View Poll Results: How well do you want to play (not just for those getting started)

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  • I just want to have fun and play jazzy stuff

    25 22.32%
  • I want to play as well as I can with X amount of practicing

    44 39.29%
  • I want to be able to hang with the best players in town

    35 31.25%
  • I want to be a world class musician

    19 16.96%
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  1. #51

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    Unfortunately I stopped caring how good I am. These I just like owning nice guitars

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  3. #52

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    Many great comments in this thread!

    Confidence would be nice. Getting a call for a gig as a side man occasionally seems like a reasonable goal. Whatever ability it takes to achieve that would be the level to which I aspire.

    In the mean time, I would like to keep up my interest in learning, but that seems to be more and more difficult to maintain.

  4. #53

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    Great question. I do want to be able to hang with the best in town. I don't get out a lot to do that, but I can hang, though I could improve at playing with others. People tell me I'm pretty good, "a player", etc., but the thing about jazz guitar is, there's always more to learn.

    I went through more than a few years where I got disaffected with jazz guitar- I felt like I knew more than enough chords, etc, what I really needed was to play more musically, accessibly. That is, use what I already knew and not overcomplicate things. So I explored fingerpicking, country blues, Travis picking. But an underlying reason for that was to add to my solo repertoire, though my musical taste for jazz didn't change.

    In fact, my passion for jazz came back, recognizing it was my roots as a player. I found a teacher last year, taking lessons for the first time in 30+ years and filling in the gaps & where I left off. The things that I used to find frustrating or intimidating are becoming easier.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I know this is a jokey response, but I would rather encourage positive mental habits in myself and those who are unlucky enough to be influenced by me.

    I think you can be massively productive and motivated and be so for healthy reasons.

    We know many who have fallen by the wayside. I feel it’s not really a joking matter.

    On top of that, the human species has a regrettable tendency to ascribe success to hard-work and failure to misfortune. More often than we like the opposite is true.

    Deal with what you can control, don’t seek to govern that which you cannot, and maintain wisdom to tell the difference.

    That’s my goal.
    I agree. Mastering an instrument is a lifelong marathon. Doing it for the wrong reasons or with the wrong attitude can take a toll on a person.

    I think it makes sense for a lot of people to reevaluate their commitment to this from time to time. I know I’ve had to do that along the way. Sometimes the goal of just enjoying the music is the healthiest thing.

  6. #55

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    I have been haunted by the sounds of jazz all my life, even before I knew it was jazz. My dad would play Glen Miller & Tommy Dorsey, and I thought the name of that kind of music was "RealMusicDammit" because my day would look up and say, "Now THAT's Real Music, Dammit!" He also told me one night on TV one of the network music shows of the 50's was on (Skitch Henderson? Mitch Miller?) and Tony Mottola played a solo, and I kind of went a little crazy. I was only about 6 or 7 at the time. I've been playing around with guitars all my life, but couldn't get "that" music to come out of them.

    I took a long detour through rock, pop, the "Folk Music Scare of the 70's" (when it almost caught on), and gave up guitar because this sound in my head I just couldn't find. Then one day many years later I heard a solo guitar playing "Stomping at Savoy" on NPR. I almost wrecked the car. It was exactly what I had wanted to play all my life. I called the station and asked who that was, what kind of music is that, and did he have any other records? The patronizing guy on the other end, in a voice implying "Any more like you at home?" said "That was Joe Pass, it's called JAZZ, and yes, he has many records except now we call them CDs." I went to the local music store, simply lifted every Joe Pass CD they had out of the rack and put them on the counter for purchase.

    That started a trek for me. Learning standards, learning the fretboard, learning chord-melody style. one day a guy listened to me and said "You don't really swing, you know?" And so I kept listening and trying to feel how I could swing. My single-note solos were lame, scale and arpeggio runs. I played in a local swing band a year or two, did okay in the rhythm section because I love chords. Played at a local open jam for a year before the venue closed.. we evidently didn't help business...

