Mick Dennis Guitarist

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Musical Quotes etc.

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The implications for everyday life are simple: Make sure that where you work and live reflects your needs and your tastes. There should be room for immersion in concentrated activity and for stimulating novelty. The objects around you should help you become what you intend to be. Think about how you use time and consider whether your schedule reflects the rhythms that work best for you. If in doubt, experiment until you discover the best timing for work and rest, for thought and action, for being alone and for being with people. - from "Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

You must prepare at length for overnight success. - Chinese fortune cookie

All the great jazz musicians have also been great teachers. Their lessons are preserved for students on every recording they made. - from "Thinking in Jazz"

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few. - Zen Master Shunryu Suzucki

When your mind is subject to you, you act and become superior. You have clarity and deliver your excellence. - from a box of "Yogi tea"

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. - Henry David Thoreau

Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and do it that way every time. - from the book "Zen Guitar"

Five Minute Technique: Just tell yourself that you are only going to practice for five minutes. - from the book "Effortless Mastery"

Those who live in the past limit their future. - from a Yogi tea bag

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind...the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for...if you remain true to them, your world will at last be built - James Allen

One by One; Day by Day - Zen Master

People err who think my art comes easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, nobody has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. There is not a famous master whose music I have not industriously studied through many times. - Mozart-letter to a friend

Most important, though, "the box" means I never have to worry about forgetting. One of the biggest fears for a creative person is that some brilliant idea will get lost because you didn't write it down and put it in a safe place. - from "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot. - Alexander Pope

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. - Galileo

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. - Einstein

The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes-ah, that is where the art resides! - piano virtuoso Artur Schnabel explaining the secret of his artistry

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all. - Michelangelo

Docendo discimus - We learn by teaching.

It is a greater work to educate a child, in the true and larger sense of the word, than to rule a state. - William Ellery Channing

The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. - Herbert Spencer

It's funny how you can struggle with one piece and write a better one in a minute. When things come easy, it means it's good. - Joe Satriani

Stop thinking about the audience and what they may be thinking of your music. Just play the music. - from "The Book  of Six Strings"

The guitar player says, "Look at me!" The guitar teacher says, "Look at you!" - Mick (June 30, 2009)

I'll boost you over the wall. Out of the confines of your musical prison. Then it's your turn to run in freedom into the open field that is ahead of you. - Mick (Jan 18, 2010)

Teachers are people who start things they never see finished, and for which they never get thanks until it is too late. - Max Forman

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. - Isaac Bashevis Singer


Money moves everybody! - John Pancott, gymnast

The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done. - Jean Piaget(1896-1980) Swiss cognitive psychologist

Education is not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire. - W.B. Yeats/from a "Friends School" tee shirt

The best teachers and parents are the ones who are able to think outside the box and put themselves in the mind-set of the children they teach. They are able to find what works, and they are willing to try many different techniques until they discover the best solution to helping their children learn. - Ron Clark,best selling author

The "Phrygian Mode" is like a hammer to a carpenter. You don't use it all the time; but when you do, you can really "nail home" a musical idea. - Mick

The "modal scales" are like a toolbox to a carpenter. You don't use them all the time; but when you have a particular task at hand, you'll have "the right tool for the job." - Mick

I think even if a kid has a stack of Marshalls and a Les Paul with strings that range from .004 to .020 and a rack of pedals...if he thinks he's playing the blues, then by God he's playing the blues. - Buddy "Bugs" Henderson called "World's Greatest Unknown Guitar Player"

Genius is the ability to pay attention to details. - Guitar Principles.com

Make it a practice to be on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in it's adaption to the problem you're working on. - Thomas Edison

...And everyone knows that it's better to have an expert show you-and not just tell you-how to play tennis or golf or a musical instrument. We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction. - from "Blink:The Power of Thinking Without Thinking"-by Malcolm Gladwell

...peaceful music set to the pace of the human pulse can have a profound positive influence on one's nerves and mental state. - from "Message from Forever"

I tell the guys in my band,"If you're not making mistakes, you're probably not having a very good time!"(laughs) - guitarist Robben Ford advise for guitarists working on improvisation

Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. - Arthur Koestler

Good teaching often involves helping students see the limitations of their questions. Looking at our questions helps us see the boundaries we have drawn in our lives.

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. - Charlie Parker

A final word on self-criticism: Do not beat up on yourself. Even if you think you know your flaws, there is no need to advertise them. Most people won't have noticed. - from"Zen Guitar"by Philip Toshio Sudo

Miles cared about improvisation so much, and he continually tried to cultivate that and get us to play fresh. That was his big message to me, and one that I follow to this day: 'Always place spontaneity first and foremost.' - John Scofield

Things turn out better by accident sometimes. But you can't organize accidents. - Jeff Beck

The Way I See It #148-Starbuck's Coffee cup-Great teachers should be paid like doctors or corporate attorneys. I worry about what will happen to our economy and our democracy if we don't start to take teacher's jobs seriously. - Ninive Clements Calegari(co-founder of 826 Valencia and co-author of "Teachers Have It Easy")

As a bandleader, the best thing you can do is get yourself some horses that can run. Then you just set it up, let the players do what they do best, and get out of the way. That's what Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash taught me. - Marty Stuart,country guitarist & songwriter


You can't really cram that type of learning; it develops over the years. And with all that time you clock in, it creates a density on technique. Before you know it, one day, you just have it. - John Petrucci,guitarist

You can play a shoestring if you're sincere. - John Coltrane

You have to train your ears because creating a good solo consists largely of playing on your instrument what you hear in your head. - from "The Jazz Theory Book"

...don't worry about timing when playing scales, but rather try to cover the entire neck-look at the entire neck/any number of paths. - Joe Satriani

To be an outstanding musician, you have to be very attentive to the smallest detail and willing to have infinite patience in the pursuit of your ideal. You require absolute control and professionalism. - Yehudi Menuhin,violinist

Whatever the art you may wish to learn-whether it be acrobatics or violin playing,mental prayer or golf, acting, singing, dancing or what you will-there is one thing that every good teacher will always say: Learn to combine relaxation with activity; learn to do what you have to do without strain; work hard, but never under tension. - from "The Art of Seeing" by Aldous Huxley

I consider myself an artist in the studio. As such, I always try to remember that just as a fine artist such as a Van Gogh never attempts to paint the precise reality of a scene or landscape (which he cannot do anyway), instead he captures the emotion of his interpretation on the canvas. I realized long ago that I couldn't paint the reality of a sonic image. We can't even define reality. The feeling of the music is what I am after. I want people to be able to listen to the music and to experience the sincerity of its emotion. It's when the technical covers the primitive that we lose the passion of music! - Bruce Swedien