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  1. #1

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    I have an urge to study jazz at a university for three years, but all schools I check out have some incredible hard requirements. At least for me who don’t meet them :-) I think my extremely high passion for the instrument could count in my favor, but my lack of the 10 000 hours probably not. Also a lot of the requirements are related to your ear. Identifying intervals etc. What did you do? Unfortunately I stopped playing as a youngster, and started again three years ago, when I was 26. I play a lot. No doubt.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Also a lot of the requirements are related to your ear. Identifying intervals etc. What did you do?
    I think you probably know what you need to do. If you know the requirements, go at them hardcore. I struggled with aural skills like sight singing (though I could recognize intervals by using a simple website.that was 2005, I'm sure there's even better ones now.) I went for lessons to a piano/vocal teacher (who was a graduate from the program I was auditioning for). I recommend that, she knew exactly what to do. After a summer I passed the audition.

    Sight reading, sight singing, 2 octave scales, intervals, solfege...whatever it is...just do it

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758
    I think you probably know what you need to do. If you know the requirements, go at them hardcore. I struggled with aural skills like sight singing (though I could recognize intervals by using a simple website.that was 2005, I'm sure there's even better ones now.) I went for lessons to a piano/vocal teacher (who was a graduate from the program I was auditioning for). I recommend that, she knew exactly what to do. After a summer I passed the audition.

    Sight reading, sight singing, 2 octave scales, intervals, solfege...whatever it is...just do it
    Well, that is one part of it. The two other ones are being able to play the guitar, and also being able to play at an audition. I mean I get stressed out in front of my teacher and mess up... imagine at an audition.

  5. #4

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    you'll be nervous, no way around it. Best thing you can do is prepare, use the assumption as well as you do in in private you'll only do 75% at the audition

  6. #5

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    Keep in mind you probably don't WANT to be in the program until you can pass the audition

  7. #6

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    I got in one long time ago, but it was not in US. My parents had to hire a tutor for solfege, ear training and stuff like that. Ive learned one Wes solo and one Joe Pass I think. I barely understood what i was doing. I mostly just wanted to play Led Zep at the time.

    So I got in somehow, but it was torture, i was surrounded by very talented kids who were much more accomplished. Most of them now have really good jazz careers over there and some in US or Europe.

    The second time I got into City College here in NYC for Music Ed program, no problem. But a lot of people who heard me playing were saying i should really go for jazz program. Just for shit and giggles I auditioned, and didnt pass! The guitar chair guy told me i sound more like pop guitarist, my tone is wrong, etc. I thought if this guy is on faculty, they can stick it. Mind you, I was focused on becoming a teacher.

    Years later, now, Im a one of very few who graduated and playing jazz for living. Including those who were on jazz program. The point, I guess, do you really need it?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I have an urge to study jazz at a university for three years, but all schools I check out have some incredible hard requirements. At least for me who don’t meet them :-) I think my extremely high passion for the instrument could count in my favor, but my lack of the 10 000 hours probably not. Also a lot of the requirements are related to your ear. Identifying intervals etc. What did you do? Unfortunately I stopped playing as a youngster, and started again three years ago, when I was 26. I play a lot. No doubt.
    I would pick one university to focus on, learn which system they use for solfeggio (fixed do or moveable), and then hire a teacher to get you up to speed in that skill, which will help you greatly in many of the other core skills. I'd also begin a systematic, graduated, daily study of reading music on guitar, using something like the Berklee method or equivalent. In general guitar players are terrible readers, and if that describes you you will be at a severe disadvantage compared to pretty much every other music student enrolled there. I would also make sure to learn to perfection at least two fingerings of the major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales, and prepare two pieces to play unaccompanied, i.e. chord melody arrangements.

  9. #8

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    I'm not sure I'd touch it with a bargepole. Concentration camp!

    Not that you wouldn't get something from it, of course, but it might not be worth the trauma.

  10. #9

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    I passed the audition and paid the money.

    But you have to be ready. I always tell anyone who will listen to do yourself a big favor and:

    be performing at the junior level by the time you audition for freshman.


    Easier said than done, but worth it, IMO.

  11. #10

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    znerken, I know it's your goal to get in, but let me offer another perspective: Your goal is knowledge. To that end, yeah you can cram enough to squeak in and you may very well be slammed and overwhelmed being in those beginning classes with people who've already ASSIMILATED the foundational materials before they got there.
    I see a lot of kids get into the local music school here. Some come here to learn things from the ground up. Some come here with enough knowledge so they can graduate the day they set foot in the door; they come to really learn the material, how it goes together and they come to network; to learn from the top teachers.

