Did you ever want to learn a skill from a Master? Well these
players did. Now, they share their work with you so you can
be a better player... and that's what you want isn't it?
Tim Ohlsson - Diary and Exercises
After one week of travelling through New Mexico and Colorado
I’m back in Europe and finally can “digest” my experiences
of the last two weeks, especially the lessons with you.
I have to admit that it does not happen very often that I
make compliments to my teachers, since I consider myself as
a rather critical student. Please take my words when I am
saying that I’m absolutely enthusiastic with your way of
teaching and your way to make me feel comfortable.
This experience was without any doubt one of the most
intensive and will remain unforgettable for me. Maybe it is
nothing particular to you how you approach people, but I
want to express that from now on I am not only an admirer of
you as an artist but also of your entire personality.
Thank you once more for giving me this impressive
experience. I do hope to stay in contact with you. Perhaps
there will be an opportunity for a next trip to Santa Fe!
I hope that my enclosed diary is satisfactory to you.
However please feel free to do any amendments or
All the best for you and your wife. Warm Regards,
I am Tim Ohlsson a clarinet student from Germany. In 2002 I
graduated in classical clarinet in Basel, Switzerland. Since
then I've been continuing my studies in Jazz. Eddie Daniels´
music is of great interest to me. Not only of him as an
artist but also because of his achievements in music.
Thus I decided to get in contact with Eddie - and luckily
found a possibility to have a 4 days one-on-one course with
The 1st day Eddie welcomed me in his beautiful home in the
hills of Santa Fe. Due to his kindness and empathy my
nervousness disappeared instantly.
Although I had intended to focus on Jazz pieces only, he
gave me 2 Rose-etudes, one slow to check sound-quality, the
other one to check technique and articulation, for
On the one hand he made a comment about my nice sound, but
on the other he criticised my indistinct articulation. He
further added that I should be able to play the fast etude
in a straight tempo without any rubato. In other words,
after 2 minutes only, Eddie had pointed out strong sides as
well as weak sides of my playing- without any doubt a good
teacher's quality which I think only a few persons possess.
Then I was asked if I had a piece to play which I had
played/practised on my own previously. I selected a
clarinet-concerto by a romantic German composer named Louis
I only played the first 20 bars but it was enough to work
"Technique has to sound easy, it must be like butter, like
silk…," which was Eddie's statement on these passages. But
Eddie did not only work on so-called basics with me, he
NEVER forgot to make the music and feelings become alive! !
Suddenly he switched to "Giant Steps" and gave me a short
but impressive impression of his virtuosity on this tune,
live as well as on tape- a recording during a workshop in
1982. Really, really great! Smooth but quick fingerings with
total control over the instrument but still with much heart!
The main message he gave me this day was that there is no
difference in approaching classical music or Jazz: Starting
very slowly, being aware of every note you play, till you
feel comfortable. Then you should increase tempo step by
step without loosing this feeling.
The last piece we worked on this first day was
"Confirmation". Eddie advised me to create and write down
nice, fluent lines, leading one chord to the next one in the
most elegant way.
For homework Eddie asked me to practise the bars of the
clarinet concerto to make them sound more fluent and
relaxed. Then I should practise 1-2-3-5-permutations on the
chord progression of "Giant Steps", doubling each chord as
preparation for fast notes.
Finally Eddie told me to write an improvisation on
"Confirmation" with good connections between the chords- and
writing a diary!
Besides from his own playing I was fascinated by his way of
Picking me up at my individual level, working with me on the
music, combining technique and emotions, being critical but
friendly and motivating at the same time! Just great!
The 2nd lesson with Eddie was the day of
"Eddie's-special-exercises for Tim":
First he came up with a dominant-tonic-exercise in fourth in
1-2-3-5/8-5-3-1-permutation which looks like this:
The 2nd exercise he gave me uses the same progression, but
with Dominant-7-chords. In this case the permutation is
Eddie advised me to practice these two exercises starting
at a very slow tempo, increasing the tempo moderately till I
would be able to play the progression in a fast tempo
without too much thinking or being stressed.
The 3rd exercise is a training for Jazz-articulation. The
basic is a mere major scale (can be any other scale, of
course), but as Eddie showed me even a C-major scale sounds
like Jazz played with a jazzy articulation. As a help for
imagination, Eddie gave me a very special hint:
Of course, this exercise requires a tempo which allows
focusing on a clear and easy-going articulation…
The last exercise Eddie showed me is for "filling the
space between two beats," as he explained "this is what Jazz
is about" in his opinion. The material consists of a C
melodic-minor scale played down. Again, every other scale
can be used.
The goal of this exercise is not to count the notes
between the beats but to feel the space between them and
fill it with notes in a natural, not in a mathematical way.
Again I was impressed by Eddie's exercises, not because the
notes or connections are new to me but especially the last
exercise gave a total new approach to something I thought
was already familiar to me.
A lot of great stuff to play, so I started checking it out
right away after my return to the hotel.
The 3rd lesson the next day started with a 2-in-1
warm-up-exercise. Eddie played different notes and intervals
in every register of the clarinet and I tried to catch them.
Some I got immediately, others after I had tried a few
times. But most important it made a lot of fun and was
really inspiring to me.
Then Eddie started modifying the rhythm of 1st exercise
given me the day before to make it sound real Jazz. Here are
four examples how to transfer a more or less classical
rhythm to Jazz:
please refer to Appendix IVa-e - Coming soon
The notes remain the same but the result varies very much
from the original. For me it was quite hard to transfer the
original to each of the four modifications. But this
requires my brain to work and not only my fingers!
After this I showed Eddie my lines I had written on
"Confirmation". He seemed to be quite pleased and
subsequently he asked me to improvise on this tune. As I did
not catch all changes clear and smooth right away Eddie
asked me to play first only quarter notes then half notes
and finally even whole notes. There I found a suitable
guide-tone-line which he recommended me to use to build my
please refer to Appendix IVf Coming soon
Finally we spent a little more time on the Spohr clarinet
concerto, where we worked on this F7/ Bb major cadenza:
please refer to Appendix IVg1
Eddie advised me to continue this phrase to the lower f and
come back to the high f again which I did like this:
please refer to Appendix IVg2
Amazing how Eddie combines the fields of classical music and
jazz, as he said:" All you need for jazz lies in this
How right he is!
The 4th and (unfortunately) last lesson started with a
closer look on the F7/Bb major.-cadenza of the clarinet
concerto. We found out that this figure consists of a F(7)
triad with diatonic tone above - and leading tone below
please refer to Appendix Va& Vb
As I almost expected Eddie asked me to transfer the idea of
grace notes to a F-Blues which led to the following result:
please refer to Appendix Vc
The last exercise we did was "playing" with the bass line I
had written on "Confirmation". Eddie now started to create
totally new colors by just adding grace notes and varying
the rhythm in some parts but without changing the line.
Obviously it is not necessary to improvise with new lines
only. It is at least as amazing to experiment with ideas on
pieces you already had played before.
I really had a great time with Eddie, and I would like to
come back again to benefit more from Eddie's great
experiences. It is amazing how familiar Eddie feels both in
Jazz as well as in classical music.
And even better, he finds ways how to achieve the same at my
level. There is no need to separate my practising into two
different fields (classic and Jazz), i.e. it is much more
effective to combine them. The key is how to realize this
but Eddie gave me a lot of inspiring ways to find it.
Thank you Eddie for these four most exciting and
comprehensive days, thank you for working with me, playing
music (and tennis)!!!
More great works coming soon. Email email@example.com
to schedule your next musical breakthrough.
Eddie breaks down the barriers between student and
instrument. Making music becomes more fun.