I was doing some thinking last night about being a musician and being musical, and it struck me that musical passion and musical expression are not really the same. While I believe that passion for the music is absolutely necessary in order to be expressive, I became curious about the relationship between the two, and oddly enough, the thing that really triggered my thoughts on the subject was not trumpet playing, it was drumming. When I practice drums, often I will practice by using my Shure in-ears monitor buds and play along to tunes on a CD. I began to notice that as I really started to get into the groove of what I was playing, I started to hit harder, which is not always better. Thinking back on the subject, and thinking about some of the trumpet playing I have done, I have sometimes had a tendency to get carried away and over-blow â€“ again, not always better. So, while passion can be a good thing to enhance musical expression, if not controlled and held somewhat in check, it can overrun technical musicianship and musical expression, and become little more than blaring, spread out blasting. Passion in music is necessary â€“ weâ€™ve all heard the technicians out there who play very correctly â€“ every dynamic on the page, every articulation mark, and every crescendo and decrescendo on the page can be executed flawlessly, yet the overall effect can be unexciting and sterile. However, the opposite - passionate playing without control - can be an obnoxious assault on our senses and can also leave much to be desired. So how do you draw the line? How do you marry the two to where you get the best of both? I realize that this is not a new subject by any means, but I had never really thought of it in this way before, and I was curious to know what others might think, and how others might approach it.