View Full Version : Three more burning questions!

12-21-2003, 08:10 PM
1.I am contemplating attending a guitar/ music college. I have always been under the impression that anyone can learn anything on their own provided they have motivation, an intelligent formula, and a penchant for perserverence. Does it take a substantial amount of time off the learning curve? How beneficial was it for those with personal experience attending a music college? How good do you already have to be to attend? On average, what is the cost per semester?

2. I would like to dramatically improve my chord knowledge. Whenever I play rhythm I find myself playing in a 3 or 4 fret block using the variations of seventh and ninth chords. For instance I'll play a root 6, A 7th chord fifth fret, then move to a root 5, D9th fifth fret, etc. This tends to get extremely stale fast. I would like to be able to play freely over the entire fretboard in any key. Can someone please provide appxly 10-15 blues or funk chords in the key of A that are played over the distance of the fretboard?

3. Also, I have a great jazz beginner book strictly dedicated to chords and rhythms. My teacher is against me spreading myself over too great an area. He insists I should stick strickly to the blues until I have it mastered. However, the jazz book does a fantastic job of playing rhythm over the entire fretboard. I am confident that if I work through that book as well it would probably solve the problem of playing rhythm over the entire fretboard. Would it be detrimental to my playing to include the jazz study in my already lengthy musical studies?

12-23-2003, 08:54 PM
1. Music School is very beneficial, but you need to be very aware and picky of the type of guitar program that the university has if at all. I know this from experience because all of my playing has its backround in blues jazz and rock but I started stidying classical guitar in the university and could not keep interested. But you can't really go wrong with learning sight singing, aural skills and music theory on the university level. Otherwise private teachers are a good way to go as well. Oh and if you are going to go to school, start memorizing your key signatures and spell chords like Crazy... i.e. Am7 A C E G, Amaj7 A C# E G#, Am7b5 A C Eb G etc..

2. Do you know the name of the notes on the guitar? We will start there.

3. Always learn as much as you can whenever you can, from whatever style, that is my opinion, besides you can always use those jazz chords to spice up your blues harmony.

12-23-2003, 09:59 PM
You know that's funny 'cause I reciently set a goal for myself: Going to college for music and maybe getting a bachelor's degree on music education or something... I knew I was gonna go back to college a while ago... but it was reciently that I decided to just "go for it" and study what I like... I know I may not make a load of money like I would in other fields (like IT and stuff) but I'd rather study (and work on) something I like... just sharing that thought with you guys.


12-24-2003, 12:13 PM
I attended for one and taught six years at MI in Hollywood. It was probably the best seven years of my life. Not just the teachers but all the students from around the world made it so. The curriculum prepared me for working in the biz and the contacts I made there I've kept since I graduated in '87. If you have the finances to go to MI, LAMA or Berklee, I would strongly suggest it. Before I went to MI, I attended the local community college (which had a pretty good music program) and studied theory and ear training and played in the Big Band which helped prepare me for MI. I had such a great time teaching at MI that I ended up in Tokyo making a two year, full time music school based on the same curriculum but expanded it to cover recording, engineering, dance and everything else you can imagine. Even though I don't really need to, I still manage to find the time to teach guitar classes. If you are going to go for the music education thing, go for it in a big way. Save some cash and go to one of the best schools you can find.

Tuition: I haven't taught at MI in a while but it is safe to assume that tuition will set you back at least 10 or 12 grand a year these days. Most schools should run about the same. Something you probably didn't know: Some foreign schools (like the one I run in Tokyo) offer a big discount to students from othe countries. Most Japanese vocational schools offer this discount. Our tuition is half price because we recruit in China and Korea and around Asia and most of the students can't afford the tuition. But the same thing works for Americans and Canadians and anyone else from any other country. The only problem is that you have to pass a language test to get a visa. But its funny because at the school I run here in Tokyo, we are starting to get a bunch of students from the States and Europe because of the cheap tuition and because the chance to live in Japan is apealing. Anyway, you could check around and see what you can find in some different countries if that seems like an interesting way to go.

