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  1. #1

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    I’ve been trying to play the Donna Lee head along with Bird’s Savoy recording for months but can’t get it up to speed. Am I using an impractical fingering or am I just not fast enough yet? Head starts at 1:38

    Last edited by Peterson; 12-07-2019 at 12:29 PM.

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  3. #2

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    It doesn’t look like a terrible fingering, here’s mine (there was a good thread on this not too long ago, it’s from that thread, some good stuff in there), maybe it will help.


  4. #3

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    Looks more like your picking might be slowing you down. Your fingerings seem to work well enough. But the picking is all over the place. It looks and sounds smooth enough, but is probably memorized...

    Do you work or have picking studies that use string groups, jumps etc... economy picking tends to create that noodle sound. Turn up the tone so you'll hear how your picking accents what your playing.

    While working on material. tunes, etc... slow and getting up to speed does eventually work.... but you end up getting better at using slow technique to play fast tempo music. They're different.... anything works at slower tempo. I like your playing, left hand looks smooth and easy... but maybe check out right hand picking.

  5. #4

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    Yeah, I'm with Reg...your left hand is a lot more logical than my way.

    Heres me, almost getting it. You can see my picking's a big ol mess, so maybe just give it time. This is from a few weeks ago, I'm cleaner now but not at this tempo quite yet.


  6. #5

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    I think the first issue is in the right hand.

    If you are an alternate picker, primarily, you can get into trouble with passages that require going from a thinner string to a thicker one (or two).
    At that point, you have to refinger the left hand to avoid the picking problem.

    I'm not an economy picker, but my understanding is that they don't have this issue in the same way. What follows here is more about alternate picking.

    Some people, perhaps more the economy pickers, believe that the key to speed is to start slowly and gradually increase the tempo.

    Warren Nunes, an alternate picking master, taught what he called "speed technique". This was a combination of picking and fingering that allowed high speed playing. The fingerings were often not obvious, relying on quick shifts of position, slides and pulloffs. All designed to avoid difficult picking by putting consecutive notes on a single string to allow some notes to be slid or pulled-off to provide a 16th rest to reposition the pick.

    Increasing speed became an issue of identifying bottlenecks and refingering the left hand to make the picking easier. Typically, when you're really got a good solution, it becomes possible to play the passage effortlessly at any speed. Donna Lee, of course, presents a series of problems of this type. It can seem impossible, but then you see somebody do it.

    So for example, near the beginning of Donna Lee, there is an A followed by a lower C. This requires a string skip and is for some (all?) an awkward picking move. The solution is, for me, is to slide into the A from the Bb just before it. This works either in the second position or the 7th. That slide gives you time to reposition the pick. For me, this is the key to increasing speed. There are multiple places where this matters, sometimes the slide is with the first finger, sometimes the fourth finger.

    Another issue is stretching or shifting. For example, after that low C, the next note is an Eb. In my fingering, at the second fret, the Bb to A slide, executed with the first finger, means that I fret the C with the second finger (first finger is also possible, but requires playing the A and C on consecutive 16ths on different strings with the same finger - I think Jimmy Bruno may use this fingering - successfully - but I find it harder than the alternative). So, if you play the C with the second finger you play the Eb on the same string with the 4th finger. That means you have to stretch or move your hand up the neck. I find it easiest to move the hand. You can get this into one smooth motion. At that point, you're past another bottleneck. Position shifting in this manner can be executed very quickly and is the solution to a lot of problems.

    In bar 7 the line is ascending C Eb G Bb. That lays perfectly well in the 3rd position, among other places. But, for me to get the line up to speed I play C Eb on the 5th string and G Bb on the fourth string. First finger, fourth finger in each case. So, as you fret the Eb with your fourth finger, the idea is to be moving your hand along the neck towards the bridge. It's subtle. Your hand is moving even as your finger holds down the Eb. By the time you have to play the G you're just about there. And, the next note, Ab, is under your second finger.

    I once read an analysis of a short passage of a classical piece that went on for pages like this. Not just how to grab the notes but also how to stop the other strings from unwanted vibration. Speed technique can be a similar kind of drilling down beneath the weeds.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-07-2019 at 07:20 PM.

  7. #6
    Wow, I haven’t posted much here and first I must say I’m impressed with how kind and eager to help you all are! Thanks!

