Contact us

Where to be, who to study with, how to find inspiration

(4 posts)

No tags yet.

  1. jazzbum
    Member

    Here is my second post.....

    I have a strong interest in reviving this forum, mostly because the old KR forum was such an surprisingly inspiring and thought provoking place.

    Anyone with experience chime in. I've been thinking about how to maintain personal inspiration and interest in music, especially jazz.

    Many teachers I've had have been embittered and somewhat jaded about music (most likely because of where I live). Would you choose to study with these guys anyway? What role does a teacher serve in inspiring creativity versus just giving information? Should you love their playing?

    As jazz musicians (or any musicians really), how do we find a positive community to create if many of us are bitter? I've struggled with this since starting to play jazz. Guys either have day jobs (like me) that exhaust them so they have no time or energy, or they are so desperate for money they won't play unless they are getting paid.

    The scene here (Utah) is filled with egos and bitterness, but I haven't the money to leave, and I am concerned this is not a problem unique to Utah, but to all of America really.....thoughts appreciated on any of the above.

  2. I thought a little bit about your question on my way to the day job. :)

    What role does a teacher serve in inspiring creativity versus just giving information? Should you love their playing?

    I don't think I could ever get excited about training with someone whose playing is not inspirational. That being said, there are lots of amazing players who cannot teach. So finding a great teacher is not easy for many players. And then there are always those lessons or etudes that seem horrible until their value is revealed years later. I haven't tried it yet, but those Tim Miller lessons seem pretty incredible. Like training with a Berklee professor, on your own time, in your room. Just no feedback from the teacher, I guess. But maybe that helps us learn how to learn. Many teachers will Skype with you these days. I actually think this is one of the most exciting times to be a musician because of access to people and information.

    Or try these:
    http://www.mikesmasterclasses.com/index.php/Modern-Jazz-Guitar-Part-I/Detailed-product-flyer.html
    http://muse-eek.com/live-online-lessons/

    As jazz musicians (or any musicians really), how do we find a positive community to create if many of us are bitter? I've struggled with this since starting to play jazz. Guys either have day jobs (like me) that exhaust them so they have no time or energy, or they are so desperate for money they won't play unless they are getting paid.

    My advice is to not try to change others, because that will leave you even more exhausted and disappointed. But be the change you want to see in the scene (Ghandi?). Sorry if that is new-agey. Bring a positive attitude to every lesson, try to find something inspiring about every session, and know that inspiration is something that is within you and is your responsibility, not someone else's. Dan Haerle had great advice at my music school.."Don't just go to the good performances or sessions or gigs. Go to all of them. Even if they're bad, you will learn what NOT to do, and that is just as valuable as learning what TO do." Inspiration can come from negative sources as well, just find a way to make it positive.

    I've done gigs where I payed everyone but myself. The joy of playing was enough for me. Can't do that all of the time, I know. And if no one is willing, get really good at solo guitar performance. :)

    I hope that helps, I'm sure others will have great insight that will help everyone and not just OP

  3. This isn't an answer to your post as much as it is me thinking/complaining out loud.

    I have played guitar for around 20 years and mostly did the fusion thing, but have only recently dived into Jazz a few years ago. I'm 35 and in Grad school, married with a two and one year old, plus my wife is 5 month pregnant. I love music so much and I'm decent at what I can do, although my practice time is sparse as of late.

    I have noticed the few people I've met who play Jazz are so jaded. Maybe I'm just needy, but I enjoy comradery whether it be playing, hanging out, working on stuff, or just watching a show. The few jazz musicians I know wont play, or hangout if money isn't involved. Some have an elitist mentality to boot. So you find yourself on forums talking about the thing that you love and hoping someone talks back. When everyone around you either listens to Metal or Southern Rock, you find yourself wanting to share an artist, a cool melody, or an achievement on the instrument with someone.

    I remember showing a couple of my guitar friends guys like Rosenwinkel, Moreno, Lund and Hekselman. All I got was complaints about muddy tone and to much noodling as they go off listening to Metallica, Satriani or John Mayer.

    The one teacher I met just complained about the music scene non-stop. He quit listening to anything except Wes. It bothered me forever. I guess I'm just learning that outside of NY and a few other places, sharing Jazz with friends isn't as easy as I thought it would have been.

  4. Matt
    Member

    if you are playing music consistently, and trying to make it the best that you can each time you play, you are improving no matter what.

    inspiration can come from all forms of music - jazz is not the only legitimate/interesting/creative/meaningful music out there.

    having an open yet discerning mind and a tenacious work ethic, in conjunction with playing with others as much as possible, is probably the best teacher we have.

    if the jazz scene is suffering, it is because we (jazz musicians) have been unable to speak to an audience consistently and to appeal to people. we cannot relate, and that is on us. obviously some part of jazz's unpopularity is because of changes in society and people's taste, but ultimately, music is always important to people.

    technique is not art; it is a tool. Art is about communication and having something to say. If no one understands what you are trying to communicate, then maybe something is wrong with the art.


Reply

You must log in to post.