Jason Heath Shares His Secrets of the Musical Mind

jason heath

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jason heath

Jason is the host of the very successful Contrabass Conversations podcast.

Jason, what's your worst moment as a performer?

Sophomore year at Northwestern University. Played a recital including a piece that was very "chromatic." Meaning that intonation is very important and it's difficult to play in tune.

I just wasn't prepared to play that piece. Afterwards, I hid in the locker room until people had left.

Lesson learned: Put intonation at priority #1. If it's not in tune, who cares?

Key Takeaways

  • The audacity of youth, thinking we're invincible.
  • Pressure situations make people "fold" because of increased heart rate. The rhythm goes first with shallow breathing, tightening of the muscles, etc.
  • Learn to accept you'll have a physical reaction and don't let it affect your physiological state.
  • Interviewing bassists has helped Jason as a performer. Each interview is like a free lesson in performance.
  • Practicing with the long term goal in mind is a commonality among top bassists around the world.

Jason recommends you check out Time for Three!

Check out Jason's book, Winning the Audition!

The Hot Seat

  1. It's 5 minutes before you go on stage for a performance. What are you doing? Breathing deeply, visualizing a successful performance.
  2. What's the best performance advice you've ever received? Love and joy.
  3. What can you share with people who suffer from stage fright? Start recording yourself. Develop a habit of recording yourself with no prior practice. That becomes your "floor."
  4. What's a non-musical activity that contributes to your success as a musician? Staying physically active. I run, lift weights, etc.
  5. It's the end of the performance. The audience is on its feet, giving you a standing ovation. They don't want any more, they don't want any less. Everything is just perfect. What have you just done? Played Beethoven 9 with the Iris Chamber Orchestra.

Wow! this is Jason's third appearance on the podcast!

About the author, James Newcomb

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