Monday, January 21, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- The Blues and the absolute nitty-gritty.

~ I suggest if you want some freedom and personal forward motion you try this for a week: turn off the TV and computer games, use the phone and text only when necessary, and spend the rest of the time doing things that make you think, feel, create or anything that shows an active involvement and appreciation of you life. It's way off the hook, people are talking on the phone in restaurants instead of enjoying the meal they just ordered. Musicians and students need to get their life in order. I've thought and researched it- in one year the average person watches about 1200 hours of TV. Think of what could be learned in 1200 hours in one year. One could become competent on their instrument, and lots more. It's very staggering, and a form of freedom I enjoy. For musicians, you also will reach a moment of clarity and understand time needs to be allocated to insure mastery. As you start the process of practicing thoughtfully you will be able to gauge how much time it takes to accomplish your goals.When outside diversions and distractions are removed then you get down to the real nitty gritty of your journey. Thus begins a new world, watch what happens. In a week there are 168 hours. Most people work about 40-50 hours and sleep fifty to sixty hours. That leaves over 50 hours of loose time. Think about it- try it you'll like it.
Great jazz players are known for being undiluted and real. Doing what everyone else is doing is not an option. With that in mind- please try this.To many younger jazz player's main focus is to conform to and imitate what great jazz musicians have played. They think that if they play Coltrane's ideas then maybe they will become hip or famous too. Shedding transcriptions is an asset- but use it to assist your quest and a learning tool. That I have no problem with, at all. It's fun too! Great jazz is about those who play who they are, individuality can't be mass-produced. As people in a creative world, we need to shift our energy to higher consciousness levels.Add something to this beautiful planet earth-Gaia!Inspiration,personal forward motion and positive thoughts.Be YOU....and strive to be you.
OK- Here's one for the musicians;BALLAD FOCUS I CALL IT. Do this- it works!Play the first two bars of the melody of a ballad 15 times, each phrasing the melody differently, but in a way that is expressive yet still melodic. The rhythm can be changed, the melody can be broken up differently with different length rests,dynamics and shapes within dynamics .OK- do not change the actual pitches; once you change the pitches and the rhythm it is no longer the tune that is was to begin with. VARY THE MELODY. By doing this- you start to look deep inside melodys to find ways of playing and giving new life to the melody each time you play it.Then you can be more accountable for your creativity and the music also speaks with more coming from the melodic.
~ See the below flyer....I'm at NAMM this week- doing SAXOPHONES UNLEASHED again.My hit is on Saturday nite- see the below flyer. Thank you...keep on your path- Tim Price

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tim Price Blogging For Rico- Music is communication.

