Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- EXPRESSION AND YOU.

As we enter March 2017 ; LET'S REMEMBER...jazz is personal expression.

Just some thoughts.......

Bird had incredible ears and gifted depth of creativity he picked out
the hip ideas that other musicians were playing and then added his own
to make those incredible new lines of his. He was mostly using his

THINK ABOUT THAT- the guy was ultra-melodic.Very very easy to hear.

Another way is that a musician can learn to improvise let's look at
the COLTRANE thought process. Trane was the opposite of Bird. He didn't
stop practicing and studying. He slept with his horn so that he could
start practicing the moment he got out of bed. He practiced on the
breaks at gigs and every other free moment he could find.

He was a searcher. He searched for new scales and modes from all over the world.
He studied out of violin books and harp books. He used the Slonimsky
book of scale patterns. Trane learned by studying as well as using his
own incredible ears!

As Charles LLoyd said to me " Bird invented the atom.....TRANE smashed

So we have two very different ways of learning the mechanics of
improvisation but, and here's the big but, when Bird or Trane got on
the bandstand to perform neither of them spent much time "thinking"! In
performance they were both in the same state of incredible
self-awareness. The mechanics became unimportant on the bandstand and
the emotional side of their improvisations took precedence. They played
from their heart and soul. This is the key to their greatness. They
both had an incredible natural gift for being able to open themselves
up to their inner creativity and let out their amazing ideas with
wonderful ease, excitement and wonder.

In fact of all the hundreds of bands I've played in not one has ever
said to me, "play a mixolydian scale here" or lets only play a
diminished scale there.

Never! LETS REMEMBER.....jazz is personal expression.

:REMEMBER ~ you do not have to reinvent the wheel !!! ::::

Virtually all of Bird's solos have already been transcribed.Go study

My personal favorites though are "Nows The Time " and "The Song Is You
". There are transcriptions of those solos around too. I'm sure if you
TRY to sing them along when driving in your car...you'll got the SHAPE
and HARMONIC PARTS in your ear.

By analyzing the already transcribed solos, you'll save yourself a lot of time if your main intention is to "learn more about his vocabulary".You'll find that Bird used a lot of the same priniciples and tricks over and over. After a couple of years study you should have a decent handle on the underlying concepts and then it's all about putting those principles to use in finding your own voice. I think any kind of transcription work you do well benefit your ear.

These are just some thoughts on this.Maybe it hits ya maybe it
don't. HERE'S A ASSIGNMENT - The ultimate expression- Transcribe LESTER YOUNG'S CLARINET SOLO- ON- " PAGING THE DEVIL"....take 2. Watch what happens to your playing.

But most of all keep trying-playing-listening.
That is MOST vital to personal growth.See you next week; Tim Price

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- That thin line,and the moment.

My friends there is a very thin line, sometimes with a pale shadow attached, between what happens on the bandstand,in the shed,writing your thoughts in your blogs, and in the classroom. All involve the now, listening being in the moment.

Instruments, reeds,paper,laptop, pencil, the mind as messenger for the mind and heart are our tools for being in this life.

Whether it's playing with a cool band,or some friends playing Monk tunes, writing a really good line of poetics,learning some new ideas or tunes, or connecting with and enjoying your students.All are gifts that I continue to be thankful for, and always will be.We now have to believe in our true selves and realize that what we do is a gift!


Let me also add, to me , communication is most important . So, it there is no direct communication with the audience for which you are playing, there goes your job. Play music for people- and watch the result!

John Coltrane used to talk about imagining his music reaching out and embracing his audiences.Remember before Trane was Trane he was a player who could rock the house on the blues, and play any standard song.
When you speak of touching someone and reaching out- There's Charles Lloyd. His contribution since he hit the scene is a music brilliantly conceived and played. Charles always is always coming up with music of immense power and authority. As great as any jazz master as well- and someone who has the wisdom to move forward as himself.His message is a supreme joy-and just watch the audience react as he plays. Communication!

REMEMBER ~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.  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. 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.