    Anyhow, now at 63, about 30 years after I started my specifically jazz journey, I think I know what I want.

    • I want to play lots of beautiful archtop guitars that feel wonderful and have beautiful tone. I'm polyamorous when it comes to guitars!
    • I can put together a decent chord-melody arrangement of a tune without a lot of drama, but I want to be able to do that in a more compelling way, at better tempos.
    • I'd like to expand by about 20 the number of tunes I'm familiar with: comp, play melody, basic chord-melody, basic solo.
    • Right now, I want to refine my melodic ability: I want to be able to improvise a solo that will make a few musicians grin while I play, and I would like to be able to play comfortable up at about 200 bpm. Faster would be nice, but 200 is a realistic goal for me. If I'm comfortable there, maybe I can stretch beyond.
    • I want to read charts with enough facility as not to be conspicuous for my ignorance in groups settings.
    • I want to play in the kitchen for my wife, family, and friends, and have them enjoy it enough not to ask me to wash dishes, take out the trash, put out the cat, whatever!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    I think it s important to be at peace with yourself, your life, your passions, your choices and your priorities, and never lose touch with the simple pleasure of playing the guitar.
    Amen!

    I would only amend that to say, “the simple pleasure of playing music.” Guitar just happens to be the instrument.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ View Post
    People tell me I'm pretty good, "a player", etc., but the thing about jazz guitar is, there's always more to learn.
    Yeah, and you’re never as good as you want to be. I think that many truly “great” musicians would admit to that.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996 View Post
    Amen!

    I would only amend that to say, “the simple pleasure of playing music.” Guitar just happens to be the instrument.
    not for some of us! I'm in love with THE GUITAR. Crazy about the instrument. I adore the sound, the construction, the way one makes the music with it. I understand your point, but really, I tried other instruments but none gave me the thrill that the guitar did.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996 View Post
    Yeah, and you’re never as good as you want to be. I think that many truly “great” musicians would admit to that.
    It's learning how to be unsatisfied with your own playing, highly self critical and yet also accepting of it.

    I think I'm slowly getting to a point where I can recognise problems, areas to work on, things that I might like to change alongside with things that I think are really strong.

    I was listening to an interview recently with Jon Herrington and he said that Becker and Fagan would say 'that measure there - could you play more stuff like that?' I think that's a great way to self-criticise. Pick out things you like, and aim to play more of that stuff.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-05-2018 at 06:35 AM.

  11. #60

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    I've been thinking about stuff along these lines because I recently released an album of original tunes that I'm really proud of, but also milestones like that, while good feeling, also leave me asking myself what's next.

    I think it's interesting to think about how good you want to be, as this thread does, but I also think it's important to ask yourself what you want to be good at ? The universe of music is infinite and no one has time enough to be good at everything. In the past, I think I've personally overvalued versatility (by this I mean learning to play passably in a bunch of different styles in order to be able to take different kinds of gigs).

  12. #61

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    To be frank, I play well enough for my own enjoyment and to handle many types of gig (not the most demanding pure jazz scenarios, though, where tunes are called in random keys). My chops and physical technique can always improve, but ultimately are fine for where I want to be.

    What totally sucks is my memory. I cannot remember tunes to save my life. I can work out nice arrangements and voicings, but give it a couple of months and "poof" - gone. I sometimes don't remember the chords to songs I've played, even practiced, for years. It's mostly memory, but discipline also plays a factor, since I am lazy and often just prefer to improvise/noodle in order to relax with the guitar.

    So what I want to be is NOT that. I want to be able to whip out at a dozen songs as a solo guitarist, good enough to casually entertain a room full of people with. I have the repertoire for more than that, if only I'd remember everything well enough.
    Permanent favorites: 2016 Gibson L-5 WesMo, 1999 Gibson L-5CESN, 1928 Gibson L-5
    Play more, buy less

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar View Post
    To be frank, I play well enough for my own enjoyment and to handle many types of gig (not the most demanding pure jazz scenarios, though, where tunes are called in random keys). My chops and physical technique can always improve, but ultimately are fine for where I want to be.

