Saturday, May 8, 2010

Big Picture vs. Details

I've had to work very hard during my years as a professional musician in Brooklyn keeping focus on what I want to achieve and share with the world. In college I spent most of my time working on details (sight reading, intonation, scale patterns, ear training, vibrato, etc …). However, as I began to think about composing for and leading a band in New York, I was confronted with the feeling that there is little need for another competent saxophonist. How could I try to tap into the relevant things that I was uniquely equipped to share with the world. For me this became an important search to try to see myself from the prospective of an outsider without years of jazz training.

I’m generally pleased with the outcome of the last 10 or so years, but found myself getting a little sloppy.

The unfortunate by-product of my big picture thinking has been a lack of discipline in my craft that I have enjoyed rediscovering over the last year and a half. It has been through some lessons with some great musicians that I have been made aware of some terrible habits in my playing and breathing!

Just a few weeks ago, I made a revelation that my right hand laziness (not just my left) had been causing heaps of trouble in my clarinet technique. Better late than never, I guess.

It’s just a great reminder of the importance of Balance in life. Hope I can keep it up.


  1. Great posting. This does remind us all, that no matter how well we think we are doing, there is always room for improvement. (No matter what age).
    You are a good musicain to know when to get that extra bit of Balance.
    Hope you are enjoying your tour. Seems like it keeps on getting longer. Has to be a 2year one.
    Enjoy as it goes by very quickly.

  2. I just spent an hour on here trying to find this blog place, decided to sign up, made new accounts and passwords, took the virtual tour into goggle mind boggle, and am wondering why I did that when it was all signed and sealed. Then I remembered, Rob Wilkerson made me..right. So I went again searching for where to find your blog (am I going to run out of characters here??..I wonder)and typed in many variations of your goggle blog url until your actual one turned up, yes, I made it. You know you are doing something right when a very busy 56 year old artist who is so far behind with her work takes all this time to just find your blog,Rob.

    But it was worth it, I happen to love musicians and any words they happen to offer to us. I am now thinking about my own "sloppiness" in my art, and if I don't get up there now, I may have even forgotten how to be sloppy, nevermind how to paint.