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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    And that's why we need theory. So jazz can be written about, talked about and lectured on. Otherwise the Academy is just a bunch of wankers faffing about. For one thing, how does anybody get paid for that? Maybe that's why there seems to be so much more jazz theory available than there was 50 years ago.
    Well a jazz course was originally - here's a pile of records, a bunch of keen young musicians about your age, and a bunch grizzled veterans to tell you off, now get to work. But they had to invent a syllabus to justify having an accredited qualification. It was an EXCUSE. It's a truism of the era that the talented students of Berklee etc never graduated. (And it also seems to me there are educators who have always been somewhat iconoclastic and not easily assimilable into that system, too, who I've always been drawn to because I just like people like that.)

    Anyway, after a while the syllabus got mission creep and people started taking it FAR too seriously, especially when it was taken out of the context of the original setting and purpose. At least that seems to be the way those around at the time tell it. Big money gets involved too. Jazz is on its last legs outside of the NYC tourist circuit, so colleges and jazz form a tighter and tighter relationship.

    No one is blame for this. These are big social forces. I'm not being down on jazz educators... I do think some could explore more varied conceptual approaches to teaching jazz (which is always a tall order) but I think so long as people like Ritchie etc remain in the system, there's going to be real info and advice passed on. And I think students increasingly see the value of this 'street' advice resulting in the explosion in popularity in Barry's approach over the past 10 years or so (no-one gave a shit about him when I started going to his classes. Now I have kids correcting me on his stuff on YouTube lol.) So that's all good, I think, although I think there is a little danger of the past getting fetishised and jazz turning into classical music...

    But two things worry me (and they have nothing to do with boilerplate CST pedagogy, which is kind of seen as a bit of a trope with jazz edu anyway):

    1) Students will dethrone the current idol and erect another one. Maybe Barry Harris. Who knows? Is there maybe something about the academy that encourages orthodox thinking?
    2) The generation of real 'street' players who thrived in a strong live jazz environment are slowly retiring, to be replaced by those for whom jazz has always been school music. They will pass on that wisdom as well as they can, but the nature of the music will inevitably change into some sort of classical music.

    For the second point, I think we are already there with today's generation of boppers. That music is like Bach now. It's been happening for a while though. I think it was Wynton's mission really.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-21-2020 at 07:50 PM.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    The way you talk about it is not my experience at US based jazz schools, including Berklee. For one thing, no one teaches "CST", as such. You seem to be making up a straw man to object to. I have found the opposite to be true. I am reminded of a student asking what scale to play over a chord, and the instructor becoming so impatient with the question and mindset that he burst out - "it's the chord!!!"

    The reality is that when it comes to composing and arranging classes, things are more rules based because there is so much for the developing student to deal with when first learning those arts. Instrumental playing critiques however, tend to be much more open minded, and that increases with level of study. I have found that to be consistent across instructors.

    Teaching people to play coherent consonant music is a start, then specific ways to get more chromatic, altered, and "out", are taught. The simple fact is, there are known, established patterns and practices in music. It would be one thing if there were 1200 tones in an octave instead of 12.

    So, there is repeatability in the art. Either one wishes to learn it or not. And if they do want to learn it, we can then ask - can it be learned in a single lesson, and effectively applied as well?

    The answer of course, is no.
    If you are interested in learning more about this, listen to the interview I posted. There's quite a bit of stuff about Berklee as that is something you refer to a lot, and both interviewer and interviewee are much more qualified to talk about that institution than I am.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    Do you need the discount code for the Beato book?
    Speaking of Beato, he had this to say about jazz theory syllabuses and how one should actually go about learning the music:


    Notice how similar his advice and perspective is to Christiaan's. And for once he's not selling ANYTHING here.

    None of this stuff is controversial among players.

    The theory is always far down the list after the ears, and what theory you use is what you find useful for understanding the music.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you are interested in learning more about this, listen to the interview I posted. There's quite a bit of stuff about Berklee as that is something you refer to a lot, and both interviewer and interviewee are much more qualified to talk about that institution than I am.
    Learn more about what? Is there a succint point that you're attempting to make?


    Yes, I enjoyed the interview with one of their fine instructors. Thanks for the link.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well a jazz course was originally - here's a pile of records, a bunch of keen young musicians about your age, and a bunch grizzled veterans to tell you off, now get to work. But they had to invent a syllabus to justify having an accredited qualification. It was an EXCUSE. It's a truism of the era that the talented students of Berklee etc never graduated. (And it also seems to me there are educators who have always been somewhat iconoclastic and not easily assimilable into that system, too, who I've always been drawn to because I just like people like that.)

