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

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

    43 14.53%
  • 80-100 bpm

    34 11.49%
  • 100-120 bpm

    55 18.58%
  • 120-140 bpm

    75 25.34%
  • 140-160 bpm

    34 11.49%
  • 160-180 bpm

    25 8.45%
  • more than 180 bpm

    30 10.14%
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  1. #101
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:04 PM.

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  3. #102

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    My sincere apologies for being insulting, Dortmund-- I was jumping to conclusions given Rich and Russell's public disagreements in the past.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

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  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci View Post
    I think the joke is that Russel quotes Bumblebee for a moment.
    If that's true, my respect to anybody able to tell bumble-bee from bee-hive.
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  5. #104

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    There are very few musicians out there than can hang at that tempo and say anything meaningful. Malone is not my favorite player - I find his articulation overly harsh at times, as well - but the people on this site are incredibly dismissive of skill levels that they will likely never achieve.

    One of the best things about being a jazz player is that you can easily measure your accomplishments against all of the other players who operate within the tradition, and decide what you think is important, what fits your aesthetic, etc. When I listen to Malone, I hear a guy who is accomplishing with ease a lot of the things that I still struggle with. I'm impressed by his ability, and I respect the dedication it took for him to acquire it. Malone has talked about feeling the same way about listening to Benson and other players who are in the very upper echelon of the music.

    It's one thing to listen to a player like that and notice that you don't like his articulation compared to someone else. We can all have fun talking on this forum about what we like best, what works, what doesn't. It's another thing to say that he's "unmusical". And it's a whole 'nother thing entirely to be a dick and say you found his performance "funny".

    My guess is that none of the people who dissed Malone on this thread would sound even half as good on that tune.

  6. #105

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    I also hope people aren't basing any ideas of "this is what Malone sounds like" based on this clip...
    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

  7. #106

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    I agree with ECJ, 1+.
    It's way to easy for someone to be an armchair quarterback and laugh at someones guitar voice. But HE (Malone) is the one playing with the greats that call him for great gigs, if he couldn't cut it they would stop calling, and he plays all the time, so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Btw, it was Jim Hall that called Malone to fill in for the gigs with Frisell. Bill and Jim, two of the most lyrical players in jazz guitar history.
    I think they may have ears enough to hear a good match.

    .
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-27-2013 at 04:55 PM.

  8. #107

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    One more slightly off topic thing about that gig. Malone played great. He was fast and very fun to listen to. He received great responce from the crowd at Yoshis in Oakland.
    Slowhand Friz played a couple solo pieces and after each piece the audience was totally silent just like an audience in the middle of a. Classical piece. Dead quiet.
    After he was all done he received enormous applause and cheers.
    Never saw that before at a jazz show, never.

    Also my date and I got to talk to Malone during the break when he came out and just hung around to talk and meet people, just like Victor Wooten. Super nice guy, that's where I got all the info on how he got the gig.
    Last edited by ASATcat; 05-27-2013 at 05:12 PM.

  9. #108

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    I bet they do sound good together...don't get me wrong, I can dig the boppish stuff too, but Russell's not a one trick pony, and IMHO, the bop stuff isn't even his best trick.

    There's a cool clip out there where he gets a chance to play solo on a gig with Diane Reeves, I think. It's really hip, and gives you a chance to hear his approach to harmony...
    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

  10. #109

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    @ecj

    Being the one who said his playing, on that recording, sounded unmusical to me ...

    - This live performance suited me better, than "that recording"
    - It's good to know we agree on articulation. Now we know we only differ in our choice of adjectives, and maybe some manners, or we just don't take it all equally serious.
    - For that matter, as much as I don't like his specific "space invaders attack" line playing sound, when he hits a chord, that's exactly the sound I'd wish I could have.
    Why is that so?
    I don't know, but I can not but think I'd truly enjoy his chordal solo arrengements. As I've got some hints from people, far more knoweledgeable about jazz than I am, he's suposedly really great in those. Hearing ocasional chord in this bee-hive assured me hints were on he spot. Regrettably, this is a 'speed" thread.

    EDIT: ow I see Mr. Beaumont spoke about it too, I ve sent mine before reading his.
    Last edited by Vladan; 05-27-2013 at 05:43 PM.
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  11. #110

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    Sorry if I came off too aggressive. I just wish people would be a little more respectful on this board, and on the internet in general. Jazz guitar is a small community, and it doesn't benefit any of us to slam each other all the time.

  12. #111

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    I don't think you were out of line.

    It's also ok not to like everybody's playing, but it helps to be specific in critique...and to critique the playing, not the player...and the only person who broke the latter rule was...me.

    But Benny's playing does drive me nuts...he's got the chops to be the connection from Oscar Peterson to the present day...but he always seems to go for the show of technique, and I don't hear anything new or "him" in those fast lines...it just sounds like the past. I want to like his playing because he's got ridiculous technique, but I just can't handle such a relentless barrage.

