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SoundGround >> Four Levels of Awareness


1/9/13 10:32 AM
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jman
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Edited: 01/09/13 10:32 AM
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Wow...unreal.

Anthony "The bassologist" Wellington and the four levels of awareness a musican can go through as he improves on his or her instrument.

1/9/13 10:46 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/09/13 11:47 AM
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Unconscious knowing. I'll get right on that!
Pianist Kenny Werner has a book called Effortless Mastery, which essentially has the same point (in a lot more words, but... a lot more direction, too). But of course he's talking about putting in a lot of effort to play effortlessly...
Bait and switch gurus, I say (!)

I'm not sure how he breaks down his own "four levels" or "four steps" schematically. But Werner is also all about becoming "unconscious":

1/9/13 5:12 PM
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hugomma
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Goddamnit, another one...Going to see my guy tomorrow about getting my home PC fixed.  

Both of you - VTFU.  Thanks guys.  

1/11/13 2:30 AM
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jman
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Awesome thanks Ali, I'm ordering "Effortless Mastery" this weekend, sounds like a great read!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Effortless-Mastery-Liberating-Master-Musician/dp/156224003X
1/11/13 2:37 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/11/13 3:07 AM
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Very "Zen of practicing"...
There's lots of seminar segments on youtube, I discovered. Because of this thread. I posted one, as you see, but watched four or five. They're all really good!
Werner talks about growing up with TV music, and loving *that*... he does a Rheingold beer commercial in one of his talks, as if it's the most moving thing he'd ever heard. I think he means it, too.
But ... he figured out what to practice a bit later, and he really figured out how to practice!

Anyway, let me know what you think of the book. (Though I didn't intend to talk you into spending money!) It's all about awareness, so I think it'll be up your alley. He does say in one of the talks that he gets lots of good feedback from the first half, which pretty much just describes problems. People relate to it really well.... But he hears less about the second half where he talks more about what to DO about those problems. (It's all mixed in to some extent, but I'm just talking emphases). So it's ok to skip ahead if you feel like you "get it" in the first part. At least to see what's in store.
1/11/13 6:14 AM
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jman
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Thanks man.

I didn't check out any more of his videos (because I went to order his book).

Can you post some of the "good ones" you mentioned on this thread so we can keep this thing rolling?

When I get the book, I'll post on this thread to continue to keep adding to it, thanks!
1/12/13 3:11 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/14/13 11:51 AM
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Most of the stuff I found is pretty informal, and maybe not too efficient in terms of teaching material/minute. But... maybe it's better that way (?) Depends on what you're after. There are a whole lot of fragments I like.

Here's the one where he does the Rheingold commercial I mentioned (toward the end of this clip). I think this is all pretty interesting -- just talking about his influences, with no concern for what was "cool", ever, I think.

1/12/13 3:14 PM
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Ali
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And on playing old "crooner type songs" at a 'free jazz' clinic...

1/12/13 3:16 PM
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Ali
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I like a lot of these clips, I like his approach and his teaching, or his communicating his approach (if that might be different from teaching). But... now that you know anybody can find the stuff on youtube. I don't know how much to "keep going" here!

Obviously if I get struck by something in particular as special, I'll let you guys know. (And even that first vid I posted was the second part of a longer clip... maybe I'll go find the first, at least, but I thought the second was more "meaty" just for the sake of sharing on this thread).
1/12/13 3:28 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/14/13 11:52 AM
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I'll share this, too... not from the seminars or anything. This is listed on youtube as the "Peter Erskine Trio", which it's not. There is a version of the tune done on an Erskine Trio record; this is from an Erskine record called "Sweet Soul" and this tune is a quartet. Erskine on drums, Marc Johnson on bass, Joe Lovano on sax, Kenny Werner on piano. It's a classical piece, done "jazz".

William Walton's "Touch Her Soft Lips and Part". Which, if I recall correctly, was taken from his ballet "Romeo and Juliet". I bring this up just in case it wasn't obviously a love song.

I had heard Werner before, and thought he was sort of ... standard, very good, very mellow, very mainstream... didn't really strike me. But I heard this tune and loved it. I also love Joe Lovano's saxophone, which is more the star than the piano. But this is what put Werner's name in my head as someone I'd like to check out more. After that long winding saxophone beauty, (with great comping by Werner), the piano solo is at 3:31. If you care. I really don't -- in that I'm not in any hurry to get there, given how gorgeous the theme is. But I like this all the way through. Including Werner, who was the guy I was least familiar with when I first heard it.

