It’s officially official: my new EP Safe Ground is available today. You can listen and download it here (name your price).
I’m excited to finally release a collection of my own music. I owe many thanks to Jahi Alexander for playing bass on these recordings and for holding me somewhat accountable for finishing the project.
As I worked to finish my new EP, Safe Ground, I found myself deeming things as “good enough.” I found myself questioning whether spending more time on a certain task would yield noticeable benefits. Sometimes “good enough” is exactly what you need in order to keep moving forward.
Nothing is ever perfect. There’s always something that can be improved. This is true especially in artistic work. I look back at past work and see flaws. There are many things I would do differently. The only way that I can recognize these flaws, however, is through experience with mistakes. Without making imperfect art, the artist would never learn.
It is therefore important to continue to create. You should commit and move on. Forward momentum allows a creative individual to continue to make mistakes and to deem work as “good enough.” There are always more opportunities to create in the future while avoiding errors made in the past.
Looking back, I probably should have spent more time on some things and less time on others. However, I’ve found that more often than not, things are good enough. There’s always an opportunity to improve with the next project. It’s time to set some goals and make music.
I’m finally releasing an EP of my own. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and it’s finally happening.
Safe Ground will be available next Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
Hopefully this will start a ball that rolls down a large hill and spits out albums as I accumulate musical ideas and share them with the world.
I have the bass and drums recorded for the EP I’m working on. I went to my bass player’s house last week and brought my laptop and my trusty Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. We recorded his Squier Jazz Bass direct. I might reamp it later, but for now I have it recorded.
Here’s the beginning of a tune called “Dirty Light” with a scratch piano part and the drum and bass parts.
More to come!
A popular topic of debate among musicians is the issue of practice. How much should a musician practice? How long? Should a musician practice in the morning, in the afternoon, or should practice be evenly distributed throughout the day? What should someone do if he misses a day of practice? How much should a musician warm up each day? Should practice routines be altered based on rehearsal schedules?
These questions might be relevant if practicing were like writing for this blog. I sit down and execute the routine of thinking, typing, and later clicking “Publish.” However, practice is full of idiosyncrasies. It is a very personal habit, and relevant questions do not include “how often” or “how long.” Instead, a musician must consider how he or she practices.
Practicing is like exercise. It requires a goal, a plan, a timer, and brutal honesty. It should be efficient, productive, and focused. The goal of practice is measurable progress. It is a very scientific process. A musician must recognize a problem, devise a plan, find creative ways to solve the problem, and objectively measure results.
Playing for hours and hours without focus is counterproductive. This might lead a musician to unknowingly reinforce bad habits. Problems may arise that might need additional work to solve. It is important to be honest with oneself and to consciously practice only that which needs work.
I do not intend to imply that experimentation and improvisation do not have their place within the musician’s daily life. However, I would argue that improvisation and experimentation with the intent of finding new sounds or new ideas is a different type of practice. It is a different type of creativity. Practicing is a problem-based creative process. When practicing, the musician must ultimately seek to make music.