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  1. #101
    Here's my take on Alfie. I tried to make an exercise of doing it with more full chords kind of like what I was talking about. At least I'm thinking full chords. They're not articulated that way at all, with the right hand, and I very often plant the "melody finger" of the target chord first, which really helps with melodic phrasing options. It may give the impression that there's more going on than there really. It's definitely not anything complicated. Pretty simple chord voicings mostly. I think you can always get away with a little more simplicity if the right hand is going. Never really listened to any versions other than a kessell version (I think?) which I seem to remember seeing here a few years ago.

    Along the lines of what Mr. B was saying about arranging, I've never been interested in fully arranging tunes, because I don't want to remember them the way I play them today anyway. For a tough tune like this, especially so. I used to look at this tune as more of a "teaching me things I can actually use in playable tunes" category. I usually play through them several times, as I flip through, and go onto another. I'm about 5-6 years into the CM thing, I guess. Not too long ago, this tune was in the category of "impossible/never going to happen". Now, I feel like I could probably work this up, if I needed too. Like most everything I play, this is just a snapshot of what I'm kind of able to do, today, and hopefully it will be a lot better in the future. Did a few takes, and liked this one the best, though it has a couple of outright snafus that the others didn't. Always glad to have any comments, positive or negative. Work in progress.

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  3. #102

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    I've been playing around with "Over the Rainbow" and have it together enough to try a take. I will also post it over on the "Songs" area, but thought I'd put it here because I've been working with the tune while engaging in this discussion, which has taken a very strong turn toward a meaty, useful direction.

    I used a "Jam" interface and plugged directly into my computer. No amp modeling, reverb, added EQ, or anything else, so it has a pretty "dry" sound. I just used the Quicktime Player record feature and the laptop's webcam. I then added a title screen in Screenflow.

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

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Here's my take on Alfie. I tried to make an exercise of doing it with more full chords kind of like what I was talking about. At least I'm thinking full chords. They're not articulated that way at all, with the right hand, and I very often plant the "melody finger" of the target chord first, which really helps with melodic phrasing options. It may give the impression that there's more going on than there really. It's definitely not anything complicated. Pretty simple chord voicings mostly. I think you can always get away with a little more simplicity if the right hand is going. Never really listened to any versions other than a kessell version (I think?) which I seem to remember seeing here a few years ago.

    Along the lines of what Mr. B was saying about arranging, I've never been interested in fully arranging tunes, because I don't want to remember them the way I play them today anyway. For a tough tune like this, especially so. I used to look at this tune as more of a "teaching me things I can actually use in playable tunes" category. I usually play through them several times, as I flip through, and go onto another. I'm about 5-6 years into the CM thing, I guess. Not too long ago, this tune was in the category of "impossible/never going to happen". Now, I feel like I could probably work this up, if I needed too. Like most everything I play, this is just a snapshot of what I'm kind of able to do, today, and hopefully it will be a lot better in the future. Did a few takes, and liked this one the best, though it has a couple of outright snafus that the others didn't. Always glad to have any comments, positive or negative. Work in progress.
    I'm having my same old problem and can't see this clip.

    Would you do me a HUGE favor and try something? Use the icon at the top of the post screen, the "clip" icon, and paste the YouTube URL in there? I am wondering if this forum software hosting this site treats clips differently if they are inserted into posts in different ways?

    If you don't want to try it, that's okay with me. I am just still tracking down what's wrong with the consistent problems I have with clips from specific people.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  5. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I'm having my same old problem and can't see this clip.

    Would you do me a HUGE favor and try something? Use the icon at the top of the post screen, the "clip" icon, and paste the YouTube URL in there? I am wondering if this forum software hosting this site treats clips differently if they are inserted into posts in different ways?

    If you don't want to try it, that's okay with me. I am just still tracking down what's wrong with the consistent problems I have with clips from specific people.


    That's peculiar. Uploaded from my phone this time. Completely separate from my office setup. Could you view the one from my office the other day? Not sure what you mean by "clip icon".

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    That's peculiar. Uploaded from my phone this time. Completely separate from my office setup. Could you view the one from my office the other day? Not sure what you mean by "clip icon".
    Same problem here to. There is a row of icons at the top of the screen we type posts in. One of them has a little chain-link, one a red X, one a photo, and one a tiny little film-strip. If you click on it, a window opens and you paste in the link to a video clip.

    I think since I can view it okay on Firefox, that this really is a Safari issue. I might just have to start using Firefox to read this board.

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

  7. #106

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    Now we are cooking here! Laura is a good example of a song where even if the melody is quite original and 'within the chords' in a sense meaning to my mind easier to play in terms of articulation, it still sounds very jazzy to me. And lends itself to the solo guitar treatment well.