As a assignment for ALL those interested, please go buy -

Rip, Rig & Panic

How can you miss with this band!
Roland Kirk - Tenor Saxophone, Stritch, Manzello, Flute, Siren, Oboe, Castanets
Jaki Byard - Piano
Richard Davis - Bass
Elvin Jones - Drums

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK....Keep your ears and mind open- Tim Price

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- A LESSON IN MELODY AND IMPROVISATION.

- Go to you tube- find one of these standard songs, and start to copy the melody exactly as the artist played it. Using his dynamics, articulations and tempo.These basics are most important these are particular technical areas that the jazz musician have to specialize in then feel free to present that information with some twists and turns of their own. All these people I chose have a great sound   technique that starts with melodies. This is not only is a basic tool for developing great technique, but also your time and knowing how to play along with the rhythm section. Not to mention sound production. Listening to these masters is essential to developing beautiful sound. Try to do everyone of these listed-if it takes a year - then you have something that is adding to your playing in a very internalized way.

This portion on my blog I also wanted to focus on the history of the saxophone showing you in a way,  that you really need to know these kind of standards,  featuring your instrument. By doing this it adds emotion and confidence to your music. Get started and watch what happens!

Lester Young - She's Funny In That Way

Coleman Hawkins - It's The Talk Of The Town

Charlie Parker - My Old Flame

Johnny Hodges - Night Wind

Lester Young - I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)

Chu Berry - On The Summy SIde Of The Street

Flip Phillips - Sweet And Lovely

Coleman Hawkins - Someone To Watch Over Me

 Jimmy Forrest- Night Train

Lester Young - Something To Remember You By

Ben Webster - I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)

Charlie Parker - Don't Blame Me

Chu Berry - A Ghost Of A Chance

Lester Young - East Of The Sun

Benny Carter - Stairway To The Stars

Coleman Hawkins - What Is There To Say?

 Jimmy Forrest- - Moonglow

Lester Young - Polka Dots And Moonbeams

Charlie Parker - The Gypsy

Coleman Hawkins - Sophisticated Lady

Charlie Ventura- Dark Eyes with Gene Krupa

Buddy Tate - Blue And Sentimental

Lester Young - These Foolish Things

Coleman Hawkins - I'm Through With Love

Here are some of the things you will learn from- JUST LEARNING TO PLAY THESE MELODY'S ABOVE :
  • A  clear understanding of  melody in relation to harmony, practically, harmony that will give you an advantage in every aspect of your musical life
  • The ability to understand music by ear and to play beautiful, melodic real melody's.
  • How to recognize how the chords move  to any song as easily
  • The mind set of those “musical geniuses” who can listen to any song once and immediately know how to play it
  • How to play directly from your imagination, expressing your own musical ideas exactly as you hear them in your mind- just as the artist did.
  • How to play standards with the freedom to be expressive and play in time.
  • How to  attend “jam sessions” and play jazz tunes by improvising together and not being stuck in a book, you will be able to recognize melody by ear and to play it instantly- because you have a hard drive in your ear from doing this! You will also learn to express your own musical ideas exactly as you hear them in your mind.
  •  HISTORY! ROOTS! Of what your instrument should sound like. Other aspects like- taste, control and telling a story.
  •  You need to stop worrying about “what mouthpiece someone plays” and just enjoy making music  knowing you developing internally a SKILL LEVEL and a set of roots, techniques on the language.

PLUS- It will enhance your phrasing! Phrasing should be internalized.

When you improvise a musical phrase, you are creating new melodies on the spot over an established chord progression. Therefore, knowing melody's is essential for creating a successful musical phrase.
 In Arnold Schoenberg’s   The Fundamentals of Musical Composition. He states;
  • “The term phrase means, structurally, a unit approximating to what one could sing in a single breath. Its ending suggests a form of punctuation such as a comma.”
  • “The mutual accommodation of melody and harmony is difficult at first. But the composer should never invent a melody without being conscious of its harmony.”

Get started learning these melody's- as the above artists played them. Make it part of what you shed everyday. This is a basic element to a solid foundation not only as an improvisor but also as a complete jazz player and beyond. See you next week - Tim Price