    I also think there's a difference between respect and reverence...now I like Russell Malone, a lot--but I also don't think the clip provided earlier is him at his best...and I think it's ok to say that...there's at least one more performance of him playing "jingles" on youtube where you can hear him really connect on the fastest stuff.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  13. #112

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    You know speed is a bit like atonality, it's only too fast if it's faster than you can hear. It's only atonal if it's less tonal than you can hear.
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  14. #113

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    Bruce Forman is someone that is very comfortable at super fast tempos like 300 and is very musical.

    Uh, Bruce who?? Sad he isn't know better.
    Youtube him, it's worth it =)

  15. #114
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  16. #115

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    I stand by that one...seems to be in the duos with Philip Catherine...perhaps Catherine makes him nervous

    Bireli's a stud, but also human.
    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

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci View Post
    You know speed is a bit like atonality, it's only too fast if it's faster than you can hear. It's only atonal if it's less tonal than you can hear.
    And if there's no variation...
    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

  18. #117
    dortmundjazzguitar Guest
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    Last edited by dortmundjazzguitar; 08-16-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  19. #118

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    Actually the middle one's really cool.

    The Stella clip I dislike the tone and the speedy stuff doesn't really say much...and things are quite "clicky" on those fast runs. Overall, it's not representative of how good I think he can play.

    The first one though, I think the solo is really uninspired. Like I said, I don't care for the duos with Catherine...i hear the slower stuff as just bridges between hot licks, not really very melodic or interesting, and I really don't hear him connecting on the fast stuff...lots of percussive clicks. The tone doesn't help, very "brittle." I've listened to a lot of these guys together, because I do like Bireli and Catherine's one of my favorites, and despite their long history, I never hear Bireli at his best with Philip. Not sure why...

    Just my opinion, mind you, but if you showed me the first clip only I'd have no idea he was as good as he really is. You hear him on a Selmer style and the fast stuff is as clean as it gets...I think his playing style is not flattered by a Gibson archtop. Very "splatty"-- actually same thing happening to Malone in that clip...it sounds like they're playing really hard on an instrument set up for a light touch.

    Actually, I can think of a video of the two playing acoustics (i think Catherine is on an ovation?) and it's great...
    And I do think he lightens up his attack a bit on the solidbody, which definitely cleans things up.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 05-27-2013 at 10:26 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

  20. #119

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    Make it a little more interesting and play thirds.

  21. #120

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    Sort of offered in contrast to the Bireli "Stella" vid:



    I think Benson does tend to overplay sometimes, but if you just watch this for his feel and ability to 'shift gears' between different subdivisions...Jesus. Benson is just the man, at that stuff. IMO, he's offering the clearest and best example of how to address the instrument physically for jazz guitar. He never sounds stiff or rigid. Everything just sounds free and relaxed.

    That being said, my favorite part of this clip is McCoy Tyner's incredible solo.

  22. #121

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    That Benson clip was great. The difference in the articulation on the fast notes is really something...he's probably my favorite "fast" player...but I also like how he sets up the fast stuff.

    And Tyner...well...the only I didn't like about his solo was I wish it wasn't over so soon.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 05-28-2013 at 01:04 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

  23. #122

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    edit
    Last edited by markf; 05-28-2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: edit

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Actually the middle one's really cool..
    Funny, that one, on distortion, I find the worst. Maybe because I'm accustomed to associate that kind of tone with different kind of music, or shredding if you prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    The Stella clip I dislike the tone and the speedy stuff doesn't really say much...and things are quite "clicky" on those fast runs. Overall, it's not representative of how good I think he can play.
    Stella suited me the best, although on some chords he played I'm not sure if it was Jazz, or hi just "rubbed it in circular motion".

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    The first one though, I think the solo is really uninspired. Like I said, I don't care for the duos with Catherine...i hear the slower stuff as just bridges between hot licks ...
    Interesting, to me it's contrary. I hear slower licks as "the meat", while fast ones, a bit sloppy, but far better than I could do it, that's for sure, are like bursts from nowhere. May be here we have English language problem, on my side, of course. Nevertheless, I did not find it too bad at all, my main complaint is on their interaction, ie. one guy plays kind of straight latin, and sound's very polished aand popish, while the other one (main charachter in this story) tries to jazz it up and be lean and mean, and while it is interesting, it does not alwaays work.
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  25. #124

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    I don't know if we're saying things too differently, Vladan.

    I personally don't like how the faster licks seem disconnected, but I also don't think the slower stuff in between is very interesting.

    Now in the Benson clip, it all flows so naturally.

    This is all just armchair quarterbacking and personal opinion.
    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

  26. #125

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    That's what forums are for.

