[Dixielandjazz] Mostly Self Taught Musicians
davidpalmquist at dccnet.com
Fri Sep 12 23:32:20 PDT 2003
You're reaching a bit, Steve, when you write that "Today a "trained"
musician usually means a stint, at Julliard, Berklee or a degree in music
from a University, or years of lessons from a big name."
There are tens of thousands of private music teachers in North America,
many making a decent living. You don't have to have years of lessons from
a "big name" to be trained. It's sufficient to have taken lessons from
someone who is a competent music teacher.
It seems pretty clear that Red was trained, at least before age 15. Don
knew the man well, it seems, so he's in a better positon than either you or
me to provide information rather than assumptions. And 15 year olds can be
phenomenal on their instruments.
David in Delta
At 16:24 12-09-03, Stephen Barbone wrote:
>Maybe so, maybe not. Remember we're talking "mostly self taught". Red Nichols
>was an accomplished trumpeter when he arrived in NYC in 1924. He was 19
>already been playing jazz in the midwest with the Syncopating Seven, a jazz
>band before that, at age 17/18 and had already, I think, recorded for Gennett
>and Edison. He certainly came from a musical family which is always a plus and
>he probably learned to play music and read in the beginning from his Dad. And
>at age 12 was playing in Dad's brass band. But by 17 or so, he was touring
>a jazz band and certainly not, (to my knowledge) taking "lessons" from
>Today a "trained" musician usually means a stint, at Julliard, Berklee or a
>degree in music from a University, or years of lessons from a big name. I
>think Nichols had anything near that.
>He was a great reader, and much in demand in NYC because of it, but IMO
>great musician has nothing to do with being either self taught, or classically
>trained. Lots of players virtually teach themselves to read. An example of
>sides of the coin? Miff Mole, classically taught, perfect in every respect.
>Jack Teagarden, self taught, incredible player. Both were great musicians.
>Either way works for some, and not for others. Many extremely capable
>are/were mostly self taught and great readers. Just check the list (if you
>to eliminate Nichols, OK, but then add Coltrane) and that becomes fairly
>apparent. Like the style or not, the be-boppers are/were masters of their
>and Gillespie, Bird, Coltrane, were all mostly self taught.
>And things like Nichol's "false fingering" devices. I would think, were self
>I wouldn't stake my life on either side of the Nichols being "mostly self
>taught" or "classically trained" coin. One could argue either side
>I don't know that much about him, other than what people have told me. And I
>think if he is to be placed in the "trained" category, it all happened by age
>15 or so, after which he probably spent most of his time listening to and
>playing jazz away from home.
>However I do know one thing, but can't attribute the proper credit to whomever
>it was that said it first:
>"Of all the art forms, 'jazz' is the least teachable."
>Don Ingle wrote:
> > Sorry Steve:
> > You're off the mark on Red Nichols being self-taught. Red was, in fact,
> > highly taught and trained. His father was professor of music at Weber
> > College in Ogden UT - Red's sister was a cellist who played with the San
> > Francisco Symphony, and Red studied with teacher such as Max
> Schlossberg and
> > was one of the best working, club and studio, gigging recording
> musicians in
> > NY in the 1920's on the basis of his ability to walk in,sit down, and sight
> > read whatever pat was put in front of him. He even conducted scores as well
> > as wrote arrangements. He was conductor of the pit orchestra on one of
> > Gerschwin's musicals, Girl Crazy, and recorded so many sides with '20's NY
> > record companies that Rust almost ran out of paper and ink trying to get
> > them all in his discography.
> > Red was my first teacher and my long-time mentor, and he was one of the
> > proficient and capable musicians - jazz gig or studio -- there ever was.
> > No way self taught!
> > Don Ingle
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