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  1. #1

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    Harsh criticism is fine. I’m looking to improve my writing, playing, and sound. I composed and recorded this on Sunday.



    In the A part, the changes are Cmaj7, Bmin7 with the root on the 6 and the 2 and 3 strings sharpened (I forgot the name of this chord), Em7, A7

    B part: C, F#7, Bm, E7

    Cheers

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I don’t think you’re ready to compose. You might get more responses by posting a track playing a standard.
    Curiously, is anyone ever "ready" to compose? I think the process of becoming "ready" involves composing, no?

    Anyway, for what it's worth, I think you have some decent melodic instincts given the simple nature of the tune. Nice repetition, development of the main motif, etc.

    I think the melody in general could be stronger with some phrasing fixes that would make it feel less "stiff", and there's quite a few questionable note choices (to me) that sound a little too clashy to feel intentional.

    Are you aiming this tune at the jazz crowd, or just composing a nice background theme? It's probably a little repetitive in the harmony/melody to keep my interest as a listener if I'm expecting "jazz", but it's easy enough to listen to that it's perfectly fine as a backdrop (minus the aforementioned 'clams' and phrasing issues I perceive).

    On the plus, there were a couple chord changes in the last section of the tune that surprised me and generated interest that I liked.

    Not a bad first/second/third/"wherever you're at" outing into composition! Listen to the kind of music you want to write, a lot. Don't be afraid to edit, start over, etc. At the least, it's a good sign that I can sing back/imagine your melody in my mind, which is more than I can say for a lot of music.

  4. #3
    Thanks for the detailed feedback, MarketTomato. I listened again after reading your comment and agree with everything except that I couldn’t hear the clash of some of the notes.

    This is my first jazzy composition although I composed a lot of ambient/background music years ago, which no doubt led to your observation about this piece being background music. I tend to like repetition in music a la Philip Glass or Bohren der Club of Gore but don’t want to bore my listener. I’m sure I’ll get better at keeping interest if I compose more.

  5. #4
    Slather that in some reverb and I think you have a solid surf track, but maybe not really jazz.
    Jazz isn't dead. It just smells funny. FZ

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I don’t think you’re ready to compose. You might get more responses by posting a track playing a standard.
    Very destructive comment IMHO, sorry Kirk, but that's what I feel.

    I once was told: "Your first composition will suck... big time... but without it there will never be a # 50 or #100. And once you get there, chances are high that it'll be really good!"

    You get ready composing by doing it, over and over... so OP, carry on trying.. it'll come...

    :-)
    Last edited by DonEsteban; 08-12-2019 at 11:26 AM. Reason: typo

    --- The ultimate answer to almost all guitar questions: "Practice more!" ---

  7. #6

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    It doesn't matter whether it's 'jazz' or not. Although one of those lines sounded a bit like 'Round Midnight'!

    As a matter of fact, whether it's 'jazz' depends on how it's improvised. There are plenty of tunes, ancient and modern, whose melodies are very simple but change character when the soloists get to work on them.



    Re. your tune, I quite like it. Scrap the brushes, keep to the melody. (Your second chord is 7x788x which is B7#5, also called B7b13).

    It needs more work. Settle on the complete tune. I wouldn't post incomplete rehearsal efforts, it's very hard to assess an incomplete effort.

    Make sure the tune fits the chords correctly. It's out of time at the moment. The B part chords are a bit plain but wait till the tune's complete before complicating them. There's nothing here you can't do with a little more focus.

    You also need to decide whether it's a slow, moody piece or a swing number. Probably swing but it's what you make of it.

    Last edited by ragman1; 08-13-2019 at 04:50 AM.

  8. #7

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    Ring a bell? :-)


  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Very destructive comment IMHO, sorry Kirk, but that's what I feel.

    I once was told: "Your first composition will suck... big time... but without it there will never be a # 50 or #100. And once you get there, chances are high that it'll be really good!"

    You get ready composing by doing it, over and over... so OP, carry on trying.. it'll come...

    :-)
    He did ask for harsh criticism. Otherwise I wouldn’t have considered a comment like that. But I shouldn’t have commented without being more helpful. It’s been a while since I posted that, but I recall feeling that the OP’s composing ability would benefit from a learning more jazz standards to understand the elements of a strong composition. I don’t want to crush a creative spirit, but the OP indicated they had thick skin.

    Maybe I’ll give a few more listens and attempt more useful advice. I may append this to add more...

    The A section loops over four chords:
    Cmaj7 B7aug5 Emin9 A7

    The B section loops over a somewhat different four chords:
    Cmaj7 F#7 Bmin7 E7

    It’s basically the same melody played over both the A & B sections, perhaps with some adjustments to accommodate the different chords.

    The chord sequences and melody are ok by themselves, but I do hear some dissonances that are unpleasant to my ear. For example the melody in the A section plays D over the B7 chord, clashing with the 3rd of the chord. That clash could be removed by moving the melody an octave higher (or revoicing the chord to put the 3rd an octave lower), since then it would become B7#9 (the “Hendrix chord” if you’re a rocker).

    The A part chords are similar to Bobby Calfwell’s 1978 R&B hit “What You Won’t Do For Love”. (It was burned into my memory!) His B section stays in the same key, but changes enough to give it the strong feeling of a bridge.


    Maybe I’d add more later.
    Last edited by KirkP; 08-15-2019 at 03:28 AM.

  10. #9

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    I agree. Done.

  11. #10

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    All the people who quoted it also need to get rid of their quotes otherwise there's not much point...

    Just an observation, not taking sides :-)

  12. #11

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    Rome at Night. Aahhh! I wish I was there right now. It has a bit of a spaghetti western feel for me, certainly a touch of lament or longing. Perhaps a little more melodic or rhythmic distinction/tension in the B Section.
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis