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  1. #101

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    I think it's difficult to seperate who is an artist and who is not. The Temptations sang My Girl and it will be around a long time. Smokey Robinson's songs are here to stay as are Stevie Wonder' s. They were artists. The Temps never wrote any of what they sang but they sang better than any group around at the time.There are some great POP songs out there and some great covers by some real artists. I think you need a combination to be remembered. Daryl Hall and John Oates write the songs for Hall and Oates. Daryl has one of the best voices ,technical and other, in the business...yet Mick Jagger gets more Press....Those songs will be remembered but only certain ones will survive the test of time. In comparison, I doubt that Cold Play or some of today's "JAZZ" groups have yet to do anything "TIMELESS" .Smooth Jazz may or may not produce timeless songs..."Yet to be determined" as they say. Miles, Bird, they are timeless except the listening audience is not large enough to create standards that people will associate with times in their life that they want to recall as did Lionel Ritchie with his music.Benny Goodman songs are still requested... Very few ask for Miles or Bird or Mel Torme for a wedding but The Christmas song will be around a long time and most think that Nat Cole was the originator when Mel Torme wrote it. Why did Nat Cole have the hit and not Mel? Always wondered....It's just the time , the place , the writer the singer or player and who remembersthe songs and why. Jobim's music will be around a long time. Most do not even know who wrote half of them but they like them. Why ? I hated the Beatles in the 60's but now I can hear the intricate things that I never thoiught about. It still is not music that I would want to listen to when i recall times in my life that mean anything. It's Circumstance". If you were in the Village at a club watching Miles you might love that music because of what it means to you not because of the technical aspects of the music. As a wedding singer for 30 years or so I realized that certain songs will remain in people's minds...no matter how great or how lousy I could sing that song , they heard what they heard in their head ...what was on the record , and then told me I was great...No , The song was great , the memory was great...99% of people have no clue as to what is "GREAT" ! A great song is going to stay around a long time. That sound of the artist that sings or plays will live in people's minds and everytime they hear me they are really hearing the original not me.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Jerome
    I think it's difficult to seperate who is an artist and who is not. The Temptations sang My Girl and it will be around a long time. Smokey Robinson's songs are here to stay as are Stevie Wonder' s. They were artists. The Temps never wrote any of what they sang but they sang better than any group around at the time.There are some great POP songs out there and some great covers by some real artists. I think you need a combination to be remembered. Daryl Hall and John Oates write the songs for Hall and Oates. Daryl has one of the best voices ,technical and other, in the business...yet Mick Jagger gets more Press....Those songs will be remembered but only certain ones will survive the test of time. In comparison, I doubt that Cold Play or some of today's "JAZZ" groups have yet to do anything "TIMELESS" .Smooth Jazz may or may not produce timeless songs..."Yet to be determined" as they say. Miles, Bird, they are timeless except the listening audience is not large enough to create standards that people will associate with times in their life that they want to recall as did Lionel Ritchie with his music.Benny Goodman songs are still requested... Very few ask for Miles or Bird or Mel Torme for a wedding but The Christmas song will be around a long time and most think that Nat Cole was the originator when Mel Torme wrote it. Why did Nat Cole have the hit and not Mel? Always wondered....It's just the time , the place , the writer the singer or player and who remembersthe songs and why. Jobim's music will be around a long time. Most do not even know who wrote half of them but they like them. Why ? I hated the Beatles in the 60's but now I can hear the intricate things that I never thoiught about. It still is not music that I would want to listen to when i recall times in my life that mean anything. It's Circumstance". If you were in the Village at a club watching Miles you might love that music because of what it means to you not because of the technical aspects of the music. As a wedding singer for 30 years or so I realized that certain songs will remain in people's minds...no matter how great or how lousy I could sing that song , they heard what they heard in their head ...what was on the record , and then told me I was great...No , The song was great , the memory was great...99% of people have no clue as to what is "GREAT" ! A great song is going to stay around a long time. That sound of the artist that sings or plays will live in people's minds and everytime they hear me they are really hearing the original not me.
    Nice point. Not sure how nostalgia and sentimentality figure in to a definition of art, but you make a compelling argument. However, please do me and others a favor and take a breath (paragraph break) occassionally. It was tough to follow such a long post without them.

  4. #103

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    Sorry for that...got carried away for sure...Singing is my passion. I just quit medicine to pursue music in my retirement.

  5. #104

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    Maybe I've missed something out here in deep forest, but I have the internet and satellite TV, and I haven't noticed much art around for a long time now.
    Everything these days seems to be configured down to the lowest common denominator ie popular appeal and profit. I sure there are still plenty of people pursuing quality creativity, but they don't seem to be getting much publicity.

