Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Interesting news item (at least to me).

    Where In The Brain Does Creativity Come From? Evidence From Jazz Musicians

    Talks about right hemisphere vs. left-hemisphere and makes an argument that in some situations, novice players have an advantage over experts.

    "For instance, when a person is an expert, his or her performing is produced primarily by relatively unconscious, automatic processes that are difficult for a person to consciously alter, but easy to disrupt in the attempt, as when self-consciousness causes a person to “choke” or falter.

    In contrast, novices’ performances tend to be under deliberate, conscious control. Thus, they are better able to make adjustments according to instructions given by a teacher or coach. Recordings of brain activity could reveal the point at which a performer is ready to release some conscious control and rely on unconscious, well-learned routines. Releasing conscious control prematurely may cause the performer to lock-in bad habits or nonoptimal technique."



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Can't teach old dogs new tricks. Do I get a doctorate for that?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Reminds me of Aristotle's idea of "beginner's luck." It sure happens. For him, the master would have--Greek term---techne that that the novice lacks.
    But this does not mean the novice is the equal of the master. (Beginner's luck is a fickle thing---nobody talks about a beginner's BAD luck but that happens too!)

    All that said, when it comes to musical creativity, a remarkable amount of great work is done by younger persons. (It is hard for a great young improviser to be as great when older. It just doesn't tend to work out that way.)

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    well , interesting since everything that im about now is setting up grooves using simplicity , simple chord progresion, simple head arrangements and few kicks ,to let go of thinking and get to intuition and sub concious as fast as posable to get to the filet mignon of improvisation.

    its easy to find role models. how about impresions and so what, maybe the only tunes in the world i could play the chords on piano. the simplicity factor is off the charts. everything about that set up is to get to expresion as fast as posable , where repeating simple stuctures over and over with the improvisation lead to large complex excursions ( that is part mandlebrot fracal theoroy by the way) .

    ill be straight, this study sounds like its for reading something. where if you are a novice you will pay more attention but if you know it really well you might just phone it in.

    real jazz you have to be in the moment letting your intuition come through .

    maybe im not understanding the implication

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    It's like driving a car or riding a bike.

    However, even expert drivers get in accidents.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    But the left/right brain thing has been around for donkey's years and that's basically all that article said. In 2020?

    Must have been one of those 'filler' things. I'm sure they could do better.

    In any case, that's not where creativity comes from. One isn't necessarily creative because one plays music or something, it's a mindset. It has to do with not being conformist. The follower-type is never creative, they just imitate.

    They can put it all down to the kind of brain you've got but I doubt that approach. If that were so, we'd be trapped in uncreativity forever. But it's not true, a person's creativity can be awakened.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    "The follower-type is never creative, they just imitate." Ragman1

    Quote of the day! Good playing . . . Marinero

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    That was actually a pretty interesting read. Not limiting the discussion to jazz...

    I have long wondered (and have read other musicians talk about it, kind of) if "learning everything" could actually be a detriment to creativity (note I am not saying to proficiency). To put it simply, learning everything- all the chords, all the standards, etc... may make you lean so heavily on that, that connecting to... not to get too esoteric here, but "the universe" or "your muse" or whatever... is actually more difficult. Just as a child operates by instinct, and is taught many things over their growing up... taught to fear, taught to worry, etc etc.... some habits that are extremely difficult to break in adulthood... perhaps being uber-proficient on your instrument/music-of-choice also can "fence you in"? Basically, if you know all the rules and follow them too closely, you're boring LOL. I mean, that's a bit drastic, but...

    For music creation, and again by that I mean WRITING music, as opposed to just playing music, in which case knowing all the rules is extremely helpful.... but for creating something new- something that comes out of your own ... call it what you want, soul or whatever... seems like it would need to be able to step AWAY from "the rules" to allow free-form thinking, since you are a unique person of one, whatever you create should also be (if left to it's OWN devices), a unique creation of one.

    Sorry if I'm diving in a bit deep on this, but I love this stuff. Some of my favorite (and most talented) players were never really "schooled" as so many other players have been. And greatness can come out of both camps, don't misunderstand... but I feel like, in my 35 years of playing, listening, reading, exploring, and learning.... I have noticed a trend towards the "most interesting" players were not schooled from top-to-bottom, they learned most of what they knew on their own, inventing/developing certain things along the way- whether it was a technique, or a part of their style that was not considered "normal", or whatever....

