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  1. #1

    Is Jazz Songs Improvised?

    Sorry If this is a dumb song but is a jazz song improvised for example the song Zhivago by Kurt Rosenwinkel. I mean did he sat down and tried different stuff and like made a song and then recorded or did he like record and just improvised and tried stuff (I dont mean specifically his songs but jazz overall) I guess that when you play live you improvise and stuff but not sure when releasing songs. Is writing a jazz song different than writing a metal song for example? Thanks for any replies.

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  3. #2
    The existence of a defined melody would seem to preclude on the spot improvisation of a tune.

    The solos of course could be spontaneous improvisations.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  4. #3
    Yeah, so jazz tunes will definitely (usually, there are exceptions) have a form-- a melody and harmony. The harmony is often not played as a set "part," like in a rock or metal tune, but it follows a chord progression. But yes, even the accompanyists are often improvising, so the extent of that they're following the ebb and flow of the soloist--but generally, there's still a framework--it's not just "made up on the spot."

    The solos are yes, improvised, which has some wiggle room to "how much" improv you're actually hearing...listen to the outtakes from Blue Note sessions, for example--you'll hear some players have kind of an idea where their solo is going to go and they improvise within that context, while others throw it a bit more open to the cosmos...

    So re: writing a song...generally, the writer has some control over the arrangement...they can write set intros, outros, forms, etc...or they might leave it more open and allow the players to do their thing...a lot of times, what you'll get when playing with others is a simple "lead sheet," chords and melody only, and it's up to you to make it work.

    It's fun.
    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

  5. #4

    Thanks

    If you sit down and write a solo and dont improvise Will you be counted as a bad musican or what is the case.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    If you sit down and write a solo and dont improvise Will you be counted as a bad musican or what is the case.

    I think you'll find that the standard response is that it's not really Jazz if you don't improvise...

    It's why we like Jazz, knowing that the player is "winging" it and could fall off the high wire at any step. That's why listening to good playing against challenging changes is exciting. Listening to metal (improv or not), hmmm, not so much...

  7. #6
    Writing solos is a great way to practice.

  8. #7
    Writing solos is DEFINITELY a great way to practice...just keep in mind, for jazz, the goal is to move beyond that. But it takes time...it's a marathon not a sprint...or the journey is the destination, so to speak...or some other cliche...
    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

  9. #8

    are you all old here?

    I wonder if everyone here is old.. it is maybe a weird question. I am only 13 years old but it feels like everyone else here is like 50 or something. That is good though because in that case you can have alot of experience.
    Last edited by AlexMalmis; 02-19-2019 at 03:39 PM.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    I wonder if everyone here is old.. it is maybe a weird question. I am only 12 years old but it feels like everyone else here is like 50 or something. That is good though because in that case you can have alot of experience.
    Post of the year.

  11. #10
    If I could catch that kid I'd hit him with my cane.

    JJ Johnson to my understanding wrote out his solos.

  12. #11
    I am not 50!

    I'm 40
    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

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Sorry If this is a dumb song but is a jazz song improvised for example the song Zhivago by Kurt Rosenwinkel. I mean did he sat down and tried different stuff and like made a song and then recorded or did he like record and just improvised and tried stuff (I dont mean specifically his songs but jazz overall) I guess that when you play live you improvise and stuff but not sure when releasing songs. Is writing a jazz song different than writing a metal song for example? Thanks for any replies.
    I don't think so....

    I think you write a song like any kind of music. That's what I do anyway. And Zhivago is definitely a song.

    Obviously we improvise on the form of the song (not always though - sometimes there's a separate improvisation section) as in the case of Zhivago. So there's a little bit of a thought about providing the improvisor with material for solos, chord changes, a vamp and so on.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    If I could catch that kid I'd hit him with my cane.

    JJ Johnson to my understanding wrote out his solos.
    Why would you ever do such a thing? To take a cane swing at me? Maybe you could just give it to a bee or slap your own knee. Well I guess I am going back to practicing guitar since I am by far the best guitarist in the world or maybe I am just swirled. Who knows and bye take a piece of my pie.

  15. #14
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    I'm literally 100 years old BTW

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I am not 50!

    I'm 40
    Sorry. ;(

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'm literally 100 years old BTW
    ...

  18. #17

    whoopsy

    I said that I was 12 years old.. Actually I am 13.. But I guess in your eyes there is no difference.

  19. #18
    Of course there are examples of improvised 'jazz songs'. Some of Miles Davis' most important work in terms of it's effect on the course of music was accomplished by getting talented musicians together, jamming in the studio, and then editing the best parts into discreet tracks which THEN became 'songs'. There are also many "standards" who's actual written framework is extremely minimal (like many Coltrane tunes, etc, or even tunes like Footprints: just a few changes, a couple lines of very simple melody) that most versions of them only use the 'song' as a stepping off point for extended improvisations.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Sorry. ;(
    No, no, I'm kidding!

    If you're that young, but interested in jazz, us old fogeys are here to help!
    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

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Why would you ever do such a thing? To take a cane swing at me? Maybe you could just give it to a bee or slap your own knee. Well I guess I am going back to practicing guitar since I am by far the best guitarist in the world or maybe I am just swirled. Who knows and bye take a piece of my pie.
    Correction, this is post of the year.

  22. #21
    Hey everyone be nice to Alex, we need some youngsters round here.

