Which side of confidence is best ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by its_jon, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    A player in our band turned up prior to a function as people were sorting out their music.... sat down, rattled through some tunes-loudly (splitting one in 4 notes) then stood up after a couple of minutes and pronounced loudly..

    "arhh ... still got it"

    before strutting out of the room to the amusement of everyone.

    The same player never practices or warms up as apparently none is required.

    This got me thinking about confidence... Is it better to be over confident or under confident ?

    Personally, the more practice I put in the more confident I feel. and I feel more confident around players who I know are also putting in similar effort to improve.

    Its probably a constant under confidence that drives me.

    Is it better to be over confident though ?
  2. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I don't think it good to be over confident. But we hear of the kind of example you mentioned far to often to be good for the movement as a whole.
    Maybe the example was trying to convince himself he was better than he is, lol
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Confidence (or lack of it) stems directly from your ability to do what is asked of you. It's the same as everything, if you have doubts over your own ability then those doubts will express themselves. If you are perfectly happy you can do the job standing on your head, then you should be confident you can do it.

    It's easy to confuse confidence with arrogance. Your mate in the original post is obviously useless but hides it with supreme arrogance. The only people they are really fooling is themselves, as they soon get found out.

    As the conductor of a middling Championship section band, we have had a few occasional deps come in with the attitude of this bloke. They didn't get asked back!
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I think this is a key point.

    A confident player knows their own limitations and - whilst striving to be better all the time and having the courage to "go for it" when necessary, is very well aware of their own fallibility and their own strengths and weaknesses. This sort of player usually fits well into a team. An arrogant player sees only their strengths, and usually reacts badly to criticism of their weaknesses. This is often combined with a tendency to show off at inappropriate times.

    Don't forget, being confident merely means being sure in knowledge. If I see a pedal C written, I'm confident I can play it in tune, either with power or with subtlety as required. If I see a run of semiquaver 7s up to a top D or somehing, I'd be pretty confident of making a hash of i the first few times! But I'd also be confident that if I took it home and really practiced it, I could play it.

    Confidence is about knowing what is genuinely true about yourself yourself.

    Arrogance is about believing what you'd like to think was true about yourself.
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Thankyou Andi. A far more intelligent answer than I could have given!
  6. 1alexm

    1alexm Member

    From my expirence in playing, i used to be as quiet as a church mouse and was afraid that i could not play something or i would just doubt my musical abilities, and my conductor always told me that i should just play everything louder and be more confident, he said he'd rather tell me to quiet down rather than play louder, he says that he doesn't mind if i make mistakes in rehearsals because mistakes can be corrected so that i can play stuff for concerts and contests, now that i took his advice into consideration i feel that i've really benefitted from it. i believe that there is a certian level of confidence needed to help benefit yourself but not too much that you get ahead of yourself.
  7. bbg

    bbg Member

    Anyone who has done sales / management training will have come across the "Circle of Competence" :

    we start off conciously incompetent (we know we can't) - subconciously incompetent (we're getting better) - conciously competent (we know we can do it if we concentrate) - subconciously competent (it's coming together "naturally" now).

    As players (conductors as well) we all have our own levels of confidence and competence - sadly as has been noted above, there are those whose confidence becomes arrogance even where their competence doesn't warrant it.
    Personally, being a middle-aged bloke who had a long break from playing, I am well aware of my technical limitations - I'll now play "second anything" to help the band - but I remain confident that I'll not embarrass myself or the band as my wee bits of experience and musicality should be demonstrated as I play. Quietly confident / competent to my own level, yes, but arrogant - no thanks.
  8. Al

    Al Member

    A bit off topic but:
    Nice point you make there. Backbone of the band sort of thing. I've been in a few bands where there have been players competing for the solo spots. Such competition keeps standards high but usually in the long term it ends in friction, clashes of egos and eventually tears.

    I'd like to raise a glass to good "second" players in brass banding!
  9. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Same here....Don't practise 'til you've got it right, practise 'til you can't get it wrong - the confidence bit then takes care of itself....(most of the time :)).
  10. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Indeed. I also put in more practice when I am challenged (rather like at the moment!) and I feel like I NEED to improve (still rather like at the moment!).
  11. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    our MD always says practice a piece until you would be happy playing it from the front of the band with no music.