    I don’t think I’ve ever done a picking study and I don’t even know what economy picking means. I just try to do down strokes on down beats whenever possible. I will certainly look into all of your tips and ideas! Thanks again!

  8. #7

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    I think you have to find the fingering that works best for you if speed is your main consideration. I thing Frank Vignola said there's an infinite number of fingerings for Parker heads. But the one that works for your particular strengths is the one for you. I've been working on this tune for over ten years and finally found the one for me. But I'm still messing it with it. Check out Mimi Fox's and Frank's solo versions. Great tune that we all should work on.
    Last edited by jaco; 12-07-2019 at 08:15 PM.

  9. #8

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    The right one is the one that works for you.


  10. #9

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    Hm, I posted this already earlier today, but now it's missing. hope it was not removed by some moderator, or whatever.
    I will try to repeat.

    Any fingering is good enough, if it brings you to where you think t should. if it does not, I think you should chose particular way for left hand and for right hand and stick to it for a while. Then change and do that for a while. You can go for uniformity, position playing, switching positions, alternate, economy ... Then, you combine the most efficient approaches.

    This is from couple of years ago, when I was first learning it. Picking is straight alternate, left hand is switching positions for uniformity of fingerings. Tempo is 210bpm which is close to original release recording.
    Also, I did it both in usual register and octave above.

    Then I repeat it at 240 bpm, which was way to fast for me, back then at least it was.


  11. #10

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    OK... like I said any thing can work... some just work better. Try playing the head in a few different keys.... how's Eb.

    If you need to work out how your fingering the melody... you need work with with your fingering approach, if you can't get the picking together, well you need to work with your picking etc...

    Again my point is simple... if you need to work out fingerings or picking.... You don't have a system together.

  12. #11

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    I apologize for being short... but it's not complicated. You sound like good player... and are on your way, but playing jazz requires REALLY GOOD TECHNIQUE. You can't fake it. It's totally cool to learn jazz tunes and have fun playing them etc... but to play at the speed and in the style of jazz.... technique is required.

  13. #12

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    Let me ask this...

    Why is it important for you to play this song at tempo? It seems like you've gotten more out of this song than half the youtubers who only play the head and never improvise on the changes. What percent of your practice time do you dedicate to increasing your speed on this particular song? I personally have very limited practice time so when I got it close to 200 bpm I started spending more of my "Donna Lee time" on improvising, and spending my overall guitar time on other tunes.

    I'm no pro and don't have jazz friends to play with, but from what I read from others, this tune is rarely ever called out in group settings.

  14. #13

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    What I'm getting at in the above post is the law of diminishing returns... If it takes an hour a day for 3 more weeks to get this head up to tempo is that going to make you a better a musician than learning 5 more tunes? Would you be better off copping more of birds solo licks on this tune (played slower) or playing this head faster? Just food for thought.

  15. #14

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    start @ 5:30

  16. #15

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    I've been at jams when it's been called, but usually that's not what happens.

    For some reason, every now and then, someone will start playing the head at full speed and every player in the room will join in -- playing the melody. Just the one chorus, everybody laughs and moves on to another tune.

    After you notice that the 4 string bassist can play it, then, maybe you will not want to be left out next time, so you practice the head.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Looks more like your picking might be slowing you down. Your fingerings seem to work well enough. But the picking is all over the place. It looks and sounds smooth enough, but is probably memorized...

    Do you work or have picking studies that use string groups, jumps etc... economy picking tends to create that noodle sound. Turn up the tone so you'll hear how your picking accents what your playing.
    Hi Reg,
    I'm not the original poster, but picking is a problem of mine I've been working on lately. Do you have a reference for picking studies that you'd recommend? Thanks for all you do here!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Dolphy
    What I'm getting at in the above post is the law of diminishing returns... If it takes an hour a day for 3 more weeks to get this head up to tempo is that going to make you a better a musician than learning 5 more tunes? Would you be better off copping more of birds solo licks on this tune (played slower) or playing this head faster? Just food for thought.
    Well, if it helps somebody get their picking together, it's totally worth it.

    I mean, I don't know why you can't do 'em all. I have limited practice time, and I still learn heads, learn songs, steal licks. It's not impossible.

