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  1. #1

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    This thread is for us to share our takes of What's New this month. This will give some of us (not me) enough time to do a couple takes. A quick write up or video on process is highly encouraged. Let's say the end date is 8/23. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    This thread is for us to share our takes of What's New this month. This will give some of us (not me) enough time to do a couple takes. A quick write up or video on process is highly encouraged. Let's say the end date is 8/23. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
    Nice. I'll be back next week. Thanks.

  4. #3

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    I will try to stay on top of this well.

  5. #4

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    OK, I'll break the ice ...

    First, apologies for not having video. Various gremlins conspired against that, so audio is all I was able to cook up. As the thread progresses, I can maybe try again.

    I've had some of the first A section worked out for a while, and this thread gave me inspiration to add some variety to fill out the rest of the form. I wasn't sure whether to do an improvised chorus, but there I was at the end of the form and just kept going.

    Comments/critiques welcome



    John
    Last edited by John A.; 07-26-2019 at 08:17 AM.

  6. #5
    wow, john. those harmonies in the head are outstanding! quality musical ideas in the improv as well.
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  7. #6

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    I'm working on a very stripped down basic approach to the head. Hope to post today or over the weekend. Nothing fancy, just fake-book chords and melody.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  8. #7

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    I'll play, I love this tune but haven't played it in ages. Gives me a kick in the butt to get it in my rep again.

    I missed the boat here, we have a solo tune of the month thing going too? Cool!
    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

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    wow, john. those harmonies in the head are outstanding! quality musical ideas in the improv as well.
    Thanks, Joe. This is such a great tune. Looking forward to hearing others' takes.

    John

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I'll play, I love this tune but haven't played it in ages. Gives me a kick in the butt to get it in my rep again.

    I missed the boat here, we have a solo tune of the month thing going too? Cool!
    Joe is resurrecting the chord melody study group we had going for a while a year or so ago. It'll be good to hear your contribution.

    John

  11. #10

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    That was really great John. And I'm really glad to see this group firing up again!

    I had to go listen to this song when I first saw Joe's post. What a gorgeous tune it is.

  12. #11

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    Ok, heres a take...I think I'll do a little more with it eventually.

    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

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Ok, heres a take...I think I'll do a little more with it eventually.

    Cool arrangement, Jeff, and impressive example of keeping calm under enemy fire.

    John

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Cool arrangement, Jeff, and impressive example of keeping calm under enemy fire.

    John
    Thanks John...I just noticed you posted a sound cloud, I'm gonna check it out now.
    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

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Ok, heres a take...I think I'll do a little more with it eventually.

    As always, I keep thinking "Why didn't I think to play it that way?"

    And kudos for your ability to keep playing through distraction, or rather, to keep paying attention to your children while playing.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  16. #15

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    Thanks Lawson!

    John, I really dug the relaxed pace and space, especially in the improv...great tone too...Kingpin?
    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

  17. #16

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    So here's a rough cut of mine. I was already somewhat familiar with the tune so tried to do a quick set up of it, played it over a few times, and rolled tape... er... electrons. So there are some muffs and clams, but I think the tune has a future in my repertoire once I break out of the particular set of ideas I'm stuck in here. Seems like somewhere there is a Mark Whitfield performance of this that is really good. It's bumping around in the back of my mind...

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

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Thanks Lawson!

    John, I really dug the relaxed pace and space, especially in the improv...great tone too...Kingpin?
    Jeff, thanks. Nope, not the Kingpin. That's my D'Angelico EX-DC, into GarageBand's SF Fender model.

    John

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    OK, I'll break the ice ...


    John
    That was really nice, John. Great harmony and expressive use of rubato. If I heard that in a bar I’d definitely stick around to hear what you played next. Actually Soundcloud’s autoplay took care of that, and I wasn’t disappointed.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    That was really nice, John. Great harmony and expressive use of rubato. If I heard that in a bar I’d definitely stick around to hear what you played next. Actually Soundcloud’s autoplay took care of that, and I wasn’t disappointed.
    Thanks, Kirk.

