[Dixielandjazz] Jazz in the Classroom/memorzing solos, etc.
jack.teagarden at comcast.net
Mon Jan 8 10:46:59 PST 2007
Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry has a great piece of advice for aspiring
jazz musicians: "Imitate, assimilate, innovate." It's a phrase that's
been picked up by practitioners of many disciplines, from dance to
graffiti. The basic idea is that one can't effectively innovate until
one assimilates the state of the art, and the starting point for
beginning to assimilate is to imitate what has worked before. Through
imitation, one begins to internalize what's going on in the music and
thus to understand why the jazz greats of the past approached certain
things in certain ways; why certain things "work" in certain contexts.
That's the foundation one needs before one can extend the scope of the
art. "innovation" isn't a question of doing something randomly
different just because it's different; its a question of building on an
existing foundation. If you don't understand the foundation, on what
will you build?
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