Can a love of music (that is not your preferred genre) be learned?

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I tend to think of music like a woman in a lot of ways. Ones you have the hots for and ones you don't. Like Jazz is this beautiful woman that just doesn't oil my gears. Can I learn to love that? I obviously love other forms quite effortlessly.
Well, it's more like saying that, say, Buddhist women don't do it for you-- all 200,000,000 of them. The label jazz doesn't cover quite that much ground, but it's pretty damned broad. I wouldn't concern yourself with learning to like or love "jazz", I would get some records that everyone thinks are great and start living with them, and see what they do for you. I think the way a lot of us came to the music was by buying a record somebody we respected told us was going to be cool-- Nefertiti by Miles Davis-- we put it on and didn't know what to make of it, but we kept listening because we trusted the person to be right, and anyway we didn't have the bread to go buy more records for another month. At some point you find yourself wanting to hear Madness come over the speakers, and then it's a part of you. That's about all there is to liking or loving "jazz."
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I think it needs to be said that there's no reason for anyone to give jazz a moment of their lives. No matter what anyone may think, jazz is not a superior form of music, and not liking jazz doesn't take one thing away from your life or your musicianship.

Struggling to like something makes no sense to me.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Thanks Larry! This thread has made me feel alot better about my struggle to get into all things jazz. It's also inspired me to try harder too, I always thought I was the only one. So thanks!

I agree Polly, subtle dynamics, timbres etc ARE very appealing. i see jazz guys do some real neat tricks that you couldn't really do in other styles of music.
I love how even when the drums are whisper quiet they are never fighting to be heard. It's relaxed and just 'there'.
I love alot of the drumming concepts of jazz it's mainly the odd dischorded sounds and off key notes played by the lead that really turns me off.

Judging by the comments and advice given on this thread I've jumped straight into the deep end (as usual) and have struggled to get into it because of this. I need to start with the more common, easy listening stuff first.

I guess it would be like showing someone who's not into metal some tech death or djent. I've gradually gotten into more and more extreme versions of metal the longer i've been into it.
First time I heard Meshuggah 11 years ago I though it was just noise.
Now? I love them, study them, am constantly bowled over by their timing prowess.

And Larry I've encountered the same problem, I've spent years playing odd timings and polymeters, playing over and under the bar etc. It's very natural to me now but still, I just got a load of new jazz backing tracks without a click and man, I've gotten lost a few times now!
It seems to go off on a tangent and I'm relieved when the song comes back in. It's disorientating, even though I do this stuff alot, it feels different.

So it goes to show how powerful feel is. same techniques and principals, add a different feel and BAM! It's new.

And hard again...

So don't worry, you're not the only one, and keep knackin' it brotha!
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I think it needs to be said that there's no reason for anyone to give jazz a moment of their lives. No matter what anyone may think, jazz is not a superior form of music, and not liking jazz doesn't take one thing away from your life or your musicianship.

Struggling to like something makes no sense to me.
*sorry for overposting*

Also a great point Construct. Even though I'm trying to really get into it shouldn't mean that I have to.
I might fail eventually and just say 'this is me, this what I like and I've tried my best' and that should be fine if it does go that way.

I've always felt like I'm failing somehow by not being gripped by it. Only jazz has this sort of mythical power even though, as you pointed out, it's not superior or harder. Just different.
But it carries such a rep.

Anyway wish me luck, I plan to succeed. May start a jazz tips thread, there's load of seriously experienced jazzers on here I could steal thoughts from!
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Grea, thank you for all that work. I don't have the time to go through it all now, and tomorrow I have work and a gig at night but Friday I'll have time to listen to it all.
Yep. I think it comes back to both what Todd and Jay said. As Todd noted, like rock and blues, there's heaps of variation within the form. Compare BB to Willie Dixon to John Mayall ... all blues but way different for much of the time. Jazz is more diverse again.

