Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Posts 51 to 100 of 209
  1. #51

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    Thanks a lot grahambop. That was great
    Thanks! I must do the rest of the tune sometime!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    It's a shame that a potentially interesting thread deteriorated so quickly into a bunch of noise.

    But you might check out Martin Taylor's approach.
    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/585738-post12.html
    Last edited by KirkP; 02-21-2016 at 04:32 PM.

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    I am really sorry for having open this thread....
    N

    I just wanted to know some arranging mental process. Maybe now I got it...

    Please close the thread, mod.

  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    No need to feel sorry. It's not a controversial topic, but this sort of thing happens at least once a month. Just read the the posts that help you and ignore the rest

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    Eduardo. I made a suggestion a few posts back, I'll follow through on it. Hopefully we can get this thread on track and actually help.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    I am really sorry for having open this thread....
    N

    I just wanted to know some arranging mental process. Maybe now I got it...

    Please close the thread, mod.
    No. Seriously. This is the fun stuff. Did you have any kind of tune in mind? Or even a section of one? God knows we need some non gear threads going as well.

  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    Hate to tell you this, guys, but this thread was not disrupted by me but someone else. Read it for a change before you start mudslinging.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-21-2016 at 06:36 PM.

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Why don't we take a specific song and analyze it? Issues like choice of key, bass patterns, and melody. Hopefully talking in real musical terms, not the horrid xxxx0123 style terms but real notation or notes on which string. Pick a tune. Start with a ballad.

    Start with the melody within a specific key and the bass note of the root chords of the progression. As you proceed one can always 'walk the bass'. Anyone like The Nearness of You. Isn't It Romantic. The Second Time Around.

    Any Jimmy van Heusen song is great. But Beautiful, Here's That Rainy Day.....

    Just my opinion but where people go off track sometimes is believing that they have to "memorize" inversions, etc. The harmony is the convergence of the inner harmonic voices. With chord melody it is all about voice leading properly.
    Hey! Maybe we can make this educational...we're we to take a tune and describe our process...maybe?
    = Jeff Matz


    For the deaf, dumb and blind - note that this was my post and no. 6. For those with reading disability:
    Why don't we take a specific song and analyze it? Issues like choice of key, bass patterns, and melody. Hopefully talking in real musical terms.....

    Not that I have any illusion about your biases. But I hope at least one or two of you are bright enough to get past the cognitive dissonance. Or at least can read....I will vacate this thread.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-21-2016 at 06:44 PM.

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Graham - I appreciate what you suggest. I do not have a camcorder or camera that has a good video capability. But last night I recorded both Georgia On My Mind and Alfie. I am reasonably content with both. I will have two goals today - one to upload the financial aid documents for my son's college applications and two to upload a couple of videos to Youtube as expeditiously as possible. I'll leave it to any reasonable person to determine which task has the priority.

    Lawson - It is quite apparent that what is 'good for the goose' seems not to apply to the gander. I spent the past thirty years taking care of people in medicine, not whiling away my time on computers. I apologize to you for my lack of tech savvy and fancy gadgets, which as a doctor in the US today after years of price fixing by the Federal and State government and rapacious health insurance executives screwing physicians and patients, I cannot afford. (Of course, the pat line is that 'all doctors are rich' - LOL!) But that is another issue.

    I neglected to mention as well that my brilliant son as a teenager also tends to monopolize the home computer with iTunes which I use to convert the files. I am on a Macbook now which, hard to believe I know, does not have iTunes loaded, as I used it for business. I am sure I can find some way to get my videos up. I have done it in the past.

    Your comments about "all hat, no cowboy" will be embarrassing in the end, but not to me. I would suggest you contain your comments until I have the opportunity to post, which will be soon. Whether you like my playing or not will not be up to me, but whether I can play competently will be quite obvious.

    Funny, I thought that a healthy measure of civility and mutual respect had been restored on the forum. Apparently not. That includes former mean spirited comments by moderators as well as some obstinate posters. None of whom seem to have distinguished themselves in music. More's the pity.
    Jay,
    I don't think I said anything uncivil. You have devoted a lot of time to slamming other people directly or by plain innuendo. I've called you on it. Honestly, I've uploaded financial aid documents for 3 children over 4 years of college each, lets see now, that's 12 times at least. I also completed and uploaded graduate financial apps also for all three children, two of whom are pursuing PhDs at major universities and one who was poached by the Foreign Service as an economic analyst, one app was for one son to attend Oxford University in the UK. All of that uploading--and I am not a tech expert by any stretch of the imagination--took, cumulatively, perhaps 3 hours of work. You protest too much. Uploading a financial aid app just isn't a big deal for someone with the brain power to be a medical doctor.

    Your goose/gander analogy fails. You can't just tell someone else what tunes to play. All I, we, ask is that you back up and illustrate your opinions by posting a clip of your jazz playing. Unlike you, I've posted several clips of my playing, such as it is. Anyone hearing my advice and opinion can go listen and immediately decide if my beginning/intermediate playing merits their respect. We really haven't heard from you a single example of traditional jazz improvisation.

    Its fine that you don't post, really. But if you're going to make very strong statements about how this music is to be played, you really should show us that you can deliver. And a good jazz player, by definition, can play on the spot... improvise that is.

    And the phrase is "all hat, no cattle." It applies to people who like to look and talk the cowboy but don't really back it up. So far, I think that cowboy boot fits.

    You have done one thing. You have earned a spot on my "Ignore" list. That's not easy to do, but you have earned it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Jay, why don't you start a thread on this or shut up about it forever? This is belligerent, obnoxious and personally insulting to many members of this forum. There are even some who read and play better than you do but still use it.

