Find The Best Time

We have been looking at ways of stirring our creativity playing our musical instrument.  Regardless of where a musician is at in their journey, we all go through peaks and valleys.  There are times where there is much material to practice that awaits us, and other times where we feel like we have exhausted our options or ran out of motivation.  So far, we have learned the importance of listening, developing ideas, and transcribing music, as this gives us a new perspective how to develop more possibilities.  You can review these principles in past blogs we have posted.  Our last principle of stirring our creativity is to find the best time.  In a future blog, we will discuss the importance of exercise and nutrition being a musician.  Along with these, find the best time during the day to play your instrument.  If you are tired, you will not be at your fullest potential.  Select a designated time where you’re most sharp, alert, and can perform at optimum levels.  You will be more creative.  Thus, creativity breeds creativity.  The more you stir cream in a cup of coffee, the more it will permeate throughout the coffee.  When we select a time of practice when we are most creative, this creativity will compound at our craft!  All of my ideas on the drums have come from times when I’m most sharp, alert, and energized.  When I’m tired after a long day, I will “maintenance practice” to maintain my ability, but when I’m most alert, I will “creatively practice” to cultivate new approaches and concepts.  It is important for you to know when you’re at your best.  Allocate this time to practicing your instrument as you’ll be most prone to progression and innovation!

Stir Your Creativity! Part II

In our last blog, we examined the era of the 1940s and how the emergence of bebop music brought originality and creativity to jazz.  Further, from our perspective, the first step to developing creativity is to have a plan on what to practice.  You must know what to do before doing it, rather than playing aimlessly and not making any progression.  This time can be divided up working on a weakness, reading music, or developing a new style to name a few.  Despite having a plan on what to work on, musicians still may encounter “musicians block”, where they’ll lack creative expression on the instrument.  How can we prevent this?  After all, do we really want to merely mirror a book full of exercises?  Thankfully, there are practical ways you can stir your creativity at your instrument!  Let’s look at one in this blog:

 

-Listen, Listen, Listen! We have of heard of the saying, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” This can also be applied to music – “Be slow to play and quick to listen.” Open yourself up to various styles of music.  We are only accustomed to playing what’s prevalent in our western culture such as jazz, rock, or blues.  But what about music from Venezuela or music from India?  Have you considered opening yourself to these genres?  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the phrase, feel, and dialect of this music compared to what we are used to in our culture.  As a result, listening will generate new ideas and approaches you can use on your instrument.

 

 

Over the next few blogs, we will look at additional ways you can stir your creativity.  For now, be receptive to all styles of music from all around the world.  This will open up many pathways of opportunities on your instrument!