Kundalini & Fearless Soloing

I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been spending time on several projects including working on my chops on the double bass. A few days ago, I was reading an article about soloing on double bass and ran across some comments from Jason Sypher, bassist extrodinare, that immediately made me think about the mental benefits of Kundalini. I’ve long thought that musicians should take Yoga classes for the relaxation and physical benefits – in fact, classes could be geared toward musicians to help them with posture, breathing, and stamina while performing. Jason’s comments below steered me in another complimentary area with Kundalini and music – that of becoming the fearless warrior while soloing.

Also try a bit of soloing by the seat of your pants, totally “by ear”. Open your ears wide, breathe, and start playing. When you combine that “open/listening/fearless” way of playing with a sense of moving tonal centers (rather than the cumbersome “chord to chord” thinking) you’ll find that you hit more than you miss and, eventually lose the fear of “missing” at all. In my experience this is the best way to hear your own voice and develop your sound…..Jason Sypher

Here’s a call to Yoga enthusiasts and musicians. Are there any special combination of kriyas and mantras that musicians can use to help develop this open/listening/fearless way of performing music? Are there chants/kirtans that can reinforce the linear approach to music as Jason describes in “moving tonal centers”? As a musician, are there regular routines you use to help you reach this state of mind?

BTW, do yourself a favor and check-out some of Jason’s work on YouTube and with various groups. He’ll make your socks roll down and roll back up again!

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2 Comments

  1. I have played both ways for so long now, and all yoga postures help me keep my confidence, breathing, and posture in gear for the linear playing, as well as playing the changes.

    Gerald

  2. Hey, Johnny–I’ve been enjoying practicing something called Svaroopa (or, affectionately, “blankie”) yoga since the spring. It’s a kind of Hatha yoga where one uses a number of blankets as support for various postures and for weight and warmth during meditation. It’s been good for my back.

    Your posting makes me wonder about a parallel benefit one might experience in the realm of visual art–using yoga to reach a positive, fearless state of mind while working. Yesterday, I went to a panel discussion at the VMFA with world-renowned photographer, Sally Mann, and was struck by her self-effacing manor. A woman known for her bold–sometimes controversial–images, one might assume this to be false modesty, but I don’t think so. It sometimes seems as if a certain element of dissatisfaction is part of what pushes an artist to better work, but not so much as to stymie. I often wonder about the fine line between the two.

    PS–I did check out Jason Sypher. As a visual artist, in addition to the music, I enjoyed watching the shapes his hands made against the black background as he played!

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