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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I still don't understand Reg and others' use of the term "form".
    Don't feel bad, his vague descriptions aren't understood by many, some folks just pretend to understand.

    Musical form - Wikipedia
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 10-21-2019 at 09:47 PM.

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  3. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think it’s to do with hearing the common progressions that crop up over and over again in many Standards. E.g. 1-6-2-5, or the change from major to relative minor (e.g. first few bars of Confirmation, or There will never be another you (same progression)), or the ‘backdoor’ progression, or the movement from I to IV via a ii-V (e.g. going into the bridge of Lady Be Good).

    If you can recognise these then you don’t need to rely so much on remembering individual chords.

    Bruce Forman calls these the ‘cycles’ and says he only needs to remember the melody of a tune, just knowing that is enough for him to know what the associated ‘cycles’ are within that tune. So he knows hundreds of tunes without having to memorise the chord changes.
    Great point. I have never believed that anybody who knows hundreds of tunes remembers them with some sort of linguistic approach. I think that they learn the tune the same way anybody can hum a familiar tune -- and would recognize it if a bad pianist played the wrong chord. The difference is they're good at connecting that memory of the tune with finding the correct notes on their instrument.
    The NYC wedding musicians of my youth could all do that. Any song, any key, no change in the bored expression on their faces.

    Intermediate level players can probably do that, but with a more limited palette of sounds. So, for example,they can probably play a jazz blues in any key, or rhythm changes, but they're going to struggle with Stella.

    Some years back I was in a class run by Guinga, the Brasilian master. He likes American standards and can play them. Key doesn't matter to him, so, at one point, he started playing Stella in F. Not such a huge change from the usual Bb.

    There were two well known players in the class. One name most people here would know. The other isn't a household name, but he's Professor of music. Neither one of them got it on the first chorus.

    I doubt they were unaware of form, in any manifestation. Rather, they were probably challenged by the same thing as everybody else (not counting those NYC wedding players). They could hum the song well enough in F, and they knew the sound of the harmony, but their fingers couldn't immediately find the right chord. Most likely, they couldn't recognize the intervals readily enough. Of course, Stella is not such an easy tune, but, on the other hand, it's well known and oft-played. Other explanations are possible -- maybe it would have been easier in, say E, because there might be less confusion with the chords they were accustomed to in Bb. Or?

    What I came away with is that those NYC wedding guys functioned at a high level and that maybe not every successful jazz musician can do that as well.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Don't feel bad, his vague descriptions aren't understood by many, some folks just pretend to understand.

    Musical form - Wikipedia
    LOL yes that's probable true. But when I play standards... my standard approaches for playing probable don't get understood either. But I'll try

    I'll try and keep it very simple and slow.... Forms are constant space... bars are organized. There is more going on with Form than just... it's a 12 bar blues. Or it's AABA.

    Keeping it simple, and slowwwwww, sorry, not everyone plays the same changes over and over. When you look and hear changes and use Form as means to develop function, (improve)... Simple example... Joy Spring is just AABA... the second "A" modulates up to Gb... so maybe after taking a chorus or two, or after the 1st soloist... maybe take the last "A" in the relative Min. Dmin. so last "A" might be.

    / D-9 Bb13 / E-7b5 A7alt./ D-7 Bb13 / G-7 C7 /
    / F6/9 Bb13 / E-7b5 A7alt / D-9 G13 / G-7 C7alt /

    So I'm using simple borrowing to improve with Form and make tune more interesting, I mean when you play... St Thomas... do you just stay in C for ever.... You don't play with the simple 16 bars and subdivide into two 8 bar sections and expand the changes... maybe even keep going. Try playing a section in again relative minor... maybe even parallel.

    Simple point... I use the form of tunes for organization of improv also. Maybe even get out of that vanilla box.