    I think learning the head to Donna Lee and getting it to tempo is great practice. The head is just a bunch of bop licks anyway.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dingusmingus
    Hi Reg,
    I'm not the original poster, but picking is a problem of mine I've been working on lately. Do you have a reference for picking studies that you'd recommend? Thanks for all you do here!
    I'll try and get some material today. I generally just used non musical arpeggios, scales and the old spider like things. I generally like to work on technical issues by themselves. The point is to get better not play cool heads and licks. I also like to play steady chromatic passages at fast tempos with different string movement and keep the accents steady. Also like to work on phrasing at up tempos. I don't think it's really that hard.

    I believe I've posted scales, arpeggios and string set arpeggio licks for all scales and chords. It's kind of the same thing... play two octave arpeggios in all positions then change the note pattern.... instead of Root being rhythmical reference, make the 3rd, 5th, 7th then extensions.
    Then maybe play interval patterns... in 4ths, 5ths, 6ths etc.. the more difficult and faster you play... the better and cleaner the picking needs to become.

    Personally part of becoming better at any aspect of playing generally includes going through the process of notating or writing out what your working on.... your creating a visual record and understanding... that isn't just on your guitar.

  20. #19
    I wanted to learn the tune to start building a bop vocabulary. After learning the melody I picked phrases I liked and tried to apply them on other tunes. I haven’t really worked much on getting it up to speed, I’ve focused more on fluidity. But I find it curious that this particular melody is so difficult to play fast. I think I can play Parker’s solo faster than the melody, it’s usually the other way around by a wide margin. I guess it reveals my technical weaknesses. I too would much appreciate tips on picking exercises.

  21. #20

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    Yea it's a long head. You might want to just stay in 3rd position for 1st 4 bars, then 5th for the rest. And try picking all the notes. And eventually not starring at fretboard.

    Get "articulations" together..... after you have the notes at whatever tempo you want. Eventually you'll be able to use fingerings to create articulations, feels or effect you want at whatever tempo you want. I mean bird tunes are generally up. 200 ++++

    Yea.. the other thing as someone mentioned above... playing the head is like playing the changes. I don't mean vanilla backing track changes ...Maybe...Abma7 Gb7/ C-7b5 F7B-7 / Bb-ma7.. etc... maybe all the notes aren't just embellishments, but that's a different subject.
    Getting bebop vocabulary generally is more than just spelling chords, arpeggios and rhythmically filling etc... Bop is more layers of harmony and BLUE NOTES. And chops... Maybe I'm old school, but bop was for burning and soloing...like all the choruses you could pull off. Hows your comping?

    Maybe play Cherokee... very easy head and changes are a little different... Moose the Mooche... is another cool head, Barbados, even Anthropology, Dexerity, Billies Bounce, Relaxin at the Camarillo, even Scrapple.... tunes still played a lot. And generally easier heads. Moose is a long head also... but fairly easy.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    I'll try and get some material today. I generally just used non musical arpeggios, scales and the old spider like things. I generally like to work on technical issues by themselves. The point is to get better not play cool heads and licks. I also like to play steady chromatic passages at fast tempos with different string movement and keep the accents steady. Also like to work on phrasing at up tempos. I don't think it's really that hard.

    I believe I've posted scales, arpeggios and string set arpeggio licks for all scales and chords. It's kind of the same thing... play two octave arpeggios in all positions then change the note pattern.... instead of Root being rhythmical reference, make the 3rd, 5th, 7th then extensions.
    Then maybe play interval patterns... in 4ths, 5ths, 6ths etc.. the more difficult and faster you play... the better and cleaner the picking needs to become.

    Personally part of becoming better at any aspect of playing generally includes going through the process of notating or writing out what your working on.... your creating a visual record and understanding... that isn't just on your guitar.
    Cool, thanks Reg! I have made fast scale work a part of my practice lately. I think adding in arpeggios and other leaps is a great idea. I've practiced them a lot, but not always at 200+ BPM. That's kind of where my wall is for comfortably playing scales.

    I'd like to have the speed especially for bursts of double time, which I don't really do at all now.

  23. #22

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    What is the most accurate chart to use in learning Donna Lee?

    I know, I know, the one I create when I transcribe it myself.

    Okay, so what's the best chart for checking my own personal, original, by ear, only memorized transcription of Donna Lee against?

  24. #23

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    Whatever you do, Lawson, don't refer to the old Real Book version. It's full of errors - incorrect pitches and even arpeggio figures that invert the actual sequence. The versions in the Charlie Parker Omnibook and Mark Voelpel's Charlie Parker for Guitar book are much better (the latter has the head transposed up an octave to actual pitch). I transcribed my own version some years ago and cross-referenced it with all the others I could find, including a xeroxed page from Barry Galbraith that an ex-student and friend of mine passed on, to clear up any errors and look for possible fingering solutions.

