The Flute Academy
How to Stop Comparing Your Own Flute Playing With Others

How to Stop Comparing Your Own Flute Playing With Others

May 14, 2019

You've probably heard helpful people say "helpful" things like "You need to stop comparing yourself with others!"

How to Stop Comparing Your Own Flute Playing With Others

And, yeah it's true...

But, comparing your own flute playing to other people's amaaaazing flute playing is pretty hard not to do. I get it. We all do it! (In all areas of our lives - not just flute playing.)

But I've got some stellar advice for you. Practical advice...

If you're going to compare yourself with others, at least make sure you're doing a proper comparison!

What do I mean by that?

Watch this 3 minute video and I will gladly divulge how to make comparison much less painful!

Jane xx

Comparison to other flute players

Do you ever think I should be better at the flute by now? Do you feel ever, like you are falling behind in your learning? If you do, I have answers for you and it comes in the form of a story about my lovely little student named Hailey. I was teaching her last year. I taught her for a few years and she continually had this feeling of not being good enough coming up and comparing herself to all of her peers around her.

Not progressing as fast compared to others

She was so gorgeous. She would say to me, oh, she was about 9 or 10, by the way. She would stress because one of her peers, one of her little primary school colleagues was further through the book than what she was learning. And that she didn't know as many high notes as someone else. She'd get really upset and she'd feel like she was coming last in a kind of a race.

Be fair about comparison

So I had to sit her down and this is what I'm going to say to you as well. So I'm sitting you down. What I said to Hailey was it's true that this other person knows more high notes than you, but what you are not seeing is that you know more major scales. You can play your scales faster than this other person. You can control your high notes way better than anyone I've ever taught at your age. So I said to her when you start comparing yourself to others, if you're going to compare yourself, you need to be fair about it and compare all the things that you are also really good at. Not just the things that you feel like you're behind in. It needs to be a level playing field. So I said, so if you're going to compare yourself to others, take everything, compare everything.

Notice flute techniques you can do well

So for you at home, if you feel like you are not as good as you should be, or that you are falling behind of this imaginary race, don't forget to take into consideration a whole bunch of things that you can do those other people can't, that you've just never even thought of. Now, I don't know exactly what they are. You might not even know what they are, but consider many things about your flute playing. For example, consistency of practice.

Pushing themselves to prove a point

Maybe you are really good at playing a lot. Maybe you love playing, and that's what drives you. And maybe these other people that you're comparing yourself to that are really good, maybe they hate playing. Maybe they're pushing themselves to prove some other point. And your advantage is that you love playing. And in the end, you'll be the winner.

Know what you need to improve on

Maybe it's something more technical. Maybe you have a great tone and someone else doesn't. Someone else that can play really fast and amazing, maybe they don't have as great a tone as you. Maybe you're struggling with tone. And someone else has this amazing, vibrant tone, but actually, you have a really good sense of rhythm that you haven't even realized.

Your flute playing and musical experience

Of course, these things might not apply to you, but I guarantee there are going to be things about you and your flute playing or your musical experience in general that knock the socks off the people that you're comparing yourself to.

Include positive traits when comparing

So the moral to this story is if you're going to compare yourself to other people, make it a level playing field and include your positive traits as well. Because there will be things in there that you excel in, that you just don't realize. I will see you in a week. Bye.

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