    Anyway, after a while the syllabus got mission creep and people started taking it FAR too seriously, especially when it was taken out of the context of the original setting and purpose. At least that seems to be the way those around at the time tell it. Big money gets involved too. Jazz is on its last legs outside of the NYC tourist circuit, so colleges and jazz form a tighter and tighter relationship.

    No one is blame for this. These are big social forces. I'm not being down on jazz educators... I do think some could explore more varied conceptual approaches to teaching jazz (which is always a tall order) but I think so long as people like Ritchie etc remain in the system, there's going to be real info and advice passed on. And I think students increasingly see the value of this 'street' advice resulting in the explosion in popularity in Barry's approach over the past 10 years or so (no-one gave a shit about him when I started going to his classes. Now I have kids correcting me on his stuff on YouTube lol.) So that's all good, I think, although I think there is a little danger of the past getting fetishised and jazz turning into classical music...

    But two things worry me (and they have nothing to do with boilerplate CST pedagogy, which is kind of seen as a bit of a trope with jazz edu anyway):

    1) Students will dethrone the current idol and erect another one. Maybe Barry Harris. Who knows? Is there maybe something about the academy that encourages orthodox thinking?
    2) The generation of real 'street' players who thrived in a strong live jazz environment are slowly retiring, to be replaced by those for whom jazz has always been school music. They will pass on that wisdom as well as they can, but the nature of the music will inevitably change into some sort of classical music.

    For the second point, I think we are already there with today's generation of boppers. That music is like Bach now. It's been happening for a while though. I think it was Wynton's mission really.
    Interesting. I see it a bit differently.

    1. Talented students didn't quit Berklee because Berklee is/was bad, but because they were ready. That is, they had met their objectives of becoming pro level players. (Maybe it means that Berklee was fantastic). Anyway, why hang around jazz school or any schoool if a conventional education is not your goal?

    2. Barry Harris is an old bebop guy. That's old and narrow by now - although - there seems to be a bit of a nostalgic bebop renaissance happening these days, which is just great. Regardless, I don't think he'll become "the kids hero" to any large or lasting extent.

    3. Ironically, the very people who want to establish jazz as "America's classical music" are making a point that is largely centered on bop. So, this idea of making jazz a kind of classical music, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

    4. It seems to me that ever since Miles created "jazz/rock" that jazz has been more and more influenced by popular styles, like funk, rock, pop, and hiphop, than it has by academia. Given that depressing reality, perhaps we do need to curate it.


    Oh well. Bedlam time. Go Sooners!!!

  7. #56

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    I have studied voice leading. I'm not mocking anything. I have been to school. I did learn things. I think lessons and schooling are useful.

  8. #57

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    I doubt anyone on this forum or anyone known by anyone on this forum can play enjoyable music while knowing absolutely no theory. = Not even knowing what notes the guitar's strings are tuned to etc. So theory is not only good but absolutely necessary. I'm not buying the premise that enough theory to play and be soul = good, but studying more theory to become advanced = bad. Seems like a kind of stupid and oxy mornical point. Even players who were openly anti intellectual used theory. The solo to Kurt Cobain's 'Sappy' is written entirely in dorian. When I happened to hash it out I was like what the eff? Kurt used Dorian? That's like a mid level concept. I thought he only knew 2+2 but was just a 'genius.'

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well a jazz course was originally - here's a pile of records, a bunch of keen young musicians about your age, and a bunch grizzled veterans to tell you off, now get to work.
    It was a bit better than that in 1971 at Portland State. EG: that's where I learned 2-5-1 through the circle. Thing was, it sounded like old folks music to me at that point. I did not dig it. But I met some people and we played a lot together. In the practice rooms. In the stage band. And later for some 7 years together in an group. I didn't last more than a year at school. I continued to learn theory from other players who showed me what I needed to find.

    I didn't mean to suggest that theory is useless. You have to have that and a lot more. You have to play jazz with people for one thing. (kinda hard to do right now) And you need to have something inside that can only be released through playing.

  10. #59

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    Maybe the contradiction between "just listen" and theory can be partly resolve if we reframe theory to "system" or "order", and leave behind the "dogma" feel.

    When I listen and observe, I try to store all the information. After a while it becomes overwheming, not only in music, but every area of the real life. So my unconcious move is the create a system, a framework to ease myself the remembering and processing. That is it, no more no less. A tool to allow remember, communicate, and discover. No way the condensation trail pull the airplane.

  11. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan

    Remember, a GPA below "B" gets the students "counseled out" of the best schools.

    Philosophy is nice. Results count.

    Frame of relevance is important here. You've taken advice aimed at the average musician, who is trying to learn how to function in jazz and moved the discussion to the utmost elite musicians.

