Reply to Thread
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Posts 151 to 167 of 167
  1. #151

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Bebop, I agree, is a very rhythmic language, it's angular, asymmetrical, unpredictable and seemingly random to the uninitiated. If you wanna learn that language then a lot of time must be spent grokking that aspect.

    But here's the thing, I personally feel that when people say they want to investigate Jazz language and vocab and they get directed to Bebop, I reckon they're more interested in the melodic/harmonic DNA of the lines than they are in the rhythmic aspect.
    I think that’s true, but I don’t really care about that :-) I want to teach students to play jazz not pander to their misapprehensions.

    Seriously, the melody makes a lot more sense when understood as an articulation of rhythm.

    And the harmony sounds crap without that fundamental understanding.

    Let's face it, straight ahead or Hard Bop is more popular these days (well, since 1955 really!) than strict Bebop, no one really plays strict Bebop and very few people actually like it. People would rather play and listen to Hard Bop styled lines, or Post Bop, Modal and later styles. all of which feature much less irregular rhythms. For example, compare Charlie Parker to Jackie Maclean from the late 50's onwards. He's playing simplified versions of Bird lines in longer flowing lines and it sounds cool, any Jackie Mac fan out there will get where I'm coming from.
    False dichotomy. I’d probably start with Dexter, Mobley etc.

    This is not to say it's a progression, or it's "better", it's just easier to dig, tap your foot to, groove along with etc. I'd also wager that most on this forum will confess that they find it more enjoyable to listen to Pat Martino playing long streams of 8th notes than to listen to the stop/start, choppy phrasing from a bop stalwart like Tal Farlow.
    I certainly don’t think that’s true of everyone. Anyway I’d always hold up Jimmy Raney as the most rhythmically inventive bop guitarist.

    Just trying to restore some balance to this discussion, I simply can't let the assertion that "Rhythm is everything" go unchallenged...
    What is balance in this context? Every major bop player stresses the primacy of rhythm.

    If you play a phrase with a bop rhythm it sounds like bop. Plus be a Bach line or a Lester lick. The notes are not what makes bop sound like bop. It’s the typical bop rhythmic vocabulary - anticipations of the downbeat, double syncopations and so on, subversion of the repetition common in swing.

    We don’t even really have a vocabulary for talking about the stuff. We don’t have a clear way of teaching rhythmic vocabulary in isolation.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

    User Info Menu

    I just wanted to add that bop is often taught as licks. I hope I don’t have explain that while this is a good step for the beginner it’s not the whole music. That’s the thing that makes Barry’s teaching unusual.

    That said, there is something I don’t find well addressed by his teaching (gulp): one of my big challenges as a teacher is that students often know plenty of theory but they fundamentally cannot come up with interesting rhythms to hang their more choices on.

    So teaching rhythmic licks or words and developing the ability of students to audiate and combine them seems an obvious area to work on. Transcribing only the rhythm of a head or solo is a useful exercise for instance.

  4. #153

    User Info Menu

    If Mr. Miyagi was a jazz guitar instructor, he would've started his students with jazz tap dancing. 3 years minimum before picking up the guitar again.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-08-2019 at 11:00 PM.

  5. #154

    User Info Menu

    A lot of horn players have worked in this book. (Other instrumentalists too.)

    Rhythms Complete – Charles Colin Music


    There is also this. (I haven't seen this but I know people who say it helped them a lot. And what's more, they enjoyed the duets!)

    https://www.amazon.com/Duets-Complet...gateway&sr=8-1
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #155

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    ...

    We don’t even really have a vocabulary for talking about the stuff. We don’t have a clear way of teaching rhythmic vocabulary in isolation.
    Maybe we don't really need to... The rhythmic flow of one's playing is probably the one aspect that need not be contrived, the same way that when we speak, the words have their own inherent rhythm which has obviously been influenced by just listening to others speak. Not saying there's anything wrong with pushing that envelope, just saying that some players do just fine without needing to transcribe tap dancers...

