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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Richard W] #2558512 01/06/14 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Richard W
Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
I've spent 2 weeks being taught by and just generally hanging around Victor Wooten...you'd be hard-pressed to find a more "chill" kind of guy.


Victor is a great bass player and I'm not fit to carry his amp, but for crying out loud, is he unable to write the word "you?" Is that supposed to be hip or something? Because it just looks silly.

I thought the same, but came to the conclusion that because he was writing on FB (probably pretty fast and furiously) and putting lots of "you's" in his post, it was quicker and easier to use the shorthand.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Russkull] #2558593 01/06/14 03:09 PM
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Too bad, all that.

Let's randomly assign budding bass students to be taught by Jeff, Vic, Steve, Ed, and anyone else (hell, let's put Jeremy in the mix, too!). Then compare them over time on measures of music knowledge (e.g., reading, time, harmony) and actual playing (e.g., how often plays with other musicians, gigging, persistence with their studies and playing of bass, added additional instruments. etc.). Then we'll know who's methods are most effective.

Peace.
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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: _Sweet Willie_] #2558606 01/06/14 03:35 PM
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Ideally we would need at least twins. One for Jeff, one for Victor. Obviously good-looking twins, that's imperative to the success of this test! Neither half should have previous knowledge of music, if possible. But they must be good-looking! Imperative, I tell you!


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Richard W] #2558623 01/06/14 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Richard W
Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
I've spent 2 weeks being taught by and just generally hanging around Victor Wooten...you'd be hard-pressed to find a more "chill" kind of guy.

Victor is a great bass player and I'm not fit to carry his amp, but for crying out loud, is he unable to write the word "you?" Is that supposed to be hip or something? Because it just looks silly.

Agreed.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Groove Mama] #2558658 01/06/14 04:45 PM
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Funny enough, it didn't look too silly to me. But in Dutch we have two different subject pronouns for "you", and they are written differently: "jou" is colloquial while "u" is formal / archaic and often used to imply respect for the subject to whom is being referenced, at which point it is capitalized: "U".

Of course, Victor wasn't writing in Dutch rolleyes


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: EddiePlaysBass] #2558772 01/06/14 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: EddiePlaysBass
Funny enough, it didn't look too silly to me. But in Dutch we have two different subject pronouns for "you", and they are written differently: "jou" is colloquial while "u" is formal / archaic and often used to imply respect for the subject to whom is being referenced, at which point it is capitalized: "U".

Of course, Victor wasn't writing in Dutch rolleyes


That is funny!

+1 on Nancy's observation. Vick is the most laid back person on the planet. He'd fit in real will here in Ithaca, NY sporting a pair of Birkenstocks, eating tofu, and going to the my jazz kirtan chant gigs. It'd take a lot to piss him off.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: EddiePlaysBass] #2558830 01/06/14 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: EddiePlaysBass
Funny enough, it didn't look too silly to me. But in Dutch we have two different subject pronouns for "you", and they are written differently: "jou" is colloquial while "u" is formal / archaic and often used to imply respect for the subject to whom is being referenced, at which point it is capitalized: "U".

Of course, Victor wasn't writing in Dutch rolleyes


The formal "you" in Castillian Spanish is "Ustedes", which is typically truncated to "Ud."


Originally Posted By: Sweets
Let's randomly assign budding bass students to be taught by Jeff, Vic, Steve, Ed, and anyone else (hell, let's put Jeremy in the mix, too!). Then compare them over time on measures of music knowledge (e.g., reading, time, harmony) and actual playing (e.g., how often plays with other musicians, gigging, persistence with their studies and playing of bass, added additional instruments. etc.). Then we'll know who's methods are most effective.


I'll excuse myself, as I have been identified as being essentially "untrainable".



Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Cthulhu Fhtagn] #2558873 01/07/14 12:07 AM
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In the back of my mind I've been thinking that perhaps Jeff Berlin does this sort of thing so that he's got something to look at on the Google News alerts he has set up for his own name. Too bad there's so much negativity attached to it all.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Nicklab] #2558955 01/07/14 08:13 AM
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Well, this particular thread is surely keeping his name active.


"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Bottom End] #2559116 01/07/14 03:07 PM
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Just happened to stumble upon this quote on Anthony Wellington's website today:

"What I teach and what I have to say are strictly my ideas and my concepts. A lot of those concepts come from different places. Some from trial and error - just from trying things a million different ways and realizing that some of it works and some of it doesn't. Some of it is based on efficiency & logic, and economy of motion. Some of it is musical tradition – things being passed down – experienced and inexperienced people making suggestions and showing me how to do different things. They might just work for me so I'm not saying that anything that I'm teaching or showing is the best or the only way to do it, but it is what works the best or most comfortable for me."


