By, For, and About Musicians and Artists Since 2007
AND NOW, OUR NEWEST FEATURE by Trinity Lost
So Many Notes To Play!
by Bruce J Maier
How many notes we play per measure does not determine our proficiency nor our ability to captivate an audience. Being a speed wizard on guitar, sax, piano, violin or drums for example doesn't mean you're a great musician. It can mean that you either are learning how to play in front of others or that you are a total show-off :)
I've played with all kinds of musicians who in their own ways were all " great ". There are the Julliard schooled players who are so regimented that they can't communicate with someone like myself who plays by ear, or with Stevie Wonder for that matter who cannot see the sheet music. Then there are players who can totally wing it, like the late Terry Kath of the band, Chicago. Here were all these fantastic horn players and orchestra, big band jazz cats around him who could read a chart from two miles up. Yet Kath couldn't read a note of music and he was equal in every other way as a contributor and writer for the band. Remember "25 or Six to Four " , " Make Me Smile " or " Color My World : ? All lead sung by Terry Kath and co-written by him. Yes he could play blistering fast lead guitar licks all day but he didn't have anything to prove. he just got into the groove, set the pace and let it flow. One of my early heroes whom I got to see Live in concert in Seattle, I would later learn of the total admiration he earned of the rest of Chicago Transit Authority.
So you don't have to play every note you know in the four to eight bars you've been given to solo in. Just play well. It worked for BB King and so many others. Chuck Berry played cool licks and knew his instrument but how he played to the audience, the same way BB and Kath played locked them into the " conscious receptors " of the minds of audiences by the millions More is not always " better ".