Erskine is the leader. As he often has for the past twenty-something years, he leads from the background. Used to be an explosion of fusion drumming from this guy all the time; but I think for a long time now he's mostly doing the most extremely subtle of brushwork, and virtually no soloing, on his own records. Felt but barely heard. I guess he's for real about the ensemble being the thing. Anyway.... I think this is just too beautiful, for realz.

1/14/13 11:36 AM
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jman
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I think I could listen to Kenny Werner talk all day long. Much like Guthrie Govan, they are not only incredible musicians, but have such a fun and entertaining way of comminicating their ideas with the English language.

Book should be here in the next few days, should be a fun read, thanks.
1/14/13 10:17 PM
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Ali
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jman - I think I could listen to Kenny Werner talk all day long. Much like Guthrie Govan, they are not only incredible musicians, but have such a fun and entertaining way of comminicating their ideas with the English language.

Book should be here in the next few days, should be a fun read, thanks.

Well... cool!
This is really "part 1" of the first Werner video above. It's shorter; I skipped it for no particularly good reason, so you might dig this (and then go back to the first one, if so inclined). The intro:

1/14/13 10:19 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/14/13 10:22 PM
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"There's only one real freedom, and that is the freedom from having to sound good...."

1/14/13 10:36 PM
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Ali
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This one is more than just a clip. It's an 85 minute master class. You can't always hear the questions, but you can hear Kenny's answers. Really great stuff in here:

1/18/13 9:00 PM
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Palmala Handerson
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In thanks for posting
1/21/13 4:46 PM
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DasBeaver
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Jesus, those first two clips are exactly what I've been looking for. I've tried explaining this idea of what is missing from my live playing to my last two teachers and drew blanks. I call it the space where my mind breaks my fingers. You guys rock!

I'm interested to hear a review of the book Jman.
1/22/13 12:27 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 01/22/13 12:45 AM
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On another forum, there's a dude with signature line which is credited as a quote from his ten-year old daughter:

I was trying to control my brain, but my brain was controlling me.
1/22/13 9:04 AM
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jman
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DasBeaver - Jesus, those first two clips are exactly what I've been looking for. I've tried explaining this idea of what is missing from my live playing to my last two teachers and drew blanks. I call it the space where my mind breaks my fingers. You guys rock!

I'm interested to hear a review of the book Jman.

Yeah kind of felt the same way when I saw it (and why I posted it). Never heard it put so well.

Still waiting to get the book (living in Taiwan has its pros and cons).

I have the 1 hour seminar on my "Watch Later" on YouTube so I can watch the entire thing at one time, thanks!
3/17/13 8:12 AM
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jman
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First off thanks Ali for the Kenny Werner recommendations. I finally finished reading "Effortless Mastery" today and watched the hour long seminar above that I've been waiting to watch after I finished the book.

"Effortless Mastery" is not a book for beginners...basically because you are "unlearning" many things that naturally happens as you progress through the learning process. I found it interesting that a Brown Belt in BJJ's foundation is "going back to the basics" well this is a musical way to define that. For me what I got out of the book, was playing "YOU". There is some God stuff, and philosophy stuff, which is cool, but not my thing. But what I can get and strive for is playing "YOU". So this book helps to guide you in doing that. There are 4 basic steps the book goes through to help you in rediscovering your inner musical voice.

There is no "Ah Ha" moment, but it helps to guide you to getting on track and moreso staying on track. We start to learn so many things, that you almost always forget the basics (like the BJJ Brown Belt analogy). Music is about "your voice" and we so easily forget this trying to play patterns, arpeggios, compicated rhythms, crazy chord changes, fast, etc.

So this is NOT to say that any of those things are wrong...quite the opposite they are RIGHT...IF...that is what YOU are hearing. Not what your body and mind executes or wants but what YOUR EAR AND MIND wants to play. Simple and stupid...yes...easy...fuck no.

So this book to me is a great guide to help you "rediscover" and find your own voice and joy in music. I'd give it a 9/10.

http://www.amazon.com/Effortless-Mastery-Liberating-Master-Musician/dp/156224003X
3/17/13 2:09 PM
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Ali
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Welcome back, jman! I'm glad to read your review of this. I'm also glad you gave it such high marks (I don't think I was expecting quite a 9/10!) Nicely done review.

And I'm glad I didn't encourage you to waste our money and time, mostly.
3/17/13 10:19 PM
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jman
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Edited: 03/17/13 10:19 PM
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I'm really enjoying Doug Muro's book "Jazz Guitar - Swing to Bebop". It is laid out really well and is probably for intermediate level players. There are so many great simple example licks and solos (and a music CD). Perfect for me because I never learned any jazz solos, so this is a great way to "learn the licks".

http://www.amazon.com/21st-Century-Method-Jazz-Guitar/dp/0769289312

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