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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    In PLAYING situations you play what you hear/want. IN MANY cases you can play a natural 9 when a b9 is written. Not so much in the big band arrangement in the melody or soli sections where it’s all notated. But in the improv section I see this all the time. In many/most cases charts are written in the most basic manner. I used to play with this great pianist Jessica Williams. Look her up. Phenomenal player. All her charts are C, G7, Am, Eb. But in actuality it was Cmaj7, G7b9+11, Am9b6, Ebmaj7+11. She didn’t need to write that down. Use your ears. You have what you need. Basic functions of the chords.


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    In the stuff I do, the charts are not generally written in a basic manner, but it is understood that when playing jazz, you get to make some things up on the fly and that includes varying the extensions on chords. If there are two chord instruments and a soloist you have to be careful.

    I've often read that you listen to the soloist and adjust your comping based on the extensions the soloist uses. I've always wondered about that. Who says that he's going to play the same extensions when that chord comes up again?

    TBH, either I don't have the ears for that or it isn't that big a deal. I don't think about it much and I don't usually hear a problem. It may be that I tend to defer the pianist and I'm usually trying to find something else to do other than near-duplicate the piano comp.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Show up already being able to play jazz? Ideally, sure, and true for some. But for most, it's more like being able to play a little jazz.
    Listening? Yes you have to listen otherwise will not pass several classes.
    Playing - You will play for your teacher, with your teacher, for juries, and in required ensembles. Gigs are another topic altogether. (There aren't any, remember?)

    Maybe, but it depends on what we're talking about.

    Q: How is that different from ANY other profession?
    A: It isn't.

    Q: How is that different from ANY other field of study/major?
    A: It isn't.

    In fact the best schools will "council you out" and there is no such thing as "spoon feeding" for those who are really struggling to cut it. They are advised to become a music minor or pick another field altogeher.

    True with other majors too. A solid program with the right mix of topics and classes should help the highly motivated reach their objectives where a 4-year degree is concerned.

    And as far as entrance? True with Julliard and classical because it's more standardized - much more standarized. Jazz is different. For jazz there are auditions and entrance requirements for sure - but - there is no expectation that 18-year old kids will arrive already blowing like a hotshot pro in the jazz style. In other words, there is no expectation that the average incoming freshman is another Pat Metheny.

    Well I am, though not a pro musician. I have formally played and studied two instruments, still studying one. That makes me a musician.
    I think that's the crux of what I'm talking about. I'm not saying you can't play.

    It's - are you a pro musician? That's a whole school of hard knocks and experience. Can you do the job?

    Maybe a wedding. Would I call you to come and dep a gig, no rehearsal, turn up on time, read the charts well, adapt to contingencies, take good solos, not be a dick, play well, not antagonise the clients etc etc? There's a lot of stuff I can't even write down, that musicians use to judge other musicians.

    You can't learn that shit in a school. Ask any pro.

    But in terms of jazz edu has IMO a tendency to over-teach - to over systematise things that don't actually need to be systemised. Suggestions and resources become methodology and analysis. It's better to specify the tasks sometimes then specify the means. Also, students are not empty vessels waiting for information to be deposited.

    For instance, you don't need to teach jazz students chord scale theory and jazz harmony. They all know that stuff by 18. ALL OF THEM; it's all over the internet and YouTube. I don't think I've ever had to teach any of my students the melodic minor modes. What they need from me is not simply information; there's plenty of that.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    G7b13 and G7#5 are different chords, as identified above, the harmonic limitations of the guitar notwithstanding. The bass player and pianist are going to treat them differently, so we need to understand the difference. Otherwise we're going to sound wrong.

    Ditto the G7b5 and the G7#11.
    Regarding Dom7b13 and Dom7#5, I think that they ARE the same chord functionally, it's just that one has fewer tensions in it. That is, Dom7#5 has no b9, #9, 11, or #11.

    In general, when the 5 (perfect fifth not augmented) is in the chord the b13 isn't, and vice versa. Avoids the minor 9th interval.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think that's the crux of what I'm talking about. I'm not saying you can't play.
    It's - are you a pro musician? That's a whole school of hard knocks and experience. Can you do the job?
    Maybe a wedding. Would I call you to come and dep a gig, no rehearsal, turn up on time, read the charts well, adapt to contingencies, take good solos, not be a dick, play well, not antagonise the clients etc etc? There's a lot of stuff I can't even write down, that musicians use to judge other musicians.
    Well no, I decided not to do that. My limited experience with gigging had a negative ROI, given the practice and rehearsal man hours. I taught guitar for a while though. That had a much better rate of return. So, unless one is a big timer it would seem they have to gig for love?