    Here's the head. I won't post my own complete chart with all the articulations intact as everyone has to find what works for them. However, keep in mind that if you want to retain a horn-like character with slides and hammer/pull-offs that mostly move from weak to strong beats, relying on static positions won't really cut it when playing Parker heads.
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-donna-lee-jpg

  25. #24

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    Btw, the reason it’s tough to play on a guitar, is it was not written by a guitar player! It was first played on a trumpet (and not by miles, have a search here is you don’t know, who wrote Donna lee, find the most recent thread). Very interesting.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Well, if it helps somebody get their picking together, it's totally worth it.

    I mean, I don't know why you can't do 'em all. I have limited practice time, and I still learn heads, learn songs, steal licks. It's not impossible.

    I think learning the head to Donna Lee and getting it to tempo is great practice. The head is just a bunch of bop licks anyway.
    Didn't say it was impossible, but there's definitely an opportunity cost involved with how we choose to use our practice time. Weird thing is that I've been playing this head way less than usual focusing elsewhere and I played it with the recording today no problem. Funny how that worked out!

    I do agree that this head helps ingrain bop vocab.

    Good luck to you Peterson, you're soloing is better than mine for sure. Maybe if you don't stress playing this head fast it will just click for you like it did for me today.

  27. #26

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    Here it is. Unfortunately, I was trying to find the live version which is even closer, but you can clearly hear this was the basis.

    1:30


  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Dolphy
    Didn't say it was impossible, but there's definitely an opportunity cost involved with how we choose to use our practice time. Weird thing is that I've been playing this head way less than usual focusing elsewhere and I played it with the recording today no problem. Funny how that worked out!

    I do agree that this head helps ingrain bop vocab.

    Good luck to you Peterson, you're soloing is better than mine for sure. Maybe if you don't stress playing this head fast it will just click for you like it did for me today.
    Thanks Eric! But if you mean the solo in the clip it’s Bird’s. My ability is far less impressive:

    Last edited by Peterson; 12-11-2019 at 11:36 AM.

  29. #28

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    Yea... play the tune in Eb . Do you still need to go through the same process of memorizing the tune and fingerings. Is it a new tune.
    The tune may just be to tough for you peterson. But if your enjoying it... who cares.

    The point about what's the right or perfect version, really. if your performing in unison or an arrangement maybe. But whatever version of the head you want just notate it out, most players playing Donna Lee... can probable read whatever you want. And even if its a little to fast, you just get the difference and go.

    Generally it's more interesting to see what changes are going, the feel and where the harmonic rhythm goes... It's just not really a medium swing tune. When you slow it down all the notes become tonal... it gets weird.

    Work on Cherokee, Scrapple and rhythm change tunes and get your technique up to speed.

  30. #29
    Thanks Reg!

    I gave Scrapple a go a couple of months ago. The B part of the take transcribed in the Omnibook is also quite difficult I think.

    I fail at full speed near the end of the clip:


  31. #30

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    hey Peterson... so get away from the Omnibook... great for sight reading. But just get the head and play your own melody during the B section. Also get use to feeling tunes in "2" ... Some guys like counting with 1 and 3 other like 2 and 4... it doesn't matter the point is the "feel", from being in a two at faster tempos. I can feel either way, don't count etc... But counting or feeling pulse with 2 and 4 feels like your hinting at a dominant pedal kick. Most bass players feel with 1 and 3... which becomes the basic harmonic rhythm, the strong feel and then when you start to create that double time feel.... 2 and 4 or the week side of the feel or beat becomes where you add chords or expand the harmony, or a different layer of music. Don't worry about this yet, just start with I and 3 and get the tempos up to speed.

    For improve you can just develop the rhythmic motifs or the rhythmic patterns of parts of the melody and eventually you'll develop your own voice... etc...

    Get the head up to speed, Playing Parker improv is mute until you have the technical skills. (studying them is very useful).

  32. #31

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    Okay so I've learned "Donna Lee" and have it up to about 150 bpm. Very tricky tune.

    BUT... is everyone else who's learned it with me on this being maybe the most ADDICTIVE tune you ever played? Once I had it basically learned, I find I just can't stop playing it. Looping it. Over and Over. Can't stop.

