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Music Teachers and the Internet and Bitter Irony

2

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  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    edited December 2015 Posts: 450
    That seems fair Kevin.

    I have met some nice people here and if I can find a place I will be glad to participate more positively if I may. I actually thought that the main butt of this thread was in fact myself. I am of course describing my own past.

    I believe that we are all drawn to the guitar through love of music. However this love is easily commercialised . Sometimes this helps us but at other times it leads us around in circles and causes us to neglect our personal capacity for learning at a slower and deeper level.

    All musical progress is hard earned but when we are lucky we learn to love the work and the time spent. I often find when teaching that someone who has learned on their own has more flexibility and insight than someone who has been sold easy answers and often I learn more from them than they from me.

    But also I find that many people have too many fish to fry, they can execute some flashy stuff and they always want to get flashier and flashier because the hunger to make music is not satisfied with simple things. Having never really learned to squeeze the music out of simple material their deep love of music is never met. And this becomes a vicious circle.

    I was such a person and probably still am to a great extent. While I appreciate that 'cakes and sweets are not only for the virtuous' and that everyone should work on a variety of levels if they are to have as much fun as possible on their instrument I honestly believe that the most lasting satisfaction comes at the most basic levels and that the satisfaction that a player or listener can derive from the bells and whistles is also to a great extent built from that.

    This is not a commercially rewarding position to advocate and it is one which many people find offensive. But I do find it to be one that is worth putting out there.

    I regret that I am neither a gracious nor eloquent proponent of this position.

    But I also feel that if we are to have an exchange of ideas then a wide variety of voices should be heard. Not only the comfortable ones. And not only the easy answers.

    I will also go further and say that I prefer warmth to politeness as politeness can often be a mask for exclusivity.

    D.




    BucoKarenAnn
  • If you choose to see it as a mask, then it will appear as a mask to you.
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Posts: 450
    It is often remarked that people wear masks to hide from themselves.

    D.
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    NylonDave wrote: »

    This is not a commercially rewarding position to advocate and it is one which many people find offensive. But I do find it to be one that is worth putting out there.

    I don't know where you are encountering or perceiving offense. It might surprise you how many "allies" you have in this position. Just off the top of my head I can say that @Jazzaferri and Denis Chang on the boards stand out to me as vocal proponents of that position. In the community at large Tcha Limberger is quite unequivocal in his opinion on the matter, and perhaps most publicly and famously Fapy Lafertin has certainly expressed as much with great "warmth" much to the chagrin of many younger players.

    I have observed a cyclical nature to many of these discussions over the years. Some of the great conundrums of this very niche music that always seem to come up?

    Be it resolved that...

    1) gypsy jazz is neither gypsy music nor jazz music
    2) we don't need to worry about gear, player X sounds the same no matter what guitar he or she plays
    3) if it isn't a hot club formation it isn't gypsy jazz, except those times when it is
    4) the first 30 years are the hardest... now would someone please explain that to this 12 year old who plays better than I do?
    5) transcribing Django solos by ear is the best way to learn... except for maybe this book/video/trip/lesson/method
    6) forget #2 I need a new pick, guitar, strings, etc.
    7) I need to stop practicing and jam more
    8) I need to stop jamming so much and woodshed
    9) we need to learn more melodies
    10) rhythm players need to play more softly
    11) lead players need to get their right hand technique in order so that rhythm players can play louder
    12) this genre needs to either evolve and/or stay traditional, probably in equal measure
    13) you need to go to Django in June sooner rather than later... but learn some things first... but not really just go

