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Question to Musicians

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 8/11/2009 1:12:57 PM

How important are "music degrees" in terms of being a musician. I know of so many artists who never went to school or learned to read music who still were excellent musicans, such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Marley, and the list goes on and on.

I agree that reading music is a useful tool and a degree could also be useful, but I think people but too much emphasis on this.

I know how to read music from playing piano (I mostly play guitar), but I am not sure if I should get a music degree because they are usually limited to teaching. I have heard of many musicians going back to school to get degrees in engineering and stuff like that. I am trying to figure out what to major in and I am worried I will pick the wrong thing and end up working for some corporate slave driver.

I think music should just flow spontaneously, through inspiration, like Peter Tosh said:

"I travel the garden of music, thru inspiration. It's a large, very large garden, seen?

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 8/12/2009 10:26:11 PM

Music degrees are mainly useful if the I wants to play in a symphony or teach.

Some people might find it useful for learning music in general, but I don't think it is necessary.

Messenger: Ras KebreAB Sent: 8/13/2009 1:11:04 PM

How important are "music degrees" in terms of being a musician.?

My answer to that question would be, its pretty important.

If the i has a chance to learn music formally , dont shirk from it, embrace it.

First off, most the people that the i admires, who never had formal training in school but nevertheless are brilliant players, even they, if they had a chance, they would have went to school and learned their craft.

Still, blessed are the poor for they shall see God, and so, inspite of their poverty and lack of materials, they have been able to transcend those limitations.

But if you dont have those limitations, why put them on yourself?

And even though they didnt sit in class and learn, people like Peter and Bob were always around great musicians who were formally trained, so ...same way, they were learning.
(you can read the post on Don Drummond)

Have you seen Red X ?

There you can hear Peter Tosh,,,,even though he is such a wonderful guitar player, you can hear him lament the restrictions put upon him through poverty when he says
" if I only had the opportunity of having my own professional instrument I would play the songs angels sing"

Use the opportunities you receive

Blessed Love

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 8/13/2009 1:26:47 PM

Ras KebreAB,

I see your point, and agree if it is affordable to do so, then do it. But I think if a person is going to borrow money to attend the school, which many, if not most students have to do whatever type of course they take, it could become a debt that is very hard to pay back.

Even the symphony musicians don't get paid a lot of money, unless they are with a major symphony. But if a person is going to go into debt to become a reggae, rock, pop, etc. musician, there is a good chance that they will have to find a regular low paying job to very slowly pay back the loan. Unless they become like the rare few musicians that actually make a lot of money, or are able to find a high paying teaching job or symphony work on the side (which would make it hard to do other music work because of time needed to practice for being in a symphony orchestra).

In any case, training is important, whether through a school, or through a person who is knowledgable and a good teacher.

And most importantly, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Messenger: Ras KebreAB Sent: 8/13/2009 2:59:22 PM

Yes i, i see the i point too, i wasnt thinking about those things

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 8/13/2009 9:46:20 PM

Ark I, Ras KebreAB, I give thanks for the advice.

I learned to read music from taking piano lessons from a classically trained Russian piano teacher when I was a child, I forgot most of the piano but still remember the how to read music (by the way it is a pain to read music for guitar, notes can be several different places on the guitar, tabs are way easier). I started playing guitar in the 7th grade ( I was about 13), I was self taught until sophomore year of high school. I learned to play by playing along to CDs. I then took private lessons from a really good guitar teacher at a music shop from my sophomore year of high school until my senior year.

I actually have taken some music classes at college; I took intro to music, guitar I, and guitar II. Intro to music was just music history of classical composers, just memorizing trivia, not really learning anything about music. Guitar I and II, I didn’t learn too much that actually improved my playing technically. But my music reading skills increased and I learned the fancy greek names of some scales like Dorian, Lydian, Ionian, Phrygian, mixolydian, aeolion, locrian, etc. My college guitar teacher was cool though. The next step if I were to major in music performance would be to audition to the school of music and continue private instruction with music theory classes studying classical music.

This is the last email my guitar teacher sent to I (the really good one at the music shop, not the college professor) (I had emailed him about seeing a led zeppelin tribute band called zoso) :

“Whats up man, its good to hear from you. Cool you got into guitar class (even if it is stuff you may already know). Ive never seen Zoso but I heard they were really good. My band is playing Moby Dick at our next gig. Its weird how such a simple riff sounds so good when its played loud and with some attitude. If you have any questions about music, guitar or anything else about college life, don't hesitate to ask. One piece of advice: GO TO CLASS! It is very easy to skip and get notes from someone in class, but you WILL NOT learn all you need to know if you don't go to class. Trust me, I tried it and had to learn the hard way. I'm not trying to preach to you, I'm just proud of how much progress I've seen you make and would hate to see you waste it all. I check my email about every day so I'm here if you need me. Take it easy Bryan and try to do a little studying in between parties! “

The dilemma I have is that music degrees and other degrees such as geography diverge sharply in terms of the classes I would have to take. I really don’t know what I want to major in, my passion has always been music and history, and those are both degrees that basically lead to teaching, not to say that is bad, but the pay is not as good as other degrees. I am not sure, but I might be able to minor in music and major in something else.

All I know is that I want to pursue a career that would allow I to keep I locks and Rasta livity. I would never be happy serving babylon.

A music performance degree at the college I go to is basically studying classical music, I could do that, but I am worried about supporting Iself with that degree. There are so many talented guitar players who never had commercial success. And the music industry is completely controlled by Babylon. I once heard “Music is Godly, the music industry is not”.

I got into a college that has a good engineering school, NC State, but I would not have been happy there. The official mascot of NC State is “The Wolfpack”. There is not an engineering school at the college I go to.

Time will tell. And regardless of what career I choose I will never stop playing guitar. It is a sin to not use your talent, right?

I would graduate in the year 2012, who knows what the world will be like then. Some people think the end of the world is 2012, I don’t think that the world will end but I do think some sort of cosmological shift will occur.

“The Past is history, the future is a mystery”

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 8/17/2009 11:50:48 AM

"My Diploma is from HIS MAJESTY, never recognized by society"-Burning Spear

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