Monday, July 25, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Learn To Hang In there.

~ In today's world as a creative musician, teacher, recording artist and student you got to learn to hang in there. Music is a beautiful thing, something very important to life and all within. But just like anything else, nobody gives you something for nothing.You have to understand that
luck is where your lifelong preparation will join the opportunity. It's not easy either- don't expect because you can play " Giant Steps" or know the inner world of the " Creston Sonata" or have played every bar in the Jersey Shore that you deserve anything.

Before anything, you must love what you do. As Charles Bukowski said," You gotta have the guts." Do what you do and do it to the absolute best of your ability. Bukowski also said, " It’s no good quitting, there is always the smallest bit of light in the darkest of hells." This life can be a roller coaster. Sometimes you will make money,maybe great money. Often very little money and will struggle to get by. A strong work ethic is needed, as well as a strength of will. You also will have to be prepared when opportunity appears. Again- HARD WORK.The ethos behind lateral action is creativity coupled with productivity as the route for success, which also means creatively looking at our productivity. Perhaps sitting and squeezing out every drop of inspiration by sheer force isn’t the best way to get results.Like any productive creative process it’s all about balance and finding a way.

Nobody is entitled anything, remember that, it's HARD WORK to make a living as a musician. You must embrace the music with the pursuit of excellence.You earn it every cent you make. You'll get there by experience, and we ALL pay dues. These are things only time and a two thousand stupid gigs will teach you , or teaching a few days of fourth grade students for a few years. Don't complain-learn from every situation you find yourself in. We're only human- accept criticism without taking it personally. If you have an open mind, you'll learn and grow. You will never know all there is to know,always will be something new to learn.

Know this is a beautiful thing music, but it's also a business.Hang in there-it's no good quitting and your not entitled, but you have a vision in mind. Don't cheat yourself out of something you love.

Till next week-Tim Price

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Our Imaginations


~ Check the words on the wall drawing from PS 11 in New York City. That was a beautiful start to a Saturday in NYC of mine teaching and playing jazz. IMAGINATIONS! Your imagination allows you to not only see mental images in your mind – You can also imagine physical sensations, feelings and emotions. According to the > Imagination – “The faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.”

“Forming mental images” – now that’s something most of us can relate to. We form mental images in our heads all of the time – How to decorate our home; What our vacation will be like; What we plan on doing over the week-end etc.

OK- Now as musicians, students and educators...Everyone has an imagination.
So why doesn't everyone use it for their own benefit? Imagination in jazz improvising is vital to the personal sound you should be looking to develop. By developing a strong imagination you will be strengthening your creativity. It's what I term with my students and fellow musicians as- IMAGINE THE SOUND! It's that easy, and that fun. Those students in PS 11 know- and know the deal of using your imagination. Your imagination is the search engine of your thoughts - It is where creativity begins.

Saturday night in New York City- we had a great gig. The3ed tune of the first set I called "Yesterdays" by Jerome Kern. On my my favorite tunes. After my solo, I heard a familiar voice next to me. BOB MOVER!! He wanted to play "Yesterdays " with me.
Bob comes up- we immediately get into a counterpoint between the two of us. Inspiration and deep mutual respect. I know Bobby sense 1970!) take hold and it is on! Bob wanted to sit in on a few tunes, the vibe on the bandstand/music was right there for him.He asked " Tim is it ok if I blow some more?"...I said play as much as you want Bobby. HE HUNG ALL NIGHT AND PLAYED TILL 3:00 WITH US. Kim Garey, Ryan Anselmi and Kerong Chok all had a great inspiration time on Saturday. Check the photos below this blog please.

This is where it all begins. You have to play, you have to involve the music with your thougfhts and dreams. And- IMAGINATION! Bob and I used to play in Boston, at a pianists pad named Rick Aronson. Long days urned into nights that never ended- Bob hipped me to guys like Nicky Hill the great Chicago tenor sax legend as well as our conversations were always so memorable. A treasured soul and life long brother in jazz.

The instant energy/inspiration and simpatico...I tell Ryan Anselmi and my people a lot about. It can't be taught in a book- the bandstand is the only place for it to be done. We played 4sets and it was beautiful. Drummer and musician of highest standards Kim Garey is pictured behind Bob in 2ed picture.

