Monday, August 3, 2015


"He who says the most often has the least to say."

I came up with that quote a while back and I want to say it's from somewhere else but maybe it really is original?  After thinking about it, I know I've heard the opposite, that people who say the least often have the most to say...

But in terms of the quote, I take note of people's solos.  It sometimes feels like those who play a lot of notes are less musical, less intentional than those who play less.  Watch a master play their instrument and you'll often see less played while feeling the impact more.  Watch a talented newbie play and you'll often see more played without feeling nearly as much impact.

It's easy to let your hands, your body do what it wants - wherever you are on the spectrum of skill.  What's harder is to have a message, a meaning, and intention in those notes, in those movements.  Sometimes the audience can't tell the difference, but sometimes they really can.  Is it worth spending time to make your solos have meaning?  Only you can answer that question.

Another aspect of this is when talking, communicating not as a performer but as a teacher.  What if you could only use 20 words in a single practice session?  You'd make them all have as much impact as possible, I'd bet.

Just like with playing too many notes or making too many movements, use too many words and eventually a person stops paying attention - they zone out.  (And yes, I realize the irony of saying this when I at times write long blog posts!)

What message are you trying to get across?  Have you thought about how it's delivered?  Can you have more impact with less words?  Can you say more with less notes?  

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