Monday, October 9, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Jazz is a personal experience.








THINK ABOUT...YOUR SOLO.

Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. At this point in time in jazz, everything seems to be published and everything seems to almost be written down. We are in a great educational state. But where are the people who are really reaching within and trusting themselves to their own creative muse? This is the element that I am addressing here.
 

A cohesive solo flows together and has a sense of logic to it. Each part builds upon the last, whether rhythmically or melodically, as it guides you to the end of the solo. The sense of cohesion makes you feel like the solo is a deliberate and well-constructed piece of music.The opposite of a cohesive solo is one that meanders without any sense of direction or purpose. When listening to such a solo you'll probably wonder if the player is lost (i.e. doesn't know where they are in the song form), or maybe you'll keep wondering when they're going to stop playing. By the way, there is a syndrome amongst beginners that typically occurs when playing a meandering solo. You're unhappy with your ideas, but you keep playing chorus after chorus with the thought that maybe the next chorus will be "the one". If you've ever done this, or if you've listened to others doing it, you know how things typically turn out... MOTIF DEVELOPMENT!! TRY IT YOU'LL LIKE IT.There are several ways to build a cohesive solo, but I think the easiest method is through the use of motif development. A motif is a musical phrase that is repeated through the course of a solo. To avoid sounding like we're just playing the same phrase over and over again, we gradually alter that phrase rhythmically and/or melodically. This gradual development creates a cohesive solo because each phrase logically moves to the next; creating a sense that everything is connected.You can use motif development in a variety of ways when creating a solo. For instance, you could use one motif that you develop over the duration of your solo, or you could develop one motif for a while and then start another, or you can start with a motif and then play some random ideas, then come back to your motif. The possibilities are endless, and are ultimately determined by your own style and musical tastes.Motifs are also a great way to start a solo. I don't know about you, but I don't always know what I want to play when I put the horn to my mouth and start my solo (my best ideas come to me while I'm soloing). When this happens, I find it's best to just play a simple 3-5-note motif and develop that for a while. If I have a better idea during the development of the motif, then I (try to) smoothly transition to the new idea and go with it. If I don't come up with anything better, then I just stick to the motif.  
Most people fixate on theory because it's relatively straightforward to learn and teach. This stems from its similarity to the subject of mathematics. Like math, theory forces us to learn a bunch of rules and formulas. The notation even looks mathematical, with its use of numbers, roman numerals, various symbols, and plus and minus signs. So, on this level, it's familiar territory and somewhat palatable to those of us who did well in math class. You read it, memorize it, and move on to the next chapter.I'm not saying jazz theory is easy to master. I'm just saying that for most people, it's easier and faster to learn than ear training skills. In a few months you could learn everything you need to know about theory (at least the basics), yet it might take several years/decades to similarly develop your ears.Adding to its unpopularity is the fact that ear training is unpredictable. While you'll certainly improve with practice, that rate of progress will differ greatly from one person to the next. You'll have good days and bad days.If you're serious about learning jazz improvisation, then I strongly suggest that you learn at least some jazz theory. In the study of jazz improvisation (both in books and schools), there are two major components that rarely get the recognition they deserve: ear training and rhythm. Instead, the bulk of jazz education focuses mostly on theory -- learning what notes to play over which chords. While knowing jazz theory will help you to become a better player,
 

I think (much) greater advances are possible through strengthening ones ear and rhythmic skills. lunch for your ears- You should listen to this stuff. Start here- and go through my list ;“Porgy and Bess” (Miles Davis), “Ascension” (John Coltrane), “The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra” (Michael Mantler), “Live in San Francisco” (Archie Shepp)Listening/tunes: “Walkin’” and “Mysterioso” (J.J. Johnson), “Freddie the Freeloader” and “Flamenco Sketches” (Miles Davis), John Coltrane Plays the Blues (all tracks), “Cousin Mary” and “Mr. P.C.” (John Coltrane), “Sack O’ Woe” (Cannonball Adderley), “Now’s the Time” (J.J. Johnson), any blues record by Charles Mingus, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery.Then listen to- “Milestones” (Miles Davis), “Fat Girl” (Navarro); Bird: The Savory Recordings/Master Takes: Miles Davis’ solo on “Half Nelson”...Then isolate your ears with recordings by Bud Powell, John Lewis, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flanagan, only piano.



Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm. 

Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. Many times musicians inquest to unlock the force behind this theory of the eye has shadowed their colleagues throughout ancient history.  What I'm getting at here is nothing cosmic or nothing too whacked out...what I'm trying to bring your attention is music needs all the imagination from an individual it can get. When unconscious-unspoken communication, traveling at the speed of thought, becomes the only or at least the truest form of communication, you just know everything is clicking just like it should ... the energy is like a ball and bounces around through glances and body communication.It is awesome, it's the inner spirit of your mind in it's highest form. At this point in time in jazz, everything seems to be published and everything seems to almost be written down. We are in a great educational state. But where are the people who are really reaching within and trusting themselves to their own creative muse? This is the element that I am addressing here. As a student of music, take some time to think about using your intuition. As Bird said, "First you master the music, then you master your horn, then you forget all that shit and just play!"We need to keep that in the front part of our minds and make that a slogan similar to the many people who look to their "third eye." As you see, I'm trying to point out a parallel in creative paths. It's not easy. But it is easy when you bring it into your own consciousness and try to practice these aspects. Sure, licks, lines, inversions, and all that good stuff is of paramount importance.








But let us not forget to keep the magic in the music. Give all that you have and you shall receive more than you can imagine experiencing when playing jazz!Your gratitude empowers others to play even better. Remember fear destroys the souls ability to create. So start now and use the power of love to encompass all your decisions so fear has no room to exist in your life. Remove fear from your thoughts and you remove and limitations. All is illusion and all illusion is yours to control. So be connected. Everything happens for a reason. Chance is limited to a coin. Decision is limited to free will. We are limited to our decisions.....So there you have it. See you next week and hope some of this hits you.


Play with others as much as you can. Music is a personal experience, - TIM PRICE



Saxophone Study ...NYC, Skype & Reading, Pa. email me for details & to get started. Timpricejazz@aol.com




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Part 2- "Give me 5"- Mindi Abair -guest artist.

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds-
 

Part 2- "Give me 5"-

                           Mindi Abair -guest artist.





It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any saxist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right. The energies we all put into our craft; The years of apprenticeship and life-struggle, and the never ending open tuition to the school of hard knocks is always balanced by the intense commitment to the horn, and the pure love of playing it.That is exactly why...Mindi Abair is doing Part 2 of these special info blogs of mine called- GIVE ME 5. One of my favorite artists, I personally can not get enough of her stuff. This to me is one of the essential releases in today's music- a must have!


1 talk about your conception and how you envision the boneshakers prior to even the first rehearsals and gigs

MINDI- first met Randy Jacobs when I moved to LA. I didn’t know anyone, and I was asked to come play with this rock band by Oliver Leiber (Jerry Leiber’s son).  I showed up and the guitarist was literally doing backflips off the stage in mid guitar solo.  It was wall to wall people… the loudest band I’ve ever played with… and it was a party!  That guitarist was Randy Jacobs.  He had started his own blues/rock band The Bonehskakers.  It was born out of Was Not Was and Bonnie Raitt’s band.  She actually said “You guys are boneshaking!” and inadvertently named the band.  I’ve always been a fan.  Through the years we’ve both played on each other’s records for years. toured on and off together and remained close friends.  Cut to about 3 years ago when The Boneshakers were on Stage X and my band was on Stage Y for the Newport Beach Jazz Fest.  I went over to sit in with him… we’re family.  I stayed for the whole set… it was magic.. inspiring… it’s what music should feel like every night!  That day we decided we should join forces and become Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers.
We did 3 days of rehearsal for our first gig together up in Seattle at Jazz Alley.  We’ve done Valentines week there for a dozen or so years.  I had a friend record, as I thought the band had an intangible magic.  That became our live record that we released months later in Sept 2015.  
This is our first studio record together.  It’s powerful, cohesive, definitely blues/rock, and fun to the core.  The music we wrote showcases the talents and quirks and fun of the band.  We all really came alive in the studio and recorded everything in 5 days as a band.  It was magic, but this time it was a studio record!  
There was great inspiration all around.  We were at EastWest Studios and The Foo Fighters were in the studio next to us mixing their record.  My drummer would disappear into Dave Grohl’s car to hear rough mixes.  I’d see them out there flipping their heads back and forth to the music.  It sounded amazing.  And Justin Timberlake was in the studio next to us on the other side.  Justin would hang around and vibe on our songs and introduced himself and his wife to me near the end of our recording.  Wow, what a great guy and a great music lover.  He loved my track with Fantastic Negrito, “She Don’t Cry No More."



