Monday, 13 February 2012

heart warming

As I'm starting to practise after listening all day to my own tracks, I'm realizing that I need to ear train and really learn the tunes I'm working on. I'm working with some Bill Evans tunes and they are sometimes semi through composed and that makes for some extra work memorizing the 2nd and 3rd A sections but it's worth it. I feel I'm behind and only just making what my ear and my hands tell me to play. A relaxed technique works wonders.

Sometimes a phrase needs to be handled better rhythmically so it can end on time. Phrases need a beginning a middle and an end—to take a breath (there's another thing) to go on to accommodate the next development of the previous phrase or perhaps a paraphrase of the one just played and fragment that, into another phrase building action or drama if you will. People (teachers all) have been telling me: You tell a story here: that way the music has a line or it is "composed" (what a great word) and it might have grace and it should have heart. Telling the story (of Joy?) of what it's like to be honest and whole-heartedly, warm-heartedly involved. It can be fun and should be always a certain kind of "fun" deep fun, witty fun, serious fun !!

So I'm intrigued by the melodic shapes that I find lying around. The Tao of Improvisation by Sheldon Z. offers one example (100b) that has so many applications and room for development. The last 6 notes of Bill Evans' "Yet Ne'er Broken" in Eb : 5 6 12 3 6 an example that is fun to utilize in other pieces...not to mention phone numbers... why not? All grist for the musical mill.

So I guess it's about organization and inspiration too —it's the mind (Bill Evans: The Universal Mind) that is involved, open, creative, prepared and leavened with the heart: That makes it all worth while !!


  1. I've heard it's useful to listen to your own recordings as if they were being played by someone else (and likewise listen to other people as if you were playing it). It helps even out our perspective a little.

    I remember coming across a tape of some piano music that was quite interesting... I was trying to figure out who it was and where it was from - then I remembered it had been me, one day when I felt dissatisfied with my own playing, so I never even listened to it. Three years later, it didn't sound bad at all. Not brilliant, but not bad either.

  2. Charlie I have to say, reading your blog inspires me to practice, and that's an excellent thing! Thank you!