Bach: I’d say young people can come up with good ideas. When I was a young pianist, I found that I really got to know myself by playing a melody. You know, I really understood the idea that the piano is about melody. For me it’s very easy to learn to play a melody, but when it’s about a melody that someone else wrote you have to get a little bit of the feel of the melody before you begin to play it. But with a piano book where you read passages and then you do the same things you play on piano, that’s not a problem. You learn the melody very quickly, you play it. Then you can understand something of the idea later when you play it. I think the reason that people who are really young, if they play a simple melody, if the person they are reading has not really picked up any nuances of melody, they probably won’t have really learned the feel of something. I remember the feeling of my friend, I mean, I was playing in New York City, and this young man came up to me and said, “I like your music,” and he played the first six bars of a song. I said, “What?” And he was like, “I’d never heard of it.” And I said, “Well I’m an American.” And he said, “I never heard of it. I don’t even know the tune.” You see I can’t believe it. I knew what was going on. I know the basic idea I was doing. The whole thing was going pretty well.
I think they’re all different. You’re either too old, not enough experience, don’t know how to make it sound good, or just don’t know how to play it
The thing about learning something is you kind of get used to it, because you can’t just just pick up this song and go, “Hey, the melody is a little bit different than I had it.” It is a hard thing to do. For example, I’ve been known to play “On Your Side,” which is a song that I used to perform for my band whenever I sang on the show, and then one time at the last second I’d forget all the notes. I think most people forget how to play piano that way. But in the beginning the same thing happened to me. I went down to Washington and played these songs in front of some of them, and I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t
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