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  1. #1

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    Hello all. Here i have a video of me improvising

    I am gonna start to take guitar very serious. This is the point where I am now. Please give me some feed back and tell me where should I focus
    like negative things, positive things if any, and so on. Any tip is welcome. Dont hesitate to make hard critics cause I need them. I dont like that much the video I sent you cause I feel i can improve a lot but I would like to have a clear picture of my current status so I can see where to focus as a priority. I never studied music, just play by ear. Gonna pick a method for learning chord melody and comping and gonna begin to study formal music so i can understand better what i am doign while playing by ear
    Btw, what style of music would be that?
    Last edited by fingernylon; 07-04-2020 at 09:35 PM. Reason: didnt say hello

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    You don't use your hands like someone who's just started.

  4. #3

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    Thanks for posting!

    I would recommend finding a good teacher -- locally or online -- who can help you find the focus you need.

    And have fun!

  5. #4

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    Hard to tell much about your goals from the video.

    If the goal is to play jazz standards by ear, here's my suggestion.

    Get IRealPro, a phone app for about $10.

    Download all the jazz tunes. That's free, after you've paid the $10.

    Then, pick a tune and a comfortable tempo. Set it for 13 repeats, changing the key by a fourth every chorus.

    Play along. Some choruses play the chords, other choruses play the melody, still others, improvise on the changes.

    Full Disclosure: no financial relationship to IRealPro. I paid full price. I think it's a terrific practice tool.

  6. #5
    Hi. Thanks for the advice. I dont know what you mean by playing standards by ear? Like improvising over the changes of the songs? If so yes i can do . I Also can improvise without using backing tracks. Just following the harmony of the standard in my head.

    Well i Made the post cause muy goals Is to make improvisations with rythmical, melodic and Harmonic variation. With unpredictable rythm and Harmonic modulations. I am gonna improve but just want to know how i am doing ATM... I know imaking some key modulations in my improvisation. But i want to know if it's enough . I Heard about the concept of polyrythmic... But haven't studied it formally..
    In my music i notice some rythmical change but i would like to know if this is what polyrythmic about?

    Also what kind of style Is my music? Any particular jazz style?

  7. #6

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    There are generic suggestions re;skills to develop that are likely to be helpful in many situations. What best to do should be drive by what you love most and
    your personal goals. The clearer you can articulate that will facilitate more meaningful advice. Either way, around here you are likely to receive more advice than what you know what to do with. I liked the video, were you improvising over anything in particular? You mentioned chord melody but no chords are played in the video.

  8. #7
    Well i Made the post cause my goals are to make improvisations with rythmical, melodic and Harmonic variation. With unpredictable rythm and Harmonic modulations. I want to know how i am doing ATM... I know im making some key modulations in my improvisation. But i want to know if it's enough . I Heard about the concept of polyrythmic... But haven't studied it formally..
    In my music i notice some rythmical change but i would like to know if this is what polyrythmic about?

    Also what kind of style Is my music? Any particular jazz style?

  9. #8

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    Your music in this video seems to be driven by a strong rhythmic impulse.
    You present musical ideas briefly before moving on the next variation.
    There is no one right answer but one thought is the possibility of getting
    more mileage out of less material but perhaps That is what you are
    consciously seeking to avoid. Would curious to hear yours thoughts on form.

    Another forum member who posts videos is Mark Kleinhaut, often standards
    played very freely and in this link a more open style that he describes as his
    morning warmup. While the sound and style is different, I also see a commonality.
    How I “practice” every morning.

    Polyrhythm is a western perspective about the intersection of
    rhythms born from different subdivisions or varying cyclic reoccurrence.
    On the other hand there are cultures and musicians while perhaps
    academically described as polyrhythmic, view all the rhythmic elements
    as unified.

    Are you looking to create within an improvising ensemble
    or are you focused on a solo guitar environment?

