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I really enjoyed the Elizabeth Gilbert piece. I think her ideas about creativity and artistic stereotypes are really interesting and well thought out, however, the point where she talks about Tom Waits receiving a melody while he was driving gets a touch weird.


I wonder, to some extent, if her point of accepting genius as coming from outside herself isn't more of an ego based response in accepting that she would be important enough to receive genius - versus having it go to someone else?


So, in a way, it became contradictory to me. First, she says genius was perceived to come from outside yourself in the past. Then, she talks about the responsibility of being called genius in the modern perception. Then it becomes genius as an outside source that you personally just happen to be important enough to receive.


I think songwriting and any other forms of reasonably good art evolve from the work and effort people apply to their crafts. My songs are simple, with simple metaphor and references in a somewhat traditional folk style. Yours (cunkhead) are more involved, worked and reworked into well crafted adventures. I think my songs reflect what is inside me, and I think yours reflect what is inside you. What Gilbert says in this piece is sort of like this: I am a vessel of water, but the water is in the clouds.

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I very much enjoyed Gilbert's talk about creativity. I think it is an interesting perspective on the nature of creativity and especially on how the artist can "deal" with their own creativity (or lack thereof as the case may be).


I am a professor of design and have taught design for 29 years. One of the things that has always bothered me about the teaching of creativity is when artists or teachers of art claim that "creativity cannot be taught... artists are born". That is so much horsepucky. Each of us has creativity built into our makeup. We are just not taught to recognize the various aspects of our brain activity. In fact, one part of our brains gets all the attention and education (the left logical, linear, verbal side) and the other side (the right intuititive, spacial, non-verbal, creative side) is given some exercise in kindergarten through finger painting, but thereafter is relegated to those "frills" of education (art, music, drama, dance, driver's ed).


The right side of the brain perceives the world in a completely different way than the left brain does. And the way it communicates with you is completely different as well. The poet Gilbert talks about, perceived the right brain's "inspiration" as a long rolling thunder which she had to catch by the tail. The right brain is non-linear and a-temporal.


So when Newton set his left brain thinking about the problems of the mechanics of gravitation, he thought and he thought logically and linearly and was perplexed. Then, while relaxing under a tree one day, an apple fell to earth and his reaction was one of an epiphany. All at once he was inspired with an answer. Out of nowhere. Of course, the right brain had been working on the problem too and came up with the "inspirational" answer all at once, fully formed.


Of course this story is apocryphal, but it is a great illustration of how humans see their own creativity as something foreign, unknowable and disembodied. It is, of course, as much a part of you as breathing. Learning to recognize ride-mode shifts, controlling them and exercising them is how you can grow your own creativity.


Sorry for the lecture. I give this one in two weeks. :-k

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for those of you songwriters out there who feel the need to create' date=' here's a couple different views of it from some gifted people. enjoy.

bob brozman


and elizabeth gilbert







Not having seen you on the Forum in a while, I was beginning to think that perhaps you ran off

with GG Girl for your latest inspirational source.Not a bad idea when I think about it.


Happy picken



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When we create we **envision** and when we produce we DO what we envisioned. When we think of a musical phrase we'd like to play we have to think about "what chords make that sound? We can work out single notes but .. what are the chords? (There are so many of them -- nice ones). Well so I had this discussion with a band leader/teacher of 40 some years. It comes down to something like this ... what key are you using? (that's root = 1) OK, now you know 1-4-5 from root .. and 6th, 7th, 9th .. then 11th (above octave) and 13th. If you know root you also know the i-maj7th. If you are playing ballads you 7th the V chord and resolve to root. If you are playing 1-6-2-5 you will use a ii-m7 5-m7 and vi-7 and resolve to root. If you are playing a 2-5-1 then the ii=m7 is implied. 7ths can be 9ths and you can use 11th and 13th sparingly in their place. This leaves augmenteds and diminished. Augmenteds are **added* (use a + sign) .. they make a nice "turn" at the end of a phrase. Diminished are **less* (but use a degrees sign).. and can be used on runs or to highlight a 7th (instead of the 7th).. OK so now you have a way of figuring out which chords to play .. so now you want to consider the arpeggio. So you have four fingers on the left hand (and that's it) . So you have a four fret "box" depending on where your chord is located. There are two E strings (big E, little E) THEREFORE whatever major you might be playing on the 1st string is the same location on the bottom string - you always have that "reciprocal) So you can go down for a bass note and up for treble note. If you use an F chord form for your majors .. then your first and 3rd finger are always on the same note .. same for the C chord form. Then you know the "run" from the bottom of the chord to the top of the chord (right?) 9ths always correspond to the note on the high E string. Same for many x-m7ths, 11ths, 13ths. So you ought to be able to plink close to octave in any position on the fretboard. That ought to get you pretty close to playing what you are thinking (but none of us ever really accomplish that which is why we are always "working on it") When I am playing with a group I do not "mess around" much because it would ruin it for them .. so we mess around in private (perform in public). Riffs -- if you have little "runs" that you've worked on you can add them to solos (around a chord set) Remember 2-5-1 is the set ii-v-i most runs and riffs are using.

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