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  1. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post

    ...imagining that I'm Miles Davis, Art Farmer, or Oliver Nelson--they knew how to hold those money notes and place them just right in their improvisations. It takes courage to hold a note when everyone around you is weaving double time--I want to be able to do both.
    nah...learn how to make it sing in half time...that's where the beauty lies

    i just heard a guy repeat sun ra's dictum-space is the place


    cheers

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #202
    Nea, I was hoping you'd get that reference--Adam and Peter didn't!

    Also, they missed my shout out to Schaap--JAZZ LIVES!

  4. #203
    I don't want to derail the Julian Lage transcription too much because--c'mon! It's Julian freaking Lage. When is someone gonna transcribe his work with Chris Eldridge? Tasty stuff there as well, and on dreadnaughties.

    I wanted to post this live stream with Fareed Haque. Watch it, and listen to how many times he keeps repeating "you have to hear it" AND "your time and rhythm are everything" (I paraphrased). People kept asking the age old "what scales do you use", and he answered it like a BOSS "Use a blues scale and focus on the rhythm and swing" or "you don't need to spell out every chord change".



    Worth a listen, and please check out the episode of You'll Hear It a couple of posts prior--it's definitely a good listen (plus you get to hear my actual voice on that podcast--what a treat)

  5. #204
    Another interesting video by another musician I ALMOST had a lesson with (Dang Dong GPS and Brooklyn being CONFUSING to navigate):



    My take away from Mr. 80/20 might piss people off:

    Here's what I think, I used to obsess over scales and licks. What scale did Joe Pass use on Blues for Alice? What sub's does Pat Martino use on Love for Sale? I'm sure I'm not alone here.

    Nate (Mr. 80/20) echoes what Fareed Haque said in the live stream--if you watch in on Youtube, I'm the guy constantly talking about using your ears on the chat --anyway, the similarity is simplicity coupled with GROOVE. They talk about locking in with simple material.

    Here's where I get a little controversial. I'm gonna talk about Reg for a moment--stick with me. He is really into talking theory with us all, which is interesting and all. Anyone can talk theory, look at me--for instance. You know what REALLY impresses me about Reg?









    HE CAN GROOVE LIKE A ... I won't be crass, but he is ridiculously groovy with everything he plays. Whether it's his comping--he uses simple voicings, but holey smoley that feel! Or his solos--everything pops. That's what keeps me interested when I hear him play. Unfortunately, knowing all the theory won't get you there--I really wish it did. But working on your time, getting everything to pop and sit just right in the pulse, getting those notes to dance--that's hard. I mean, that's 90% of what people remember when they listen to us play--maybe 10% is tone (but that's usually from fellow guitar geeks like me )

    So, why do I spend so much time on ear training? Well, for one, working on your time is ear training. Two, I want to know exactly what notes to use to in each part of the pocket, or each part of the phrase--control. But it really boils down to, I want those notes to be second nature so I can concentrate on the REAL MEAT of playing with others--that dialogue. Part of the dialogue is hearing the harmony, but the majority of that dialogue is rhythmic. We need to bow down to the alter of time and space, you get my drift: rhythm, pulse, and groove.

    I just listened to Grant Green playing on Miss Ann's Tempo:



    The note choice is cool, but what's really exciting--how he grooooves. Those syncopated hits, the build up rhythmically in what he is doing, it makes you wanna get on up and DANCE.

    Learning all the hip subs is great, I'm still doing that (and trying to get it all to make sense in my ears)--but it doesn't mean jack if I can't lock it in with the band. That's melodic inventiveness, yes--but it's also this unyielding confidence with pulse, rhythm, and groove.

    If we all worked on our time--myself included--and really focused on getting everything to sit exactly where we want it to--I think we'd all experience a ridiculous amount of growth in our playing.

    Now, let's field the question: How do we work on our time? Thoughts, ideas? I have some, but I wanna hear from everyone as well. Remember, I want us all to build this thread together--as an ear training sanctuary (even if you don't subscribe to all the Charlie Banacos stuff I obsess about--I learned my lesson--I want to be inclusive of it all )

    So, any ideas on working on our time? Don't be late .

  6. #205
    Along these lines, listen to what Pete and Adam have to say on practicing time with a metronome:



    Listen to Adam at 7:00 into the video. How many times have I mentioned that type of metronome practice here on the forum? Well, now You'll Hear It!

  7. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post

    Here's where I get a little controversial. I'm gonna talk about Reg for a moment--stick with me. He is really into talking theory with us all, which is interesting and all. Anyone can talk theory, look at me--for instance. You know what REALLY impresses me about Reg?









    HE CAN GROOVE LIKE A ... I won't be crass, but he is ridiculously groovy with everything he plays. Whether it's his comping--he uses simple voicings, but holey smoley that feel! Or his solos--everything pops. That's what keeps me interested when I hear him play.
    Not controversial to me, I've been thinking the same thing for a long time. I would add, he has got his technique down to a high level that is part of what allows him to groove like well, like he does.

    From this thread way back when, Post #63, Fly Me To The Moon-Interactive practical/theory group. I transcribed about half of it, which illustrates what you said, transcription here: Box

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  8. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Now, let's field the question: How do we work on our time? Thoughts, ideas? I have some, but I wanna hear from everyone as well.
    I think the biggest clue to the answer is to notice something important when reflecting on the nature of the different primary aspects of playing:

    - melody (choice of notes)
    - harmony (choice of chords)
    - rhythm (?)

    Melody and harmony may be played to varying degrees by theory or by ear, but in the execution of both of those made manifest through rhythm, that rhythm aspect even if read on the score and understood theoretically is really actually only played by ear.