2- Mindi to me you've always been somebody who which the audience with your horn. In this band that is even more profound than ever-also you seem to have created a niche that I do not hear happening in other places these days. Tell me about it!


Mindi -I miss the days when saxophone was as integral of an instrument as the electric guitar.  Junior Walker, King Curtis…these guys were at the top of the pop charts.  Amazing.  We’ve lost that.
  

Saxophone and the genre of jazz is perceived now by many Americans as “Kenny G” and happy elevator music.  That’s not all that’s out there.  My band has grit, abandon, love, and power that they emote in every set.  It’s non-stop.  It’s great musicianship, it’s real, it’s visceral and heart moving.  I wrote a lot of songs to fit this line up well and exploit everyone’s incredible talents.  Randy Jacobs and I are just riding the wave of energy that we’ve written and cultivated with this band. 




3- I always found a vocal ability in your playing that goes back to old-school type values and also telling the story when you played. I've heard you play tenor and it knocked me out - there's times when you play alto with the boneshakers I hear some of that bleeding through and it's amazing. Do you know what I'm talking about elaborate on that for the people.



Mindi- I definitely think as a singer.  And saxophone is the closest instrument to the human voice.  It has so much nuance and range of sound.  I grew up listening to Tina Turner and wanting to be her. Nancy Wilson from Heart had that cool leg kick during her guitar solos.  I thought Heart was amazing.  I started school band playing a saxophone because I’d watched my father play sax growing up on the road with his band.  It looked like he was having a great time playing it knocking his knees together and shimmying out notes.  When I was in college I practiced playing to records of singers… gospel ensembles, Stevie Wonder, etc.  I loved their phrasing.  I feel that saxophone is a beautiful extension of who I am.  It amplifies the emotion I can put out in every way.


4-what are some things that you expect to be happening in the future with this particular band and also the music. And also discuss some of the songs on the new CD and the directions they are headed and where they came from.


 Mindi- This record is a blast.  It’s pure energy from every band member.  I wrote about 50 songs and pared it down to 11 for the recording.  We recorded at EastWest Studios in Hollywood.  We did 5 days with the Foo Fighters in the studio behind us and Justin Timberlake in the studio beside us.  Now that’s some great mojo.  My drummer would be listening to Foo Fighters mixes in Dave Grohl’s car on breaks!  It’s an amazing studio, and we had so much fun recording “old school” as a band for 5 days.  There were no fixes and overdubs.  If we went in to do a tambourine track over the top, the rest of us would go in and sing backgrounds and keep it a gang vibe.  It was all of the band all of the time.  So much fun.

5- is there anything else that you would like to talk about? I could ask you another 50 questions and I know you would have amazing answers. But this one's open to you. Is this something that you would like to add to all of this.?



Mindi- I wrote a song for the record called “Pretty Good For A Girl.”  Joe Bonamassa came in and recorded it with us.  He was incredible.  The song speaks about my journey as a woman in a man’s world, and that phrase “Pretty Good For A Girl” has become a motivating call for me.. a mantra.  I built a website where we feature women that are doing amazing things http://www.prettygoodforagirl.net   There are so many women accomplishing amazing things in music and beyond.  We’re asking women to submit video clips to be in my music video for the song “Pretty Good For A Girl."  I think it’s great to uplift the women out there who are breaking glass ceilings daily.  I didn’t think twice about being a woman playing saxophone.  No one told me there were glass ceilings to break out there, but I think it’s pretty incredible to be a part of shattering some of those that are left.



There you have it dear reader Part 2 - Of GIVE ME 5 With Mindi Abair.

Please take note of her answer on question 2 and I quote-
 " I miss the days when saxophone was as integral of an instrument as the electric guitar.  Junior Walker, King Curtis…these guys were at the top of the pop charts.  Amazing.  We’ve lost that."  
 

From the mouth of a master player and someone who is out there and knows. Listen and learn!
I couldn't agree more- As  I say in the start of this blog -  " It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any saxist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right." Mindi is laying knowledge out- listen and check it.


Her CD to me is a breath of fresh air- The very best music on today's scene and all the players in the " Boneshakers" are world class legends!

Thank you so much Mindi for your time, soul and being you.  - Tim Price- D'Addario blogger.







Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Part 2- "Give me 5"- Mindi Abair -guest artist.





It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any saxist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right. The energies we all put into our craft; The years of apprenticeship and life-struggle, and the never ending open tuition to the school of hard knocks is always balanced by the intense commitment to the horn, and the pure love of playing it.That is exactly why...Mindi Abair is doing Part 2 of these special info blogs of mine called- GIVE ME 5.



1 talk about your conception and how you envision the boneshakers prior to even the first rehearsals and gigs

 
MINDI- first met Randy Jacobs when I moved to LA. I didn’t know anyone, and I was asked to come play with this rock band by Oliver Leiber (Jerry Leiber’s son).  I showed up and the guitarist was literally doing backflips off the stage in mid guitar solo.  It was wall to wall people… the loudest band I’ve ever played with… and it was a party!  That guitarist was Randy Jacobs.  He had started his own blues/rock band The Bonehskakers.  It was born out of Was Not Was and Bonnie Raitt’s band.  She actually said “You guys are boneshaking!” and inadvertently named the band.  I’ve always been a fan.  Through the years we’ve both played on each other’s records for years. toured on and off together and remained close friends.  Cut to about 3 years ago when The Boneshakers were on Stage X and my band was on Stage Y for the Newport Beach Jazz Fest.  I went over to sit in with him… we’re family.  I stayed for the whole set… it was magic.. inspiring… it’s what music should feel like every night!  That day we decided we should join forces and become Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers.

We did 3 days of rehearsal for our first gig together up in Seattle at Jazz Alley.  We’ve done Valentines week there for a dozen or so years.  I had a friend record, as I thought the band had an intangible magic.  That became our live record that we released months later in Sept 2015.  

This is our first studio record together.  It’s powerful, cohesive, definitely blues/rock, and fun to the core.  The music we wrote showcases the talents and quirks and fun of the band.  We all really came alive in the studio and recorded everything in 5 days as a band.  It was magic, but this time it was a studio record!  

There was great inspiration all around.  We were at EastWest Studios and The Foo Fighters were in the studio next to us mixing their record.  My drummer would disappear into Dave Grohl’s car to hear rough mixes.  I’d see them out there flipping their heads back and forth to the music.  It sounded amazing.  And Justin Timberlake was in the studio next to us on the other side.  Justin would hang around and vibe on our songs and introduced himself and his wife to me near the end of our recording.  Wow, what a great guy and a great music lover.  He loved my track with Fantastic Negrito, “She Don’t Cry No More."



2- Mindi to me you've always been somebody who which the audience with your horn. In this band that is even more profound than ever-also you seem to have created a niche that I do not hear happening in other places these days. Tell me about it!

Mindi -I miss the days when saxophone was as integral of an instrument as the electric guitar.  Junior Walker, King Curtis…these guys were at the top of the pop charts.  Amazing.  We’ve lost that.
  

Saxophone and the genre of jazz is perceived now by many Americans as “Kenny G” and happy elevator music.  That’s not all that’s out there.  My band has grit, abandon, love, and power that they emote in every set.  It’s non-stop.  It’s great musicianship, it’s real, it’s visceral and heart moving.  I wrote a lot of songs to fit this line up well and exploit everyone’s incredible talents.  Randy Jacobs and I are just riding the wave of energy that we’ve written and cultivated with this band. 




3- I always found a vocal ability in your playing that goes back to old-school type values and also telling the story when you played. I've heard you play tenor and it knocked me out - there's times when you play alto with the boneshakers I hear some of that bleeding through and it's amazing. Do you know what I'm talking about elaborate on that for the people.



I definitely think as a singer.  And saxophone is the closest instrument to the human voice.  It has so much nuance and range of sound.  I grew up listening to Tina Turner and wanting to be her. Nancy Wilson from Heart had that cool leg kick during her guitar solos.  I thought Heart was amazing.  I started school band playing a saxophone because I’d watched my father play sax growing up on the road with his band.  It looked like he was having a great time playing it knocking his knees together and shimmying out notes.  When I was in college I practiced playing to records of singers… gospel ensembles, Stevie Wonder, etc.  I loved their phrasing.  I feel that saxophone is a beautiful extension of who I am.  It amplifies the emotion I can put out in every way.


4-what are some things that you expect to be happening in the future with this particular band and also the music. And also discuss some of the songs on the new CD and the directions they are headed and where they came from.