    As far as how Form can be used to remember tunes.... if you understand analysis, of which Form is the starting point. Your able actually know, from jazz common practice where the harmony is going... the chords. So rather than just hearing a chord and reacting or recognizing it etc... you can become aware of what's coming, be able to play longer chord phrases that have rhythmic organization etc... maybe.

    I mean, it sounds like rp can just just hear something and then he has it...that's cool and not that many guitarist are able to do that. But many times when your in the moment... your late especially when your trying to lock in as a rhythm section. Which is from using form to organize rhythmic patterns and what your playin with those rhythmic patterns. . yea longer rhythmic patterns.

    It's not like I figured this BS out. I just use it.

  5. #104

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    Form for me... it's like I play a tune I never heard before, I listen to the musicians, and the least thing I can do is figure out the form. Even if I'm not sure of harmony, at least I know the structure, I can improvise. Start and finish a solo in the right place is sometimes a saving grace. I don't know how many times I played a tune on a jam, not knowing it well, playing some crap in the middle not knowing what Im doing, but if I ended on the right spot, people dig it!

    There is nothing worse than see someone playing a solo and it might sounds decent even, but they would be lost in a form and finish in the middle of the bridge or something, and musicians looking like wtf!

    But even if I know the tune well, the form defines targets for the solo, there is so much more freedom than if just thinking chord to chord. Sometimes the solo builds itself up in your head before you even get there. Hearing the form is almost more important than hearing changes for me. Maybe that's what Reg is talking, maybe not, but that's my 2 yuan.

  6. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    L
    I mean, it sounds like rp can just just hear something and then he has it...that's cool and not that many guitarist are able to do that. .
    I can do that for the cadences that, somehow, reveal themselves to me. So, for example, I can tell when I'm going from a ii V to a ii V a minor third higher -- that sort of thing. If I could do it for any cadence in any standard, well, that would be nice.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    LOL yes that's probable true. But when I play standards... my standard approaches for playing probable don't get understood either. But I'll try

    I'll try and keep it very simple and slow.... Forms are constant space... bars are organized. There is more going on with Form than just... it's a 12 bar blues. Or it's AABA.

    Keeping it simple, and slowwwwww, sorry, not everyone plays the same changes over and over. When you look and hear changes and use Form as means to develop function, (improve)... Simple example... Joy Spring is just AABA... the second "A" modulates up to Gb... so maybe after taking a chorus or two, or after the 1st soloist... maybe take the last "A" in the relative Min. Dmin. so last "A" might be.

    / D-9 Bb13 / E-7b5 A7alt./ D-7 Bb13 / G-7 C7 /
    / F6/9 Bb13 / E-7b5 A7alt / D-9 G13 / G-7 C7alt /

    So I'm using simple borrowing to improve with Form and make tune more interesting, I mean when you play... St Thomas... do you just stay in C for ever.... You don't play with the simple 16 bars and subdivide into two 8 bar sections and expand the changes... maybe even keep going. Try playing a section in again relative minor... maybe even parallel.

    Simple point... I use the form of tunes for organization of improv also. Maybe even get out of that vanilla box.

    As far as how Form can be used to remember tunes.... if you understand analysis, of which Form is the starting point. Your able actually know, from jazz common practice where the harmony is going... the chords. So rather than just hearing a chord and reacting or recognizing it etc... you can become aware of what's coming, be able to play longer chord phrases that have rhythmic organization etc... maybe.

    I mean, it sounds like rp can just just hear something and then he has it...that's cool and not that many guitarist are able to do that. But many times when your in the moment... your late especially when your trying to lock in as a rhythm section. Which is from using form to organize rhythmic patterns and what your playin with those rhythmic patterns. . yea longer rhythmic patterns.

    It's not like I figured this BS out. I just use it.
    That makes sense to me.

    Hesitation is a killer ....

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Don't feel bad, his vague descriptions aren't understood by many, some folks just pretend to understand.