    Someone super-proficient on their instrument, can "play anything" = great sideman / hire for a job.

    The albums and music that seems to be the most creative/unique = not made by those people. (again, not talking absolutes here; there are exceptions to everything)

    Session-land seems to combine the two camps, as creativity is part of their job (or at least it USED to be, when most albums were made by session players... altho IDK about the jazz field, I'm talking more pop music)

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Hi, Ruger9,
    Some very hip players coming out of the universities today. They are years ahead of those who did it the "hard" way(on the job training). I think you need both: theory and experience. One or the other doesn't make it today with the high level of young players out there. Good playing . . . Marinero

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, Ruger9,
    Some very hip players coming out of the universities today. They are years ahead of those who did it the "hard" way(on the job training). I think you need both: theory and experience. One or the other doesn't make it today with the high level of young players out there. Good playing . . . Marinero
    "years ahead"... in theory and execution, but that does not necessarily = talent/creativity... that's my point. A machine can play music perfectly, but can it CREATE MEANINGFUL MUSIC? I see a lot of this on youtube in recent years.... 16 year old girls who can "out shred" many well-known shredders... they obviously know the theory and have the technique... but are they making music? A lot of times it sounds like just so many notes to me, might as well be a computer playing it.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    "years ahead"... in theory and execution, but that does not necessarily = talent/creativity... that's my point. A machine can play music perfectly, but can it CREATE MEANINGFUL MUSIC? I see a lot of this on youtube in recent years.... 16 year old girls who can "out shred" many well-known shredders... they obviously know the theory and have the technique... but are they making music? A lot of times it sounds like just so many notes to me, might as well be a computer playing it.
    Hi, R,
    Of course I won't argue against the above statement. In fact, it is one of my greatest criticisms of many younger and older players. However, this does not discount the fact that most younger players, on the whole, are more advanced than in my generation 60's/70's of players. However, I will take your above remarks one step further and say that all musicians can become better players, but only a few can create "meaningful music." There is "Black magic" with the truly meaningful players and that cannot be taught--it's innate. Why should musicians be any different from painters, poets or novelists. Some just have the spark of the gods. Good playing . . . Marinero

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Suppose a journeyman level player approaches the task by singing a new melody to himself and plays it. Assume, for the sake of discussion, that he plays something he's never played before.

    Then, a master jazz musician plays the same tune, using his full bag of tricks. He plays a solo that the vast majority of listeners would rate much more highly. But, in fact, he didn't play a single thing he hasn't played before.

    Now, you have the panel rate these two players on creativity. Which one is rated more highly? Which one was, in reality, being more creative?

    As I understand it, what most of us would agree is a great solo is a mixture of new material and well practiced material. Or, well-practiced material applied in a novel way. And, from what I've read, based on alternate studio takes, some of the greats were playing a good deal of memorized material. Not a criticism. If you like something, why wouldn't you play it again?

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Suppose a journeyman level player approaches the task by singing a new melody to himself and plays it. Assume, for the sake of discussion, that he plays something he's never played before.

    Then, a master jazz musician plays the same tune, using his full bag of tricks. He plays a solo that the vast majority of listeners would rate much more highly. But, in fact, he didn't play a single thing he hasn't played before.

    Now, you have the panel rate these two players on creativity. Which one is rated more highly? Which one was, in reality, being more creative?

    As I understand it, what most of us would agree is a great solo is a mixture of new material and well practiced material. Or, well-practiced material applied in a novel way. And, from what I've read, based on alternate studio takes, some of the greats were playing a good deal of memorized material. Not a criticism. If you like something, why wouldn't you play it again?
    I would definitely be in the minority there... to me, a great solo is one that goes with the song, as if the solo was written as a movement inside a symphony. Certainly NOT a "bag of tricks", or a bunch of well-executed and connected "licks". Some of the best solos I've ever heard were composed, and not licks I ever heard before... not saying they were totally unique, just not that I could picture a string of licks in my head as the solo went by, because the solo was in itself a song, with a melody.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    "If" you like something, why wouldn't you play it again? RP



