It seems like I always had to work harder than other people. Those nights when everybody else is asleep, and you sit in your room trying to play scales. I just wonder where I was when the talent was being given out, like George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Eric Clapton… oh, there’s many more! I wouldn’t want to be like them, you understand, but I’d like to be equal, if you will.
B. B. King
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I’d take my guitar and play on the streets. A gospel song would get me a pat on the head. But a blues would get me a dime. So you see why I stuck with the blues.
Back when we was in school in Mississippi, we had Little Black Sambo. That’s what you learned: Anytime something was not good, or anytime something was bad in some kinda way, it had to be called black. Like, you had Black Monday, Black Friday, black sheep… Of course, everything else, all the good stuff, is white. White Christmas and such.
I developed in my head that I’m never any better than my last concert or the last time I played, so it’s like an audition each time. You get nervous just before going onstage. I still have that, but I think it’s more like concern. You’re concerned about the people – like meeting your in-laws for the first time.
I don’t care for the music when they’re talking bad about women because I think women are God’s greatest gift to the planet – I just like music.
More quotes about Music
It became a kind of a game, to remember the things that had happened five minutes ago. I would start making notes about the things I was doing, on an instrument that was foreign to me, the guitar, so it was just a fun way of doing cognitive therapy. I was none the wiser to it until I began to improve and my ability to speak began to come back.
If the bass plays the root, a pianist superimposes a Maj7 built on the 5th and the sax plays the 13th, will hot women notice?
Jazz has such great feeling and emotional content it really doesn’t require technical understanding.
Other than conversation, no other art form can give the satisfaction of spontaneous interaction like Jazz.
Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
When I started playing, I was playing just the harmonica. We’re back in the prohibition days. Like down a dark alley somewhere, you’d play for an illegal club that was probably right behind a police station, and what I’d do is sing and play the harmonica. It didn’t take me long to work out that I needed something more, and that was the guitar. So when you added the guitar, the harmonica and my voice, you would be talking with people mainly in the bar, or in the restaurant, or the people in the pub.