home run derby

back back back back gone... that's what i keep hearing. it's not a real game, of course. it's the night before the all-star game. there is someone-some manager or other-standing behind a screen lobbing in cream puffs for the heavy hitters of major league baseball to crush over everything. it's really fun to watch and to see just what these hitters can make a ball do. how far can it travel in the san fransisco sky. it's not a real game but it's pretty cool. laying down a basic rhythm track for yourself is a great way to practice improvising over changes or working on endurance or speed or picking or melodic lines of any sort. bam. bam. look at those 16th notes fly over the golden gate bridge or the prudential building. ooh. ahh. look at how that angular pattern of 4ths bursts into a colorful display over the rocky shore of kennebunk. you can make all kinds of things happen when someone (even your computer) is handing you the right tool. feeding you the right word. laying down a simple groove. standing by to listen and watch. in a real game, players interact. they respond to each others' moves and cues and hits and misses. they back each other up. they fool each other and adjust for the spontaneous curves and change ups. in real music, we listen and respond and play and adjust. we have some of the necessary tools for the game because we practice home run derby all the time. but we only get better at playing the game when we really get to play the game. like when we comp for our friends. let our friends comp for us. comp for ourselves rather than telling our computers to do it for us. it doesn't have a soul and a heart and ears and a sense of humor and whatever all else it takes to make us play with each other in real life. bam. there goes another one over everything. the guy's got chops; you gotta give him that.

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