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  1. #1

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    Within any group of creative artists or musicians, there are a few who care more about the possibilities than the traditions. There is a certain small demographic who enjoys finding new ways to do things that sometimes fly in the face of the ways things have been done.
    I'm forming a small group within this forum, of the musically curious and restless, to participate in, redefine and create new ways of treating harmony within an existing harmonic framework (improvisation) or creating new compositions.
    I'm looking for those within the forum who want to participate (this not so much a lurkers' community because contributions and questions will drive the thread) and practice (these ideas won't happen or become realized without a lot of work.)
    Put aside your transcriptions, your conventional set of licks or the goal of just making the changes.
    In the end, I hope that I'll have a nice place to work with you and formulate and become proficient in ways to reharmonize pieces, re-assess our own assumptions of tertiary harmonies and make new guidelines to take your solos out of the changes and back in, with total control.

    If anyone would be up for a non judgemental take on possibilities, please weigh in and say a little about what appeals to you personally about this idea. If I get a critical mass here, I'll begin with some burning questions on the nature of improvisation and the role of alternative harmonies in the respectful balance of tonal harmony.

    Thanks to any of you who would be a part of this.
    David

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Great! Apart from: tradition/possibilities. Can I tick both boxes?

    Let's get started.

  4. #3

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    My favorite start to a thread ever.

    Christian, I don't think David's actually proposing a dichotomy. I wouldn't be for it if he were.

    I have nothing to contribute, but these guys do: Worry Later | Ben Goldberg / BAG Production Records
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 03-28-2018 at 02:55 PM.

  5. #4

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    I think it might be an interesting dichotomy to discuss though... For example, how can the principles of bebop line construction be extended and subverted into something new?

    Anyway, something for another thread perhaps. I'm not sure from the OP how much this will be led by David or how much it will be driven by the participants.

  6. #5

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    Well let's kick it off. Listen to that record I linked. I think that takes "soloing from the melody" to the extreme. It simultaneously upholds archaic traditions while subverting chord-scale orthodoxy as it relates to lines and even musical form.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Well let's kick it off. Listen to that record I linked. I think that takes "soloing from the melody" to the extreme. It simultaneously upholds archaic traditions while subverting chord-scale orthodoxy as it relates to lines and even musical form.
    Nice! I'm going to need to listen to this in a little depth:

    1) I really like Adam Levy, and I have been recommending his Sight Reading book for students - the examples could actually serve as a line dictionary and improvisational source book as well as simply sight reading material...

    2) Bassless trios with drums are cool, and practically encourage a more open style of improvisation.

    3) Just listened to Criss Cross. I really liked it.

    Anyway, I'll attach an example of something from my forthcoming album, which is in perhaps a not too far distant vein. For a few years I've been working towards a more contrapuntal, motivic style of improvisation with two string players... (Private link)

    Dropbox - 11 Honeysuckle Rose.m4a

    Not all the album sounds like this.

  8. #7

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    That's great, Christian!

    I'm curious to know more about your approach. I talked to Adam about this record and he shared that they all worked together to assemble a common transcription of these Monk tunes. But they didn't assign chord symbols anywhere. In a sense, the harmony is incidental. Also I know that Ben Goldberg works in mysterious ways. From tune to tune, they worked off of different ideas that were not literal musical descriptions. An example Adam gave me was 'hot' vs 'cold', but I'm not sure they applied that specific metaphor anywhere in this record.

    If you don't know Ben Goldberg's music, I would recommend it for more listening as an example of non-dichotomous forward-thinking musicianship. He has serious chops in playing swing, bop, and klezmer. He's heavily influenced by Steve Lacy (just put out a Lacy tribute album in fact). I'm lucky he lives in my backyard (not literally), so I get to see him and many affiliated musicians play often.

  9. #8

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    I am very interested in this, but I'm not sure what I have to contribute. I'm pretty clueless in this department, and I'm still struggling to master the more "traditional" stuff. I do like Christian's idea of trying to subvert bop language. I love stuff like that.

    I know David doesn't want a bunch of lurkers so I'll try to contribute where I can. Maybe I can serve as a blank canvas or something.

    One question I would definitely be interested in exploring, though, is how to work with some of this stuff in a group context where maybe the other people in the group aren't with it. Like a pickup group, or a jam session type thing. Is this something that definitely needs to be worked out and rehearsed (I mean in the absence of Tony Williams sized ears), or can it be worked in on the fly?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    That's great, Christian!