    This is an important enlightenment especially for those who self describe themselves at the book and theory end of the spectrum - they may think they do not play by ear, but for the rhythmic aspect of playing, they actually do. Realizing this allows those who don't think they play by ear, but are curious, to examine the feeling of how they play rhythm, as it's already a "by ear" thing, and get some insight into what it means to extend that kind of feeling to melody and harmony.

    But the point is, of melody, harmony, and rhythm, it is rhythm that is first played by ear, most played by ear, and ultimately must be played by ear.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  9. #208

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    Yes I think Rhythm has to be by ear, and the most helpful ways of working on it I’ve found is to audiate it clearly.

    This can be done in a number of ways. Transcription of phrases is one.

    There is a theoretical side to rhythm too of course and a kinaesthetic side too (talk to drummers.) We can understand how to place offbeats for instance, and the learn to audiate that clearly. The egg shaker can be useful in cultivating a Brazilian swing in our playing, and so on.

    To me theory is always about feeding things back into the ear.

  10. #209
    Yey, I finally got pauln to comment on the Ear Training Journal.

    Welcome back to the thread, Chris '77.

    Yes, audition is key. When I studied with Bruce Arnold he kept telling me, DON'T COUNT--hear the rhythms. This is most frequently translated as "feel" the rhythms. I extend this principle to my metronome practice. The whole point is to memorize where the click is in relation to silence. A click of two measures of time at 200bpm has a different sound than a click of 4 measures at 200bpm. I made a post about this idea early on. The key is to hear notes and rhythm in the same principle--SOUND. All too often, we mathematicize rhythm. We count and figure out where the rhythms lie within the count. Hearing rhythm as sound posits that we memorize the SOUND of a rhythm.

    Chris'77, you could implement this by recording the sounds of these rhythms on a drum--and having students match that sound with one of your play cards.

    Many of us seem to go through a transition of banging out random rhythms on our thighs (or in the case of my middle schoolers--on their tables) to this point where we are taught to count out rhythm in a mathematical manner. How about keeping with stage one, and teaching rhythm through sonic imitation?
    Last edited by Irez87; 06-08-2019 at 08:02 PM.

  11. #210

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    There's one thing that Bruce Arnold, Fareed Hague and I have in common. We all learned about ear training from Charlie Banacos. I was terrible. I had a hard time naming the single note Charlie played after he played a chord cadence in C. There were other students that would make me cry. Charlie would play the most nasty sounding chord, C-7#5b9#11b13, yeah one of those chords and the student would not only name the chord, but the order of the notes in the voicing. I did find that most of those students were piano players, but it still made me want to cry. Now that I'm back studying I'm using Charlies lessons for it. In my book, to become a solid jazz musician, it's the most important tool. I'm not saying that Bruce or Fareed received all their ear training knowledge from Charlie and I'm sure they didn't. But I wouldn't be surprised if that's where their coming from in their own teaching.

  12. #211
    Definitely.

    We've had one member share his Charlie Banacos's story.

    Look back on this thread and you'll find it--my favorite part of the entire journal.

    Care to share your Banacos's story?

  13. #212

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    I was away from music for over a decade. Last year I looked into studying with Gary Dial who has taken over teaching the Charlie Banacos methods for Charlies family. I always kept my lesson book from Charlie in a safe place. Knowing that the lessons could be valuable to others the thought of rewriting them and offering them for money did enter my mind, but it didn't feel right, so I never did. When I was corresponding with Gary and the Banacos family I was given a form to sign stating that all of Charlies material was copyrighted and I could not use any of the information for financial gain by teaching/selling it to others. So knowing that. I wonder if Bruce and others received permission from Charlie to teach his material. I know Bruce and Charlie were close, so maybe by Bruce saying where he got his information is Okay with the Banacos family. Personally, I think we should teach Charlies methods as long as we acknowledge him and don't claim to be the creator of the lesson.

    Irez87


    I studied with Charlie from 1996-2001 with some breaks. The pressure that I didn't belong would get go me. I wasn't enrolled at one of the music schools in Boston, and only studied privately before I started with him. I couldn't believe that he would keep taking me back. I was teaching privately and gigging out but I wasn't in the same league as Bruce Arnold, Mike Stern, Vic Juris, Paco, Jeff Berlin, etc. There was a trumpet player who had his lesson before mine on Monday mornings. Charlie asked me if I could switch times with him because he was playing Sunday night at the Montreal Jazz Festival, while I was going to teach kids how to play Green Day later that day!!

    I live fairly close to him and would often see him from time to time over the years and right up to the summer before he passed, he would say, hey man, when am I going to see you for lessons again? He never, ever gave up on me. He passed away 3 months before my Father. I didn't know it at the time. When I found out I was crushed. I still drive by his home and think about him often. He was without doubt, one the most generous, caring, wonderful, unselfish, persons, without ego, that I have ever known.

  14. #213
    Strbender,

    Bruce definitely acknowledges Charlie Banacos. He used to have a family tree where he illustrated his journey and how he continued to teach others--Charlie is near the top of that tree.

    Funnily enough, the bass player that I play with weekly also studied with Charlie--with those cassette tape correspondences. I asked if he could dig up one of his tapes... We'll see

    I'd say that at least 75% of my practice time is devoted to the ear training methods that Charlie started. I like what Bruce did with the studies--he put them all out as Mp3's so you can truly study the materials anywhere. I love the concept of Contextual Ear Training. After studying it for 13+ years, I will NEVER go back to interval training.

    I studied with Bruce for 2 years when I lived in NYC, and I have kept in touch with him for over 13 years thereafter. The ear training is getting REALLY exciting. His most recent courses applied Contextual Ear Training to actual backing tracks (I think he made them with BIAB).

    In the past week, I have finally internalized the sound of a b2 against the home key of a jazz blues, rhythm changes, and some jazz standards. When you sing "rah" against a tune in a minor key--wow, it sounds really pretty. The 2nd (9th) and 4th (11th) sound really nice as well.