 This record is a blast.  It’s pure energy from every band member.  I wrote about 50 songs and pared it down to 11 for the recording.  We recorded at EastWest Studios in Hollywood.  We did 5 days with the Foo Fighters in the studio behind us and Justin Timberlake in the studio beside us.  Now that’s some great mojo.  My drummer would be listening to Foo Fighters mixes in Dave Grohl’s car on breaks!  It’s an amazing studio, and we had so much fun recording “old school” as a band for 5 days.  There were no fixes and overdubs.  If we went in to do a tambourine track over the top, the rest of us would go in and sing backgrounds and keep it a gang vibe.  It was all of the band all of the time.  So much fun.

5- is there anything else that you would like to talk about? I could ask you another 50 questions and I know you would have amazing answers. But this one's open to you. Is this something that you would like to add to all of this.?


 
I wrote a song for the record called “Pretty Good For A Girl.”  Joe Bonamassa came in and recorded it with us.  He was incredible.  The song speaks about my journey as a woman in a man’s world, and that phrase “Pretty Good For A Girl” has become a motivating call for me.. a mantra.  I built a website where we feature women that are doing amazing things http://www.prettygoodforagirl.net   There are so many women accomplishing amazing things in music and beyond.  We’re asking women to submit video clips to be in my music video for the song “Pretty Good For A Girl."  I think it’s great to uplift the women out there who are breaking glass ceilings daily.  I didn’t think twice about being a woman playing saxophone.  No one told me there were glass ceilings to break out there, but I think it’s pretty incredible to be a part of shattering some of those that are left.



There you have it dear reader Part 2 - Of GIVE ME 5 With Mindi Abair.

Please take note of her answer on question 2 and I quote-
 " I miss the days when saxophone was as integral of an instrument as the electric guitar.  Junior Walker, King Curtis…these guys were at the top of the pop charts.  Amazing.  We’ve lost that."  
 

From the mouth of a master player and someone who is out there and knows. Listen and learn!
I couldn't agree more- As  I say in the start of this blog -  " It has been my contention that the most valuable viewpoints come from those who do. Thus, it’s logical to assume that any saxist who is surviving in this field, and doing it with success, is doing something right." Mindi is laying knowledge out- listen and check it.


Her CD to me is a breath of fresh air- The very best music on today's scene and all the players in the " Boneshakers" are world class legends! Thank you so much Mindi for your time, soul and being you.  - Tim Price- D'Addario blogger.
















Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin For D'Addario Woodwinds- - The Art Of Bassoon Reed styles


 

 This is a omnibus I use to add focus on reed making-kind of like a hands on reed adjusting and focus- You might know it and know the end results- But worth it for...review.

Learning how to scrape bassoon reeds can be a long process as much of how you learn will be based on trial & error.

The purpose of this section on Bassoon reeds is to help people get a better handle and understanding on the adjustment and the techniques of coming to grips with these double reed issues
Dig this- it just takes some basic common knowledge issues. Plus don't be afraid to make a mistake.

You can either use a file or a knife which must be kept very sharp using a sharpening stone for scraping the reed. When scraping the reed insert a bassoon plaque to support the reed and your knife / file. When scraping bassoon reeds only take a minute amount of cane off at a time and then try playing the reed before doing more editing. This is important as once you have scraped the reed you cannot reverse what you have done!

Below are some very generalized areas of the reed in which you can scrape to hopefully achieve the desired effect. The following points are very generalized as each reed is very different to the one before due to factors including the density of cane, when the cane was picked, direction of the grain, etc... and so how you scrape each reed and how it reacts will vary.
               

Generalized Effects After Scraping this Area:

A: Freer & flatter low register
B: Softer reed
C: Flatter low register
D: Easier tonguing & easier ppp in high register
E: Less resistant low register & overall flatter
F: More freedom & flexibility BUT weaker "sound" & stability
G: Makes sound brighter, more flexibility & easier tonguing  


Tips

  • When played loudly the reed doesn't play E or C# in the stave in tune. The E and / or C# dip flatter. After making sure the reed is balanced (see above) and the 2nd wire is tight clip off a very, very small amount of the tip of the reed off at a time. Then try the reed playing those two notes very loudly, continuing to clip until you no longer have a flat & unstable E.