    Start your own thread on this, and stop pounding it in every other thread.

    So. This is Matt having a hissy fit because I suggested using terms like Cdim7 rather that xxx0000s. And does Matt address his problem with a rational discourse? Can your read?

    Jay, why don't you start a thread on this or shut up about it forever? This is belligerent, obnoxious and personally insulting to many members of this forum.

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Why don't we take a specific song and analyze it? Issues like choice of key, bass patterns, and melody. Hopefully talking in real musical terms, not the horrid xxxx0123 style terms but real notation or notes on which string.
    Wasnt really necassary to bring up your distain for that fype of chord notation

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Nick - I expressed an opinion about a mode of indicating a particular voicing. Please read the comment by Frank (FEP). Do you know any pianists? Do they talk about "piano diagrams" or voicing with reference to chord construction and intervals?

    Did you read Matt's abusive response to my post no. 6? Answer one question for the defense please. Who attacked someone personally here first? Me, Matt, Lawson?

    I no longer expect any demonstrably intelligent response from some here. I hope you are objective enough to answer my question. The facts speak for themselves - problem is no one has the integrity to call a spade a spade.

    By the way, want to see an example of a passive aggressive in action? Go take a look at the discussion between Jonzo and Matt.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-21-2016 at 07:24 PM.

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    How about the folks that don't like each other go to private messaging so the rest of us can talk about something interesting?

  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    How about the folks that don't like each other go to private messaging so the rest of us can talk about something interesting?
    How about some here having the balls to stand up for what is right?

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    ...
    What's right is to help the OP, and spare us the off topic rants.
    Last edited by KirkP; 02-22-2016 at 01:00 AM.

  17. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    How about the folks that don't like each other go to private messaging so the rest of us can talk about something interesting?
    Actually, there is a "not Howard Morgen "thread which is amazing for this purpose.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-22-2016 at 01:09 PM.

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP View Post
    ...
    What's right is to help the OP, and spare us the off topic rants.
    +1.

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    .... whatever....

    I think now I got the Howard Morgen approach:

    He searchs for the movement between chords trying to always create a nice moving walking bassline (weather skip wise or step wise, or moving across the cycle of fouths), as smooth as possible (emphasis on voice leading as he is a fingerstyle player), and trying to maintain the movement as long as possible. To do so, he detects the different notes and the common notes in the chords among to switch, and then transition from the first chord to the closest diferent note of the next chord, and that way he decides which inversion to use in the new chord. As for the melody top notes, I think he just place it on top as an extension of the chord. I see this as a bottom-top way of constructing chords rather than the usual top-bottom way of doing it.

    Example:

    Chords to navigate: Dmin7 to G7 to Cmaj7
    Spelling of the chords: DFAC to GBDF to CEGB
    Common tones between Dmin7 and G7: DF
    Different tones between Dmin7 and G7: ACGB
    Closest note: A to G (or C to B). Implies a descending moving line. Try to hold the direction as long as possible (looking ahead at the third chord in the progression >>> the bass movement could be: A to G to G, or A to G to E. I choose the last option as to keep the bass moving, so I should choose:

    Dmin7 (second inversion) to G7 (root position) to Cmaj7 (first inversion).

    Then add the melody note if necessary as an extension or alteration of the chord in question.

    Well, I have simplified it terribly, but I think I get it now...

    Playing Stardust
    Last edited by eduardosanz; 02-22-2016 at 08:46 AM.

  20. #69

    User Info Menu

    I think by now we have all duly noted and registered Jay's objection to the 'horrid' XXXXXX thing, so I propose that we do not discuss it any further. If people want to use it, go ahead, if they don't, then use something else. On a text-based forum it has its uses when trying to spell out a very specific voicing, as has been pointed out already.

    I've no doubt Jay will continue to mention it in future posts or threads on similar subjects. I don't mind if he describes it as the spawn of Satan or something, I just don't think it's worth discussing it with him, as it just leads to tedious arguments which spoil the thread. I'm not really having a go at Jay here by the way, I think that's just his rather extreme way of expressing things, he isn't going to change. Personally I do not like to use the kind of emotive language he favours, but on the other hand it takes two to start these arguments. Ultimately nothing is achieved, no-one changes their views, and the thread gets spoiled. It's totally counter-productive.

    Anyway, back on topic, it occurred to me that I have recorded a couple of chord-melody type things in the past, so if I get time, I will post them here and try and lay out for the OP what chord voicings I used, how I came up with them, etc.

    Let's help the OP. I can remember how daunting these chord-melody things seemed when I first started trying to do them. (On some tunes it's still quite a challenge!)
    Last edited by grahambop; 02-22-2016 at 08:58 AM.

  21. #70

    User Info Menu

    " I'm not really having a go at Jay here by the way, I think that's just his rather extreme way of expressing things, he isn't going to change. Personally I do not like to use the kind of emotive language he favours, but on the other hand it takes two to start these arguments. Ultimately nothing is achieved, no-one changes their views, and the thread gets spoiled. It's totally counter-productive."


    "Rather extreme way of expressing things"? The most extreme thing I said about the xxx000 approach was to call it "horrid" - rather British, don't you think - and to suggest that a voicing could be described in a more useful fashion by "Cm7b5" type approach with a fret position indication (8th) which clearly indicates the voicing as based upon musical intervals rather than visual diagrams and expedites discussion.

    I hope I did not use too many multisyllabic words.

    You know, Graham, the comedy behind this is that so many people pile on without actually reading the thread. And sadly and to my disappointment I would include you. The aggressor in this thread was NOT me, but rather Matt first (n.6, 9, 48) and then Lawson-Stoned (no. 23, 32, 60).


