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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000408.txt from 2003/10

From: Troy Shimkus <>
Subj: RE: [kl] band directors
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 15:20:53 -0400

Just a quick note froma newbie to the list. It seems
to me that the ability to play jazz is more a state of
mind than a matter of training. Once you understand
how to play the instrument and know how to make a good
sound, you can play jazz. All thats left to gain an
understanding of is chord changes and developing your
ear a bit more. Playing jazz improv is easy if you
think of it as easy. Just become familar with the
harmonic strucure of the piece (either by ear or by
chord analysis) and then play those notes for the
solo. Just pick out a couple of rhythmic motifs and
put some different notes there and you've got a good
beginning jazz practice. As for the jazz sound, I
think yes, there is definateyl a difference between a
classical orchestral sound, a wind band sound, and a
jazz sound. They are subtle differences, but
differneces nontheless.

Now, yes, I've oversimplified the concept jazz improv
(sorry to all those hard core jazz players, I don't
mean to make what you do seem less awesome) but when I
teach my students to start improv, I make sound that
simple and it works for them. I am very much a
believer in the power of the mind and I think that
people who are classicaly trained for so long develop
a dependancy on the written note and have to un-learn
that dependency before they can improv.


--- Noel Taylor <> wrote:
> Oh dear, I think as a self-confessed "functionally
> illiterate" player who
> mostly gets by playing by ear, I do have to make one
> or two points. It
> probably is very "one-dimensional" to not know
> enough sight reading and
> notation to follow a score, but that doesn't mean
> that the music an
> improviser can produce is necessarily always going
> to be 'one-dimensional'.
> Indeed, I could just as easily, in return, regard
> someone who can't
> improvise but is trained up to the eyeballs as
> musically limited. As it
> happens, I don't really think like that - although
> it is an enormous mystery
> to me how anyone can play an instrument with a high
> degree of skill and yet
> freeze completely once the dots aren't there to
> read. I just can't
> understand the process - and yet I've met so many
> people who say that's how
> they are and nothing can be done about it.
> As for players like myself being "stuck in their own
> little world" - it's
> true, all true... but it's still quite a vast world
> out there, even so. I
> also find the notion of notated jazz (without any
> passages of improvisation
> at all) - ever so slightly weird. In defence of
> Mathew's remark about a
> 'jazz sound' - this is such a common linguistic
> construct that I see no
> reason to quibble with it. Have you ever heard top
> opera singers trying to
> sing jazz...? What an embarrassment! They (I'm sure
> there are some
> honourable exceptions) sing all the notes correctly,
> but they get them all
> wrong. It don't mean a thing, etc...
> Noel Taylor
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Buckman, Nancy []
> > Sent: 13 October 2003 16:39
> > To:
> > Subject: RE: [kl] band directors
> >
> >
> > Matthew,
> >
> > You don't need a special clarinet to make a jazz
> sound. Jazz
> > isn't a sound at all. It's a style. I use the
> same set-up
> > for my jazz ensemble playing that I use for my
> orchestral
> > playing. I will grant that it is easier to bend
> notes on a
> > mouthpiece that is more open at the tip. But with
> a minimum
> > of practice, it can be learned on any mouthpiece.
> Even you
> > could learn to play in the jazz style Matthew. I
> am no jazz
> > player and still can't improvise on my own, but I
> know the
> > style well enough, so that if the music is notated
> on paper,
> > I can play "in the style" and you wouldn't know
> otherwise,
> > that I am not fully literate as a jazz musician.
> There
> >
> > As for those people who only play by ear, there is
> something
> > to be said for the fact that they do derive
> enjoyment of
> > music. But there is so much that they are
> missing....kind of
> > like the functionally illiterate. They can't
> notate anything
> > they create or read anything that anyone else
> creates. They
> > are stuck in their own little world, unless there
> is someone
> > to help them write or read music - so
> one-dimensional. And
> > when your ship band leader discusses chords and
> their
> > progression or wants to begin rehearsal at bar
> "whatever",
> > that clarinetist hasn't a clue about what is going
> on.
> >
> > Nancy
> >
> > Nancy E. Buckman, CPO, AFO, Technical Assistant
> > School of Health Professions, Wellness and
> Physical Education
> > Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD
> 21012-1895 USA
> > Phone 410-777-2316 Fax 410-777-2233 E-mail
> >
> >
> > or
> > if you
> get the
> > For help: send an email
> to
> send email
> > to Klarinet is a
> service of
> > Woodwind.Org, Inc.
> >
> >
> or
> if you get
> the digest.
> For help: send an email to
> Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

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