One reason to consistently do the work is that when opportunity knocks, you will be ready.

I wouldn’t be concerned with the idea that you might not be ready when opportunities come. I would instead consider that opportunity is scarce for those who aren’t doing the work.



We can’t jeopardize our ability and willingness to come back every day to practice and do the work. But sometimes we need to push our limits to make sure we’re doing what we’re really capable of.

Sometimes that means:

-Practicing longer

-Getting up earlier

-Going to bed later

-Focusing harder

-Listening more




A Cmaj9 chord is the same as an Eminor7 with C in the bass. G9 is the same as Bminor7b5 with G in the bass.

What are some complex concepts that could be better understood if you broke them down into pieces that make more sense to you?



When you perform, look for the people that are really listening.

You’ve put in the work and are showing up to perform, and they’re showing up ready to listen. These are the people that are going to be giving you real feedback, and it’s usually positive. People who aren’t listening aren’t giving you much to work with so they’re blank expressions shouldn’t mean much to you.

Of course we want to captivate the entire audience, but it’s no small feat to overcome any one person’s apathy.

The people that are listening are who your music is for, and if you serve them well enough they’ll tell their friends that they should be listening too.



When we make a mistake we go back and practice it. When we have a bad gig we prepare more for the next one. But what if we make a lot of mistakes? And what if most of our gigs don’t go well?

Does anything change? Or do we keep returning to do it again? We can try different things, but in the end the only way through it is through it. 

Try looking for other paths through it, or new ways to move through it. But if your solution involves going around the thing you love then it becomes giving up. You will never have to give up music. But the reality of music and practice is that you can’t have it all right now.




Don’t spend too much time trying to find the perfect thing to practice. You just need one thing to practice. One thing that you can spend a little bit of time on and make a little bit of progress. Then, after a while, pick something else.

One thing at a time, a little bit of progress at a time. That’s the only way we can do it.



Improvisation, in music, rarely means “making it up.” Yes, we decide which notes go where, and are likely creating something never heard before.

But we’re not making up new notes. We’re not playing them in a new order. If you play “the blues” then they usually go in a certain order. If you play “jazz” then they go in a different order. If the notes don’t go in any particular order, then that’s a kind of order too.

But improvisation is spontaneous and risky all the same. If we’re not “really” making it up, then what are we doing?

Improvisation is the music of right now. It’s not the music you practiced, it’s what you’re playing in the moment, composing on the spot. Making it up is a nice idea, but what can you do to connect to right now with your improvisation?