    I'm curious to know more about your approach
    Well, it's really based on something I've had a nerdy interest in for a long time which is imitative counterpoint.

    I was always interested in playing in a group which improvised contrapuntally and not over a pre-existing harmonic progression, with players deliberately imitating each other in a canonical way, developing motivic material from the melody.

    It's a sort of response to the 'blowing on changes' thing that lots jazz musicians do when they interpret any kind of classical music. I thought it would be more interesting to ape the process a little, but improvisationally.

    In the simplest approach this might mean players simply improvising in A minor and using their ears to listen to what the other players are doing to avoid doubling notes too much and aiming for resolutions and so against each other. Sometimes a player might take on more of a bass role, perhaps playing more of a chord progression with the other players, and sometimes the music might even fall into repetitive harmonic patterns.

    In any case it takes a lot of listening, and the ability to get out of the way quick. It's really fun, and in some ways it's not that dissimilar to just playing jazz.

    And of course the rules of counterpoint etc are somewhat relaxed here, although avoiding playing too much in unison or octaves with other players are a good idea.

    There is another a piece that uses this approach, and in fact it's become something we tend to do even around set chord progressions as a texture.

    In the piece I linked the tonality is obviously more modern/free tonal in the 20th century sense. The idea is that the usual swing reading of Honeysuckle Rose should crystallise and then disperse, maybe a few times in the performance. But the motivic material is all taken from the melody with not actually that much mucking around.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe
    One question I would definitely be interested in exploring, though, is how to work with some of this stuff in a group context where maybe the other people in the group aren't with it. Like a pickup group, or a jam session type thing. Is this something that definitely needs to be worked out and rehearsed (I mean in the absence of Tony Williams sized ears), or can it be worked in on the fly?
    For me I need to work with the same people over and over. I don't think I've had more than about 2 or 3 rehearsals with my group, but we've played lots of gigs. And when we rehearse we just top and tailed written material, we never worked on improvisation that much.

    With pickup groups, it's difficult. With jam sessions, I think it's impossible. Nice stuff can happen, but there's a limit to how far you can go with it.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    For me I need to work with the same people over and over. I don't think I've had more than about 2 or 3 rehearsals with my group, but we've played lots of gigs. And when we rehearse we just top and tailed written material, we never worked on improvisation that much.

    With pickup groups, it's difficult. With jam sessions, I think it's impossible. Nice stuff can happen, but there's a limit to how far you can go with it.
    I think you're probably right. But maybe that's something that can be subverted too. Or maybe not. Like I said: tabula rasa here.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe
    I think you're probably right. But maybe that's something that can be subverted too. Or maybe not. Like I said: tabula rasa here.
    In terms of your own playing - sure there is.

  14. #13

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    But your harmonic options will be limited if there’s a pianist who isn’t listening.

    I mean if people are really listening anything’s possible. If people aren’t, nothings possible.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    But your harmonic options will be limited if there’s a pianist who isn’t listening.

    I mean if people are really listening anything’s possible. If people aren’t, nothings possible.
    It's not so much that he doesn't listen. He's just kind of set in his ways. He's been playing the same vanilla stuff for 50 years. He can hear me alter a change, but he can't necessarily follow.

    On the other hand, while he's the pianist I play with the most, he's not the only pianist I pay with. If this thread turns out to reveal something I really like, I'll find a way to use it. Maybe it'll involve having him lay out for a little while. I might need to duct tape mittens on him*, but it'll happen.

    *I can't do anything that would HURT his hands. He's a surgeon.

  16. #15

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    ..
    Last edited by Reg; 04-02-2018 at 09:30 AM.

  17. #16

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    I kinda want to start by asking you all how you look at a piece of music that you improvise on. I mean
    What inspires you to solo? What are you trying to do? Why?
    What can be played with? How far can you go out on any given tune with changes?
    What are the conventions you must respect and which things are fair game for reinterpretation?

    I know these will all be different for different people, and even, I know for myself, different for the situations I'm playing in. But by answering these questions, we will look at our own playing in a way that I dare say, is often not considered before you play with others, or for others.

    I listen to my share of free improvisational music, and I've observed that some of it is really transcendent, and some of it can be indulgent, and some of it is ...well, bullshit. Now I have these same observations about many genres of jazz/improvised music, about bebop, about swing, but with free improv I see the greatest potential for really inspired soloing and the greatest opportunity for the abuse of trust of the audience.

    The point is, in this thread, I want to openly talk about the reasons we solo, what we're trying to do, and why it works or not. If we know what we're going for, we can take great steps in shaping our own compositions when we solo.

    Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Dynamics, Mood... are all things that are strongly suggested in a written piece we might play. Soloing over a piece means respecting the vehicle we're improvising/reshaping. For a large part, when there's an improvisation, it's considered a given or necessity that someone in the group or form "stays home" and minds the house. It's the elements of the form that give us a grounding.

    I'd like to know what you all think of when you solo, and what you consider the playing ground for improvisation.

    A little later in the weekend I'll start talking about how I think harmony functions and how we might re-interpret what the harmony of a piece is and still have a good relationship with the piece.

    Thanks for your participation!
    David

  18. #17

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    My ideas about this stuff are somewhat amorphous. And oddly (or maybe not) I'm less sure about it than I used to be. If you all would be kind enough to indulge me a little thinking out loud...

    When you have a conversation with someone - and in this case, I'm thinking a structured conversation, like a job interview - You're going to stick mainly to one topic, or a cluster of related topics (the nature of the job, the suitability of your background, etc). But there may be a significant digression. Perhaps you and your interviewer know some of the same people, so you talk about them for a while. But eventually you'll return to the topic of the job. I'd like to be able to do that musically.

    I can do it with modal fusion type stuff, and one-chord-vamp tunes like Passion Dance, but for standards with functional harmony, not so much.

    So here's where I have a pretty big break with David: I find most free jazz pretty much unlistenable. And while I might think it's interesting from an intellectual point of view for a duo stretch a standard to the breaking point, again, it's not something I actually want to listen to. So I want to be able to do this within the context of a tune, and without losing the groove, or the character of the tune.

    Does that make any sense? I'm trying not to have too much in the way of pre-conceived ideas about this.

  19. #18

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    Just wanted to say I'm in.

    Definitely one of the most interesting ideas for a thread here in a long time!

  20. #19

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    I find most free jazz pretty much unlistenable.
    Improvising freely, why not play within whatever sound language that you are drawn to.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    Improvising freely, why not play within whatever sound language that you are drawn to.
    I said "unlistenable." Not "not fun to play".

  22. #21

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    Ever hear a live Bill Frisell concert, the time he spends bringing a theme into play from nothing, even before the tune is recognizable? That's free jazz.
    Ever hear a Keith Jarret introduction to a standard? It can run from Bach counterpoint to Impressionistic to chordally profound. That's free jazz.
    If a performer fails to bring you into the process. If you can't hear the development and thought process that results in a complete interaction with musical and compositional content, that's free jazz with a failure somewhere along the way.
    If someone like Bill Evans began an improvisation, 40 percent of the audience heard a complete improvisational composition they wish they could take home and transpose/capture further and internalize, 20 percent of the audience heard pretty chords they enjoyed and 40% heard elevator music, his improvisation was maybe 60% successful.
    Is this a result of the performer, the performance, the genre or the perceiver? Good question. Something to think about.
    I heard Cecil Taylor on record, a lot of it was noisy, especially if I was dropped into the middle of a performance. I saw him live. From the beginning, to his development, his interaction with the bass player who I could tune out or listen with as I chose (much harder to listen in dimensions from a recording; which is why I say experience it LIVE).

    A good exploring improvisor takes chances and re-defines the toolset that others take for granted (or know nothing of, as the case may be) and a good soloists creates with integrity. That's why I wanted to open the discussion before we began with some concrete tools.
    Playing with a lexicon, expanding your own improvisational language is just a novelty if you can't apply it, and you can't apply it unless you have some philosophical reason besides "I like the way ***** does that, I'm gonna cop those licks."

    I respect each listener's desire and limitations. They grow as the engagement and spirit of knowing does. That's what I want to do here.

    David

  23. #22

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    Yeah, okay. Maybe this isn't for me. I'm out.

  24. #23

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    I look at a piece of music. I feel there's a lot I owe to each piece of music I set out to learn, reshape and play anew (improvise on). So answering my question, I look at a musical composition as a landscape. In free improvisation, I must be mindful to create an interesting terrain (change the tonality when it's a contrast is called for, aim for a peak in the episode and play to it, set up a change of texture with a hint of a modulation then bring it into being) and with a standard, I look for meaning in the composer's phrasing.
    The subtle modulations leading to THAT peak in the piece is the composer's path. I don't feel I need to match my footsteps to every step of the changes, but I must arrive on time and in that way hold the piece intact.
    Today I thought I'd look at devices of tension, or creating another path that lets you arrive with a story.
    Let's put aside key, diatonic and traditional harmonic language. Today it's the study of tension.