FYI- Bob played with Chet Baker, Mingus, Walter Bishop Jr and recorded with Lee konitz among others. You get my drift I hope :)

TO ME- this is what is most important.
I've known Bob Mover from 1970 on....this is a great thing when you can play and share on the bandstand. It's what what I strive for...and sometghing that CAN NOT be taught in a classroom or book. It's a shared life long experience. THANKS BOB MOVER...he is a beautiful human being/life long friend.

Thanks to Bob Mover and " Soulful Tenor Madness" and those students of PS11. Keep your dreams alive my friends.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Selecting A Teacher


Initially you probably will need a teacher to steer you in the right direction; to give you some sense of the quality of your sound and performance; some feedback to help orient you in the right direction.
Let us not forget- Analysis of classical piano scores or playing with classical CD'S is another source of ideas. You might see the way Shostakovitch creates his harmonic fabrics.... Or whatever is interesting to you. By continuing to work with focus on the same things from day to day, by following the thread of your explorations, you will find that your level of proficiency has risen and expanded to include all the sources you have examined. At this point you have LONG TERM GAIN. Just as playing every night results in the development of style, practicing every day results in the acquisition of technique, musical knowledge and intelligence, improved tone, and stamina. A general panacea. Just the quest to continuously find something to practice will increase your creativity. It always amazes me when someone says "I don't have anything to practice" or "I don't know what to practice". There are so many variations of scales, melodies, and melodic patterns, not to mention 12 keys. So many sounds to make, articulations, songs to learn, music to listen to and analyze, technical problems to sort out. The only limitation is your focus, consistency and inventiveness. At this point it would be good to point out that there are certain proficiency which are generally expected of an accomplished musician.To one degree or another, a musician is understood to have the following skills: Good intonation and ability to blend with other instruments, 2-3 octave range(saxophone), technique in all keys, accurate articulation and rhythm, some reading ability (this varies greatly), knowledge of harmony and familiarity with the keyboard, the ability to improvise over different types of thematic material, a beautiful melodic tone, A teacher can instigate this and inspire you to go beyond your own visions.
The teacher will mirror your playing , pointing out and hopefully giving you the means to continue working on your own. A good teacher will also demonstrate when necessary to provide inspiration. Watch out, however, for instructors who keep a student in a state of dependency. Perpetual students who don't achieve the ability to work and progress on their own are the unfortunate result of poor teaching and possibly the desire for a long term source on income on the part of the instructor. Kind of like a psychiatrist keeping you feeling crazy so you have to keep coming. This why development of a DAILY PRACTICE is the first and most important goal of study. The ability to maintain this practice is the most important indicator of you development as a musician, so select a teacher who will help you work toward this goal. Your teacher should be strict but gentle, capable of great support and enthusiasm for your work.

Any suggestions, comments and input- please drop a few words on these thoughts.

Till next week- stay cool calm and collected- Tim Price

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico...The Mysticism of Sound and Music / What A Wonderful World.

The Mysticism of Sound and Music/ What A Wonderful World....Tim Price Blog For Rico Reeds.

This book is a compilation of the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Born in India, Khan was a firm believer that life responds to sound as vibration. All else flows from this.

The book contains chapters on topics such as: the music of the spheres, color and sound, music in Indian culture, music of the dervishes, dance and music, music and psychology, the healing powers of music, memory, will, reason, intuition and dreams, the Ego, inspiration, and the value of repetition. FWIW- Khan did not write these selections as a book; instead, they were collected and organized from various lectures and articles that he prepared dating from about 1913 to 1926. The editors have managed to create a cohesive text from very disparate sources. Some ideas are presented repeatedly, but unlike so many similar compilations of articles by other authors, the presentation of Khan's ideas in this book are consistent each time they are mentioned.

I picked up this book because align with many other books musicians talked about be it Hindemith's theory of harmony or The Horn by John Clellon Holmes..this book by Khan seemed fascinating. When I first read it a few decades ago, I loved the content but some went by me.

There is a picture on the cover of Khan playing the vina. Reading this book has given me a much greater understanding of and appreciation for how music is central to Indian practices and beliefs. Which many esoteric musician authors draw from,the book is full of little surprises, it is an insightful study into the spiritual meaning of music.

It is wonderful book that should be read by any musician and/or student of music.


Till next week-

I quote the great LOUIS ARMSTRONG –“What a Wonderful World”.

~ Tim Price