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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    O.K. G,
    I'll play. Are these Benson's words or Goldsher's? Did Benson talk like that when describing other musicians? Was it Goldsher's terminology to describe the process("head," "trading fours") in such an academic way to explain the process to neophytes to music? Or was it Benson? It sounds, to me, like a writer writing about musicians in a glamorized/informative way so the general public could relate to the information and be engaged. I could be wrong. However, I played steady for a few pennies short of ten years in clubs, on the road, in small combos and big bands in the late 60's to late 70's. I never heard a player say during a performance "Let's trade 4's" or "Play the head" before a tune. When a player soloed during a performance, he set the length that the next soloist usually followed unless the other guy ran out of ideas and played less time. I, also, never knew anyone who called other musicians "cats." Not that I have anything against felines but we used a person's name when referring to each other or . . . others ,not in our circle, who were playing around town. . . "Hey, PJ's playing at Big Mike's on Wells." Maybe they talked like that in the 40's/50'/early 60's . . . but I wasn't playing for pay then. And, I will promise you on Gideon's Bible with one hand placed in reverence on its faux leather bound cover . . . I NEVER USED THE WORD "CAT" to describe anything other than a 4 legged feline or a woman with a bad attitude. What a difference a day makes!
    Play live . . . Parker heads, Trading 4's, Cat-Man-Do . . . God, I hate that talk . . . Just play . . . Marinero

    P.S. And, for the record, during the Hippie Years, I never used the word "Man" or "Dude" when referring to another person . . . "Hey, Man . . .Hey, Dude . . . that's cool." I guess I've missed a lot of life. M

    If you think "trading fours" or the term "head" is academic jargon...what...what planet are we on...

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  3. #102

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    Jazz is not Math. . . it is not Science . . . it is not a collection of descriptive terms to unlock its essence. It is not formulaic, prescriptive or bookish in real life, quality inspiring performances. And, it is not a corpse to be successfully dissected to discover secrets that can only come naturally with time, seasoning, and playing with other quality musicians. However, it is my opinion, that, sadly, it is what it has become for the lionshare of "Jazz" musicians in recent generations with their robotic performances of predetermined solos learned in Jazz Music Programs, "How to" books, and YouTube tutorials. It is the opposite of how the "Greats" achieved their success. . . . not that they didn't understand the meat and potatoes of performance theory but rather that with the exception of savants, their creativity and artistry were honed on the road over years of playing with other inspiring players and that is why we still listen to them today. However, there are a few young musicians who have carried the torch and their work is immediately recognized among the hordes of babblers for its artistry and personal voice but they are, for me, the exception . . . not the rule. There are generational differences. They are real. They are quantifiable. Perhaps, the reason that less than 1% of the US population listens to Jazz is that it has become too academic and fails to reach people's hearts. Music is an Art that moves the emotions of Man. If it can't do that . . . it has lost its meaning.
    Play live . . . Marinero


  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Jazz is not Math. . . it is not Science . . . it is not a collection of descriptive terms to unlock its essence. It is not formulaic, prescriptive or bookish in real life, quality inspiring performances. And, it is not a corpse to be successfully dissected to discover secrets that can only come naturally with time, seasoning, and playing with other quality musicians. However, it is my opinion, that, sadly, it is what it has become for the lionshare of "Jazz" musicians in recent generations with their robotic performances of predetermined solos learned in Jazz Music Programs, "How to" books, and YouTube tutorials. It is the opposite of how the "Greats" achieved their success. . . . not that they didn't understand the meat and potatoes of performance theory but rather that with the exception of savants, their creativity and artistry were honed on the road over years of playing with other inspiring players and that is why we still listen to them today. However, there are a few young musicians who have carried the torch and their work is immediately recognized among the hordes of babblers for its artistry and personal voice but they are, for me, the exception . . . not the rule. There are generational differences. They are real. They are quantifiable. Perhaps, the reason that less than 1% of the US population listens to Jazz is that it has become too academic and fails to reach people's hearts. Music is an Art that moves the emotions of Man. If it can't do that . . . it has lost its meaning.
    Play live . . . Marinero

    These are very indirect responses. Can you define 'supersonic' or 'pyrotechnics' to support your earlier statements?

