Re: Learning changes/improv

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Posted by Cazz on April 22, 1999 at 01:24:32:

In Reply to: Learning changes/improv posted by A. Nonymous on April 21, 1999 at 10:35:36:

I would just like to add:

** Listen to what you enjoy - and give some thought to why you enjoy it!!

Then perhaps try to emulate it. Greats like, for example, Dizzy Gillespie, began
he sounded like Eldridge. Then he continued to develope and found his own voice like
he played like Endridge. Then, he naturally developed, and found his OWN vioce, like

** Don't restrict yourself by thinking you must listen to *tuba* players playing

** Just have a go, play WITH people, which is also a great way of being
influenced by them... and having a good musical "conversation" as it were.

** Use your EARS (and not your eyes, avoid too much *looking* at
chord charts, etc.,)

** Band-in-a Box and the perennial Abersold recordings are also handy for starters,
and can form part of a regular improvisating "diet".

** Play by ear anything you fancy, it can be as simple as a nursery rhyme,
a TV Theme.... then try it in a different key. I get even my beginner
students to do this.

I am fortunate to work professionally in the jazz and classical fields
"down under", modern jazz too, believe it or not... and when I am asked
about influences, players of trumpet, bass (for fulfilling the "bass role") and
players of all sorts of other instruments come up a "country mile" before most
of the so-called jazz tubists.

As a tuba player, to be inspired and influenced jazz-wise one HAS to think
laterally... if you just wait around to be inspired *solely* by tubists, you may
be waiting a while! By this, I mean that IMHO most of what is purveyed is
either good tuba playing (but limited jazz), or possibly OK jazz but limited
tuba playing (usually trombonists and even bass players thinking they're
doing the tuba justice!). Often it is neither of the above, and lacking in
*concept* (specifically in terms of *role*). Six tubas and rhythm section is like
an exibit of animals at the zoo - it does not reflect "nature" in a musical
sence. I am personally much more interested in using the tuba as a bass
- in the bass role, but with infinite possibitities in terms of creating
basslines, and soloing, etc. Lucky for me, it's working out just fine, and
I have carved a fine niche for myself, by including World Music funky street bands,
as well as situations where I am giggin' just where a bass player would normally be.

Regards, CAZZ

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