It’s Good to Play Wrong Notes (this is about music)

It is Tuesday evening.  About to leave my office.  I gave some thought to preparing a legal / tax topic for another blog post. But, then decided to veer off purposely to share a couple of YouTube music jazz videos.  My blog post next week can get back more directly to lawyering, etc.

In my spare time, I am trying my best to inch my way along each week to becoming a better jazz guitarist.  The other night I stumbled across the following two YouTube videos that feature one of the top bass guitar players Victor Wooten.  These two videos really need no further comment from me, other than my following non-crucial brief points.

That is, my reaction to music is to enjoy and comprehend what elements make the music better than other music.  I am not talking just about the style of music, e.g., rock, hip-hop, jazz, classical.  But rather, why do we enjoy hearing one performance better than another?  What creates within us this difference in how we respond to the music?

I know the answer conceptually.  It is the rhythm, e.g., the beat, feel, energy, tension, release, and pulse of the music.  It is not (at least for me) merely that someone plays his or her music in a nice, safe, pleasant, ordered manner.

The following two Victor Wooten videos are great examples for how Wooten powerfully demonstrates some key factors that go to how we respond when we hear music (for example, when the player purposely, or accidentally, plays wrong notes).  One of the videos also illustrates how, for example, Wooten on bass can play intentionally in a manner that can make the other soloist actually sound better. Click here for the first Victor Wooten video;  click here for the second video. [NOTE: the first video has a short intro by a younger guitarist who is not Wooten.]

I urge you to take the time to view these two videos, even if Wooten might not be talking about your particular type of music.  His take-away points are, in my view, universal to all music.  I also would greatly enjoy hearing from any of you if either or both these videos strike you as powerfully as I was struck.  I hope you enjoy them.

Young and Older Lawyers: Retain a Hobby!!!

imageI read a recent email newsletter from a national search firm titled “Another Big Law Firm Attorney I Know Just Died Young”. Click here for the newsletter link.

This same newsletter writer also commented earlier that law firms prefer lawyers with no outside interests who have a central focus on their work. This writer stated: “It is actually better to be mildly boring than very interesting when getting a law firm position.” You draw your own conclusion about this statement.

But to the contrary, I believe retaining a hobby for your lifetime that you (yes, you lawyers out there) find enjoyable, yet demanding and challenging, greatly preserves the plasticity and creative physiology of your brain, and your flexible thinking-process.  This enhances your skill as a lawyer.  I presently face the enjoyable, yet frequently arduous, challenge of constantly trying to improve my improvisational jazz guitar playing.

BTW, above is an early college photograph of me with the great, now-late Spanish classical guitarist Andres Segovia as he autographed the face of one of my guitars.  I am on the far right in this photograph holding my guitar for his signature.  [Segovia used a black Sharpie that produced a beautiful autograph.]