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anyone here go to MI in hollywood?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Oct 8, 2004.


  1. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    whats it like? and how do they help you on the living end and all that stuff. im just pretty much looking for an idea of how living out in LA is and all that kind of stuff. also im curious how teh school helps with things and if the job market is good. thanks.
     
  2. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I went in '87-88. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I don't know how it is these days but I'm sure it's still a very good school. I would suggest that a player be at a level where he/she can read chord charts and at least some music notation before attending. The beauty in the school is in the playing opportunities it offers with world-class players. Back when I went they would bring in a big band one day a week and a 3-horn band another day. The players where LA pros. You would sign up for a tune, get the chart from the library and play it the next week. You had to have it down as you only got one chance. There were also many other great playing opportunities and you will really improve if you can hang. I would suggest being comfortable with all the MI books available before going and focus on playing. Study privately first, if necessary.

    I would also suggest to save up enough dough to live on while you're going so you don't have to work a day gig so you can get the most out of it. I don't think they have any kind of housing - at least they didn't when I was there. They do assist with giving you some names and numbers of some apartments within walking distance to the school but that's about it. Contact them about that. They may also help to find you a roomate, which is probably the way to go becasue you'll want to spend most of your time at the school anyway. I don't know what you mean about the "job market". You mean playing gigs or day gigs? There's playing gigs but it's tough to make a living at in in LA (it is do-able, though).

    It's easy to blend in to the woodwork there so if you do go play and show your face around as much as you can. This may sound a little harsh but.....there were LOTS of people around MI that the good cats called posers. They were the people who showed up thinking that they would be "discovered" at MI and become rock stars. They didn't go to the reading classes or the music therory classes. They just hung out around the school and maybe showed up for Paul Gilbert's open counselling. The joke was that if you could hold a guitar you pass the MI entrance exam. If you want to learn about music I highly recommend it but if you're thinking that everyone is going to be blown away when you hit the scene, don't do it. I'm not saying that's you, BTW. :)

    -Scot
     
  3. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    hey scot. thanks thats very informative.

    i meant a day job thing. i figure i wont work at all during teh week so as to focus on teh schooling. but i figure a joe job on saturday wouldnt hurt just to have the cash.

    im teachign myself the theroy aspect now. hopefully it will be enough to get me going. im not good with theroy or reading at all. but when i play its from the heart. so thats part of the reason im going, the improvement of theroy and knowledge.

    hmm...do they teach tapping, i mean nothign in teh catalog says they do, but the guy i talked to at the school said yea they did. any more info you can give me would be real swell.
     
  4. Wildside

    Wildside

    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    I used to take lessons from an MI grad, so this info is second hand, so take it for what you will. His lesson plan for me was somewhat structured around the MI curriculum, at least that's what he said. Basically, it was very intensive on note reading and theory, and he gave me certain speed/technique exercises to practice and we'd try to up the metronome on them each week.

    What I gathered from him is that the biggest asset of MI is the opportunity to play with great guitarists/drummers/singers etc.. all the time. You can't just get that through private lessons. What I did get through private lessons was the technique building exercises and some interesting compositional ideas.

    It's really up to you as far as advancing as a bassist. imo - it's not really worth it to pay that much money to learn how to read music or learn music theory at MI. You can learn that stuff almost for free just by buying some books and studying on your own. Sometimes it's good to have someone "pushing" you to learn stuff though, and to that end I think that private lessons with a good instructor are a more cost effective way to learn that stuff. As far as the technique goes, it's mainly just a matter of practice. You can get all the cool exercises you could want at MI, but it won't help you shred any better unless you are putting in 5+ hours a day with them. So MI can help start you down the path but how far you go is ultimately gonna just be a function of your work ethic.

    So my opinion is that MI is a great place and you can learn a lot, and you can definitely not beat the chance to play with all those great musicians. However, there are certainly more cost effective ways of improving as a bassist. If money is not an issue then definitely go for it though.
     
