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  1. #326

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    It cannot be given to you by a close friend,
    ordered online through the internet,
    or found abandoned on the side of a deserted road.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #327

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Well, R,
    A well-written piece of Non-Fiction . . . a representative painting/drawing . . . a musical piece played correctly is NOT Art. It is Craft. . . Artistry is genetic.
    That's an interesting aesthetic theory, but I would ask where the craft/art boundary is, and what constitutes an "interesting or profound" work, and who gets to make those judgments. That last question is crucial, since the responses indicated by "that's interesting" or "that's profound" do not occur outside individual nervous systems. The owners of those nervous systems report their reactions, but otherwise there is no sign of them in the outside environment. An examination of the range of objects and events that various audiences find interesting or profound suggests that there is no objective measure of good or bad art. My shorthand response to the "what is art?" riddle is "black-velvet Elvis paintings." (My less-serious second favorite is "What you can get away with.")

  4. #328

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    Idea. Cut down on long-winded posts and clips of other guys playing stuff from 60 years ago and post your own stuff. Music is the language of musicians, words are cheap. Press record on your phone and have at it! My personal view, of course.

  5. #329

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    Quote Originally Posted by RLetson View Post
    That's an interesting aesthetic theory, but I would ask where the craft/art boundary is, and what constitutes an "interesting or profound" work, and who gets to make those judgments. That last question is crucial, since the responses indicated by "that's interesting" or "that's profound" do not occur outside individual nervous systems. The owners of those nervous systems report their reactions, but otherwise there is no sign of them in the outside environment. An examination of the range of objects and events that various audiences find interesting or profound suggests that there is no objective measure of good or bad art. My shorthand response to the "what is art?" riddle is "black-velvet Elvis paintings." (My less-serious second favorite is "What you can get away with.")
    Well, R,
    You're asking the Age-Old question: What is Art? My answer is not theoretical but rather brief, descriptive, and personal: the aforementioned Elvis paintings, Big-eye Art, Norman Rockwell and the entire Abstraction Expressionist Movement(Pollack, Motherwell, Johns) are not Art. Gauguin, Caravaggio, DaVinci, Vermeer, Lautrec . . . yes. Literature: Rod McKuen, Ginzburg, Kerouac, Rap Poetry-No. Then: Conrad, Hemingway, Cervantes, London, Mann, Frost, Eliot . . . yes. Jazz Music: Avante-Garde, Smooth Jazz, Free Jazz: No. Early Coltrane, Miles, Dexter, Chet, Monk(too many to mention), yes. Classical: Avant Garde: No. Beethoven, Chopin, Wagner, Bach, Haydn, and the entire 19th Century. . . yes. However, there's a caveat that must be considered in the 21st Century as educational standards continue to fall to abysmal levels . . . namely, Art will be defined by the masses . . . and as Old Hamlet said "Ay, there's the rub."
    Marinero

  6. #330

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Well, R,
    You're asking the Age-Old question: What is Art? My answer is not theoretical but rather brief, descriptive, and personal.
    That is not an answer. It is a list of your likes and dislikes.
    Last edited by Litterick; 09-29-2022 at 08:23 PM.

  7. #331

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    That is not an answer. It is list of your likes and dislikes.
    Hi, L,
    It is the perfect answer since "Art" is different things to different people. A lover of Norman Rockwell might find Max Beckmann distasteful. A lover of poems by Rod McKuen might not appreciate the Zen poems of Takahashi. A person who considers Elvis Costello a great musician might not like Charlie Parker. Your taste in Art defines your IQ, social class, education, experience/exposure to the genre, etc. However, great Art has the potential to last through the millennia unless, of course, you live in the Y2K where education has fallen to critical levels in the Western World and we are declining into a Culture of the popular imbecile. We are descending into the Dark Ages of culture. Who defines Art: You do. Thanks for your honest reply.
    Marinero

  8. #332

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    Thank you, Marinero.

