to reiterate: by "it" i mean that thing, that spirit-element that allows us to go beyond playing 'correctly' to playing in a way that moves people - emotionally and physically. by emotionally i mean you hear someone play and you say, for example, "mmmm, that feels so good (even if it's a sad/minor tune). by physically i mean you hear someone play and your head/toe/hip starts moving involuntarily.
moving people, moving the music, and doing it consistently is a skill that CAN be developed. in my last blog post i talked 'thought-disciplines' to help us change what we are 'attached' to in the ego part of our mind. today i'd like to share another discipline that we can use in an effort to let go of the need to achieve a desired result. remember, the desire is OK, but we need to detach from it when it's time to create/perform. that which you want most will elude you - it's a maxim for a reason. the need sucks the spirit out of the groove.
so, here's another way to practice detachment.
i don't mean the kind of breathing you're doing right now. practice what we'll call 'focused breathing'. IN through the nose OUT through the mouth. deep or shallow is ok as long as it's repeated over and over. the way i used focused breathing was to play something very simple --- and breathe. the ratio of focus is 99.9% on your breath, .01% on your playing. when you get comfortable with this paradigm, you can add a thought discipline. ratio now something like 99% breath/.5% thought/.5% playing.
i've found this to be a great way to practice letting go of the need to judge what i'm playing and engaging my imagination, my creativity, instead. this is key. the judging sucks the spirit out of the groove, too. i've also found this discipline extremely helpful in relaxing and 'nourishing' my body so that i'm operating more efficiently and gracefully. furthermore, i believe that when this discipline is practiced at the proper 'ratio', TONE can widen and fatten. way cool.
do this on your own at first. record yourself. see if your playing starts to illicit more of a guttural and physical response from you as you listen. and, see if you hear a difference in your sound. if you're time is fluctuating at first - don't worry! let it happen, this discipline is an 'inner' form of independence and it will most likely trip you up at first. deal with it! the freedom is worth the falling...
thanks for reading!