1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Why Jeff Berlin should be president of all music education

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by John Wentzien, Nov 10, 2009.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Thank you Jeff, now can we all get on with learning something from your vast experience and have your time better used rather than justifying what you might or might not have said, ment or not ment in your long and distingushed career.;)
     
  2. Hi jeff, any time spent replying to this is deeply appreciated. Ok so i want to further myself as a player and musician and im self taught and apparently there are no good teachers where i am in the uk as it turns out, i want to teach myself to read but i want to know the best way to go about it... i know where the notes are and stuff and i guess i just have to familiarize myself with different written rhythms, how should i go about this? Buy a trombone book with a cd so i can hear what certain written patterns sound like? Or any other suggestions/methods? again thanks so much... Ps: we want you at bass day uk again :D
     
  3. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
     
  4. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Frank gave me the guitar part in treble clef to a piece called Pedro's Dowry. Frank was an odd guy and so I thought that this was what he wished me to learn, as it is an odd choice for a bass player. The piece looks like modern art, not a single note nor a single bar repeats itself. I learned it (thank you violin background) and when we started to rehearse this tune, he asked me what I was playing. I showed him the music, and then he said to me, "Oh no! I gave you the guitar part by mistake!"
     
  5. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    I have no problem with direct conversation. Some do and for their sense of politeness, I will try to avoid this.
     
  6. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Reading music is like reading (for Americans) English. You don't get the skill down in 6 months. It takes a while if you do it correctly, and it is really hard to describe the correct way to read. In a nutshell it is about repeating the process. You read slowly, out of time, no metronomes, making mistakes along the way and INSTANTLY repairing them. This is how you learn to read correctly
     
  7. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    I'm not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?
     
  8. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Not with you! I won't respond to you at all! Write what you will, say what you wish. But, as I did in MySpace with you , I am blocking you. Argue in your passive aggressive manner about simple musical issues elsewhere.
     
  9. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    Hi Jeff,

    I have different experiences with this. I'm playing for 10 years now on electric bass, last 9 years exlusively fretless.
    Last your I bought a (cheap) double bass and took a few lessons.
    I realized at the start that it isn't a instrument for me, to the point that I have aspiration to become a double bassist.
    Still I have the double bass only for practice reason. Sort of like a warm up tool.
    Intonation, ear training, training of my left hand muscles and wrist.
    When I pick up my electric bass guitar afterwards it helps me to play with less strain on my left hand.
    I also have a classical and electric guitar for practice purpose only. Alternating between these different stringed instruments with different scales is positive in my mind.
    I look at it as learing my left hand to have several different "settings" of muscle memory.
    So my physique (fingers, hand, arms, strength) is more flexible, while I rely on my ears better to play to have the right intonation and sense of rhythm.

    What is your opinion on this?


    I agree with you that double bass and electric bass are completely different instruments.
    And for me personally, electric bass guitar is where it's at.
    I started double bass maybe led by comments from some jazz cats like "double bass is the only instrument to play jazz".
    My opinion now is the they are both as good instruments to do it.
    It's just a different instrument with a different instrumentalist, both can work just fine.
     
  10. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    WOW,... that is beautifully put Jeff.
    I agree so much with this.

    I started playing clarinet when I was 9. My teacher was a great guy and one of the best clarinetist in these parts (Belgium and Holland).

    But, his initial lessons were obsessed with time. I had to learn rhythm and time signatures before anything else.
    Every lesson we had to use a metronome.

    Until we got to some actually melodies.
    At home I practiced it out of time, just getting the melodie and intonation down.

    So later on I could try to get it down on the proper rhythm.
    And it worked for me.
    And I think it is exactly like what you mean to say by that musical advice.
     
  11. Thanks for the advice jeff, about it being a slow process, great stuff, i think we try and jump the gun too often and push ourselves leading to doing things incorrectly, it's inspiring to hear that you put that work in like we all have to. In terms of reading slowly and out of time, i reckon the focus is on recognising the notes as opposed to the rhythms? At what point does recognising rhythms etc. Come into it? Sorry for my novice questions but as has been previously stated forums are great in that those of us generally afraid to ask such questions can do so without repercussions, and i wasnt going to miss the chance to speak to you! Thanks again... Ps on a side note could you tell us about your personal practice regime if it is a regime at all?
     
