throughout my career as a drummer, both as a player and educator, I have often encounterd a discussion of "playin' by ear" vs "reading music" and often it is implied that one is better than the other. here is my thought's on the issue and what I tell my students when it comes to this.
music, and that includes playin' the drums, is just like a language, a means of communication. you don't go through live successfully just speaking a language and not being able writing or reading it or reading a language but not speaking it. you wind up with a lot of closed doors. you don't speak a language less colorful just because you also write and read it, on the contrary. being able to move back and forth between speaking a language and writing and reading it, compliments each other, making you a more versataile person. and most importantly it makes it easier to comunicate your ideas.
well with drumming it's the same thing. in order to be accomplished musician you need to be able to play by ear as well as being able to write and read (drum) music. there are many sitiuations out there that call for either one of the skill. I know many drummers that got left behind because they couldn't read. being able to play by ear is a great and neccasary skill, so is reading. there is so much information out there that help you become a better player that is conveyd in written form. not withstanding all the gigs you won't get because you can't read. so my advice to everybody that plays: "don't sell yourself short" work on both skills you'll need it to be succesfull. plus you will enjoy playing even more!! beleive me. One Love Henning!
Dear Mr. Stumm: I do agree with most of what you are saying, but I do think that having a understanding of the music is much more important. Because some great readers have a lousy feel. The black dots on the paper have no feeling. But I do agree that you should be at lease compotent at both. Buddy Rich couldn,t read, he went on to become a drumming legend. I agree with what Miles Davis said "leave the drummer alone, he is the only #*&% that don,t need the music". The drummer has the freedom to use his/her imagination more then anyone else (except the composer).Every time the drummer plays the song, it,s played different. This can only be achieved by having a insight, to the music.
The Jazz Network is exactly what the title suggests, a place where you get to mix and mingle with those who have not only an appreciation for Jazz but a forum to hear new up and coming artists as well. I've hooked up with so many of my old friends that I've lost contact with over the years here and it's been a great place to meet folk, appreciate good music and Musicianship. What an incredible idea!!
The great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn's passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
At the Village Vanguard, one flight down from the hubbub of New York City, in a tight space packed with people, we're about to embark on a musical odyssey by sea. Our captain is saxophonist Chris Potter, who's launching his Odyssey-inspired album The Sirens.
Divine: The Jazz Albums, 1954-1958 packs four CDs with Vaughan's music, recorded live or in the studio with bands big and small. Two live albums from Chicago nightclubs are standouts, partly when a performance threatens to slide off the rails.