A lot has been written about embracing your mistakes, but for us, Miles Davis really nailed it, as recounted by a young Herbie Hancock in this tiny video. He experienced Miles’ approach in action.

When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that you play that determines if it’s good or bad.”

There’s a LOT in that simple statement. It seems at first to be all about choice: what you choose to do after, and in response to, a mistake determines if it will remain a mistake or become something ELSE, possibly even ‘sublime’. But Miles takes it further. He doesn’t hear the off note as a mistake. He views it without that big judgement, simply as ‘something that happened’. Attuned to the possibilities it sparked, he responds. It is the essence of improvisation.

Easier said than done but what a practice…

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