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Re: Creating Space

Another observation comes to mind.   When I was really young, maybe 13 or 
14, I asked my guitar teacher to teach me to play fusion.   I cited 
Mahavishnu Orchestra, Meeting of Spirits.  He laughed and said... "I can't 
teach you that stuff man-- its got no space in it.  But I can teach you 
how to play this great new Steely Dan album!"  

He gave me a copy of the just released Aja  / Peg on cassette and sent me 
home with the following  "anti-rhythm" assignment

To listen to the rhodes part and learn to play its 'anti-rhythm' -- the 
negative space between the notes -- with my hand on my leg.   No 
instrument in my lap.  At the time, I remember thinking-- maybe this guy 
doesn't even know how to play the guitar!.. he is teaching me a part that 
piano player never did play on a song I did not ask to learn.. wtf?? 

Despite my adolescent doubts, the assignment totally blew my mind.  It was 
very hard to do and  30 something years later the experience stills 
influencing my musical choices.  I learned Peg that summer by first 
learning the anti-rhythm of each and every part.   By way of this 
discipline, he taught me to listen for the space between the notes-- the 
substance of musical phrasing.  And he turned me onto one of the greatest 
bands ever.     

God I loved that guy. His name, I cannot remember now... maybe it was 
James.  I remember that he played in a phenomenal Tulsa band called the 
Flying Horse Opera w/ the amazing Randy Crouch.  


> When improvising, I find that I create space more effectively if I focus 
> primarily on the tapping of the foot- giving a great deal of cognitive 
> priority to the pulse.  A singluar and humbling focus.
> When so doing, musical  phrases seem to come from beyond..  The part of 
> me that needs to prove something is firmly bridled to the job of keeping 
> a steady pulse in my body no matter what syncopations the hands and 
> voice may produce.  What remains is a more sparse, better phrased and 
> more conversational musician... the groove is better integrated into the 
> improvised phrases.  And the listener is drawn more deeply into the 
> music by the space between the notes.  At least, thats what I shoot for. 
> Daniel 
> On Jan 11, 2012, at 9:15 AM, David Gans wrote:
>> On Jan 11, 2012, at 4:52 AM, andy butler wrote:
>>>> What do the members of this esteemed group do to help give silence 
>>>> her due?
>>> Put as much effort into the end of each note as into it's beginning.
>> Well said.  Learning when NOT to play has been a long-term undertaking 
>> for me.
>> David Gans - david@trufun.com or david@gdhour.com
>> Music: http://www.cdbaby.com/all/dgans