Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hardbopjazz

Are you self taught or do you have/had a teacher?

Are you self taught or did or do you have a teacher?   17 members have voted

  1. 1. Self taught or studied with someone?

    • yes
      3
    • no
      6

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

39 posts in this topic

How many of you are self taught?

Can you read and write music?

Edited by Hardbopjazz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not a yes or no question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This should be interesting - that is not a yes or no question. :)

I've spent time with private teachers, as well as attending some classes at MSU. Also, I've spent many years learning things from books and records. So, a little of both.

I can read music, but slowly. I don't have good chart writing skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not a yes or no question.

Agree. I started learning from family members as a kid. Took a few lessons, played on my own for years, took a few more lessons, went at it on my own, etc.

When I took up Double Bass seriously after 20 years or so of playing guitar and bass guitar, I got a teacher and have stuck with lessons. I've also taken a few theory and ensemble classes/lessons.

I can read and write music, but don't work on it as much as I should and my reading chops are not up to snuff. New year's resolution?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many of you are self taught?

I had piano lessons when I was a kid, high school theory & chorus, choir and various guitar and singing lessons.

But I'd say I'm mostly self taught and still working on getting my guitar playing together after no playing for a few years.

Can you read and write music?

Reading...OK, I've been doing it more lately.

Writing: lately I've been writing out solos because I've been having problems working out things on the guitar. If I have to write for someone else, I do it on the computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Are you self-taught at creating poll questions or did someone teach you to do it this way?"

1.) Orange

2.) 567.93

3.) The trains would arrive a half-hour apart

:g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol:

Self-taught. Never took music at school- that's a whole other story- Picked up a bass guitar when I was 16, was in a band three weeks later. Been adding instruments ever since. Hard to say if it would have been any easier if I'd had a teacher- I guess my reading would be better; I do struggle with the dots sometimes, although doing arrangements over the last few months has helped a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Are you self-taught at creating poll questions or did someone teach you to do it this way?"

1.) Orange

2.) 567.93

3.) The trains would arrive a half-hour apart

:g

Nah.. not correct, but close!

2.) has to be 567.92

:lol::party::g

reading? :ph34r:

Edited by casanovas347

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way to truly be "self-taught" is to never listen to or play with anybody else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way to truly be "self-taught" is to never listen to or play with anybody else.

True, of course. I've learned at least a little- and often a lot- from all the people I've worked with, talked to, seen, read about, listened to...

'Being taught' (in the formal sense) is a short-cut through that process although by no means always the best one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That poll question is illogical - you can't answer yes or not to a question with "or" - there is no alternative. That aside, I couldn't say yes or no to either ....

I had some teachers, but only for workshops. I would say I am 90% self taught, or 80% if I count the numerous exchanges of knowledge with fellow musicians.

I'm not a fluent reader but can find my way through a chart and use it as a basis for playing. Nevertheless I try memorize everything as fast as possible to move freely within the music.

Edited by mikeweil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Self-taught" is kind of a misleading term.

I think it's a mistake for anyone to think that they can learn about jazz (or any type of music) by simply taking a course or reading a book. I think (and I tell my students this) one has to become obsessed with and curious about the music to the point they will seek out answers to their questions in multiple ways- by "apprenticing" (creating relationships with mentors), by doing research on their own (studying scores, music theory, styles etc.) and of course by listening to live and recorded music. Much of this won't earn them any college credits, but it will be a large part of their musical growth.

That being said, in college I learned a LOT about playing my instrument and learned a lot about music in a relatively short time. I'm glad I studied with an experienced teacher- he busted me on some bad habits, and I'll forever be grateful for that. Teaching is not easy- just because one is a good musician doesn't necessarily make them a good teacher.

I think the benefit of going to college is not only WHAT you learn, but also LEARNING HOW TO LEARN (i.e. think and create for yourself). Some people achieve that w/o going to college, of course- some of my greatest musical epiphanies came from contact with musicians who had no "formal" education. I know what I learned from them as well as in college to this day helps me to help myself. That is where the term "self-taught" fits in for me.

Edited by Free For All

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's some research that points to the idea that our aptitude for music is basically set by the age of 9 or 10. After that, for the rest of our lives we are dealing with realizing the potential that our aptitude gives us. So each of us is a mix of aptitude and acheivement. We all know players who have to bust thier butts to make even small amount of progress as musicians (low aptitude/high achievement), and those who have incredible 'talent' or 'potential' but do little to cultivate it (high aptitude/low achievement) and everything in between.

