Originally Posted by abe
He played congas in Jackson 5 at the very beggining. Also he had basic knowledge of piano.
As a songwriter, he had to have had at least a basic working knowledge of theory and composition. Jackson also had an amazing talent for arranging, for dance, for a bunch of other aspects of entertainment.
Usually, the greatest songwriters aren't virtuosic musicians, or even very good musicians. They leave it to musicians who have devoted their lives to mastering particular instruments to render their songs.