    I beg to differ. Art is not different things to different people, but people like different forms of art.

  9. #333

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    Thank you, Marinero.

    I beg to differ. Art is not different things to different people, but people like different forms of art.
    Hi, L,
    Isn't it great that we all don't think the same? That's the badge of free, independent people.
    Marinero

  10. #334

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    Maybe the title of the thread itself sets the discussion on a strange track.

    If the theory gets enough musical content (examples, snippets, contexts), that helps so much with creating good stuff.
    The other hand, if ears get trained with bunch of rounds without much musical/emotional context, it may very well hinder doing good job later. (that one I know it may happen. cuz it has. )

    THEORY VS. PLAYING BY EAR... hm. More productive would be THEORY + PLAYING BY EAR

  11. #335

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    So, to my friend, Litterick, who I also value as a serious contributor to JGF,
    I pose this age-old question: "What Is Art?"
    Visual artist's speak through their paintings . . . musicians through music . . . and writers--their words. There are two famous paintings in Art History that depict war: Picasso's "Guernica"-- when Hitler's planes, in support of Franco, bombed the Northern city of Guernica in Spain in 1937. The other, "The Rape of the Sabine Women" by Peter Paul Ruebens- a fictional depiction from Roman Mythology of Roman soldiers kidnapping women from the neighboring Sabine for their use and pleasure. Both depict the tragedies of war--one abstract, the other realistic. So, if Art really is meant to communicate the human condition, feelings, and thoughts, then a reasonable person might think that the communication of this emotion is the most essential part of Art. So, a litmus test would be to take someone with little or no knowledge of Art and place them in front of the two paintings. One painting reveals a realistic depiction of human tragedy of the highest order(Reubens) and the other-a collection of juxtaposed heads on a canvas leaving the viewer(without knowledge of the title) the depiction of a bad dream by some unfortunate profligate or drug-induced painter. Which painter has really spoken to time immemorial and needs no further explanation? Whose work remains an enigma to the uninitiated viewer? Good Art does not have to be explained to the viewer much as a profound poem, novel, or viscerally moving piece of music. So, if we transpose these ideas to our love of music, is it the cacophonous sounds of Archie Shepp's wanderings or the deeply-felt music of a Dexter Gordon ballad that represents Music as communication . . . not enigma? I certainly understand differences in taste but for any Art to be lasting it must communicate the human condition so that it is apparent to All who stand in its pathway. And, there is no better way to express yourself at the highest possible level, than to be a complete artist with all the knowledge and tools needed to create great Art.
    Marinero
    Attached Images Attached Images Theory vs. playing by ear-guernica-jpg Theory vs. playing by ear-rape_sabine_women_hi-1-jpg 

  12. #336

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    If you told Reubens about your ideas of great Art he wouldn't have a clue what you were on about.

    Painting was a Trade like Music.

    Art as a social construct - something to be enjoyed by the middle classes and communicated through such things as art appreciation and history courses - is really a nineteenth century invention, a true child of Romantic era. Before then it was aristocrats the church and their artisans.

    So I suppose in a sense Picasso is much more self consciously an artist than Reubens could ever be...

    Make of that what you will.

    I think Guernica's an amazing painting, and the way it is painted is part of it. I think it's really a non-argument to say 'difficult art' alienates the newcomer. Based on what? I liked Stravinsky before I ever enjoyed Beethoven and Beethoven before Mozart. There is no 'difficult art' IMO.

  13. #337

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    Some new comers are alienated by 'difficult' arts. Some are entranced.

    What great classical artist of any of the disciplines was concerned with the views of the uninitiated?

  14. #338

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    If you told Reubens about your ideas of great Art he wouldn't have a clue what you were on about.

    Painting was a Trade like Music.

    Art as a social construct - something to be enjoyed by the middle classes and communicated through such things as art appreciation and history courses - is really a nineteenth century invention, a true child of Romantic era. Before then it was aristocrats the church and their artisans.

