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  1. #51

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    To be fair, he only wrote a few M7's out, the rest are just note clusters without names. So, as you say, we can spend pages worrying over their names. Can't play them on a guitar anyway!

    But they changed DbM7 - GbM7 to Bbm7 - Eb7 which seems a bit odd.

    Or (simplifying it because I'm very basic) that's C to F in the key of G with a D pedal. Which I don 't think means anything at all, it's just a sound. Or it's a quartal chord... and he did the same kind of thing later with an aug triad.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Coltrane wrote them out in close position, but it might not necessarily follow that that's way they have to played...

  4. #53

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    We used to perform the tune almost a half century ago. Can't remember what I did or what the keys did, but every so often some know-it-all piano guy would tell us we were playing it all wrong. We probably were. Didn't bother the horn player (who worshiped the man), and the audience liked it anyway.

    It's like any other tune. Use what sounds good, simplify, or lay out.

  5. #54

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    This is a very old thread but the tune hasn't gone away. As an answer to the OP's request in 2009 here's a Naima demo. I have to say I'm fairly cynical about the usefulness of these demos but you never know, it might do something :-)


  6. #55

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    Looks and sounds nice... and th solo sounds concinving... I would not think it scales-derived

  7. #56

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    Jonah -

    I would not think it scales-derived
    You mean my soloing? It's not necessarily a 'CST' approach but one needs to know what sets of notes sound right over the chords. One could do it with triads and/or pentatonics, and all that, but I don't think at that speed it would give enough to work on.

    Since you seem to be posting music at the moment why don't you give it a go? Earlier here you wrote:

    I would not look at the chord symbols but rather listen to changes... Naima is pretty simple tune imho if you go through it by ear.
    Even Mr. Beaumont, who is not normally known for his hesitation, had to give this tune multiple takes. Personally I've done it now many times and I'm not perfectly sure I'm happy yet. It wouldn't be wise to dismiss its complexity too easily.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Jonah -



    You mean my soloing? It's not necessarily a 'CST' approach but one needs to know what sets of notes sound right over the chords. One could do it with triads and/or pentatonics, and all that, but I don't think at that speed it would give enough to work on.

    Since you seem to be posting music at the moment why don't you give it a go? Earlier here you wrote:



    Even Mr. Beaumont, who is not normally known for his hesitation, had to give this tune multiple takes. Personally I've done it now many times and I'm not perfectly sure I'm happy yet. It wouldn't be wise to dismiss its complexity too easily.
    Yes it is interesting...

    'll try to go through it by ear a bit later today and record

  9. #58

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    Oh, okay, well done!

    Would you like a backing track? I use it myself. I've put the tune in, all it needs are the solos (2). If you want, or if anybody wants.


  10. #59

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    This one uses that backing track but I tried some other stuff although it's still sort of diatonic. I've got to the point now where I want to start using all kinds of outside sounds...


  11. #60

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    I gave it a try... not that I like it but some spots I lke... it is second try.

    the problem hear that I think even when PLAYED BY EAR it requires some STUDY BY EAR which I did not do...

    I think I'll do more tomorrow without conciously studying possiblities - just explore it more by hearing and trying some particular places...


  12. #61

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    Not easy, right?

    I couldn't have done it without working it out pretty carefully. It's not normal harmony. With the usual sequences my brain/fingers go more or less automatically to the right places but with this... it contradicts all the normal habits.

    Anyway, tomorrow?

  13. #62

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    I've just woken up with this tune in my mind and I have thoughts about it! So I think I'll share them.

    I don't think this is a jazz tune, I think it's a rock tune. I think (we) are trying to play it pretty-pretty but I think it needs a screaming overdrive electric guitar with lots of sustain, probably followed by lots of ultra-fast pentatonic-type licks. Something like Prince or Steve Vai would do.

    I actually think that's the soul of this song. It's like an empty hole that needs filling, except I can't fill it. I'm tempted to scrap that video thing I did because it's like saying 'This is it, the final version'. There's no final version, there's something inexhaustible about it, and not in a particularly good way, either. It's rather silly to try to fill a hole that can't be filled.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Not easy, right?

    I couldn't have done it without working it out pretty carefully. It's not normal harmony. With the usual sequences my brain/fingers go more or less automatically to the right places but with this... it contradicts all the normal habits.

    Anyway, tomorrow?

    I was talking namely about working by ear... it does not exclude that some work 'by ear' should be done.

