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Jeet Kun Do for musicians: A Philosophy

Jeet Kun Do is the philosophy of martial arts great, actor and philosopher Bruce Lee.  It expounds the virtue of NOT following a system. Instead, it trumpets the idea of individuality in combat. This has been proven to be trendy and true in the martial arts world, as evidenced by the number of UFC events, and the concept of cross training in many different arts to compete.

As in combat, so it is in the world of the guitar!!!  There are so many different styles and techniques to acquire or not acquire, that it’s nearly impossible to work them all out without a 36 hour day!  So I’ve decided that the guitar lesson component of this website will be based on philosophy over simple technique.  Yes, yes…there will be plenty of the; “step 1….step 2….and now practice!” stuff.  How could there not?  But all of it will come from a point of philosophical reference.

So here’s the poo:

“Music is learned in three stages.  These stages do not need to be applied in a uniform way, but can be worked through at the student’s discretion.”

“The stages are as follows:    1. The Technical    2. The Musical    and  3. The Emotional”

“Students will want to engage in reading, writing and improvising in all aspects of their learning so that they may fully engage resources that are available to them.”

Whenever we learn something new, www work on the technical side of the skill: which fingers to use, which strings to play on, whether to use a pick or a finger….this is all technical.  While I will give some guidance here, I’m going to leave a lot up to your creativity.  There is no “wrong way”, just your way…as long as the skill is acquired.

The next step is applying the technique in a musical setting….and not sounding like you’re just practicing a technique over music.  It’s about the musical application of the technique in audible or written format…

 

The final phase is really, really subjective.  You’ll know when you’re there, and your listeners will feel it.  I goes beyond the thought of, “I’m using ___ arpeggio over a ____chord in a predominantly _____ movement.”  It’s not a place where thought happens, it’s where the emotion takes over, and you’re just thinking, “sad”….”angry”…”lonely”….”happy”…..whatever.

 

These phases can be applied at any level:  you can be a beginner level player, and still be awesome!  You don’t have to study jazz for 10 years to be an amazing player over changes…you just have to have a technique or two that you can access emotionally to move your listeners.

 

 

So be on the lookout for the lessons.  I hope you all listen to some great music today!

Chemistry 101

I am a big believer in the idea that music is made better by knowing the folks you make the music with, well.  In 2011, I had the great fortune of working with three exceptional musicians that I had gotten to know personally through a music store we all taught at together.  Actually, when I think about it, ALL the people I’ve played with over the years have come from a place of getting to know them personally before making music with them.

2017 will see a change to that, well…for the most part. I am putting together a new live band for the Austin, TX area market, and working up some material for a jazz trio that probably won’t ever get out of my living room except to go into a studio where we can track live….

Point is, that I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone.  There’s a saying that the magic can only happen outside, waaaaay outside, of it.  So that’s where I’m going.  I’ve also decided to stop resisting Austin.  It’s strange, but I’ve been here 10 years in February, and I don’t really feel any sort of connection to the music scene here apart from my NGSW sister, Jen Leigh, the occasional David Hamburger sighting, and the even more elusive Matt Smith encounter.  The latter I can’t seem to get on video as they happen so quickly!  There is so much fantastic music here, and so many talented cats making it!  I’m not sure of the reasons for my reclusion.  I just know it’s time to get over it.  So I’m going to be reaching out to some of the great musicians I know in the area and try to engage more….it’s uncomfortable as hell, but that’s the point now isn’t it?

All the new music created this year will be available exclusively here….in audio/video or even written form.  I’ll post some GoPro video from rehearsals, and try to let everyone know when I’m going to attend jam sessions or have live shows.

Until next time!

A

New Beginnings!

Hey everyone!

I want to take a minute to welcome you to my new site.  It’s going to be a little rough around the edges for a while, at least until I get the hang of creating pages and uploading content!!  But if you stick with me, I think you’ll find the rewards to be well worth the time spent.

Over the course of the coming days and weeks, I’ll be adding new pages: one for music downloads, one for video of live performances, and one for guitar lessons and courses.

I’ll have a link up soon to CDBaby.com so you’ll be able to purchase my 2013 CD, “Therapy Sessions”, as well as a link to my Reverb.com store, where you will be able to purchase the same guitars, strings, cables, and amps that I use….

As I go through this, I’ll be blogging. Daily. To keep you informed and at times entertained with all the crazy crap that surrounds re-launching a career!

I promise that as soon as I am legally able to discuss what I’ve been up to for the past two years, you’ll hear/read about it here first!  Many of you may be able to guess, but please don’t spoil the story for the rest…I’m actually excited to see how this all turns out!!!!

Musically, I’m working up a quick little take on, “The Christmas Song”.  It’s short, sweet and to the point.  It’s also an “off the cuff” chord melody thing….a challenge posed by a good friend….as well as three shortish acoustic guitar pieces.  I’m not entirely sure what genre they fit in….they’re just a few tunes that missed the cut for “Therapy Sessions”, and I’ve since worked them up.  So watch for them!

Lots of other things to bring you up to date on…but hey, I have to have SOMETHING to write about tomorrow!

A