[Dixielandjazz] Right Brain/left brain, etc.

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 11 01:28:33 PDT 2003

Russ Guarino writ:

>Also, remember, there are two types of musicians.  Those who are self 
>and those who learn from a teacher.  From my experience teaching in the 
>school and a little college, the self taught players don't always play very
>well, with a few exceptions. But, those musicians who are self taught are
>using right brain from the first note, and the great ones obviously have a
>heck of a talent, and might be lousy in math.

Sounds familiar . . .

I once played with a group of musicians assembled to play a birthday party 
for a friend. The group included symphonic players and jazz players. The 
birthday lady played flute in the local symphony and her husband is the 
leader of the dixieland band I'm in.

I observed the following:

1. The symphonic musicians were technically a cut above the dixieland 
players in articulation, reading, and general mastery of their instrument.

2. The the jazz players were waaayyyy above the symphonic players in the 
ability to play without music and the ability to transpose.

3. When it came to playing the birthday song ("happy birthday tooo yooooo") 
the dixie players wanted to do it in F (the best key to sing it in) but the 
symphony players wanted to do it in A (the best key for violinists to play). 
  Since the dixie players could transpose it to A and the Symphonic players 
couldn't transpose it to F we played it in A.

Conclusion:  Dixie players are Right brained creatures and Symphonic players 
are Left Brained.

What does all of this tell us?

Damned if I know!


Bill "I can't read but I can't improvise either - so where does this leave 
me" Gunter

jazzboard at hotmail.com

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