    What totally sucks is my memory. I cannot remember tunes to save my life. I can work out nice arrangements and voicings, but give it a couple of months and "poof" - gone. I sometimes don't remember the chords to songs I've played, even practiced, for years. It's mostly memory, but discipline also plays a factor, since I am lazy and often just prefer to improvise/noodle in order to relax with the guitar.

    So what I want to be is NOT that. I want to be able to whip out at a dozen songs as a solo guitarist, good enough to casually entertain a room full of people with. I have the repertoire for more than that, if only I'd remember everything well enough.
    +1 on the memory part. I have learned and even created some really nice arrangements learned some great solos, but the memory just drops the stuff.

    On the plus side, when I re-learn one of these, it seems way better. I almost thing forgetting and re-learning could be a method.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  14. #63

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    For those who have trouble memorizing tunes...Start with playing one tune in as many different positions on the guitar as you can. Then take one tune and learn it in a bunch of different keys. Also, do that in your head away from the instrument. It works! Some tunes still slip away especially if you never play them, but it's amazing how quickly they can come back.

  15. #64

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    I had a thought which relates to the overall subject.

    A really important part of our paths through this thing we call 'jazz guitar' is finding OUR THING. It's not always obvious what that is, and sometimes it only comes out through a lot of listening. However, when we are not sure what the THING is, or if we can trust, we can be overtly critical of things that are different from it. (Even though we don't know what it is - if that makes any sense!)

    Perhaps when we get better focussed on the THING we can accept there are other paths, because we confident that the way we are going is right for us.

    For instance, an example of some playing from a JGO co-constituent I find absolutely brilliant and jaw-dropping, and yet contains almost nothing I want to directly emulate. Hats off to Mikko who certainly has his THING and deserves many more views.


  16. #65

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    Better than yesterday!

  17. #66

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    I'm going to reply to this one without reading any of the previous replies - because it was easy to me, and at the same time I imagine the majority going the other way... or not.

    I am one of the 12% that chose "world class". At the time of this writing percentages are 12/18/18/12.

    I am 54. I've been a musician for most of my life. Did fairly well some 25 years ago, but just locally. Then growing up brought responsibilities, the need to play safe, you know... I turned into teaching - BUT I love teaching, as much if not more as playing. But that left a huge hole in what I always wanted to do.

    These past 25 years showed me that playing safe may be several things: not really safe after all, not fully gratifying ... and that my initial dreams, while reformulated many times, remain as strong as ever: as Dreams.

    So here's my deal. I want to get to world class and I try to remember about it as I pick my guitar to practice each day (after day). At the same time I love so much the process of trying to get there that I don't care sh** if that will never happen. I love the road. But wanting to be world class, in a serious fashion, works as a daily reminder of how close or how far I am, in my musical works - from my personal best.

    So perhaps I could state, more wisely, that I want to be at my personal best (all the time) and I constantly and brutally reminded of how far I am (most of the time).

    If I had to start a new thread/poll following this one I'd ask - how close are you (make it percentage terms if you want) from what you know deep in you to be your personal best? No self apollogies allowed.

  18. #67

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    Better every day. 55 years in, that's always been the goal. Added hybrid picking to my practicing list about 5 months ago, now using it on 7-string guitar to great effect, especially when doing a looper gig. Of course, that meant using a pick (haven't used one for many years), which meant practicing that as well.
    So I do 2.5 to 4 hours daily. Studying some sports medicine science and a couple of musical approaches to mindfulness and the pursuit of mastery, I get to really enjoy all of it, as the sounds come to life and the techniques become second-nature. Mostly slow, relatively tension-free work, and a little different every day, after the warm-up, which changes every few weeks. Interestingly enough, given the OP's original question, I've found that having only that one goal, better every day, is the key to pretty consistent progress, even at my age.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPG View Post

    So here's my deal. I want to get to world class and I try to remember about it as I pick my guitar to practice each day (after day). At the same time I love so much the process of trying to get there that I don't care sh** if that will never happen. I love the road. But wanting to be world class, in a serious fashion, works as a daily reminder of how close or how far I am, in my musical works - from my personal best.

