I’m listening to some Brahms. (Again.)
He really does just use five or so gimmicks and just milk the living hell out of them, doesn’t he? I’m not quite going to say “it’s not that hard” because … it is hard to do it well. But he’s not from another planet, either. He’s doing what I’ve heard lots of other musicians do — underline something a dozen times and examine riffs from multiple angles. In his case, from every conceivable angle.
It’s hard to do well, which is why we’re not all Brahms, but it’s not a bolt from Heaven, either. It’s not like he’s from another world. There isn’t a phase change between what he does and what others do … or what I can do. I can do the same thing he does, even if I don’t do it as well. It’s just not tablets from the mountain, and it’s not a message from another dimensional inaccessible to mere mortals. The guy did die, after all.