    I still think it is relatively simple... at least the chorus for sure.

    I hear the realtions in chorus, but I was a bit lost in the bridge...

    The other thing is that analytical approach may bring 'new possibilities' - jazz players often like to derive new possiilities analytically and nothing is wrong with that.

    Playing this tune by ear depends much on how subtle the hearing is... how much the melody or bass line here stays in reference to hearing... otherwise it is also possible to reduce it to very basic changes.

    I think many obstacles come from the fact that people LOOK at the chords of Naima...

    I do not say I play it very well... but the chorus is quite passable by ear for sure..

    My problem here is the same as if I were playing Blue Moon.. I try to play everything that way... so there is a chance that Blue Moon with me would be no better..

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I've just woken up with this tune in my mind and I have thoughts about it! So I think I'll share them.

    I don't think this is a jazz tune, I think it's a rock tune. I think (we) are trying to play it pretty-pretty but I think it needs a screaming overdrive electric guitar with lots of sustain, probably followed by lots of ultra-fast pentatonic-type licks. Something like Prince or Steve Vai would do.

    I actually think that's the soul of this song. It's like an empty hole that needs filling, except I can't fill it. I'm tempted to scrap that video thing I did because it's like saying 'This is it, the final version'. There's no final version, there's something inexhaustible about it, and not in a particularly good way, either. It's rather silly to try to fill a hole that can't be filled.
    Not quite with you on this, but I can imagine Allan Holdsworth doing it.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Not quite with you on this, but I can imagine Allan Holdsworth doing it.
    Yes, that would probably be interesting.

    I've got lots of thoughts about this tune but I don't want to hog the place. I mean, it was definitely written during Coltrane's drug and booze days, maybe in some ghastly hotel away somewhere. When I was getting into the tune I could sense it, probably not 'psychically', but one got a sense of what was going on. To be honest, it wasn't good. There was really a massive feeling of emptiness there. It may be described as a love ballad by some but what I get from it is a desperate empty misery, to be honest. Then he dumped Naima, of course - by all accounts a beautiful, sensitive woman.

    Musically, if you think of it, it's almost a set of power chords crashing about erratically. That's why it seems to bear resemblance to a rock song and invites that kind of treatment. I know many players have played it as prettily as they could. McCoy Tyner did his own version which was nice although the darkness is inescapable.

  17. #66

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    Jonah -

    I liked what you did but, you know, it's not worked out properly. I'm sure it would sound pretty good if it was.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Jonah -

    I liked what you did but, you know, it's not worked out properly. I'm sure it would sound pretty good if it was.
    I did another take and talked a bit instead of typing..


  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I was talking namely about working by ear... it does not exclude that some work 'by ear' should be done.

    I still think it is relatively simple... at least the chorus for sure.

    I hear the realtions in chorus, but I was a bit lost in the bridge...

    The other thing is that analytical approach may bring 'new possibilities' - jazz players often like to derive new possiilities analytically and nothing is wrong with that.

    Playing this tune by ear depends much on how subtle the hearing is... how much the melody or bass line here stays in reference to hearing... otherwise it is also possible to reduce it to very basic changes.

    I think many obstacles come from the fact that people LOOK at the chords of Naima...

    I do not say I play it very well... but the chorus is quite passable by ear for sure..

    My problem here is the same as if I were playing Blue Moon.. I try to play everything that way... so there is a chance that Blue Moon with me would be no better..
    Yep

    Plenty people out there complaining about how chord scales and analysis doesn’t get them sounding like jazz and then prove remarkably resistant to suggestions of alternative approaches.... it’s like they know it’s not working but can’t think outside this framework of ‘good sounding notes on chords’ and theoretical justification.

    in general looking at harmony and doing the pitch set thing in real time is the worst approach in the moment - everything becomes disconnected - but if you got to do it on an unfamiliar set of changes, find some triads because you might hear those.

    Better still, ignore the changes and work by ear, perhaps quoting and varying the melody (the Brecker approach.)

    its extraordinary how resistant people are to this idea. Or to the idea that by doing it a lot one might get very good at it.

    Not sure what I can do in that situation as a teacher. Even when I show them, get them to do it, and they sound GOOD, there’s still resistance. They don’t think it’s honest or something. Like music is a matter of legality or professional ethics. The chord scales become edicts carved on stone tablets instead of what they were originally intended to be - suggestions.

