[Dixielandjazz] Resting Chops

David W. Littlefield dwlit@cpcug.org
Tue, 24 Sep 2002 22:00:56 -0400

Jim Beebe presumably has full-time professional musician's burn out--I
gather music ceased to be fun, became just work, pressure from trying to
make a living; since it was his vocation, he relaxed with other activities,
took vacations that had nothing to do with music, etc.

When it's only or to a great extent an avocation, it's recreational. For
some, it's their main joy.

The situation Russ describes is "psych-up"--anticipation of and mental
preparation for playing: musicians come to rehearsals and gigs psyched up
to play. I have noticed that musicians approaching or over the burn-out
line don't come psyched up. I remember the night early in my career when I
told a violin player leaving the first segment of the gig on his way to
another, "Have fun!" and he shouted "I've been doing this for 40 years! I'm
not going to have fun--it's work!"

At 12:01 PM 9/24/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Following up on Jim's comments, "I miss playing less and less".
>It has been my observation that musicians want to play.  I will talk
>about some issue to the band and after about 1/2 minute, they are
>itching to play.  "Let play" the banjo player with say.  Heck, I feel
>the same way.  We all want to play
>My question is what part of the brain do all musicians share that puts
>them into this mode?
>I am convinced that it is the left hemisphere that deals with playing
>the written notes and the right hemisphere  deals with the creative
>soloing.  But were does this deep impulse to play come from?
>Russ Guarino
>JimDBB@aol.com wrote:
>> In a message dated 9/24/02 6:17:36 AM Central Daylight Time,
>> dingle@baldwin-net.com writes:
>>> In my time in the house band at Chicago's Jazz Ltd. we played five
>>> night a
>>> week, six hours a night. we had Thursday and Sunday off (with an off
>>> night
>>> band led by Lil Armstrong or Art Hodes on Thursdays).
>>> I had chops of steel in those days. So did Jim Beebe who worked in
>>> the band
>>> with me.
>>    LIke you say, Don..."then was then and now is now."
>>    My 'chops' are well rested now.  I haven't played my horn in over a
>> year and half.  It sits on a stand over there and is getting dusty.  I
>> probably ought to clean it up and put it away.  I actually find that I
>> miss playing less and less.  It's nice not having all of the
>> hassles...with the instrument, the chops, getting to the gig, getting
>> a band together, getting subs, picking tunes and on and on.  So many
>> weekends blown that I could have spent with the family.
>>    Jim Beebe
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