Advice for Jazz Students #24: X is for other stuff

It seemed like a good idea, the alphabet. Something to build on or around. Bereft of ideas, it’s like a good friend that offers suggestions. However, I’ve reached that cliff edge that I knew was coming. I put off the dealing with it until now. And here I am. X.

I could say “X is for xylophone”, which is how I imagine of the piano if it gets too “singing” and the rhythm starts to suffer. It’s more like the drums,

If you areXanthoriatic”, you will find you are generally smart but lacking that trait in one particular area

“Xeniatrophobia” is to fear seeing a doctor you are not familiar with. I started this blog before the corona thing got really serious, so I’m over that fear (I’ll see anyone who’ll have me). In fact, the “xen” opening seems to refer often to strangers and our relationship to them. I’m not keen, generally speaking.


But what I really want to say is, I know when I’m beaten. If a system fails you, move the pieces, get rid of the dead letters and carry on. Note rows, chord sequences, whatever system you might use in music, know when to ditch it. Even Schoenberg cheated in the interest of a good tune.

There are 400 words in the English dictionary beginning with “x”. All of them would just be there for the sake of it. If “x” stands for anything, it’s that. It marks the spot, the spot where I relax the scheme. I don’t want to like a smart arse. Maybe it’s too late for that, but the “X is for Xerxes” episode would be the final nail in the coffin.

And I still have to do “Z”…..tap tap tap….





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