Yes, there are musicians who are better than you, I don’t care who you are.
Mariah Carey would probably say there are better singers than her.
Jimi Hendrix probably thought there were better guitarists than him.
John Bonham surely respected other drummers and tried to learn from them.
So can you. And so can I.
For the past year or so, I’ve been making music with friends who are way better than me at their instruments. They make me want to get better.
And that’s what I need — a drive to become a better musician.
I don’t want to be complacent. It’s easy to get too comfortable with my skill level.
It’s like the gap that Ira Glass talks about — the gap between where we are and where we want to be. And how that gap makes us get better.
“It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions,” Glass says. “…It’s going to take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
So for your own good, hang out with musicians who are better than you.
If you’re looking to keep your creative gene working, check out Austin Kleon’s little book Steal Like An Artist. It’s one of my favorites. I’ve read it like a dozen times.