  10. #9
    Interesting feedback. Well tbh I just play how i feel it. But yes i dont like to extend too much on a motive and develope it too much. I prefer to jump into another motive soon. But not always sometimes i develope the motive but in another tonality (sometimes minor if i started in mnajor) keeping some similar rhythm that reminds the motive. But tbh I dont have any rule, i like to make music without rules in terms of structure. I just play how i feel in the moment.

    What do you mean when you say that my music is driven by a strong rhythm impulse? Is it polyrhytmic?
    Btw could my music be regarded as jazz? and if so in which style? swing, bop, fussion, etc

  11. #10

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    Polyrhythm inherently involves more than one articulation happening at the same time. While it is possible that you are imagining secondary rhythm in your mind which may facilitate what comes next, as a listener, I can only hear one rhythm at a time from monophonic playing (one not at a time).
    A shift in metric organization is a different thing.

  12. #11

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    If you were asked, could you explain the harmonic sequence - if any - which underlies what you were playing? You talk about following the harmony of a standard in your head, so you seem familiar with the concept of harmony, but I'm afraid that's not at all evident from your playing and I'm only commenting because you seem to want to practice that type of improvisation. Maybe free jazz is your real goal

  13. #12
    Hello. Yes I can improvise over a standard following the harmony in my head, but introducing some new elements. I dont like to follow entirely. But htis was not the purpose of the video, was just a free improvisation. However there are some melodic lines that are repeated in the video with some variations. Well so free jazz is about improvising without any fixed rule like in the video?

    If so I am interested in this kind of music...

  14. #13
    Tbh i dont understand whats the problem in making an improvisation without following a certain harmony.
    This is why its a improvisation... I was more interested in knowing if i had enough rythmic variation and harmonic and melodic variation, or not yet. I know to know this cause i need to know where to focus.

  15. #14

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    If I understand even vaguely what you're trying to do, I'd suggest that it needs more structure.

    Otherwise it can sound random.

  16. #15
    ok thanks for your aprreciation. Does it have rhythmic and melodic variation? phrasing?

  17. #16

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    The answer this question involves the listener's taste. I don't hear enough structure to detect the rhythmic and melodic variation which, apparently, you are intending. But, that doesn't mean it isn't there. It just means I don't hear it.

  18. #17

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    I call it free improv, probably the least popular of any music? It is whatever you want, random, spontaneous, no rules. You ask us to label it and provide some direction. Some folks find this unstructured solo approach has very little to do with what they identify as jazz.

    Is there a difference between free improv and free jazz??? Maybe. It's a fine line that's hard to agree on and define. If you have no jazz background as far as listening and harmonic/rhythmic concepts, I call it free improv. Don't need to know a thing about jazz.

    Invested time in understanding, listening, practicing jazz? Maybe your music is informed by jazz, and often people freely improvise together with a shared understanding of it.

    Only you can define what you want to do and make it happen.

    Who do you listen to for inspiration to pursue this path? That can lead to discovering what you seek.

  19. #18
    Well tbh I just play what i hear in my head and how i feel in each moment. I never studied music just pick the guitar and play. I listened a lot of jazz during 10 years. Mostly from early days to charlie parker. I was not big fan of the styles that came after parker dead. I listen classical music more than jazz now. But I dont know, i just wanted to create something with rhythmical variation and changes, using cromatic passages to change the tonality. Like mixing tonalities cosntantly after presenting a motive or phrase. Tbh i find kinda boring to improvise over standards, thats hwy i am more into this kind of music

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I call it free improv, probably the least popular of any music? It is whatever you want, random, spontaneous, no rules. You ask us to label it and provide some direction. Some folks find this unstructured solo approach has very little to do with what they identify as jazz.

    Is there a difference between free improv and free jazz??? Maybe. It's a fine line that's hard to agree on and define. If you have no jazz background as far as listening and harmonic/rhythmic concepts, I call it free improv. Don't need to know a thing about jazz.

