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A Life In Music

January 30, 2017

I am lucky to have many talented musician friends, world-class performers at the peak of their game who can perform music at the highest level. Sometimes I’ll ask them what they’re working on. The answer I get is frequently the same: fundamentals— getting a good tone, playing with good rhythmic time, you know, the basics. 

So why would high-caliber professional musicians need to work on the basics? I mean, don’t they already have the basics mastered? Don’t they teach you this stuff in fifth grade, how to produce a good tone and play rhythms correctly?

To answer in reverse order:

Yes, they do teach you this stuff in fifth grade.

Yes, professional musicians should have the basics mastered.

Because if high-caliber professional musicians don’t work on the basics, they will eventually lose their grasp on them and be unable to perform the more complex literature.

Let me illustrate. Years ago, when I was...

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