Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Application of Knowledge


What up, bros! (And sisters!)

Here's a riddle for ya:

What renders a Josh wordless, viewless, and makes him sit down for a while?

Trying to write a song!

It's absurd. Here I sit, in my teaching studio, surrounded by a bunch of gear, teaching forty-odd people a week. I can shred. I play gigs. I'll expound on tritone substitution, or the history behind Stevie Ray Vaughan's music.

But write a song that's good? Huh!

Ever since embarking on my solo career, I've been schooled again and again at how much there is to learn. But that's not a bad thing.

Singing - Recording - Microphones - Software - Drum machines - and now, grammar and rhyme schemes.

Did not see that coming. So much to learn. Dangerously easy to lose sight of the goal - application.

The point of all this, folks, is this:

Regardless of your art or craft, spend a little time working on the application of your knowledge.

For musicians, I would enthusiastically say to write songs, in addition to practicing your sweep picking and razzle dazzle arpeggios.

Finishing is the key word here. Finish a song.

How 'bout you poets and potters out there? Well, while I'm a borderline poet with lyrics, and will write a poem once in a great while, I'm not very familiar with the artform. But let's speak hypothetically for a minute...Maybe you're a reclusive writer, and have never polished one of your poems to the perfection that you feel it's worth of. Perhaps writing a poem that you'd share at an open mic would be a fantastic start. Finish it!

Potters! I have no clue. I honestly don't. But I love pottery!

Painters - stop copying the masters for a minute, and create your own painting. To paraphrase J-Dog, "The kingdom of artistic validity is now."

I think it's a blessing and a curse that musicians spend so much time practicing. But remember, without applications, we just become practitioners.

Rock on!
- Josh

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