  12. Billnc

    Billnc

    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Jeff,
    One of the tangents this thread went off on a ways back was taking bits of the melody of a tune and working with that. I used to do this on guitar, as I've never done this on bass I've written some fragments from Impressions melody, starting on different chord tones etc. There are lots of ways to permutate a line, expand it via chromaticism etc. Do you have a particular favorite method(s) of altering a line? The idea is to use melodic material from the tune itself as a vehicle for improvisation.
     
  13. bench

    bench

    Dec 28, 2007
    Germany
    it´s a project featuring you, Barbara Unger Wertico (keyboards), Lefteris Christofis (guitars) and Paul Wertico (drums)

    there´s a short clip on youtube, nice stuff...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNHkPPKkGfA
     
  14. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I compare it to reading English as well. By the time a student is a High School Senior (in the US) he has a written and spoken vocabulary of maybe 30,000 words. He or she no longer has to phonetically "sound out" the words like they did at 5 or 6. There are certain rhythmic and melodic "words" that we see over and over again in music. The trick is to learn how to see them quickly. Carol Kaye did a great section in one of her old books called "How to sight read boogaloo" (told you it was an old book) that broke most syncopated funk licks down into 3 basic patterns and showed how to count them in 8/8 time. You start to see that triads look a certain way on paper as do scales, etc. Over time, your reading vocabulary will increase just as it did in English (or Spanish in Jeff's case :)
    Good readers are able to "scan' a phrase and get an idea of where to play things. Since there are several ways to play anything on the neck TAB doesn't help and may even hurt when you're dealing with this. The key is consistent work. I was blessed because NTSU placed such a high emphasis on reading for their Big Band oriented Jazz program so I was practicing sight-reading for 4-5 hours a day as a College freshman. After a lot of intense study all of this got internalized and I only had to practice for maintenance on reading. When I start to feel rusty out comes the cello and trombone books....
     
  15. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    The physical approach to an instrument is easy. Anybody in good health can do it. The content part is harder, which is why some reject it. I personally don't see the merit to practicing an acoustic bass so that my electric chops would be improved. The more music that I learn on the electric, the more that my technique would have a purpose in being developed. I have no technical difficulties on the e bass, but I have a ton of musical issues that I try to solve. P.S. Warm ups are pretty much a none issue. Just take good musical content and play it. Read your music, practice your chord tones, and you are not just warming up, but warming up with a musical purpose.
     
  16. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    The single biggest problem with players is that they confuse academics with art. This is why so many practice with metronomes; they believe that they must get a performance element as they practice. No you don't because if one practices slowly and learns their lesson, you will automatically, without fail, develop a performance-type interpretation to what you are learning.
     
  17. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Learning music isn't for everybody who doesnt have higher aspirations toward good playing skills. I certainly don't have high aspirations toward boxing, cooking or gardening. But I do these these things in a low-goal-type manner. Still I learn correctly and practice correctly because if one chooses a hobby, then one ought to do it well just for the pleasure of doing something right. Who wants to own golf clubs and not be able to get the ball to the green.
     
  18. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Electric and Upright are 2 different instruments. They use different muscles of the body, different fingering systems and they only thing they have in common is range and strings, IMHO. I have seen electric teachers try to teach reading and scale concepts using the Simandl method (and some of these guys are close friends and colleagues) and it seems to be a disaster. I have a lot of students at Belmont who have never touched an upright before they get to college. I find that the Vance/Rabbath method along with Chuck Sher and Rufus Reid teaches them to transfer their knowledge from one instrument to the other faster. Hans Strurm has some great clips on how this school works. After they learn the whole fingerboard, Simandl makes much more sense and helps to solidify intonation for Orchestral playing.
     
  19. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Roy is a voice of authority. Listen to him.
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's a great quote and personally I agree completely - but I do know that there are people who buy guitars and basses not to play, but just to hang on the wall for how they look ...:meh:

    I wonder if there are people who buy golf clubs just to sit unused in their hall or office - to give friends/colleagues, the impression they are "sporty"!! ;)
     

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.