    The only way an objective person could fail to comprehend that is that they either cannot read with comprehension or don't bother to read the thread before weighing.


    I am really a rather pacifistic guy. Following Matt's initial personal attack and 'hissy fit', I tried to redirect the conversation back to the subject. Same with Lawson-Stoned. But in each instance Matt continues his rant and personal attacks. And Lawson taunts with his "all hat, no cattle" snide comments, even after I responded pacifically to both of them. (no. 10, 24, 43).

    I don't think I have ever been aggressive with you in any music discussion. If that is not true, please feel free to correct me with a concrete example. Why is it that the issues about my 'derailing threads' always seem to occur with certain posters at the center? Think hard about the answer. Read Matt's pissing contest with poor Jonzo whom he also tags with the label of 'disruptive' just because Jonzo disagrees with him. Recall the nasty comments from a moderator in my regard in the past. And now Lawson -Stoned.

    Who are the bullies and taunters here? I would not waste your time nor mine with this but the bullying by some psychologically stunted people should stop. The only way to stop a bully is for the victim to knock him out cold or for bystanders to take a stand against bullies rather than to 'do nothing' other than meekly court their favor. You know that.

    I will not post on this thread further unless provoked again by some guy with a big chip on his little shoulder.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-22-2016 at 10:22 AM.

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think by now we have all duly noted and registered Jay's objection to the 'horrid' XXXXXX thing, so I propose that we do not discuss it any further. If people want to use it, go ahead, if they don't, then use something else. On a text-based forum it has its uses when trying to spell out a very specific voicing, as has been pointed out already.

    I've no doubt Jay will continue to mention it in future posts or threads on similar subjects. I don't mind if he describes it as the spawn of Satan or something, I just don't think it's worth discussing it with him, as it just leads to tedious arguments which spoil the thread. I'm not really having a go at Jay here by the way, I think that's just his rather extreme way of expressing things, he isn't going to change. Personally I do not like to use the kind of emotive language he favours, but on the other hand it takes two to start these arguments. Ultimately nothing is achieved, no-one changes their views, and the thread gets spoiled. It's totally counter-productive.
    I know I didn't go about it the right way. But I think there is distinction to be made between annoyingly going on about something OT in an offhand way, and basically telling everyone else how they should proceed in talking about THIS topic, which is what Jay was doing . I still think off-topic items are best dealt with in a separate thread and said as much. Sorry to create the stir. I appreciate everything you're saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Anyway, back on topic, it occurred to me that I have recorded a couple of chord-melody type things in the past, so if I get time, I will post them here and try and lay out for the OP what chord voicings I used, how I came up with them, etc.

    Let's help the OP. I can remember how daunting these chord-melody things seemed when I first started trying to do them. (On some tunes it's still quite a challenge!)
    I do things in a pretty basic way, but I would be more than happy to do the same. It's a great topic , and one in which I would actually be happy to have Jay's or anyone else's input.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-22-2016 at 09:58 AM.

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    So now it is all 'sunshine and light' again? Do you suffer from mood swings?

    Matt, I tried to appease both you and Lawson. To no avail. I have no intention of attacking you personally. But find another way to disagree with people rather than derail the thread and then attribute that very act to the other individual.

    And please recall that in post no. 6, the worst thing I said about xxx000 thing was to call it "horrid". Read your post no. 9, 11,... And how is it that the show you and Jonzo put on in another thread somehow is above reproach?

    Btw, I liked your performance of You Are Too Beautiful.

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    .... whatever....

    I think now I got the Howard Morgen approach:

    He searchs for the movement between chords trying to always create a nice moving walking bassline (weather skip wise or step wise, or moving across the cycle of fouths), as smooth as possible (emphasis on voice leading as he is a fingerstyle player), and trying to maintain the movement as long as possible. To do so, he detects the different notes and the common notes in the chords among to switch, and then transition from the first chord to the closest diferent note of the next chord, and that way he decides which inversion to use in the new chord. As for the melody top notes, I think he just place it on top as an extension of the chord. I see this as a bottom-top way of constructing chords rather than the usual top-bottom way of doing it.

    Example:

    Chords to navigate: Dmin7 to G7 to Cmaj7
    Spelling of the chords: DFAC to GBDF to CEGB
    Common tones between Dmin7 and G7: DF
    Different tones between Dmin7 and G7: ACGB
    Closest note: A to G (or C to B). Implies a descending moving line. Try to hold the direction as long as possible (looking ahead at the third chord in the progression >>> the bass movement could be: A to G to G, or A to G to E. I choose the last option as to keep the bass moving, so I should choose:

    Dmin7 (second inversion) to G7 (root position) to Cmaj7 (first inversion).

    Then add the melody note if necessary as an extension or alteration of the chord in question.

    Well, I have simplified it terribly, but I think I get it now...

    Playing Stardust
    Cool, thanks for the summary. I may be oversimplifying, but it sounds like he's picking inversion to lead to smooth voice leading, with an eye on the bass. I often don't think enough about bass movement--this is a good reminder for me to keep an eye on that. (Although if you are doing inversions to smooth out the top, the bottom is probably going to be pretty smooth too.)

  25. #74
    I'm sorry I told you to shut up about it. It was an unkind way to say it. But it really is off-topic, and it really did appear to be attempting to tell others how to post in the thread. (PM sent)

    Thanks for your compliment. Let's talk chord melody.

  26. #75

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Let's talk chord melody.
    Yes please.

  27. #76

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by dingusmingus View Post
    (Although if you are doing inversions to smooth out the top, the bottom is probably going to be pretty smooth too.)
    Maybe the debate should be that: play inversions to smooth out the top, or to smooth out the bottom?