    I like your version, Mike, though I thought one element that I did not hear strongly would really tie the song threads together - a good bass line. I was reading in Downbeat last month or the month before an article in which the author made a little metaphor about the bass line. I don't remember the line verbatim, but the gist was that a good bass line anchors the other instruments and helps to bind the 'arrangement' for lack of a better word together structurally.
    I also would like to hear a little more volume or prominence of your voice in the mix with perhaps a touch more warmth in the EQ. Just my observations on a first listen.

    I wish I had even a decent electric bass at my disposal because I think it is important. I have a Roland Guitar synth GR-20 that I got for that purpose but it just isn't the same as a real bass. I do have a Yamaha cheapo keyboard synth with bass sounds that sounded better than the Roland guitar synth in that regard, but nothing beats a bass.

    Of course this is a bit off topic from arranging and playing a CM style solo version but I though it was an interesting thing to think about even in solo CM playing. One reason I like to play that style with a classical nylon string guitar.

    As an aside I'm in the process right now of being truant from my daily task of copying medical records by working on a CD-R of my recordings of some of these songs. My Korg recorder is a bit tricky or maybe I'm a little tech dense which I know to be true. The D1200 is legacy gear, and I hope when I do upgrade to Apple Logic some day that the recording process is more transparent. One pet peeve I have is that sometimes the "manual" is just not crystal clear about certain operations, and if you don't have the settings right, it can be tricky going. I need a live in gear tech person. Unfortunately, my son is not interested in the job.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Here's my take on Alfie. I tried to make an exercise of doing it with more full chords kind of like what I was talking about. At least I'm thinking full chords. They're not articulated that way at all, with the right hand, and I very often plant the "melody finger" of the target chord first, which really helps with melodic phrasing options. It may give the impression that there's more going on than there really. It's definitely not anything complicated. Pretty simple chord voicings mostly. I think you can always get away with a little more simplicity if the right hand is going. Never really listened to any versions other than a kessell version (I think?) which I seem to remember seeing here a few years ago.

    Along the lines of what Mr. B was saying about arranging, I've never been interested in fully arranging tunes, because I don't want to remember them the way I play them today anyway. For a tough tune like this, especially so. I used to look at this tune as more of a "teaching me things I can actually use in playable tunes" category. I usually play through them several times, as I flip through, and go onto another. I'm about 5-6 years into the CM thing, I guess. Not too long ago, this tune was in the category of "impossible/never going to happen". Now, I feel like I could probably work this up, if I needed too. Like most everything I play, this is just a snapshot of what I'm kind of able to do, today, and hopefully it will be a lot better in the future. Did a few takes, and liked this one the best, though it has a couple of outright snafus that the others didn't. Always glad to have any comments, positive or negative. Work in progress.
    Very nice Matt. You are several steps ahead of me on this tune, and have some nice ideas for how to set it up.

    A agree with you and Mr. B. that the goal isn't a fixed "arrangement" unless of course, we really hit on something extra-special and in those cases, I'm for getting it right and locking it in! But normally I want to have the song under my fingers well enough to play a passable performance, and then I start playing around with alternatives for setting up different sections of it.

    I actually can't separate melody and harmony. I learn the melody and the chords at the same time. Maybe I should re-think that approach, but I seldom play with ensembles and play every day "solo" so holding the melody and chords together makes sense for me. And for most songs, let's face it, the chord progressions aren't hard. There are about 10 common progressions and variants, and most songs fit one so we really don't have to learn that much to know how to comp for most standards.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  9. #108

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    The posts are flying in so fast, I had not seen the other vids ahead of my last one. Excellent version, Matt! Very nice playing. Well done.

    A good point about dis-covering the harmony around the melody note in terms of fingering. I have to step out for a while now, but I will definitely listen again to this and to Lawson's Over the Rainbow. One of my favorite songs. I usually like to play that one in Bb.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-23-2016 at 02:34 PM.

  10. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I actually can't separate melody and harmony. I learn the melody and the chords at the same time.
    I don't really separate them much either, Lawson. I've kind of come to terms with it mostly being smoke and mirrors with the way you articulate chords, especially with the right hand. Most of my melodic playing is out of chords. I kind of see things melodically in terms of chords, though I'm trying to work on reading/playing melody by itself as well.

    But while playing anything solo, I'm never thing "melody... now a chord stab". I suppose there are those who can, but for me it's more having a full or partial chord in mind, and then, planting the melody note or bass note first, and then filling in, if/when I can get the rest of the chord under hand (and you can see a few places in that vid where I didn't BTW). :-) It gives the effect of doing something more advanced, but I mainly think about it in the same way re. a single chord I'm aiming for.

