Monday, July 1, 2019

A few steps back

I was recently practising something quite challeging ( it was in 9 ) and utilizing a paradiddle variation ( RLRLLRLR ) that i don't use as much and was trying to get it to feel more instinctual. I really wasn't getting anywhere with it, and I realized that I had to get the sticking naturalized in 4, before I attempted it going over the barline in an odd time signature. This is something that, not long ago, i would have been annoyed with. You know, I don't want to play in 4, i want to be "hip and modern". It was quite a silly way to think. I wasn't performing for anyone, and if I really wanted to get this together, I needed to stop trying to do so many complicated things at once. Any issues I had with this were just ego. This used to happen to me a lot while practicing. I would start working on idea A and while I was playing it I would be thinking about the next 4 steps, and sometimes trying to incorporate them while I was still playing the first idea. I wasted a lot of time with this. Don't be like me!!! Start whatever you're working on in a reasonable space, and add things only after you're comfortable with the first thing. If the first thing is giving you a lot of trouble, simplify it! There is no shame in this!

Okay, just because it's awesome, here's Thelonious Monk's band in '61 with the great Frankie Dunlop on drums. The ballad gets cut off, unfortunately, but it's still great stuff. Enjoy!

P.S. Happy Canada Day!
P.S.S. I'm playing with Jerry Bergonzi and the Brian Dickinson trio at Upstairs in Montreal for the Jazz festival tonight. Come on by if you're in the neighbourhood!

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