Beginner The Curse of Prior Knowledge

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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404
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New Mexico, US
#44
Who said anything about my habits being 'negative'? I don't see it that way. We probably have a different outlook on life, that's all. :)
Fair 'nuff...you acknowledged that it might be detrimental, therefore I assumed there was an aspect of your situation of negativity.

If it works for ya' ...good on ya' :sax:
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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404
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New Mexico, US
#45
I never said handicap, what an idea? I'm galaxies ahead of the absolute beginner. I was in the first month. But my challenge is the music I hear in my head, all day. It's beautiful stuff and I want to be able to give it a voice. It will come, but meanwhile it's a little frustrating..
You didn't write 'handicap', but your OP certainly stated that you felt you might actually be at a disadvantage...which to me is sorta synonymous:
If you've played a different instrument for any length of time, if you have a moderate knowledge of music theory, if you've listened to saxophone players for years, you're cursed!
Having a lifetime of great music in your head and trying to learn to play a new instrument creates a terrible dichotomy.
You use other such semantics along those lines throughout.....

Don't miss my point here, please (saying this as a Forum friend and fellow player): IMHO your conundrum isn't that you 'know too much' or 'have too much previous experience with music"...and therefore it is now creating distraction/difficulties.....

As you well suggested yourself, your challenge is to remain focused on the lesson/material/practice regimen at hand.

Those are two very different things.

At least that is the way I have been reading your comments....
 
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randulo

Europe
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375
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Bordeaux, France
#46
Yes, and I should have made the title "Mixed Blessing". I've had this discussion with my teacher as well, he gets it and I'm sure you do, too. I think there have been some interesting points made here and I hope you do, too.

Night here.
 

randulo

Europe
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#49
Disclaimer: in no way do I want to appear contentious in my musings and interactions with the populace of this esteemed organ(ization)..

I've been telling people for over a year, if you're sick of social media, find private forums with a shared interest. The Café is a perfect example of this idea. There's room for a lot of viewpoints and civil discussion of them.

Again, thanks for all the fish!
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
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23,459
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Cheshire UK
#50
Disclaimer: in no way do I want to appear contentious in my musings and interactions with the populace of this esteemed organ(ization)..
I don't find your posts contentious at all, interesting and entertaining spring to mind :)

That said it is good to discuss contentious issues but takes effort to do it in a manner that doesn't read as argumentative. I guess not getting too pedantic helps :)

Jx
 

randulo

Europe
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Bordeaux, France
#51
Let's face it, I like to talk and I have the time. I hope not to abuse anyone else's time but again, these talk bring out some of the best of Café, so if I am guilty of voicing contradictory thoughts (curse vs mixed blessings) when venting my frustration, I hope the results are positive.

"Now get outta here, I mean it!"
Bill Murray, last century SNL
 

saxyjt

Well-Known Member
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2,416
Location
France
#52
I've been telling people for over a year, if you're sick of social media, find private forums with a shared interest. The Café is a perfect example of this idea. There's room for a lot of viewpoints and civil discussion of them.
This forum is only the second one of that kind I've come across in 25 years. There are probably others discussing topics I am not currently interested in. The first one was on CompuServe back in 95. It was a Sailing Forum. Quite international too. The big topic then was the America's Cup. That year's edition was rather eventful and since I was near San Diego, I got to meet some of the online members in the flesh.
 

randulo

Europe
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Bordeaux, France
#54
This forum is only the second one of that kind I've come across in 25 years.
Last year, a forum saved my sanity. Would you believe it was limited to electric radiators in France? We bought an all electric house and the radiators are crap. The forum gave me tons of practical info and saved a lot of mo,ney. Just today, I replied to someone and was able to pay it forward.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
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3,121
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leicester
#55
I think that if you've heard lots of amazing music, you feel somehow obliged to make amazing music yourself and so you end up on the path to madness....
Comparing your own playing with all those amazing musicians can be a depressing business because you become sharply aware of your own limitations, or what you think are your limitations...
But limitations can be strengths - how many great blues guitarists had a limited range of skills and yet were able to fully utilise what they knew to create beautiful and deeply moving music?
How many great musicians ever played more than a fraction of all the musical ideas going through their minds?
I sometimes feel like there's a constant improvisation going on somewhere in my subconscious that I occasionally dip into when the opportunity arises. But there's no necessity to externalise every thought that goes through your head and the same applies to music - it's just nice to know that it's there if I need it..

A lot of people talk about mastering the instrument, but I think it's more important to work on your own musicality and develop the skills you need to express yourself as you go along. That way the skills you acquire actually mean something and are appropriate to your needs.
I think this may be how many of the great jazz musicians learnt, back in the days before jazz became a standardised method taught in textbooks and colleges.
 

randulo

Europe
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375
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Bordeaux, France
#56
I agree, altissimo, 100%. You need to master yourself. (Working on it!)
Personally, I don't expect to try to be anyone I've heard. The problem isn't imitating anyone else, it's getting the chops to play what I hear. As someone noted, Sonny Rollins said at 80 he never got where he wanted. Further, it's the voyage that counts, we are eternal travelers. I hope that I can reasonably get to a point where I play a lot of the stuff I hear within another year or so. My comparisons with someone who doesn't know music are simply that even if they learn to play a half whole scale, they won't know what to do with it for a while. In fact, they may take a long time to hear how the minor major seventh scale works on altered dominants. It took years for me to figure that out (to the limited extent that I have!) but now I'm back to wishing I could play it on the new instrument.

Right again: I've played guitar for 60 years. I think one of the best blues guitarists ever plays the same three notes on every song: Albert King, except when he plays only two. I'd rather hear him over all the Stevie Ray imitators on the planet.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
404
Location
New Mexico, US
#57
I don't find your posts contentious at all, interesting and entertaining spring to mind :)

That said it is good to discuss contentious issues but takes effort to do it in a manner that doesn't read as argumentative. I guess not getting too pedantic helps :)
+1. Indeed.

I agree, altissimo, 100%. You need to master yourself. (Working on it!)
This was more the point I was getting at in all of my replies here. In this instance, it is less about the vast volume of works and artists which came before you actually interfering with one's progress...and much more about how one can develop and modulate their own modus operandi to get to a place where they are both comfortable/satisfied with their musical regimen/identity while feeling they are achieving something....
 

randulo

Europe
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Bordeaux, France
#58
I must stop, I know I'm repeating myself and I guess for experienced players who double, they've all felt this to a degree anyway.

Thanks again, everyone for all the encouraging input and wisdom.
 

spike

Old Indian
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Half way up a hill
#59
Attitude check:
When an infant learns to walk they may well fall over a few times.
Falling over is not a negative, it's a positive part of the learning process.
Yes I can. When confronted with a flight of stairs, hey easy I just lift up one leg at a time, one after the other or a jump and a skip, hey ho king of the mountain.
Once you've got all that one step at a time stuff figured out, time goes by and you wake up and it's your 70th birthday.
 
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