    SMH
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-15-2020 at 01:18 PM.

  20. #69

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    Xtian -

    (edit: this is longish but it's not a rant!)

    Absolutely. I did say above that I wasn't using a CST approach.

    Doing it by ear, whatever that means, only works if you have the ear. And if you have such a cultivated ear you might well find yourself playing what the 'recommended' notes are anyway - for the simple reason random other choices aren't much good. I could do it by ear too but I know it would take an inordinately long time before I was happy with the result. So a lot, if not everything, depends on the ear!

    As for triads, I was using some triads. Also arps, subs, and god knows what. But triads by themselves? Fine if you want it to sound chunky or something. I mean, if the objection to using scale-based sets of notes is that they sound contrived (which isn't true because then all scale-based music would sound false, which it definitely doesn't) then exactly the same could be levelled at any formula one uses, whether it's scales, triads, pentatonics, or whatever.

    I also disagree with what you call the Brecker approach for the simple reason there's no backing. Who knows what he was doing? You'll say that's not the point - but it is if you're recommending doing it that way to every tune. He's basically just playing what he wants to play. Can't do that with a band. In any case, if you look at the transcription, he's using scales too. Of course he is.

    You talk about resistance to departing from a scale view of playing. That's because it's proved to work. But using it does not mean that one is dependent on it. A beginning player who is educated in chord/scales will inevitably depend on them, with the concurrent fear of departing from what they know. And, if you offer them triads - which, let's face it, is just a pretty sparse formula for making certain sounds, they're not going to like it. And quite rightly when their scales give them a whole running set of possibilities. It's the advanced player who can introduce other ways of playing, not someone who's just starting.

    The no-scales idea is a fraud, really, and I think it's part of some of the tripe that's talked about jazz and playing jazz. It presupposes that anyone who uses them is a robot who can't think beyond them, is a prisoner to them, and has to be helped to see another more enlightened view - by offering them something which will actually decrease their range of available notes.

    And I'm willing to bet you a million quid, not that I've got it, that you yourself still use scales. Or know what they are where applicable. Yessir.

    The fact is it takes a lot of skill to use triads instead of scales effectively. And unless they're in the hands of an expert they can sound dreadful as they try to fit them to the music. Same with pentatonics, that's another false hope for the same reasons.

    It's not a question of either/or, or right/wrong, or good/bad, it's about the best thing to use at the time.

    The chord scales become edicts carved on stone tablets instead of what they were originally intended to be - suggestions.
    But that's what I'm saying, they're suggestions in the sense: these notes work. They're not a rigid rule to be followed, they're simply useful. No one's suggesting they're set in stone. Only unlearned minds need a rigid can't-deviate-from-it formula.

  21. #70

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    Doing it by ear, whatever that means, only works if you have the ear. And if you have such a cultivated ear you might well find yourself playing what the 'recommended' notes are anyway - for the simple reason random other choices aren't much good. I could do it by ear too but I know it would take an inordinately long time before I was happy with the result. So a lot, if not everything, depends on the ear!
    Everything depends on ear...

    To cultivate hearing one has to listen to music a lot... but from my personal experience most people who have ears they have it from childhood.

    Techniques like modes are applicable of course... like painters could ab=pply mathematic perspectives or other rational methods... but not that much as one might think by the way... greats Renaissance painting using perspective usually has very deceptive and methematically wrong perspective. Botticelli or Van Eyck master it but they use it as articstic tool to create particualr meanings corresponding teh contents of the painting.
    So they anyway first of all SEE and construct it by SEEING..

    Same thing hear - one can study any tool and apply - but the application should be be HEARING... as I said in my video - modes can give interesting opportunities but it makes no sense with ears.


    What Christian meant (I believe) that in general guitar/jazz studets take scales for granted... they do not listen they just learn like Bible and think one day something will work...
    I recently saw a master class on scale (in Russian byt that guitarist kid who won jazz competition in the States that year)... I was scared actually.... it looked like a high math course with lots of figuers on the board... and people with notepads...
    It looked very complicated and this complication also created the feeling of solidity (scientific mentality again: complex must be most probably true)...

    But there was almost nothing about how to play music --- he talked a bit about that but mostly a few words about practicing scales in sequences and intervals ... same old stuff.

