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  1. #1

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    I want to move on from what I'm doing---playing feels tired, writing OK but I want new adventure. I felt this after my good young group played mostly my music last week. And it was a good gig, with them doing well and a good audience response. I appreciate it, don't get me wrong.

    Repetition is good for proficiency, and repeating ideas may help the non-musician listener along and give your playing mates reference points. But treading the same ground over and over? Death.

    I don't want to be one of those creative types who chases every bauble new to them. That can be a trap, too, and---as Bill Evans observed---perhaps not genuine or true to oneself. I like the idea of working with the creative and craft clay I've already developed, and the tools already out there, but stretching. I feel we owe it to ourselves---and our listeners.

    How do we get to the next plateau? Study? Sure. Changing one's thinking? Yeah, as long as it's not forced, or it'll sound like that. Listening is what we do, when we're doing it right. So listen and cop? Why not? As long as you know you can't be that other person---hero or no.

    I like the idea of evolving rather than tearing down and starting over. That way you're doing what I call 'studying with yourself'. Maybe record yourself or your tunes and listen, then weed out the cliches and build on what's good.

    Soliloquy over. There are creative people aplenty here, who struggle with this. Callin' out to you.

    Thoughts?

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  3. #2

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    This when I usually switch things up and paint a bit.

  4. #3

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    everybody has their own method...to break on through...but listening to some new music might help...not just what you have become used to hearing...sometimes a gear change can inspire...hopefully the martin ooo will be inspiration..sometimes as mr.b wrote, you gotta turn to some other art


    i will say tho..never put down the guitar...playing it, even when you aint feeling it, is still a benefit...keeps your hands limber...your mind will eventually follow

    don't worry...carry on..it all balances in the end

    luck

    cheers

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    I felt this after my good young group played mostly my music last week.
    At any one time I have usually played in more than one band, as many as five. A little while back I was in two bands.

    In one of them everyone (including the drummer!) exclusively read out of books except me, and the long run general effect was that the songs sounded much the same each time they were performed.

    In the other band, half of the songs were ones I composed and taught them, the rest standards I taught them, but with nothing written down. Each performance the songs changed a little and evolved. I encouraged this, and the songs now have lives of there own. The relationship between the songs and the band and our audiences is different and quite wonderful.

    Not sure if this helps because I'm not sure what I'm trying to say.

  6. #5

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    Listening to great new jazz and jazz artists I've never heard before always gets my juices flowing. Always on the lookout for something totally fresh and exciting to steal.

  7. #6

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    I'd like to be the "develop what you have" guy, but I'm more of the David Bowie school: jump off when it's at its height, start again on something else. Crazy, I know, but it keeps me fresh and interested, always. I'm a musician, not a jazz guitarist, or a classical guitarist, etc. As long as it is music, I don't care what the label is. That probably makes me a Jack of all trades, master of none, but I've never been interested in mastering anything, but I do love taking a road I haven't travelled before. And when the music stops, I take my camera for a walk. It gives the ears a rest, and wakes up the eyes.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    And when the music stops, I take my camera for a walk. It gives the ears a rest, and wakes up the eyes.
    I like your photos; they're not forced or fake artsy like so many are, but go just far enough beyond mere recording to make one notice.

    Now, can I borrow £10? <--that's a joke intended to introduce an element of levity to a comment in order to avoid embarrassment...

  9. #8

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    Haha. You can, but the interest rate would be astronomical

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    In the other band, half of the songs were ones I composed and taught them, the rest standards I taught them, but with nothing written down. Each performance the songs changed a little and evolved. I encouraged this, and the songs now have lives of there own. The relationship between the songs and the band and our audiences is different and quite wonderful
    I agree. I really would rather do it all by 'lore', by ear, than paper. Looking at paper all night locks creativity and hampers looseness.

    But then there's reality: one----or if you're lucky, two---rushed rehearsals before an occasional gig. There just isn't time to develop the rappoire needed to do that. If I had steady work for a steady band, maybe. (Theoretically, though, this should be doable if you have players with experience, big ears and a lust for adventure).

    But then I also like different people each time. It keeps it fresh to keep adapting to what all these new people bring...

  11. #10

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    In my case, I am diving into something completely different: Old Time Fiddle Acoustic Jams. Those cowboy chords looked easy enough, but those breakneck speeds really clear out the cobwebs.

    I am really thrilled with how it is improving my jazz playing.

  12. #11

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    After 60 years and about every genre imaginable, I'm just to the point that I'm tired of playing....period - I don't even want to build guitars any more - what's the point? No place to play and no one to play with is a big part of it in my case, also. Thinking of going back to art but I did it as a job for so long that I find it hard to do unless someone comes along and wants something. I have a BIG problem doing and enjoying anything for myself. Maybe it's getting to the 'sitting in my chair and reading a book' period in my life. Don't know - still trying to figure it out........

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    But then I also like different people each time. It keeps it fresh to keep adapting to what all these new people bring...
    Me too; I was the guitarist for the band hosting a four hour weekly open mic for ten years - new faces and songs was routine... there's nothing quite like performing songs you've never heard with people you've just met!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf

    How do we get to the next plateau? Study? Sure. Changing one's thinking? Yeah, as long as it's not forced, or it'll sound like that. Listening is what we do, when we're doing it right. So listen and cop? Why not? As long as you know you can't be that other person---hero or no.

    Thoughts?
    Hey Jo,
    It "sounds like" you're tossing these ideas away, but they sound pretty good, too.

    I'd say schedule a lesson with a new teacher (not sure where you live, so maybe online) -- maybe someone you really like, since most cats do lessons -- and get your butt kicked with some ideas/info! If we're doing the same thing each gig, then we're doing the same thing, so some fresh ears can be quite helpful!

    Have fun!

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    ... there's nothing quite like performing songs you've never heard with people you've just met!
    ...Or ones you've written. Different spin, and you're almost always surprised...

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Hey Jo,
    It "sounds like" you're tossing these ideas away, but they sound pretty good, too.

    I'd say schedule a lesson with a new teacher (not sure where you live, so maybe online) -- maybe someone you really like, since most cats do lessons -- and get your butt kicked with some ideas/info! If we're doing the same thing each gig, then we're doing the same thing, so some fresh ears can be quite helpful!

    Have fun!
    I do that every now and again. This guy Reinier Baas from Holland excites me. I think he's a game changer, and would like to be influenced. If he gets to the NE in that states I may hit on him...

  17. #16
    Wanted to add: an invaluable pathway to discovery to me is composition. I really believe in it, and it never fails to take me places.

    You work in solitary and can pretty much do whatever comes to mind. Analyze it later and you just might be onto something new and meriting further exploration.

    I've been doing it pretty much since I picked up a guitar at age 10---screwing around, trying to make things up. I've tried almost everything since: any realm familiar to me in pop, jazz, classical. Started writing lyrics in around '03---another trip entirely, and I'm learning, trying, studying, evolving.

    I next want to really check out the trajectory of African-derived rhythm---a huge field---and write off that more. To date it's been melody-first, my indoctrination since early childhood. Time to shift gears...