TOJI Testimonials

Live national interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC’s Q. –

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I just wanted to thank you for your book. I met you in your front hallway at your house in the winter sometime a couple of years ago, and have since recommended it to others. But I wanted to extend my gratitude, as I just made a CD and have to acknowledge that some of the inspiration came from the Tao. And for the first time in my life, even I can listen to the CD and enjoy it./ I turned 55 this year. I keep in mind words from Vladimir Horowitz, at 80, who said, “he was just now only now starting to catch a glimpse of what music is about”. So I have a few years to go in learning about pianos. So what I did was sit down, turn on the recorder, get rid of internal dialogue, start playing, and then after 27 minutes, save file. But your explanation is much more elegant, and transferable to others. Thanks again. Cheers.

Hi Sheldon,

I’m an upright bass player that is (I think) quite adept at accompaniment, but I’ve struggled with improvising lines that don’t just sound like sped-up walking bass lines, targeting the root of each new chord.

Your system makes SO MUCH SENSE to me, and already I can feel new shapes under my fingers. But while my goal with your book was to learn more interesting and melodic improvising, it turns out to be an incredibly useful resource for practicing intonation up the neck (another big area I’m targeting with my practice). The lines immediately get complicated enough that you simply can’t stay in 1/2 position for any length of time – and in fact, I’ve found it most helpful to look for fingerings that don’t use open strings, so I can more easily move those same shapes to other places on the fingerboard. It’s forcing me to play notes (and therefore lines) in places on the fingerboard that I would previously have been nervous to venture to.
I expect that my progress in the book is slower than a horn player or keyboard player might be, but I can tell my ear is improving quickly, allowing me to trust myself up the neck more. And though it might seem like slow progress from the outside, I can tell how quickly I’ve been improving in areas that I’ve long wished to but wasn’t sure how best to approach.
You may have already had feedback like this from other bassists, but in case you hadn’t, I just wanted to let you know that your approach has benefits beyond what you may have originally intended.
Thanks again,

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