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Hi all,

Obviously we're all looking to improve, and I'm looking to get to the 'virtuoso' standard. What do you have to have under your belt to be considered as a virtuoso, and what should I be practicing and listening to?

Thanks,
Zach
 

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I wonder if the term suggests or requires academic credentials?

I suppose not.

But it would be harder get everywhere implied by that designation without formal training.

I would call Errol Garner a virtuoso, even though he did not read music, but getting the legit concert crowd to level him with Horowitz might be tough.

Do you want fame, personal satisfaction, or what?

If it is just for yourself, then figure out what you want to do and do it.

I do not think there is an accredited test you will have to pass.

Recognition from peers would require choosing who you want as your peer group.

Delbert McClinton's horn section is not going to have the same metrics as an orchestra pit.
 

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Obviously we're all looking to improve, and I'm looking to get to the 'virtuoso' standard. What do you have to have under your belt to be considered as a virtuoso, and what should I be practicing and listening to?
Not being a virtuoso myself, I can't answer the question from personal experience. But there's no established standard for this sort of designation anyway. Even many high-caliber professional instrumentalists are not regarded as virtuosos. You have to be so good that your audience and your peers believe that there's basically nothing you can't do on your instrument.

Classical virtuosos tend to come out of extremely rigorous, long-term training programs. Being drilled for years in a conservatory is probably an effective way of moving toward virtuoso level if you have enough natural musical talent.

Here's an excerpt from a famous interview of Charlie Parker by Paul Desmond:
PD - Another thing that's been a major factor in your playing is this fantastic technique, that nobody's quite equaled. I've always wondered about that, too - whether there was - whether that came behind practicing or whether that was just from playing, whether it evolved gradually.

CP - Well, you make it so hard for me to answer you, you know, I can't see where there's anything fantastic about it all. I put quite a bit of study into the horn, that's true. In fact the neighbors threatened to ask my mother to move once when we were living out West. She said I was driving them crazy with the horn. I used to put in at least 11 to 15 hours a day.

PD - Yes, that's what I wondered.

CP - That's true, yes. I did that for over a period of three to four years.
. . .

PD - I heard a record of yours a couple of months ago that somehow I've missed up to date, and I heard a little two-bar quote from the Klose book that was like an echo from home ...

CP - Yeah, yeah. Well that was all done with books, you know. Naturally, it wasn't done with mirrors, this time it was done with books.

PD - Well that's very reassuring to hear, because somehow I got the idea that you were just born with that technique, and you never had to worry too much about it, about keeping it working.

Host - You know, I'm very glad that he's bringing up this point because I think that a lot of young musicians tend to think that it isn't necessary to do this.

PD - Yeah, they do. They just go out and make those sessions and live the life, but they don't put in those 11 hours a day with any of the books.

CP - Oh definitely, study is absolutely necessary, in all forms. It's just like any talent that's born within somebody, it's like a good pair of shoes when you put a shine on it, you know. Like schooling brings out the polish of any talent that happens anywhere in the world. Einstein had schooling, but he has a definite genius, you know, within himself, schooling is one of the most wonderful things there's ever been, you know.
Becoming a true virtuoso is not easy for anyone.
 

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The concept of a virtuoso suggest that one "Has arrived"
Life, learning, and music is a process that only lives and has meaning in movement.

If you ask me the term (especially if used for oneself) is filled with vanity and self concern.

A true virtuoso never worries about being a virtuoso. His focus must elsewhere.

Just play and study....then work more.

Its just that simple (and completely difficult).
 

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Hi all,

Obviously we're all looking to improve, and I'm looking to get to the 'virtuoso' standard. What do you have to have under your belt to be considered as a virtuoso, and what should I be practicing and listening to?

Thanks,
Zach
Paganini
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Seriously, there's no such thing as a virtuoso standard. Just practice your *ss off and be as good as you can be
 

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There are jazz virtuosi who are superb improvisors.

There are jazz virtuosi who are fairly lame improvisors who just just play fast licks and chord changes and sound like clones of 1950s players.

There are some who are not even remotely virtuosi who are fantastic, intuitive improvisors.

There virtuosi one trick ponies who play certain things in a certain style in certain keys better than anyone but are very limited.

There are virtuosi who can play in many different styles, play lots of things in different keys, play in the extreme 3rd, 4th, 5th octaves Rock, R&B and Funk, bebop, post-bop and free jazz.

There are classical virtuosi who don't improvise at all.

There are middle eastern and ethic, balkan type virtuosi in ethnic styles.
 

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A forlorn hope I know .....but......

I wish there was less emphasis on virtuosity and more emphasis on artistry....but the former is far easier to teach and learn than the latter.
 

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A forlorn hope I know .....but......

I wish there was less emphasis on virtuosity and more emphasis on artistry....but the former is far easier to teach and learn than the latter.
You came to the wrong planet I'm afraid
 

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What else is there? You haven't really clarified exactly what you are thinking although some of the posters have asked for more clarity.

Additionally, the answers as to how to become a virtuoso have already been posted. What in your mind is lacking from the suggestions already given? If you want more, please tell us what that might be. Otherwise, hit the woodshed. :bluewink:


p.s. post inspired by bandmommy. :twisted:
 
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