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For every step foward, it often feels endless... which is true. As a musician coming out of the jazz tradition, the amount of theory and knowledge to be learned is overwhelming if there is not a sense of patience. Amidst the scales, chords, and other concepts important for the improviser and composer, one cannot forget that you are giving yourself more to work with as a form of self-expression. Soloing is not about this scale, that scale, this pattern, that pattern, but about the art of honest, pure expression framed in a way that is universally understood. Every scale and chord is different but the same. You eventually reach a point where it filters down to a short spectrum of subtle, detailed sounds that become part of your vocabulary.

When you practice, you work with the concepts at hand and continuously strengthen your technique to improve fluidity. When you PLAY, you play. Theoretical concepts open up your ears to the possibility of harmonic and melodic sounds, but when you play, you illuminate your fears, your passions, and anything else that reveals your character. Where the novelist tells a story with words, the instrumentalist and composer tells a story with sound. The closer it alligns with reality, the more powerful it of impact it has on the listener. Reaching this level of expressive freedom is a life-long continuum. The further you go, the wider the window. And with that comes an even greater discipline.
 

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Yes, they're my words. It's from a blog I wrote the other day. There's also one I wrote about Coltrane, but don't want to post it yet.
 

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I guess the old saying with great freedom comes great responsibility is true. Or to put it in words of a teacher of mine, "freedom is resposibility".
 
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