TAO Student Page

Creative Exercise just as important as Physical Exercise

The Need For SpeedCreative Speed!

Here are different artforms that you can explore.  Create and express yourself in a creative manner.  Learn how to find ways to think of ideas by exercising your mind with the use of these artforms.  The more you use creative outlets such as these, the easier it is to create ideas of your own, with whatever you do!:

1.         Performing Arts

  •         Music  (all styles, recording & live)
  •         Acting  (Film & Theatre)
  •         Dance  (all styles, recording & live)
  •         Live Show Production
  •         Choreography
  •         Comedy

2.       Visual Arts

  •           Painting
  •           Sculpturing
  •           Drawing & Sketching
  •           Photography
  •           Videography & Cinematography
  •           Graphic Design

3.       Other Fine Arts

  •           Poetry
  •           Calligraphy
  •           Authoring Books or Short Stories
  •           Martial Arts
  •           Game Designing
  •           Fashion Design (the use of textiles, colors, & textures)
  •           Interior Design (the use of space, color palette, & textural design)
  •           Architecture (the creative use of space & budget)
  •           Authoring Books or Short Stories
  •           Culinary Art

 Secrets to Peformance

There are certain components found in all types of performance whether that performance is in a form of art, or in a sport, speaking engagement:

  1. Practice
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Passion
  4. Healthy Fear versus Unhealthy Fear
  5. Personality or Individuality 

Practice:

We are always encouraged to practice, but besides getting gradually better by practicing, what does it do?  Practice is like a best friend.  Practice requires time.  The more time you spend practicing, the more you get to know your best friend.  In my case, my first best friend was the saxophone.  So, in order for me to know my friend really well, it required spending lots of time together, the saxophone and myself.  The bonus to practicing is you develop self-discovery.

You learn about yourself while practicing.  You learn how to increase your strong points and abilities while learning to develop your weaker abilities.

As a result, you become much more confident with your performance ability which makes you perform with more passion and confidence.

Vocabulary:

So what is it that you practice, then?  You practice your vocabulary.

If you are speaker you study learning new words so that you can develop a larger vocabulary toward a particular subject.

If you are a musician you practice scales and chords and rhythmic styles of music.  Scales allow sentences to be created.  Chords allow paragraphs to be created.  Combine these with rhythms and you create your own books.  It’s what we call a song.

If you are an athlete you practice training your muscles to become stronger while practicing strategic moves within your particular sport.  Muscle memory is a type of vocabulary for the athlete.

Passion: 

What’s the difference between a job and a career?  The passion that you have when you are at your longterm job. 

Passion is combination of your love for what it is that perform with your confidence toward you abilities within your performance subject.  This is why practice becomes the key component toward performance because you develop a stronger passion as you develop a stronger confident on what you achieve.  You can’t really go into fifth gear or turbo charge during your performances unless you are absolutely confident with your abilities.

Combine the confidence and knowledge you have toward your abilities with the love you have for your performance subject and you will encounter a very strong and passionate performance.

Healthy Fear versus Unhealthy Fear:

Healthy fear is being nervously excited just prior to a performance.  Unhealthy fear is when you allow fear to set in the mind and preoccupy every thought.  You can’t perform at your highest level when this happens.

FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.  It doesn’t exist except to you.  You have to release this unhealthy fear from your mind.

Fear sets in most when we improvise our performances.  Primarily, because we don’t know exactly how our performance will turn out because there isn’t any script.

Once, again, practice helps to relieve potential fears from entering our mind’s focus.  The more confident we are of our subject’s vocabulary, the more we feel comfortable in improvising and keeping fear at bay.

One last thing that greatly improves our performance is learning how to release our own inhibitions.

The confidence building that practice develops helps incredibly toward getting over hang ups, but at some point we have to be willing to make that leap of faith.

Now, every time I perform a solo, I have to make that leap of faith.  Granted, I have performing improvised solos for more than two-thirds of my life however, I still need to recognize that I am jumping off of the proverbial cliff hoping that I can still like a little birdie.

Yes, almost all of the time I fly with a full wingspan, however, on occasion I may slip and even fall to the ground during a solo.  That’s only because I keep challenging my own abilities.  Now if you’re passionate, you will continually challenge yourself and your level of performance.

Personality (or Individuality):

The last component toward great performances is controlled by you, the individual.

Practice is something we all have to do.  Ideas will be brought to us through outside influences like teachers, other performers and the training that we choose to use, but ultimately what makes a great performer great is the ability to focus on themselves developing their own passion, ideas and nuances that make them individual and unique.

As performers we can be as unique as we want or as similar to other performers as we want.  When it’s all said and done the decision toward our desire to be unique and the time that we choose to spend toward this goal is up to us, the individual.

 

 

Keys Toward Great Improvisation!

3 Keys that will vastly Improve your Improv

1. Scales

(Learning the basic scales give you a string vocabulary for improvisation,
 reference Scales for Jazz Improvisation, by Dan Haerle, 1975)
 
– Blues Scales
– Major (& Dominant) Scales
– Minor Scales
-Whole Tone Scales
– Diminished Scales

2. Phrasing

  1. Play Short Melodies  (or riffs)
  2. Play around the original melody
  3. Less is More

3.  Conviction

Play like you mean it!… Every note. Play from the heart
Playing with passion sets you apart from the mass group of players
Playing freely…without apprehension.  Learning to play fearlessly is the most important key to playing like a pro!!