Perception of your own playing on a gig
Let's see if I can express this clearly. I played my bimonthly jazz duo restaurant gig with a sax/keyboard player last night. It was hot in the room, and my mind seemed to be wandering; I didn't feel as focused as I usually do. At the end of the gig, I mentioined to my partner that I didn't feel I had played well. I felt like I was forcing my lines a bit and I wasn't playing what I was hearing but rather going off in a different direction than I had anticipated - sort of like chasing after a bus. His response was interesting. He said, he thought I played quite well, that I played alot of inventive atypical stuff rather than my well worn collection of note sequences. (Well, he didn't say it quite that way, but that's my analysis the next morning.) Anyway, I'm not sure what it all means, but I guess I was subconciously reaching for some new stuff ... and almost hitting it most of the time. It's sort of like that T. Monk quote that I love so much. When complemented by a listener on his playing on a tune he replied, "Yeah, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" I guess it's all good!
Last edited by Tom Karol; 08-05-2012 at 01:29 PM.
Yeah, most likely you were tapping into your subconscious mind. It's a powerful creative force, but it can be hard to tap into if you're focusing on deliberate, conscious thought. Certain situations, such as meditation, trance, just before falling asleep, just after waking up, being exhausted, hypnosis, drugs, etc can trigger your subconscious. This is one of the reasons some musicians turn to drug use, although it certainly has some huge and obvious downsides. Your perception of your playing at the time was probably negative because your conscious mind wasn't fully in control, which it isn't terribly fond of.
Tom, be grateful that you didn't hit any clams.
Obviously your wandering is a lot better than my focus.
someday it will happen to me.
Yes, that could be the crux of it.
Originally Posted by JazzReggie
And @ EDH: What makes you think I didn't hit any clams? Fortunately, most of them were just glancing blows!
well, if you were relaxed enough to let your mind wander, that says a lot. For me, being overly relaxed while performing can make the performance less interesting to me, but can make a positive difference in my playing as heard by the audience. Even getting a little bored with my habits on a particular piece can yield some cool results from subtle experimentation. One of many "zones" of the creative mind, I guess. I certainly wouldn't consider it a bad thing.
That usually happens to me, man.
I go to a jam session, really SUCK, in my own standards, and after i get off someone comes to me and tells me I'm great. Boost to my confidence a bit but i rather be confident by my own rather than needing someone to tell me.
This one time i called stella, then called four. It was a trio session, so when we were playing four i kind of wandered off a bit and went back into hearing stella in my head for some reason. I was pretty much playing the stella changes over four, got back into the form of four and finished playing.
I thought i sucked but some lady came up to me and she told me how good she thought I was.
But nothing beats the time i took a lesson with peter bernstein, played pretty badly, saw him a few weeks after and some guy at the show i had been talking to wentto talk to him, mentioned me and pete remembered me and said "oh yeah he's good!". The guy came back up to me just to tell me. Feels pretty good haha.
Nothing unnerves me more than the changes to a previous song entering my head and hanging around for the ride.
Originally Posted by jtizzle