I recently began teaching privately via Skype and Face Time. I've been asked in the past about teaching via Skype but have been reluctant since I'm not too tech savvy. But, I'm pleasantly surprised how easy it has been. I recently had a lesson with Ben Redman from Scotland. Ben has been working on playing a chord melody on "Moonlight in Vermont". We talked about various chord options when playing the chords along with the melody. I suggested some voicings using specific tensions as well as some reharmonization possibilities. After the lesson as a follow up, Ben sent me his voicings via pdf in order for me to check them out. I also scanned and sent him some classical pieces that I use with my students at Berklee. Ben is scheduled for another lesson in two weeks. We're planning to continue the chord melody approach on another tune as well as address dampening techniques as applied to the classical pieces that I sent him. For me, it has been an enjoyable process that I hope to continue.
Ed Saindon Marimba Instruction via Skype and Face Time
I recently set up my new YouTube channel (edsaindonmarimba) for the purpose of posting some solo marimba performances featuring music from various genres. The marimba is a beautiful instrument that has a lot of depth and color from which to draw from and create many moods. While I'm known as primarily a vibist, I have always enjoyed playing the marimba. One thing that I especially like about the marimba versus the vibraphone is the expanded range and various possibilities with the lower range. Through the years on vibraphone, I've worked on developing a pianistic approach to mallet keyboard playing along with techniques that fully utilize the four mallets in solo playing. These techniques are fairly easy to transfer on marimba. In addition, some of the dampening and deadstrokes that are effective for playing the vibraphone are also effective on marimba. Playing piano since I began playing the vibraphone has been helpful when it comes to playing the marimba in terms of dealing with harmony, developing arrangements, orchestrating, use of counterpoint and improvising.
Through the years, I've had the pleasure of teaching quite a few wonderful marimbists at Berklee College of Music. With the marimbist's high level four mallet technique, well-developed musicality and great ears, I've been amazed at how quickly they grasp and apply the concepts. Some of my past students include: Hidemi Murase, Nanae Mimura, Pius Cheung, Eriko Daimo, Setsuno Kutsuno, Chieh Huang, Aya Shinozaki, Momo Ishikawa, Yui Koda, Alex Delgado, Jeremy Barnett,...
Some of the topics covered in the marimba lessons include Four Mallet Techniques, Theory and Harmony, Approaches in Developing Arrangements, Improvisational Concepts, Orchestration/Arranging Concepts (that utilize four mallets). Musical styles address American Folk Songs, Pop (The Beatles), Movie Themes, Jobim Bossas, Piazzolla Tangos, Choros, Latin, Contemporary Jazz (Jarrett, Corea, Metheny) and songs from the Great American Songbook (Gershwin, Porter, Carmichael,...).
Comments from Players:
Gary Burton: Ed, you sound terrific! Excellent, loose swinging melody lines, nice steady groove. And, a perfect example of a solo that develops, that unfolds like a story, instead of just being a collection of familiar phrases. I was captivated immediately and had to listen all the way to see where it was going to go. That's the way to do it.
Joe Locke: I don't know anyone who can do this, quite like this. GB is the 4 mallet man, but Ed is equally adept, using different vocabulary ... his own, plus some wonderful nods to the great pianists. And the thing that knocks me out about Ed is that this is only one aspect of his playing. Check out the YT vid of Green Dolphin St w/ Lieb to get another side.
I seriously think this should be transcribed by someone and then attempted by marimba players. I wonder who would be able to make the notes AND get close to the jazz feeling Ed has here. It'd be great to see some literature out there like this. Fantastic work, Ed!
In a recent interview, Joe raved about marimba player Ed Saindon, calling him “the guru of mallet jazz.” (“You’ve got to search ‘Saindon’ and ‘marimba’ on YouTube,” he enthused. FYI: I followed his advice, and the results are pretty cool.)
David Friedman: Quite beautiful Ed. You make the marimba sing!
Man, Ed, stupendous! I loved every note. It grooved, it swung and you made me tap my feet and my jaw at the same time, which was kind of a drag because I was eating a bowl of Müsli. (only kidding, of course.) How could I have missed this? Excellent!
Pius Cheung: Ed's imagination of music always transpires through his playing and teaching. The way he 'orchestrates' music through the marimba and/or vibes is astounding. He has certainly been an inspiration for me to learn how to use the marimba to it's best advantage, but never forgetting the true goal of artistic expression.
Nanae Mimura: I truly love Ed's marimba solo performances. I wish I could play like him! Ed's marimba playing is so musical and has so much groove. I'm hoping to go back to the US in 2013 and take more private lessons from Ed.
Eriko Daimo: One of the main reasons why I studied in Boston was to study with Ed Saindon. Ed is a very encouraging and heartwarming teacher. I am always inspired by him. I love the way he conceives music with no boundaries or barriers. He loves and plays Bach and Mozart just as well as he plays jazz standards. As a classical musician myself, that is most admirable. To quote Ed, "Music is music. It's all the same 12 notes."
Ed and his wife Pam had invited me and Pius Cheung to his house for Christmas. That was also something very special for me since I had never seen a "Real Christmas". I thought that was only on TV until I visited his house. It was also extremely nice of Pam and Ed to invite me to their house since I was an international student and didn't have a family in U.S.
Stefan Bauer: outstanding and beautiful, the piece, your playing, phrasing, time etc - really!!