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#1204411 - 05/23/09 01:23 AM How do you think? (Improvisation)
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Just wanting to take a poll and see how people are thinking when they play; harmonically and rhythmically, time, feel, etc. I guess if you break it down, some people are theorists (play and improvising using theory knowledge), some are aural, and some are lick-based players. Right now I lean towards the ear side of things, although I am trying to combine all three to become a more well-rounded musician. Anyways...

Question: What is the importance of being able to understand how another musician thinks? Right now I am preparing for my 3rd year recital and I have a large chunk of players to choose from. As I sift through I am looking at each musician, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they think and understand music. To me those things will detirmine how fit they are for specific tunes on the recital. As of recent I have been really shocked by the amount of music students in my school who seem to lack the ability(or just don't care) to evaluate these things in other musicians before choosing them for a particular gig.

Example: I have a sax playing friend that is a fantastic soloist when performing a more diatonic piece (Someday my Prince for example) because he is great with his ears. Throw him a more complicated piece and he needs quite a bit of time to work it through, may not ever get through it at all because he lacks the theory end of things.

Does this make sense to anyone? smile

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#1204497 - 05/23/09 07:48 AM Re: How do you think? (Improvisation) [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I chose the people I did for my recital because they listened to each other when they played.. we could make things happen in the bandstand... i think those kind of chemistry should be apparent to you if you play with them enough.. and thats probably the most important thing to consider.

I wrote this in other threads too, when i talked to the greats, most of them stress transcription.. in fact some of them will tell you that's all you need to do aside from chops. I transcribe all the time and steal ideas from others.. to me its the perfect combination of ear/theory.. you are analyzing music but you are making conscious effort to listen... as opposed to working things out of a book. Most great players did enough of that worked through enough stuff so that they come out naturally as part of their voice. I think what distinguishes talented student from a amazing player is that the good players developed over the years.

Example: I knew this talented piano player, he had a great a feel and he was very promising as a freshman.. the problem was that he never worked on anything other than the stuff he liked.. so while he had good feel and descent chops, his bebop ideas never developed.. there are plenty of talented students with a lot of strengths.. but its rare for someone to go beyond that and become a consumate musician.

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