    Newbies spend their 4 years acquiring the knowledge that, frankly, can be acquired through a year of hard work, playing with others and getting private instruction from a REALLY good teacher outside of the academic environment. You do that and you enter on a higher level, your entrance audition will be a lot less intimidating and your peers will be on an equally elevated level. In short, you'll get the most from your time and money.

    Take the time before you apply to really get your act together. Basic theory. Ear training of intervals and chord types. Reading skills in all keys. A smattering of different notation clefs. A really good feel for rhythmic patterns in 4/4, 3/4 and syncopated rhythms. Know your blues form and be able to play a melody by ear.
    You can definitely get this together in a year's time, maybe even 6 months and come in during the summer semester. Or if your school has a summer program preparatory, take that and hit the ground running.

    I see it all the time. Students that come in with the rudiments of swimming instruction either get washed out or they're struggling and getting by the whole time. Students that come in as strong swimmers get the olympic deals when they've completed the program.

    Consider this.

    David

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarbuddy
    I would pick one university to focus on, learn which system they use for solfeggio (fixed do or moveable), and then hire a teacher to get you up to speed in that skill, which will help you greatly in many of the other core skills. I'd also begin a systematic, graduated, daily study of reading music on guitar, using something like the Berklee method or equivalent. In general guitar players are terrible readers, and if that describes you you will be at a severe disadvantage compared to pretty much every other music student enrolled there. I would also make sure to learn to perfection at least two fingerings of the major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales, and prepare two pieces to play unaccompanied, i.e. chord melody arrangements.
    I’m actually finishing Modern Method vol1 in a couple of weeks. On page 100.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    znerken, I know it's your goal to get in, but let me offer another perspective: Your goal is knowledge. To that end, yeah you can cram enough to squeak in and you may very well be slammed and overwhelmed being in those beginning classes with people who've already ASSIMILATED the foundational materials before they got there.
    I see a lot of kids get into the local music school here. Some come here to learn things from the ground up. Some come here with enough knowledge so they can graduate the day they set foot in the door; they come to really learn the material, how it goes together and they come to network; to learn from the top teachers.

    Newbies spend their 4 years acquiring the knowledge that, frankly, can be acquired through a year of hard work, playing with others and getting private instruction from a REALLY good teacher outside of the academic environment. You do that and you enter on a higher level, your entrance audition will be a lot less intimidating and your peers will be on an equally elevated level. In short, you'll get the most from your time and money.

    Take the time before you apply to really get your act together. Basic theory. Ear training of intervals and chord types. Reading skills in all keys. A smattering of different notation clefs. A really good feel for rhythmic patterns in 4/4, 3/4 and syncopated rhythms. Know your blues form and be able to play a melody by ear.
    You can definitely get this together in a year's time, maybe even 6 months and come in during the summer semester. Or if your school has a summer program preparatory, take that and hit the ground running.

    I see it all the time. Students that come in with the rudiments of swimming instruction either get washed out or they're struggling and getting by the whole time. Students that come in as strong swimmers get the olympic deals when they've completed the program.

    Consider this.

    David
    Well said.

    I already study with a big jazz player. And I spend all my spare time every day trying to learn this stuff. I probably know more theory than I know how to play. My problem is just that, I can’t play yet. I could play you altered scales, arpeggios, major scales, but over a song, i always get lost. One day I won’t :-) My main problem is that I lack 10k hours on the instrument, so it doesn’t feel like a natural part of my body. Just gotta spend the hours and get secure and confident about the guitar.
    Sure you can learn all the stuff, which I have, in a years time, but I can’t do shit when playing with others. All the arpeggios I know for example, just disappear. My mind goes blank. I loose the time.

    To be honest, the reason I want to study would be for the experience. I probably wouldn’t make a living out of jazz, but the only thing I think about when I’m at work, is to get home and play.


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  14. #13

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    Do you have a community college with a music program? At the community college in my town you get some of the same instructors that teach at UCSD and San Diego State who are part of the jazz gigging community in town ... the small elite community.

    And, many of the students that go on to the four year colleges start at the community colleges. And, it's almost free, I think it's about $25 a unit.

  15. #14

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    Go to Berklee. I asked a guy I know who graduated from there, what you needed to get in there, besides the bread? He replied, "A pulse".

  16. #15

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    If you don't intend to make your living at it, strongly consider not being a music major. Being a music major is like majoring in anything else, in that it IS preparation for a career.

    Berklee Online is terrific. You can take their courses in stand alone fashion or go for certificates, or a degree if you really want to. You do it on your own time, at your own pace, and you never have to leave the house. I have taken many courses there, am working on my third certificate, and can provide some insights if you're interested. Send me a PM if you'd like to know more...

  17. #16

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    I'll address the stage fright issue.

    I know two ways to deal with it.

    1. Preparation. You don't practice just until you can play something right. Rather, you practice until you can't play it wrong.
    That said, it's hard to sit down in a nerve wracking situation and play great immediately. So try to pick something easy enough to play and try to emphasize good feel. I'd guess that will go a long way in the audition. They know that chops is the easy part and that they can teach you theory. But, they know that it's harder to teach feel.

    2. There are medications that performers can use for stage fright. I don't know about safety or effectiveness, but I have heard that they work. There are also psychological techniques - like visualization. Probably safe. I don't know how effective.

  18. #17

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    I'd try hard to get into school, because a music degree is almost as useful as a degree in dancing or magic.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I'd try hard to get into school, because a music degree is almost as useful as a degree in dancing or magic.
    As I said, I wouldn’t use the degree. I have a masters in computers, so if I need to make a living I do that. If I win the lottery, I won’t work :-)

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Well said.

    I already study with a big jazz player. And I spend all my spare time every day trying to learn this stuff. I probably know more theory than I know how to play. My problem is just that, I can’t play yet. I could play you altered scales, arpeggios, major scales, but over a song, i always get lost. One day I won’t :-) My main problem is that I lack 10k hours on the instrument, so it doesn’t feel like a natural part of my body. Just gotta spend the hours and get secure and confident about the guitar.
    Sure you can learn all the stuff, which I have, in a years time, but I can’t do shit when playing with others. All the arpeggios I know for example, just disappear. My mind goes blank. I loose the time.

    To be honest, the reason I want to study would be for the experience. I probably wouldn’t make a living out of jazz, but the only thing I think about when I’m at work, is to get home and play.


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    I think I see the problem here. Your problem isn't that you haven't spent 10,000 hours studying guitar. Your problem is that you've spent too much time learning technique, and not enough time just playing music.

    Don't blame yourself, it's an all too common trap jazz guitarists fall into. That is, over-complicating things, learning a million chords and scales because that's the way it's taught- and forgetting the whole point is to be able to play SONGS, and with others.

    This is jazz guitar heresy, but guitar is very popular in other genres of music- and most of those players get by on 3 or 4 major chord shapes, a couple of minor and 7 chords, and a couple of scale patterns. But they play music that people like and actually pay to hear! and if your goal is to make a living at it- guess what, you may already know as much as you need.

  21. #20

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    It's quicker to learn theory than it is to actual get to the point of playing well. It's not unusual or shameful to be better at theory than playing. And it's not a reflection on your teacher either, we don't know enough of his teaching to have an educated opinion of him.

    I know theory pretty well but I spend very little time on it, it doesn't take much time.

    My best teachers gave me way more than I could learn quickly. The trick for me was to take the lessons in chunks, say 4 lessons every other week and then to work on that material for the rest of the year. A big reason I record myself so much as it motivates me to get the material I'm working on to a pretty decent level. I don't think I really learn it or get the concepts/lessons/material into my playing if I only skim through. For that matter, I also like to go back and review.

  22. #21

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    I went to Berklee for 2 years - 1981-1983. While I learned a lot, at the time they did a poor job of teaching you how to play, i.e. - to be a real artist and not a cookie cutter version of a player who sounds like everyone else (IMHO). I don't know if they've changed or if other schools are similar, but I suspect they are.

    I also thought two kinds of musicians went there - 1. those that were already excellent and went mainly to get noticed, make professional contacts, etc. and 2. those that were "ok" but were still really trying to learn the instrument and the genre. I was in the latter category.

    In retrospect I think my money would have been much better spent taking private lessons from one (or even a few) guys in NY/NJ (my home area). Music is an art. If you're not going into public education a degree is not necessary to get a gig, like a lawyer or doctor. No one cares about a degree - they want to know if you can play. My 2 cents.

  23. #22

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    I would say if you're not going to do it for a living you don't need the degree - but if you just want a degree to enrich your life or for a challenge, why the hell not?

    OTOH - If you ARE going to play or teach, the schooling is a good idea. The musical training for playing, the degree for teaching.

