Tonight I practiced with Big Mike & Holdin' On Tight, and people, I have to say -- we sounded better... tighter... HOTter than we have EVER sounded. This was our final practice before Friday night, when we'll be kickin' it at the Hilton Gardens Inn at 9:30 PM in the finals of the 2006 Iowa Blues Challenge.
Tonight I felt something "click" for the very first time, and I began to FEEL what we were doing. It's starting to make more sense to me now.
I can actually thank Blue Fish for this. He lent me a book called "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improvisation" or something like that, and I flipped through 'til I found the "Blues" section. One of the suggestions the authors recommended was something I'd never thought of doing: they suggested that before you play your improvisation, you should SING IT. When I did that, I began to hear it in a way I never had before. My piano is an extension of my inner feelings in the same way that my voice is, and I should use it as such... particularly when I'm playin' and singin' the blues.
I am getting an amazing education here. What a terrific experience this is. I am so glad I'm getting to do it.