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  1. #1

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    I've made a chart with the chords I know.

    I've tried to reflect typical movement such as cadences, etc.

    I've organised it in line with things I've been told on these forums (by Christian and others).

    It's in the keys of C and A minor.

    The upper half has 3 blocks of dominants, each of them associated to one of the 3 possible dim7 chords. The note below expands these dominants a little. The 3 arrows at the top mean these form a circle (like in The Chicken by Jaco).

    The lower half has the diatonic tonal centres these dominants usually resolve to.

    Then there are 3 additional arrows:
    • One leaves the tonal centre Dm using Dm7b5 as part of a II-V.
    • A similar one uses the Fm or F#dim7 dominant chords to leave the tonal centre F.
    • Another one arrives to the tonal centre Dm from D7 or D#dim7.

    Sorry as that may be, that sort of completes the movements I know so far.

    At the expense of some added arrows, each chord appears only once. [Note: the fact that all "7" chords can be pairs as per the text note (for II-V etc.) mean an exception to this.]

    Would you please hit me with your feedback?
    Attached Images Attached Images Chords in tonal context-croquis-png 
    Last edited by alez; 12-14-2020 at 07:00 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    It's a very impressive chart, but I'm a little unclear what it's saying. Are you saying Db7 resolves to Am7? It might be useful to place these into context with a little more analysis.

  4. #3

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    No IV I movement? Don't you ever go to church?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    It's a very impressive chart, but I'm a little unclear what it's saying. Are you saying Db7 resolves to Am7? It might be useful to place these into context with a little more analysis.
    Fair point.

    I grouped these "7" chords loosely, the rationale would be as follows:

    There are 3 possible dim7 chords only. I'm ignoring the inversions because they're not relevant in dim7 chords. Off each of these dim7 chord, you can build 4 "7" chords using 3 of the original tones as the 3rd, 5th and 7th of the "7" chord, i.e. replacing the other tone in the original dim7 chord by a bass a half tone below it. I made one group for each of these 3 dim7 chords. I put each of the different "7" chords I know how to use (as seen in the tunes I've learnt) in its corresponding group. My formal knowledge is lacking so I can't really elaborate much further.

    Db7 resolves well to Am7, try it!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    No IV I movement? Don't you ever go to church?
    Fair point too.

    The plagal cadence as such is not represented well, same as the triadic V-I is not there either. So, just as G7 not G is used, there's F7 resolving to Em or C shown.

    I don't go to church, man, not my thing!

  6. #5

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    I looked at it a couple of times, but I couldn't figure it out.

    Perhaps if you could explain how you use it, or are planning to use it?

    Most players know about the relationship between a dim7 and four 7th chords. Of course, dim7 are also 7b9. The same notes have multiple applications.

    If the goal is to practice common chord sequences, a common approach is to get a list of must-know standards and play through them. I'd suggest multiple keys.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I looked at it a couple of times, but I couldn't figure it out.

    Perhaps if you could explain how you use it, or are planning to use it?
    It helps me see more clearly different movements found in tunes, which in turn made the changes on these tunes easier to memorise, as some things became more logical and explainable.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If the goal is to practice common chord sequences, a common approach is to get a list of must-know standards and play through them. I'd suggest multiple keys.
    Thanks for the advice I do practice in all 12 keys and I've learnt many chord sequences through tunes... different cadences, turnarounds, bridges, etc. Also at some point I made a list of cadences I had found. I've been updating it, but my first attempt is still here:
    List of cadences to diatonic centres

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Most players know about the relationship between a dim7 and four 7th chords. Of course, dim7 are also 7b9. The same notes have multiple applications.
    Okay, then the top half should be clear enough because that's pretty much all it has. The bottom half has the chords that the top half chords are likely to resolve to. I've added a couple more arrows for leaving Dm and F smoothly, as they appear all the time. That's all, pretty much.

    Thanks for the feedback!!
    Last edited by alez; 12-15-2020 at 04:16 PM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    It helps me see more clearly different movements found in tunes, which in turn made the changes on these tunes easier to memorise, as some things became more logical and explainable.



    Thanks for the advice ? I do practice in all 12 keys and I've learnt many chord sequences through tunes... different cadences, turnarounds, bridges, etc. Also at some point I made a list of cadences I had found. I've been updating it, but my first attempt is still here:
    List of cadences to diatonic centres



    Okay, then the top half should be clear enough because that's pretty much all it has. The bottom half has the chords that the top half chords are likely to resolve to. I've added a couple more arrows for leaving Dm and F smoothly, as they appear all the time. That's all, pretty much.