  7. #156

    User Info Menu

    for the record, hard bop is incredibly rhythmic and complex. I'm finally understanding how to play hard bop in a convincing manner. The secret is the rhythm, syncopation, and how to use space. Even more so than bebop players, hard bop players knew how to make the space in between their notes jump out and push the line forward.

    Listen to Dexter Gordon.

    Listen to Art Farmer.

    Listen to Cannonball.

    Listen to Wes.

    When Miles said it's not the notes you play, it's what you don't play--he was giving us all a huge hint. The space between the notes, the phraseology, the dynamics, and the time feel. These are the minute details that set the amateurs apart from the pro's.

    I love Pete Bernstein just like many here at JGF. He isn't wowing everyone with his technical prowess. He's got the space, phrasing, dynamics, and time feel that many jazz guitarists these days ignore.

    Even the word "bebop" is indicative of the rhythmic priority in the music. BeBOP BeBOP. Listen to Dizzy scat and you'll hear more bebop than most guys and gals playing today.

    If we want to talk bebop, we have to talk rhythm. Watch some Mike Longo videos on Youtube. He played with Diz and Cannonball.

    And when I was talking about singing bebop lines, I didn't mean sing them on stage while you improvise. I was talking about internalizing the language so you can really hear it in your head while you improvise. We get too caught up on theory in these parts that we lose touch with the sound that we're producing with our instruments.

    Theory is important, but it isn't the end all be all to line building and improvisation.

  8. #157

    User Info Menu

    Agree Aires, was the big learning that I discovered when I did my first grant green transcription.

    the other one that is rarely mentioned is when and how the b and e string is used. It is like a boxer using a round house hook after a series of jabs. It has such contrast and is so expressive. The Kenny Burrell and Grant Green transcriptions I have done and listening to them and Jonathan Kreisberg deeply this is a really important factor in a jazz guitar solo coming alive
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  9. #158

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Maybe we don't really need to... The rhythmic flow of one's playing is probably the one aspect that need not be contrived, the same way that when we speak, the words have their own inherent rhythm which has obviously been influenced by just listening to others speak. Not saying there's anything wrong with pushing that envelope, just saying that some players do just fine without needing to transcribe tap dancers...
    Nah. There's a lot to unpack from this. I don't disagree that listening to jazz is the centrepiece of any jazz education, but I would question if this in isolation is enough.

    I mean, you might well be a natural at rhythm.... I’ve seen students who have that gift! You certainly seem interested in groovy, swinging players over more harmonically unusual ones.

    OTOH my intuitive rhythm was shit. If it’s better now it’s because of lots of anal, specific practice. I know I’m not the only one.

    Another thing - if you listen to jazz expecting to hear harmony, you will focus on harmony, and you will focus on more harmonically interesting players, perhaps on more proggy, less conventionally groove based music. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not the focus of the older music we are discussing here.

    The way I hear jazz now is profoundly different to the way I heard it 15 years ago because now I am more interested in the rhythm and melody, while still interested harmony. (I see this as balance. I see my situation before - focussing on cool harmony - as unbalanced.)

    This is certainly an area where teachers can help - drawing attention to aspects of the music. The exercise which you seem to dismiss (perhaps I am too sensitive :-)) of focussing on the rhythmic content of a solo only is powerful because it forces the student to listen in a different way.

    (That’s not to say there isn’t a deep intuitive side to it, but the same is true of any aspect of rhythm.)

    In any case that’s not really relevant I’m not talking about time/feel - I’m talking about building blocks for language, and we seem comfortable talking about arpeggios and scales and so on and how they can be linked together to make musical lines. But not rhythms.

    And I tell you what, that pedagogy doesn’t fucking work. Because so many players - even some talented pros - sound like they are playing in evenly accented, endless eighths. (Pat Martino certainly does not fall into this category BTW, because he knows where the pocket is, and how the shape of a moto perpetuo line creates its own sense of accent.)

