, we actually like to be told that we are unique, original and so innovative !
What we really would like to hear is something like:
"Man, you don't sound like ANYBODY else !"
Now, that's a compliment !
The real lesson here however, is that we should really strive to sound like ourselves and not just copy other players-- and believe me, it's not always that easy.
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