    So perhaps I could state, more wisely, that I want to be at my personal best (all the time) and I constantly and brutally reminded of how far I am (most of the time).

    If I had to start a new thread/poll following this one I'd ask - how close are you (make it percentage terms if you want) from what you know deep in you to be your personal best? No self apollogies allowed.
    I like this question, especially the penultimate question. The fact is, your personal best doesn't exist, really. You're actually looking for consistency once you reach a level that satisfies you as a high level. But there are so few performances where you really free yourself of everything that even the greats only experience that occasionally. Anyway, you are beating yourself up a bit, life is rather disorganized, as it happens. I work with a singer, a strong crossover tenor who can swing as well as do great legit Neapolitan songs and arias, but gets a great Fly Me To The Moon out and superb ballads, etc. He quit for decades to raise his family, after a strong start as a rising pro. He came back to it on 2008, when his kids were on their own, and he has become somewhat of a local legend and sings to 500-1000 people all the time, sometimes more. He's happy as can be, even though he's a semi-pro. Don't sell yourself short.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    I like this question, especially the penultimate question. The fact is, your personal best doesn't exist, really. You're actually looking for consistency once you reach a level that satisfies you as a high level. But there are so few performances where you really free yourself of everything that even the greats only experience that occasionally. Anyway, you are beating yourself up a bit, life is rather disorganized, as it happens. I work with a singer, a strong crossover tenor who can swing as well as do great legit Neapolitan songs and arias, but gets a great Fly Me To The Moon out and superb ballads, etc. He quit for decades to raise his family, after a strong start as a rising pro. He came back to it on 2008, when his kids were on their own, and he has become somewhat of a local legend and sings to 500-1000 people all the time, sometimes more. He's happy as can be, even though he's a semi-pro. Don't sell yourself short.
    Reading this and your previous post, too, it sounds like we're on a similar "wave lenght", in search for the inner simplicity of things... maybe (out of curiosity, did you read George Leonard's book?) - but you're right, there's no such thing as a personal best - at least a static one. But I believe every one knows (and not just in rhetorical terms) if he/she's doing everything (and a bit more) he can to reach one's albeit momentary peak.
    But what I'm trying to underline is something I actually feel great with: avoid being self-complacent at all costs. I don't take my personal "justifications" to seriously. I try to use it as a trigger to move forward. As a music teacher of both kids and grown ups it becomes very apparent how all life experience of the later works mostly against him in learning a musical instrument. Been there myself, too. But I'm trying to learn with the kids

  21. #70

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    I want to be world-class, but I don't want to put in the eternal work that it requires, even if I had the talent to get there. At this stage in life, retired, I really enjoy playing, but I don't do the practice necessary to be really good. I just noodle, playing whatever comes to mind, and whatever I like. I'm just a hobby hack, and that's all I really feel the need to be. The guitar is not my only interest in life, nor is music, however much I enjoy it, so I spread my interests around as broadly as I can.

  22. #71

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    Re: 'world class' - hmmm. Not sure what I think of that term applied to jazz.

    I think it makes more sense in the context of an elite classical performer where there is some sort of common yardstick - you need to have mastered all of the core repertoire that everyone learns.

    In jazz things are lot more hazy. I mean no one is better at being Bill Frisell than Bill Frisell, but he's not going to play every note Adam Rogers can, and so on. One way we can 'objectively' evaluate jazz musicians, I suppose, is by who they work with and so on.

    That said, I hate the 'jazz social climbing' thing for it's very phoniness. The great musicians we hear about tend to come up in communities together, rather than existing in a vacuum.

    There is also a certain vibe that players from NY have, for instance, a product of being in that environment.