I came across jazz partly because my sister had a LTR with a Chosen One jazz muso so I regularly saw his bands. Also, I tended to follow certain musicians, which lead me to more jazz. For instance, I was keen on Billy Cobham and that lead me to a an early George Benson album that was mostly bop. I used to love playing sloppily along with Billie's Bounce. (this one's a cover but he plays along pretty well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_ZB9Vq7tY)

At the same time, as J said there's no sense in struggling ... but it does make sense to explore because there are so many obscure (and not so obscure) gems out there to enjoy. All you need are recommendations from people who know your tastes - like me *grin*


I agree Polly, subtle dynamics, timbres etc ARE very appealing. i see jazz guys do some real neat tricks that you couldn't really do in other styles of music. I love how even when the drums are whisper quiet they are never fighting to be heard. It's relaxed and just 'there'.
Yup, some things only work at low volume - the snare, ride and toms especially have a lot more voices at low volume.

Then we have those standard debates about how small kits are better than big kits because they force you to get more voices out of each drum and others say large kits are best because you have more voices, full stop.

For some reason no one (me included) ever seems to just say that small kits are great for those who play a fair bit at low volume (can still get lots of tasty voices and don't have to lug around the kitchen sink) ... BUT large kits add colour for louder players because the subtle changes aren't noticed with all that racket going on.

Back in the day, at gigs where the foldback was especially bad, I'd have to flip my sticks. It wasn't optimal but I could at least be heard and no one ever complained. If I played the ride with the butt end of the stick in my lounge band the clang would sound terrible.


I love alot ["a lot" being two words!!] of the drumming concepts of jazz it's mainly the odd dischorded sounds and off key notes played by the lead that really turns me off.
That's hard bop. Hard bop and free did a great deal to turn the general public off jazz. Funny how that worked out ... I mean, Yes and ELP and King Crimson didn't turn anyone off rock, they just changed channels.

There's a lot of good jazz out there in the sweet spot where they're less angular than the hard stuff but not just a bland cover of a goofy standard with boring solos.


Judging by the comments and advice given on this thread I've jumped straight into the deep end (as usual) and have struggled to get into it because of this. I need to start with the more common, easy listening stuff first.
Did you enjoy any of the links I put together for Larry?

I like these kinds of exchanges. It reminds me of a PM chat between Frost (former forum poster) and me.

He was trying different metal links to see what I might like. He sent me a funeral doom track that I thought was FANTASTIC ... at least for an old psychedelia fan like me ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCC_qEUJAwc ... you need to be in the mood (reflective - you don't need to be depressed, but it would help :)

That was the only one, though. As for Meshuggah's timing - yes, unbelievable. Tomas H is a freak of nature. But I can't listen to the music. Once I lasted about 90 seconds but it's just too brutal for me. Usually I last about 5 seconds before it hurts.

That's okay, for some jazz is either too tame and, when it's wild enough to scratch the adrenaline itch, then it's too obscure or technical.

Sorry, this is all way too long winded. I got carried away. Better take the dog for a walk.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I guess I apreciated jazz almost as much as rock,and some other forms of music,because I was exposd to it because of American TV.The variety type of shows of the day,were prevelant and popular.The Ed Sullivan show for example featured rock,pop,and jazz acts on the same bill.Other shows such as Milton Bearl,Dean Martin,The Smothers Brothers,and Tom Jones were all about the same thing.Hell even the world famous Fillmore east which was a rock palace,had Buddy Rich and his band for a couple of shows(they were amazing).

Then there was late night,and the king was Johnny Carson and the Tonight show band,who were just amazing.Carson would have Buddy Rich on frequently,and once in a while,Louis Bellson.

So I learned to like jazz early on,but I don't reguard it as a superior form of music.Prehaps in the early days of rock,the musicians weren't on the same level,but that soon changed,and the players now are every bit as good as jazz musicians.

I don't think you can make youself like a particular form of music,but you can certainly appreciate it,and respect it as an art form.

Steve B
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I think it needs to be said that there's no reason for anyone to give jazz a moment of their lives. No matter what anyone may think, jazz is not a superior form of music, and not liking jazz doesn't take one thing away from your life or your musicianship.
Totally agree :)

Struggling to like something makes no sense to me.
Back when I started drumming, it was all rock stuff, if anyone made me listen to a jazz record I would just dismiss the music, simple as that, coming to actually like jazz music was an evolution through many kind of music over a life span of almost 30 years, it all started in the early seventies with the eruption of "fusion" bands, which eventually lead to jazz, I never felt like "hey, as from tomorrow, I'm going to listen to jazz and learn to like it", it was a natural evolution, I also played in some fusion/rock/funk/jazz type of bands in which I met players who where heavily into jazz, these guys influenced me too.