    The amazing thing about articulating chords with bass or melody displaced (in time, from the rest of the chord) is that affects your hearing of things. You begin to just "hear" the bass line, or the comping under and around the melody as something separate and are able to articulate it separately like that. But it all came out of simply articulating basic block chords in a different way. It makes the goal of playing freely like a pianist seem a lot more tangible on the guitar. There's a ton to be done with a basic chord framework. The more comfortable you get with articulating things in different ways, the more you can freely improvise in between as well.

  11. #110
    destinytot Guest
    Re. arrangement, I have two objectives. Both involve playing with others.

    One objective - as in the arrangement of Laura posted above - is to provide a backdrop for a soloist (a horn player).

    The other objective is to play with a bass player in ways that involve nuanced expression.

    Whether improvised, memorised/studied, both objectives involve harmonising lines - voices - for which I think chord melody voicing is perfect preparation. I also think the challenge - in performance - ultimately about what to leave out (and why).

  12. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    Re. the OP's question:

    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):
    Dude, you are always involved in the grooviest projects. Always love seeing what you're up to. You are living it, brother. Congrats. :-)

  13. #112
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Now we are cooking here! Laura is a good example of a song where even if the melody is quite original and 'within the chords' in a sense meaning to my mind easier to play in terms of articulation, it still sounds very jazzy to me. And lends itself to the solo guitar treatment well.

    I like your version, Mike, though I thought one element that I did not hear strongly would really tie the song threads together - a good bass line. I was reading in Downbeat last month or the month before an article in which the author made a little metaphor about the bass line. I don't remember the line verbatim, but the gist was that a good bass line anchors the other instruments and helps to bind the 'arrangement' for lack of a better word together structurally.
    I also would like to hear a little more volume or prominence of your voice in the mix with perhaps a touch more warmth in the EQ. Just my observations on a first listen.
    Thanks, Jay - I hope you're aware that without your and Stevebol's advice I doubt I'd have been able to get this project moving (because I wouldn't be able to enter notes without the USB MIDI cable for my old digital piano)! This was recorded on a mobile phone so that we could each listen - critically (ouch) - but I agree with all your points. I'll use a mic next time I record a rehearsal.

  14. #113

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    Wow... lots to learn finally with this thread. Thank you all!

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I don't really separate them much either, Lawson. I've kind of come to terms with it mostly being smoke and mirrors with the way you articulate chords, especially with the right hand. Most of my melodic playing is out of chords. I kind of see things melodically in terms of chords, though I'm trying to work on reading/playing melody by itself as well.

    But while playing anything solo, I'm never thing "melody... now a chord stab". I suppose there are those who can, but for me it's more having a full or partial chord in mind, and then, planting the melody note or bass note first, and then filling in, if/when I can get the rest of the chord under hand (and you can see a few places in that vid where I didn't BTW). :-) It gives the effect of doing something more advanced, but I mainly think about it in the same way re. a single chord I'm aiming for.

    The amazing thing about articulating chords with bass or melody displaced (in time, from the rest of the chord) is that affects your hearing of things. You begin to just "hear" the bass line, or the comping under and around the melody as something separate and are able to articulate it separately like that. But it all came out of simply articulating basic block chords in a different way. It makes the goal of playing freely like a pianist seem a lot more tangible on the guitar. There's a ton to be done with a basic chord framework. The more comfortable you get with articulating things in different ways, the more you can freely improvise in between as well.
    You've said this very well and it covers the matter for me. I think I do somewhat hear melody and chords separately in my mind, as I think of it. Partly it's because when I do this kind of playing I want the tune to stand out nice and clear, since most people listening to me play are unfamiliar with jazz standards. I think also that I'm always looking for the off-voicing, the quirky substitution, etc. so I think of the tune as the somewhat fixed part, and I take a good many liberties with the chords.

    But still, you're right that mostly we hear them in a very close relation. On the smoke-and-mirrors, I love the Joe Pass would talk about doing this. He noted that you can play just a piece of a chord and most listeners will assume you've play the whole thing. You can suggest or evoke a walking bass and they'll think you played it through the entire piece. This is kind of like those old routines where the guy would spin plates on top of poles, and was always moving from plate to plate to keep them all spinning...
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  16. #115
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Dude, you are always involved in the grooviest projects. Always love seeing what you're up to. You are living it, brother. Congrats. :-)
    Thanks, brother. "Each heart vibrates to that iron string." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    You've said this very well and it covers the matter for me. I think I do somewhat hear melody and chords separately in my mind, as I think of it. Partly it's because when I do this kind of playing I want the tune to stand out nice and clear, since most people listening to me play are unfamiliar with jazz standards. I think also that I'm always looking for the off-voicing, the quirky substitution, etc. so I think of the tune as the somewhat fixed part, and I take a good many liberties with the chords.

