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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2001, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kentucky
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Question for Berklee people.

Do they have any chops or technique classes/workshops, or is it all staff music and ensemble oriented stuff? *What I am asking is, do they expect you to have mad chops on your own, or do they try to build you up themselves?

Just wondering because there is little point in me even thinking about going if you just build your own chops before you go. *I would want to get to my personal peak before entering.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2001, 09:01 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Question for Berklee people.

I don't go to Berklee presently, but I will be attending there this fall. You have private lessons once a week and I'm sure if you are having problems they will help you with technique. On the other hand I don't think they will teach you how to play from the ground up. I know both Vai and Petrucci had good technique before they attended. I wouldn't expect Berklee to give you super chops, but if you're there for 4 years and practice a few hours a day on technique you'll most likely have some serious chops. I'm practicing a couple hour a day on technique now and have just started taking lessons with a new instructor. To make a long story short, if you have the disipline to practice, you shouldn't be worried about not having the chops for Berklee by fall(or whenever you plan to attend).
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2001, 12:30 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA
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Question for Berklee people.

Berklee has guitar students at just about every level... I swear I don't know how some people got here

One thing I don't think many people are aware of is that Berklee really is an easy going atmosphere that pushes you to do your best at the same time. *You are definately not frowned upon if you can't play every lick steve vai ever wrote :shocked:

Only a few of the faculty members even have those kind of chops. *That's not to say they're poor musicians though, lots of different styles are available.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2001, 08:25 AM
 
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Location: Effingham, Illinois
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Question for Berklee people.

dwswift hit the nail on the head. It's been a long time since I was there (81) but it was the same back then. There were a lot of serious musicians at that time though. It was quite intimidating. The wonderful thing about it was being around musicians 24/7. It was the greatest musical experience of my life. I found I learned more from the other players than the school itself.

It's just a shame that I don't remember most of it - LOL.

Dave
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2001, 09:38 AM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

I figured Berklee wasn't exclusively for the overly-talented when I found a Kid Rock guitar tab book in their bookstore last week. *:biggrin: *

Of all the people I've known who went to Berklee... it seems the most important tools are sight reading and a working knowledge of theory. *Josh, I'm sure your chops are up to par.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2001, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Kentucky
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Question for Berklee people.

I think my chops would be up-to-par, but I am a perfectionist, and not at my peak level. *So in that case, I wouldn't go until I felt like I was getting to my pinnacle of chops.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2001, 07:37 AM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

Josh,how well can you sight read?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2001, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kentucky
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Question for Berklee people.

My sight reading skills are limited. *But like everything else, they are only decent when I practice. *Two years ago, I had quite a bit of practice as part of a jazz band and preparing for a jazz tryout. *I can read single note melody decently, as long as it doesn't get too fast or ridiculous. *I look at my Steve and Eric Johnson books and see the 32nd note septuplets with rests stuck in between, and I then I close the book. *No way can I read stuff like that. *But then again, I don't practice it.

At a jazz tryout I sat down and tried to sight read a page full of jazz chords off the staff. *I can't do that. *To me, chords for guitarists aren't meant to be on the staff, but then again it holds its advantages for those who can read it.

There is a Steve Vai interview where he talks about sight reading. *He basically says that he isn't a great site reader and is something he never really focused on. *He mentioned that at one time at Berklee, he sat down and decided he was going to be the best sight reader in the world, but quickly realized that 1.) there was no way he could be even close to the best, and 2.) he had no real use for being that good at it.

I can sit down with a page of music, and given enough time, I can work my way through it and eventually play it, sure. *But I haven't practiced it enough to go in cold, sit down, and read something note for note with no mistakes off a page. *How many guitarists do you know that need to do that in order to be a guitarist?
I don't know any.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2001, 08:38 PM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

Josh, you bring up a good point. A friend of mine is one of the top session players right now. He can sight read like I can read. *For him it is absolutely necessary. For most, I don't think it is. But of course that's coming from a guy who KILLED himself to learn how to sight read. I hardly ever used it, but when I needed it, it was there.

Your chops don't need to be hellacious to go to Berk. They will be within the first year. I wouldn't put off going just because your playing isn't up too a standard that you have set. If everyone felt that way, no one would go. You will never get to the level that you want. There were people there that could hardly play but were there for composition. Berk isn't just for the "mother of all players". It is also for composition, theory AND players.

I wouldn't post pone it. Take the jump. It will be a great experience and it will raise your playing higher than you could ever get it by yourself...

Just my 2 cents.

Dave
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-26-2001, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Kentucky
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Question for Berklee people.

Well, if I go, I am definately going after a college degree from a non-music school first. *I think that is the safest route, and it will give me 2-3 more years to improve my playing in all aspects.

And you're right. *A session player is the only type of person I can think of who relies on sight reading, and like you said, it is just reading a book to them. *I had a jazz instructor that could sight read like that but he was very limited as far as musical style goes.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2001, 02:19 AM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

How good do you have to be at sight reading to get into Berklee?Also,what are their other minimum requirements?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2001, 03:29 AM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

Berklee's requirements? *That you own a guitar and have a big bank account...
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2001, 07:11 AM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

The big joke when I was there was:

What are the requirements to get into Berk?
A checkbook...

Dave
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2001, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Kentucky
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Question for Berklee people.

I think another big requirement is that you actually have the will and desire to go there, and you are serious about being a professional musician. *Few people would drop about $20,000 a year "just for the hell of it."
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2001, 07:36 PM
 
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Question for Berklee people.

You'd be suprised how many do...
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