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Beyond The Note: Jazz Music Essentials – #4 Patience

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#4. Patience

Patience is a very important part of the jazz musician’s character as a performing artist. It is an act of calm endurance. It is that part of the artist’s strength that allows for the line being played to run its’ course until completion…a pause and breath in time and then at just the right moment the continuation of the story. It might be a short phrase or a long phrase…it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that each player is able to hear the end of a phrase and then remembering what has been played, continuing the story being told.

Patience gives the artist the strength to wait and yield to where the notes are leading and to allow for the other musicians in the band to be a part of the story…using their notes as a part of, to finish or to initiate a phrase. All the great jazz players past and present have had this quality of patience in their music.

Patience takes time. It is not easily received, but through the walls of adversity it will blossom in us.

I must play music…I must practice…I must endure the trials of aging in the art form. Then patience begins to reveal itself and that quality becomes part of the substance of the music we play.