  28. #77

    User Info Menu

    From a quick glance, it appears Morgen is truly arranging for solo guitar, which is different than "chord melody." That's why the bass line is taking such prominence...

    It's a cool way to think though...we get bogged down in harmony sometimes, looking for cool sounding chord voicings and ignoring the two primal elements that make us notice music in the first place: melody, and groove.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  29. #78
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    ... provoked by some guy with a big chip on his little shoulder.
    This made me smile - and it seems ironic to me because there actually appears to be agreement here on the importance of helping the OP.

    Without wishing to provoke - "That is not it all. / That is not what I meant at all."*) - I think it may have been a Good Thing to have "forced the moment to its crisis"*. And from what I've seen of him on video, my speculation is that Howard Morgen may well have agreed (not that speculating could be of any consequence).

    But here's why I think so: helping others to do what they could otherwise do for themselves is not helping at all - and whoever accepts such help becomes doomed to dependency... or to eternal adolescence. (Sorry, I don't get out as much as I should...)

    I've watched (and enjoyed) some of Howard Morgen's teaching, and I think he does an excellent job of helping people get started - by means of challenge that is both adequate and appropriate.

    Re. the OP, I'll join the discussion proper after work.

    *1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. T.S. Eliot. 1920. Prufrock and Other Observations
    Last edited by destinytot; 02-22-2016 at 11:35 AM. Reason: addition

  30. #79

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    From a quick glance, it appears Morgen is truly arranging for solo guitar, which is different than "chord melody." That's why the bass line is taking such prominence...

    It's a cool way to think though...we get bogged down in harmony sometimes, looking for cool sounding chord voicings and ignoring the two primal elements that make us notice music in the first place: melody, and groove.
    Yeah, I think he definitely arranges for solo jazz guitar rather than "block" chord melody (ala Robert Conti to name one).

    And talking about groove, this man really has it...

    Last edited by eduardosanz; 02-22-2016 at 12:28 PM.

  31. #80

    User Info Menu

    In Howard's -Through Chord Melody and Beyond- book, his title to part 1 is: "Approaches to self-Accompaniment for Solo Jazz Guitar".

    Chapter 1 is actually about "chord melody". Chapters 2-5 get into fingerstyle, bass lines, etc... the beyond! lol

    I've always liked his books, there's a lot of useful info packed into them.

  32. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    Yeah, I think he definitely arranges for solo jazz guitar rather than "block" chord melody (ala Robert Conti to name one).

    And talking about groove, this man really has it...

    Re Conti, I think it's probably more of a teaching approach versus playing philosophy. If you watch some of his DVDs, he breaks things up, rhythmically, between thumb and fingers, and does some more stylistic fingerstyle stuff on occasion. The main thing about the block chords, is that they're very clean for TEACHING one specific element, which, in his case, is voicings for each melody note.

    The phrasing that is demonstrated in the Roberts and Morgen videos is much more complex, and I wonder if they really get into how to phrase things in different ways like that. I'm not talking about articulation. I'm talking time, manipulation of beat etc. when you start getting into all of that stuff, you're either assuming the student is much more advanced, or that they'll just pick up some things from learning your one way of playing it , as an arrangement.

    The phrasing elements are probably a thread unto themselves.

  33. #82

    User Info Menu

    Howard is no longer with us, but he left a legacy of print works and his videos that are pretty splendid. If one is looking to play solo jazz guitar, he is a good place to start or to end. Especially in terms of voice leading with sophistication yet very direct interpretation of the music. Just the essentials. And class.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-22-2016 at 04:17 PM.

  34. #83
    destinytot Guest
    A link to this online resource has been posted elsewhere on the forum, but I'm posting it here because I think the content - well-written text, clearly laid-out examples, and interactive format (you can click on and listen to examples) - complements the Howard Morgen resources. Hope it's helpful.

    Here's the link Welcome to EXPLORING JAZZ ARRANGING Using the Garritan Jazz/Big Band Library: Northern Sound Source, and here are the twenty lesson topics.

    Lesson 1 - Intro & Rhythm
    Lesson 2 - Bass Lines
    Lesson 3 - Bass Lines (Continued)
    Lesson 4 - Harmony
    Lesson 5 - Harmony (Continued)
    Lesson 6 - Form
    Lesson 7 - Form (Continued)
    Lesson 8 - Melody & Orchestration
    Lesson 9 - Melody & Orchestration (Continued)
    Lesson 10 - Melody & Orchestration (Continued)
    Lesson 11 - The Rhythm Section
    Lesson 12 - The Rhythm Section (Cont.)
    Lesson 13 - Writing for 2 Voices
    Lesson 14 - Writing for 3 Voices
    Lesson 15 - Writing for 4 or More Voices
    Lesson 16 - Writing for 4 or More Voices (Cont.)
    Lesson 17 - Writing for 4 or More Voices (Cont.)
    Lesson 18 - Writing for The Whole Band
    Lesson 19 - Writing for The Whole Band (Cont.)
    Lesson 20 - Writing for Singers

  35. #84

    User Info Menu

    So, at the suggestion made here, I decided to spend a little time on "Alfie." I chose it mainly because I was largely unfamiliar with the song, never having tried to play it before. I gave myself one hour to work with the song and then gave myself one take for the video clip, which was shot with a "point-and-shoot" digital camera that had a video feature. I just set the camera on a stack of books on my desk, plugged my guitar into the amp, and let the camera's microphone, such as it was, do the sound.

    The only fancy part was I also filmed a brief explanation at the beginning and blended it into the clip, and made a title slide at the start. But the music represents one single hour of preparation and one single take.

