View Poll Results: What is the max speed at which you can play 16th notes *cleanly* ?

Voters
293. You may not vote on this poll
  • less than 80 bpm

    43 14.68%
  • 80-100 bpm

    34 11.60%
  • 100-120 bpm

    55 18.77%
  • 120-140 bpm

    75 25.60%
  • 140-160 bpm

    32 10.92%
  • 160-180 bpm

    24 8.19%
  • more than 180 bpm

    30 10.24%
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  1. #51

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    Since I got into jazz I have never done technical finger exercises so I honestly don't know. Prior to getting into jazz I was one of those shred heads. I could play 16th at 180bpm, but those were scale exercises and I used .09 strings, go figure.
    I quickly got bored with playing exercises which is why I started playing music instead and since then, I have never measured my speed.
    I practice tunes and I push the tempo a little bit, find the spot where I'm just outside my comfort zone technically and practice that tempo. That means the tempo where I can improvise and make good lines without stumbling too much. Where I can play but I have to concentrate.

    I'm not a very chopsy player. That's not out of principle, it's just where I'm at right now. It takes time to get there.

    When playing a tune, I can double time 130-140bpm when I am in top shape. That means when I've been practicing for 3-4 hours + for a week or more.

    But for the most part, I'm not anywhere near that level chops wise. At this point I worry more about the content of my lines. Making a statement that makes sense from the beginning of the line to the end, and following up the line with another one that is a logical next step in the solo. The chops will come in time. Because if you have chops but haven't worked on articulating your lines, getting accents in the right places, it will sound completely cold. And then, the chops are worthless.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    You know, play by ear, don't worry about understanding what's going on, practice slow and get it right. That's what the masters did... that's all BS. (personal opinion).
    Where have you read people on this forum suggesting that you "don't need to understand whats going on"?. As for playing by ear being BS and poopoo-ing the idea of going slow at first before speeding up, I really hope that most on this forum will disagree.

    But I do get your "Devil's Advocate" role on this forum, and rather appreciate it. However in case some impressionable novice may be reading your posts, I would think it pertinent to not set the bar too high too soon (as regards reading and theory etc) as you will probably discourage them.

    If you wanna preach to those who can handle the "truth" as you see it, you should maybe start your own Pro Forum for advanced players. (personal opinion)

  4. #53

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    Well, I like that Reg cuts through the BS...Guitar players love to spout "one liner wisdom." Like the slow to fast thing...part of it's true-- if you can't play it slow and clean you ain't gonna play it fast and clean...but so many folks stop their "sage advice" there, when the truth is you'll never play fast if you don't practice playing fast.

    Guitar players like their zen koans of advice, but the truth is, there's a straightforward way to lean these things...you can either learn them or wait a lifetime for trial and error to teach you.
    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. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    You make it sound like you need to be able to read anything in 8ths at 200bpm. I missed that memo, and so did, I suspect, many of the greats, like CC, Wes, Django, GB etc. I like some of your posts Reg, but sometimes it seems you assume we all want to learn how to play like you, and that we should therefore learn everything the way you have learned, and conceive of everything the way you conceive things. Sure, we all may be a little guilty of this without realising, but while most on here will suggest general advice, you almost insist on a very specific methodology. While this is totally appropriate for your private students, I do wonder if you manage to confuse and/or intimidate many novices on this wide forum who may read your posts as the "final word" on Jazz guitar.....
    The thing is we're not in the pre 50's era. Back then, you also barely needed a college degree for any kind of job. Nowadays any job requires you to know how to use all sorts of programs (Word, Excel, etc), skills you did not need about 20 years ago.
    What I mean with this is that the requirements to be desired for any kind of job change. Maybe Wes didn't need to read back in the 60s. And if he didn't, the guys that came before him definitely didn't either. Nowadays you kind of have to be a jack of all trades to be recognized though. By this I mean, not only do you have to be great improvising, you have to be great with chords, and you have to be great with singing. This also applies to styles you play. The more things you can do outside of jazz the better. I met this trombonist one night who told me he had a salsa band going. He probably got hired because he worked on his salsa chops for a bit. There's also the example I throw in a lot with Adam Rogers, who's a great classical player. He can also do some pop stuff, as he got hired as a studio guitarist and has recorded many many albums (which goes back to the sight reading thing). I think now that reading is a hugely important thing that opens up so many doors.

