Miles Davis’ music, his improvisations, his tone, his attacks on notes are all unique to Miles Davis. When you hear one note, you immediately know it is Miles. He’s gifted, some say a genius, some consider him a god, but what we often forget to remember is he worked extremely hard to achieve success on and to tame this beast of an instrument called the trumpet. Believe it or not, Miles Davis practiced. Just look at his eyes in this featured image of this post. Those are eyes of a man seriously focused and working extremely hard to be great. Those aren’t eyes of someone to whom playing the trumpet comes as a gift from the heavens. Good lord, we all know how demanding this instrument is! To be great, you must practice! And Miles did.
Here’s a great video clip of Miles talking about how he practiced. An important point he makes is “you have to find your own way to learn after you go to school.” We all learn in different ways and the trick is to be ok with how you most effectively learn your craft and to be ok with the fact it may not be how Wynton Marsalis learns or Phil Smith learns. Be you. Do you. But as Miles says in this video, “I’m no accident. You have to practice and you have to study.” It takes practice.
One of the best scenes in this video comes at 5’04” when Miles mentions Wynton Marsalis – too funny!. I love his reaction at the thought of how amazing Wynton Marsalis is.Wynton’s 12 Ways to Practice