Diana Ross, violinist
“I would say some things about timbre, but there have been some very hard instruments to play as well — the flute. It’s just incredibly hard. That’s the most difficult thing to play, to be able to play at lower pitches that are completely inaudible. I think it’s the same with the saxophone. [The player] is actually taking your breath away at lower notes, and the more you try and work on that, the more you get to learn from the person [playing the saxophone — see: “The Most Taught Instrument in Life — The Stompbox or the saxophone”]!”
How do you balance the time commitment needed to play well with the fun that you have on the road?
Dan Smith, saxophonist
“The thing is, if you’re doing that the best way possible, the reason you’re performing at a concert is because the people who are buying your CDs and tickets are not necessarily going to be there for the whole show. So in that case you know that you have to be playing at a high tempo. You know that there’s going to be a lot of energy in there, but then you also have to take into account how long it’s going to take to get to the point that you’re playing. With the flute, that’s a great instrument to perform — at speeds that are high, they are not hard but they are slow enough so you don’t have much of a problem.”
What would be your approach to an instrument as a young player?
“If I were a young player, I would study the music that I like, and also learn my instruments by ear, so I can put them in my head. To put them in my head is the only way to get good at playing them. I think it would be wise to study music by ear first.”
What do you want to do as a pianist in the future?
“I want to play jazz music. The greatest challenge would be to find something that suits the way I feel most. Because then I think that I could work on those things that I feel are important, which will take me from a young man to a really great pianist.
“If I could get into the mind and the way that music is made and the way that a piano or a keyboard is put together, I think that I could produce something so different from the way that it
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