    The major triad is our starting point. Why? Because it's a structure that encapsulates the notion of resting consonance. It's based on the natural essential quality of the harmonic series. That's our given.
    Now that block of harmonic information can be changed by the interactions of other notes who's own overtone series works with, against or in a redefining way with that triad. These are our Triads over Bass Notes.

    Here is a list of perceived harmony clashes.

    For a triad, you can have a bass note that doubles the notes of the triad. Those are 1,3,5. Let's not use them for now. They'll be redundant.
    Now if we add the fourth note of the scale beneath, we get ... call it a triad over the 11? That's the most consonant.
    How about the sixth note of the scale, that's the 13th? That's the next consonant.
    Let's make a graded spectrum of triads over bass notes.

    Most consonant
    4
    6
    2
    -3
    b6
    b7
    major 7
    b2
    #4
    Most dissonant
    New constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-02-12-15-38-pm-png
    So now we have a set of triads over bass notes, each one distinct in the amount of tension each one packs.

    This is one triad possibility with a 513 second inversion closed position triad on the first 3 strings.
    Use this diagram to sound out the effects on you with these "tension structures".
    For now, see how that works.
    Next, we'll discuss how we can use these.
    Keep in mind, there are two more triads on the first three strings, and three triads on the 2,3,4 strings then spread triads.
    Remember when I said there'd be a bunch of work we'd have to do, new forms to learn? This is what I meant. I'll post more of the permutations if you don't do them yourselves.
    But that's the idea. Post your thoughts and observations!
    David

    Hint, look at the top voice of the triad as the melody note in a line. Instead of the given harmony, use a "tension structure" and increase or decrease tension. Then when you want to rejoin the harmony of a piece, voice the appropriate dominant chord and voila, you're back in the world of the familiar.
    You've taken a walk through the landscape and you've cut a new pathway through a piece.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe
    Yeah, okay. Maybe this isn't for me. I'm out.
    Sorry. The thread will be here if you ever get to a curiosity place in the future.
    David

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Sorry. The thread will be here if you ever get to a curiosity place in the future.
    David
    It's not a lack of curiosity.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Within any group of creative artists or musicians, there are a few who care more about the possibilities than the traditions. There is a certain small demographic who enjoys finding new ways to do things that sometimes fly in the face of the ways things have been done.
    I'm forming a small group within this forum, of the musically curious and restless, to participate in, redefine and create new ways of treating harmony within an existing harmonic framework (improvisation) or creating new compositions.
    I'm looking for those within the forum who want to participate (this not so much a lurkers' community because contributions and questions will drive the thread) and practice (these ideas won't happen or become realized without a lot of work.)
    Put aside your transcriptions, your conventional set of licks or the goal of just making the changes.
    In the end, I hope that I'll have a nice place to work with you and formulate and become proficient in ways to reharmonize pieces, re-assess our own assumptions of tertiary harmonies and make new guidelines to take your solos out of the changes and back in, with total control.

    If anyone would be up for a non judgemental take on possibilities, please weigh in and say a little about what appeals to you personally about this idea. If I get a critical mass here, I'll begin with some burning questions on the nature of improvisation and the role of alternative harmonies in the respectful balance of tonal harmony.

    Thanks to any of you who would be a part of this.
    David
    Hey David,

    I think this is great. If I can share my opinion on the big picture... the real "THE TRADITION" of jazz is one of constant curiosity and innovation. Over time that came to yield a particular sound which was so spectacular that it came to be known as "the thing" itself... but I'd venture to say that if Miles or Coltrane or Duke were alive today, they'd still be on the front lines of exploring the possibilities of these types of ideas.

    I had been toying with methodizing and systematizing some forward thinking explorations in modern jazz harmony and how it affects melody (and vice versa). I certainly don't want to step on your toes with your idea and am not pushing that here. I just want to offer a little advice based on what I've learned over the last 3ish years.

    I found that when I simply talked ABOUT those ideas... like in terms of presenting it as theory... the ideas were primarily met with skepticism, push-back, and sometimes even anger and trolling... the whole "How dare you say something different from what I know"... even when it wasn't THAT different... just being presented in a different way. There were definitely folks who were interested and wanted to talk... but it seemed like I was always playing defense. It was an interesting experience.

