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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Sure. The more tunes you learn the easier it gets.

    One of my goals is to good enough at learning chord progressions I can do it on the bandstand while playing it.

    Actually, I already find mastering the melody much harder than getting an outline of the changes good enough to solo on. That's the next hurdle...

    That has always been the case for me. I can play over changes the first time I hear/see them (to point, i.e., assuming it's a standard with lots of ii-V-I's), but melodies can stump me. I've finally really taken it to heart that you should internalize the melody from vocal versions and the lyrics (not much help with true jazz tunes, bop heads, etc., though)


    John

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    YOu can hear backbeat in Western swing type rhythm guitar a lot, like this guy Whit Smith I'm transcribing now, I love it! La pompe is leaning toward accentuating 2 &4, isn't it? Plus, if you good with 2 and 4 in your rhythm you can get a lot of Octoberfest gigs, if ya know what I mean

    I feel like more traditional pure swing a la Freddie Green doesn't assume backbeat indeed. But... it's not the only way to play IMO.
    If you are interested, you can read my full thoughts on rhythm guitar at length here, so I won't clutter up things here too much.
    Zen and the Art of Long Distance Jazz Guitar Fishing in the Yemen: Swing Rhythm Guitar Pointers

    (I have literally no idea about Western Swing. Every so often a man in a cowboy hat will come up to me after a gig and engage in discussion regarding the Texas Playboys or something. I never have any idea of what he is on about. I'm sure it's great, but I don't play or listen to that stuff.)

    The number one thing that players get wrong including really good modern players who try to play gypsy swing is to accent the two and four by making them louder. Don't do it! Absolutely no one thinks that is a good idea.


    (I'm not saying that is something I think you do by the way)

    There's a lot of rhythm guitar stuff, in general including things I do, that I don't like. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of modern la pompe feels personally, but it has its place.

    I tend to prefer American swing rhythm guitar over European. But, some traditional pompe feels are very nice.

    A two feel with a short and perhaps pushed 2 and 4 with a solid downbeat is good for fast tempos. The same feel at medium tempo sounds too much like Polka to me (nothing wrong with Polka of course, it's a very useful thing to have down for all kinds of related musics including Klezmer, Russian Gypsy Music and Turkish Longas and things - it's just not swing).

    I like an even, smooth medium bounce at medium tempos, more American than Gypsy.

    But even Django and the boys didn't overdo the 2 and 4 accentuation. For further exhaustive debates I direct you to the shady side streets of Djangobooks.com :-)

    Personal taste anyway. It's an artform right?
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-04-2016 at 08:04 PM.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    If you are interested, you can read my full thoughts on rhythm guitar at length here, so I won't clutter up things here too much.
    Zen and the Art of Long Distance Jazz Guitar Fishing in the Yemen: Swing Rhythm Guitar Pointers

    (I have literally no idea about Western Swing. Every so often a man in a cowboy hat will come up to me after a gig and engage in discussion regarding the Texas Playboys or something. I never have any idea of what he is on about. I'm sure it's great, but I don't play or listen to that stuff.)

    The number one thing that players get wrong including really good modern players who try to play gypsy swing is to accent the two and four by making them louder. Don't do it! Absolutely no one thinks that is a good idea.


    (I'm not saying that is something I think you do by the way)

    There's a lot of rhythm guitar stuff, in general including things I do, that I don't like. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of modern la pompe feels personally, but it has its place.

    I tend to prefer American swing rhythm guitar over European. But, some traditional pompe feels are very nice.

    A two feel with a short and perhaps pushed 2 and 4 with a solid downbeat is good for fast tempos. The same feel at medium tempo sounds too much like Polka to me (nothing wrong with Polka of course, it's a very useful thing to have down for all kinds of related musics including Klezmer, Russian Gypsy Music and Turkish Longas and things - it's just not swing).

    I like an even, smooth medium bounce at medium tempos, more American than Gypsy.

    But even Django and the boys didn't overdo the 2 and 4 accentuation. For further exhaustive debates I direct you to the shady side streets of Djangobooks.com :-)

    Personal taste anyway. It's an artform right?
    That's what I was talking about, this feel :



    I dunno man, I kinda I see what you are saying about even and smooth, and also Gypsy jazz needs to be downstrokes, but that's not how I feel it. To me that's what makes GJ so monotonous in the rhythm guitar department. Some like it like that, I don't.

