From Thinking it to Feeling it.

Franklin Nigel Stein

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In 1996 I lived next to a retired musician in So. California. He played just about every instrument, owned (and expertly played!) three original Dobro guitars and told me something I wish I’d taken more seriously.

He told me that doing all of your music lessons, practice, jamming and performances are for one objective: to move from thinking about what You’re doing and toward feeling what you’re doing.

I’ve been noticing a change during my practice where I’m starting to go where I “feel” the beat taking me.

Am I losing it? Can anyone else relate?
 
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CC Cirillo

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Totally.

When I am feeling playing I am in an intuitive zone with both my instrument, my body, the music, and my fellow players.

That’s when I am at my best. That’s when I truly think I am a musician.

Unfortunately I also spend at least an equal amount of time thinking about what I’m doing. When that happens I lose all of the above entrainment and I’m simply an average drummer, often times prone to potential error.

I firmly believe that if I were able to feel 100% of the time I probably would not have been able to remain an amateur and would have had no choice but to push myself in a different direction.
 

Franklin Nigel Stein

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Totally.

When I am feeling playing I am in an intuitive zone with both my instrument, my body, the music, and my fellow players.

That’s when I am at my best. That’s when I truly think I am a musician.

Unfortunately I also spend at least an equal amount of time thinking about what I’m doing. When that happens I lose all of the above entrainment and I’m simply an average drummer, often times prone to potential error.

I firmly believe that if I were able to feel 100% of the time I probably would not have been able to remain an amateur and would have had no choice but to push myself in a different direction.
I know what you mean. Every once in a while I’d play a set well enough, but I’d have one song that really stood out. It’s more frequent these days (but not frequent enough).
 

dcrigger

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I'm not sure it is any more mysterious or complicated as anything else - hitting a driving a car, hitting a golfball, riding a bike....

You think about it to the degree you need to.... and when you don't need to, then you won't be. It's just part of the process of doing something until it becomes second nature.

Of course, there also the conscious choice to engage in the aesthetics of the music and the playing... but a player should be attempting to do that concurrently with the mental demands of the technical. Much like a young driver is always encouraged to keep an eye on the big picture and not get to myopic.

I think by always striving for that shared headspace - as the technique becomes more and more second nature, the player's aesthetic half can fill inane space that is opened up.
 

toddbishop

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Where that comes from is from listening-- hearing a lot of music that has an energy you want to create yourself.

Sometimes you have to be able to think-- if you're not feeling the music, you still have to be able to play. And you can't feel your way through everything. I would call it control and awareness rather than thinking.
 

Houndog

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I’ve played my best when I got to the gig wondering how I’m the heck I’m going to have the energy to play all night ..
I guess being really tired helps keep my brain out of the equation.
 

Tornado

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Not sure if I'll ever get there. My quality of playing is directly related to my level of focus.
 

tbird8450

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I definitely notice that when I'm feeling the drums more than thinking about them, my level of playing is elevated. There are times where I'll sit down with nearly no focus, having been totally fried from the day, and I'll be rolling around the kit and knocking out wild but precise shuffles with all of the effortlessness of a kitten with a ball of yarn. The problem is it's totally inconsistent. For every one of those sessions, there will be five where I'll spend a minute struggling to get a proper paradiddle going. I don't get it, but things certainly improve with consistent and high quality practice.
 


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