    EDIT: Just watched Benson clip, and started to laugh, at my self. He's The True Master of The Never Ending Story.
    Last edited by Vladan; 05-28-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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  27. #126

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    I think an advantage is that George Benson seems to spent a lot of time singing his guitar lines, he does this a lot on his Guitar Tutor Dvd , this is probably one of the reasons why "it all flows so naturally." as stated by Mr B (Jeff).
    Guy
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  28. #127

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    Dont know how fast I am, especially clean. How slow can you play and still maintain interest?

  29. #128

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    Famous Jim Hall quote: "I can't play fast."

    So who cares what your speed is.

  30. #129

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    Surely it requires years of practice to achieve that level and while I do respect the skill/talent, it's not my choice. Embraceable You, Close to you, Satin Doll, Shadow of your Smile ....now you're talkin'!!

  31. #130

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    Benson solo i boring...!!

  32. #131

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    In my previous life as a drummer, I played in a band with a superfast guitarist, who could reel out an astonishing number of notes per minute...and most of them were wrong! I have always tried to play as few nots as possible as a guitar player, so have no idea what my max speed actually is. However, I can't help but feel that this must be affected to a great deal by choice of guitar, string, setup etc. I can certainly play faster on a Parker Fly, with 8 gauge strings (mostly hammering on/pulling off), than on my hofner jazzbox with a higher action and heavy flats on it...

  33. #132

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    Not to mention Misty, What are you doing the rest of your life, lots of stuff that is not fast. But it sure is classy!!

  34. #133

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    After 38 years of trying to increase my speed, using every picking tricking pulling poking hammering technique in the book, I have to conclude that I am just not a fast player.

    Part of this question should have been how long can you sustain high speed. For instance; I can play a lick or phrase from the Omnibook up to speed in most instances, but to play the entire solo. No. I am racing, going beyond my dependable top end. My technique starts to break up and I stumble.

    One fast run does not a speedster make.

    Having thus appraised my playing as on the slow side, I have to add for the encouragement of other turtles, that this has not prevented me from having a professional career. I might add that I can comp ok, on the fast tunes too, and this is 99% of what I do anyway.

    My present gig is a duet with a sax/flute and other reeds guy. I comp all the time and throw in a lick here and there.

  35. #134

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    If you remove all pretense of any real structure to the music I could possibly hit bursts in the 140-160 range. But, it would be mindless goo. I answered 120-140 because I know I have some control at that speed .......especially the lower end of that speed range, LOL. I can't sustain it for long. Can't imagine I would ever really want to with my personal taste in playing. I love the fast players. I just know I'll never be one of them.

    Speed is so relative. To a beginner, a mediocre player looks incredibly fast. I'm fast enough to get a point across. Speed is important only in that playing fast can sometimes help you with comprehending songs better. I'll sometimes take a backing track of some type and bump the speed up 1 bpm to see how far I can go before I start becoming lost in the arrangement. Not because I really want to play the song faster than it should be......but my thinking is that if I can pull off the notes, in time, at a ridiculous rate of speed then my playing at normal tempo should "feel roomier".

  36. #135

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    An interesting poll, and timely for me. I had been thinking that it was time to step up my game regarding speed. My teacher has had me working on the application of common phrases to different harmonic settings. It's been useful and fun but I want to burn! Oh, that would of course not be at the expense of good taste

  37. #136

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    What a heartening post by guitaroscar. I've been struggling these past few years to play as fast as the greats like Pass, Jimmy Bruno, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel etc. but can never get close. So, I'm a turtle, but can now relax and concentrate on phrasing and emotion rather than being the fastest kid on the block. Like Guitaroscar I have played professionally and comp with ease but have to rely on chord/melody stuff to fill in the quiet bits. And like Guitaroscar I have played recently with sax in a duo in France. Herewith a link to the stuff we have done...

    MrEs165's channel - YouTube

  38. #137

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    Can't think of anything less meaningful than how fast one can play. Speed has it's place, like quick snippets of runs between statements (Joe Pass), but a measure of how fast one can play a technical passage? Benson's vid of "Stella" does nothing for me. What's the point? No feeling involved. Speed for speeds" sake.

  39. #138

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    This thread again...

    I think it's about roles and goals. See, every person you can name that's a jazz great that doesn't play fast is/was great--I mean really great--at something else that made them unique.

    So you either be unique and lead (or be a sideman who's hired because of your specialty--and some unique players can still play fast, too, mind you) or your role becomes what the group needs of YOU. So if the group plays a fast tune...

    I'm guessing most of us are not on our way to be big name jazz players...that's reality. So, if we want to gig, we need to be able to play the music that's being played...which means having some speed in pocket is a damn good skill to have. Nobody says we all have to cleanly pick 8ths at 300bpm...but we need to know how to cover if the situation arises...The Jim Hall with Sonny Rollins clip is a great example IMHO...you can rag on Jim's technique all you want, but that's a good solo.

