How to be a musical shaman

How to be a musical shaman

We talk a lot on this blog about how to market and make money with music, but we are artists and spiritual beings and you need to nurture your artist to fill your creative pool or you will starve your inspiration. How’s that for mixed metaphor?

Musical instruments, recording studios, computers etc… are just tools. The music comes from within us and outside of us. You can pretty much make music using anything and inspiration comes from many different places.

I am going to have you do some exercises to jump start your creative soul and hopefully inspire you and maybe show you other places to go to find your muse.

I want you to try these out and please let me know what happens. Please use to the comments to share other ideas for musical/creative play.

  1. Sit in a dark room with any instrument. Breath deep. In and out. If you know how to do Yoga or Zen breaths, they work really well. Pay attention to the quiet and the sounds you hear and when you feel something, start playing. Do not record this. we are just exploring and trying things out and hopefully expanding ourselves.
  2. Look around your house for things that make noise, pots and pans, pencils on the desk, riffling paper, really anything. Jam out using at least five of those things you found.
  3. Go out in nature (the park, the beach or just open windows or doors) with a portable instrument and listen to the music the world is making and improvise a song using it as a jumping off point. Hey, this worked for Beethoven and he was deaf by the time he wrote the nature inspired 6th Symphony.
  4. Go buy paints (preferably oils and canvas or watercolor and paper) at the local hobby store and paint something textural and abstract. You don’t have to be a great artist. You are just putting colors down on paper. Now write or improvise a piece of music using the colors to inspire you. this is the opposite of what they had you do in art class in grammar school using music to inspire your painting.
  5. This is the last one for now. Write a description of a scene from a movie. If you know how to write scripts, all the better. You want to describe the who, what when and where of the scene and the emotions of the characters. Now write a song or instrumental piece of music that shows the emotions of the characters (not the action, but the internal dialog). Then, write another piece that does the opposite and just plays to the action and external dialog.

That’s all for now.

If you do happen to come up with something and actually record it (though that is not my intention here), then please make an mp3, put the word shaman in the mp3 file name and send it to me or put the link to the file in the blogs comments.

Happy exploring.

Keith Kehrer

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