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Why deos this happen?

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,802
Location
brighton by the sea
Why does this happen?! I’ve got a studio session with some band or other- they give me a few tracks to learn and put sax on- I learn them up and come up with the usual mixed bag of riffs, solos etc. Come the day of recording I put down the three tracks and, at the end of the session they say- “we’ve got another one which might suit sax, want to give it a go?”…. I dive in, cold- without knowing the track or having a game plan. I can 100% guarantee the last track has my best performance and is noticeably better than the three rehearsed ones…. Why? Is this the ultimate incentive to be unprepared (surely not..). I’ve just had another example of this come through to me on email this morning & its really bugging me. Any thoughts?
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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12,069
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Berkshire, UK
Adrenaline is high, too much thought put into the subject matter, trying to refine it too much, natural immediate energy, excitement.......could all contribute!
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
i totaly get what you mean, got the t-shirt fella! i put it down to the inbuilt improviser needing to think fast on the spot and spurs the creative side on whereas with your 1st pieces you had to record your mind has plenty of time digest the music and treats it more like an exercise so it gets a little lazy in comparison.
 
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Captain Clive

Member
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86
Location
Wyndham, WA, Australia
One of my other pursuits is Aikido. Gradings were done annually after 3 days of 10 hours intensive training. By this stage both the body and mind are exhausted. You operate without conscious thought and on instinct. I suspect it's a similar experience. Instinct/ability honed by hours of training/practice takes over. It's either that or you fall,flat on your arse.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,802
Location
brighton by the sea
..and when I type titles fast I invert letters too! I suspect there's an psychological thing going down here- my subconscious brain can play better than my conscious brain, the more I can bypass thinking about what I’m doing the better. I’ve successfully proved both sides of that coin many a time. Which raises the interesting issue of ‘consciously’ attempting to bypass conscious decision making…. Very zen!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,059
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I feel I play best when there's little conscious thought involved. Extraneous thoughts creep in when practicing and distract me. Put on the spot with a performance or a recording, focus comes down like a shutter.

The thing with a prepared piece is that you've heard it before. It can become contrived and perhaps a little clever. When you play back a spontaneously recorded piece you hear it for the first time as a listener. It's as new to you as it is to everyone else and perhaps some of the edginess of the situation comes through with the performance.

Sink or swim is good so long as there's a lifeboat lol
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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London
my subconscious brain can play better than my conscious brain

Mine too. This is the one answer i wanted to give the OP. Playing without expectations makes you better express your inner musicianship.
Part of my discipline is trying to forget everything I learned when I improvise.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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London
If you play a beautiful solo and nobody hears it, have you really played it?
 

jazzdoh

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2,468
Location
West Midlands
Same thing happened to me at a gig last year,the singer that was mean't to play had to cancel at the last minute and a replacement was brought in,to our joy she knew all the songs on the list but out of 20 numbers 14/15 were in the wrong key for her,after panic had set in for me and the bass player (keyboard player smirking all over his face knowing he had only got to press a few buttons and he was fine)we just thought lets get on with it and hope the crowd lets us out in one piece,transposed the pieces on the fly and it turned out to be a great gig but i was shattered after 2 hours of brain work.
Its amazing what our brain can do if it has to.
 

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