    I’m not talking about a technical language anyway. Just having labels would be helpful. What do you call it when you have the Parker thing that he does with the upbeat going into that triplet? Or the thing with that 1/8 rest and a 1/4 and an 1/8? Why do we have labels for a Cmaj7 chord but not for that?

    You could learn vocabulary simply by sight reading though the Omnibook. The reason why is that unlike pitch on the guitar you actually have to hear rhythm in your head to be able to execute - you have to audiate it. Try to count rhythmic phrases and you are lost. So reading rhythm is the inverse of transcription, the same thing really. (The same should be true for all reading of course, but it’s easy on the guitar to play notes mechanically.)

    So by page 100 or whatever you will have internalised some phrases. There are a couple of problems with the Omnibook, one obvious one is the limitation of notation and the subtleties you find in the recordings. But it would give you a solid ABC of bop rhythmic phrases, which is why I am using it as a source.

    You could also do this via transcription, of course. So there’s an intimate link between this essential skill (even for jazz guitar players) and improvisation, and of course transcription.

    But what can we do in the lesson? And bearing in mind that transcribing phrases off the record might be intimidating to beginning jazz players let alone reading the Omnibook.

    ——-

    Get to the point, Christian :-)

    Well, if you’ve done any teaching of improvisation which I think you said you have to bump into the problem of the ‘blank page.’ So on pitch terms you might give that person a melodic idea or a small pitch selection to get started with. If you think about the Aerbersold approach is a solution to this basic problem.

    However - If your student can’t play an interesting rhythmic phrase on one note, what makes them or you feel they can make music with 12 of them? That’s the same problem - the blank page. But this time it’s rhythm. The exercise then only becomes useful in terms of demonstrating a weakness (a bit like drifting out of synch with a click) not remedying that problem. That's not nothing, but it can be demoralising if there's nothing the teacher can suggest to help. Simple, right?

    And preferably one should be able help them in the lesson, at least until they know enough to stand on their own.

    This relates to my own experience. I've always found practice activities to be a bit sketchy on the rhythm front - I had to work out myself that things like time and feel are not the same thing, that rhythmic vocabulary is a separate thing, and so on, that require specific focus.

    Anyway, Matt can pick up on why this might be a particular blind spot for guitar players.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-09-2019 at 05:49 AM.

  10. #159

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    for the record, hard bop is incredibly rhythmic and complex. I'm finally understanding how to play hard bop in a convincing manner. The secret is the rhythm, syncopation, and how to use space. Even more so than bebop players, hard bop players knew how to make the space in between their notes jump out and push the line forward.

    Listen to Dexter Gordon.

    Listen to Art Farmer.

    Listen to Cannonball.

    Listen to Wes.

    When Miles said it's not the notes you play, it's what you don't play--he was giving us all a huge hint. The space between the notes, the phraseology, the dynamics, and the time feel. These are the minute details that set the amateurs apart from the pro's.

    I love Pete Bernstein just like many here at JGF. He isn't wowing everyone with his technical prowess. He's got the space, phrasing, dynamics, and time feel that many jazz guitarists these days ignore.
    Pete Bernstein arpeggiates chord shapes and they sound like the hippest thing ever. He's gone from playing Grant Green and Charlie Christian licks in the early 90's - what we might 'language' in education - to transmuting base materials into gold.

    That to me is infinitely more interesting than some chops wizard. It's a direction, a road less travelled etc

    Even the word "bebop" is indicative of the rhythmic priority in the music. BeBOP BeBOP. Listen to Dizzy scat and you'll hear more bebop than most guys and gals playing today.

    If we want to talk bebop, we have to talk rhythm. Watch some Mike Longo videos on Youtube. He played with Diz and Cannonball.

    And when I was talking about singing bebop lines, I didn't mean sing them on stage while you improvise. I was talking about internalizing the language so you can really hear it in your head while you improvise. We get too caught up on theory in these parts that we lose touch with the sound that we're producing with our instruments.

    Theory is important, but it isn't the end all be all to line building and improvisation.
    Shuhari (Kanji: ??? Hiragana: ????) is a Japanese martial art concept which describes the stages of learning to mastery. It is sometimes applied to other disciplines, such as Go.


