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I was giving some thought to this topic. Assume a player knows their instrument well and has facility all around the instrument. In studying improvisation does it matter if the studies are with someone on the same instrument? I can see a couple of different perspectives. Thoughts?
 

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If the goal is to learn improvisation and not primarily pedagogy on your horn, specifically, (there may be some tricks of the trade that only a like-instrumentalist would know), it makes no difference. I have learned from guitar players, woodwind and brass instrumentalists, alike. It's the theory and the creative ideas you are mainly concerned with.
 

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...I have learned from guitar players, woodwind and brass instrumentalists, alike.
It's interesting to note that what Gary refers to as learning from guitar players (if it really is - I don't know what he means under 'learned from') in "real life" Jazz learning situations worked almost irreversibly another way round since the Bop era on:
- Many guitarists starting from the Bop era in their interviews revealed that they learned the 'horn lines' from listening to... well - horn players, you can't insert here anything else.

Of course the key word here is 'horn lines' because once the Jazz (Bop) language established itself in the 1940-s as the basis for almost all subsequent improvisation styles many harmonic instruments like guitar and piano largely lost their 'solo instrument' status while concentrating on the single note runs in the style of horn players.

So, it then suggests that what Gary ones learned from guitar players for his horn impro skills in the past was acquired by those players (actually by their predecessors of course) from horn players.
 

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It may be a great benefit to work with someone that is NOT on the same horn. Then you know that a particular line is chosen for its own sake, not just just because it lays well on the horn. For example, I know several pro trumpet players that study with Eddie Daniels.
 

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If the goal is to learn improvisation and not primarily pedagogy on your horn, specifically, (there may be some tricks of the trade that only a like-instrumentalist would know), it makes no difference. I have learned from guitar players, woodwind and brass instrumentalists, alike. It's the theory and the creative ideas you are mainly concerned with.
Its the theory and creative ideas you are mainly concerned with. 10000% true
I teach a beg improv class at a local adult school, its always half guitar, some harp, some keys few horns. They don't need someone on their instrument to explain what a major scale is or how to find/build a V7 chord Or ways to practice chord tone based lines K
 

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It may be a great benefit to work with someone that is NOT on the same horn. Then you know that a particular line is chosen for its own sake, not just just because it lays well on the horn.
This is an important point. Many new musicians first get started by learning licks. However, once these patterns become ingrained in your subconscious, it can be difficult to break the habit of playing them later on when one attempts to graduate to "playing what you hear" in the moment vs. playing what you've memorized.
 

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I was giving some thought to this topic. Assume a player knows their instrument well and has facility all around the instrument. In studying improvisation does it matter if the studies are with someone on the same instrument? I can see a couple of different perspectives. Thoughts?
Absolutely doesn't matter if your aim is to learn jazz as opposed to furthering your saxophone technique.

I often see on here people say something like (for example) my saxophone teacher is currently going through 2 5 1 s in every key and alt scales.

Well, that isn't saxophone lessons, it's jazz impro lessons.
 

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Vocalists often learn from instrumentalists- Aubrey Logan (trombone/vocals) suggests vocalists who are just learning to improvise start by "transcribing" a Dexter solo as opposed to a scat solo. Maybe to get the student to focus on the melodic lines rather than worrying about the syllables?

This is a really fun arrangement of hers, followed by a video of how she suggests vocalists try to do a saxophone solo-


-and her video on basic vocal improvising

 

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Just so happens I’ve been listening to one of my favorite guitarists all-time, Mr Tal Farlow. In my opinion probably the most important jazz guitarist between Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. He exemplified Bebop guitar.

 

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That was excellent! And she is right on about the vocalizing of individual tones, wow! Very nice trombone playing as well. If she could scat what Tal played in my post, it would be ridiculously fast and I’m wondering if it’s even possible.


Vocalists often learn from instrumentalists- Aubrey Logan (trombone/vocals) suggests vocalists who are just learning to improvise start by "transcribing" a Dexter solo as opposed to a scat solo. Maybe to get the student to focus on the melodic lines rather than worrying about the syllables?

This is a really fun arrangement of hers, followed by a video of how she suggests vocalists try to do a saxophone solo-


-and her video on basic vocal improvising

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input. My thoughts had been that the instruments does not matter as much as the theory or concept.
 

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My input would be that you can benefit from both ways.

As an example, I play saxophone and I also play bass. There are things that are common between them, but there are also a lot of things that are different because of their different roles.

Basically, I would say you have "horns" and in post-swing era jazz they all have pretty similar roles.

