Interesting Question

I’d like to share a question with you that I’ve been thinking about a lot.

Suppose you have two jazz musicians of equal ability. One of them has a metronome and a pile of classical sheet music. The other musician has available all modern jazz education materials and tools (but not the classical sheet music). Both are free to listen to jazz as much as they want and co-opt musical ideas from the material that they practice.

Between the musician who has available great classical sheet music, and the musician who has available all current jazz educational tools, which would be the better jazz musician?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because it might help me shape my future practice routines.

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2 Responses to Interesting Question

  1. Steve Chall says:

    Hey Doug,
    To me “all modern jazz educational materials” includes audio multitrack record and playback with the signal processing capabilities available in any of the standard digital audio workstations (e.g., EQ, compression, pitch shift, tempo shift, and, yes, electronic metronome), plus iReal, plus all the YouTube videos and just regular audio (CDs, mp3s) of all the greatest recordings, plus all the online forums and discussions of techniques and aesthetic issues, I would think that’s the way to go. You know that sheet music only captures the skeleton, whereas audio recordings make available the nuances of time, phrasing, and articulation. Even in classical music, the differences between Glen Gould’s two different recordings of the Goldberg Variations show how much of music can’t be captured on paper…and with an improvisatory form even moreso. Plus, in real life you can still get at the sheet music if you want. Whatever path you take, though, Doug, I know you’ll make fine music out of it. I hope to hear you again soon.


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