    Ultimately the only true arbiter is very personal - do you like their music? Do you like the way they play?

    In terms of 'how does it feel to be world class?' and 'how do you know when you are there?' - well no interview I've ever heard or read has given me the impression that musicians have a sense of having reached this goal (well apart from Buddy Rich maybe :-))

    I enjoy GuitarWank podcast for this. By and large, they talk about and deal with all the same stuff as all the musicians I know directly in life, and have a healthy sense of humility and proportion which probably helps with all the mind games this line of work can play with you.

    Scott and Bruce are a great example, because you really wouldn't book one to cover the other's gig. They are real individuals, with very specific skill sets.

    Anyway, this is a little tangential. You never learn everything.

    And to become a really good jazz guitar player takes an insane amount of work for really very little material benefit, so bloody well better enjoy it or find something else. As Wes said:

    'To me, all guitar players can play, because I know they’re getting to where they’re at. It’s a very hard instrument to accept, because it takes years to start working with it, that’s first, and it looks like everybody else is moving on the instrument but you. Then when you find a cat that’s really playing, you always find that he’s been playing a long time, you can’t get around it.'

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    That said, I hate the 'jazz social climbing' thing for it's very phoniness. The great musicians we hear about tend to come up in communities together, rather than existing in a vacuum.
    this is an important point, I think. I can't think of a single person I know that plays at a very high level that hasn't spent a ton of time invested in their local scene: playing gigs, doing rehearsals, going to hear other people's gigs, etc. Whereas I can think of a lot of people who claim to have not really practiced very much, but still play on an extremely high level. The two people that come immediately to mind in this category are Robert Glasper and Fred Hersch.

    There's only so much you can do in the practice room, and I think that that past a certain point, "more practice" isn't really the answer to getting better, or at least, hasn't been for me. I've gotten way more from putting myself in new/interesting musical situations via gigs and jam sessions than I would have from putting in 5 more hours in the practice room.

  24. #73

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    It's interesting how deeply the ideas of progress as definitely positive process are incorporated in our minds. We really live a lot in the future.

    500 hudreds years ago or so people much more thought of what they were at the current momet (or even had been before) than what they would supposedly be in the furture.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    It's interesting how deeply the ideas of progress as definitely positive process are incorporated in our minds. We really live a lot in the future.

    500 hudreds years ago or so people much more thought of what they were at the current momet (or even had been before) than what they would supposedly be in the furture.
    This is such an interesting statement.

    I'm always living in the future with my playing. Less so now, but still definitely there.

    Can you expand on this thought a little?

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is such an interesting statement.

    I'm always living in the future with my playing. Less so now, but still definitely there.

    Can you expand on this thought a little?
    It's difficult to put it in short... since the topic is complex and vast.

    It's more about the feeling of time. We are really focused on moving from past to the future and that the future will or at least should be) better than present.
    This mentality was formed for a long period... (and I believe Darwin's theory came up as very illustrative result of this metality).
    Our economical and social structure is so much focused on ever developing and progress idea that we apply it in our daily life too.

    People of - for example XVI-XVII centuries first of all were not so much focused on time flow as it is.. they lived much more in real time... their problems were connected not with establishing future but we handling the present.
    The past on the contrary was often in focus and in many cases past was a better ideal.

    I would say 'they went through the time with their backs to the future')))

    Besides they felt time not linear - as we often do (combine with progress - like never ending ascending line) but more like a rotating spiral that made future often similar to past and idea progress also becomes to certain degres meaningless.

    It does not exlude development or targeting of course... but it does not usually have long-time step-by-step form...

    It is really difficult to put in a few words since I ccame to it through quite a few years of reading, playing early music etc.

    By the way baroque form perfectly reflects this circular conception of time... and Venniese classical form shows the switch to linear progressive time feeling.
    Venniese classicists took Mobius strap - cut it and straightened it)))
    The changes in painting conceptions also show that.

