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  1. #1

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    Is there any correct way to qualify a jazz player to the appropriate level?

    A long time ago, one great jazz musician-pianist told me something after listening to a concert by Miles Davis / 1983 /:
    "I am neither beginner nor intermediate or advanced.
    I'm just a jazz music fan..."

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    "Correct way", "jazz player", "beginner, intermediate, advanced"; I think we need some definition before we can come up with a scoring system.

    However, you have come to the right place for advice.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftwareGuy
    "Correct way", "jazz player", ""; I think we need some definition before we can come up with a scoring system.

    However, you have come to the right place for advice.
    This is what I am asking.
    Does anyone have an idea for such a system?
    Who is to decide on qualifying to the appropriate level?
    Is it best to qualify yourself to the appropriate level?
    Beginner, intermediate, advanced-should we follow the principle: not what is played but how?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Is there any correct way to qualify a jazz player to the appropriate level?

    A long time ago, one great jazz musician-pianist told me something after listening to a concert by Miles Davis / 1983 /:
    "I am neither beginner nor intermediate or advanced.
    I'm just a jazz music fan..."
    You know it would probably lead to the sort of banal standardisation that works against the values of the music (not to mention the overlooking of the most important aspect, the social), but sometimes I really miss there being a Grades 1-8 system for jazz guitar; with a diploma level for the really dedicated.

    Basic stuff; can you play through a good repertoire of tunes, comp, play melodies, solo fluently? Grade tunes by difficulty. Have a few technical etudes based on bebop lines, modal patterns, common voicings. (Maybe repeat some of the syllabus of more standard guitar exams with the proviso that they must be played by memory.)

    You could start off with backing tracks in the lower grades even.

    it wouldn’t be hard to assess, just pay an experienced jazz musician to examine. But I daresay it would be too much trouble to set up for too little return.

    Also I think exams are often limited in the sense that mainstream teachers need to be able to teach them. So you have to teach the tecaher to teach improvisation as they go through the sylllabus. This is hard, and would also be shit.

    There are jazz piano exams.

  6. #5

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    Intermediate players have begun to develop their own voice. Advanced players have developed their own voice and arent hindered by technical and musical limitations too often.

    Or to put it in another way, beginners are toddlers, intermediates are tourists and advanced speak their native tongue

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson
    Intermediate players have begun to develop their own voice. Advanced players have developed their own voice and arent hindered by technical and musical limitations too often.
    Advanced players don’t feel advanced. As a rule of thumb, is say there are three levels

    - learning the ropes to be able to join the community (novice)
    - be welcomed in as a junior member of the community (apprenticeship)
    - acceptance into the community as peer (mastery)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson
    Intermediate players have begun to develop their own voice. Advanced players have developed their own voice and arent hindered by technical and musical limitations too often.

    Or to put it in another way, beginners are toddlers, intermediates are tourists and advanced speak their native tongue
    "own voice"?
    How do you get it?
    Is the advanced one only the one who needs to have his own voice?

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson

    Or to put it in another way, beginners are toddlers, intermediates are tourists and advanced speak their native tongue

  10. #9

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    But this 11-year-old kid is an advanced jazz musician.

  11. #10

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    There is no level, you play or you don't !
    If you don't, you talk !

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    There is no level, you play or you don't !
    If you don't, you talk !
    "play or you don't" - That's true. It is a very broad concept and a mental shortcut.
    ...but Who is to judge it?
    Perhaps life is to verify this.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    "play or you don't" - That's true. It is a very broad concept and a mental shortcut.
    ...but Who is to judge it?
    Perhaps life is to verify this.
    Those who talk.

  14. #13

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    Agree with you can play or you can't.

    Levels are for children's piano recitals and adults to feel better about themselves (ever see someone online call themselves an "advanced beginner?" Hilarious)

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Agree with you can play or you can't.

    Levels are for children's piano recitals and adults to feel better about themselves (ever see someone online call themselves an "advanced beginner?" Hilarious)
    I would take such a point of view.
    ... but how to understand the inscription on one of Aebersold's books -'Intermediate 'in the right corner of the cover?
    This book is not necessarily for children.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I would take such a point of view.
    ... but how to understand the inscription on one of Aebersold's books -'Intermediate 'in the right corner of the cover?
    This book is not necessarily for children.
    It's a method, it has its own language, it is a degree of understanding.
    For example in this context Biréli Lagrène would be a beginner.
    He plays while others like me talk about him.

  17. #16

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    I think beginners sound bad, intermediate can sound good, and advanced sounds good all the time and does impressive moving stuff. They're fluent, sound good all or almost all of the time, and they don't have technical limitations.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    It's a method, it has its own language, it is a degree of understanding.
    For example in this context Biréli Lagrène would be a beginner.
    He plays while others like me talk about him.
    I'm already lost.
    Musicians usually talk about themselves.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I think beginners sound bad, intermediate can sound good, and advanced sounds good all the time and does impressive moving stuff. They're fluent, sound good all or almost all of the time, and they don't have technical limitations.
    My sax teacher used to say : "Whenever you play, imagine you've got an audience, your sound has to be good."

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I think beginners sound bad, intermediate can sound good, and advanced sounds good all the time and does impressive moving stuff. They're fluent, sound good all or almost all of the time, and they don't have technical limitations.
    +1
    This reasoning is clearer to me.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    My sax teacher used to say : "Whenever you play, imagine you've got an audience, your sound has to be good."
    Good teacher.
    My double bass teacher said 'if you don't practice, I will throw you out of the lesson'
    He meant to play with the bow.

  22. #21

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    Pat Metheny described himself in various interviews as an ‘eternal student of the guitar’.

    The cellist Pablo Casals was once asked why he still practised for hours every day in his old age. He said ‘Because I think I’m making progress’.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    My double bass teacher said 'if you don't practice, I will throw you out of the lesson'
    That's a good teacher too, haha!

  24. #23

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  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    Birelli ...
    I had the opportunity to play the same concert with Birelli about 20 years ago.
    After the concert, to my surprise, he came up to me and said, 'You are good'.
    I replied to him: 'You are good'...Birelli : 'You are good and you are different'.
    Then we talked for a while about hollow-body guitars.
    I remember it very fondly until today.
    A very nice guitar virtuoso.

  26. #25

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    Look to UNT and Berklee for their courses, then evaluate. (MSM, USC, others...)

    UNT has 4 undergrad and 1 grad improv course. They don't reveal as much online as they used to, regarding content.

    Once upon a time I believe Berklee had about 6? Anyway, UNT has 16 week semesters and Berklee may be on 12 week quarters so...

    But this isn't rocket science. There are levels of difficulty by:
    1. compositional form,
    2. time signature,
    3. keys and modulations,
    4. harmonic rhythm,
    5. tempo,
    6. rhythm


    Beyond that you have :
    1. ability to improvise (vs. memorize/pre-plan) at all,
    2. ability to improvise multiple chorus',
    3. ability to improvise with assigned/required material, (target/approach techniques, upper and lower neighbors, superimpositions, substitutions, upper structures, patterns and cells, etc.)


    In other words, it's one thing to say "hey man I play whatever I want" vs. having a professor say "for this lesson your assignment is to do xyz" - and then be able to do it and do it convincingly/musically.

    That easily seperates levels of players. Of course you have barrier exams for each level of class to begin with. You can't even enter unless you can already do xyz.

    Formal study isn't for everyone, I get it, but standards aren't as difficult to define as some might think. Are there different levels of Accounting classes? (yes, it's already figured out there too).