    Invested time in understanding, listening, practicing jazz? Maybe your music is informed by jazz, and often people freely improvise together with a shared understanding of it.

    Only you can define what you want to do and make it happen.

    Who do you listen to for inspiration to pursue this path? That can lead to discovering what you seek.
    coltrane is free jazz right? not big fan of these guys, jus t like some of his phrases in giant steps. My favourite jazz musician (with a big difference) are Charlie Parker and Art Tatum.

  21. #20
    but anyways thank alot for the feedback. Looks i discovered whats my next goial now. I will focus in develope the skills to improvise freely without anytrack but having a structure. I m gonna continue making music without structure since i like it but will focus also in improvising structured music from 0 without planning nothing before i pick the guitar

  22. #21

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  23. #22

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    Good things can come from staying fiercely committed to a personal path
    but stay mindful and reflective as to whether the approach you are taking
    is bringing you to the musical spaces that you seek and adjust as needed.
    Look forward to hear more clips from you in the future.

  24. #23
    The musical statement you make is a reflection and articulation of who and what you are. That's the act of creating sound as opposed to generating noise.
    If your musical identity is based on the pleasure of moving your fingers, that is what you'll create. Whether it's of interest to others... well that's the question of what music is. If it doesn't connect, it's noise.
    If your musical identity is based on the imitation of another person's identity, that's what you'll create. You study another person's identity and you may have some appeal to others who are in that mind space. It it connects, it's music to those people. It's noise to the others.
    If your musical identity is based on creating something without a vague notion of where you're going and how you'll get there, then the most challenging task is to create the structure yourself. That's the difference between self indulgence and musical statement: It must have an arc, a journey, a purpose, a beginning-a story-an ending. If you can't convey that, you're not going to find somebody who can understand or relate to it; it's not music.
    If you like the sound of what you do, work on it until it reflects your story. If that notion is vague or incomprehensible, then listen to music you like and listen for the story it conveys and how; it's not random, it's not an accident of chance.
    Music is a language. It has a lexicon. It has a syntax that orders that lexicon. It has semantic aspect, that means there is meaning and consequence that informs the form. Maybe it's making love to the listener. At its best it feels that way. Someone trying to make love to themselves, maybe not so interesting to the listener.
    Tell a story. Use dynamics. Use contrast. Use space. Use motif. Use an idea and create variation that shades and accents ideas. Have contrast in the archetecture of your sound and use the notes you play to set up context, contrast and to define form.
    If you think you have that already, work on convincing the listener. Use your language to convey yourself; use the music to find your self.

  25. #24
    ok so i made a brief recording on anthropology without using track, i did the whole tune and the A section of the second chorus.


  26. #25
    Very nice. Thank you for making this one. You've definitely got a distinctive style. You have good control of the instrument and the coordination of your hands is good at speed. As you've asked for observations and suggestions, I'll say your strengths are in an almost fearless relationship of the note with the beat. In other words, you have a bold attitude of meeting each beat with notes that fill up the space nicely. That's also a weakness, because it can easily detract from the distinct shape and character of your individual phrasing, and more importantly keep you from growing and maturing in terms of how you use your notes; the content of your phrasing. There is a lot of facility in your playing. You can get a lot of mileage out of developing a more personal and emphatic highlighting of melodic progression within a solo space. You've got chops but they don't necessarily sound personal at this point. Good use of motif, and that makes good fertile grounds for development of ideas.

    Have you tried working at half or even a quarter of the speed with which you're playing? This lets you think of and hear the consequence of each note, whether its effect can be enhanced by use of dynamic contrast (you're picking every note, that leaves the possibility of using loud and quiet notes within the arc of your playing if you want-that'll make louder notes stand out more, make the listener "hear" the softer notes.) Playing slower will also give you the time to make decisions about what direction your next statement will be, whether you might want to use combinations of shorter groupings, take two notes and turn them into an unexpected idea by following them with related ideas, use a different part of the neck, use chordal options, and even change harmonic content what your hands may have habitually painted you into a corner with.
    You have a good start on things you obviously love about playing. Be aware of options you can explore and learn to incorporate them with an awareness of the form. You can increase your awareness by slowing down the speed of your hands so you can increase the speed of your awareness.

