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  1. #51

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    (in somewhat the same spirit as one shouldn’t teach music if you don’t like teaching.)

    Jazz has nothing to do with pragmatism. As soon as you are pragmatic about it, you’ll end up doing something else lol.

    What jazz requires is bloody minded commitment beyond all sense and reason. Which can only come from love.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    In the grand scheme of things, in the long run I certainly agree. And I think it's good that you point that out to your student's. Once in a while I would have to compromise, though. Just like every day in school may not be filled with passion. Dedication is also important, to love the art.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    In the grand scheme of things, in the long run I certainly agree. And I think it's good that you point that out to your student's. Once in a while I would have to compromise, though. Just like every day in school may not be filled with passion. Dedication is also important, to love the art.
    One of my old school teachers said to my parents I was the most uncompromising person he had ever met.

    Thus my 'career.'

    I probably sound more down on the pragmatic playing music for money side of things than I actually am. I love to do sessions and stuff...

    But - I also get asked to play sessions based on what people know as my style. So, I figure it's a good idea to play a style you are passionate about :-) Or at least not too far away..

  5. #54

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    I watched Moreno, the first 20 min or so. Let's break it down:

    "People don't know what influence is. They think they know, but they don't. You should be able to play the music created by the guys that inspired you."

    Reasonable, but the execution obviously depends on the skill level of the player/student. An artist inspires someone to pick up and learn to play an instrument. The music I like to listen to influences my perception of music, regardless if I plan to make it part of my repertoire or not. The more I play, the less time I spend listening to records/performances. The more time I spend composing my own stuff, the less time I spend studying other peoples work. So I need to recharge every now and then. The cycle typically goes; 1. I look for inspiration and absorb material made by my influence and train my ears; 2. I express myself (practice/gig/compose/record); 3. Recharge/look for new influences/train ears, and so on.

    The more cycles I've gone through, the more effective I become, the more nuances I'm able to pick up and take on more advanced stuff and level up.

    "-Why do you want to play Stella by Starlight? Because the teacher told you!"

    Lol! Good ol' Stella again. I agree. My general recommendation would be; Don't play Stella if you're not ready (But be aware of it's existence). When you find a version you dig, use those changes.

    "You're not going to compose wonderful music just because you're listening to "Stella" and "All The Things You Are".

    Well, one is not going to compose anything wonderful until one has practiced composing for quite some time. By then one should have no problems with "Stella" and "All The Things".

    "Think about your influences. -Are they really an influence to you? Can everybody in this room get up and for 3hours, without repeating themselves, play the music by their favorite composers?"

    Lol! I've been playing/writing/arranging and soaked up so much music from so many influences over so long time by now, and I would still not be able to play any single composer for 3 hours without repeating myself. Still without hesitation I proudly declare those guys are my influences. I love the work by Hoagy Carmichael with a passion, I don't think I can find 3 hours of recorded unique songs written by the man. I love Beethoven, Händel, Bach, Chopin. And Burt Bacharach and Billy Gibbons(!). And Horace Silver. And Nile Rodgers. And Dizzy, Miles and Herbie. Did I mention Steely Dan, Larry and all the others?

    "You start by learning pop-tunes by ear. You got to make use of the inspiration to take it to the next level. I've been learning from what I've been listening to. Listening to records, copying note by note. Then I started to listen to music without guitar and for me that was the shit, much more than any jazz record made by a guitar player."

    Yes, this is me, spot on. For whatever it's worth, my advice to any student (on any level) would be: Seek inspiration, a desire to practice.

    My house god said: "I've never stopped practicing. If I stop, I've lost inspiration".

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    I watched Moreno, the first 20 min or so. Let's break it down:

    "People don't know what influence is. They think they know, but they don't. You should be able to play the music created by the guys that inspired you."

    Reasonable, but the execution obviously depends on the skill level of the player/student. An artist inspires someone to pick up and learn to play an instrument. The music I like to listen to influences my perception of music, regardless if I plan to make it part of my repertoire or not. The more I play, the less time I spend listening to records/performances. The more time I spend composing my own stuff, the less time I spend studying other peoples work. So I need to recharge every now and then. The cycle typically goes; 1. I look for inspiration and absorb material made by my influence and train my ears; 2. I express myself (practice/gig/compose/record); 3. Recharge/look for new influences/train ears, and so on.

