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UK Jazzwise Summer School

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by RIKODRIKO, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - Martin Speake's group was very demanding when I was with him the year before last - I felt really stretched and the young guitarist who was in the group was clearly "feeling it" by the end of the week - I remember chuckling, when Martin suggested to him that he shouldn't be drinking so much each night, if he wanted to be able to keep up!! ;)

    Dave Wickens does say each year, that if you feel you are in the wrong group - to talk to him as early as possible and he will try to accomodate people - but I know it's realy difficult if you've never been before and I have never had the nerve to do this...;)
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think you have to be thick-skinned, which luckily I am!! ;)

    So this only happened to me the first year I went, where I was clearly the worst musician in our group - the drummer was a female assistant tutor, just out of the Guildhall course and set on a professional career - so by the end of the week , I remember she said to me - what is it that you can play!!?

    I was just sort of "faking" lines and had only been playing
    Jazz for less than a year - but I loved just being on stage, playing with other people and the tutor was very encouraging - wanted me to play a solo - but I "chickened out" and determined to do more the next year!

    I went with 5 or 6 friends and some of the more "sensitive souls" were in tears by the end of the week and never came back..
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Crikey! :eek:

    I think the thing with bass is that to a certain degree you can keep it simple and get away with it. Although, as I found out last week, only to a point!

    I'm hoping my class will push me, but not so much that I dont enjoy it, i.e. spend the whole week feeling like crap and letting everyone down. I'm sure I'll be fine as long as the tempos dont get to high or the meters too odd!
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That was an exceptional week as 4 of these people had also just found out they were made redundant from their job, so it wasn't just the Jazz!! ;)

    I enjoy the challenge of playing with people better than me and as you say I think in Jazz, people actually prefer Bass players who keep it simple and turn down solos - so it's usually better to go for the harder option - whereas I know that it can get fraught for piano players I know, who have preferred a more "relaxed" week! :)
  5. anonymous8547j7d7b

    anonymous8547j7d7b Guest

    Jul 1, 2005
    "...and as you say I think in Jazz, people actually prefer Bass players who keep it simple and turn down solos..."

    As John Cleese once said - "Persecute! Kill the heretics!";)

    It's sadly true though. I reckon it might be 'cos Coltrane & Parker left us before they had a chance to record with the emerging laFaro/Gomez type cats - lets face it, a lot of much-loved "horn-player" stuff has little more than a barely pitched thud in the background (rant now over).

    As for the Aebersold summer school - I'd be there in a minute were it not for the ridiculous price. It's probably fair to assume that this reflects profiteering on the UK side of the arrangement - but hey! If the course is usually full/well attended then the price must be ok? Right? Isn't capitalism wonderful!:rolleyes:
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    that might work with horn players, but unless a bass player was struggling in one of the higher groups I can't see what they could have done about it...
  7. I think the one thing would say that I don't like about the Abersold approach is that it is based on a lot of the jazz from the 1950s and 60s - obviously there's some amazing stuff from this period - but the references that the tutors make don't often go further than Wayne Shorter etc - and Jaco barely gets a mention in the bass program - not that I would want to solely have people exposed to him as the only electric jazz bassist - and I've been introduced to some excellent DB jazz bass stuff while I've been there - reappreciating Scott LaFaro and others is invaluble - but there are in my experience a lot of electric jazz bassists on the course, more than DB - and I feel they don't really get a good idea of just how far the electric bass has come in jazz.

    It's kind of ironic that a more classic/traditional jazz route is what people actually want to play - which sort of backs up Abersold's slightly old school approach - but it is a music with a vast tradition and people should be aware of that before they go off on a tangent IMO - just like a good abstract painter learns how to draw properly before throwing out convention and creating his own visual language - some goes for music.

    I really like the sound of the Galmorgan course and may give it a go sometime - but I'm pleased to say that I am now getting a lot of 'real' live situations, i.e. decent paid gigs, to play in here in London and I get to play with some great jazz musicians now - and that is an education in itself...!

    Good thread this



  8. I suppose it is - because the course is full every year - and people often come back for several years - one couple even see it as their annual holiday...!

    As for keeping bass lines simple - I completely agree - as for turning your bass down in your solos - what? Turn it up man...! Sod the bastards who don't like the bass - if you don't like bass - you don;t like music...sorry I am very biased. :smug:

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually - I have seen it done - the thing is that several of the bass players and drummers in the higher standard small groups are actually "assistant tutors" - as they don't usually get enough of them!!

    So as you may remember, these are people who have just finished a music degree/course and are looking to become established as teachers - so they don't pay for the course and get expenses although no pay.

    One of these could easily stand aside and become a wandering coach or just swap with a "paying customer"!! ;)

    I have twice been in a group where the drummer wanted to move and they have swapped - in one case I felt I got a really good deal as I spent the rest of the week, playing with a professional level drummer and we did some Brazilian funk stuff that was well beyond the capability of our original drummer and went down a storm at the evening Jazz club!! :)
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Funnily enough - this was what originally attracted me to the Glamorgan SS - as the first few times I went - 7 years ago now, there were lots of electric bassists and I was playing 6-string BG as well!

