The violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin said:
"I have nothing against virtuosity. I admire it, applaud it, and think it's fantastic. Such advanced craftsmanship, such skill, it is to be admired and cultivated. But there comes a time when virtuosity can become self destructive because it must be fed by musicianship. When musicianship does not fully feed virtuosity...virtuosity destroys itself."
From observing Mr. Menuhin play, it seemed that he was very aware of each note. His motive was pure, to simply play the best possible music. We accumulate experiences which shape and color our music everyday. We need to increase our technical skill as we increase our capacity for feeling and keep them in balance with each other.
Mileage is the term Willie Brown uses constantly in the movie "Crossroads". Is there a limit to human feeling? If you have more technique than you need and use it, the music may sound empty. If you don't have enough technique to express your feelings, the music will sound incompetent. Techique and feeling must be in accord. They become more affective as mileage is added.
Technique - the skill one has at using tools.
Music - the sounds you make that may or may not move you and your listeners.
Musicianship - the vision in the mind that appears in the world as sound by using skill and tools.
Mileage - the life experience and human feeling that colors the notes you play with something that is felt by the listener.
See the movie "Crossroads".
Jack's Stayin' Alive Regimen
You need to be in excellent physical condition to generate the best performance on or off stage. The occupation of musician requires long hours of practice, travel, performance, business and equipment moving while having disruptive sleep patterns. The quality of your music, your health and your life is the result of everything you do. I was given 6 months to live in February 2004. I hadn't yet played all the notes that had been alloted to me and didn't want to leave Jill. An intense motivation to live more than six months encouraged the development of my "stayin' alive" regimen. I'm often asked about it.
Here it is:
MONITOR YOUR BODY PH DAILY: The body needs to be at the correct PH for the hundreds of chemical reactions to happen as they should. Junk food may make the body acidic. "Too acidic" can cause cavities from tooth enamel being eaten away and other diseases. Vegetables and most fruit make the body basic. "Too basic" can stop the body from absorbing calcium. Get PH tape at a drug store. LEARN YOUR BLOOD TYPE AND EAT ACCORDINGLY: An O blood type should eat meat, but in small amounts and only once per day. An A or B blood type doesn't need to eat dead animals. Learn what your blood type is. Read the book "Eat Right For Your Blood Type".
STOP OR REDUCE BUTTER, SUGAR AND SALT (B.S.S.) CONSUMPTION: These things destroy your health. Jack La Lanne suggests using olive oil instead of butter, even on popcorn. Read his book "Young Forever" which he wrote when he was 92 years old. So called "health / protein" bars and bottled "health drinks" can be loaded with sugar and caffeine. NEVER DRINK "SODA". It robs the body of B vitamins, ruins your health, rots the teeth, makes you thirsty for more and creates garbage inside your body. You create garbage outside your body from all the plastic and metal bottles you purchased which you discard. Save a thousand dollars a year by using a water purifier. Carry water with you wherever you go. Look at the labels on canned food and you'll notice that it's extremely high in sodium (salt). Read "You Living Young - The Owners Manual for Extending Your Warranty" by Dr. Mehment Oz.
STOP OR REDUCE COW MILK CONSUMPTION: Calcium and protein are only partially absorbed from cow's milk. Baby cows can absorb it but not humans. Eat goat yogurt because goat milk has a similiar chemical make up to human milk. The calcium is absorbed more readily. It's available at better health food stores. It also promotes healthier looking skin. If you must eat ice cream, get a type such as Breyer's which is not filled with chemicals.
PERFORM THE "FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH EXERCISES" DAILY: These "Tibetan Rites" use the force of gravity to slow down the aging process and improve health and strength. You can learn these at www.lifeevents.org. Twenty one repetitions of the 5 rites take 10-15 minutes. They can be done without equipment anywhere. Start with a few repetitions and gradually work up to 21 repetitions 2-3 times per day.
DO ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING DAILY: walk, bicycle, lift weights, swim, alternate the routine depending on how you feel each day. (Don't run as exercise. Often, folks who have difficulty walking due to damaged knees, feet and hips will say that they used to run.) Logging exercise reps or distances reduces enjoyment and promotes failure. Let "how you feel" determine how long and when you exercise. If you don't feel like exercising every day, give yourself a reduced activity day or an exercise-free day. Learn what is the safe maximum heart rate for your age and monitor it. Walk or bike instead of using a car or bus. In buildings, use the stairs instead of elevators. Exercise while watching TV instead of sitting on the couch. Get a stationary bike for home (the Schwinn is excellent, under $200 and has an onboard computer) . Get 2 hand weights 5-10 pounds each , keep them near the TV. If you learn to exercise at home you are more likely to do it instead of the routine of going to the exercise club.
