Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How I'm Gonna Play (Around) (Part 2)

The second part of my new approach is what I'm going to be playing. While I get a little satisfaction out of having learned to play someone else's tunes, (especially someone else's tunes that I really like), I get a lot more joy out of coming up with my own stuff. This changes my approach in two ways.

First, I've realized that my goal isn't performance. I don't really want to be able to "play Carnegie Hall" or anything. I want to be able to create music. Either via "composition" or "improvisation", or probably both, although I'm hoping to avoid thinking either of those two fancy words too often. I want to sit down at the keyboard and start messing around until something interesting comes out. At this point, I'm not even concerned with how, or even whether, I'll be able to let others hear this music. (If I don't figure out how to create, there'll be nothing for anyone to hear, so let's keep first things first.)

Second, it's changed how I look at the books. I'm no longer, thinking "I need to learn how to play page 24 to progress as a player". My brain has no fun thinking that particular thought, and I've got my dozen or two learning attempts as examples. Rather, I'm going to think "So what ideas or techniques are there on page 24?", and then "What can I make up that uses those ideas?". And once I start making stuff up, my hands will be practicing, while my brain is off creating. Brain has fun, hands learn, and I win.

I've been at this for a week, and I've already started to notice that I play loads better when the ideas are coming out of my head, rather than off the page, through my eyes and down to my fingers. And this all fits in very well with Part 1, in that I'm just going to play around.

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