    I also like their "European" approach - but as I mentioned it has changed recently and last couple of times there were more DB players than BG.

    I think in studying Jazz, my tastes have gone backwards....so I started out liking Jaco,Fusion etc - but in the last few years I keep discovering more and more artists that I really like from earlier - like Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Horace Silver etc etc. :)
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - Glamorgan is half price, with accommodation and cheap beer!! :) What's stopping you!!?? ;)

    Well...I think all these things do very well - so I was playing at the weekend with some of the people I went with last time and A Tenor Sax player mentioned how he had been told that Glamorgan was "full up/sold out" - he could go on a waiting list if anybody dropped out!!

    The brochure only went out last week!! :eek:

    But this is only the case for horns/piano really - they are always short of bass players and drummers - but vastly oversubcribed from other instruments!

    Good for us! :smug:
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Sure is, I wouldnt get gigs otherwise :D


    Mar 1, 2005
    Brighton UK.
    Well it looks like i might be joining whoever on the glamorgan jazz school... but im giving up a 2 week boat trip surfing in the maldives for this... so if you meet me, expect me to be in a bad mood and/or tearful!

    anyways... i see that the summer school is broken up into 2 weeks. Is the first week the beginners week and the second week for more advanced musicians?

    When are YOU going?

    Also, can you spend a day on another course? say maybe do a day on the drums or something like that? How does it work?

    Ill probably have more questions before i commit hard cash, but any comments would be very useful.


  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Nope, it's just two seperate weeks. I'm going the 1st week... mainly so I dont have to hear about what I missed in the first week ;)

    In short, no. This wouldnt really be a benefit, consider that you're in a class of (probably) strangers, will probably have a lot of material is get to performance standard and play live at the club during the week. You really do learn most by focussing on your chosen instrument in a group for a week. There would undoubtedly be the opportunity to play another instrument in early evening jam sessions or in a seperate session, but the classes are focussing you on one instrument in one group.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Do both - I'm going to Med in May/September and Jazz in July!! ;)

    Not formally - but it seems to be only the really serious people who do two weeks!! ;)

    I'm going for the first week - I've been 7 times and always the 1st week!!

    I've talked to many people who have been 2nd week and they say it's very similar but maybe slightly more serious.

    I know people who are going 1st week, which is my main reason - but I also feel it's like we're all starting together in the same boat - whereas if you go 2nd week, there will be people who have already met up, formed groups and be into it...?

    There are "options" - but basically you are signed up for the week on the Jazz course - it's not "instrument-specific" and you play what you bring - unless it's piano!!;)

    There have been options as I mentioned and twice I have done the percussion school option - where there were instruments provided and there was an outdoor perfromance of a Cuban percussion piece, with a large group - great fun!! :)

    Other times, there has been a choir , which I also enjoyed!
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ..just to add, after a week I'm pretty much jazzed out. Two weeks would be hard work, you'd have to pace yourself.

    I would love to spend my whole life playing and learning that much, but the contrast to real life is staggering. Last year I got to classes pre-9am, played all day until 5pm (with breaks for food of course), then went to jam session until 8pm, then went to the club and listened until around 1 or 2pm .. every day for a week.

    I'm usually out playing 3 or 4 times a week with gigs, jams, college and rehearsals, that on top of family, day job + practice is hard enough, but a week at Glamorgan, sheesh! :cool:

    I didnt know the 3nd week was more serious, I might consider that.. in the future :eyebrow:
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    As you say though - the 1st week is enough for me!! ;)

    A couple of times, I've felt it was too much for me and by Thursday I had to go for a "lie-down" in the afternoon...:p

    Now I tend to pace myself, more...
  18. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    heh :D I seem to remember thursday last year being the day I had real trouble playing anything and almost fell to pieces! I'm gonna take it easier on the booze this year as I'll be on upright which takes a lot more physical effort and concentration


    Mar 1, 2005
    Brighton UK.
    OK, good so far.

    next... i have only been playing bass for just under 2 years, and DB for just over a year of that... i played guitar a bit before, but not seriously at all... How do they grade you? I imagine, bruce, that if you have been 7 times, then you should be a pretty good player by now, or if not then there must be something wrong here.. ;) i know talent is subjective, but if i am crap (well, im not THAT crap), but relatively a newcomer to jazz and the DB, will i be in over my head? I have had weekly/bi weekly lessons for a year with John Banks.

    also, instruments - you guys are bringing you own? i have a NS as well as a ply acoustic, should i bring both plus my amp. I can fit them both in the car, but is it worth it?
  20. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    they grade you on a series of mutiple choice questions, along the lines of

    can you improvise over; II V I major, ii-V-i minor?
    do you improvise using the blues scale?

    with answers like

    1) I know what this means
    2) in some keys
    3) in most keys
    4) in all keys


    how many standard songs do you know from memory? none, 1 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, loads

    It really is a mixed bag, there are complete beginners there, and some very talented and experienced musicians. I've been lucky enough to find myself in well-suited groups both times - as a beginner you'll probably be fine.

    FTR, I've been playing electric for nearly 16 years, upright for just over 1 year and I consider myself a beginner, especially to jazz which I've been learning for about 3 years :)

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