Feeling Stuck in Your Practice (and Getting Unstuck)

Sting talks below about overcoming writer’s block. When we see these luminaries of music, it often appears they have no struggles, that music simply flows from them. But that’s not the case, most of the time. Music is work. A labor of love, to be sure, but still, a labor. A labor fraught with error and the necessary correction; a labor fraught with being (or feeling) “stuck.” Listening to Sting talking about being “stuck,” I thought of the Beethoven’s Opus 69 manuscript below and what every professional musician I’ve interviewed has said about being stuck…

Constrain Yourself: Creativity in Practice

Writers, musicians, visual artists, or any other person who relies on creativity for their well-being–whether spiritual, mental, or monetary–knows that ideas like inspiration, talent, or some other idea that makes us believe that things should be “easy,” are often more hindrance than help. It’s work. And that’s not a bad thing.
What’s great about hearing Jack White speak about his own process is learning about the constraints he puts on himself. There is also this gem about why constraints are so important, and how surfeit can suck the juice out of creativity:

OK-GO for the Win

What do you get when you mashup Blue Man Group with Inspector Gadget and Nascar? Probably something like OK-GO’s new romp of a video for their tune Needing/Getting.
What I love about this video is taking the idea of the size of an instrument to an absurd and wonderful extreme. It’s also a great way to visualize the form of a piece of music, since you can actually see instead of “just” hear where the form repeats. And the question I have is: how the heck do you practice that instrument?