It's not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.

— Miles Davis

The most risky Miles Davis quotes that will transform you to a better person

Do not fear mistakes. There are none.

157

We don't play to be seen. I'm addicted to music, not audiences.

136

If you're not nervous then you're not paying attention.

135
Miles Davis quote Do not fear mistakes. There are none.

Do not fear mistakes. There are none.

11

Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.

97

Don't worry about playing a lot of notes. Just find one pretty one.

80

Americans don't like any form of art, man.

All they like to do is make money. They don't like me, Sammy Davis, or anybody else. They don't like nothing. They just like Sammy because he can make 'em a lot of money.

62

For me, music and life are all about style.

56

People will go for anything they don't understand if it's got enough hype.

56

My future starts when I wake up every morning.

53

Bebop didn't have the humanity of Duke Ellington.

It didn't even have that recognizable thing. Bird and Diz were great, fantastic, challenging — but they weren't sweet.

48

...people will go for anything they don't understand if it's got enough hype. They want to be hip, want always to be in on the new thing so they don't look unhip. White people are especially like that, particularly when a black person is doing something they don't understand...That's what I thought was happening when Ornette hit town.

43

Don't play what's there, play what's not there.

35

About Miles Davis

Quotes 171 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Musician
Birthday October 16

My ego only needs a good rhythm section

35

It takes a long time to sound like yourself.

32

You know why I quit playing ballads? Cause I love playing ballads.

30

My father's rich, my momma's good looking.

Right? And I can play the Blues. I've never suffered and don't intend to suffer.

30

When kids don't learn about their own heritage in school, they just don't care about school... But you won't see it in the history books unless we get the power to write our own history and tell our story ourselves.

29

You have to practice for a long time before you can learn to sound like yourself

28

The way you change and help music is by tryin' to invent new ways to play

23

Food makes my mind sluggish.

23

If you love them in the morning with their eyes full of crust;

if you love them at night with their hair full of rollers, chances are, you're in love.

22

I used to enjoy all the white bands when I was a kid listening to the radio.

But the record companies, they take music and label it - like, they say "rock". Because the white singers can't sound like James Brown, they call him "soul". They've been doing that for years. That's the prejudice crap.

22

I mean, it makes me sick when I see a white man sitting there smiling at me being entertaining, man. When I know what he's gonna do after he gets through. You know, when you see that thing on their face - like: "Entertain me." You know what I mean? Even the black guy that's trying to be white - even he can have that crap on his face.

20

I've always told the musicians in my band to play what they know and then play above that. Because then anything can happen, and that's where great art and music happens.

18

In improvisation, there are no mistakes.

13

If you don't know what to play, play nothing.

13

The only reason to write a new song is because you're tired of the old ones.

13

In high school I was best in music class on the trumpet, but the prizes went to the boys with blue eyes. I made up my mind to outdo anybody white on my horn.

13

Look, man, all I am is a trumpet player.

12

I don't care if a dude is purple with green breath as long as he can swing.

12

If you understood everything I say, you'd be me!

11

I still got my Ferrari.

10

Coltrane, you cant play everything at once!

10

I usually write from the rhythm section.

..If a drummer got a funky beat on some things - like a half-shuffle or a shuffle or a backbeat that's even - I can write something.

9

The music has gotten thick. Guys give me tunes and they're full of chords. I can't play them...I think a movement in jazz is beginning away from the conventional string of chords, and a return to emphasis on melodic rather than harmonic variation. There will be fewer chords but infinite possibilities as to what to do with them.

9

Sometimes, if you ask people to "go downstairs and get me this or that," they'll say, "It's rainin" or "It might rain," or "There's some bumpy roads on the road," or bla-bla-bla. They give you all those excuses, so when they do something which is easy, you're supposed to say, "Damn, you did that?"

8

It's always been a gift with me, hearing music the way I do.

I don't know where it comes from, it's just there and I don't question it.

8

I can't write anything for myself. I can write when I hear like [John] Coltrane play something; I used to write chords and stuff for him to play in one bar. I can write for other people, but I don't never write for myself.

8

Sometimes [playing free] doesn't happen, because maybe a guy's wife'll come in, you know, and his ego will catch him. If everybody's completely just straight-without any old ladies over here, a fourth of whisky over there; if it's balanced right, it'll come off. It has to be. But when you get egos involved with playing free, you can't do it.

7

Tom Jones is funny to me, man. I mean, he really tries to ape Ray Charles and Sammy Davis, you know. He's nice-looking; he looks good doing it. I mean, if I was him, I'd do the same thing. If I was only thinking about making money.

6

So What or Kind of Blue were done in that era, the right hour, the right day.

It's over; it's on the record.

6

Monk was a gentle person, gentle and beautiful, but he was strong as an ox.

And if I had ever said something about punching Monk out in front of his face - and I never did - then somebody should have just come and got me and taken me to the madhouse, because Monk could have just picked my little ass up and thrown me through a wall.

6

I'm not messing around with nobody's woman. If I want a woman I go get her - you know what I mean?

6

You can't play anything on a horn that Louis Armstrong hasn't played

5

I said to [Lionel] Richie, "Man, my wife says you must really respect women because you write such beautiful love songs."

5

The music speaks for itself!

5

Dave [Holland] plays the way he wants to play.

And it's usually what's needed. You know, Dave is such a deep thinker. You can't tell him too much, else it might spoil his spirit, you know.

5

In Europe, they like everything you do. The mistakes and everything. That's a little bit too much.

5

Keith, how does it feel to be a genius?

5
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