  27. #76

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    Kind of make sense when I think of Palestrina etc and compare it to say Beethoven. Also there is the medieval motif of the wheel of fortune (No not that one lol.) Rennaisance thought of itself I suppose as recovering a lost of a golden age more than creating something new.

    In jazz, the arrow of time is encoded into the very language we use and the way we play. It's music of the urban age, after all....

    The very style of rhythm - the push.... Bebop phrasing is generally about pushing a phrase before the beat, on the 4+ for instance, the resolution of phrases on the 1+ instead of the the expected 2 of the swing era ('BE-BOP!').

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Kind of make sense when I think of Palestrina etc and compare it to say Beethoven. Also there is the medieval motif of the wheel of fortune (No not that one lol.) Rennaisance thought of itself I suppose as recovering a lost of a golden age more than creating something new.

    In jazz, the arrow of time is encoded into the very language we use and the way we play. It's music of the urban age, after all....

    The very style of rhythm - the push.... Bebop phrasing is generally about pushing a phrase before the beat, on the 4+ for instance, the resolution of phrases on the 1+ instead of the the expected 2 of the swing era ('BE-BOP!').
    Yes... jazz is all about movement and targeting... we hear it all the time even in educational process.

    But on the other hand... on bigger scale jazz performance forms are very static... this targeting and movement is often there on microlevels... but we take the jam exchange of solos where thw same choruses can be repeated endlessely... and solos are taken by different players that is though often related to contextual solos is still like starting over... even within one solo like Wes' for example I can hear sometimes that he is not following the idea of consequent development of solo... sometimes he does and even has big conception with lines followed by octaves followed by chords.. but often he switches from one idea to another. It is not that much important what was there in the solo 40 seconds before.. it is important what was there just now a beat before and what will be a beat after...
    Present moment becomes a mixture of what just happend and what will happen right after.
    Interaction between players adds more to that.. that makes jazz a tool to physically experience present. All music actually but jazz and baroque the most

    To me it brings the same never ending circular rotation feeling.
    Jazz uses linear classical and romantic tools but does not expand on form level.


    For example baroque is also all about movement but it's not linear... this movement is like rotating within a sphere... which is both different from classical and jazz .

  29. #78

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    Yes there is a cyclical thing too....

    This is what Wes had to say about his own playing - you probably know the quote:

    'I don’t know that many chords. I’d be loaded if I knew that many. But that’s not my aim. My aim is to move from one vein to the other without any trouble. The biggest thing to me is keeping a feeling, regardless what you play. So many cats lose their feeling at various times, not through the whole tune, but at various times, and it causes them to have to build up and drop down, and you can feel it. ?'

    So he had a concept of the emotional form of his playing, which it has been noted remains quite constant from recording to recording. But he found one thing that worked brilliantly.

    However that basic form of quiet---->loud, low---->high, sparse---->busy and then next solo is very prevalent and hard to get away from. In vamp based music it's particularly noticeable and a real cliche (70s jazz/rock). Metheny stated he was trying to get away from this with Bright Size Life.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-12-2018 at 02:47 PM.

  30. #79

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    Most people in the past thought everything would be wonderful when they got to Heaven (if they were good).

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Most people in the past thought everything would be wonderful when they got to Heaven (if they were good).
    Besides death was casual thing... it was part of life.

    Today most people live as they are immortal in physical sense.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Yes there is a cyclical thing too....

    This is what Wes had to say about his own playing - you probably know the quote:

    'I don’t know that many chords. I’d be loaded if I knew that many. But that’s not my aim. My aim is to move from one vein to the other without any trouble. The biggest thing to me is keeping a feeling, regardless what you play. So many cats lose their feeling at various times, not through the whole tune, but at various times, and it causes them to have to build up and drop down, and you can feel it. ?'