    • shu (?) "protect", "obey"—traditional wisdom—learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
    • ha (?) "detach", "digress"—breaking with tradition—detachment from the illusions of self
    • ri (?) "leave", "separate"—transcendence—there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms; transcending the physical


    Interesting to compare to Clark Terry's classic advice;
    https://www.jazzadvice.com/clark-ter...improvisation/

  11. #160

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    .....If your student can’t play an interesting rhythmic phrase on one note, what makes them or you feel they can make music with 12 of them? That’s the same problem - the blank page. But this time it’s rhythm. The exercise then only becomes useful in terms of demonstrating a weakness (a bit like drifting out of synch with a click) not remedying that problem. That's not nothing, but it can be demoralising if there's nothing the teacher can suggest to help. Simple, right?

    And preferably one should be able help them in the lesson, at least until they know enough to stand on their own.

    ...
    Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher, me thinks. Many guitar students will struggle with rhythm, but surely that doesn't mean that students with great intuitive rhythmic sense need to obsess on it as much?

    Come to think of it, I'm reminded of a player I was sharing some ideas with where I challenged him to listen to something (maybe Rollins?) for a few minutes, then just improvise some scat based on what he'd just heard. He did good, I let him scat for a good few minutes, thinking that a small penny would drop, and that he would then pick up the guitar and carry over those rhythms to the instrument. Haha - not a chance! He went straight back to his boring non accented phrases that sounded nothing like his scatting.

    I suppose this might not be an uncommon thing, where a player can "hear" interesting boppish rhythms in his/her head, but the finger mechanics cause them to play instead what is comfortable or well entrenched. This of course supports your view that many players need specific training in order to bridge the huge chasm that can exist between what they can scat and what comes out on the instrument.

    Which led me to another question (as yet unanswered) - Is this kind of rhythmic disconnect between mind and fingers equally apparent on more "voice like" instruments such as horns? What about the piano? Is that instrument a better vehicle for this kind of translation than the guitar? (it seems to be). If so, why? Is it because the way guitarists must synchronise very different movements on both hands which causes a greater rhythmic disconnect b/n mind and hands?

    Take for example the classic rushed up beat that guitarists are notorious for. I bet if they played another instrument, or even sang, this rushed upbeat would not be as noticeable. If true, then the problem could be due to the mechanical demands of the instrument in regard to the syncing of both hands, with the pick hand also having to work against gravity.

    Ah, but then there are the guys who can play anything on the guitar with the best time feel and boppish phrasing out the wazoo- all without ever practicing for it. Hmmm, these guys are pretty rare though, aren't they?. Ok, so maybe most players should work more on their rhythm! I stand corrected .

  12. #161

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher, me thinks. Many guitar students will struggle with rhythm, but surely that doesn't mean that students with great intuitive rhythmic sense need to obsess on it as much?
    Thanks, and no, of course not. But in my experience so far, that's basically no one when it comes to bop.

    The study of rhythm and time etc isn't some mysterious undifferentiated expanse any more than the study of any aspect of music. While everything is linked, there are specific areas we can look at in isolation.

    Remember I'm not actually talking about how good people are at playing grooves, staying in time or even their swing feel. I'm in this case I'm talking about what, not how - and that's something we can quantify, just as we do with note choices. That's vocabulary, right?

    I'll give you an example as I have it here in front of me, this thing here is based on me counting instances (the circled numbers) of the most common 2 beat single time (i.e. not double time) cells in a few pages of the Omnibook (I'm doing this to help create my learning resource, it's not something I would show to a student)

    bebop language study group ?-img_2388-jpg

    These things can't be linked together any old how, there's a syntax to it, but it's just an example of what I'm talking about. The thing that's striking is how much more common some phrases are over others, and what combinations are left out. For instance, we only get triplets on beat 2 of the cell, and these two phrases are (21 instances) pretty common, over even things like 1/8 1/4 1/8.