CLEAN INTESTINES, BOWELS and KIDNEYS allow for nutrients to be absorbed. Changing the fluids in your car dramatically increases the life span of your vehicle. Likewise, your liver, bowel, and kidneys should be cleaned twice a year. The human intestines are not designed to eat meat. Some meat is not deficated and remains stuck to the walls of the intestine which reduces the absorbtion of nutrients. That's one of the reasons there is so much colon cancer. These organs must be cleaned regularly even if you don't eat meat. Dr. Schulz makes it easy to do this with various over the counter preparations. Go to www.herbdoc.com
VITAMINS: One takes vitamins in this country because the food has become impotent since the 50s. However, the vitamin supplements in this country are irradiated which greatly reduces the potency to the point where they do little. Whenever possible buy them in brown glass bottles which protects the contents better than plastic. Vitamins in Mexico are way more potent. You can put Dr. Schulz Superfood in blender drinks to get absorbable vitamins from a natural food source. Prevention magazine had a life extension issue in which some doctors revealed their research. One researcher found that doses of CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L-Carnitine daily in lab animals greatly increased energy, endurance and life span. Vitamins purchased in Mexico are not irradiated, less expensive and more potent. Taking vitamins at random can damage your health. Before taking supplements, get a blood analysis to find out what is deficient in your body. These levels change regularly due to diet and stress, therefore your vitamin and mineral supplementation should change. You should get your blood tested at least every six months to determine what your ever changing supplementation should be. A panel of doctors in Prevention magazine in 2007 found that giving CoQ10, Carnitine, and Alpha Lipoic Acid to laboratory animals increased their energy, endurance and life span.
DRINK TEA DAILY: You have to drink something to stay alive. You have three choices. It can be neutral (water), negative (sugar, too much caffiene, alchohol, artificial coloring) or positive (herbal tea). The population of Thailand drinks Jiagulan tea daily and lives very long, often over 100. The "Immortalitea" brand of Jiagulan is excellent. Other teas such as green tea and white tea may reduce the chances of cancer while imparting energy and mental clarity. Peppermint tea reduces food cravings which can result in weightloss. Your choice of type of tea can be influenced by your personal acute and chronic health goals. Tea has no calories and doesn't litter the world with plastic bottles. Get this tea on your website or at a Chinese herb store.
TAKE A NAP at 2 pm when possible. It will help you to work more efficiently later into the night. The Mexican culture takes naps at 2pm and has a 16-20 hour work day.
INCREASE YOUR IQ: A Korean doctor named Ilchi Lee developed systems for increasing the IQ of Korean school children. Learn of his work on the web under â€œBrain Respirationâ€. He developed the BR-Q machine to increase IQ by balancing the right and left sides of the brain. A side effect of the BR-Q is that it improves eye sight. I procured a BR-Q 5 years ago and it does exactly what he says it does. I used it to counteract the brain damage I got from the staph infection. A by-product of using the BR-Q may be improved eyesight.
FOOD: You have the choice of having what you ingest increase or decrease the level of your health. You and no one else controls what you put in your mouth. Stop overeating. If food is in a package and preserved, it's life force has been reduced and is usually high in sodium. Food that spoils quickly is better for you than something that has an infinite shelf life. Organic carrot / beet /spinach juice ingested immediately upon making has more life force than three year old bakery in a cellophane package out of a machine. Read "Eat For Health" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and do it.
BALANCE YOUR GUITAR: Move your strap buttons so your guitar stays in playing position without you holding it so it doesn't move your body out of alignment and cause pain in various places. Hanging upside down with a gravity table once a day helps to undue the compression induced by a15 pound guitar hanging on one shoulder for many hours. Use a video camera to study what you look like when you perform. What's your posture like? What does your face look like when you are performing? Are you relaxed?
THROW AWAY YOUR TELEVISION. Yes. You don't have to have one. Really! Become television-free. How much time do you watch it a year? (4 hours a day is 1,460 hours per year. 43,800 hours in 30 years.) One third of that time is spent watching commercials. If you must waste your valuable time in front of a television, watch something positive, without violence. Exercise while you watch. Strong shoulders, arms, and backs are required to play music and carry equipment to and from gigs. Get some hand weights. Start around 3 pounds and eventually work up to 10 pounds. Learn which and how many reps to do to strenghthen your body. Start slow and work up to 20 - 40 reps in units of 10 per exercise. Keep your weights next to your television. Watching television is an option and a choice. You don't have to have one. If you already own one and want to keep it, you don't have to turn it on. There are other activities that are more beneficial to your health. Your marriage, children and career are more important than watching television. Read a book. Listen to music with your complete attention instead of as background sound. You'll feel better the next day.
GET SOME LIGHT ON YOU: The light of the sun is "full spectrum". Your body senses these wavelengths to initiate numerous chemical reactions. You need sunlight to absorb essential Vitamin D. Flourescent lights blink on and off very fast causing eye strain and headaches and vitamin D deficiency. . Ordinary candescent light bulbs are better for your eyes because they don't blink like flourescents but aren't full spectrum either. Replace the bulbs in your home and workplace with full spectrum candescent Chromalux brand bulbs. Spend at least 20 minutes a day year around outside in the sun. Look at the sky and plants. Smile while doing it. It's good for you.
LISTEN TO MUSIC: Don't use it as background music for work or other activity. Sit or lie down and actually listen as if it was the last music you will ever hear. Listen to music that's healthy for you like "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane. Consider it "brain food" or "therapy". Once I listened to only that recording for 6 months. Also spend some time each day in silence.