    John

  21. #20
    man this thread is starting off strong!!
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  22. #21
    i like seeing these early drafts, maybe i should do that
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  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    So here's a rough cut of mine. I was already somewhat familiar with the tune so tried to do a quick set up of it, played it over a few times, and rolled tape... er... electrons. So there are some muffs and clams, but I think the tune has a future in my repertoire once I break out of the particular set of ideas I'm stuck in here. Seems like somewhere there is a Mark Whitfield performance of this that is really good. It's bumping around in the back of my mind...

    Good one, Lawson. I like the voicings, and the medium tempo, strummy feel.

    John

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    i like seeing these early drafts, maybe i should do that
    Jump in, the water's fine.

    John

  25. #24
    White belt
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  26. #25
    I can do rough....

    At some point the audio cut on this and lost sync with video. Sorry for that ....and for the gratuitous chord-noodle practice session at the end...

    This is what I can do from memory so far. For whatever reason, this one's much easier for me to memorize than others. Pretty simple form I guess...

    Although it's rough, I like some of the ideas, and I'm pleased to be able to do anything on this one. I always found it hard to make work. So much space. Really nice tune though.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 07-29-2019 at 08:27 AM.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    So here's a rough cut of mine. I was already somewhat familiar with the tune so tried to do a quick set up of it, played it over a few times, and rolled tape... er... electrons. So there are some muffs and clams, but I think the tune has a future in my repertoire once I break out of the particular set of ideas I'm stuck in here. Seems like somewhere there is a Mark Whitfield performance of this that is really good. It's bumping around in the back of my mind...

    Good stuff!

    Interesting to watch yours, we make a lot of similar choices for having never heard/seen each other play it.

    As they say "fools seldom differ"
    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

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Good stuff!

    Interesting to watch yours, we make a lot of similar choices for having never heard/seen each other play it.

    As they say "fools seldom differ"
    Needless to say I'm encouraged by that! Great minds...
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  29. #28
    That's a lot in one week-- time for round two, boys
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  30. #29

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    So here's another take, and I continue to try to play this largely unpremeditated. Those of you who know me on this forum know normally I like to work through a set piece of memorized material until I can play it, and then post that. What I really need to work on is my ability to play "in the moment" drawing on all the crap I've learned from all these memorized things, what I've listened to, etc. The result is ... not always pretty. This clip is a play-through with fills and such largely improvised in the moment, i.e. lame cliche's remembered on the fly! One thing that happens to me all the time when not playing memorized material is just simple brain freeze. The synapse just doesn't fire for a second or two... a couple of those happen here.

    Another thing going on in this clip is my ongoing exploration of the "Joe Pass Virtuoso Recording Mystery." Urban legend has it that Joe recorded Virtuoso with two tracks from his 1963 ES1756. One was a direct to board feed, the other was a microphone picking up the acoustic sound of the ES175. According to the canonical story, the direct electric feed was lost, corrupted, or unusable, whatever, and lost except for "Here's That Rainy Day." The rest was just the microphone on Joe's ES175.

    So this was recorded that way. The Left track is the direct feed to the board. The Right track is an SM57 running to a Headway EDB-2 EQ and active DI and thence both into my USB interface, from there into my iPhone.

    This at least should encourage others who listen and thing, "Shoot, I can do way better than that!" Seriously, though, jazz is about improvisation, playing in the moment. I'd love to hear more of that in the solo guitar domain.

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

  31. #30

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    Here’s my round 1.

    My priorities as I played this:
    1-Don’t let anything get in the way of the time feel;
    2-Make the melody sing;
    3-Try to suggest a bass player (at least part of the time);
    4-Try to suggest another instrument playing some fills and harmonies in between;
    In other words, I’m trying to suggest a trio performance, subordinating each line item to the one above it.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Here’s my round 1.

