Imitation and Jazz

Picasso once said “Good artists copy and great artists steal”.  Very humorous but there is something to this.  I once wrote “You can never totally be anyone else so you don’t have to be afraid of sounding like those you admire.  This can only push you towards your own individuality in the long run because  you’re not resisting what you admire and love”.   The way I apply this is not by learning other’s solos note for note and I have never done that.  I am not saying that is a bad thing necessarily, but what I have always done is get the general “concept” or “feel” of how a great artist personally approaches the music.  This could include many things like sound, melodic and harmonic approach, rhythm etc.  All these things put together make up that artist’s personal style and message.  With that in mind, in a general sense along with other great artists I admire I practice and play and eventually those influences seep into my own playing “organically”, helping to create my own individual style.  It’s a very natural unforced process because you are just “hearing” and playing what you love.  Splurge on it !  Glenn

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