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Don’t Think!

This is sage advice but not so easy to follow. As a nouveau jazzer, I find myself thinking about everything too much. I get pages of Riley flashing through my head mid-performance. I’m playing in a restaurant so I am thinking about keeping the volume down and thinking about whether the next thing I do will be too loud. I think about tensions arising in different body parts, my posture, what drum-striking implements I need in the next song. I think about whether I should be more comfortable playing bass heel-down and hihat heel-up. I think about whether the pianist is ever going to write a set list, are we going to get back to the spontaneity we had before we started rehearsing. I think about whether my solos are too busy, not busy enough, boring, loud, stupid. I think about whether I want to have something to eat after, whether we’ll be invited back next week, whether we’ll have a break or play for three hours non stop.