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Effortless Mastery
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PaulD



Joined: 18 Sep 2004
Posts: 1129
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:50 am    Post subject: Effortless Mastery Reply with quote

Just started reading 'Effortless Mastery' by Kenny Werner. Has anyone else read it and did you find it useful?

Paul
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, but I've heard about it. I like to stay away from ideas. LOL. I like to come up with my own ideas, since I think they may run through similar veins. LOL. I may check it out though. Let us know! I've heard great things about that book. And he's a tremendous musician.
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I`ve read it a couple of times. I found it quite interesting.
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randalljazz



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.playjazzguitar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4618&highlight=effortless+mastery+kenny+werner
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PaulD



Joined: 18 Sep 2004
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realize there was an existing thread already. I should have looked...thanks for the link Randall. I guess that's why nobody comes here any more - we've already talked about everything Very Happy

Paul
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool book, heavily inspired by Free Play, which, imo, is a bit more direct, articulate, and well written, though applies less to jazz specifically. Effortless Mastery quotes Free Play a few times

To be honest, I'm not exaggerating - Free Play did change my life.
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randalljazz



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulD wrote:
I didn't realize there was an existing thread already. I should have looked...thanks for the link Randall. I guess that's why nobody comes here any more - we've already talked about everything Very Happy

Paul


didn't mean to imply that it had all been said, or needn't be brought up...just my small offering in lieu of actually having anything to say on the subject (not having read the book)...
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trotsky



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what is "Free Play"....
Although I am not sure I want my life changed....LOL...
Well I wouldn't mind changing my job a bit.

BTW..happy holidays jazz nerds...finally got our fist little dusting of snow here in Sarnia ON
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trotsky wrote:
So what is "Free Play"....
Although I am not sure I want my life changed....LOL...
Well I wouldn't mind changing my job a bit.

BTW..happy holidays jazz nerds...finally got our fist little dusting of snow here in Sarnia ON


Sorry, should have italicized:

http://www.amazon.com/Free-Play-Improvisation-Life-Art/dp/0874776317
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not meaning to seem argumentative, but I've always wondered why anyone would need a book to tell them how to create or improvise, internally. I've never felt the need for any of these. It seems that the journey is about discovery: inner discovery, outer discovery, observation, letting go, trusting, being now, reacting -- and practicing is preparation for those moments.

And it always seemed counter intuitive or hypocritical to "spontaneously" create oneself but yet and still use "vocabulary" created by others.

I know my POV is somewhat unique in the sense, but jazz, to me, is a very personal language. The art, for me, means I put in musical terms, what my consciousness and inner life is experiencing.

And not discount Free Play or books like that. I'm certain they're valuable and full of real insight.

I am expected to teach vocab and I do, to a certain degree. But I teach it only as a means to gain self discovery of ones voice. Like here's an agreed upon and workable method of getting there.
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cjm



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henryrobinett wrote:

I am expected to teach vocab and I do, to a certain degree. But I teach it only as a means to gain self discovery of ones voice. Like here's an agreed upon and workable method of getting there.


But isn't that essentially the same thing an author attempts to do for the independent student outside a university setting?
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PaulD



Joined: 18 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randalljazz wrote:
PaulD wrote:
I didn't realize there was an existing thread already. I should have looked...thanks for the link Randall. I guess that's why nobody comes here any more - we've already talked about everything Very Happy

Paul


didn't mean to imply that it had all been said, or needn't be brought up...just my small offering in lieu of actually having anything to say on the subject (not having read the book)...


I was sincerely thanking you for the link - it was helpful and led me to Werner's web site. It had not occurred to me to search before asking about it. The other comment was just my attempt at being funny in light of the "why is this place so dead" thread on the 'Hangout, Chat & Get to Know' forum.

Henryrobinett wrote:
Not meaning to seem argumentative, but I've always wondered why anyone would need a book to tell them how to create or improvise, internally. I've never felt the need for any of these. It seems that the journey is about discovery: inner discovery, outer discovery, observation, letting go, trusting, being now, reacting -- and practicing is preparation for those moments.


