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

I've heard that same quote attributed to Fats Waller, and I'm sure it's been attributed to others in addition to Pops and Fats.

Frankly, I think it's a harmful and elitist statement - in essence, it says that if you're on the outside, you'll never get in. 

I can't imagine Louis Armstrong ever saying such a thing. If he had really believed that he never would have become such a big popular success. Louis grew up playing for change on the street and knew that if he and his orphanage band didn't please the passers-by - if the audience "had to ask" - if they didn't get the feel of the music - he might "never know" a meal that night for lack of funds. Louis wasn't about to shut out his audience for lack of perceived hipness. (That insider attitude may have started later, either with swing-band musicians or with beboppers.)

If you don't know, ask. The answer may come in the form of a demonstration instead of a spoken or written description, but it will come.

Seek and ye shall find.

Ask and ye shall receive.

Knock and it shall be opened to you.


----- Original Message ----
From: Ken Deifik <kenneth.d@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:27:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Re: Phrasing and Spacing

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
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
ask" or they will not learn.  Armstrong, who may not have even spoken
quote, was not a teacher, he was a genius who didn't put much thought
explaining.  On the other hand, he had many, many teachers and said as
when recourning his personal history.

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


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