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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    There's so many reasons a player might use a chart.

    If they're playing well and still engaging, then it's fine. A good player can have a chart and still communicate with the rest of the band and the audience.
    I know one top pro, a name you might know, who told me that he likes having a chart. He said "it frees me up".

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Fascinating thread!

    Never used charts, lead sheets, sheet music, books, or tab for performing, practicing, rehearsing, or studio work.

    It frees me up.

  4. #53

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    I use charts in jam sessions. In the band I'm playing, I'm not allowed to read in the band stand. In jam sessions I can sight read and comp the tunes that I don't know. I can improvise looking at the chords or by ear. But I feel like I'm faking it (because I am). Although it's probably good for my development, I don't like playing tunes this way. I do feel much freer if I know the tune. And to me I don't know the tune if I need a chart for it.

    Nevermind jazz, even when listening to classical music I don't like it if the soloist or the concert pianist is reading. Learn the tune dude.
    Orchestral instruments are different. They aren't necessarily invested in the piece the same way a soloist should be.

  5. #54

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    I always have a copy of "blood meridian" on hand.

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I use charts in jam sessions. In the band I'm playing, I'm not allowed to read in the band stand. In jam sessions I can sight read and comp the tunes that I don't know. I can improvise looking at the chords or by ear. But I feel like I'm faking it (because I am). Although it's probably good for my development, I don't like playing tunes this way. I do feel much freer if I know the tune. And to me I don't know the tune if I need a chart for it.

    Nevermind jazz, even when listening to classical music I don't like it if the soloist or the concert pianist is reading. Learn the tune dude.
    Orchestral instruments are different. They aren't necessarily invested in the piece the same way a soloist should be.
    Almost all the playing I do requires reading. I play in a big band and an octet. The guitar has single note lines in both bands, along with the usual comping. The charts are often long and intricate. And, we don't repeat tunes often enough that I can remember all that detail.

    I play in two other situations, in which the players could certainly get through a night or multiple nights without reading. But, the players often bring in originals, new arrangements or tunes they've heard somewhere which aren't well known. Often, it's a quartet, gpbd, so the guitar has to do a lot of melody reading. So, even though everybody knows plenty of tunes in common, nobody wants to play them very often.

    I get the occasional standards gig -- and, I see even very experienced players open a book for very common tunes. I don't know if they need it, or it's a crutch or what. But that's what often happens. My guess is they figure, why risk a brain fart? Just have the chart open and there's one more problem that won't arise. Does it interfere with the spontaneous quality of jazz? Well, maybe, but standards gigs are often background for a party or something. It isn't necessarily NYC jazz club quality of music - and I haven't yet seen a standards gig there, although it's not uncommon to hear a standard or two.

  7. #56

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    Yeah, some guitar players think it's still 1960 and you play 6 standards gigs a week, every week, and you have all standards memorized after 250 gigs, because, actually you should.

    News alert: nobody plays enough gigs anymore to memorize that kind of repertoire, and you are mistaken if you are going to sit home playing them and think you're going to memorize them.... it only happens on the bandstand. Shaming others for not operating at 1960 levels without 1960 opportunities is ignorant.

    Either you can play music that sounds like jazz, or you're a fake. Charts or not. Nobody should be shaming anyone that they aren't competent musicians in the 21st century because they might need a chart for a standard. Guess what? None of the jazz musicians I know shame anyone, if you can deliver the goods.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Yeah, some guitar players think it's still 1960 and you play 6 standards gigs a week, every week, and you have all standards memorized after 250 gigs, because, actually you should.

    News alert: nobody plays enough gigs anymore to memorize that kind of repertoire, and you are mistaken if you are going to sit home playing them and think you're going to memorize them.... it only happens on the bandstand. Shaming others for not operating at 1960 levels without 1960 opportunities is ignorant.

    Either you can play music that sounds like jazz, or you're a fake. Charts or not. Nobody should be shaming anyone that they aren't competent musicians in the 21st century because they might need a chart for a standard. Guess what? None of the jazz musicians I know shame anyone, if you can deliver the goods.
    Actually some people do play 6 standards gigs a week. These tend to be those with big repertoires. Chicken and egg maybe?

    What’s more fun than learning music anyway? Aren’t we kind of meant to like music? Doesn’t have to be broadway numbers. Could be anything.

    Shaming? Well I don’t really care. I tend to like to work with people who play good... but no charts looks better on stage and generally players who are reading are less relaxed in the material, so I tend to want to play things that everyone knows unless it’s originals. And then to memorise the originals would be the ultimate goal.

    look if someone if playing music for fun it really doesn’t matter, but to work you need to be able to pick up music fast, and whether that’s good reading or ear learning - or both - it’s an important quality. Learning music seems like the best way of practicing that and has many benefits.

