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> Obsession
Ben Higgins
post Mar 10 2011, 12:34 PM
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Hi Guys,

I just wanted to share a couple of quotes with you that I like... they perfectly capture my thoughts on our approach to music and obsession.

'An artist must be an artist in life - The ultimate aim is to use his daily activity to become a past master of life, and so as to lay hold of the art of living. Masters in all branches of art must first be masters of living, for the soul creates everything.' - Bruce Lee.

'If all you know is the guitar to the exclusion of everything else, your playing will be empty. You must relate your guitar playing to the world at large, and vice versa..... what you bring to your playing is the sum of who you are.' - from Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo.

I've had to overcome obsession to realise that by living my life and experiencing different things, I've got more to bring to my guitar than I did when I was concerned only with practising my technique etc. When we have a wealth of experience to channel into our guitars, that's when we really start making music ! smile.gif

I think obsession is natural when we discover something we love.. but we all have to identify when obsession turns into a negative force on our playing/hobbies etc.

Has anybody else noticed the effect of obsession in their playing ? Or in other aspects of your life ?


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Frederik
post Mar 10 2011, 12:43 PM
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Yeah!
I really got to be in the mood, to like the sound of me playing. I have to be congruent with my feelings and what i play to like it.
I wont say one will have to master life, to express something. If one just have a feeling, then they will express it. And if its boredom or sitting inside, that will come out.
If one have mastered life, and therefore knows life in depth, why not express it with words or an even more defined way, instead of the vague(read: something that relates to the unconscious mind) like music or art.
You have the feeling and you express it, but you do not fully grasp it

Does it make sense?

This post has been edited by Frederik: Mar 10 2011, 12:44 PM
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Ben Higgins
post Mar 10 2011, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (Frederik @ Mar 10 2011, 11:43 AM) *
Yeah!

I wont say one will have to master life, to express something. If one just have a feeling, then they will express it. And if its boredom or sitting inside, that will come out.
If one have mastered life, and therefore knows life in depth, why not express it with words or an even more defined way, instead of the vague(read: something that relates to the unconscious mind) like music or art.
You have the feeling and you express it, but you do not fully grasp it

Does it make sense?


Yes, you do have a good point. I don't necessarily think they mean you have to be a 'master', because nobody on Earth can ever know everything there is to know. What I interpret from them, is that we should apply the same level of dedication and care that we show in our guitar playing to all aspects of our life. If we raise the standard of our living to an art form, then our playing will reflect that.

Many people do share their knowledge and wisdom with us through books and films etc, thankfully smile.gif But to go back to my earlier point.. no one can 'perfect' life of course.. there is no such thing.. but the wisdom we've learnt from life can still be applied to everything we do, including music. For example, knowing when enough is enough.. knowing when an imperfect note actually sounds better than a perfect one etc.. knowing when to let go and leave the music alone. These are all thing that can develop and change as a result of our experience with life smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 10 2011, 02:52 PM
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Yes, I'm obsessed in getting things done 100%, if I don't do them I feel depressed. Many things are not done, so I'm constantly feeling mild depression. But, when I accomplish things I feel great! smile.gif


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Fran
post Mar 10 2011, 04:26 PM
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Excellent quotes smile.gif

Music is feeling, and I'm sure most good players created their best tracks inspired by something way beyond the piece of wood and strings used to create them.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 10 2011, 08:54 PM
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Very cool post wink.gif I agree 100 percent. You have to bring something of the player in to what is played or it just sounds a bit empty. Technique is something you really just have to get through in order to get on to actually "playing". Once you are no longer having to make technical decisions (which scale/note/speed) you can start focusing on creating music in terms of emotional response. Truly great solos, songs, etc. Transcend technique and come from a place of pure emotion. That emotion can be love or hate, fear or anger, happiness or misery, etc. The emotion itself isn't as important as the method of it's conveyance. The selection of notes, the playing of those notes, the gaps in between, all of this requires essentially an emotional awareness of what is being played and what it's being played against.

Bruce Lee took a similar approach to training and fighting. He believed that every motion should have "Emotional Content" not anger, not rage, just "Emotional Content". You need to have an impetus of feeling behind every action. That same approach applies to music IMHO.

Also, he believed that to be a true master, you needed to not be hard, like a cup, but flexible, like the water in the cup. The cup is a fixed shape, the water can be anything. In the words of a true master, "Be Water".

Todd


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Marek Rojewski
post Mar 11 2011, 10:50 AM
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When I meet my girlfriend 6 years ago we were very obsessed about each other. We spent 99% of free time (I do not exaggerate) for over a year time. Our days looked like this: sleep (most often alone) + school (alone) + the one who ends school sooner goes to the other halves school and waits (alone) + rest of the day (togather) + sleep again.
While it was one of the most magical periods of my life, the damage was done nonetheless. I lost many friends because I had no time for them, and it also proved to be a problem for the rest of our relationship -> "the past is so full of love and happiness that now we live in the mere remains of what once was" mellow.gif

So obsession is really a bad thing, but I must say that some people misinterpret disciple and having "rules" with obsession. I strongly believe that some of my rules/principles are true, and I wont do these wrong, no matter if some "elastic" people call me "inelastic". For example loyalty, responsibility - I am not going to "chill out" about such things, yet I don't think it is a sign of obsession.

On the topic of "mastering life" I also have mixed feelings. I agree that maintaining focus/conscious/awareness as much as possible is the key of "full living", I also think that music has it's own laws. Don't want to sound rude, but haven't we all hear some emotive and great music, and after that hear an interview with the artist that shows that the person lacks any real depth/wisdom/anything really... So to speak I think even a "poor transmitter" can sometimes "broadcast" something good. Of course a good one has a much higher chance of doing so wink.gif

Lastly - of course one unfortunately has to master technique in some degree in order to be able to play what he hear inside, it's impossible to express oneself without technique on the instrument.

EDIT: PS: sorry for such a big block of text.

This post has been edited by Marek Rojewski: Mar 11 2011, 10:50 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 11 2011, 11:15 PM
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As usual, Ben speaks out when has something useful to say smile.gif

If you ask me, I have 2 days a week in which I DON'T touch the guitar (it doesn't apply if I have a concert in one of those days biggrin.gif) but anyway, I know for certain that too much of something is bad enough. You need balance in your activities so that they can balance you and viceversa.

My body breathes in those 2 days and places everything that I've learned into little drawers. If I would not offer this time, it would not be able to settle down and assimilate.

But who's to say that in those 2 days a week I don't get to feed my soul and senses with things that may influence my self expression in a good way?

Maybe seeing a senior couple holding hands in the park, looking peaceful, will make you write the most beautiful lovesong of all, because they represent a clear image of true love - if you're still able to enjoy a walk in the park at 85 years old holding your life mate's hand and smiling blissfully, I think you've mastered something..don't you?

cheerios


Cosmin


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