    Scofield in his master class 30 years ago did the same thing he demonstrated the scales and sad play them in intervals... but listen to how he plays it! Listen how Jukian Lage plays a scale in a masterclass!... there is definitely a contradiction in it...
    They have fantastic phrasing even playing a scale... this what makes them sound how they sound but they say nothing about it..
    Of course scales tuned out helpful to them becasue they are gifted musiciand with ears.

    What will those who do not have that gift do with all those scales?

    To me it is natural to try to play what you hear...
    Julian in one of the masterclasses told about 'not playing what you hear' about guitaristic approach when you do not know what comes out but I believe it is a bit different thing (he sayd 'how can I hear wht is not played yet' - it is a good point about different between the idea and the realization... but again it is not what I mean... I mean that 'when it sounds at least it should be listened and heard' not 'watched and thought')

    What stops people from just playing Naima by ear? Why do they think it is more complicated ? Becasue they do not trust hearing...

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I've got lots of thoughts about this tune but I don't want to hog the place. I mean, it was definitely written during Coltrane's drug and booze days, maybe in some ghastly hotel away somewhere. When I was getting into the tune I could sense it
    Trane got sober before the end of 1957, and Naima was written in 1959.

  23. #72

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    Ah, thank you, what I said was wrong. But the song is still empty and I'm going to maintain that. Maybe his brain was still screwed. Maybe it was ambivalence towards his relationship. He did just up and leave. Later he was back on LSD...

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Xtian -

    (edit: this is longish but it's not a rant!)

    Absolutely. I did say above that I wasn't using a CST approach.

    Doing it by ear, whatever that means, only works if you have the ear. And if you have such a cultivated ear you might well find yourself playing what the 'recommended' notes are anyway - for the simple reason random other choices aren't much good. I could do it by ear too but I know it would take an inordinately long time before I was happy with the result. So a lot, if not everything, depends on the ear!

    As for triads, I was using some triads. Also arps, subs, and god knows what. But triads by themselves? Fine if you want it to sound chunky or something. I mean, if the objection to using scale-based sets of notes is that they sound contrived (which isn't true because then all scale-based music would sound false, which it definitely doesn't) then exactly the same could be levelled at any formula one uses, whether it's scales, triads, pentatonics, or whatever.

    I also disagree with what you call the Brecker approach for the simple reason there's no backing. Who knows what he was doing? You'll say that's not the point - but it is if you're recommending doing it that way to every tune. He's basically just playing what he wants to play. Can't do that with a band. In any case, if you look at the transcription, he's using scales too. Of course he is.

    You talk about resistance to departing from a scale view of playing. That's because it's proved to work. But using it does not mean that one is dependent on it. A beginning player who is educated in chord/scales will inevitably depend on them, with the concurrent fear of departing from what they know. And, if you offer them triads - which, let's face it, is just a pretty sparse formula for making certain sounds, they're not going to like it. And quite rightly when their scales give them a whole running set of possibilities. It's the advanced player who can introduce other ways of playing, not someone who's just starting.

    The no-scales idea is a fraud, really, and I think it's part of some of the tripe that's talked about jazz and playing jazz. It presupposes that anyone who uses them is a robot who can't think beyond them, is a prisoner to them, and has to be helped to see another more enlightened view - by offering them something which will actually decrease their range of available notes.

    And I'm willing to bet you a million quid, not that I've got it, that you yourself still use scales. Or know what they are where applicable. Yessir.

    The fact is it takes a lot of skill to use triads instead of scales effectively. And unless they're in the hands of an expert they can sound dreadful as they try to fit them to the music. Same with pentatonics, that's another false hope for the same reasons.

    It's not a question of either/or, or right/wrong, or good/bad, it's about the best thing to use at the time.

    But that's what I'm saying, they're suggestions in the sense: these notes work. They're not a rigid rule to be followed, they're simply useful. No one's suggesting they're set in stone. Only unlearned minds need a rigid can't-deviate-from-it formula.
    So much to unpack.

    I'll just throw one thing out there - scales are not the same thing as chords scales. We are expecting people to make up music from theory. This doesn't work. Some people think it works, which is the worst thing.

    EDIT: another point - I don't personally teach beginning players to improvise jazz.

  25. #74

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    Jonah -

    The whole thing is nonsense. Chords come from scales. Triads are chords. So triads are scales. If playing by ear was so easy everyone would do it. But it's not so easy, as you've found yourself.

