The Best Thelonious Monk quotes

Thelonious Monk quotes thumbnail

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer who left behind a legacy of innovative, influential music. He served as the inspiration for many artists that followed him including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett and more. Born on October 10th in 1917 this American artist has been recognized with awards such as Down Beat’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1972) and Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Performance – Soloist (1981), Best Jazz Recording – Soloist (1988). In 1997 he was inducted into the National Academy of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Thelonious is one of my favorite musicians because his style is so unique yet it can be appreciated by all genres of people.

Here are the strongest sentences from Thelonious Monk.

We are glad to present you the deepest Jazz quotes from Thelonious Monk, and much more.


Test your habit in 4-mins


stop digital addiction course
This Course Breaks Your Digital Habits

About Thelonious Monk

birth of the author

October 10, 1917

death of the author

February 17, 1982

genre of the author

Jazz, Cool Jazz, Bebop, Hard Bop

occupation of the author

Musician, Composer

instrument of the author


date of the author

Years Active:

institution of the author

Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Columbia

productions of the author

Associated Acts:
Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Oscar Pettiford, John Coltrane, Art Blakey


Jazz is freedom. You think about that. — Thelonious Monk

Jazz is my adventure. — Thelonious Monk

I don’t have a definition of Jazz. You’re just supposed to know it when you hear it. — Thelonious Monk

Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens. — Thelonious Monk

jazz is freedom you think about that Thelonious Monk quote

Everybody in all countries tries to play jazz. — Thelonious Monk

If you really understand the meaning of be–bop, you understand the meaning of freedom. — Thelonious Monk

Be–bop wasn’t developed in any deliberate way. — Thelonious Monk

Inspiring Phrases From Thelonious Monk

I can shoot pool, and I can play ping–pong. I’m pretty good at those games. — Thelonious Monk

It can’t be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean! — Thelonious Monk

i can shoot pool and i can play ping pong i m pretty good at those games Thelonious Monk quote

I never though much about race. — Thelonious Monk

The only cats worth anything are the cats that take chances. — Thelonious Monk

There are no wrong notes; some are just more right than others. — Thelonious Monk

Anybody talented in any way–they’re called eccentric. — Thelonious Monk

Jazz is my adventure. I’m after new chords, new ways of syncopating, new figures, new runs. How to use notes differently. That’s it. Just using notes differently. — Thelonious Monk

i never though much about race Thelonious Monk quote

Various Statements From Thelonious Monk

The majority of juice–heads and winos and junkies arent musicians. — Thelonious Monk

A note can be as small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination. — Thelonious Monk

I compose my pieces with a formula that I created myself. — Thelonious Monk

Those who want to know what sound goes into my music should come to NY and open their ears. — Thelonious Monk

I find my inspiration in myself. — Thelonious Monk

the majority of juice heads and winos and junkies arent musicians Thelonious Monk quote

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. — Thelonious Monk

Don’t play everything (or every time); let some things go by… What you don’t play can be more important than what you do. — Thelonious Monk

Redundant Thematics

In Thelonious Monk Statements


More Phrases From Thelonious Monk

Just because you’re not a drummer doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time. — Thelonious Monk

I don’t know what other people are doing–I just know about me. — Thelonious Monk

The piano ain’t got no wrong notes. — Thelonious Monk

just because you re not a drummer doesn t mean you don t have to keep time Thelonious Monk quote

The inside of the tune [the bridge] is the part that makes the outside sound good. — Thelonious Monk

I always believed in being myself. — Thelonious Monk

I’d go stupid collecting and counting my money. — Thelonious Monk

All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians. — Thelonious Monk

Deeper Quotes From Thelonious Monk

Sometimes it’s to your advantage for people to think you’re crazy. — Thelonious Sphere Monk

everyone is influenced by everybody but you bring it down home the way you feel it Thelonious Monk quote

Everyone is influenced by everybody but you bring it down home the way you feel it. — Thelonious Monk

It’s always night, or we wouldn’t need light. — Thelonious Monk

I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want–you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing–even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years. — Thelonious Monk

Man, that cat [Ornette Coleman] is nuts. — Thelonious Monk

I played the wrong wrong notes. — Thelonious Monk

Wasting Life?


Test your habit in 4-mins