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Classical Or Jazz Studies

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by kochkoch, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. kochkoch

    kochkoch Guest

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    I'm sorry if this topic has been talked about before.

    I'm wondering how you guys decided whether it's classical or jazz for you to study. Why do you like the one over the other.

    thanks,

    Friedrich
  2. BrettBelanger

    BrettBelanger

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    This isn't the right forum for this question since it's not about a particular bass(es). That being said ,for me, it was obvious. I like both styles but I was always drawn to jazz and improvisation. I would learn both styles to a degree. Being classically trained will establish good technique and help your reading. Ideally even jazz guys are learning the bow to a certain level. Listen to both styles a lot and see which ends up pulling you in. I like the spontaneous element of jazz and the group interaction that takes place particularly with more advanced players.
  3. skwee

    skwee

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    Having a command of both styles can only help you get a paying job.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    My mom decided for me. ;)

    But what level are you talking about -- instruction for beginners or college?
  5. eee

    eee

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    Jazz - it translates well to pop gigs. Play electric to work even more.
  6. kochkoch

    kochkoch Guest

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    For college sir. :)

    I like both but what if I can only take one at a time.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

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    Hard work will allow you to do both.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

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    Your pretty close to Humber, get a jazz education.
  9. kochkoch

    kochkoch Guest

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    I hear ya. I'm also old, married, and with a kid. So I gotta somehow get a side job. :D

  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    I don't have a music degree, but play with a lot of musicians who do. I'd suggest looking at the respective level of entrance requirements and competition in the two fields. There should be threads in these forums that will tell you what the typical audition pieces are for classical and jazz DB students, allowing you to gauge the respective levels of difficulty. I could probably swing a jazz audition, but would get killed in classical, though all of my formal training is classical.
  11. damonsmith

    damonsmith

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    Not good reason. You don't need a degree for pop gigs. I say classical just for the instrumental technique. Take some jazz theory classes so you don't get boxed in.
  12. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

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    If you are looking at a university/college, some of them are better than others at letting you study both. I know a couple of guys at UofT who tried to ride the fence, but they ended up having to switch from one to the other in order to fulfill degree requirements. That is going to be your biggest challenge, as there is very little course requirement overlap, especially in the upper years. If you are looking for a degree/diploma/certificate/something like that, then you are likely going to have to decide on one or the other.

    However if you are looking to expand your bass knowledge with a lot more freedom/choice to study and do exactly what you want to do, I would not suggest you go down the college/university road. You can learn a lot without getting a formal education. If you are close to Toronto there are a lot of fantastic teachers there. You can either find someone who teaches both or you can take lessons from two teachers, one on each side of the fence. I studied with Andrew Downing for a while and he is quite modest about his classical knowledge, but he teaches both very well. I would suggest finding a cross-over teacher to avoid conflicting instruction, especially on things like left hand technique.

    From there, there are tons of community orchestras in the GTA. Most of them rehearse one or two nights a week in the evening from 7-10 (give or take) and depending on how much driving you want to do, you can pretty much have your pick of the day of the week you want to rehearse. I have yet to find one that wouldn't appreciate another bassist. You could even join a few if your schedule allows. Although they aren't on the same level as a university orchestra most of them have a very respectable standard and play very engaging/challenging music. As for putting together a jazz ensemble, there are tons of other people just like you looking to play. There are also open jam nights around that you can check out and if you frequent one, you will meet people who would love to get together every Sunday afternoon and play standards in a living room, or even start a band that plays some gigs here and there.

    It is a lot less structured approach. This could be good or bad depending on what you want to get out of it and the time you have available to dedicate to it. It will also be significantly cheaper than a college/university program, and let you keep your day job. You can pay for a lot of private lessons for the cost of a degree. While I did find my classical performance degree useful, 95% of what I still use from it was learned in private lessons and rehearsals. The historical survey classes and theory classes were educational, but not why I was there. If that stuff interests you, there are tons of resources out there to learn history on your own, and plenty of teachers to teach you theory.

    If you really want to go down the institutionalized education road, you are going to have to pick one and study the other on the side. Which way you go is entirely up to you. Both have their benefits and even if you focus exclusively on one, your bass playing should improve exponentially, which will benefit the other. I am not trying to turn you away from a formal education, but there are plenty of very successful musicians who do not have one. As I outlined above, you can learn a lot about bass without an "education".
  13. ChuckCorbisiero

    ChuckCorbisiero

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    With regard to the Junior College transfer option, I did my A.A. at Santa Barbara City in Music. It was a Classical curriculum. I then transferred to C.U.N.Y.- C.C.N.Y. and completed my B.F.A. in Music in the Jazz department without having to retake stuff. In fact, I was able to transfer 96 units into C.U.N.Y. TOWARDS THE 128 TO GRADUATE. I petitioned for an exception to the Dean of Humanities and they waived the residency rule and Professor Jablonsky (Chairman)the evaluator matched all my classes up. I only lost 1 class which was an English class. I think it's more likely to be able to go from a straight Classical A.A. program to a Bachelor Jazz program as a junior transfer. It seems that there is more leeway than the other way around.
  14. kochkoch

    kochkoch Guest

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    Thank you eveyone for all of your input. I'm learning a lot! :)
  15. LowG

    LowG

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    None of the bassists who invented jazz had jazz "degrees", and all of them studied classical. I think the classical repertoire / approach is a very efficient method for learning "music" in a broad sense. Then you can use that knowledge in any arena.
  16. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

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    Up here in Canada... it's a little different. "College" and "University" are two different systems entirely, and transferring between the two is challenging and often not very successful. Several colleges have pretty good jazz programs (Humber in Toronto being a great example) but I don't know of any colleges offering classical programs. Universities tend to have both, with some schools having better jazz or classical programs than others. There are also a handful of schools that will offer a Bachelor of (Fine) Arts with a Music major, but most (respected) schools here offer a Bachelors of Music, with the music faculty being separate from the arts faculty.

    With that said, the following relies heavily on my experience at the University of Toronto, which is one of the schools the OP might be interested in.

    The school really wasn't open to people trying to sit on both sides of the fence. The degree requirements and courses are all completely different outside of some of the general electives, and there are several requirements that are 4 years with no way around it. (Think Orchestra in Classical, Small Jazz Ensembles in Jazz etc.) The two bassists I know who switched from one to the other had to take extra year(s) of the other program, and ended up graduating with extra "useless" credits like jazz and classical theory classes, when they needed one and not the other. They had to fight for their music electives to be credited towards their degrees, and they were trying to switch programs within the same school, faculty and administration. I can't imagine what it would be like to switch between schools.

    There were a handful of electives that could have been considered on the fence. There was a jazz history course that was recognized as an elective for both programs. There was a big band for classical majors. There were a couple of contemporary ensembles with faculty from both camps. But for the most part, it's an "us vs. them" experience. At UofT, the Jazz faculty has even been moved to a separate building from the Classical faculty. There might be some other schools that are a little more integrated, but from what I've head from music graduates at other schools, it's pretty one or the other.

    If you plan on going the music school route, then you are going to have to pick one or the other, and pursue the opposite one outside of school on your own time. As for which one you do which with, that's up to you and depends on what you want to do with bass. Either way, you are going to learn a lot about bass. Your left hand technique will improve greatly among many other things. I would just spend some time asking yourself what you want to get out of the experience and if a college/university program is really right for you.
  17. ChuckCorbisiero

    ChuckCorbisiero

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    Funny. I am often asked by people in California if 'The City College of New York', C.C.N.Y., is a decent community college. When I explain that it is a 4 year college and is part of the City University of New York, one the the oldest and most respected higher educational institutions in New York State, they give me that dumb look you get when you tell somebody the "moon is made out of cream cheese." Point being, sometimes the cheaper public school is a great bargain. Even if it's harder to get accepted.

    Food for thought. Here's a list of notable alumni:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_City_College_of_New_York_alumni
  18. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

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    Chuck, I am not trying to say that our system is better or worse than your system, just different. Colleges here offer a different education than Universities do here, and from what I have gathered from friends and colleagues who are either American or who have gone there to study, the word is used pretty much interchangeably in America. I could be wrong, and I am likely over simplifying.

    As for public vs. private, that too is different up here. The majority of our post secondary institutions are public. The biggest schools with the highest reputations in Canada in no particular order are McGill (in Montreal) the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. All of which are "public" schools. The private universities here are few and far between, and almost exclusively religiously affiliated. There are slightly more private colleges, vocational and trade schools, but the vast majority of colleges are public as well. When it comes to music, there are a few Conservatories, but most of them offer "Artistic Diplomas" and don't offer degrees.

    I really don't know what private universities cost here as I do not know anyone who attended one. I know that UofT was around $7000 a year in tuition when I left and steadily rising, more expensive to out of province students, and even more expensive to international students. It's also downtown in one of the most expensive cities to live in in Canada. We do get a large number of international students from America and other English speaking countries (and plenty of non-English speaking countries) who come here paying international student rates and feel that they are getting an "Ivy League Education" for a better price. They might not carry the same prestige as Harvard and Oxford and other such institutions, but likely offer similar educations.

    I have heard really good things about C.C.N.Y. and several of the other institutions in America with extremely competitive admission/application processes that offer free, or very low tuition to their students. I wish there were such institutions here in Canada. I mean no disrespect to one of the few hold outs of affordable education in North America. I wish there was more of it, but a discussion on socialized education is probably a different thread. As it stands in Canada, the lucky few get scholarships, and the rest get student loans.
  19. aprod

    aprod

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    Learn jazz theory. I find it a much more practical approach. That is the language musicians use in the real world. You won't find classical cats talking about a minor seventh flat five chord. The few classically trained musicians I have played with did fine until you took away the sheet music. Their improvisational skills were lacking. In CA we have Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz and Sacramento State both have excellent jazz programs with world class instructors.
  20. ChuckCorbisiero

    ChuckCorbisiero

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    Point well taken Mike. You are 100% correct. Your right it's a different situation. On the parallel, I think it's also around $7,000 a year at C.C.N.Y. and out here on the West Coast it's about $7,000 at Cal State Long Beach per year for the B.M. Compare that to tuition of $45,000 a year at U.S.C. That's not including room and board, books, etc.

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