I haven't been reading each and every post as of late, but I have been hearing various people buzzing around about the value, or lack thereof, of this list. I don't intend to comment on what has been said because not only am I not abreast as to waht has been happening, but it is also irrelevant now seeing how it is now merely water under the bridge...
I can agree that this list may be dangerous and of little value to some people. When I first logged onto TPIN, I was overwhelmed by this virtual monsoon of information ranging from mouthpieces, horns, high notes, attitudes, etc. For the record, I'm 19 for those who may find my age relevant. When I first started out posting, my posts were worded in such a way that they offended a select group of individuals. In retrospect, if we were to wind back the clock, many of those posts of mine would have never seen the light of day either because my opinion has changed, or because I don't see any gain in posting subjective ideas or posts grounded by a 19 year old's knowledge of music. I wasn't quite flamed, but I learned very quickly to shut up and listen to what older people have to say about the horn, that I have a lot to learn about the horn, and the experience of many players in here really exposes my inexperience for what it is. It put my playing in perspective.
I think this was an important lesson for me. Somebody told me taht some of the best players in here are often lurkers (not meaning that the posters are all morons, just that lurkers are not lurking because they know nothing). In real-life it would be the same way... I'm sure Clark Terry for instance would find it insulting if I showed up at his door and told him all about what I think I know about playing jazz. It is moreover quite impetuous. It is difficult for real learning to take place when one feels there is no learning to be had!
So, after dropping these kind of posts and reading more and more of my favourite posters posts, I very quickly became overwhelmed with all the different ideas and concepts, and had difficulty applying them into my own playing. For instance, on the topic of breathing alone there are people who think that you should only breath in as much air as you need to finish your phrase (I think this is Jacobs theory), some who think air is free and you should always strive to fill yourself up (I think this is Claude Gordon's theory), some who think it shouldn't be a mechanical process, some who like the Bobby Shew breathing system for instance where the steps are layed out, some who like Yoga breathing (and some who think they should because MF uses it), some who just say "take a deep breath and go", etc. I was forced to learn how to disseminate information. If I took a lesson with Bobby Shew, then took a lesson with Arnold Jacobs, etc. I would have to do the same thing, and I believe that most people believe that it is cool to take as many lessons from differnet, qualified people as you can.
One thing that Bobby Shew said in a clinic of his which I really liked
was not to be arrogant about one particular theory and say "this is *THE*
way to play the trumpet, the other ways are simply WRONG". After all, the
end result is a constant amongst all these teachings, and that is to sound
like Maurice Andre, or Maynard, or Doc, or Wynton, or whomever.
While some of the teachings of Jacobs, vs. Shew, vs. the great Chase Sanborn may not coincide, the one things these players share in common is that they can all PLAY!! Therefore, I really feel no need to put down somebody else's ideas of playing which may very well work for them. I have learned to take the informatoin, and either digest it or spit it out.. if I take in the information, hopefully it doesn't give me gas, but that is a learning process in itself.
Without the skills to disseminate informatoin, to appreciate other opinions, to celebrate diversity in thought, musical tastes, etc. instead of opposing it, I can see how this list would be fruitless. But these are really important skills to grasp I believe, and are necessary for a successful career! What a better way to learn these skills than in the relative anomimity of TPIN? This in itself is one of the many contributions TPIN has offered me, not to mention the valuable FREE insight of players around the globe!! What else can offer this?
I have personally talked to some of the more frequent posters on IRC chat (if you are interesting in joining our daily chat sessions, check out http://www.total.net/~joauty/tpin/) such as David Roth, Michael Anderson, Tim Phillips, Eddie Lewis, Brian Moon, etc. on a semi one-on-one basis, I have found all of these gentlemen to be present with valuable wisdom, insight, and moreover they are just plain nice! In fact, Tim Phillips in his selfless ways offered to put me up for a week in his home in North Carolina for free lessons. I live in Canada, so this was quite a travel - with the risk of meeting a complete stranger! The week turned out to be incredible and gratifying as we worked a lot on breathing, Tim being the INCREDIBLE and wise lead player he is. If anybody else has any ideas how this valuable relationship could have taken place without TPIN, I'd love to know.
The problem with the internet at times is the fact that read text can be interpreted in many different ways.. punctuation is just not enough! I have learned to assume to best, until I have reason to assume the worst. Logically speaking, I'm sure that these posters wouldn't go out of their way to intentionally offend you in most cases! TPIN does have its flaws in this regard, but so do many communication mediums. And I have little doubt in my mind that the potential gains of TPIN far out-weigh these minor drawbacks.
anyway, back to the horn.... =)