Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming Soon to the Moore!

See what I was saying about people with ordinary names finding relative fame? So who is this guy? Brad Garrett's brother? No, he's a German-American pop violinist and heartthrob. Apparently, he's fast. He holds the world record for quickest performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee." Well golly, that's impressive, but as a sax player, I can tell you that speed is overrated. Playing fast is just an excuse to not play something substantial. For my first few years of learning to play (I started quite late), I just wanted to get fast. It took a long time, but I could play lots of notes at quick tempos. As soon as I could do that, I soon found that it was a hollow pursuit. It was just notes. The music became much more meaningful with fewer notes. Whenever I hear guys flashing their technical chops and playing torrents of notes for a long period of time, I always have the urge to fall asleep. Guys, fewer notes, more music. I'm sure there are more, but the only two guys I can immediately think of who play tons of notes and still sound great are Johnny Griffin and John Coltrane. Coltrane has his legions of imitators and Griffin does not, but they both knew how to keep the big picture in mind when they were blazing along. So yeah, speed isn't completely crucial. It's better to have an outstanding sense of tempo than anything else. That's what I say. Anyhow, I've never heard this David Garrett guy. I just know that he was a child prodigy (strike one), is part German (strike two) and plays pop music covers (strike three). Who knows, maybe someday he'll become the Kenny G of the violin.

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