    Musical form - Wikipedia
    Occam's razor - Wikipedia

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I still don't understand Reg and others' use of the term "form". I get the feeling that they may be seeing something in the tunes that I'm not seeing, but I can't figure out what it is. I know standards the same way I know Home on the Range. That is, for the tunes I know, I can hear the melody and harmony in my mind and my fingers find the chords. The only part of this that seems like it might be dependent on something called "form" is being able to hear cadences of chords instead of hearing them individually. Is that what Reg and others are talking about?
    Cadences mark the moments of form. It is important to hear them as meaningful events - like half-cadence is the ending but not complete, full cadence is complete ending, interrupted cadence, suspended cadence etc. then modulations etc.How all that works and relates within a specific piece.In my opinion the most important thing about form is the meaning of its sections. Don't mix a cadence with any ii-v-i by the way. Though I think that in jazz forms are so simple that many people just get them intuitively (it's not always necessary to rationally systemize and verbalize things to percieve them). It is also great to estimate for on your own... I mean for xample - I always thought that common AABA form is not quite correct description... for it is rather an AB form... (I treat 'AA' as Section 1(A) and BA as Section 2 (B) - despite of repeates only these 2 sections in this form has final cadence.Very interesting form has Stella - it is basically a development of traditional AABA (or for me AB again) ...Imho it is an exmple of a form that is much derived also from motivic references even more than from harmony...I deliberately do not analyze harmony and suspesions to it right now...first 4 bars have the motivic figure: assending motive with downward leap 5-8 bars have motives with contrary direction descending motive with upward compensation (it is more spacious as it requires some efforts to climb up after you slided down easily).Rythmically they also look like mirror reflection of the 1-4bars motives.then bars 9-12they are the peak of the song... motives are a mix of two previous ones... rythmically it looks like 1st section motive, but the direction of melody is like in teh 2nd motive...It is also important to note that it is the highest register of the tune and it is very narrow range! the motives weave around approximately the main notes that go downwards gradually f-eb-d which brings in a feeling of floatintin or soaring.In the bars 13-16 we return to the opening motive which - and not it is important to speak about harmony - goes to complete harmonic cadence.So what we have hear1-4 (A1) - is an open statment... 5-8 (A1) - is a development of teh stanetement, its variation, it's deeper argument if you wish, more intricate version, the other side of it9-12 (A3 or maybe B?) - climax, in that case it is very ambivalent - on one habd it sounds like a development of the prevoious sections, at the beginning it sounds like a return of the first motive, on the other hand it goes to far and somehow may be treated as opposition of doubt of the previous statments... it is something like a desperate take on the previous musical idea13-16 - a return to the first statement but now after all that happened with it, it is more affirmative.Diallectically it is very primitive version of saonata allegro.

  10. #109

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    I can't edit the text to split it... sorry.. don;t know why but it comes all in one piece (no form)))

  11. #110

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    Of course when you improvise, your cadences can happen elsewhere

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I can't edit the text to split it... sorry.. don;t know why but it comes all in one piece (no form)))
    clear/delete your internet cache/browser history (whatever you call it), that’s what I had to do to solve this after Dirk fixed it.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    Was wondering when that would come up... sure, I love DJs.

    Part of the complications are just... generally I don't think of playing through tunes, melody and changes as the goal.

    Jonah... yea, cadences define space, and there are many levels and types of cadences, or methods of defining the shape, the forms within forms. I think most guitarist think like performers, play the tune is the goal and entertainment. Many players are composers using performance to realize live composition... another thread.

    hey rp... you must love Joe Henderson compositions, Recordame, Inner urge, Punjab etc.... Don't get called enough anymore. years ago I used to perform with Warren Gale and the Joe Henderson Big Band book. some cool arrangements.

  14. #113

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    If you were to walk into a jam session pretty much anywhere in the world, where the level is somewhere on the spectrum from reasonably capable to pro, you need to know some tunes. You can get away with not knowing and/or ireal-proing your way through a few, but it's gonna suck if nothing that gets called in the course of a couple of hours is familiar. With that I'd say all of the tunes on rpjazzguitar's list are necessary, but I think the minimum list is longer than that. We all have one or two we'd add that are not there -- I'll throw in Night and Day and Summertime. I'd also say it's not just a matter of knowing rhythm changes and blues in multiple keys -- you need to know some actual blues and RC heads (IGR and Oleo, at a minimum).