    But still, you're right that mostly we hear them in a very close relation. On the smoke-and-mirrors, I love the Joe Pass would talk about doing this. He noted that you can play just a piece of a chord and most listeners will assume you've play the whole thing. You can suggest or evoke a walking bass and they'll think you played it through the entire piece. This is kind of like those old routines where the guy would spin plates on top of poles, and was always moving from plate to plate to keep them all spinning...
    Yeah, it's funny. If I play a basic jazz cliche: min-minMaj7-min7-min6, my mind always seems to remember having heard the root walking down to the maj7 even if I don't play it. Usually it's a min7, without the root in the middle voice, and I just add the progression as an afterthought. And that's with me playing it.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    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.
    I tend to just use the ones that are in 'pure' 4ths if that makes sense. So for example, 3rd fret, middle 4 strings, C F Bb Eb. That can be a C min or it can be a rootless Ab maj. I'll do a few examples.

  19. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    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.
    Hey, Mr B. How do you shed/think about these, and how do you approach using them as subs, at least in the beginning? You always seem to have pretty hip things going with fourths.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Hey, Mr B. How do you shed/think about these, and how do you approach using them as subs, at least in the beginning? You always seem to have pretty hip things going with fourths.

    Thanks! I absolutely love these shapes.

    Like graham mentioned, the ones that are "pure 4ths," if that makes any sense, are the most useful.

    They have a clean, modern sound to my ears...and slipping one of these up or down a half step is so easy...the Herbie Hancock move that's a bit of a finger-buster on piano!

    So, as subs...I guess I don't even think of them as subs, sometimes, I just see them as a part of a chord...so like, this shape: x x 6 6 7 7...to me, it's not an Ab quartal chord--it's a shape that can be part of a E major sound...or Bmajor...or Ab...or...A...or...


    It comes from really thinking of everything as major, minor, or dominant...or I guess, half-diminished too...that wasn't one of the categories joe pass talked about, but that sound is so strong to me, I think of it seperately...but I'm getting off topic, I suppose...
    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

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Thanks! I absolutely love these shapes.

    Like graham mentioned, the ones that are "pure 4ths," if that makes any sense, are the most useful.

    They have a clean, modern sound to my ears...and slipping one of these up or down a half step is so easy...the Herbie Hancock move that's a bit of a finger-buster on piano!

    So, as subs...I guess I don't even think of them as subs, sometimes, I just see them as a part of a chord...so like, this shape: x x 6 6 7 7...to me, it's not an Ab quartal chord--it's a shape that can be part of a E major sound...or Bmajor...or Ab...or...A...or...


    It comes from really thinking of everything as major, minor, or dominant...or I guess, half-diminished too...that wasn't one of the categories joe pass talked about, but that sound is so strong to me, I think of it seperately...but I'm getting off topic, I suppose...
    This thread has given me words for something I do a lot. That xx6677 you noted up there that I call a 6/9 voicing is one of the most versatile chord shapes on the entire instrument. Any note in that voicing can be nicely harmonized with that shape. I also love that x5556x which I sometimes use with x55565. A universal major/minor chord. At the 10th fret it can serve for a Gm or EbMaj.

    Now that I realize this hasn't just been a careless habit on my part but that this is an actual approach to harmony, I think I need to study up on it!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  22. #121
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Here's my take on Alfie. I tried to make an exercise of doing it with more full chords kind of like what I was talking about.
    Love this. For solo guitar, nylon takes some beating. Heart strings.

  23. #122

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    OK for Eduardo, here's a solo version I did of 'All Of You' for the practical standards thread. The first chorus is basically a chord melody.



    Here's a chart of all the chord voicings I used in the first chorus. You can see that most of the time, I only used one chord per bar. On 3 bars I didn't play a chord at all, just the melody note (I have shown these as 'no chord', with the melody note only).

    Most of the chords are fairly standard jazz grips, I think. Some are rootless, some only have 2 notes, so it's quite 'light touch'! I think this shows that you can get away with quite a 'spare' approach. The last chord (Eb) required the tonic on top, so I used an Eb6 voicing as mentioned before. All the Fm chords incorporate that 'fourths' voicing, which is so easy to grab and sounds cool.

    Anyway, hope this is of some use!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    OK for Eduardo, here's a solo version I did of 'All Of You' for the practical standards thread. The first chorus is basically a chord melody.
    Nice. Very cool. Audio is classic Graham. I like the way you've indicated the rhythm with the chord grids in the pdf's.

    Are these mostly the Joe Pass shapes you're talking about ?
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-23-2016 at 08:05 PM.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Nice. Very cool. Audio is classic Graham. I like the way you've indicated the rhythm with the chord grids in the pdf's.

    Are these mostly the Joe Pass shapes you're talking about ?
    Thanks Matt. Yes I think most of these must be derived from the Joe Pass shapes because that was the only jazz chord book I had for about 20 years!