    All this and more will be discussed endlessly and to the great satisfaction of absolutely everyone :-) so no need for urgency, just enjoy the ride.
    terrassierLango-DjangoaltonNoneBucorichter4208LoritmoBarkonator
  • Posts: 3,575
    While Dave's writings made me scratch my head a few times I can't deny that his pokings have resulted in some of the nicest writings by others I have read here in a while.
    Actually there's a lot of truth in his post above as well.
    All I wanted to ask after reading the initial post last night was Dave how much did you actually practice today?
    And it reminded me of a story when I went fishing one time with a friend and his cousins who were supposed to be great fishermen. I was the only guy that caught any fish that day. The equipment was the most rudimentary you can imagine, a line over your finger with 3 hooks at the end of it and weights. I went against every advice of my friend's cousins experts as to which spots on this gorgeous river were the catchers spots and chose the ones I could chil and enjoy the view. I never caught so much fish in my life. The experts went home emty handed. During the dinner my friend's parents joked if it weren't for this Bosnian non-fisherman we'd all be going to bed hungry.
    I think this was the last time I caught any fish
    I probably run up my life quota that day.
    This story has no point whatsoever, it's just something that happened to me years ago.
    kevingcoxNylonDave
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • terrassierterrassier France
    Posts: 101
    Buco wrote: »
    While Dave's writings made me scratch my head a few times I can't deny that his pokings have resulted in some of the nicest writings by others I have read here in a while.
    Actually there's a lot of truth in his post above as well.
    All I wanted to ask after reading the initial post last night was Dave how much did you actually practice today?
    And it reminded me of a story when I went fishing one time with a friend and his cousins who were supposed to be great fishermen. I was the only guy that caught any fish that day. The equipment was the most rudimentary you can imagine, a line over your finger with 3 hooks at the end of it and weights. I went against every advice of my friend's cousins experts as to which spots on this gorgeous river were the catchers spots and chose the ones I could chil and enjoy the view. I never caught so much fish in my life. The experts went home emty handed. During the dinner my friend's parents joked if it weren't for this Bosnian non-fisherman we'd all be going to bed hungry.
    I think this was the last time I caught any fish
    I probably run up my life quota that day.
    This story has no point whatsoever, it's just something that happened to me years ago.

    Dont you start ;)
    Buco
  • Thanks for your thoughts, Dave. I can appreciate a different opinion. But perhaps I will understand them when they are presented in a bit more of a straightforward way and without making assumptions about folks. But I'd rather play this music than wax poetic about what is wrong with it or assume that I understand what people's motivations are. See Zappa's quote regarding dancing about architecture. I've learned alot through this place and have met quite a few good people through here. That's what I'll prefer to take. I hope you get whatever you want out of this place. Maybe we'll meet in real life and play a few songs. Peace.

    Jim
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    edited December 2015 Posts: 450
    Hey Jim, I am familiar with the dancing about architecture thing.

    Perhaps predictably I have an unusual take on it. Are you familiar with the waggle dance ? Not quite architecture but actually on a grander scale. It's bees dancing about geography, for the purposes of alerting each other to the most fertile grazing.

    In a way that is entirely what niche forums are about.

    I agree that it would be better if we could all be present and play a few songs. (Just let me know well in advance the songs to study as I have a lot to learn and my memory isn't what it was).

    Perhaps I should have said simply that I very rarely see the advice to find the best local teacher available given on forums. I have been lucky enough to have had some great relationships with teachers and really the one on one is as important for teaching as it is for jamming or performing. I note here that Denis made a strong attempt to show this on his accompaniment DVD. And I do feel that the consequences of the erosion of the one on one teaching experience can be heard at all levels.

    But maybe it was always the same, boys will be boys. I have accumulated an awful lot of resources over the years but with the books closed I realise that most of it I don't really own at all. Everything that I can sing the tune to whilst strumming I do own though, and if I could change just one thing about my journey in music I would have found a teacher who could really have convinced me of that on day one. And I do not see that teaching experience available online because it is not and cannot be an online experience (and I include skype lessons here also).

    And that is not an attack on anyone in particular (although I do understand that if it rings true those who choose may take offense or imagine that I am targeting them personally), it just makes me a little sad. I admit that I find it a little baffling that sharing my own regrets should meet such confident approbrium. I like the advice to take the music seriously but oneself less so. And that goes for groups as well as individuals.

    And of course I wish all of you the very very best.

    So so long and thanks for all the fish.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waggle_dance
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 299
    Myself, I always identified with the worm. . . .
  • edited December 2015 Posts: 3,707
    Well, having been labelled as an advocate of some position or other I feel comp lied to say that I categorically beleive that as no one has yet successfully defined "jazz" Gypsy Jazz can call itself that and it will be.

    When I think about the art of fishing, Having seen someone tickle a trout for real....... All the rest,......flies, spinners baits ....rods....reels ....seem so trivial ......almost detrimental to the art of catching fish.

    And on a schoolmarmish note....the word is opprobrium.....

    As far as wacko beliefs go, there are a number of the greats in the jazz community who beleive that we just channel what is out there in the universe at large.. While I have no illusions to my status, I beleive that idea is probably much closer to the "truth" of the matter than any other.

    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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