    To the point about this being an old fogies' list and the question of whether anybody really like these songs -- I'm in my late 50s, which probably sounds pretty deep into old fogie territory to some, but I grew up entirely within the rock/soul era. None of these songs were popular in my formative years. To the extent I'd even heard them it was in passing watching the Andy Williams show at my grandparents house. Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Irving Berlin, etc., this wasn't even the popular music of my parents' generation (my mother is 83). So when I started playing jazz, a lot of this music was in fact either entirely new to me, or stuff that I was prejudiced against for generational reasons. For most of the people I know, one of the great things about getting into jazz is discovery of this material, and the parallel discovery that what you thought was really square is actually really hip. It messes with and opens your mind. This phenomenon has happened to multiple generations over the last 40-50 years.

    So I think the idea of "well jeez, this is old stale stuff nobody listens to anymore. Does anybody really want to walk into a club and hear this stuff?" is a complete red herring. Yes, people want to hear this stuff because either they've never heard it before, or it's somewhere in the deepest recesses of their awareness and hearing it anew triggers their "whoa, that's pretty cool!" neurons. And I'm not just saying this to justify my own interest in this repertoire. These are reactions I routinely get from listeners at gigs and jams.

    John

  15. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    With that I'd say all of the tunes on rpjazzguitar's list are necessary, but I think the minimum list is longer than that. We all have one or two we'd add that are not there -- I'll throw in Night and Day and Summertime. I'd also say it's not just a matter of knowing rhythm changes and blues in multiple keys -- you need to know some actual blues and RC heads (IGR and Oleo, at a minimum).
    If I had to add one to my list -- well, it would be embarrassing not to know Summertime. If you're going to no-chart jams, you're going to need many more tunes than I included on my list, and Night and Day is certainly one of them. I guess I'd be embarrassed if I suddenly forgot it.

  16. #115

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    If there is no local jazz scene in your region, you don't have to be embarrassed about not memorizing all tunes, you use a fakebook. No shame, no snobbiness. Learning the tunes that you decide you need to know, not what a bunch of other out of work jazzers think everyone should know. You might actually play some music from the last 20 years...unless you like your jazz stuck in the past...that's okay too...

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    If there is no local jazz scene in your region, you don't have to be embarrassed about not memorizing all tunes, you use a fakebook. No shame, no snobbiness. Learning the tunes that you decide you need to know, not what a bunch of other out of work jazzers think everyone should know. You might actually play some music from the last 20 years...unless you like your jazz stuck in the past...that's okay too...
    otoh, it's usually the guys that do not know any tunes who are the out-of-work jazzers.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    If there is no local jazz scene in your region, you don't have to be embarrassed about not memorizing all tunes, you use a fakebook. No shame, no snobbiness. Learning the tunes that you decide you need to know, not what a bunch of other out of work jazzers think everyone should know. You might actually play some music from the last 20 years...unless you like your jazz stuck in the past...that's okay too...
    I don't think the premise of the OP is "how do I avoid being shamed by snobs?" I think it's "what is the bare minimum repertoire one needs to be able to function in a jazz session" plus an assumption that one would feel embarrassed over one's inability to function (not that others would shame you).

    Maybe not everyone does feel embarrassment specifically, but I think in almost any setting (music or otherwise), most people walking into a situation where they're not able to keep up, and where this inability affects others' enjoyment of the experience, feel something negative. That has been my experience in myself and observation in others.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 10-23-2019 at 10:47 AM.

