Paul Glasse and The Inner Game of Music

When asked how he remains so enthusiastic every time he plays, Paul Galsse, a world renown mandolin player cites his influence from The Inner Game of Music. Below is his quoted answer to that question. You can read the full interview at The Mandolin Cafe.

Question from Earl G: You have played with many great players and yet you still take the time to work with new players and teach at camps. What’s it like to switch gears from playing with Johnny Gimble (or somebody like him), to working with a room full of novices? Also, you seem pleasant and very excited any of the few times I’ve seen you play. How do you stay positive on days? when maybe your fingers don’t move well or you missed some sleep but you still have to play?

Paul Glasse with his Monteleone mandolin. Photo credit: Polly Reynolds for

Paul Glasse with his Monteleone mandolin. Photo credit: Polly Reynolds for

Paul Glasse with his Monteleone mandolin. Photo credit: Polly Reynolds for

Paul Glasse: The short answer is that I love what I do. I think it’s one of the great treats in life to get to play music that you love and share it with other folks, either through performing or helping others through their own musical journeys. I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to “figure out” music and the mandolin. It’s nice to have an outlet for all of that.

As a teenager I certainly never thought I’d get to meet, let alone study or perform with, Johnny Gimble. While that’s an experience I’ll always cherish, working with a room full of mandolin pickers, trying to help them progress musically is also a real blast. I get a lot out of it personally, always have fun and always learn something myself.

How to stay positive? For me a lot of this stuff comes down to really being present, regardless of the situation you’re in. It can be a hard thing to do. It’s very easy to get distracted by any number of factors. I think part of the reason I like to play music and like to improvise is that it demands that I really be present in the moment. The mental spot that I need to be in to really play interactively with great musicians is a really joyful one, where I’m really not thinking about anything else that otherwise might bother me. There’s a great book called The Inner Game Of Music (Barry Green & W. Timothy Gallwey) that has plenty of tips in this arena. Check it out. Also, as many of you know, a few years ago I almost passed away due to a major auto wreck. One of the things that I try to retain from that experience is the awareness that any day I’m above ground is a bonus day. I’m really glad to be here.

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