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Beginner I was doing well until I had my first lesson

Yansalis

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91
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USA
Did someone say this already and I missed it? The teacher wants OP to learn to read lead sheets, isn't it that simple? If I am right about that then there has been some misunderstanding here of what's going on.

OP needs a teacher who has both classical training and comfort with jazz. OP's misfortune was to go to a teacher who can't bridge these two very different worlds, and so just rejected what OP was doing and tried to set him on the "right path". Teacher was both right and wrong: right that that is the usual/mainstream path to doing what OP seems to want to do, as seen from a jazz perspective, but wrong in that as a teacher there is some responsibility to understand the student's actual needs rather than slamming them willy-nilly into your pet mold.

Students often fail to think critically as a consumer of teaching. Sadly getting thrown off the process of learning an instrument is not an uncommon outcome.
 

mizmar

Senior Member
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1,021
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Trondheim, Norway
The teacher wants OP to learn to read lead sheets, isn't it that simple?
It occurred to me, but the OP said
instead of dots the sheet would be transcribed in to the letters of the notes like A#, C7, etc
Unless there's a bigger misunderstanding afoot... But the OP said he can read music so probably knows what he's talking about
 

AndyB

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383
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Durham, NC, USA
I am in a similar boat, BigT. I played sax for 9 years as a kid (reading dots). I then changed to mostly electric guitar by ear and classical guitar from notes and then flamenco guitar from tab. Then about 6 months ago restated on sax for the 4th time looking forward to playing continuously when I retire soon. I was self-taught originally but I have used 2 live teachers and 3 online teachers for my various restarts. I now strongly believe in live teachers to correct technical problems. I have very strong rhythm having played flamenco guitar professionally for dancers so I really emphasize getting rhythms accurate when I practice sax. I think that is the key. If you can play in rhythm by reading notes then I don't see any problem with that with what your are doing. But to my ear, it has to be in time to be musical, regardless of the tempo. But I play a lot of blues now and so I find writing lines with numerals 1 b7 1 b3 5 .... and letters C# B C# E G#.... is a very useful learning skill, especially for transposing keys in to typical blues keys and memorization. Good luck and trust your ears and your metronome. -Andy
 

Caz

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306
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home
The amount of money i have wasted on teachers over the years sheesh
- good thing for the internet
I haven’t had a teacher in years and i love it :)
Be your own best teacher, stay hungry and stay motivated and you’ll be okay!
 
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Yansalis

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91
Locality
USA
The amount of money i have wasted on teachers over the years sheesh
- good thing for the internet
I haven’t had a teacher in years and i love it :)
Be your own best teacher, stay hungry and stay motivated and you’ll be okay!

It's very difficult to formulate the right principle here. If what you want is to minimize errors and maximize your progress toward playing as well as you can, the best path is to have really good teachers, and over time learn to be a critical thinker and capable of 'teaching yourself'. EVERY other path is fraught with hazards. There are plenty of mediocre and bad teachers out there, and there are endless ways one can misunderstand pedagogical material when trying to teach oneself. Can one successfully navigate these latter paths? Yes, although it takes longer and the attrition rate is brutal.
 

Vetinari

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East Manchester
Well Trimmy does play in same group as me. Are we finding our lowest level of ability here?
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Start with recordings of the greats. Then go find some local talent.
Jam nights. Open mic nights. Friendly jazz bands who will let you sit in for one. Two if you're able.
Build a repertoire of standards.
Find one they play that you like and play it to death a few hundred times before the next meet.
Good players aren't born. They're born of obsessive practice and ambition. ;)
 

John Setchell

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285
Locality
Norfolk UK
You might try singing the melody while you finger silently that I call "sing and finger". Another suggestion might be to get some "Music Minus One" books and accompaniments. You can "play along" with a professional player playing the melody and then when you are ready, play with just the accompaniment itself.
I’ve noticed there seem to be two fairly distinct types of preferred improvisation. Sing-it-and-play-it, or wonderfully complex chord patterns.
A blues guitarist I gigged with for several years was a chordy guy - amazingly talented and before he launched into a solo he would often tell us to “Stay on the A” or whatever, which he wove a solo around, but frankly it had little relevance the the melody. I call this Left Brain Improvisation.
My remote tutor and I are of the Right Brain Improvisation variety. Mentally sing a solo based on the melody, and get good at playing it on-the-fly. The chord progression is frankly irrelevant.
I’m not suggesting either is better, it’s just an observation.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
With a good arrangement, the chord sequence can be much more interesting than the melody.
Many songs/pieces use the same sequence with a different melody.
All the things you are, Indiana, How high the moon spring to mind. Not to mention I got Rhythm.
Some Fats Waller and Hoagy Carmichael songs meander nicely and then there's Duke. Maybe I just like pianists.
I tend to have a look at the arrangement these days when inspiration fails me.
 

ESJohn

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Ohio USA
Best way to learn is to play with players who can play. imo.
What Colin says here is worth a hearty "Amen!" from me. I can do some sight reading when given new music to learn. The youtube videos of a band or orchestra playing a particular piece is also helpful. Sometimes I just listen to those while reading the music, following along note by note, measure by measure. But the very best way for me is to get to the rehearsals and pick up how the music sounds when everyone is playing their own particular parts and it all comes together to make the complete sound. I keep my ears tuned to our best alto sax player and try to follow his lead. It has really helped me to grow.
 

DavidUK

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Best way to learn is to play with players who can play. imo.
Do you mean those who can play sax, and do so regularly perhaps as a pro, as opposed to general "music teachers" who passed exams on a different instrument and set up as a "qualified" woodwind teacher?
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
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610
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Wolverhampton West Midlands
Do you mean those who can play sax, and do so regularly perhaps as a pro, as opposed to general "music teachers" who passed exams on a different instrument and set up as a "qualified" woodwind teacher?
I have had 3 sax teachers,who have taken exams and and also played regularly,one who is current sax player with The Climax Blues Band.
 

DavidUK

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I have had 3 sax teachers,who have taken exams and and also played regularly,one who is current sax player with The Climax Blues Band.
...but were they any good?

My one and only tutor is a pro saxophonist, and I found him to be excellent, for my needs:

 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Do you mean those who can play sax, and do so regularly perhaps as a pro, as opposed to general "music teachers" who passed exams on a different instrument and set up as a "qualified" woodwind teacher?
All the instruments in the band if played well will teach you something. Sitting in with a band that plays together, tightly, is a great lesson.
I had a few piano lessons at 14 and two or three clarinet lessons in my twenties, so I don't know about individual teachers.

Once you've got the basics, you learn how to play by playing imo.
 

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