Josh Brage

The Woodshed
January 20, 2006, 3:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Currently Reading: Letters to a Young, Jazz Musician by Wynton Marsalis

This book is really cool. He is talking about ‘the woodshed.’ Now most people talk about the woodshed as the place where you go to get your butt whooped after doing something stupid. (“Now, I’m gonna take you out behind the woodshed.”) This is very very true. Been there and done that. He also talks about the woodshed being a term used in jazz implying ‘getting your stuff together.’ Think about it like ‘going back to the drawing board.’

Now here is my interesting observation. These places are one and the same. The place where you get your butt whooped is the same place where you will spend time learning, growing, maturing and eventually reappearing from more ready than when you began. It makes me laugh, because God has taken me out behind the woodshed a few times. (Sometimes thanks to specific people – you know who you are.) But the thing that is always true is that even though you end up with your butt feeling a little sore, you emerge with some wisdom and understanding and at the very least a better perspective on your life. That is maturity.

Now please realize that I hate the woodshed. I despise the woodshed. I am there right now. I am stuck in a very very difficult place where all I can do is hope and pray and work hard with my head down. But you know what? When it is all said and done – I will emerge. I will overcome. I will have whatever breakthrough you want to call it. I don’t know how it will work out, who does? But that is cool, I don’t need to know right now.

God I trust You. I trust and love you even when you take me behind the woodshed and then leave me there. God, correct me. God help me become more mature. Help me grow up in the areas that You want me to. God I want to be Christ-like, but sometimes it seems very very far away. God I commit to You that I will persevere even when stuck in this freaking woodshed. This woodshed is lonely, confusing, frustrating and at times despairaging, but God You are here – so I will continue to follow and trust You and You alone. I do not trust my mind or my heart right now – I trust You. Speak to me, guide me. Do with me what You see fit. Thank you God for allowing me to follow You. I love you with everything I have. AMEN.


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That’s a very interesting take. We use the term a lot in the recording process. When you’re just not getting something they way you should, you have to go woodshed it. Most of my woodshedding is spent when I want to learn a new style, technique or maybe even a new genre of guitar, say Jazz or Flamenco. I find that when I’m learning something that I’m not accustomed to, I learn and grow the most. As opposed to learning a new blues or rock riff which I know pretty well already. Good entry.

Comment by Mark

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