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By Michael
August 28, 2010 - 10pm
Chilling With Victor Wooten
Recently, Kyle and I had the immense pleasure of hanging out with Victor Wooten. We already knew he was a legendary bassist, but we didn't know that he's also something of a musical philosopher. And yes... we got to jam with him. Victor has a lot of revolutionary ideas about the way music is taught and interpreted. In the time we spent with him, he kept coming back to the idea of music as a language. We use music
for expression and communication, so why not approach the teaching of music the same way we approach the teaching of a language? Victor has developed this concept into a method for understanding the way we interact with music at a fundamental level. I can't even begin to do justice to his theories... I highly recommend picking up his book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music. Kyle and I began the evening by accompanying Victor to a bass clinic at Stanford University. After helping him set up for the event, we took seats in the audience and got to experience, first-hand, his insane bass skillz (with a z). The clinic was equal parts performance and philosophy, and we got our first introduction to Victor's musical ideas. He talked about how instruments themselves can get in the way of a musician's natural ability to connect with the music, which got me thinking about one of the issues I have with the piano. I hate that the keyboard is divided into sharps and flats.
HARD Summer 2010
It's a totally unnecessary complication that serves no purpose outside of western music theory. Notes on the guitar are all about relative relationships, not key signatures. It's a much more natural way to represent music. End of rant. We joined up with Victor again after the clinic and got to relax with him in a more private setting. Soon the guitars came out and the jam was on. Playing with Victor was a wild experience. It's like playing a pickup basketball game on Kobe Bryant's team. He's on your side, so it's not like you're going to lose, but you're trying to participate just the right amount. You want to get involved but you don't want to get in his way. And you can forget about trying to impress him. Luckily, Victor is an extremely laid back guy, and Kyle and I had an awesome time making music with him. The full-length album, "A night of funk with Victor, Michael, and Kyle," will be in record stores this holiday season. -Michael
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