My own experience is that I had that curiosity that FreeForAll was talking about, so I had cobbled together lots of bits and pieces of musical knowledge before I got 'official' training. When I got to college, much of what was happening for me was gathering labels for things I could already hear, organizing musical materials, and developing those skills that FFA mentioned about learning how to learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years of guitar lessons. Interspersed with copious amounts of jamming and gigging in blues, rock, and some jazz contexts. I can read music and am a fairly good sight reader (especially for a guitar player :D). Not much of a writer, although I will occasionally feel compelled to write out an original tune in lead sheet style. I still take lessons on a semi-regular basis. Moving forward, I'm seriously thinking about taking conga lessons since I have a beautiful set of drums sitting in my closet just collecting dust. I just need to find the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol:

Self-taught. Never took music at school- that's a whole other story- Picked up a bass guitar when I was 16, was in a band three weeks later. Been adding instruments ever since. Hard to say if it would have been any easier if I'd had a teacher- I guess my reading would be better; I do struggle with the dots sometimes, although doing arrangements over the last few months has helped a lot.

Not so, man. I picked up guitar at 12, trained by a blues & rock musician. (Weekly) private instruction lasted well into my last years of high school. The thing is, those last couple of years--very little learning. Chalk half of it up to personal initiative, the other half to incongruous teaching techniques. I had to teach myself the physics of jazz. I just got charts thrown in front of me--I had no idea what to play. It gives me panic attacks up to the present day--I didn't learn the whole chord=scale paradigm until college. Granted such poor formal instruction in jazz-based improv, it's a miracle I can play this stuff at all. It's not the teacher that matters--it's the right reacher. It paid off in the way of blues/rock playing, though--I can still do a mean Cream-era Clapton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My answer will depend on the instrument I am playing. I started piano lessons when I was 4, and took them for 9 years. Sang in school choirs every year before and after that; was a music education major in college with vocal and piano for my degree. I picked up the guitar when I was 15 and taught myself to play it without ever taking lessons. Guitar has my main instrument for forty years now. But I still enjoy playing piano and my B-3, too. Just for the record, I don't like to sing......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol:

Self-taught. Never took music at school- that's a whole other story- Picked up a bass guitar when I was 16, was in a band three weeks later. Been adding instruments ever since. Hard to say if it would have been any easier if I'd had a teacher- I guess my reading would be better; I do struggle with the dots sometimes, although doing arrangements over the last few months has helped a lot.

Not so, man. I picked up guitar at 12, trained by a blues & rock musician. (Weekly) private instruction lasted well into my last years of high school. The thing is, those last couple of years--very little learning. Chalk half of it up to personal initiative, the other half to incongruous teaching techniques. I had to teach myself the physics of jazz. I just got charts thrown in front of me--I had no idea what to play. It gives me panic attacks up to the present day--I didn't learn the whole chord=scale paradigm until college. Granted such poor formal instruction in jazz-based improv, it's a miracle I can play this stuff at all. It's not the teacher that matters--it's the right reacher. It paid off in the way of blues/rock playing, though--I can still do a mean Cream-era Clapton.

Right- this is something I find a lot of, going to (and now occasionally leading) jazz workshops. Players who are highly competent in certain areas- reading, especially- who have no idea how to approach the act of creating something on the changes and are unable to deal with the inner workings of music (harmony, rhythm, melodic development) on any deeper level. When I first started going to jazz workshops, I was actually kind of shocked by that. That had been my whole approach up to that point (rather than reading) so I came equipped with a whole different set of skills- ones that I had developed pretty much intuitively. That's why I say, the 'formal' approach to these things isn't always the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Right- this is something I find a lot of, going to (and now occasionally leading) jazz workshops. Players who are highly competent in certain areas- reading, especially- who have no idea how to approach the act of creating something on the changes and are unable to deal with the inner workings of music (harmony, rhythm, melodic development) on any deeper level. When I first started going to jazz workshops, I was actually kind of shocked by that. That had been my whole approach up to that point (rather than reading) so I came equipped with a whole different set of skills- ones that I had developed pretty much intuitively. That's why I say, the 'formal' approach to these things isn't always the best.

