Effortles Mastery

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kalo, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Hmm, I understand what you're saying - as I was saying in another thread yesterday I think the fact that I was brought up an athiest makes it very hard for me to accept the spritual side of life. I'm overly cynical about it basically, but at the same time I do acknoledge it, appreciate it, enjoy it and strive to 'tap into it' myself.

    Anyhow, I cant agree that it's neccessarily a "higher" source as such, just that these great musicians and composers were/are able to channel what's inside them through their instrument in a profound manor.

    I really have a problem with the "higher source" bit.
    If everyone has that in them, then it is not a higher source.

    These artists are only unqiue because they can channel whatever it is from within, not because they have 'it' - like you said.

    I just cant accept that it's a "higher" source of anything.

    Cal it raw humanity, raw emotion and I can ciope with the terminology.

    Note: this is my hang up with spritual terminology, nothing more! :)
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Happens quite a bit more than you'd think. When you're working on relaxing the body, and you're cleansing inner organs, it's bound to happen. At least I've never laughed...
  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    But what I'm saying is that the higher source is within. That's why the word God doesn't seem appropriate here, because people think of God as being something that's not within, but as something that's separate, "on high".
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    So why is it a higher source then?

    Higher than what? Higher than everybody elses sauce? Higher than your average source for everyday music?

    See what I mean? Is it really anything more than just tapping into your raw emotions and feelings?

    Whatever really. I know it's there, you know it's there, we both know it's why we play music and that it's what we aim to share through our music.

    We're talking about something that cant be described in words, hence we all play music.
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    No just higher than the ego-fuelled bull**** we all seem to like to indulge in ;)

    And not higher than anybody else's, no - now that would be pretentious.
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The words you use depend on your religious convictions (including the convictions doggedly faithful atheists). However, I think it's quite likely that 'effortless mastery' still involves a reasonable amount of effort in terms of practise, listening and self-discipline (applied to both playing and other areas of life).

    I haven't read the book (waiting for it to arrive in my local library one day) but I suspect that 'effortless' is a bit of a misnomer - from what I've read about the theory, it's more along the lines of 'mastery without wasted, counter-productive effort'.

    Of course, Werner's title does have the sublime advantage of being somewhat more snappy ;)

  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    LOL, yeah, unfortunatley it's all about marketing!

    I think the effortless bit really refers to the fact that these top players are not playing that good ONLY because of the years of pratice, but because they are in touch with whatever phenomenon it is that makes them play TRUE, if that makes sense?

    I.e. you wont be a master if you dont put the hours, but you wont neccessarily be a master just because you do.
  8. I am just messing around.

    I don't mean to dissrespect you or your profession

  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Do you thnik your playing is ego-fuelled?

    I dont think mine is... sometimes i really wanna "burn" as they say, but the vast majority of the time I'm over the moon to just play a great song with a geat bunch of players.

    To me it's as much about "loving" (not literally OK!) the people you play with as the people you play to and the music you play.
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Very difficult question to answer. Can you really say that whenever you play, it's coming from your soul not your mind? I don't think it's generally as clear cut as to say whether one's playing is ego-fuelled or not. The ego plays a part in it. The question is what part does it play?

    I wouldn't say my playing is ego-fuelled, no, but the ego plays a part, as I think it does with all of us. The question is, does it get in the way, does it hold you back?

    When I said ego-fuelled bull**** I wasn't just talking about music, but everyday life in general. Most of us do a lot to feed our ego.

    I'm saying that the soul, or the higher source, or God, or whatever you wanna call it - is something greater/higher than our mind/ego.
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yes, indeed, a (nother) huge grey area that is.

    I think the problem is that one doesnt consciously think about sounding good, or at least I dont think I do, MOST of the time?
    I.e. it's so deeply carved into us that it's part of our playing - hence the deprogramming and reprogramming, four steps, etc.
    So it doenst nmean we dont feel that freedom from time to time, but we SHOULD be able to play like that ALL of the time, surely?

    The mini tour I went on a few weeks back was an intersting experience for me... there was a lot of new material, more than half, so at the start of the week it was all concentration making sure it went right, but by the end of the week we had the form, grooves and chords down (in some songs more than others, of course), so it was nice to 'just play' on some tracks. Especially this four chord prog in 12/8 - talk about freedom, fantastic :)
    The action of playing the two hour set every day made it more automatic.

    I've got to the "Fours Steps" in the book now.

    And I've made an 'executive' decision to not read the second until I've been working on the first for a long time, and so on.

