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  1. #1

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    I'm hoping someone out there has some experience with this three DVD collection. I got it because I read here an excerpt of an interview with Mike Longo where he apparently told another musician to “Consider each of those notes a drum and start playing rhythms on them.”

    I tried to visualize that and found my phrasing and solo almost magically improved. So I figured I should get deep into that and see what happens.

    The excerpted article quotes him as saying that he wrote a book on how to do that called,
    The Technique of Creating Harmonic Melody For The Jazz Improvise. So I bought it. Only problem is the book has NOTHING to do with playing notes as if they are drums.

    Next I did a little investigation and it seemed that the title I was looking for is, "The Rhythmic Nature of Jazz". I picked up the first two DVD's (glacial shipping). The first DVD is a lecture about Mike Longo's philosophy of jazz and making jazz music. Very interesting, but not a method DVD. The second one is billed as the actual method DVD where he teaches students the techniques he discusses in the first DVD.

    In essence, in the second DVD he has students begin with a hand drum. He teaches a 12/8 pattern that is:

    Da-da Dum-dum Da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da where the "da" represents a dry hit on the rim of the drum and the "dum" a palming in the center of the drum.

    While they are playing that pattern he calls out 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 time against it:

    "ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three", etc.

    Then he begins playing his own hand drum. He doesn't say what he is playing. Does he play a 3/4 pattern, or the same hemiola, or a different 5/4 pattern? It's hard for me to tell. My own limitations, no doubt. But there is no explanation. Invariably broad smiles appear on the faces of the students as they begin to feel what Mike calls "touch". They all seem to react very viscerally to his counter rhythm against the basic hemiola of the 12/8 pattern.

    Then they are to move to their instrument. Mike continues to play his drum while they play a small motiff and then solo over a ii-V vamp (no comping other than Mike's drumming). Is he playing the hemiola he taught, or some other rhythm? I don't really know. However, the interplay of his drumming and their soloing leads them to ecstatic new places of playing.

    I want that. Don't you? Everyone wants that.

    He repeats that over five or so instruments (exactly the same for every instrument down to what he says) and then wraps it up with a little demonstration on how to use "additive" rhythms to break down a triplet over quarter notes and triplet over half notes rhythm.

    So, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with that.

    I have practiced the basic hemiola demonstrated in the DVD, but then what? In the DVD Mike plays a second drum or counts out 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 rhythms against the student’s playing. Obviously, I can’t do that for myself. Or perhaps I’m supposed to, but I don’t know how. For now, all I can do is play “Da-da-Dum-dum-Da-da, Da-da-da Da-da-da”. Is there something more I am supposed to be doing with this?


    Then I see the four exercise for my instrument (guitar). I can play the motifs, but should I have drumming accompanying me? Then the instruction to solo over the (relatively) static Gm-Eb7. Again, in the video the students have the benefit of Mike’s ongoing drumming. Alone I won’t have that. Should I set the metronome for 6/8, or even download some Afro-Cuban clave playing and try to solo with that in the background. Is that what is intended? How am I supposed to work the exercises when practicing alone?


    Should I be doing the other exercises for other instruments?


    What about the 3/4 patting exercise and the 3/2 exercise at the end of the DVD. Should I do that and then play the four guitar exercises? Is that just an example of how to approach syncopated rhythms? How do incorporate this in to my practice?


    My instinct is that this material is transformative. Rhythm has never been my friend (but I can see that to be true of some of the students on the DVD as well!) I am very open and eager for this material, but right now it is eluding me.

    I did actually email Mike Longo for guidance. The response I got was a bit metaphysical, when what I was hoping for was some practical answers. Here is what he responded:
    Hi Randolph:
    There are 5 elements involved in HOW to play jazz on your instrument. They are: Touch; Time; Tone; Technique and Taste. When you do the Hemiola on the drum and then play the melodic exercises these become transformed into a new behavior on your instrument. Each melodic exercise adds new behavior to the above mentioned elements. They put you in a place. What you do is practice being in "Tat Place." When you play one you will find that you are in a "stream of consciousness" so to speak. You must stay focused on that when you begin improvising on any given exercise. Things will begin to manifest themselves as you play such as a new depth of swing, a new behavior in your accents and phrasing, etc. This will remain in your touch when you practice your repertoire. I would also recommend that you do these warm up exercises before you go to a gig or perform as they will cause you to play differently as well as hear the time differently. Do not practice with a metronome as a metronome is not a PULSE and can defeat the behavior you will glean from doing this work. We do offer products that you can acquire that have drum tracks to practice with. They can be found here:
    Best,
    Mike


    Mike is a major artist, and it doesn't bother me if his answer is a bit generic or canned. I can't expect a free lesson just because I bought some DVDs. But I really want to understand this and get the benefit of putting work into it --if only I understood what work I'm supposed to be doing.