    In American swing smooth and even is fine... But so many things happened in music since 30's you know... jump blues, rock'n'roll brought a lot of excitement. No upstrokes in strumming? Sorry, not my kind idea of rhythm playing.

    But otherwise you're right Different strokes (see what I did?) for different folks, whatever makes people move to your music.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    That's what I was talking about, this feel :



    I dunno man, I kinda I see what you are saying about even and smooth, and also Gypsy jazz needs to be downstrokes, but that's not how I feel it. To me that's what makes GJ so monotonous in the rhythm guitar department. Some like it like that, I don't.

    In American swing smooth and even is fine... But so many things happened in music since 30's you know... jump blues, rock'n'roll brought a lot of excitement. No upstrokes in strumming? Sorry, not my kind idea of rhythm playing.

    But otherwise you're right Different strokes (see what I did?) for different folks, whatever makes people move to your music.
    Well what feel are you going to play this tune with? The more options you have the better. If I play jive I play jive. I play rock'n'roll I play rock'n'roll. I play swing I play swing. And so on.

    And there are different styles and feels within the umbrella 'swing.'

    I don't want everything to sound the same.

    It's all about control. I'm not saying never use an upstroke. I'm saying don't do it unconsciously. It's a common thing to 'ghost' notes on the guitar unintentionally, I actually I spend a lot of time eliminating this from my playing because I think it sounds messy and detracts from the groove. I don't hear it in the players I admire.

    I think in part it's a bit of nervous tic. But you hear it a lot.

    But OTOH I'm not going to be playing James Brown without upstrokes, am I?

    That said for jive stuff sometimes downstrokes sit better on the upbeat depending on tempo. I did that on a recording session for an artist recently at the drummers suggestion. Really helped it sit. The bass player I was working with often moans about how jive off beat feels don't sit. The upstroke offbeat is actually hard to get right.

    Downstrokes don't have to go on the beat necessarily.

    GJ trad rhythm guitar has a grace upstroke that's a real feature of the style and quite hard to get right.

    So - I'm not actually hearing much of an accent on 2 and 4 in the Hot Club of Cowtown you posted. An accent, yes, but quite a subtle one.

    The guitarist is having to keep the chords very short because he is playing electric. This is an issue that is taken care of if you play an acoustic, but obviously that's not always an option. I'm not crazy about where he is choosing to lengthen his chords sometimes. Those are things I would personally seek to eliminate in my own rhythm playing.

    But *shrugs* they are a well known band and the guy can certainly tear it up on guitar. Also he is singing at the same time?

    But you know what, these details are important to me. I'm not saying my feelings and aesthetic are better than yours. The point is that attention is paid to them so that you are making a musical choice.

    Rhythm guitar is a real art form and I spend a lot of time listening to it and working on it. Lots of subtleties.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-04-2016 at 09:01 PM.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well what feel are you going to play this tune with? The more options you have the better. If I play jive I play jive. I play rock'n'roll I play rock'n'roll. I play swing I play swing. And so on.

    I don't want everything to sound the same.

    It's all about control. I'm not saying never use an upstroke. I'm saying don't do it unconsciously. It's a common thing to 'ghost' notes on the guitar unintentionally, I actually I spend a lot of time eliminating this form my playing because I think it sounds messy and detracts from the groove. I don't hear it in the players I admire.

    But I'm not going to be playing James Brown without upstrokes, am I?

    That said for jive stuff sometimes downstrokes sit better on the upbeat depending on tempo. I did that on a recording session for an artist recently at the suggestion of the drummer, and it really worked, helped it sit. The bass player I work with often moans who jive off beat feels don't sit. The upstroke offbeat is really hard to get right.

    Downstrokes don't have to go on the beat necessarily.

    GJ trad rhythm guitar has a grace upstroke that's a real feature of the style and quite hard to get right.

    So - I'm not actually hearing much of an accent on 2 and 4 in the Hot Club of Cowtown you posted. An accent, yes, but quite a subtle one.

    The guitarist is having to keep the chords very short because he is playing electric. This is an issue that is taken care of if you play an acoustic, but obviously that's not always an option. I'm not crazy about where he is choosing to lengthen his chords sometimes. Those are things I would personally seek to eliminate in my own rhythm playing.

    But *shrugs* they are a well known band and the guy can certainly tear it up on guitar. Also he is singing at the same time?

    But you know what, these details are important to me. I'm not saying my feelings and aesthetic are better than yours. The point is that attention is paid to them so that you are making a musical choice.

    Rhythm guitar is a real art form and I spend a lot of time listening to it and working on it. Lots of subtleties.
    Well, yea, it's gotta be more or less subtle I guess, or otherwise you are indeed playing polka. But that guitarist plays the way I'd play it, and do actually. Still, is it subtle, you think? For me that's really sticks out... I dunno, words are not precise when talking music.

    Jive stuff, we are talking jump blues kinda thing right? Absolutely upstrokes on 2 and 4 most of the time, that's how Jamaicans got heir stuff going in the 50's. But variations allowed, nothing rigid like GJ.

    But I can't agree more, all of it has to be conscious choices in your playing based on experience and what's a gig calls for. "Rhythm guitar is a real art form"- yes, and my favourite too!

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Well, yea, it's gotta be more or less subtle I guess, or otherwise you are indeed playing polka. But that guitarist plays the way I'd play it, and do actually. Still, is it subtle, you think? For me that's really sticks out... I dunno, words are not precise when talking music.

    Jive stuff, we are talking jump blues kinda thing right? Absolutely upstrokes on 2 and 4 most of the time, that's how Jamaicans got heir stuff going in the 50's. But variations allowed, nothing rigid like GJ.

    But I can't agree more, all of it has to be conscious choices in your playing based on experience and what's a gig calls for. "Rhythm guitar is a real art form"- yes, and my favourite too!
    Yes the accent is quite subtle. Bear in mind that you are going to hear more of an accent anyway because the bass is in two and playing a slap on beats 2 and 4, bluegrass style. The guitar could be playing flat four and we'd still hear an accent.

    I'm in two minds about that style of bass - obviously a country thing really. But - it helps fill out the sound of group like this with no rhythm guitar or drums. I play in a group with a similar line up.

    It's very easy to over do 2 and 4, and is mostly a changes in duration of the chord with a slight increase in velocity from the strumming hand which in la Pompe technique is generated by raising the hand slightly higher. I actually think that the mere idea of there being a 2 and 4 accent is probably enough to create it without having to do anything much physically.

    Yeah jump blues. Again, I'm not saying don't use an upstroke, or that I don't. In that case it worked to use a downstroke. The tune was slow.

    The point is the upstroke is hard (for me) to perfect and it is a problem that these feels often don't sit very well because of it. Certainly something I have had to work on in all styles. Probably GJ/swing players - who are often playing jump numbers on swing gigs - are unused to playing upstrokes in rhythm parts. Players used to alternating for funk etc would find it easier I daresay.

    Actually there are some nice instances in the Hot Club recordings of small stretches of rhythm guitar with jump style offbeats presumably with upstrokes/upbeats (at around 3 minutes here):



    Modern GJ players don't seem to do this kind of thing much AFAIK. Great uncluttered feel throughout this tune.

    In terms of my own playing listening back, I often hear rushed upstrokes and so on. I'm slowly fixing them, but it's pretty embarrassing.

    Straight up swing acoustic rhythm guitar is probably one of the things I do the most. I know how I want that stuff to sound and the details are important to me. But when you have your thing and you go after it, no one can say it's wrong.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-04-2016 at 09:41 PM.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Yes the accent is quite subtle. Bear in mind that you are going to hear more of an accent anyway because the bass is in two and playing a slap on beats 2 and 4, bluegrass style. The guitar could be playing flat four and we'd still hear an accent.

    I'm in two minds about that style of bass - obviously a country thing really. But - it helps fill out the sound of group like this with no rhythm guitar or drums. I play in a group with a similar line up.

    It's very easy to over do 2 and 4, and is mostly a changes in duration of the chord with a slight increase in velocity from the strumming hand which in la Pompe technique is generated by raising the hand slightly higher. I actually think that the mere idea of there being a 2 and 4 accent is probably enough to create it without having to do anything much physically.

    Yeah jump blues. Again, I'm not saying don't use an upstroke, or that I don't. In that case it worked to use a downstroke. The tune was slow.

    The point is the upstroke is hard (for me) to perfect and it is a problem that these feels often don't sit very well because of it. Certainly something I have had to work on in all styles. Probably GJ/swing players - who are often playing jump numbers on swing gigs - are unused to playing upstrokes in rhythm parts. Players used to alternating for funk etc would find it easier I daresay.

    Actually there are some nice instances in the Hot Club recordings of small stretches of rhythm guitar with jump style offbeats presumably with upstrokes/upbeats (at around 3 minutes here):



    Modern GJ players don't seem to do this kind of thing much AFAIK. Great uncluttered feel throughout this tune.

    In terms of my own playing listening back, I often hear rushed upstrokes and so on. I'm slowly fixing them, but it's pretty embarrassing.

    Straight up swing acoustic rhythm guitar is probably one of the things I do the most. I know how I want that stuff to sound and the details are important to me. But when you have your thing and you go after it, no one can say it's wrong.
    That clip of Swing 39, that's not exactly jump in the end, it would be if they went double time, and even then it would sound more like modern ska rather. The quintessential jump figure for me is Advice for aspiring players-screen-shot-2016-10-04-10-13-09-pm-png, where off beat eight note is upstroke. Tons of variation, but it gotta have that offbeat upstroke.

    I came to swing via blues, funk, ska, and then rockabilly, so my habits and preferences for rhythm playing highly influenced by that. I like to keep those influences even as I'm getting the traditional jazz guitar education, because I don't want to sound like everyone else.

    Slap bass is dog's bollocks in my book! Bass players who can alternate between that and the walking lines are the ones I wanna marry. (Don't mean that too literally

    I feel bad making this thread too much about rhythm guitar though, somebody should start a thread on that already.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Well I certainly don't mean 4 to the floor rock drumming! Talking about Jazz drumming, but contained, cool and smart. Think Blue Note late 50's - early 60's. Lion and Gelder always looked for groove from the rhythm section, and there's about 20 drummers who did their best work on that label, IMO...
    I'll confess to being a rockhead ... in every sense of that term ...

  10. #59

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    [QUOTE=christianm77;699254]Yeah the backbeat can be such a crutch can't it?

    But I don't like complexity for the sake of complexity. Complex can be great, but it has to grooving.

    Absolutely, and not just on drums either. A lesson I learnt young, having studied up on Rush. Show up for a jam ... "What do you know?" ... "uh, 'Spirit of Radio'?" Yeah, no. As I've grown as a player, I've learnt that while I must be sensitive to complex grooves or songs, at the same time, simplifying things broadens horizons.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is why Gadd is great. And you can't say Gadd doesn't play the gig. Have you heard on Jim Hall's Concierto by the way?
    I haven't. But I will sure go take a listen. I'm most familiar with Gadd's work from Aja, and also from an instructional video a drummer of mine showed me once. The guy's fabulous -- before hearing him, I never thought of a drum-kit as an instrument which involved touch in the delicate sense of the term, but definitely had my mind changed by him. And unusual stuff, too -- in his solo on "Aja", there's a point where after some heavy riffing, before they go into the last verse, where he throws in a simple stick-click. Brilliant!

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Vintage Soul and Motown is where it's at for me for pop drumming. There is a great backbeat but it's never overstated.

    Now: "Make it groove, let's hit the 2 and 4 because everyone knows they're the cool beats!" (Simplistic understanding of rhythm.)

    You hear a lot of backbeat in swing rhythm guitar even these days. It's bullshit.
    For simple drumming from a guys who has chops, I like Kenny Aranoff's work with Mellencamp from the 80s. Crap material (in my opinion), but he made the most of it by working the beat. Phil Rudd's work with AC/DC was the same way -- you could tell the guy had more in the bag than he was letting out. Tony Thompson, ditto.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    That clip of Swing 39, that's not exactly jump in the end, it would be if they went double time, and even then it would sound more like modern ska rather. The quintessential jump figure for me is Advice for aspiring players-screen-shot-2016-10-04-10-13-09-pm-png, where off beat eight note is upstroke. Tons of variation, but it gotta have that offbeat upstroke.

