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The Myth of Improvisation, or, May Only A Genius Truly BLOW!

 
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Rubadub



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: The Myth of Improvisation, or, May Only A Genius Truly BLOW! Reply with quote

Bird is famous for saying "You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that (shit) and just wail. Or words to that effect.
Garcia told a story about how Art Tatum told a story about a musician in New Orleans who only knew one chorus of blues in C, but Tatum would drop in over and over to hear it, and could never duplicate it.
Some musicians charge out on limbs, and profess to "improvise" and
risk the crash and burn surprises that occur when our vision exceeds our facility, others demystify the process by acknowledging that there's nothing new under the sun, the shards and fractal bits of melody and reharmonized sounds simply spill out in ensemble give and take, within frameworks of mapped material, and more pedestrian players follow their fingers in shapes and scales and calisthenics that swing from the monkeybars of formulaic reductionism.
Few musicians, in my experience, have blended the turn on a dime freedom that comes from being truly fluent on the instrument, i.e. unbound by facility limitations, and the huge ears of visionary sonic architecture to invent their very own thing, or their very own version of a bigger thing.
Roy Buchanan, Jaco Pastorius, Jerry Garcia, and David Lindley are my models in this hybridization process;
and then there was Kimock,
a sneaky wizard who waits and waits, and poof. You're gone.
Most of us burn for the do-it-yourself therapy of recreational music-making, with friends, and loopers, and metronomes, lacking any aspiration of genius, yet leaning into the humble sound in our personal head. And my experience is that, eventually, we sound like ourself,
regardless of our influences.
So Steve, if you have time,
can you demystify your Bandstand Mind?
Are you venturing out on the treelimbs that you have tested and internalized in practice, with real-time veering and happy inventions, or are you -shudder- actually Thinking along the tri-tone diminished algebra astronomy lines explicated in this very forum? Have you digested and transcended your influences by dint of many fretboard-years of playing your own feelings out loud, and studying the calculus of your ears?
How do you balance the lure of the conceptualized frontier
with the necessity of hitting the cue?
sincerely
Hambone Sparklewell
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
Location: Lehigh Valley

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll revisit this question when I have more time, but the short answer is I don't think about it, and I miss a lot of cues!

peace
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Rubadub



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

thanks, to boil the question down;
how might one coordinate the conflicting urgencies of the
fingers (who want to climb the same monkey bars)
mind (which gets all dizzy flipping 3rds and 7ths in Tritoneville)
and the ear (the trump card, methinks, that marries fingers and mind in a happy home where the music might live)?
sincerely
Fatback Sparklebone
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lalaland



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by lalaland on Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
Location: Lehigh Valley

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: thanks Reply with quote

Rubadub wrote:
thanks, to boil the question down;
how might one coordinate the conflicting urgencies of the
fingers (who want to climb the same monkey bars)
mind (which gets all dizzy flipping 3rds and 7ths in Tritoneville)
and the ear (the trump card, methinks, that marries fingers and mind in a happy home where the music might live)?
sincerely
Fatback Sparklebone


I get where you're coming from with this, but it doesn't really have anything to do with playing music. None of the above is answerable by any action or process or technique; ignore the question.
Dig it Rubadub, you're thinking in sentences, that's not the part of you or me that "gets" or "makes" music. You can talk about it like that if you want, but you can't do anything about it or change it by thinking you might have figured out an answer.
I've had my nose to that grindstone all my life, and I can say with great confidence that whatever you think it is, it's not what you think!

Anyway, the "music" doesn't happen on the sending part of the program, it happens on the recieving end; that's you.
You're the one who's feeling it whatever it is. It wouldn't make any difference how it's coordinated in it's transmission, it's recieved and processed as emotion, right? You feel it, or not. . .

Nobody is imposing feeling on you, you like what you like, and you don't like what you don't like. That's the reality. That's about the listener, not the player.
Make sense?
Maybe I don't get the question. . .?
Who nose?
Good topic anyway, not sure if it turns into a "completed work" tho. . .

peace, give thanks, etc.
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Rubadub



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Agreed, no pat answer, no secret handshake, no abracadabra.
And no one to tell us how to feel,
just the aimless archer hitting the bullseye of Feeling-or not.
Feeling, where the deep music separates itself from typewriter music.
Yet I see the importance of the work necessary
to acquaint the ears and fingers, to internalize/inculcate
the intervals and grips that may create the chickenskin.
Then, stop thinking, and feel your way into it.

So, thanks very much for taking the time.
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Frankenstrat



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: thanks Reply with quote

Rubadub wrote:

Yet I see the importance of the work necessary
to acquaint the ears and fingers, to internalize/inculcate
the intervals and grips that may create the chickenskin.
.


I think I just found my new TGP signature, LOL!!!

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