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You can't learn that shit in a school. Ask any pro.
    Same as any major or field of study. That's why we talk about education, training, and experience as three seperate and distinct things, not one.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Also, students are not empty vessels waiting for information to be deposited.
    Ah um...

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    For instance, you don't need to teach jazz students chord scale theory and jazz harmony. They all know that stuff by 18. ALL OF THEM; it's all over the internet and YouTube. I don't think I've ever had to teach any of my students the melodic minor modes. What they need from me is not simply information; there's plenty of that.
    BS. It doesn't take very long to see that there is a lack of consensus in such things if one simply goes online. Further it's not just factoids. One has to compose the principles (part writing) as they learn - have to or flunk. Then on to at least two arranging classes and maybe composition too. And of course you have to apply it on your instrument and have to be choosy with your time. You can't do all of that without the foundation, and you don't get the foundation from an armchair reading the friggin' internet.
    Last edited by GTRMan; 09-27-2020 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #55

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    Yeah, I actually agree with your last sentence :-).

    I don't think our understanding is really that far apart.... I think the difference might be that you think the value of jazz schools is in the syllabus and information, whereas in fact they are in what Polanyi calls the 'tacit' knowledge of the educators, and the environment of playing music. The syllabus can be helpful of course, but it's never the primary learning activity.

    This is widely known: Rick Beato for instance makes that point well in this video 'the lick that killed jazz.'

    However, the syllabus and textbooks become widely available, which is great, but people then make the mistake of thinking that these are the most important things about learning the music.

    (There's also problems with the actual information... if you study with Barry for instance, you will quickly learn that the standardised versions of Rhythm Changes and Bebop Blues you see in pretty much all mainstream jazz edu materials do not represent the changes actually played by Charlie Parker. The standard changes of the bop blues in most textbooks etc don't even present a good fit for a tune like Au Private or Billie's Bounce... We shouldn't need Barry to tell us this.

    Commonly used texts get it wrong all the time; the Omnibook is famously full of mistakes; I see a large part of transcribing tunes as basically fact checking the Real Book. Proper jazz musicians know this...)

    As the adage goes 'the textbooks are the records. With specific reference to harmony, and undoing the illusion of the primacy of chord symbols, I have found an effective way of teaching students is to tell them to go away and listen to favourite players and see what they notice. In this way I discovered that Chet Baker consistently outlines Ebmaj7 on the Eb7 in Out of Nowhere.



    You could run a class like this - go away and get your students to collect strategies for negotiating bar 6 of a Rhythm Changes, for example - and pool the knowledge. You could even write a textbook on jazz soloing together over the course of a term; it wouldn't be any more work for the tutor and students would learn far more - and your actually good students are already doing that anyway. (I mean, the Berklee students that wrote the Real Book probably learned more than the students that simply read it, right?)

  7. #56

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    So, duh, obviously the G7#5 in a minor key comes from the fact that we often refer to the chord G B Eb in the C minor key as being an 'augmented triad': in fact the only properly spelled augmented triad in the minor key is the III+, Eb G B, say, which is rare in classical music apparently.

    Augmented triad - Wikipedia

    In jazz, I hear aug triads a lot in early jazz; a great way of sounding like 20s and 30s music is to sub it frequently for V7. It is usually used to harmonise a blue third (b3) in tunes like Mood Indigo. In this case, the top note usually moves up a half step into the 3rd of the 1 chord. Other strategies for harmonising this very common melodic move include the cadential diminished chord.q

    Probably best not to think about it too much, but I think that's the origin of the confusing # or +. It makes sense to write out it that way for players you have learned augmented triad voicings (look at the 'Eddie Lang' guitar method for instance for a typical syllabus of prewar harmony, and aug triads are very much in there.)

    So you add a 7th to that, and you have our G7#5 chord, which was probably written G7+5 because of the augmented triad.

    Harmonically, it suits itself to blues, whole tone and borrowed minor, and later, altered lines, so it's pretty flexible.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah, I actually agree with your last sentence :-).

