There are some things in music that cannot be taught. I can teach you how to form chords. I can show you how chord progressions work. I can explain harmony. I can’t teach you how to intuitively feel chord changes.
I am not saying that feeling a chord change is magical, mystical or anything like that. It’s just a skill that only comes when you practice enough to be unconsciously intimate with the medium. Like a bird in the air or a fish in the sea.
Ryōkan Taigu addresses this phenomenon with a beautiful simplicity.
The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;Ryōkan Taigu
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don’t know others,
Others don’t know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.
Lao Tzu had a knack for words of deep wisdom that sound childishly simple.
The quote come from chapter 46 of the Tao Te Ching:
When the Tao is present in the universe,
The horses haul manure.
When the Tao is absent from the universe,
War horses are bred outside the city.
There is no greater sin than desire,Laozi
No greater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
If you understand real practice, then archery or other activities can be zen. If you don’t understand how to practice archery in its true sense, then even though you practice very hard, what you acquire is just technique. It won’t help you through and through. Perhaps you can hit the mark without trying, but without a bow and arrow you cannot do anything. If you understand the point of practice, then even without a bow and arrow the archery will help you. How you get that kind of power or ability is only through right practice.Shunryu Suzuki
The new book is nearly done. I have a few more pages to wrap up and then I hand everything over to Dear Old Dad for one last edit.
I am going to hold off on releasing the title of the book until work is complete.
Things have not gone as fast I hoped. The debilitating pain of peripheral neuropathy slowed me down a great deal. Thankfully I am well experienced in the art of working around obstacles. It has not been easy, but I have managed to keep working.
As soon as Dear Old Dad gives the final draft the thumbs up we will send the book out to our Patreon sponsors before making it available for purchase everywhere else.
In other news, The Daily Frail will be returning to YouTube. We will also be offering private instruction to Patreon sponsors. I will post more details soon.
Rip Torn’s portrayal of Patches O’Houlihan in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story was the funniest thing I had ever seen back in 2004.
To this day, when the going gets rough, my father and I often remind each other, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!”
In the next few days I’ll re-watch Dodgeball, The Beastmaster and, God forgive me, Freddy Got Fingered.
NOTE: before anybody writes me an angry letter about Freddy Got Fingered, the film is supposed to be terrible. Bad. Not good. Unwatchable. Offensive. Sick. Twisted. Weird. Absurd. Does not work or play well with others. That is the point. The film’s humor stems from the fact that some studio handed Tom Green cash to literally throw away is the actual comedy. The film itself is the joke. The gross-out on-screen hijinx is only there to confound unwary viewers.
Thank’s for the laughs, Rip. Godspeed.
The Banjo Dojo offers a unique look at learning to make music with the five-string banjo. No tab, no styles and no excuses.