    I did get the Steve Khan chord concepts book a lot later, that's probably where some of the 'fourths' shapes came from, I know he had a section on those in the book.

  26. #125

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    I just posted another very basic "sketch" of a solo guitar performance. This one is "Moon River." It's based mainly on the standard lead-sheet chords. It was done pretty much on a whim, when the song just popped into my mind about a week or two ago as I was "noodling" with the guitar before going to bed. I punched out a bit of it by ear, found a lead-sheet, and basically slapped chords under the melody.

    My problem with well known popular tunes like this is I can't seem to break out of the basic song and make it more improvisational. Substitutions, fills, ornamentation... they all seem to flee when I play something drop-dead familiar.

    You can all beat this, and I invite you to do just that! Seriously, you all are outstanding players. Show me how this can be done now that I've got a basic treatment of it in place.



    Any advice or counsel is of course welcome.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  27. #126

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    Good stuff, guys. Keep them coming.

  28. #127
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I just posted another very basic "sketch" of a solo guitar performance. This one is "Moon River."
    Best one yet I'd say, Lawson. Great tone and great tune. I like the moving inner voices as well. Thanks for posting.

  29. #128

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    This atmosphere is where the growth and learning happens, not to mention some beautiful music. Just some reflections.

    I was thinking about a comment of Lawson's about seeking to reharmonize standards to try to make a performance a bit more unique. And we use the term "arrangement" in that sense. Because when you think about it with a song like Moon River which I love (like so many of Mancini's tunes), the melody is what it is and the art seems to be to play it with appropriate harmony in a mellifluous manner. So to my mind it takes a real effort to impose a new harmonic vision over a song that we have listened to and loved for decades.

    There is a guy named Peter Mazza who seems to have found a style that does just that. I credit him for his ingenuity and he is a fine player, but in the end when I hear or play Moon River, that classic melody and chord progression is really what I like to hear. I guess I'm old fashioned in that regard. Not dissing anyone who finds an alternate approach. It is just I like what Mancini created in the first place.

    On the other hand I do like what guys like Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jonathan Kreisburg do with standards in that vein, but doing that usually in a group setting where you can riff off the melody is different than trying to do that as a solo performance. Joe Pass had that capability to a degree certainly where he put his imprint on songs with his bebop excursions in those solo note runs he would incorporate into some of solo improvisations. But I still like the refined but more sedate approach he took on his acoustic CDs like Unforgettable near the end of his life just as much or better.

    There is a neat article about Johnny Mercer who wrote the lyrics to Moon River. Here's a link.

    The story behind the song: Moon River - Telegraph
    Last edited by targuit; 02-24-2016 at 06:58 AM.

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    This atmosphere is where the growth and learning happens, not to mention some beautiful music. Just some reflections.

    I was thinking about a comment of Lawson's about seeking to reharmonize standards to try to make a performance a bit more unique. And we use the term "arrangement" in that sense. Because when you think about it with a song like Moon River which I love (like so many of Mancini's tunes), the melody is what it is and the art seems to be to play it with appropriate harmony in a mellifluous manner. So to my mind it takes a real effort to impose a new harmonic vision over a song that we have listened to and loved for decades.

    There is a guy named Peter Mazza who seems to have found a style that does just that. I credit him for his ingenuity and he is a fine player, but in the end when I hear or play Moon River, that classic melody and chord progression is really what I like to hear. I guess I'm old fashioned in that regard. Not dissing anyone who finds an alternate approach. It is just I like what Mancini created in the first place.

    On the other hand I do like what guys like Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jonathan Kreisburg do with standards in that vein, but doing that usually in a group setting where you can riff off the melody is different than trying to do that as a solo performance. Joe Pass had that capability to a degree certainly where he put his imprint on songs with his bebop excursions in those solo note runs he would incorporate into some of solo improvisations. But I still like the refined but more sedate approach he took on his acoustic CDs like Unforgettable near the end of his life just as much or better.

    There is a neat article about Johnny Mercer who wrote the lyrics to Moon River. Here's a link.

    The story behind the song: Moon River - Telegraph
    Jay makes good points here. I'd hate to think my problem with "Moon River" or any other song is that they are too pretty and too beloved! What I would love to do is find a way to play it that is a bit more "lush" and makes the melody stand out even more. There is a kind of "weirding up" of a tune that I dislike, on the other hand, sometimes a discordant or abrupt substitution can wake up a tune and restore its freshness.

    This setting of the song I did is really just playing the lead-sheet melody "straight up" and playing whatever voicing of the lead-sheet chord fits at that point. There is a bit of voice leading that just jumped out and bit me when I was working up the song, but I didn't try to do much else. Even the ending, which uses the final "C" note as a pedal tone with AbMaj7-DbMaj7-CMaj7 was on the lead-sheet I used.

