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People on these forums seem only too willing to help, but I somehow get the feeling that many keep their powerful secrets close to their chest. How willing are you to divulge your hard won "secrets", or at at least some of your personal epiphanies?.... I've been scouring Jazz forums for a few years now, but have still had to work out stuff for myself, even though it could have been explained in minutes.

Any thoughts?
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Why don't you throw out some things you'd like to know? From this end, the possibilities are endless, just a matter of figuring out where to start.
 

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I've been scouring Jazz forums for a few years now, but have still had to work out stuff for myself, even though it could have been explained in minutes.

Any thoughts?
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
~Chinese Proverb
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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There are no 'secrets' when it comes to playing any instrument. That was my epiphany.
It's all out there in black and white.
Buy the best gear you can afford, get the best teacher you can afford, then get your butt in the shed and practice it off.
The 'secret' to playing the saxophone lies within yourself. It's up to you to unlock it.
 

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There is a difference between having someone tell you how to do something and you do it. I mean, just because someone can tell you that "oh, on G7 chords this scale sounds good" doesn't mean you'll sound good. Heck, I had someone like you ask a question similar to yours. How to solo on Billie's bounce. What can I say? Yeah, you can play this scale, that scale, a little wholetone here, a bebop lick there.

You have to practice it, and make it yours. You can have an encyclopedia of every cool line known to man, but that is different than figuring it out for yourself. Totally different. When you take the time to "work out stuff" on your own, it is much more valuable than just simply being shown it.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Yeah, but they tend to pee in it. Rather not lead the horse there myself. :)
 

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People on these forums seem only too willing to help, but I somehow get the feeling that many keep their powerful secrets close to their chest. How willing are you to divulge your hard won "secrets", or at at least some of your personal epiphanies?.... I've been scouring Jazz forums for a few years now, but have still had to work out stuff for myself, even though it could have been explained in minutes.

Any thoughts?
I notice you haven't shared any of these things you have worked out for yourself, if you can explain it in minutes then lead the way........I would like to hear what these revelations are that you have learned that could have been taught in minutes.

If a student pays me for my time I give them everything I have and know. I can say for a fact that I hold nothing back. Anything I don't say is just because I think the student isn't ready for it. The thing is, there are no powerful secrets. The deepest most awesome thing I can share with anyone as a teacher will still take..........years of practice and discipline to master. The real secret is how to work on something until you master it. Many students are looking for this special book or system or powerful secret but what it takes is just countless hours of practice. I've told students that in my studio or on skype and never seen them again. That's the powerful secret but a lot of cats don't want to hear it!
 

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wow, you guys have gone off topic. or dancing around it.

since things are performed, heard, and videoed, there probably arent any secrets that last real long.

his question though was about people on this site sharing those insights textually. he's probably right for some, other tell all to impress and get praise.

Is it not shared because people don't think it can be transmitted this way might account for his perception. you all just keep dancing around it.
 

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wow, you guys have gone off topic. or dancing around it.

since things are performed, heard, and videoed, there probably arent any secrets that last real long.

his question though was about people on this site sharing those insights textually. he's probably right for some, other tell all to impress and get praise.

Is it not shared because people don't think it can be transmitted this way might account for his perception. you all just keep dancing around it.
I don't see anyone dancing around anything? Everyone has given good responses. Some are more more esoteric than others but if you read them and think about them they are pretty easy to figure out.

Give me an example in the posts above that is dancing around the topic?
 

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wow, you guys have gone off topic. or dancing around it.

since things are performed, heard, and videoed, there probably arent any secrets that last real long.

his question though was about people on this site sharing those insights textually. he's probably right for some, other tell all to impress and get praise.

Is it not shared because people don't think it can be transmitted this way might account for his perception. you all just keep dancing around it.
WTH... I shared my epiphany. I don't think I went off topic or 'dance' around it.
 

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I don't keep any hard earned secrets to myself. Telling someone in great detail how I do this or that or who told me what costs me nothing. It's not as good for them as taking lessons because there's no one there to say they're doing it right or wrong, to suggest how their physiology may be different, etc. Therefore, it doesn't lose me any money. 99 out of 100 won't put in the time to really shed anything I suggest anyway, so they're not taking any secrets from me in any case. Honestly, secrets are hard-earned whether you figure them out yourself or have them handed to you by someone else. Until you put the time in the shed, they're not a part of your playing and they're not "secrets" you've learned. Once you have put the time in, you'll have insights of your own to share, so it all works out.
 