Music is communication. In order to communicate your ideas to others, you must speak the same language. Whether you choose to speak with slang, proper English, or beatnik poetry, there are certain spelling and grammatical conventions required to talk musically. Musical Ideas Today a well-rounded saxophonist and making the most of your ultimate musical skill, which is the melody: Let's start with looking at the market place today from a professional standpoint. I feel your training and education must be at a very high professional level. There are few college-level teaching positions and sometimes even fewer gigs, so our key in the marketplace is being well-rounded. One of the basic approaches to this, I found, is keeping an open mind. Don't shut yourself off to saxophone quartets, rhythm and blues gigs, teaching beginning students, or playing in big bands. By doing these and embracing many styles musically, you will start to develop skills that are as diverse as they are vital to your survival.
If you can play the Omnibook of Charlie Parker solos, you should also work with Guy Lacours (28 Etudes), which all are on altered dominant scales. I use it a lot in my teaching. Another great book for sight-reading which I feel all students, no matter what level they're at should be checking out, is my buddy Fred Lipsius' book called "Reading Key Jazz Rhythms", published by Advance Music. This book is a must! Those are some key things to consider before I start my main topic of melodic improvisation below. Learning to Use Basic Melody When musical phrases are constructed of basic elements such as chords or scales, they are organized into ideas and sentences much the same way that speech is just a combination of spelling and grammar. Phrases, like sentences, have beginnings and endings. This is one of the most important aspects. We separate our phrases with space and pauses. We punctuate our ideas with accents and rhythms. The tools and tech of music are there to help us express our ideas in much the same way language helps us speak. Melodic Possibilities Within Personal Musical Style
There are as many melodic possibilities as there are people to play and hear them. The beauty of jazz and improvising is that you should be able to communicate your own ideas. That is the difference between reciting someone else's story and telling your own. Learn to believe in yourself and let your own musical personality enhance the melody. Whether it's the melody of a tune or your improvisation. Tracking Tracking is the ability to listen to yourself. This is one of the most crucial things in melodic playing. Tracking is the ability to identify your own ideas and build on them. Music is not the combination of as many different ideas as possible in the shortest amount of time, (e.g. playing a lot of notes fast and all over the place) but, the flow and elaboration of a few ideas in a logical and coherent manner. The secret of tracking is to listen to yourself. Again, each idea should have a beginning and an end. Pause and listen to your last idea. Your next idea should be related to the last. Whether you repeat a rhythm, note, shape, or even stop and begin with a new idea, this will help you to direct your lines and phrases into a specific area. What you will hear coming out of yourself will be your own musical ideas. They are shaped by your feelings and the interactions of the people you are playing with, as well as your technical condition. All this will grow richer as you study more and practice harder and learn the repertoire. The secret is to create in the now, and not simply play all your memorized licks. The more you practice, the more you will be able to hear, and your abilities as a jazz improviser will grow and expand. Remember, what you hear is more important than what you know. The Three Aspects of Melody: #1- The Melodic Curve #2- Harmony #3- The Melodic Rhythm The melodic curve is a melody's linear or graphic structure. A melody is basically a line of notes that can move up or down by step or by skip. It can be primarily horizontal or very vertical in shape. The melodic curve is the horizontal and vertical shape of the melody.
The melody- harmony relationship refers to the relationship of the melody note to a chord progression. This aspect of melody corresponds to the concept of modality. The melody notes we use should have varying degrees of consonance or dissonance within the harmony. Melodic rhythm refers to the length and time feel of the melody and the phrasing. Melodies tend to sound like sentences and tend to have pauses in between ideas. The pauses and space between ideas can also be a form of rhythm as it defines the larger pattern of the phrase relationships. Play in phrases. Try to use speak like rhythms. Practicing These Concepts
Try to create melodic-type exercises by focusing on different aspects of the melody. For instance move upward or downward. Create a climax. Work deliberately with scale-wise motion or skips. Learn to play into the beat with pick-up notes. A terrific exercise is to play the first bar as a whole note, the second as four quarter notes, the third as whole, the fourth as four quarters, etc. Hear the exercise as a series of pick-ups to the whole note target notes. This melodic movement can be called "playing into the beat." Analysis Analyze your melodies and tunes you are learning. Create original melodies over the changes in melody over the tune you are playing on.
Final Thoughts Melody making is the ultimate art of music. No matter how far out or far in, or what kind of music you are playing, there must be melody. Everything you know and hear goes into your choice of notes or melodies. The creation of an expressive personal melodic style is the long-range goal and reward of studying improvisation and musicianship. Good luck, and remember...when you practice work and when you play.....PLAY ! Thank you, Tim Price

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico - Remembering the masters; JOE VIOLA, CHARLIE MARIANO. Players, educators that influenced thousands.

