The Lobster Theory by Greg Fishman and Mick Stevens by Greg Fishman and Mick Stevens - Read Online
The Lobster Theory
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Summary

The Lobster Theory is a groundbreaking new approach to learning the language of jazz.
It’s a book of musical concepts brought to life through the use of Fishman's clever analogies, illustrated by New Yorker Magazine cartoonist Mick Stevens. Foreword by Jeff Coffin.
Published: BookBaby on
ISBN: 9781483540092
List price: $9.99
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The Lobster Theory - Greg Fishman

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Lifting Weights

It’s January 1st, and your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and start working out every day. You’ve decided that you’re going to do a one-hour workout each day at the gym, doing sets with a 100-pound weight. You’re making good progress, and you’re developing some muscle tone. This goes great for about a week.

One day during the second week, you get busy with other things, and you miss a day at the gym. So you go in the next day, but even though the weight may look the same, it now feels like it weighs 200 pounds. You struggle with it, and you make it through the workout, but your form is getting sloppy, and you’re straining.

The third week, you’re just not in the mood for your workout. You miss seven days! You start feeling guilty (and you see your muscle tone disappearing), so you finally go back to the gym, ready to begin again, but now the weight feels like 700 pounds. That’s the 100 pounds you were supposed to lift each day, times the seven days you missed.

It’s the same with music. As long as you practice every day, you'll improve, and you'll even build up to heavier weights represented by more challenging musical material.

However, if you miss a day and try to make up for it by practicing twice as long the next day, it’s not as effective. In theory, it may seem that two hours of practice on Tuesday will give you the same results as one hour of practice on Monday and one hour of practice on Tuesday, but that’s wrong. Something extraordinary happens when you practice and then put down your instrument to go on with the rest of your day. Your brain subconsciously digests the material you practiced, preparing you to reach deeper levels of understanding of the material for your next practice session.

Some of this processing is a memory of the physical moves you make on your instrument (muscle memory), and some of it is the absorption of the musical information (ear-training, rhythm, melodic and harmonic memory). If you miss a day, there’s really no way to make up for that lost processing time.

Practicing every day is a great way to make a commitment to something that’s important to you, and to get a better sense of order in your life. It’s almost like setting aside time for meditation. Personally, I look at practicing as my own way of meditating. It clears my mind and improves my focus.

Certainly, there will be times in your life when it is simply impossible to practice each day. It’s not going to be the end of your musical world if you miss a day or two of practice every once in a while, but you'll play better, feel better, and get much more enjoyment from music if you make a commitment to yourself to practice each and every