    This is very very rough, it's really just a rough-draft, but it's my attempt to show good-faith in this discussion. I doubt my interlocutor will show comparable good faith and take a song of my suggestion, say, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or "If Ever I Would Leave You" and give it one hour, one take, and post. But I decided I would rather attempt the challenge and let the chips fall out however they might.

    I have also temporarily removed Jay from my "Ignore" list to make conversation possible.

    So here's the song I didn't choose, which I don't especially like, and haven't given much time to work on!

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  36. #85

    User Info Menu

    Well, I'll tell you straight up - you played the hell out of that song. Pity if you don't consider this as part of your repertoire. You did a beautiful job, Lawson.

    Bravo, man. If it was about cattle, that was a stampede.

  37. #86

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Well, I'll tell you straight up - you played the hell out of that song. Pity if you don't consider this as part of your repertoire. You did a beautiful job, Lawson.

    Bravo, man. If it was about cattle, that was a stampede.
    Well thank you very much. That's very kind. My main problem with the song is two things. One is the form, which seems to be something like 10 bars, 8 bars, an odd modulation for the 8 bar bridge, and then the final section seems imbalanced. Of course, it was sung, and it is a meditative kind of haunting vocal. I confess I couldn't figure out how to translate that into an instrumental performance. Second problem was the repetition of the same figure too often, for my ear, the figure in bars 7-8 starting with the Dm7.

    To tell the truth, I don't gig much, and when I do, I'm pretty desperate for any tunes I can play that people will recognize, so likely I'll keep at this one. After all, I only gave it an hour, and so I've not really had time to think about it, and can't think of a single jazz performance of it though I'm sure it must be frequent since it's in the Real Book.

    Perhaps, after all, conversation from this will lead to some fruitful insights.

    thank again for your very kind and appreciated words.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  38. #87

    User Info Menu

    On "Alfie"



    I didn't care much for the movie version, but I liked this take quite well.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many years ago, I took about 8 lessons from Howard Morgen.
    I sought him out because he taught the guitar teacher of the local music store who played pretty well himself.
    I had about 2 years playing experience at the time. He relied heavily on book learning.
    This was before he had published any of his own.
    Each lesson we did a page or a few examples from the following books:

    Ronnie Lee Jazz
    Sal Salvador Single String
    William Leavitt #1
    Carcassi's Method book
    Carulli Studies for the right hand

    I ran out of money long before I had progressed far enough to address chord melody.
    I never heard him play anything other than the etudes I was working on.
    I only started to get a sense of him as a player when he started writing columns for Guitar Player Magazine.

  39. #88
    destinytot Guest
    Re. Alfie, I like the song very much. When it was mentioned in the thread on approaches to singing and playing a few weeks back, I posted this:


    EDIT I think it's important to work out the harmony you hear, but I think it's important not to play until you actually hear harmony you actually like.

    For me, the (piano) keyboard and - more recently (and increasingly) - the fretboard are reckoning tools; they're more like an abacus than an electronic calculator because mental effort is required. Indeed, what I admire about Howard Morgen's playing and teaching is how his problem-solving approach.
    Last edited by destinytot; 02-23-2016 at 05:19 AM.

  40. #89

    User Info Menu

    Bill Evans could play Mary Had a Little Lamb and make it sound fabulous. I had never heard his version of the song.

    I think that the key of C is very felicitous for this song on guitar. An example of the situation where articulating the melody as in "chord melody" style makes choice of key important. I don't think this is discussed much, but one argument for playing a tune in several keys is to find the one where the melody sits the best in terms of ease of execution. (Btw, as Jeff has noted, I don't like the term 'chord melody' but I don't know how else to characterize the style of solo guitar playing where you articulate the melody effectively.)

    I don't obsess about that but it makes a difference to me. In the case of this song I would play an instrumental version in C, while the vocal version I recorded with two nylon string tracks is in A because of comfort for my tenor range.

    I think Lawson as well as Mike did a fine job with this song from the instrumental angle. As a singer (at least in my own mind) I think the vocal articulating the lyrics can really highlight the melody in performance. For some reason I get very moved by the lyrics in this setting. Although I think many of Bacharach's and Davis' songs work best with a woman's voice and tessitura, I still find it a very powerful marriage of melody and harmonic progression.

    As an aside, I created my own transcription of this song off YTube videos. Although I do like and use my Hal Leonard Best Little Real Fake Book in a now broken down plastic spiral bound version I bought in the mid Eighties, it is the only one I have and the song was not in it. I know one can find some versions of the internet as well. But usually I just create my own.

    One point about guitar accompaniment with a singer. We don't talk much about this as most of our players and performers eschew singing. Kudos to Mike on that score for singing the song and playing. But an interesting aspect is the different demands on the guitar part in the two circumstances - as an accompaniment versus a solo guitar chord melody. I find the later more demanding, yet I really enjoy using the guitar as accompaniment to a vocal performance, which I find much easier personally. Also I think if you can carry off a credible vocal, this particular song just shines in that setting. I guess 'credible' means no one throws a drink or rotten tomatoes at you on stage.

    For example, as a question to Lawson, Mike and others - do you have any thoughts about the difference in role of the guitarist when accompanying a singer with a song like this? I think immediately of the great videos of Ella and Joe in concert. I mean you play the guitar a bit differently in support of a singer than when you are playing solo guitar.

    I can't help the feeling that I'm somehow "cheating" when I sing and accompany myself on the guitar as I find it so much less demanding. Yet I love the potency of the human voice with proper solo guitar accompaniment in the vocal / guitar setting. And I also favor the classical nylon string guitar in that setting. Any thoughts on this question?
    Last edited by targuit; 02-23-2016 at 06:58 AM.