    I don't think our understanding is really that far apart.... I think the difference might be that you think the value of jazz schools is in the syllabus and information, whereas in fact they are in what Polanyi calls the 'tacit' knowledge of the educators, and the environment of playing music. The syllabus can be helpful of course, but it's never the primary learning activity.

    This is widely known: Rick Beato for instance makes that point well in this video 'the lick that killed jazz.'

    However, the syllabus and textbooks become widely available, which is great, but people then make the mistake of thinking that these are the most important things about learning the music.

    (There's also problems with the actual information... if you study with Barry for instance, you will quickly learn that the standardised versions of Rhythm Changes and Bebop Blues you see in pretty much all mainstream jazz edu materials do not represent the changes actually played by Charlie Parker. The standard changes of the bop blues in most textbooks etc don't even present a good fit for a tune like Au Private or Billie's Bounce... We shouldn't need Barry to tell us this.

    Commonly used texts get it wrong all the time; the Omnibook is famously full of mistakes; I see a large part of transcribing tunes as basically fact checking the Real Book. Proper jazz musicians know this...)

    As the adage goes 'the textbooks are the records. With specific reference to harmony, and undoing the illusion of the primacy of chord symbols, I have found an effective way of teaching students is to tell them to go away and listen to favourite players and see what they notice. In this way I discovered that Chet Baker consistently outlines Ebmaj7 on the Eb7 in Out of Nowhere.



    You could run a class like this - go away and get your students to collect strategies for negotiating bar 6 of a Rhythm Changes, for example - and pool the knowledge. You could even write a textbook on jazz soloing together over the course of a term; it wouldn't be any more work for the tutor and students would learn far more - and your actually good students are already doing that anyway. (I mean, the Berklee students that wrote the Real Book probably learned more than the students that simply read it, right?)

    Yeah, did you read how Bert Ligon produced his book Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony? It was a project with students doing research and is a very valuable set of findings, find IMO.

    And yes, jazz students have to transcribe, although analzying already completed transcriptions would probably cover more ground for the limited time available in a 4-year period, but whatever.


    So, some educator's books don't have Charlie Parker's golden changes, eh? Or is it all of them? Did Joe Pass get Blues changes and Rhythm Changes "wrong" in his books? What about that point in general regarding jazz artists who produce/produced educational material? Are they all wrong too? Who got it right and who got it wrong? What are the golden changes anyway? We might as well get it over with and post them on the internet for all to see.

    I've heard Barry talking about all these educators getting it wrong. He has set himself up as the man to listen to, the man with the plan, and that's why he's so easy to ignore. The self-appointed guru act gets old. Everyone has to kiss the ring, etc.

    So name names please, which well known jazz books produced after 1970 have it wrong? Are there any jazz books that have it right, or is Barry the only one on earth who has it right?

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So, duh, obviously the G7#5 in a minor key comes from the fact that we often refer to the chord G B Eb in the C minor key as being an 'augmented triad': in fact the only properly spelled augmented triad in the minor key is the III+, Eb G B, say, which is rare in classical music apparently.

    Augmented triad - Wikipedia

    In jazz, I hear aug triads a lot in early jazz; a great way of sounding like 20s and 30s music is to sub it frequently for V7. It is usually used to harmonise a blue third (b3) in tunes like Mood Indigo. In this case, the top note usually moves up a half step into the 3rd of the 1 chord. Other strategies for harmonising this very common melodic move include the cadential diminished chord.q

    Probably best not to think about it too much, but I think that's the origin of the confusing # or +. It makes sense to write out it that way for players you have learned augmented triad voicings (look at the 'Eddie Lang' guitar method for instance for a typical syllabus of prewar harmony, and aug triads are very much in there.)

    So you add a 7th to that, and you have our G7#5 chord, which was probably written G7+5 because of the augmented triad.

    Harmonically, it suits itself to blues, whole tone and borrowed minor, and later, altered lines, so it's pretty flexible.
    Yes, depending on the desired tensions - the chord scales recommended for it are numerous, compared to most other chords.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Yeah, did you read how Bert Ligon produced his book Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony? It was a project with students doing research and is a very valuable set of findings, find IMO.
    No I did not, that's very interesting.