    Why? Big cities have good music schools for kids. In my town these schools are very competitive and the teachers have stout degrees, even though they mostly teach little munchkins the basics before they quit. But that's not new, that's life.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by candido
    I went to Berklee for 2 years - 1981-1983. While I learned a lot, at the time they did a poor job of teaching you how to play, i.e. - to be a real artist and not a cookie cutter version of a player who sounds like everyone else (IMHO). I don't know if they've changed or if other schools are similar, but I suspect they are.

    I also thought two kinds of musicians went there - 1. those that were already excellent and went mainly to get noticed, make professional contacts, etc. and 2. those that were "ok" but were still really trying to learn the instrument and the genre. I was in the latter category.

    In retrospect I think my money would have been much better spent taking private lessons from one (or even a few) guys in NY/NJ (my home area). Music is an art. If you're not going into public education a degree is not necessary to get a gig, like a lawyer or doctor. No one cares about a degree - they want to know if you can play. My 2 cents.
    Berklee has improved in that area.

    One thing to note however, is that not all schools have the same entry standards. For comparison, take a look at the classical musician entrance requirements at a top school and then ask yourself what the jazz equivalent of that would be. And then ask yourself how many 18 year-old kids can "bring it" like that?

    Berklee may be more.... flexible upon entry but that doesn't mean that the student will last. At some point they have to turn a corner.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Berklee has improved in that area.

    One thing to note however, is that not all schools have the same entry standards. For comparison, take a look at the classical musician entrance requirements at a top school and then ask yourself what the jazz equivalent of that would be. And then ask yourself how many 18 year-old kids can "bring it" like that?

    Berklee may be more.... flexible upon entry but that doesn't mean that the student will last. At some point they have to turn a corner.
    Yeah I see two kinds of students at Berklee. Those that want to know what it's all about, and these are the ones the school accepts in massive quantities. They are dreamers and musicians who want to be song writers, rock stars and jazz fans. They want to know what it's like to be the greats they worship, but they have no idea, so they to to a school that has turned out these "stars".
    The other types are stars and brilliant players to begin with. They are the ones the school gives a free ride to so they can take credit for. Those stars are there for one purpose: Networking.

    Bryan Baker went to Berklee. He was brilliant because he loved the music and practiced like a fiend from the time he was very young (Ben Monder told me frankly "...if a player hasn't had that kind of training by the time they get to music school, it's already too late). Bryan lived in the dorms his first semester. He had to move out and get his own place because he couldn't believe so many kids were spending their time watching YouTube and hanging around not practicing. It was distracting and destructive to his arc. THAT's the other part of the equation at Berklee. They'll take the credit for his success.

    You can go for rock, but how many rock stars are there because they learned what they know from Berklee? You can go for songwriting, but how many great songwriters learned their art from Berklee? How many successful jazz musicians STARTED their music education or jazz immersion at Berklee?
    I'll give you a hint. I've seen graduates, full degree graduates, who can't play a standard by ear. I've seen graduates who only know the tunes they learned by rote for a class (proudly strutting their mechanical treatment of Donna Lee as the crowning trophy of a four year education), but no sense of phrasing or individuality in a solo, not to mention taste.

    All this is to say if you want to go to a school, be honest as to what you're hoping to get out of it. If you want mastery of the craft and facility with the art when you graduate, have an intimate familiarity and a personal facility when you go in.
    If you just want to know what it's all about, then apply and say that's what you've dreamed of, (If it's at Berklee then just audition and be ready to pay about 50 grand a year). They'll be happy to work out an arrangement.

    It is possible to really know the art of improvisation, and school can help for sure. It begins long before your first day of class. Just be aware.

    David

  26. #25

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    No doubt. Being a music major is not like Accounting, or even Medicine. It's more like athletics, meaning, as a freshman you really need to have skills and experience before you show up. If you don't then 4 years probably won't get it done in any university or college, what with all the classes and disruptive living arrangements.

    If a person is a beginner at 18, and unless exceptionally talented, they would need some Kung-Fu temple "grasshopper school" where they were captive 24x7 for years. Sort of a 4-year Howard Roberts G.I.T. concentration camp, lol. The "eighth note school for boys", as Steve Trovato once called it.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Yeah I see two kinds of students at Berklee. Those that want to know what it's all about, and these are the ones the school accepts in massive quantities. They are dreamers and musicians who want to be song writers, rock stars and jazz fans. They want to know what it's like to be the greats they worship, but they have no idea, so they to to a school that has turned out these "stars".
    The other types are stars and brilliant players to begin with. They are the ones the school gives a free ride to so they can take credit for. Those stars are there for one purpose: Networking.