  41. #90

    User Info Menu

    I have to laugh, Mike, at your comment on being verbose - perhaps we both share that thing. I would like you to raise the gain on your mic a bit - you have an intriguing voice and I like to hear it.

    And Lawson, I hope I'm not repeating myself too often, but your point about the structure (extra measures) and the difficulty of articulating the melody in the context of solo guitar with this song is right on the mark. That is what makes this song particularly challenging in the setting of solo (jazz) guitar.

    I'm reminded of a comment I heard by Pat Metheny in an interview where he talks about his music as something that has many influences and he remarks that at a certain point he sees the convergence between jazz and other styles as just "music", aside from categorizations. I think that applies to this tune. But your point about audience response is also salient. This song when performed effectively just "strikes a chord" in people's hearts. Or mine at least.

  42. #91

    User Info Menu

    In response to the OP's original question, here's some thoughts about how I go about doing these 'chord-melody' things.

    First I learn the melody all the way through - I feel it's far more important than the chords! If you get the melody out of a fakebook, you probably need to raise it an octave. (they are generally in concert pitch which is one octave lower than when notated for the guitar). Also I generally listen to a few versions by jazz greats, and vocal versions e.g. Ella/Frank, to check the melody sounds right.

    Then I'll look at the chords, generally I use the Hal Leonard real book or the Ireal app, they seem fairly reliable. Generally I'll only put a chord under the melody when the chord changes. I don't normally like to harmonise every single melody note, it sounds too 'clotted', and it makes it difficult to let the melody flow.

    I don't have a very scientific method for choosing the chord voicing. I just grab one of the voicings I know that will have the top note I want, or has a top note near to that note. If I need to, I'll just change the top note to fit. There's a bit of 'trial and error' in this, but it's surprising how quick it gets when you've done it on a few tunes (well that's how I find it anyway). Most of the chords I use came out of the Joe Pass chord book, they seem to do the job.

    If a chord feels awkward to play with the melody, then I'll just lose the root. You don't need a root on every chord. If I still can't find a chord I like, then I just drop the chord altogether. You don't need that many chords. Let the melody carry itself for the whole bar - sometimes I think this sounds better!

    A couple of tips:
    I often use those little 4-note 'stacked fourths' chords, either on the middle 4 strings or the top 4 strings. They are really quick to play and seem to fit under a lot of top notes. They are versatile because they can fit a major sound (6 9 chord) or a minor sound (minor 11). I think they also give you a little bit of a 'Bill Evans/Ed Bickert' flavour which is nice.

    When you need a major chord with the tonic note on top, it can be tricky. I often use a major chord with a 6th in it. This avoids the clash of a maj7 with the tonic, but it sounds nicer than a straight major triad, because the 6th gives it a bit of colour.

    Final tip - if your arrangement sounds at any point as if it is dragging or holding up the melody, then consider sacrificing the chord at that point. Much better to let the melody 'sing' by itself, than encumber it with a chord.

    I've got an example for you which I think covers these points - I'll post it later tonight.

  43. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    In response to the OP's original question, here's some thoughts about how I go about doing these 'chord-melody' things.
    Great post, Graham!

  44. #93

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post

    I often use those little 4-note 'stacked fourths' chords, either on the middle 4 strings or the top 4 strings. They are really quick to play and seem to fit under a lot of top notes. They are versatile because they can fit a major sound (6 9 chord) or a minor sound (minor 11). I think they also give you a little bit of a 'Bill Evans/Ed Bickert' flavour which is nice.


    Which chords are you talking about? Could you please elaborate on that?

    I am really looking forward to see / hera your example.

    Thanks a lot. Very helpful.

  45. #94
    I'm a bit of a nerd about this stuff, and have a bit of a different process than most, I would imagine. I tend to not listen CM tunes a lot before. Don't always listen to multiple versions of a specific tune for chord melody. Probably do more of that for improvisational ideas , if I'm really working a tune. Not a great student in that regard. I don't put chords on every melody note now very much, but I did at the beginning and think it's a pretty good exercise as Jordan has mentioned.

    Regarding phrasing and the problems of things getting bogged down with playing a chord for each melody note, I have found that most of the problems in that area have to do more with ARTICULATION , technical things , as opposed to having too many chords etc. It's absolutely true that reducing the number of chords is a solution, and it's probably the one I use most. At the same time , it's also some great exercise (for phrasing and articulation) to work on articulating the melody exactly the way you want WITHIN the context of chords of fuller chords.

    I tend to have pretty systematic ways of developing études and such for really working a lot of different possibilities for phrasing tunes. I'd be happy to share if anyone's interested, but I really only play for me anyway. So, I know I don't always do things the way I should.

    Like a bad student, I mostly play off the lead sheet. I don't memorize a lot of things , but I play through a lot of tunes daily. When I start gigging or jamming with others , I'm sure this will change as performance becomes the goal, but right now, my emphasis is my own enjoyment of the music , and getting the best out of something that I can get on the first couple of run-throughs. All things considered, I need to work more on improv anyway. I'm better on the first run through of a CM than most, but probably much worse than most generally.

    I've worked on the phrasing aspects to the detriment of my knowledge of chord voicings etc. So, I've got some work to do there. Regarding voicings, Robert Conti was to me what it sounds like Joe Pass was to Graham. It's probably really beneficial to have some go-to voicings the cover a lot of options as a starting point. Before I knew those voicings, it was pretty slow and frustrating building everything from scratch. Then you see the way a real player, like Joe, does things, and you think "that's so much easier/hipper etc". Probably really beneficial to start with some basic go-to voicings.

    I've added to these over the years . I usually alter basic voicings on the weak beat or weak side and have just added others I like. Everything I do is pretty basic, but the melody is king, and phrasing and articulation considerations allow me to let it lead as opposed to being a slave to the chord forms.

