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> Just Care Less
Ben Higgins
post Sep 23 2014, 04:26 PM
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Have you ever noticed that when you seem to stop caring about whether you can do something or not, you just do it ?

This reminds me of when we record ourselves. When the red light is on (no, that's not a prostitute reference) we can often feel overly conscious of what we're doing. Our hands suddenly don't move as naturally as they did because there's extra scrutiny on our movements.

We can equate the act of really caring too much about what we're doing as extra pressure.

So how do we take that extra pressure away ? Care less.

But that sounds like an oxymoron right ? Why would we stop caring about something that is important to us ?

Well, of course it's not so black and white as that but we have to find the happy medium. We do often place way too much importance on our projects because we're too attached to them. Whether it's just a performance, a REC take or something bigger, we need to let go of the outcome of what we're doing. So we screw it up. Who cares ?

What's the worst that can happen ? Death and destruction ? Not likely. Chances are, it's not that bad. So do we really need to care ?

Of course we care about what we do. We just need to care less. When we stop caring so much, natural action takes over.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 24 2014, 06:42 PM
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I know exactly what you're talking smile.gif I am currently reading Victor Wooten's book called 'The music lesson'. Remember how vehement I was against practicing technique in front of the TV - but just technique smile.gif Well, Victor has opened my mind to a very interesting aspect. Not thinking about what you are doing will make you become so natural with it that eventually you will be able to use it at will, without thinking. It's just like talking - you usually don't spend 30 minutes thinking on how you will address the lady at the bread shop, right? You just go there and get things going smile.gif Well, I think he has a point here:

- think and be aware while learning HOW to execute a technique
- once you got it, start practicing it unconsciously

I for one will try this to see how it works smile.gif Thoughts?


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 24 2014, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 24 2014, 06:42 PM) *
I know exactly what you're talking smile.gif I am currently reading Victor Wooten's book called 'The music lesson'. Remember how vehement I was against practicing technique in front of the TV - but just technique smile.gif Well, Victor has opened my mind to a very interesting aspect. Not thinking about what you are doing will make you become so natural with it that eventually you will be able to use it at will, without thinking. It's just like talking - you usually don't spend 30 minutes thinking on how you will address the lady at the bread shop, right? You just go there and get things going smile.gif Well, I think he has a point here:

- think and be aware while learning HOW to execute a technique
- once you got it, start practicing it unconsciously

I for one will try this to see how it works smile.gif Thoughts?


Yes, there's a lot to be said for letting things happen without our mental interference.

I think it can be confusing for anyone who's a student of something.. we're taught to focus and be aware of what we're doing but then we're also encouraged to let go of it and just let it happen.

Victor's given an interesting guideline there. So the next question could be: When do we know that we've focused on and learned a technique enough to just 'let it happen' ?

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Sep 24 2014, 06:53 PM


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klasaine
post Sep 24 2014, 08:24 PM
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I would say it's not about not caring. It's about not thinking or not having to think ... because you know it so well. it's part of you.

*Playing in front of the TV is fine. Technique drills that you already know - scales, picking patterns, changing between two or three really hard chord shapes, etc.
Practicing - i.e. learning something new that you're still not clear about or that isn't clean or precise in front of the tube is IMO potentially problematic. Depends on how much you're actually focusing on either activity(?).

This post has been edited by klasaine: Sep 24 2014, 08:30 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 25 2014, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Sep 24 2014, 07:24 PM) *
I would say it's not about not caring. It's about not thinking or not having to think ... because you know it so well. it's part of you.

*Playing in front of the TV is fine. Technique drills that you already know - scales, picking patterns, changing between two or three really hard chord shapes, etc.
Practicing - i.e. learning something new that you're still not clear about or that isn't clean or precise in front of the tube is IMO potentially problematic. Depends on how much you're actually focusing on either activity(?).


Very well said, Ken! I think that these two approaches are very well defined in Victor's book and the concept goes beyond his words in that which involves the empty mind. When your reaction is natural to a stimulus - such as talking for instance, as I mentioned and you don't think about what you are doing, but just responding naturally to an impulse, that's pretty much where you should aim to arrive with everything you do smile.gif

I will definitely try the 'TV' technique with a documentary on Youtube, as I don't own a TV and I don't want to buy one smile.gif


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Taka Perry
post Sep 25 2014, 11:37 PM
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Yeah, this is definitely true. I think when you have seen and heard the entire production process of a song, you're much more likely to see small errors and mistakes that nobody else would see. I believe it's impossible to get that truly 'perfect' sound, so at a certain point I always stop caring about tiny details and focus on the bigger picture of the entire song smile.gif


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Mith
post Sep 26 2014, 02:08 AM
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one trick I find is to record yourself more and more often. even during practices (hell even save them so you can see your progress) that way when they record button is on it is very 2nd nature.


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 26 2014, 07:37 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Sep 24 2014, 08:24 PM) *
I would say it's not about not caring. It's about not thinking or not having to think ... because you know it so well. it's part of you.


It might not apply so much to the subject of practising technique but I think when looking at projects and other aspects of life I think we can definitely hold on too much and in those cases it's most definitely a case of try not to care too much smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 26 2014, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (Mith @ Sep 26 2014, 01:08 AM) *
one trick I find is to record yourself more and more often. even during practices (hell even save them so you can see your progress) that way when they record button is on it is very 2nd nature.