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: EddiePlaysBass] #2559128 01/07/14 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: EddiePlaysBass
Funny enough, it didn't look too silly to me. But in Dutch we have two different subject pronouns for "you", and they are written differently: "jou" is colloquial while "u" is formal / archaic and often used to imply respect for the subject to whom is being referenced, at which point it is capitalized: "U".

Of course, Victor wasn't writing in Dutch rolleyes


dank u.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: rumpelstiltskin.] #2559162 01/07/14 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: rumpelstiltskin.

dank u.


Graag gedaan!


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: EddiePlaysBass] #2559276 01/07/14 09:58 PM
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My problem with Jeff Berlin's approach is that there is more than one way to teach and/or learn. There really isn't, nor should there be, a universal "right" way to teach anything, especially an artistic endeavor like music.

If a teacher has a method that he feels comfortable with, and it works for the majority of students, then that is great. But sometimes you have realize students aren't automatons that will respond to any given method. If someone can gain from using a metronome, or from learning to feel the fretboard apart from visual cues, then those techniques should be explored.

I have a problem with a teacher who calls a learning technique useless, when it has been useful to some students. A good teacher is flexible and uses whatever means at his disposal to teach. The "my way or the highway" type of teaching just rubs me wrong. It may work at producing great students that think the same way, but throws aside students that may need a different approach. Too many talented people are discouraged by this type of teaching. Sure you can point to the successes, but what about the failures.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Gruupi] #2559307 01/08/14 12:58 AM
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Read this thread, read the social media posts and I'm sorry but



Push the button Frank.
Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: EddiePlaysBass] #2559483 01/08/14 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: EddiePlaysBass
Originally Posted By: rumpelstiltskin.

dank u.


Graag gedaan!


i was expecting alstublieft, but after reading about both phrases i see why my expectation was wrong.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: rumpelstiltskin.] #2559585 01/08/14 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: rumpelstiltskin.
Originally Posted By: EddiePlaysBass
Originally Posted By: rumpelstiltskin.

dank u.


Graag gedaan!


i was expecting alstublieft, but after reading about both phrases i see why my expectation was wrong.


Actually, it would have fit perfectly, given that I am Belgian and therefore speak the Flemish variant of Dutch smile I chose the more "Dutch" response since I figured it would be more "google translate friendly" smile My apologies for underestimating you!

In fact, you even managed to write it in Flemish! The Dutch would be more inclined to write "alsjeblieft" (see how the "je" form sneaks up in there as opposed to the "u" form?). Other more dialectical variants would include "astemblieft" or "asteblieft" but this really depends on the region as much as the idiolect of the speaker.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Groove Mama] #2559962 01/09/14 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
Just happened to stumble upon this quote on Anthony Wellington's website today:

"What I teach and what I have to say are strictly my ideas and my concepts. A lot of those concepts come from different places. Some from trial and error - just from trying things a million different ways and realizing that some of it works and some of it doesn't. Some of it is based on efficiency & logic, and economy of motion. Some of it is musical tradition – things being passed down – experienced and inexperienced people making suggestions and showing me how to do different things. They might just work for me so I'm not saying that anything that I'm teaching or showing is the best or the only way to do it, but it is what works the best or most comfortable for me."


Thats great and I wouldn't disagree with any of that. If thats all there was? We'd all be robots. I like different ideas slugging it out so to speak. This is all just very interesting to me - the whole thread and all of the responses. For too many reasons to list.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Groove Mama] #2561586 01/15/14 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
And Victor's response:

"My Response to Jeff Berlin Hey Jeff, my friend. Let me start by saying that I admire your playing. I always have. I can even remember learning many of your solos and compositions in my earlier days. U were one of the players I used to follow. I also remember reading your words years ago and understanding where U seemed to be coming from. It seems that now, as we’ve gotten older, either your message has changed or my understanding of them has. It definitely seems that the message behind your words is what I seem to disagree with the most. I’ve been repeatedly lead to your posts like the one below, and for the first time, I feel that I must reply. I can understand and appreciate when U post your “opinions’, even when I feel they are ridiculous, but when U post things that are outright lies and treat them as fact, I feel the urge to respond – especially now that U are actually mentioning my name. Why would U ask me to record, tour, do clinics with U, and invite U back to my camp when U continue to put down what U “believe” my friends and I stand for. Actually, why would anyone invite U back? Again, I appreciate you opinions, but please keep it as that because your “facts” are lacking in facts. U are screaming so hard to be heard and appreciated that U are showing parts of yourself that make it clear U are really screaming for help. (U and I have talked about that in the past and we can continue in private if U want.) I know that medication can affect memory. Maybe meditation along with medication can help. At my camp, not only did U say the rudest thing I’ve ever heard said about female bassists (and yes, U said it in front of a crowd of youngsters,) but your recollection of what happened when U called up a student to play is totally inaccurate. To make sure my facts are correct. I listened to the recording of your visit. Here’s what actually happened: At my camp, the person U called to the stage was Denson Angulo. Denson perfectly executed everything U asked him to do. U even responded that he was an exceptional player and that because of how people responded when U chose him, he must’ve been known as a good player. U continued to try to demolish him by finding things he couldn’t do, but to your surprise, he answered your every call and succeeded at doing everything U asked. Here’s what U said after Denson finished. “Denson proved, proved…and I gotta be clear that anybody who has the sense of the music they are going to play will eventually play it excellently! …Does anyone have a problem with that?” Listen to this, Mr. Angulo is now DR. Angulo - a Doctor of Music - a title not even U or I have. He is also the principle bassist in the S.L.C. Utah Symphony and teaches jazz bass at the Univ. of Utah – something else U and I will never do. Plus, Denson is a friend of mine. He should be respected, not lied about. I know that he would not lie about U. I’m sure that he is not even talking about U right now. I wish U would offer the same respect to him and everyone else. U also state in your post: “I did a seminar at Victor Wooten's camp. A student told me that he could play and he disagreed with most of what I said. I invited him up to show me what he could do. He couldn't play what I asked of him and he was furious with me. Music made a liar out of him.” Well Jeff, I don’t remember that incident. If U are talking about Denson Angulo in that post, U are either outright lying or your memory is. Either way, DR Argulo deserves an apology. If that is the way U remember an incident that both Denson and I have a recording of, it makes a liar out of U, not Denson. About me, If U want to know anything about me, stop making it up, stop asking your students, and stop speculating.- ask me instead. As, I’ve urged U to do in the past, if U have a problem with me, CALL ME. I hope U would offer me that respect rather than lie about me, my friends, my teachings, and beliefs (which U obviously know NOTHING about.) For U to do it in the public way that U repeatedly do ultimately makes U look bad. In the past, Bass and bassists have always been about support. Whether on purpose or not, U have done much to change that. U seem to be about yourself under the disguise of education. U may own a bass, but U do not own bass education, nor are U even at the forefront of it. Neither am I. Together, we are just a part of a growing world. So, please stop trying to dictate what it is and how it should be. State your opinion and leave it at that, and leave the rest of us alone. Many of us don’t like what U are saying and it’s causing us to not like you as a person despite what U have done musically. Again, I’m asking U loud and clear to realize that U are only hurting yourself. Those of us that care about U can see that. U should be digging other people and their ideas, but instead U are digging yourself deeper and deeper into a lonely hole that will be difficult to rise out of. U will wake up one day, I’m sure of that. My mom was right when she asked and stated, “What does the world need with another good bass player? The world needs more good people.” That is what my life, my music, my books, and my teachings will always be about. My mom’s words ring loud and clear every time I read your posts. I urge U to think about them sooner than later. In closing, my friend, I’m here for U, but don’t expect a FB dialogue from me. If U want to continue, call me or better yet, keep quiet and let your music do the talking. I’ll be listening. Peace, Vic"


I've known (online, anyway) Denson for many years. His handle is Bassius on some forums. He's the one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and always willing to help out newbies, etc. Oh, and he's probably the best bassist in the universe by now. grin


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Flemtone] #2582227 03/19/14 02:51 PM
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Personally, I'd side with Jeff Berlin over Victor Wooten every time...because Jeff Berlin shows up in a T-shirt 2 sizes too small, with a big gut hanging out and has a bushy moustache. He looks like one of the Chicago Bears Superfans from SNL, and when I saw him play in a Chicago bar nobody would imagine that he wasn't one of the patrons.

Jeff's brother Bill Swirsky (nee Berlin)?



And I've audibly gasped at the stuff he's done live, it was so awesome and genius.

It was interesting to read this, but to me Vic really shoots himself in the foot by making a personal attack:

"....that make it clear U are really screaming for help. (U and I have talked about that in the past and we can continue in private if U want.) I know that medication can affect memory. Maybe meditation along with medication can help."

Well, that's both a personal attack and a breach of confidence, apparently. Not very cool, and his apparently beloved Mama Wooten: would she approve? Bed without dinner for little Vic, I think.

So...Jeff's criticisms are not personal - they're professional. He's got ideas about teaching...people have others and he disagrees. Fine. Is he a bit brash and not very tactful? Haven't we all come to expect this from Jeff Berlin? The dude certainly walks the walk, so I do take his opinion with a lot of weight. But, I can put personal style aside cuz I know that Jeff obviously takes bass and music with the utmost seriousness.