    So I suppose in a sense Picasso is much more self consciously an artist than Reubens could ever be...

    Make of that what you will.

    I think Guernica's an amazing painting, and the way it is painted is part of it. I think it's really a non-argument to say 'difficult art' alienates the newcomer. Based on what? I liked Stravinsky before I ever enjoyed Beethoven and Beethoven before Mozart. There is no 'difficult art' IMO.
    Hi, C,
    I'm not disputing a person's individual taste in Art. However, I am saying that there is a reason why an Artist's work has lasted over the millennia and is appreciated by successive generations of scholars and aesthetes. Greek Art: sculpture, painting, and architecture which began in the 9th Century BCE influenced the great Roman Civilization a thousand years later. Our own European Renaissance was a direct reflection of the Art, Painting, Sculpture, Literature, and Science of the Greek and Roman intelligentsia. For example, when we look at a statue of Caesar, we look into the eyes and emotions of a man, but . . . who was also a great leader who lived 2000 years ago. However, we wouldn't need to know who he was to be moved by the artist's depiction of his persona. He speaks from the marble. Contrawise, do you think "Guernica" would speak, in the same fashion, to future generations? My personal belief is that if a person in the future encountered that painting he would think it were the work of a madman . . . hardly an artist. However, I used Picasso for a personal reason in that although he was a great workman/craftsman, he painted very few works that were really original or profound. He was a chameleon who hopped on every popular wagon that Art rode during his life: Cubism, Blue Period, Surrealism, Modern, Impressionism, etc. and I believe he never found his own voice as did Gauguin, Schiele, Kirchner, Lautrec, etc. However, Reubens has been delighting audiences for over 500 years and his paintings reflect the personality and talents of a great artist. So, do we not have a similar parallel in Music? Workmen/craftsmen who never find their own voice? It is the result of a lack of training, creativity, hard work, and an obsession to copy others' voices rather than to find their own. We all have choices in life and those we make tell a picture of who we are as human beings.
    Marinero
    Attached Images Attached Images Theory vs. playing by ear-800px-peter_paul_rubens_004-jpg 
    Last edited by Marinero; 10-01-2022 at 03:19 PM. Reason: addition

  15. #339

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    His name is Rubens

  16. #340

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Hi, C,
    I'm not disputing a person's individual taste in Art. However, I am saying that there is a reason why an Artist's work has lasted over the millennia and is appreciated by successive generations of scholars and aesthetes. Greek Art: sculpture, painting, and architecture which began in the 9th Century BCE influenced the great Roman Civilization a thousand years later. Our own European Renaissance was a direct reflection of the Art, Painting, Sculpture, Literature, and Science of the Greek and Roman intelligentsia. For example, when we look at a statue of Caesar, we look into the eyes and emotions of a man, but . . . who was also a great leader who lived 2000 years ago. However, we wouldn't need to know who he was to be moved by the artist's depiction of his persona. He speaks from the marble. Contrawise, do you think "Guernica" would speak, in the same fashion, to future generations? My personal belief is that if a person in the future encountered that painting he would think it were the work of a madman . . . hardly an artist. However, I used Picasso for a personal reason in that although he was a great workman/craftsman, he painted very few works that were really original or profound. He was a chameleon who hopped on every popular wagon that Art rode during his life: Cubism, Blue Period, Surrealism, Modern, Impressionism, etc. and I believe he never found his own voice as did Gauguin, Schiele, Kirchner, Lautrec, etc. However, Reubens has been delighting audiences for over 500 years and his paintings reflect the personality and talents of a great artist. So, do we not have a similar parallel in Music? Workmen/craftsmen who never find their own voice? It is the result of a lack of training, creativity, hard work, and an obsession to copy others' voices rather than to find their own. We all have choices in life and those we make tell a picture of who we are as human beings.
    Marinero
    'Guernica' already speaks to future generations.

