Creating Music Is About Living In The Moment- Not The Twilight Zone!

Twilight Zone


It took me years to fully appreciate a “music” moment that I happened to be experiencing at any given time (listening or creating). The process is really remarkable when you think about it.

Besides the obvious “team” scenario of a group situation or the “I guess it’s up to me” scenario of a solo situation, I have, for myself, found a kind of peace by sensing/slowing down the actual performance and kind of swimming, relishing and literally immersing myself in it.

As far as creating music, you really can’t zone out, as you are communicating with an audience and/or other musicians; the lines have to be kept open. When you are listening to music, you just can’t zone out; you need the backdrop of your emotions and environment to fully appreciate the influx to your senses.

As creators, we tend to succumb to nerves and really only appreciate it when it’s all said and done. As listeners, we can miss the point or center of the music by staying too long at the party!

This “in the moment” concept is something I am incorporating into my teaching philosophy with the hope that my students can benefit from the now and get the most possible out of it so they can have more than just the memory.

Shelly (my wife) says I eat too fast so I can’t appreciate a fine chocolate, wine, meal etc.; maybe she is right… she usually is!

Crawl inside this and look around… “Listen, and ‘create‘ your own temporary environment”…


Say Something, Don’t Just PLAY Or Kiss Me Like You Mean It!

I Really Mean It When I say I Really Mean It!

I Really Mean It When I say I Really Mean It!

The following contrasting musicians of each discipline have ONE thing in common:

Piano, Count Basie:Oscar Peterson; Drums, Ringo Starr:Buddy Rich; Vocal, Barbra Streisand:Billie Holiday; Guitar, Jeff Beck:Lenny Breau; Bass, Ray Brown:John Patitucci; Violin, Itzhak Perlman:Stephane Grappelli; to name a very few who are important to me.

This is NOT about genre; NOT about technical expertise; NOT about anything other than why they are appealing, recognized, etc.. They are actually saying something when they create music so, we tend to want to listen! It isn’t about how they play, it’s about what they are communicating when they emanate their ideas in a particular context.

Question: Do We Believe Tiny Tim?

Question: Do We Believe Tiny Tim?

It’s really no different from giving a speech or even having a conversation. You are saying something or you are not saying something. We seem to know when we are being bull sh***ed in these instances and yet somehow when it comes to music we are taken in by technical grandeur, showmanship or sometimes even volume (velocity).

Music is a language (like any other) with which we communicate our ideas, some emulated, some original. As with any language, one needs the tools, knowledge and experience in order to effectively communicate an idea.

Leon Redbone; Do we believe him?

Apologize To My Horse Or I Take My Craft VERY Seriously; Myself- Not So Much!

“Now if you apologize like I know you’re going to, I might convince him you really didn’t mean it,” -Clint Eastwood

Humility, to me, means more than just saying thank you when someone compliments you; it even means more than smiling; don’t get me wrong, these are necessary acknowledgments. I just feel that it’s also an attitude that is infused with sharing, honesty and sensitivity.

You can’t fake the above anymore than you can fake the emotion, effort and presentation of anything that you are about. My relationships, my craft, and work ethic are all the same thing to me- THEY ARE ME. I care that YOU care.

We all have different ways of conveying our own humility; but that’s what makes us individuals! Oh ya, you have to be able to laugh at yourself (I do a lot of that actually!)