    Or not.

    Good luck with your playing! You have a lot that many would be envious of. You're obviously devoted to the instrument. Keep growing your ears and keep them ahead of your hands.

  27. #26

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    I'd suggest perhaps working with a metronome or backing track, it's hard to hear distinct starts and ends of phrases. That's partly the nature of that particular track - Anthropology pauses in unusual places, and has very barline-defiant cadences - but as the guy above suggests, try slowing things down. It's hard to hear the rhythm, the pulse there. It's hard to tell if you're speeding up and eliding notes ... you might well not be, you might be hitting every note perfectly, but the fact that, as a listener, I can't actually tell means that there is probably something to practice and think about there.

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Very nice. Thank you for making this one. You've definitely got a distinctive style. You have good control of the instrument and the coordination of your hands is good at speed. As you've asked for observations and suggestions, I'll say your strengths are in an almost fearless relationship of the note with the beat. In other words, you have a bold attitude of meeting each beat with notes that fill up the space nicely. That's also a weakness, because it can easily detract from the distinct shape and character of your individual phrasing, and more importantly keep you from growing and maturing in terms of how you use your notes; the content of your phrasing. There is a lot of facility in your playing. You can get a lot of mileage out of developing a more personal and emphatic highlighting of melodic progression within a solo space. You've got chops but they don't necessarily sound personal at this point. Good use of motif, and that makes good fertile grounds for development of ideas.
    Have you tried working at half or even a quarter of the speed with which you're playing? This lets you think of and hear the consequence of each note, whether its effect can be enhanced by use of dynamic contrast (you're picking every note, that leaves the possibility of using loud and quiet notes within the arc of your playing if you want-that'll make louder notes stand out more, make the listener "hear" the softer notes.) Playing slower will also give you the time to make decisions about what direction your next statement will be, whether you might want to use combinations of shorter groupings, take two notes and turn them into an unexpected idea by following them with related ideas, use a different part of the neck, use chordal options, and even change harmonic content what your hands may have habitually painted you into a corner with.
    You have a good start on things you obviously love about playing. Be aware of options you can explore and learn to incorporate them with an awareness of the form. You can increase your awareness by slowing down the speed of your hands so you can increase the speed of your awareness.
    Or not.
    Good luck with your playing! You have a lot that many would be envious of. You're obviously devoted to the instrument. Keep growing your ears and keep them ahead of your hands.
    thanks for the feedback, how ever i have some questions for you


    1) I cant see a distinctive style, looks more like early bebop, from parker era to me.
    or you maybe say that cause i use classical guitar and no backing track? which is not very common
    2)I said that i think its early bebop style but let me ask you if this is correct?... i remember some years ago i posted a video and people said it was smooth jazz or swing and not bebop?
    3) I dont understand what you mean by
    "you have a bold attitude of meeting each beat with notes that fill up the space nicely"
    you mean that I make phrases over more than 1 bar?


    4) And why is this also a weak point you said "because it can easily detract from the distinct shape and character of your individual phrasing,"
    sorry i dont understand your explanation, sounds too technical for me


    5) You've got chops but they don't necessarily sound personal at this point
    Whats a chop? I read a chop is a speedy phrase? Do u mean this?