    Here is Bruce's newest edition to the Practice Perfect Series: The Jazz Standard Volumes:

    Practice Perfect Applied Jazz Standard Ear Training V1 - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    Someone recently asked JGF how to use movable "do" in a jazz context. I hope that person reads this thread--so I don't have to repeat what's already been said here.

  15. #214

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    Moveable do in jazz is easy - you just go ‘do do do do be do’

  16. #215
    do be do be do be do waaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  17. #216
    I haven't posted in a good while...

    Okay, so here's my solo on Stablemates from a recent jam, warts and all:



    Why am I posting this? Well, I started working on the tune using that Practice Perfect Series: The Jazz Standard Volume 1 course that I spoke of in post #330.

    There's much to improve:

    1. I want to play with more melodic and harmonic clarity--I know I flubbed a lot of the changes, and I over used some themes

    2. I want to play with more rhythmic clarity--confidence is everything, I'm working on mine

    3. I need to keep my focus (at one point I lost the groove)

    4. I need to work on soloing without accompaniment in a live setting--it's hard work--I want to hear the changes both in the bassline and in my head as clear as day... it's getting there, slowly!

    That said, I could never play like this before. I played Stablemates in February and I already hear an improvement. Progress is exciting, especially because it's EAR driven.

    I'm still working on this tune, but I like approaching it from the ear--listening to notes and singing over the changes. With each pass, I add more detail.

    I still cringe when I hear myself play, but I'm getting better at that too
    Last edited by Irez87; 07-20-2019 at 01:11 AM.

  18. #217
    ???

  19. #218

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    I like the sound you got, also the time feel, and the phrases were interesting and melodic.

    My only criticism would be that I could not hear the changes very well in the lines you played. As there was no piano then I think the soloist has to try and make the changes a bit more clear for the listener. I couldn’t easily relate it to Stablemates until I listened on headphones and heard the bass lines (also the bass is low in the mix, that doesn’t help!).

    But having said that, I think this is a pretty difficult tune, the changes are very ‘slippery’ in that Benny Golson manner. I’ve never really learned it properly, I would have to go away and shed it before trying to play a solo on it. In fact I had a go at it today after listening to your clip, and I did not like my own attempt much!

  20. #219
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I like the sound you got, also the time feel, and the phrases were interesting and melodic.

    My only criticism would be that I could not hear the changes very well in the lines you played. As there was no piano then I think the soloist has to try and make the changes a bit more clear for the listener. I couldn’t easily relate it to Stablemates until I listened on headphones and heard the bass lines (also the bass is low in the mix, that doesn’t help!).

    But having said that, I think this is a pretty difficult tune, the changes are very ‘slippery’ in that Benny Golson manner. I’ve never really learned it properly, I would have to go away and shed it before trying to play a solo on it. In fact I had a go at it today after listening to your clip, and I did not like my own attempt much!
    Thanks for listening grahambop!

    My mentor said the same thing--he couldn't hear the changes in my lines very well. That's crucial feedback. That bass player is quite the player--he played with Jack McDuff back in the day! Unfortunately, he doesn't like lugging around his amp--and the space itself isn't conducive to live music...it's a yogurt shop!

    It's a heck of a tune, but it contains so much harmonic vocabulary that--once I get it under my fingers and into my ear some more--I'll be able to apply it to other standards.

  21. #220

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    Well now you’ve made me want to learn it properly - I’m going to shed it. I do more or less know the melody by ear (have listened to it many times), I didn’t really know the changes very well though.

    What I find with a tune like this is that once I have internalised the changes so I can really hear them in my head, it gets much easier to play a reasonable solo on it. I don’t really practise with backing tracks or anything, I just play lines and I sort of know by ear whether they sound ok or not.

    So for this tune I will do a lot of work first just playing the chords, constructing lines over the chord tones etc., until I can hear the ‘structure’. After that I can start to work on playing a decent solo (hopefully). Lots of dominant language in this tune, would be interesting to construct the Barry Harris scale outlines over it perhaps.

  22. #221
    My HUGE suggestion...

    This is gonna sound really weird, but...

    Try to keep the sound of Db major in your head for the whole tune, no matter where the progression goes

    ...it all ultimately resolves to Db

    Oh yeah, and look out for the top of the tune--it friggin starts on a chromatic ii-V completely out of the key.

    I still can't figure out how Benny Golson solos on his own tunes.

    I can hear the tune in what Blue Mitchell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dexter, Cannonball, and Wes do when they solo. When Golson solos, he seems like he is coming from a completely different direction...

  23. #222
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    So for this tune I will do a lot of work first just playing the chords, constructing lines over the chord tones etc., until I can hear the ‘structure’. After that I can start to work on playing a decent solo (hopefully). Lots of dominant language in this tune, would be interesting to construct the Barry Harris scale outlines over it perhaps.
    PAGING MR. CHRIS'77 TO THE PERFORMANCE EAR TRAINING ROOM, STAT!

  24. #223

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    Yes Golson is an unusual player, he sort of slips and slides up and down like a bouncing ball. Certainly instantly recognisable!

    The version I know best is Dexter Gordon’s. I’ve also got the Miles and Trane one, haven’t heard it for years though, I’ll have to dig it out.

    I hear the Db centre, the beginning is just a 2-5 which is a half step above the ‘proper’ 2-5 into Db. I think Benny did a lot of that kind of thing. Actually so did Wes come to think of it.

  25. #224
    Blue Mitchell has this:



    They are missing that killer drum intro, but I love Mitchell's ability to play with Mile's melodicism and Freddie's ferocity.

    The most valuable concept all my ear training taught me is always be cognizant of the sound of the tune's key center--especially in a Benny Golson tune!

