June 2005

June 21, 2005 13:33

This week I noticed myself reading alot more notes than I have in a long time. Now that I have someone to perform with, I have something to force me to practice well, I dont want to mess up the chance to work with my new piano firnd Ron who studied at the berklee school of music, lets face it when you try to work with someone who doesnt make the effort to learn the music, you want to find someone else who learns the music quickly or already knows the music. I want to be the one who learns new tunes very quickly. Infact, I got so much work done the last few days that I still have tonight before we rehearse tomorrow, since I got so much done I have time to study bach tonight so thats what Ill do. Im determined to memorize and be able to play all of the bach g min adagio by the end of the year, remember I have only been playing violin for about 2.5 years. So regarding tomorrows jazz studies, where as before the focus was more centered toward chord study at beginning, now it will be more balanced between chord anaylsis, theory analysis, scale possibilities, and discussing ideas for melodic lines over common changes, that and playing the music after all analysis has been done.

As far as what we will be rehearsing, it will change. Every week will be something different, reminds me of 10 yrs ago whgen I moved in with 2 saxophone players and every day we pulled out a different lead sheet and played something different every day. The following is a review of music learned so far

week 1
naima
misty
there will never be another you

week 2
a night in tunisia
ornithology

week 3 (tomorrow)
django
maiden voyage
all the things you are

Django is a tune ron wants to play, Im not familiar with it, maiden voyage is a tune by herbie hancock and all the things you are is a classic that even parker and rollins used to play. With respect to recordings, naima is on coltrane's giant steps cd, also on the afro blue impressions cd, misty is on the perlman/peterson cd, there will never be another you I have a good recording with george benson, a night in tunisia is on a cd called the quintet with dizzy, parker, bud powell, mingus and roy haynes, ornithology is on a charlie parker cd called bird at the high hat, django I dont have a recording of, maiden voyage is in a cd called vsop, and all the things you are is also on the quintet cd.

That being said, I am beginning to realize my interest in jazz is more focused around harmony, Im iterested in altered chords and new ways to voice them, Im still interested in blazing solos and playing lines like coltrane and parker but mostly interested in the pure melody approach of bill evans piano style. Also pinist Mc Coy Tyner interests me but even though he plays sheets of sound like coltrane that sounds like lightning coming out of the piano, it is the bill evans approach that I prefer more, not as many notes and just everything is pure melody and those wonderful chord solos!!!! also the bill evans approach is more of an introverted, less obtrusive style, if you listen to the early trio cds of bill evans there is nothing that pokes you in the eye and its very relaxing to play that way. This fits my personality better.

I tend to play something until it becomes familiar and comfortable and over time, I keep phasing in new songs. When I learn something new I tend to stop playing the old stuff, that way I am always playing something new.

My practicing that last few weeks has been focused on chord voicings, mostly to learn alot of new music fast. I started to miss studying back so from here out I will have more balanced music study sessions, 20 min of scales minimum, half of the rest of the time is for bach the other half is for anything else. That being said tonights practice session will likely be interrupted by that interview with the real runaway bride, hmm...

There are some cds I have to get... I recently found an oistrakh cd for sale with the vitali chaconne on it after looking for a really long time, I used to have a cd in the oistrakh edition that had this recording but I gavce it to my first teacher a few years ago. It will be nice to have that recording on cd again, I miss it so bad. I also want to get this mysterious paganini dvd, it doesnt say who plays on it but ill let you all know when I get it.

Ok, now, how many words can you think of that include the word cat...
catatonic
catatstrophy

cheers
scott (muggle violinist)
visit my webpage

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June 17, 2005 14:00

Most of you know Wednesday is officially piano day for me...If you read my last blog you know that I met a jazz pianist that studied at the Berklee School of Music, well I had to put Bach on the back burner last week, hey that didnt sound good, nevermind. No I am so busy working out new jazz tunes that I had to put off working on more Bach for now. I decided it is ok because I can always study bach, Im at a lucky part of my life that I know a expert in jazz harmony and I need to focus on learning as much from him as I can.

