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  1. #1
    Hi there,

    I'm sorry if this has been asked before. I've looked around and couldn't quite get an answer to my question.

    When playing through a standard or a progression, I know it is common to see the fretboard notes in relation to the current chord.

    Eg a 2-5-1 in see the note C would be visualised as the b7 on Dm, then as the 4th on G7 then as the 1 on Cmaj7. This is all well and good but can get a little confusing for me in terms of how I am hearing the melody and the harmony. Am I supposed to hear the C change in relation to the current chords as well yet retaining it's relation to the tonic? Or would it be easier for me to hear each chord in relation to the tonic (eg hearing Dm as 2, 4, 6 and 1 as opposed to 2, Me, Sol and Te).

    I find it easier to hear everything in relation to the tonic but am starting to see the benefits of the seeing and hearing everything in relation to the current chord, however I am finding this its very hard for my ears to force my ears to do this in real time.

    The reason for this is because I have been memorising chord progressions as numbers as opposed to absolute chords (so instead of learning Am7, Dm7, G7 then Cmaj7 I just learn it as a 6-2-5-1 then take it through several keys without bothering about the absolute chord names), but when I try to treat each chord as a mini modulation I get a bit lost when trying to relate the melody and the harmony together, as I usually hear the melody in relation to the tonic instead of to the current chord.

    Are there any exercises that I can do to help myself hear in relation to both chord and tonic in real time whilst still learning standards?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    The thing that makes progressions work is harmony, which relates the chords. Individual chords relate to the tone center (usually the tonic), the previous chords, and the upcoming chords... and the tone center may become a local shifted tonic, for example when the two chord is a II7.

    So the way I think of it, I always hear the tonic (the tone center), and the current chord, kind of bracketed by the past one and the next one. What you are asking about is how these are heard with reference to each other...

    I would never try to hear a chord change as a mini modulation (unless it really is one) because to do that you lose the connection to the tone center, so the harmony is corrupted (the harmony has to be with reference to the tone center). It is a bit of task to try to hear a single note as an interval from the tone center and also a different interval from the root of a progression chord, but that is really how to hear it.

    It's important to hear these things so that you preserve the functional relationships of the progression chords (hear their function). If you don't hear the chord functions and their chord tones and extensions and alterations, your basis for improvisation is pretty narrow. The good news is that while this is hard to teach, it is naturally learned with experience. There are multiple symbolic and verbal methods of identifying these relationships (the things that are taught), but the actual hearing of these things in a way that frees you to grasp it all effortlessly and play in an informed and effective way just takes time.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  4. #3

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    I hope I got your issue right.




    One exercise I did was to let some app play different chords in random key and I sung a one certain little passage against it, hoping to be in the right place with it to not go out of the current key. This improved quite fast. The simplest was 5 notes down from Ionian 1st degree note - thats unique and mistake would be obvious. So just to get the idea of the exercise, don't even use any app. Just play random chords on your guitar and try sing 1-7-6-5-4 in Ionian in the proper key. Hard at first but is not impossible at all.

    The other thing I did and enjoyed myself and also used to demonstrate the "magic" of music to my students was to just let them play one note, I played all the chords one by one and asked them to listen to their own note and describe how their note changes with different chords. This works the other way round also, playing one single chord and singing or playing all the notes one by one against it. The trick is to keep calm and really listen each one at least for 10 seconds. Sounds esoteric but sometimes.. wow, sparks fly! Sometimes not

    One exercise was in this forum in a posted video from a good player. He complained about his behind a bit then showed an interesting thing on the guitar. He chose one note and played.. all kinds of chords while holding the note(top) the same. But it was so long ago, cant remember the system even. Maybe someone remembers..


    edit: eh crap. forgot "...whilst still learning standards"

  5. #4

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    [QUOTE=emanresu;883837]

    One exercise was in this forum in a posted video from a good player. He complained about his behind a bit then showed an interesting thing on the guitar. He chose one note and played.. all kinds of chords while holding the note(top) the same. But it was so long ago, cant remember the system even. Maybe someone remembers..

    QUOTE]

    Ted Greene teaches this sort of thing..playing as series of chords under a common tone top note or over a common tone bass note..starting with key based chord progressions ii7-V7-I7 / iii7 vi7 ii7 V7 I7 etc...then he would focus on the middle voices and create progressions for those chords..then go through the same progressions using chord inversions and wide voiced chords..and would show examples of how this stuff works in a tune..

    I often wondered how he learned so much/so well in one lifetime..which was ended way too soon..
    play well ...
    wolf

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I hope I got your issue right.




    One exercise I did was to let some app play different chords in random key and I sung a one certain little passage against it, hoping to be in the right place with it to not go out of the current key. This improved quite fast. The simplest was 5 notes down from Ionian 1st degree note - thats unique and mistake would be obvious. So just to get the idea of the exercise, don't even use any app. Just play random chords on your guitar and try sing 1-7-6-5-4 in Ionian in the proper key. Hard at first but is not impossible at all.

    The other thing I did and enjoyed myself and also used to demonstrate the "magic" of music to my students was to just let them play one note, I played all the chords one by one and asked them to listen to their own note and describe how their note changes with different chords. This works the other way round also, playing one single chord and singing or playing all the notes one by one against it. The trick is to keep calm and really listen each one at least for 10 seconds. Sounds esoteric but sometimes.. wow, sparks fly! Sometimes not

    One exercise was in this forum in a posted video from a good player. He complained about his behind a bit then showed an interesting thing on the guitar. He chose one note and played.. all kinds of chords while holding the note(top) the same. But it was so long ago, cant remember the system even. Maybe someone remembers..


    edit: eh crap. forgot "...whilst still learning standards"
    Don't sweat it! Those exercises will do just fine prior to practising thanks!

  7. #6

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    [QUOTE=wolflen;883966]
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post


    One exercise was in this forum in a posted video from a good player. He complained about his behind a bit then showed an interesting thing on the guitar. He chose one note and played.. all kinds of chords while holding the note(top) the same. But it was so long ago, cant remember the system even. Maybe someone remembers..

    QUOTE]

    Ted Greene teaches this sort of thing..playing as series of chords under a common tone top note or over a common tone bass note..starting with key based chord progressions ii7-V7-I7 / iii7 vi7 ii7 V7 I7 etc...then he would focus on the middle voices and create progressions for those chords..then go through the same progressions using chord inversions and wide voiced chords..and would show examples of how this stuff works in a tune..

    I often wondered how he learned so much/so well in one lifetime..which was ended way too soon..
    On the notion of retaining a note during a series of chord changes I recall Joe Pass demonstrating this on video, creating some surprising tensions. He called the repeated note an "anchor note" for obvious reasons. The examples I remember tended to use the B or G string for the anchor note, with melody or improvisation being on E or B. The principle is simple, but it led to some surprising fingering, that nonetheless made sense. I have quite a few of Joe's videos and the next time I come across this example I'll see if it's possible to post it.

  8. #7

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    This just popped up in my YT suggestions.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    ... He complained about his behind a bit ...
    So, this was a "Does my *ss look fat in this?" question?

    Ba-da-boom.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brummy_Guitarist View Post
    When playing through a standard or a progression, I know it is common to see the fretboard notes in relation to the current chord.
    What do you mean 'in relation to'? Do you mean academically? Or do you mean how they actually sound?

    Eg a 2-5-1 in see the note C would be visualised as the b7 on Dm, then as the 4th on G7 then as the 1 on Cmaj7.
    Technically accurate, but so what? It's how they sound, where they're going, what you're doing with them. That's all that matters.

    This is all well and good but can get a little confusing for me in terms of how I am hearing the melody and the harmony.
    Exactly. Trust your reaction. If it confuses you there's a good reason for it.

    Am I supposed to hear
    According to whom, to what? You're not 'supposed' to hear anything, it's what you do hear that counts. If it sounds good, it is good. That's the whole fallacy, that I'm supposed to be playing such-and-such a way according to so-and-so. Who says so?

    Are there any exercises that I can do to help myself hear in relation to both chord and tonic in real time whilst still learning standards?
    Yes, just play. Play tunes, improvise, experiment, play with it. Your trouble, apparently, is that you're playing with your head and not your ears and aesthetic sense.

    Do anything. Play a 2-5-1 and do a line. You know the notes, you know the variations, just do it. Extract short, unfamiliar progressions from tunes in different keys and play with them. Don't think in numbers (numbers?), think in music!

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    What do you mean 'in relation to'? Do you mean academically? Or do you mean how they actually sound?



    Technically accurate, but so what? It's how they sound, where they're going, what you're doing with them. That's all that matters.



    Exactly. Trust your reaction. If it confuses you there's a good reason for it.



    According to whom, to what? You're not 'supposed' to hear anything, it's what you do hear that counts. If it sounds good, it is good. That's the whole fallacy, that I'm supposed to be playing such-and-such a way according to so-and-so. Who says so?



    Yes, just play. Play tunes, improvise, experiment, play with it. Your trouble, apparently, is that you're playing with your head and not your ears and aesthetic sense.

    Do anything. Play a 2-5-1 and do a line. You know the notes, you know the variations, just do it. Extract short, unfamiliar progressions from tunes in different keys and play with them. Don't think in numbers (numbers?), think in music!
    Sorry if my question was stupid. I am just a beginner.

    I am trying to play the music as I hear it and I know I am trying to play "academically" as it were. However the reason I am asking this question is I am trying to learn to play chord melody and when harmonising the melody, I find that I am struggling to link the melody and the harmony in my ears. That is, my ear does not seem to understand the relationship between the melody in relation to the harmony (so for instance when playing Eb over a Gmin7 chord in the key of Bb I hear the Eb as the 4th tone in the key of Bb but do not immediately understand that Eb is the b6 of Gmin7 and as such I struggle to harmonise the melody).

    As such whenever I am trying to improvise or harmonise a melody, I get unstuck because I get lost in the changes. And I think that's because my ear does not truly hear the harmony of each chord.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    This just popped up in my YT suggestions.
    Awesome! Thanks

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brummy_Guitarist View Post

    I am trying to play the music as I hear it and I know I am trying to play "academically" as it were.
    You can't do both. One probably should know some theory but when you pick up the guitar leave it behind. Just play what sounds good.

    However the reason I am asking this question is I am trying to learn to play chord melody and when harmonising the melody
    What do you mean 'harmonising the melody'? Do you mean trying to find the right chords and voicings to complement the melody? If you're a beginner, as you say, then just use the accepted chords. You can find different inversions etc online. Or juggle the notes to suit. Beyond that is not the beginner's province, it's extremely skilled.

    I find that I am struggling to link the melody and the harmony in my ears.
    Why? You have a lead sheet (presumably) and you use it. What's the problem? If it says that note over that chord, that's what you play.

    That is, my ear does not seem to understand the relationship between the melody in relation to the harmony (so for instance when playing Eb over a Gmin7 chord in the key of Bb I hear the Eb as the 4th tone in the key of Bb but do not immediately understand that Eb is the b6 of Gmin7 and as such I struggle to harmonise the melody).
    Forget all that. Eb over a Gm7? It's not in that chord so why are you playing it unless it's just part of a line that happens to include it?

    As such whenever I am trying to improvise or harmonise a melody, I get unstuck because I get lost in the changes.
    I don't know what you mean 'lost in the changes'. Don't get lost. Stop and figure it out!

    And I think that's because my ear does not truly hear the harmony of each chord.
    A chord is just a sound, a few notes that sound good when played together. That chord goes with other chords and together they make a tune. As I say, follow the lead sheet. The chords to most tunes are pretty well laid down so no problem. The more you do it the more attuned will your ear become. Certain chords sound good together. Certain combinations of chords repeat themselves ad infinitum... etc.

    Don't make an insoluble problem of it all. Begin simply and it'll all become clear.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    You can't do both. One probably should know some theory but when you pick up the guitar leave it behind. Just play what sounds good.
    Oh please. That's all we talk about on these boards. Including you. I mean, we could get into semantics about what theory actually is. You know what chord you're playing etc.

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  15. #14

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    Are you from Birmingham?

    I'm a relative beginner and struggle with all that too. Little steps I think. Jazz is so complex that there is a tendency to try and deconstruct it and understand it as it seems impossible to be able to play it intuitively, but I think there needs to be both approaches, theoretical and intuitive. One thing I regret doing when I started is not playing more, and spending too much time working stuff out, as I think it is much better to be able to understand the theory once you are familiar with a sound rather than understanding what might work without being able to hear it. I've bough Barry Galbraith's book on comping which is simply 14 example arrangements suitable for comping, nothing more. It contains loads of great voicings and progressions that can be used in many tunes. Honestly, it is an unusual book, as the studies actually sound really good. Finish the book and you will also learn 12 tunes (2 are repeats). Work out the why afterwards!!! The best player I know, who seems to be able to play and harmonise almost anything by ear on the fly, is always saying I should just play the blooming instrument and who am I to argue!!! There are also 2 chord melody books by Barry Galbraith too, probably an excellent resource if you want to learn chord melody.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticpigeon View Post
    Are you from Birmingham?

    I'm a relative beginner and struggle with all that too. Little steps I think. Jazz is so complex that there is a tendency to try and deconstruct it and understand it as it seems impossible to be able to play it intuitively, but I think there needs to be both approaches, theoretical and intuitive. One thing I regret doing when I started is not playing more, and spending too much time working stuff out, as I think it is much better to be able to understand the theory once you are familiar with a sound rather than understanding what might work without being able to hear it. I've bough Barry Galbraith's book on comping which is simply 14 example arrangements suitable for comping, nothing more. It contains loads of great voicings and progressions that can be used in many tunes. Honestly, it is an unusual book, as the studies actually sound really good. Finish the book and you will also learn 12 tunes (2 are repeats). Work out the why afterwards!!! The best player I know, who seems to be able to play and harmonise almost anything by ear on the fly, is always saying I should just play the blooming instrument and who am I to argue!!! There are also 2 chord melody books by Barry Galbraith too, probably an excellent resource if you want to learn chord melody.
    Me? Yes. US not UK....

    Are you in the area?


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  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Oh please. That's all we talk about on these boards. Including you. I mean, we could get into semantics about what theory actually is. You know what chord you're playing etc.

    Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk
    All I'm saying is keep things simple. Think in simple terms. Use your ears and develop your instincts. Don't rely on theory and other academic devices that fill your head with complicated information and numbers that have little to do with music. When you do learn things like that, forget them when you play, or else you'll sound stiff and might even lose your place. That's it.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    All I'm saying is keep things simple. Think in simple terms. Use your ears and develop your instincts. Don't rely on theory and other academic devices that fill your head with complicated information and numbers that have little to do with music. When you do learn things like that, forget them when you play, or else you'll sound stiff and might even lose your place. That's it.
    Right. But I think that's the essential difference between practice and playing. Feel like very often we're arguing about playing when someone else is talking about practice...

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  19. #18

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    Hello Matt, what a coincidence! Wasn't the great Johnny Smith from Birmingham US?

    I'm in Birmingham UK. I was wondering where Brummy_guitarist is from.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Right. But I think that's the essential difference between practice and playing. Feel like very often we're arguing about playing when someone else is talking about practice...

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    Good point.

    I'm not against theory. Without the theory we wouldn't be here. I was really addressing the OP and his obvious confusion with nomenclature, terminology, technical terms, numbers, notes in relation to chords, and so on.

    I'd say that problem was the same whether he's practising or playing. I don't think that approach is going to help him. I'd say it's plainly not helping him. On the contrary, it seems to be the source of his confusion.

    To me, it's a bit like language. As I'm writing this I'm not thinking about grammar. I mean, cast your eye over this:

    English grammar - Wikipedia

    You and I, and probably everybody else here, don't think in those terms. Half of them I've never heard of. I know the basics, what a noun or a verb is etc, but beyond that I'd be seriously lost. Yet I know that I'm perfectly fluent in English, as most of us are here. The lack of in-depth grammatical knowledge apparently doesn't affect the ability to convey meaning.

    I feel many of the discussions here are akin to a sort of Grammar seminar to discuss the finer points of the art but I don't see any real relationship between that and daily communication. We just speak. We may puzzle over a word or two but it doesn't matter.

    Brummy might be a great theorist in the making, I wouldn't know. But if he just wants to play some jazz effectively then I think he has to play the notes, listen to how it sounds, and proceed accordingly. Of course he has to know what he's doing but that's the only real connection with theory in actual terms.

    Does that Eb over Gm7 in Bb sound good or not? It might be a b6 but that's not the point at all. Does it clash or does it work? I think that's the point, maybe the only point.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Does that Eb over Gm7 in Bb sound good or not? It might be a b6 but that's not the point at all. Does it clash or does it work? I think that's the point, maybe the only point.
    I like the grammar analogy and have used it myself, but I would actually use it to make the opposite point. You see, grammar doesn't actually inhibit your use of language at all.The use of grammar doesn't slow down your thinking process in the moment, make you talk slower etc.it's a completely separateendeavorfor describingyour speech or writingand abstraction. And it has its own purpose in that way.

    b6 is more useful than Eb alone, is only for the sake of analysis. You flat is useful only in the one key /chord /situation, While flat six, as an abstraction /concept , is applicable in more situations beyond the original specific. That's the point of the analysis, whether it's grammar or music theory. But again, knowing what something is called after-the-fact in a different way doesn't really inhibit you from playing something you could already play anyway. Regardless of what anyone else says, theory very much can inform things you learn to play in the practice room.

    Anyone who thinks that you can teach yourself to play - via theoretical knowledge alone - is misguided , ....but that's a separate issue, and it's somewhat beside the point to always bring up in these types of threads in my opinion.

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  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    It's a completely separate endeavor for describing your speech or writing and abstraction. And it has its own purpose in that way.
    Absolutely, that's all I'm saying. It's necessary to put music together coherently but it's separate.

    Regardless of what anyone else says, theory very much can inform things you learn to play in the practice room
    I wouldn't entirely disagree with that but I do think it's validity is overemphasised. What may be 'correct' theoretically might sound very awkward in practise. I'm thinking of, for example, the Lydian Chromatic idea. Some of the music generated from that concept sounds far too 'pure' to my ears and doesn't really work for me. Although I know some well-known players have found it useful.

    Anyone who thinks that you can teach yourself to play - via theoretical knowledge alone - is misguided
    Well, that's just it and I'm wondering if that isn't the case with the OP here - which, of course, is why I brought it up.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticpigeon View Post
    Are you from Birmingham?
    Yes I am!. I wonder what gave it away lol.

    EDIT: Just in case it doesn't come across online, I very much am aware what gave it away. Are you aware of any good teachers in the area?

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Good point.

    I'm not against theory. Without the theory we wouldn't be here. I was really addressing the OP and his obvious confusion with nomenclature, terminology, technical terms, numbers, notes in relation to chords, and so on.

    I'd say that problem was the same whether he's practising or playing. I don't think that approach is going to help him. I'd say it's plainly not helping him. On the contrary, it seems to be the source of his confusion.

    To me, it's a bit like language. As I'm writing this I'm not thinking about grammar. I mean, cast your eye over this:

    English grammar - Wikipedia

    You and I, and probably everybody else here, don't think in those terms. Half of them I've never heard of. I know the basics, what a noun or a verb is etc, but beyond that I'd be seriously lost. Yet I know that I'm perfectly fluent in English, as most of us are here. The lack of in-depth grammatical knowledge apparently doesn't affect the ability to convey meaning.

    I feel many of the discussions here are akin to a sort of Grammar seminar to discuss the finer points of the art but I don't see any real relationship between that and daily communication. We just speak. We may puzzle over a word or two but it doesn't matter.

    Brummy might be a great theorist in the making, I wouldn't know. But if he just wants to play some jazz effectively then I think he has to play the notes, listen to how it sounds, and proceed accordingly. Of course he has to know what he's doing but that's the only real connection with theory in actual terms.

    Does that Eb over Gm7 in Bb sound good or not? It might be a b6 but that's not the point at all. Does it clash or does it work? I think that's the point, maybe the only point.
    Okay I haven't been very clear. I am trying to play tunes, in fact most of the time I do just simply try to improvise/comp over the tunes I know. However I was asking my question in relation to when I am practicing and analysing the tunes I already know.

    I know you're saying it's all very academic and not very helpful, but in my case it does help me to slow down and analyse how and why to view things a certain way, which then allows me to understand it with my ears and then translate it onto the fretboard. Obviously I am not a very experienced guitarist and so my approach may be completely wrong, and I know you're giving advice from your years of playing the instrument, but I do find it rude the way you've responded to my honest question.

    Having said that I do very much appreciate the advice you've given as it has been rather helpful.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brummy_Guitarist View Post
    I do find it rude the way you've responded to my honest question.
    No rudeness intended to you personally, I assure you. I can occasionally be a bit rude about theory for theory's sake though :-)

    Having said that I do very much appreciate the advice you've given as it has been rather helpful.
    I'm glad of that, it was the object.

    If I may ask, why are you analysing? I mean, faced with a tricky tune, I'll certainly look closely at it, maybe sort out the tonal centres, look at how the chords function, etc etc, and then figure out the best way to approach playing it - usually by simply playing it and seeing what happens, if I'm honest.

    What I don't do (and I may be off again, sorry) is disappear into some conceptual world of technical terms and all that because it just doesn't help. To reiterate the language simile, if I was writing a story or a letter, I'd certainly look at my sentences, maybe look for a clearer ways of saying something, better description... and so on. That's what I'd call 'analysing' it, if we want to use that word. But it's not analysis like that Wiki site has it. It's not parsing the sentences looking for strict grammatical errors. I'm not taking an English exam or setting one for others.

    I hope you see the difference. I'll look at a tune and dissect it a bit if it's tricky, but I wouldn't approach it ever as though it were some sort of theory thesis. To me, the two worlds are just not the same. The fact is that many, many great players were self-taught, figured it out themselves from various sources, and so on. I could give a dozen quotes on it.

    If there is a fallacy then I think it's probably the idea that the study of technical theory will make one play better. Or give one a better ear. Or give one a musical sense one doesn't have naturally. Or musical experience. I may be wrong but I don't think it will.

    But, you know, some people swear by it so who am I to argue? But I do know that I can't think of a single famous player who bothers with that kind of approach. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me. And I'd be quite happy to be corrected.

    sorry, a bit long-winded...

  26. #25

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    Ragman1's comments are in general well taken.

    I've been a professional portrait photographer (as is my wife) for 40 years now. I have a nice slug of awards in professional competitions and all sorts of nice titles to put behind my name in professional brochures and writing and such.

    I'm oft considered a bit of a technical wonk for portraitists, and can teach tons of the tech details of the craft and theory of different approaches.

    I can't teach a ... certain ... sense of that ... something ... that some of us get in our works, and so many don't.

    If you have that, as you start developing enough technique to be able to get past technique without brain strain ... interesting images start to emerge. Not just technically well done, but ... interesting. Intriguing. Beautiful or arresting. Even both.

    I've known many of the better ones in the US in that time, and some of them love to get lost with another experienced knowledgeable pro in composition and lighting theory from time to time.

    But none of them ever go there while working. Don't even think about it. They have the technical mastery to use their understanding without needing to *think* about it in the moment.

    A major bass-baritone friend is a marvelous teacher of classical voice and operatic performance and still performs in major houses around the world. I've spent many hours discussing theories and techniques of classical voice. Fascinating.

    But it again needs to be a natural thing you do in the background while performing for the performance to ever .. sing.

    So examining the underlying basis of what works, to see why, can be fun, and can be very useful to build a solid underlying understanding of the craft.

    But don't ever mistake the understanding of the craft for the performance of the art.

    Understanding is there to serve a naturally evolving performing style, or sense.

    My old teacher of jazz was a huge proponent of knowing Theory. Wanted me to master the Mehegan "Jazz Improvisation 1 Tonal and Rhythmic Principles" textbook, written for piano. I was to convert everything to application on the guitar. (Sadly, when young I was too lazy to work hard enough to actually do that, to my everlasting regret.)

    He told me to remember two things: first, I was to master the contents of that book; second, if i ever played a note sounding like a Master of Theory, he'd break my guitar to splinters over my head.

    Bass-bari friend laughed at that, said he essentially tells his students the same thing.

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  27. #26

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    R Neil -

    Yup, that's about it.

    As I've got older everything I do has become simpler, much simpler. I know the theory (if pushed) but, as you say, I don't think like that when playing, or even preparing to play. These days it's almost vanilla with a bit of pretty icing here and there. It's like I've gone back to 'naive art'.

    But we're all where we are. Such is life.

  28. #27

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    I think learning to drive a car would even be the best example how theory vs. practice works. After getting the licence, people still are a bit scared for a year or so (except young lunatics) because its pretty much life&death decisions all the time. This fear indicates that the theory hasn't been absorbed just yet. We know the theory, but it's not our "second nature" for a while after learning it.