    I'll claim that most non-pro musicians would profit from removing the time spent on theory to actually playing, if they goal is to play better that is (and not just having fun "understanding" stuff)


    I mean people competing to be the best in the world is all fine and dandy .. making this thread about that .. meh

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Yes, I enjoyed the interview with one of their fine instructors. Thanks for the link.
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Frame of relevance is important here. You've taken advice aimed at the average musician, who is trying to learn how to function in jazz and moved the discussion to the utmost elite musicians.

    I'll claim that most non-pro musicians would profit from removing the time spent on theory to actually playing, if they goal is to play better that is (and not just having fun "understanding" stuff)


    I mean people competing to be the best in the world is all fine and dandy .. making this thread about that .. meh
    Yeah, I dunno I’m just trying my best to help
    people to play music as that’s my job. I think it’s a challenging and interesting thing to do.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    Maybe the contradiction between "just listen" and theory can be partly resolve if we reframe theory to "system" or "order", and leave behind the "dogma" feel.
    Dogma is a very good word. Thomas Regelski has the portmanteau ‘methodolatory’ which I like too. I think dogmatic thinking naturally creeps in over time in any structured learning environment (which is again not how the greats of the early to mid century actually learned jazz themselves.)

    Syllabuses etc make things easier. On a Saturday morning it’s easier for me to teach to the test, or the book or the syllabus lol. And that’s by no means a bad thing per se; but it does make teaching more systematised and less imaginative. And dogma definitely creeps in.

    This is by no means confined to jazz BTW. Music education is full of systems and methods which become entrenched; Kodaly, Estill Voicecraft, Suzuki, Edwin Gordon and so on...

    When I listen and observe, I try to store all the information. After a while it becomes overwheming, not only in music, but every area of the real life. So my unconcious move is the create a system, a framework to ease myself the remembering and processing. That is it, no more no less. A tool to allow remember, communicate, and discover. No way the condensation trail pull the airplane.
    Again, well put.

    I think developing your own framework organically in response to music is a vital part of being a musician. As you imply it is also a natural part of being a human being. The human brain is wired up to recognise patterns.

    My theory is that all musicians do this, whether or not they know ‘theory’ or not. Django did it. Wes did it. The difference is they didn’t know the right way (Jimmy Bruno has some interesting anecdotes about this.)

    But this is by the by. The focus is always on music first and foremost.

    I think sometimes amateur musicians overestimate the extent to which musicians discuss the technicalities of their craft while rehearsing etc. Mostly music is used to communicate music (was it Jeff Berlin or someone else who said that about working with Holdsworth?)

    When stuff like this mentioned it’s usually a suggestion. Which is what it should always be...

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I doubt anyone on this forum or anyone known by anyone on this forum can play enjoyable music while knowing absolutely no theory. = Not even knowing what notes the guitar's strings are tuned to etc. So theory is not only good but absolutely necessary. I'm not buying the premise that enough theory to play and be soul = good, but studying more theory to become advanced = bad. Seems like a kind of stupid and oxy mornical point. Even players who were openly anti intellectual used theory. The solo to Kurt Cobain's 'Sappy' is written entirely in dorian. When I happened to hash it out I was like what the eff? Kurt used Dorian? That's like a mid level concept. I thought he only knew 2+2 but was just a 'genius.'
    Wrong. I live in an area where many gypsy players live. You go into a music store and you hear a 12 year old blowing over Cherokee like it's nothing. Stochelo, Jimmy and scores of young gypsy kids live here in camps. I know for a fact that these guys do not even know the names of the chords they are playing. They have no idea. They think in sounds, not in terms of anything written. They know zero theory and do not read music. The tradition is completely aural.

    They learned by ear from being surrounded by other players, imitating them and playing hours a day from age 4, with few other distractions.

    Bireli is no different. Zero theory.

    They learn the musical language like in the real world, by imitating, just like native speakers.

    When jazz is a native and organic thing, no theory is required. Just like in language.

    Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...

    And the fact that Kurt used Dorian does not mean that he knew what that is. He totally didn't. Theory is after the fact analysis by others. An artificial construct to describe what happened.

    Music is sound. Not some dots on paper.

    I might even add. Music is behaviour. NOT necessarily cognition.

    DB

  16. #65

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    Well Cherokee is a lot easier if you don’t know any theory haha. It’s just a thing in a key and then it goes up 1 and then moves down 2 each time.

    You get some nice things to play over each bit by listening to the greats do it.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Wrong. I live in an area where many gypsy players live. You go into a music store and you hear a 12 year old blowing over Cherokee like it's nothing. Stochelo, Jimmy and scores of young gypsy kids live here in camps. I know for a fact that these guys do not even know the names of the chords they are playing. They have no idea. They think in sounds, not in terms of anything written. They know zero theory and do not read music. The tradition is completely aural.

    They learned by ear from being surrounded by other players, imitating them and playing hours a day from age 4, with few other distractions.

