Re: [Harp-L] Re: Phrasing and Spacing

Appreciate and acknowledge that response. Of course we must learn from others. However we use language too often do that.

I think the the quote was more of a challenge to open up all the senses and feelings to "get it".

I've noted that arts coming from African American traditions can rely heavily on "felt" techniques. In that context it seems almost a waste of time to dissect and diagram these techniques.

I have a good friend who is a highly trained musician who is now a copiest for the likes of composer John Adams. I once asked David what he thought of my going to music school to get a degree. He didn't recommend it for me as he knew my approach to playing. He said, "If you do, get your training, and then forget it."

Lines like these are used in the arts to challenge you to shut up that internal conversation and push towards the ineffable.

Thanks for the passionate response!

From Gary Popenoe

On Jan 22, 2008, at 12:26 PM, Ken Deifik <kenneth.d@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

At 07:10 AM 1/22/2008, you wrote:
Some one correct me if I'm wrong but the story goes something like
this . Someone asked Louis Armstrong about about how he played jazz or
how to play jazz or something along those lines . He responded and I
paraphrase, "Man, if you gotta ask you'll never know ."

I intend to join in the larger discussion, and I feel that the other paragraph Gary wrote is right on, but this quote would have to be among the most discouraging, and incorrect, pieces of information to tell most harmonica players.

In fact, most people "gotta ask", and Harp-l is a forum where people "gotta ask" or they will not learn. Armstrong, who may not have even spoken that quote, was not a teacher, he was a genius who didn't put much thought into explaining. On the other hand, he had many, many teachers and said as much when recourning his personal history.

Note to everyone who feels like they have not gotten to the musical place they want to get to: You Gotta Ask. Almost every good musician I have ever played with stunk at first. Then they got okay. Then they got good. Alot of it comes from working at it, but ALOT of it comes from asking people who already know.

There are big issues that are hard or impossible to teach, but the idea that was presented in that quote is pure, unnecessary discouragement. Ask ask ask.


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