Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Can't Play That Lick (that I just played)

Oh, how many times has this happened!

A student comes in, announcing that he/she simply can't play a lick.
I ask, "What lick"
Then (and here's the cool part) they sometimes pick up their horn and play it. *And* they often nail it.

What's going on here?

Well, here's one thought: at the moment they are demonstrating for me, a couple of factors may be true:

1. They have nothing to lose since they just announced they can't play it. Thus, they plunge in with a "no worries, nothing to lose" approach.

2.Their mindset is more focused on the lick itself and how it sounds (since their goal is to simply demonstrate it for me to make their point). In other words, they aren't focused on themselves or the act of trying to play it. Instead their total focus is on the music itself.

So, in demonstrating that lick they can't play, they are often doing the two exact things they should do:
Let go and play
Focus completely on the music, not yourself.

The brain is a funny thing.