Taking Risks

One of the first exercises I gave you in this series was recording yourself playing your ugliest music.

It was probably a difficult exercise, but what I hope you gained from it was that you found you were capable of a lot more varied colours and sounds than you were used to exploring.

You probably felt uncomfortable to do this exercise and it would have been challenging for you if it was the first time you have done something like this

And when you explore your capacity for making music, it is vital you explore its entirety – not just the “pretty” sounds.I learned this from a Band for hire Melbourne.

I think you would agree that each of us has many facets to our personality, we are not just the “nice” person we present at a job interview or on a first date.

There is much, much more to us than meets the eye and all of us have “ugliness” or aspects to our personality that are shadowy.

It is this complexity and multi-facedness that makes us individuals and if you are to play authentically, you need to be able to represent that in your music.

This means you have to be unafraid to sound “ugly” or make “mistakes” and often you will have to take musical risks to find that pot of gold that makes your solo or composition stand out from the rest.

You may ask why I have put the words “nice”, “pretty”, “ugly” and “mistakes” in inverted commas.

I have done this because these are judgements, which your critic makes and they often do not ring true in the musical result.  More often than not, it is in playing “ugly” and “making mistakes” that the real musical treasure is discovered.

So bottom line is, in order to stand out from the crowd and discover your authenticity, you will need to take the risk of sounding ugly and making mistakes and that is something you will need to practice if you want to be free in your performance.

Free Improvisation is a great exercise for becoming accustomed to taking risks and working on the desire to constantly ‘edit’ the musical performance.

After the Performance

Reflect Upon Progress

A performance will always give you a good indication of how far you have come and where you are heading.  Take time to reflect upon this.  You can write in your Diary, talk to others who were there and discuss your experience with your teacher.  Use your performing experience to identify areas needing more attention as well as the strong points of your music.

Celebrate Achievement

Every performance marks an achievement.  It doesn’t matter what happened, you have done it and that act in itself is worthy of praise.  When you reflect upon how your performance went, for every negative you feel, think of a positive as well.  If it was a total washout, think about what you did or didn’t do which contributed to this outcome and if your performance was enjoyable, think about what you did to achieve this outcome.

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