Simple Truths in Music and Life

My name is Don Brown and I’m a friend and student of Uwe Kruger. I’d like to share a couple of simple truths I’ve discovered over the last few years with Uwe:

  • “Don, what do you see when you play that song? Don’t memorize words, discover what you see and the song is yours.”
  • “No one needs all 200 songs on a jukebox – just the three good ones!”
  • “Make sure you really love a song before you learn it, you may be playing it for a very long time.”
  • “When a song’s over, it’s over.”
  • “Every note is equal, give each one its due.”
  • “To play faster you have to minimize movement.”
  • “You never know what you will evoke in a listener when you perform. Be careful, performing carries responsibility.”
  • “Let’s put the ‘play’ back in playing music!”
  • “Repeat a melodic pattern over and over and see where it takes you.” (This little truth led me to write and perform a song to my daughter on the day of her wedding.)

These are just a sampling of his simple truths that I can recall on a moment’s notice, and I know that each and every one of Uwe’s students walk away with the same. A writer by trade, I’m going to capture these simple truths.

I’ve written some 120,000-150,000 words that have been published. In my two books with McGraw-Hill I’ve used the convention of interviewing to much success, and also deployed research and text analytics as a foundation for what I wrote. Both approaches unearth what I call ‘simple truths’ – observations that are uncomplicated and indisputable, yet profound with impact. I will apply this same method – personal interviewing and text analytic research – to document and articulate Uwe’s journey in music and in life.

Uwe and I would like you to be a part of this process. I am asking just one simple question of each of you:

‘If you could tell me just one thing that you have learned from Uwe about music or life, what would that be?’

There are no limits on your answer. Use as many words as you like, and what that truth meant to you. If you have multiple ‘truths’, you can write them all – but identify just one first, then add more. To participate, just go to this survey link and ‘write on’:

That’s all. Simple. Powerful. Meaningful. We thank you for participating and look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me anytime you like with questions or observations. My email is