Miles Davis

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
–Miles Davis, trumpeter and composer

Miles Davis poetically captures the essence of artistic musicianship.

That is, we don’t pursue musical excellence to retrace other performers’ steps.

Rather, we strive to express our unique musical voices and create something new.

How do we attain such comprehensive fluency?

General and Specialized Expertise

Basically, we become capable musicians by building up two classes of expertise.

One applies generally to all musicians – it consists of the topics I explore on this blog and in my book The Musician’s Way.

These include strategies to practice, memorize, craft interpretations, conquer nerves, collaborate, forge careers, boost creativity, fuel wellness, and so forth.

The second area of expertise is instrument-specific.

To achieve mastery here, we need to become specialists in our domains – we tackle the intricacies of vocal or instrumental technique and achieve a kind of unity with our instrument.

In Chapter 5 of The Musician’s Way, I propose a framework for assembling technical skills (p. 94-98), but I don’t go into the idiosyncrasies of instruments, opting instead to catalog resources on MusiciansWay.com.

Here’s a summary of the targeted resources you’ll find on the site, all of which I update regularly.

Specialized Resources for Instrumentalists & Singers

On the For Instrumentalists page, links are organized under the following categories:

Bass | Bassoon | Bowed strings (general) | Brass (general) | Cello | Clarinet | Flute |
French horn | Guitar | Harp | Jazz | Oboe | Orchestra | Organ | Percussion | Piano |
Saxophone | Trombone | Trumpet | Tuba/Euphonium | Viola | Violin 

Here are the categories from the For Singers page:

Warm-ups | General resources | Opera resources | Choral resources

In addition, on the Wellness page, I bring together links to sites dealing with voice care, injury prevention for instrumentalists, hearing conservation, and more.The Musician's Way book cover

Sources for scores and sheet music can be found on the Practice page.

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I invite you to explore these resources and suggest additional links to educational sites in your area of expertise.

Bear in mind that I don’t aim to list copious links under each category but to collect crucial ones that offer important content or that serve as portals to curated resources.

Related posts
Balanced shoulders, open heart
The beauty in basics
Clear goals, clear process
Mastery and mystery
Projecting ease

© 2010 Gerald Klickstein