    Bryan Baker went to Berklee. He was brilliant because he loved the music and practiced like a fiend from the time he was very young (Ben Monder told me frankly "...if a player hasn't had that kind of training by the time they get to music school, it's already too late). Bryan lived in the dorms his first semester. He had to move out and get his own place because he couldn't believe so many kids were spending their time watching YouTube and hanging around not practicing. It was distracting and destructive to his arc. THAT's the other part of the equation at Berklee. They'll take the credit for his success.

    You can go for rock, but how many rock stars are there because they learned what they know from Berklee? You can go for songwriting, but how many great songwriters learned their art from Berklee? How many successful jazz musicians STARTED their music education or jazz immersion at Berklee?
    I'll give you a hint. I've seen graduates, full degree graduates, who can't play a standard by ear. I've seen graduates who only know the tunes they learned by rote for a class (proudly strutting their mechanical treatment of Donna Lee as the crowning trophy of a four year education), but no sense of phrasing or individuality in a solo, not to mention taste.

    All this is to say if you want to go to a school, be honest as to what you're hoping to get out of it. If you want mastery of the craft and facility with the art when you graduate, have an intimate familiarity and a personal facility when you go in.
    If you just want to know what it's all about, then apply and say that's what you've dreamed of, (If it's at Berklee then just audition and be ready to pay about 50 grand a year). They'll be happy to work out an arrangement.

    It is possible to really know the art of improvisation, and school can help for sure. It begins long before your first day of class. Just be aware.

    David
    Yeah, we probably don't desperately need a school of rock or folk or pop for that matter, but there's nothing wrong with it if people want it. Berklee has good music business and career classes, recording and mixing and other music technology courses, etc. Those are all important for today's world.

    Is it expensive? Sure. What isn't in Boston or New York? Besides, there are a lot of aimless dropout snot-nosed punks who fail at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton too. That's on them, not the school.

  28. #27

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    What got me there aside from the obvious practice time you just have to put into the instrument alone, mhm, deep listening and singing and endless amounts of singing and playing my favourite players' phrases, tearing them apart, applying what I liked about the language to my ideas, seeing how I can fit those ideas to different places, impose them on different harmony etc etc. The brain really can't resist coming up with it's own ideas if you expose yourself to the music to a great enough degree.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by T1mothy
    What got me there aside from the obvious practice time you just have to put into the instrument alone, mhm, deep listening and singing and endless amounts of singing and playing my favourite players' phrases, tearing them apart, applying what I liked about the language to my ideas, seeing how I can fit those ideas to different places, impose them on different harmony etc etc. The brain really can't resist coming up with it's own ideas if you expose yourself to the music to a great enough degree.
    I started with jazz a little over a half a year ago. Been playing like 5 hours every day since. For the last three months it’s been like 8 hours every day. I still can’t play even one note when it’s my turn to solo. Makes me mad.

  30. #29

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    I guess it's time to learn some stuff to play then. 8 hours of comping development is admirable but you can't solo very well with it.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by T1mothy
    I guess it's time to learn some stuff to play then. 8 hours of comping development is admirable but you can't solo very well with it.
    I hope that was a joke? Haha. I have transcribed and learned four solos of great players in that time, but that doesn’t help. At least not yet. I have learned arpeggios, I have learned scales, I have done exercises like arpeggios through the form, guide tones through the form etc. Still doesn’t help.


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  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I have learned arpeggios, I have learned scales, I have done exercises like arpeggios through the form, guide tones through the form etc. Still doesn’t help.
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    It will. For whatever reason, the results for something you practice don't come until later.

    For example, Pat metheny said it takes 6 months for something he practices to show up in his playing.

    True for me too, it's almost like it needs time to marinate in my brain. So don't wait for it, just move on and you'll notice later it was helpful. There is no basic thing you practice that will be a waste of time as long as what you're doing is a challenge in some way.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I hope that was a joke? Haha. I have transcribed and learned four solos of great players in that time, but that doesn’t help. At least not yet. I have learned arpeggios, I have learned scales, I have done exercises like arpeggios through the form, guide tones through the form etc. Still doesn’t help.