~ I got to admit...There's not a day goes by that I don't think of Joe Viola or Charlie Mariano. Those guys were some of the ones. The ones meaning educators that we really players...with a life of experience in the music. Joe Viola was Charlie Mariano's teacher, as well as decades upon decades of others. Names like Richie Cole, Arnie Krackowsky,Vinnie Penella, Jane Ira Bloom, Claire Daly, Billy Drews, Lovano, Sal Spicola,George Garzone, Jimmy Mosher, Kurt Mcgetrick,Bennie Wallace, Gary Anderson,David Woodford, Jerry Bergonzi, David S. Ware, Ted Cashier,Billy Pierce, Eddie Alex, Percy Marion to mention a just a few from my generational scope. Just ask Quincy Jones about the ensembles and classes he had with Joe Viola when he was a Berklee student. With memory's, educational chops, playing skills and a love of all things saxophone.Charlie and Joe were much more than just teachers; they are a part of history. Being in their presence was always riveting,for many of us a few words from Joe, or hearing Charlie play in the ensemble with us was a life-saving action.They were the province of the innovations and knowledge never imagined- they pointed the way because they lived it. Their guidance marked a pivotal point in which the foundations became within reach. Charlie was a innovative master known for his signature style, his playing was the true road to freedom. Charlie was in a league with the masters as Coltrane or Miles.Very remarkable men, buoyant in their celebration of a subject they have spent a lifetime thinking/practicing about. Being in their time and place forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music. To be blunt, the saxophone would not be the same in today's popular culture without these men educating students as they did.
~ I got the above article references from my friend Vinnie Penella Facebook page.The inspirational vibe that has existed for decades among those who knew Joe and Charlie is not only inspiring but far reaching. I was thinking as I saw this of the vast amount of players,it's something special. In the midst of seeing this on Vinnie's page, I was thinking of the recent passing of David S. Ware as well. Who- was one of the people we all knew and loved in that era. In 1969- David had the seeds to a style of his own. I still remember hearing him play " Django" in Joe Violas office with Joe on piano. Remarkable! As a matter of fact- that was 1969, seems like yesterday. As Arnie Krakowsky recently said on master saxophonist Vinnie Penella's FB page-" We need these guys around more than ever!!!!"
~ Whenever I get a new outstanding CD or a unique solution to something my first inclination is to call Joe Viola. Joe and Charlie Mariano became life long friends of mine as I was developing as a student. On my 18th birthday, Charlie sold me his spare Nadaswaram. Memory's like that, hearing Joe or Charlie play everyday set the stage. Those remarkable me changed my life! TO BE BLUNT- Joe Viola was the man who told the editor at SAXOPHONE JOURNAL over two plus decades ago...when they wanted to do a feature on Charlie Mariano to get in touch with me ASAP to do it, as that would be the right thing to do.So on that tip, a writing career of doing articles, CD reviews and much more ensued at Saxophone Journal because of Joe. That was years after I graduated from Berklee. Joe always was talking to me about writing, as he knew I was into reading and poetry. He instigated a lot with me to from that to telling me to keep on using amplification with my bassoon, he was a free spirit in the biggest way.I'll never forget turning Joe on to Bunky Green- he got his wallet out and gave me the money for the record " Testifying Time"...and within a week had played that for every saxophone student in school. Another time I played him Edgar Winters record "Entrance". He loved it! He talked for an entire lesson about the dexterity Edgar had in his playing. He had us all practicing out of oboe books on saxophone to get a higher skill level. David S. Ware showed me the photo copy pages he still had from Joe's lessons, and was still playing that Joe gave him from the " Singer" oboe books. You'd see Joe chilling in the old Jazz Workshop on Boylston St listening to George Coleman or at Lennie's on the Turnpike checking out Duke Ellington.
Gentlemen- Thank you- we all love you both madly.
~ I urge all former students to write into this RICO BLOG and share story's about Joe and Charlie. It would be insightful to the people today to know YOUR experiences and inspirations. Please take the time to add thoughts! TILL NEXT WEEK- Tim Price

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

HAPPY 2013.....From Bloggin' For Rico Reeds....From Tim Price

HAPPY 2013.....From Bloggin' For Rico Reeds....From Tim Price
~ We all commit to starting over once the New Year rolls around. It is entirely possible we ate too much, did not exercise enough or spent way too much money in 2012. Once the calendar year ends on the 31st of December though we have a clean slate, that fresh start and brighter future is known as 2013. I've covered all kinds of topics in my RICO BLOGS...from the reeds to Leroy " Hog " Cooper, things to shed and even things to cook. But the main thing I wish you all is artistic and personal peace of mind. That is paramount to your survival.
MY BLOG...Is a few days late. A first for me, as I usually hit the blog on a Monday. But I unplugged my computer and turned off the TV and just lived in that lane with my wife,and family since Saturday. I see all kinds of people going wild texting everywhere from driving to the street to even the bathrooms. LOL!! My question is...why? It can all wait- and check out what your missing? These last few mind is clear- I feel great and as I return to the "net", Facebook and all those fun's SOS going. Good, bad and the ugly- haha.
~ You need motivation to exist today. You need to practice to. But motivation is a driving force. In order to accomplish anything, you need a driving force, otherwise nothing will happen. A wish is not strong enough to make you take action. A wish is a weak desire. Only a strong desire can drive forward, to act and accomplish aims and goals.In order to get motivated, you need to know exactly what it is that you want, to possess a strong desire, and to be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goal.More than often there is lack of motivation, or only a short-lived one. How many times have you started enthusiastically a weight loss program, began a bodybuilding or aerobics training program, or started learning a foreign language, only to stop after a short while?It easier to show motivation in connection with a subject that is dear to you. If you desire something, but you don't feel motivated enough to act, this means that the desire is not important enough. To be motivated to take action and do something in respect to your desire, you need to possess a really strong desire.Motivation has much to do with the emotions and the imagination, which means that if you want to increase it, you have to work on your feelings and imagination.
~ Just some random thoughts as we enter this year 2013. Let's all motivate and inspire each other. Remember- Style dignity grace.Great virtues, attributes, divine qualities,To be and do what you came here for. Aim high.Use this as fuel,gratitude appreciation blessing celebration validation. Happy New Year to all of you.
~ Have a great week- till next week- Tim Price