In an instant, musical ideas spring to life. You might be transcribing and stumble upon something you like, or perhaps you suddenly play an idea that seemed to come to you from nowhere. I bet this happens all the time. In fact, I’ll bet you come up with something you like nearly every time you practice. What do you do when you discover or create ideas you like?
I used to just play the idea a bunch, thinking, wow…this is a great line. The next day, needless to say, I’d have difficulty remembering the line, and a week later, I’d forget the line entirely.
Keeping a line journal is not only a great way to remember the lines you pick up from transcribing or create yourself, but it’s an essential tool to keep track of the knowledge-base you hope to expand throughout your life.
Whatever it is, write it down
When you’re practicing, you’re in the zone. You don’t want to interrupt it for any reason. This is your time and you want to spend it playing, not writing. That attitude kept me from writing down a lot of things that could have potentially been gems. Sometimes I’ll play something and think, hmmm, that’s kind of nice, but is it nice enough to write down?
Whatever it is, write it down. During your practice, keep manuscript-paper and a pen handy at all times. Consider this your scratch paper where you’ll jot down anything that comes to mind. Knowing that this … Read More