John Fedchock on Listening to Find Your Own Personality as a Musician

I really enjoyed this part of TBJ210 with John Fedchock.

One of the first things that strikes me about John's playing is that it is not in any way derivative. It sounds like John Fedchock.

That's not to say that he hasn't been influenced by many musicians along the way - of course he has!

But he sounds like himself and it's in a way that no one else sounds like.

In our conversation he talked about how students need to be curious when learning a musical language like jazz and mentioned that he used to sit with the liner notes as he listened to jazz albums to see which musicians were playing. He would then go to the record store and seek out the musicians who really spoke to him.

That is actually easier today than ever because of Wikipedia. Any time I listen to a jazz album I look it up on Wikipedia and can instantly see every single musician who is playing, even if just for one track. And each name is clickable to get a full list of every single recording that they've ever appeared on.

In this clip, John talks about the importance of digging deeper than just knowing who the star of any given jazz album is because sometimes it is a supporting artist from something you hear that ends up being the one who really speaks to you.

And he ties it all together beautifully at the end of this clip by talking about the imp

John Fedchock in TBJ210 talking about digging deep into the jazz catalog to find the people who inspire you to find your own personality as a musician.

"Because if you try to do something that's not in your emotional wheelhouse it's going to sound dishonest."

That's some sage advice right there.