    I've seen people take it up tempo, latin, etc. and I really don't think that's what I want. I would love to keep it as a ballad, but I like playing ballads with a pulse, not rubato. And I want to do more with the chords, and with some harmonizing the melody with one other string, 3rd's or something.

    I just realized... I want to play this the way Earl Klugh might play it, or the way Chet Atkins would play it if he did it kind of like he did "Vincent" which is to my mind a perfect solo guitar performance of a popular tune.

    In fact "Vincent" is on my list to work on soon, along with "When You Wish Upon A Star." The latter was done by Joe Pass and is on YouTube but not on any record or CD that I know of. It's a quirky little tune with some interesting departures.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  31. #130
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Jay makes good points here. I'd hate to think my problem with "Moon River" or any other song is that they are too pretty and too beloved! What I would love to do is find a way to play it that is a bit more "lush" and makes the melody stand out even more. There is a kind of "weirding up" of a tune that I dislike, on the other hand, sometimes a discordant or abrupt substitution can wake up a tune and restore its freshness.

    This setting of the song I did is really just playing the lead-sheet melody "straight up" and playing whatever voicing of the lead-sheet chord fits at that point. There is a bit of voice leading that just jumped out and bit me when I was working up the song, but I didn't try to do much else. Even the ending, which uses the final "C" note as a pedal tone with AbMaj7-DbMaj7-CMaj7 was on the lead-sheet I used.

    I've seen people take it up tempo, latin, etc. and I really don't think that's what I want. I would love to keep it as a ballad, but I like playing ballads with a pulse, not rubato. And I want to do more with the chords, and with some harmonizing the melody with one other string, 3rd's or something.

    I just realized... I want to play this the way Earl Klugh might play it, or the way Chet Atkins would play it if he did it kind of like he did "Vincent" which is to my mind a perfect solo guitar performance of a popular tune.

    In fact "Vincent" is on my list to work on soon, along with "When You Wish Upon A Star." The latter was done by Joe Pass and is on YouTube but not on any record or CD that I know of. It's a quirky little tune with some interesting departures.
    Good post. I also tend to just play from basic changes in the subs I know well, without enough work listening to different versions and approaches. Mr. Beaumont is honestly one of the best at really incorporating a lot of different players' styles into his playing. A lot of people have a good bit of vocabulary and style from one or two of their favorite players, and that's cool.

    Jeff, however, seems to take bits from a very diverse, (and not small) group of players. As a result, his OWN style is unlike anyone else's I've heard, especially solo.

    Probably a good idea for a CM thread: Take a tune, and find a version that you really LIKE, but which also incorporates elements you're not currently using as much, and apply to your own version.

    I've definitely heard the results of this work in Jeff's playing , and it's apparently much more effective than talking about these things in abstraction.

  32. #131

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    Yes I enjoy Mr. B's playing a lot. May I assume "Jeff" is "grahambop?"

    If so, I regard his solo on "Blue Bossa" posted on YouTube as canonic. He sets the standard for how that's done. Just a fantastic solo, all musicality with the great technique simply delivering clean, exciting music.
    Last edited by lawson-stone; 02-24-2016 at 09:37 AM.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  33. #132
    destinytot Guest
    This may be obvious, but something I'm finding helpful (and therefore perhaps worth sharing) in terms of transition - from memorised 'arrangement' to harmonisation 'on the fly' - is using numbers to identify chord degree and chromatic solfège syllables for melody/pitch.

    E.g. the note is MI and it's the 3rd - unless I use substitution and, like the old joke about 'creative accountancy', I want the number to mean something else!
    Last edited by destinytot; 02-24-2016 at 11:27 AM.

  34. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Yes I enjoy Mr. B's playing a lot. May I assume "Jeff" is "grahambop?"

    If so, I regard his solo on "Blue Bossa" posted on YouTube as canonic. He sets the standard for how that's done. Just a fantastic solo, all musicality with the great technique simply delivering clean, exciting music.
    No. Jeff is Mr. B. I don't want to miss spell his last name here, with voice recognition. :-) Check out his sig.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    No. Jeff is Mr. B. I don't want to miss spell his last name here, with voice recognition. :-) Check out his sig.
    Got it. Love grahambop's playing too. Mr. B. is one of this site's leading players, imo.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  36. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Got it. Love grahambop's playing too. Mr. B. is one of this site's leading players, imo.
    (Me too. Now, ssh. quiet before he comes back around.)

  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Yes I enjoy Mr. B's playing a lot. May I assume "Jeff" is "grahambop?"

    If so, I regard his solo on "Blue Bossa" posted on YouTube as canonic. He sets the standard for how that's done. Just a fantastic solo, all musicality with the great technique simply delivering clean, exciting music.
    Hi Lawson, no, last time I checked, I was not Jeff. The way I can tell is to look in the mirror, if there's no beard, c'est moi. If there's still any doubt, I check my guitar collection. If there's no Tele, that settles it.