    Bireli is no different. Zero theory.

    They learn the musical language like in the real world, by imitating, just like native speakers.

    When jazz is a native and organic thing, no theory is required. Just like in language.

    Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...

    And the fact that Kurt used Dorian does not mean that he knew what that is. He totally didn't. Theory is after the fact analysis by others. An artificial construct to describe what happened.

    Music is sound. Not some dots on paper.

    I might even add. Music is behaviour. NOT necessarily cognition.

    DB
    For a minute there I thought you were talking about Rosenwinkel haha

    The thing that makes me laugh a bit is when Beato analyses a Cobain tune and goes ‘this is great because he uses 9ths, 7ths and so on on these chords’ and I think; that doesn’t explain anything about why it’s great. That’s just naming things.

    Thats music theory btw - ‘why is this song great?’ And then trying to prove it with numbers. It’s profoundly silly even when Schenker did it.

    But people come away thinking they have learned something Important lol. And it’s a lot easier to learn this stuff than actually learning to master a musical tradition which takes years and years.... You can sell that a lot easier.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    For a minute there I thought you were talking about Rosenwinkel.

    The thing that makes me laugh a bit is when Beato analyses a Cobain tune and goes ‘this is great because he uses 9ths, 7ths and so on on these chords’ and I think; that doesn’t explain anything. That’s just naming things.

    Thats music theory btw - ‘why is this song great?’ And then trying to prove it with numbers. It’s profoundly silly even when Schenker did it.

    But people come away thinking they have learned something Important lol
    Beato did that? Indeed, that is profoundly ignorant indeed. Kurt would laugh his ass off.

    DB

  19. #68

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    He’s always doing it...

    Beato is frustrating. But on some level he gets it, see the video above. He’s not wrong.

    There was a YT comment that complained that Beato’s analyses where more and more about him singling out things and saying ‘this is great, listen to this’ and just playing air drums or whatever rather than talking about Theory haha

    That’s as deep as aesthetic analysis needs to be honestly haha. Do I like it? And as a musician it’s helpful to know if there something I take from this that allows me to do the thing I like the sound of.

    Everything else is just a scam; people wanting to codify a particular way of doing music and saying this is best, and selling it back to snobs. And it has to do with social class... musicians were always itinerant artisans, even the Mozarts and Bachs. Those Manouche jazz guitarists are some of the last of that tradition, and the Romani people were perhaps the first?

    (Our very idea of what it is to be an artist, a ‘bohemian’, is bound up with romantic notions of travelling communities.)

    Anti intellectual? Well, Kant knew trying to explain what makes something beautiful was a nonsense as far back as the eighteenth century. He said it was a German thing.

  20. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Beato did that? Indeed, that is profoundly ignorant indeed. Kurt would laugh his ass off.

    DB


    Nah ... I'm not in the habit of defending Beato, but here he needs a bit of credit ... He has always painted himself as a huge fan of Cobain and has done quite a few videos on him. I can't discern one video from the other anymore, so can't really discuss that specific video, but over the course of the many videos he has done on Kurt to my ears his statement has always been:

    I'm sure Kurt didn't think this ways and probably wasn't aware of it consciously, but the reason his songs are great are cause he uses a lot of 7s, 9s and sus sounds


    So if you want to criticize him then do it for implying that music without 7s, 9s and sus sounds isn't or can't be great and not for his view on Kurt.

  21. #70

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    It's amazing how many people who denounce theory know all about theory.

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It's amazing how many people who denounce theory know all about theory.

    That is because we've realized that despite knowing all about theory .. It hasn't helped us to play shit that sounds good


    Lay theory on top of chops and ears and you might have something great, but too many of us have made theory a focus too early ... Basically it reminds me of my English teacher in high school, who had a great command of English grammar and literature, but had a very limited vocabulary and an absurdly strong accent that made her speech a parody of the English language.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It's amazing how many people who denounce theory know all about theory.
    What I know about theory fits on 1 A4. Maybe even A5.

    DB

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Nah ... I'm not in the habit of defending Beato, but here he needs a bit of credit ... He has always painted himself as a huge fan of Cobain and has done quite a few videos on him. I can't discern one video from the other anymore, so can't really discuss that specific video, but over the course of the many videos he has done on Kurt to my ears his statement has always been:

    I'm sure Kurt didn't think this ways and probably wasn't aware of it consciously, but the reason his songs are great are cause he uses a lot of 7s, 9s and sus sounds


    So if you want to criticize him then do it for implying that music without 7s, 9s and sus sounds isn't or can't be great and not for his view on Kurt.
    Yeah, there's all sorts of basic problems with making an assertion like that and yet people do this all the time. They do it on JGO.

