Music as a language – Victor Wooten


Translator: Marcia de Brito
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo (Guitar music throughout) Music is a language. Both music and verbal languages
serve the same purpose. They are both forms of expression. They can be used as a way
to communicate with others. They can be read and written. They can make you laugh or cry, think or question, and can speak to one or many. And both can definitely make you move. In some instances, music works
better than the spoken word, because it doesn’t have
to be understood to be effective. Although many musicians agree
that music is a language, it is rarely treated as such. Many of us treat it as something that can only be learned
by following a strict regimen, under the tutelage of a skilled teacher. This approach has been followed
for hundreds of years with proven success,
but it takes a long time. Too long. Think about the first language
you learn as a child. More importantly,
think about how you learned it. You were a baby
when you first started speaking, and even though you spoke
the language incorrectly you were allowed to make mistakes. And the more mistakes you made, the more your parents smiled. Learning to speak was not something
you were sent somewhere to do only a few times a week. And the majority
of the people you spoke to were not beginners. They were already proficient speakers. Imagine your parents forcing you
to only speak to other babies until you were good enough
to speak to them. You would probably be an adult before
you could carry on a proper conversation. To use a musical term, as a baby, you were allowed
to jam with professionals. If we approach music
in the same natural way we approached our first language, we will learn to speak it
in the same short time it took to speak our first language. Proof of this could be
seen in almost any family where a child grows up
with other musicians in the family. Here are a few keys to follow
in learning or teaching music. In the beginning, embrace mistakes,
instead of correcting them. Like a child playing air guitar,
there are no wrong notes. Allow young musicians to play and perform with accomplished musicians on a daily basis. Encourage young musicians to play
more than they practice. The more they play the more
they will practice on their own. Music comes from the musician,
not the instrument. And most importantly, remember that a language works best when we have something interesting to say. Many music teachers never find out
what their students have to say. We only tell them
what they are supposed to say. A child speaks a language for years
before they even learn the alphabet. Too many rules at the onset,
will actually slow them down. In my eyes, the approach to music
should be the same. After all, music is a language too.

100 Replies to “Music as a language – Victor Wooten

  1. I think there are elements of truth in this but it isn't the whole picture. If you play an instrument like the violin which requires you to make your own pitches and your own tone so that you can communicate musically then you obviously do have to spend time drilling the specialised skills required with a good teacher. Most want to play in an orchestra and for that you need not only to read and understand music notation but also often you need to be able to read it at sight. That is possible to do in a pretty short time The violin virtuoso Yasha Heifitz made his debut on the violin at age eleven. Many string players enjoy the orchestral experience at primary school level.

  2. I remember I watched a video where Victor played "good" octave and "bad" octave. Does anybody know the link to this video guys?

  3. I totally agree with you, music needs to be addressed this way, it would be acessible and easy to understand, the problem does not necessarily come from the student, but from the teacher.

  4. I read his book….The lesson… I highly recommend it to all musicians…. what he is saying here is an excerpt from his book…. he is a great teacher and well spoken… love this guy

  5. So well articulated.. how do I get all my students AND their parents this message? I won't feel guilty using Victors words verbatim. They speak loud to every who watches this!!

  6. Wish more musicians had this ideology! Don't get me wrong I've run into many like this! Little lessons from humble guys/gals I've run into at shops or people busking. But would love to have a community much more kind to aspiring players!

  7. 3:48 "The more they play, the more they will practice on their own"

    This has been backed up by research and is discussed in Grit by Angela Duckworth. Victor is a legend.

  8. Fantastic info, fantastic message, fantastic playing all delivered by a fantastic man.

    And, how did he slide that harmonic at 3:56!?!?! MAGIC!!

  9. That's pretty much bullcrap. Now way there's enough time for professionals to jam casually with amateurs…
    It's a pretty bullcrap, a beautiful one, but not realistic.

  10. Just to prove his point, I was wow'ing and making pleasure faces with some stuff he was saying. The same way I do when I hear a really tasty solo or chord…

  11. This is my fav video on the whole internet. Victor’s a genius as well as a sick music player. Love music.

  12. VOCÊ FALA ATRAVÉS DO BAIXO…
    DO MESMO JEITO QUE APRENDEMOS E FALAMOS NOSSA LÍNGUA PÁTRIA…
    SUCESSO NA VIDA.
    DIEGO ARMANDO BAIXISTA.
    MEU CANAL…
    MY CHANNEL…
    RECIFE – PERNAMBUCO – BRASIL.

  13. Yes. music works as language. I can speak english but I can't speak alian's language. music is just like alian language. most musician can understand alian language.

  14. 2:06 Beautiful move ! Your vision of music is very inspiring : everyone has something different to say, that's why so many instruments and note combinations exist to let us express all the beauty we have inside.

  15. 음악은 돈이지. 입은 삐뚤어져도 말은 바로 해야지 빅터. 니 유투브 팔로윙보고 글쓰는거여

  16. This message… Thank you! This is one of the most valuable lessons I've found so far about music. I totally agree to this: 'music comes from the musician, and just like spoken language, music is better when we have something interesting to say.'

    This video can show why there's low and high quality musicians: human quality. Yes, focus on your personal growth, and music in you will play inside out.

    Again, thank you Victor. Be blessed!

  17. If this vid appeals to you at all, you MUST check out VW's audiobook The Music Lesson. It is this idea expounded over an epic narrative. The audiobook version is actually much better than the text in this case; it's not merely read by a voice actor, but really enacted – with music – by VW, his family, and friends.

  18. If there were a global ambassador of music, it would be Victor Wooten. His perspective is as original as it is extraordinary.

  19. Bruce lee preached for martial arts what this dude is preaching for music. Absolutely genius. I took something out of martial arts from this

  20. Think about other cultures that communicate through drumming or dancing? I know a guitarist that couldn’t play other guitar lines but when he got into jazz his playing did a 180 ,in less than 1 year! He was able to translate and copy all the sax and trumpet parts. From that point on all his practicing was listening and playing horn lines. Everything Victor Said makes total sense.

  21. Marcus Miller is much more better than Wooten.
    Because from Marcus Miller you can get some nice song Wooten could be good teacher

  22. Like a child playing air guitar, there are no wrong notes.

    This is so true, and can be applied to almost every aspect of life!

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