    I don't actually know what playing by ear is. Guesswork?
    Last edited by ragman1; 04-16-2020 at 05:52 AM.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I don't actually know what playing by ear is. Guesswork?
    Well, there you go. There's your problem.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Jonah -

    The whole thing is nonsense. Chords come from scales. Triads are chords. If playing by ear was so easy everyone would do it. But it's not so easy, as you've found yourself.

    I don't actually know what playing by ear is. Guesswork?
    Looks like we are coming to the regular point in the discussion with you. The point where I drop out.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Looks like we are coming to the regular point in the discussion with you. The point where I drop out.
    Apparently, you can't you can't get better at playing by ear by doing it a lot.

    I tell you what - really glad I wasn't on this forum when I was learning to play. It wouldn't have helped.

  29. #78

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    Neither of you understand what I'm saying. I'm not against a good ear or musical sensibility. What I'm objecting to is the idea that, without knowledge of basic music and the song, you can just 'play by ear' and pull things from the air. A chimpanzee can do that! And even a chimpanzee will get lucky once in a while.

    I know it's nonsense, you know it's nonsense, so what are we talking about?

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Neither of you understand what I'm saying. I'm not against a good ear or musical sensibility. What I'm objecting to is the idea that, without knowledge of basic music and the song, you can just 'play by ear' and pull things from the air. A chimpanzee can do that! And even a chimpanzee will get lucky once in a while.
    I'm having trouble seeing this as anything other than a daft straw man.

    An experienced and competent musician can busk a tune by ear and improvise on it and sound good. You can develop these things through practice and teaching - and they are all aspects of being a musician. If I didn't think this was true, I'd walk away from jazz education because all the theory is available online. There'd be no point to me.

    We aren't talking about beginners. Jonah is not a beginner. You are not a beginner. I don't teach people who don't know the basics of their instrument to improvise jazz. But I also don't think you need to shed every scale and arpeggio combination before you can make a valid musical statement on a tune. These are useful raw materials, not a process.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Apparently, you can't you can't get better at playing by ear by doing it a lot.

    I tell you what - really glad I wasn't on this forum when I was learning to play. It wouldn't have helped.
    Well... you can learn things by ear too. Not just bling-playing all the time without reviewing it)))
    Besides I have enough theoretic background even to name things by ear...

    But I know what you mean - if one do not find solution for the problems he comes unto he just will repete the problems.. in real music it is not enough time usually to figure out these things just through repetition.

    I do quite a lot of study - but it is a different thing... in the vids I posted recently I deliberately tried to do more or less 'blind search'.. I would say main focus was on trying to sing it or murmur on guitar...
    I learn form that too and I am glad that this strange idea pushed to record more (I have much problem with recording).

    I probably could look/sound better from outside... if had some more elaborated idea there...
    But I notice that I do not like doing that. I do not enjoy the result. Let it be wrong and awrkward but beween the garbage there will be some worthy fragmenst that stay and teach me... and these momemts worth it becasue they are true... if it all were elaborated I would have saved myself from mistake but also I would have been deprived of these little revelations

    You know.. in general I noticed that people doing music may have very different purposes behind it... I probably could do many things and better than others but why would I if would not be happy with it...
    I'd rather do what's worth for me even if awkwardly

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I deliberately tried to do more or less 'blind search'
    Exactly! To prove what? That it's a waste of time? Why not play a really nice Naima we can all appreciate?
    Last edited by ragman1; 04-16-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  33. #82

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    Exactly! To prove what? That it's a waste of time? Why not play a really nice Naima we can all appreciate?
    I do not need 'nice Naima' - I need truth..

    Hope it exaplains all briefly.

    And do not really care what people appreciate... I did not play anything I would have been ashamed of.

    There is also partly an idea of art (and especially of jazz for me) - you do it the way you do it and move on...

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Well... you can learn things by ear too. Not just bling-playing all the time without reviewing it)))
    Besides I have enough theoretic background even to name things by ear...

    But I know what you mean - if one do not find solution for the problems he comes unto he just will repete the problems.. in real music it is not enough time usually to figure out these things just through repetition.

    I do quite a lot of study - but it is a different thing... in the vids I posted recently I deliberately tried to do more or less 'blind search'.. I would say main focus was on trying to sing it or murmur on guitar...
    I learn form that too and I am glad that this strange idea pushed to record more (I have much problem with recording).

