The 15 Best Miles Davis Quotes

For many, the name Miles Davis is synonymous with costs.

Truly, the jazz musician has done more for the style of music than any other to walk the earth. With his horn, Davis has adapted over the decades, bringing rock and roll to jazz, bringing psychedelics to the style, changing it from bop! to something sweeter, sometimes too.

But what did Davis have to say (in his trademark raspy voice) about his work? What did he have to say about life and love, about struggles and pain? About America and other musicians?

Well, that’s the subject of this survey here today. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 15 Miles Davis quotes.

1. “I always think about creating. My future begins when I wake up every morning… Every day I find something creative to do in my life.

2. “Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”

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3. “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”

4. “Don’t be afraid of mistakes. There are not any.”

5. “For me, music and life are all about style.”

6. “A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I still do.

7. “I’ll play first and tell you what it is later.”

8. “When I play I’m never done. It’s unfinished. I like to find a place to leave for someone else to finish it. That’s where the high comes in.

9. “I have to change. It’s like a curse.

10. “I know what I’ve done for music, but don’t call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis.

11. “Space music would be really something…but they don’t have gravity up there. You couldn’t have a downbeat!

12. “When you do something for too long, you either wear it out or lose interest.”

13. “Prince has Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix and Sly in him, too, even Little Richard. He’s a mix of all those guys and Duke Ellington.

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14. “Jimi Hendrix comes from the blues, like me. We immediately understood each other thanks to that. He was a great blues guitarist.

15. “If you understood everything I say, you would be me!”

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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