    I think it's funny that you're posting on a jazz forum... jazz is a relatively recent art form - just like Picasso, and yet you're suggesting we can only know whether something is really good if it's been around for hundreds of years. Miles Davis also changed through his career - in fact, as we know, Duke Ellington called him the Picasso of jazz.

    I find your reactionary opinion on contemporary art quaint to say the least.

  17. #341

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    Quote Originally Posted by James W View Post
    'Guernica' already speaks to future generations.

    I think it's funny that you're posting on a jazz forum... jazz is a relatively recent art form - just like Picasso, and yet you're suggesting we can only know whether something is really good if it's been around for hundreds of years. Miles Davis also changed through his career - in fact, as we know, Duke Ellington called him the Picasso of jazz.

    I find your reactionary opinion on contemporary art quaint to say the least.
    +1

    M,

    As someone who grew up with arts and culture, being dragged into museums from the age of four on, having watched human artefacts crafted from at the Stone Age to at contemporary times from an early age on, born and living in a town with a lot of museums (including the “Alte Pinakothek” that has quite a collection of Rubens paintings BTW), I have to say it seems that you are very malinformed regarding Picasso.

    Pablo Picasso was always avantgarde, the Blue Period was his own personal thing and he was one of the inventors of cubism. He was by no way only jumping on other people’s waggons.

    EDIT: I re-read your post — maybe what is annoying to you that Picasso was always changing over time. But so was Coltrane (otherwise someone would help a 90+ Trane today so he could walk the bar in a rhythm & blues band) or was Miles as James W pointed out.

    EDIT 2: I did notwant to adress C, I wanted To adress M, changed now

  18. #342

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    So, to my friend, Litterick, who I also value as a serious contributor to JGF,
    I pose this age-old question: "What Is Art?"
    Visual artist's speak through their paintings . . . musicians through music . . . and writers--their words. There are two famous paintings in Art History that depict war: Picasso's "Guernica"-- when Hitler's planes, in support of Franco, bombed the Northern city of Guernica in Spain in 1937. The other, "The Rape of the Sabine Women" by Peter Paul Ruebens- a fictional depiction from Roman Mythology of Roman soldiers kidnapping women from the neighboring Sabine for their use and pleasure. Both depict the tragedies of war--one abstract, the other realistic. So, if Art really is meant to communicate the human condition, feelings, and thoughts, then a reasonable person might think that the communication of this emotion is the most essential part of Art. So, a litmus test would be to take someone with little or no knowledge of Art and place them in front of the two paintings. One painting reveals a realistic depiction of human tragedy of the highest order(Reubens) and the other-a collection of juxtaposed heads on a canvas leaving the viewer(without knowledge of the title) the depiction of a bad dream by some unfortunate profligate or drug-induced painter. Which painter has really spoken to time immemorial and needs no further explanation? Whose work remains an enigma to the uninitiated viewer? Good Art does not have to be explained to the viewer much as a profound poem, novel, or viscerally moving piece of music. So, if we transpose these ideas to our love of music, is it the cacophonous sounds of Archie Shepp's wanderings or the deeply-felt music of a Dexter Gordon ballad that represents Music as communication . . . not enigma? I certainly understand differences in taste but for any Art to be lasting it must communicate the human condition so that it is apparent to All who stand in its pathway. And, there is no better way to express yourself at the highest possible level, than to be a complete artist with all the knowledge and tools needed to create great Art.
    Marinero

    Thank you, Marinero. But, with respect, I do not think you are asking me what is art. You are asking me to accept your appraisal of two paintings. Both are art. Both depict an event: they are history paintings. They are both painted in oils on a large flat surface – one a stretched canvas, the other an oak panel. Both are movable paintings, unlike the frescos painted on church walls by earlier artists. Rubens painted in oils because that was preferred method of his time. Picasso painted in oils because many other artists like Rubens had done so before him. Picasso was painting in a tradition of which Rubens was part.

