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Teaching and Learning Jazz
The brand new book by Richie Beirach & Michael Lake:
A variety of core topics for both teachers and students that
until now no one had the experience, passion, or courage to reveal.
...and possibly ever written!"
Watch Richie and Mike describe the book…
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The full eBook version of The Framework for Jazz Mastery
Read Richie’s ten essential tips for jazz mastery, his explanation of the artist’s evolution, and his unique description of the process from imagination to hands on the instrument.
A bonus chapter never before published on performance anxiety. Read stories about how Richie helped students overcome their stage fright and his advice for you on exactly how to reduce and eliminate the fear keeping you from performing at your best.
Who Is Teaching and Learning Jazz written for?
Quotes from the book
A few of the gems of wisdom you’ll collect throughout this remarkable book
Richie’s early lesson from Manfred Eicher of ECM…
And in a flash, I understood what Manfred was saying. It’s like playing Chopin, Mozart, or Bach, who wrote no unnecessary ornamentation for their music.
You play the phrase, you play the motive, you take a breath, you play another phrase, then a development. Of course you have technical passages and runs, but that decoration, as Manfred put it, is not the essence of the music.
On what cannot be taught…
A sense of time is as personal as one’s sound or one’s approach to phrasing a melody. It is innate. We develop our sense of time by hearing it in others and then developing the ear and skill to articulate that for ourselves. You can be taught to have adequate functional time, but what cannot be taught is that magical musical element called swing.
On a college degree…
Given the cost of an education, you must consider the likelihood of graduating and then becoming a professional, full-time, performing jazz artist. Do you have the talent and ambition to accomplish that?
Be brutally honest in assessing your own talent. Someone has to tell you the objective truth in terms of your talent compared with the rest of the world.
If you choose to move forward with a university education, consider the following criteria for choosing the right school…
Being interested rather than trying to be interesting.
Inside or outside of school, be skilled at adding value to every project with which you are involved. Go above and beyond to find ways to improve or add things that only you can add. By consistently doing this, you will expand your opportunities beyond what would otherwise be possible.
Find ways to elevate your value on a project, maybe one you’re not even originally part of.
ropose things to people and sell your participation by making obvious the value they will gain from your contribution. Make sure that you are proposing a mutually beneficial arrangement and then come through by doing a remarkable job of which they are thrilled!
On the current state of jazz…
So perhaps take a step back and consider what we are trying to accomplish when we play jazz. In the normal course of our playing, we’re not entering a contest and we’re not auditioning for technical proficiency medals. We’re simply expressing ourselves.
If that heartfelt expression takes the form of sheets of sound, great. If it takes the form of a few well-placed notes, great, but please find what it is for YOU.
On the value of published transcription books…
As long as you work on transcribing the important solos first, without looking in the book or seeing them online.
I’m all for analyzing the solos from books or from some online source, but it’s important to have the patience and discipline not to just look at the published solos. You need to carry out the act of transcription to improve your ear. Once you have written it out and played it, then go ahead and look at the transcription someone else did. See how close you are.
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