    I hope you still like my 'Blue Bossa' after that shocking revelation (!)

  38. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Hi Lawson, no, last time I checked, I was not Jeff. The way I can tell is to look in the mirror, if there's no beard, c'est moi. If there's still any doubt, I check my guitar collection. If there's no Tele, that settles it.

    I hope you still like my 'Blue Bossa' after that shocking revelation (!)
    Ha! It's so easy to get people confused when "handles" get mixed with actual names. That's why, though risky, I've started just using my name, as I assume you do too (though I assumed it was a last name when I thought you were Jeff).

    Sadly, now I don't like Blue Bossa... JUST KIDDING!

    That's one excellent solo. A demonstration also answering the perennial question, "What's so great about an ES175?" That solo really has it. I'm now following your YouTube channel.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  39. #138

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    BTW this is a question mainly for Mr. B and grahambop. Above where there was some talk of building chords in 4th's, is that what has come to be called "quartal" harmony? If so, I think I want to learn a bit more about it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  40. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Ha! It's so easy to get people confused when "handles" get mixed with actual names. That's why, though risky, I've started just using my name, as I assume you do too (though I assumed it was a last name when I thought you were Jeff).

    Sadly, now I don't like Blue Bossa... JUST KIDDING!

    That's one excellent solo. A demonstration also answering the perennial question, "What's so great about an ES175?" That solo really has it. I'm now following your YouTube channel.
    Thanks Lawson. My first name is Graham, but my surname is not Bop! (would be quite cool if it was!)

    Have a look round my channel. I've put a load of old jazz videos up there, e.g. stuff I've taped off the telly over the years. I generally don't put anything up if it's commercially available, or already on Youtube, but there's quite a lot of old BBC stuff which will never see the light of day (I bet they wiped the tapes!), so I'm preserving it for posterity!

  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    BTW this is a question mainly for Mr. B and grahambop. Above where there was some talk of building chords in 4th's, is that what has come to be called "quartal" harmony? If so, I think I want to learn a bit more about it.
    Yes that's what I call it. I'm not an expert, but I might put together a few examples to show how I use them.

  42. #141

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    Excellente grahambop. Great playing and absolutely brilliant ypur explanation and your pdf. Thanks a lot, really!

  43. #142

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    Well, son of a gun, my cheeks are burnin'!

    Thanks though...I'm getting a little older, not as much time to keep up on chops...but I can be me, at least. So I got that going for me...

    I listen to a small amount of a lot of types of music...grateful dead, old country, sonic youth, old jazz, new jazz, "post rock" stuff like godspeed you! black emperor or tortoise, dub reggae...I guess it all seeps in somehow...

    I'll do a quartal vid too. Like graham, I'm no expert, but I sure do use those shapes...a lot!
    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

  44. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    Excellente grahambop. Great playing and absolutely brilliant ypur explanation and your pdf. Thanks a lot, really!
    Thanks Eduardo. Actually I quite enjoy putting those chord chart things together, after a shi**y day at the office, it's very therapeutic!

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Thanks Eduardo. Actually I quite enjoy putting those chord chart things together, after a shi**y day at the office, it's very therapeutic!
    By the way, do you happejn to have a blank pdf with those chord grids? It could be very useful too many of us I guess.

  46. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduardosanz View Post
    By the way, do you happejn to have a blank pdf with those chord grids? It could be very useful too many of us I guess.
    Yes sure, it was something I knocked up in excel. I'll post it this evening.

  47. #146

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    Just jumped up out of my pile of medical records under which I am temporarily ....err...buried (don't like to use those terms), but I was just wondering if anyone is familiar with a Kurt Rosenwinkel "clinic" (as Joe Pass used to say, "makes me feel like a doctor or something...") in which Kurt talks about how he approaches CM style playing using Body and Soul for illustration. I won't link it so as not to disrupt the flow here, but one can find it on YouTube by searching his name and Body and Soul. Unfortunately the video seems to cut off Kurt's head in the frame which is a bit annoying, but his playing is very nice and his explanations articulate.

    If you want to hear that fellow Peter Mazza I mentioned before do his thing with All the things you are, one can search that on YT as well. I'm not crazy about it as a listener myself, but his approach is different in terms of harmony.

    I intend to try and do some real spontaneous solo recording with my Tascam DR-05 of some of the tunes here, as I believe I can upload them more directly to my YT site. Got to finish a couple of more records in the pile before that - my wife is a tough taskmaster. She knows me too well...

