Thoughts on Playing

Here are some realizations that I have come to over the years as I’m figuring this music thing out.

It’s not just learning how to blow and play, but learning how to listen and hear.
Seeing sound is basically seeing time.
It’s more about turning parts of your brain off than on.
Remember, it’s all about the music. Music is not playing notes, playing parts, theory. Forget all that. Just play!!!!
Practice your ass off. You really can’t practice too much. But, even if it’s a small amount of time, make it count. Practice your ass off.
When you play, it’s your soul talking.
Music is not a sum of precisely placed notes or the result of thousands of hours of practice.
Music is separate from technique.
Some amazing music can happen when a musician is putting his heart and soul into it.
Pushing through worldly limitations, the music shines through, despite technique, taking the musician and the listener beyond this world, beyond technique.
The phrase pushing the envelope? The envelope: It’s you. Don’t fight it. Let it go. It’s your soul that’s trying to get out. Let it out.
Don’t practice not stopping. Practice taking your horn off your face.
Brad Goode once told me “Listen to everyone else but yourself”. Bam! That was a game changer for me. It showed me first, that I don’t listen enough. And second, in doing so, I can still play. Stuff comes out of my head, even though I’m not ┬átechnically thinking of each and every note I’m playing. Kind of like walking without thinking of each step you are taking. It’s just natural.
Listening to everyone else allows me to involve myself in the musical moment. That’s where magic happens. That’s the only thing that matters. At that moment, that is your reality. And is, for the most part, created by everyone else on stage. You’re free to do with it what you want. “Reality is your perspective of the manifestation of all others perspectives”. Jon Long

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