    Fortunately I'm a really stubborn person and didn't care hahahaha

    A few months ago I sort of "formalized it" into an online study group where we do still talk about theory, but where I break it down into more of a step-by-step method to help people actually implement things, rather than just talking about the ideas conceptually... and more importantly, I present it with videos where we can actually HEAR the sounds right away. In fact, I try to talk about the theory as little as possible until AFTER folks get the sounds and the music going.

    I still get a lot of push-back... but it's amazing how much more responsive people are when presented with the music first, and the theory on the backend. The group has grown in size pretty quickly with this setup, and we now have quite a number of very interactive people who are really getting into it and picking up the ball and running with it.

    I think what I've found to be important for making new things like this to be more accessible is to find a way to offer very concrete ideas in application first... like... here listen to this... dig it? Cool, this is the theory behind it.. and now here are the basic steps to getting it into your ears and mind. In the past, I started with the theory and conceptual stuff first and found that far too often it would just lead to arguments and glass half full vs glass half empty type stuff. Now it's more like... hey are you thirsty? Here's some water, take a swig. Feel better? Cool... let's hang and talk about that. hahaha

    Just some thoughts... take them with a grain of salt. Probably best to organize it and structure it based on your own personality and what you're up for. That's just what I've found to be the case over the last few years of attempting to do something similar online.

    I'll look forward to checking in on what you're up to and seeing how it unfolds and what kinds of ideas you all end up discussing!
    j

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons
    Hey David,


    I think what I've found to be important for making new things like this to be more accessible is to find a way to offer very concrete ideas in application first... like... here listen to this... dig it? Cool, this is the theory behind it.. and now here are the basic steps to getting it into your ears and mind. In the past, I started with the theory and conceptual stuff first and found that far too often it would just lead to arguments and glass half full vs glass half empty type stuff. Now it's more like... hey are you thirsty? Here's some water, take a swig. Feel better? Cool... let's hang and talk about that. hahaha

    Just some thoughts... take them with a grain of salt. Probably best to organize it and structure it based on your own personality and what you're up for. That's just what I've found to be the case over the last few years of attempting to do something similar online.

    I'll look forward to checking in on what you're up to and seeing how it unfolds and what kinds of ideas you all end up discussing!
    j
    Jordan! Good to see you here. Yeah, I agree totally. I just take it for granted that people will play around with these ideas, and I tend to just play these ideas with people around me rather than document them electronically. Still stirring the soup and serving it live. I've got to get over that philosophical barrier. Heh, I was just down in the city this weekend, and thought I should find out how to reach you next time I'm down. Would love to hang.

    I realize these ideas take time to find a natural application, and people I've worked with have all come up with different ways to use it. The process seems to be 1) What?!! 2) How do I use that?! 3) That's too much work. 4) Cool. 5) (after a lot of playing around...) Where did THAT come from?
    For me it's to create extended chordal passages that supplant existing harmony and now I just do it. I should post some ideas, see how they fly around here. I also have this idea about seeing other people find applications I'd never thought of, and not letting what I do steer them from owning it.
    But I really like your reminder of sharing what I've got.

    Made my day. THanks
    David

  29. #28

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    Hey Jordan, good to see you...

    TBH, of all the ideas I find out about, I only have time to apply 1% of them in any meaningful way in my playing.

    From what I know of your music you strike me as a player who has applied one or two simple things in great depth, which to me seems to be what most of the really good players actually do. That takes patience, conviction and focus.

    From my own experiences, there is a strict limit on stuff you want to put in your practice routine if you want to make any progress with one thing. I feel many players are stretched too many ways feeling they have to learn EVERYTHING*. Which of course, no human can because it's never ending. So you have to make a choice. And a choice made by what resonates with you on a molecular level is the best way to make that choice IMO.

    But the fact we can't master everything shouldn't be a cap on trying stuff out. TBH I doubt I will get around to mastering your Aaron Copland-esque tetrad inversions - I dig them, but they don't feel like they are for me right now. But I can certainly spend an afternoon trying them out. I'm not sure I realised that a couple of years back. Obviously you have to get to a certain point of basic craft to be able to do that.

    ATM my time to practice is more limited than it was. So I'm not sure I'll be able to try new things too much.... But if anyone has music to post, I will listen. That's it really. Until I hear someone's music, their theoretical musings are kind of neither here nor there to me... I have to hear it...

    *especially when there are players who seem to know EVERYTHING. But of course they learned they way we all do. They just done more of it.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-02-2018 at 05:15 PM.

  30. #29

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    So it goes back to education being - 'to draw something out of the student.'

