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Creativity Triggers for Musicians is Here!

POSTED ON February 03, 2017   |   Post A Comment

Download a free digital copy of my new book Creativity Triggers for Musicians.

The Big Idea

Creativity isn’t a mysterious or magical gift. It’s a practice.

The Promise

Creativity Triggers for Musicians will help you express your unused creativity, break through barriers, and create an abundance of original music.

The Content

– 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.

  1. Eight Creative Practices
  2. Creative Limitations
  3. Inner Hearing
  4. Drones
  5. Variations on a Theme
  6. Text Setting

Download the book + free bonuses.

Enjoy!
– ST

Essential for Practice, Kryptonite for Performance

POSTED ON December 17, 2016   |   One Comment

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.


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Unused Creativity Doesn’t Disappear

POSTED ON December 09, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Gearing up to release my new eBook, Creativity Triggers for Musicians. Below is part of the introduction. Reserve your free copy.

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Does Too Much Shedding Dampen Creativity?

POSTED ON December 03, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Q&A article this week. If you have any questions, write me at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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More Information Isn’t the Answer

POSTED ON November 26, 2016   |   2 Comments

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.

books
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Jerry Bergonzi’s Secret

POSTED ON November 04, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

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Create Without Analyzing

POSTED ON October 08, 2016   |   2 Comments

Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

– Sister Corita Kent and John Cage, “Ten Rules for Teachers and Students”

This is challenging practice because as artists, we are constantly assessing and judging our work.

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Average Is Boring

POSTED ON September 24, 2016   |   Post A Comment

If you do something and you think, “That really seems like me and I don’t think anyone else does that,” then you’ve got to jump on that with both feet and do it over and over again until it becomes something that really works. That can take a long time or it can happen in a day. There’s that moment when you’re like, “Yeah, that’s what I do, right there.”

Ethan Iverson, pianist in The Bad Plus*

Finding an artistic voice is personally fulfilling and the key to standing out in a noisy world. The musical landscape is more crowded than ever, and the only artists we pay attention to are remarkable and unmistakablelike The Bad Plus.

In the 21st century, average is boring.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/William Andrus
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Forget 10,000 Hours of Delayed Gratification—Practice Flow

POSTED ON September 16, 2016   |   3 Comments

Flow becomes an alternative path to mastery, sans the misery. Forget 10,000 hours of delayed gratification. Flow junkies turn instant gratification into their North Star—putting in far more hours of “practice time” by gleefully harnessing their hedonic impulse.

Steven Kotler, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

We’ve been telling ourselves the wrong story about practicing music.

Practicing is like a job. We need to subject ourselves to tedious work in isolation to achieve future results. The most successful musicians have the work ethic to slog through the most hours. Those who succumb to instant gratification are lazy, undisciplined, and destined for mediocrity.

Sound familiar? This story is the source of frustration, guilt, and self-doubt among countless musicians.

We can tell ourselves a different story. This new story is more joyful, fulfilling, and effective for attaining mastery.

Surfer at Mavericks. Photo courtesy of Flickr/jacobovs

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Why Only Is Better Than Best

POSTED ON August 08, 2016   |   2 Comments

Stop trying to beat everyone else. True success is creating work that no one else can replicate. Don’t aim to be the bestaim to be the only.

When you’re truly unmistakable, the competition becomes completely irrelevant. You’re not the best option, you’re the only option

– Srini Rao, Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best

Keith Jarrett doesn’t have any competition. If you want to hear Keith’s play live, there is no substitute for the man himself. Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Bill Frisell, Roy Hargrove, and Pat Metheny are have carved out their own categories. They are unmistakable.

Are these musicians objectively the “best” at what they do? It’s an irrelevant question. These renowned artists have stepped out of the world of measurement into a universe of possibility.

monk

Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton’s Playhouse 1947, Photo by William Gottlieb, courtesy of Library of Congress

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