Herbie Hancock: Miles Davis’ Essential Lesson on Mistakes

(Video link here.) One short minute of perfection: Herbie Hancock recounts the BIG life lesson he got by example from Miles Davis, when Hancock played what he thought was a seriously WRONG note during a gorgeous riff.

It’s a brilliant example of Brian Eno’s Honor Your Mistake as a Hidden Intention, that totally shifts the view of what a mistake really is.

Hidden intention.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider


With thanks to David Saltman of Houdini File.

8 Responses to Herbie Hancock: Miles Davis’ Essential Lesson on Mistakes

  1. Ann 08.01.2016 at 7:59am #

    Love this. Thanks!

  2. Stacey 08.01.2016 at 9:43am #

    The great choreographer George Balanchine worked in much the same way. For his beloved ballet Serenade there are 17 dancers in the corps because 17 girls showed up the day he was inspired to produce it. A girl fell during one rehearsal and another arrived late – both were incorporated into the ballet.

  3. Bev C 08.01.2016 at 9:48am #

    Great lesson for the start of this week! Thanks!

  4. K Thompson 08.01.2016 at 10:28am #

    One of my favorite pieces! And such great advice. Hey, it works in the kitchen too. And in Life!!!!

  5. Viviane C 08.01.2016 at 2:04pm #

    Thank you Dear Sally for sharing this beautiful passage, It’s always about learning to live and be in the moment & seeing the newness in everything: an ongoing study of life for me, Light, Love & Joy

  6. Sally Schneider 08.01.2016 at 5:25pm #

    To live like Miles and respond to mistakes as though they were part of the music…

  7. Monica T 08.02.2016 at 11:10am #

    A long time ago, at the UU church where I am a member, there was a service where this story was the focus and organizing principle. I have never forgotten it. Just wonderful to hear Hancock’s voice recount it. I am saving this in my iBook file because I want to hang onto Eno’s quote. He is one of my favorite musicians. I would like to become more comfortable with my mistakes, especially when I am leading a group. Thank you!

  8. Sally Schneider 08.02.2016 at 9:22pm #

    Think how life would be if we all became more comfortable with our mistakes. Which would mean, a principle of forgiveness and seeing possibilities is active. WOW.

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