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Hal Crook

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by lo_register, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Hey Janek,

    I read an interview on you and you mentioned how Hal Crook improved your ear training. Can you explain more on what you did with him? Was there anything else really vital to your development as a musician that he taught you?

    I love your CD by the way.
    can't wait for the next one.

  2. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    One of the main things about Hal was his teaching of listening to what was going on around you as you played. Listen first and play second was his big thing. The more you're listening to those around you, the better you can react to what's going on. This, of course, means the more control you have over your instrument the less you have to be thinking about the technical aspect of music. This clears your head out to be able to just listen to, and react to what's going on in the group of musicians you're interacting with.

    Something that was vital for me in his teaching was his ability to tell you that you sucked. Not to dress it up, rose tint it, and tell you you're amazing even when you're having a crap day. He would tell it like it is, and not beat about the bush. Getting right to the point and focusing on what to do to get better at things you were weak at. Like any good teacher one of his main things was time as well as listening. In a culture of improvised, jazz bass music, rhythm is such a huge part of that, and is something that gets hugely overlooked. We would develope tunes, melodies, phrases and play all kinds of things using rhythmic constraints to force us to focus on certain aspects of rhythm that we might not have be aware of before.

    Playing a solo on a song at 200bpm and using nothing but half time triplets as the rhymic basis for the solo......... this will make you find different ways of making tension and release, and shape your solos in ways you might not be used to. Basically, anything you can do that helps you find something that you never played before is great.


  3. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    If I could add a bit , I remember listening to a small clip with a drummer named Bob Economu. He was one of Jaco's good friends and played on his solo album and demo's for it. He said that one of the most important things he learned from Jaco was really getting above the music and being able to hear what everyone else was doing. Hear of the rest of the band with yourself. I know they also stress this in orchestras. I recent visited Indianapolis Symphony Ochestra and after they talked to us about the musicians hearing one anther .

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