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    So you've done all that, and when it's your time to play one chorus of blues you don't hear a thing? How about those guide tones and arpeggios through forms? Can you sing them all? How often do you take out your little notebook, after imagining the harmony in your mind and write down a chorus? How about the solos? What exactly have you done with them? Can you sing them? Have you learned them by ear? Have you transcribed them? Have you chopped them up to see if you like any particular phrase? Have you learned all the phrases you like in all positions in more than one key? Indeed learning jazz is a mysterious process but just to react to the Pat Metheny thing, the cats on top of this game have much more knowledge obviously and with that comes more possible choices, due to that it's only natural for a mature musician to take time to develop his sound in a new direction as opposed to me for example. Sure it's good to give yourself time to rest and absorb things but be ready to change your learning habits, if you don't see results.

  34. #33

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    I think you're making progress, just take it slow and enjoy the ride and make sure to have fun with it.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I think you're making progress, just take it slow and enjoy the ride and make sure to have fun with it.
    Yes, that’s important. However unfortunately, to study jazz you got to have very high skills.

    An important thing that should be said here, is as I said earlier; I started guitar again at age 26, and started with jazz July 2018 when I was 28. So I think one of my main problems is the lack of hours on the instrument. The instrument got to become a natural part of your body, and then a lot of the uncertainty goes a way. That’s a theory I have at least. I mean I could type incredibly fast at a keyboard, upside down, just because I spent way too many hours on one.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by T1mothy
    So you've done all that, and when it's your time to play one chorus of blues you don't hear a thing? How about those guide tones and arpeggios through forms? Can you sing them all? How often do you take out your little notebook, after imagining the harmony in your mind and write down a chorus? How about the solos? What exactly have you done with them? Can you sing them? Have you learned them by ear? Have you transcribed them? Have you chopped them up to see if you like any particular phrase? Have you learned all the phrases you like in all positions in more than one key? Indeed learning jazz is a mysterious process but just to react to the Pat Metheny thing, the cats on top of this game have much more knowledge obviously and with that comes more possible choices, due to that it's only natural for a mature musician to take time to develop his sound in a new direction as opposed to me for example. Sure it's good to give yourself time to rest and absorb things but be ready to change your learning habits, if you don't see results.
    I have never thought of singing the guide tones, to be honest. However, I can hit some random notes, but I think one of the big problems is my lack of time and feel?

    Regarding the solo, with ornithology, I sang while I played it, and listened to it thousands of time. I did that for two months. Now I am doing D natural blues. I started a week ago, and worked several days just with the first 3-4 bars. I made a thread where I had a severe discussion with Christian, check it out :-) Unfortunately for me, the solo is in double time. However, it swings incredibly good, so that’s what I hope to take away from it. I play it together with Wes, note for note, at 50-75%. I am really slow :-(


    A lot of what soloist do over chords, I don’t do myself, as I think I should be able to do basic stuff before playing more advanced harmony. When I am able to solo okay with just the chord tones, I can of course use substitutions etc.

    I also learned the intro by ear. I also play guide tones on beat one through the form, like discussed. Additionally I do a exercise where I try to make small melodies, or rather motifs that repeat through the form. Always landing on the 3rd first beat each bar.

  37. #36

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    How many jazz language chord outlines do you know? (not just arpeggios).

    From all chord degrees, ascending and descending?

    How well do you understand their construction?

    How many variations on them do you know?

    How many have you invented yourself?

    Do you know them in major and minor?

    Do you know them in 12 keys? (around the circle of fifths, by whole step, etc.)

    Can you play them in at least three areas of the neck per key?

    Can you play them on short and long II-V-Is, blues, rhythm changes, single sustained chord?

    Can you execute long drills playing sets of them, in all keys and intended fingerings, barely looking at the fretboard, and do this for at least 10 minutes without stopping?

    Can you play them over some changes that you have no more than a minute to look at?

    Can you pay them in a random sample/flash card drill where someone calls out the chord or progression and you go?

    Can you create variations on them extemporaneously? (rhythmic variation, adding a note or notes, dropping a note, doubling a note, etc.)


    If you can develop your skills to the point that all of the above can be answered in the positive, you will be closer to where you want to be.

  38. #37

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    I suggest, very humbly, that the OP is thinking too much about it. What really got me is the statement "I still can’t play even one note when it’s my turn to solo." All those licks, scales, arpeggios, etc are tools to make music- they are not music.

    It's like saying a sculpture is the chisel, not the shape that comes out of the rock.

    My suggestion is to listen - but don't think about "this chord I need to use lydian" or whatever. Just listen and feel the changes. Use your imagination to try and come up with a melody. Let you subconscious, God, or whatever, synthesize all that theory into a melody. Don't "try" so hard. When your conscious gets involved your ego gets in the way, fear kicks up and you become paralyzed. Have some fun with it. Don't worry if it sounds like crap at first - So what? Eventually it will be beautiful.
    Last edited by candido; 02-08-2019 at 08:39 AM. Reason: clarity

  39. #38

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    I'd suggest this.

