Thursday, July 26, 2012

Other people write things

OK, clearly this light patch is going to continue for a bit, so let's see what my blogging compatriots are up to:

Let's lead with pianist George Colligan, who has a few words on practicing:

It should be tedious if it's really worthwhile. Much of practicing is not fun. It takes discipline. I personally don't have a problem with people practicing while they watch TV! If you are doing maintenance exercises, or warm ups, or something like that, I think that watching TV might make the "medicine easier to swallow, " if you know what I mean.


What is really important to you? Is it more important to go to the coast on the weekend and hang out with your friends? Or is spending some time on your instrument more important? Maybe you could do both. Still, you might find that spending quality time on your instrument means there are other things. 

Continued after the break:

Here Ted Warren shares a multi-part Bill Frisell documentary with Joey Baron and Kermit Driscoll, one of my favorite bands ever, though lacking Mark Dresser. Frisell talks about his methods at the time, and the group does some playing:

Go watch the whole thing.

At Four on the Floor there is another great multi-parter in which several great players remember Paul Motian:

Andrew Hare encourages us to rethink what we mean by rushing:

There are so many examples of classic recordings like the one above where the playing rushes, but still feels and sounds so great that the labeling it as "rushing" seems completely irrelevant. Many jazz musicians I know talk about playing on top of the beat as opposed to rushing, and I think this terminology makes a useful distinction. Playing on top of the beat generally means playing with a sense of forward motion by slightly anticipating the quarter note pulse. In reality, this type of playing often leads to an increase in tempo over the course of the song.
I think that playing on top of the beat only becomes rushing (and hence a really serious problem) when it happens in either so quickly or so dramatically that it disrupts the feel of the music. In other words, a gradual increase in tempo of over the course of a song like in the examples above wouldn't really be rushing in this scheme, it would just be playing on top of the beat.

Look for light posting to continue for the next week or so-- hopefully we'll be back to our usual barrage of weighty stuff soon.

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