    That being said, I disagree with the fact that it should be a vehicle of measuring technical speed. Sure, you want to improve your reading skills, but it's a fact that sight reading will never be as fast as your rehearsed speed (as Reg said). Not only that, you won't be able to sight read passages unless you are technically familiar with certain passages. For example, if you're not familiar with string skipping, there's no way in hell you'll be able to sight read a line that uses that. Measuring sight reading should be separate from technical speed, I believe.

    Anyways, my sight reading skill is probably the slowest of anyone here, haha.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Where have you read people on this forum suggesting that you "don't need to understand whats going on"?. As for playing by ear being BS and poopoo-ing the idea of going slow at first before speeding up, I really hope that most on this forum will disagree.

    But I do get your "Devil's Advocate" role on this forum, and rather appreciate it. However in case some impressionable novice may be reading your posts, I would think it pertinent to not set the bar too high too soon (as regards reading and theory etc) as you will probably discourage them.

    If you wanna preach to those who can handle the "truth" as you see it, you should maybe start your own Pro Forum for advanced players. (personal opinion)
    I'd rather hear Reg's insights into what is needed to hang at an advanced/pro level than the emphatic, black and white, statements so often posted here by people who don't have the skill on the instrument to back it up. Truth be told, it can get very tiresome wading through all of the ego and posturing on this board to get to the real substance.

    This is my personal opinion but I highly doubt anyone who is serious about getting somewhere on the instrument is going to agree with having pro players excluded from the conversation. We're lucky to have the few serious players on board that we have now. Running them off because you don't agree with them (based on what level of experience on the stage and instrument btw?) is not going to be welcomed by most here.

    If you don't like his posts try the ignore function. If newbies are intimidated they should stay in the "getting started" section until they're ready for more complex ideas.
    Last edited by Jazzpunk; 04-21-2013 at 08:05 PM.

  7. #56

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    Most guitar players who like to play fast, that I observe locally, are sloppy, have always been sloppy and probably always will be sloppy. It's a pet hate. The horn guys or piano players have on average much crisper articulation. As guitarists we have to work harder. Reg has stated in a few posts over the months that it's ok if you haven't quite got something nailed under the fingers to play it faster than you can cleanly, as eventually the articulation will just clear up and it will all be fine. Fine for him maybe, but years of teaching and my own observations tell me different. Practicing sloppy will cement sloppy with most novice players. I don't want to even argue that, just want to offer this not -so -sagely (read: obvious) advice to those that probably need to hear it.

    Happy to be shot down for it too.

    Yours Sagely,

    PP (Fighting the good fight for crisper articulation! )

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Most guitar players who like to play fast, that I observe locally, are sloppy, have always been sloppy and probably always will be sloppy. It's a pet hate. The horn guys or piano players have on average much crisper articulation. As guitarists we have to work harder. Reg has stated in a few posts over the months that it's ok if you haven't quite got something nailed under the fingers to play it faster than you can cleanly, as eventually the articulation will just clear up and it will all be fine. Fine for him maybe, but years of teaching and my own observations tell me different. Practicing sloppy will cement sloppy with most novice players. I don't want to even argue that, just want to offer this not -so -sagely (read: obvious) advice to those that probably need to hear it.

    Happy to be shot down for it too.

    Yours Sagely,

    PP (Fighting the good fight for crisper articulation! )
    What you say is true. One should not generally not practice at a tempo where you can not hear all the notes clearly. But if you never push your comfort zone, you will not surpass it. What I've found to be most effective is to increase the tempo with 5bpm until I reach the point where I have to really concentrate to play it cleanly. Then I push it a little more until I stumble. Then I decrease the tempo back to my comfort zone and do the process again. You have to challenge your brain to stimulate growth. You have to briefly visit a tempo you can't play to get in the mindset of playing at that tempo.

    My 2 cents.

  9. #58

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    Yes, I think I do that too, where you briefly try to do something outside the comfort zone in order to kinda "hear" it in your mind, which helps. In fact, I feel like that's the advanced way to play anything, like maybe Reg can always do. Visualize it, hear it in your head, and then wait for the fingers to catch up! But it's dangerous to pass on this as advice to people who don't have the technical facility to catch up.

    I reckon that it may be common for very experienced players to have forgotten what it's like to have to struggle with their learning. This could be the reason many great players are lousy teachers. George Benson for example.....

  10. #59

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    Which hand?
    "If you play sweet child 'o mine again...I'm breaking your guitar"

  11. #60

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    I've always struggled with technique.
    To play fast, you need to master left hand technique AND right hand.
    Or if one of two is sloppy, you will never get through this issue.

