Pick a master to focus on. Another idea is to pick just one player to focus on. For instance, you could have a “player of the month.” Say you decided to focus on Lennie Tristano. For one month you would devote a period of your practice session each day to listening to and studying Lennie Tristano. Buy a few of his recordings. meisterbetriebe Read a biography. Search on YouTube for footage of him performing. Transcribe a solo. Emulate his articulation, phrasing, rhythmic feel, tone, dynamics, etc. Then, after a period with Lennie, move on to someone else. Perhaps move on to a contemporary of Lennie’s. Or jump around in the tradition to, say, 1970’s McCoy Tyner.
4. Exercise your creative muscle. I’m gonna get a little metaphysical on you here. Many musicians and artists are romantic types. They are attracted to a ‘mysterious’ side of art. Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is no mystery or magic to creativity. Creativity happens because you ‘create’. Life is creativity. The universe is creativity. Therefore all of us are creative. To create you only need to take action. Get in the habit creating something everyday. Write something, anything. It could be a one bar melody, it could be a rhythm, it could be a groove. Just create something. You cannot wait for some idea to strike out of thin air. You must take action. Just do it. Overtime this creative process will become easy and natural.