    Thanks for the feedback!!
    Thanks for the link to that list and the thread. Interesting approach. If you can connect those sounds to your fingers, you'll be in a very good place for winging it on a bandstand.

    I won't attempt to offer any advice. My impression is that people assimilate this sort of thing in very different ways. Learning the sounds of these progressions seems like a great idea. My own experience is that everything works best if I learn it from a tune, but others have different experiences with that.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Thanks for the link to that list and the thread. Interesting approach. If you can connect those sounds to your fingers, you'll be in a very good place for winging it on a bandstand.

    I won't attempt to offer any advice. My impression is that people assimilate this sort of thing in very different ways. Learning the sounds of these progressions seems like a great idea. My own experience is that everything works best if I learn it from a tune, but others have different experiences with that.
    Thank you for your words and encouragement. I've just updated that list with additions I've been making. The thing is, everything on that long list fits perfectly well in the chart, which is a lot simpler. The chart captures all the entries on that list plus all the ones I added later. The obvious ones and the not so obvious ones fit well. I think that makes it interesting.

    I'm slowly learning the sounds of those progressions. I recognise many of them as I listen to tunes now. Also different secondary dominants, etc. Learning from a tune works best for me too
    Last edited by alez; 12-16-2020 at 04:40 AM.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    Thank you for your words and encouragement. I've just updated that list with additions I've been making. The thing is, everything on that long list fits perfectly well in the chart, which is a lot simpler. The chart captures all the entries on that list plus all the ones I added later. The obvious ones and the not so obvious ones fit well. I think that makes it interesting.

    I'm slowly learning the sounds of those progressions. I recognise many of them as I listen to tunes now. Also different secondary dominants, etc. Learning from a tune works best for me too
    I can't give advice, but I can say that I've been working towards a similar goal, in my own way. The idea is to be able to hear the cadences and find the chords. I believe that achieving the goal will mean that I won't even need to know what key I'm in or anything about the structure of the tune that somebody might use words to explain. What I'm trying to get to is hearing the chords in my mind and having my fingers find them without conscious thought.

    It might seem far-fetched but probably everybody on here can do for a 12 bar blues. Then, maybe Rhythm Changes and Blue Bossa.

    I'm trying to be able to do it faster and with fewer mistakes on a list of standards I like to play.

    My approach, which can be laborious is to use IRealPro, pick a tune, set it for 13 choruses with a key change by a 4th every chorus, quiet the piano in the backing track with the mixer and then comp the tune in every key. The idea is to get the connection between sound and fingers going without intervening language.

    Hopefully, if the virus lasts long enough, I'll make significant progress.

  11. #10

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    How many tunes have you learned in the past few months?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    I've made a chart with the chords I know.

    I've tried to reflect typical movement such as cadences, etc.

    I've organised it in line with things I've been told on these forums (by Christian and others).

    It's in the keys of C and A minor.

    The upper half has 3 blocks of dominants, each of them associated to one of the 3 possible dim7 chords. The note below expands these dominants a little. The 3 arrows at the top mean these form a circle (like in The Chicken by Jaco).

    The lower half has the diatonic tonal centres these dominants usually resolve to.

    Then there are 3 additional arrows:
    • One leaves the tonal centre Dm using Dm7b5 as part of a II-V.
    • A similar one uses the Fm or F#dim7 dominant chords to leave the tonal centre F.
    • Another one arrives to the tonal centre Dm from D7 or D#dim7.

    Sorry as that may be, that sort of completes the movements I know so far.

    At the expense of some added arrows, each chord appears only once. [Note: the fact that all "7" chords can be pairs as per the text note (for II-V etc.) mean an exception to this.]

    Would you please hit me with your feedback?
    Have you ever seen a chart like this elsewhere? I suspect not, and I think that should probably tell you something about how clear and applicable other people would find it. So, it could be that this is a useful way for you to think about what I think the subject is (what chord comes after another in a cadence; subbing dim7 chords for dom7's on b7, b9, 3, and 5 of a dom7). Only you can really provide feedback on that. But I think most of the rest of us would kind of scratch our heads and go "ok, I sort of see where he's going with some of this, but ... uh ... not really." The only way I would be able to follow whatever logic this is intended to represent would be via an example from an actual tune. I honestly do not understand what this is a diagram of, and I've read it and come back to it a bunch of times.

    John

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    How many tunes have you learned in the past few months?
    none, have you any idea how long these flow diagrams take?

