When I was trying to get myself used to (what I would previously have considered) "dissonant harmonies, " I was listening to a lot of Thelonious Monk. Now that I'm working on the fluidity of my scales and arpeggios, I'm listening to Art Tatum. Who is mildly terrifying to hear in the "Great Master Has Just Displaced Ten Thousand Enemies Without Breaking Into Sweat" way. Incredible technical runs that sweep complexity across the keyboard, executed with clarity and evenness and a calm, breezily effortless mezzoforte.

He makes it sound easy. He makes it look easy - of course your hands just kind of land like that when you casually swing your elbow out, traipsing over flat thirteenths on the way. And then you think about what you would have to do to play the same, and break out in a cold sweat. To compare, here's Tatum playing a rendition of Dvorak's Humoresque with utter calm, and a pretty darn good guy playing the same.

In the meantime, I'm laboriously picking out fingerings for each scale and chord and piece I play. There's an interesting vector notation system I may try, but I really think the thing I need most is just practice.