    I never "trusted" my right hand and years of bad practicing just reinforced tension
    and bad confidence.
    Today I struggle to get things right and the bigger issue is to face my own believes:
    "I can't play fast","Anyone who has never played guitar could tremolo faster than me",
    "It will take years to catch up the level of good players".

    I'd like to emphasize the psychological aspect, don't negate it.
    Start by finding the good technique for YOU, the one that fits with your style, your way of playing,
    the one that seems tensionless.
    Then, start thinking that you can master it.
    Whether it's for pure technique or the way of thinking it, never forget that:
    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.
    Last edited by Vashounet; 04-22-2013 at 05:10 PM.

  12. #61

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    I'm somewhere between slow as molasses and fast as hell.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 04-23-2013 at 12:32 PM.

  13. #62

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    To play fast, you need to master left hand technique AND right hand.
    Cool .... that's what I've been doing wrong

  14. #63

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    I practice speed a fair bit. not obsessively, and rarely use the 'chops' I've developed in any musical context, but I find the ability to play faster has made me more comfortable at slower speeds than the 'max'. maybe that's just me.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by abracadabra View Post
    I practice speed a fair bit. not obsessively, and rarely use the 'chops' I've developed in any musical context, but I find the ability to play faster has made me more comfortable at slower speeds than the 'max'. maybe that's just me.
    Agreed. If you're playing 8ths at 150, but behind it all you have a 'mental metronome' ticking in 16ths, you can slip in the 16ths whenever you like, for as long you like, with total confidence.

  16. #65

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    Nobody here suggested that playing scales fast is going to make you a great jazz guitarist, who could be that naive?

  17. #66

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    Music is whatever you want it to be.

    I would be faster if I enjoyed listening to "fast" guitar playing. Something about the guitar makes me enjoy its sound at lower tempos. As a listener, I prefer high-speed virtuosity on other instruments - piano, sax.

    I agree with whoever said that this is a guitar-centric obsession. Like, who is the fastest singer?

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtfree View Post
    Music is whatever you want it to be.

    I would be faster if I enjoyed listening to "fast" guitar playing. Something about the guitar makes me enjoy its sound at lower tempos. As a listener, I prefer high-speed virtuosity on other instruments - piano, sax.

    I agree with whoever said that this is a guitar-centric obsession. Like, who is the fastest singer?
    Fastest singer? This dude is pretty fast. Well it's rap but it still vocals.

  19. #68

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    Anybody know, using the ranges in the poll, about where Pat Martino would typically come in at on his up tempo stuff, for example Impressions?

    Oh and, count me in the sloppy-no-matter-what-speed-I-play category.

  20. #69

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    Martino's stuff is often high 200s. I'm sure there's some 300 stuff somewhere. The stuff I transcribed of him, Oleo, Impressions, was around 280 I believe.
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  21. #70

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    Another poll, no ofense ment to anybody,:

    How many of you liked that Rusell Malone tune? From post 31 in this thread:

    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/impro...tml#post318829

    While Hubbard and Martino tunes/ videos I found suerb, honestly, I think that Bumblebee at 600bpm was more musical than Russell Malone video.
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  22. #71

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    Seriously? Malone is a world-class player.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    Seriously? Malone is a world-class player.
    No doubt, but that particular recording, let's say it did not suit me at 4 o'clock, AM. Other 2 examples did.
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  24. #73

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    As always, to each his own. I personally never dug Mc Laughlin and he's a world class player too.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Jones View Post
    As always, to each his own. I personally never dug Mc Laughlin and he's a world class player too.
    Of course, people are welcome to like what the like. McLaughlin's not my favorite player, but he's an incredible musician, and I'd never talk trash on him.

    I was taken aback by the sarcastic quip about the Flight of the Bumblebee exercise being "more musical" than some playing from one of the finest jazz guitarists on the scene today.

  26. #75

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    I have to work my butt off for what I can do.
    For me it's all about melodic playing, that melody comes from hearing it and I don't hear most things as fast lines, I think lines like a singer, with breath, space and depth, more lyrical than pyrotechniques.

  27. #76
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:12 PM.

  28. #77

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    No comments on Benny "silence is for pussies" Green's playing?
    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. #78

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    I guess that'd be the piano player?
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  30. #79

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    Sounds like a bunch of bedroom nerds annoying the neighbours!!.....L...

  31. #80

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    The players in that clip or us in this thread?

