I had the honor and privilege to study with the AMAZING musician Billy Bauer. He tells a story of when at a performance, Miles Davis asked another horn player to sing his part. The horn player hesitated and Miles exclaimed, “If you can’t sing your part, you can’t play it!!! Now, I am not expecting every musician to be a vocalist. Believe me, my sight singing teacher in college was a VERY patient man…lol. But I have to say that the more I progress as a player, teacher and
The concept of intonation goes way beyond playing a note of the correct pitch. It encompasses other aspects that can greatly affect it. Intonation consists of 3 equal parts: Tune, Tone and Time. These three parts must all be present and balanced for true intonation to occur. If the note is out of tune, not fully sounded or not played in correct time, it will not sound "right". So you may ask, “How do I work on this?” The first thing to do is work on each part separate
I have said many times, basslines don't just happen...they are built. They are the product of music fundamentals, playing experience and musical insight. Therefore, bassline construction consists of a process. One that looks at the line from the bottom up and takes into consideration your inspiration and the line’s effect on what the rest of the band plays Every bassline consists of harmonic, melodic, rhythmic and dynamic components. All of these need to be thought out an
Second only to soloing (improvisation), no subject is more feared or misunderstood by students than walking lines. It seems that they feel it is an advanced skill that they are either not ready for or is not applicable to them because it is just for playing jazz. While it is MOST prevalent in jazz, it is also present in other styles and proficiency in walking lines will aid in all aspects of playing. Ok, you may ask...how? Well, walking lines require the ability to "think ah
One of my Facebook Friends requested a mini lesson on Upright Bass Posture...it ust so happens I did a video about that...here it is... Lots of luck!!! Message me with questions.... #uprightbass #posture #woodshed #practice #minilesson
Yeah, I know. ...you learned about these in middle school. You had to memorize the sharps and flats for the test and immediately forgot them. I don't blame you. Many times key signatures are taught without any background information or application and players tend to ignore them. Here I will explain where they came from and why we as players need to know then. Ok, we are monks around the 11th century. When we chant in the "mode" that starts from C to C, the melody ends convin
I want to address a problem I hear frequently from players and students. They tell me they play "the same old things" and are in a rut. This is something I also struggle with...every player does. I call them "isms"....Charley-isms...Joe-isms...Mary-isms...etc. They are the comfortable riffs or musical pathways that we go to again and again in our playing. While these "isms" work musically, they are inherently not musical as they become "cookie cutter" inserts to musical si
Pentatonics are among the most widely used scales. They are present in many genres of music and are very powerful. So why? First, let's step back a bit. Let us look at arpeggios. Arpeggios are the notes of a chord played one at a time. See my previous blog post onArpeggios for more info. Playing these over chords gives complete tonal backing of the harmony. However, there comes a time or a place when one wants to go beyond chord tones. Anything beyond a chord tone can b
A lot of players don't realize HOW you practice is as important as WHAT you practice. Your practice schedule should be as thought out as the material you are trying master. The key is PLANNING. You need to plan your practice time to maximize its benefit. At first, it will be just session to session. .it will eventually expand as you feel more comfortable. This will help you to set broader goals and progress more quickly. So, how do you do this. First, write down the area
So many players I meet in person and on social media drool over "celebrity" players and bass gods. It is OK, IMHO, to REALLY like a player and to be inspired by him/her. The issue becomes when you base all your effort on playing like them. We don't need Jaco/Wooten/Burton/Miller/Jamerson/Graham/etc. clones...they exist and we are grateful. What we need are players that take from them and make something new and individual. All of these players, and others, are AMAZING tal
Arpeggios are so important to the musician. However, many players consider them the "starting point" of playing. I disagree. The role and importance of arpeggios is seen throughout a players development and their use and relevance is quite far reaching. I practice arpeggios EVERY day and use them in my lesson plans to players of ALL levels. Let's start with a definition....an arpeggio is the notes of a chord played one at a time...EVERY chord, simple or complex, has an ar
I had the priviledge to study with Billy Bauer..he was an AMAZING teacher and musician. One of his pet peeves was that string players relied too much on finger patterns. He was a big proponent of learning the notes...ALL the notes. I totally agree...playing music with finger patterns is like visiting another country with a phrase book...you are only going to get so far... So learn the notes!!!! Learn them as they are, not as part of some pattern.....take one note per day..
hitting the electric hard today...lots of rudiments and slow methodic practice...
Then teaching the Jazz Workshops at both Cadenza Music Center locations. The first class, we will be continuing study of phrasing, the second will be harmony over more difficult harmonic passages...
All instruments including vocals are welcome, no previous jazz experience is necessary...all ages..this is a great way to learn this art form in an ATTITUDE FREE, fun environment...message me for d