Monday, March 16, 2015

Repetition (video)

I wasn't planning to post something just before tour, but this video had me saying "YES!" out loud a few times, so I wanted to share:

The video on this page is short; just under five minutes. But it's rather interesting!

Repetition in music is hugely powerful.  Take your favorite song.  How often have you listened to it?  Your brain WANTS to hear it again and again.  But it's more than just wanting to hear an entire passage of music; within a song, repetition has the same effect.

There's nothing "wrong" with songs that have little repetition - or solos for that matter - but just based on human psychology, they're not as enjoyable to the brain.  The video does a much better job of illustrating this than I can, so I'll stop there.

So for everyone who solos out there, take a look at what you play.  Is there repetition in your music?  Do you choose to have it or not have it, or are you just playing notes on a whim?

One of my favorite parameter drills lately is to have people repeat whatever patterns they play exactly.  It's interesting how much thinking people have to do when I make them do this, because they now have to think more and start listening to what they're playing.  For some, this is easy, but for many, it's difficult.

Maybe this video changes how you think of your solos and compositions, maybe it doesn't.  The most important thing here is: did it make you realize something about your playing you didn't think about before?

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