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Musical direction (trumpet/bass)

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by sir juice, Apr 4, 2009.


  1. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    I posted this in one of the main forums but given that you play play the 2 instruments I'm referring to you may have some insight.

    As well as playing bass, I play trumpet, and I'm about the same level on both.

    For the first time in a while, I'm really enjoying playing both instruments, normally I gravitate to one or the other on and off.

    I feel at some point soon I'm going to have to choose one over the other so I can put in all the work I feel I should (I only have about 2-3 hours on week nights for all my musical practice - practicing both instruments, composition, ear training etc.)

    On bass I love controlling the groove and locking with a drummer, I know some great drummers and it's always a pleasure playing with them.

    On trumpet I can really take centre stage and soar in a solo, it's not so much an attention thing, I take solos on bass too, but they don't have the same effect, something about not being able to squeeze the juice out of a note in the same way.

    And as far as career is concerned I have a strong urge to entertain, which means I'd rather not try and make a living playing in dingy jazz clubs to other musicians, I'd feel as if I wasn't actually contributing to society in the same way. I can't really think of many gigs on trumpet that would really cater to the masses in the same way bass could, I love jazz and classical, but I don't like their audience so much, too elitist.

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. BassSlave

    BassSlave

    Mar 2, 2006
    Chicago via Park Forest IL
    Endorsing artist: Sadowsky Basses & Dean Markley Strings
    I started off playing both trumpet and bass for the first twenty years of my thirty-three years in music and was equally adept at both and more naturally a trumpet player so I gravitated toward bass so that I could get more work and studied hard to learn to read equally as well in bass clef. I still will study from my Arban/Clarke book on the bass and apply useful triple and double tonguing techniques to bass and anything else that translates well. My heart is still that of a trumpeteer, so when I solo I apply harmonic schemes that horn players would tend to follow. I still perform the traditional bass role as well and very happy the switch was made but miss my trumpet, but not when using my MIDI pickup on my six-string and piccolo/tenor basses using my muted trumpet patch. If I would have switched to trumpet, I would probably have a MIDI equipped EVI and play as many bass lines and grooves as I could get away with. I do have horn playing friends that have both EWI and EVI and when they play with me, I have them playing bass stuff and I play the horn stuff and you almost can't tell who's doing what. Ok, now I forgot the question....
     
  3. janekbass

    janekbass

    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://bassstudio.janekgwizdala.com
    there's no other way to offer advice other than to say you have to go with what you truly feel.

    You're obviously well aware of the roles of each instrument and what they might bring to the table should you choose one or the other. But it's really what's inside you and which instrument suits you the best that I think your issue is here.

    I honestly think that it doesn't matter what instrument you play. If you have something to say, it's going to come out no matter what the vehicle is. I'm pretty sure I'm identifiable if i play piano, bass, trumpet, guitar or drums as being me, because no one else in the world is going to make the same choices in the way I will. Just the same as I won't have the same thoughts and feelings as someone else no matter what I play.

    Easy,

    Janek
     
  4. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    Just an afterthought out of interest...

    While you were growing up in London, did you ever attend things like NYJO or Junior Academy or WAC or the like?
     
  5. janekbass

    janekbass

    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://bassstudio.janekgwizdala.com
    I did do nyjo for a while when I was in london, and I went to the academy for the jazz program when I was 18, but only stayed a year before moving to the states.

    Easy,

    Janek
     
  6. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    Just another quickie...

    What's would you say the divide in time should be between practicing soloing through chord tones, chord scales etc. over changes methodically and coming up with own licks as opposed to transcription?

    I've found both to be useful, what were you doing way back when?
     

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