  5. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    well yea, money is an issue, its LA. but thanks for the info. and really minus the cost and what not, i think id be going out that way before to long anyway. where im at, south FL (jupiter/west palm) there is no one to play with and no music scene. and maybe im dumb, but ive got a lot of ambition. so thats part of it too.

    my teacher went to MI and he told me it was the best thing for me right now. and we got real close when he was teaching me. like father/son close. hopefully it will all work out...i hope.
     
  6. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Keith,

    Glad to help. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions about MI and I'll be happy to share my experiences. I graduated with honors in '87 and and took advantage of many of the things the school offered.

    The working on Saturday thing is probably a good idea but be sure to give yourself a day per week to just chill and hang out at the beach with the friends you make. I don't know what type of day job you would look for but I'm sure you would have no trouble finding something. Be carefull though - the people I knew that worked too much really felt like they were missing out on a lot. You don't want to miss a really great concert or seminar because you have to work and you're going to feel deprived if all your friends are going to the beach while you have to work.

    If you do decide to go you'll want to network, network, network. Spend all the time you possibly can at the school. There's SO much to take in and the school is a great place to practice the stuff you've learned. If you're not good at practicing they will really help teach you how to practice effectively. They also have a library of videos of concerts and other instructional materials that you should check out in the evenings after the classes.

    There's several great places to hear world class musicians perform in an intimate setting very close to the school. You may want to budget that into your expenses. The location of the school was decided with that in mind.

    I don't know about the tapping thing. When I was there Billy Sheehan was a faculty member but he only showed up to do one seminar. Stu Hamm also did a seminar demonstrating his tapping stuff. They didn't have any curriculum for tapping but there weren't that many bass players doing it at that time.

    Like I said before, I wouldn't wait until I got to the school to start buckling down on your reading and theory. Get all the MI books - you can buy them, which is an advantage over when I was there. You could only get the curriculum at the school. Get a teacher and get started on that now so you're a jump ahead once you get there. There will be MANY times where a core curriculum class conflicts with a live playing workshop or other playing class and you'll have to decide which to go to. If you already have the curriculum class stuff down you can opt for the playing class, which I HIGHLY recommend. That's where the real gold is.

    -Scot
     
  7. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    thansk again scot, you have a pm.
     
  8. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    BTW - you can find all of the MI books here.

    -Scot
     
  9. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    YES!!!!

    i just got the call and i got in. im so stoked. thanks to all you folks that helped me out on the info. im gonna go celebrate.
     
  10. I did not attend the school, but my buddy went for guitar this past year and I visited the school, and sat in on some classes. The vast majority of the students are idiots. Some of course, are not. You can get a lot out of it if you put a lot into it. You WILL become a good technical player if you do the minimum work. If you wish to become more than that, it is all up to you. The resources are there. I mean, I went to one class taught by Alexis Sklarevski.

    I was born in Hollywood. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a place to live. I'm sure you can get a menial job. You can also get financial aid. The government thinks MI is a real school!
     
  11. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    excellent. well im gonna eat, sleep and breathe music for the 1 adn a half im out there. hopefully it will pay and ill get into a band and do that whole thing. (i know we all want to do it). however, if it is predominately idiots, then maybe ill stand out. but im not gonna take it lightly. i dont plan on stayin in hollywood any longer than i have too. and thank god the government agrees, thats gonna make life about 10 times easier.
     
  12. jimjwl

    jimjwl

    Oct 2, 2004
    First, congratulations on getting in to MI!

    But, I was just wondering, if you're in florida, have you looked into Jeff Berlin's school? I guess he calls it "Players School"...

    I dunno, but it might be worth a shot to ya...
     
  13. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    hey, yea i did check into that. but i called them and it wasnt really my thing. according to their phone rep. its mostly just sight reading, ear training, and theroy. they dont really do any technique stuff. for example at MI you can take all these different classes like fretless bass, double bass, beatles bass line, afro cuban bass...you get the idea. where as jeffs school is more traditional theroy/sheet music bass. thats not to say im against that, but i was looking for a litle more variety.

    alos too, tampa is a nice area, much better than west palm (my area). but id liek to get some life experiance too, and what better way then to jump from teh frying pan into the fire right?