    Anyway, for me there's a central question, right?
    Do we aim to emulate the process of how the artist actually made the art OR are we more interested in studying it from an outside perceptive?

    The former is what I call Craft, the latter is what I call Music Theory.

    Getting those two things confused is where it gets sticky.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    That is because we've realized that despite knowing all about theory .. It hasn't helped us to play shit that sounds good.
    I know.

    But when I hear someone who apparently 'doesn't do theory' getting all those wrong notes in the right places then I think BS very loudly

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper

    I might even add. Music is behaviour. NOT necessarily cognition.

    DB
    this.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    this.
    Holger,

    I was told that Wim Overgaauw had to do a crash course on theory before being accepted as a teacher at the conservatory in Hilversum. Of course he had been a great and fully mature jazz player for decades already at the time.

    So did Wim teach chord scale theory? Apparently that was not the way he learned the craft himself ...

    DB

  28. #77

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    What an interesting thread this has been. Alot of what has been said here reminds me of a martial arts mindset:

    You learn it all. You learn the moves, the katas, you learn HOW to do them properly, you learn WHEN to execute them... you do this for many years, until it becomes non-thinking: it simply becomes second nature, it just flows out of you because it's now part of how you move. You no longer THINK about it, you just DO it. You also take what works for you, and discard that which does not... in that way, martial arts is very jazz-like (or what I think jazz should me): no strict rules, no "dogma"- it's constantly evolving for the person doing it, and they move through it over many years and continue adding to/subtracting from their vast experience base (note I did not say knowledge base).

    I've heard some musicians say "you learn it all SO YOU CAN forget it."

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Holger,

    I was told that Wim Overgaauw had to do a crash course on theory before being accepted as a teacher at the conservatory in Hilversum. Of course he had been a great and fully mature jazz player for decades already at the time.

    So did Wim teach chord scale theory? Apparently that was not the way he learned the craft himself ...

    DB
    i think you can put this under "urban legend". i also think he was actually asked rather than "accepted" to teach in hilversum.

    wim liked scales, he had hand-outs with tons of octotonic licks,12-tone licks, the enigmatic scale, etc. but he did not talk much so you had to ask or figure it out yourself. which did lead to complaints, lol.

    but i think he was aware that everyone needs to find their own personal system and did not want to impose anything on you. in his book he quotes einstein: "imagination is more powerful than knowledge"

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    i think you can put this under "urban legend". i also think he was actually asked rather than "accepted" to teach in hilversum.
    Broodje Aap verhaal?

    DB

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I doubt anyone on this forum or anyone known by anyone on this forum can play enjoyable music while knowing absolutely no theory. = Not even knowing what notes the guitar's strings are tuned to etc. So theory is not only good but absolutely necessary. I'm not buying the premise that enough theory to play and be soul = good, but studying more theory to become advanced = bad. Seems like a kind of stupid and oxy mornical point. Even players who were openly anti intellectual used theory. The solo to Kurt Cobain's 'Sappy' is written entirely in dorian. When I happened to hash it out I was like what the eff? Kurt used Dorian? That's like a mid level concept. I thought he only knew 2+2 but was just a 'genius.'
    I would like to belive, knowing theory is an unevitable side effect. If one into jazz music, and have talent, sooner or later she/he will get some. This does not imply that the theory "drives" the process, neither it "leads" somewhere meaningful

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    this.
    I might actually have to get a t shirt with that on.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    i think you can put this under "urban legend". i also think he was actually asked rather than "accepted" to teach in hilversum.

    wim liked scales, he had hand-outs with tons of octotonic licks,12-tone licks, the enigmatic scale, etc. but he did not talk much so you had to ask or figure it out yourself. which did lead to complaints, lol.

    but i think he was aware that everyone needs to find their own personal system and did not want to impose anything on you. in his book he quotes einstein: "imagination is more powerful than knowledge"
    Complaints lol.

    Some people expect a nice neat system and everything spelled out for their money. Who’s to blame them, or the colleges that feel they should provide what many students want? (but not necessarily what they need.)

    just a thought.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I might actually have to get a t shirt with that on.
    here you are:


    Christiaan Van Hemert once again championing "No Theory"-png

  35. #84
    I think there is a ton of misinformation on this thread. I would go to Berkelee in a New York minute if I had the time and opportunity to study there.

    Almost, every player I've met from there is a pretty damn good player. Not to mention players from other places like The New School. Many of the instructors at these places are awesome musicians, too.

    Also, you don't go to these places to learn just from your teachers. It is a way to make connections with other musicians to jam with.

    I don't see how talking about Gypsy Jazz guitarists is relevant to any of us here. I didn't grow up with any other guitarists to emulate. I never heard a jazz song until my late teens.

