The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Rants By Topic

Teaching

Set And Forget Learning

A Letter To The Editor, Tape-Op Magazine #122

A great end rant.

It dawned on me as I read your editorial that it’s probably no coincidence that the breakdown of this ‘system’ would occur just as Youtube makes available so much task based learning that I would have killed for back in the day.

I have several concerns about the prevalence of videos now on the web.

1. Call it sour grapes, but as a some-time music teacher, I regularly see how students see no reason to pay me for lessons. In fact, I often fall into this trap myself–deciding that I can do things myself that actually could be handled easier by paying a professional. For some reason, we can’t see the abstract value we bring to the table as ‘pros’.

2. Today there are precious few kids who even want to learn to play an instrument or learn to record properly. I don’t mean this to be snarky, but there is a general expectation that music production will be a one-button […]

Guitar Tips

Well, Rog is off for a while so I decided to take some initiative and actually write something myself–something I haven’t done in years. Mr. Corton is selflessly helping people in his part of Georgia trying to cope with Irma (Note to the people in charge: You should definitely pick more epic names for super-storms. I mean, c’mon. ‘Irma’?) Anyhoo, whatever he’s doing it’s definitely more important than helping me do (cough) ‘social media’.

But fortunately, we do have a ton of material stuck in ‘the vault’. OK, it’s not really in a vault. What it is, is that when Rog and I do these Skype chats, he chops them down to 1,000 words and then sticks the rest of the blather in a virtual trash bin that never seems to get emptied. So at times like this, all I have to do is write a witty introduction like this. And then? Et Viola! Instant Rant. Like this.

The following is actually from a chat we had four or five years ago. […]

Invent Your Own Language!

While Rog is away, I culled this from the editing floor of our previous rants on ‘Creativity’. I went off on a jag about ‘language’ and improvisation. I don’t think readers understand how much editing he does on each of these little chats. As we all know, even the most interesting conversations can sound pretty crap to the outside world in their ‘raw’ format. Our average conversation lasts fifteen to twenty minutes, but somehow he manages to squeeze them down into the 800 or so word rants you see–blissfully free of my fits of profanity, inanity and ‘like, um and ya know’. I should be a lot more appreciative. But what to give the guy who has everything? 😀

JCHI had this friend back in Detroit I went to votech with. He had this gag when we were studying hard stuff. He’d start acting all (sorry) ‘retarded’. Spastic twitching, etc. And he’d say “Myyyyyyy braaaaaaaain hurts.” You know… like how computers in movies used to actually smoke […]

Letter To The Editor Of Guitar Player On Creativity

After all my ranting about ‘creativity’ recently, I get back from Vancouver (which was great, thanks to all!) and find the latest Guitar Player in the box. And in his August 2016 editorial, Michael Molenda asks why so many guitarists struggle to find a creative voice. Coincidence or conspiracy? Who knows. But I wrote him to give him a piece of what passes for my mind on this.

Dear Mr. Molenda,

With one side trip, I’ve made my living as a musician now for 30+ years. I made the money that put the kids through school and paid the mortgage as a sideman and a teacher. So for the past 15 years I’ve done my own far less lucrative thing in the (cough) genre of progressive rock. I’m boring you with this because when I went down that road I took a serious pay cut to do music I found to be much more ‘creative’. I feel I have some skin in the game of ‘being creative’.

If you haven’t read it, […]

Creative Strategies Number Four – Why It Matters

Part 4 on practicing creativity. AKA ‘our longest rant ever’. Why consciously practicing creativity matters. Jaron Lanier. Bernie Worrell. Mining for sapphires. Light pollution. Wilt Chamberlin. Malcolm Gladwell.

Roger CortonWe haven’t had enough talk, talk talk yet about ‘creativity’?

JCHNo. No we HAVEN’T. I promised last time that I was going to explain why this matters so much…

RCTo you.

JCHAnd should matter to you.

RCI am usually reluctant to use the word ‘should’.

JCHWhich is why I’m where I am and why you’re… er… never mind. (laughs) But assuming that someone cares about what I care about than yes, I am going to finish up my…

RCLecture is the word I think you were going for.

JCHAs Fred Flintstone used to say, “How very droll.” OK, here we go. I think it matters for music in general but for progressive rock in particular because, frankly, most of it STINKS.

RCMost of what?

JCHMusic, […]

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