Last week when I posted a photo of me holding a banjo, I got a comment from my friend Alan Kapulski that got me thinking...
Now, in case you don't know Alan I'll describe him as someone who is immensely generous with his talents. He's in the Partizani Brass Band with me, where he just gives it his all every time. He plays several instruments - like sousaphone, guitar, bass, drums and who knows what else - plays in all kinds of different bands and seems to be developing other useful skills like video editing.
His comment to my banjo picture was, "You play the banjo?? What other musical talents have you been withholding?"
I was quick to point out that I haven't been withholding ANYTHING. I just bought the darned thing and I was a mere beginner... nothing to see here.
A lot of people can be really shy about their talents. They may not tell anyone about it, don't want to brag about it, or even go so far as keeping it a secret. But when you consider the fact that when you are in a band people need to to use their talents or the band will not function, his question made a lot of sense.
So how about YOU?
How are you holding back?
If you're a trumpet player, you could be holding back by not going for it when you know you could... or not taking a few minutes to practice your trouble spots... or telling yourself that you're not good at certain things even though you know that that is B.S. and the truth is you're just not allowing yourself to give it a try.
Or you might have other areas where you could contribute more to the music, like learning how to sing, dance, arrange or compose. If you feel like you've wanted to do those things but haven't because you don't think you'd be good at it, now is a good time to try because your efforts will be appreciated.
Finally, you could be holding back when it comes to promoting yourself as a group or as an individual player. Are you sticking your neck out and looking for opportunities to play? Are you telling everyone you know about the performances you have coming up?
The exciting news is that if you are holding back in any area, there is always room to grow and develop your life as a musician.