    Sure if you can get personal lessons from Stochelo from age 4 you probably are going to learn a thing or two just watching. But most of us have to find other paths.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I think there is a ton of misinformation on this thread. I would go to Berkelee in a New York minute if I had the time and opportunity to study there.

    Almost, every player I've met from there is a pretty damn good player. Not to mention players from other places like The New School. Many of the instructors at these places are awesome musicians, too.

    Also, you don't go to these places to learn just from your teachers. It is a way to make connections with other musicians to jam with.

    I don't see how talking about Gypsy Jazz guitarists is relevant to any of us here. I didn't grow up with any other guitarists to emulate. I never heard a jazz song until my late teens.

    Sure if you can get personal lessons from Stochelo from age 4 you probably are going to learn a thing or two just watching. But most of us have to find other paths.
    That's why I clearly stated: "Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...
    By the way, many if not all of the classic jazz guitarists (Tal, Wes, Herb, Berney etc. etc.) learned it by ear, just like the gypsies. They never went to Berklee. The whole Berklee theory thing was only invented in the 70s. The whole CS thing (chord scale) did not exist when the early boppers were already playing the stars from heaven (Dutch saying) in the 50s.

    These are facts. NOT disinformation.

    DB


  37. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    What an interesting thread this has been. Alot of what has been said here reminds me of a martial arts mindset:

    You learn it all. You learn the moves, the katas, you learn HOW to do them properly, you learn WHEN to execute them... you do this for many years, until it becomes non-thinking: it simply becomes second nature, it just flows out of you because it's now part of how you move. You no longer THINK about it, you just DO it. You also take what works for you, and discard that which does not... in that way, martial arts is very jazz-like (or what I think jazz should me): no strict rules, no "dogma"- it's constantly evolving for the person doing it, and they move through it over many years and continue adding to/subtracting from their vast experience base (note I did not say knowledge base).

    I've heard some musicians say "you learn it all SO YOU CAN forget it."

    Except isn't the Martial Arts community riddled with criticism and discussion like these?


    With the emergence of the MMA a whole discussion has sprung up with regards to styles being useless cause they never test their teachings under pressure (No sparring vs. resisting opponents).

    As far as I can tell you have whole styles of fighting being dismissed for being BS like Aikido or Bullshido as some call it.
    Then you have variations within a style (Shotokan vs. kyokushin Karate, where kyokushin does a lot more kontact sparring)
    Finally even within certain styles you have "proper" Dojo's where you spar and progress based on your fighting ability and McDojo's where you learn techniques, kata's etc. which is never tested vs. resisting opponents and thus you can end with black belts that actually never have fought.

    I'm not a practitioner (trained Karate for 4 years back in my teens tho), but as far as I can tell usually four styles are praised over the rest. Boxing, Kickboxing/Muay Thai, Wrestling and BJJ



    Actually martial arts are a fine metaphor for what we are discussing here.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I think there is a ton of misinformation on this thread. I would go to Berkelee in a New York minute if I had the time and opportunity to study there.

    Almost, every player I've met from there is a pretty damn good player. Not to mention players from other places like The New School. Many of the instructors at these places are awesome musicians, too.

    Also, you don't go to these places to learn just from your teachers. It is a way to make connections with other musicians to jam with.

    I don't see how talking about Gypsy Jazz guitarists is relevant to any of us here. I didn't grow up with any other guitarists to emulate. I never heard a jazz song until my late teens.

    Sure if you can get personal lessons from Stochelo from age 4 you probably are going to learn a thing or two just watching. But most of us have to find other paths.
    Of course you would and so would I.

    I think you are missing the point a bit. what I have to say is best said in the interview I posted above. By two alumni one of which is a teacher there.

    Don’t get the excellent individual teaching available at elite institutions confused with the wider problem of mass market jazz education materials, which I know is a problem because I teach people who are confused by it. It’s not the systems that make Berklee, or the New School or anywhere a good school. It’s the people.

    but people get the wrong end of the stick and think the systems and syllabus are important. They are not.

  39. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    That's why I clearly stated: "Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...
    By the way, many if not all of the classic jazz guitarists (Tal, Wes, Herb, Berney etc. etc.) learned it by ear, just like the gypsies. They never went to Berklee. The whole Berklee theory thing was only invented in the 70s. The whole CS thing (chord scale) did not exist when the early boppers were already playing the stars from heaven (Dutch saying) in the 50s.

    These are facts. NOT disinformation.

    DB

    And Keith Jarrett was a child prodigy. Who knows how he learned to do what he did at such a young age.

