Charlie Parker Didn’t Have “It”

Have You Ever Heard the Following Statement?

You have it or you don’t.

What does it mean?

I’m sure we can interpret this a few ways, but I would like to apply it to the saxophone- imagine that 🙂 . My interpretation of this statement is this: You have the natural talent to play the saxophone, or you don’t.  So if you have “it”, then you’ll play the saxophone very well. If you don’t have “it” then don’t expect too much.

I Don’t Believe It

How to play saxophoneThis statement really bothers me. Why? Because at one point of my life I would have been classified as “not having it”.  In fact, Charlie Parker had a drum symbol thrown at him because of his playing ability (he was still young). Some people may have thought at that moment that Charlie Parker didn’t have “it”.

What am I Saying Here?Free saxophone lessons for beginners

The statement above means we don’t have a choice if we are going to be successful or not. I think we can all have “it” if we work hard at “it”.

Sure, there is only 1 Charlie Parker, but we can all make exciting progress.  Here are some important points to consider on your way to “it”:

  1. We are all human, so if another human can do it, you can too
  2. Many people who have “it” know how to practice and are diligent
  3. Get the right teacher who will teach you how to get “it”
  4. Understanding that any part of your playing can get better (articulation, technique, counting, reading music, improvisation, etc.)

Free saxophone lessons for beginnersOnce I understood these 4 ideas I stepped out of “not having it” and into the world of a professional musician (Keep in mind that we all have different levels of “it”). So if you ever have doubts, just keep on playing. You can make “it”! If you are feeling stuck, send me an email and I will be glad to help.

A Quick StoryHow to play saxophone

There was a saxophone student who was placed in the last chair in his high school saxophone section (that means he had the lowest skill level out of the whole section- there were a total of 12-15 saxophones). He would have been classified as not having “it”.

He had been taking lessons, but did not feel like he was progressing. He began lessons with me, received the direction he needed and worked like crazy! He wanted it. He practiced 2 hours almost everyday. All this work resulted in a new placement in his band, in a 1 year period.

He now plays the 1st part and is ranked #2 in the saxophone section. In addition, a saxophone professor from a nearby university came to work with his saxophone section. This student was given the compliment of having the best sound out of all the saxophones. Great results, high compliments!

So if you ever say to yourself, “I can’t do it”, I am hear to tell you that you can.


What keeps you motivated to keep moving toward “it”?

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By the way…The Sax Cells are coming soon!

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