James Stamp "Supplemental Studies"
The reason for publishing the Studies...
In answer to numerous inquiries re: The James Stamp “Supplemental Studies” (Editions Bim)
They were compiled, edited, and published for a number of reasons, chief among them being the fulfillment of a promise to Jimmy to do so. The studies are most definitely “supplemental” and were published to function as an adjunct to the original James Stamp “Warm-ups and Studies” since they include extensions of certain of the original materials.
In the opinion of this writer, the supplemental versions of Stamp’s scale drills were created by Stamp for two reasons:
1. To further develop the concept of dealing with “unexpected” half-step/whole step pitch intervals, which reinforced the Stamp method of training the lips to respond to pitches as they occurred, rather than “(pre) setting” the lips for routinely traditional/expected pitches. It is also quite likely that Mr. Stamp, who was a superb and highly creative musician, wished to avoid the boredom of routinely teaching and hearing the same exact things every day (something he would never have admitted unless under duress). With respect to the former, in addition to his basic diatonic-oriented scales, he used other traditional scales, such as those of the natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor; however, it should be noted that Stamp’s version of the melodic minor was what today is referred to as the “jazz” melodic minor, where the raised 6th and 7th steps are played in both the ascending and descending versions. Jimmy also would occasionally create unconventional scales of his own. One of these, which he taught this writer, was called the “Persian” scale, which, were it not for the fact it had six pitches, would have been a standard pentatonic scale.
2. To provide a brief glimpse into the influence of Max Schlossberg, one of Stamp’s teachers, on Stamp methodology, something with which many Stamp students during the 1940s and 50s were very much aware, while those who studied with him during later years (1960+) concentrated more on Stamp’s own unique concepts as they had evolved, and continued to evolve over time. As with all great artist/teachers, James Stamp’s methodology was always a “work in progress.” The “Supplemental Studies” includes a few of the Schlossberg exercises James Stamp gave to Irving Bush and/or this writer from 1952-1959.