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    These are very indirect responses. Can you define 'supersonic' or 'pyrotechnics' to support your earlier statements?
    Hi, J,
    May I refer you to Merriam Webster for the definitions of "literal" and figurative." From there, you're on your own.

    Play live . . . Marinero

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, J,
    May I refer you to Merriam Webster for the definitions of "literal" and figurative." From there, you're on your own.

    Play live . . . Marinero
    aaaaannnd we're added to the 'ignore' list. Thanks for the non-discussion.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    O.K. G,
    I'll play. Are these Benson's words or Goldsher's? Did Benson talk like that when describing other musicians? Was it Goldsher's terminology to describe the process("head," "trading fours") in such an academic way to explain the process to neophytes to music? Or was it Benson? It sounds, to me, like a writer writing about musicians in a glamorized/informative way so the general public could relate to the information and be engaged. I could be wrong. However, I played steady for a few pennies short of ten years in clubs, on the road, in small combos and big bands in the late 60's to late 70's. I never heard a player say during a performance "Let's trade 4's" or "Play the head" before a tune. When a player soloed during a performance, he set the length that the next soloist usually followed unless the other guy ran out of ideas and played less time. I, also, never knew anyone who called other musicians "cats." Not that I have anything against felines but we used a person's name when referring to each other or . . . others ,not in our circle, who were playing around town. . . "Hey, PJ's playing at Big Mike's on Wells." Maybe they talked like that in the 40's/50'/early 60's . . . but I wasn't playing for pay then. And, I will promise you on Gideon's Bible with one hand placed in reverence on its faux leather bound cover . . . I NEVER USED THE WORD "CAT" to describe anything other than a 4 legged feline or a woman with a bad attitude. What a difference a day makes!
    Play live . . . Parker heads, Trading 4's, Cat-Man-Do . . . God, I hate that talk . . . Just play . . . Marinero

    P.S. And, for the record, during the Hippie Years, I never used the word "Man" or "Dude" when referring to another person . . . "Hey, Man . . .Hey, Dude . . . that's cool." I guess I've missed a lot of life. M

    Come on, man, these terms have been in common use for 75 years now, moreso in the 40s-60s than now, possibly, but certainly understood by not only jazz players, but general business casual players as well. Cat, Man, Dude, trading fours, all are common jargon among working players. Head refers to melody, top refers to beginning of the arrangement. I've played across the USA and in Canada, and those terms have been common and familiar wherever I've been and whenever I've been there, including Chicago. Loosen up a little.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    .....I played steady for a few pennies short of ten years in clubs, on the road, in small combos and big bands in the late 60's to late 70's. I never heard a player say during a performance "Let's trade 4's"....
    Interesting... I wonder what they did say. Perhaps something like: "let's do that thing where I take a solo for 4 bars, then you take a solo for 4 bars whilst developing variations on themes presented in my solo, then I'll do the same, and so on back and forth until I point to my head, at which time we'll replay the main theme and end the piece."

    Or maybe Marinero never had the opportunity to play in an ensemble that traded 4's? It's a little corny now, but it's fun in an old school kinda way.
    Last edited by ccroft; 01-09-2021 at 04:29 PM.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft

    Or maybe Marinero never had the opportunity to play in an ensemble
    Could be?

  10. #109

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    The mind boggles

  11. #110

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    There was somebody posting here a while back who was rather obviously projecting a fantasy persona. There was probably almost nothing real in their presentation. I think people on the forum were catching on, and the fantasist sensed that, and disappeared. (I don't have a problem with any of that. No one was harmed, and I hope the play-actor found it gratifying.)

    A person who purports to have played jazz professionally with a huge number of people over the course of fifty years, but isn't familiar with the term "head"? Might this persona,too, be a figment of someone's rich imagination?

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by notfretting
    There was somebody posting here a while back who was rather obviously projecting a fantasy persona. There was probably almost nothing real in their presentation. I think people on the forum were catching on, and the fantasist sensed that, and disappeared. (I don't have a problem with any of that. No one was harmed, and I hope the play-actor found it gratifying.)

    A person who purports to have played jazz professionally with a huge number of people over the course of fifty years, but isn't familiar with the term "head"? Might this persona,too, be a figment of someone's rich imagination?
    If you are in fact a musician, you can tell if people are for real just by the way they talk. It's like trying to pass yourself off as a doctor or something among other doctors.

    This is not aimed at Marinero or anyone else in particular (I think I know who you are talking about in particular); just an observation, whatever level you as a player. I know sometimes I can't resist the temptation to poke fun, but on the whole I think it's better to let it slide. Every so often Dutchbopper will lose his patience at the forum anyway, and that's always fun, haha (kidding.)

    And as you say, no damage done. In general if someone doesn't post their playing, I tend to take everything they say with a pinch of salt, unless I have a very good reason for taking them seriously (for instance they have a lot of knowledge and credible experience etc but just don't really like putting their playing out there). It's not so much that I think they are BS'ing so much as I have no idea what context to place their comments in, so I just dismiss it as white noise.

    If they do, kudos. It's not easy to put your work out there where it can be critiqued.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you are in fact a musician, you can tell if people are for real just by the way they talk. It's like trying to pass yourself off as a doctor or something among other doctors.
    this

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Every so often Dutchbopper will lose his patience at the forum anyway, and that's always fun, haha (kidding.).
    The opportunity to lose your shit every so often is one of the biggest draws of this forum ... We all need that once in a while and this is one of the few places where you can do this without getting hit with heavy moderation and safe space culture

    Some hate jazzguitar.be for the lack of moderation, while I greatly appreciate it for this exact reason


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you are in fact a musician, you can tell if people are for real just by the way they talk. It's like trying to pass yourself off as a doctor or something among other doctors.
    Meh .. It's a two way street .. seems like some musicians think they can heal people or even the world with jazz

    (and that is the dark side of this forum .. you get into the habit of throwing stuff like this out just to keep the mayhem going)

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you are in fact a musician, you can tell if people are for real just by the way they talk. It's like trying to pass yourself off as a doctor or something among other doctors.

    This is not aimed at Marinero or anyone else in particular (I think I know who you are talking about in particular); just an observation, whatever level you as a player. I know sometimes I can't resist the temptation to poke fun, but on the whole I think it's better to let it slide. Every so often Dutchbopper will lose his patience at the forum anyway, and that's always fun, haha (kidding.)

    And as you say, no damage done. In general if someone doesn't post their playing, I tend to take everything they say with a pinch of salt, unless I have a very good reason for taking them seriously (for instance they have a lot of knowledge and credible experience etc but just don't really like putting their playing out there). It's not so much that I think they are BS'ing so much as I have no idea what context to place their comments in, so I just dismiss it as white noise.

    If they do, kudos. It's not easy to put your work out there where it can be critiqued.
    I concur

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I concur
    I see what you did there

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    aaaaannnd we're added to the 'ignore' list. Thanks for the non-discussion.

