Thelonious Monk’s 25 Tips for Musicians


From “Adam Neely”. ( YouTube / Nebula )

Going through a list of tips Thelonious Monk gave young saxophonist Steve Lacy!

Let’s go, baby.

Brian Krock’s channel

– Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep time.
– Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head when you play.
– Stop playing all that bulls***, those weird notes, play the melody!
– Make the drummer sound good.
– Discrimination is important.
– You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?
– All reet!
– Always know
– It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.
– Let’s lift the band stand!!
– I want to avoid the hecklers.
– Don’t play the piano part, I am playing that. Don’t listen to me, I am supposed to be accompanying you!
– The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.
– Don’t play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music just imagined.
– What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play.
– A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.
– Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig & when it comes, he’s out of shape & can’t make it.
– When you are swinging, swing some more!
– (What should we wear tonight?) Sharp as possible!
– Always leave them wanting more.
– Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene.
– Those pieces were written so as to have something to play & to get cats interested enough to come to rehearsal!
– You’ve got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case, you got it! (to a drummer who didn’t want to solo).
– Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along & do it. A genius is the one most like himself.


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