  48. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    Just jumped up out of my pile of medical records under which I am temporarily ....err...buried (don't like to use those terms), but I was just wondering if anyone is familiar with a Kurt Rosenwinkel "clinic" (as Joe Pass used to say, "makes me feel like a doctor or something...") in which Kurt talks about how he approaches CM style playing using Body and Soul for illustration. I won't link it so as not to disrupt the flow here, but one can find it on YouTube by searching his name and Body and Soul. Unfortunately the video seems to cut off Kurt's head in the frame which is a bit annoying, but his playing is very nice and his explanations articulate.

    If you want to hear that fellow Peter Mazza I mentioned before do his thing with All the things you are, one can search that on YT as well. I'm not crazy about it as a listener myself, but his approach is different in terms of harmony.

    I intend to try and do some real spontaneous solo recording with my Tascam DR-05 of some of the tunes here, as I believe I can upload them more directly to my YT site. Got to finish a couple of more records in the pile before that - my wife is a tough taskmaster. She knows me too well...
    I hope I've set a sufficiently, uh, what's the word, attainable standard of imperfection in spontaneity! I have just decided to start having fun with these songs. I mess around with them for a day or two, then at night shoot a take and post it, mistakes and all.

    Then again...
    Howard Morgen arranging process-mistakes001-jpg
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  49. #148
    Yeah, the Rosenwinkel video is great.

    Thinking of basic voicings , in terms of the OP....

    I really like the thing that reg suggested in another thread about extended diatonic harmony: the diatonic seventh chord a third above or below the chord of the moment. Just looking at this some in recent weeks, I've discovered that I know a lot more chords than I thought I did . In some ways it's just a hack , a different way of looking at something or naming it, but basically, the sub a third lower gives you a diatonic 6th chord, and the one above gives you a diatonic 9th chord.

    They're pretty great for just adding color and variety to basic chords, for adding movement in voices, when used over static chords, and long-term, for giving you different harmonic areas to pull from and embellish on the original basic diatonic chord.

    But beyond all that, I would imagine they will also give you a lot more workarounds and "outs" for difficult chord voicings for CM as well. These diatonic subs are really handy for when things get too low in CM. In recent threads, we've had people describing the frustration of being stuck with basically playing a power chord because the melody note was a real low note as voiced in the original chord. Well, the fifth of the chord could now be played as the third of the lower diatonic sub and give you a little more color and fingering options.

    Things like major #11s were difficult for me in the beginning. You have to learn to play all these things eventually, but you can also do things like sub an Em9 for that C-major#11 which is giving you fits.

    Pretty handy, especially if you have some time over a static chord or whatever to establish bass otherwise. Just some thoughts on basics.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-24-2016 at 03:26 PM.

  50. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Yeah, the Rosenwinkel video is great.

    Thinking of basic voicings , in terms of the OP....

    I really like the thing that reg suggested in another thread about extended diatonic harmony: the diatonic seventh chord a third above or below the chord of the moment. Just looking at this some in recent weeks, I've discovered that I know a lot more chords than I thought I did . In some ways it's just a hack , a different way of looking at something or naming it, but basically, the sub a third lower gives you a diatonic 6th chord, and the one above gives you a diatonic 9th chord.

    They're pretty great for just adding color and variety to basic chords, for adding movement in voices, when used over static chords, and long-term, for giving you different harmonic areas to pull from and embellish on the original basic diatonic chord.

    But beyond all that, I would imagine they will also give you a lot more workarounds and "outs" for difficult chord voicings for CM as well. These diatonic subs are really handy for when things get too low in CM. In recent threads, we've had people describing the frustration of being stuck with basically playing a power chord because the melody note was a real low note as voiced in the original chord. Well, the fifth of the chord could now be played as the third of the lower diatonic sub and give you a little more color and fingering options.

    Things like major #11s were difficult for me in the beginning. You have to learn to play all these things eventually, but you can also do things like sub an Em9 for that C-major#11 which is giving you fits.

    Pretty handy, especially if you have some time over a static chord or whatever to establish bass otherwise. Just some thoughts on basics.
    So as an example, if I'm playing BbMaj7 the third above is Dm7, below is Gm7. Is that the idea?

    I ask because it expresses differently something I'd learned as the "relative minor" (Gm7 to Bb) and the principle that in a I-vi-ii-V progression, you can substitute the iii for the I if you don't need a resolution all the way back to the tonic. You go from I-vi-ii-V to iii-vi-ii-V. But then throw in a b5 sub for the vi and V and you've got a chromatic line: iii-biii-ii-bii, or, you have at the end, "One Note Samba" whose main line: Dm-Db7-Cm-B7 is actually a covert I-vi-ii-V.

    Or have I totally confused what you were talking about?
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  51. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    So as an example, if I'm playing BbMaj7 the third above is Dm7, below is Gm7. Is that the idea?
    Yeah. That's it. It's helpful to know diatonically what scale degree the chord represents. Sub chords would be different for a min7 chord, for example, depending on whether it's a ii or iii etc....