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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think? I was just curious what people thought. Let's say, for example, you could study with a great (maybe even a big "name") player, but you don't necessarily love the style, etc. that the person plays. Maybe you dig more classic jazz, as an example, and you had the chance to study with someone who is much more modern and experimental in their approach. What would you do?
 

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Forum Contributor 2009 & Mouthpiece Patch Mogul
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I`d say yes, if you want to get the most from your lessons. Being inspired by the way he/she plays would be important. I can`t really see him teaching you the style you want to learn if he doesnt dig it too.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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Well, since you may end up sounding somewhat like your teacher if work with him/her long enough, I'd think liking your teacher's sound is a big deal for your own happiness.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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I think it depends what level your at. I've studied with many people over the years and I don't think I sound like them. When I was studying with them I didn't think I wanted to sound like them although I did want to learn from them. By that point I had my own idea of how I wanted to sound. Those teachers taught me a lot of great stuff though.
 

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The best teachers show you how to develop your OWN sound. That said, I have probably sounded a little like each of my teachers and people have made comments as such. Still I see that as one major influence among many, though it is a very powerful one when you are learning and seeking approval from the horse's mouth!
 

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Why do you ask? Are you planning to study with Kenny G? :D

And yes, I think it's important, because no matter how much your teacher helps you develop your own personal sound, you'll still tend to take things from his/her playing. And if your teacher's own style of play is totally different than what you want your style to be, it may be difficult for him/her to help you achieve that goal.
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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I totally agree that you should like your teachers abilities, in several areas:
[1] technical capability
[2] style variation (your 'style' and other styles)
[3] ability to teach other aspects such as mentioned on developing one own sound (mpc selection, embouchure development, etc)
[4] ad lib ability - some may only know arpeggio based ad lib versus building motifs, etc

it all depends upon what you are looking for. Of course, you may find that a particular teacher only takes you "so far" then you find another one more experienced at various or a particular style
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Yes

YES.

I was lucky to study with guys who had great SOUNDS.
Joe Viola.
Charlie Mariano.
Sal Nistico.


Without hearing a player face to face & getting the INSPIRATION it might be a wash.

Sound IS everything.:)




,
 

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Well, yes, depending on what kind of sound your teacher has got. I say this because I know here in the UK there are lots and lots of so called sax teachers who teach an instrument that they cant actually play themselves. I was involved teaching for my Local Authority for many years and was appalled at the standard of the teaching, sax especially. I no longer teach for them. The final straw was when I was asked, not once but on several ocaisions by one of the Local Authorities "top sax teachers" how I got my sound and what I would suggest for a good mouthpiece for one of his better students. This guy had no idea, probably because he was a classical trained clarinet player, who didn't even own a sax but was teaching it! I did hear him play on a couple of occaisions, all I'll say is " sound , what sound?"I had lost the will to live by then!!!
I was taught by an ex-pro sax player who's sound on alto was like velvet, very Desmond-esc when he wanted it to be, but he was able to change his sound to fit the style he was playing. His advice to me on sound was "listen to everybody and your sound will develope the way you want it, but its not a bad thing to immitate the greats". Advice I follow to this day and advice I try and pass down to my students.
 

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Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
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Do you not like his sound, or are you just not into the modern style he expresses himself in? Is he incapable of playing in that style? And do you not likehis tone either? This can be all very confusing. If you just can't stand anything about the guy's playing (tone, phrasing, ideas, technic) then we got a whole bag to deal with.
 

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I think it can go either way. If you just plain dislike your teacher's playing, you should change teachers. as someone else pointed out, it's important to be inspired by the person you're studying with.

but if it's more that your teacher's playing isn't quite your style, but you respect his or her musicianship and what they have to offer, then that shouldn't really be a problem. I studied with a guy who is one of the 'names' in toronto, and while his playing isn't my cup of tea stylistically, he's an incredible player and a heavy teacher who bombards you with more ideas than you can handle over the course of a lesson. I took a lot out of studying with him.. still working on his stuff years later.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Interesting how these threads morph over time. My initial question was more theoretical than anything, but I think Kilter sort of hit it on the head as far as what I was getting at. My post was referring more to style than playing generally (should someone who really loves and plays in a style similar to Stan Getz (just by way of example) study with someone like Ornette Coleman (again, completely by way of example)). I'm sure there is much to be learned from every great player regardless of style, but I guess if someone doesn't find a particular player's style inspiring (no matter how great the player may be) perhaps it makes more sense to look elsewhere for a teacher. Just food for thought.
 

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You have to study with someone whose playing inspires you and who you want to emulate. I mean what's the point otherwise? Well, they say this guy is heavy so I should study with him even though his music, sound, etc. doesn't inspire me. Forget about it, it won't work.
 

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It's good to study with some guys who "they say" are heavy just to pad the resume. Good for teaching gigs...

My own mentor plays differently from the way I do (not JUST better, but different), but he helped me to develop my own sound bit by bit. I do enjoy and respect his playing, I mean the guy's KILLER, but my sound concept is a bit different. I don't feel like that ever held me back in the learning process.
 

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It's good to study with some guys who "they say" are heavy just to pad the resume. Good for teaching gigs...

My own mentor plays differently from the way I do (not JUST better, but different), but he helped me to develop my own sound bit by bit. I do enjoy and respect his playing, I mean the guy's KILLER, but my sound concept is a bit different. I don't feel like that ever held me back in the learning process.
Guess I didn't mean "I want to sound exactly like this guy" although I kinda thought that someone would think thats what I meant, but rather someone with a sound and concept that is one you can relate to.
 

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One player I studied with, I absolutely loved his tone and concept. Another player I studied with, I knew that I did not want to sound like him at all, but I had a great deal of respect for how he conceptualized his music--his approach to improvising and composition and development of his very unique language-- and his work ethic.

While the former player gave me much in terms of the beauty of playing; the romance of tone and how it can tell a story and seduce an audience; phrasing, etc., it was the latter player that showed me the intellectual side of the work needed to be done and the responsibility inherent in even picking up the horn and blowing a note. But, I would NEVER want to sound like him:D

I found that I need to respect a player/teacher rather than "like" their playing IMHO.
 

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yeah, i think so. i mean, more than likely you're gonna to absorb his or her style if you study with them so i'd imagine you'd have to like something about how they play.
 
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