    For a  bassoon reed to work at it's best (vibrate at its optimum level) it needs the be correctly balanced. This means that the reed should have the same thickness of cane on both front and back blades and on each half of both blades (see diagram below).
    If you are having a problem with your reed(s) the first step should be to check that it is correctly balanced as this quite often will solve the main problems with the reed.
    Below are 2 methods to use to check if the reed is balanced and if it is not, find where the issue is and correct it. For all of the tests you will need a very sharp reed making knife or diamond coated file to correct the issues.
    The following tests involve cane being removed from the reed. Therefore it is important to note that once you have removed the cane you can not put it back, thus only take a little cane off at a time! NOTE; So much info on these is compiled here. This is some ideas- techniques that are tried and true. I sure didn't invent these- I'm passing info/ pictures and thoughts out there.

    Bubble Test

    In this test you are aiming to have the opening at the tip of the bassoon reed, the 'bubble', symmetrical at all times. Place your index finger on one side of the bassoon reed and your thumb on the other so that they are both in the center back of the blade (so that if the bassoon reed wasn't there your thumb and index finger would be touching). Now gently press the fingers towards each other so that the reed starts to close at the tip (Try to keep the pressure of your finger and thumb equal).
    Ideally, when you are applying pressure to both sides the bubble at the tip of the bassoon reed will close equally on both sides so that when quite a lot of pressure is used both blades at the tip will touch at the same time. If they do, you need not do any more to that part of the bassoon reed.

    If the reed doesn't close symmetrically then note the side of the blade where the tip has the larger asymmetrical opening. Then go directly towards the back of the reed until you are in line with your finger and remove a small amount of cane from this area. Then redo the test with your finger and thumb in the same place and remove more cane if necessary until the reed begins to close more symmetrically and is thus more balanced.
    Repeat the whole process, each time moving your finger and thumb closer to the tip of the bassoon reed and then start at the back of the reed again but on the side of the reed and work forward again until your fingers have touched every area if the bassoon reed blade.



  •  Testing the reed ;

    This test uses a bassoon plaque & is very simple to carry out.

    Place the plaque in between the blades of the bassoon reed and then pull the plaque gently to one side of the reed so that you can see the longer edge of the plaque (diagram, right). Once you have done this you will be able to compare the edges of the blades of the reed. If one area is thicker than it is on the blade directly opposite from it, use the reed making knife or diamond file to remove cane from the thicker side. Once the one side has been checked pull the plaque to the other side and repeat the same process.

    This is the end of this info based blog- I'm trying to keep this info on tap so you younger folks have a " go to" to answer immediate question and TRY to get a result. The availability of books and help is becoming low so ...if this helps you that's WHY I did it...Have fun and don't give up- this world needs more bassoonists- Tim Price


    - Here are 2 sources of amazing information I love and drew much knowledge from- find them and study ok?!

    Although making your own bassoon reeds sounds impossible, this is not the case. I suggest with the help of a teacher- and these two books you try to get started as soon as you can.
    Bassoon Reed Making by Mark Popkin and Loren Glickman is one of the top bassoon reed making books available. Topics covered: bassoon reed making from tube to finished reed, instrument repair and maintenance and approaches to bassoon playing.
    Basic Reed-making, A Basic Technique by Christopher Weait -The book goes from tool selection all the way through making and finishing reeds from tube to final reed. An excellent book used by every bassoonist.









Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- STUFF TO SHED.... looking within.

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- STUFF TO SHED.... looking within.

~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.

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.  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. In a word- BASICS that last for your career. Just some thinking on subjects we all love and are close to our agenda





 

Living a life of purpose reflects who you are deep inside, your beliefs, values and passion for living. It is about following your heart and doing what you love to do with passion and purpose. This may initially feel overwhelming and go too "deep" but that's exactly where you need to go - deep into your heart, beyond the busy, superficial day-to-day chores and demands of life. Beyond the fast paced day of the modern mom who typically deals with her career, various children's activities, computer viruses, proverbial household cleaning, - overall role of superwoman who never had or has had a chance to do some real soul searching for real meaning in her life. 

Despite the many resources of self-help tools available today via magazines, books, tapes, videos, and seminars, many still feel unfulfilled and lacking purpose in themselves, family and career. What ever happened to just getting together- making some coffee and playing some standards ad blues.Life is about choices - good, bad, happy, unhappy, purpose filled or void. It is important to intentionally and passionately seek to pursue joy, fulfillment and purpose despite the situations or people who may seem to be trying to take it away from you. Your choices should be reflective of who you are and what you believe in vs. the standards and beliefs of someone else.

