A Little Bird Told Me..,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Relighting the Fire, or Getting out of the Musical Slump

Good day, all! 

I know what you are thinking... WHAT in the world does this pitiful little tree have to do with the title? 

All in good time, my pretty, all in good time... :P 

Have you, as a musician, artist, or child of God, ever been bored musically (or yes, even spiritually)? Is your creative spark or flame pretty much snuffed out? Where is that burning passion that you had when you first began to play or create? 

When I first began to play the bass, I would be so wrapped up in it - I would fall asleep with it sprawled across me. I would wake up and play, and dream all the live long day about notes, rhythms, cool riffs, etc... 

Every chance I got, I would play with people and explore new sounds and songs, practicing for hours.  

Well, I have gotten, as of late, into a bit of a funk... (no, not the good kind :) As much as I love the people I play regularly with, a bit of the shine has rubbed off the apple. We basically adhere to one musical style -more or less, and I find myself pedaling. a lot. Quarter notes have taken root in my brain.  #thatsanunderstatement 

How do I rekindle the spark that first held me captive? (and yes, as is often the case, I need a bit of a jump start in my walk with God as well...) funny how that works... 

That little tree, (thanks Rochelle M. for the pic), is a good picture of me right now. 

In many ways, I am down to bare bones... all the junk, pretense, and mechanical response is being stripped away...a good place for a fire to start, wouldn't you say? 

I am doing a few things to get back on track. 

  • First of all, I maintain that this slump will pass... I won't stay in the doldrums forever. My creative juices will start working again, and the best is yet coming!
  • Dare to stretch yourself- I recently began jamming along to some Vince Guaraldi and rediscovered the challenge and thrill of what made me fall in love with that bass to begin with. Branching out makes you a better player, and enables you to "speak more languages" as they say. 
  • Keep venturing out of that comfort zone. We were never meant to stay there. It's too easy to set up a zip code in the comfort zone! It's only when we get comfortable with the UNcomfortable that we grow! What, ME play Reggae??? YES! Find tasty little riffs that you can insert into the right spots.Challenge yourself to break out of the same meters. It really helps loosen any monotony.
As far as my walk with my Creator? 

I make gratitude lists. Sometimes I have to start small. Like that bare tree, build wisely! 

"Today, I am thankful for ____________."  You fill in the blank. You would be amazed at how that can snowball. Even more amazing, the more thankful you are, the more you maintain a positive frame of mind. 
Meditating on what's true, lovely, and good... 

Now WHERE have I heard THAT before??   lol
God bless! 



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