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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was down in the basement of the new house taking a break from painting and got out the horn. I was playing Autumn Leaves and all of a sudden all this superimposition stuff I've been thinking about after the Liebman camp just started coming out. It was weird. I was diving into cadences after all this stuff and pretty much able to hit changes after things I have never spent any serious time on. I've hardly played at all in weeks. Even my wife commented when I came upstairs. She said, "I've never heard you sound that good." Freaky weird!
 

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Awesome! I am still working to make it come out. Seems I am wired instinctually to match what I hear (ambiently), yet I still work to match what I hear cerebrally. For me that threshold seems to be a question of comfort and relaxation.
 

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Chris, I just had a similar experience. I finished a gig on Saturday night and as we were waiting to get the bread, the piano player and I were playing a few tunes. Nothing special, "My Romance" etc but they were tunes I hadn't played in a while. My improvisation was incredibly fluid. I remember Lieb talking about it taking several months for something you're working on to work its way into your playing...

Anyway...I love it when things like that happen!
 

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This is a great thread: gives all of us who are working hard hope, and the patience necessary to keep working...
 

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Now you have something to take back to the jam session...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My mom was in town tonight and heard me play for the first time in years. She said how is it that now that you have two music degrees you sound worse?
 

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That happened to me on the guitar a lot.

I've taken a couple 'sabbaticals' but I remember when I first learning, I could NOT get the concept of hammer-ons and pull-offs (essentially a slur I guess..) WHILE playing a chord progression. I got so fustrated that I put away my guitar for 3 months. I had just decided I wasn't a guitar player and when I picked up the guitar again the first song I tried was the song with the hammer-ons and VOILA! It was like I never had a problem.

I think it's a mixture of when you practising SERIOUSLY, you tend to overthink it a little and sometimes you just need to let your brain and muscles rest and come back to it with a fresh mind
 

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I am squeezing memories out my brain cells... but as I recall Paul Dirac who was a 1933 (shared that year) winner of the Nobel prize in physics recalled his mother asking him (he was trained as an engineer) why it took four years to learn how to drive a train?

Mothers have a way of keeping us in our place.
 

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I have experienced the same sort of improvement or progress in watercolor painting and general problem solving as well as music technique. From what I've read it is a combination of the aforementioned brain fatigue issue and the old "sleep on it" approach.

Basically, the brain needs to process the overload of data. You "sleep on it" for a period of time, forget about it, and later on the answer or improvement is presented in a flash of inspiration. The theory being that the sub-conscious, which doesn't sleep, works on the knowledge assimilation or problem solution process overnight while your conscious sleeps.

GPD
 

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This reminds me of when I was still taking lessons.
If I was working on a piece that was causing my fits to have fits, my teacher would tell me to put it away for a while and just 'live with it'.
After about a month or so he would have me pull it out and give it another try. No more fits!
He was correct when he said my brain didn't need my eyes and fingers to work things out, and when the time was right everything would all just fall into place.
I've passed this little tidbit on to all of my students.
 

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I have experienced the same sort of improvement or progress in watercolor painting and general problem solving as well as music technique. From what I've read it is a combination of the aforementioned brain fatigue issue and the old "sleep on it" approach.

Basically, the brain needs to process the overload of data. You "sleep on it" for a period of time, forget about it, and later on the answer or improvement is presented in a flash of inspiration. The theory being that the sub-conscious, which doesn't sleep, works on the knowledge assimilation or problem solution process overnight while your conscious sleeps.

GPD
+1. not only the brain, but the nerves-muscles need rest to 'build'. i try to remember this now in my practice, so that my expectations are for further out and i don't get discouraged when i don't get 'instant gratification' of accomplishment. "relax, enjoy - it will come".
 

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I just apply revisionist memory. The older I get, the better I used to be.
 

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My mom was in town tonight and heard me play for the first time in years. She said how is it that now that you have two music degrees you sound worse?
lol, always listen to your mother.
 

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Last month I barely practiced due to work schedule re-arrangements, oddly, I improv'd better than ever during music lesson and surprised my teacher too. Somehow, my head heart and fingers clicked during the times I couldn't practice.
I apply my coffee-bathroom break routine when I get frustrated with an issue at work- go get a coffee, play mindless games, go to the bathroom, and voila, a clue appears to solve a problem. The brain needs to go to the bathroom too.
 

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For me, less practice and more effective practice with total focus has more results. I see that a lot of guys are in a overtraining situation. We must remember that resting is part of the process. Muscles need to rest, so when I´m not with the horn I do exercises into my mind, I try to sing everything (I´m not a good singer) or just mount scales, chords mentally. That creates a tension within my mind and when I´m with the horn I´m total focused on those ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good 40 minutes playing standards, I'm pretty much done with Aebersold, in the new basement. Got a thing with my free duo and then a wedding tomorrow. Outside of basic training I've never had chop fatigue ever. Til this year and the damn school teacher chops I've got. That will change soon. However this is a high class problem.

CB
 

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I think there is definitely a freshness that gets into your playing when you been away from the horn a while. Especially, if you're starting to get into a rut somehow.

However, playing more frequently tends to help with technical aspects, sight reading, and endurance.

Shawn
 

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I was just thinking about this. After not playing for a week, my embouchure sounded better last night and lasted longer. I always sound worse by the end of my practice session. Is that normal?

I'm a science buff and heard something which is related to this. Damaged muscle, when rebuilt, is stronger than before. The saying "No pain, no gain" is true.
 
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