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  1. #1

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    What octave would you play this in as a matter of habit? Do you play it like it was guitar music- transposed down an octave, or the octave it is written in?


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    More likely, the higher register.

  4. #3

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    As a habit I'd play transposed down an octave as that's what I'm used to in terms of mapping the notation to the instrument.

  5. #4
    As a matter of course, a figure like this would be most useful if it were not something one played like a piece, to recreate a performance, but as an example of how it can be used to understand the music, teach you the language and expand your own facility. Personally, I'd learn to play it by ear, learn it in all registers, all over the fingerboard, and as a reachable and practical goal, in all keys. It's a line that was created on the alto, but it transcends the idiosyncracies of instrumental form. It's great music.
    Learn the music within, not the restrictions of the instrument.
    But maybe I'm not getting something.

  6. #5

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    I'd play it as written because the highest note's a Gb. An octave above, that's the 14th fret, first string. It's a bit treble-y, although it depends.

    Maybe if it was in the middle of a solo, or the peak of a solo, and I definitely wanted to be up that high.

    A look at jazz guitar transcriptions on You Tube will show you that solos rarely go that high. The tops of melodic chords or octaves are two exceptions.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    What octave would you play this in as a matter of habit? Do you play it like it was guitar music- transposed down an octave, or the octave it is written in?

    Both?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    What octave would you play this in as a matter of habit? Do you play it like it was guitar music- transposed down an octave, or the octave it is written in?

    Depends on the context. If I was soloing after an instrument that stayed high, I'd start low, and vice versa.

    If the pianist was busy in the midrange, I might choose to go above it.

    If it was guitar trio and the bassist stayed in the lower octave much of the time, I'd be more likely to start low.

    If the solo was building, I'd go low early and high later, but it could also go the opposite way, where you start high and loud and go lower and quieter.

    It also might depend on how the guitar was sounding. Some nights it feels like high notes tend to die quickly and I end up avoiding them to some degree.

  9. #8

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    Well firstly it's in concert key so to sound correct it would be played one octave higher on the guitar. An alto sax has a pretty high voice.

    On the other hand, learning Parker lines on the guitar - for guitar skill purposes - can also be useful, so could be played as written.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    What octave would you play this in as a matter of habit? Do you play it like it was guitar music- transposed down an octave, or the octave it is written in?

    I'd try it both ways and then decide based on what sounded better. It kind of depends on the timbre of the instrument but with a clean tone those highest notes are a bit thin to my ear in the upper register, so I'd probably go with the lower register.

    That said, I'm playing these lines much slower than Parker. They sound good in slow motion though.

    Funny thing that my Omni book is for Eb instruments so when I'm reading through that book I'm playing in the wrong key but in a good range for guitar.
    Last edited by fep; 07-17-2020 at 10:15 AM.

  11. #10

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    On a guitar with no cutaway, definitely in the lower octave. On a guitar with a cutaway, I'd probably try it in both, but it would probably depend on what comes before and after. The purpose of playing something like this is not to fully replicate what Bird did. It's to understand what Bird did, and to do that I have to put the passage somewhere on the neck where I can actually execute it.

    John

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    On a guitar with no cutaway, definitely in the lower octave. On a guitar with a cutaway, I'd probably try it in both, but it would probably depend on what comes before and after. The purpose of playing something like this is not to fully replicate what Bird did. It's to understand what Bird did, and to do that I have to put the passage somewhere on the neck where I can actually execute it.

    John
    That's practical. A more guitar oriented sweet spot sound might be to transpose it up a fifth to the key of F. But to really benefit from it, play it around the circle of fifths.

    The thing is, when it comes to practicality there is only so much of that when we transcribe/transpose from another instrument, especially one like an alto saxophone. About the most direct and practical thing a jazz guitarist can do if they want to gain an insight into masterful bop-oriented lines, is to study jazz guitarists, like say Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. They already did the hard work, and one doesn't have to transcribe/transpose a thing.

  13. #12
    Maybe a bad example in the OP, other point I was thinking is if you look at lead sheets, you really cannot harmonize them and add a bass if you play them an octave down.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I'd play it as written because the highest note's a Gb. An octave above, that's the 14th fret, first string. It's a bit treble-y, although it depends.
    Ah, I was imagining playing it on a Tele. That's still in the sweet spot up there.
    Last edited by BigDaddyLoveHandles; 07-17-2020 at 05:07 PM.

  15. #14

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    looking at this as a "lick" ..play in several keys and in different positions

    as the highest note is Gb (2nd fret) there is alot of room for moving it around