Are you really hearing the music- or going for just who's popular?

 


 

The below...handwritten example- is a set of hybrid scales to try on So What-Impressions changes ;

You might like them- LISTEN.

Each person holds unique and very individualized gifts. Allow yourself to really explore your current and past skills - even some you may not even be aware of yet. But also....Recognize them, write them down and then think of how you could integrate your most compelling skills into an area of your life now. See you next week- Thanks for reading this blog- hope you dig the shed- Tim Price
 
   






Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- BIRD LIVES!





Bird Lives! Interesting how something can stay in your mind lifelong. Each person has been touched by the genius of Charlie Parker in different ways. So many different inspiring stories I've heard and I've read. Not to mention all the amazing music. I always wish I could of heard Bird live, also wish I could of heard him on tenor live as that's something Don Lanphere spoke of to me a lot.

 


Around 1970… I saw this movie in Cambridge Massachusetts called "Murmur or the heart".. there is some nice Bird playing in the soundtrack, and the movie itself.. I thought I'd bring it to a few peoples attention- whether or not they know about it or have any interest in checking out the movie, I've seen it on and off on YouTube too. But in any case now you know about it.


The other aspect of Charlie Parker that always stuck in my mind… was his interest to study with Edgar Varese. That always stuck in my mind, had it materialized one can only imagine were music would've went. He was obviously more than familiar with Varese. What drove the point home even further, and I think about this a lot, was at one point saxophonist ( and one of pioneers of the jazz oboe) Dick Hafer had relayed a very interesting story. Dick Hafer known Parker, from various things that he did with Woody Herman ( Bird with the Herd) and of course just being on the scene at that time.Dick told me the story about a conversation that he was a part of with Bird and Varese after a gig, hanging in NYC. Dick also told me Bird dug Stefan Wolpe It seems Charlie Parker had a real interest in those free forms and expanded composition directions combining a structure and freedom together. Hafer was also a woodwind player-who played or oboe and English horn as well as saxes, flute and clarinet. He's on Mingus records like " Black Saint and The Sinner Lady". ( there's various double reed solos on Anthony Ortega records & some dub's that Dick gave me that never made it onto the vinyl.) it seems like as history has it that Birds life was cut short sadly and this project never materialized. Many times I think of what could've happened had this went down. Where could of this music would've went? Talk about imagining the sound right?





Basically I heard from another artist from the same era named Gil Melle that Varese was looking forward to this with Parker. It is a known fact that sadly never materialized. Many of us who understand what both men were about musically- it's kind of overwhelming to think that that kind of point of departure never happened. For what it's worth-Dick Hafer was a friend of mine who is from the same hometown is me. My original saxophone and flute teacher knew him-hence the connection. When I first moved to New York in 1973 I would go to jam sessions on Ave A to sit in with Dick and Joe Chevadone on trombone.He repeated this same story to me when home visiting his brother in Reading, Pa after he spent the night sitting in with Al Grey and me.
To have heard a story like this come right out of someone's mouth in front of you was mind blowing- I thought I would pass it along again as food for thought and also document something I heard from somebody who was on the inside, like Dick Hafer. Something pretty deep, sad it never happened. Thanks for reading this.
BIRD LIVES!

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds August 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- IN THE NAME OF TRANE




In the name of Trane....in the spirit of the great artist John Coltrane I'm very proud to be part of a very select number of musicians in the Philadelphia jazz project that pays tribute yearly to this great master.

Last year I played directly across the street in the park from the Coltrane House in Philadelphia. Once with my own trio- and later in the day with Sam Reeds tenor madness. Sam's band contains some of the most profound saxophone players in the Philadelphia area, jazz legends like Sam Reed or Charlie Cunningham or George Barron or Larry McKenna, Julian Presley, Gilberto Cruz in addition to so many others in the rhythm section like Philly drummer Jeffrey Johnson and more. ( Larry is not on this gig- by the way- take note) Below is the historic ...COLTRANE HOUSE in Philadelphia, Pa.



This year Sam's band is playing at the Clef Club September 20 at 7 o'clock for this event. It's a beautiful event and everybody really gets to blow and stretch out and play-different guys will be featured throughout the gig as well in a quartet or trio fashion as well as Sam's saxophone ensemble with rhythm section. George Baron and I are playing a quartet segment of the show and playing " Soul Trane" and  " 26 -2 ". Julian Presley is going to be playing an amazing version of Duke Ellington's " In a sentimental mood"… Just to give you some teasers. 


