Saxophone Forum


by chalazon
(547 posts)
6 years ago

effortless mastery

any one read Kenny Werner"s book "Effortless Mastery"? What did you think?

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  1. by chalazon
    (547 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: effortless mastery

    no, huh? Well, needless to say, I highly recommend it.

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    1. by saxxsymbol
      (217 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: effortless mastery

      There is no shortcut to excellence. There is much work and preparation to make something look effortless. That being said, I have not read the book, but will put it on my list.

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      1. by chalazon
        (547 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: effortless mastery

        fyi..this is not a short cut..it's an discipline, an alternate perspective and a practice methodology..and a wonderful point of view..very refreshing..and I know there's no short cut to excellence..I've been practicing every day for years..I have a pretty good idea what excellence sounds like..Zoot Sims for example..and I'm 62 and still excited about the horn, and still able to learn..best wishes on your journey

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        1. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          ZOOT IS AN AWESOME PLAYER. My favorite saxophonist is Grover Washington Jr. and has been for 20 years. Fresh points of view are always a good thing. Sometimes something will just click that we have been struggling with when it is presented from a different viewpoint.

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        2. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          right you are, my friend, and, yes, Grover was an entirely beautiful cat...a fine classical player, too, and a warm human being..we miss him . Any idea what kind of horn Zoot played? I find that as I grow older my appreciation for the earlier cats grows and grows..Joe Henderson..what a tone..and of course......Pres..they are all such a gift and inspiration to all of us..it's all just too much..keep the faith..

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        3. by Lotus54
          (32 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Zoot played a Selmer 'Radio Improved' tenor. If I recall, that is right after the 'Cigar Cutter' and before the Balanced action. I talked to him quite awhile one evening in Seattle at the old Parnell's club. Heck of a nice guy and a fantastic player. I had not heard a lot of his stuff before I went, but was certainly impressed!

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        4. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          take a gander at coleman hawkins (again, im sure) his '39 body and soul is truly amazing. if i were going to play tenor, id base what i wanted to sound like off of that.

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        5. by candyapple
          (16 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Greetngs, I like sonny stitt's sound, any takers?

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        6. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Effortless mastery is not possible. Without effort you can't even read the book telling you what he means by effortless mastery? I'd rather use the time practiceing. It's like saying military intelligence. The two words can't be used together............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        7. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          I'm really glad someone brought up this book. It changed my whole approach in the practice room about 14 years ago. I can't recommend it more. As for those of you who are responding to the title without actually reading it... how many of you get bugged when a newbie starts posting about material they have no business giving advice about? Read the book, or ask questions about the book otherwise I don't understand why you would post here-except to make a joke. Kenny Werner's premise is to help people find a path through the overwhelming knowledge that is required of this music. He encourages musicians to choose specific amounts of material at one time and gives them ways to absorb this material until it flows effortlessly through the music. The effortless part describes how an idea should feel once you've really learned something. Too often musicians sort of learn a concept but a few months later they get tripped up playing it. He suggests that we don't spend enough time working on one or two things, rather most of us try to learn 10 things at once, thus never really mastery anything. Reminds me of that saying "jack of all trades, master of none". Most of us move on too soon to the next thing. Speaking of which...

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        8. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          There are no shortcuts to playing the saxophone. Hard work makes a better player. Because the book may have changed your approach to practice, has very little to do with me. I would rather spend my time reading Sonny Rollins interviews. Now there is a real source on how to practice. Not some jive, want to be sax player, teacher, writer.............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        9. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          On Practice (what I do) Learn all the basics. Listen to the Masters. There isn't much time so don't waste any. Books are written to make money, not help you. Jazz is intuitive. When there is something you can't do on the saxophone, that's what you work on. Remember, there are too many sax player and not enough gigs. This means everybody trys to teach others or write books..........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        10. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          so much for having an open mind. by the way..he's a piano player ..maybe it is too late to learn something. I don't think he wrote this book to make money..,I think he wrote it to help people..and if you have'nt read the book..or even looked at it ..why are you talking about it..apparently you don't know what you are talking about..this book is another resource..any thing wrong with that? just another resource3...period..gee kelsey what's the big deal? is it your way or the highway? i listen to the masters everyday..i practice the basics everyday..i play music for people everyday..it's a love thing...got love?