    We should probably pick a simple tune. Alfie is a beast, at the beginning anyway.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-23-2016 at 02:10 PM.

  46. #95

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Bill Evans could play Mary Had a Little Lamb and make it sound fabulous. I had never heard his version of the song.

    I think that the key of C is very felicitous for this song on guitar. An example of the situation where articulating the melody as in "chord melody" style makes choice of key important. I don't think this is discussed much, but one argument for playing a tune in several keys is to find the one where the melody sits the best in terms of ease of execution. (Btw, as Jeff has noted, I don't like the term 'chord melody' but I don't know how else to characterize the style of solo guitar playing where you articulate the melody effectively.)

    I don't obsess about that but it makes a difference to me. In the case of this song I would play an instrumental version in C, while the vocal version I recorded with two nylon string tracks is in A because of comfort for my tenor range.

    I think Lawson as well as Mike did a fine job with this song from the instrumental angle. As a singer (at least in my own mind) I think the vocal articulating the lyrics can really highlight the melody in performance. For some reason I get very moved by the lyrics in this setting. Although I think many of Bacharach's and Davis' songs work best with a woman's voice and tessitura, I still find it a very powerful marriage of melody and harmonic progression.

    As an aside, I created my own transcription of this song off YTube videos. Although I do like and use my Hal Leonard Best Little Real Fake Book in a now broken down plastic spiral bound version I bought in the mid Eighties, it is the only one I have and the song was not in it. I know one can find some versions of the internet as well. But usually I just create my own.

    One point about guitar accompaniment with a singer. We don't talk much about this as most of our players and performers eschew singing. Kudos to Mike on that score for singing the song and playing. But an interesting aspect is the different demands on the guitar part in the two circumstances - as an accompaniment versus a solo guitar chord melody. I find the later more demanding, yet I really enjoy using the guitar as accompaniment to a vocal performance, which I find much easier personally. Also I think if you can carry off a credible vocal, this particular song just shines in that setting. I guess 'credible' means no one throws a drink or rotten tomatoes at you on stage.

    For example, as a question to Lawson, Mike and others - do you have any thoughts about the difference in role of the guitarist when accompanying a singer with a song like this? I think immediately of the great videos of Ella and Joe in concert. I mean you play the guitar a bit differently in support of a singer than when you are playing solo guitar.

    I can't help the feeling that I'm somehow "cheating" when I sing and accompany myself on the guitar as I find it so much less demanding. Yet I love the potency of the human voice with proper solo guitar accompaniment in the vocal / guitar setting. And I also favor the classical nylon string guitar in that setting. Any thoughts on this question?
    These are all really good and important considerations. My first love was always instrumental performance. The first "real" song I learned was some quasi-flamenco thing from Frederick Noad's Playing the Guitar. I think it was called "Sevillanas" or something like that. I spent a summer learning, note by note, from the record, "Classical Gas" which then, along with the aforesaid "Sevillanas," constituted my entire repertoire. But in the "Folk Music Scare of the 60's" when it almost caught on, such purely instrumental performance did not get the gigs or the girls. So I took first to "talking blues" type songs, then to satiric social-commentary, and finally became a coffee-house denizen and John-Denver-Wanna-Be. So eventually I played mainly to accompany myself singing.

    So I think there really are two different approaches to accompanying a singer. One is to provide a simple rhythmic and harmonic framework for the song. This is what we normally do accompanying ourselves. The focus is almost entirely on the vocal, its quality and its content. Maybe we have some good licks, but it's not mainly about the guitar. The other type of accompaniment is usually when we play for another person singing, and our artistry on the guitar is part of the total performance. This is the "Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald" thing. You could either say Joe was "singing" on the guitar, with her, or that Ella was "playing" on her voice with Joe. In that, Joe is listening to her just like he'd listen to another instrumentalist. Playing in such as way as to create a perfect weave, respecting the lead voice, but knowing more is expected than mere accompaniment.

    Here I think guitar is different from piano. I've seen hundreds of vocalists who have a pianist accompanying them. Normally the piano part is nice, but unremarkable. Typically the piano actually doubles the melody. Once I played for a vocalist doing jazz vocals, and she was kind of shocked that I didn't double the melody. "How will I hit the right notes?" she asked. I told her if she thought the note was wrong, slur it up or down, it'll be a blue note! She was actually surprised and delighted with the outcome.

    "Alfie" is a very extreme example of a song whose primary punch really is the vocal, and the words. I find the words a little bit to 60's "let's all care about each other" and clichéd, but that's the era, just like other jazz standards. But without the words, it's a challenge to make that melody "pop." As I keep working with it, I think it is going to need some serious chord substitutions, some "outside" fills, etc. But it's likely to be fine.

    On the question of key (which I think you raised in another post) I'm always torn. We guitarists are infamous for wanting everything in sharp-keys, open positions. I think for solo guitar, sure, play a tune in the key that gives you the most latitude to interpret the song creatively. But if we plan to play in ensembles, especially with horn players, we need to know tunes in the main keys in which they are published in the fake books. Of course, "all 12 keys" is the ideal, but we have to start somewhere.

    For example, I love "Someday My Prince Will Come" and have for years played it in Bb. But the high-end of the melody is very uncomfortable on the guitar in Bb, so I used to drop it an octave, and it lost it's punch. I finally caved and transposed it to F where it "lays" very nicely. I was somewhat comforted when I found a fake book where it was, indeed, published in F!

    So there are some thoughts on these matters, all of which I think are solid issues we guitarists face in learning to work with these songs on every level.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  47. #96

    User Info Menu

    Eduardo, the stacked 4th chords are cool, instead of stacking diatonic thirds, stack diatonic fourths...

    so, in C major...