    Thanks in advanced for your advice

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by fingernylon

    1) I cant see a distinctive style, looks more like early bebop, from parker era to me.
    or you maybe say that cause i use classical guitar and no backing track? which is not very common
    Style is what sets one person off from another. It's a set of choices, intentional or not, that makes your playing different from another's. Sometimes style comes from careful choice of what you want in your playing, other times it might because you don't understand things the same way another person does; it makes you different.
    Now bebop is a pretty well studied and codified set of techniques. When you listen to it, really listen to understand what the player's intention is, one realizes that it's made up of a relationship of embellishments, ornamentations, rhythmic displacements and melodic figures that form a creative relationship with the original theme. To respectfully play bebop, I'd say it's ideally important to know the original melody, know the figures you'd like to embellish it with and use them for a reason. That's the bebop style.
    Your style is your own and it's unique, but I wouldn't call it bebop. It has figures that sound like the bebop influenced piece but it's not in any order or reason that I know or can hear. So I like it because it's very much you, but if you're trying to play bebop, then it's a start, but you've got a ways to go.
    It's like an actor in a movie that tries to deliver a line in their idea of a Russian accent but it's not Russian at all. It sounds kinda, but it's not speaking. It's an impression.
    Quote Originally Posted by fingernylon
    2)I said that i think its early bebop style but let me ask you if this is correct?... i remember some years ago i posted a video and people said it was smooth jazz or swing and not bebop?
    Bebop is a very precise language and a very specific genre. The history of early bebop made that a necessity. People who played that music wanted to have a kind of "Password" that would keep casual players from sharing the bandstand with them. So the tunes they played were intricate and precise, and the time swung, and the rhythmic pulse of the music incorporated a lot of beat displacement and syncopation. All these things were among a complex lexicon, or language, that was instantly recognizable to boppers, and unconvincing if you didn't know the language. Their music evolved from swing, but it wasn't swing (listen to transitional players like Dexter Gordon, Don Byas, Lester Young and you'll get a feeling for what it grew out of and into).
    Your playing has some elements of bebop but to better understand the music on a deeper level, learn to play a melody clearly, in time, with swing and learn to embellish it first simply, then with more elements so you don't get tripped up. Take your time and take it seriously.

    I'll continue more answers in a subsequent post. I'm not sure how much text is allowed here.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by fingernylon
    3) I dont understand what you mean by
    "you have a bold attitude of meeting each beat with notes that fill up the space nicely"
    you mean that I make phrases over more than 1 bar?
    Your time is good in the way you don't hesitate when you're playing your solo. But it also sounds like you're playing from the hand and from some place that doesn't take the time to think about or play. A solo is a series of thoughtful phrases that will hopefully have a sense of pacing, a sense of progression and a sense of purpose. In your playing I hear good ideas begun on the beat, but not so much respect for the time or spirit of the music it comes from, the song it's an improvisation of.
    It's based on a Charlie Parker tune, but that tune is buried within the playing of the solo and it's not respectfully treated. There are measures missing, there are places where the phrases you play don't lead to either the next phrase or back to the original melody.
    These are things that you can study and they will really make your solo and playing breathe, have a sense of purpose and really PLAY WITH the Parker melody.
    Slow down when you practice and make it a purpose in practice to understand not just the sounds, but the purpose for the notes you play. Slow down. You are a composer in real time. You're not just a player moving fingers across a fingerboard. Focus your ideas and learn to compose. Take a piece, slow it down to half speed or less and learn it note for note, to play the head accurately. You can learn a lot from a Charlie Parker tune even before you try to solo. You can learn rhythm, embellishment, patience, space, time, harmony, melody, and so much more. If you can play KOKO as a ballad, you'll have earned the right to solo on it. If you learn Cherokee as a ballad then learn Koko after that, you'll learn more than you'll ever by playing impressions of a solo too fast to think.
    Bebop is itself a great teacher if you want to learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by fingernylon
    4) And why is this also a weak point you said "because it can easily detract from the distinct shape and character of your individual phrasing,"
    sorry i dont understand your explanation, sounds too technical for me
    Here I'm saying you play a lot of notes. You get a lot of pleasure from playing a lot of notes, and that's fun, it's certainly a good reason to pick up the guitar.
    But playing notes should have a good reason too. Phrases breathe, and each one is a little thought in itself. A phrase has a beginning: you can start strong, or quiet, on the beat or before, or after the first beat, it can be a long note or a short note, or several.
    A phrase has a middle section: It ascends, it can descend, it can change direction, it can create rhythmic motif, it can reference material played before or even another melody from another piece...
    A phrase has an ending: It can end short, it can use long notes, it can have a twist that opens up ideas for a change in the next phrase, it can be a pickup into the new section or it can ask a question with space...
    I'm saying that if you play a lot of notes, it's good exercise, but to play music with content, you'll need to study things like compositional techniques or ordering the elements or shaping forces of music. You've got a good start here. But to make it really musical, you'll need to learn to hear and appreciate musical content in phrases and learn to present that content in a compositional way. That's good jazz.
    Check out Lee Konitz's article on the steps to improvisation.

