Welcome to the School

Learning to manage Music/Improvisation from a composer's perspective
30 or 60 minute private online lessons with guitarist/composer Jordi Torrens.

Click here to ask for more information.

Music is a language, your guitar a typewriter... you have to come up with the stories. The process involves understanding concepts, then applying them to your instrument and from there taking them back to your ears in a way they become tools you don't have to analyze or even "think of" anymore...

30-60 minute lessons (English or Spanish) via video-conference, all materials provided. You just need your guitar and a good DSL Internet connection.

Jordi Torrens is one of the best Jazz guitarists Spain has produced.

In 1984 he started world touring with Latin Music Stars such as Moncho, Dyango, Armando Manzanero, Olga Guillot (with Israel López Cachao on Bass) among many others.

In 2004 he started a solo career performing the European circuit in support of his albums “Boleros de Ida y Vuelta” and “Vivir el Momento”.

In 2006 he’s endorsed by German Guitar Manufactures Framus and gets to perform at Music Tradeshows (MusikMesse 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and plays with legends such as John B. Williams, Reggie Worthy, Mordy Ferber, TM Stevens…

Other endorsements include Sommer Cables, JazzKat amps and Garrison acoustic guitars.

He’s just completed an album together with legendary bass player Hansford Rowe (Gong, Allan Holdsworth, Mike Oldfield…) that was recorded in Paris (with percussionist François Causse and Benoit Moerlen) and Montreal (with Joanna Peters and Max Sansalone). The album has been produced by Denis Savage (Celine Dion).

Jordi's taught guitar, theory and composition in Spain’s most popular music schools.

He’s published a music theory book (“Armonía Moderna y Otros Cuentos”) and has done clinics all around Spain and in Buenos Aires.

martes, 3 de mayo de 2011

Studying Music

Music theory is, basically, a compilation of how things have been done so far… so, in a way, it’s also a set of limitations and compromises that have made their way into musicians’ ears via constant repetition. If you really go very deep in the concept, you’ll find out that, essentially, there hasn’t been such a huge evolution as a lighter analysis might suggest and that the main difference between two apparently opposed styles is essentially makeup. It’s also important to state that the criteria most people use to judge those “differences” is not musical at all. Too often people judge music by the information they get through their eyes rather than their ears. Lacking any serious knowledge, they can only use referents they’re more familiar with (like sports, sex or whatever). This, sadly, includes most people in the opinion/trend setting business, also almost everybody in the industry.
Let’s give an example. John Coltrane took things ahead a bit with “Giant Steps”. How many jazz magazine reviewers can you name that would actually “hear” that harmonic concept in a new record? Even worse… how many times have you read anybody mentioning that Coltrane actually borrowed the “Giant Steps” skeleton from Nicholas Slominsky? Maybe Slominsky might sound like a polish soccer player to the average Joe… but to a professional music writer? Think about it… what do they really refer to when they write things like “he is influenced by Miles”. Is it because the player performed with his back to the audience? Or because he used a red chromed horn? Or (and this would be best of cases) because he never took off the mute from his trumpet?
You can spend a million hours refining your music, every detail about it… but once it’s out there it will be the way everything looks what will actually get on paper (or e-paper).
So, back to the main point (if there’s any…) the importance of music theory can’t be stressed enough. And it’s SO often neglected these days that it makes you wonder why many schools add the word “music” to their names. Probably nobody cares, but I seriously think that these places are one of the most blatant frauds to be found today. Like if you went to a restaurant and ordered a steak and got a badly burnt carrot and happily had it anyway because… well, who know what a f…… steak looks or tastes like. Then you also have a growing legion of carrot per steak sellers crowding an increasing number of new schools, many of which (at least in Spain) are sponsored with public money… yes, politicians can’t also tell carrot from steak, or any other thing for that matter.
Music theory is a pre-requisite. It won’t make you a genius but you sure will have a hard time getting anywhere without it. A good example might be that, while we all may be fluent in our own language (grammar and all) this doesn’t necessarily mean we can write an interesting book.
So… to any aspiring music student: simply use your intelligence. Almost everything these days is corporate driven (in music this reads as big instrument manufacturers, record companies etc.). Most schools are meant as just business. Use your ears! Anybody trying to sell you the idea that you can be the next Jimi Hendrix the easy way (“bringing out your unique talents via the pentatonic scale”) is a fraud.

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