Well done. I don't want to discourage you, but do you really think you will learn something at "gittar skool" that you can't learn on your own? People like Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, John Petrucci, Jimmy Herring, Jaco Pastorius, and Chick Corea all found first year programs at their colleges disappointing.
Music schools, to me, always seem to tell half the story. I really don't think you will grow as a musician at a music school, because you have good chops. The areas that any player always needs to improve are concepts that you can't learn from school: a good ear, creativity, and that elusive think called "soul".
The only advantage I can see to attending a music college is networking with like minded players. You can do this in the LA area much easier by playing gigs, attending jazz concerts, and going to the occasional master class. Since you want to make a career out of playing guitar, I would not consider learning from "masters" much of a benefit .... remember: those that can, do. Those that can't, teach. Remember all those computer science professors who teaching CS concepts but were full of it because they had no practical grasp on its applications in information technology and business? You will run into similar experiences in music school.
mahavishnu, thank you for your comment. As you can imagine, I've been weighing the costs and benefits of music school for a while. I haven't committed to going yet; I'll have a better idea of the costs when I hear about the scholarship. I value your point of view, but I must take issue with a few things.
do you really think you will learn something at "gittar skool" that you can't learn on your own?
Maybe, maybe not. But I do think I'll learn it faster from the right teachers.
Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, John Petrucci, Jimmy Herring, Jaco Pastorius, and Chick Corea all found first year programs at their colleges disappointing.
Not a good comparison. I'm not familiar with the others' experiences, but if I ever reach the proficiency Al Di Meola or John Petrucci had when they started at Berklee, I will shit, among other things, in my pants.
concepts that you can't learn from school: a good ear, creativity, and that elusive think called "soul"
Perhaps not, but I don't think they require strict individual study either. I expect to receive guidance in all three areas.
The only advantage I can see to attending a music college is networking with like minded players. You can do this in the LA area much easier by playing gigs, attending jazz concerts, and going to the occasional master class.
Fixed that for ya. I don't expect spending every day with a few hundred musicians to present any networking difficulties.
Since you want to make a career out of playing guitar, I would not consider learning from "masters" much of a benefit
I have trouble picturing a professional musician who never learned from a master.
those that can, do. Those that can't, teach.
If you really believe that, then I don't care to waste my time listening to anything else you have to say, so I'll assume you don't.
Remember all those computer science professors who teaching CS concepts but were full of it because they had no practical grasp on its applications in information technology and business?
Good responses, all valid. I'm very impressed at the things you have learned in self-study so far in the woodshed and you have discovered new approaches to theory and presented concepts in a way that I haven't seen before. So novel that I'm looking forward to see your posts when your are learning by instruction, and comparing that to concepts you discovered in self study. Your interval post made me revisit the concept of memorizing intervals.
When I said "much easier" to network, I should have said "much cheaper" :)
The aforementioned players had reached professional level before any instruction from "masters". Metheny had no teacher and learned Montgomery licks on old LPs, and at age 18 was playing with Gary Burton and teaching at Miami. DiMeola learned from an old jazz guitarist that knew a few chords and scales; then a mutual friend gave a tape of 18yo Al to Chick. Petrucci just jammed with Myung. As you said, maybe not a good comparison to you, but they are professional musicians who reached the professional level with in mostly self-directed study. In fact, having lived in Nashville around a number of first-call session musicians, most if not all of them were self taught. Guys like Jerry Douglas and Brent Mason.
Yes, my evidence is anecdotal at best, but I studied music at a major university with a fairly acclaimed music program for one semester in addition to CS. Focus was on classical and jazz, so maybe I lost interest because the curriculum did not incorporate contemporary music until the final year. A younger acquaintance of mine just quit Berklee after 1 year completely underwhelmed - and he calls it an "institution".
Again, I'm not trying discourage you from going to LAMA or any other music school. Just wanted to share some of my experiences and opinions about music eduction with you so that you not surprised if you experience some the same things. And if LAMA is different, which I sincerely wish it is, I'm sure you will all let us know - and I'm sure we'll see the result in your youtube vids!
Keep up the great work on this blog. Its very original and among my favorites.
Thanks man. I'll definitely keep all this in mind after I hear about the scholarship. Then I'll have some real thinking to do on whether it's worth it. I do believe I can attain on my own everything I could from a music school. It's just a matter of how soon, and how well-rounded I want to be, and at what cost.
I'm thinking that LAMA might be small enough that if I am disappointed, I can make that loud and clear and make sure I get my money's worth.
I'm looking forward to blogging while I'm there too. I'm sure my mind will keep grinding along to my own new ideas in addition to the instruction, I'll just have real people to discuss them with.
Jobaba (16 Jun 2008 at 1:54pm)
You are my hero. I've wanted to take a year off and practice the guitar for a year as long as I can remember. You may have inspired me to do it. Also, nice audition video. Some thoughts on it. Is that Bille's Bounce solo completely copied from Charlie Parker's solo? It sounds it. Or did you improvise some of it? Don't they need you to improvise over a jazz piece for a college audition? I've been thinking of submitting an audition piece too. The rock portion was awesome. Your chops are real good. How much concrete progress did you make over the year?
I remember when I made the decision to do this last year, I was really excited to get on the fast track to achieving my dream. I thought I was closer than I'd ever been. Then I realized that my dream is simply to devote my life to music. I had already achieved it when I started. I didn't realize until after I'd done it that all I had to do was just do it. So if you know what you want, just do it.
Yes, that Charlie Parker solo is all his. Improv wasn't a requirement for this video, but I thought hard about doing it. In the end, I was more satisfied with only playing Bird's solo than trying to blend my own with his or leaving his out completely. Only improv in the whole video is the beginning of "Texas Flood."
I'll probably do a post about my progress over the whole year soon. In the meantime, there's some evidence in the Videos and Goals sections.
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