In my interview with Victor in our February-March issue, Victor and I spent a great deal of time talking about the “instructional process.” His views are unique and decisive, and his book “The Music Lesson” perfectly outlines his agenda on this particular subject.
As the title clearly indicates, this is not a traditional method book per se, and “why” he decided to not follow that path will be incredibly clear after reading it. He decided to present his thoughts on this subject in the form of a novel, telling the story of a bassist, and his relationship with his musical/spiritual mentor, Michael. I’m choosing at this point not to tell what the story is about; contrary to how I would approach explaining a method book, as I feel my “personal” interpretation is not what needs to be discussed here, even though it is a “review” on my end. What I feel needs to be communicated to you from my point of view (and I’ve chosen my words carefully) is that this “guide” for ones desire to become a better musician/person is a “must read”. Why? This book is about enlightenment, a tough word in my book as it represents something we all strive for, and yet can be looked a facetiously as there are so many people offering this up in one way or another and guaranteeing results.
Growth, musically, is definitely a multi-faceted endeavor as I’ve learned in many of the interviews I’ve conducted for the magazine with players that are incredibly well respected in the bass community. There are many “printed” avenues to consider as far as instructional aids are concerned, and I, as well as Victor himself feel it’s wise to check these out and find what you feel works best for you personally. But as far as my “review” of this particular option of study is concerned, I’m going to state that no matter what you decide to pursue as far as a learning tool goes, this book is designed to work in conjunction with, and augment that decision as far as musical (as well as personal) growth is concerned, and I highly recommend it.
I’ll end with repeating a phrase I wrote in my introduction to Victor’s cover story last issue, which I feel is totally apropos to this book review as well. “In my humble opinion, the odds of reading this article (“book”) and not sitting back and reevaluating “some” aspect of your musical quest are very small”.
Available online at www.victorwooten.com