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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practise practise practise"

A serious musician can never practise too much. I try to practise daily and still I would love to be able to practise more but fortunately as a professional musician, you get to practise in a sense every time you play or teach. There is always something to work on or a new song to learn or compose. I try to practise sight reading daily as it is a skill that can get worse the longer you leave it. Guitar players are notoriously bad readers so I make it a point to make sure I don't fall into that category. There are amazing sight readers but I'm not one of them but I am a fairly good sight reader. I remember doing a session with saxophonist Pat Labarbera and I had a chance to look over my part for about 15 minutes before I had to record it but Pat came in, put in his mouth piece and looked at the chart and read it down flawlessly and with feeling first time through. I read my part well but it was a hard part and sweated a bit trying to get through it and that's after having a chance to look at it and figure it out a bit. Afterwards Pat was telling jokes and didn't seem the least bit ruffled by the part he had to read. I can't stress enough that reading is a very valuable and important skill to have as a professional musician. The old musician joke about guitar players.
How do you get a guitar player to turn down?
Put some music in front of them.


I've been listening to:


Guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau's "Metheny/Mehldau Quartet"
Nice record featuring compositions by both Metheny and Mehldau which really let the talent on this recording (Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) sound like a real band which is sometimes hard when a group of musicians are thrown together for an all star session. I think it helps that it's really the Brad Mehldau trio with Pat Metheny. Well worth buying!


Steve Swallow - "Deconstructed".
I love Steve Swallows writing even more than his playing although he's a unique bass player with a strong voice on the instrument. He plays electric bass with a pick which isn't my favourite sound usually but he always sounds great.
This record features saxophonist Chris Potter on tenor sax, Ryan Kisor on trumpet, and veterans Adam Nausbaum on drums and guitarist Mick Goodrick. Well worth buying!


Chris Potter's Underground band "Follow the Red Line - Live at the Village Vanguard".
The bands studio recording featured Wayne Krantz on guitar which really defined the groups unique sound but this live recording features guitarist Adam Rogers, along with Nate Smith on drums and Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes keyboards. Adam Rogers adds his unique stamp on this group and really plays well. Great player. Both Krantz (who I studied with and is a friend) and Rogers are both really great guitar players and sound like themselves which is what every musician should strive for. Great record. Buy it!!


That's all for now.
Again if you are interested in lessons and are visiting or live in Toronto contact me at braytunes@gmail.com





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