So anyways we worked on some new music "A Night in Tunisia" by Dizzie Galespie and and "Ornithology" by Charlie Parker. We actually played a tune also instead of just analyzing chords and structure, so we decided to play "Naima" by John Coltrane, I know all the harmony for Naima now and its so fun improvising on it, my friend ron really liked my arrangement. Naima was the name of Coltrane's first wife and it is such a beautiful tender ballad. One day Ill put up an arrangement for violin including a solo. See one of my goals is to transcribe and make arrangements for the violin in addition to composition. Also, studying jazz and classical harmony is going to help make my compositions sound more robust so Im trying to wait until I learn more about composition and harmony before I commit anything formally to paper.

Even if I never get very good at violin I hope one day I can write some amazing music or make a transcrtiption and hear someone great perform it. Ive also been sightreading "blue trane" from my Coltrane transcription book and I played it onstage monday at the blues jam. This schedule of monday blues jam - wednesday piano studies and saturday guitar lessons / violin day is working for me well and Im starting to learn and grow as a musician again, its so fun and rewarding! One thing that made me excited is I talked to Ron (my piano firend) and asked him if he was interested in playing some fusion and he said yes. I have wanted to form a fusion band for a realy long time, maybe 20 years and I always wanted a violin in the band, I never thought I would be the violinist though.

As far as selling everything I own to get an amati - well I would but I dont really have anything to sell unless... well never mind

cheers
scott (muggle violinist)
visit my webpage

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June 9, 2005 12:51

I have been playing scales for 20 min everyday now, part of that time includes shifting and spiccato. The music I used for practicing spicato is Brahms Scherzo, Beethoven Rondo from the concerto, The first minute of mozart 4 and now that I figured out Paganini 17 out, Im starting to work on that too. Progess is slow and I do alot of expermienting but its alot of fun especially when I improvise scales. Spiccato is so hard for me to control but I have to say thanks to Buri (the John Madden of violin) for all the advice.

Bach 1 (d min sarabande) I never play much anymore because I know it really well. Bach 2 (b min sarabande) I play every day, Bach 3 (g min adagio) is coming along ok, I still have a long way to go. Im still trying to finish it by the end of the year and I think I can get it done.

I finally listened to James Ehnes Wieniawski Sarasate cd, it has some awesome playing and I think the sound of the production is improving. I also listened to the Dohnanyi concerto 2 cd, the first thing I noticed was it is on a different label, chados. The tone on that cd is 100% better than any other cd I have heard by him. I hope he will get signed by a great label soon. I think he is the greatest violinist since rabin but I didnt like the sound on most of his cds, the recordings just didnt do justice to his tone. BTW I have an extra Dohnanyi cd that is unopened, I accidentally ordered 2 so if anyone wants to buy it click on my name and send me an email.

Monday I took my fiddle to the blues jam and played the middle part of Dance of Maya by Mahavishnu, that was alot of fun playing fiddle with my friends band. Yesterday was really fun too, I recently met a pianist that graduated from The Berkley School of Music. If you know anything about jazz, you know it is the best school in the world to study jazz. Some of my all time favorite jazz musicians studied there: Joe Lovano, AlDiMeola, Steve Hunt, Matt Garrison John Scofield to name a few. Anyways I had my piano fried come over and even though it was really humid, we spent 3 hours discussing jazz harmony and I persuaded him to spell every chord for 3 jazz tunes I have wanted to work out for a really long time: Naima by John Coltrane, and the classic statdards "There Will Never Be ANother You" and "Misty". I was so happy, to finally have answers to questions I have been trying to get for like 15 years, all revealed in a few hours.

Tonight Ill be making my famous soup, I call it Brahms' broccoli soup, all you do is steam some broccoli and then mix it in with a can of chicken noodle soup and some boiled chicken. Hmm lets see what else I can come up with beethoven burger, chausson chili, mozart meatballs, paganini pizza, ok now Im just getting silly.

cheers
scott (muggle violinist)
visit my webpage

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June 2, 2005 11:48

Violin gossip... sounds interesting

I was practicing yesterday with the tv on like usual when the eagles came on, did anyone see that? Its great to see them play again. I started to think of some of the words - take it easy, dont let the sounds of your own wheels make you crazy, I think that is good advice, I seem to have alot worrying me these days.

Regarding being afraid to make an a** out of yourself, I suppose thats what the beer is for


cheers
scott (muggle violinist)
visit my webpage

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