    I'm looking for answers for the average guy like myself who is already an adult looking to learn and get better. Maybe, just learning everything by ear is the right way for guys like me. I just don't think because some of the greats did this it is necessarily the path for all of us.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Wrong. I live in an area where many gypsy players live. You go into a music store and you hear a 12 year old blowing over Cherokee like it's nothing. Stochelo, Jimmy and scores of young gypsy kids live here in camps. I know for a fact that these guys do not even know the names of the chords they are playing. They have no idea. They think in sounds, not in terms of anything written. They know zero theory and do not read music. The tradition is completely aural.

    They learned by ear from being surrounded by other players, imitating them and playing hours a day from age 4, with few other distractions.

    Bireli is no different. Zero theory.

    They learn the musical language like in the real world, by imitating, just like native speakers.

    When jazz is a native and organic thing, no theory is required. Just like in language.

    Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...

    And the fact that Kurt used Dorian does not mean that he knew what that is. He totally didn't. Theory is after the fact analysis by others. An artificial construct to describe what happened.

    Music is sound. Not some dots on paper.

    I might even add. Music is behaviour. NOT necessarily cognition.

    DB
    Ok, great. There is a portion of musicians who can play using mostly intuition, as music is an art. Nothing wrong with that. Actually I wish I had more of that talent.

    Now explain to me how they would get worse if they learned advanced concepts but used theory to get there, or theory in addition to their ear...

    You can't. Theory and intuition/ear aren't mutually exclusive. That would be like someone saying. 'Oh I read how blue and red make purple and my painting got worse.' Or, 'I read about the functions of all the components in my car's engine and then became a worse auto mechanic.' Or, 'Help, I finished high school and now can't use english any more because I studied it formally and now I have a mental block about it.' Lol

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    That's why I clearly stated: "Theory is only for guys like us who learn jazz as a second language. The toilers ...
    By the way, many if not all of the classic jazz guitarists (Tal, Wes, Herb, Berney etc. etc.) learned it by ear, just like the gypsies. They never went to Berklee. The whole Berklee theory thing was only invented in the 70s. The whole CS thing (chord scale) did not exist when the early boppers were already playing the stars from heaven (Dutch saying) in the 50s.

    These are facts. NOT disinformation.

    DB

    there is more to studying music formally than the unfortunate CST teachings that are often associated with gary burton and berklee.

    are you familiar with walter dyett or the dusable high school? dyett was a music educator and many later famous musicians studied with him at young age. and i mean famous: griffin, ammons, nat cole, bo diddley(!), eddie harris, dinah washington, wilbur ware, etc.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    there is more to studying music formally than the unfortunate CST teachings that are often associated with gary burton and berklee.

    are you familiar with walter dyett or the dusable high school? dyett was a music educator and many later famous musicians studied with him at young age. and i mean famous: griffin, ammons, nat cole, bo diddley(!), eddie harris, dinah washington, wilbur ware, etc.
    No tell me. I have never heard of Dyett.

    DB

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    And Keith Jarrett was a child prodigy. Who knows how he learned to do what he did at such a young age.

    I'm looking for answers for the average guy like myself who is already an adult looking to learn and get better. Maybe, just learning everything by ear is the right way for guys like me. I just don't think because some of the greats did this it is necessarily the path for all of us.
    dutchbopper has accomplished what you dream of, learning jazz at an adult age and getting his playing up to professional level. he has the answers you're looking for.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    No tell me. I have never heard of Dyett.

    DB
    "Long before Jazz was an accepted study within the music education curriculum, a black South-Side band director was busy preparing his students for professional careers in this music called Jazz. Beginning in 1931 with his appointment as the band director at Wendell Phillips High School, Captain Walter Henri Dyett trained more than 20,000 musicians until his retirement from DuSable High School thirty years later in 1961.


    He was a commanding leader and a demanding taskmaster, a teacher who would accept nothing less than the best his students were able to produce. His personal and professional creed “He can who thinks he can” sustained his students through the difficulties which lie ahead of them in a highly competitive profession—a profession made more difficult by a society not free of racism.

    The list of famous Jazz musicians who passed through his program is legion: saxophonists Gene “Jug” Ammons, Johnny Board, Von Freeman, Joseph Jarman, John Gilmore, and Clifford Jordan; trumpeters Sonny Cohn and Paul Serrano; trombonist Julian Priester; bassists Wilbur Ware, Richard Davis, and Fred Hopkins; pianists Dorothy Donegan and John Young; drummers Wilbur Campbell, Walter Perkins, and Jerome Cooper; violinist Leroy Jenkins; singers Dinah Washington and Johnny Hartman—the list could go on and on...."

    https://jazzinchicago.org/captain-wa...t-1901-1969-2/

  45. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Of course you would and so would I.

    I think you are missing the point a bit. what I have to say is best said in the interview I posted above. By two alumni one of which is a teacher there.

