Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dimmer switch

Sometimes, you'll get a critique or a comment that you can treat as a light switch: on or off.    It could be something like, "don't kiai in that spot of the song," or "strike closer to the center of the drum".  They're things you can just start/stop doing, even if they don't happen without some work.

However, most comments are much more like a dimmer switch.  You need to make incremental changes rather than just "on" or "off".  Examples might be like, "use your lower body to generate power," or "don't overhit," or even "interact more with other players."

Taking any of those critiques as a off/on idea means you'll be wiggling around ungrounded, playing too quietly, or staring at people to the point of being creepy, lol.  While it's easier - in a way - to just push toward the other extreme, but it's not always best.

If you take small or moderate steps incorporating an idea, how far do you take it?  That, I can't answer.  A lot depends on your abilities, the expectation of the person that gave you the comment, the group aesthetics, etc.  You'll have to figure it out for yourself.  And in doing that, you get stronger.  Switching from one side to another can lead to improvement if the destination is what's truly valuable.  Incremental changes are much more about the journey.

It's not always easy to know when to take incremental steps, but figuring out when to do it is a part of the learning process.  The more control you have over your body, the more things you'll be able to do!

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