Seven Facts About Inspiration

1 – Teachers should provide it for students. Some of it, at least. And remember too, the old saying about leading horses to water; it certainly applies here. We get inspiration from many different sources and our instructor should be one of them. For some students, instructors are their main source of contact with bluegrass music. This ideally leads to getting together with other musicians as time goes on, but teachers should make it easy to be a role model and source of information for newbies.

2- It’s required to be a songwriter. There are a lot of technical details to master in order to wrtie a song, but we won’t get to first base with this if we aren’t inspired by something, anything, to be the basis for what we are songwriting about.

3 – It makes being persistent so much easier. I would never call being persistent easy, but this makes it about as easy and enjoyable as possible.

4 – It can make all the difference between sucess and failure. Not just in music, but anything.

5 – It’s easier to see the results of it in music, IMHO, than in most other areas. Music is so directly tied to inspiration when compared to most other human endeavors.

6 – It can come from the most unlikely sources, as well as the most predictable. When I was 14 or 15, I used to listen to a musical group called Tower of Power; you may have heard of them. Santana did some songs with them that brought them a bit of reknown and so I liked them. I was also very interested in astronomy at that time and was learning a lot about it. So now, when ever I hear these funky old ToP tunes, my mind goes back to very blissful days of dreaming about the stars – not at all in line with what that music sounds like, though!

7 – You can’t force it, but you can develop it. Start by learning all the technical details of your desired area of musical expertise, then as you dwell on the creative processes, you’ll be able to visualize and express your thoughts much easier.

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About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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