How to Play Like You’re Saying Something

The way many of us learn how to play an instrument in school is completely backwards. The way we often teach kids to play an instrument in school is like learning to speak by first tackling the vocabulary, the spelling, the grammar, and the mechanics of speech. That’s not how we learn to speak, is it? Would it be better instead to allow kids a few years to just explore the sounds and possibilities of the instruments, like babies do when they learn to speak?

Music is communication. You can learn a lot by watching and listening, more than from listening alone. Take a lesson from a baby trying to learn to speak. Try stuff! Will you nail it the first time? Nope, not the 10th time either, but it’s time well spent.

Here’s a beautiful example of musicians saying something meaningful:

Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums)

curious about Wynton’s horn? It’s made by Dave Monette and has one of his new threaded, integral mouthpieces. Here’s a video explaining how they work and why, on a horn belonging to one of the Monette craftsmen, Dean Willoughby:




Back-To-School Specials On All Formats:

The Practice of PracticeBasic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music, by Jonathan HarnumSoundTheTrumpet2_Cover



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