The signs, part 2.

Ok, so, to resume.

Oh, you know the story. I’m not going to resume. If you are reading part 2, it’s because you know what part 1 is.

Very well.

As I was saying: think. Always!

But there are many kinds of thinking (Did you know that?)

For example, you can think preemptively and prepare. That’s the nerd talking in me. It’s built on the impossible idea that one can face ANYTHING as long as we have done our homework. Every musician, no exception, is like that. We don’t call it preparation, though, we call it practice. We get lost in the preparation. So lost that we forget the other kinds (notice the “s” at the end of “kind”) of thinking.

One other kind of thinking is improvising. Or, again, with the muso linguo: “Winging it” as we call it. That one goes like this: prepare the crap out of something and hope that the situation you encounter fits somewhat into your preparation. If it doesn’t: get desperate. It’s a jungle out there, music is such a racket (punctuate the sentence by finishing your vodka), Jim Morrison died at 27, etc…

Yes, because us musicians have a bad habit. What am I calling it a bad habit for? It is a bad disease! We cannot understand when we have made a truly big mistake. Oh, I know what you are going to tell me. That disease is not specific to musicians. And you are right, it is not. Look at our Dear Leader in the White House. But!

But as a musician, there are not two ways about it! You have to be very light on your feet and be capable of changing if you are not producing the results you expect.

I’ll give you a “for instance”. As a matter of fact, I’ll give you MY “for instance”.

I didn’t want a computer. Back then, I was doing things in an analog way. My business was doing fine. Why should I change? And the money? Excuse me, but those electronic toys are not cheap. So, I clamped on my lifestyle like crazy: no computer. Well, my business started to sag, the numbers to drop, the calls to rarefy. Anyway, I had to recognize the situation and change my ways. Big time! Meaning not only on how I was doing business, but also on how I was teaching. Electronic assignment pages became the norm, emails exchanges with students replaced phone calls, digital video files were commonly used.

So, what’s my message? Aye, Aye! People of the earth, read the signs! And be prepared to question what you are doing. That is the thinking, or the thinking(s), you have to do, just to survive. And eventually to thrive.