If you deside to study in the states, check out MI, LAMA in LA or Berklee in Boston. University of Miami and North Texas State also have good programs, or at least they did when I was in the States.


12-24-2003, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the advice Chris. I figured I'd have to save and go to a good music school (specially having so many other guys looking for jobs in the musical field as well)... so yeah I have about two or three years to save (my wife and I will be moving to New England by then) and hopefully it'll all work out... I have been thinking about it for a long time... you know, kinda like "Ok, if I go for md <I started it back home in South America but couldn't finish it due to finacial problems> I'll have this and this advantages but then this and this or if I go for the IT thing..." etc and I think music is the best option, not so much moneywise but because is something I enjoy doing... I think I'm pretty much out of the rock-star-fantasy (Don't take me wrong, I LOVE gigging and jamming and crowds and what not, I just find other aspects of music <such as teaching> just as, and sometimes even more, rewarding) so yeah, I'm already working towards it... hopefully I'll join the music workforce before I turn 30 :)

Thanks a lot for your piece of advice. I'll keep it in mind.


12-24-2003, 06:41 PM
Hey thanks for all the great advice guys. Studying music abroad would defly be a dream come true. I am certainly going to check into that. However, current playing ability was never mentioned. How good should you be at playing your instrument, before you decide to attend a school.

12-24-2003, 08:38 PM
You don't really need to be all that good you just need to have ambition and the discipline to practice what you learn. Besides the schools that Chris mentioned I have heard that CalArts is good as well as New England Conservatory. Just remember to do your research because every school has different emphases.

12-24-2003, 08:39 PM
oh you never answered my reply to your second and third questions.

12-26-2003, 05:12 PM
Sorry about that. I don't know the names of the notes on the fretboard. My musical knowledge is extremely limited. I know how to play, pretty well at least, standard chords, etc. Although I am aware that I need to take the plunge and learn the theory, my mind just doesn't cooperate when I'm trying to learn about it. I completely zone out because I find it so uninteresting. I always skip right for the playing parts. I will address this as my playing improves.

12-27-2003, 07:22 AM
here are a few aminor chords in the dorian mode, I just started using power tab so sorry, the ones that are hard to read go Am7 Am13. there are many more voicings for this chord than this, maybe someone else will upload some... I am tired oh and these are used a LOT in funk and jazz

Spin 2513
12-27-2003, 06:25 PM
Hello BP ,

I hear what your saying , i would recommend , taking a short course at a community college , to see if you like the pace of study and the materials, before venturing onto a major Music School.

Most students are recommended 2 years of serious study on thier instrument , meaning Sight reading out of Modern Method for Guitar ,which has you reading Chords with out "Chord Symbols" calling out , the chords.

also it is important to learn, Basic Music theory , of Scales and 7th chords, and there substitutions, out of a good theory book , with your instuctor .

You should try to get an instuctor , who has Graduated a music Program , and has a Degree or Certificate , who can point you in the right direction of what theory books to study from , some schools have thier own Text.

By the way Many State colleges have outstanding Music Programs , which might be a good place to sign up for a class, or look for classes .

An interesting thing about some of the top schools , like BCM , many of thier "Famous Alumni" May have only studied there for two years , on an associate degree program . Many times a student in a State College will spend a semester at an " All Music" School situation , just to see what it's like , or even just to improve thier playing , before venturing on into thier chosen major .

Many Musicians Study Music as a Minor , or just a hobby , which is an interesting point. Music will always be with you , kind of like a Tattoo , it is something which is yours , and you playing will always improve over the years . I hear guys who weren't that good when they started , who kept with it as a hobby , who really develope a style , by keeping with it,as a hobby . Where as some who take more seriously (to make a living ) end up with some thing else.

Also electronics and music are hand and hand , A trade school for electronics , is a good way to go . Hot wire your Strat.

12-28-2003, 01:15 AM
Hey spin great advice. I sincerely appreciate all of your input. Especially at this point in my life, at 24 I just feel as if I am at a crossroads.

12-28-2003, 03:30 AM
Hey! I'm 23! so we're kinda on the same spot :D