    The opinion of an innocent who had been asked to evaluate each painting would not be very useful. In order to fully understand the Picasso, one must know its title is Guernica and that it was painted in response to the destruction of that city (which was not merely a town in Spain but the capital of the Basque people). But that is not a failing. History paintings are not self-explanatory: they require the viewer to have knowledge of the event depicted; otherwise they are open to misinterpretation. That is the case with your interpretation of the Rubens, which does not depict an act of war, but a legendary event in the early history of Rome. To solve the problem of a shortage of wives, Romulus invited the Sabines who lived in the mountains to the north-east, to attend a festival of chariot racing, but captured the Sabine daughters and drove away their parents.

    The differences in the paintings are in intent (Picasso was reacting to a recent atrocity, while Rubens depicted a legend for the King of Spain) and in manner – but the latter is hardly surprising, given that one was painted three hundred years after the other. A lot had happened in those three centuries, including the inventions of photography and cinema, which changed how we see the world and the role of painting as depiction.

  19. #343

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    If you told Reubens about your ideas of great Art he wouldn't have a clue what you were on about.

    Painting was a Trade like Music.
    Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a diplomat as well as an artist, who knew the theory of art and its political value. I think he would understand.

  20. #344

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    " maybe what is annoying to you that Picasso was always changing over time. But so was Coltrane . . . " Bophead

    Hi, B,
    You are correct . . . however, for me, Coltrane was the real deal and produced a profound legacy in his early music that will withstand the test of time. His later work was, for me, an attempt to find a higher level and he failed. Picasso was a great craftsman/technician but had no real vision and, for me, was a clever huckster. He became very wealthy by playing to the changing modes of "What is Hip." I'm fine with his wealth since I'm an ardent capitalist, however, his Art fails in the long term and he lacks profundity. Now, please . . . don't ask me about Dali . . . !!!!
    Marinero


  21. #345

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    It was the other way around. Taste followed Picasso.

  22. #346

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasein View Post
    For what it's worth, there used to be a player/teacher on the All About Jazz forums named Ed Byrne. He's a trombonist who had experience playing with a number of big names, including Chet Baker and Stan Getz. I remember that he specifically singled those two players out as guys who played primarily by ear.

    But... he also said that when they brought in younger players who had new tunes (think Chick Corea on the "Captain Marvel" record), they really struggled playing by ear through these tunes that didn't follow the old Great American Songbook harmonies. And it's not like Getz or Baker were burners to begin with -- both guys that played very melodically, stuck close to the melody, etc.

    (As a side note, it is a crime that those forums were not archived. It had more working professionals than any other jazz forum, and tons of great commentary from Byrne, Vic Juris, Pat Martino, etc. Absolute waste)

    I think there is this misconception that someone with "great ears" can hear anything and everything, that they can essentially dictate any music on the spot. But that's not entirely true -- your ears are going to be limited by how well you can conceptualize things. You have to hold something in your working memory, and you can only hold so much (as anyone who has tried to memorize a random string of digits has found out). There's two ways you can chunk music: you can memorize it as a discrete melody (ie, it's singable) or you can break it down into smaller conceptual chunks. Those chunks can be lots of different things: scales, patterns, intervals, chords, etc. The bigger your conceptual toolbox is, the easier it is to break down.

    Mozart had astounding ears from a very young age, transcribed Allegri's "Miserere" after hearing it once. But I suspect that if you played him Debussy, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, etc, he would find it much harder to hear because there's so much conceptually he wouldn't understand.

    A guy like Charlie Parker had great ears AND had a very solid theoretical background AND relentlessly practiced technique (particularly when he was younger) AND had countless hours of on the job training on the bandstand. He also had astounding recall, according to his contemporaries -- this is another "secret" ofpeople with amazing ears that isn't widely discussed.

    I have met and played with a LOT of musicians, and I have never met anyone who was playing/gigging/hanging in the 21st century who was getting by on ears alone. You want to get gigs in a place like NYC or any other big town with a good scene, you better have it all together: chops, ears, reading, theory, time, repertoire, everything. The only exception I can maybe think of is the trad jazz scene, where the repertoire is strictly pre-bebop, maybe then you can get away with ears only. But I'm honestly not too clued in on that scene, so I could be wrong.