    Some argue that everything has been done already. The last big event in Britain was Punk....more than thirty years ago.

    I just think people are becoming toys of technology, rather than the other way around. It's affordable, easy to buy (even from your own bed with net shopping), satisfies short-term curiosity and passes the time. Why should the people of the modern world bother with anything else?

    Soma!

    Back to the original post, I feel that the playing of any musical instrument is artistic, and to be able to make the music up 'on the fly' as in improvisation, is surely art.

    If it isn't, then what the hell is?

  6. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Hey Chico, great first post. Yep, too true, we are all like the blind men, grappling at our own little corner of the truth!
    Sorry if I came along patronising, it wasn't the point...

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by chicoplaysthetele
    Sorry if I came along patronising, it wasn't the point...
    Not at all man, I mean, I usually hate it when someone quotes philosophy of any kind to make a point, but that was certainly on point...

  8. #107
    I am a novice improviser but one of your suggestions seems spot-on:

    Knowing the tune cold - chord progression and the melody.

    I encounter some players at jams who “solo” despite not knowing the tune. That rarely ends well.

    Thank you

  9. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Goofsus4
    I'm not talking about 15 minutes a day. I'm talking about hours upon hours upon hours.

    My philosophy about improvisation is just PRACTICE IMPROVISATION RELENTLESSLY!
    The other day, I read a post. The writer signed off with “... time on your instrument..”

    It blew my socks off. Of course, JazzGuitar.BE is about learning (this Art). There are modes and poly-rhythms and Bird-solos, best books and equipment subtleties. But .... nothing of true value is going to happen without “... time on your instrument ...”

    Isn't there a Latin phrase: Sine qua non
    [ my font went nuts ]
    Maybe that applies. Maybe it means: “without this there’s nothing”.

    I dont know what “Generic Modality Compression” means (Mick Goodrick book) but I understand “... time on your instrument ...”.

    I’m probably going overboard here.
    There’s a local professional musician nearby. He wants said to me: “You know what you need to practice?” “Everything”.

    So yeah. There’s “How to practice.” And “What to practice”. But there isn’t “If to practice”.

    “Time on your (my) instrument
    ”.

  10. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    John and all...

    Here is a great speach that makes the same point as John made, please read this it is quite good:

    Boston Conservatory - Karl Paulnack Address to Parents
    Link must have changed

  11. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent
    Link must have changed
    It's a ten yr old zombie thread

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent
    The other day, I read a post. The writer signed off with “... time on your instrument..”

    It blew my socks off. Of course, JazzGuitar.BE is about learning (this Art). There are modes and poly-rhythms and Bird-solos, best books and equipment subtleties. But .... nothing of true value is going to happen without “... time on your instrument ...”

    Isn't there a Latin phrase: Sine qua non
    [ my font went nuts ]
    Maybe that applies. Maybe it means: “without this there’s nothing”.

    I dont know what “Generic Modality Compression” means (Mick Goodrick book) but I understand “... time on your instrument ...”.

    I’m probably going overboard here.
    There’s a local professional musician nearby. He wants said to me: “You know what you need to practice?” “Everything”.

    So yeah. There’s “How to practice.” And “What to practice”. But there isn’t “If to practice”.

    “Time on your (my) instrument
    ”.
    Well said!

    To improvise you need to catch the moment. I think no one are trained enough to imagine how a solo will turn out in the end. No teaching materials can change that procedure. It’s your musical influences and hopefully even your spinal cord that will guide you right. All great guitarists and other instrumentalists in jazz history had or have one thing in common, they all had or have feeling about what time was or is right to bring out the best ideas. Of course we can continue to analyze masterful solos over and over again, but in the end it doesn’t matter because we know nothing about tomorrow. That’s my view about the real definition of jazz music. We know nothing to know at what direction we’re going towards. Catch the moment!
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 08-29-2019 at 04:21 PM.

  13. #112

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    Hang on Princeplanet’s here in 2009 - is he the granddaddy of the forum?

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by sc06yl
    Recently I have thought that more discussions should take place on the philosophy of music, in particular improvising.
    May be from a decade ago, but I'm thinking the same thing today...

  15. #114

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    Of course pop is art, if it's done well enough. The format of the 3 minute pop song is an artform. Uptown Funk is undoubtedly a piece of art based on the conditions of its genre. You can say it's an art of reflective surfaces with not a lot going on underneath, but that is also an artform. In a way the three minute pop song is aesthetic in its purest form - signifying nothing.

