I've always felt a bit "less-than" because the mechanics of music theory are not clear to me. I've had many music lessons over the years, I can read music and play piano and flute a bit, but I am just in awe of those keyboard artists who can look at a lead sheet and immediately play wonderful accompaniment. There are musicians who can transpose songs, and musicians who can look at a song without chords written in and immediately write a lead sheet if necessary. And then,--- those jazz musician of every instrument type who can notice a chord progression and play an amazing, ad lib solo!!
I had an experience this weekend that put a new spin on that admiring-and-feeling-less-than habit that I have. I performed two long sets with the big band, "Swing Fever of Washington". We had a fill-in keyboard player who was just wonderful. As a singer it is so magical when the keyboard player supports what I do and then adds their own flavor to their solos. I listened to her play all night and take solos in songs I knew there hadn't been time for her to rehearse, and she was amazing! I felt that prickly "less-than" feeling, knowing how difficult those skills were for me to comprehend.
As we were packing up I went to her, and told her how much I appreciated her playing. She smiled and said, "I could never do what you do. I don't know how you do that, stand in front of all those people and sing all those songs. I would just be so nervous."
I was surprised. That popped my "less-than" balloon. Do you do that also, compare your weaknesses to someone else's strengths? Let's quit doing that, okay? Hahaha...!