Your Three Instruments

1st Instrument : your horn

Learning to be a musician begins with mastering your instrument. An instrument is supposed to be that thing that you bang or blow out notes on. Your voice. Why is it even called an instrument? An instrument is a tool, right? Something you use for a certain end. In this case, to make sounds.

So once you have mastered that instrument, are you then a musician? For many people this may well be all there is to it. Get horn, get good, then get out there.

2nd Instrument : the song

It occurred to me when I was looking at pages of Wagner’s viola parts, that they were a great way to learn arpeggios and practice getting around the fingerboard.  Likewise, some tunes can teach you a whole lot about harmony. You can use them to deepen your musical knowledge and to train your ear.

So if they are something you use, doesn’t that make them an instrument too?

As learning tools, there is a huge variety of lessons you can get from the multitude of styles from around the world that you can find on line these days.  Some will stretch your technique and others will move your imagination.

3rd Instrument : you

This is where it gets a bit philosophical. But what if you gave the idea a moment’s thought? What purpose do you serve, when you play music? Some of the world’s greatest players have even asked Whose purpose do you serve?

For the classical musician, it is the composer’s – or the conductor’s purpose. For John Coltrane, or for Cory Henry, it is the Creator.

However you answer the question I feel it’s something that anyone who wants to get – and give – the most out of music should think about. One thing it provides is a clear framework to help you find a path in your music. It simply means finding how to serve that purpose to the best of your ability.

Follow me on Twitter @jazzpanflute

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About jazzpanflute

jazz panpipe pioneer and designer
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