    The actual findings are worth less than the process. The process is where the learning happens. Besides, no one's checked out everything, and everyone thinks a little differently so every textbook will be a bit different. The aim is to obviously be a musician, not a scientist... so it's not so much about checking out a body of knowledge so much as it is about learning to hear and listen.

    And yes, jazz students have to transcribe, although analzying already completed transcriptions would probably cover more ground for the limited time available in a 4-year period, but whatever.
    Yes, of course they do; although transcription itself is a practice activity which is somewhat distorted from its original methodology. It's not necessarily about analysis. Again you can't learn to play in 4 years off the back of a few assignments.

    It's about internalisation. But, submitted notation and analysis is easier to mark.

    So, some educator's books don't have Charlie Parker's golden changes, eh? Or is it all of them? Did Joe Pass get Blues changes and Rhythm Changes "wrong" in his books? What about that point in general regarding jazz artists who produce/produced educational material? Are they all wrong too? Who got it right and who got it wrong? What are the golden changes anyway? We might as well get it over with and post them on the internet for all to see.

    I've heard Barry talking about all these educators getting it wrong. He has set himself up as the man to listen to, the man with the plan, and that's why he's so easy to ignore. The self-appointed guru act gets old. Everyone has to kiss the ring, etc.
    There's a bit of the cult of the personality about him for sure.

    He's still right about the Parker changes. People say a lot of stuff and I've believed it and been caught out because I didn't check it out myself. But Barry is as far as been able to tell, always correct about Bird's music. (I haven't checked every Bird recording. He has.)

    According to BH, this what Parker tends to play, which is borne out by the music of his I have checked out:

    | F6 | Gm C7 | F6 | Cm7 F7 |
    | Bb7 | (Bbm) | Am7 | D7 (or Abm7) |
    | Gm7 | C7 | F6 Dm | Gm7 C7 |

    It might not be what his accompanists also play incidentally... which is another limitation of chord symbol notation.

    Another thing - Rhythm Changes. Parker plays
    Bb | Cm7 F7 | Bb | Cm7 F7 |
    OR, later
    Bb (Gm7) | Cm7 F7 | Bb G7 | Cm7 F7 |
    Not
    Bb G7 | Cm7 F7 | Dm G7 | Cm7 F7 |

    The Omnibook is a bit better here, the changes are reasonably accurate for Rhythm Changes and Blues.

    So name names please, which well known jazz books produced after 1970 have it wrong? Are there any jazz books that have it right, or is Barry the only one on earth who has it right?
    I don't think there are any 'how to jazz' books where I've seen those changes except for the Omnibook. Some blues tunes in the RB's do have those changes. There also other variations of the tune. But when you print changes for a 'bebop blues' that don't match what Parker actually played, meh, it's not bebop blues is it?

    Part of the problem is that people start with seventh chords, so they have to call it whether it's a major or dominant chord. Parker's gen played a lot more bluesy on major chords, because the voicings were often 6ths or triads even.

    That's why you need to get into the music. The textbooks and transcriptions are not 100% reliable. They have to be read critically, and the recordings themselves are definitive. Don't learn Donna Lee form the omnibook for example - learn it from the recording.

    I'm sorry if this makes you upset. This is well understood by professional jazz musicians. Go to the source.

    But you know, if by carefully listening to the music you have drawn different conclusions, I'd love to hear it.
    Last edited by christianm77; 09-28-2020 at 10:52 AM.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    No I did not, that's very interesting.

    The actual findings are worth less than the process. The process is where the learning happens. Besides, no one's checked out everything, and everyone thinks a little differently so every textbook will be a bit different. The aim is to obviously be a musician, not a scientist... so it's not so much about checking out a body of knowledge so much as it is about learning to hear and listen.



    Yes, of course they do; although transcription itself is a practice activity which is somewhat distorted from its original methodology. It's not necessarily about analysis. Again you can't learn to play in 4 years off the back of a few assignments.

    It's about internalisation. But, submitted notation and analysis is easier to mark.



    There's a bit of the cult of the personality about him for sure.

    He's still right about the Parker changes. People say a lot of stuff and I've believed it and been caught out because I didn't check it out myself. But Barry is as far as been able to tell, always correct about Bird's music. (I haven't checked every Bird recording. He has.)

