Music Savvy logo black on white

Controlling Your Emotions

This process I’m describing is not an erratic or dramatic occurrence when you’re in it, although when you hear it back, it sounds dramatic. But when you’re truly in the musical moment, there is a sense of calm. Everything comes from a sense of calm. Nothing good musically will come out of fear or anxiety while you are playing.

Calm comes from the secure knowledge of your own musicianship, your experience, and the knowledge that you’ve been there before. It also requires the confidence that the level of the musicians with whom you are playing is as high or higher than yours.

You must also be willing to take risks. One risk might be the risk of destroying the take. So what? Do another take. That’s not a risk like a soldier poking his head above the wall risking getting it blown off! These small artistic risks in a recording are ones you must be comfortable taking in exchange for the potential of great musical rewards.

Similarly, the fear of failure is something you must overcome. There are two kinds of failure: 1. A significant failure where you mess up time or intonation or structure, i.e. you got lost within the form, or 2. A momentary lapse which can still be usable if you don’t panic.

Think of it as just a minor detour along the way.

Many of the great masters have told me that when you make a musical mistake, a real artist knows how take advantage of that mistake by turning it into a musical opportunity for something fresh.

Miles once said sarcastically, “Yeah, I made a mistake. I played it three times and now it has became one of my best licks.”

A real mistake is when you mess up the time, intonation, or form. Maybe you are rushing or dragging and that kills the feel. In that case, you can fix it. Either stop the take or keep going if you know you can edit it out later.

You can’t fear those kinds of mistakes. When I’m playing jazz, I’m listening for the new and the fresh. The unpredictable is what defines jazz for me. Without a willingness to risk mistakes, you won’t find the musical magic within the possibilities of your playing.

When you listen to classical music you’re not listening for a surprise. We all know that music. We know how Bach should sound or how Mozart should be played. The joy from that music comes from hearing what the composer intended as played through the performer’s vision. But jazz is not about the composer. It is about creating a musical statement reflecting the essence of the soloist.

I can’t tell you how good it feels while you are recording with great musicians when something happens that you never considered. Perhaps you thought of it, but the idea was a long way off and seemed like a bridge too far. But then it happened.

Musical magic is rare, but it not completely illusive. When Jack, George, and I recorded Elm, those moments in The Snow Leopard were the best of the recording. But they were not our only great moments in that session.

It's great that you are enjoying Jazz Master Chat, but you've reach a limit on free usage.

Don’t worry. To continue using the chat, you will need to buy more time. It’s easy to do, and costs only $10 for x amount of interaction.

Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Inception
Cinematic @ 68 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
Milky Way
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
I-VI-II-V
Jazz @ 140 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Caribbean Express
Salsa @ 165 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Dawn of a New Day
Soul @ 85 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Spinning Top
Jazz Waltz @ 140 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Sails Full Open
Contemporary @ 120 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Summer's Dawn
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
The Benji Pad
Ethereal @ 100 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
St. Thomas Block Party
Calypso @ 114 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Island Mines
World Music @ 112 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Disco Marley
Reggae-ish @ 110 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Earthen Choir
Ethereal @ 92 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Jungle Dance
Cinematic @ 130 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Bailey's Waltz
Jazz Waltz @ 110 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Afternoon Daydreaming
Samba @ 90 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Galactica
Epic @ 100 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Lush Life
Funk @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Eleuthera
Bolero @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Good Bye
Ethereal @ 90 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Southside Strut
Funk @ 100 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Standing outside
Bossa @ 150 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Groovy Jazzy
Jazz funk @ 112 bpm
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Sound Refuge
Eclectic - no temp
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
Dreaming of Mars
Static harmony without a tempo
Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180 bpm
Beat Sweeper
Jazz @ 180bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Cruisin'
Fast Americana @ 224 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm
Contemplation
Smooth @ 120 bpm

This is just a fake book example for the type of website I can build for you. Just trying to use a little humor here!