Mistakes are Opportunities

“Making what anyone would reasonably call a mistake in the middle of one of Davis’ solos—hitting a noticeably wrong chord—Hancock reacted as most of us would, with dismay. ‘Miles paused for a second,’ he says, ‘and then he played some notes that made my chord right… Miles was able to turn something that was wrong into something that was right…’

‘…What I realize now is that Miles didn’t hear it as a mistake. He heard it as something that happened. As an event. And so that was part of the reality of what was happening at that moment. And he dealt with it…. Since he didn’t hear it as a mistake, he thought it was his responsibility to find something that fit.’

Hancock drew a musical lesson from the moment, yes, and he also drew a larger life lesson about growth, which requires, he says, ‘a mind that’s open enough… to be able to experience situations as they are and turn them into medicine… take whatever situation you have and make something constructive happen with it.’”

—Josh Jones. “Herbie Hancock Explains the Big Lesson He Learned From Miles Davis: Every Mistake in Music, as in Life, Is an Opportunity.” Openculture.com. April 5, 2018.

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