  26. #225

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    Interesting that the melody has a B over the Dbmaj in bar 3, and a B over the C7 in bar 4. In most of the versions the pianist tends to stay out of the way of that note, or in Miles’ version just lays out on the head!

  27. #226
    The B over the Dbmaj isn't that exotic... I love me a b7th over a I major--I snuck it in on my post of Lullaby of Birdland last month.

    The B over the C7 was a little odd, because of what follows. C7b9 to Abmin7/ Db7... The Db7 seems to fit better(V of IV, or as I hear it--Idom7), throwing in it's ii right after the C7b9 is a little cumbersome.

    Maybe all the charts are wrong?

    Like I said before, I am going over this tune with my mentor. He's very familiar with playing this tune--so I'll see how he goes about playing the harmony.

  28. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    The B over the Dbmaj isn't that exotic... I love me a b7th over a I major--
    Thinking in terms of note names can lead one to avoid notes that would be dissonant if played in the same octave as the chord. But bump them up an octave and they might work, especially if they are part of a melodic line. Maybe we’d feel less conflicted about B over Dbmaj7 if we thought of it as #13?

  29. #228
    Graham mentioned using Stablemates as a vehicle for some interesting dominant language.

    Well, my mentor told me to write 10 tritone lines over the bridge to Rhythm changes and...

    Has anyone ever tried mixing colors/ tensions in one line?

    I mean, using an altered sound and than landing on the natural 9th of the chord?

    Or playing a line that fits in the key, only to land on the #9?

    It's an interesting concept, and when it's done right--I think I found out to create lines like Monk. The mixture really stabs at the ear in a beautiful way.

    I'll try to take a picture of the lines I wrote down. Putting it all in Sibelius and then taking a screen shot is very tidious (Sibelius, not screen shots)

  30. #229
    Hopefully it copied... Anyway, you take these ideas chromatically down the 4ths cycle. They start on Ab7 (the tri-tone of D7)

    eh... I'll try to post it tonight when my wife gets home. She has a Smart Phone, I have Flipper...


  31. #230
    RC Bridge Alt Ideas.pdf

    there... I think you can make out my scribble...

  32. #231

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    slightly off topic..but i know you been havin' thoughts about your guitar/pickup set-up..but in stablemates clip above, i like your tone...real vintagey mids clean but sharp tone...50's vibe.. raney, pisano,bean,budimir...like that

    work with it before abandoning...

    cheers

  33. #232
    YAY

    Yeah, I'm gonna continue to work with it.

    That means a lot, Neatomic! I think I'm finally free from the shackles of Pat Metheny comparisons!

    I love raney, pisano, and billy bean. I gotta check out budimir--didn't he play duo with bean?

  34. #233

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    budimir replaced john pisano, who replaced jim hall...in the chico hamilton quintet...he was playing along side eric dolphy in that band...

    he was friends with bean and pisano and they issued some lo fi tapes they made

    Journal of Performance Ear Training-hqdefault-jpg

    he also replaced bean in bud shanks band...to good effect on this early surf film soundtrack

    barefoot adventure



    cheers

  35. #234
    So I spent all of an hour on the phone with Apple Sauce because that Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron album I got two days ago wouldn't "authenticate" with my computer!

    It was worth it. That album is a masterclass on how to play bebop. Charlie Parker might be the grand daddy--but Barry Harris plays bop in such a clear and succinct manner that you almost learn the language through osmosis.

    I know, I know Barry Harris has his method. I have his first spiral book--and it's really interesting stuff. And then there's TILFBH on Youtube, I told him we had a study group dedicated to his channel

    All that said, when Barry plays bop... I dunno, it just makes sense to me in a way that Parker doesn't (I think it's the sound quality of Parker's recordings that distances me--his Strings album comes through quite clear).

    So, I'm listening to Barry play Lady Bird. I've ALWAYS had trouble making that tune sound musical when I improvise. So I listened to him solo a couple of times, got on the piano, and coped some of his melodic vocabulary and development. It clicked--the tune is beginning to reveal itself to me in a way that I could never glean before.

    After I worked out some vocabulary on the piano (Mr. Three and a Half Fingers... I sometimes use my ring finger) I picked up the guitar and it made sense.

    I've mentioned this time and time again--transcription is a HUGE part of ear training. For some people, it's 100%--and that's totally cool. For me, it's 50% transcription and 50% formal--practicing singing and hearing Charlie Banacos's material.

    The point of this entry is more broad than "how to ear train". I was just struck by how hearing Barry Harris play over Lady Bird in one day taught me more than the 10 years that I've spend I've spent trying to figure out how to be musical over it. The theory and methods all have their place, but nothing teaches more about how to play this music more than LISTENING to this music.

    Barry's a master--he might be set in his ways--but I think we can learn more from Barry by just listening to how he plays bebop than if we try to learn all of his methodology verbatim. I'm not knocking his methods, I'm just saying that there might be more to learn from his recordings than his teaching. Every note he plays on that album, JEEBUS. I have some of his other records, but WOW! His take on Our Delight is also quite scrumptious.
    Last edited by Irez87; 07-25-2019 at 01:33 AM.

  36. #235

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    So I spent all of an hour on the phone with Apple Sauce because that Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron album I got two days ago wouldn't "authenticate" with my computer!

    It was worth it. That album is a masterclass on how to play bebop. Charlie Parker might be the grand daddy--but Barry Harris plays bop in such a clear and succinct manner that you almost learn the language through osmosis.

    I know, I know Barry Harris has his method. I have his first spiral book--and it's really interesting stuff. And then there's TILFBH on Youtube, I told him we had a study group dedicated to his channel

    All that said, when Barry plays bop... I dunno, it just makes sense to me in a way that Parker doesn't (I think it's the sound quality of Parker's recordings that distances me--his Strings album comes through quite clear).