    Don’t get the excellent individual teaching available at elite institutions confused with the wider problem of mass market jazz education materials, which I know is a problem because I teach people who are confused by it. It’s not the systems that make Berklee, or the New School or anywhere a good school. It’s the people.

    but people get the wrong end of the stick and think the systems and syllabus are important. They are not.

    Yeah ... This point has been made several times in this thread, but is worth repeating at least once more.

    The framework for this thread is "99% of people would get more mileage out of replacing their theory studies with practical playing"


    That quickly dissolves into discussion and worries about the 1% elite. They are irrelevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Now explain to me how they would get worse if they learned advanced concepts but used theory to get there, or theory in addition to their ear...
    The claim here is that they can't get anywhere thru theory but need to pay their dues playing. Sure you can supplement by theory or study theory simply cause you're the type that loves theory and finds it fun and satisfying.

    But your claim that anyone has become and functioning and advanced improviser thru theory .. Do you have any examples to support that claim, cause I honestly don't buy it

    (and yeah, I'm aware of stuff like the famous Metheny interview where he is very harsh on Joni for not knowing theory, but man .. that guy .. He paid his dues by basically playing 24/7 long before getting into theory. He almost failed elementary school due to pouring all his energy into playing and was more or less an an-alphabet until his 20s)

  46. #95

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    Ok, great. There is a portion of musicians who can play using mostly intuition, as music is an art.
    It's not playing by intuition but rather by ear or by imitation.

    Now explain to me how they would get worse if they learned advanced concepts but used theory to get there, or theory in addition to their ear... You can't. Theory and intuition/ear aren't mutually exclusive. That would be like someone saying. 'Oh I read how blue and red make purple and my painting got worse.' Or, 'I read about the functions of all the components in my car's engine and then became a worse auto mechanic.' Or, 'Help, I finished high school and now can't use english any more because I studied it formally and now I have a mental block about it.'
    I am not against theory per se. I have a rudimentary knowledge of the CST thing. So do not put the OP 's words in my mouth. My point is that scales and theory are NOT the music. They are NOT the sounds you actually hear in jazz. Nobody plays scales, only poor players do. The real language has to be experienced from imitation IMHO. Playing licks, transcribed solos. And then turn these concepts into your own individual thing. So concepts have to be heard and played rather than caught in scales or theory. Music is sound, not some bloke typing. Without you ears, nothing goes.

    Imitate
    Assimilate
    Innovate (make it personal)

    I actually wrote a Blog on this.For those interested click here.

    DB

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    I am not against theory per se. I have a rudimentary knowledge of the CST thing. So do not put the OP 's words in my mouth. My point is that scales and theory are NOT the music. They are NOT the sounds you actually hear in jazz. Nobody plays scales, only poor players do. The real language has to be experienced from imitation IMHO. Playing licks, transcribed solos. And then turn these concepts into your own individual thing. So concepts have to be heard and played rather than caught in scales or theory. Music is sound, not some bloke typing. Without you ears, nothing goes.
    Agreed. That's something that isn't very widely taught. How to integrate all the useful info into actual music. For example that you can't just run scales and end up with a good solo. Need maybe some scales, arpeggios, licks, some study on favorite players' approaches etc. I had to arrive at this stuff mostly on my own and I'm finally getting ok. I started jazz in general in college in 04. I think I would be better now if I had a mentor or teacher who gave me the inside info like what you're talking about. That's ok tho cuz I was never gonna be pro. But yeah I agree with you. My point is, however, that if you know a bunch of theory or scales or whatever that don't necessarily make music, they still don't hurt you. They're just sitting there in your data base until you become more experienced and learn how to integrate them musically.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    But your claim that anyone has become a functioning and advanced improviser thru theory .. Do you have any examples to support that claim, cause I honestly don't buy it
    You must be joking.. That one's easy. CHARLIE PARKER. All he does is outline the chords in his musical way and it sounds beautiful. He said he'd practice all day and run his blues and rhythm changes in every key. Pretty sure that's theory.

  49. #98

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    Or Bill Evans? 17:45. Pretty sure that's theory.


  50. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    You must be joking.. That one's easy. CHARLIE PARKER. All he does is outline the chords in his musical way and it sounds beautiful. He said he'd practice all day and run his blues and rhythm changes in every key. Pretty sure that's theory.

    OK, so I can learn to play like Charlie Parker by just practicing chord notes and scales in different keys?

    None of that transcribing and learning from others stuff?

    The foundation of his playing is him shedding chords and scales? Really?

  51. #100

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    Nice straw man there. I didn't say theory study was done to the exclusion of music.

    About Parker's playing. Yeah. Do you think he outlined the chords in almost every measure of his solos because he didn't study theory at all? Pick any measure from the Omnibook. More often than not it will have either an arpeggio or scalar idea related to the written chord.