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just saxes

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Mr Anecdote just tapped me on the shoulder. I once made contact with a very famous (jazz) alto player and asked if he gave lessons. Sure he said, £5

So I arrived, he looked a bit pale and shaky and was quite grumpy.

He sat me down, and then just practised for half an hour.

He took the £5 and rushed off to buy a packet of what you could buy for £5 in those days.

LOL

I don't think you know how much this is part of my life experience.

Actually, I do.

Tales for other contexts and times....
 

just saxes

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Agree 100%. In all my years of teaching the students that actually listened to music with a saxophone were very few. Quite how they had any idea what it was they were trying to achieve was beyond me.

Anybody trying to learn to play jazz without listening to the masters has a personality disorder or a learning disability. Sounds maybe like some kind of controversial thing to say. Seems pretty obviously true and unavoidably true to me.
 

randulo

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Mr Anecdote just tapped me on the shoulder. I once made contact with a very famous (jazz) alto player and asked if he gave lessons. Sure he said, £5

So I arrived, he looked a bit pale and shaky and was quite grumpy.

He sat me down, and then just practised for half an hour.

He took the £5 and rushed off to buy a packet of what you could buy for £5 in those days.
5? That would have been about 40 years ago! But seriously, advice. When a teacher pulls out an instrument and plays a bunch of impressive phrases, it's usually a bad sign in my opinion. It may even be better that a teacher doesn't have an instrument at all in the lesson, in order to focus carefully on the student. @Pete Effamy @Pete Thomas ?
 

Pete Effamy

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Many of my students have been "grade A" students, so a lack of intellect is certainly not the case. I think it boils down to two things: one is thinking that a purely academic textbook approach will nail it (as it has for them in mathematics, science etc) and the other is merely a lack of "proper" interest.

To answer Randy - no, I'm not a believer in playing extensively in every lesson. When it comes to written music/classical music lessons, I first want to know how well the student can read the rhythms and/or if they have researched a few performances by famous soloists. I don't want them to just copy me in other words.

There have been many instances of conservatoire professors never playing for their students - they might be unable to play after a long career and a possible illness or injury. This works much better at a much higher level of course, it isn't going to help students in the earlier stages very much. But those teachers that always play along with their students are to an extent dragging them along rather than have the student create a performance themselves.

Some and some has to be the right answer.
 

Pete Effamy

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Anybody trying to learn to play jazz without listening to the masters has a personality disorder or a learning disability. Sounds maybe like some kind of controversial thing to say. Seems pretty obviously true and unavoidably true to me.
I wouldn't go that far. It's just something that demands so much immersion even at a humble level of achievement. This is unlike many things in life. But we all want things, yet lack the energy and application. Many people know that they should practice X and Y but they won't admit it to themselves.

I'd love to shed a stone in weight. Easy. Eat smaller portions and do a decent amount of exercise. It is easy. Straightforward. Done it before. Do I do it? No. And as such, this is also what makes a world class player. I have practised 10 hours per day. At some point, to be good, most have to. I only had the will to do this in a few short bursts at music college though, and it's why I'm not world class - because they carried on with that amount of practice - every day.

That's the hardest thing for me, the ongoing, un-wavering dedication.
 

just saxes

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I wouldn't go that far. It's just something that demands so much immersion even at a humble level of achievement. This is unlike many things in life. But we all want things, yet lack the energy and application. Many people know that they should practice X and Y but they won't admit it to themselves.

I'd love to shed a stone in weight. Easy. Eat smaller portions and do a decent amount of exercise. It is easy. Straightforward. Done it before. Do I do it? No. And as such, this is also what makes a world class player. I have practised 10 hours per day. At some point, to be good, most have to. I only had the will to do this in a few short bursts at music college though, and it's why I'm not world class - because they carried on with that amount of practice - every day.

That's the hardest thing for me, the ongoing, un-wavering dedication.

Yeap -- I actually mean just in terms of adults. A lot of people don't believe personality disorders are real. That's, I guess, its own topic.
 

DavidUK

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Many of my students have been "grade A" students, so a lack of intellect is certainly not the case. I think it boils down to two things: one is thinking that a purely academic textbook approach will nail it (as it has for them in mathematics, science etc) and the other is merely a lack of "proper" interest.
I have a load of theory books which came with various horns and sometimes think about reading them but I know it would take me ages and I may not understand. My tutor often started explaining but I just want to play. Should I be "studying" so as to become a better player? If so, what?
I'd love to be able to improvise and I'm sure theory would help, but what specific books can help... I may already have some of them!
 

Adrian63

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That question may be better addressed by your tutor mate ; but if can give an idea of what books you have maybe some of us can point you in the right direction..
 

Adrian63

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That question may be better addressed by your tutor mate ; but if can give an idea of what books you have maybe some of us can point you in the right direction..
 

aldevis

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Anybody trying to learn to play jazz without listening to the masters has a personality disorder or a learning disability. Sounds maybe like some kind of controversial thing to say. Seems pretty obviously true and unavoidably true to me.
I had several students with personality disorder and/or learning difficulties.
Pretty unrelated with the music that they listen to.

We can also easily make a list of famous players that had clinically recognised one or the other.
 

just saxes

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I had several students with personality disorder and/or learning difficulties.
Pretty unrelated with the music that they listen to.

We can also easily make a list of famous players that had clinically recognised one or the other.

I actually do get it, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who either were born with a dead lymbic system (psychopaths) or present as such through unfortunate life experience (sociopaths, including narcissists). I think if you do, it's because you're not awake yet as to what that kind of person's role will eventually be in your life, if they have one.

But I can put it another way: jazz is a language, as deep and varied as any spoken language, and a lot harder to learn to "speak." If you think you can learn to play without listening, you're basically waving a big "I'm full of hubris, and ignorant in everything I do" if you are an adult. That is a pretty good red flag for a personality disorder.
 

just saxes

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Well I have just turned 70 so maybe I would be considered too old to consider giving lessons to so may just have to rely on the online stuff but will ask anyway

Just keeping it real (but with the intention of being useful): no doubt people will not take you as seriously as if you came to them in your 20s or 30s -- or even younger, in which case, YOU'RE IN! -- and came to them with sincere interest, but some would take you even more seriously. People generally probably do not take older "students" in anything as seriously a default manner as when younger students come to them. That is a reality all older people know to be true, that when you're younger people take you more seriously because your years of "potential" are still ahead of you, and every year that you age has a concomitant decrease associated with it in terms of how much attention other people instinctively pay to you. But some do recognize that desire at 70 actually takes more devotion than desire at 30. It's like with fat people at the gym. It takes a lot more courage to be in the gym, doing hard work, being determined, when you're obese and struggling than when you're fit and everybody thinks you "fit in." The majority of people, being foolish, duped, shallow and afraid, have the whole thing backward.

It's a crapshoot.

My point was that great players don't make a lot of money, even when people all over the world know their name. They don't make this music because they want glory or to be rich -- even if they started out with that wish -- at least not after 5 or 10 years of being "in the scene" and full time professionals. They do it for love.

If you come with love, they will likely say yes when you ask for lessons.

If you come with love, it will probably be noticed.
 
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