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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Have A Lot Of Ideas

Andrew Hitz

"The only way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."
-Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink is not a musician. He was talking about ideas like starting a business or writing a book.

But he might as well have been talking about a musician's approach in the practice room.

The odds of you having a great idea come out of your bell if you only had one concept of how that phrase might go in the first place is very, very low.

  1. Have lots of ideas of how a phrase could go.
  2. Record a convincing version of each of those ideas.
  3. Listen to each and decide which is best.
  4. Repeat this process with every single phrase of the piece.

If you only bring one concept of how a phrase might go into your practicing, how can you possibly compete with the artistry of someone doing the above sequence over and over again?

Spoiler Alert: You can't.

And furthermore, there have never been better instrument operators graduating every single year en masse than there are today. So you have to stand out some other way.

The real question is can you afford not to do the above sequence over and over again when you practice?