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John Francis Pastorius III


Rocky McDougall

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Randy Emerick says that he could barely read music when he joined the CC Riders. Before the he learned everything by ear. During the 10 month period with that band in 1972, he learbed to read and voice chords - mostly taught by Charlie Brent who would constantly quiz him on theory. He was certainly a quick learner.

 

Read Bill Milkowski's 'Jaco': it's controversial but informative.

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I have been listening much more intently to Jaco's recordings of late and I'm hearimg a lot of stuff that goes beyond "By Ear" capability. IMHO. I've played by ear for 40+ years, I read music very slowly, and theory is a mystic destination which I have not yet reached. I did read all of Wikipedia about him but did not learn about any formal training he might have recieved.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Jaco apparently learned some pretty advanced stuff by ear; his ear was phenomenal. If you look at the rate he progressed form when he took up the bass it's very unusual. He was able to enjoy and use chords such as 7#11(13) before he learned to read.

AFAIK, he didn't receive formal training but he learnt quickly on the job. He was having to read some more complex charts in the CC Riders and was geeting a lot of help with the theory from his fellow musicians. Music theory is not 'rocket science' anyway, most people can understand it to an everyday competence in a few months. He was learning reading, writing and arranging practically and in context. If you look at the neat, clear and advanced melody charts that he was writing a year or so later you'll see how quick a learner he was.

I know I'll get flamed for this but Jaco did use a lot of licks a lot of the time. You tend to hear the same patterns, phrases and suchlike frequently in his work (not necessarily a criticism!) Exceptions include his playing on Night Passage and that solo on Havona! I'd always prefer to hear him play less 'licks' but that's not the kind of player he was.

You can hear his musical genius and versatility in his compositions and arrangements.

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I am working with a recording but I don't know for sure the name of the tune or which album it is from. My copy just calls it "Jocko's Regge".

Do any of you know the proper name and the other artists especially the lead guitar. Would appreciate your help.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Originally posted by Phil W:

I know I'll get flamed for this but Jaco did use a lot of licks a lot of the time. You tend to hear the same patterns, phrases and suchlike frequently in his work (not necessarily a criticism!)

I agree. And how many times did Jaco play "the Chicken" or a slight rhythmic variation of it? Way too many.

 

In his "Modern Electric Bass" video he said that he was 'formally self taught,' which got a laugh out of interviewer Jerry Jemmott, himself and me. To me he implied that he never had any formal training, but that he had spent a lot of time seriously teaching himself music theory. So much so that he's as knowledgeable as somone with a music degree.

 

And it shows in that video and the exercises he suggests. Unless you already have a good working knowledge of theory you can't even begin to think about considering working on most of what he suggets to practice. And then he's whipping off arpeggio runs up and down the fretboard in different keys like it's nothing, so he must've knew his theory backwards and forwards.

 

Teachers, classes, lectures...all great, but not vital because no one can do your practicing for you. Jaco clearly took a lot of time and care in schooling himself in theory.

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Good points here...it doesn't matter than much whether you are completely self-taught or formally trained. The end goal is to make music come out of your instrument...how you get there is in actuality somewhat irrelevant.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Yes, and Jaco learned his theory in a practical context . . . and playing with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul every night probably tops studying music at University.

 

 

Poetic license there - I know Jaco had his theory together before he joined WR; but he learned from his 'teachers' in the various bands he was in. Most jazz and rock musicians were not formally trained until recently; it was a question of listening to records, working things out, grabbing ideas from the odd book and sharing ideas at jam sessions. Some of the most advanced musicinans this century have not been formally trained.

 

Even the guys that had a chance to go to music school often dropped out. Miles dropped out of Juillard (sp?) to learn more playing with Parker and the bebop guys and Joe Zawinul dropped out of Berklee to join Mynard Ferguson and learn much more on the road. Although Joe had had extensive classical training (both voluntary and semi-enforced) both pre-war and under the Nazis.

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