Vic...your writing style is as ramblingly overdone as your playing style can be. Please buy an enter key for your computer. My eyes are too old for that mess....

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: ZZ Thorn] #2733665 11/10/15 01:09 PM
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Hi to All! I recently found this thread which, by now is some time since it was started. I read with interest comments about my character and my personality. I believe that we earn our reputations and I will think about how I am perceived by my fellow bass players. Thank you for the clarity of your thoughts.

I want to answer why it is a concern to me about what is being taught to bass players. Maybe you can understand better where I am coming from.

My issues aren’t personal with anyone or any school and never have been. The teacher/players whose methods I ponder are decent and loving people trying to do the best for their students as they can. Their intention has never been in question. But, many popular teaching methods being taught concerns me. I will address one just to open the chat.

One popular thought is that bass players are always a note or two away from the right note. Since many people believe music to be a language, I thought to look at both music and English and associate this lesson with the English language. Here is my example of being only a couple of letters away from a right word.

"I just bought a three bedroom “mouse”. "My favorite color is “fellow.”

I was only a couple of letters away from using the words correctly, but the whole meaning (if you take this literally) was lost. Go back to your early instruction in reading and writing. It wasn’t a loose academic undertaking. Spelling bees, tests, written essays, book reports both written and read aloud were assigned so that we would learn English correctly, not almost correctly.

If people believe that music is a language, then why is it not being taught like one? Compare any lesson suggestion with how we learned our native language and see if the principles being taught in bass and guitar instruction hold up in a class of language. How does one communicate emotion through their instrument if they don’t know what the right notes are to do it?

To me, it is correct to think that using notes correctly has as much meaning as using words or letters correctly. If they both are languages, isn’t this correct? Notice how people here (with some deviation from correct use of grammar) have expressed their thoughts with feeling or clarity of intention. Now compare a musician trying to do the same thing on their instrument. My question is this: What is the difference between expressing yourself on your instrument or on a computer keyboard?

Please comment here as I am interested to know your thoughts. Best regards to everyone. Jeff

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2733701 11/10/15 03:23 PM
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Nice of you to check in and share your views personally, Jeff.

BTW, and OT, I recently tried to buy a new copy of Bill Bruford's "Gradually Going Tornado" and learned it's out of print. Bummer, because I think it's some of your best playing (and great vocals to boot!). I'm going to keep hunting for a copy.


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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: jcadmus] #2733710 11/10/15 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: jcadmus
BTW, and OT, I recently tried to buy a new copy of Bill Bruford's "Gradually Going Tornado" and learned it's out of print. Bummer, because I think it's some of your best playing (and great vocals to boot!). I'm going to keep hunting for a copy.


You can find Gradually Going Tornado on Spotify. In fact, I'm listening to it now. Good stuff. Thanks for the recommendation.


"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Richard W] #2733738 11/10/15 05:22 PM
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I am pleased that people remember the old stuff fondly. Thank you. And if anyone wishes to discuss music, I would be pleased to do it. I am here on and off as I ready myself for my Jack Bruce project. Meanwhile, if you have questions about anything, please share them here.

Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2734001 11/11/15 06:43 PM
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I have been in a music school for a few years recently and was absolutely overwhelmed with the quantity of material that was presented to me, scales, chords, progressions, diminished bII and subdominant cadences, and chord/scale affinity, just picking up topics at random in no particular order.
Too much of too much. I could not follow and felt sinking every day more in a backlog without exit.
I had good reasons to dedicate more time to work and family, so I dropped out and it will take me months to let all that material get into my skin.
One last thought made me think a lot. It's not a matter of learning in music, it's a matter of acquiring an ability.
You can study skiing for years, but this will be of very little help when you really go skiing. Music, especially improvisation is just about that and the great artists did not get there because they learned it, rather, I think, most learned it when they got there.

Last edited by Michele C.; 11/11/15 06:45 PM.

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Re: Jeff Berlin responds to some big-name controversy...I think. [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2734199 11/12/15 04:49 PM
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This is an interesting response, and I hope you didn't mind me posting that last year. My intent in posting your words (as verbatim as I could) was to provide a counterpoint to the fanboy adulation that both Bailey and Wooten get in all categories. Some are obviously well-deserved...they are monster players and extremely entertaining. But your comments, I found, were hardly combative, in my opinion. I thought you were trying to clearly separate pure academic learning from the many other variations that exist and are tacitly accepted without question as equally rigorous. This conflict occurs in many other disciplines, but it's strangely ignored in music, from my experience.

Thank you for clarifying.


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