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 Re: Jazz Clarinet
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2017-08-18 23:39

Thank you for posting the transcription!

Ear training: It's great you do this.

I've mentioned this before, so it will be short. Ear training should start with kids learning simple diatonic melodies. Instead, they wait until you get to college and then expect you to begin by transcribing random chromatic intevals and random chromatic chords of all qualities and in all inversions. The idea seems to be that playing by ear is an inexplicable gift, and you can either do it or not, so no real instruction is required.

Jazz education has changed a lot, but I still hear things like, "If you want to learn Jazz go out and transcribe records." The implication being that if you can't do that all at once, you might as well not even try playing Jazz. I'm sure that does not fairly characterize everyone, or even most, but I still see it and hear it a lot.

On the Classical side improvisation, which was once simply an essential part of making music, somehow became an illicit activity. In part I think this explains why some players, especially young ones, find it so mysterious and intimidating.

Basically we need to change two parts of our music culture.

1. We should dispense with the idea that playing by ear and improvising are unique gifts given only to a few, which you either have or do not have.

2. We need to see playing by ear and improvising as something that can be learned, and must be learned, not only so one can pick things up, or play Jazz, but as an essential and indespensible musical skill for all playing and listening.

Obviously not everyone will be able to play like Bach or Benny Goodman, but there is a lot of unrealized potential out there, even among fine musicians.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2017-08-18 23:41)

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