Monday, May 10, 2010

It's not a mistake if you play it twice!

I was told that I'm good at making a musical mistake into a purposeful pattern. I guess that's true, even if it's not 100% foolproof!

Unless you plan out every solo section in advance and execute it perfectly, you're eventually going to play something you didn't mean to. Sometimes, this works out! Then again, sometimes it doesn't, and it becomes a "mistake."

Most of the time, listeners will notice a mistake because it feels...wrong. Maybe it's off-tempo or has the wrong sensibilities. It can also be a visual cue, like the reaction from the player being sort of unsure about what just came out of their hands.

The solution? Listening and good reaction time. First, you need to be listening to what you're playing (which is important overall!) Second, you need to have the presence of mind to play the "mistake" again, as if you planned to play it the first time. It might not be the most beautiful pattern, but the audience is going to perceive it as something you did on purpose, and that's sort of the point!

When you make a mistake, you can react poorly to it, you can ignore it, or you can turn it into a creative outlet and fear future ones less and less each time.

1 comment:

  1. Sangen/Taiko PlayerMay 10, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Hard to not let that "crap!" look show...

    Good advice!