  19. #118

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    I've hosted and run jazz jams... years of covering. Different locations, different levels players etc.. The goal is to help players learn how to perform jazz. If they don't know the tune or can't read a chart or arrangement. Why are they even up there. But I generally cue and keep all on stage together. The point of these sessions are usually up front house band plays some cool tunes... at a professional level, then it gets opened up. Some of sessions are really for pros, who's in town or has the night off, trying to get players for gigs, trying to get gigs. And others are just way to help fill the seats.

    So there are differences... sometimes performing jazz is just playing through the tunes, pretty vanilla jazz performance. All good. But some jazz players don't just know jazz tunes, they can actually interact and raise the level of performance... they know how to perform jazz tunes. This can be with any aspect of the tune. So maybe... like another level of knowing the tunes is how to develop the music in jazz style. Take time... there is double time right simple way of changing the rhythmic feel of tune. Usually also effects changes etc. Or there is metric modulations, direct, like directly jumping into different time.... 4/4 to 3/4 etc. More common would be transitional metric modulations, like you in 3/4 and start accenting dotted quarters to create a 2 feel. Now double time that 2 feel now your in 4/4/ feel but within the same physical space as the starting 3/4. Or vice versa. So this is pretty common developmental jazz approach when performing jazz tunes. There is more to metric modulations, but same approach.

    You can also use this approach with harmony, either through using Function... or just common modulations or even just using subs. Like playing a blues...in Bb. so maybe use bIII as sub for the IV chord.

    / Bb13 D-7b5 / F7#9 .../ Bb13 D-7b5 / Bb13...D9 /
    / Db9 Ab7b13/ Db9..../ Bb13......
    some turnaround...... so there are a million choices, and the tune would help choose... but you would be using Harmony, the changes.... and all of this is using the form of the tune as guideline for organization.

    I know this is pretty simple... and you could probable just use your ears to etc... to play. But personally and with many jazz players these are pretty common aspects of knowing tunes, well maybe knowing how to play jazz tunes.

  20. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I don't think the premise of the OP is "how do I avoid being shamed by snobs?" I think it's "what is the bare minimum repertoire one needs to be able to function in a jazz session" plus an assumption that one would feel embarrassed over one's inability to function (not that others would shame you).

    Maybe not everyone does feel embarrassment specifically, but I think in almost any setting (music or otherwise), most people walking into a situation where they're not able to keep up, and where this inability affects others' enjoyment of the experience, feel something negative. That has been my experience in myself and observation in others.

    John
    Exactly

  21. #120

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    To be honest if you know twenty tunes you are passionate about and play the **** out of that’s not a bad thing. Of course knowing more is better, but I think life is too short to play tunes you don’t feel an attraction to. At least for jazz money.

  22. #121

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    Hey guys, please don't tell anyone outside the forum, but I still know, play, and like Misty. Sometimes you just have to let everything out.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    otoh, it's usually the guys that do not know any tunes who are the out-of-work jazzers.
    News alert - somewhere there is actually work for jazzers that know tunes.....Home Depot?

  24. #123

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    Learning tunes, my primary reason is to be able to play with other folks with no rehearsals, get gigs, get paid. I really like maybe 1 standard out of 3 on average, and given a choice would spend most time on creating my own shit without worrying how many tunes I have to know to qualify as a jazzer.

    I most definitely wouldn't spend money going to see people playing standards all night, however good they are at improv. So knowing as many tunes as possible good for professional reasons, not much else.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    News alert - somewhere there is actually work for jazzers that know tunes.....Home Depot?


  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitrman View Post
    Hey guys, please don't tell anyone outside the forum, but I still know, play, and like Misty. Sometimes you just have to let everything out.
    I play "Misty" every single day. Love that tune. And I don't care what anybody thinks...
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I play "Misty" every single day. Love that tune. And I don't care what anybody thinks...
    Clint Eastwood might have a problem with that ...