    Yes, RP and all musicians do it. You can't be creative 100% of the time just as you cannot write a great novel every time or paint a great picture. But, moments of inspiration happen frequently and, at all levels. And, without being "cosmic, " you'll never know when they're coming. However, the reason you can identify solos by Dexter Gordon, Wes, Gene Ammons, Chet Baker,
    Miles, etc. is that they not only have a distinct sound, but they also repeat indentifying lines or cliches. But, that does not mean that they don't reach, explore or intuit while they're playing. My favorite sax players were Dexter, Gene Ammons, and Coltrane before the atonal stuff. I knew every lick they played on record but they always provided a surprise when playing live: tempo, phrasing, key changes, etc. So, were on the same page. Isn't this why this stuff is so addictive??????? Good playing . . . Marinero

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    I would definitely be in the minority there... to me, a great solo is one that goes with the song, as if the solo was written as a movement inside a symphony. Certainly NOT a "bag of tricks", or a bunch of well-executed and connected "licks". Some of the best solos I've ever heard were composed, and not licks I ever heard before... not saying they were totally unique, just not that I could picture a string of licks in my head as the solo went by, because the solo was in itself a song, with a melody.
    Just to be clear, I was writing that in response to the article. It makes a point about creativity, but the benchmark used for creativity is a group of experts rating the solos.

    It occurred to me that what they may like in a solo may not be what I think of as creativity. So, in that story about Art Tatum playing the same solo on different takes in the studio ... I'm going to guess that the raters would have liked the final version. But, was his brain activity the same in the final version as it was the first time he thought of those lines? In other words, I was questioning the definition of "creativity" used in the research.

    I didn't mean to make a comment on what is a good or not so good solo. My personal criterion is whether I can feel something. Another point might be that, based on my experience, some of my most creative solos probably suck, because I couldn't execute something for the first time ever.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for the article, I also found it an interesting read. Besides the researchers using us as their case study, the interest for me was in how they suggest moving beyond the habitual notion of the relationship between our brains and behaviors. The linked journal article elaborates on that point by offering a "dual-process model of creativity in which experience influences the balance between executive and associative processes." Like a lot of science, it is not so much about being earth-shattering as much as it adds some nuance to a well-worn topic.

    On another note, I found the photo on p. 3 of "a jazz guitarist performing while EEG is recorded" amusing. Imagine donning that apparatus while trying to lay down your best grooves and licks!

    A Neuroscience Study Of 32 Jazz Guitar Players-jazzbrain-jpg

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzPadd

    On another note, I found the photo on p. 3 of "a jazz guitarist performing while EEG is recorded" amusing. Imagine donning that apparatus while trying to lay down your best grooves and licks!

    A Neuroscience Study Of 32 Jazz Guitar Players-jazzbrain-jpg
    Is it any more cumbersome than gigging in Kiss?

    A Neuroscience Study Of 32 Jazz Guitar Players-kiss-jpg

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Is it any more cumbersome than gigging in Kiss?

    A Neuroscience Study Of 32 Jazz Guitar Players-kiss-jpg
    Ah, Kiss. I saw them for 99 cents at Mother's Music Emporium in Nashville. Their first album had just come out. It was the first all-ages show I had been to. (I wasn't old enough to drive then and neither were the friends I went with---we were driven there by a parent.) We arrived a couple hours early and waited outside. We saw the band arrive in a limo, sans makeup.

    It was a good show. Only time I ever saw them. We were up against the stage, right in front of Gene Simmons.
    I imagine their costumes---especially those boots with such high heels---were difficult to perform in. At least they chose their uniforms and got paid handsomely for their efforts. (Maybe not that night at Mother's Music Emporium, but soon and for a very long time after.)

    I still like "Strutter".


    Addendum, re: Kiss. I asked my wife about the band. (She is younger than I am.) They were never important to her. I think they were more important to kids who were a few years behind me----those were the original "Kiss Army."
    I just Googled them and found out they have sold over 75 million records and have 30 gold albums to their credit. Doesn't mean they are great or anything but damn, 30 gold albums? Apparently no one else has had so many (in the US).