Have you seen the article about Prince in the recent issue of The New Yorker? It’s by Dan Piepenbring, who was in the beginning stages of collaborating with His Royal Purpleness at the time of Prince’s death. (Interesting fact: According to his sister, Prince’s favorite color was actually orange, not purple.)
The New Yorker article is in the category of “giving us a glimpse into Prince as a person, behind the public persona he so carefully cultivated over the years.” Yes, he was a real person, who practiced piano incessantly while preparing for his solo piano tour.
Here’s the article:
The Book Of Prince
After reading the article, I spent a few hours watching Prince concerts on YouTube. I give Prince a lot of credit for never getting hemmed-in musically by his stardom. Despite his many hit songs, he always felt free to explore whatever styles of music interested him at the moment.
Here’s an incredible concert he did in Montreux, Switzerland, just a few years ago. His hit-making days were long past, yet he wrote all this great material, rehearsed it to perfection with a large band, and put on an amazingly tight show with choreography, jazz horn solos, and a big generosity towards his backup singers.
Just watch a moment here and there throughout this video to get a sense of what I mean:
Prince: Live In Switzerland (2013)
Prince is the kind of musician who can inspire us to practice more, be open to different musical styles and develop our creativity during our whole lives. If you want a practice assignment based on Prince’s example, take a basic chord progression and play it in the following styles this week:
Contemporary R&B ballad
Jazz (with 7th chords or further extensions)
Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”