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Zoning out...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Swimming Bird, May 11, 2006.

  1. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    I've always considered it a good thing when I zone out while playing. You know what I mean, you get into a groove and you're meditating. There's flow, there's rhythm, there's music.

    I always sort of looked for bands in which it was easy for me to zone out, because that was the key for me really digging in the pocket.

    Steve Swallow has made me doubt. In his recent BPM interview, he had a rather unkind opinion of zoning out -- he stated that it takes away from the music and degrades the band's sound and feel as a whole.

    Which is it? Is zoning out the nirvana of playing or a distraction from the music? Is the answer genre-dependant?
  2. I would say it totally depends on the individual and the feeling. If your zoning out because you're bored I'd stray away from that type of music. If every moment of that "zone" is total musical bliss to you, stay there as long as you possible can (provided you still retain enough conciousness to not miss any changes :p). Theres a book called "Effortless Mastery" which basically states that every piece of music you really have down should, and will, be played from a "space" or "zone".
  3. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    I don't agree with that. To me "Zoning out" is a form of self-actualization where your body has become so trained that it goes on auto-pilot allowing your mind to go somewhere else. An out of body experience of sorts. Your so deep in the groove that your are able to discover all sorts of new territory that you never knew existed. Maybe he takes it more literally, to mean that the player ignores the groove in favor of going off on a tangent.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh, Man...

    When I saw the thread title, I thought to my self "maybe this is a guy with the same problem I have...", which is: missing a change after having just previously achieved near-immaculate groove, but 'zoning-out' too much!

    I hate it when that happens.

  5. thumbzilla


    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Should the music should be "audience oriented" or "artist oriented"? This brings into play the argument of what the "artist" wants to express v. what the paying customer wants to hear. Why do you get paid for what you do? Endless opportunites for discussion. If one is "zoned out" and simply playing on autopilot, that doesn't seem audience oriented, and therefore selfish. But if one is "zoned out" and is creating new things in that condition, that seems to be deserving of the "artist" title.
  6. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    +1. That's what thought too. I also hate it when that happens.
  7. I dont consider what i get being zoned out. If anything i'm zoned IN. It's like a musical nirvana where it all works and it all makes sense yet you still have complete control over what happens. It's like you play with your ears, just sitting there hearing what you want to play and then actually hearing it.

    Zoned out on the other hand makes me sound like ass
  8. +1

    Like in "White Men Can't Jump" when Woody Harrelson's character teases Wesley Snipe's....."I'm in the ZONE!! I'm in the ZONE!!!"

    You always know when you're "In the zone" ....and we're probably all talking about the same thing.....I guess some just call it "zoning out"...

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