If you are going to progress as an artist you have to recognize and honor the small steps. This is harder than it initially sounds because for some reason we all seem to believe in the giant leaps and the breakthroughs.
But as Twyla Tharp noted in her book The Creative Habit, it is the daily work that brings the payoff. What I’m talking about might be some sort of corollary to her work.
I would urge you (a.k.a. the young me) to pay attention to and rejoice in the tiny, infinitesimal gains that perhaps only you recognize.
Your girlfriend or wife or partner may not hear the difference in the way the slide moves. Your bandmates may think you sound exactly like you did last week. But you know something shifted. Something subtle. Something small. You crossed a threshold.
If you feel it. Believe it. And smile. And enjoy it.
This is what progress feels like.
Just realizing that I posted the before images of the Gibson L-00 but never got back to post the after pics.
I can’t say enough about the work that Elliot John-Conry and Dan Erlewine did. Its not just the way it looks but the tone and soul they brought back to life. True craftsmen.
Recently decided it is time to get back on a road bike. The commuter bike is bomber. The cruiser is great for tooling around the neighborhoods. But I need to push some gears!
20+ years. Thousands of Miles. Countless Memories.
The guitar lives on but there isn’t enough duct tape in Louisiana to keep this case on the road.
One of the things I love about the creative process is that it is so unpredictable. You can plan everything perfectly and end up with nothing. And you can plan nothing and achieve what eluded you throughout your previous efforts.
I went to Rob Norton’s house this evening to work on some songs for an upcoming recording session. While there, Rob wanted to test out a new microphone he just purchased. No production. No forethought. Just a simple mic test.
Rewind now to last week when I discovered a Townes Van Zandt song I had never heard. Robert Earl Keen recorded a version and it ended up on NPR’s series about winter songs. I immediately sought out the Townes version and have been obsessing over it ever since.
So when Rob hit record this is what came out. Unplanned and raw. Complete with mistakes. Yet capturing something that I like. It feels real. What more can I look for?