Wednesday, October 14, 2009

100 Days of Practice, Round 2, Day 2: Whistling Through the Darkness

We've got some joiners, folks. Welcome, Bridgewater State College people. The BSC crew has heard tell. They're here, and they're taking names.

To welcome our newbies, here's a freshman orientation:


What this blog is about
: Me. Just kidding. It's about the experience of being a musician, about balancing music with life, about balancing life with living, about neurosis and joyfulness.

Why this blog: Because it's easy to spend so much time making a living in music that you forget to actually play music. Okay, not everyone has this problem. The ones who don't? I don't like those kinds of people, but I put up with them because they are really good musicians, and sometimes they're nice. (Kidding! I love them all.) They can't help but practice every day. I used to feel bad that I wasn't one of them, until a Berklee professor and drummer who's been on some big name, hear-'em-everywhere albums told me that every musician who's REALLY good (i.e., Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Steve Gadd...) has OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They need practice to function. Okay, okay. Not all of them have OCD. All I know is, I'm not one of them. I'm the other kind of musician, who finds it hard to practice every day, and I function just fine. Sigh. I have always had a problem with practice.

I remember complaining about this to my sax professor in college, who looked at me in shock, and said, "Do you think I jump out of bed and into my pants every morning, because I can't wait to start practicing?" Ah, the sax professor. I can see his polyester double knits like it was just yesterday. I always wondered if they held their shape when he wasn't wearing them. Let's just say that polyester double knits were way out of style when I was in college, and he wore them every day. Fashion disaster aside, man, was he a good sax player. And an amazing teacher. Point: He wore stiff pants. No, wait. Sorry; let me try that again. Point: Many amazing musicians don't want to practice. But they do it anyway. Because worse than having to practice every day is walking on stage and feeling unprepared, or looking back on a performance and knowing it could have been better if you had put in more time. Knowing that you have more in you than you are tapping.

So that's why. Because it's good to practice, it's important to practice, but it's not always easy. Life is super busy. We have homework, housework, bills, pets, kids, buddies, girlfriends and boyfriends, cars... stuff. Not easy to fit practice in. But guess what? If you love music, you have to practice.

And it's fun to have company.

What's in this blog: Practice tips, anecdotes, inspiring quotes, complaints, celebrations, totally pointless stories, heartwarming tales, silly jokes, photos, a few more practice tips, informative articles, occasional slightly shameless self-promotion, and maybe even a recipe or two. But nothing irrelevant. It's all somehow about the experience of being a musician.

In the next 100 days, you may meet any of the following cast of characters, or perhaps others:

-Soul Mama: Chick who writes this blog. AKA The Evil Professor, AKA The Budhette, AKA The Tasmanian Terror.

-Soul Papa: Dude who's married to chick who writes this blog. Soul Papa plays guitar.

-Mini Me: Soul Parents' Kid. Mini Me says, with convincing conviction, that it's going to snow next Tuesday.

-The Sherpa: Okay, I admit it. I have a coach. We talk sometimes. She gives good advice.

-Pat the Fabulous: Musician friend who went to Berklee in 30s, with twin girls at home... then opened her own music school that is thriving today. She does lots of yoga. She has smart ideas. She is reasonable, sensible, and she is good people.

-Peig and Deb: 100 Day Veterans.

There are others. You will meet them. Perhaps you will become one of them.

We don't mind. As long as you practice every day.

2 comments:

Peig said...

day 2

ok this am ran thru most of my music this am in prep for my lesson tonight.

Told everyone @ work I am out of here regardless of anything today @ 4:30!!!!!!! Dr Bones will just have to make due without me.....

will play more tonight when I get home on whatever teach says!!!!

Dr. D. Running said...

Day two posting a day late - long day. With a concert tonight and organizing materials for the Saturday Gala Fundraiser, I could only manage a half hour of intensive chop builders.

Face feels rubbery after yesterday, this'll take time.