    I came to swing via blues, funk, ska, and then rockabilly, so my habits and preferences for rhythm playing highly influenced by that. I like to keep those influences even as I'm getting the traditional jazz guitar education, because I don't want to sound like everyone else.

    Slap bass is dog's bollocks in my book! Bass players who can alternate between that and the walking lines are the ones I wanna marry. (Don't mean that too literally

    I feel bad making this thread too much about rhythm guitar though, somebody should start a thread on that already.
    I'm thinking Louis Jordan. Ska is a little straighter, no? Anyway the Django think is not a jump feel but it's certainly a bunch of offbeats, and it's not something you hear GJ players do much.

    Anyway I might add that to the list - everyone should play rhythm guitar.

    But yeah thread it up.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-05-2016 at 05:27 AM.

  12. #61

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    I haven't. But I will sure go take a listen. I'm most familiar with Gadd's work from Aja, and also from an instructional video a drummer of mine showed me once. The guy's fabulous -- before hearing him, I never thought of a drum-kit as an instrument which involved touch in the delicate sense of the term, but definitely had my mind changed by him. And unusual stuff, too -- in his solo on "Aja", there's a point where after some heavy riffing, before they go into the last verse, where he throws in a simple stick-click. Brilliant!
    Well it's a great example of Gadd's jazz playing. It's a nice album:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concierto


    For simple drumming from a guys who has chops, I like Kenny Aranoff's work with Mellencamp from the 80s. Crap material (in my opinion), but he made the most of it by working the beat. Phil Rudd's work with AC/DC was the same way -- you could tell the guy had more in the bag than he was letting out. Tony Thompson, ditto.
    AC/DC, that is all :-)

    'More in the bag' - I think you should always leave more in the bag. Bring your ears not you ego to the gig yadda yadda yadda. Easy to say .... hard to do!

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
    Uber?
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well it's a great example of Gadd's jazz playing. It's a nice album:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concierto




    AC/DC, that is all :-)

    'More in the bag' - I think you should always leave more in the bag. Bring your ears not you ego to the gig yadda yadda yadda. Easy to say .... hard to do!
    I have stood accused before of having diarrhea of the fingers ... most often, a just charge.

  15. #64

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    brilliant - thank you!

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well it's a great example of Gadd's jazz playing. It's a nice album:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concierto




    AC/DC, that is all :-)

    'More in the bag' - I think you should always leave more in the bag. Bring your ears not you ego to the gig yadda yadda yadda. Easy to say .... hard to do!
    Always leave the audience wanting more. And never play over the audience's head. (unless you don't care)

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Actually, I already find mastering the melody much harder than getting an outline of the changes good enough to solo on. That's the next hurdle...
    Are you learning your melodies by ear from one or two of your favorite recordings, or are you learning them from charts?

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    Are you learning your melodies by ear from one or two of your favorite recordings, or are you learning them from charts?
    Usually learning melodies usually from vocal performances from Ella, Frank etc - or the original recorded versions for instance the original musical or whatever. i.e. singers who sing the melody pretty straight in terms of the notes.

    Then listening to some more jazz versions and seeing how the melody is varied. Takes a long time actually...

    It can be worth having a look at a chart sometimes too, although I don't do this very often.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Just give me Billy Higgins any day.

    Billy Higgins simply owns on some of those blue notes. I'm thinking in particular of a series of Hank Mobley records with him, McCoy Tyner, Hank, and Lee Morgan. It is like he is leading the band and arranging the tunes at the same time.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    I have stood accused before of having diarrhea of the fingers ... most often, a just charge.
    Have you ever tried i-mode-ium? I hear it works wonders.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post
    Have you ever tried i-mode-ium? I hear it works wonders.
    Owwwww.

    Think I need some I-blues-profen after that pun.

  22. #71

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    haha! yeah! and I need some omepra-A7b9-razole


    I'm not good at this
    White belt
    My Youtube

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post
    Have you ever tried i-mode-ium? I hear it works wonders.
    It slows down my ... uh ... thinking ... yeah, that's it.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    haha! yeah! and I need some omepra-A7b9-razole


    I'm not good at this

    Best.



    Pun.