    Pick a tune. Play the chords and scat sing. When you sing a line you like, figure out how to play it.

    If you get bored with the stuff you sing you have lots of options for trying to broaden your vocabulary.

    The problem with theory is that a short lesson or on-line post can suggest years of work.

    I think you have to learn the vocabulary of jazz one sound at a time. So, you have to pick what might seem like a tiny bit of theory, say, playing a b9 on a dominant chord and try to learn that sound. After some work you might be ready for a #9, or a #11. Or a sus chord and so forth. One thing at a time -- singing everything.

    Or maybe you find out about upper structure triads. There are a number that may be relevant to the advanced musician, but you have to go one at a time. Sing it. Fit into a tune. 12 keys. etc. When you own it, go to the next sound.

    There are great players who play pretty simply, in terms of jazz harmony. You don't have to do that, but it's a good goal to start with. Those players, btw, are uniformly good with melody and rhythm.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    How many jazz language chord outlines do you know? (not just arpeggios).

    From all chord degrees, ascending and descending?

    How well do you understand their construction?

    How many variations on them do you know?

    How many have you invented yourself?

    Do you know them in major and minor?

    Do you know them in 12 keys? (around the circle of fifths, by whole step, etc.)

    Can you play them in at least three areas of the neck per key?

    Can you play them on short and long II-V-Is, blues, rhythm changes, single sustained chord?

    Can you execute long drills playing sets of them, in all keys and intended fingerings, barely looking at the fretboard, and do this for at least 10 minutes without stopping?

    Can you play them over some changes that you have no more than a minute to look at?

    Can you pay them in a random sample/flash card drill where someone calls out the chord or progression and you go?

    Can you create variations on them extemporaneously? (rhythmic variation, adding a note or notes, dropping a note, doubling a note, etc.)


    If you can develop your skills to the point that all of the above can be answered in the positive, you will be closer to where you want to be.
    Can you define what you mean with chord outlines?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I started with jazz a little over a half a year ago. Been playing like 5 hours every day since. For the last three months it’s been like 8 hours every day. I still can’t play even one note when it’s my turn to solo. Makes me mad.
    How much time do you spend attending live music? How much time do you spend playing with other people?
    These were much more important to me than the things I "learned". It's a choice of how you spend your time. I transcribed a minimum of things, so did the people I tended to play with, but our ears developed so we could give an analysis and play phrases in real time.
    Just another way of doing it. Live music is a master class in ear training, phrasing, note and choice. It's a continuous lesson in dynamics and interpretation and can be an extremely dense and immersive experience packed into a 70 minute slice.

    David

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Can you define what you mean with chord outlines?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Yes, there are many sources but these two are outstanding.

    Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony: Bert Ligon: 0073999729023: Amazon.com: Books

    Comprehensive Technique for Jazz Musicians: For All Instruments: Bert Ligon: 9780634001765: Amazon.com: Books

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I started with jazz a little over a half a year ago. Been playing like 5 hours every day since. For the last three months it’s been like 8 hours every day. I still can’t play even one note when it’s my turn to solo. Makes me mad.
    I must admit I don't recall having this level of difficulty when I started out. But I didn't really spend loads of time on scales, exercises, harmonic analysis, etc. Initially, I didn't transcribe whole solos either (later on I did transcribe about a dozen perhaps).

    Basically I just found phrases on recordings that I really liked, that were not too complex, and copied them by ear. I knew what notes/intervals they were, but I didn't really worry about the whole analysis thing. I just had fun playing them and trying to get the swing and time feel. So I didn't copy much from Bird (too fast/complex) but I did copy things from Wes, Joe Pass, Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker for example.

    Eventually the ideas just sort of 'joined up' in my mind and also got transmuted a bit into my own take on them. For example some of the phrases didn't sit that easily on guitar, so I kind of tweaked them a bit and in the process sort of 'made them my own' as it were. After a few months I think I could at least come up with a few decent lines to play on a simple tune like Autumn Leaves.

