Sunday, January 22, 2012

If You Want To Experience Things You Never Experienced Before, You Have To Do Something You've Never Done Before

You pick up your guitar.  Ho-hum.  You play the same chords, the same songs, the same licks that you always do.  Inspiration has run away like a dog chasing a rabbit into the woods - and even though you call as loudly as you can, that dog ain't coming back any time soon.  Boredom has moved into your musical house, laying around and eating all the snacks, watching movies you despise, leaving dirty dishes laying around, and subsequently keeping your friends from dropping by.  You try to look into the musical future, and all you see is the past - the same old cycle repeating itself like watching Star Trek III:  The Search For Spock a hundred more times.

How do you break the hopeless repeated reincarnation of yesterday's Blah into today's Bland Boring Humdrum?  How do you restore your music from being a catalyst for the zombie apocalypse to being ALIVE and filled with inspiration, meaning, and vision?  How do you find a spark of inspiration to ignite a revolution against the status quo?


If you find yourself lying in a rut, you have three options.
  1. Lie there and sigh
  2. Lie and your back and wiggle with all your might
  3. Stand up, climb out of the rut, and move on
The first two options above leave you in the rut.  The third option gets you out.  

The first option is resignation - you've given up and they may as well throw dirt on you and write your musical epitaph.  

The second option is the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results each time.  Your playing the same songs, the same licks, the same chords, over and over and over and over, ad infinitum, using the same technique, the same emotions, the same mental approach  - and wondering why you aren't moving on to higher ground.

The third option may seem overly simplistic or mysteriously impossible.  It is neither.  The third option involves something the 21st century is attempting to make obsolete - VISION.  Yes my friend, you must SEE.  You must force your mind to swim in the rivers of reason, imagination, passion, and Spirit - for when those four rivers merge, you find yourself riding the wild currents of CREATIVE INSPIRATION.

There are four horses pulling your chariot of music.  One is analytical, one is mechanical, one is emotional, and one is spiritual.  When you combine these four elements, you find yourself riding a wave that carries you farther that you could ever swim on your own.

Analytics is the mental process of learning music - what notes sound like, how they work together, music theory, and so forth.

Mechanics is the physical discipline to create sound on your instrument.  Using your hands for the creation of notes, chords, melodies and such.

Emotion is the passion you feel - the fire inside you that drives your intensity for music in whatever form meshes with your musical DNA.

Spirit is the source of true inspiration.  Looking beyond the horizon of creativity and seeing the Creator.  When you realize God likes your music, put that gift inside you, and is president of your fan club, everything changes. 

The first two components above - Analytics and Mechanics - can be learned from a teacher.

The third component above - Emotion - comes from YOU.

The fourth component above - Spirit - comes from God.

So ask yourself this.  Do you have a teacher who can show you new things in the realms of analytics and mechanics?  If not, find one.  If you can't find someone to teach you in person, books, DVDs, internet videos abound with material which will show you the way.

Do you have a message, a sound, a song that has to be birthed into this world?  If not, look at this world and see what must be changed through your music.  Channel your hopes, frustrations, vision and passion into your music with the power of emotion.  Even if your vision is to sit on the back porch and serenade your cat, that vision is worth pursuing.

Do you experience a spiritual connection with God when you play?  I'm not talking about strumming hymns in church on Sunday.  I'm talking about TRUE creativity - the likes of which the world has never seen before.  That totally unique sound that ONLY YOU carry.  This is the music you love, the music you connect with.  The style is not important, the source is.  Its as simple as asking God to release the gift inside you, and then receiving it.

So if you are lying there in a rut, chances are you have not engaged a teacher to take you to new places of analytically understanding the concepts of music or the physical discipline and training required to mechanically  play your instrument.  Or you have allowed the fire inside of you to burn out - the emotions that fuel your vision have been turned off and need to be reactivated.  Or, you may have leaned theory, mastered physically playing your instrument, and have a fire in your soul for music, but you have never simply added the most important component of all - the creativity of the spirit which transcends your own best efforts.

Do you want to experience music like you've never experienced it before?  You may need to do something you've never done before.  Its often surprising how much change can come from a very little amount of new insight.