Then you have piano, bass, drums, and guitar each of which has its own role.

I think that for questions that are specifically related to the role of the bass you will probably do best learning from a bass player - although getting a horn player's perspective will also be helpful. But for questions of theory you can probably learn similarly from anyone. Amongst the "horns" I think the differences between them are small enough not to matter all that much (now, New Orleans music where the cornet, clarinet, and trombone each have well defined roles, might be somewhat different).
 

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Back to your original thought about this Clarnut, before it goes off the rails, a famous example of this is Trane’s time with Monk. Trane basically said that Monk barely spoke when he asked him questions but he would answer almost entirely by demonstrating on the piano.
 

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Back to your original thought about this Clarnut, before it goes off the rails, a famous example of this is Trane’s time with Monk. Trane basically said that Monk barely spoke when he asked him questions but he would answer almost entirely by demonstrating on the piano.
Piano players can show the melodic notes and harmony. That's why monk helped to satisfy many curious musical minds that spent hours with him. Even Dizzy would show the young players concepts on piano. We can also learn "Jazz" from other instrument players if they can demonstrate the outlined intervalic (arpeggios) chord harmony on the instrument of choice.
 

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And, Jazzoetry, horn players have to develop their ears to hear in concert pitch and how to find it effortlessly and effectively convey to other players not to worry about having to transpose everything. I’ll play patterns on guitar and it just feels like it’s worlds away from the saxophone, clarinet and flute and yet I have trained myself sufficiently to know where concert pitch is on all those horns minus the flute because it is a C concert pitched instrument.
 

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That's a tricky question.
It's almost like asking what instruments you can use to play jazz.
I guess it's one of those study the genre, and use whatever instrument you have and are proficient on kind of things.
If I was strictly a bassoonist and wanted to learn/play jazz I wouldn't let it stop me. :)
 

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That's a tricky question.
It's almost like asking what instruments you can use to play jazz.
I guess it's one of those study the genre, and use whatever instrument you have and are proficient on kind of things.
If I was strictly a bassoonist and wanted to learn/play jazz I wouldn't let it stop me. :)
Ray Pizzi FTW!
 

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That's a tricky question.
It's almost like asking what instruments you can use to play jazz.
I guess it's one of those study the genre, and use whatever instrument you have and are proficient on kind of things.
If I was strictly a bassoonist and wanted to learn/play jazz I wouldn't let it stop me. :)
If I were a bass player and I wanted to learn how to play jazz, especially walking bass, there might be a few sax players who could teach me that, but pretty much any decent bass teacher can nail it.

If I were a sax player and I wanted to master bebop lines a la Bird, there might be a few bass players who could help me, but pretty much any decent sax teacher can nail it.

If I were a sax player and I wanted to master bebop lines, a qualified jazz trumpet, or trombone, or piano, or bassoon player could nail it.

I doubt there are very many qualified sax or bass teachers who would be able to teach jazz drumming at any other than a rather basic level.

If I were a player on any instrument and I wanted to study jazz theory (I don't like the terminology but you know what I mean) then probably any qualified teacher on any instrument except possibly drums could nail it.

So it depends on what instrument you play, what instrument the candidate teacher plays, and what you want to work on.
 

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If I were a bass player and I wanted to learn how to play jazz, especially walking bass, there might be a few sax players who could teach me that, but pretty much any decent bass teacher can nail it.

If I were a sax player and I wanted to master bebop lines a la Bird, there might be a few bass players who could help me, but pretty much any decent sax teacher can nail it.

If I were a sax player and I wanted to master bebop lines, a qualified jazz trumpet, or trombone, or piano, or bassoon player could nail it.

I doubt there are very many qualified sax or bass teachers who would be able to teach jazz drumming at any other than a rather basic level.

If I were a player on any instrument and I wanted to study jazz theory (I don't like the terminology but you know what I mean) then probably any qualified teacher on any instrument except possibly drums could nail it.

So it depends on what instrument you play, what instrument the candidate teacher plays, and what you want to work on.
Wait, surely there is a huge difference between learning jazz and learning the techniques of playing an instrument. I know plenty of jazz educators who know more about teaching bebop (bird or whatever) than many saxophone teachers.
 

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Vocalists often learn from instrumentalists- Aubrey Logan (trombone/vocals) suggests vocalists who are just learning to improvise start by "transcribing" a Dexter solo as opposed to a scat solo. Maybe to get the student to focus on the melodic lines rather than worrying about syllables
It is very necessary to worry about the correct syllables. Have you ever heard vocal performance of Dexter's solo on Taata tatata
taata taata
?
 
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