    You think you're going to get by on ears alone, when any high-level jam session can call stuff like "Inner Urge"? C'mon...
    To bring the thread back to the original question from a dead-end discussion on personal taste:

    I got to know Ed Byrne* through the All About Jazz forums as well (I wrote to the website operator a few days ago after reading your post and he says there is no way the forums getting reconstructed, they are gone forever). From what I understood Byrne’s method (“Linear Jazz Improvisation”) is totally based on ear training by applying 10 types of enclosures (called “chromatic targeting” — another nomenclature again) at first to the notes of the reduced melody, the guide tone lines (thirds and seventh) and the line built on the chord roots (book 1). Books 2 and 3 train your ears by applying the same enclosures to the notes of triad types and seventh chord types. IIRC Byrne always said that this (ear-training) method was the right way to tackle those modern post-bop tunes by e.g. Wayne Shorter or Chick Corea.

    * and Barry Harris BTW (as it dawned to me yesterday) whose method i did not fully understand and appreciate at that time

  23. #347

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    @daesin

    Yeah, again I’ll bring up my example of the Manouche style guitar player I know who learned via the lick, grips and ears tradition and latterly got very interested in Kurt Rosenwinkel. He realised that he’d have to learn theory. I’m not certain you have to learn theory to learn post modal jazz, but it seems likely.

    It really depends what kind of music you’re playing and who you are playing with. This is the thing that always gets missed, these conversations become unmoored from the community aspect. If you hang around in circles where they are likely to call Inner Urge and things like that you will learn them.

    Not every playing community is like that. Some people actually turn their noses up that type of ‘jazz school’ repertoire and insist on playing ‘proper standards.’ I would say early on I was with younger players who liked the post modal stuff and later fell in with players who like more 40s and 50s music. And the gypsy jazz and early jazz scene is a different thing again. It would be interesting to compare and contrast what’s expected from players in these different sub-scenes but I’ll just say, it’s quite different.

    As for Bird - I don’t think he would have been able to improvise over things like Inner Urge etc right away. Had the scene required him to he would have learned it I’m certain, but his background was in Kansas City swing and this is represented by the songs he chose to improvise and write contrafacts on, the majority of which are blues and rhythm changes. There are some stories of him sitting out on more complicated changes. Generally I think he liked situations where he felt he could express himself most naturally and these were most often harmonic progressions that he was familiar with.

    As for his theoretical background, I believe he was conversant in standard musical terminology from what I know, but as elsewhere the jazz theory we take for granted today was not yet established. The nearest thing AFAIK was Tristano. I would be surprised if Bird hadn’t talked to Lennie about his ideas.

    In general I think the most powerful approach for me personally for any style of jazz has been using my ears, and whatever theory seems appropriate to understand or break down aspects of what I’m hearing. In older (pre 1960s) approaches to jazz it’s striking how little theory you need really, and I found myself having to unlearn info that wasn’t relevant to that music (like worrying about major sevenths on dominant chords and so on.)

  24. #348

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    "In general I think the most powerful approach for me personally for any style of jazz has been using my ears, and whatever theory seems appropriate to understand or break down aspects of what I’m hearing . . . " ChristianMiller