    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

  32. #81

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    Wherever the cap fits Jeff!....L..

  33. #82

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    I'm always a little surprised at how few people on this forum seem to actually like jazz.

  34. #83

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    Quite a few who seem to actively dislike it...
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 05-26-2013 at 02:14 PM.
    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

  35. #84

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    Russell Malone took Jim Halls spot playing with Bill Frisell, what a great show. A fast player and a slowhand, Russell was great but Bill simply enthrawled the audience. I wish there was some youtube of them.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    I'm always a little surprised at how few people on this forum seem to actually like jazz.
    I think everybody on this forum like Jazz, maybe not in all incarnations, though.
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  37. #86

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    I live in Julian Lage's hometown area and watched his progress as he grew up. Julian is easily in the same ballpark speedwise as Russell Malone and Berelli and most anyone, and he could do it at 12. No matter how technical and fast he plays he always looks like he's having the time of his life. That ease and joy of playing is his big non secret, It just amases me how he simply smiles through the hardest things. Relaxing is not easy for me. Julians a great role model for high octane playing.
    And ease and enjoyment separates him from most anyone. Most people look like their in pain or deep concentration when blazing.


    .
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-26-2013 at 09:30 PM.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    I'm always a little surprised at how few people on this forum seem to actually like jazz.
    I get what you are saying, but I didn't like the clip either. I hear more of his attack on the note the than the note itself for one. Can anyone tell me why this would qualify as such a great guitar clip other than the great technical facility?

  39. #88

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    Can you actually hear Malone?

    I swear whenever he and Green play together I can't hear him...ever hear their record "bluebird?" It's like Benny paid the engineer to turn Russell down...when you hear the ego in his playing, that doesn't even seem so far fetched.
    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

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASATcat View Post
    I live in Julian Lage's hometown area and watched his progress as he grew up. Julian is easily in the same ballpark speedwise as Russell Malone and Berelli and most anyone, and he could do it at 12. No matter how technical and fast he plays he always looks like he's having the time of his life. That ease and joy of playing is his big non secret, It just amases me how he simply smiles through the hardest things. Relaxing is not easy for me. Julians a great role model for high octane playing.
    And ease and enjoyment separates him from most anyone. Most people look like their in pain or deep concentration when blazing.


    .
    +1

  41. #90
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:03 PM.

  42. #91

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    I'm not sure what's funny? At 2:39 there's an almost wrong note, and some almost random fast scratching afterwards, is that it? Or funny are those two leaning over, staring at the fretboard? At one moment I thought they'll fall right on their faces.

    During piano solo, guitarist does not play at all, he just sits there, waiting, looking bored, as far as I could see and hear. Over bass solo, he plays, but he's turned down, so just some scratching is audiable (ambient sound), sound reminiscent of hi hat on this recording.
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  43. #92

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    There's no room to play when Benny solos may as well sit it out.
    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

  44. #93

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    I totally agree. Still, I don't get the hilarious part.
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  45. #94

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    Rich and Dortmund are just reminding us how superior they are, never getting caught in the moment and playing sloppy.
    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

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASATcat View Post
    I live in Julian Lage's hometown area and watched his progress as he grew up. Julian is easily in the same ballpark speedwise as Russell Malone and Berelli and most anyone, and he could do it at 12. No matter how technical and fast he plays he always looks like he's having the time of his life. That ease and joy of playing is his big non secret, It just amases me how he simply smiles through the hardest things. Relaxing is not easy for me. Julians a great role model for high octane playing.
    And ease and enjoyment separates him from most anyone. Most people look like their in pain or deep concentration when blazing.
    I dig fast playing but only if the cat is calm, relaxed and in command of the music, like Julian or Martino. I think some listeners actually like the struggle that some players exhibit when playing really fast - some kind of coarse excitement they find thrilling, but to me it just sounds rough and unhip. Keith Jarrett's amazing at being able to be creative & inspiring over really fast tempos.

  47. #96

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    I think the joke is that Russel quotes Bumblebee for a moment.
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  48. #97
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:04 PM.

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by dortmundjazzguitar View Post
    lol, you need to chill out, kiddo.
    Kiddo?

    cool, haven't been called that in a long time.

    as for my comment, Rich has a bit of a history with Malone...I was thinking you might have known that.
    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

  50. #99

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    Players that play with a smile
    Julian Lage
    Pat Metheny
    Bill Frisell
    Mike Stern

    Do they teach people how to smile at Berklee?

  51. #100
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:04 PM.