    The idea of relaxing (etc etc) and picturing your hands playing while you just breath is brilliant.
    I tried it last night when I got into bed and strangely I fell asleep... :D

    I like it, I like it more than the first few meditations saying "I am great, I am a master" - that's difficult to say it and mean. But Kenny;s explantation the book that anyone can be a master
    at what they do - is very logical and easy to grasp. Just requires time (lots of) to 'master'...

    The "threre are no wrong notes" conceot is brilliant too, that if you embrace every note, every harmony you can play no wrong notes. also, the example of the natural sound at the beach being beautiful even though it's all in differnt keys - very very clever :)

    ramble no.2 over ;)
  12. is there a website with info related on the book Effortless Mastery??
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I know what you mean about the ego stuff - but the trouble is that you aren't always going to be playing with other "masters" !! ;)

    So - in jams/workshops/summerschools(!) - you are thrown together with other players at varying levels. Your ego tells you that you have to prove you are a good player and not as bad as say that (hypothetical) crappy trumpet player!! So you throw in flashy licks and sophisticated walking lines that avoid root notes which end up making the peformance worse.

    So - if I was playing with a whole band of Jazz pros of a high standard (oh yeah!!) then I would probably be happy just to hang on and play simple lines that kept the band moving and make the whole performance better - if I could keep my ego out of it - but it's long way off!!

    I have met and talked to many Jazz musicians who seem to have no ego when it comes to playing and they are able to make some sublime music.

    But - think there is a sense in which this is not to my taste - I can appreciate it, but I prefer music that is more exciting - I like virtuoso players really going for it and trying to excite a crowd more than the last soloist...

    But that's just me I suppose?
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    You'd do that?! I'm not sure if I'd do that or not... I guess on one fay I might, while on another I 'never' would!

    The most apparent "issue" (note: tongue firmly in cheek) with what you're saying there (and you know this) is that a good player plays what's needed for the other players - especially as a bassist! ...and you're basically talking about showing off! ;)

    I had a jam last week with some friends, a beginner drummer (3+years) and a hippy guitarist mate of his - I like to jam with as many people as I can just for fun, it's no pressure and it's good to just get out and play different material. We were playing through a few bits and bobs this guy had written, real simple stuff, so I started to push it a bit. Just generally moving about, not playing "root on the one" etc and they started getting flaky around the one (HOW annoying? ;) ). So, my job is "IT'S HERE" - I have to lay down sign posts in my lines to make sure they dont lose the one...

    Therefore playing simple is what I have to do in that scenario. It's not about who's best, it's about playing together as group.

    that said i did find myself pushing it really far too see how long they could hold... :D Do you remember that discussion we had a while ago in Steve's forum, when I was so appalled at this concept.. the irony!!!
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Usually I always try to be helpful to the other players, but I suppose the Jazz Summerschool is fresh in my mind and there you get maybe get one chance each night for people to hear you play.

    So if the rest of the band is going badly, your ego starts telling you to do something that will let people know you're a decent player - like a little devil, sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear - unfortunately, it always has the opposite result to what you want!! ;)

    So people end up thinking you can't hold a groove and that you've put the whole band off and it's your fault that the trumpeter sounds so bad!! :D

    Whereas, the bass players who ignore their ego, are very calm and play solid lines that swing, end up giving a much better impression and make the whole band play better than they would have!!
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Ridiculous really isn't it... being a slave to your ego in such a way. Funny tho, I mean you have to laugh.. you try to play some seriously cool sh t and it all goes to pot.. great!
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
  18. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    Pardon me for jumping in.

    Words of a true musician. :)

    IMO. A simple, but emotional, expressive bass line is always more memorable to the audience, than a flashy solo.

    Don't even freaking solo, unless the solo part (be it bass, or any other instruments.) is writen in the material.

    As long as you practice often enough, and, play with your heart and soul. You'll become an effortless master in due time.

    Regarding "God playing thru you" - I'm very annoyed that certain religion sector, especially the most common organised religion in the US, are trying to sneak in, and preach their faith, and aganda into everything that they can get their hands on, and try to convert everybody into their sector.
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well thank you very much, but it's praise I'm sure I'm probably not worthy of :rolleyes: ...everyone loves to show off (or try to) from time to time! :D
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - you're not going to get very far at a Jazz gig following this advice - the set would be about a tenth of the length needed!! Or shorter! ;)

    I've also heard Jazz gigs which were entirely improvised solos!!