    I never buy into the "speed has no soul" crap a lot of non-fast playing rock and blues players spew. Soulless playing has no soul, fast or slow.

    As for that Benson clip, we'll agree to disagree...I think Benson's fast runs are a fine meld of showmanship, melodic punctuation, and a guy "feeling it." He's one of the players to me that can almost always make the fast stuff fit.
    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. #139

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    How creative is your improvisation?
    How refreshing is your note choice?
    How much emotion do you put into your performance?
    How clean are you hitting each note?

    Oh, how fast? In a speed contest I will lose at least 50% of the time. I tend to play with more feeling, creativity etc. at slower speeds. The slower the better LOL.

  41. #140

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    Check out Robert Conti if you want to hear a guitar player with it all, this guy is smooth and fast he`s the best jazz player I have ever heard play live, he makes it look so easy.

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by p.guitar View Post
    Check out Robert Conti if you want to hear a guitar player with it all, this guy is smooth and fast he`s the best jazz player I have ever heard play live, he makes it look so easy.
    That's an interesting first post...
    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

  43. #142

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    LOL, R. Conti vs. G. Benson.
    Also, some people jump wagons faster than Ernst Brognine could hit them on a head.
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  44. #143

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    Competitions are for horses, not artists.


    (Bela Bartok)


    I second.

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post

    Competitions are for horses, not artists.


    (Bela Bartok)


    I second.
    All these speed threads lately - instead of a poll, maybe we need a computer game "Jazz Guitar Hero" with little plastic guitar controllers with painted f-holes on them

    I thinking it might sound kinda like this:


  46. #145

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    All I know is when I go double-time, I often bail out early.

    Hey, is this a crutch? Sometimes I want to go double but I already know the tempo is too fast for me, so before I can stop myself, I fall into triplets.

  47. #146

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    Playing fast is flash! impresses a lot of people , great party piece!.....

  48. #147

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    The surest sign to me that someone doesn't listen to a lot of great music is when they get all upset about playing with speed or incredible technique. This is the demesne of blues players who know 6 licks, guys, not jazz guitarists.

    Amazing pieces that require amazing technique:













    So unmusical!

  49. #148

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    Yep. I started a thread about the "anti speed backlash" here https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/every...technique.html

    THat doesn't mean I'm "pro speed," I just think being anti-fast is like being anti "high" or "low". "I never play high notes!" Velocity is just one variable of a line.

    Also, hate the player, not the game
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  50. #149

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    This is about 5th OT thread within a thread, but that's good, really.

    I think,one can express own self the best at personal comfortable speed. I t may be slower, or faster than the music runing inside the head, but it still is the best possible tempo.
    For example, there are times I'd play really slow, but I can not, because my timing suck big time. Therefofe I have to play faster, trying to mask it up. If I go too fast, I lose my self if stay there for any longer than couple of bars.
    So, my comfortable tempo range in 8ths is somewhere from 100 - 150. I can go slower, but swung 8ths quickly turn into trioles. I can go 160, even faster, but on gear change, instead of 16ths, I'll also play triplets.

    Also, as someone mentioned, ther's a huge difference btw playing fast passages of 16ths and smaller divisions in slower tempo, and playing the whole song faster. Playing whole song in faster tempo is much more difficult,
    For example. I could comfortably play triplets at 120, but can hardly play 8ths at 180, which is the same number of notes in given time.

    Whatever the case, speed is really important, and I don't understand how could one diss it as some useless skill.
    Fact, that some beautifull songs are in slower tempos has nothing to do with the way one would improvise over those changes. Also, fact that some people can pull fast tempo, or not so fast, while keeping time doesn't, per se, make them worth listening. Technicaly inclined could say: the right time and correct time do not always coincide.
    Music is art, it's more than certain notes played at correct place in time, mechanical pianos and music boxes ciuld do that, at any tempo, or modern incarnation calked MIDI sequencer. Just for analogy, like not every photo is art, and some hyperrealistic paintings are pure kitch. If it wasn't so BIAB, or those robots from other thread, would be the best musicians in the world, but it has nothing to do with tempo, or note subdivisions they're set to play back.
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  51. #150

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    Personally... most creative, very clean, emotional players with great feel etc... may not be playing fast passages or phrases, but they're able to subdivide and help create that feel from being able to cover faster tempos.

    You need to at least be able to hear at faster tempos... which many times is what breaks down performance practice at faster tempos.

    Typically playing jazz is not just being able to perform memorized whatever... It's real time playing, how fast you can play what you don't know.

    Maybe we should have... how creative or with how much feeling can you play poll. How slow can you play... anticipation
    of the next.............note, wait