Blog Archive

blog search

Entries in listening (5)


The Creative Life & Identity -- a conversation with Sonya Lea

My friend Sonya Lea and I regularly get together to tear apart our creative lives and compare notes. She recently recorded a conversation/interview with me about identity and I ended up delving into the particulars of my musical life. Much deeper than I thought. Which is what happens with Sonya. This is part of the work she is pursuing for her book about identity shifts.

Part One

Part Two




Ear Training / Dave Douglas

From a letter I sent out to my coaching clients 2.15.2014

This post references a recommendation I made about a composer's workshop in NYC led by trumpeter Dave Douglas.

- - -

Great freed back from Alec who made it to the second day of Dave Douglas' workshop in NYC. I had a hunch that Dave's vibe would resonate with some of us here. Dave's sense, and practice, of putting intention into a single, simple line goes well beyond his genre and beyond most musicians I know.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I will again.

Dave's article on ear training>

Click to read more ...


European Tapping Workshop 2013 -- Inzing, Innsbruck, Austria

This is a ridiculously beautiful place. Sadly, I am missing my son’s 16th birthday, but he and I did get to spend nearly two weeks traveling through Navajo land last month. (High points: Canyon de Chelly, Grand Canyon, and Chaco Canyon in midnight moonlight). 

This was our second annual tapping workshop and a huge leap beyond last year’s course. A leap in terms of what we were able to tackle, but also in the level of improvement in peoples' playing. And in only 5 days. We even had two people come who had never played a touch guitar before. By the end of the week they were playing music along with the rest of us. Quite amazing, actually.

This year’s course was held in a different location and with no kitchen staff. Our quarters were much closer and we cooked for ourselves. Both these things could appear to be a drag. But, in fact, they were huge bonuses. This is something proved again and again in the world of Guitar Craft: work well together in the kitchen and you can clearly work better together onstage. Work on either one and both improve.

Click to read more ...


The Gap of Frustration

I don't usually share insights from particular meetings with my coaching clients but, following on from the Ira Glass quote above, I did see something the other day worth sharing.

Click to read more ...


Quiet Listening

I have been experimenting with a new kind of listening over the last year.

For reasons partially, but not completely, clear to me I am finding that my ear has developed a kind of threshold. This threshold is not just volume oriented, it is also information oriented. Once I cross this threshold my ears shut down -- both internally and externally. Meaning that not only does my inner ear shut down and I cannot bear to listen anymore, but my physical ears don't want any more sound either. They kind of stuff themselves up.

Click to read more ...