    The more cycles I've gone through, the more effective I become, the more nuances I'm able to pick up and take on more advanced stuff and level up.

    "-Why do you want to play Stella by Starlight? Because the teacher told you!"

    Lol! Good ol' Stella again. I agree. My general recommendation would be; Don't play Stella if you're not ready (But be aware of it's existence). When you find a version you dig, use those changes.

    "You're not going to compose wonderful music just because you're listening to "Stella" and "All The Things You Are".

    Well, one is not going to compose anything wonderful until one has practiced composing for quite some time. By then one should have no problems with "Stella" and "All The Things".
    Hah, that's so true.

    Were I would probably disagree a little with Mike is that I actually think Stella is actually formally a better composition than quite a lot of original jazz writing. If you dug into it deep, you learn a heap about harmony, form, composition.

    Also, kind of the thing about jazz is that it involves this thing Mike may be aware of called improvisation - or instant composition on existing jazz tunes if you prefer. Obviously many, many great jazz musicians have played Stella. So you could sit there for hours listening to great musicians playing that tune, picking apart their lines and harmonies, learning all sorts of cool things.

    The advice to learn a musician's compositions - this could be interpreted as driving a wedge between the practice of composition and improvisation which actually marginalises a lot of great musicians who were not primarily composers.

    A lot of the pleasure of jazz for me is getting together with a new musician and playing something that we both know - which very often is one of the 'top 10 jam session classics.'

    But that's ACTUALLY not his point exactly is it? I'm kind of straw-manning him here for fun.

    I think what Mike would say in response to this is; 'well, learn 100s of standards and transcribe the crap out of your favourite musicians then' and I would agree with that.

    Plus Mike doesn't seem to mind playing Green Dolphin Street when it's with Ben Wendell, does he? I think if it's a great musician, the tune might not matter so much to him. I get what he's saying - looking for the fire in the belly of young players. So many of them seem deeply apathetic, see jazz as a box ticking exercise.

    Ah well, it's classical music now.

    "Think about your influences. -Are they really an influence to you? Can everybody in this room get up and for 3hours, without repeating themselves, play the music by their favorite composers?"

    Lol! I've been playing/writing/arranging and soaked up so much music from so many influences over so long time by now, and I would still not be able to play any single composer for 3 hours without repeating myself. Still without hesitation I proudly declare those guys are my influences. I love the work by Hoagy Carmichael with a passion, I don't think I can find 3 hours of recorded unique songs written by the man. I love Beethoven, Händel, Bach, Chopin. And Burt Bacharach and Billy Gibbons(!). And Horace Silver. And Nile Rodgers. And Dizzy, Miles and Herbie. Did I mention Steely Dan, Larry and all the others?
    Yeah, same for me. I haven't sat down and learned the entire song book of any single musician. I kind of feel that if I had, the ideal time to do that would have been when pretty young.

    "You start by learning pop-tunes by ear. You got to make use of the inspiration to take it to the next level. I've been learning from what I've been listening to. Listening to records, copying note by note. Then I started to listen to music without guitar and for me that was the shit, much more than any jazz record made by a guitar player."

    Yes, this is me, spot on. For whatever it's worth, my advice to any student (on any level) would be: Seek inspiration, a desire to practice.

    My house god said: "I've never stopped practicing. If I stop, I've lost inspiration".
    Sometimes it's OK to give it a rest.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-21-2019 at 08:09 AM.

  7. #56

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    I play Stella because it's the most beautiful song I've ever heard. Nothing but respect for Moreno, though.

  8. #57

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    I didn't watch the whole video, but I think what Mike's getting at is pretty simple.

    It's all kinda about the avoidance of "should," the dirtiest word in the creative arts.

    Or you could go all Marie Kondo on your repertoire and ditch all "that does not spark joy."

    If I've picked up on anything in my almost 30 years of playing, it's that (and quite recently) I've really developed an appreciation for people who really go all in to one thing, and do it well. It doesn't even have to be anything technically amazing, or even difficult at all. But that devotion, that focus.

    I'm not taking the whole "play three hours of your favorite composer" thing too seriously. I could play 3 hours of my favorite COMPOSERS, in the plural, I suppose, because I really only keep songs in my solo rep that I like. But I'm too flighty musicial-taste wise. I like too much...but I'm more into interpretation that composers anyway. I don't really care who wrote a song, usually. Sometimes I'm surprised by who did, even.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I get what he's saying - looking for the fire in the belly of young players. So many of them seem deeply apathetic, see jazz as a box ticking exercise.
    I think this is a really good summary of where Mike seems to be coming from. I've heard Mike in interviews being critical of people posting practice videos and such on social media. I think he makes very valid points in that he seems to be pointing out that many of these things are not really the way he learned the music, or saw others learning the music.

