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The Right Next Step

 
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Grimm



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject: The Right Next Step Reply with quote

Howdy,

I'm new around these parts, and I found this forum partially due to my search for "farther reaching" jazz training for the home student. I'm not a rank newbie to jazz, but I've been away for awhile. The lack of conversation around this part of the board leaves me a little befuddled as to what to expect "specifically" from the course... A little about me...

I started playing music when I was young, around 10 or so (alto saxophone) which I didn't pursue as dilligently as I perhaps could have - I only dabbled in jazz and spent time "slacking" in school band. I eventually (by 16) moved off of saxophone completely for guitar, which I played a bit of rock/folk/bluegrass until I went to college.

I was a jazz performance major at a community college, unfortunately dropping out after one year - not from lack of interest. I did well, and my reading skills are fair in the grand scheme of things (which were initially honed by playing "school" music, and reiterated by college. I've lost a little but not too much).

I ended up playing jam oriented rock, a bit of prog, and then roots music with an emphasis on country/blues. I can't but feeling that I musically back pedalled...

So here I am, fifteen years later after starting the guitar, trying to get back to where I left off around a decade ago. I've reimersed myself in Leavitt's Berklee books (I'm just about into book II), Baker's antiquated method, dabbling with some Howard Roberts, and watching lesson videos (Hall, Farlow, Gatton, and... for fun... some Setzer). I'm still bothered that I have never felt as good about my ears as I've wanted, and I never felt like I got a full grip around jazz.

My concerns about PWYH boil down to weighing the benefits against the cost (the discount for the holidays makes it more accessable), the lack of posting here by folks who've studied from it (and few reviews online other than testimonials), and the brief nature of lesson pages (188 pages is a good length, but can it cover all the basic bases?).

I hate to be a sceptic, but before I make the dive, I'd like to know what everyone thinks and has experienced. And is it right for my level? (I took the online test and received no results, I thought this might be better).

Thanks in advance!

Grimm
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user45



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 72
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lgiro wrote:
i just bought it using the discount. if you are in berklee book 2 you are doing well.

ill let you know what i find out, so feel free to ping me later.

what is it you want to focus on anyway?


Discount? Fill me in brother. I was just about to click the button yesterday and thought I might wait until after xmas.

Thanks.

ETA, never mind, discount offer was in my email inbox....duh.
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stupot



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 493
Location: Swansea, Wales - UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

when yousay Bakers 'antiquated method' - do you mean the Mickey Baker books Question

Thats the ones im using and have since day 1. Yes, the going is a little slow, but they are really well structured and my chord knowledge has improved no end. After 4/5 months im on lesson 12 of Mickey Bakers course, which is probably a quarter of the way through!!! Shocked

It is still really highly regarded too. Wink
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Grimm



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:11 pm    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Thank you all for the quick replies...

I used the term "antiquated" with all due affection, so PLEASE don't take that the wrong way (heh, have they changed the art since '57? The quoted hip text also makes me laugh a little...). If I didn't have a background in jazz to some degree, I think the chord substitution info would go right over my head (there really isn't a lot of explanation of II V subs, or secondary dominants... etc.). Without a secondary method, the book wouldn't really provide enough material to feel like I'm making steady motion (I tend to get bogged down in a lesson for a bit, and start looking for something else to make me feel better! Smile ).

I really enjoy the book, especially for some of those voicings (I'm still in book one on Baker). And Lesson 12 is doing good! (I appreciate the days when it was hard to complete lessons, though as I confess - I'm a sucker for a little instant gratification!) Honestly, I enjoy older methods because my taste in jazz in very traditional (not huge into fusion, though I like Scofield and Aebercrombie a bit as well as Metheny & Benson's early works. Too much distortion turns me off in jazz). Hence why I site Roberts (most of his stuff, besides Praxis... which I've never seen... is from the 70s. Berklee method dates back to the 60s, etc.).

Berklee Method I/II is my primary work right now, as I actually get up from practicing feeling like I accomplished something. I'm trying to do at least 2 hrs per day of practice, solidly on jazz. I still dabble outside, especially when jamming with others.

Keep those comments coming!

Grimm
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Grimm



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lgiro, to answer your earlier question - I'm looking for all around, well rounded jazz instruction (what a terrible answer, huh?). Ideally, it would be a balance between chord work and single note improvisation studies, which, in itself, seems to be present in a good number of books. The "ear training" element of PWYH is what attracted me most to it, as I don't see a lot of jazz instruction dedicated to both theory and a development of the ear (this in itself seems like enough of a reason to jump on board). I think this is unfortunate that it isn't more widespread outside of formal schooling, as one of the goals of jazz is to find an individual voice in improvisation and composition. Recitation of what the masters accomplished is important as a learning tool, but should not be the ending. I'm attracted to the concept of developing a voice while studying what has made jazz what it is. I'd love to play like Django or Grant Green, but I don't want to just be a carbon copy citing licks and chord passages.

After being away from the music stand for awhile, I was looking to come back with a re-entry that isn't too wishy washy. For instance, I started poking through Jody Fisher's method (Beginning Jazz Guitar) and whereas I found the material useful (good review material, theorically speaking... a little easy but also easily skipped ahead in), however the "etudes" were, to my ears, rather boring and perhaps meant more for a tab crowd (I do my best to ignore tab when its there, but I felt I was being drawn to cheat without position numbers). Both the chord & single note lines were not really musical to me, and I found myself loosing interest (and back to Leavitt I went).

Howard Roberts' "Jazz Guitar Technique in 20 Weeks" , which does fall into the "drill sargeant" category was a bit intimidating just coming back around. The chord voicings in the examples (which should be recorded daily and improvised over) were beautiful and a bit out of my league without extensive study (I learned the first set and could almost play them at 50 bpm after an hour and a half...). I fully believe that book can produce some impressive technique utilizing the 50 minutes/day, which I may eventually undertake, but the chord voicings (which I want to learn) are too daunting (especially to record for 10 minutes looped until I'm a little back in the saddle in jazz). I could substitute other voicings, as suggested, but it feels like cheating. It also feels a little ahead of where I'm at.

In some ways, I am almost nostalgic for a time I didn't experience - the time before jazz methods. The old bandstand methods of learning to fly from repeating dunkings in the witches' pool of failure could conceivably produce diamonds more perfect than a book on a stand. However, I can't help but feel that to not pursue the written road would damn one to forever being behind in an age dominated by countless instructional options. But I digress Wink

Best Wishes,

Grimm
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Grimm



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earmaster seems like a great product, save for the fact that I am a Mac user... I have "Virtual PC" but audio based/midi fueled software scares me in that "cross platform" mode. I will look deeper into compatability issues, as this may be a very positive direction. Thanks!

Grimm
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user45



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
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Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lgiro wrote:
you should check out earmaster 5 too.


I agree.

Steve.
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jazzwat8takes



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 56
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where can I find Earmaster 5? Is that another guitar software too?
How much does it cost?
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Gorecki
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazzwat8takes wrote:
Where can I find Earmaster 5? Is that another guitar software too?
How much does it cost?


http://www.earmaster.com
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