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#1843912 - 02/13/12 03:41 PM Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery?
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Hi Everyone,
I am currently re-reading Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner.
I'm wondering if anyone is interested in a book club of sorts.

I think it would be interesting to hear what others think of the book and how it relates (or doesn't) to them.

Also, he is playing at a place in Boston in May. Might be interesting to see him play live.


Edited by Kymber (02/13/12 03:42 PM)
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1843917 - 02/13/12 03:46 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
hawgdriver Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 637
Loc: Denver, CO
I might be interested.
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Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski

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#1843958 - 02/13/12 04:37 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2402
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

I might be interested. I am not familiar with the book. I will explore this and get back to you shortly.
_________________________
Carl


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#1843974 - 02/13/12 04:53 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2940
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I read that book many times. Lots of odd statements, but also lots of good stuff.

You should definitely go see him if you can.

++

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#1843993 - 02/13/12 05:10 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1610
Loc: south florida
Kymber

I'm presently about half way through the book. Unfortunately, so far most of what I've read fits into Knotty's "lots of odd statements" category frown . Maybe the nuggets of wisdom have escaped me or are yet to come. We shall see.
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#1844021 - 02/13/12 05:45 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
In addition to having the book, I've actually been to a live masterclass on Effortless Mastery. He also has videos on the topic that he sends links to us directly.

I thought the book was great minus what I call the "spiritual mumbo jumbo".

He's a fantastic player of course. One of my favorites.
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#1844024 - 02/13/12 05:48 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: jazzwee]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1610
Loc: south florida
Quote:
I thought the book was great minus what I call the "spiritual mumbo jumbo".


yep, that's the part I was referring to. I'll try harder to read between the lines since both you and Knotty have given it such a good endorsement.
_________________________
Its All in the Game, arr.K.Jarrett
Fountain in the Rain, W.Gillock
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1844027 - 02/13/12 05:51 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2402
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

I love to listen to jazz, but I don't play it. From what I've read, this is primarily geared towards jazz musicians, correct? This probably wouldn't be a good fit for me. I'll be on the lookout for him if he performs in Minneapolis, however! I'd love to hear him.
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Carl


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#1844038 - 02/13/12 06:03 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
The book is intended for performance so it's not limited to jazz. Of course he's a jazz pianist and jazz guys have the burden of creating music on the spot so there's this extra layer of being in the 'zone' that is critical to improvisation.

But the issues are the same for anyone with performance anxiety.

So in general that's what it's about. Solving performance anxiety issues and being the best you can be.

I have less performance anxiety now since I play out often. I listened to the meditations in the CD for long periods in the past. I don't know if the book solved any anxiety issues at all or not since I've conquered a lot of them now. But sometimes, just isolating what causes the anxiety will lead to the solution.

Maybe this book made me take an approach in ABF recitals of making one recording only (like a live recital). And if it is bad then I don't attempt to correct it. It seems to make me 'not care' about what others think. And that's part of the issue with the book. Most of all it's about YOU not caring what YOU think at the moment of performance.

The book makes a distinction of practice vs. performance (even for yourself). That in itself is a very good lesson.
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#1844039 - 02/13/12 06:04 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
Inlanding Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1636
Loc: Colorado
Effortless Mastery is not directed towards those that play only jazz, but directed at anyone who performs. It just so happens Kenny Werner is a top-shelf jazz player and a pretty good writer.

Performance anxiety, optimal performance while managing distractions, taking creative risks while managing your own self-criticism - things like that are discussed - much of it has nothing to do with the piano, really. The concepts can be applied to many aspects of our lives.

Yes, you will need your filter when you read it, but you'd do that with anything, I hope. You can gather from it what applies to you.

It's been a great reference for me, and I can see how others could apply it to their own experiences. In itself, it is excellent food for thought that can be put to practice, with practice, of course wink

The book is worthwhile - it'll be one of many books you'll have read.

Glen
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#1844073 - 02/13/12 07:00 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
RyanMortos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Pennsylvania
I could be interested. I started reading this book some time ago but don't think I finished it. I thought it had a lot of interesting ideas & good tips. I would pick it up again. What does a Effortless Mastery club involve?