    So, I'm listening to Barry play Lady Bird. I've ALWAYS had trouble making that tune sound musical when I improvise. So I listened to him solo a couple of times, got on the piano, and coped some of his melodic vocabulary and development. It clicked--the tune is beginning to reveal itself to me in a way that I could never glean before.

    After I worked out some vocabulary on the piano (Mr. Three and a Half Fingers... I sometimes use my ring finger) I picked up the guitar and it made sense.

    I've mentioned this time and time again--transcription is a HUGE part of ear training. For some people, it's 100%--and that's totally cool. For me, it's 50% transcription and 50% formal--practicing singing and hearing Charlie Banacos's material.

    The point of this entry is more broad than "how to ear train". I was just struck by how hearing Barry Harris play over Lady Bird in one day taught me more than the 10 years that I've spend I've spent trying to figure out how to be musical over it. The theory and methods all have their place, but nothing teaches more about how to play this music more than LISTENING to this music.

    Barry's a master--he might be set in his ways--but I think we can learn more from Barry by just listening to how he plays bebop than if we try to learn all of his methodology verbatim. I'm not knocking his methods, I'm just saying that there might be more to learn from his recordings than his teaching. Every note he plays on that album, JEEBUS. I have some of his other records, but WOW! His take on Our Delight is also quite scrumptious.
    I don’t see it as a dichotomy.

    I think you can be overly purist in your thinking. Do whatever helps you. Life is short.

    Get Take Twelve (Lee Morgan), More Power (Dexter) and constellation (Stitt). Also west coast blues (Harold Land) has him with Wes on guitar.

  37. #236
    That's just it, Chris'77--transcribing and ear training has helped me more than theory ever did alone.

    I'm a purist when it comes to one thing and one thing alone--my ear has to guide everything I do on the guitar. Theory is in the mix, methods, all that. But my ear has to be in the driver's seat. I've wasted too much time trying to separate the ear from the mind. In actuality, my ear guides my mind.

    Life is short, so you gotta do what works for you--even if it ain't what they taught ya in school. For me, that means continuing to develop my ears so that they can be the final judge of what sounds "hip" and what sounds like "sh....ip".

    You know that I'm all about the ear, right, '77?

    I'm gonna go broke with all the great album recommendations! I have Lonesome Lover and his Solo Piano album, as well the Tadd one.

  38. #237

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    That's just it, Chris'77--transcribing and ear training has helped me more than theory ever did alone.
    Yeah of course. I came to the church of Barry by basically transcribing, coming up with my own ideas about it, revisiting Barry Harris and realising he had already come up with a very convenient tool kit.

    I'm a purist when it comes to one thing and one thing alone--my ear has to guide everything I do on the guitar. Theory is in the mix, methods, all that. But my ear has to be in the driver's seat. I've wasted too much time trying to separate the ear from the mind. In actuality, my ear guides my mind.
    The thing is ears guide everyone's playing - whether they know it or not. If you hear someone play something good, they are hearing it.

    If on the other hand someone's playing seems a bit weak, rhythmically poor, lacking in tone etc, it's because they don't hear what they are playing.

    This doesn’t mean they can sit there and name the notes in 6-pitch voicings.... but it does mean their aural imagination is active during playing.

    Knowing this is the most important thing a music student can learn.

    Life is short, so you gotta do what works for you--even if it ain't what they taught ya in school. For me, that means continuing to develop my ears so that they can be the final judge of what sounds "hip" and what sounds like "sh....ip".

    You know that I'm all about the ear, right, '77?
    Yes - however - 'the ear' is not simply one thing.

    I feel (and I might be wrong here) that you perceive ear training as a sort of linear process where individual pitches an collections of pitches are categorised by a trained ear. You've gone further with the Bruce Arnold/Banacos approach than I have, so I'm loathe to talk about it too much let alone critique it (what I have done so far of that has improved my note recognition and has had some non-linear positive effects on my general aural perception)

    If you want my feedback to you as a player based on that Stablemates recording I agree with graham. The obvious reason you aren't using the type of descriptive vocabulary you find typically employed over changes heavy tunes like that, that might be possessed by professional sounding players who might lack your note recognition skills, musical interests and depth of knowledge.

    I think you have specifically avoided this, judging from your posts here - is that right? You see it as superficial. You want to improvise in real time purely by ear, note by note.

    I think you need to cheat more, hustle your way on to the bandstand through superficial expertise. Seriously. Run it in parallel to your deep project. Learn some licks.

    (Is it necessary to become a notey, licky player in order to advance to the next stage? Perhaps not- though it certainly seems that’s the general run of things.)

    So, beyond the superficial regurgitating of licks and cliches, what Barry teaches that I found valuable is the understanding and hearing not of single pitches or chords or even collections of notes, but phrases, authentic jazz idioms in use by the common practice players of the bop and immediate post-bop era.

    You can hear those things as little corporate entities within a musical line in real time - oh, it's a 3 phrase, oh it's a chord with surrounds, oh it's a descending dominant scale, or it's a pivot - very quickly. If you play the thing, you hear it better. I wouldn't quite say bop is an open book to me now, but quite a lot of it is.

    (Playing runs in parallel to hearing. Most of us will be familiar with how much easier it is to hear chord grips we play, for instance. I like Hal Galper’s exercise for this.)

    But I did come to BH through ‘transcription’. I would just say having work on it, transcription is a whole lot easier. In language terms, I understand the phrases a lot more. I think and hear in phrases, not notes.

    But you know this is just my opinion based on my experiences, and I suspect I won’t do much to influence you one iota haha. But I also believe that enlightenment comes from a path of moderation, not asceticism.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-25-2019 at 10:31 AM.