This could definitely help a lot with the 'red light fever' and I know a lot of folks here who could definitely benefit from this as they are basically afraid of recording. When the red light comes on, they usually panic and aren't really able to give their best, so the more they do it, the better it will be! The idea is not to have expectations - another difficult thing. Just record and see what you get - if it needs adjustments, just go back to the drawing board and try to record again and again until it gets as close as possible to the desired result. The less you think about the pressure of recording, the better things will be.


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klasaine
post Sep 27 2014, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 25 2014, 11:37 PM) *
It might not apply so much to the subject of practising technique but I think when looking at projects and other aspects of life I think we can definitely hold on too much and in those cases it's most definitely a case of try not to care too much smile.gif


Well yeah, as humans we definitely have to (learn to?) let go of things. Prioritizing what's actually important, triage - whatever you want to call it. I think we hold on to and care about a lot of shit because it's easier than dealing with the stuff that's really important - ?

Artists are certainly guilty of being to 'precious' with everything. It really helps to have colleagues around you that will both support you but also tell you when something that you're doing does in fact kinda suck. And then help you work on it to make it better.




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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 27 2014, 07:50 PM
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Prioritizing is very important in life - it's a simple question: What is it that is the most important thing to you? How much time are you dedicating to that particular thing. How many other things have you placed behind in your priority line, in order to get that one thing working? smile.gif

It's always great to ask yourself questions, because in that way, you can remind yourself about where you are and where you really want to be smile.gif


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Phil66
post Sep 28 2014, 08:09 PM
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I agree, I think to sound natural as a musician you need to be able to do at least the basics without thinking, just as when you're walking you don't think "What do my feet have to do to turn this next corner?" you just do it. I've seen people on stage playing a rhythm whilst talking to the bass player and having a laugh, just as I might whilst walking with my wife.

Hope this makes sense tongue.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 29 2014, 08:53 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Sep 28 2014, 08:09 PM) *
I agree, I think to sound natural as a musician you need to be able to do at least the basics without thinking, just as when you're walking you don't think "What do my feet have to do to turn this next corner?" you just do it. I've seen people on stage playing a rhythm whilst talking to the bass player and having a laugh, just as I might whilst walking with my wife.

Hope this makes sense tongue.gif


Yep, it makes total sense.

You even see pro musicians sharing a joke onstage sometimes... I always wonder what the hell they're saying to each other !


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Phil66
post Sep 29 2014, 09:18 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 29 2014, 08:53 AM) *
Yep, it makes total sense.

You even see pro musicians sharing a joke onstage sometimes... I always wonder what the hell they're saying to each other !


It's getting to that state of musicianship that's hard. Look on YouTube and you'll see many people all playing the right notes at the right time but still sounding rigid. I suppose it's like people dancing, you get those that do the squaddie two step stiff as a board and those that just relax and do what they feel. With the YouTube videos is like the difference between looking at block capitals and calligraphy. I'm firmly in the block capitals camp, with bad spelling rolleyes.gif
Phil


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 29 2014, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (Taka Perry @ Sep 25 2014, 10:37 PM) *
Yeah, this is definitely true. I think when you have seen and heard the entire production process of a song, you're much more likely to see small errors and mistakes that nobody else would see. I believe it's impossible to get that truly 'perfect' sound, so at a certain point I always stop caring about tiny details and focus on the bigger picture of the entire song smile.gif


To some extent yes. As the artist and/or producer you see and focus on some of the issues but not necessarily all, or even a majority, of them. A producer may have insights into a different production process that allows for a sound not achievable otherwise by the artist. Engineers may well identify technical issues that an artist may not. Someone who has been close to a project from the start may not have sufficient distance to be as objective to someone involved in the latter stages. And so on. One thing that people forget in the age of DAWs is that commercially available music is generally a collaboration where different people bring different levels of focus and attention to detail.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 29 2014, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Sep 29 2014, 08:18 AM) *
It's getting to that state of musicianship that's hard. Look on YouTube and you'll see many people all playing the right notes at the right time but still sounding rigid. I suppose it's like people dancing, you get those that do the squaddie two step stiff as a board and those that just relax and do what they feel. With the YouTube videos is like the difference between looking at block capitals and calligraphy. I'm firmly in the block capitals camp, with bad spelling rolleyes.gif
Phil


Totally true, because people focus on playing their instruments instead of letting the music inside them speak smile.gif This may sound very esoteric and far out, but it's the truth - how can you sway a woman, when you are always searching for the right words? It has to flow and the conversation should be a pleasant and enticing row of ideas effortlessly swept back and forth smile.gif I learned to ride a bike this weekend. I understood that my eyes and thought should be on the road ahead not on the wheel and at my feet - guess what... it worked as soon as I let my body respond naturally to the stimulus given by the ride itself. Mind you - I have never rode a bike before. EVER smile.gif


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Arpeggio
post Sep 30 2014, 07:15 PM
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I always said to myself that if I were a sound engineer I would say: "right let's have a practise run before the proper recording" then secretly record the musician.



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