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When i was playing DDR on Tuesday with angelo and freakgirl, angelo made a comment about the the Narrows DDR tourney that spurned some other thoughts in my head. Not new thoughts - stuff i've rambled about before, i'm sure, but it's worth mentioning again in a quick entry.

Cut for Categorical Purposes

I've already talked about how being a better double player doesn't compare to being a better PAer, and in reaction to that, Angelo thought misses in the double tournament should have counted against people more to compensate for people like me.

I think i might have said something noncommital at the time, but now that i've thought about it more, i'm not sure that i agree. Yes, you have to acknowledge the training it takes to become adept at playing double, but you also have to acknowledge the training it takes to consistently hit that 30 millisecond window between a perfect and a great, and for a PA tournament, that's ultimately more important.

It's actually very similar to drum corps or marching athletics in general. I might be able to teach my drum line how to play flam drags or cheese-cha-chetahs, but if they can't play funadmental accent-to-tap together or in time, they're not going to get the credit. What you try to do has to be balanced with how well you can do it.

So it becomes a choice. I don't write drum line music or marching band music to win competitions, i write the music to get the kids to grow and to think about things they might not have thought about before. I want them to excel beyond the context of the band or the season. So i push the creative boundaries and their execution boundaries and sometimes the fundamentals get overlooked. Similarly, i started playing double on DDR before i was any good at PAing because i was "good enough" at single, started to get bored with it, and i wanted to push my own boundaries.

It's interesting how my choice as a composer and as an educator contrasts with my choice as a marching performer or DDR competitor. I'm still an explorer - there's only so much that i can attempt to perfect before i want to go out and rediscover. But when i was marching in drum corps and recently in my DDR playing, i've been much more execution oriented. After Angelo and freakgirl left and i had the machine to myself, i spent most of the time playing easier tunes in an attempt to SDG, or at least bring my great count down on a more consistent basis. I was moderately successful, but not as much as i would have liked.

The other interesting thing is that I'm starting to hit an esteem mentality which i fall back upon a lot of the time but the strength of which i haven't felt since my high school/pre drum corps days. Right now i don't think i'm a good DDR player. I'm not even talking about a good PAer - i just don't think i'm a good DDR player period. I've almost FCed Max 300, but all i can see is that i haven't AAed it. I have about 70 AAs, but all i can see is one SDG, or the multitude of other tunes i haven't AAed. And it doesn't make me say, "i'm good, but i need to get better." It makes me say, "i suck, i suck, that score sucked, i suck!" even if i sight-read a tune and get 11 greats.

It's the perfectionist/low self-esteem combination that feels so familiar, i almost want to smile at it like an old friend.

I remember feeling like this the first year i marched in the Westshoremen - i marched with two other tenor players who were seasoned veterans of marching percussion, and i was just this kid. And all throughout the season, i felt like i was hanging on by a thread, having to play catch up. I felt small next to everyone else, felt like i didn't belong, they made a mistake. And it's true that it fed into my esteem issues, but it also drove me to excel. Any time i made progress, it still wasn't enough. I still sucked. And then, before i knew it, the end of the season came. I remember after it was all done, i felt like i made some progress, but that I still sucked, and then one of my friends showed me the video of our finals performance, and i saw myself... kicking ass. I was looking at it at first thinking, "man, i wish i had the talent to do that," before it really hit me that that was *me* on the screen.

i have no idea what it looks like when i play DDR, but i don't want to know right now. I'm sure that i look impressive, but I have a drive and a mission, and I'm not interested in knowing how good i am. My esteem has handled a lot worse than thinking i suck at DDR. It'll recover.

Wow. That took longer than i thought.

Comments

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dr4b
Oct. 2nd, 2003 02:52 am (UTC)
you know, i always think i suck at DDR. a LOT. seattle and the pacific northwest in general are horrible for that. everyone is just so good that the bar is so high...

so i had it in my mind that i was this terrible terrible DDR player. then my friends from pittsburgh came out here for the summer. and they watched me play DDR and they're all like "oh my god, you're AWESOME," and i was just like "uhhhh... you haven't seen anything good here yet..." and they're like "doesn't matter. you used to be like us, and now you are a SEATTLE DDR PLAYER OMG".

i try to keep it in perspective and play for fun and exercise and not worry that i'm not the best DDR player in the area. if i can't AA something it doesn't bug me THAT much. i have no AAA's, i only have like 8-9 heavy SDGs, probly around 110 AA's, i've lost track now... if you told me a year ago that i'd be this good at DDR now i would have laughed at you. so. (and i've been playing DDR for 3 and a quarter years or so.)

i do not think you are bad at DDR.

i think you are good at DDR!

so there.
lifeofmendel
Oct. 2nd, 2003 10:35 am (UTC)
the way i feel is analogous to how i felt back in high school, but it's not *exactly* the same.

if i look at it objectively, i know i'm a good DDR player. i'd venture to say in the top five of Eugene players.

But while i'm training to Perfefct Attack, i can't let myself acknowledge that, or else I won't get anywhere. It's a failing of my motivation... if i think i'm good enough, i won't try as hard, so i have to fool myself into thinking i'm not good at all, just in those moments when i'm trying to improve. Then, outside of that context, i can feel confident about how i play.

it's the same way with iidx right now. i tell myself i suck at iidx because there are still some 6s i can't pass after playing the game for a month. if you think about it, that's absurd... i should be proud that i can pass any 6s at all after that time span.

it's part of my nature to be...severe with myself. it's gotten me in trouble sometimes.

nap time.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 3rd, 2003 12:31 am (UTC)
i think most people who play ddr compare themselves to the people that can AA and AAA everything on the machine, and therefore think they suck. I know I do. But play for someone who hasnt seen the game very much, and they will think youre a god on the machine if you can do a few 9 foot songs. it all depends on your perspective. btw, you are an awesome ddr player ~freakgirl A.K.A Sarah
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