    I probably could look/sound better from outside... if had some more elaborated idea there...
    But I notice that I do not like doing that. I do not enjoy the result. Let it be wrong and awrkward but beween the garbage there will be some worthy fragmenst that stay and teach me... and these momemts worth it becasue they are true... if it all were elaborated I would have saved myself from mistake but also I would have been deprived of these little revelations

    You know.. in general I noticed that people doing music may have very different purposes behind it... I probably could do many things and better than others but why would I if would not be happy with it...
    I'd rather do what's worth for me even if awkwardly
    I like the documentation of the process. If you do this enough, you will get better at it.

    The fact that rag talked about guesswork - apes and that - makes me think that the missing aspect is reflexivity for many. Apes for instance can't reflect on their efforts and find things to develop or explore in the same way as humans can... (Maybe they can, sorry I'm not a primatologist.)

    As a teacher it's something I'd like to encourage in students, although self reflexivity isn't always enough on its own, it's a powerful tool...

    OTOH students who want to learn jazz are rarely blank slates to be filled up with information. I often think jazz pedagogy acts as if they are.

  35. #84

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    The fact that rag talked about guesswork - apes and that - makes me think that the missing aspect is reflexivity for many. Apes for instance can't reflect on their efforts and find things to develop or explore in the same way as humans can... (Maybe they can, sorry I'm not a primatologist.)
    I think actually it is presuming that all people are like you (rag in this case)...

    I would even go far enough to say that speaking from point of view of morality the rag's statement about 'guesswork and apes' says that people are pretenders and liars.

    For him this 'blind playing' is somethin fake ... so he implies it to everyone (or uses this implication for trolling - i do not know).

  36. #85

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    Nothing against chimps. A random generator then, anything you like. But I'm definitely saying that one can't possibly play a tune like Naima without musical knowledge and study, that's all. And, in the case of Naima, fairly advanced study.

    Which, of course, is the province of the teacher. Or some other informative medium.

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I think actually it is presuming that all people are like you (rag in this case)...

    I would even go far enough to say that speaking from point of view of morality the rag's statement about 'guesswork and apes' says that people are pretenders and liars.

    For him this 'blind playing' is somethin fake ... so he implies it to everyone (or uses this implication for trolling - i do not know).
    Yes, it doesn't follow that everyone does this:

    Naima Chord Changes-unknown-jpeg

    I honestly think the main thing I can teach anyone to do is this. Scales, whatever, that's just the 'stuff.'

    'Talented' students - the type that you feel don't actually really teach, and that surprise you from lesson to lesson have this turning around like a Catherine wheel. It's a thing to see!

    That's when mentorship kicks in, and you get this. My function then (for the limited amount of time they need me), is to give them the odd idea, offer professional advice, challenge or just show them the reality of it all... Whatever needs to be done.

    It's also REALLY interesting to see the fundamental incompatibility between your worldview and Rag's. It's like a profoundly different way of viewing the world, music and learning.

  38. #87

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    Well, I'm practical, you see, I like to know where I am. I don't fancy the idea of just launching out into the unknown hoping for the best. Call it complete cowardice if you like :-)

    Mind you, all improvisation has a great element of going into the unknown. It's what improvisation is.

    About teaching, I always used to say 'I can teach, I'll painstakingly show you everything you need to know - but can you learn? Because ultimately one teaches oneself'.

    Fact is, only a few could do it. Most thought some other person was magically going to make them good players, usually overnight :-)

  39. #88

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    I've heard the argument made (by Bruce Forman) that one shouldn't share one's practice online - that he wants to hear people play music, not just working on stuff. Closer perhaps to rag's view.

    With respect to Bruce, I think this is missing the potential of the web as a learning tool. I also think he was talking more about people practicing scales etc rather than playing songs..

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Well, I'm practical, you see, I like to know where I am. I don't fancy the idea of just launching out into the unknown hoping for the best. Call it complete cowardice if you like :-)

    Mind you, all improvisation has a great element of going into the unknown. It's what improvisation is.

    About teaching, I always used to say 'I can teach, I'll painstakingly show you everything you need to know - but can you learn? Because ultimately one teaches oneself'.

    Fact is, only a few could do it. Most thought some other person was magically going to make them good players, usually overnight :-)
    Yes. As a teacher I see my job as teaching people to teach themselves. This can be like pulling teeth. People are heavily invested in the 'banking model' of education (Paulo Freire, Critical Pedagogy in general). I know nothing, give me the info! (They usually know all the info lol)

    Gramscian Marxists like Freire would characterise this as capitalist realism... Because capitalism is to blame for everything, right?

