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Personal growth concept: “Big ears” and idea generation September 18, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development and Creativity.
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Part of the path to success in personal development can be through utilizing and adapting the ideas of others to stimulate creativity within our own custom self-actualization program.

In the musical world, if you can effectively listen to the ideas of others and improvise, building on those ideas, you are considered to have “big ears.”

Musician Jason Ricci explores this concept and other approaches to creativity in free instructional videos he posts on YouTube.

In an improvisational setting, Ricci says, it doesn’t matter if your skill level (“chops”) is not as high as you would like it to be. By utilizing the big ears approach you can work at recognizing good ideas from others and react to them, first with imitation, and then by developing them further or improvising upon those ideas.

With big ears, you’ll never run out of ideas to work with.

Ricci suggests that when we are on the learning curve of creativity, we may frequently need to imitate before we innovate.

He notes that doing this also helps us get out of the loop of our own “self” and ego.

Note: The Jason Ricci video I based this post on, is focused on the album Hooker ‘N Heat in which Ricci is analyzing the harmonica playing of Alan (Blind Owl) Wilson of the band Canned Heat in a jam session with blues legend John Lee Hooker.

Jason, who is an exceptional blues harmonica player, takes about a minute and a half in the video to get to the point where he explains the creative concepts, but stick with him – he has great creative insights, which can be applied to many other disciplines besides music, such as personal development.

Here  is the video link, if you are interested in exploring this further:

Hope you enjoy it – Dennis Mellersh

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