    (I could go further into it, and see if other patterns emerge, but it's not really necessary for this assignment.)

    But it's the teacher's job to introduce information to the student only as it is relevant and helpful. That's a big weakness with many jazz teachers, including myself when I started off. Adult students in particular are very prone to asking questions and talking, rather than and it's easy to get distracted. OTOH many teachers give away loads of information that can take years to apply.

    For me teaching must be rooted in practical stuff the student can do (again open reason why I like Barry so much.)

    Come to think of it, I'm reminded of a player I was sharing some ideas with where I challenged him to listen to something (maybe Rollins?) for a few minutes, then just improvise some scat based on what he'd just heard. He did good, I let him scat for a good few minutes, thinking that a small penny would drop, and that he would then pick up the guitar and carry over those rhythms to the instrument. Haha - not a chance! He went straight back to his boring non accented phrases that sounded nothing like his scatting.

    I suppose this might not be an uncommon thing, where a player can "hear" interesting boppish rhythms in his/her head, but the finger mechanics cause them to play instead what is comfortable or well entrenched. This of course supports your view that many players need specific training in order to bridge the huge chasm that can exist between what they can scat and what comes out on the instrument.

    Yes I think audiation is absolutely key. (you could start by audiating those two bar cells actually.) As Irez said before the usual internet pedantry kicked in - and you just repeated - singing phrases is a good way to this (hello Mr Tristano.) Singing has always been a way to connect with the inner ear.

    Edwin Gordon's book Learning Sequences in Music goes into great depth about this stuff - he's Mr Audiation basically, invented the term. But if you can't be bothered to wade through this rather dense work, Hal Galper makes many of the same points in Forward Motion

    Which led me to another question (as yet unanswered) - Is this kind of rhythmic disconnect between mind and fingers equally apparent on more "voice like" instruments such as horns? What about the piano? Is that instrument a better vehicle for this kind of translation than the guitar? (it seems to be). If so, why? Is it because the way guitarists must synchronise very different movements on both hands which causes a greater rhythmic disconnect b/n mind and hands?

    Take for example the classic rushed up beat that guitarists are notorious for. I bet if they played another instrument, or even sang, this rushed upbeat would not be as noticeable. If true, then the problem could be due to the mechanical demands of the instrument in regard to the syncing of both hands, with the pick hand also having to work against gravity.
    Articulation is tough!

    But - we make it hard for ourselves. Guitarists are not as a rule good audiators.

    It's a mechanical instrument. Take for instance this mechanical need to play upbeats with an upstroke. We all feel it, I know I do, but that's a cheat.* Or the fact that we can play songs from TAB with it just showing us where to put our fingers.

    At the very least, detailed audiation of the music you wish to play will allow you to monitor how well you are doing. Without this mental picture you can't help but noodle. And in jazz, this is most keenly felt in the area of rhythm. But really, it all goes together.

    Ah, but then there are the guys who can play anything on the guitar with the best time feel and boppish phrasing out the wazoo- all without ever practicing for it. Hmmm, these guys are pretty rare though, aren't they?. Ok, so maybe most players should work more on their rhythm! I stand corrected .
    I imagine what they all share is an interest in and a passion for rhythm how ever they learned it. Not all learning is done consciously. It's a language, as I think you said. If you are born into the language, learn it from your environment as a babe in arms along with your first words, well you speak it best. For others, we have to learn it, and sometimes a bit of help with the grammar, idiom and pronunciation is necessary....

    * I don't mean alternate picking is bad, I mean if you need to play an upbeat as an upstroke to get it in time, or for that matter as a downstroke, there's a problem.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-09-2019 at 11:51 AM.

  13. #162

    User Info Menu

    Bop is really interesting because the notes that you play, are actually dependent on the rhythm that you are conveying.

    Isn't that something? I mean, really, that's really something.

    There's the age old chord tones on strong beats, color tones and chromatics on weak beats.

    But then there's way way more.

    And then you add accents and dynamics into the mix and... WOWZA!

