Re: "Good enough for the studio"
Davedud it sounds like we might be similar in some ways. You seem to be moving about wearing many different hats in trying to achieve a goal. This can be a real problem with the instrumentalist/studio engineer.
We end up spreading ourselves too thin if try to do it all, so we usually need to pull off of something to make room for improvement in another area. In the end your skill set should eventually level off for what you want to do if you devote enough time and energy into the right areas. In some cases you might just need to ask for help in tracking something you can be proud of.
To add insult to injury many of us here are learning a new daw. Not something we had planned to do.
I know musicians who can play rings around most common men, but they know almost nothing about recording. I know others who are excellent at tracking and mixing but they can hardly play a lick. I'll admit I have a bit more respect for the first group. You can always find someone to record you, but it's tough to find good dedicated musicians.
It all begins with sizing yourself up and being real about your limitations and goals. Push yourself a bit. Don't settle for a low goal.
I play multiple instruments but not all well. I have a wall full of guitars but I don't really consider myself a guitarist. Yeah I can play, but playing guitar well is usually a lifelong dedicated pursuit which I don't have time for. I play plenty well enough for the simple gig or for tracking. That still doesn't make me a "guitarist". I am just a hair over 2 years into learning violin. I can play over 50 songs by memory. I'm sharpening my techniques every day. Put me in the studio though and I pull my hair out trying to get perfect violin takes. Maybe after 4-5 years I'll be there. Put me in a bar with drunk Irish men and I can play plenty well. Compare me to anyone who had extensive classical training and I'm a joke. Same goes for harmonica and bass guitar which does take skill no matter what you might have been told.
The only "ist" I'm really good at is piano and keys. I can lay a solid melody along with chords and singing sometimes in one easy pass. I can meander the heck out of a bouzouki too. lol.
So pick one or two things you want to be best at because you can't do it all. JMHL YMMV.
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