Conventions - focus on the positive
- Subject: Conventions - focus on the positive
- From: alec@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 12:12:01 -0800 (PST)
I think the rift will continue to get smaller as more of us join both worlds. When I first attended
a SPAH convention, I played only diatonic and blues (3rd position) chromatic. After being inspired
by some other convention attendees, I started learning more keys on the chro. My big breakthrough,
though, came in a mostly diatonic workshop.
Allen Holmes gave me some one on one help at one of Joe's teach-ins and I started to understand Jazz
better. When I got home I ordered some of the Aebersold stuff and started working on it. After a
while, though, I got tired of trying to transpose to different keys on the diationic, so I started
doing all the exercises on chro. At Buckeye last year, Allen actually did a lot of his workshop on
chromatic, which he has recenlty started playing as well. If anyone from the "chro camp" skipped
Allen's workshop because they thought he was a "wah-wah boy", they really missed out.
Now my reading has improved a lot, I'm comfortable in many keys on the chro and I can easily
transfer the stuff I'm learning by book on chro to my diatonic by ear. My playing on both
instruments has improved quite a bit. Best of all, I have more choices.
For example, when I play "Blue Monk" (with my fairly inept, all-rookie jazz quartet), the head
sounds way better on chro (I can play it on diatonic, but it sounds fairly rough with so many bends
and overblows), but I might switch to diatonic for some of the solo. In my blues band, I use a
chromatic to play some of the horn lines from "Soul Man" which are fairly obnoxious on diatonic, but
I switch to blues harp to play the solo.
So the point of my story - Without conventions, I would still be in only the diatonic/blues world.
As more of us join both worlds, or at least mingle in both, the rift will diminish. I've had mostly
positive experiences from both sides at the conventions I've attended.
I hope to make it to both Buckeye and SPAH this year.
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