So I started playing Marimba this last summer, I managed to buy a student two-octave model for $500 (extreme luck and kindness.) And I've got all my major and minor scales learned and can recite most of my triads pretty quickly. I'm working on successive thirds (C-E, D-F, E-G) so on.
Where should I go from here? Should I just keep reading music from the Goldenberg book?
My goals are to be able to sight read really well and play jazz music on marimba.
What I'm asking for what are things to practice to get good, quick? I know that those two things in a music context are an oxymoron but you guys know what i mean
Get a Real Book or the Aebersold books and start working up tunes. If you want to work on reading, then read. If you want to work on jazz, then learn tunes, transcribe solos, learn to comp, and listen listen listen...
check www.vicfirth.com lot's of video lessons. check Mark Wessels.
I would start working with four mallets. The Burton grip:
One of Steve Gadd's many gigs: Makarimba Madness
Double Image:Dave Friedman marimba Dave Samuels Vibes (Caribbean Jazz Project, Spyrogyra)
I would assume you've heard Reich Music for 18 Musicians:
A Leigh Howard Stevens piece
another guy to check out is Steve Nelson. He plays vibraphone but I think some marimba too.
Victor Feldman with Shelly Manne
As far as marimba players in the jazz world, there are a few, but they're the exception, not the rule. "Typically" for jazz, the vibraphone is used. The marimba is *mostly* used for classical pieces. Of course, there are probably hundreds of exceptions, and you might view playing marimba in a jazz context as satisfying some niche, but for jazz music, the vibraphone is far more ideal, due to the sustain bar, the timbre of the instrument, and, quite frankly, the size and portability of the instrument.
Also, I'd recommend getting at least a 3-octave instrument for serious music study. If you want to continue with marimba, which I would highly encourage, you can find 4-octave models on eBay for about $1000. If you get a set of vibes, don't skimp and get a 2.5 octave model...get a full 3 octaves.
...but, while you have your current set up, get a Real Book, and start picking out tunes to listen to and learn, and then play the begeezus out of 'em. Learn them inside and out, how to solo over them, which chord substitutions work, how different jazz greats did them differently, etc...
Good luck and have fun!
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