Now, I love jazz, not every genre but a lot *two words*, still I can't play jazz, in the purest sense, but it has helped me within my drumming, no doubt.

Larry, you may not become a jazz drummer, but the fact that you're interested/inspired to dig deeper into a style that's not your primary love in music, can only be beneficial, if anything, jazz is a great source of inspiration, and there so many sub-genre, I'm sure you'll find some to which you will relate completely.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think it's possible, yeah. Whether you want to spend the time doing it or not is up to you, purely individual choice.

For me, checking out musical styles I'm not yet into or familiar with is often a gateway to a learning experience. It's something new and different and what I learn often can be applied to other musical styles as well. I usually find it rewarding.

About 10 years ago, I joined a country band. I had no use for most of the music we were playing back then, but it was a great learning experience. It forced me to play it straight to a degree I never had to before. It taught me the importance of giving myself completely over to the structure of the song and playing "for the music." This, in turn, helped me play my rock and pop gigs better. I never really fell in love with the music, except for the odd tune here or there, but it was still absolutely 100% worth my time.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
In my experience, it was only when I started to understand how to play jazz that it began to click with me. When I started working on Riley's "Art of Bop" and I heard Max and Philly Joe playing the comping examples I was practicing, it was almost a revelation, like a black veil had been lifted from my eyes, suddenly the world made much more sense. After that I was hooked. Learning the history of jazz music in general has also been a huge help, my teacher recommended me early on to check out the biography of guys like Miles and Wayne Shorter, which is something I think everyone who wants to learn jazz should do.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
If your mind is really open, you can love almost anything. It's generally our personal prejudices that dictate what forms we don't like. I didn't like jazz until I was introduced to really great jazz that I actually liked and grooved to. Growing up, I thought it was the stuffy Kenny G garbage my mom listened to was "jazz". It wasn't until after high school and after I started playing the drums that I really gave the whole jazz thing a try. Now my radio is constantly tuned to the local public jazz station.

At any rate, and less abstractly; yes. The more you listen to something, the higher your chance of coming across an example of the form that you really love. Use that as a springboard, and keep listening.

It was so gradual for me that my band members noticed it before I did. I think the direct quote is something like "dude, you listen to a lot of jazz now".
 

groove1

Silver Member
I like all kinds of good music played well. While jazz is my favorite music, I could play several hundred recordings of jazz in a row that I really didn't like and could likewise play
thousands I love. So, I don't love everything in my favorite genre. I just love music and especially music that is improvised upon. For my ears, there is good and bad in every genre.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
The more you listen to something, the higher your chance of coming across an example of the form that you really love. Use that as a springboard, and keep listening.
Good comment and I agree Doc, although I'd qualify by saying some music is simply way out of your preference zone.

I've heard a fair bit of modern metal, country and hardstyle techno and I don't think I can ever warm to those forms ... a couple of tracks here and there and that's about it, and those usually have some sort of crossover element with pop, rock, jazz or ethnic styles.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I haven't checked those links yet Polly, I've used my download limit up on my phone this month.

Good post.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I haven't checked those links yet Polly, I've used my download limit up on my phone this month.

Good post.
Thanks Chunk. Bummer about the limit. I never use phone for the net. Not yet. Maybe next year I'll dip my toe in the 21st century.

For the record, I thought the track you posted was much more enjoyable than most modern metal I hear ... I actually listened to it all the way through(!) and a few days later gave it another spin. Believe me, that's very uncommon for me with modern metal!
 
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davidr

Senior Member
I think you need to start with the right record otherwise you find yourself bored. That happened to me until I heard Art Pepper - Bernie's Tune. From there on in I'm loving finding new jazz music. One thing I noticed was that going back to rock afterwards, you suddenly hear PRODUCTION. It's so loud and in your face, which is a nice contrast
 
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