    I myself, suspect it's more psychological rather than emergent from social organisation or economics... I think freedom and self determination is scary, and people like daddies. Even a jazz daddy. (And the left has plenty of daddies, it's not just the right.)

    How you were brought up has a big bearing too. Gender is an interesting vector in improvisation for instance, that has barely been explored (why is jazz such a sausage party?)

    But - bear in mind the important role of third parties even to the very self motivated student. Sometimes you are not enough on your own. For someone as individualist, autodidactic and basically unteachable as myself, that's hard to admit.

    But the third party advice I did get was like a bolt from the blue. Shook me up. Made me question everything for a while.

    All working jazz musicians are self taught anyway, with input from mentors. Don't believe their CVs haha.

  41. #90

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    Yes, all you said. Probably girls/women are better at actually learning and applying, although not many want to do serious jazz guitar.

    But the third party advice I did get was like a bolt from the blue. Shook me up. Made me question everything for a while.
    What was the advice?

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I've heard the argument made (by Bruce Forman) that one shouldn't share one's practice online - that he wants to hear people play music, not just working on stuff. Closer perhaps to rag's view.

    With respect to Bruce, I think this is missing the potential of the web as a learning tool. I also think he was talking more about people practicing scales etc rather than playing songs..
    I do not know what Bruce meant of course...

    But in concern of songs .. people may have different ideas on what is elaborated and what not... I recently heard a few Sco's solo guitar playing... they did not sound elaborated in comparison to Martin Taylor for example)))
    I admire Martin but I do not want to sound like him - ever... it is too weel-elaborated.

    Of cours Sco has tremendous experience and such a solodity of phrasing that even raw stuff sounds solid and with conviction.. but still he sounded as if he just took chances.

    Have you heard Bobby Broom playing from home with no amp? To me it is great ... but I would not be surprised if it were only audio with no video and name... that someone would say that it is just practicing a song...

    There is a Russian guitarsit... I do not wabt to call the name - he has the job and nice guy... he plays lots of chord melody and comps a lot too... very elaborated stuff... but he always sounds to me as if he learnt it all by heart ... and very dead time.. I mean it just does not go anywhere... as if he does not hear the harmony.
    But people admire him (I saw some say he is like Joe Pass and so on -- -)


    and about the idea... as you said it could be a good source for mentorship.

    Xavier Diaz - Lattorre - one fo the few leading llute teacher and lutenists today as a soloist and regular member of Savall's orchestra and ensembles - now during isolation he does his morning practic on FB online... it is some kind of morning gymanastic - he plays very basic physological and technical excersises
    (by the way I knew these excersises from him earlier and they helped to overcome problem with one of my instruments).... he does what he does usually just gives a bit more explanation.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    he plays lots of chord melody and comps a lot too... very elaborated stuff... but he always sounds to me as if he learnt it all by heart ... and very dead time.. I mean it just does not go anywhere... as if he does not hear the harmony.
    Quite. That is not using the ear! One should have the basic ideas and then move round them. But maybe he's nervous playing in public, especially solo. Easier with a good band behind you, gives you confidence.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Yes, all you said. Probably girls/women are better at actually learning and applying, although not many want to do serious jazz guitar.
    You've got to ask why... My wife has a theory about this. Men are more happy to play BS and get it together in public. So the way we teach improvisation encourages the more noisy, confident people (at least on their instrument) who are happy to give it a go whether or not it's any good as music. She felt women are much less likely to want to do this due to upbringing, social expectations etc.

    So the reaction she had to someone saying 'make something up on the blues scale I've just taught you.' is 'why? Why would I do this? What value would this have? And it would sound like shit because I'm not very good at this.' She's a good classical musician. She's not terribly interested in doing things that sound bad.

    I think it's crap as well. There's more to music than this. For some it is a perfectly reasonable task, but those people are already willing to improvise. It's not that classical musicians can't improvise, it's more that they are unwilling to do it, because they know that they won't sound like music when they do it at first. And the finished product is very important in western art music. But - actually - I think the finished product is actually incredibly important in jazz too... see Bruce Forman's comment. To reduce it to a form of 'participatory music' is actually insulting to its traditions.

    Anyway, I don't want to say too much about the gender side of it, as I am not an expert in this area, and a bloke. But it is interesting what comes up talking to me female colleagues.