    According to BH, this what Parker tends to play, which is borne out by the music of his I have checked out:

    | F6 | Gm C7 | F6 | Cm7 F7 |
    | Bb7 | (Bbm) | Am7 | D7 (or Abm7) |
    | Gm7 | C7 | F6 Dm | Gm7 C7 |

    It might not be what his accompanists also play incidentally... which is another limitation of chord symbol notation.

    Another thing - Rhythm Changes. Parker plays
    Bb | Cm7 F7 | Bb | Cm7 F7 |
    OR, later
    Bb (Gm7) | Cm7 F7 | Bb G7 | Cm7 F7 |
    Not
    Bb G7 | Cm7 F7 | Dm G7 | Cm7 F7 |

    The Omnibook is a bit better here, the changes are reasonably accurate for Rhythm Changes and Blues.



    I don't think there are any 'how to jazz' books where I've seen those changes except for the Omnibook. Some blues tunes in the RB's do have those changes. There also other variations of the tune. But when you print changes for a 'bebop blues' that don't match what Parker actually played, meh, it's not bebop blues is it?

    Part of the problem is that people start with seventh chords, so they have to call it whether it's a major or dominant chord. Parker's gen played a lot more bluesy on major chords, because the voicings were often 6ths or triads even.

    That's why you need to get into the music. The textbooks and transcriptions are not 100% reliable. They have to be read critically, and the recordings themselves are definitive. Don't learn Donna Lee form the omnibook for example - learn it from the recording.

    I'm sorry if this makes you upset. This is well understood by professional jazz musicians. Go to the source.

    But you know, if by carefully listening to the music you have drawn different conclusions, I'd love to hear it.
    I'm not upset.

    I think that:
    The difference in the changes posted above is tantamount to splitting hairs. Fast harmonic rhythm and slight modifcation of chord quality? Big whoop.
    Most people studying Parker today want to get the essence of his solo line construction, instead of becoming a carbon copy of him. (same with Trane). The music has moved forward and he sounds pretty dated by now

  12. #61

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    OK. I haven't read everything, but that's not going to keep me from weighing in on the academic debate. I think when academia gets involved with teaching ART and ARTIST that kind of points to the end of that art. Academia tries to codify. It's often taught by failed artists who might have various axes to grind. Jazz has turned a corner in the last 20-30 years or so. Great players, but much different from the musicians who played it in the 50s, 60s and 70s. It's become systematized and codified in often ridiculous ways. I teach. I taught in the jazz department of a university. University of the Pacific that hosted The Brubeck Institute. Great players, but a different mindset. Is it wrong? I don't know. It is for me.

    It's not like going to school to get a degree in medicine, law, science. It's ART. You shouldn't try to codify artists. That's the death of the art itself.

  13. #62

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    There’s been plenty written on exactly what you just said Henry.

    But my concern is less about educators who in my experience are great and mindful of these issues (and mostly players) but more about education product itself, which appears without context and people imagine that stuff is more important than it is.

    try to systematise jazz and you get into the woods, start saying stuff which isn’t true, forcing square pegs into round holes.

    It seems to me a profoundly unimaginative form of music education that thinks we have to systematise knowledge in that way. But you are an educator yourself, right?

  14. #63

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    By the way one book that influenced me a lot is Lave and Wenger’s Situated Learning which isn’t even about music education, but about traditional apprenticeships which usually take place in the area of professional practice rather than education per se.

    It was an important book because up to that point educationalists thought apprenticeships had to do with direct pedagogy Master to Student. In fact, this is rarely the case, and there is often very little observable teaching.

    Most jazz musicians I’ve talked to about this book find it lines up with their own experiences learning music.

    Its less of a direct influence but I love the term ‘pseudomusic’ used in Keith Swanwick’s Teaching Music Musically, to refer to the music that typically gets played in music schools. The infamous Berklee Funk (tm) is a great example.....

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    I'm not upset.

    I think that:
    The difference in the changes posted above is tantamount to splitting hairs. Fast harmonic rhythm and slight modifcation of chord quality? Big whoop.
    Most people studying Parker today want to get the essence of his solo line construction, instead of becoming a carbon copy of him. (same with Trane). The music has moved forward and he sounds pretty dated by now
    Bop is idiom idiom idiom. That’s why they teach it. It’s all in the specifics.

    It’s not that the usual prog is ‘wrong’ it is that it is not a ‘bebop blues’ if by bebop we mean what Charlie Parker played.

