Concept. Do you have a concept. or do you even know what it means? Merriam-Webster defines concept this way:
In a general arching definition, a concept is an over reaching idea that covers what you think and do about something. As a drummer/percussionist/musician, let’s look at what the great Vinnie Calaiuta said about concept in an interview:
(Concept) That’s my new word. It’s the word that everyone is going to be sick of hearing me use. What does it mean to me? It is the highest understanding of how you experience music. And it is accomplished by total immersion. In a way, it’s beyond a cognitive understanding. It is an inner understanding of total immersion. Developing a concept is a long process. It starts by being able to understand what music represents to you as a whole; then, understanding what that music is saying to you. Only then can you, as a musician, begin to understand what you are within the music. And it has to come to you in that order, not the other way around.
Let’s look at this:
It is the highest understanding of how you experience music.
How do you experience music?
What does it mean to you?
How does it affect you?
These are questions you need to ask yourself.
It is an inner understanding of total immersion.
It’s an inner experience, something personal that others may not understand. It is solitary, your own. And it’s not something to just do casual. You need to jump in, to immerse yourself.
Developing a concept is a long process.
Coming up with a concept is a life long process. It is an ongoing evolution, as your concept can change as you grow, mature, and understand more.
It starts by being able to understand what music represents to you as a whole; then, understanding what that music is saying to you.
How often have you thought about what you do? Or do you just play without regard for what you are doing? People often look at improvising musicians and think they have no concept, no idea of what they are doing. They just get up on stage and start playing, making random sounds. This may be in some circumstances, especially with a neophyte improvisor, but the true improvising musicians must above all have a concept of what they are doing. And this concept takes years of hard work, years of experimenting, years of wrong turns, to develop.
What have you done to develop your music, your playing, your concept beyond just reacting or playing by rote.
mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned.
Be sure that every note you you play has meaning. Don’t just play notes for the sake of filling space or demonstrating technique.
Think before you play.
Think, “Is this note necessary?”
Instead of thinking just about the notes in the moment, think about the long play, the whole song. How does this note fit in with all that came before it and, all that will come after it?
Often less really is more.
This is what concept means. This is something all musicians, in fact, all artists need to develop.
Take a look at what you do. Do you have an overall idea about what you are doing, or do you just do it without any real regard for what you are doing?
Articles Origin: This Idea of "Concept"