    My priorities as I played this:
    1-Don’t let anything get in the way of the time feel;
    2-Make the melody sing;
    3-Try to suggest a bass player (at least part of the time);
    4-Try to suggest another instrument playing some fills and harmonies in between;
    In other words, I’m trying to suggest a trio performance, subordinating each line item to the one above it.
    That's really fine. I love the feel and movement. It also has spontaneity and some surprises, which I like to hear.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Here’s my round 1.

    My priorities as I played this:
    1-Don’t let anything get in the way of the time feel;
    2-Make the melody sing;
    3-Try to suggest a bass player (at least part of the time);
    4-Try to suggest another instrument playing some fills and harmonies in between;
    In other words, I’m trying to suggest a trio performance, subordinating each line item to the one above it.
    I think you pretty much hit those marks. Nice take.

    John

  34. #33

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    Really nice Kirk

    is that an L7 ?
    you and it sound great ....

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Here’s my round 1.

    My priorities as I played this:
    1-Don’t let anything get in the way of the time feel;
    2-Make the melody sing;
    3-Try to suggest a bass player (at least part of the time);
    4-Try to suggest another instrument playing some fills and harmonies in between;
    In other words, I’m trying to suggest a trio performance, subordinating each line item to the one above it.
    I agree, I think you accomplished what you set out to do very nicely.

    And it swings, and it moves forward. So important.
    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

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Really nice Kirk

    is that an L7 ?
    you and it sound great ....
    That’s a ‘37 L-7 (17” X-braced), refinished red with an L-5 fretboard and modern frets, changed by previous owners. I added the reproduction DeArmond RC1100. That wasn’t released until 1953, but I’m sure a number of people used them to amplify 16 year old guitars, so I’ll call it “period-correct”. The X-braced tops have a bit of a hump approaching the fretboard, but the 1100 is one of the thinner floaters, so it had ample clearance.

    I also want to try this tune as a duo with guitar or bass.
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-29-2019 at 07:18 PM.

  37. #36

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    That was really good Kirk, gave me some ideas!

    Your approach reminds me of how Andy Brown tackles solo playing.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    That was really good Kirk, gave me some ideas!

    Your approach reminds me of how Andy Brown tackles solo playing.
    Thanks! I wasn’t familiar with Andy Brown, but I am now. I’ll have to listen/watch him for more ideas and inspiration.

    This morning I tried skipping all the minor7th chords, going straight to the 7th chords. After all, in a ii7/V7 sequence you can think of the ii7 as V7sus4. It opens the tunes up, helps me understand the form and hear the tonality better, and it gives me different ideas for bass lines and improvised melodies. After playing the tune a while in that way, I reintroduced some ii7s, but it felt bit more free and fluid, and...musical.

    This is also a good tune to practice in multiple keys. After all, to B part is nearly identical to the A part, modulated up a 4th. For practice, one could just keep modulating up by 4ths and go through every key. Playing in various keys helps me break out of patterns and play a little more freely.

    Here I’m fooling around in Bb eliminating some ii7 chords, then adding a few back in or replacing with tritone subs.

    I pretty much neglected the bass and most of the melody there. I’ve also messed around with focusing just on a bass line and comping. Maybe I should next focus on improvising more interesting melodic lines and phrasing, playing just the melody with a bass backing track. Then attempt to pull those elements all together..
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-30-2019 at 03:35 PM.