You're a pro at a high level and get to play with other high-level musicians, whereas I travel for work every single week and play by myself in hotel rooms (ok, that last part sounded weird Very Happy), so we're coming from different perspectives. I don't think it's a matter of "needing" a book to tell me how to do anything. To me, reading, which I love to do, is just part of the very discovery you mention. Can't figure it all out in a vacuum. Sometimes just one simple (maybe even obvious) idea I read can set off the lights and yield all sorts of creative harvest. Not unlike coming to an online forum...I don't need other people's opinions to tell me how to do anything, but I can definitely get something out of seeing different points of view.

Paul
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Not meaning to seem argumentative, but I've always wondered why anyone would need a book to tell them how to create or improvise, internally.


Some people might not feel like they are tapping their creativity to its full potential. Or maybe they are curious about other perspectives on the creative process besides their own.

Quote:
I've never felt the need for any of these.


Good for you? Confidence is great, but I personally feel that I'll always have room for improvement whether its technical or creative. That doesn't mean I read every book that comes out, but I try to stay open minded, especially if the author seems to be in command of his subject.

Quote:
It seems that the journey is about discovery: inner discovery, outer discovery, observation, letting go, trusting, being now, reacting -- and practicing is preparation for those moments.


Those are sort of the points made in both books. If you already feel in touch with those concepts that's great, but I think a lot of people get bogged down in more shallow elements.

Quote:
I know my POV is somewhat unique in the sense, but jazz, to me, is a very personal language. The art, for me, means I put in musical terms, what my consciousness and inner life is experiencing.


Again, these are points emphasized in both books.


Quote:
And it always seemed counter intuitive or hypocritical to "spontaneously" create oneself but yet and still use "vocabulary" created by others....I am expected to teach vocab and I do, to a certain degree. But I teach it only as a means to gain self discovery of ones voice. Like here's an agreed upon and workable method of getting there.


I'm not sure how 'teaching vocabulary' got into this discussion. There isn't much of that nature in either book.
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"Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness." - Aaron Copland
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good enough! The vocab was a comment in general re teaching. What, I can't bring up concepts unless they've been touched upon in the original post? And teaching was kind of where I took it as a sideline regarding the topic. Especially since playing intuitively and playing with a pre conceived vocabulary tie directly into the general subject at hand.

Once again I'm NOT criticizing those who find benefit form these books. All I'm saying is I never felt the need. For one very major thing, it was these factors that led me to want to play jazz in the first place. So I kind of came to it from the opposite angle.

Or on the other hand I'm saying I wonder if I'm missing something. But for want of a better term music has ALWAYS been a zen thing for me, particularly jazz. That's it's raisons d'Ítre as far as I'm concerned. Jazz is ABOUT self expression. And THAT directly relates to the vocab comment. And when you allow yourself to simply BE and play, you kind of magically stand outside of yourself and play without judgement; you just listen. But as soon as you apply EFFORT and THINKING the muse flys out the window. At least that's been my experience.
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trotsky



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip about the book. Sounds like an interesting read.

as for the other...

There is a day I will never forget as an art student.

I had this very old but lovely lady teacher who was just a brilliant artist herself...so much so that studying under her was a little intimidating.

I hadn't really discovered music yet so visual art was my thing and we were working with clay.

I was trying to get it going but it wasn't happening. I was working on a shape but it was uninspired and a little contrived.
The teacher came by and looked at it...said a few nice things about technique but she could tell that this wasn't what I was trying to express at all.

Then she said " Do you mind if I try something"....

She reached over and rather violently crushed everything that I had done into a pile of wet goo and then in an over the top way pushed the clay into some sort of weird and crazy distorted shape.

I was shocked...and a little pissed...even though what I had was shit I had still spent quite a bit of time on it.

So she puts her hand on my shoulder and says " There...clean slate....Now, What do you see??....Look at it what do you see??"
"Instead of forcing it peel away the clay and reveal whats already there..."

Kind of corny and Zen...but I tell you I will never forget that day and I have carried that lesson with me always.It made me realize that sometimes you just have to allow the medium your working with, be it clay..or guitar, to speak to you first instead of trying to muscle it out.

The point is, I think you can teach creativity...at least to some degree.
Obviously there has to be an aptitude but experienced artists can offer guidance at times to help us get out of our own way and save us time on this road we are on.

BTW...a couple of weeks later that same teacher brought in a Wynton Marsalis recording for us to listen to while we worked....
After that it was all over for me...
Laughing
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