    A lot of music is in the details. By learning the details of other people’s music you become more attuned to detail in music generally.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    A lot of music is in the details. By learning the details of other people’s music you become more attuned to detail in music generally.
    Fantastic! Now, if I learn that at an academic institution it would be... a bad thing though - right?


  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    It's not like going to school to get a degree in medicine, law, science. It's ART.
    That's true, but (and excuse me for saying so), it's bigger than painting on a canvas. We have art schools, drama schools, music schools. Most people go through a max of 4 years, which is not very long. It goes by in a blink of an eye.

    Traditions and knowledge are handed down from the old to the young, and it has always been so. Going to a university is just a modern thing to do, and a western thing to do. You could always have a bebop dojo where you stay full time, but then that's kind of like living on campus at a conservatory. The main problem in my mind are all the non-music classes, but high schools don't do the job with the "three Rs" as well as they used to.


    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    You shouldn't try to codify artists. That's the death of the art itself.
    I am not aware of any music school that lists that as an objective or mission statement. I think it's more about building foundations, and there is a lot involved in building musical foundations.

    Besides, artists tend to codify themselves to a very significant extent. It's called repeatability. There is significant repeatability in harmony, melody, and rhythmic practices, compositional forms, style and expression etc. over different periods of time. The periods which stand the test of time artistically are the ones that educators focus on in courses of study.

    Finally, most musicians are performers not composers. They are not destined to break new artistic ground as much as they are destined to keep the flame.

    I just don't see the problem, as long as messaging around objectives is clear.
    Last edited by GTRMan; 09-28-2020 at 02:30 PM.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Fantastic! Now, if I learn that at an academic institution it would be... a bad thing though - right?

    As I say I don’t think we are massively differing in opinion. read my first post on this - don’t think musical schools are bad per se. what I think is that the type of leaning that goes on there you will not find in a textbook.

    (Also, as I said NOONE actually learns to play jazz at music school. It’s just not enough time or the right environment of itself.)

    The problem is people get hold of the textbooks and don’t realise this. They think in a very linear way that creates problems.

    ‘What do I play on this chord?’ should never be a question, because the answer to that question can always be found on the records. They do teach you this at the schools of course.

    They pay it lip service in the books, but that’s not what the books are about or for.

    Then you can apply what’s in the textbook from an educated position of how it’s done in the music.

    Maybe this is obvious to some; but there a lot of people this not obvious to at all. Part of being a good musician is learning to take charge of your own learning and to engage critically with the published materials. I don’t think that’s terribly original or controversial as a viewpoint.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Fantastic! Now, if I learn that at an academic institution it would be... a bad thing though - right?

    As I say I don’t think we are massively differing in opinion. read my first post on this if you think I’m changing - I don’t think musical schools are bad per se. what I think is that the type of leaning that goes on there you will not find in a textbook. Perhaps some educators are hipper to that than others.

    (Also, as I said NOONE actually learns to play jazz at music school. It’s just not enough time or the right environment of itself.)

    The problem is people get hold of the textbooks and don’t realise this. They end up thinking in a very linear way that creates problems. A book is linear and non interactive, so it’s easy to see how this arises.

    ‘What do I play on this chord?’ should never be a question, because the answer to that question can always be found on the records. (They do teach you this at the schools of course)

    They pay it lip service in the books, but that’s not what the books are about or for. Books tend to ‘freeze’ knowledge, remove the experiential element, create an air of systematisation and authority.

    But the best way as a learning player that you can apply what’s in the textbook is from an educated position of checking out how it’s done in the music itself; if the textbook seems to describe what is going on then that idea is useful. If not, it can be set aside for the moment.

    Maybe this is obvious to some; but there a lot of people this not obvious to at all. Part of being a good musician is learning to take charge of your own learning and to engage critically with the published materials. I don’t think that’s terribly original or controversial as a viewpoint.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There’s been plenty written on exactly what you just said Henry.

    But my concern is less about educators who in my experience are great and mindful of these issues (and mostly players) but more about education product itself, which appears without context and people imagine that stuff is more important than it is.

    try to systematise jazz and you get into the woods, start saying stuff which isn’t true, forcing square pegs into round holes.