    Hi, J,
    I didn't mean to offend you but there are some things that shouldn't have to be explained . . . Sorry. And, to respond to my growing list of detractors, I think Christian makes a good point(whether in earnest or tongue in cheek) in that you can tell by the way a person speaks about music if he/she has experience in music performance or has ever "played" for MONEY. That works both ways and it's not in a term like "head"--(we used "top"),which no one I ever played with used, as a test to defines one's musical experience.
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S.
    And, for the "book/bedroom" musicians among us . . . I've never heard any musician in a performance say "Let's trade fours" while playing a gig. I once saw the great James Moody in a battle of the bands with East Coast tenor sax player Charles Lloyd at Joe Segal's Chicago Jazz Showcase. During these "battles," trading "4's/8's/16's" WAS the soup du jour. Well, Moody was a monster player and when they began "trading licks," it was obvious from the beginning that Lloyd, a fine player, was outclassed. I never ,once, heard a word on stage or saw a glance or nod that signified it was the other's turn to solo nor did I ever see/hear it with any other musicians. It was intuitive and understood by the music. Isn't that Jazz or does the book say something else? Sadly, some of you Cats just don't get it. Oh, well . . . that's Cats for you! Meeow . . .
    Play live . . . Marinero

  18. #117

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    Of course a lot of things happen non-verbally on jazz gigs, I don’t think anyone would dispute that. I have seen many of the big jazz names over the years and they never said ‘let’s trade fours’, they just did it and everyone instinctively picked up on it. Sometimes I’ve seen them put their hand up near their head, to indicate it was time to play the melody statement again. No-one said ‘let’s play the head’.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that they would all know what the terms ‘head’ and ‘trade fours’ mean. In interviews for example, they use these terms sometimes.

    I don’t know why you are making such a big deal out of this.

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Of course a lot of things happen non-verbally on jazz gigs, I don’t think anyone would dispute that. I have seen many of the big jazz names over the years and they never said ‘let’s trade fours’, they just did it and everyone instinctively picked up on it. Sometimes I’ve seen them put their hand up near their head, to indicate it was time to play the melody statement again. No-one said ‘let’s play the head’.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that they would all know what the terms ‘head’ and ‘trade fours’ mean. In interviews for example, they use these terms sometimes.

    I don’t know why you are making such a big deal out of this.

    Hi, G,
    O.K. Firstly, I have no animus towards you or anyone else on this Forum. However, my opinions have developed over a lifetime of performing music and if they abrade some members here . . . so be it. They come from much thought and devotion to Music. However, there is an academic side and a performers side to Jazz and all quality music, in general. Sometimes they meet; often not. I suppose my mania relates to the current prevailing "academic" approach to Jazz by many younger "players"(and a few dinosaurs) reflected in this discussion of terminology/speed who believe they can codify anything and reduce one of the few inspirational, intuitive artistic experiences to a hipster jargon . . . or worse yet . . . a math equation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Technique is one thing but developing one's voice was pre-eminent among most players in my generation. And, gladly, I have counted among my friends and acquaintances some great performers. We all understood music theory. We performed regularly. But, it was our voice that really mattered. We rarely used these terms unless we were rehearsing and never used "Jazz Talk" when playing. Simple. So, I've had my say and would like to repeat ,once again, which is also underlying the heart of this jargon/speed discussion . . . the attitude and playing of most younger players and new devotees to Jazz in the Internet Age leaves me cold. It is, for the most part-- studied, academic, and lacks personality. It is born and bred in the classroom, YouTube, and "How To Books." And, it reflects a mindset of formulaic performance. This, for me, is not Jazz but a certified drudgery with a twist of lemon . . . not that's there's anything wrong with lemon . . . I add it to my Perrier.

    Play live . . . Marinero


  20. #119

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    As it happens, I understand what you are saying there. I don’t have an academic or overly theoretical approach to jazz, I taught myself entirely by copying my favourite players.

    I was lucky when I was younger to see many great players ‘up close’ from the front row at Ronnie Scotts, e.g. Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Joe Pass, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, just to name a few. All these ‘greats’ had a kind of spirit and charisma that can’t be put into words. It was all about feeling not theory.

    I think I learned something just by experiencing that.

  21. #120

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    And that is a great Coleman Hawkins record, I have it on vinyl!

  22. #121

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    I know nothing about playing fast, other than I wish I could.

