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Jeff Berlin Discussing Music Ed

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JeffBerlin, Nov 24, 2009.


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  1. fahrendorff

    fahrendorff

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hi Jeff.
    I have a couple of questions and I'd be glad if you'll take your time to answer them.
    The advice you gave me a month ago or so, about subdivision worked and is still working out GREAT for me.
    My teacher says that my timing is now ten times better than it was just a month ago. Thank you!

    The first question, I've just ordered the "Chord studies for electric bass" book (I couldn't get a hold on the trombone edition but I read that the bass edition is the same, except for some fingerings in C major). I'm really looking forward to dig in to it. It should be in my mail box monday morning.

    My first questions:
    How many hours a day do you think it'll be beneficial for me to pratice from it each day? I'm ready to do the work, but I don't want to practice 3 hours, if one hour is "enough". I'm not trying to jump cornes, but I don't want to "waste" my time either.
    I practice around five hours each day and I'm also trying to improve my ear a lot by transcribing solos etc. There's so much work to be done and I'm trying to balance the things I'm working on so I get the most out of each exercise each day.
    I mean how much can I get out of the book per day?

    My second question:

    How do you practice for a gig?
    In this thread you've talked about the difference between praticing and performing.
    How do I go about practicing for a performance?

    I hope you have time to answer my questions. Thanks in advance. I apologize for my poor English, I'm not a native speaker.
     
  2. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The D naturals are there as approach tones to the E flats, so the etude could read d-Eb f#-G a-Bb c-Db etc. with the lower case notes being approach tones 1/2 step below the chord.
    The triplet etude does the same thing with the addition of scale tones (in this case from the mixolydian mode or major scale with a flat 7) above the chord tone. That's how there can be D naturals and D flats within the same bar.
    On the second except (the random approach tones in 16th notes) the D flats will stay throughout the bar unless there is a D natural later.
    Hope this helps....
     
  3. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    If you're in the Seattle area check out Bass Northwest. Very likely they have a good teacher giving lessons there who will point you in the right direction. If not, they can probably refer you to someone. My in-laws are all in the Seattle area and on the occasions I've visited there the staff was extremely knowledgeable about bassists in the Seattle area (and there are some very good ones).
    Hope this helps-best of luck with the teacher hunt.
     
  4. bench

    bench

    Dec 28, 2007
    Germany
    but if this is the case, then why is there an accidental for every b flat (there´s four of them in the upper bar...) on not just for the first one?

    thanks for your comment

    bench
     
  5. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I too have found confusion in the way the Chord Studies book deals with accidentals.

    For those who do not have it, there are generally no key signatures marked at the left side. All sharps/flats are specifically notated as such.

    For the 16th note etudes, which is what concerns many of us - there are generally two bars per line. Hence, four bars will take two lines.

    Normally, if the accidental rule were being followed, then I would play the note as first marked when the accidental occurred until the end to the line. (I also would be following the key signature.) Then, when I got to the first bar of the next line, I play the note as natural until it is once again notated as sharp/flat, and from that point every time I see that note, it should be played as the accidental indicated. Simple.

    However, with this book, I do not believe it follows the accidental rule, although often it looks like it could. For instance, for the Eb diminished #4 I am working on at the moment, Eb is specifically marked twice in the first bar; the second bar, when E appears, it has no flat sign. Neither does it have a natural sign. Could be a passing tone, could simply be a mistake.

    If I were following the accidental rule, I would play Eb. If I am meant to play it specifically as written, however, I would play it as E.

    As a matter of interest, in the next line of Eb dim (containing two bars), every single instance of 'E' is marked as Eb. So, if I was guessing from that, I would probably play the note above as E natural.

    There are many instances in the book which are unclear - but it appears to me that this book does not properly follow the rule of accidentals.

    I generally play the exercises exactly as written, as opposed to following the rule of accidentals. Not how I was taught to read music, but it seems to be how this thing is written.

    I have occasionally changed an etude/exercise where the note does not appear either to be a chord tone or approach note. It doesn't happen often.

    EDIT: for clarity, I have scanned in the bars I am working on, with the E which I am undecided on marked. Make of it what you will. What say you all? :)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. bench

    bench

    Dec 28, 2007
    Germany

    exactly my point. you put it clearer as i did. thanks.
     
  7. Rudreax

    Rudreax

    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    Aren't those 16th notes, with an 8th note on the very last beat of every second bar?

    Also, I always thought that the accidental rule only applied to each bar, and not each line. In this case, that note would be an E.
     
  8. Yeah, it does. There's a good article (downloadable as a .pdf file) here, that covers using accidentals & how lots of publishers seem to not follow the unwritten rules
     
  9. CDweller

    CDweller

    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    Maybe Mr. Appleman can be contacted to clarify this. I believe he is still active at Berklee.
     
  10. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Re: 16th notes - Whoops, my bad, thanks. Not sure what I was thinking. D'oh! Will edit that for clarity.

    Just checking my music notation books, it looks like you're right about accidentals not carrying across a bar-line (unless the note is tied across the bar line). Strange, I always remembered it as applying to the entire line, not just the measure. Quite a few orchestras I was in when I was younger and still played clarinet seemed to do it that way. Perhaps I misremember...

    Well, that clears that up for me. 'E' it is. Thanks!
     
  11. bench

    bench

    Dec 28, 2007
    Germany
    i don´t have an answer. the problem with those diminished exercises is, for me, that it´s hard to let the ear guide you, because there are less reference points as the whole sound is rather "unstable".... compared to maj7 or min7.

