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Chick Corea's Advice To Musicians

posted on #1
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I kind of disagree with #9 as anyone who has played in a roadhouse or biker bar knows they throw things at your head if they dont like what you are playing.So "what you like" should have a sense of "what the audience likes".

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Edited by LittleWing on February 15 2021 02:58
posted on #2
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I've seen this before on a sax site (SOTW) and thought it mostly good advice. Too bad most sax players don't take that advice...but that's another story.

I agree with Littlewing about #9. The advice is slightly vague though in saying "what someone else will think". That's not the same as "what someone else will enjoy". What others think could be referring to band members or expectations like you're having to play your biggest hit from 20 years ago at every performance.

If we are playing for others our job is entertaining them. That means communicating and giving them experiences, stories, emotions etc. If we are only playing for ourselves that may not be very different to "playing with ourselves".

There's a vague line between challenging an audience and giving them nothing they can relate to. Intent helps with there being a big difference between those who wish to give/share compared to the egoist who simply seeks praise/recognition.
You're only as old as you smell
posted on #3
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Some really good advice there, must try to remember some of those. Yes, number 9 is a bit iffy at times. But also also number 3, I don't know about that. Sometimes when I am really into a track, I don't "think" anymore I just let the fingers go without thinking too much. And many times some good stuff comes out of it. Now I am a pretty crap musician, so I guess real musicians can do that even better, getting lost in the music. Letting the fingers do their thing. I suppose when you play a certain type of music that does not apply to, but bluesy stuff definitely has that. I think :)
posted on #4
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I think another one would be.. "Don't over-rate your own abilities...and don't cry about losing your MOJO on a public music forum like Wikiloops". All of us know where we stand in the world of instrumentalists that share own own instrument capabilities.. Being a mix master and a member of your instrument website does not qualify one to be an expert. Listener's decide. Not the contributor. And if you wanna speak about "Ego" ..nice job displaying your own ego amongst sax players Wade. :):W
Edited by Fishinmissio on July 25 2021 02:11
posted on #5
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Can't see LW's /Joe's image anymore, so for those who might wonder what this is about, I think he was referring to this list which Chick Corea (R.I.P.) came up with:

1. Play only what you hear.
2. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
3. Don’t let your fingers and limbs wander — place them intentionally.
4. Don’t improvise on endlessly — play something with intention, develop it or not, but then end off, take a break.
5. Leave space — create space — intentionally create places where you don’t play.
6. Make your sound blend. Listen to your sound and adjust it to the rest of the band and the room.
7. If you play more than one instrument at a time — like a drum kit or multiple keyboards — make sure that they are balanced with one another.
8. Don’t make any of your music mechanically or just through patterns of habit. Create each sound, phrase, and piece with choice — deliberately.
9. Guide your choice of what to play by what you like-not by what someone else will think.
10. Use contrast and balance the elements: high/low, fast/slow, loud/soft, tense/relaxed, dense/sparse.
11. Play to make the other musicians sound good. Play things that will make the overall music sound good.
12. Play with a relaxed body. Always release whatever tension you create.
13. Create space — begin, develop, and end phrases with intention.
14. Never beat or pound your instrument — play it easily and gracefully.
15. Create space — then place something in it.
16. Use mimicry sparsely — mostly create phrases that contrast with and develop the phrases of the other players.

I think I'm guilty of not following #8 at times, getting into a 'trance' state too easily which can happen if you just keep repeating stuff... but I think I always follow #11, at least I try to...
posted on #6
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Not listening to what could go on inside my head if I bothered to take the time needed to do so, instead of rushing in with notes et fingers...and trusting pure luck sometimes, lol, That's probably one of the most important things I should be working on, plus technique obviously.
Great tips Wjl, tks for sharing.
Mejazzz:)
posted on #7
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I would add,
play the music and try to convey some sort of emotion.(I can't stand musicians seeking to impress instead of sharing emotions, the cause of my leaving bands for such reasons and hating other jazz sessions when it seems musicians are taking it in turns to show off their virtuosity forgetting musicallity all together)

Play in your fingers, is another good advice, sounds terrible when you're struggling to perform something you haven't physically absorbed, lol.
Edited by Mikebeasley on July 26 2021 12:02
Mejazzz:)
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