    Has anyone out there done this work and can share their experiences?

    Thanks.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I go back and forth on the Longo stuff.

    Rhythm is essential. I think Longo says, and he’s right—the real innovation in jazz is all rhythmic. And it’s probably the most overlooked aspect of jazz playing. I think about a Hal Galper video I once watched, where he talks about people thinking jazz is quarter note time, but it’s not, it’s about the syncopation. He goes on to have the class scat a syncopated rhythm, improvising, not worried about pitch, just rhythm, bebop language.

    The Longo stuff is, from what I can gather, basically an analysis and breakdown of that syncopation—where does it come from, what are the permutations. It’s really in depth. And I just don’t think some folks are going to be able to master it, to actually be able to play it on the drums. Maybe that’s not even so important, though. It’s the exposure. And I think some people need it broken down like that, academically. It makes my head spin.

    Rhythm is such a visceral thing. I can’t help but feel if you took say, 5 great bebop solos, and learned to sing them—again, without worrying so much about pitch—you’d have all the rhythmic language right there. Then it’d just be up to you to use it.
    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

  4. #3

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    Longo is absolutely adamant you have to feel 6 Against 4 (quarter note triplet) completely in your bones to play jazz. And then get the half note triplet down as well.

    Barry Harris is absolutely adamant you have to feel 6 Against 4 (quarter note triplet) completely in your bones to play jazz.

    Jonathan Kreisberg is absolutely adamant you have to feel 6 Against 4 (quarter note triplet) completely in your bones, locked in, to play jazz.

    when people like this say this, we need to pay attention .

    I’m getting there . not there yet .
    Navdeep Singh.

  5. #4

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    P S —one practical thing I picked up is to play half note triplets on the guitar —dividing the finger board region in two —bass v soprano -tenor . This works either as lines OR bass notes against chords . And I can interchange the two regions ok (switch back and forth ).

    the quarter note triplets as played bass v soprano-tenor I can sustain foe two beats at a time. 4 beats it gets hard at tempo.


    This is is the last 20 minutes of the Longo video 2. Very useful and worth the price of admission

    Last edited by NSJ; 10-31-2017 at 09:52 PM.
    Navdeep Singh.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    P S —one practical thing I picked up is to play half note triplets on the guitar —dividing the finger board region in two —bass v soprano -tenor . This works either as lines OR bass notes against chords . And I can interchange the two regions ok (switch back and forth ).

    the quarter note triplets as played bass v soprano-tenor I can sustain foe two beats at a time. 4 beats it gets hard at tempo.


    This is is the last 20 minutes of the Longo video 2. Very useful and worth the price of admission


    Sounds good. So what's the next application for something like that? Obviously, you wouldn't comp a whole tune like that, too busy...but leave beats out but still play on beats of the triplet? Cool, I say.

    Now, not to be contrarian, but do you think you needed the video to pick up on this rhythm? It sounds pretty straightforward to me. Or is it a case of being able to put a name/explanation to a somewhat common sound?

    by the way, the video cuts off right as it sounds like your playing was going to get very interesting (as you introduce the single note to the pattern)...is there more of this? I'd like to hear it.
    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. #6

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    Backstory about the Longo video —he asked three players If they could play half note and quarter note triplet poly rhythms on their laps and they all failed miserably. That was also JK’s point as well —people think they know it intuitively, but many don’t.

    Longo then taught them first the chalkboard the step by step process of deriving a “key” rhythrm to understand it, based on where the hits are. JK does the same thing.

    I cseraibky don’t know it intuitively. So I continue to work to internalize it on my lap . It helped me, so I would say I needed something like this. I’m sure some others could pick it up more intuitively and more easily.

    My video except was stripped to the basic essence, using simple drop 3 grips, with one simple techinical GOal in mind —trying to seamlessly interchange 4 v 3 and 3 v 4, bass note against 3 note chord and vice versa. The goal is to intenalize this technical concept with any chord or grip anywhere, any time, without thinking. I was thus not concerned with the musical content per se as I would be in a performance — in a performance, my understanding of a comp or chord solo is to generate primarily rhythmic and melodic interest with small, mobile voicings, extemporaneously and spontaneously, such that the chord solo or comp is itself conceived as a line.

    Christopher Woitach’s stuff on true fire is REALLY good for this stuff, by the way.