You can see an example of one of his workshops on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taQ8_2u5Ez8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBO9baHBsgo


Edited by RyanMortos (02/13/12 07:01 PM)
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Currently working on: Alfred's Level 2- Theme from the Overture (from the opera "Raymond"). Other stuff- Peter and the Wolf, Saber Dance, Emily (jazz tune), A fine romance (left hand chords only, right hand melody).

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#1844078 - 02/13/12 07:18 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2940
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
the book is basically about meditation.

It is really hard to be against meditation since virtually all athletes or artists use it. More specifically, this is really about self hypnosis. Hypnosis is a serious field that treats many issues related to stress, such as headaches or bruxism for example.
Under hypnosis, a person is able to be fully relaxed, and therefore digest anything faster. This is a splendid option for those learning poetry for example.
It also helps with accuracy. Archers might use it before practicing. Martial arts practice often start with meditation, which is really self hypnosis.

Kenny never calls it self hypnosis.

The spiritual mumbo jumbo doesn't actually bother me, Kenny makes it clear his intent is not to be "some kind of guru". But rather, his approach is based on experience with students that could not reach their potential.

I just remember some odd statements, things, like A = B, therefore B = C. Stuff that just didn't add up. But it's a good book.

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#1844097 - 02/13/12 07:57 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I disagree though that the book is totally 'about meditation'. That's part of it. But the other is the awareness of the "inner critic" (you). And practicing to "ignore" it.

To me, the awareness alone of this "critic" allows me to beat him to a pulp and tell him to shut up. smile Just remember that that critic has the same name as you.

The other thing that Kenny does well but not explained fully in the book (but discussed in detail in various videos), is 'How to Practice'. I remember one video where he dedicated the masterclass to actually learning something new and then he showed how did it.

This is different from the performance anxiety issue. As I said earlier, he basically separates two issues. How you practice vs. How you Perform.
_________________________
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#1844102 - 02/13/12 08:01 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2402
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

This may be too early for me. I'm going to be doing my first live solo in about a month. I'll probably be more interested after I get this performance done.
_________________________
Carl


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#1844104 - 02/13/12 08:07 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: jazzwee]
RyanMortos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: jazzwee


The other thing that Kenny does well but not explained fully in the book (but discussed in detail in various videos), is 'How to Practice'. I remember one video where he dedicated the masterclass to actually learning something new and then he showed how did it.




If you can find the videos on youtube you're talking about I'd love to check them out! I'll start looking around and see what I can find.
_________________________
Currently working on: Alfred's Level 2- Theme from the Overture (from the opera "Raymond"). Other stuff- Peter and the Wolf, Saber Dance, Emily (jazz tune), A fine romance (left hand chords only, right hand melody).

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#1844110 - 02/13/12 08:17 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Ryan, I was subscribed to his personal email list and the videos were sent as private links (not Youtube). The ones on Youtube were just examples. If you go on his mailing list on his website, then maybe you'll get these mailers.

He sends them out regularly. At one point, he had a paid subscription where you had access to these videos. But I don't know if these mailings were sent to me because I was a prior subscriber or I'm just on his normal mailing list.
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#1844233 - 02/14/12 01:59 AM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kymber
Hi Everyone,
I am currently re-reading Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner.

Also, he is playing at a place in Boston in May. Might be interesting to see him play live.


Kymber,

I wonder if that place in Boston to which you refer is perhaps Berklee? Werner is an alumnus of the jazz program there.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1846287 - 02/16/12 05:48 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: LoPresti]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1610
Loc: south florida
Glad I stayed with the book after initially thinking it was just too "out there" with the spiritual mumbo jumbo. Lo and behold it was just a few more pages when some things that really resonated with me started to show up. Now looking forward to the rest of the book.

Jim
_________________________
Its All in the Game, arr.K.Jarrett
Fountain in the Rain, W.Gillock
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#1846777 - 02/17/12 01:16 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
It is my personal favorite piano related book, and one of the few books in general that I go back to repeatedly. Lots of good stuff, kind of like a musicians bible.
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#1846786 - 02/17/12 01:27 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I have the physical book and I actually bought an ebook (Kindle) copy (No CD however) so I can have it around in portable form. Actually the original CD is on my iphone too.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
My Blog