    A while back, I was really interested in how rhythm and beat placement also effected chord type, voicing, etc. Like, what type of chord should you play on the downbeat and what chord should you play at the end of a 4 measure phrase. If you listen to Red Garland, or Bill Evans, or McCoy--you hear a direct relationship between the chords that are played and the rhythm and accent within the phrase. It's much more than "you play a ii7 here and a V7alt here" and that's it. When you get granular, these's rhythm dependent harmonic movements emerge.

    I know we're just talking bebop lines here, but it's incredibly interesting to see how rhythm holds everything together in jazz.
    Last edited by Irez87; 04-09-2019 at 05:36 PM.

  14. #163

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    ..... Guitarists are not as a rule good audiators....
    However inconvenient, this is the truth! And I'm very glad people like yourself bring this up from time to time on this Forum, not just to encourage us to be better musicians, but also to extract more reward for our investment. Without wanting to sound all metaphysical or hippy-dippy, there is surely no greater feeling on our instrument than when we feel that our soul is "singing" through it! (Amen?)

    Many start out knowing this, only to gradually lose this sense of naive unselfconscious note searching in the quest for more impressive mechanics. But some of us come full circle and take all our clever moves into a new realm of unselfconscious note searching, maybe a little less naive than as beginners, or maybe not. We return back to "audiation" (great word) and rediscover how much fun it is.

  15. #164

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    However inconvenient, this is the truth! And I'm very glad people like yourself bring this up from time to time on this Forum, not just to encourage us to be better musicians, but also to extract more reward for our investment. Without wanting to sound all metaphysical or hippy-dippy, there is surely no greater feeling on our instrument than when we feel that our soul is "singing" through it! (Amen?)

    Many start out knowing this, only to gradually lose this sense of naive unselfconscious note searching in the quest for more impressive mechanics. But some of us come full circle and take all our clever moves into a new realm of unselfconscious note searching, maybe a little less naive than as beginners, or maybe not. We return back to "audiation" (great word) and rediscover how much fun it is.
    This is why I obsess over continuing to improve my relative pitch. That means A LOT of singing.

  16. #165

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    This is why I obsess over continuing to improve my relative pitch. That means A LOT of singing.
    I find that learning good old tunes helps my singing. Lately it's "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me." Also "Swingin' On A Star." They're nice hooky melodies to play on the guitar and the more I play them, the better I sing them. (I think there are real limits to how well I will ever sing, but I'm least I'm getting those pitches right, which is a long way from where I started!)

    I also think this helps my playing, as it reinforces the power and wonder of melody.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #166

    User Info Menu

    When I was in college, I remember hearing "when you play bebop, focus on the changes and don't play off the melody".

    Ugh!

    The best thing I got out of studying Jazz Performance at college was the ability to play with people WAY above my level every day. That teaches a heck of a lot more than some erroneous jazz "theory".

    If you listen to Charlie Parker play a jazz standard from the Great American Songbook, he really respects the melody when he improvises. It's not "insert lick here" playing. Especially on his "With Strings" album.

    Same with Dizzy, Brownie, Stitt, Bud, and especially Monk.

    In fact, I'm currently studying with the best young lion that plays within the jazz tradition (bebop and swing--he's younger than Peter Bernstein and Bruce Foreman, so he's really a young lion in my book).

    Anyway, the focus of our lessons has always been--how do you play the melody as convincingly as possible. After I really internalize the melody, and play it like it could make the world stand still, only then do we address the harmony and improvisation.

    There's so much more that melody can teach us than a jazz lick ever could, and I LOVE learning licks.

  18. #167

    User Info Menu

    ...as one of my jazz mentors told me, getting the tune's melody into the solo will "automatically elevate the solo", and I've found that to be very true.

    Anyways, carry on. I'm not party of this study group. Every now and then - depending on how much I'm practicing - I'll hear a bebop lick that I like and then I will start practicing it. Currently doing that with a Bird line that I heard Hank Mobley use on the Newark 53 live album.