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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trotsky wrote:

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 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 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...
Awesome!! I'd be pissed too, but lesson learned, eh? Yes, I think creativity can be taught too, to a certain extent. But it all comes with the being him or herself. The biggest is teaching them to see for themselves. Because it's got to be THEIR vision after all.

And I think further it comes from KNOWING. And that there in and of itself is the challenge, because how can you approach an area to know before you know, right?

One of the biggest revelations came to me in relationship to writing. When I realized I should approach it like improv, it all resolved itself. I don't get writers block. So in other words I've got a little piece of a song. A chorus, let's say or a section of a tune. I used to agonize over the next part, the bridge or verse section. Then I realized I've spent my whole life cultivating my own taste. So I need a bridge? Grab one. Don't THINK. KNOW. I can always change it later. But speed is very important when I write music. INtro - verse, verse, bridge, chorus. Whatever. Then once it's all on paper I can re-adjust things. But for all practical purposes it's done.

It's the same with guitar and jazz. The more I think the more left behind I get. My time starts lagging on really fast tempos.
All the best,

Henry Robinett
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 203
Location: toronto

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the book. But the later editions also has a CD. I keep a copy in my car since I travel a lot. It's very self motivating and relaxing on those long drives, especially going to gigs after some stressful shit.
I don't agree 100% with his thing about "I am a master" motto, but i find the book very inspiring.
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