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Tip #1 – Lip Health (video)
Tip #2 – Ron’s Tip
Mistakes To Avoid When Learning Jazz:
Dear weekly I thought it would be a good idea for the next week or so if not more to fill you in on my experiences thought he years in learning jazz improvisation. I compiled information in a notebook that I think I would like to share with all of you
For years, when I would want to learn a tune, I would immediately grab my real book and look up the melody and chord changes. This made sense to me at the time because the information I needed was right there on the page. I learned nearly every song this way. Consequently, on gigs I would depend solely on the real book to get through a set. Even though teachers would tell me to learn by ear and other musicians would say “Throw away your realbook!”, it just seemed easier to read the notes and chord changes off of a piece of paper.
Although it seems quicker at first to get the music from a book, in the long run, the drawbacks greatly outweigh the positives. When you look at a page to learn a standard, you’re leaving your ears out altogether; in other words, training yourself to take in music through your eyes.
The best way to learn standards is from the record – period. This will become apparent after learning a few songs by ear. Each time, the process will become much easier and you’ll internalize the song from the beginning. Today, the standards that I recall without fail are the ones that I’ve learned by ear, straight from the records with my horn in hand.
Learning tunes aurally not only benefits memorization and retention, but is also great ear training. The key is to start learning from the records right away. Remember, once you use the real book as a crutch, you’ll be attached to it wherever you go.
As I was learning to improvise I would get books of transcriptions from Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and even Michael Brecker. After trying to work on page after page of difficult lines and phrases, I quickly gave up because the lines in the book didn’t look like what was coming from the records.
Buying books of transcribed solos is equally useless as buying realbooks, so save your money! Jazz is a language and the reason you transcribe is to get pieces of this language in the hope that one day you’ll be able to speak it fluently.
You wouldn’t get a book written entirely in French and expect to learn how to speak French, so why would you buy a book of complex solos to learn the jazz language? Just like the words printed on the page of a book, musical notes on a page, are symbols that represent sound, inflection, time, and meaning. Without sound, those ink marks are just approximations.
The only way to get these details and build your vocabulary is to transcribe the lines yourself. By taking one phrase at a time, hearing it and repeating it over and over, these pieces will become your own. Gradually, you’ll have the right tools to use when you’re playing.
here is a tune to listen to and learn this week by someone who is a master at education of jazz imrov Clark Terry – Misty Thanks Ron Tenore
It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?