Enjoying the musical journey

Hey Improvisers!

Have you ever thought that you knew how something would go, only to discover that it turned out differently?

This happens to me all the time.

We go to the store to pick up a gallon of milk, and end up having a wonderful conversation with a neighbor on the sidewalk or in the parking lot. In school, we sign up for a supposedly-boring class, only to find that the teacher makes the subject “come alive.” And we listen to our kid’s or parents’ music and acquire a few unexpected new favorites.

Music is like this too, and we can rediscover this each and every day!

In fact, we never really know what we’ll like or where the music is going to take us.

I’m finding this out with the daily improvisations I’m posting on YouTube this month. I’ve never taken on a project quite like this before, where I’m sitting down at my piano and improvising something new every day, using Keith Jarrett as a model. Each day brings fresh musical experiences, and I’m learning a lot about the process of improvising every single day. Best of all, a lot of the viewers are being inspired to improvise daily as well, and a few are even posting their own videos!

Here’s my improvisation from Day 19, which someone said reminded them of Joni Mitchell’s musical style:

Day 19: 31-Day Keith Jarrett Piano Improv Challenge!

The Real Book is also reminding me of how to enjoy the journey. By going through the book like this, I’m finding that each tune can give us a unique, special musical experience. Here’s Don Ellis’ composition “Indian Lady,” which took me to places I’d never before imagined on this tune:

Indian Lady: Journey Through The Real Book #182

What’s going to happen the next time you sit down at your piano? If you’re like me, you probably have some preconception of what it’s going to be like. And I invite you to do as I’m discovering this month, and set that preconception aside and let the music take you to a place that’s fresh, exciting, and new.

Yes, let’s enjoy every step of our personal and collective musical journeys, and also keep a fresh attitude towards our musical path. After all, each step is unique and delightful in a special way!


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