    It seems to me a profoundly unimaginative form of music education that thinks we have to systematise knowledge in that way. But you are an educator yourself, right?
    Yes, I am. An educator with a small e. I no longer teach in a university or community college. I teach inmates now, which gives me free reign over my curriculum. I wanted to play too much so I kind of opted out of the professional professor route.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan

    I am not aware of any music school that lists that as an objective or mission statement. I think it's more about building foundations, and there is a lot involved in building musical foundations.

    Besides, artists tend to codify themselves to a very significant extent. It's called repeatability. There is significant repeatability in harmony, melody, and rhythmic practices, compositional forms, style and expression etc. over different periods of time. The periods which stand the test of time artistically are the ones that educators focus on in courses of study.

    Finally, most musicians are performers not composers. They are not destined to break new artistic ground as much as they are destined to keep the flame.

    I just don't see the problem, as long as messaging around objectives is clear.
    Of COURSE you're not going to find any university that has that as a mission statement. OF COURSE NOT. But this is exactly what they did with jazz. It has been codified and systematized. They can teach anyone to play like Coltrane by use of patterns. He didn't necessarily play that way, but some academicians figured it out, probably spurred on my Liebman and Grossman. Bird and bop has been analyzed and dissected 12 ways from Sunday academically. That's not necessarily how Bud, Bird and Dizzy were thinking, but if you do THIS and THAT you'll sound like THEM. The problem with jazz and academia is jazz is improvisation. Schools don't know how to actually TEACH improvisation. "You know, now when you get to the bridge, just make a bunch of shit up that may or may not be in the key of Eb. You don't have to justify any notes. Just play what you feel."

    No. they'd lose their license if they offered a curriculum like that. So you read transcriptions and study the bebop scale and modes with neighbor tones and tricks that bird might've done.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 09-28-2020 at 04:44 PM.

  22. #71

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    What drives me absolutely BONKERS is seeing or adjudicating recitals where the student playing a TRANSCRIPTION of Ko-Ko or Confirmation or some Joe Pass or Metheny solo. Wow. WTF???? What absolute drivel is that? To ME jazz is about finding your OWN voice and playing YOUR OWN shit. Why in the world would a recital even ALLOW students to do this in a jazz class? Happens all the time. Not for a recittal. I taught a course in bebop. We used the Omnibook a lot. We read and analyzed a bunch of Bird solos. And Dizzy. And Bud and Monk. But it wasn't for the end of copying them. Getting the sound in our ears and under the fingers. Also I knew it would make the dean happy. But I never allowed my students to play that in a recital. That's not jazz.

  23. #72

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    I hear ya Henry. But I think jazz improv training/education or whatever you want to call it has moved forward, just my opinion. Some insightful material is out there that wasn't there decades ago. There are lots of teachers that can play too, depending on the school. Coastal big city schools especially, yada, yada.

    On transcription, yeah that's interesting. I don't think it's recital material for a jury, just your teacher.

    I guess one perspective is that you will improvise in improvisation classes (UNT has 4 semesters in undergrad) - AND - you will also improvise in your junior and senior recitals - at a minimum. But playing level-appropriate transcriptions throughout your undergrad still has value because hardly anyone will have reached the promised land (so to speak) prior to graduating. In other words, they will still have much to learn not only by the time they graduate but for some time after that, so should keep pluggin'. What is that, 8 transcribed solos for your entire academic life? That's not too bad. Another positive aspect is that you can choose your solo transcription and naturally will transcribe/play something that reasonably represents a target state for your own expression.

    I know I'm beating a dead horse, but if person x can figure it out on their own, or hanging with their buds, or receiving mentoring from an expert coach, or all of the above, then that can be accomplsihed at a great school too. You just have to pick the right school and teachers.

  24. #73

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    I know there are great teachers who are also great players. I know lot of them. I was generalizing to make point. I know. Sorry. But I know there's great value in transcriptions. Yeah. I never did and I can play. It flew in the opposite direction of what I valued in jazz, which is why I think academia misses the ENTIRE point of jazz. They're trying to turn it into a western classical form. It's not. It was born out of bordellos and word of mouth, funerals and juke joints.

    But how can you turn this massively huge and confusing GREAT ART into an academic subject worthy of a PHd? Transcribe the works of the great geniuses. Study them. Force a curriculum down students throats. But miss the point that the great geniuses didn't do any of that. They PLAYED. They failed, They played. They failed. They played.

