Download a free digital copy of my new book Creativity Triggers for Musicians.
Creativity isn’t a mysterious or magical gift. It’s a practice.
Creativity Triggers for Musicians will help you express your unused creativity, break through barriers, and create an abundance of original music.
– Eight creative practices that underpin idea generation in any creative discipline.
– Creativity Triggers: frameworks for improvisation that draw from creative practices. These are similar to improv theater games and creative writing prompts.
Your next creative breakthrough may be all in your head.
A reader sent me a thoughtful series of questions:
I’ve been reading through The Living Jazz Tradition and thinking about what you and many jazz educators write about: the importance of being able to play what you hear. I understand that in terms of playing jazz heads, simple melodies, tunes etc…. But I was listening to this interview with Lee Konitz and he raises a good point that the interviewer in turn seems to struggle with the answer:
The Playing Changes series presents effective strategies for internalizing harmony and playing creative solos over jazz standards. If you are overwhelmed by jumbles of scales, chord symbols, licks, and patterns, these articles will help you cut through the noise.
Do you have trouble committing music to memory—even pieces you have played for years? The key to success is integrating the aural, visual, and tactile elements of playing music.
The late, great trumpeter Clark Terry (a featured soloist in both the Basie and Ellington bands) said the most important elements of a jazz solo are:
Technique and theory are important, but they are not prerequisites for improvisation.
Courtesy of Flickr/GigNRoll.com
A drone is a sustained tone that accompanies a piece of music. Drones can be found in musical traditions all over the word. Indian classical music, Scottish bagpipes, Gregorian chant (organum), Native American flute, minimalism, and modal jazz are a few examples.
Practicing with drones is one of the most effective ways to sharpen your ears and inspire your inner music.
Courtesy of Martin Spaink/Wikimedia Commons
You really have to practice the coordination between the mind and the fingers, the ideas and the body. You have to find the idea on your horn at the same time it comes into your head. It’s a matter of developing instant touch.
– Art Farmer, Thinking in Jazz