Posted by Ed on April 13, 2000 at 13:41:17:
In Reply to: This pertains to EVERYONE!!!!!!! READ READ READ!!! posted by Brock on April 11, 2000 at 18:07:57:
Everybody has a some great suggestions, I would like to add a coupla things. First, I was in a somewhat similar situation; I had been living in NYC for awhile and working pretty regularly but my playing wasn't really at the level I wanted it to be, and I didn't see any clear way to get to that level. I had taken some lessons with Mike Formanek and Michael Moore (and some other jazz guys)but it all just seemed to add more information to the "library" and didn't give me a sense of how to develop my own voice. Some guitar player handed me an article by the guy I have been studying with for the last 4 years and it really changed my life. Nothing gives you a feeling of confidence like being able to see a path to where you want to go open in front of you. So I would try to find a good teacher. You can check out that article at the talkbass.com site under GUEST ARTICLES (Joe Solomon), and, if you live anywhere near NYC, I would highly recommend studying with him. But start working with somebody that has great ears and is gonna help you in an organised fashion with exercises that will get yer ear working and your improvising at the level you want to get to. Second is sorta the toy factor. The idea of recording rehearsals/performances/practice sessions is a good one, within reason. Give yourself some time between the deed and the review, so as not to "remind" yourself of what thoughts were going on at the time but to listen with "fresh" ears. If you play something you like, keep a seperate tape with those on it. listen as objectively as you can to everything going on, not just your part. My favorite new toy is a Sharp portable MiniDisc recorder player. Cheap stereo mic and it gets a pretty good sound down (ya get a better mic and a good sounding room and it is surprising how good it can sound). Use recording within reasonable bounds though. you don't want to inhibit free expression by worrying about how something is gonna sound on tape. You want to try to get to a point that you are playing what you hear, and what you are hearing is what's necessary for the tune.
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