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God takes care of old folks and fools - J.T. Funny Papa Smith, Fool's Blues

Author Topic: Tuition videos that don't exist  (Read 2652 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2016, 05:53:20 PM »
Hi all,
This is an interesting topic, I think, that Simon started a number of years ago, and it has been years since it has been posted to, and in that intervening period, my whole notion as to tuition videos that would be really helpful but which don't already exist has changed drastically.  In the past, it would have centered on musicians whose music had not been featured in instructional videos; now I think my notion of such videos would center much more on skills that are not taught anywhere on video lessons.  For example:
   * How to learn from someone, in person, who does not provide TAB or any other form of written notation, and who may not think of a musical piece in terms of the chords that comprise it, or its form (12-bar blues, 8-bar blues, etc.)  I think such a video would have been of tremendous value over the years for first-time attendees at events like Port Townsend, Blues Week, and Augusta Blues Week.  So many times, I saw people attending the first class of a player from within the tradition, and being utterly lost.  And with someone like Robert Belfour, if you didn't first get in tune with him at the pitch he was tuned to, on a given day, you could be gasping for air for an entire class period.  Perhaps with the ranks of primary source performers so diminished, people will encounter and learn from such players much less than they did in the past, and that's a terrible shame, but it still is a pity how many people appear to be lost when trying to learn from someone by watching, listening, imitating and repeating what they've been shown.  I think a video teaching how to learn a song from a musician sitting right across from you would be an invaluable resource, if it were put together well.  It occurs to me, too, that such a video could involve teaching how to learn from performance footage, like youtube videos, for example, too.
   * How to Learn a Piece from a Recording  The best way for this to be done would be for the instructor to be hit cold with songs in the studio that he/she did not know he/she would have to learn on camera, with only a recording of a song as a starting point.  I think it would be exciting to watch, but would also be hugely helpful in terms of giving insight into the process of learning by ear from recordings--what you listen for and establish first, how you deal with problem passages, etc.
   * How to Learn a Song you've never heard before in a jamming situation with no-one calling chords, and be playing along and contributing, quickly  Once again, the would-be jammer should not know the songs in advance.  The issue is what to look for and notice, from the moment the song starts.  If you're paying attention to the right things, (and we're talking about blues, here), you should be pretty close by the end of the first time through the form, and by the second, you should have it.

Does anyone else have ideas of tuition videos that don't exist that might really get at skill-building that a lot of players need?  I'd be interested in folks' thoughts on the matter.

All best,
Johnm     
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 07:08:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Adam Franklin

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2016, 12:16:17 PM »
I have never heard anyone come within miles of Blind Willie Johnson's slide-playing sound, in terms of either the right or left hand, and this despite the fact that there are (surprisingly) a fair number of covers of "Dark Was the Night" recorded out there. 
All best,
Johnm

All the covers of Dark.. I hear are covers of Ry Cooder's version (aside from Corey Harris'), great version but nothing to do with the hymn that Dark.. is based on.

A.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2016, 10:13:29 PM »
Vocal mimesis as a guide for structuring a purposeful guitar accompaniment in order to construct a believable vocal/ guitar relationship. Mostly these are songs. The sound of a performers voice , the phrasing, the accents, all contribute to the whole piece of music. No attempt at reproducing a guitar part without a concomitant effort to reproduce the vocal piece can produce great results imho. I think the discomfort on the part of many white players to imitate Black singers, or not treating the vocal as one half of an ur text, is self defeating, guitar centric, and a bit silly. Bach should SOUND like Bach as the best scholarship indicates he heard it, and Blues should sound like Blues. Just my opinion.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2016, 12:06:22 AM »
You make a good point, Phil.  Vocals are most often treated in instructional videos (if they are treated at all), as some sort of musical afterthought that will just start to happen at some point.  And that ain't necessarily so.  Why this should be so, I can't say--giving up in advance?  In any event, the great majority of blues are songs, not instrumentals, and require some singing.  Including that instruction in a tuition video makes great sense.
All best,
Johnm

Offline harriet

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2016, 06:21:55 AM »
Completely agree with including vocal, and I think the teacher should demonstrate - they often do and then breakdown that version as they have adapted to their vocal style so the student can get a clear idea of what one musician has done with the musical piece to keep with the melody and perhaps rhythm and spirit of the source as an example.

Some of us learning the music do not have the accent or naturally draw out the words of the original.  IMHO I think this would help students develop their version with the intention of walking beside, not underneath.

IMHO, I think this starts with a  presenting a singing version from the get go on the lesson,and breaking down the singing version both vocal and guitar parts at the same time.  It does require a credible performance presentation or solution on the part of the instructor.I also believe that this will change the way some students view the study of the music and that the goal of the lesson should be stated throughout to keep the student on course as to why this approach - I see this being done in videos sometimes but its not been clear to me as to why.

Offline joe paul

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Re: Tuition videos that don't exist
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2016, 12:41:17 PM »
I think many of John Miller's lessons and Ari Eisinger's have sung verses in the "demonstration" for each song, and in both cases it's much appreciated. 
Thinking about where the vocal lies has become important in the way I learn a song, yes, and I'm curious to hear of other tutors who broach the question of how the songs are sung.
The "musicianship" aspect is the most helpful in the long run, I agree. That said, if someone wants to do a tuition video on Snooks Eaglin's playing or on more Bo Carter, or .... or just songs that the tutors really like and they want to share that enthusiasm, it'd be great just for the pleasure of watching and learning.

Gordon

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