SMOKING CAUSES CANCER. CANCER CAUSES AMPUTATIONS AND A SLOW PAINFUL EXPENSIVE EARLY DEATH: Stop smoking right now! Last night on the gig, a guy walked by me while taking a cigarette out of a package. He said, "I'm going outside to shorten my life by 7 minutes." I saw him do that several times. I added it up: 7 minutes per cigarette, 15 cigs per day, 365 days per year. 5,475 smokes per year takes 38,325 minutes off his life. That's comes to 273 packs per year at $7 each. He spends approximately $1,911 each year to shorten his life by another 26 days. Look on the package. It says, "SMOKING CAUSES CANCER".
PROTECT YOUR HEARING: The world has gotten very loud. There are sounds everywhere with enough decibles to damage your hearing. You need to carry ear plugs with you similiar to carrying sun glasses or a jacket or any other item to protect you from the environment. Earl Mindell, Ph.D. in his book "Secret Remedies" states that "noise induced hearing damage and hearing loss may be improved by taking 500m of magnesium, 800 mc of vitamin B12 and 60 mg of Ginkgo Biloba 1-3 times daily" "See my discourse elsewhere on this sight regarding "perfect pitch and hearing protection".
YOUR FACE is what most people look at most of the time during the day and at a gig. L'Bri Pure n' Natural Skincare is the best way to help your face look as attractive and healthy as possible. If your diet is bad, it will show up in the skin tone of your face and the size of your belly. Learn more and get free samples from L'Bri aloe vera based skin care, health, wellness, hair and body products: www.jillj.lbri.com
YOUR HANDS are what most guitarists look at. Make sure your nails are filed, short, even and clean. Wear gloves before and after gigs to avoid skin, nail and internal damage while setting up equipment. Apply warm to hands before gigs (and sets) to loosen them up. Apply cold after gigs (and sets) to reduce inflamation. Remember that your hands are not tools and don't use them as such instead of using a real tool. Read up on all the things that cause arthritus and avoid them.
YOUR BRAIN needs to be relaxed to think clearly and direct the complex physical process and mental process to produce a great performance. After consulting many students and professional performers as well as observing my own mental process, I created BRAIN TRAINING, a CD which can help reduce nervousness and increase confidence which can produce a better performance. One needs to merely listen to the 60 minute CD occasionally to notice improved performances.
Albert Einstein: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
Barack Obama: "Don't do what you've always done and expect different results."
Milford Graves: "But you as an artist... What I'm talking about is an artist has to be really together. Spirit-wise, body-wise, mind-wise. You have to be in the best conditon that you can be in. Or else you're no good to anybody. It's like a medical doctor telling you ‘I can take care of your cold’ and he's sneezing and coughing all over the place."
Gary Zukav: "Every day we are confronted with opportunities to make choices. Make choices that increase your power rather than choices that deplete your power."
Vince Lombardi Jr: "Total commitment means no loafing, idling, standing around, goofing off, or phoning in sick...Intensity, singleness of purpose, total commitment: these were qualities that I believe had the most to do with the Packers' success. And no one worked harder, no one wanted to win and succeed more, than my father did."
Wes Montgomery: "I never practice my guitar - from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat."
Lewis F. Presnall: "Man's search for serenity is a quest for enlightenment about himself. The most puzzling problem we face is the riddle of our own minds...Man wishes for peace of mind, yet acts as though he were afraid of solitude."
John Coltrane: "I want to discover a method so that if I want it to rain, it will start immediately to rain. If one of my friends is ill, I'd like to play a certain song and he'll be cured. When he'd be broke, I'd bring out a different song, and immediately he'd get all the money he needed. But what these pieces are, and what is the road to attain the knowledge of them, that I don't know. The true powers of music are still unknown. To be able to conrol them must be, I believe, the goal of every musician."
Libba Bray: "I don't get jazz. It always sounds like a bunch of toddlers let go in a music room."
Darius Milhaud: "It is curious how people go on believing that the musician knows less about what he is doing than those that judge him."
Michael Jordan: "There is a right and a wrong way to do everything. If you practice eight hours a day doing something the wrong way, you will become very good at doing it the wrong way."
Thelonius Monk: "Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean you don't have to keep time."
Oprah Winfrey: "When we talk about goals and they say they want Cadillacs, I say, if you cannot talk correctly, if you cannot read or do math, if you become pregnant, if you drop out of school, you will never have a Cadillac, I guarantee it! And if you get Ds or Fs on your report card, you're out of this group. Don't tell me you want to do great things with your life if all you carry to school is a radio."
John Lennon: "Imagine peace"
Hannah Pickett: "If you knew for sure that you had just one more year to live, what would you do?"
Keith Jarrett: "A truly valuable artist realizes the impossibility of his task and then continues to do it."
Eddie Condon: "The boppers flat their fifths, we consume ours."
Ted Ashford, Jack's college music theory instructor wrote this on the board at the beginning of the first class: "You don't have to learn this stuff, but you will have to compete with someone who did".
Anna Polly Wilfer (This is engraved beneath her picture on her grave stone in Racine Wisconsin. She lived 1916-2004): "? lamron eb yhw"