  39. #38

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    I'm curious how much of what we play is improvisational and how much is arranged. I think both have a place and both are splendid. My own interest is improvisation, since I spent maybe 20 years playing finger-style solo jazz guitar mainly with memorized arrangements. I found it very hard to break out of those and play improvisational, spontaneously. I know others don't necessarily have that problem, but in our exploration of "What's New" I've wondered what the balance between arrangement and improvisation is. I'm just having a tough time breaking out of the particular way I play this tune right now.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I'm curious how much of what we play is improvisational and how much is arranged. I think both have a place and both are splendid. My own interest is improvisation, since I spent maybe 20 years playing finger-style solo jazz guitar mainly with memorized arrangements. I found it very hard to break out of those and play improvisational, spontaneously. I know others don't necessarily have that problem, but in our exploration of "What's New" I've wondered what the balance between arrangement and improvisation is. I'm just having a tough time breaking out of the particular way I play this tune right now.
    In this case, I worked out an arrangement in advance for the head, and then improvised for AAB of a chorus before returning to the last A section head arrangement. It's a fairly long form, and I was doing it as a ballad, so I think more soloing than that would be too much. How much improv I do in solo playing tends to be tune specific. I tend to take the head arrangement more loosely and play more choruses of improv on shorter forms and/or more uptempo tunes. Ballads, I'll often do similarly to What's New.

    Overall I kind of have the opposite problem from you. For most of my playing life I've focused on improvisation, especially single lines. This has always come pretty naturally, so path of least resistance has lead me to neglect chord melody. Recently I've been trying to improve my chord-melody playing and build some repertoire.

    John

  41. #40

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    Everything John A. said is exactly the same for me, word for word. Saved me the trouble of writing it myself!

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I'm curious how much of what we play is improvisational and how much is arranged.
    I’m in what I might call “explore mode” on this tune. I want to internalize the general harmony and melody but I want to play as freely as possible, not locked in to a particular interpretation. So I’m practicing in different keys, rhythms, stripping down to vanilla changes, reharmonizing in various ways, sometimes focusing on the bass voice or the inner voices instead of the melody, etc. I also try to vary what I pay attention to when playing, sometimes looking at the fretboard to focus on finger mechanics, and sometimes looking across the room or eyes closed to focus on how it sounds.

    Of course, playing the original melody constrains what I can do with the bass and inner voices. I can be much more free with the bass and inner voices when I’m improvising a melody line. So I might try to alternate mindsets between “melody is king” and “bass line is king” in the practice room. After going back and forth between those two mindsets a bunch of times, I think they begin to coalesce.

    When I’m playing the tune, I tend to think of a stripped down harmony something like this:

    But I’ll add chords back in on the fly, perhaps playing something more like this:

    But I’ll vary something each time.
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-31-2019 at 01:33 PM.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I’m in what I might call “explore mode” on this tune. I want to internalize the general harmony and melody but I want to play as freely as possible, not locked in to a particular interpretation. So I’m practicing in different keys, rhythms, stripping down to vanilla changes, reharmonizing in various ways, sometimes focusing on the bass voice or the inner voices instead of the melody, etc. I also try to vary what I pay attention to when playing, sometimes looking at the fretboard to focus on finger mechanics, and sometimes looking across the room or eyes closed to focus on how it sounds.

    Of course, playing the original melody constrains what I can do with the bass and inner voices. I can be much more free with the bass and inner voices when I’m improvising a melody line. So I might try to alternate mindsets between “melody is king” and “bass line is king” in the practice room. After going back and forth between those two mindsets a bunch of times, I think they begin to coalesce.

    When I’m playing the tune, I tend to think of a stripped down harmony something like this:

    But I’ll add chords back in on the fly, perhaps playing something more like this:

    But I’ll vary something each time.
    That's helpful. I have also found that sometimes bass lines coming from where my fingers are work about as well as using subs. So in M. 4 where the lead sheets usually have /Dm7b5 G7/Cm / I'm playing /D7 Db7/Cm/ and it works pretty nicely though it was not driven by theory, just by (a) looking at the chord shapes and thinking "Hey, that's just a D7" and also noticing the chromatic line D Db C. Likewise in the same spot I'm as likely to play /Ab7b5 G7b5/Gb??. I like that final Gb bass with the melody note stuck on top but I don't know what the chord is.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    That's helpful. I have also found that sometimes bass lines coming from where my fingers are work about as well as using subs. So in M. 4 where the lead sheets usually have /Dm7b5 G7/Cm / I'm playing /D7 Db7/Cm/ and it works pretty nicely though it was not driven by theory, just by (a) looking at the chord shapes and thinking "Hey, that's just a D7" and also noticing the chromatic line D Db C. Likewise in the same spot I'm as likely to play /Ab7b5 G7b5/Gb??. I like that final Gb bass with the melody note stuck on top but I don't know what the chord is.
    I often harmonize much the same way when I’m playing, not thinking so much about subs as melody and bass voices, and fitting a couple of chord tones in between. I do study reharmonization when in analytical mode, but when I’m performing I try to keep my mind clear of too much detail. I’m not necessarily advocating this approach for others, but it’s where I’m at right now.