    John

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I play "Misty" every single day. Love that tune. And I don't care what anybody thinks...
    For what it's worth..I think that's cool specially if you get the double dominant cadence into the bridge...very useful tool.
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    I've hosted and run jazz jams... years of covering. Different locations, different levels players etc.. The goal is to help players learn how to perform jazz. If they don't know the tune or can't read a chart or arrangement. Why are they even up there. But I generally cue and keep all on stage together. The point of these sessions are usually up front house band plays some cool tunes... at a professional level, then it gets opened up. Some of sessions are really for pros, who's in town or has the night off, trying to get players for gigs, trying to get gigs. And others are just way to help fill the seats.

    So there are differences... sometimes performing jazz is just playing through the tunes, pretty vanilla jazz performance. All good. But some jazz players don't just know jazz tunes, they can actually interact and raise the level of performance... they know how to perform jazz tunes. This can be with any aspect of the tune. So maybe... like another level of knowing the tunes is how to develop the music in jazz style. Take time... there is double time right simple way of changing the rhythmic feel of tune. Usually also effects changes etc. Or there is metric modulations, direct, like directly jumping into different time.... 4/4 to 3/4 etc. More common would be transitional metric modulations, like you in 3/4 and start accenting dotted quarters to create a 2 feel. Now double time that 2 feel now your in 4/4/ feel but within the same physical space as the starting 3/4. Or vice versa. So this is pretty common developmental jazz approach when performing jazz tunes. There is more to metric modulations, but same approach.

    You can also use this approach with harmony, either through using Function... or just common modulations or even just using subs. Like playing a blues...in Bb. so maybe use bIII as sub for the IV chord.

    / Bb13 D-7b5 / F7#9 .../ Bb13 D-7b5 / Bb13...D9 /
    / Db9 Ab7b13/ Db9..../ Bb13......
    some turnaround...... so there are a million choices, and the tune would help choose... but you would be using Harmony, the changes.... and all of this is using the form of the tune as guideline for organization.

    I know this is pretty simple... and you could probable just use your ears to etc... to play. But personally and with many jazz players these are pretty common aspects of knowing tunes, well maybe knowing how to play jazz tunes.
    The big thing in NYC now is to put standards in 7/8, 5/4 , 11/8 etc...I heard some piano player play a well-known ballad in 7/4- it just sounded like he was using rubato. Honegger made this comment about some contemporary composer back in the 50s.
    Anything to destroy the music, that's their motto...

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    To be honest if you know twenty tunes you are passionate about and play the **** out of that’s not a bad thing. Of course knowing more is better, but I think life is too short to play tunes you don’t feel an attraction to. At least for jazz money.
    It is a very good point.

    And I should say - being half-amateur it is even more important to stick to what you love and do it. First of all it is almost impossible to keep up vast repertory without regular gigs, so you end up just playing what you like --- I guess there are much more tunes that I learnt and forgot)))
    And also - when you have irregular gigs - you really must learn to choos and reject... to play everything with everyone at any chance is good when you are 20 and entering the professional world... that's your school.
    When you are over 40 and know what you need and want to do it is important to be able to sort things out.

    My friend says 'playing professional gig is a special skill, often unfortunately haveing more to do with socialization than music'.
    I - myself - noticed that there are musicians that like public performances as just a social activity, they like to be among people, to be a part of event, excitment and so on... but very often the performance itself becomes something secondary, and they tend to ignore mistakes, the level does not grow from performance to performance, because they do not rehearse it over and do not correct, they have to play more an dmore and when they play next gig they just do it the same way they did... on great advantage of jazz though is that you really can correct things right on the bandstand - but again you should be really into music to do that.
    Last edited by Jonah; 10-25-2019 at 04:21 AM.

  31. #130

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    This subject has always been my achilles heal.

    On the list there's only one song I like to play (Green Dolphin), and I detest having to ape Autumn Leaves, and most of those other tunes usually butchered at jam sessions. (...sometimes by guys like me)

    I've always been drawn to the less popular songs for some reason, and that can be a handicap when it comes to playing out. My favorite Jobim tune to play is "Dindi", not a well received request at a jam.