Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by YOGA64, May 30, 2015.
Just beautiful, what a great human being:
Thanks for posting....that's amazing and insightful.
Well worth watching all of it......
"Nothing more serious than enjoyment itself"
The part about "paying attention to the moment" too - fundamental to music, even though he's not talking in that context.
Beautifully eloquent throughout.
Otherwise - as I previously suspected - the stuff about geometry, the I Ching hexagrams, etc - that was clearly his way of reconstructing his musical sensibility after his operation and loss of his memory. A new way of looking at the guitar, for sure, but more of a non-musical, randomised way of creating opportunity and new musical ideas (such as that idea of lining scales up against the alphabet and using various words as ways of creating melodies). A replacement for the mental musical architecture he'd developed over his previous career, but had been lost.
As such, of little necessary relevance to the rest of us. No magical meaning there. Just an alternative artificial structure for someone who had been robbed of the natural stuff. It's clearly worked well for him, and has some lessons for all of us - but I think the real lesson is in his whole attitude to music, not in the specifics of his way of understanding the fretboard.
IOW, we can all learn from that idea of being confronted with an empty space where our musical consciousness used to be - how that can offer new insights and opportunities, new directions; clearing the decks of preconceptions. His example is highly revealing (and inspirational) in that respect. But the specific route he took back into music (the almost mystical geometry, at least) was his personal choice, the way that worked for him, no doubt due in part to his previous experience (memories he did retain). If we found ourselves (or were to place ourselves) in such open country, we might - while respecting his experience - take a different path back.
I suspect Pat Martino would totally agree with you Jon, I guess the whole point is that it is a personal path, one size dosn't fit all.
Go on, search, find what works for you, here and now. There is an experience, musical or otherwise, and then concepts to try and describe it.
Usually disagreements and misunderstandings arise not on the experience itself (of course, the fact that you have had that experience is a given), but on the concepts that try and describe it.
Exactly. My only reason to comment in that way is I've occasionally seen Martino's concepts (mis)used as if they could be a one-size-fits-all "method". That's not his fault, of course. There are those for whom geometric patterns have a kind of numerological (mystical) appeal, who are susceptible to the idea that similar patterns on the fretboard are musically relevant in some way, when they're not. Fretboard patterns are a result of the guitar's arbitrary tuning system.
Patterns in scale structure (relevant to any instrument) may be another matter... but it's still sounds that matter, not pictures.
Martino's use of graphic (non-musical) patterns was, in a sense, a way of breaking away from (over)familiar musical ones; finding fresh musical fields via the application of essentially random patterns - quite the opposite of any system designed to explain how music itself works.
Jon...the first time I heard Martino mention the geometric figures was in a Guitar Player interview in about 1973...several years before his surgery. It was part of his exploration early on. Maybe it helped provided some direction for him after the surgery.
His autobiography is well worth reading.
1:53...he's playing thru a Mesa Mark V. (JUST AN OBSERVATION)
Makes sense, thanks. He makes the point there that he saw the I Ching patterns many years earlier.
From the potted version in that video, I can believe it. I think I like the way he talks even more than his music. (Mind you, I find that with a lot of jazz musicians....)