    Bird, Dizzy, Bud, Monk, Coltrane, Rollins, Art Tatum, Phineas Newborn weren't stupid people. They were brilliant. They carved out ways of playing that were unique and just awe inspiring. But they by and large were NOT playing and creating the systems being taught today. None of them had degrees and probably would flunk jazz theory. Who knows? Not Bud or Monk and Diz, but Bird. It's just Bud and Monk wouldn't or couldn't talk to you.

    I know from first hand that the systems Mingus, Duke and Dolphy used; the way they thought about altered tones and extensions were NOT what is taught in schools ANYWHERE. They'd FLUNK. So many times looking at their music you can find a B natural in a C dominant chord. Often later transcriptions remove them as mistakes. NOPE.

  25. #74

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    A friend of mine did graduate study in physics at UC Berkeley.

    He discontinued that education, went to medical school and has been a Professor for the last 20 years or so.

    Why did he leave UCB? He said, "There were a few people that really understood it. The rest of us were monkeys plugging numbers into equations."

    Sounds like a Berklee experience to me, based on acquaintance with players from each group.

    I'd add that based on my own experience with music and formal education in technical areas, jazz guitar is harder.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    I know there are great teachers who are also great players. I know lot of them. I was generalizing to make point. I know. Sorry. But I know there's great value in transcriptions. Yeah. I never did and I can play. It flew in the opposite direction of what I valued in jazz, which is why I think academia misses the ENTIRE point of jazz. They're trying to turn it into a western classical form. It's not. It was born out of bordellos and word of mouth, funerals and juke joints.

    But how can you turn this massively huge and confusing GREAT ART into an academic subject worthy of a PHd? Transcribe the works of the great geniuses. Study them. Force a curriculum down students throats. But miss the point that the great geniuses didn't do any of that. They PLAYED. They failed, They played. They failed. They played.

    Bird, Dizzy, Bud, Monk, Coltrane, Rollins, Art Tatum, Phineas Newborn weren't stupid people. They were brilliant. They carved out ways of playing that were unique and just awe inspiring. But they by and large were NOT playing and creating the systems being taught today. None of them had degrees and probably would flunk jazz theory. Who knows? Not Bud or Monk and Diz, but Bird. It's just Bud and Monk wouldn't or couldn't talk to you.

    I know from first hand that the systems Mingus, Duke and Dolphy used; the way they thought about altered tones and extensions were NOT what is taught in schools ANYWHERE. They'd FLUNK. So many times looking at their music you can find a B natural in a C dominant chord. Often later transcriptions remove them as mistakes. NOPE.
    Wow, interesting thanks!

    BTW - I hate transcribing, lol.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    A friend of mine did graduate study in physics at UC Berkeley.

    He discontinued that education, went to medical school and has been a Professor for the last 20 years or so.

    Why did he leave UCB? He said, "There were a few people that really understood it. The rest of us were monkeys plugging numbers into equations."

    Sounds like a Berklee experience to me, based on acquaintance with players from each group.

    I'd add that based on my own experience with music and formal education in technical areas, jazz guitar is harder.
    Yeah, but that's what education/school is for. If everybody already "understood it" they wouldn't need to be there. It's also true that nobody fully absorbs or appreciates all the implications and ramifications of what they're taught in college until they've had at least 10 years of experience in the field, and maybe even more. Some portion of grad school is spent on refreshing what you were taught in undergrad and makes you say "oh yeah, that makes sense now. When I studied it the first time it just went in one ear and out the other".

  28. #77
    When I first moved to Boston in the seventies I thought I would do club work and study privately forgoing school. Well I lucked out and got a steady rock r and b type gig and loved it ,but I wanted to really improve and read well,etc. So I decided of course to go to Berklee. When I told my band guys and gave notice they said Dont go there! it will ruin your playing! As far as people playing scales,modes really fast instead of more by ear I see why they felt that way. I guess like Miles said you learn theory then forget that shit and play ! Split the difference I guess! I talked to Scofield on the phone and asked which books he liked and he said you cant learn jazz from a book. The best things I got from schools were meeting people from all over the world and learning how to teach myself all through life.

  29. #78

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    What I was trying to say is that the full-blown academic approach may find more fertile ground in some students than others. The right student may get something out of every single class. Another player, not so much. Probably true of every field, not just physics and jazz guitar.

    And, that's not a knock, necessarily, on the second kind of student. There are great players who don't know a single thing that Berklee teaches in words.