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Tenacity #5 // Julian Lage

by kate 7. February 2012 20:59

Everything that YOU need to know about virtuouso guitarist Julian Lage can be found here and here.

If you don't know, now you know.  You are very welcome!

What I need to know about Julian can be found in the mysteries of the universe.  The soundtrack to the very second we met went like something like this.

Of course I just had to ask Julian to chime in for my series of blog posts about tenacity.  Lucky for me and for you, he obliged.  Thanks, wonder boy!

"The thing that helped me most as I was first getting seriously into playing guitar was to make a time to play consistently every day.

Even if it was for 30 minutes, i would commit to working on something in the time period, no matter what it was. Also, i always had a kind of short attention span and because of that, it would cause me to practice a wide variety of things on any given day.

So if i sat down to practice alternate picking for 30 minutes, the act of practicing that might remind of a bebop melody that seemed like it would necessitate that same kind of technique, so I'd practice a bebop head for a little while. Then I might get intrigued by how to play fast lines over a bebop changes without over tightening or holding my breath, so that would lead me to putting on a record of a player exemplified this kind of easiness best, maybe Chick Corea or Wes Montgomery. And from there, I remember rather than transcribing any solos, I spent most of my time listening to the players I loved, and then immediately after hearing them, trying to play in their style, even without having specifically acquired their vocabulary.

From there, I could clearly hear where the deficiencies were in my playing and that allowed me to get more focused on what qualities and techniques I needed to develop in order to sound more like the music I loved listening to.

At the core of all this, I think the most valuable component of my practicing in the earlier stages, and what continues to be fruitful today, is a commitment to studying my own style and spending time regularly analyzing what my strengths and weaknesses are.

I feel that by studying my own playing, it really helps me to respect the natural musical voice that lies within and that has been there all along, and encourages the analytical mind as well as the imaginatoion to do what they do best, which is to take a task and run with it in all directions. As Wayne Shorter said, 'What is the plural of focus? Focus in all directions!'"




What is Tenacity?

The quality or fact of being very determined; determination

Tenacity is also a series of short blog posts about my favorite players, musicians, athletes, artists, songwriters, entrepreneurs, writers, excellent people, etc.  The (short, sweet and practical) posts will explore how they got to be so damn good at what they do, what made a difference for them along the way.

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