  9. #58
    I know a lot of musicians in my area, including some of the first call players. I know some that may average 6 gigs a week, but I don't know anybody that has 6 standards gigs a week - with or without books. Maybe some solo restaurant pianists would come close -- and I see some of them reading. My understanding is that it is usually atmosphere for older people and that's just not that commonplace. It's not what younger people who are going out want to hear. Maybe there are a couple of people playing trio at the top few hotels, but I don't even see that regularly. The last one I did was a corporate Xmas party with a trio playing standards (book open even by experienced players). We were in a meeting room. The main room had a solo harpist, not a jazz trio. I know several people who play at a local hotel, and they play some arrangements of standards, but they play more r&b, rock, salsa, etc, with vocals and limited solos.

  10. #59

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    Some folks understand what I'm getting at, and some are lucky enough to live in their own little jazz world, where if something applies to them, gosh, it must be universal.

  11. #60

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    Some people live on different continents, in other parts of the world, where things are different than in Murika.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Fascinating thread!

    Never used charts, lead sheets, sheet music, books, or tab for performing, practicing, rehearsing, or studio work.

    It frees me up.
    I'd agree with you, I'd MUCH rather be playing tunes I don't need a chart for. Because that means I really know them

  13. #62

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    The thing is, if I play a piece of music by reading it, I seem to become dependent on reading it. No matter how many times I play it, I can't play it without the sheet. As if it becomes how my brain relates to that piece of music. As something I read, not know by heart. At some point I have to make a deliberate disciplined effort to get it off he page if I want to not have to read it anymore.

    Of course one can still learn a tune pretty well even if one needs the "assurance" of having the sheet. If you're hired for a gig, there may not be enough time (or interest) to learn the tunes well enough to abandon the charts with confidence.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    The thing is, if I play a piece of music by reading it, I seem to become dependent on reading it. No matter how many times I play it, I can't play it without the sheet. As if it becomes how my brain relates to that piece of music. As something I read, not know by heart. At some point I have to make a deliberate disciplined effort to get it off he page if I want to not have to read it anymore.

    Of course one can still learn a tune pretty well even if one needs the "assurance" of having the sheet. If you're hired for a gig, there may not be enough time (or interest) to learn the tunes well enough to abandon the charts with confidence.
    I've had really good luck internalizing tunes quickly with this method:

    1. Learn the melody by ear if at all possible. At a minimum, learn to sing the melody before applying it to the guitar.

    2. Learn the harmony by ear or chart or both, but physically take the time to write it out a few times. I like to use the box grid "grille" form that the gypsy jazz dudes all use. Makes it very easy to look at the FORM.

    3. Play the harmony and sing the melody over it as many times as possible on the first day of learning the tune.

    4. Play the melody along to the harmony (record myself or use a track)

    5. Sleep on it, let memory do a little night time magic.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I've had really good luck internalizing tunes quickly with this method:

    1. Learn the melody by ear if at all possible. At a minimum, learn to sing the melody before applying it to the guitar.

    2. Learn the harmony by ear or chart or both, but physically take the time to write it out a few times. I like to use the box grid "grille" form that the gypsy jazz dudes all use. Makes it very easy to look at the FORM.

    3. Play the harmony and sing the melody over it as many times as possible on the first day of learning the tune.

    4. Play the melody along to the harmony (record myself or use a track)

    5. Sleep on it, let memory do a little night time magic.
    Yeah I use a very similar method. I always transcribe the melody, usually from singers. Then analyze it in relation to the chord in the moment. And then play the melody with the chords as a very simple, straight forward chord melody arrangement.
    I recently made the decision to transcribe the chords as well. I want to be able to understand exactly what's going on harmonically in the actual tunes and not just rely on hit and miss charts.

  16. #65

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    I've found the sketchy chord melody thing can work too, but if you get too involved, it becomes tougher to divorce the melody from the harmony...so I make sure I know them separately, too.

  17. #66

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    image:
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  18. #67

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    Whether to use charts on gigs depends on the kind of gig. I wouldn't use a chart on a gig which had a seated, paying audience - concert, music club, that kind of thing - I'd go onstage knowing the tunes on the set list. On a bar gig, corporate gig or restaurant gig, I have no qualms about using charts or books. On standard type tunes, the chart is an insurance, I'll use my ears if possible and look at the chart if I miss a change or two - on tunes I've literally never heard, I'll look at the chart for the first chorus or two. I see nothing wrong with any of that. I think also that this kind of question is regional - what I've described is pretty much how most musicians in my area operate, but I think that attitudes vary from one part of the world to another.

    Bottom line for me is - what gives the best result to your audience? If I play a tune better, for whatever reason, with a chart open on my stand, then that's what I'll do. In a concert or club, folks want to hear you doing your thing - in a restaurant, they want some nice sounds while they eat - you can't apply the same performance practices in both situations. Too many folks forget that when you play in public, the audience must be your prime consideration - it's not about what is best for your progress, for your ears, for your understanding, it's about gearing your playing to the gig.