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Your first jazz teacher?


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Was my first guitar teacher, back was I was a wee lad. He had a gigantic D'Angelico NYer, with the fatest and most bronze looking strings you ever down saw. He smoked about 4 packs of Marlboros per day.

 

One of the first songs he taught me was Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave". All I wanted to learn was rock songs to impress my friends. Well little did my first teacher "Perry Terhune", realize how he'd be contributing to my anti-social behavior. He's probably dead now, so I can't sue.

Have you recorded an MP3 today?
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"Wave" is a phenomenal tune. Used to jam on it with a flute player. Something about a bossa vibe with a nylon string guitar and a flute really sets it off.

 

First jazz teacher? Charlie Stephens, instructor and bass player at a local college in Michigan. Played in the stage band. Fun gig.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Warren Nunes. Great guitar player. Not the best teacher. He was apparently a bad drunk and tended to pick fights so he didn't get too many gigs. But his books are still around. Phenomenal bebop player. I studied with him for a couple of years. Learned a lot of tunes.

 

Before that it was Lee Havens. He taught jazz but he wasn't really a jazz teacher or player, although he took a lot from the Howard Roberts method and seminars. Lee used to transcribe Paganini, Bach, Mendelsson works for the electric guitar. He'd work the fingering out for all these pieces like Flight Of The Bumble Bee and Moto Perpetuo, both of which I learned. It made studying jazz guitar as serious as studying violin from a master. Mind you this was long before there was such a thing as a "shredder" like Malmsteen or anyone else who ever mentioned Paganini. This was in 1972. And Havens was doing this back in the mid 60s. I didn't get him until '72. I was a wee lad of 15.

All the best,

 

Henry Robinett

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My first jazz teacher was my old friend, Bill Doerfler. Trained classicaly since he was six, he switched to deciphering jazz in high school.

 

Of course, nothing he did made me anything near a jazz guitarist, but he was the first person to pique my interest in jazz as a musical outlet. His explaining what he found so interesting in it made me see many of the same things. After him, a co-worker some years my senior named Jim Hardin furthered my education and expanded my interest in different forms. Jim was a die-hard Be-Bopper who turned me on to Charlie Parker(his all-time hero), and would buy albums at a tremendous discount due to a buddy of his working at Ann Arbor's Schoolkids Records. He would then sell them to me at no profit to beef up my collection and further my knowledge.

 

Two great guys of who I'll never think any bad.

 

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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It was back in the mid sixties and his name was Larry Hendricks. He had a big tobacco sunburst hollow body Gibson, didn't take note of the model because I was just eight at the time. He was my second teacher, always wore Russian Leather cologne and recommended it, tried to get me to play Satin Doll, The Girl from Impanema, and Shadow of Your Smile. It just wasn't me, I had to rock! I did develop a respect for how hard jazz was to play and comprehend though, and that was the lightweight stuff. After him I had a classical guitar teacher, learned how to finger pick, but again, I had to rock!! However I did develop an appreciation for the difficulties of classical music. I listen to more classical and jazz these days than rock, which I still like but I really reached the saturation point with it about twenty years ago. Last night I put some batteries in my Walkman for the first time it 8 years or so, went for a walk, listened to some classical, then some Phil Hendrie, then Seger's "I Love to Watch Her Strut" came on with that cool yet simple guitar riff and was blown away. They don't write 'em like that anymore.

 

Steve

You shouldn't chase after the past or pin your hopes on the future.
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Al Yniguez. Same deal..I wanted to rock, and Al let me do that, but also slid in some instruction on tasty chord inversions and suspensions. By the time I got to Berklee, I was pretty comfortable playing jazz, though it was never my forte and remains something I can do if I have to. But I never call myself a jazz guitarist, per se.

 

- Jeff

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I started out taking classical flamenco from a local NY teacher at age 9,then drifted to rock%blues.When I lived in LA briefly('72-73)I breifly took lessons from George Van Eps and almost bought one of his 7 strings.Then around 1975-76 (back in NY)I decided to take guitar/arranging lessons from a local Teacher/jazz guitarist named George Suppan who didn't start playing until age 40,but was excellent and well known on Long Island in jazz circles.Keep in mind that all along I was succsessfully playing rock/blues/fusion at the same time.Lately Iv'e been playing a very hybrid Reggae/World with all my past influences included.To quote Louie Armstrong "It's a wonderfull World".
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
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I'm not a jazzer, not enough dedication, maybe later.

 

My first teacher was Jerry Bergonzi. Noted saxplayer. I'm a pianist, but so is he. He also plays bass and drums.

 

After Jerry, I studied for a couple of years with Charlie Banacos. Both of these guys are incredible musicians and great teachers. Stories abound.

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jnr high school band teacher Art May. spent some time playing jazz euphonium (=p) under dave carrico a student of jack meehan, then got some time under jack meehan as principle, and then again with jack and wayne downey.

 

bop rehearsals were fun.

--_ ______________ _

"Self-awareness is the key to your upheaval from mediocrity."

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