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Thread: The Magical Moment/Musical Meditation

  1. #1
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    The Magical Moment/Musical Meditation

    sorry for the name of the thread, that's the only way I could think of describing the moment when you become "one" with the music.

    Now my problem is this, I know I can be in that state, I manage to concentrate enough when I'm alone listening to music and jamming over it, I do so very rarely when I play with the band when everything seems to fit perfectly and everyone is in place.

    Problem is this, I find it very hard to get to that moment. Especially when I'm not alone. Thing is that it's only when I'm in that state that my solos start to take some kind of form, and make some sense. When I'm not able to concentrate to put some feel to it, then I generate only noise. Might also be that I should look at the practice routing as a practice ground for this concentration rather then running mechanically through exercises and scales (happens sometimes!). Am I wrong?

    Any suggestions on how to manage on this VERY VERY FRUSTRATING issue? I've been through vai's martian love secrets articles especially the second part. Musical Meditation

    thank as usual
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    It┤s indeed tough sometimes to get "into it" as much when you are not alone. I refer to this "meditation time" as "zoning out". And I think it┤s a bit different when you do it while someone is around.
    However, it is possible. You might wanna think of it as "playing for that person". Play everything you play as if you really wanna convince that person... as if it┤s the last time you┤re gonna play it. Imagine you┤re on a huge stage in front of many people, and it┤s the only time you┤re gonna be there. Imagine you wanna leave an impression, you want people to remember you.
    So whatever you play, you wanna play it with a conviction, "pour yourself into it".
    I can do the same thing when I jam with others or rehearse with the EVB. Usually, rehearsing is a bit more relaxed and not quite as focussed and "serious" as playing on stage. However, once we start to play a song, I "zone out" and play the same way I┤d play live. I try to put everything into it.
    So, if you┤re practicing, being alone, you play for yourself, and meditate. If you play for someone else, if someone else is simply "being around" ( remember what Mick Goodrick once said: even if only one person is listening, your playing already changes drastically ), you wanna play for that person, speak to him / her, make it sound nice for him/her.
    Eric

  3. #3
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    ok I understand ... never looked at it from that perspective.
    I will definitely start working on that.

    Big thanks Eric always very helpful


    robert
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  4. #4
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    Man, I know this feeling of not being connected. I tend to look at it as a mood thing. You know how you can't be in a great mood all the time? Sometimes you have other moods. But when you're finally in a great mood you appreciate it more.

    That being said, I steer myself toward happier moods with evolving practice. I know when it's time to work on a new song, when to take on a new etude, time to flip on the metronome, etc. With constant goals being set (and reasons why they're set) I'm pretty good at avoiding boredom or aimlessness.

    This doesn't always make me instantly connect to the music, but I certainly feel closer to it, more prepared for those moments.
    Hidden Content . All things guitar: Jam tracks, lessons, blog and more!

  5. #5
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    1)When meditating, forget everything you have learned. Forget scales, chords, etc.

    2)Stop concentrating. Your fingers on the fretboard should feel like a natural thing.

    3)Like i said, stop concentrating, empty your mind. If you are in a special mood (and one always is), play something that you like to hear. Don't strangle yourself by try and finding the right notes and stuff, just sit and play. Try putting your fingers at strange places. When you find some chord/melody that you like, focus a little bit on it, and try to make it better and more structured. But it should always feel natural.


    this is how i do it.
    Sometimes i open 6 different windows of music players on my computer and play all the stuff i've ever recorded on top of each other

    And then i trun the speakers off. And enjoy the silence.

    Then i piokup my guitar and play what comes natural.

  6. #6
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    thanks GuitarLausing,
    you said it, forget scales etc! its my stupid obsession with formalities and technique which sometimes gets blocked in it.

    I have to stop thinking about what scale i'm in and play anything, and see what should come next.
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  7. #7
    Registered User CaptainCarma's Avatar
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    to me it┤s quite different. Most times I do need an audience to experience this "lost in music" - effect.
    might be a need for adrenaline.

    there┤s something else you should give a try.
    visualize situations of strong feelings while soloing.

    for example:

    re-live the story of your first love including all the different emotions/feelings that you were confronted with. RE-LIVE them.
    first sight, lack of "right" words, first date, first kiss, ... ,her leaving... and so on.

    if you┤re able to really feel all this again, it definately will influence your playing.

    and you┤re more than just noodling ┤round...

    telling a story.
    "Truth is the invention of a liar." - von Foerster

  8. #8
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    from a non guitar stand point

    When you first start meditating, its difficult to slow and calm your mind, or at least not let the things your thinking about disturb your calm. As you practice meditation more and more it becomes easier, you can be in a room of crowded people and not be thinking about a thing, sometimes if I am very focused I wont realy feel like im in the room at all ( class ). So what im trying to say is, if your meditation while playing guitar is somewhat like mine, the more you practice stilling your self and letting your energy flow ( with or without guitar ) the easier it will become to trigger it. So take 30 minutes and sit and focus on your breath and then play guitar while trying to keep that feeling.
    Hope I got my point across ( the more your practice, the easier the feeling / mindset / however you want to describe it will be to achieve ) , and didnt include to much of my own spiritual beliefs.

    Some other folks who have mentioned this in guitar related articles are Eddie Van Halen, and Santana, John Mclaughlin and the like, so dont just take it for trivial pothead bull please
    Last edited by Gunnan; 05-11-2004 at 06:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    Good posts all.

    One thing you might want to think about is this: Do you in any way feel intimidated or embarrassed about that sort of intimacy in front of others? I know, sounds like a stupid question, but it is actually quite common to be nervous about being so emotional in front of others. If that is one of the barriers, you might try dealing with that directly.

    Another thing is to be well warmed up before you practice or perform. A lot of times, such a "trance state" can only happen after hours of deep focus.

    Personally, I have no difficulty getting there. But then, it;s probably all the drugs I did in the 80s (hahaha!).
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  10. #10
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    CaptainCarma, what a great post. It┤s great you brought this up, the story-telling aspect.
    That┤s what┤s important to me, too. After all, pretty much all of my songs are based on real stories and real persons. So whenever I play those songs live, I relive that story or remember that person.
    Remember my performance of "Canyon Of Spirits" at last year┤s JemFest ? Well, even though it was a bit tough to "get into it" ( considering the fact that I had to play it accompanied by a backing-CD ), I really tried to play this for my late grandfather. Tried to put everything into it. I do that every time I play the song, even though I have played it so often already.
    Same goes for the other tunes. And I think it┤s a good way to start working on a song... writing it based on an experience, a feeling, a person, instead of basing it onto an exercise or cool lick.
    Eric

    NP: Pat Metheny Group - dto.

  11. #11
    Registered User CaptainCarma's Avatar
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    eric,

    sure, I remember your performance at jemfest ( and the one in herford, too ).

    and as I told you afterwards, the song┤s story was hear- and feelable.

    and hey, to me that┤s what music is about. telling stories filled up with emotions.

    ...there┤s still a universe of stories that haven┤t been told. :-)
    "Truth is the invention of a liar." - von Foerster

  12. #12
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    there's one thing i'd like to add ... it's one of my problems i'm working on ....

    i feel that mature musicians don't "tell" all they have to say in one go (with their instrument i mean) ... one lick which says it all .... it's kind of a play with your listener, like a master of puppets, who plays around with the puppets until he gets to the main scene ... giving him some of the information, bit by bit, increasing tension, relaxing him, startling him etc ... repeating parts of it .... until the whole story is done.

    I think it's to tease listeners most of the time.

    am i right?
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

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