    The fingerings even FEEL good to me. Hard, but somehow feel really good. This tune unleashes all kinds of endorphins or whatever when I play it.

    I'm the only one, right?

  33. #32

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    Thought I'd post my lame attempt-there is one lick in there that I still am not happy with. But maybe some of my fingerings will help.

    Then again...


  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson
    I’ve been trying to play the Donna Lee head along with Bird’s Savoy recording for months but can’t get it up to speed. Am I using an impractical fingering or am I just not fast enough yet? Head starts at 1:38

    thank you

    Excuse me but to my ear the accents and phrasing are strange... it does not sound Donna Lee at fiart bars...

    Also I would probably play it a bit more even 8ths... (maybe even all even 8ths)... it is easier to play it uptempo this way.
    Last edited by Jonah; 12-17-2019 at 11:02 AM.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Thought I'd post my lame attempt-there is one lick in there that I still am not happy with. But maybe some of my fingerings will help.

    Then again...

    Geez, your playing sure has come a long way since you started those Raney etudes. Sounding really good these days. Makes me wish I had stuck with those.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by morroben
    Geez, your playing sure has come a long way since you started those Raney etudes. Sounding really good these days. Makes me wish I had stuck with those.
    Very kind for you to say that. Yes, I feel like the Raney solos kicked me into another level. Still not a very advanced level, but things that used to be a threat to me musically now seem more within reach. I would recommend those Raney solos to any jazz guitarist who wants to woodshed both on bebop "vocabulary" but also on the "logic" of a good solo.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Okay so I've learned "Donna Lee" and have it up to about 150 bpm. Very tricky tune.

    BUT... is everyone else who's learned it with me on this being maybe the most ADDICTIVE tune you ever played? Once I had it basically learned, I find I just can't stop playing it. Looping it. Over and Over. Can't stop.

    The fingerings even FEEL good to me. Hard, but somehow feel really good. This tune unleashes all kinds of endorphins or whatever when I play it.

    I'm the only one, right?
    VERY addicting head lol. I’ve been hooked for months... My girlfriend HATES it!

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Dolphy
    VERY addicting head lol. I’ve been hooked for months... My girlfriend HATES it!
    Playing it has almost become a kind of spasm. So weird. I see now why it ends up played very fast. As you play it over and over, it just gets faster and faster.

  39. #38

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    This thread stirred me to work on Donna Lee, a tune I have literally procrastinated for decades at learning. So now I have it up to 170 bpm and "relatively" clean. Im posting in the hopes that others who are wanting to learn this tune will give it a shot and post your results. Seriously, you can do way better than me on this.

    But the goal is always: HAVE FUN. I am.

    Something about creeping along at 170 on Donna Lee on an L5ces just seems... wrong...


  40. #39

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    LOL yea I miss my old Gibson... I also sold my black 59 tele to a friend for $400, it was perfect. But how many guitars can you have sitting around... don't ask my wife.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    LOL yea I miss my old Gibson... I also sold my black 59 tele to a friend for $400, it was perfect. But how many guitars can you have sitting around... don't ask my wife.
    I justify it by claiming I have very few "costly vices." I don't have season tickets to a sports event/team, I don't drink alcohol, I don't drive an expensive car, and my mortgage is paid as is my credit card. So my one "costly vice" is my guitars. Some like to be surrounded by beautiful art, others like a Harley, others like fine, rare wines... for me, it's guitars. No slighting or knocking the others, but my one real extravagance is my guitars.

    I love 'em. I don't merit them, I don't play well enough on them, but I give them a good home, walk them, and as Wes said, sometimes I open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat.

  42. #41

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    Yea lawson... you sound like the kind of man most guitars would love to be owned by. My wife reference was just joke...I have instruments etc... all over. Personally, yea I still have way too many habits and I'm still pretty crazy... I'll always be working on that.

    But just loved that pic of you with Guitar... keep havin fun

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea lawson... you sound like the kind of man most guitars would love to be owned by. My wife reference was just joke...I have instruments etc... all over. Personally, yea I still have way too many habits and I'm still pretty crazy... I'll always be working on that.

    But just loved that pic of you with Guitar... keep havin fun
    Well thank you for all you contribute to this forum. For me, this forum is 90% about playing. I enjoy the other stuff, but I have few people to play for and nobody to play with, so this forum is where I post my playing, interact about playing better, and learning tunes. You are one of the "playing centered" people on here and I appreciate that.