    I’m even older than Christian.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'm literally 100 years old BTW

    That's all your clean living and fine British cuisine.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    No, no, I'm kidding!

    If you're that young, but interested in jazz, us old fogeys are here to help!
    Thanks

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Hey everyone be nice to Alex, we need some youngsters round here.

    I’m even older than Christian.
    Thanks for being nice.
    Honestly I am not sure you and Christian are serious or not but well I do not think that many persons over 100 years are using computers and writing and forums. I am not sure though.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    That's all your clean living and fine British cuisine.
    Actually it’s because he’s a product of the British education system and he can’t count.

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    If I could catch that kid I'd hit him with my cane.
    Don't get excited, Alan, you know how you get.
    White belt
    My Youtube

  28. #27
    I think Christian's my age, but he has a young child, so he feels 100 every morning, most likely.
    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

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Thanks for being nice.
    Honestly I am not sure you and Christian are serious or not but well I do not think that many persons over 100 years are using computers and writing and forums. I am not sure though.
    we’re just messing about. I’m about 60. Christian looks like a teenager to me.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I think Christian's my age, but he has a young child, so he feels 100 every morning, most likely.
    Yeah I think that is true.

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    Don't get excited, Alan, you know how you get.

    Now I've been chastised twice by whipper-snappers. Maybe this intranets thingy ain't for me.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    we’re just messing about. I’m about 60. Christian looks like a teenager to me.
    Yeah I thought so.

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    Now I've been chastised twice by whipper-snappers. Maybe this intranets thingy ain't for me.
    Whipper snapper.... you have crossed the line... Am I really ”a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.”

  34. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Whipper snapper.... you have crossed the line... Am I really ”a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.”
    Alex: I've been joking this whole thread. I wouldn't hit anyone with a cane and whipper-snapper is an old cliche reference to something an old person (me) might say to a younger person. Sarcasm is tough to read on the internet.

    To your original post, check out some JJ Johnson on trombone. I believe he pre-planned his solos.
    I hope your liking of jazz grows and you discover the wonderful breadth of emotions it offers.

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    Alex: I've been joking this whole thread. I wouldn't hit anyone with a cane and whipper-snapper is an old cliche reference to something an old person (me) might say to a younger person. Sarcasm is tough to read on the internet.

    To your original post, check out some JJ Johnson on trombone. I believe he pre-planned his solos.
    I hope your liking of jazz grows and you discover the wonderful breadth of emotions it offers.
    I understod that you was kidding when you Said you was gonna hit me with a Cane and that stuff.
    Sure I Will check out JJ Johnson.

  36. #35
    I'm too soon old and too late schmart.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    I wonder if everyone here is old.. it is maybe a weird question. I am only 13 years old but it feels like everyone else here is like 50 or something. That is good though because in that case you can have alot of experience.
    We're not just old, we're zombies. Archaeologists study us because we are evidence of lost civilizations. I sleep in a coffin every night.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  38. #37
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    If you sleep in a coffin at night, you're doing it wrong.

  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    If you sleep in a coffin at night, you're doing it wrong.
    Damn. I thought something wasn’t right.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  40. #39
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    I'm 60 and happy to see a 13-year-old here.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  41. #40

    ?

    Do you think I should start a youtube channel and post videos so that I can ser myself improve over time? I have only played guitar 40 days so I am not the best obvoiusly.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Do you think I should start a youtube channel and post videos so that I can ser myself improve over time? I have only played guitar 40 days so I am not the best obvoiusly.
    The last estimate I read for the number of guitar players in the world was about 50 million. That is less than one percent of the world population, so you are already in the top 1% of the whole world!
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    The last estimate I read for the number of guitar players in the world was about 50 million. That is less than one percent of the world population, so you are already in the top 1% of the whole world!
    Cool.

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    I wonder if everyone here is old.. it is maybe a weird question. I am only 13 years old but it feels like everyone else here is like 50 or something. That is good though because in that case you can have alot of experience.
    This forum poll was from 5 years ago, so we're all that much older, in general we're a pretty ancient demographic. Hopefully you're tapping some useful wisdom, said no kid ever.

    Poll: Age of forum members

  45. #44

    One of the books came today.

    The book the advancing guitarist came to the library today. Gonna check it out after school. The other book has not arriverat yet the one called the jazz theory boom. I think I am gonna lend a real book so that I can train notes and stuff.

  46. #45
    I reserved the real book.

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    Do you think I should start a youtube channel and post videos so that I can ser myself improve over time? I have only played guitar 40 days so I am not the best obvoiusly.
    Definitely. I think recording yourself is an excellent way to chart progress and look for things to work on. And nobody has to see it, unless you want them to.

    I treat YouTube like a video diary, really...and it helps me keep track of what songs I'm learning, 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

  48. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    This forum poll was from 5 years ago, so we're all that much older, in general we're a pretty ancient demographic. Hopefully you're tapping some useful wisdom, said no kid ever.

    Poll: Age of forum members

    I'm only 3 year older than I was 5 years ago.

    John

  49. #48

    I made a youtube channel

    I made a youtube channel. My first video is just a meme. Alexander Malmberg
    - YouTube

  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMalmis View Post
    I made a youtube channel. My first video is just a meme. Alexander Malmberg
    - YouTube
    Hey, you got "the lick" down, now you just need a few hundred more
    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

  51. #50
    yup... I played it kinda bad tho. Havent tried it that much tho just learned it quick.

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