Author: Tom Puwalski
Date: 2005-12-22 23:20
Ok a few questions are in order.
1. what has been your exposure to klezmer up to this point. Who have heard, what CDs do you own?
2. what is your goal? Do you want to just sit at home and read a tune out of the book or do you want to maybe be good enough to sit with a pianist, guitar player or accordionist and be able to do a respectible job to the music?
3. If you knew that you wouldn't be "spinning your wheels" and that every min you spent on a project like this would be benificial, would you really get into it?
The first thing I would do is get The Compleat Klezmer, by sopoznik It has a CD with a bunch of historic performances and lead sheets in C, it's not a transcription book. Look at the music and circle the places that someone ornaments a melody note, start the ear out slow. I routinely teach groups of clarinet players, many who are "Clasically impared" by which I mean, think they can't play a note with out music, how play klezmer tunes totally by ear. It's not that hard if you start with a very small section. I'm serious By ear is the only way anyone can get better at any type of music. If I like the way Ricardo plays a lick in Buccoulique, I copy it. If Dave Tarras does something I think is hip, you can bet it goes into my bag of tricks. I've written a book, I describe the process of learning klezmer. I transcribed a few of dave tarras and Naftule brandwein tunes, but to get my book and just read the notes wouldn't teach you very much. To look at it and have Dave or Naftule, play for you. That is the only way I have found that anyone can really learn this stuff. The clarinetists' that I respect, Andy Statman, Giora Feidman, Dave krackour, Fred Jackobawitz, all learned by listening to the same Guys. And if you heard all of us at one concert, I'm sure we all would play the same piece very differently.
Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance