Monday, September 26, 2011

Mouthful of sprinkles

Basics are boring. No one goes to see you perform and gets dazzled by your basics. What impresses the audience is when you flip your bachi, or when you show off a fancy new trick.

Right? Totally wrong.

While it's true that people don't go to see you play to watch how even your beats are, people will enjoy what you play a LOT more if you have a solid foundation first.

Filling a solo with tricks does entertain the audience to a degree, sure. It also takes some skill to pull them off well. But when they're there as a substitute for solid playing, that's when I have issues.

If you want to throw your bachi in the air for the wow factor, great! But if you can't stay on tempo during the rest of your solo, then all you've done is shown me that your priorities are askew. It's like giving me a poorly-baked cupcake with some awesome-tasting sprinkles on it!

If you really want to "wow" an audience, be a solid player who can show a wide range of skills. Strike cleanly, place notes with purpose, shine your ki outwards, and play from a genuine place.

Also in this realm are songs written with a similar intent behind them, to impress through tricks. After a few rounds, those tricks get old fast. And if the song is just a vehicle to deliver sprinkles, why not just give me a mouthful of sprinkles? Saves us both time. :)

It's fun to show off or throw a party trick in there every now and then, but are you doing it because it's a highlight of your solo or because it's really all you have to offer?

No comments:

Post a Comment