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When I was in college I went to see the Dave Holland Quintet play in Houston. Antonio Hart was on the tour instead of Chris Potter, but that was just fine with me; I love Potter, but I'd never heard Antonio before, and he was absolutely amazing, especially in that context (he really thrives in Dave Holland's vibe, it's absolutely unreal). After the concert I got to sneak backstage and talk to him for a little while, and of course I asked "how the hell do you do that?" in my own way at the time. His response was humbling and endearing at the same time; to paraphrase, "there's no secret, you just gotta do your time on the instrument." Scales, chords, transcriptions, figuring out how to get all the stuff in your ears/brain out through your instrument. Like Neff, that's the approach I've taken with all my students, too: there aren't any magical secrets, it's all out there for you to see and hear, you just have to spend time working it all out.
 

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I agree with a lot that has been said already. There are no real secrets or shortcuts, you gotta put the time in on your axe. That's the 'secret.' But like others have said, a lot of students don't want to hear that. I know I went through bouts when I didn't want to hear that my shortcomings were due to the amount of time that I "wasn't" putting in on the horn. This forum contains a lot of useful information even a few pieces of knowledge that I hadn't heard before.

Most of the greatest jazz musicians in the world will give you advice about learning how to perform jazz if you ask. Yeah, they are gonna charge you if they need to sit with you and explain things in detail and that's what private lessons are for. But I've never met a musician who wasn't very open when it came to with sharing their knowledge (especially when they knew I was serious about becoming a better musician).

One of the simple truth's of the matter is that we all have different motivations when it comes to how far we want to dive into playing music. Some of us are gonna push ourselves and some of us won't and that's the choice we have to make for ourselves. Your greatest achievements will come when you truly figure out what it is that you need to learn so that you can become a better player. For me, that didn't happen until my late 30's even though I've been a full-time working musician since I was 21 years old. It finally dawned on me that there were gaps in my musicianship that I had to address and that they weren't going to magically correct themselves. And it was all the same stuff that my peers, private teachers and jazz idols had been saying for years.

So stop looking for that magic piece of information that's gonna transform you into a jazz giant overnight (it doesn't exist, trust me, I've wasted years looking for it). Go find the best private teacher that you can, listen to as much music as you can stand, hangout, talk and play music with people who play "a lot" better than you do but most of all start spending more 1-on-1 time with your sax. I promise you that if you do those things you'll become the person that students ask "what's the secret to becoming a good musician?"
 

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In about 1979 or 80-ish I had a master class with Phil Woods. He had come over to the USA from Paris for the single reed workshop which was held at Townon State in Baltimore, Md. He said 2 things which I have never repeated (it just never came up), and I have never heard anyone else say, although it has been food for thought over the years. Here are those 2 'secrets'. The first is that there is no such thing as a IV chord in a progression (GASP)..Phil said that he has always thought of what the rest of the world calls a IV chord in terms of a minor ii7 chord without a root.....hmmmm. The other thing he said which stuck in my head was that a performer HAS to be uninhibited. He didnt pull any punches. He said one guy might have to smoke something while another might have to swallow something or drink something to get uninhibited, but, whatever it took, you HAVE TO be uninhibited to improvise in public.
I am not advocating any of the above, just relating what 'secrets' were delivered to me.
~frank~
 

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Firstly, I don't think there are any secrets. Secondly, the majority of SOTW folks that I read seem only too happy to share what they know. What would be the point of a forum otherwise?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have to disagree with people who say there are no secrets. Maybe what they mean is that theu don't have secrets, not that secrets don't exist.

I do think there are secrets, some of us have them but of course I'm sure some don't. The secrets I have I don't discuss (for a very good reason) otherwise they wouldn't be secrets.
 

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I notice you haven't shared any of these things you have worked out for yourself, if you can explain it in minutes then lead the way........I would like to hear what these revelations are that you have learned that could have been taught in minutes.
Yeah, I'd also like to know what you mean. The main "secret" I've learned has already been revealed in numerous posts in this thread: it takes a ton of time on the horn to get somewhere...

A lot of secrets that somebody might come up with, if they involve approaches over harmonic progressions or whatever, can't be kept for long once they're recorded -- even if somebody's got novel harmonic ideas, the recording will tell the tale ... somebody will start cracking the code via transcription...
 

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My secrets are practice and listening to a lot of different music.

Damn, I let the cat out of the bag and now they are not secrets anymore :(
 
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