Are You Guilty of “soloing” Too Much?

Miles Davis, the late jazz trumpeter/composer when asked about his tendency to emphasize the space between the notes when he played, replied “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” As I wend my way through the mass of content on Twitter, Facebook and other outlets, I am struck by the frequency of posts by some users. How much is too much?

If Twitter is indeed a conversation, some people just don’t know when to shut up. A conversation is between two or more people. And a conversation requires that participants listen to each other before responding with another message. It’s “what’s not there” that tells the story. It shows introspection as well as respect. The message becomes much clearer if it isn’t surrounded by all the noise.

We have all seen the “twitter flurry”. When someone logs in to their account and tries to catch up on time lost by making 10 or 15 posts in an hour. I know that when I see a stream of this type, I tune out. It’s as if someone walks into a room where people have been talking, and suddenly just rambles on, not even caring if anyone is listening, and subsequently walking out.

A good conversation is like jazz, there’s a lot of listening, learning and sharing going on. And when that happens, we all benefit.


2 Responses to “Are You Guilty of “soloing” Too Much?”

  1. 1 MexicanSongBird July 31, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Twitter and blogs are not a conversation until there’s a dialogue.

    When it comes to a jazz solo- you’re playing or you’re listening. The dialogue is within the artist.

    Or as engineers like to say: Can’t compare apples to oranges.


    • 2 asbillseesit August 1, 2009 at 10:00 am

      Thanks for the comment MSS, but my point is that if the “soloist” plays without first listening to the other parts of the conversation, the ensuing sound is not informative because it is not informed. It becomes separate and disconnected.

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