    Alternative modes of teaching improvisation become necessary because it's clear that this 'make up a solo from these pitches' concept - be it CST, chord tones & embellishments or whatever is not a good entry level approach for some people (I'd go further and argue it's a bad entry level approach for everyone.)

    What was the advice?
    Fifteen years ago I had no idea how to work on time, or even how important time is to jazz. I needed to be told. It completely broke me down for a few months.

    Fifteen years on I am obsessed with rhythm, and now listen to music in a completely different way.

    I would never have made that jump on my own.

  45. #94

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    Find the clave in EVERYTHING.

  46. #95

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    My wife has a theory about this. Men are more happy to play BS and get it together in public.
    That's her theory? Not wrong. Just a lot of big show-offs, the lot of them

    She felt women are much less likely to want to do this due to upbringing, social expectations etc.
    I don't think it's just the put-down woman syndrome, I think it has to do with seriousness and humility. Men are egoists and women know it.

    So the reaction she had to someone saying 'make something up on the blues scale I've just taught you.' is 'why?
    Oh, I don't go with that. To see if it works, presumably! I mean, if you show someone something you'd normally say 'Now you have a go'. That's definitely okay.

    She's not terribly interested in doing things that sound bad.
    Agreed, but it should be okay in front of a teacher. One isn't in public.

    It's not that classical musicians can't improvise
    Well, improvisation isn't their thing, is it? They've spent ages learning the dots and someone says go off on your own, it's hardly surprising they look bewildered!

    Alternative modes of teaching improvisation become necessary because it's clear that this 'make up a solo from these pitches' concept - be it CST, chord tones & embellishments or whatever is not a good entry level approach for some people (I'd go further and argue it's a bad entry level approach for everyone.)
    I'd go with that too. I know it sometimes looks as though I'm an advocate of CST but it's not that simple, especially on an actual guitar. It's a question of throwing in everything according to experience. I'd find just using a set scale quite hard now (although I could do it) because I know how to work round it with passing notes, subs, slides, changes of position, etc etc.

    But... when you're learning, what do you do? You've got to start somewhere and the basics have got to be sorted before one can take off and fly. So I don't know. Difficult.

    Fifteen years ago I had no idea how to work on time, or even how important time is to jazz.
    So what did they say? Metronome? Subdividing? All that sort of thing, probably. Personally, I like to do things slowly-ish because I can think, but when it's very, very, very slow I tend to wander and get lost. I know why, because trying to keep an excruciatingly slow pace is a distraction from the sounds I'm trying to make. But that's about it. I definitely have a comfort zone :-)

  47. #96

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    Re: improvising pedagogy/scales

    It's a terrible method, akin to giving someone a 1,000 jigsaw puzzle in a paper bag and not letting them see the box, and then saying "why can't you figure it out, I gave you all the right pieces?"

  48. #97

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    Yup. There's the danger of being wise in hindsight, as it were. We've forgotten what it feels like not to know anything. Someone says 'There's the chords, there's the notes - play something' and we can't understand why they go blank and look confused.

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yes. As a teacher I see my job as teaching people to teach themselves.
    This is a common method in modern pedagogy.

    I have been a University lecturer for 27 years and in those years teaching has shifted to coaching more and more.

    You cannot really learn people jazz guitar. You can coach them while they learn it themselves though. Give them the tools and info. And the inspiration etc.

    DB

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    That's her theory? Not wrong. Just a lot of big show-offs, the lot of them



    I don't think it's just the put-down woman syndrome, I think it has to do with seriousness and humility. Men are egoists and women know it.



    Oh, I don't go with that. To see if it works, presumably! I mean, if you show someone something you'd normally say 'Now you have a go'. That's definitely okay.

    Agreed, but it should be okay in front of a teacher. One isn't in public.

    Well, improvisation isn't their thing, is it? They've spent ages learning the dots and someone says go off on your own, it's hardly surprising they look bewildered!
    OK, so in effect you are saying it is the student's fault for not going with the task. Look, you and I might find this a reasonable task. But I have to be professionally interested in teaching people who are not like me.

    As a result, I believe, the task is at fault. At least for that person. I have to have a broader set of tools at least.

    Teach the person in front of you, right?

  51. #100

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    in effect you are saying it is the student's fault for not going with the task.
    Eh? Of course not, that's not what I said at all. Really!