  31. #30

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    The trouble with working it out analytically is that you're almost inevitably going to move in well-worn patterns. The way the brain works means it can't actually do much of anything new so you have to sort of by-pass it.

    Just using your ear can do it. If you play something with the note you want on top and it sounds right, it is right, at least for you. You can tidy up voice-leading, flow, etc, later.

    The problem is, frankly, remembering what you just played spontaneously. Because I'm not thinking traditionally, most of the time once I've played it it's gone. It has to be that way otherwise one's simply back in the old ways. So I jot down the notes.

    It's also not a question of thinking in terms of known chords. It's the notes that matter, not whether they look like known shapes. If a progression works, the notes will almost always bear some relation to the original sequence harmony-wise.

    I've seen quite a few posts in my time where the player is obviously looking for a cool sound but still thinking in terms of traditional theory. He wants to justify what he's playing by the 'right rules' otherwise he'll say it's not acceptable. This is what's so limiting.

    The bottom line, therefore, is whether the ear is any good. If it's not, then unfortunately what seems good to the player may not to anybody else. Mind you, they do say the ear will adjust to almost anything given time :-)

    This works very well for solo guitar, of course. Within a band context is a different matter.

    I just spent a short time doing variations on a 1625 in C. The first one is the standard | CM7 | Am9 | Dm11 | G13 | with notes G B G E on top. The other three are the same 'tune' but different sounds. I think they're fine. You may not...


  32. #31

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    Short version:

    In other words forget everything you know and dive into the unknown... BUT it's got to appeal aesthetically otherwise it doesn't work.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Hey Jordan, good to see you...

    TBH, of all the ideas I find out about, I only have time to apply 1% of them in any meaningful way in my playing.

    From what I know of your music you strike me as a player who has applied one or two simple things in great depth, which to me seems to be what most of the really good players actually do. That takes patience, conviction and focus.

    From my own experiences, there is a strict limit on stuff you want to put in your practice routine if you want to make any progress with one thing. I feel many players are stretched too many ways feeling they have to learn EVERYTHING*. Which of course, no human can because it's never ending. So you have to make a choice. And a choice made by what resonates with you on a molecular level is the best way to make that choice IMO.

    But the fact we can't master everything shouldn't be a cap on trying stuff out. TBH I doubt I will get around to mastering your Aaron Copland-esque tetrad inversions - I dig them, but they don't feel like they are for me right now. But I can certainly spend an afternoon trying them out. I'm not sure I realised that a couple of years back. Obviously you have to get to a certain point of basic craft to be able to do that.

    ATM my time to practice is more limited than it was. So I'm not sure I'll be able to try new things too much.... But if anyone has music to post, I will listen. That's it really. Until I hear someone's music, their theoretical musings are kind of neither here nor there to me... I have to hear it...

    *especially when there are players who seem to know EVERYTHING. But of course they learned they way we all do. They just done more of it.
    Not sure if your comment was directed at me or the OP... it started with a hello to me, so it seemed like it was at me.

    It's all good man. My original comment had nothing to do with you or anyone in particular (minus perhaps 2 or 3 incredible aggressive troll-types on the forum who seemed like they were always looking for an argument with anyone about anything and who've long since not really been on here). No explanations needed. It's just human nature and reality. We tend to gravitate towards what we know and already relate to, and then like you said, we only have so much time in the day so we prioritize the things of our choosing.

    That's kind of more or less what I was trying to convey to David. Just to think through the HOW he wants to communicate new ideas as much as the what... because how things are presented can often make a big difference in terms of how others relate to it.

    Complex theory -> specific method -> actual hearing is a very different process than
    Actual hearing -> specific method -> simple theory -> complex theory

    And I think the latter works better at helping to avoid big messy misunderstandings and meet in the common areas of sound to connect with others more deeply and THEN move outwards into the other elements of it.

  34. #33

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    Two ideas that I'm interested in developing further:

    1. Chord over chord or families of triad over bass. The Brett Willmott book pointed me towards this.

    Example

    D
    Eb

    GDF#A ..... BbF#AD ...... EbADF#

    BbF#AD ...... EbADF# ...... GDF#A

    EbADF# ...... GDF#A ...... BbF#AD

    2. From the Mick Goodrick books, the idea of triad over bass chords inverted.
    I never fully studied the TBN1 and TBN2 sections of the Almanacs.
    They are a bit challenging to play and their application isn't as obvious to me.
    Could be time to revisit.