  45. #44

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    Every time I learn a new tune I’m afraid it turns into “how many new and interesting things can I try over the first A section.” I’ve been forcing myself to play through the song in its entirety, but damn if that first A section still doesn’t get most of the attention.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    Every time I learn a new tune I’m afraid it turns into “how many new and interesting things can I try over the first A section.” I’ve been forcing myself to play through the song in its entirety, but damn if that first A section still doesn’t get most of the attention.
    Try starting the tune at the B section when practicing. The B section is nearly identical to the A section for this tune (transposed up a fourth), but at least it forces you out of set patterns.

  47. #46

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    So this will be my final effort on this tune for now. I have struggled with playing clean, and today my wife commented to me "Well, you've been away from your guitar for 6 weeks. Does that make a difference?" Indeed, the hands lose a bit of the strength needed to hold some of those chords! I hope you still like some of the ideas I've tried to use here. I also enjoyed playing through my 1960's era Silvertone 1484 head played through the speakers of a Yamaha G100-210. Mic'ed the cab with an SM57 and ran the other channel direct from guitar to board.

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

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    So this will be my final effort on this tune for now.
    That was pretty. You worked some sneaky harmonies into it that I didn’t expect. I’ll need to listen a couple more times with a guitar in hand to steal some of those ideas. Solo guitar study group for What's New

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I'm curious how much of what we play is improvisational and how much is arranged. I think both have a place and both are splendid. My own interest is improvisation, since I spent maybe 20 years playing finger-style solo jazz guitar mainly with memorized arrangements. I found it very hard to break out of those and play improvisational, spontaneously. I know others don't necessarily have that problem, but in our exploration of "What's New" I've wondered what the balance between arrangement and improvisation is. I'm just having a tough time breaking out of the particular way I play this tune right now.
    For me it's usually rhythmic elements. This tune pretty easily suffers from too much space. The only 2 versions of this tune I'm really familiar with utilize somewhat disguised double time feels . Wes and Keith Jarrett's that is. Also Kirkp's last one, which sounds really good doing this. I may post similar. Is a nice approach. 2- beat chords become 4 beats and double the tempo etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    So this will be my final effort on this tune for now. I have struggled with playing clean, and today my wife commented to me "Well, you've been away from your guitar for 6 weeks. Does that make a difference?" Indeed, the hands lose a bit of the strength needed to hold some of those chords! I hope you still like some of the ideas I've tried to use here. I also enjoyed playing through my 1960's era Silvertone 1484 head played through the speakers of a Yamaha G100-210. Mic'ed the cab with an SM57 and ran the other channel direct from guitar to board.

    I think you address the tune's "too much space" problem pretty well, and I really like your ending. I think if you compare to your personal arrangementsfrom a year or so ago, this probably holds up well and shows progress. I'm with mr b in thinking that you'd best stuff is the "pure Lawson" material.

    Again, I think this can be a tough one to pull off.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 08-03-2019 at 09:12 AM.

  50. #49
    Morning noodles. Rough but different ideas. Double time feel and more blooz...


    Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Morning noodles. Rough but different ideas. Double time feel and more blooz...


    Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
    I've tried some of the double time feel as well. But frankly the chords needed to harmonize the melody are hard for me to finger so my double-time efforts have tended to collapse.

    The real problem with your video is it's backwards so I have to listen to it in reverse.

    So Paul McCartney actually rises from the dead at the end.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town