Recently I’ve been slipping with my practice routine and furthering my music education. It has been almost impossible to schedule a daily block of time to practice, whether that be working on new repertoire, composing, or even organizing my messy chart binder. I wake up with the best of intentions every day, but realize I fall short of what I honestly want to accomplish and what really is accomplished by the day’s end. Somewhere between the morning while watching “Matlock” reruns and the late night episodes of HGTV’s “House Hunters”, I completely fail in being the practice warrior I aspire to be. Granted I’ve managed to learn some heartfelt Christmas tunes in case I land a lucrative holiday party gig, but nothing groundbreaking. I also acknowledge the fact that I’ve had a lot going on outside of my music career, but that sounds like an excuse when I’m honest with myself. I’ve simply got to switch into “shedding” mode to push forward.
The reality of my procrastination hit me straight in the gut yesterday when I ran across an article entitled “How To Be Mediocre.” Though the article was quite comical it held quite a bit of validity because TOO many people are “OK” with being mediocre musicians or generally living a life of mediocrity. One of my favorite lyrics of all times from a Seal tune comes to mind, “In a world full of people only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?” What a brilliant lyric! I’ve always pondered the same thing when I witness how many people are willing to do the absolute least in order to just “pass” or “get by.” I simply shake my head in disbelief when I see it because life is worth SO much more. The legends of this art form refused to accept mediocrity. They dedicated their lives to not only mastering jazz, but pushing its boundaries so it would continue to evolve.
After reading the article I KNEW I had to make some changes in order to jump back on the path of excellence and artistic evolution. I started digging through my bins and yanking out some amazing reference books ranging from vocal technique and breathing exercises to playing rootless voicings on the piano. I even found myself writing down a detailed daily rehearsal schedule. A brotha felt like he was doing something. LOL
The bottom line is I prayed for more time to devote to my music career and artistic growth several months ago. What happened? My prayers were answered. Therefore, I need to get down to the business of taking purposeful steps. There’s no time to waste. I’ve got an album to make and a career to build.