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        11. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          For me it's my way or the highway. There are so many distractions and this too indeed is one of them........................Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        12. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Come on, my last post was almost 11 hours ago and I still haven't made anybody mad. Sorry to be rude but I like action once in a while..........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        13. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          it's all good, kelsey..I know your a good person, and I'll bet you play your horn with alot of feeling, and a beautiful tone..we're all focused on competency, and the act of giving the gift..keep up the good work..I've always enjoyed your comments in the past, and am sure i'll continue to do do

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        14. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

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        15. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          knorter..thanks for your insightful posting..you got it ..many of my musician friends are into this book..it has changed the way I approach the horn, and enhanced my enjoyment of the act of making music many times over..I practice with the book on my stand, and read it while I'm doing long tones and finger exercises..it's too cool..another book I dig is Oliver Nelson's Patterns for Improv..nice stuff..keep the faith..

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        16. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Wow... I don't know whether Kelsey is kidding or not which is going to make responding even harder as a result. I hope for your sake you are joking or just trying to get a rise out of people for entertainment value. If that's the case then congrats I'm bugged, otherwise I'm embarrassed for you. First of all you completely proved all of my points about responding to things you know nothing about, thanks for the support. Kenny's not a sax teacher/player wannabe try googling him or any other player you haven't heard of before making statements that are just wrong. It's obvious you spend enough time at the computer to respond on this forum, try also using the internet to expand your knowledge. Secondly when I gave a brief synopsis of his theories in the book I thought it would be assumed that I was talking about spending time learning concepts that would come from studying the masters. I believe I have always posted that transcribing and learning from ear are the only ways to becoming a good jazz musician. Evidently I need to spell this out further. Kenny is no different in his beliefs he just gives people a way to organize, digest and incorporate these transcribed ideas into your own playing. Thirdly, I find it hysterical that you answer a post that calls you out for responding to something that you know nothing about by saying "because the book may have changed your approach to practice, has little to do with me"---I know, so why are you responding to the original post???? It has nothing to do with you. My point exactly. Do you just need attention? I don't understand why you would respond to a post that by your own admission has little to do with you only to attack it with incorrect information. For everyone else following this post, I think asking questions and learning about new concepts is the only way to get better at anything. Everybody has a different opinion or way of doing things. Kelsey you scare me with your my way or the highway bullying tactics on this forum. It attempts to intimidate people who just want to explore new, different concepts. You sound like someone who like to write inflammatory remarks just for attention.

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        17. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          y,know, it's okay..the K man is fine in his opinions, and I'm sure he's a fine player..I would merely hope that his point of view would not discourage other players from accessing this most valuable resource. As I stated earlier, this book has had a profound effect on my playing..through the means in which I approach my practicing..and I'm aware of the benefits of this methodology every time I perform. Every body is not going to get it..oh well..it's still a great resource if it happens to be a path you chose to walk..if not..sail on...nice to hear from you, Knorter.

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        18. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Thanks Kristy, it took you long enough. Everybody has to do what ever that rocks their boat. I don't take things as serious as you. Jazz to me is serious, you to me are not...........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        19. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Just kidding.............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        20. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          who's Kristey?

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        21. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          Sorry it took me so long to engage, Kelsey. I know how much you like your sport but I've been fortunately really swamped with work the last few months. I tried to be as antagonistic as possible so I hope it was worth the wait. I'm with Chalazon, I always respect your opinion but new people on the forum looking for advice don't know you like we do. I know we joust for fun about topics, your dry sense of humor sometimes doesn't carry through the computer. In all seriousness I think you would like the book>>>> Kristy

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        22. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          I've been a bad boy.............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        23. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: effortless mastery

          You sure have, better hand over your saxophones (to me) as punishment :)

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