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The Three color three brush advice

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I'm watching a series of vids on how to be a better painter and it starts with a basic premise. Most beginning artists put 15 colors on their pallettes and an array of brushes in range to be used. The first advice in the first vid says you'll never learn to mix colors unless you limit what you start with and learn to mix the colors. Then if you limit your brushes to three (I do only one) you force yourself to develop the way you paint rather than a zillion brushes. I think this line of thinking relates well to jazz or any way you improvise. If you can do two or things real well with subtle changes that makes for a better solo than 35 techniques you learned last week out of a book. This idea of simplfying to also work on the "mixing" of jazz makes sense also. So you might practice many many ways of going from one chord scale or pattern to the next rather than 10 different ways to approach a chord for variety.
It just struck me how easy it is to get lost in the choices. K
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You're on the right track but still thinking technically. As with painting or any of the arts the subject isn't the technique or the tool. The technique and tools are what you use to accomplish a work that communicates to others. It's a good exercise to limit tools and technique so that the emphasis becomes what you can do within those limitations that does communicate. Hearing what you're going to play and being able to execute that is 99.9% of what makes for a good/great improviser. It doesn't take great technique, but having it certainly helps.

Hearing harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, being able to spin melodies, blend, accompany, lead, etc. are what makes music, not cut and paste riffs, arpeggios and gimmicks that lack narrative, emotion or integrity. It's NEVER too early to think musically instead of technically. The tools and techniques are to be used in the service of musical communication. When the tools and technique become the subject is when you see your audience turn off. Our job is to entertain, tell stories, give emotions, not to try and impress. When you're successful at giving an audience a musical experience it's one of the best feelings in the world. If you're forever hung up thinking about technical issues and gimmicks, then you'll never get there.
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