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Shock! Horror!! Jazz violinist attends jazz guitar workshop.

July 15, 2009 at 8:42 PM

The weekend after next I will be going to a weekend workshop dedicated to jazz guitar. One tutor is John Etheridge, esteemed jazz/rock guitarist, who has worked with  (inter alia) Soft Machine, Stephane Grappelli, and currently has a duo with British jazz violinist Chris Garrick. The other is Peter Oxley, who, as well as being a superb jazz guitarist, makes bows. They are a fiddle friendly pair, so I hope I will feel at home.

I have been playing guitar for many years (1976 - date, with a ten-year gap '82 - '92), but I "haven't had a lesson in my life". I can play half-decent single line stuff, but I hope that I will gain an insight into chord work this weekend.

I went on such a jazz weekend back in 1982. I took my double bass, and studied intensely for two days with Peter Ind. Those two days have stood me well for the last 27 years. How do the colleges manage to stretch it out for three years? We went through all the fundamentals, and took it further. Doing that on bass gives you the core knowledge of what is going on in a band, because the bass holds everything together, harmonically, rhythmically, and melodically.

Thinking about the music through the guitarist's mind should give me yet another approach.

So, I hope to return re-enthused, and ready for more music.

Oh, and I will take the fiddle as well. Rather silly not to...


From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 16, 2009 at 4:04 AM

Awesome! You WILL share your thoughts with us when it's all over, yes? :) I know someone who did an entire jazz degree, with violin, even though no teachers taught jazz violin specifically. So he was bringing his fiddle to the trombone teacher for lessons, etc. Is that cool or what? So please tell us what you learn!

From Graham Clark
Posted on July 16, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Will do, Laurie.


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 17, 2009 at 6:11 AM

I enjoy hearing from someone who not only plays violin, presumably classical music, but also plays a different instrument and a different genre.  It broadens my outlook on music.

From Graham Clark
Posted on July 17, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Pauline, I am first and foremost an improvising violinist. I play mainly the common canon of Jazz, drawing on what are the called the "standards", as well as a good number of more contemporary pieces written by jazz musicians. I've even written a few myself.

I also play in various rock/funk/blues ensembles, and have a strong interest in free/avant-garde improvisation. In fact, last year I released a cd of violin/piano improvised duets.

So, don't presume I am a classical violinist - for my own amusement and development, I do play Bach and odd bits of Kreisler and Paganini, amongst other things, but classical isn't my main thing. I love it, but it isn't the main thing that I do.


From Nigel Keay
Posted on July 17, 2009 at 3:16 PM

I'm a longtime fan of Soft Machine; I had the double Third vinyl album and wore it out....

I'll look forward to reading what you have to say after the workshop.

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