Thursday, May 04, 2006

Jazz Edjucatoon

When surfing the net and reading some jazz websites, such as many musicians websites, one will soon see that being a jazz musician and teacher are one in the same. The thing that I wonder is if jazz was a little more popular would there be as many teachers? You don't see people like Lars Ulrich and Richie Sambora giving lessons to rock wannabees. I think the reason you see so many jazz musicians that are into teaching is that it's a meal ticket. You can read stories about musicians who will give you a lesson at the hotel, or Wynton who will help youngsters, that's not what I'm talking about.

The only problem with this is that the aspiring jazz musician will be overwhelmed by all the teaching info, when what they should be doing is learning from recordings and checking out live music if possible. How many people do you run into who study with a teacher but don't have many recordings? Lots in my experience.

I do believe it's important to learn the basic skills for your instrument from someone, but some get by without that so much. I'm a guitar player (hangs head in shame:) ) and my best teacher was a letter carrier who used to play classical guitar, he could hardley play due to injuries. His approach was to pay attention to the sound you are making. I've had lessons from Ron Eschete, Kenny Burrell, Peter Leitch among others (some in group settings), so that says a lot about him.


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