Seriously. That's part of the problem in "professional" (or at least pseudo-vocational) music--it's hard to dictate your direction before you know what it is. If I could go back in time, I'd get my 14-year-old self reading George Russell (versus going through the motions with the upteenth shuffle-time blues track). You could say that you have to know where you want to go, but it wasn't until mid-high school that I realized that I wanted to play jazz-based improv at all (that was a great moment). I guess the important thing is how you roll with the punches, remaining flexible, receptive, using your preformed skill set to the best advantage--regardless of what direction you're moving in. Joe Henderson played stripper bars, Ornette did R&B gigs, the SA guys were often well-versed in township music... if it weren't for the fact that so much great music has been born from unique (and sometimes incongruous) circumstances, I'd be angry. As it is, I'm happy just being one of the few guitarists I know with a solid vibrato. So yeah, the 'formal' approach isn't always the best--but reflexivity is a skill unto itself.

Edited by ep1str0phy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what I should do. Maybe take piano lessons. It isn't easy finding a vibraphone teacher. I was able to find a vibist that I could identify with up in Boston and had a few lessons with him. I've got the basic technique down, as well as a few bad habits I'm sure, but I don't know where to go next. I've been learning sheet music one measure at a time and I really think I should pick up and study some technique books.

I get the opportunity to play with my brother every so often, which is great, but I feel like he is doing all the work. I get lost and he'll make it sound ok by following me. I should take advantage of the situation and turn it into a lesson more than a jam. He is a great teacher, but our time is always limited and it always feels great to just play.

There's my biggest problem, and I've mentioned this to Jim Sangrey before. DISCIPLINE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's my biggest problem, and I've mentioned this to Jim Sangrey before. DISCIPLINE.

This is the big one. This is what turns off a lot of younger players. I can only address this as a brass player, but I have to practice every day to keep in shape. It's just become a part of my life- once you establish a certain standard anything less is unacceptable.

In this time of instant gratification and shrinking attention spans, the commitment to learning a craft can seem overwhelming. Improvement is sometimes dramatic and sometimes agonizingly slow. There are good days and bad days. The rewards are minimal at times, and monumental at times.

I often say "I hate to practice, but I hate sucking just a little more, so I'll keep practicing". :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The true artist learns how to incorporate their sucking into their style. :g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's my biggest problem, and I've mentioned this to Jim Sangrey before. DISCIPLINE.

This is the big one. This is what turns off a lot of younger players. I can only address this as a brass player, but I have to practice every day to keep in shape. It's just become a part of my life- once you establish a certain standard anything less is unacceptable.

In this time of instant gratification and shrinking attention spans, the commitment to learning a craft can seem overwhelming. Improvement is sometimes dramatic and sometimes agonizingly slow. There are good days and bad days. The rewards are minimal at times, and monumental at times.

I often say "I hate to practice, but I hate sucking just a little more, so I'll keep practicing". :)

Yeah, brass players have to play everyday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The true artist learns how to incorporate their sucking into their style. :g

I made it work for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what I should do. Maybe take piano lessons.

Great idea. It is another tuned percussion instrument with the same keyboard. The technique is a little different.

When I was a kid my Dad always told me that if you learn piano, you could learn anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Right- this is something I find a lot of, going to (and now occasionally leading) jazz workshops. Players who are highly competent in certain areas- reading, especially- who have no idea how to approach the act of creating something on the changes and are unable to deal with the inner workings of music (harmony, rhythm, melodic development) on any deeper level.

For music teachers, it's much easier to teach a kid to see a black dot on a certain line, and push the corresponding button on the instrument, than it is to help the kid learn to hear what that dot represents. Then some of those students grow up and want to teach music, and ...

We end up teaching kids how to "read" music without them having any basis for attaching musical meaning or context to the visual representation.

Similarly, it's easier to get a jazz student to memorize the notes in chords and scales and modes than it is to get the student to 'hear' the chord changes, and have accurate internal concepts of the harmony and musical phrases.

An analogy with language learning might be: A kid learns to hear, then speak his native language for years before he gets saddled with trying to read or write it. So when the kid is learning to read the words 'mouse' and 'house', those very similar looking and sounding words each have a very distinct meaning to the kid, because he (hopefully) already has some concept of the things that the written words represent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.