    But, I do know something about how Warren Nunes did it.

    1. He made his own picks from blank, curving them to fit the pad of his thumb, roughing up the top edge and picking with a nearly flat side of a rounded triangle. The pick sat at an angle between the strings, I think. So, he didn't have to move very far in either direction to touch a string. Also, the pick didn't go down deep between the strings, which made string skipping easier.

    2. He played out of patterns that fit his technique. He refingered lines, sometimes quite extremely, to accomodate the need to reposition the pick. This often involved a position jump to allow a pull-off. That is, he worked hard to get two notes on the same string so he could pull-off and save one movement of the pick.
    You can tell you're doing right when it feels like you can play it at any speed.

    3. Otherwise, his picking was generally alternating.

    I've also had lessons in Chuck Wayne's approach and I watched videos by Jimmy Bruno. Both plenty fast. They're both sweep players, if I understood Jimmy's video (apologies to Jimmy if I didn't).

    Almost as an aside, I recently made a little progress by moving motion to my elbow. Warren taught me to use my wrist. Iirc correctly, Chuck Wayne did it more from fingers. Don't know about Jimmy Bruno.

  23. #122

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    Some nunes



    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    2. He played out of patterns that fit his technique. He refingered lines, sometimes quite extremely, to accomodate the need to reposition the pick. This often involved a position jump to allow a pull-off. That is, he worked hard to get two notes on the same string so he could pull-off and save one movement of the pick.
    You can tell you're doing right when it feels like you can play it at any speed.
    I've found that the guitar players who can pick vocabulary at very fast speeds consistently have vocabulary worked out that accommodates their picking hand strengths. Sometimes it's very obvious, and sometimes it's more subtle. This is a huge component of Grady's slanting stuff.

    For anybody not familiar, certain variables can make it so that, when alternate picking, changing to a new string requires no additional movement (ie no second 'action' to take' - more distance may be covered, but no additional action like another turn or scoop) after striking a note on say, an upstroke, but after a downstroke the pick is trapped in the strings. Or vice versa, swap "down" and "up." In either case, one can create a lot of vocabulary - stuff that actually can work quite well for jazz - sticking strictly with this orientation and using sweeps and/or the occasionally slur to round out the difficult bits.

    I'd say for somebody wanting to get some 'fast' stuff going in a short amount of time (say months rather than years) this approach is a really good bang for the buck. Like anything else, it has its limitations.

    As an amends for losing my cool a little before, here's something I made recently that I share with students, hope it is useful for anybody new to the concepts:


    In addition to picking ‘down’ or ‘up’ we can also have pick strokes that go ‘in’ or ‘out.’
    An ‘in-stroke’ would be a pick stroke that ends with the tip of the pick at least a little bit in between the plane of the strings and the body of the guitar. You could think of this position as the tip of the pick being ‘trapped’ between two strings or ‘trapped’ between the strings and the body of the guitar.

    An ‘out-stroke’ is a stroke where the tip of the pick might start in that position, but will definitely move away from the body of the guitar, even if slightly, as the pick strikes the string. (If going in makes the tip of the pick ‘trapped,’ going out lets the pick ‘escape.)

    “In” and “out” exist independently of down and up.

    In alternate picking (strokes always alternating,) it’s the “out-stroke” that allows us to move the pick to a new string without an extra ‘hopping’ or bouncing type of movement. The pick stroke automatically positions the tip of the pick outside the plane of the strings, without an additional movement to get it there.

    So if we are alternate picking

    and we are changing to a new string after a downstroke, then upward slanting is better than downward slanting.

    If we are changing to a new string after an upstroke, then downward slanting is better than upward slanting.

    Downward slant will generally result in
    A downstroke that goes in to the guitar
    An upstroke that goes out of the guitar

    Upward slant will generally result in
    A downstroke that goes out of the guitar
    An upstroke that goes in to the guitar