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Effective Improvisations Require Effortless Mastery
- JazzAdvice.com in their book, Visualization For Jazz Improvisation Ebook 3.0 observes that "The reality is, for a jazz improviser, there's no time to think of shortcuts, or even if you don't use any mental shortcuts, to have even an ounce of your mental effort spent on thinking about chords, chord-tones, progressions, or anything theory related. To play with freedom and creativity, you need instant and effortless mental access to every part of a chord, chord progression, scale, language, or tune you want to play. The way to achieve this goal is to visualize the information over and over until it moves to a different layer of your brain where you store information that you "just know," like what the color red looks like, your phone number, or your best friend's name."
- Piano master improviser and jazz author, Kenny Werner, has written about effortless mastery in his book by the same name, Effortless Mastery. In his book Werner discusses the problems improvising musicians face and how to practice to overcome them: "Playing music should be as simple and natural as drawing a breath, yet most musicians are hindered by self-consciousness, apprehension, self-doubt, and stress. Before we can truly express our inner self, we must first learn to be at peace and overcome the distractions that can make performance difficult. Kenny's remarkable work deals directly with these hindrances, and presents ways to let natural creative powers flow freely with minimal stress and effort."
- Miles Davis gave this as one of his musical practices, as reported in his New York Times obituary: Other trumpeters play faster and higher, but more than in any technical feats Mr. Davis's influence lay in his phrasing and sense of space. "I always listen to what I can leave out," he would say.
Internet Resources for Jazz Advice
- Jazz Standards (dedicated to the preservation of information for the musical compositions known as Jazz Standards)
- Effortless Mastery advertising blurb for book.