  39. #238
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77;968394
    [I
    I feel (and I might be wrong here) that you perceive ear training as a sort of linear process where individual pitches an collections of pitches are categorised by a trained ear. You've gone further with the Bruce Arnold/Banacos approach than I have, so I'm loathe to talk about it too much let alone critique it (what I have done so far of that has improved my note recognition and has had some non-linear positive effects on my general aural perception)

    If you want my feedback to you as a player based on that Stablemates recording I agree with graham. The obvious reason you aren't using the type of descriptive vocabulary you find typically employed over changes heavy tunes like that, that might be possessed by professional sounding players who might lack your note recognition skills, musical interests and depth of knowledge.

    I think you have specifically avoided this, judging from your posts here - is that right? You see it as superficial. You want to improvise in real time purely by ear, note by note.

    I think you need to cheat more, hustle your way on to the bandstand through superficial e. xpertise. Seriously. Run it in parallel to your deep project. Learn some licks.
    [/I]
    Partially correct, partially not. What you call "licks" I call anchor vocabulary. IE, I learn anchor vocabulary everyday through immediate transcription--I hear it, I play it (on the piano or on the guitar), I personalize it. I use it to inform what I hear next--it becomes a landmark.

    My initial post was all about these "transcription" sessions. Putting on an album, and listening to how the masters played it. Not dissecting it. Not transposing it. Just getting the melodic vocabulary of that particular phrase in that solo under my fingers. Then I use my ear to make sense of it. I've tried the whole "learn licks in all 12 keys". It didn't work for me. It became an exercise in dissection instead of an exercise in learning through immersion.

    The next time I get together with my mentor, we're gonna craft a solo together--premeditated. Not so I can play the solo note for note at my next jam session. More so, so I can hear what I sound like when I play with more melodic, harmonic, and RHYTHMIC (our favorite) authority. Stablemates is a hard tune, so figuring out some sort of melodic architecture is crucial to learning how to improvising over the tune.

    That said, I view improvisation as purely communicative. If I go on the bandstand with something completely premeditated and close my ears off to what is happening around me--what's the point of playing with others. The interaction between me and the other musicians on stage is more exciting to me than playing "all the right licks". Vocabulary is important, as is learning structure. I teach students how to write informatively and argumentatively in my day job, after all. But I never want to teach at the expense of robbing someone of their voice--I want to teach all the structures that, in essence, elevate that voice so that everyone else can hear it.

    Just to clear up any doubt, I never said that there was a dichotomy. I think the right term is hierarchy--order of importance. I feel like I am constantly repeating myself here. I never said "throw out the theory". I said "your ear should inform everything you do". Your ear helps you hear theory (I've heard people say that theory guides the ear, I disagree). Your ear helps you develop technique--you need to hear what sounds "good" to you.Your ear helps guide transcription (theory is in the background, not the foreground).

    I just worry when I post that the majority of those that take the time to respond (and I appreciate the response) to me, fail to thoroughly read everything that I initially typed. I'm not saying "I am G-D, read my posts as scripture, I am all knowing" or something. But the misinterpretation leads to a bandwagon effect.

    Chris'77, I enjoy our conversations, your Scrapbook Youtube videos are on point, and you understand fundamental concepts in music that most ignore. And you give great advice--I'm excited to hear how you translate this all to the classroom! But, I feel like we get into situations where we "talk past each other". And when this happens, people latch on to the disagreement, and use it to prove that everything I post is erroneous...

    The internet can be a pain in the arse...

    I think the next post will be me at the pianimo again. Show don't tell--that's what teachers have taught since the dawn of pedagogy.

    Off topic, but I keep watching PBS kids with my daughtee and Curious George comes on. I think, the guy that sings the theme song to the show sounds awfully familiar, he sounds like the Good Doctah. Turns out, it was! Dr. John!
    Last edited by Irez87; 07-25-2019 at 01:01 PM.

  40. #239

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    Yeah.... hmmm. Ok. Here’s a thing I feel is becoming apparent from my gigging experiences.

    True Improvisation is not so important of a thing for many of the more changey tunes. I am just not going to be improvising as much on Conception or Moments Notice or some crazy original as I do on a rhythm tune. I’m going to be coming up with a couple of good choruses and maybe swapping ideas in and out.

    I’m not saying that’s the end of the process, but that’s what gets me through them. If I played Giant Steps every night I might improvise over it more, but I haven’t played that at full tempo on a gig since around 2011. And sure you could make Stablemates one of your tunes ....

    I think that aspect of drilling stuff into motor memory is actually necessary to get you through some gigs. Problem is with the complexity of modern jazz composition is it can turn everything into classical music, as no one has time to completely master the repertoire so that we can truly improvise like we do on a blues, unless we get a nice long tour and maybe not even then. I mean I have enough trouble playing my own music.

    But I think some of that is necessary. I find it happens whether I like it or not. And a lot of the players we venerate were refining one solo for performance every night rather than starting from nothing. Many Honourable exceptions of course.

    But the real improvisers they favour tunes like Stablemates? Maybe not. Maybe vamps, blues, rhythm tunes, st Thomas, and so on.....

    If you are the Goldings trio or Kurt it obviously works a bit differently because you have the dates.... But Kurt is playing his own tunes far and away better live the longer he plays them.

    There’s a tension between professional aspects of music and the values of true art, of course. Even in jazz where we definitely aren’t it for the bread. You need to set out your shop.... Either rinse Stablemates (via fair means or foul) or don’t play it and play tunes better suited to your process and interest.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-25-2019 at 02:09 PM.

  41. #240
    Re: Soloj'ing on Stablemates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post

    The next time I get together with my mentor, we're gonna craft a solo together--premeditated. Not so I can play the solo note for note at my next jam session. More so, so I can hear what I sound like when I play with more melodic, harmonic, and RHYTHMIC (our favorite) authority. Stablemates is a hard tune, so figuring out some sort of melodic architecture is crucial to learning how to improvising over the tune.