    Eveeeer.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Owwwww.

    Think I need some I-blues-profen after that pun.
    Might all be cured at that point.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Usually learning melodies usually from vocal performances from Ella, Frank etc - or the original recorded versions for instance the original musical or whatever. i.e. singers who sing the melody pretty straight in terms of the notes.

    Then listening to some more jazz versions and seeing how the melody is varied. Takes a long time actually...

    It can be worth having a look at a chart sometimes too, although I don't do this very often.
    Interesting. I like learning from singers too but I find it's usually easier to learn from an instrumental. Nailing a vocalist's phrasing can be tricky if they're being sneaky with phrasing (and usually they are) and I find I get a better "handle" on the melody if I have at least one instrumental version to relate my playing to. So where possible, I'll learn from both.

    I also don't like learning from a very slow version of anything - so I try to find slightly faster versions of "ballads". If I learn at a comfortable tempo then I can take the tempo up or down, change the feel, etc on my own. But even then, there are exceptions Chet Baker sings pretty straight and is easy to learn from at any tempo, even if he's singing.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    Interesting. I like learning from singers too but I find it's usually easier to learn from an instrumental. Nailing a vocalist's phrasing can be tricky if they're being sneaky with phrasing (and usually they are) and I find I get a better "handle" on the melody if I have at least one instrumental version to relate my playing to. So where possible, I'll learn from both.

    I also don't like learning from a very slow version of anything - so I try to find slightly faster versions of "ballads". If I learn at a comfortable tempo then I can take the tempo up or down, change the feel, etc on my own. But even then, there are exceptions Chet Baker sings pretty straight and is easy to learn from at any tempo, even if he's singing.
    I find the words help me remember the tune most times. But everyone's different.

    It's true vocalists of the Golden Age have sophisticated swing phrasing (that's a good thing, no?)... But many sing the actual melodies pretty straight pitch wise - Ella and Frank being the classic examples. I would advise against learning melodies from Billie Holiday for example.

    I also feel it's an important thing just to listen to stuff over and over again and not get too caught up. One day you catch yourself singing along with Sinatra, and then you know the song. Then it's time to put it on the guitar.

  28. #77

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    Nice thread... there are many levels of performance. Basic musicianship helps, but I've performed with many somewhat one style, feel etc. players, and it's still fun and audiences still seem to enjoy the music.

    The only thing I would change is the sight reading thing... years ago changes and kicks were enough... but in the last 20 years... you need to read well, or your not going to have the chance to perform with that many great performers, maybe your friends or if your funding the project or performance.

    When one begins the working musician thing... time is generally most important, the groove, feel etc... but as one gets better... time become natural, instinctive etc... then what you actually play moves out front., then you get to the point of being able to play what you want... and the music and performance of all involved becomes the focus. My goal... always is to help bring out the music and make the performers sound their best. (their best, not what I think is their best).

    The next step is to break down the skills and how to develop them.

  29. #78

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    I'm not a great jazz player, but like the original poster I'm a professional (semi-retired) guitarist. Also a teacher. I'm going to add the following to his advice. If I could get every student to practice this way...

    1) Always break stuff down into the smallest possible challenge. Don't learn the third chord until you can play the first two perfectly without fail every single time! The amateur practices till he gets it right, the pro until he can't get it wrong.

    2) Never ever play anything faster than you can play it flawlessly. If you are making mistakes you are practicing too fast. Period; end of sentence. Remember, if you make mistakes while practicing you are practicing mistakes!

    3) Learning an instrument is one of the few things in life where you MUST be a perfectionist if you want to get any good. See the above two points.

    4) Always always always practice with a metronome.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
    I'm not a great jazz player, but like the original poster I'm a professional (semi-retired) guitarist. Also a teacher. I'm going to add the following to his advice. If I could get every student to practice this way...

    1) Always break stuff down into the smallest possible challenge. Don't learn the third chord until you can play the first two perfectly without fail every single time! The amateur practices till he gets it right, the pro until he can't get it wrong.

    2) Never ever play anything faster than you can play it flawlessly. If you are making mistakes you are practicing too fast. Period; end of sentence. Remember, if you make mistakes while practicing you are practicing mistakes!