    So he had a concept of the emotional form of his playing, which it has been noted remains quite constant from recording to recording. But he found one thing that worked brilliantly.
    Yes I know this quote... when I first read it was really great to see how clever a player he was, he highlighted the important thing. Of course emotionally he is very integral - that's what makes a great musician (not just good, accomplished but great).
    But he took chances often.. and when you take chances you can fail too from time to time. That's what I love about jazz too... it's like Al Pacino's tango from Scent of a Woman... you make a mistake no problem you just go on play...

    However that basic form of quiet---->loud, low---->high, sparse---->busy and then next solo is very prevalent and hard to get away from. In vamp based music it's particularly noticeable and a real cliche (70s jazz/rock). Metheny stated he was trying to get away from this with Bright Size Life.
    Yeh it's true... but to me it's more rock-style thing... maybe these rock-influenced guitarists in jazz-rock and fusion... I am not sure jazz players really did that...

    Wes' thing lines-octaves-chords is straightforward way too... but it was original on teh instrument and performed with great taste which makes it special.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Most people in the past thought everything would be wonderful when they got to Heaven (if they were good).
    My friend (also Russian but he's been living in Europe for 20 years now) used to joke: Don't forget that citizens of Russia who do not live properly, after death.... go back to Russia again.

  34. #83

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    Such an amazing point. That’s why I think it’s important to enjoy the moment of making music, for all its imperfections. It’s a hoary quote, but:

    But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in eternity's sun rise

    And if it pleases you, practice :-)

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Most people in the past thought everything would be wonderful when they got to Heaven (if they were good).
    There was a verse in a tune by early 2000's indie rock band "Pedro the Lion" that I thought was so fitting here...

    When I get to heaven
    I'll be greeted warmly
    Surrounded by the angels
    As Jesus takes my hand

    And I'll recieve a mansion
    On the river Jordan
    And a crown of diamonds
    For the race well run

    And I won't ever lock my doors
    I will trust my neighbors
    Confident that they deserve
    To be there in heaven too.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  36. #85

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    Yeh it's true... but to me it's more rock-style thing... maybe these rock-influenced guitarists in jazz-rock and fusion... I am not sure jazz players really did that...
    Sure, it is primarily a problem with jazz/rock. But as a player I have found that this is the most obvious template for soloing.

    I think Miles was adroit in how he balanced and contrasted soloists to create his recordings. The Coltrane/Miles contrast is an obvious example.

    Part of the art of shaping a jazz performance is obviously thinking about how solo order/trading/bass solos/drums solos affects the overall arc of the performance.

    Wes' thing lines-octaves-chords is straightforward way too... but it was original on teh instrument and performed with great taste which makes it special.
    Of course. No criticism of Wes, he made it his own....
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-12-2018 at 05:10 PM.

  37. #86

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    I just wanted to say I'm feeling a little better about myself after reading posts from cats who can really play well saying they have trouble remembering tunes. This is one of my many weaknesses as well. Remembering the changes.

    Which is weird to me. All my life I have had--modesty aside for a moment--a truly excellent memory for the lyrics of pop and rock tunes. Freakishly good. It's like a party trick. My parents would entertain houseguests...prop me up and "let's play stump the kid." Sinatra, Bacharach...music I didn't actively listen to, didn't really care for, but that was just in the air.

    Words stick, but the changes to even basic real book tunes...here today, gone tomorrow.

  38. #87

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    The thing about remembering tunes...

    well the tunes haven't changed much - the standards today were written over half a century ago. In those days they were part of the popular culture - everyone knew them.

    But these days they are not part of the popular culture any more. Hardly anyone knows them.

    When I started playing standards I had never heard of most of them, and I'm one of the older guys on the forum.

    And I'd never have listened to them if I wasn't "studying" them. I thought most of them were just corny old stuff. After all I grew up on pop, rock, blues, fusion, bebop, reggae, punk, new Romantic and trance - in that order (with folk somewhere in there).

    Now that I've listened to most of the songbook, and played quite a bit of it, I appeciate it a lot more, and find it easier to remember (slightly!).

