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Hello everyone.

I live in Oklahoma City and am sad to say that there are NO vibraphone players, or teachers that I know of. I gig around in OKC with a small quartet of Vibes, Drums, Bass, and Trumpet. My dream has been to study with someone who knows what they're doing. I currently go to Oklahoma City University (just finished my freshman year) and study percussion under Dr. David Steffens (an amazing teacher that i respect immensely). Since I was in middle school I was left to fend for myself in learning to play the vibraphone in a jazz setting. I've been practicing this summer about 4 or 5 hours a night. I figure the best way to get tips and to learn is to join this forum and ask questions!

If anyone wants to give me a lesson, I am willing to travel :D!

This site seems to have a ton of good stuff to read up on! It's great

This is a link of me practicing. I'm looking for any tips that you guys may have to offer.

Sorry if i didn't post this in the right section. I have no idea where posts like this should go, or if they should even be done. Forgive my ignorance.

-Joe Doubleday


DanaSud Fri, 05/29/2009 - 12:16

Glad you could join the community.

You could take online lessons with Tony through the website/webcams/internet. I assume you have a video camera or webcam since you shot a YouTube video. Tony's the man! He works hard for his students and has the technology figured out. He teaches students on other continents this way.

If you want in person lessons, I'm in Dallas (3-4 hrs away). You can contact me through my website.


Jdoubleday Fri, 05/29/2009 - 19:20

In reply to by tonymiceli

I will definitely subscribe once I get my new job lined up. Its impossible to afford anything on gig money alone, especially with the economy the way it is. I wish I could make a living just playing jazz!

mikepinto Sat, 05/30/2009 - 12:07

In reply to by Jdoubleday

yea man, once you get that job there is a TON of great info on this site!
in the mean time, just start studying harmony. also piano voicings can reveal alot of information that can be used to start creating lines and melodies...specifically in dominant chords.

great energy in the vid! keep pushing!

Jdoubleday Sat, 05/30/2009 - 14:25

In reply to by mikepinto

I have been studying harmony and I understand the voicings and such. I study with a local jazz pianist for piano and all we ever talk about is chord voicings. I just can't get to where I can use them without thinking too hard. I am primarily a 4 mallet player because my group has no piano. I just wish my teacher knew more about the mechanics of vibes. 4 "fingers" is a lot different than 10 fingers. haha. I also have been studying with the saxophone instructor but again, he doesn't know anything about the vibraphone.

In the video I was trying to incorporate my Octatonic scales. I have found it hard to make these scales sound good and resolve in a pleasant way

Here is a link to my groups site and it has my 4 mallet playing in it.

I decided that it would be best for me to shed on some 2 mallets until I can make an effective and convincing solo.

Also, I would like to know what the best way to memorize a tune is. I have so much trouble doing it. I keep showing up to the jams with my realbooks but the older guys look down on people who use music. I also imagine that it is easier to solo with the tune memorized. Its not an issue of listening to the tunes, because I can sing almost every tune and solo in my iTunes (I have a lot of music).

vibraman Sat, 05/30/2009 - 17:55

In reply to by Jdoubleday

i also have problems with memorizing tunes,specially if i didn´t play them for a couple of times.but i think one of the best thing to get to it, is what tony says.if you know the chords play them in different keys.i´m working on that at the me it´s really hard to do that with the melodys.but if i take simple tunes like solar or there´s no greater love, i can handle it a tip don´t try to complex tunes (my first try was donna lee,chords is ok but melody i suck))in the beginning.but once you get the interval structure of the song it slowley begins to work and you don´t need no written page anymore. just my 2 cents...still learning that...greetings and welcome on the site


Jdoubleday Sat, 05/30/2009 - 19:38

In reply to by vibraman

So should I memorize tunes with roman numerals? Stella: #iv dim, VII7, ii-7, V7, etc...

John Keene Sat, 05/30/2009 - 22:26

In reply to by Jdoubleday

I can honestly say that I have hundreds of tunes memorized. No problem at all if I follow two simple methods. First is to always know and understand the form of a tune - whether it is blues, AABA or ABAC or some hybrid form. Next is to be sure to understand how the harmony works - NOT to memorize the tune's harmony, but to know how the harmony works within a tune from one chord to another. One can shuck and jive their way through the melody with varying degrees of accuracy (call it artistic license if you wish), but if you know the form and the harmony structure you can recall nearly any tune at any time.

Personally, I think Roman numerals are a pain in the ass to deal with once you have a basic understanding of how harmony works; it makes things more complicated than it really needs to be. I think it's actually as simple as it sounds. And of course there are tunes like "I Concentrate On You" that are always a nightmare to recall if you don't play them all the time, but I think 90% of most tunes you'd ever play on a gig are pretty easy to remember if you follow the directions listed above.

Jdoubleday Sat, 05/30/2009 - 22:37

In reply to by John Keene

So when you say "the way the harmony works" Do you mean thinking of V resolving to I or what? Deceptive cadences and such?

John Keene Sun, 05/31/2009 - 06:42

In reply to by Jdoubleday

I'm referring to the inter-relationship of chords to each other within a particular tune. But to state it another way, I think the trick to memorization is actually not to rote-memorize as much as to understand how a chord progressions works.

I'm only speaking for myself, so this may vary from person to person based on how individuals learn. First step for me is to play the tune a lot (maybe 5-7 times depending on the difficulty) to get it under my fingers, and to simultaneously gain an understanding of how the progression moves within the tune. So in the future, one can easily recall the tune from a "structure" mindset.

So the most basic tools (for me, anyway) are a knowledge of song structure, and knowing the Circle of Fifths inside and out as a way to recall chord relationships. That would constitute the "left-brained" side of it, then the "right-brain" contributes the fundamental ear for melody and intuitiveness for how this all ties together.

Just as a sidenote, I never really cared about memorization until I got into my early thirties and started playing solo piano a lot. So I would carry fake books around with me on gigs, and people would walk up and grab my books while I was playing and stand there paging through them, looking for the pages with the most black dots on the page and ask me to play "that tune." So the only way I could put a stop to that foolishness was to stop carrying books on gigs, then that eventually developed into a whole other method once I got comfortable not reading anymore.

Marie-Noëlle Fri, 05/29/2009 - 13:29

Welcome on board Joe!

What a good idea to introduce yourself! Too few newbies do it!

You sound very motivated and in demand for communicating! No doubt you're in the right place! I'm sure you'll find many answers to your questions... and much more!



DrBobM55 Sat, 05/30/2009 - 14:29

You've just discovered the Wikipedia for vibes.

Bob Wesner