    Chris'77, I enjoy our conversations, your Scrapbook Youtube videos are on point, and you understand fundamental concepts in music that most ignore. And you give great advice--I'm excited to hear how you translate this all to the classroom! But, I feel like we get into situations where we "talk past each other". And when this happens, people latch on to the disagreement, and use it to prove that everything I post is erroneous...

    The internet can be a pain in the arse...

    I think the next post will be me at the pianimo again. Show don't tell--that's what teachers have taught since the dawn of pedagogy.
    I've succumb to quoting myself

    I'm saying this in a friendly manner because I think you are a great player and a great teacher on the interwebs. All I ask, is if you take the time to respond to my posts (it takes time to write these REALLY LONG posts for the both of us) that you read what I've typed out first.

    If you reread my posts, you'll see that I'm actually in agreement with a lot of what you said. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

  42. #241

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Re: Soloj'ing on Stablemates...



    I've succumb to quoting myself

    I'm saying this in a friendly manner because I think you are a great player and a great teacher on the interwebs. All I ask, is if you take the time to respond to my posts (it takes time to write these REALLY LONG posts for the both of us) that you read what I've typed out first.

    If you reread my posts, you'll see that I'm actually in agreement with a lot of what you said. Not all of it, but a lot of it.
    I don’t think I understood what you meant by melodic architecture.

  43. #242
    Guide tone lines, small melodic cells, chord tone, the overall sound of a harmonic progression (getting that nailed in my inner ear).

    I'll make a video next week when my folks leave town (they are visiting to see my daughter) where I take it to the piano.

    I just feel like I'm getting mischaracterized as a noodler who knows nothing about playing jazz, and that I have no vocabulary. There was definitely vocabulary in that solo and every solo I take--Stablemates is still a new tune to me and I have to woodshed it some more. I need to clear up my ideas, and clear up what I'm hearing in my head while I solo (especially without harmonic accompaniment). Stablemates is one of those hard tunes that I want to learn and own. I've posted other recordings of more "straight ahead standards" and gotten no traction, but I think they sound a lot better than Stablemates because I am more comfortable with those Tin Pan Alley Standard songs. That said, I want to challenge myself so I can grow.

    Here's the misconception MOST people have about me. They think that all I talk about is "I want to hear what I play without any practice at all. I don't want to put in the work"

    IE, I want to find short cuts.

    That couldn't be farther from the truth. I learn tunes, I put in the work. I just go about it a little differently. I try to sing my way through the tune, sing the chord tones, sing the guide tones, sing a bass line (this is a new concept that I was told to try). Learn it all AWAY from the guitar. Then, when I have enough of the sound in my head, I take it to the guitar. It works for me---and it's A LOT of work, but I love every bit of it. My ideas might be foreign to a lot of people because they have a different relationship with ear training or because they've never come across these ideas in traditional jazz guitar instruction. Not right or wrong, just different. I think my perspective is quite interesting. I also really like what Jordan talks about and what you talk about round these parts, Chris'77.

    I'm just sick of the trend of one person misunderstanding me (usually it's someone I respect, first it was Reg) and then everyone else cue'ing in on the misunderstanding and casting me out. Or it turns into a name calling fest... Troll this and troll that.

    It just aggravates me that if a person thinks a little differently, they are singled out.

    I don't think you do this Chris'77, I don't think that at all. But, this is the internet after all and all you need is one misunderstanding to start a mob.

  44. #243
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    So, beyond the superficial regurgitating of licks and cliches, what Barry teaches that I found valuable is the understanding and hearing not of single pitches or chords or even collections of notes, but phrases, authentic jazz idioms in use by the common practice players of the bop and immediate post-bop era.

    You can hear those things as little corporate entities within a musical line in real time - oh, it's a 3 phrase, oh it's a chord with surrounds, oh it's a descending dominant scale, or it's a pivot - very quickly. If you play the thing, you hear it better. I wouldn't quite say bop is an open book to me now, but quite a lot of it is.
    I like this, and this is what I am after when I lift stuff off the records as well as fragments to begin or end a phrase.

    Jimmy Raney speaks to this point as well in that lesson that David B posted--it's a GOOD listen. He talks of "offset" and "flat footed" phrases (starting on the down beat, starting on the off beat, creating 5 beat phrases--that was the most salient point from what I listened to)

    I'm not narrow minded, if I wasn't up to learn all the time I wouldn't be a teacher. But there are certain tenants that will never leave the way I learn: and one is let the ear guide.

    That doesn't mean I simply use my ear. That means the music originates from the ear and finds its way to the fret board. I am obsessed with ear training because I want as much of the music to come from me as possible, NOT the guitar. Of course, listening to what you play on the guitar and playing off that is great as well. But that's my mission, for the music to occur in my ear first and foremost (even if I can't label it immediately, I can immediately translate it to the guitar). That goes with practicing tunes as well. Get the sounds in your ear as much as possible BEFORE you touch the guitar.

    I wasn't upset at you--far from it, Christian. I was upset at how different perspectives that go against the tradition are shunned on JGF. That's all.

  45. #244

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Guide tone lines, small melodic cells, chord tone, the overall sound of a harmonic progression (getting that nailed in my inner ear).
    Ok that’s not what I meant.

    I'll make a video next week when my folks leave town (they are visiting to see my daughter) where I take it to the piano.

    I just feel like I'm getting mischaracterized as a noodler who knows nothing about playing jazz, and that I have no vocabulary. There was definitely vocabulary in that solo and every solo I take--Stablemates is still a new tune to me and I have to woodshed it some more. I need to clear up my ideas, and clear up what I'm hearing in my head while I solo (especially without harmonic accompaniment). Stablemates is one of those hard tunes that I want to learn and own. I've posted other recordings of more "straight ahead standards" and gotten no traction, but I think they sound a lot better than Stablemates because I am more comfortable with those Tin Pan Alley Standard songs. That said, I want to challenge myself so I can grow.
    Those recordings must have passed me by (I haven’t been following everything) Feel free to repost or direct me to one if you can be arsed :-)

    Here's the misconception MOST people have about me. They think that all I talk about is "I want to hear what I play without any practice at all. I don't want to put in the work"

    IE, I want to find short cuts.
    I’m not sure if that’s true exactly. Personally I think the exact opposite.

    I would say go a bit easier on yourself and have a bit of fun, play the instrument. Take some short cuts. You might be doing that of course....

    That couldn't be farther from the truth. I learn tunes, I put in the work. I just go about it a little differently. I try to sing my way through the tune, sing the chord tones, sing the guide tones, sing a bass line (this is a new concept that I was told to try). Learn it all AWAY from the guitar. Then, when I have enough of the sound in my head, I take it to the guitar. It works for me---and it's A LOT of work, but I love every bit of it. My ideas might be foreign to a lot of people because they have a different relationship with ear training or because they've never come across these ideas in traditional jazz guitar instruction. Not right or wrong, just different. I think my perspective is quite interesting. I also really like what Jordan talks about and what you talk about round these parts, Chris'77.
    I think first of all, all of the serious players (the lifers) take ear training just as seriously as you do. They might not do it in the same way, but it is very important. I believe most players use transcription and ear learning of music as a primary focus for this, but most have a least some contact with ear training exercises.

    My mind changes constantly on this. However, I find a frustrating disconnect if I spend too much time away from the guitar.

    I think in part, although I know my scales and everything, I don’t hear an E in the key of C and play the 3rd degree in a C major scale position. It’s much faster than that - I see the note light up on the guitar and I play it. If I’ve been playing a lot - not even mindful practice, just noodling is fine - this link gets stronger and stronger.

    It’s a bit like the people who talk about seeing a piano keyboard when they improvise on a Sax.

    So you can use transcription to work your playing the instrument/ear link, as well as working on your connection to notation. Both are important, but it depends what you want to do.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-26-2019 at 04:39 AM.

  46. #245
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post


    I think first of all, all of the serious players (the lifers) take ear training just as seriously as you do. They might not do it in the same way, but it is very important. I believe most players use transcription and ear learning of music as a primary focus for this, but most have a least some contact with ear training exercises.
    Totally agree. Whew, thought I scared you off.

    What you said in this quote is TOTALLY on point. I skyped with Barry Greene and he commented on my ear and said "I work on my ears all the time". My mentor works on his ears whenever he has a chance--especially when he learns new material or arrangements. I got Adam Levy to talk about "what he hears in his head while he plays and composes". He gave me an interesting answer:



    Youtube is acting bonkers, but I think he answers my question 50 minutes (?) into the video.

    Pete and Adam always talk about listening and using your ears on the "You'll HEAR It" podcast.

    I'll post some piano stuff next week, folks are here until Sunday to see my baby daughter (hope you and yours are doing well )

    I can't comp and play lines at the same time on the piano (I'm working on it). So what I do is, I pedal the key (if it's in Db minor, you pedal a Db) and play lines throughout the tune--superimposing the harmony over the key. When it works, it's REALLY helpful because you end up using your ear to connect all the lines (people call it melodic development, I think it's just a matter of using your ears effectively). That, and I'll play the chords of the tune with roots in the left hand OR with the KEY pedal in my left hand (Db for Db minor, going back to the previous example)

    I was just worried because, like I said, I think you have a lot of great ideas to share here and on Youtube. I didn't want you (I respect your comments and hold your knowledge in high esteem) getting "on the bandwagon" as well -- a lot of people don't get what I do with my ear training. As a result, they attack it--here and in the real world.

    Bruce Arnold told me he got a lot of naysayers when he studied with Charlie Banacos. Charlie told him to "keep your blinders on" and soldier on -- the results will speak for themselves. The way that I play now is a direct result of all of my ear training. Of course, everything else I've studied contributes to my playing as well--but ear training had the biggest impact.

    My best work is done AWAY from the guitar. I mean, I can't play guitar while I drive (I know some forum-ites can, but I can't. I can play one handed drums with a drumstick while I drive...) I love the sound of the guitar. That said, I don't want the mechanics of the guitar to dictate what I play. Especially when I transcribe, I try to go to the piano before the guitar--because sometimes I get stuck by the architecture of the fretboard. If I get it on the piano first, I can get the notes and articulations faster on the guitar if I know it on the piano first. I know, it's weird...

    I'm a nut, remember. But I'm a nut with interesting stuff to say... about shells and salt... what's up with people salting me all the time?

  47. #246

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    Adam Levy is such a tasteful player. I enjoyed his answer to your question about what’s going on in his mind while improvising (starting around more like 53min). It’s great to get into that mode where it seems that the music is creating itself.

  48. #247
    I really should have reached out to Adam when I was in LA...

    He seems like a guitarist with a beautiful soul.

    Sid Jacobs is like that as well.

    They both remind me of TL over here in WA.

    If TL and Sid got together to play music--whoa, that would be all types of amazing.

  49. #248

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    Here’s an interview with Adam Levy. I don’t think much of the interviewer’s style and it’s too long, but you get some insight.
    Adam Levy Interview - Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco - Everyone Loves Guitar #294 – Everyone Loves Guitar – Podcast – Podtail

  50. #249
    Part I: Stablemates



    Part II might be tomorrow, depending on time.

    Than it's Hasta La Vista, BABY!

  51. #250
    Part II: Stablemates

    (listen with headphones)