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Adam Ben Ezra course

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Dave Roberts, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Dave Roberts

    Dave Roberts

    Mar 1, 2018
    I’m most interested in playing the bass as a solo improvisatory instrument. One of my inspirations is Adam Ben Ezra, who has popularized and expanded solo bass technique, particularly percussively.

    So I’m glad to see that he now has a 4-hour course at Discover Double Bass taking you step by step through his playing styles. I haven’t signed up for it yet, but plan to do so later today. It’s a little pricey at $89, but may be money well spent. If anyone has already signed up, I’d be interested in your impressions.

    Signature Sounds of Adam Ben Ezra
  2. Mrlen613

    Mrlen613 Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    I haven't purchased that course but I have three others from Lauren and Geoff and I find them all excellent.
    Dave Roberts likes this.
  3. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    How much do you think a 4 hour private lesson with him will cost you????????????????????
    BobKay likes this.
  4. Dave Roberts

    Dave Roberts

    Mar 1, 2018
    He charges $90 for a one-hour Skype lesson, which seems quite reasonable for one-on-one guidance/feedback with a major international artist.
    james condino likes this.
  5. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    As much as I like what he is up to, claiming that stuff as his is a bit suspect to me. He uses the same sounds many of us have been working on for decades.
    A looping pedal and a beat don't update them. Even if you want to go the route he is going I'd start by researching Bertram Turetzy and Mark Dresser. Bert's book is out of print and pricey:
    Guts by Dresser is easier to track down:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Imma give it a try. Interested to see what he has to say. Even if there's one new nugget of wisdom, I would consider it a success for me.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Bought it, watched like 15 in just skimming various clips and already I can see I got my money's worth. There's a lot here and most of it related to a hand percussion approach. There's some things in it where you can see he's adjusted his setup to make it easier for him but I don't think its anything that big of a deal.

    I've done some self-study trying to figure out how to slap by watching Milt Hinton, but he's got some other techniques (such as using the thumb tabla style) that's worth checking out. Add to boot played examples of various other styles (tumbao, bossa, 5/4, etc) and then some stuff on harmonics and artificial harmonics.

    I prefer these kinds of vids over anything that is book only. Def not as good as getting a lesson but def a good starting point. I can see myself taking a private lessons from him once I have some basics down and would got very very well with some of the things I've already gotten from others.
    Dave Roberts and Sam Sherry like this.
  8. Dave Roberts

    Dave Roberts

    Mar 1, 2018
    Thanks for the tip on the Turetzky book. I found it at Google Books for free. The Contemporary Contrabass
    matthewbrown, garrett2 and damonsmith like this.
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Damon, I hear you but I think there's more to say than that.

    Although I revel in the music of the handful of truly ground-breaking, door-opening, music-changing bass players I can also appreciate the efforts of the other 99.9999% of players who explore trails rather than blaze them, as long as it's personally-authentic, in-the-moment improvised music.

    And yeah, it may raise a chuckle to watch somebody act like they're in the former group when I think they're in the latter. But ask not for whom the bell tolls: It's not like I'm beating down new musical paths. It looks to me like it's not my stuff, it's not your stuff, we're just temporary channels for the stuff.
  10. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Agreed. However, putting these particular ideas to a beat moves them backwards and not forwards specifically. I actually have to admit to always enjoying hearing him play, but his music is totally normal and not ground breaking.
    As long as that is understood, I have no issues with it.

  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    It isn't a totally binary choice either between "trail blazers" and "hikers". Somewhere in the middle is people who start off on a familiar path but go exploring off the trail in various ways along the journey. There's a lot of great music to be made out there, and I personally don't care what "category" the performer is in as long as what they play moves me.
  12. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Except that when someone decides "sell" the information it implies ownership - we are not talking about his work in the abstract - which is great. We are talking about where to get specific information, I am recommending getting the information from primary sources.
    Even if his work is more to your taste, the primary sources will get you a better handle on this material and I dare say a lesson with someone like me would as well.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    It's not copyrighted material you are welcome to create your own video and sell it on the intertubes if you're so upset by it.

    Anyhoo, can we take this pedantic circumlocutive argument somewhere else please? This has nothing to do with the content itself, just someone's indignation
  14. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It has everything to do with the content. Turetzky and Dresser have made the materials I think people should be consulting for this stuff. It isn't about my indignation, either.
    We all have opinions on pedagogical material whether Ray Brown, Simandl, Ezra, Turetzky or Rabbath. The Turetzky book is the primary document for extended technique on the bass, Guts is a great second document.

    Like I said, we are not arguing about the artistic content - I can't turn off his videos when they come up, he is a fantastic player.
    The tone of @hdiddy & @Chris Fitzgerald is actually dismissive and less respectful of that area of bass playing than I'd like to see. If it was someone posting a young famous jazz player watering down the same content Ray Brown book things would be taken more seriously.
    This is an area of the instrument people have actually devoted their lives to, It is great Adam Ben Ezra is getting people interested, but, there are serious materials in this area going back 50 years.
  15. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Sometimes we need a Adam Ben Ezra as a link that makes us find out about Bert Turetsky, Dresser, Barre Phillips, damonsmith, etc.

    It's like finding out about Roland Kirk by hearing Jethro Tull play Serenade to a Cuckoo...
    tsheldon, leadfingers and damonsmith like this.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Not sure how what I said...

    was dismissive of anything other than clinging to a binary either/or method of dividing players into artificial categories. It was certainly meant to be positive and not negative. However, as we all know you can't please all the people all the time, so...
    massimo likes this.
  17. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I agree with you guys in terms of art and he is nothing if not a fantastic artist. Basic research and discovery and publishing of findings is a bit more specific and linear.
    To be clear I am not suggesting these earlier musicians make better or more important music, they just got in there and did the research and how to teach and notate these ideas.
    I literally can't stand looping and I love watching him play - so his art has power.
  18. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    2 Questions:
    1. So then, do you charge a fee for lessons, when you "sell" this, or any, information to students?
    2. Do you consider yourself a "primary source"?
  19. This is a weird discussion. Imagine saying Victor Wooten couldn't sell tuition bc he didn't invent slap bass.

    Adam's course is great - I've bought and worked through it - and I'd recommend it to others.
  20. And after checking out Victor Wooten, go back and check out Larry Graham. Same with ABE, I think. If you like his music, check out his course. And if you're hungry for more, get Mark Dresser's and Burt Turetsky's books too. Seems simple to me...
    damonsmith and Chris Fitzgerald like this.

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