    CFBE

    DGCF

    EADG

    FBEA

    GCFB

    ADGC

    BEAD

    You'll find these all sit in very "easy to grip" shapes on the string sets 5-2 and 4-1.


    By the way, graham's post above is excellent, and it's exactly the same way I go about playing chords and melody.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  48. #97

    User Info Menu

    I thought I'd put down a bit of my own process, since I just went through it fresh on a new song.

    I learned to harmonize melodies on the guitar from several sources. First, and maybe most important, was the old Mel Bay book Mel Bay's Guitar Melody Chord Playing System. This is very old-school. Tab was used in some spots, but the exercises were all like lead-sheets: just treble clef melodies and basic sheet-music chord symbols. The book stresses learning the harmonized scales and separates out all the altered chords for special treatment. I confess, I likely missed about 75% of what this book was teaching me, but what I got from it was:

    • Play the melody an octave higher than written, normally on the 1st and 2nd strings
    • Learn the correct voicings of all the main chords all the way up the neck in a systematic manner
    • Start out harmonizing every note, then use good taste to realize not every note needs a chord under it

    From that point, I couldn't really even play down a lead sheet just playing single notes. I always found myself dropping a chord under the melody note.

    Then I learned my basic harmony from a local teacher named John Kaney, who taught me what I later learned was the CAGED system for chords up the neck. It reinforced for me what the Mel Bay book had taught. He also drilled into me the Cycle of 4ths/5ths.

    Then there was Steve Crowell and his chord-melody arrangements, of which I must have learned 10-15 note for note. He creates these things not only to provide a nice version of a song to play, but to teach the player solid voicings, various chordal devices that are easily transferable to other settings.

    Layer over all that an immersion into Joe Pass.

    So my basic approach is to look at a lead sheet and as I play down the melody, I usually try to drop the chords under the melody everywhere I can, spotting places that are awkward, where passing chords are needed, etc. Where I can't play a pretty full chord, I like to harmonize the line in little 2-note voicings, with some movement in them. I like to have a coherent bass line, but it doesn't have to be roots. I also use a lot of the standard substitutions, i.e. for ii-V-I will often go ii-IIb-I, approach chords from a half-step above or below, etc. I also have a stack of chord-melody ii-V cliches that I can haul out in a pinch.

    Anyhow, those are the things I think about working with tunes. Right now I have realized that I am stuck on about 2 kinds of endings to tunes, and rarely give any thought at all to my intros. So I think I want to work on intros and endings a bit more.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  49. #98
    destinytot Guest
    Re. the OP's question:
    Maybe this question is motre clear: wht´s the process to locate the correct chord for a given melody note?
    First, choose a bass note to go with the melody and hold it until it no longer sounds 'right' or the chord seems to 'need' to change.

    Then go back, look at the bass and melody to decide (i) the type of chord (eg major/minor/dominant) and (ii) the role of the melody and the chosen bass note within the resulting chord.

    (In theory, harmonic choices such as extension, alteration and substitution become available at this point. There's a wonderful concept I'm learning about and introduced by kind favour of Reg, 'modal interchange'. However, you need to know your diatonic chords...)

    I suggest using strong root motion in the bass.

    Any diatonic chord can progress to any other diatonic chord, but for me the aim is to make the transition/change sound pretty.

    Re. my personal contribution


    It's only a first look, and a bit of a train wreck (but that's what rehearsals are for):

  50. #99

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post

    Maybe this question is motre clear: wht´s the process to locate the correct chord for a given melody note?

    Thanks in advanced
    My approach to that will be to look at the flow of the chord progression on the lead sheet. If the note is right on a chord change, I will choose a voicing of that chord that allows me to place the melody note on top. If the note is not a standard chord-tone, i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7, my next question is whether it's a pretty standard extension, i.e. 9, 11 or 13. If so, then I just play the indicated chord with that extension on top.

    If the chord is a passing chord or altered chord, it's a little different. Passing chords are often Dim7, and it's not uncommon for the melody note not to be one of the notes in the Dim7 chord. I've found often just picking a dim7 chord with that note on top will "work." Or you can play the indicated Dim7 as close as possible to the melody note and simply add it.

    Other times if the melody note seems to clash a little with the indicated chord, I will play a b5 sub and it works nicely.

    The idea is to play the chord that suits the flow of the tune, and normally you can add that melody note "on top." It requires that you have a good knowledge of your Maj7, Min7, Dom7, Dim7, and Min7b5 forms up the neck.

    opinions differ on the root. I don't always feel like I need the technical root of the chord every time, but I do like my "bottom note" line to be coherent and to flow. All the voices, ideally, ought to flow like parts in a choral vocal arrangement.

    Another thing I often do is not put a chord under a melody note but simply a single other note, either tracking it in a moving thirds style, or with some counterpoint.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  51. #100

    User Info Menu

    I really recommend learning the tune as separate entities before arranging...know the chords, be able to comp through the tune, know the melody. Otherwise you're learning an arrangement, not a song. And if you become too married to that arrangement, one little slip up and it's tough to recover...but if you actually know the tune, the melody can save your butt...

    Plus, an arrangement is not jazz

    I arrange...don't even want to use that word, but I'm not sure I know a better...I "arrange" very loosely...there's always room for improv or to go in another direction if I'm feeling like it. To me, that's jazz, but it's also "safer!" It means I don't necessarily do a lot of the walking bass lines...but if you sub wisely and utilize different inversions of each chord when putting the melody on top, you'll be surprised, there's interesting bass movement right there under your fingers.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington