The trap of perfectionism keeps us from making the impact we seek.
Endless polishing and tinkering is one way we hide from emotional risk. We may tell ourselves that if our work is perfect, it will be immune from criticism. I know a jazz musician who has been working on his first album for over ten years because he wants it to be perfect. Insulating ourselves from risk feels safe in the moment, but it keeps our original contributions bottled up inside.
Before we let the door hit 2016 on its way out, I wanted to share the most popular Creative Music Blog articles from this year:
Download the 10 Improvisation Games for Ensembles handout.
Hope you have a peaceful and productive new year!
Self-evaluation is indispensable for making progress, but constant self-criticism can sabotage our performance on stage. I’ve struggled with this for years, and performance psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama helps us identify and take steps toward solving this nagging problem.
Gearing up to release my new eBook, Creativity Triggers for Musicians. Below is part of the introduction. Reserve your free copy.
I know many musicians struggle with a common problem—they have a vision of where they want to go, motivation to practice today, but don’t know how to bridge the chasm.
I had the privilege of recording with drummer extraordinaire Phil Parisot this Spring. The quartet record Lingo is out today on OA2 Records. Listen to clips and order at Amazon or OA2 records. CD release show on December 26th at Tula’s in Seattle.
About the record:
For Seattle-based drummer/composer Phil Parisot, playing music is about coming home. With “Lingo,” he introduces a new quartet comprised of musicians he’s known for 20 years. The result is a dark and atmospheric sound that draws upon an array of influences, including Afro-Cuban, fusion, and symphonic, all molded seamlessly into a cohesive modern jazz package. In addition to presenting a number of original compositions, “Lingo” is enhanced by references to Hugh Masekela, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, and more. Joining Parisot is Steve Treseler on tenor and soprano saxophone, Dan Kramlich on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Michael Glynn on acoustic bass.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen, 1934 – 2016
To follow up on my article, Forget 10,000 Hours of Delayed Gratification—Practice Flow, I want to share insight into the high-flow practices of two my favorite musicians.
Brenda Banks, my graduate school advisor at the University of Washington, interviewed me as part of a series featuring alumni with “alternative” careers. We discuss the origin of my blog, my experience in the UW jazz program, marketing, and my future plans. I also list my favorite resources for freelance musicians and teachers.