  14. #13

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    Chords in tonal context-b361cc0a-2a47-4a8a-8f42-4c9d81a2ce93-jpeg

  15. #14

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    that's the most complicated chart of "all of me" that i've ever seen

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I honestly do not understand what this is a diagram of, and I've read it and come back to it a bunch of times.
    I see. I am sorry if you got the impression that you wasted time because I didn't bother to use my time to explain this. I really thought I had drawn something intuitive, as the underlying concepts leading to it are few and mostly well know as rpjazzguitar pointed out. I now see I was wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    So, it could be that this is a useful way for you to think about what I think the subject is (what chord comes after another in a cadence; subbing dim7 chords for dom7's on b7, b9, 3, and 5 of a dom7).
    Yes, it's about what chord comes after another in a cadence. Previously, I had put together this long list of common cadences I've mentioned above ( List of cadences to diatonic centres ). It seemed too long and complicated to me, like some sort of synthesis / generalization that would somehow contain all of that could be made. So I grabbed a pencil and some paper and did that.

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    The only way I would be able to follow whatever logic this is intended to represent would be via an example from an actual tune.
    I've been checking this agaist the tunes I know, following the changes on the music sheet in the chart. It's not easy to explain in static text. Maybe a video.

    Thanks for your feedback, John. You said only me can really provide feedback on this, but you have provided good, useful one

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    none, have you any idea how long these flow diagrams take?
    I bet your really funny response took you a while too, so thanks for that!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    How many tunes have you learned in the past few months?
    Hey, not sure if you are asking me or rpjazzguitar.

    I've added maybe 10-20. Some more in depth than others, hence giving a range (also "past few months" can be anything?). For some of them, it's been more about learning different things from them (learn music and how it sounds) than really learning the tunes well enough to play them in a performance.

  18. #17

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    Then do as many flow charts as you want :-)

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I can't give advice, but I can say that I've been working towards a similar goal, in my own way. The idea is to be able to hear the cadences and find the chords. I believe that achieving the goal will mean that I won't even need to know what key I'm in or anything about the structure of the tune that somebody might use words to explain. What I'm trying to get to is hearing the chords in my mind and having my fingers find them without conscious thought.
    I like your plan, but yes, it looks ambitious.

    Sometimes I pick the instrument and play over whatever recording without really working out in advance the key or anything. Most times, soon enough I end up realising formal aspects of what's going on, and the experiment is over because from there on I find myself approaching the task using that knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Hopefully, if the virus lasts long enough, I'll make significant progress.
    You have a sense of humour.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Then do as many flow charts as you want :-)
    What's that supposed to mean?

  21. #20

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    BTW, Christian, you said "Fm = Bb7" but I've put them in different boxes. That way Fm goes well to Em (and still goes to C anyway) and A7 goes well to Fm, both of which I've seen in use. In this case it's all about the tone Ab, and all 3 chords have it anyway. I may be totally wrong, but I'm inclined to say "Fm = Ab = Ab7".

  22. #21

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    @Alez, do whatever works for you, but IMO creating flow charts is hindering you, not helping you. Instead of creating lists and diagrams, you should be internalizing "what this sounds like and why it works." All of which is covered in the theory block at any university. Start taking harmony classes at your local community college (if you have such a thing in Spain) and all of this will be laid out for you in very logical fashion, with examples in sound. I can't stress the latter enough - if your teacher doesn't play this stuff on the piano for you so you can HEAR what a particular chord movement sounds like, you have no hope of internalizing the rules of harmony. OTOH, if you do learn every theoretical construct in sound, then whenever you hear something, you know what it is, immediately. Like telling red from blue, hot from cold, sweet from bitter.

    If you can't take a class, then get a good harmony book and play the examples for yourself. It'll be a lot harder than having it played for you, but all of this is already organized and presented by many expert sources.

    Be wary of youtube videos made by people who have no credibility outside of the Internet... someone with a university degree, bandstand credibility, and the backing of a publishing house is likely to be a bit more knowledgeable than someone who got an internet connection and proclaimed themselves an "influencer."

    Credible online sources include
    Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. USA
    California Jazz Conservatory (see another thread on JGO for a link)
    Trufire
    A number of "name" performers offering online lessons, such as Jonathan Kreisberg (tho JKs lessons are probably not for beginners)
    Any number of known music colleges worldwide who have begun to shift their curriculum from in-person to online

    Again, not dissing your efforts, keep at it if it helps you, but you might be trying to reinvent the wheel.