    I think one important aspect of this is that having ingested the phrases 'by ear', eventually I could hear lines in my head. So I didn't really have the problem of not having any idea of what to play. I'm not saying that what I played was all that great, but at least it started the whole process and got me 'up and running' as it were. And it was fun, that's important. So I kept on doing it.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop

    Basically I just found phrases on recordings that I really liked, that were not too complex, and copied them by ear. I knew what notes/intervals they were, but I didn't really worry about the whole analysis thing. I just had fun playing them and trying to get the swing and time feel. ... And it was fun, that's important. So I kept on doing it.
    Ownership, even if it's owning a small piece of musical real estate that you can expand indefinitely will take one much further than getting lost in what you "should" do. Yeah that's something to think about.
    OP: How much of the music do you actually own? It's never too early to ask yourself.

    David

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    owning a small piece of musical real estate that you can expand indefinitely.
    Hey that's a great phrase, I'm going to copy it!

  46. #45

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    I think to be honest, that part of the problem is my lack of feel and rhythm.


    Could one thing that could at least help a little, change from playing eight notes arpeggio through the form, to play them as triplets? Pat emphasize that you should be able to feel and always think of the subdivision here



    If I understand him correctly, you should be able to hear the triplet constantly? Not quite sure how you practice it. But arpeggios through the form as triplets could be a start? I mean when I play with Wes I feel the swing and triplet feel, but it’s hard to copy that when I’m making my own lines.


    How did you approach/practice to get the feel and rhythm?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  47. #46
    Vocabulary should be practiced from different starting points... on-before-and-after the beat....and in different subdivisions... Eighths, triplets, sixteenths and more.

    Triplets will do a ton to tighten up your eighth notes and quarter notes, and they teach you to hear syncopation and more complex polyrhythmic structures like clave patterns found throughout jazz. Triplets are more or less the least common denominator of jazz time,... the way that eighths and sixteenths are in more straightahead styles.

    You'll also begin to hear a lot more of what's actually going on rhythmically, when listening to greats like Wes. It's really difficult to hear time structures which you've never PLAYED, at least at a basic level.

  48. #47

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    I turned 65 in 2017 and enrolled in the 1 year music certificate program at the local community college. The 1 year program is really to prepare for the 2 year program. There is no audition for the 1 year program.

    The guitar part was a once a week, one on one instruction. The first thing the instructor asked was " Are you preparing for the audition " I said no I just wanted to be a better player and have a better understanding of what I was doing. There was some correcting 55 years of bad habits and some new to me things.

    I earned A in piano, theory, music history, and A- in guitar and ear training sight singing. Because I wasn't going on for the 2 year degree I didn't take the audition. It was a battle but I persisted and got them to accept the non music courses from my AAS degree from 1972. They also waived the "required" first year seminar mostly because I said I wasn't going to take it anyway.

    In the end it was a enjoyable experience.

  49. #48

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    Like this:


    By the way, this is hard. This is only 60 bpm, and it feels like 2000 bpm.

    (metronome on 2&4)

  50. #49
    Good job posting this. Pretty good triplet feel, but the click 's way off. Just record it with the click on every beat. The 2 and 4 thing has no context at this tempo , other than to frustrate.

    How are you picking this? Are you alternate picking or economy etc.?

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    If a person is a beginner at 18, and unless exceptionally talented, they would need some Kung-Fu temple "grasshopper school" where they were captive 24x7 for years. Sort of a 4-year Howard Roberts G.I.T. concentration camp, lol. The "eighth note school for boys", as Steve Trovato once called it.
    That was me. I thought I was good at guitar when I was younger. I was going to study history at university. But here in the UK, you can only apply to 5 schools, I had gotten accepted into all 5 to study history, but I did a workshop to do with jazz. That completely changed my mind. I set my mind on doing jazz. I was nowhere good enough to apply to the conservatories/music schools. I only knew four on six and road song. Didn't even know a jazz blues but I knew enough theory. I auditioned at a normal university that had a jazz course. The teacher asked me to play a yes, and I played a straight I IV V blues. He looked at me confused and surprised and said can you play me a jazz blues I said I don't know what that is. Somehow I managed to get in. Boy for the 3 years of the course, I put in between 10-12 hours every goddamn day, sometimes 8-10 hours. I went to Ronnie Scott's 2-3 times a week for the jam sessions and got my ass handed to me many times. All of that helped me get to the level I am at now. But still I'm trying to get my shit together. I graduated in summer 2017.

    Do you need to go to university to study jazz? If you have no idea what you have to do to play jazz then maybe yes, if you want to meet like minded people and make a network of players, yes.

    But if you know what you have to do to play jazz and you're meeting people by going out to jams then maybe no. It depends on what you want to get out of it. I know I got what I wanted out of it.