Reading the Little Dots

I participate in a mentoring program at local high schools, visiting local jazz bands and I’ve noticed that the bass players are just rushing through the music playing the little dots on the page. They need to learn how to “feel” and set up a groove. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t learn from a book. Slow down and digest the music. Chew on it a bit and get the full flavor of it before playing it.

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Elements of the Jazz Language

I got this book for Christmas, Elements of the Jazz Language for the Developing  Improvisor. Now that I am retired from my day job, I can devote time to study. The goal here is to identify patterns played by jazz musicians and incorporate these ideas into my playing.   This book will add to my collection of jazz theory and improvisation books.   

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Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year everyone!  I am starting my first full year as a retired IT professional and pursuing my passion for playing music.  I’ve updated my website and will start adding to this blog and share my experiences and feelings as much as I can.

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Another year coming to an end

Well, Christmas is just around the corner and I am thinking about next year. I will be devoting my energy to my passion of playing music in 2019. I started a musician page on facebook and will begin sharing stories about my experiences and things I learn playing music around town.  Please keep in touch!

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Learning new things

Last night I played with some amazing singers at the Ascension Episcopal Church in Pueblo.  I came to the church hall thinking swing and was quickly absorbed in the styles of the church musicians playing gospel and R&B.  In processing last night’s experience, I realize and appreciate more than ever that each genre of music has its own language, as speaking English is to Spanish or French, Chinese, Japanese, or whatever language. Just because you can speak another language doesn’t mean you can just waltz into a neighborhood and everybody knows what you are talking about. It depends on how you choose your words and how you pronounce the words. And, each language has its own dialects. When someone says, let’s play some jazz, it could be Big Band, 40’s Swing, Bebop, cool, Dixieland, or Blues.  Gospel has its own styles as well, and I am not as well versed in that language. Well, anyway, we sat in the church hall, went over some tunes, shared some culture and let the sharing and creativity flow. It’s a wonderful thing, people living life, sharing experiences, learning from each other and appreciating other cultures.  It was a good night.  

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I just returned form a technology conference and the main focus for me was that life is all about positive experiences and to not stress about all the things that need to be done and keep my focus on being in the moment. It was a Khumbaya moment.


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My new iPad Pro

I bought an iPad Pro 9.7. Along with that I purchased the smart keyboard and the back cover. I love this piece of equipment and I think it will be turning into my main digital mobile device. I’m also planning to be use it for music and video recording.  It is very powerful and it’s really mobile.  It might even replace my laptop. Most things are web-based anyway these days and I can move things from the cloud to the PC if I need to and stored on my own back up system. I am still not too sure about saving things in the cloud as I need to have control over what I have but so far this is all been a really good experience. I guess that I am not as analog as I thought!

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