Monday, August 22, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Todays student needs substance !

~Improvising means creating music that is spontaneous, of the moment, and uniquely your own. So think of it as the instrument becomes a process of self-discovery, finding out what your music really sounds like. You develop a period of looking within, stripping away the excess and listening for the simple voice that really is our own. It’s there, listen for it. I wish I had arrived at these ideas earlier in life. It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary toil. But like it is sometimes said, you are ready when you are ready. These are very important topics- are YOU ready?

Being able to improvise on I GOT RHYTHM changes appears much more as a puzzle or study that must be negotiated than as an opportunity look within and reach for new sounds you hear. Improvising means creating music that is spontaneous, of the now, and your own. It will not get played if you yourself don’t play it, and try.

You have to focus your practicing for maximum progress towards creating a powerful forward motion as a player. Add personal guidance of a master teacher and artist, and you’re poised to grow as a musician and as a performer. This is the way I learned with master players-educators like Charlie Mariano, Charlie Banacos ( I was lucky to study with Banacos since 1994 till 2010 ) Sal Nistico, Joe Viola, Andy McGhee and John LaPorta.These men were a beautiful category of a jazz pro who both knows what he is doing, and is willing to share. Thank god for them!

Today's student needs substance ! Plus how to focus practicing of improvising on the essential elements,the actual substance of what to play and how to develop it in your personal style, and dealing with practicing of specific vocabulary. It's what I call, what to shed! Then you got to understand jazz is part of culture. Bird, Prez,Basie,Pee Wee Russell, Roland Kirk, Duke, Hawk and all those giants who gave something to culture. What did they have? They had the the building blocks of jazz improvisation. MELODY ! Then guide-tone lines, and melodic Rhythm. Real world building blocks of jazz improvisation.


Also check out the new ... TIM PRICE JAZZ VIDEO...captured/recorded and filmed last Monday by great friend/ former student Nathan Bellott. ENJOY!

Till next week- Put positive energy out there!

~ Tim Price


  1. Tim:

    As usual right on the mark. My 1st teacher didn't know how to teach jazz improv even though he could do it himself. He just didn't know how to communicate it. But he did have me memorize tunes and scales. He would go to club date gigs without any music, no fake books or the Club Date Book. (No Real Book then). He just knew a ton of tunes and he knew how to play them.

    He come up during the 40's and served in a Navy Band. After WWII he played for the strippers on the Block in Baltimore. Then he started doing the Broadway Shows that came through town, even subbing in the Baltimore Symphony. I was lucky to have a playing, gigging musician as a teacher.

    When I went back to Baltimore in '81 after serving in the Army Band I transferred my union card to Baltimore. He was then President of the Union and he hooked me up. Of course he passed away in the early 90's. By the way his name was Al Sigismondi.