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  1. #301
    The Scale Analysis stuff is fun. I like how it emphasizes how elastic sound is. Play a C mixolydian. Now introduce a b3 and you have the F7 sound in scalar form. It allows for more linear playing, and treatment of melody instead of just grafting ideas from one "key center" into another.

    Greg Fishman talks about this phenomena as "snake over the rocks". The new harmonic "rocks" shift the aural playground-- you play through the changes and into the shifting tensions of the primary key. You aren't thinking key to key, you are thinking new tensions introduced into the primary key.

    Like, in a C blues, the F7 introduces a b3 tension into that C blues landscape. That b3 could be thought of as a rain cloud that is now introduced to the landscape. The C landscape is still there, but is colored, ever so slightly, by that b3 of the F7.

    This idea helps with line building as follows:



    Greg would finish the idea by going back to the primary key of the jazz standard.

    I hope these metaphors don't confuse. The simplest of concepts are often over explained...

    Right now I am working on Contextual Ear Training Two Note Edition -- I need to work on holding on to the key center as new sounds are introduced.

    Glad you are experiencing success with the Banacos material that Bruce put out. Practice it every day, a couple of sessions a day, and that will do the trick.

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  3. #302
    I have to dust off the cobwebs on this journal and add a new entry.

    Looking at my last journal entry, I've noticed that it's taken me almost a year to get the hang of Contextual Ear Training Two Note Edition.

    I think most of the trouble was due to residual effects of the interval training I studied in college (before I studied with Bruce Arnold).

    Currently, I'm noticing that I have issues singing "off" of a b5th, b6, or b2nd. I can access these pitches individually against a key center, but I don't know them well enough to sing them and retain the tonal area as I sing another pitch. For instance, I'll try to sing a b6th to a major 3rd in the key of Ab major and I'll stumble. I think I'm spending all my energy trying to sing the b6th that I'm losing the key center in my head. This work is hard.

    I've been listening to recordings of myself at playing at jams over the past couple of months. I've included one from January, I'm playing the head and first solo to "I Could Write a Book".

    What did I notice:

    Let's get the negatives out of the way...

    1. I'm still having volume problems with my guitar, so listen with head phones

    2. I flubbed the melody when I played down an octave

    3. There were ideas that I didn't commit to all the way in my solo

    Positives...

    1. I played a confident line into the first A section

    2. My lines connect to each other. There's one point at 1:17 to 1:22 where I do a delayed resolution thing with my line. I heard that I played before and expanded on it--I was listening to myself and the band at the same time.

    3. Rhythmic Confidence.

    4. I'm starting to hear substitutions instead of thinking about them.

    5. My amplified tone is a thousand times better than it used to be.

    The reason that I love ear training is because it gives me the confidence to communicate with other people in a musical way and it gets my eyes off the page and my ears to the floor (as pauln says).

    On another note, I have to emphasize that this type of ear training does NOT trump learning a tune. Rather, learning tunes and Charlie Banacos's method of ear training should work TOGETHER. I realized this during my last guitar lesson with one of the young lions from LA (do people still use the phrase "young lion" anymore?). I have to learn more tunes...

    Anyway, this is where I'm at these days.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #303
    Yesterday I spoke about retaining a key center and hearing multiple pitches against a tonal area. Retaining a key center means hearing a progression (or a chord, or a note sequence) to setup a key and then keeping that sound in your head as you sing multiple pitches. Things get tricky when you start signing outside of the tonal area. For instance, singing a b2nd to a b7th. Why would you want to hear those notes? Here are some possibilities

    ii-V-i in C minor

    the b2 of C is Db

    Db could be a b5 of the G7alt or G7+

    the b7th of C is Bb

    Bb could the #9th of that same G7

    See how I am thinking horizantally (key center) and vertically (chord)?

    Keeping the key center in mind helps you shape and resolve your line because it can help you think more melodically. It also helps you really hear how the harmony functions within a key center.

    I've included another sample from a jam in January, Sophisticated Lady. My solo starts at 6:48. The way I shape a solo works best when I'm not looking at a page or thinking of chord changes, things get too cluttered in my mind. But when I can hear everything going on and relate it to my knowledge of ear training, then things start to cook and I have more fun.

    That doesn't mean throw away theory. I couldn't explain those pitches against Cminor without theory, right? My qualm is that we study theory separately from ear training. And we study ear training separate from tune learning. And, finally, we study ear training separately from linear improvisation. Combine everything with your ears. You need to understand it all in your mind AND in your ears. Fair enough?

    Here's the clip:
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #304
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    Tone sounds really great Irez. I especially love the clarinet playing in your recording. It's one of my favorite instruments.
    Guitarist/Violinist
    Reading, PA
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SixStringSolid

  6. #305
    Clarinet is really hard to play, from what I heard. One of the harder reeds to play for sure

  7. #306
    I said on jzucker's thread that people attacked this ear training journal. I didn't mean that the people participating on this thread were attacking me. Sure we had our disagreements, but I think our discussions deepened this whole thread of performance ear training.

    I wanted to mention some new courses over at muse-eek.com called the Practice Perfect Applied Ear Training Series:

    Practice Perfect Applied Ear Training Series - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    The whole premise is providing backing tracks to practice Contextual Ear Training within. I've been trying to convince Bruce to do a jazz volume of this series, but I've had no luck thus far.

    Non the less, if you've already studied Contextual Ear Training, these courses are fun. There's reggae tracks, South Indian tracks, Country tracks, Rock tracks.

    I've found something very interesting in my own practice studies. In the past, when I learned a tune, I'd do the whole "chord tones in all positions" study. After doing all this ear training, I find that if I play the harmony (the chords, if you will) enough, then my lines jump out more and I hear the harmony.

    For instance, I've been playing Sophisticated Lady for two weeks--just the harmony and the melody. I haven't done arpeggios through the tune, or guide tone lines, or chord tones. But after two weeks of just comping and melody, my lines over the tune dramatically improved.

    Forget my Contextual Ear Training bent for a moment. Has anyone else had this experience?

  8. #307
    Okay, one more entry before I hit the hay... on an air mattress (thanks FlatRate Moving)

    Exciting news, folks. Bruce Arnold finally came out with a Practice Perfect Applied Ear Training for Jazz. In fact, he's going to be making a whole slew of volumes in the jazz genre.

    The first volume in the Jazz series is Major Blues:

    Practice Perfect Applied Jazz Ear Training V1 - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    Before anyone hollers "the blues is easy, anyone can play over it" (really?)

    Can you sing specific notes over the blues while retaining the original key center?

    Can you sing specific notes over a blues with a slew of substitutions and still retain the original key center?

    I'm talking tritone subs, back cycles, back door progressions, to the point where your ear goes "wha?!?"

    The course starts off with a simple jazz blues in C and has you sing pitches against the harmony in time.

    That could mean singing C when you are hearing the IV chord or singing Db when you hear the V chord. The challenge is relating everything back to C. The idea about introducing the b3 with the IV chord in post #301 helps communicate this idea (I hope).

    You are essentially creating all the harmonic movement by chromatically moving the notes in the HOME key around. Want a bIIdom7? Using degrees that would be b2 4 b6 7 (which would give you the 1 3 5 b7 of the bIIdom7)

    Why do all these conversions? Well, as we've discussed throughout the thread and the site, music doesn't happen in a vacuum. Chords don't exist statically within a progression. Harmony works to create movement or tension within a key. When you play a tritone line, you want to hear the target of you line at all times--not just the chord that creates the tritone.

    Another poster mentioned modern players. Let's take Joe Henderson. He was a master of playing these out and angular lines--but he always knew how to land them back in the key of the tune.

    The most challenging part of Contextual Ear Training is retaining your key center. That means hearing "key of C" in your head while you play a measure of F#min7 to a measure of B7. Or playing Just Friends, and hearing everything in F even though you start out on the IV (Bbmaj).

    Or hearing Giant Steps in B major all the way through.

    I think it's really interesting because sound starts explaining theory. The ii starts to sound like a ii, or the IIIdom7 starts to sound like a IIIdom7 because you are hearing how everything functions in the key. The best part is, when you are improvising--and you've trained you ear (by transcribing, or ear training--well, actually, I think you have do BOTH) you can access ideas a lot faster by hearing them in your head and--being able to identify what you're hearing--rather than remembering the theory (what scale) or the fingering pattern.

    Anyway, for those of you who've looked at Bruce's site and went through Charlie Banacos's digital material--give this new course a look.

  9. #308
    I wanted to emphasize, again, that Contextual Ear Training does not take the place of listening to and transcribing (you don't have to write it down all the time) as much music as possible. CET alone won't develop your vocabulary, and it won't help your feel/ groove. CET isn't a substitute for anything. Rather, CET helps you capture and understand what you hear on records, what you hear on the bandstand, and what you play yourself--the best way, for in the moment playing--aurally.

    CET does help you communicate all that music you hear in your head to the outside world. You end up speaking the jazz language more clearly because you are processing sound faster (in the moment)--thus you can engage in a true dialogue because you are not stuck thinking of the maths and missing all the moments of inspiration.

    As aforementioned in my previous post, I love CET because it gets theory off the paper and into your ear in a way that I'd never experienced before. I can't tell you how frustrating my early college years were--a ton of theory and I couldn't hear any of it unless I fumbled around piecing it together on guitar. Now, I hear and sing concepts in music theory--it just feels more natural to me because I'm in control of the sounds that craft the theory--not an instrument.

    Developing your CET takes a LOT of work--it's not a magic pill. However, it does make the musical journey--at least for me--so much more interesting and exciting.

  10. #309
    I posted this elsewhere, but I don't want to take part in that thread:

    You all spoke of micro time--to feel the triplet, or not to feel the triplet--and placement.

    I think more study should be placed on macro time--how the whole measure is felt, how the whole phrase is felt, how the form is felt. Being aware of space in the temporal sense. Feeling targets at different episodes of the pulse.

    Great players, regardless of race, were/are able to negotiate these larger "episodes" of space within the context of time. Bill Evans could push and pull the time because of this spatial awareness--awareness of the temporal architecture of the phrase, and the form.

    Charlie Parker could negotiate the push and pull because he was also aware of how these larger sections of time--the phraseology, so to speak--FELT. Not counting--feeling the space in his bones.

    Monk, Monk, oh Monk. All those anticipations and rhythmic surprises. I think they came from his ability to feel temporal space on such a high level that he could twist the contents of the space--those temporal spaces that made up his phraseology--all over the place. However, those "random" punctuations followed the internal structure of his phraseology.

    The more I study macro time, the more I acquaint myself with the pause, the silence. I think silence has a sound, just like notes have a sound. And silence dictates rhythm, maybe more so than sound. The phrase is when temporal space is bookended by a beginning punctuation and an end.

    I think micro time is also interesting, but more people talk about it.

    It'd be interesting to talk about how drummers negotiate space. How is Kenny Clarke's concept of temporal space--the big picture--macro time, different than Max Roach's? Move out even further. How does Tony Williams bend space--his temporal frame work--his macro time differently than Elvin Jones?

    Last note: when you study macro space, you start realizing the relationships of notes and rhythms in a phrase. Where is the cadence? How does the cadence end? Where are the "swung" eighth notes in the phrase, where are the "straight" eighth notes?

    Sometimes, I feel, like rhythm is studied in random. We learn where to place notes within a phrase. What about where to place rhythms other than the eighth note?

    It would be interesting if someone were to transcribe Clifford and Dizzy or Miles and Art Farmer. Instead of looking at the note choice or the rhythms, what would their silences look like? Where would they place silence in their phrasing? Where would they place silence in the form? You could see where they puncture the silence.

    I think a big difference between the greats and everyone else is the knowledge of how to strategically use space.

    You see the spaces get bigger as one progresses from bebop to hardbop to "cool" (though, I still consider Miles to be part of the hardbop tradition). The space between the notes becomes more important than the notes themselves.

    Isn't that a crazy idea?

    This all reminds me of Roland Barthes and the Camera Lucida. I wonder if Jeffy B. could chime in?

    Just meanderings. Who knows what good will come of it.
    Last edited by Irez87; 05-12-2019 at 12:19 PM.

  11. #310
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    So, I'm interested in getting an ear training course that will enable me to practice during my 40-minute commute to work. I started digging around and it quickly becomes obvious that the Bruce Arnold material is highly regarded here. But when I go to the website I am overwhelmed by the number of different books/courses. Some relevant background - I am not a beginner, have a bachelor's degree in music, and played (bass) professionally in my younger days. The mid-life foray into jazz guitar has me convinced I need to woodshed on the ear training to be a better improvisor. Any guidance forum members could provide as to which volume or course would be most appropriate for my needs would be appreciated. Thanks!

  12. #311
    hmmm....

    These materials are a good start:

    1. You put these Mp3's on random. They play a cadence in C, and then one note--you have to identify how that note functions in C.
    Ear training one note for musicians book with audioMuse EEK


    2. You put these Mp3's on random. An unknown cadence plays. You are given C as a reference note. You have to figure out the key (major and minor)

    Key Note Recognition Ear Training Exercise - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    3. You put these Mp3's on random. An unknown cadence plays in a random key. Then you are told to sing a note based on degree.

    https://muse-eek.com/contextual-ear-...ok-with-audio/

    4.You might want to practice this series in tandem, once you get the hang of the method:

    https://muse-eek.com/applied-jazz-ear-training/

    This one focuses on the jazz blues form--with lotsa sub's. The rhythm section plays and you are told to sing a series of notes. Don't start with this series--get used to the format of the ear training first. Cool stuff.

    Let me know if you are still having trouble and I'm PM you Bruce's email.

  13. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I think more study should be placed on macro time--how the whole measure is felt, how the whole phrase is felt, how the form is felt. Being aware of space in the temporal sense. Feeling targets at different episodes of the pulse.
    (so here it is :-)

    I found it interesting because it rhymes to the story telling thing. The macro time is probably a central thing in human speech, so closely relates to story telling, and "making statements".

    Regarding micro vs macro: I think we should differentiate by tempo: in ballads macro time is more important (no place to swing, and also in most cases it is not appropriate), in medium and medium up: the swing (micro) is more important which give the feel and groove, the macro time maybe less important, and in very fast tempos: just keep it if you can :-)

  14. #313
    Thanks for visiting the journal of performance ear training.

    Check out the previous 6 pages, we've had some really thought provoking conversations around here.

  15. #314
    Bruce Arnold is at it again. He just released Volume 2 of the Practice Perfect Jazz Series: Minor Blues.

    He has a bunch of samples to give you a taste:

    Practice Perfect Applied Jazz Ear Training V2 - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    If you've gone through the One Note Series and the Contextual Ear Training (Singin), you should definitely check it out.

    PM me and I'll give you Bruce's email if you are unsure if you're ready for the course--it's better than buying it and not being able to understand it--like I did with his Hearing Bass Lines course (I wasn't ready for it)

  16. #315
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    Thanks for the advice Irez, will check these out. Mr. Arnold is prolific!

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