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by fingernylon
    5) You've got chops but they don't necessarily sound personal at this point
    Whats a chop? I read a chop is a speedy phrase? Do u mean this?
    Chops refers to sheer technical ability and facility. It's the ability to play notes in a convincing and controlled way. You've got a lot of things that come out of your fingers, and they go on and on. But at the end, I hear someone who loves to play but I don't have such a strong idea of what you're saying.
    The purpose of playing jazz is not to play lots of notes, it's to say something. It might be a commentary on another piece, that's playing a solo on a specific piece, or it might be a piece you make up, that's free improvisation. Either way, you play yourself and it's more than a lot of fancy wiggles in your hands.

    I love it that you want to learn about this music, to learn to play it. Know that it should be a respectful process, you must learn the order, language and accepted forms of jazz improvisation before you take liberties in removing essential elements. It's more than chops, it composing in real time.

    I hope this is helpful, or at least gives you ideas to think about, and opens up the possibility of giving you excitement about a new dimension of the music you may not have considered.
    Best of luck

  32. #31
    yes thanks a lot for your reply. U are right in many things. im already trying to do all slower and i see i even enjoy more the ideas, and its easier to organize phrasin and adding variety. i will post more in some time after i practice slower. however listening to the recording i dont see that sounds bad, i mean it makes sense in my opinion, i like it, i think it has energy and vibrant tempo and rhythm

  33. #32
    btw when i listen to gillespie on anthropology on many other tunes i think he is just playing fast and that his phrases specially compared to parker has no content or at least dont tell me nothing... do u have the same perception? like he jus twant to play fast?

  34. #33
    Remember that EVERYTHING Diz played back then, he owned. He INVENTED the bebop approach. Listen to Roy Eldrich, and then listen to Gillespie. Dizzy was there breaking ground, inventing and exploring the language that would become bebop, and he did it when he was the only standard to be held to; well he and Parker.

    To really understand the language, the developing language, the evolutionary language of bop, listen to the Dial recordings, the Savoy recordings and the recordings of Parker live (with Symphony Sid). Then learn to hear it not as a listener, but know it well enough to hear it as a player. Be aware of the many options and when you understand the ways a simple phrase can be ornamented and the role that rhythm plays in making a phrase breathe, it won't sound so random.
    Also listen to Diz along his career, how his own playing playing changed and matured. I saw Dizzy playing with Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson, this was when they were a bit older than the kids they were when they were driven by the spirit of youth and discovery. Great playing, but tempered by having lived with this exciting music as they grew older.

    When you listen to music, especially when you use it for inspiration, take into account that the music has historical and personal context for the player. Early Diz is different from late Diz. And they played live music, always. They had better days in the studio, they had not so good days. Listen to as much of it as you can so you can be discerning in your assessment, and strive not to imitate out of adoration, but to thoughtfully innovate out of love and respect. Yes listening is an art too, and listening to your own self is one of the hardest parts of that.
    You're doing good things. Be aware and it'll just get better.