  44. #43

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    That's good try, I really appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing.

  45. #44

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    Beats, that is... This week I have b been able to get DL up to 180 and still reasonably clean. I still think there are better fingerings that the ones I'm using exp. for measures 5-8 and 13-16. Those are the real sticking points for me in trying to play this clean.


  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Beats, that is... This week I have b been able to get DL up to 180 and still reasonably clean. I still think there are better fingerings that the ones I'm using exp. for measures 5-8 and 13-16. Those are the real sticking points for me in trying to play this clean.

    Great to check out your progress, Lawson. It is an addictive tune and you're obviously putting in some time as this is the best you've sounded.

    Regarding the fingerings, here are my solutions for Bars 5-8 and 13-16. I find it easier to stretch the 1st finger out of position at the opening of bar 5. Otherwise, it's pretty much what you've come up with here. There's both a B natural and Bb in bar 13 (a '2 above/1 below' enclosure to the Bb) and this is one of those instances where single positional fingerings are problematic. I find it easier and more idiomatic to play that phrase down the fretboard employing a mixture of pull-offs and slides:

    Bars 5-8:
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-dl-bars-5-8-jpeg
    Bars 13-16:
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-dl-bars-13-16-jpeg
    Also, the "A's in bar 21 should be naturals not flats. This is a case where the original Real Book was in error. The recording clearly has naturals and the Omnibook has corrected the mistake.

    On the rhythmic front, some of your entries are a little rushed but overall, this is sitting much more in the pocket. Nice work!

  47. #46

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    Here's another option for bars 5-8 that once again requires a finger stretch (this time it's the 4th rather than the 1st). These might feel unusual if you play primarily from CAGED fingerings but for me they help preserve the flow of the line:

    Bars 5-8:
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-dl-bars-13-16-jpeg
    Last edited by PMB; 12-25-2019 at 12:39 AM.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson
    I just try to do down strokes on down beats whenever possible. I will certainly look into all of your tips and ideas!
    IMHO, accenting and rhythm is very important for bebop tunes like this. By sticking to steady up-down strokes on up-down beats can easily lead to a somewhat square rythmic feeling like older musiscans did it, for example Coleman Hawkins. Donna Lee is frequently played like that. But bebop tunes like this has a more free flowing rhythm with slurs, triplets, "triplet feeling" etc.

    A sidenote: Normally Charlie Parker is credited as the composer of Donna Lee. However, it has been said that it was Miles Davis who brought the tune to the recording session. It has also been said that it was not Miles who wrote it. Benny Bailey and Frank Morgan has been suggested as the real composers. Whatever, it is one of the greatest and most archetypical bebop heads.

    I know politics is not welcome here but I can't resist:



    Sendt fra min SM-T810 med Tapatalk

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    A sidenote: Normally Charlie Parker is credited as the composer of Donna Lee. However, it has been said that it was Miles Davis who brought the tune to the recording session. It has also been said that it was not Miles who wrote it.
    If you check out post #29 you can hear the head was stolen straight from a Fats Navarro solo over Ice Freezes Red which has the same changes as Indiana. Fats recorded his track before Bird recorded Donna Lee.

  50. #49

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    Which fingers? How bout all of them.....


  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Great to check out your progress, Lawson. It is an addictive tune and you're obviously putting in some time as this is the best you've sounded.

    Regarding the fingerings, here are my solutions for Bars 5-8 and 13-16. I find it easier to stretch the 1st finger out of position at the opening of bar 5. Otherwise, it's pretty much what you've come up with here. There's both a B natural and Bb in bar 13 (a '2 above/1 below' enclosure to the Bb) and this is one of those instances where single positional fingerings are problematic. I find it easier and more idiomatic to play that phrase down the fretboard employing a mixture of pull-offs and slides:

    Bars 5-8:
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-dl-bars-5-8-jpeg
    Bars 13-16:
    Donna Lee fingering for speed-dl-bars-13-16-jpeg
    Also, the "A's in bar 21 should be naturals not flats. This is a case where the original Real Book was in error. The recording clearly has naturals and the Omnibook has corrected the mistake.

    On the rhythmic front, some of your entries are a little rushed but overall, this is sitting much more in the pocket. Nice work!
    I'm really having trouble--ear-trouble--hearing those A naturals! Gotten re-train my ear for that measure.