Expressiveness and Popping Wheelies

My oldest son is teaching himself how to pop wheelies on his bike right now. He’s frustrated, because, in his words, “The front wheel is too heavy.” I think this is likely the feeling of most novice-wheeliers…and it has nothing to do with the weight of the bike.

If you keep your weight too far forward, you’ll never get the front wheel off the ground. The trick to a wheelie is to put your center of gravity so far back that the front wheel is effectively weightless. But the danger in that is that it feels like you’re going to fall backwards off of your bike – and that’s a real risk.

But until you learn to navigate the risk of falling backwards, and learn to balance between far enough and too far, you’ll never be able to really pop a wheelie.

The same is true of musical expressiveness. You can certainly profess interest in wanting to make your music deeply expressive. But if you don’t learn to navigate the line, (by going too far with dynamics, expressions, tempos), your music will never rise into the air.

Until you lean too far, you’ll never know where the line is.