    Sorry to perhaps jump ahead, especially in light of Jordan's rational call for sensible sequencing of
    presentation to facilitate learning in a way that is best internalized. The thread brought these thoughts
    to the fore. I look forward to hear what others have to say as the thread evolves on any related aspects.
    The idea of a tension hierarchy is of particular interest to me.

  35. #34

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    Just wanted to say I appreciate this thread and wish I could contribute a bit more than that sentiment alone, and the few sentences I'm including here. I still scan this forum periodically, but scheduling demands make it difficult to read threads, give each post respectful consideration, and craft a thoughtful reply. Great thing to do in person and with instruments in hand but I very much appreciate TruthHertz' intent here.

    I will say this - after a while arranging tunes for solo guitar I think I've come to a point of having a certain aesthetic range that I consistently go for and I feel comfortable recognizing it's not Joe Pass and it's also not Kurt.

    I also think at this point in my life I've accepted that there may not be any sort of "line" playing that feels organic to me. I've spent time copying lines from different styles and players, and I feel like I can do some ok impressions, and I can play some lines that I think are logical and or interesting, but for a while now I've just felt that I'm not a "lines" guy and that conclusion alone feels progressive and off the traditional grid; It's nice to not feel like I have to play in a certain way that will win jazz points. When that gradually "clicking" happened in my head I feel like I became a much happier guitar player.

  36. #35

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    and for what it's worth, a half-kidding solo arrangement of "You Look Wonderful Tonight" using some vaguely messiaen constructs (harmony moving in major thirds) :

    Jake Estner (Guitar Stuff) on Instagram: “A very slightly reharmonized "You Look Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #reharm #tritonic…”

    I think these things are fun, and satisfying for me to experiment with, so I do them.

  37. #36

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    There are many arranging techniques used to create or camouflage harmony etc... I would think most don't really get into arranging and may not even understand the language...But back in the 70's when one could make a living composing and arranging... anyway from Vegas to TV and movie wk.... almost everything was tried'

    To even really begin one needs to have a basic understanding of Harmony, theory and counterpoint and melodic organization. But a very simple way to voice a melodic idea or melody is to write a bass line that is diatonic to the melody and harmony, (from analysis) and then use non diatonic Triads with the melody being on of the chord tones of the triads...

    Part of being able to arrange in this style requires being able to organize, rhythm and use of Dissonance and Consonant .... to shape the melody within the space...

    I was taught this approach back in the early 70's from HP at berklee and from playing in BBs in Boston area.

    Again this was all based on an analysis from the CST direction... doesn't really matter what you use as organization for labeling notes and harmony, as long as it's repeats and you can label etc...

    And again you need understanding of traditional counterpoint and Jazz counterpoint.... they're different but use same principles just different guidelines as to what's accepted practice.

    Another technique is to use similar approach... start with melody, then derive a voicing technique and rules for what the voicing notes need to follow. 4th's and 2nd's was cool sounding... Constant Structure, Chord Patterns or Cycles were cool for short phrases. All of these approaches were cool for working with film or shows ... they create great effects.

    Any of these approaches can create movement and create different types of Function as compared traditional Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant.... but you can still use the terns in an expanded approach, that's how I've approaches Harmony for the last 40 years.

  38. #37

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    I'm really excited to have such a knowledgeable and diverse group here. There are so many different things I want to assimilate into my own playing, things that have existed in theory and in limited practice and it was my hope that with you guys, I/we could throw out some practical ideas, and finding strength in numbers, explore the transition from good ideas to things we actually incorporate into practical, beautiful, unexpected and expanding applications.
    Yeah a lot of this is NOT under my own fingers yet, and the process is a slow one, but as you've voiced here, it's not novelty we're doing here, it's exploring, mapping and quantifying some pretty large goldmines, taking what we want to work with and making something usable out of it.

    I'm just now compiling and drawing out some chord shapes so we can have semi exhaustive collection of chord grids that represent voicings of closed triads over the chromatic bass notes, after which we can start playing around.
    Reg, I really appreciate your contributions (always have) and I hope you'll add as many of your thoughts as you can, but more importantly, I hope in this and with the help of one another, we can find sounds and useful harmonic groupings you would have never thought to use. That's the real point here.

    It's hard to know just how specific to get in introducing material. Some members on the group are unravelling the mysteries of chord placement on the fingerboard, others can create a complete chord solo on the fly over the entire range of the guitar. There's something here for everyone, but it's hard to know how much I should explain, and outline and for that I wanted you all to speak up.

    Some can interpolate the re-ordering of given harmony over a tonal group of a standard, some, I imagine would find a re-written lead sheet helpful. I don't know so do say.