    Of course, the flip side is that not all of us were childhood friends with a ton of similarly motivated and extremely talented musicians, he also mentioned he's been lucky to play with phenomenal drummers pretty much his whole life, and clearly the HS scene in Houston during that period was a special time, so many great players came out of that school.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    I think this is a really good summary of where Mike seems to be coming from. I've heard Mike in interviews being critical of people posting practice videos and such on social media. I think he makes very valid points in that he seems to be pointing out that many of these things are not really the way he learned the music, or saw others learning the music.

    Of course, the flip side is that not all of us were childhood friends with a ton of similarly motivated and extremely talented musicians, he also mentioned he's been lucky to play with phenomenal drummers pretty much his whole life, and clearly the HS scene in Houston during that period was a special time, so many great players came out of that school.
    TBH Bruce Forman makes many of the same points, but phrases it in a much wiser (IMO) more reflective way.

    No, not all of us are lucky enough to follow that path.. It's fortune, talent and hard work in combination...

    I was 30 before I decided finally to dedicate my professional life to jazz guitar - far too late really - and still wake up in a cold sweat about whether I'm throwing my life away when there's so many great players 10 years younger or more than me who are far better than I was at their age, and many better than I am now!

    But - everyone's path is different. Mine won't lead to NYC or the 'elite' of this music (obviously, few do!), but I still feel I can make a valid situation for myself here. To make some music that might by enjoyed by someone......

    It's only when I encounter students (probably similar to some of Moreno's) that I realise the water that's gone under the musical bridge so to speak, the scale of the accomplishments that I've had to make in order to be a competent jazz guitarist - and I find myself saying the exact same things lol... And I feel, the good kind of pride, hopefully.... While at the same time wanting to improve the things I can hear that aren't right!

    You know I don't think the subjective world of any jazz guitarist who is serious about music is very different. You need fire in the belly.... why the hell would you bother otherwise?
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-21-2019 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I didn't watch the whole video, but I think what Mike's getting at is pretty simple.

    It's all kinda about the avoidance of "should," the dirtiest word in the creative arts.

    Or you could go all Marie Kondo on your repertoire and ditch all "that does not spark joy."

    If I've picked up on anything in my almost 30 years of playing, it's that (and quite recently) I've really developed an appreciation for people who really go all in to one thing, and do it well. It doesn't even have to be anything technically amazing, or even difficult at all. But that devotion, that focus.

    I'm not taking the whole "play three hours of your favorite composer" thing too seriously. I could play 3 hours of my favorite COMPOSERS, in the plural, I suppose, because I really only keep songs in my solo rep that I like. But I'm too flighty musicial-taste wise. I like too much...but I'm more into interpretation that composers anyway. I don't really care who wrote a song, usually. Sometimes I'm surprised by who did, even.
    Yep... 100%

  12. #61

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    Agreed. I think the spirit of Mike's point, to me, is that as musicians, it is much better to check out and learn things that we actually like. Like, there are a million standards, why not learn the ones that catch your ear and you actually like, as opposed to working off some jazz training camp list?

    His point about people being able to play music they have found influential is a good one, but to me, it should be a side effect, not a goal. I really love Cole Porter and Monk and although I can't play all their tunes, I know a lot of them. But that comes out of loving and having periods of really getting into Cole Porter and Monk and it wasn't really a goal of mine to learn as many Cole Porter or Monk tunes as possible; it's not like there's some job somewhere that requires this.

    I will say that this thread has inspired me to go back and be a bit more analytical about some of the things I do really love, like Peter Bernstein's "Brain Dance".

  13. #62

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    passivity
    Lazy sod, more like. Just like me :-)

    As for relationships, I've had a crush on Georgia for ages, Naima took my fancy, and I adored Laura. And I can honestly say I never two-timed any of them.

  14. #63

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    Cool video, thanks for posting! I wish he and Masakowski played together, though!

  15. #64

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    It all depends on the goal you have in mind, do you want more gigs, be an original artist, a session musician, or just playing for fun? And also your own taste.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM