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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So, I'm reading through Berliner's wonderful 'thinking in jazz', pages 110 onwards and its lining up a few concepts.

    One thing that comes up is something that I've felt my self intuitively towards is the idea of a more organic aural awareness of music that doesn't enshrine transcription as a noteworthy process but rather the very fabric of my teaching and learning. Berliner mentions a band leader who asked if a student had heard a tune - when she replied she had, he counted it off. The point being - you should be able to play what you hear, and remember what you have heard.

    Obviously, most competent jazz musicians are able to effortlessly repeat phrases back on first hearing, but Berliner talks about jazz teachers 'shadowing' their students - doubling their phrases fractionally behind as they improvise them. I've never had this experience, but I'm sure some other members of the forum might be able to share their own experiences of this. Apparently it's maddening!

    Berliner discusses Barry's workshops from the point of view of this approach. It's long occurred to me that Barry is working the muscles of musical memory as well as mere musical reproduction on instruments. This is hardcore training, aural weightlifting, Berliner calls it 'gruelling' and I have often found myself too exhausted to continue, while Barry's powers of concentration are going strong. With all due respect you can't learn this side of Barry's teaching from YouTube videos. The 'stuff' of his teaching is perhaps less important than how he teaches it.

    I can only say that my powers of recall have improved over time - something that's true of many of Barry's students according to Berliner. Through Zoom, I now have the option of attending Barry's class every week, and I am happy that my skills in this area have improved a lot. I'm still hardly a very good aural musician by the standards of some of my colleagues, but I'm getting better.

    You can see analogous practices in the work of Banacos and Tristano. And Edwin Gordon's Learning Sequences in Music is kind of the theory text for why all this stuff is so important, although for various reasons I doubt these jazz educators were aware of his work.

    About two years ago I moved from learning solos as set pieces to trying to shadow recorded solos (BTW I hadn't read Berliner at this point, it just seemed a good way to echo the process of improvisation.) Learning 1000 songs is another one... And of course transcribing solos (although there are many greats who never learned a whole solo.)

    So this is what I was I meant on the other thread when I said that 'ear training' and 'transcription' are drops in the ocean. Ear learning should be the water we all swim through.

    Take off your water wings. There's only one way to get better.
    Barry Harris is doing zoom lessons?

    I've heard about several good musicians (Mulgrew Miller is one) that never transcribed but They played in the style of the target musician. I think this is more interesting than repeating verbatim lines.

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjl
    Barry Harris is doing zoom lessons?

    I've heard about several good musicians (Mulgrew Miller is one) that never transcribed but They played in the style of the target musician. I think this is more interesting than repeating verbatim lines.
    Yes. There’s one today. Get on it.

    Transcription is a very confusing term. Many people seem to think this means working out whole solos or even writing them down (which some have done); but for many others it’s a much more ad hoc process of listening hard, stealing bits and pieces as you go, and learning how to play by ear.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjl
    seems that formal or traditional education reveals its importance. The majority of jazz players dismissed the classical way and after several years of futility we realize the good things solfege does for musicians.
    People use to say that classical musicians are pure sigth readers but it is not right, may be they doesn't work improvisation but the reveal to be profficient in it with less time of work. They are good sight readers and sight singers and can apply that easily.
    Anyway i think the actual ear training education boom, comes from the necessity of overcontrol; we want to control every aspect of the line but jazz is liquid music, is about the moment, overcontrol is the contrary of jazz, we have to feel the order in the disorder, the overcontrol leads to stability, to rigid music, that is not jazz.
    word.

    (Although solfege can be a bit dogmatic itself. May be useful at the early stages. After a while you may not need it anymore... Good sight singers don’t actually use it, because they have to song words lol.)

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjl
    Barry Harris is doing zoom lessons?

    I've heard about several good musicians (Mulgrew Miller is one) that never transcribed but They played in the style of the target musician. I think this is more interesting than repeating verbatim lines.
    I really, really enjoy learning "vebatim lines." When I was in the thick of learning the written out Jimmy Raney solos on the Aebersold set, I was astounded at his lines. I also was astounded to HEAR those lines coming out of MY AMP. One of my amps actually thought it had been sold to a real jazz guitar player....

    For some people. the discipline of nailing something exactly, especially when moving out of one's area of comfort or control, is a good thing. If I'd just tried to "get the idea" of Raney's lines, I would have colonized his ideas with my lame scale fragments and licks. Playing 64 bars of Raney's "Just Friends" until I could play it quickly and confidently taught me more about bebop than my previous 30 years struggling to learn jazz. Of course, part of the power was that I had 30 years of study and effort, even if it was rather modest in its yield. But when I started learning those solos, for some reason things really began to make sense.

    Most importantly, it was humbling. Without putting myself down or being falsely self-effacing, after playing Raney's stuff, I realized my problem was in my head, not my hands. He has brilliant musical ideas. I don't. He has no impediment in expressing his ideas on the guitar. I do.

    So I have begun re-thinking my approach, and those 7 or 8 written-out solos I learned--which I can still play!--were a powerful learning experience for me. And it was the demand to get them note-perfect, not to cheat, that drove the whole thing.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I really, really enjoy learning "vebatim lines."
    That's enough for me, I want to enjoy what I'm doing.

    We all have different goals. As far as ear training goes, did that, didn't like it. Now my ear training comes mostly from learning tunes, writing tunes, recording tunes.

    My biggest enjoyment is in writing and recording my own music. Everything else pales in comparison. I'll still work on learning as long as the deferred gratification isn't too deferred, I'm getting older.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I really, really enjoy learning "vebatim lines."
    Must be more successful in the Jazz world 'cause in the world of Rock and Blues the source for verbatim lines often comes from tab (if it is rarely correct). Apparently tab is done using slow-down software or other pitch detection, including the grace and ghost notes. The character of solos is that some notes are much more important than others, and these are apparent when transcribing by ear. The automated electronic tab assistants don't get phrasing and dynamics quite right and typically include extra notes that "are there" but really played "under the threshold". I can tell easily when someone has learned a solo by tab compared to someone who learned it by ear. Maybe Jazz guitarists listen better or have a different perspective?

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Must be more successful in the Jazz world 'cause in the world of Rock and Blues the source for verbatim lines often comes from tab (if it is rarely correct). Apparently tab is done using slow-down software or other pitch detection, including the grace and ghost notes. The character of solos is that some notes are much more important than others, and these are apparent when transcribing by ear. The automated electronic tab assistants don't get phrasing and dynamics quite right and typically include extra notes that "are there" but really played "under the threshold". I can tell easily when someone has learned a solo by tab compared to someone who learned it by ear. Maybe Jazz guitarists listen better or have a different perspective?
    I can't really answer it. Generally I think jazz lines are more complex than rock or blues lines. I know "listening" will vary in how useful it is because seriously, we have to know what it is we're listening for. None of us is just a blank slate. Many psychological experiments have demonstrated that we have visual and auditory "templates" that can mask what we see or hear or reconcile perceptions to models and frameworks we already have in place. Reading something forces me to play what's there. Many times (I speak only for myself) I keep thinking "that can't be right!" but then I listen to the recording and realize yes, the transcription is correct, but my mental template didn't have room for that sound or idea.

    So for me, the ideal is a written transcription combined with the performance from which it was taken. Then I can move between reading and capturing things by ear. The written notation helps me with the notes, the recording helps me with the phrasing.

    I'm still a very unimpressive player-improvisor, though, so don't take this as a "pro tip." It's not.

    Sometimes we can't listen until we are clear about what we are listening for.
    Last edited by lawson-stone; 08-24-2020 at 10:54 AM.

  9. #33

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    That last sentence is the number one reason why I would suggest using other people’s music.

    If you already know what you are hearing and can hear it clearly, it becomes less important (but still fun and often useful.)

  10. #34

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    I haven't been at jazzguitar.be for a while and I just saw this post.

    Here's my take:

    Many of us (including me) try out many kinds of approaches for ear training. That we get a bit too deep, over-analyze, and start exploring esoteric "out of the ether" type of stuff and going around in circles in a maze - when we should focus on training in one particular way (subdivided to a few units of concentrated exercises) and using a particular tool that improves skill and increase learning velocity - and for godsakes just complete what you have started.

    Once you complete your ear training program, and didn't see any results - then that's the time to try out something else. But not until then. Ear Training is life-long learning.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco
    I haven't been at jazzguitar.be for a while and I just saw this post.

    Here's my take:

    Many of us (including me) try out many kinds of approaches for ear training. That we get a bit too deep, over-analyze, and start exploring esoteric "out of the ether" type of stuff and going around in circles in a maze - when we should focus on training in one particular way (subdivided to a few units of concentrated exercises) and using a particular tool that improves skill and increase learning velocity - and for godsakes just complete what you have started.

    Once you complete your ear training program, and didn't see any results - then that's the time to try out something else. But not until then. Ear Training is life-long learning.
    I can imagine a man who has absolute pitch, and understand nothing when listening Dexter Gordon. So the emphasis is on the content. I also can imagine a man who listening various jazz artists 50 years, and not a musician himself, and understands more, than many of us can imagine.

  12. #36

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    Well I had a girlfriend with perfect pitch, and that assumption that she could hear everything used to annoy and upset her. And she could compose straight to score.

    Naive approaches to ear training misunderstand how we hear - as Edwin Gordon points out we hear not in individual notes but in shapes, phrases, chords and other gestalts; the equivalent of words and sentences in a language. Training your ability to name individual notes can be useful (especially for dictation) but the main event is being able to hear musical 'language.'

    For me it works like this - I hear a phrase and I can sort of see how it goes on the fretboard. It has nothing to do with 'knowing' what the pitches are.

    But I have to hear the phrase - that's often the hard bit. At least for me. Especially if it's something unfamiliar to me.

  13. #37

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    Pedagogy, beyond beginning-intermediate stages, is a small element in a musician's ability to play and improvise. The best training is to play live with other musicians. You will develop tonal memory, phrasing, improvisation, and technique at a very high rate as opposed to the "bedroom/Youtube artist." It is certainly a temptation with the incredible amount of materials available today to aspiring musicians to avail themselves of these learning "aids." But, there is no substitute for performing live. My generation of working musicians certainly knew the fundamentals of music but much of our education was "on the job." And, the amount of musical epiphanies we had while playing was both magical and frightening in the respect that you didn't know how they happened but they, nonetheless, became part of your musical personality.
    I was playing Coltrane's album "My Favorite Things" last night and what impressed me most after 50 years of listening to the music was that Coltrane's sound and ideas were not rehashed, remade, and predictable but rather unique to him. He certainly did his homework and knew his scales, chords, inversions, etc. but what made his music special, and others like him, was that his voice was organic and unique and his ability to play with others of his ilk(McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Steve Davis) was a major factor in his growth. Throughout the album, there was a remarkable interplay between Coltrane and Davis(Bass) that was interesting and unusual since sax players normally follow the pianist in musical interplays and there were some truly magical moments. It's this musical give and take and openness to interacting with other players that, in my opinion, creates the greatest musical growth.
    Sadly, today, we are hampered by the cloud of CV where virtual playing is the only option. However, last night at the Republican convention, I saw live musicians wearing no masks and performing for the audience. Perhaps there is a light of hope in the near future. I ,for one, want to get back to live performing. Play live . . . Marinero

  14. #38

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    The ocean... reminds me of a movie I have yet to watch, but I've heard the song.


  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    I can imagine a man who has absolute pitch, and understand nothing when listening Dexter Gordon. So the emphasis is on the content. I also can imagine a man who listening various jazz artists 50 years, and not a musician himself, and understands more, than many of us can imagine.

    Just because I can identify the colors, doesn't mean I can walk up and paint the Sistine Chapel. I assume absolute pitch would be a similar experience.