    Cheers,

    SJ

    PS - I have a music degree from a four-year university. I'm familiar with all of the theoretical concepts in your chart and more. That knowledge did not help me to make heads or tails of the chart. I looked at it over and over, and just found it confusing. But, if it helps you, great. What might help you more is to learn how to express everything in your chart as standard musical notation. Doing so would most likely be even more revelatory than creating the original flowchart, and other musicians could then look at it and add to it or explain in more detail. Again, do what works for you; this is just my 2 cents.

  23. #22

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    That is very useful, starjasmine, thanks a lot for your time and effort.

    My learning is very much based on aural perception, btw, but admittedly through the study of tunes. I make a lot from studying how they've been put together and the way the different things in them sound. I'm getting better at recognizing some of the devices used when I listen to tunes unknown to me.

  24. #23

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    Hey Alez

    I want to qualify my answer a bit. I still think that understanding the larger framework of harmony would help you a great deal, but I also need to point out that you are already learning and codifying advanced concepts of chromatic harmony that a traditional pedagogy would not teach till perhaps year two or three. And some of the concepts of jazz harmony just are not taught at traditional schools. Even though it would take time, learning about the bigger picture would give you a good framework into which to fit the modern concepts you are trying to understand now. What you are doing now is kind of like trying to understand how wi-fi calling works without understanding radio, internet protocols, analog telephones, satellites, the vehicles that put those satelllites into orbit, or why the satellites don't fall out of the sky in the first place. I.e. you can approach some understanding of the "now" without understanding what came before, but an understanding of what came before will vastly enrich your understanding of "now." So the suggestion to take a traditional harmony course block is more like foundational work for the long term rather than answers to what you are struggling with now. At the same time, you will find that as your mental model of harmony develops, you'll begin to see the connections that are not apparent right now.

    Cheers

    SJ

  25. #24

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    Thanks a lot for this! You really made a point I can understand.

    I've been reading this book called "Hearin' the Changes" by Jerry Coker, Bob Knapp, Larry Vincent. I understand well some sections, and not so well (yet) other sections. I read parts of it from time to time. I really like it.

    But yes, I realize your point re. "radio before wi-fi" and, at least to an extent, I've been trying to counteract. For example, I tried to understand and learn songs that are easy in terms of the devices used (earlier jazz eras, Great American Songbook / Tin Pan alley) before trying the songs from the periods that followed.

    These days I've moved on from there a little and I'm learning some Duke Ellington. I guess anything to do with his songs may be really old to you guys, but I'm absolutely in love with the way he twisted major harmony a tiny little bit, just enough to incorporate certain tones in the melody (of course, it's just my impression and a simplistic way to describe what he did anyway).

    Anyway, I do sound like an amateur or rookie student, but I'm really loving the process of learning. It's joyful.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    I bet your really funny response took you a while too, so thanks for that!
    well you asked for feedback...unfortunately 40 years of working in systems has left me with a pathological hatred of flowcharts!

    But of course it’s good to try and understand all the common movements and progressions, however you tackle it.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    What's that supposed to mean?
    If flow charts help you understand music, cool.

    But the principle work is learning tunes and doing music.

    I was having a chat with my Konnakol teacher today; he said music is like a building site. It’s not neat and we are just trying to put it together as best we can. The best thing is that things should be practical.

    Like many educators (he is a conservatoire professor) who are also highly experienced and capable professional musicians, there is a central distrust of written sources; the idea of writing a book itself, for example, has a tendency to corrupt or (more charitably) modify knowledge. For instance, the study of harmony from a textbook is obviously not as valuable as what you are doing in fact; I would say carry on, but advise simply to not expect everything to be neat.
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-16-2020 at 07:08 PM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    BTW, Christian, you said "Fm = Bb7" but I've put them in different boxes. That way Fm goes well to Em (and still goes to C anyway) and A7 goes well to Fm, both of which I've seen in use. In this case it's all about the tone Ab, and all 3 chords have it anyway. I may be totally wrong, but I'm inclined to say "Fm = Ab = Ab7".
    You know, I stopped doing diagrams like this when they became so complex it didn’t seem to really say or communicate anything useful.

    There’s quite a few ways things can move. The more tunes you learn the more you see....

    it all seems simple in mind but when I try to systematise things on paper it just ends up looking like a map of hell. That’s the thing about embodied knowledge....

  29. #28

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    An aside with an apology in advance, since I've posted similarly before.

    If you can play the melody to Happy Birthday starting on any fret/finger/string ... how did you accomplish that?