    Now as for improv. I'm not good enough to have a philosophy per se. I have a strategy: Play and listen to the melody until alternative melodies, licks, etc present themselves. Of course that doesn't work if somebody count off a tune I've never played before, but it sort of works for the known/prepared tunes.
    Also, when I was younger I tended to just play whatever came into my mind at the moment, more or less only relating to the changes. These days I try to overtly and consciously respond to the melody. Sometimes by referencing sometimes by rejecting it, but I try to always have the melody in the back of my mind as I play. I suppose that if you want to elevate that to a philosophy, it's this: Any improvisation is always a response to a melody real or implied.

    yeah, good thing I don't make a living off my thinking cap.

  16. #115
    My sense of what makes something beautiful (Art) is (my sense of) the sacrifice that went into its creation: the implicit labor, the sacrifice, the love.

    Seeing a guitar in Segovia's hands, learning how long Rose LaVelle practiced before her famous goal, hearing about Pat Martino overcoming memory loss, learning how cheaply Willie Nelson sold his early songs, hearing that John Coltrane practiced 14 hours a day.

    i believe that Art is sacrifice on display. The saying: “It took him 25 years to become an overnight sensation” captures this.

    It inevitably goes like this: I see something stunning. Later I learn the “noble path” of the artist.

    I think what makes something beautiful is a sense of the labor. Magnificent gardens necessitate a lot of labor and learning. When I see the garden, I’m somehow connecting to the accomplishment of the gardener! (I don’t know a petunia from a nightshade.)

    How many years could the 20 year old Justin Bieber have toiled? What could he have forgone?

    Of course, to refute my own theory: I heard Mozart created Art ata very young age. I guess that’s where the rare “child prodigy appellation is used.
    Last edited by GuitarStudent; 08-30-2019 at 08:59 AM.

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Hang on Princeplanet’s here in 2009 - is he the granddaddy of the forum?
    hehe... I think there's quite a few folks here that have been around a bit longer, but yeah, I remember this thread as one of my first and I still agree with all I wrote! And I still feel that Jazz Improvisation, at it's finest, is Humanity's highest watermark in the creative arts. Although I soon realised that even on a Jazz forum, not many people seem to agree !

  18. #117

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    Derek Bailey wrote a book on improvisation worth checking out. An amazing overview of its use in many forms of music.

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Jerome
    everytime they hear me they are really hearing the original not me.
    Spot on. They always go for the songs they know, even if they're not played that well.

  20. #119

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    I wrote a book in 2002 that was based on quotes from jazz musicians. There was a chapter on freedom, which is related in jazz to the fact that everyone puts forward their personality through improvisation rather than the interpretation of written music

    I think this philosophy of improvisation for individual and collective freedom is one of the best things that jazz has brought to life in general

    JAZZ ET PROBLÈMES DES HOMMES (JAZZ AND HUMAN PROBLEMS)
    Sommaire

    translated from french

    j'ai écrit en 2002 un livre qui était basé sur les citations de musiciens de jazz. Il y avait un chapitre sur la liberté, qui est liée dans le jazz au fait que chacun met en avant sa personnalité par l'improvisation plutôt que l'interprétation d'une musique écrite

    je pense que cette philosophie de l'improvisation pour la liberté individuelle et collective est une des meilleures choses que le jazz a apporté à la vie en général

  21. #120

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    I know this is common, learn to improvise with scales and arpeggios. But I why not listen to a tune and then improvies, the melody in head?

  22. #121

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    Wow, a 10-year-old zombie thread! I didn't notice when I opened it up, and read the first post, and despite this thread's age, something that I could relate to immediately struck me.

    People unfamiliar with Johann Sebastian Bach are often unaware of how good he was at improvisation. I mean, he improvised fugues, for pete's sake! If you take a look at Bach's history, you'll find that he started out as a youngster, apprenticed to a master musician -- the town cantor, if memory serves. One of his duties was to copy musical manuscripts. No Xerox machines in the 17th Century. He did this all by hand, and he most likely copied many hundreds of pieces of music, all as part of his apprentice duties. What this did for him was not unlike what modern musicians do when they listen to a track over and over again to memorize every phrase, every nuance. When a modern musician is studying the playing of another like this, s/he isn't thinking about improvisation. S/he is thinking about copying what this other musician did.

    I know that this was the way I approached learning guitar licks as a young "lead" player. That was how I essentially developed a blues style -- copying the licks played by all the players I admired the most. Now, strictly speaking, if you're just stringing together a bunch of licks you've learned, one after the other, that isn't really improvising. But what happens is, things change. Just like how language changes over time, one's style begins to evolve. The licks begin to change as one finds out the best ways to fit them together. One begins to think about how these licks are structured and laid out, and can start to break them down and analyze them, and figure out little ways to alter them here and there. Small steps that can turn into milestones with enough practice and exploration. Over time, a style develops and, perhaps before the player realizes it, he or she is improvising. But it all begins by copying the works of others. Same as JS Bach.