    Big picture— Just trying to get better every day, Little by Little, using the available time I have at my disposal .
    Navdeep Singh.

  8. #7

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    Jeff your description of what Longo is about doesn’t reflect my experience of him.

    The rhythmic stuff isn’t about analysis. It’s much more intuitive than that. But you have to be able to execute the figures, offbeat, double time off beat, half note triplet accurately to get into the meat of the exercises (which are about a meditative flow state really.)

    Also the drumming side of it is really helpful too.

    I think the Longo exercises did a lot for my time.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-02-2017 at 06:46 AM.

  9. #8

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    @christianm77, thanks for your input. But I have to go back to the original question:

    What ARE the “Longo exercises”? I’ve been through all three DVD’s, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Just the 6/8 hemiola followed by the four little motifs? Is that it? Play the hemiola on a drum, then pick up the guitar and play the motifs unaccompanied? Note that Longo says DONT play with a metronome. So just play the motifs?

    I love the discussion of the merits of Longo’s system, but I guess I’m a little simple minded on this. I literally don’t get what the actual practice is.


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  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Jeff your description of what Longo is about doesn’t reflect my experience of him.

    The rhythmic stuff isn’t about analysis. It’s much more intuitive than that. But you have to be able to execute the figures, offbeat, double time off beat, half note triplet accurately to get into the meat of the exercises (which are about a meditative flow state really.)

    Also the drumming side of it is really helpful too.

    I think the Longo exercises did a lot for my time.
    I'm being unclear, what I mean is that Longo himself has done the analysis, figured out musically and technically what's going on in common jazz practice. He's put names to the sounds folks might have heard but not actually articulate where they came from. Does that make sense?
    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

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    @christianm77, thanks for your input. But I have to go back to the original question:

    What ARE the “Longo exercises”? I’ve been through all three DVD’s, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Just the 6/8 hemiola followed by the four little motifs? Is that it? Play the hemiola on a drum, then pick up the guitar and play the motifs unaccompanied? Note that Longo says DONT play with a metronome. So just play the motifs?

    I love the discussion of the merits of Longo’s system, but I guess I’m a little simple minded on this. I literally don’t get what the actual practice is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You need the supplemental CDs. This was mentioned in other thread. The CDs contain the exercises and examples of how to apply.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

  12. #11

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    I ordered the extra CDs, and no doubt any week now it will be shipped.

    I didn’t understand that there were exercises on the CD. I thought it was merely an extended drum track. Hopefully I’ll find my answers there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    @christianm77, thanks for your input. But I have to go back to the original question:

    What ARE the “Longo exercises”? I’ve been through all three DVD’s, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Just the 6/8 hemiola followed by the four little motifs? Is that it? Play the hemiola on a drum, then pick up the guitar and play the motifs unaccompanied? Note that Longo says DONT play with a metronome. So just play the motifs?

    I love the discussion of the merits of Longo’s system, but I guess I’m a little simple minded on this. I literally don’t get what the actual practice is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You practice the exercises exactly as they are demonstrated in DVDs 2 and 3. Exactly as demonstrated. Start by working on DVD II material for a bit.

    There's also a drumming tape that you can practice along with. This is the way to do it really. Each motif opens up a new type of rhythmic behaviour in your improvisation.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I'm being unclear, what I mean is that Longo himself has done the analysis, figured out musically and technically what's going on in common jazz practice. He's put names to the sounds folks might have heard but not actually articulate where they came from. Does that make sense?
    AFAIK Longo gives Dizzy the credit for all this stuff.

  15. #14

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    Again, thanks, but that goes back to my ORIGINAL post. How do I do that without Mike Longo sitting there counting out his counter rhythms or playing his drum? I suppose the answer are the apparently critical and non-optional optionally sold CD's. I'll find out if the mule he hires to walk material from New York to California ever gets here.

    To practice EXACTLY, I need Mike Longo counting out his 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 counter rhythms. He says that is the "mindspace" I need to be in playing jazz, but how do I count out my own counter rhythms as I play the hemiola? Maybe that is the whole point. Being able to hear and count 5/4 while you also hear and count 6/8. If it is, playing those little motifs unaccompanied doesn't seem to be getting me there. Is there truthfully no more exercises or material to teach this?

    I don't mean to seem dense, but I've tried to recreate his rhythms on Hydrogen drum simulator and by playing against DrumGenius. But neither sound like the DVD's, and neither will give me those counter 5/4 or 3/4 time rhythms played against a 6/8 that he talks about us needing to get under our skin. To be even more detailed, he tells the guitar student, "we've done all this before, you know the excercises". Thenhe tells the guy to "play 3/4". What? How do you play the hemiola 3/4? What does that mean?

