Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within
by Kenny Werner
Jazz pianist Kenny Werner provides insights into how to stay out of the way and let music play itself and to be able to play material perfectly without thought.
Jazz pianist Kenny Werner provides insights into:
I came across this book by accident when ordering another copy of The MusicLesson by bassist Victor Wooten. This book and CD looked interesting, so Ithrew it in the cart along with Barry Green's The Inner Game of Music.
Much of this book is about freeing the mind from the many distractions thatget in the way of effortless playing to play from a place called the "TheSpace".
Many of the ideas in the book will be familiar to those who practice and study meditation, Taoism, Yoga, or read literature about the different aspectsof how we think.
Many of the things that Kenny describes about the mental processes of playing ring true for me. I have known how to play drums from the "the space", where I just get on stage and play with other musicians without rehearsal or thought about what it is we are playing. It simply works, most of the time. It has been a mixed blessing in that when it does not work, my lack of preparation is evident. I have recently been learning piano, bass, and guitar. With piano, especially, mastery is slow to come. I recognize many of the mind challenges that Kenny describes.
The discussion and exercises of the book are designed to remove the mental obstacles to effortless playing, while developing an approach to learning and practicing that will lead to complete preparation for performances. One suggestion is to work on a tune or specific tune until complete mastery is obtained, which may take years. As I tend to gloss over many things at once, I think this is a lesson that I should take to heart.
There are suggestions specifically for pianist, horn players, saxaphonists, and vocalists. The principles apply to all musicians and artists.
The meditations on the CD are quite fresh and have strokes of genius. One is to simply breathe and give thanks for the breath. What a wonderful starting place!
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