    It probably was not that you remembered it starts with two notes (Hap-py) and goes up a major second and so forth.

    More likely, if you've got some time in on the instrument, you heard the melody in your mind and you played it without any intervening thought.

    On the bandstand if you're trading fours with another melody player and he plays a line and you play the same one back at him, you heard it and your fingers played it and the rest of your brain probably was not involved. I'm referring to the linguistic analysis that you probably didn't use.

    This is, I believe, a basic skill for jazz, developed with a lot of time on the instrument.

    Speaking now just for myself, I have a much easier time doing this with melody than chords.

    But, I don't see why the goal for chords should be any different. You hear the next chord in your mind and your fingers find it, leaving the irritating busybody part of your brain out of the process.

  30. #29

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    In response and maybe amplifying what @rpjazzguitar said, it actually begins by being able to sing in your mind's ear the melody of "Happy Birthday".

    This is something most of us can do. This may be less true of a Charlie Parker solo, or the bassline and strong guide tones of a standard.

    I think this gets a bit overlooked because guitarists are all obsessed with the fretboard.

    Once you have this together with whatever it is you are trying to play, learning to play it on your instrument by ear becomes a relatively mechanical and practicable task. Just throw hours at it and you will get better.

    But underestimate the first stage and you won't make progress with ear playing and be tempted into other, easier seeming alternatives that serve only to distract from this central aspect.

    (Tristano knew this for instance.)

    So, the number one thing most guitarists do which gets in the way of this is their tendency to noodle. I actually think overly theoretic approaches to learning improvisation encourages the tendency to noodle around modes and so on, rather than cultivating this strong aural intention. You can barely know one end of the guitar from the other, and provided you have this you will work it out well enough to get the music out, and play more convincing music than a schooled technician who doesn't play by ear (however, being a schooled player doesn't mean that you can't also play by ear.)

    (This is not ear training BTW, ear training is categorisation of something you can already hear.)

    Anyway, a little OT perhaps lol. But in terms of the value of learning tunes - I think not. Learning tunes by ear is at least as much as it is about practicing learning tunes by ear, as much as it is about building repertoire.

  31. #30

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    Guys,

    I'm overwhelmed by your enlightening responses. Thank you so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    well you asked for feedback...unfortunately 40 years of working in systems has left me with a pathological hatred of flowcharts!
    No Visio or similar software back then, eh? I'm old enough to favour pencil on paper for all these things, maybe you do too.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If flow charts help you understand music, cool.

    But the principle work is learning tunes and doing music.
    Totally understood, thanks.

    It's odd however that, upon posting a diagram, some people (and I'm not talking about you) will assume that all you do is diagrams and you aim to improve your musicianship through that alone. Obviously, people are just trying to be helpful, so I'm not upset but much the opposite, grateful.

    Konnakol is a beautiful form of art.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You know, I stopped doing diagrams like this when they became so complex it didn’t seem to really say or communicate anything useful.

    There’s quite a few ways things can move. The more tunes you learn the more you see....

    it all seems simple in mind but when I try to systematise things on paper it just ends up looking like a map of hell. That’s the thing about embodied knowledge....
    Ha ha, I still know very few movements (in number, not in frequency of appearance) but it's happened to me already. I guess the only way to come with something that looks like something is to incorporate some things, leave some others out, rather than trying to capture every movement you know or have seen in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    An aside with an apology in advance, since I've posted similarly before.

    If you can play the melody to Happy Birthday starting on any fret/finger/string ... how did you accomplish that?

    It probably was not that you remembered it starts with two notes (Hap-py) and goes up a major second and so forth.

    More likely, if you've got some time in on the instrument, you heard the melody in your mind and you played it without any intervening thought.

    On the bandstand if you're trading fours with another melody player and he plays a line and you play the same one back at him, you heard it and your fingers played it and the rest of your brain probably was not involved. I'm referring to the linguistic analysis that you probably didn't use.

    This is, I believe, a basic skill for jazz, developed with a lot of time on the instrument.

    Speaking now just for myself, I have a much easier time doing this with melody than chords.

    But, I don't see why the goal for chords should be any different. You hear the next chord in your mind and your fingers find it, leaving the irritating busybody part of your brain out of the process.
    Thanks for this. I'm not quite there at all, but I think I'm taking the correct steps because I'm getting better at it, slowly but steadily. Without any thinking involved, I can handle really simple melodies (Happy Birthday is a good example). I'm really excited about this ability, it's a modest achievement but I realise how far from being able to do that I used to be.

