Performer or Perfectionist?

When it comes to learning a musical instrument, are you a performer or a perfectionist? Do you aim to know every nuance of your piano, guitar, bass or drums? If so, then you could be a perfectionist. Other students come to us with a ready-for-the-stage personality that is built for performing. You know, one of those kids that parents might remark “She’s a born performer!” Or something similar.

Our Scottsdale Academy of Music instructors usually get an early sense of the different type of music student that they are instructing. If a particular student is highly dedicated to practice, and spending hours on understanding chords and theory, then our instructor will see that and make a strong effort to propel that student forward toward musical perfectionism.


BanksplaysThe perfectionist type of player will often rely on a lot of practice to get something right. The student might stop constantly to learn and relearn a song part to get it absolutely right while taking guitar lessons. Then, once it’s perfected, the student will play it another 5 or 10 more times in this mode to nail the part perfectly. Maybe, the perfectionist student will pick up the next day with multiple repetitions through the part. That kind of musical determination is what makes a music perfectionist. For some musical players, that kind of driven practice can create a high level of stress associated with learning and playing. For the perfectionist, that might just be another day in the week.

A side note: many musicians are also often looking to strive to a higher level of recognition, to improve their own skills and talents, and to improve their own self esteem. These types of musicians try to do their best to accurately replicate some of their favorite performers playing on a note-for-note basis. Maybe that’s why there are so many cover bands in the greater Phoenix area?



PinksingsThe musical performer may be less concerned about the technical virtuosity of playing, but that doesn’t mean the performer cares less about the music. It only means that the performer will channel a different emotion for the music. The performer student might look to wring out more drama or emotion o

ver a musical melody part, even if that means going outside the technical box. In the case of a student with an ear for a tune and attention-seeking sensibilities, our instructors might push that student to being a performer.

Often, the best musical outfits in music have been a balanced mix of performers and perfectionists. Sometimes, this translates into a lead vocalist with the performing attitude, like the band Queen with Freddie Mercury, or this can also be a group of determined perfectionist musicians like Chicago’s Wilco, who brought eclectic perfectionism to a new level over the years.

So, next time you pick up your guitar, or sit down at the piano or drums, ask yourself – are you a perfectionist? Or are you a performer? Our instructors enjoy teaching both kinds of personalities at our Scottsdale Music Academy. Call us at 602-751-3527 to learn more about our instruction, and get your first lesson for free!

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