    Also, the natural in front of the f (last note in the first bar) makes no sense to me at all, because there hasn´t been a sharpened or flatted f in the exercise before... if i´m not mistaken....

    guess we´ll have to deal with these "insecurities"....:bawl:
     
  12. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    But it would naturalize from the key if showen or presummed known, if not it would be an error, because you cannot naturalize
    ( return) something that has not been altered surely?
     
  13. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    FWIW, this has always been the rule as I've known and delt with it since it was taught this way in High School, College and various instructional materials, and I'm now 45. Although I'm from the midwest, I've lived and worked all over the US (and sometimes out of it) and have never seen it applied differently (other than a typo).
     
  14. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    It could really go either way-those Ds if natural would be leading tones into the E flats, or if D flat they would be the 7th of the chord. I'll bet it's a copy typo-this was likely hand copied since the original book was released in 1981. I'll try to dig out my old copy of Chord Studies for Trombone and see what Phil Wilson's original idea was.
     
  15. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The accidental is only good for the bar in which it occurs-a new bar goes back to the original key signature. I'm guessing that those additional B flats in the 16th excerpt is just to emphasize the note (or a typo).
    Remember, the IMPORTANT notes in these etudes are the Roots, 3rds, 5ths, 7ths. If you circle or highlight them, you will see that the rest are all approach tones, etc. for the most part. In some of the dominant 7th exercises the altered 9s, 11s, and 13s come into play.:bassist:
     
  16. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    You can help your ear to "hear" the exercise better by spending time on the preliminary arpeggios and approach tone exercises (the ones in 8th notes).
    Here's an interesting trick about the diminished approach tone exercises-the approach tones are ANOTHER diminished chord 1/2 step below the chord, i.e.
    b-C d-Eb f-Gb ab-Bbb (enharmonically an A)
    b-d-f-ab = b diminished
    C-Eb-Gb-Bbb (A) =C diminished
    this also yields a diminished scale, BTW :)
    b-C-d-Eb-f-Gb-ab-Bbb(A)-b = diminished scale starting on 1/2 step
    Diminished scales and chords are totally symmetrical. The chords are ALL minor 3rd intervals and the scales use 1/2 step-whole step-1/2 step-whole step
    As a young Jazz student I thought they were total Voodoo, but once I got the hang of the interval structure they became really easy to use.
    David Baker (cellist and trombonist, Professor at Indiana University in Jazz Studies) uses a ton of diminished ideas in his etudes. Highly recommended....
     
  17. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I just did what I should have done in the first place, step away from the computer, pick up a bass and play it :D
    The Ds in the last measure of your second excerpt are all D flats, remember this is the sound of an Eb 7th chord (Eb-G-Bb-Db). I guess the copyist was just being careful by putting all of those Bbs in the earlier measure.
    Duke Ellington: "If it sounds good, it is good"
    When in doubt, pick up your bass and play it and see what makes musical sense....
     
  18. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Not online there isn't. We are still a Mom & Pop sized music school and we keep the musical information in-house for now. Actually it is a perfect environment for players because while we are small, the one-on-one lessons are fantastic.
     
  19. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    You practice until it bothers you. Then you take a break and go back and practice a little more. Almost nobody improves by practicing until it is painful or a total bore. One practices minimally, a half an hour at a time. Then you can increase it little by little. But the idea os to learn, not learn TODAY. If you practice a little bit of great music regularly, you will improve. If you practice a little longer, then you will improve a little bit more. But you don't need to practice for hours unless you are used to doing this.

    Secondly, you don't practice for a gig. You play a gig! A gig is an in-time performance and you can't practice in-time performance. You can only perform in-time. Like the separation of academia and art, gigging is its own reality and needs to be done as a gig is done, in time, and learned well before the gig commences.
     
  20. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Either a b9 or a misprint. Either way, the note fits the chord.

    A few guys have been confused about accidental note names which suggests to me that maybe some guys don't know their harmony well enough. But, the truth is that isn't hard to decipher a note that could be a misprint or an actual pitch because the chord name will answer that question immediately, if you know your harmony. I never had any problems with Chord Studies for Trombone because the name of the chord always made it clear the name of the note in question. Either it was this or that. Didn't matter to me because I was still learning the music perfectly related to the chord name.

    Chord names spell out exact tonalities which include the chord tones, scale tones, and passing tones. There shouldn't be this much confusion about the name of a note, unless one may not have the harmonic skills to know what the correct names are.

    If this is true, then this is a great day for some of you. I told you all that music is the "Great Exposer", the number one clear way to identify one's ability in music and as a player either for better or for worse. It holds no secrets about one's musical capability and it is far far , or lack thereof. It is a million times more stern and in-your-face about the true capability of many players than I have ever been accused of. This is where the men are separated from the boys. The men recognize their deficiencies and do something about it and the boys don't. Frankly this is how it works in all amateur and professional pursuits.

    Music answers all questions and it also raised loads of them, as evidenced by the discussion over the meaning of a single note or a couple of confusing accidentals.

    Run, do not walk, to the nearest great jazz teacher and let them help you to de-mystify the music that plays havoc with some here. I said it for years, but with a lot of non-acceptance from a lot of people when I said that music is a hard road. It is the Great Exposer of us all. It is also the number one way to improve as a player in academic methods, and today maybe some can now see this. Celebrate your confusion because mistakes and lack of knowledge are the beelines toward great musical improvement. That is what they show to anybody who is truly dedicated toward musical improvement.if you have the cajones to improve that which you may not know today, then in one year, you will be three times the bass players you are today.
     

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