    Hi, C,
    I don't think we're as far apart as might be inferred from this discussion. However,*** aside from savants***, the young, talented, unschooled musician will undoubtedly hear major, minor, 7th's, and have an appropriate sense of time and key signature. He will have a feel, pacing, and nuance. He will certainly have good ears. However, to move from that level, a prospective musician needs to go further. Does he hear 9's, 11's, and 13's? What about inversions, time changes, modalities, etc. Will these concepts emanate from the heavens in a bolt of lightning? Will he find them locked in a room with his instrument after years of playing? Not likely. One needs the fundamentals to grow and expand one's musical mind if one wants to play serious Jazz/Classical. A further remark: many Jazzers like their admirers to believe that the music just came to them naturally and nothing is further from the truth as witnessed in the above remarks about Parker. So, there was a saxer in Chicago who always got the gig before me in an audtion if he showed up. "S" played about as close to Coltrane as anyone I ever heard. He had the whole package. One time after a gig, we sat at the bar and I asked him how did he get so good. He replied, "Time, Man . . . Time" implying that his ears were the only key to his success. Later, I found out that he had been studying with Joe Daly--one of the top tenor men in Chicago during the 60's/70's, for over 2 years and that he was taking classes at the American Conservatory of Music. So, "Time, Man . . . Time?" Not in my world.
    Marinero

  25. #349

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    "(Anyway, I’ve had about five or six actual jazz guitar lessons in my life and I haven’t attended music school for performance, so I don’t know what BS category you’d put me in lol. I don’t actually recommend that approach - it’s the long way around for sure - but I think it was given me a different perspective.)" Christian Miller

    Oh, my, C!
    My . . . you're a crabby little bloke this morning! Didn't have your tea and crumpets, yet? So, as long as you broached the subject, if you learn through self-study vs. an academic setting, you are learning nonetheless. However, if you consider yourself an "unschooled" musician . . . nothing could be farther from the truth. Knowledge is power whether through academic instruction or self-learning. Period.
    Marinero

  26. #350

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    "(Anyway, I’ve had about five or six actual jazz guitar lessons in my life and I haven’t attended music school for performance, so I don’t know what BS category you’d put me in lol. I don’t actually recommend that approach - it’s the long way around for sure - but I think it was given me a different perspective.)" Christian Miller

    Oh, my, C!
    My . . . you're a crabby little bloke this morning! Didn't have your tea and crumpets, yet? So, as long as you broached the subject, if you learn through self-study vs. an academic setting, you are learning nonetheless. However, if you consider yourself an "unschooled" musician . . . nothing could be farther from the truth. Knowledge is power whether through academic instruction or self-learning. Period.
    Marinero
    i would be the last person to use myself as an example of anything in this discussion of how people should learn lol. Yeah I know a ton of theory. Cool, so what?

    While I value self learning I also actually really value formal music education but not for the things usually associate with it. I think people get a lot from it they don’t realise. But what people don’t realise is what they learn is not found on a syllabus and is actually hard to quantify. It’s certainly not found in theory. I know as much theory as anyone and I didn’t learn it at school. But trying to be too individualist about this process of learning this music is my greatest regret. If I’d had more lessons (from good teachers) I think I’d be a better (or at least a better prepared) player. But it wouldn’t be because I knew more scales.

    And for all the time jazz education academics spend knocking it down, school actually, to some extent, allows a space for this learning community. My master’s dissertation was partly about this btw: i interviewed several jazz guitar students and they all said that the school community was the most important thing, and the chance to play and hang with masters and peers alike. They didn’t mention theory such as chord scales so much.

    And that doesn’t have anything to do with this ‘discussion’ to which my answer remains ‘I know many wonderful players, some know a ton of theory, some don’t, but they have all listened closely and actively to this music and have spent time working out the music of their favourite musicians by ear.’ It’s simple as that, and tells a story about what everyone should probably focus on first and foremost

    And yet here we are on post God knows what.

    Some people seem to find that threatening somehow, probably because they feel they’ve wasted time and money or something and maybe mistake my argument for saying that learning theory is detrimental which it is not. But neither is the kind of theory knowledge I possess - or apparently much if any theory knowledge- a prerequisite for playing your ass off and getting the gig.

    I’ve lost gigs to players who know a lot less than me and play better. The proof of the pudding… and on some level it hurts, but the more a lesson hurts the better you learn it. Intellectual knowledge is not that important. Never forget the objective is to be a better player.

    Otoh I just find theory interesting cos I’m a nerd, and I’m ok with that.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-02-2022 at 10:01 AM.