    We'll get to concrete stuff as soon as I can write it out. This can be the most exciting material I've worked with in my time on the forum. We'll see. Gotta say, when I work with these structures, I don't name the chords by letter name. It doesn't seem helpful in their use as moving structures, but that's me. New territory here.

    Thanks all
    David

  39. #38

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    Hey David... cool, wasn't sure I should get involved, but the direction is fun.... obviously not audience friendly, more for musicians.

    A good practice drill for developing performance skills for using uncharted harmonic and melodic waters.... anyway is to play standards in relative and parallel keys... then move on to relative modal relative and parallel keys etc...
    example... play St Thomas in relative minor etc...

    The trick is to not practice or try and memorize new melody or changes... but to play live. When I use to gig... non stop, it was a way to make tunes new and have fun at gigs.

    Like transposing but with another level of organization.... then modal, We even use to use sub relationships, gets a little stupid... but we develop your live performance skills.

    Personally what I believe makes this skill easy is being chart conscious... I hear and think tunes in roman numerals with a reference, and hear melodies with reference to chord tones or at least targets. Anyway... that's a different thing.
    Here's a couple reharms of How Insensitive....and The Days of Wine and Roses... did 7 or 8 years ago on this forum...




  40. #39

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    Simple idea: I IV V major triads against any bass note that sounds good alone and sequentially.

    D/C G/Eb A/Bb

    X C F# A D X ..... X Eb G B D X ..... X Bb E A C# X

    X C X A D F# ..... X X Eb B D G ..... X Bb X A C# E

    C X X D F# A ..... X Eb X D G B ..... X X Bb C# E A

    X C F# X D A ..... X Eb G D X B ..... Bb E X C# X A

    C X A X F# D ..... X Eb B X G D ..... Bb X A X E C#

    ect.

  41. #40

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  42. #41

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    Here's a set of triads over bass notes. Each page gives individual 4 part chords progressing from chords of least dissonance (more consonance) to chords of most dissonance.
    Experiment with these and put them in combination with one another to explore the effects of chords, not by their function over a chord symbol, but their abilities to convey changing degrees of colour.
    They cover triads in 3 inversions, over two sets of strings, each with 9 distinct bass notes so no tones are doubled.
    Take a poke at this toolbox, and the fun begins as we each give our individual takes on how to use these in compositional and diatonic applications.
    Let the fun begin!
    David
    New constructs in modern harmony and form-fullsizerender-jpgNew constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-15-10-44-56-pm-pngNew constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-15-10-45-17-pm-pngNew constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-15-10-45-34-pm-pngNew constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-15-10-46-02-pm-pngNew constructs in modern harmony and form-screen-shot-2018-04-15-10-46-19-pm-png

  43. #42

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    I suppose one way I have worked with this type of material is to take a melody and harmonize it specifically with triad over bass notes (with the top three voices being the triad and the bass voice being the non-chord-tone note) but push myself to look for a triad/bass note combination that i have difficulty analyzing or seeing in a conventional context.

    Often I find myself looking at things that way in the sense that: if I can justify it easily as being some key change or cadence or modal change that I'm used to, I look for another option to push my ears and creativity. Obviously this doesn't lead to a hit record, but I've found this type of thinking over the past 2-5 years or so has made me be a lot more harmonically flexible.

    For the triad over bass note stuff, I think a terrific entry point to the idea of using them in a not-part-of-conventional-cadence type of way is to try harmonizing a melody.

    Perhaps an interesting thing for us all to try is harmonizing a very straight forward melody (a standard, a nursery rhyme, a pop song) using only triads over bass notes, and trying to use as little information from the original harmony of the song as possible?

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    I suppose one way I have worked with this type of material is to take a melody and harmonize it specifically with triad over bass notes
    Precisely how I've been using it. Any melodic line I chose to treat this way, I try to pick one that ends with a dominant chord from the original changes, then when I arrive at that chord, I play it as a dominant and it takes me right back "in". I'm always surprised at how well that works. At this point, it's small passages, usually not longer than a couple of bars.

    David

  45. #44

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    [QUOTE=christianm77;859808]

    Anyway, I'll attach an example of something from my forthcoming album, Honeysuckle Rose

    Christian, liked it a lot, very quirky flavour, very cool

    ps you ought to give Derek-Bailey some lessons. Dont let him near your ES-175

  46. #45

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    Thanks. Derek was definitely in my thoughts when I cut that lol. It can be difficult to get away from him when playing free.