Thoughts on Playing Music

Posted on Posted in General Music, Musical Development

If you think you’ve made a mistake, it probably did not happen. No need to stress yourself out.

If you are playing a piece and it feels just right, it is probably too fast. If you play a piece and it feels too slow, it is probably at the right tempo. If you consistently work with a metronome and record yourself, you will not have this problem. As a performing musician, always think about adrenaline.

Although it’s important to play with a metronome, don’t play like a robot. Music naturally speeds up and slows down. The goal is to be aware of the ebb and flow. Some people play more behind the beat. Others play right with it or right on top of it. The idea is to make all of it work and groove together.

The concept of tension and release is awesome. You should work on applying it to rhythm, melody, harmony and dynamics. Without it, music would be boring.

With the focus primarily shifting towards epic production and electronic instruments, don’t forget about dynamics.

If you strive to make each note precise and technically perfect, use caution that it doesn’t sound too sterile.

It’s important to consider styles and historical lineage. It’s also important to personalize your sound.

Don’t let music theory force yourself not to be creative. Instead, use it to help view different ways to think outside the box.

If you are trying to force a new idea in your vocabulary, it will sound forced. The best solution is to not think about it and let your intuition take over.

When you perform, don’t overthink it.

It’s important to practice five to six days out of the week. It’s also important to take a day or two off.

Remember we all grow in stages. Just because you can’t play certain ways now doesn’t mean you’re a terrible player. However, at the same time don’t settle for less.

About Nick Grinlinton

Nick Grinlinton has written 100 entries on this blog.

Nick Grinlinton is a guitarist, composer and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a two-time ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award finalist and has composed and played music for Jerry Seinfeld's web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". A speedy runner, Nick currently focuses on racing distances from the mile all the way to the marathon. As he continues to train daily, he is currently examining what effect music has towards running. To learn more and to contact Nick, visit his website.

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