 This is a gig that you're not gonna want to miss, it's worth the drive even if you're coming from Baltimore and New York, what the heck why don't I just throw Copenhagen or Miami in as well! LOL😎 The focus is the music and love of all things Trane. We are having a ball too- stop by!






These is the kind of things I'm talking about, that are of the ultimate important musically in a level that steps out of just the normal and approaches some great jazz- played by people who have played this art form for decades. There's a big difference if you come and hear something like this musically then let's say going to a jazz festival and hearing some of the same old stuff that is shopworn. With that in mind some of these players have roots that grew up with people actually Morgan and Jimmy Heath. Charlie Cunningham is almost 90 and he knew Trane. Charlie also played in the 70s with Philly Joe Jones the great drummer. Below is Charlie and me playing at last years festival!



I'll be saying more about this prestigious event cause I'm very proud to be a part of it but also bring it to the worlds attention in these weekly blogs. These are things that should be being talked about and they're also a great form of respect to a master like John Coltrane.

Also- credit and respect and love to our friend and source of great forward motion Homer Jackson. It wouldn't be happening without you sir.


      I'll be keeping you posted-thank you for reading this and I see you all next week.

       In the name of Trane indeed!  ~ Tim Price




 














 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- AND THERE'S MORE !






~ 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. The picture below- Is me with Philly jazz royalty Sam Reed- Sam is one of the legends in Philly jazz- we play with Phila Jazz Project a lot and he has played with everyone. One of the true tenor legends in this life. Great arranger too.

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.

Back in the day...As a teenager I heard a tenor saxophonist ~

~ The tenor players name was- Billy Mitchell! I saw him through a dirty bar room window in my home town in Reading, Pa as a kid. He wa splaying with trombonist Al Grey.That left a huge impression on me as a young player. Every week I'd go stand
outside & look thru the dirty glass window on 7th street ( which is where the railroad is...Eg-Reading Railroad for all you Monopoly fans ) And dig the bands. One time I heard Billy Root with Al Grey.Another time this guy FRANK HAYNES, who was like a Trane -grits type line player with a chitlins' Gene Ammons sound.
Frank later recorded with Lee Morgan & Grant Green.

AS time passed...I started to work on the next street at the C.P Club on
weekends and Sundays. ( C.P means Colored Political ) So I got
to meet some of those sax players while I was still in high school.We'd play a lot of soul music with jazz instrumentals as covers. It gave all of a chance to play but also meet some of these guys at an early age. After all- jazz did not start with " Giant Steps" and " Love Supreme". Years later at Berklee, in my apartment building, there was a guy who lived in my building in Boston Gary Hammond. Came off the road in 1970 to study in Boston..he just left " The Ice Breakers". Hammond later played with Patton and at times still does. Gary is a unsung player and a sweetheart of a guy. I
love his playin'. He's on some Johnny Hammond Smith records and some Barbara
Donald stuff on Cadence records. The picture below is yours truly and BETHLEHEM . . a Philly singer- artist of sonics that I have the pleasure to play with- and is a world class artist- Listen for her ok.

I got to mention two guys from Philly who played in that bag-one was the late great Rudy Jones. He never left Philly. He and I used to play a lot with Don Patterson in late 70's. Another Philly guy who never got credit was Vance Wilson. Great tenor player. 


I always get concerned about these guys because they were the backbone of tenor playing. Like Bergonzi said " The cats you never heard of". They helped me in many ways...I get concerned because these environments like the clubs etc are not around anymore. Even the audiences have changed. And believe me these bands and players were an education unto themselves. I worry that young players will miss the essence of
Fred Jackson , Marvin Cabell, Rudy Rutherford,Rudolph Johnson, Tom Russell, Weasel Parker, Leo Johnson in Newark,Miles Donahue,Sue Terry, Sam Phipps, Arnie Krackowski, Bll Saxton in NYC, Patience Higgins and so many more.With the loss of the record industry and the influx of commercial sales- things have gotten worse.Yes- the " net" is somewhat of a help but the players I'm talking about are of another era. These guys have paid some real dues.Listen for them. AND THERE'S MORE....

TILL NEXT WEEK, Keep a light in the window and a chilled cucumber vodka martini ready for me- Tim Price