    I can play that hemiola for hours, but playing his little two bar motifs unaccompanied is certainly not adding any "behaviors" or changing my "touch".

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivebyshooting View Post
    I'm surprised people buy into this classic type of quackery.
    It's always the same: "I've got the secret information that nobody else has, listen to me"
    You join a "club" and all the inmates feel they are part of a covert
    group that have the real deal that nobody else understands.
    These quacks always have devoted disciples (who can't play very well)
    who bow to the "guru" and no dissent is tolerated.
    Ah, finally a helpful post from someone with a lot of personal experience with the material. And a great third post on the forum to boot!

  17. #16

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    Holy shit an hour or two away and I basically get accused of evangelising for some sort of cult. Never a dull moment!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Again, thanks, but that goes back to my ORIGINAL post. How do I do that without Mike Longo sitting there counting out his counter rhythms or playing his drum? I suppose the answer are the apparently critical and non-optional optionally sold CD's. I'll find out if the mule he hires to walk material from New York to California ever gets here.

    To practice EXACTLY, I need Mike Longo counting out his 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 counter rhythms. He says that is the "mindspace" I need to be in playing jazz, but how do I count out my own counter rhythms as I play the hemiola? Maybe that is the whole point. Being able to hear and count 5/4 while you also hear and count 6/8. If it is, playing those little motifs unaccompanied doesn't seem to be getting me there. Is there truthfully no more exercises or material to teach this?

    I don't mean to seem dense, but I've tried to recreate his rhythms on Hydrogen drum simulator and by playing against DrumGenius. But neither sound like the DVD's, and neither will give me those counter 5/4 or 3/4 time rhythms played against a 6/8 that he talks about us needing to get under our skin. To be even more detailed, he tells the guitar student, "we've done all this before, you know the excercises". Thenhe tells the guy to "play 3/4". What? How do you play the hemiola 3/4? What does that mean?

    I can play that hemiola for hours, but playing his little two bar motifs unaccompanied is certainly not adding any "behaviors" or changing my "touch".
    If you like I can give you some examples of how I would work with the material if you PM me. I respect Mike's need to some secrecy for an income (everything ends up on Scribd) so I won't bung it up here, but as you have bought the DVDs, that's fair.

    I can't see the confusion though. Basically I do exactly what he says on the DVD's.

    It's really important to do the drumming exercises that he demonstrates at the beginning of the DVD. A Djembe or similar hand drum is best for this, but you can still do it without. Learn to count in 6/8, 3/4 and 4/4 over that basic hemiola drum pattern for starters.

  19. #18

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    I l Ike the CDs but I am a simple mind.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

  20. #19

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    Some of you are really over thinking this. I consider Mike a friend and have been taking my daughter to weekly lessons with him for the past 2 years. He does not count the rhythms with her - simply follow the DVDs for the feel. It’s all there....that’s what he does in person. Same stuff. It works.

  21. #20

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    Three weeks after I ordered it, the "Drum" CD arrived in the mail. Just to bring this thread to a conclusion, everything that is NOT on the DVD's is there in the CD. Very clear explanations and examples of what YOU as a STUDENT are supposed to be doing.

    I suppose if I had had both at the same time it would have been hard to understand what my questions were about. But if you only have the DVD, you are left in the dark.

    To anyone interested, the DVD's are not complete without the CD. The actual lesson is there, not in the DVD. Be sure you buy the CD's with the DVD, unless you just want a theoretical discussion of what his method is. And now off to the shed...

  22. #21

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    I have I-III dvds and the practice cd for dvd II. Is the practice cd for dvd III crucial or can I practice the motifs along to the first practice cd?

  23. #22

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    I saw a Video where he and another Player were both playing drums / percussion resulting in cool polyrhythms and some polymeter ....

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by CvetkoS View Post
    I have I-III dvds and the practice cd for dvd II. Is the practice cd for dvd III crucial or can I practice the motifs along to the first practice cd?
    The truth is I don’t know. Just working the basic hemiola was as far as I got. Seeing how the CD related to the material I could probably infer the exercises from the other DVD. OTOH the “2 My Surprise” CD that came with the practice CD is REALLY good. It might be worth it to get the second practice CD just to get the album that comes with that.


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  25. #24

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    I’m seeing a lot of congruences with other stuff I’ve been looking at.

    There ain’t half a lot of resemblance between his Hidden 5 phrasing and the Bembe.... (Well it’s the same thing) should we be surprised with Dizzy?

    Take a look at the Ketu Codes stuff Bonritmos has been posting.