Five thoughts for that crucial moment

Some great observations on the improvisation process from pianist extraordinaire Tom Hewson. (Note to self: Take note)

Tom Hewson

In the absence of the time to write anything particularly involved recently, here are a few (slightly tongue-in-cheek) thoughts that have popped in and out of my mind when playing recently.

1) Are you playing what you think you should play, or what you think other people think you should play? (be honest now)

2)It’s overwhelmingly probable that, given the extent of your musical training and instrumental proficiency, what you’re playing is far too complicated and busy already

3)Can you feel anything bigger and longer than the immediate desire to play the next note?

4)The first idea your inner ear gives you at any point can be obvious, cliched, unnecessary or knee-jerk. Wait for the next bus, it might be less busy and you could probably do with the space.

5)If you’re not surprising yourself, you’re probably not surprising anyone else.

I say ‘tongue-in-cheek’ but I suppose I really mean ‘deadly serious’…

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About alamnathoo

I am a musician living in the Brockley/New Cross area of southeast London. I play saxophones mainly, as well as writing and listening to music. Other interests include films, the occasional book and alternative comedy. I have also been known to teach. Feel free to get in touch either through here, my email:, facebook, or twitter @alamnathoo
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One Response to Five thoughts for that crucial moment

  1. Rather true, I feel, and extremely embarrassing to my self-esteem.

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