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#1846804 - 02/17/12 01:59 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Hi Everyone,
I love reading all of your thoughts about this book and is exactly why I thought it would be interesting to have a "discussion" about this book.
I read it (more like skimmed it) once already. Out of the book I got one really valuable piece of information that has been useful to me. But, I never did the steps he suggests and also had a hard time with some of the concepts. Even if I did agree with them. Like it being ok to sound bad. Well of course the whole point of learning and practicing is to sound good. AHHHH! But I understand the point he (and others are trying to make). So, I thought it would be interesting to go through the book again with a different perspective, do all the steps, and get other people's thoughts on things as well. I think it helps to get different points of view because sometimes it can open your eyes to things you wouldn't have seen otherwise.
So, if anyone is interested in doing this (even if you've read it before) we could do a chapter a week maybe? Then we can post our thoughts and conclusions. For me this will help keep me on track (I tend to start a book and then fizzle out before I get to the end). But anyone can join in whenever they want. (Like Griffin said they have a performance coming up).
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1847582 - 02/18/12 11:56 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
WannabePT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 35
This might be interesting to read. I have been debating for a while whether to get it or not. Is the book worth it? Any highlights? What about a discussion/thread for other book titles as well?

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#1847673 - 02/19/12 06:38 AM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I'd be into reading this one again, particularly in a context where I could discuss it with others. I read it several years ago, but I had a lot of trouble buying into the basic premise, given that at that point I firmly believed I was the worst musician on Earth, with little hope of improvement (yet I enjoyed playing, so I figured that if I used headphones, then at least I wouldn't be hurting anyone else... wink ). Nonetheless, I do believe I still got something useful out of the book, though I'd be hard pressed to express precisely what... I'd say it has something to do with the work behind achieving the flow state that CebuKid mentioned in another thread.

So yes. I think a re-read might be in order, particularly as my relationship to my music has recently undergone such a transformation. And I'd really enjoy hearing others' comments as on it as well.

@WannabeBT: as to whether the book is worth it, peruse the Amazon reviews (I always start with the bad ones, then work my way upward). There's a lot of them, with a good variety of perspectives.




Edited by tangleweeds (02/19/12 06:39 AM)
Edit Reason: omitted words
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#1847728 - 02/19/12 09:25 AM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 805
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I have gotten huge help with performance from this book--but only when I actually practice the techniques he recommends. Just reading it doesn't do any good. Like some others who've commented, I have to reframe the ideas into slightly different terms that work for me. But the meditation/self-hypnosis can be really freeing, and I like his series of steps for applying that relaxed state to actual playing.
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#1849151 - 02/21/12 02:51 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Hi All,
Glad to see there is some interest.

For those of you who have the book should we start by reading chapter 1 by next Monday?
If you don't have the book or are still considering whether or not you want to participate you can join in at any time. We can kind of gauge things as we go along as far as how much time we need to read the chapters.

As jdw points out I think it would be good to do the exercises that come later in the book as well. Or, don't do them and that will be a point of discussion as well.

The first time I read the book I don't think I really absorbed very much. But, there was one little gem that stood out to me and that small piece of wisdom was very useful to me and others and made it worth reading the book. So, it will be interesting to see what we all get out of it this time.

Happy reading smile
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1849281 - 02/21/12 06:04 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
--or re-reading.
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My Blog

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#1849477 - 02/22/12 06:02 AM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
sakari lindhen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 76
Loc: Gothenburg Sweden
I love the book, and regularly turn to the meditations, esp when down or depressed. Find it a great help to my playing.
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#1849638 - 02/22/12 01:07 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Hi Sakari,

Y'know I never really did do the meditations. I'm glad you found them helpful.
I'm glad I am returning to this book and got all these replies because now I am looking forward to taking full advantage of all that it has to offer. It's great to hear about other people's thoughts and experiences.

Thanks!
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1849639 - 02/22/12 01:09 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: LoPresti]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: Kymber
Hi Everyone,
I am currently re-reading Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner.

Also, he is playing at a place in Boston in May. Might be interesting to see him play live.


Kymber,

I wonder if that place in Boston to which you refer is perhaps Berklee? Werner is an alumnus of the jazz program there.

Ed


Hi LoPresti,
He's playing at a club called Scullers.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1849742 - 02/22/12 04:20 PM Re: Any one interested in a book club for Effortless Mastery? [Re: Kymber]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
BTW - Kenny taught at Berkelee but he actually studied at New England Conservatory (NEC).
_________________________
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My Blog

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