    As for Christian's last response, I don't really have anything to add. It made so much sense to me and I really enjoyed reading these things explained so clearly, and I fully understand "mind's ear", "central aspect vs. noodling vs. ear training", etc. Thanks.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    In response and maybe amplifying what @rpjazzguitar said, it actually begins by being able to sing in your mind's ear the melody of "Happy Birthday".

    This is something most of us can do. This may be less true of a Charlie Parker solo, or the bassline and strong guide tones of a standard.
    I've always assumed that there are different ways to go about constructing a solo. But, I don't really know how most people do it.
    I'll take a shot here at describing some approaches, with the hope that others will chime in with their own takes on this.

    1. Clearly sing a melody in your mind, perhaps actually vocalizing it, and play that. I'd have to assume that Herb Ellis was doing this, because he always vocalized (you would see his mouth moving) when he soloed.

    I'd like to think that Paul Desmond thought that way, because his solos were on the same level, often, as his compositions. On Bossa Antigua, for example, it's hard to tell when the head ends and the solo begins. That's how melodic the solo is.

    Oscar Peterson also vocalized. Was he doing it too, even at his rapid tempi?

    2. Start with a brief idea or melodic cell and cycle it around the harmony. So, for example, R 2 3 5 is a short melodic idea and if you play it through the harmony of Giant Steps, you'll be following an approach Coltrane employed. Warren Nunes often seemed to play that way. It was all about the cell vs the harmony.

    3. I have the impression that other players tend to think in scales and arps and play them with some input from their melodic sense, but it can sound more like noodling than approach #1 above.

    Any approach can sound great if done well. That starts with great time feel. It continues with something interesting about the melodic idea or the harmonic juxtaposition or the rhythm.

    That's not an exhaustive list. My own goal is squarely in #1, for better or worse. But, I have to focus on it or my fingers will noodle without me.

  33. #32

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    You can broadly categorise melodic soloing approaches of one of two things;

    1) embellish the melody
    2) make up a new melody

    sometimes you think you are doing one but you are doing the other.

    Oh yeah things I have learned; Improvisation is a goal, not a given.

    Improvisation can be a cumulative process.

    And it doesn’t have to start from scratch from a blank page; in fact it is often freer and more creative if it doesn’t.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You can broadly categorise melodic soloing approaches of one of two things;

    1) embellish the melody
    2) make up a new melody

    sometimes you think you are doing one but you are doing the other.

    Oh yeah things I have learned; Improvisation is a goal, not a given.

    Improvisation can be a cumulative process.

    And it doesn’t have to start from scratch from a blank page; in fact it is often freer and more creative if it doesn’t.
    If all your solos were playing around with the original melody of the tune -- and you did it with solid time feel -- nobody would complain and the phone will keep ringing.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-18-2020 at 07:01 AM.

  35. #34

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    At some point I switched from playing over backing tracks or iReal Pro to doing it over the head of recordings in a loop. I load the track into a waveform editor (I use Audacity because it's great and free) and carefully select the head so that it loops well. Hearing the melody during my practicing connects things together really well. In my practice sessions, I sometimes play the melody, sometimes something totally different (a solo), sometimes something that falls anywhere in between. I don't make a distinction at all, that is, I don't play a number of choruses in one fashion, then switch. I don't switch at the end of choruses, I just drift during the choruses.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If all your solos were playing around with the original melody of the tune -- and you did it with solid time feel -- nobody would complain the phone will keep ringing.
    Yep. Easy to overlook.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by alez
    At some point I switched from playing over backing tracks or iReal Pro to doing it over the head of recordings in a loop. I load the track into a waveform editor (I use Audacity because it's great and free) and carefully select the head so that it loops well. Hearing the melody during my practicing connects things together really well. In my practice sessions, I sometimes play the melody, sometimes something totally different (a solo), sometimes something that falls anywhere in between. I don't make a distinction at all, that is, I don't play a number of choruses in one fashion, then switch. I don't switch at the end of choruses, I just drift during the choruses.
    I really like doing this, it's a very organic way to internalize form.
    A companion variation on this (when improvisations are on song form) is to play the melody against a looped solo chorus. I particularly enjoy playing
    along with drum solos.

  38. #37

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    Interesting, I will try that

  39. #38

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    I once had a chance to sit in while an old master pianist gave a lesson to a young master.

    The teacher played drums throughout. He was feeding the student rhythmic ideas and suggesting that he incorporate them into his solo.