States of mind

(4 posts)
  1. One can only imagine that in order to perform at the highest level when improvising, the mind has to be in a certain state of mind. The first state of mind that comes to mind is the realm of theory. Jazz musicians utilize the theory they've learned through years of practice to play melodically appropriate lines during the complex jazz harmonic changes while improvising.

    Many have said that jazz musicians develop a language that is not different from any other spoken language. Musicians recall melodic phrases that they have learned through transcribing or lines that they have crafted or are crafting themselves. In order to have real freedom while playing them, the musicians have to be in a state of mind were everything that the musician has learned can come out beautifully and perfectly without any mental boundaries.

    Kurt achieves this beautifully and his interviews gives us a great sense of his take on this.

    I know that there are many players in the forum and I was wondering if you guys had your own takes of what you feel, think, dream, and remember when you improvise. How do you overcome the fear of improvising? Does it have to do with your level of preparation? I've also read the Kenny Werner book.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. jseaberry

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Player

  3. I'll check it out.

  4. Basile865

    Great little clip there. Ive heard many musicians say the same thing, where they reach some place where the music is playing them rather then vice versa.

    I think its a lot like speaking a language. Imagine walking out of a store and somebody pulls up asking for directions. Given you know the way to get there, you're not really going to pause and think hard about how to articulate the message to them. It will just come out.

    The longer you've been speaking/playing the easier it is. A great writer will probably draw from a larger than average vocabulary to best articulate what theyre trying to convey. Beyond that I think musicians who know the song inside and out will generally have 2-3 choices of melody or harmony at any given time to be creative with.

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