The Fruits of Practice Sound Like This: Peterson, Brown & Thigpen

The swingingest version of Duke Ellington‘s tune C Jam Blues with Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums, recorded live in Denmark, 1964. These are grand-masters at work. What you’re hearing is the result of many thousands of hours of practice. .

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Clyde Morgan says:

    Mr. Harnum,

    This is slightly off topic, but it is in regards to the fruits of studying the process of practice.

    Because of your interest in the principles and processes of learning and teaching I thot I would share with you a stumble upon incidence that I experienced last night. One of my interests is the facilitation of higher human development. One of the techniques of leading a student to an insight that is currently beyond their capability is to present a juxtaposition of ideas that are within their range of understanding that create a cognitive dissonance and/or harmony that invites them towards personal growth and/or pushes them back. Christian chiasms and Bhuddist koans are examples of this in spiritual literature. Good puzzles and games also tend to push and pull upon what we think we know for sure.

    Last night I was playing around on and and fell into a comparison of the fairly simple tensions in the games with the average adolescent tensions in the forums.

    “BrainBashers : missing square” and “BrainBashers : who turned to?” are examples of hiding missing pieces in plain sight. They use perceptual tricks that invite the viewer to overcome visual preferences that get in the way of seeing missing pieces that are not actually missing.

    Many forum discussions, attacks and defenses are of the same nature, yet the participants are unaware of the game at hand. Personal predilictions are presented with a religious fervor. Often there is more effort to remain within one’s accepted illusions than to entertain another’s process of discovery. Worse there is often a violent refusal to look along with abuse towards one another. e.g. the council to Galileo “We will not look through your telescope.”

    After playing a bit on BrainBashers I hopped over to Trumpetherald and encountered a wonderful example of very similar brainbashing at the “Range and powerful sound through embouchure nodal points” discussion in the fundamentals area. This relatively brief collection of interchanges is full of references to a Trumpet Sage and Holy Trumpet Scripture verses (that of course are actually true in their own way) juxtaposed with the Science Prophet suggesting an exploration new ideas and offer his struggle with theory, experimentation, and search for discovery.

    As you are a student of the process of encouraging practice I thought that you might be intersted in this case study (the herald exchange) that is illustrative of the typical struggle of positive and poisonous pedagogy where the participants are usually unaware that their own perceptual preferences actually blind them to the truth that they are all seeking.

    Great education requires the professor have a great set of chops that can handle the intersection of great tensions!

    I hope that your own studies will pop you up into new levels of understanding and give you abilities to bring others up with you. Thank you so much for your contributions thus far, hoping that you will have much greater achievements in the future.

    1. Mr. Morgan-
      What an excellent and thought-provoking comment. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights. I’ve often found that serendipity and odd juxtapositions help reveal connections that are otherwise obscured and the discovery process is nearly as enjoyable as the possession of a new insight.

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