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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hey, Take Some Advice on Making Music (and Art) From Great Musicians

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Captain Beefheart: "You should play like a drowning man."
  • Captain Beefheart: "You should play like a drowning man."

"Imagine a dolphin dancing in the sky," says Yoko Ono. "Let it dance with joy. Think of yourself at the bottom of the ocean watching."

That's her advice to aspiring musicians, as collected in this cool Flavorpill list of music icons' advice to would-be artists. The 25 quotes range from the obscure (see above) to the practical -- like what Richard Lloyd says about learning to love numerical ratios. Here are some of our favorite pieces of advice:

Captain Beefheart: "If you're guilty of thinking, you're out. If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing."

Frank Zappa: "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."

Jack White: "I always look at playing guitar as an attack. It has to be a fight. Every song, every guitar solo, every note that's played or written has to be a struggle. It can't be this wimpy thing where you're pushed around by the idea, the characters, or the song itself. It's every player's job to fight against all of that."

Richard Lloyd: "1:2, 2:3, 3:4, 4:5, 5:6, 8:9, 15:16 and 32:45... Those are your ratios. You can do a million things with them. All of music comes from them. I hope you study them. I hope you do well... read, [and] try to see that whatever you're looking at musically, on the inside there are these ratios and their relationships. It's a skeleton key for understanding a great number of other things connected with the guitar."

You can find all of the good advice over at Flavorpill.

-- @iPORT

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Ian S. Port


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