    Back in the golden days, the pro players would have played those tunes thousands of times - maybe 2 or 3 sets a night for years - but those days are long gone!
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  39. #88

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    ...I will always be better than yesterday.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    finding OUR THING.
    I agree with a lot of what's been posted but I think this is the crux or it. Being yourself on the guitar, at a reasonable level of course (because there's not escaping being yourself at any level). There's a point of mastery, which I've crossed in my day job and a couple of sports, that I feel I haven't reached yet on the guitar, but it's a spot where all or most the grunt work is behind you, and you're reasonably confident about what you do and can focus more on creativity, and any further direction you might set your mind to. I'm a family man now and how all this will translate in the outside world is almost irrelevant to me.

  41. #90

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    Very true!! We do what we can. If we wanted to be be elite, we would have gone to conservatory and practiced 8 hours a day. Find your balance; family, kids......guitar.......whatever.....

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d View Post
    where all or most the grunt work is behind you
    I feel grunt work ---> infinity

    A players personality is as defined by what they don't do as what they do.

  43. #92

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    I'm a B student, musically. I can work hard and get better, and i do, but I'm a B student.

    The B student is the best to be, really, your reach is always exceeding your grasp and so you are always interested. "The midas touch of expertise" is the thing i dread. Mastery equals boredom.

  44. #93

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    PB+J I think you'll find this very interesting. http://www.minrec.org/wilson/pdfs/Bo...Repetition.pdf

  45. #94

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    Interesting thread!

    I couldn't decide on one answer though, as I'd like them all. I think in order to have (or 'be') one of those answers, you need a few of the others - a lot of overlap maybe?

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
    I'm a B student, musically. I can work hard and get better, and i do, but I'm a B student.

    The B student is the best to be, really, your reach is always exceeding your grasp and so you are always interested. "The midas touch of expertise" is the thing i dread. Mastery equals boredom.
    With regards to 'mastery equals boredom'..

    This made me think of that story of Benson going to check out Grant Green playing, and bumping into Wes there too. What we consider 'mastery' doesn't mean a thing to the 'masters' - guessing they were there to learn something new and interesting.

  47. #96

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    I'm finding a oddity in my life now that I've reached the age of 62, possibly retiring this year from full time work in the Medical Field. I've been playing mostly in a Trio (for the past 5 years) about 12-15 dates a year, and in a Quintet (2 violins, Bassist, Drummer, and me sitting in on rhythm guitar), once in a while, though they now have mutually decided to take fewer gigs. Mid December I was asked if I'd join another Quintet (Pianist, Bassist, Drummer, lead "Telecaster" player, and me on rhythm), 2 weekends a month. The "oddity" is that the older I get, the more opportunities seem to come my way to play out. I've had to tighten up on what I know, so I run through my chords in different keys more than ever in an effort to keep sharp. Maybe the older we get, the more mature our playing gets, the less "show boating" we feel the need for, and the more the rest of the group (for me anyway), telling us to turn it up a bit more. Maybe, just maybe, it's because I don't have any desire to be a full time, working Guitarist like I did in my youth.

  48. #97

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    Better than I was yesterday.

  49. #98

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    If I'm being truly honest, I've always measured myself and my goals to my musical heroes. In other words, I wanted to sound like, or have the talent, of "famous player x". Success to me meant I'd be scorching endless solos with fire coming from my fingertips in front of packed venues to raving reviews of course. Anything less than that would be a disappointment. The truth of the matter is that I was always disappointed and would always be with that mindset. Comparing myself to any other musician isn't constructive.

    Today, I try to maintain realistic goals. I just simply wanna play what the song needs and what feels right to me. No more, no less.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by dallasblues View Post
    The truth of the matter is that I was always disappointed and would always be with that mindset. Comparing myself to any other musician isn't constructive.
    I read a great quote a while back. I don't know who said it, though:

    "Comparison is the thief of joy."
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  51. #100

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    I want to feel that the great expanse of musical possibilities is open to me. That doesn't mean being a technically impressive player, but something like really learning and applying the theory and really developing my ears.