    3) Learning an instrument is one of the few things in life where you MUST be a perfectionist if you want to get any good. See the above two points.

    4) Always always always practice with a metronome.
    Good points.

    I disagree with 4. Vary it. Over reliance on a click can weaken your sense of pulse.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Good points.

    I disagree with 4. Vary it. Over reliance on a click can weaken your sense of pulse.
    I'm thinking mostly when you're specifically working to improve technique. The metronome keeps you honest. You play something at a tempo at which you can play it flawlessly at all times. Then bump it up five BPM. Still perfect? Another five. Keep going till you make a mistake, then back it off to the last place you could play it perfectly and spend five minutes playing at that tempo. Then try going up again. This is like magic if you do it right and are persistent.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
    I'm thinking mostly when you're specifically working to improve technique. The metronome keeps you honest. You play something at a tempo at which you can play it flawlessly at all times. Then bump it up five BPM. Still perfect? Another five. Keep going till you make a mistake, then back it off to the last place you could play it perfectly and spend five minutes playing at that tempo. Then try going up again. This is like magic if you do it right and are persistent.
    Yes I use the metronome - usually very slow - for work on technique stuff. If I can play it relaxed, accurate, even and slow, then playing it at full speed is usually not so much of a problem.

    My approach with technique is to never make a mistake and always practice as slow as required for the passage to be effortless. I then practice it at that very slow speed a few times. Little and often....

    Mostly the purpose of the metronome is to tell you how slow slow is.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-08-2016 at 08:56 PM.

  33. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by 2handband View Post
    2) Never ever play anything faster than you can play it flawlessly. If you are making mistakes you are practicing too fast. Period; end of sentence. Remember, if you make mistakes while practicing you are practicing mistakes!
    A student who always play everything way too fast/sloppy is a common problem, and this is a good solution for it.

    But this very common "never" rule is somewhat contentious as well. There's belief among a great number of technique gurus that intermittent variations in speed "comfort levels" is almost a requirement for breaking through certain tempo barriers. All motion isn't scalable, or some such...

    I've experimented with this more recently, and it does help. I've always been slower....

    There was a good lesson posted on this here recently. Can't remember where it was.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 11-08-2016 at 09:02 PM.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    A student who always play everything way too fast/sloppy is a common problem, and this is a good solution for it.

    But this very common "never" rule is somewhat contentious as well. There's belief among a great number of technique gurus that intermittent variations in speed "comfort levels" is almost a requirement for breaking through certain tempo barriers. All motion isn't scalable, or some such...

    I've experimented with this more recently, and it does help. I've always been slower....

    There was a good lesson posted on this here recently. Can't remember where it was.
    It worked for me... I can play pretty much as fast as I want to. Which leaves you very free to focus on other aspects of your playing. If you practice the way I outlined above you can even tackle stuff that is way beyond your level if you have the patience; after all ANYTHING is easy if you play it slowly enough.

    For example, when I was a relative beginner I wanted to play the solo to Over the Mountain by Ozzy Osbourne (funny, I hate the song now). It was obviously very beyond my reach, but I asked myself: can I play the first four notes up to tempo if I practice them over and over four hours a day for two weeks? The answer was no... it took me about three. But then the next four notes came much more quickly.

    Now I don't recommend this approach to everyone. The basic methodology, yes, but I usually advise people to use it on a challenge a bit closer to his/her actual level. I am not always very good at judging how long it will take me to master something, but my persistence will generally overcome my lack of judgement so it doesn't kill me if I go over a bit on my self-imposed deadline. Most people are not as pigheaded as I am and will get discouraged if they don't make it within the stated timeframe, so I usually recommend that most be a bit more conservative with their choices than I am.

  35. #84

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    Great topic Christian.
    Two years ago when I decided to play and focus on Swing and Traditional Jazz I just "stopped" to listen any other style that is not Swing and Trad (I know this is a bit radical, but I grew up in Brazil listen to a lot of samba, mbp, pop and rock).
    Today I mostly listen to those styles only, of course that I go to see gigs from all kind of style and I like them, but my "Spotify" listening is Swing and Trad 95% of the time. This is the way that I found to try to absorbe the language and understand the music.
    I'm enjoying and have a lot of fun with all this stuff, so I think this is the "right" path to me.