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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is interesting. However I think the phenomenon shown 6:46 onwards have a simple explanation. Art Blakey is accenting upbeats and Freddie Hubbard is locking in Art Blakey's rhythm. This is natural since those up beats are the audible, emphasized beats and downbeats are a lot harder to hear. Looks to me like Art Blakey is dictating how the swing is played here.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freel View Post
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    So there is a classical dude, a few dancers of unknown provenance and an immediate musical connection.
    Dude, being classical, or not, is irrelevant, because dancers were responding to back beat of the backing track.
    "Hooked on CLassics" shtick.
    ^ ^ ^
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  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by R Neil View Post
    One thing that made me go "uh ... hmmm ... oh, right ... " on swinging was a bit in a jazz brass workshop years ago when Bill Watrous told the group "None of you guys is ever gonna swing if you can't nail your down-beats every freaking time."

    He told us swing is the up against the down, and if the down varies ... there's no way to make the up hard.
    Thanks for that! I'd never heard it put that way. Makes sense.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Dude, being classical, or not, is irrelevant, because dancers were responding to back beat of the backing track.
    "Hooked on CLassics" shtick.
    Sure enough, but I was responding to some prejudice earlier in the thread, attempting to show that people can get on perfectly well without it. I doubt that there would have been any dancing if the fiddle player wasn't tight.

    D.

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    This is interesting. However I think the phenomenon shown 6:46 onwards have a simple explanation. Art Blakey is accenting upbeats and Freddie Hubbard is locking in Art Blakey's rhythm. This is natural since those up beats are the audible, emphasized beats and downbeats are a lot harder to hear. Looks to me like Art Blakey is dictating how the swing is played here.
    Not sure if I understood this correctly, Tal. To me, Blakey is establishing where the down beat is and then how “swung” the 8th is. Then hubbard is choosing to lock in with the up beat and play straight so that their down beats don’t line up, as opposed to locking into both Blakey’s down AND up beats, or locking in with the down beats and playin straight so there’s a pull against the drummer’s up beat.

    So there’s the drummer’s swing, and then how the soloist pushes and pulls against either the up or down beat. In the example hubbard pulls against the down beat
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  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freel View Post
    While we're at it.


    That level of "natural" swing is a rare and precious thing.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    Not sure if I understood this correctly, Tal. To me, Blakey is establishing where the down beat is and then how “swung” the 8th is. Then hubbard is choosing to lock in with the up beat and play straight so that their down beats don’t line up, as opposed to locking into both Blakey’s down AND up beats, or locking in with the down beats and playin straight so there’s a pull against the drummer’s up beat.

    So there’s the drummer’s swing, and then how the soloist pushes and pulls against either the up or down beat. In the example hubbard pulls against the down beat
    If you just go to the second 6:56* where it's slowed down. You can slow down more on youtube if you like. I hear and see that up beats are accented by Art Blakey and Hubbard's up beats are aligned by those accented up beats, no?

    *EDIT: Starts right at 6:55 actually and continues through 6:56.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 08-25-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  9. #58

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    Glad you enjoyed it Mark, I think they caught the dream I described earlier.

    Bernard Zacharius' trombone playing on this recording KILLS me.



    I think he comes from this tradition, which is weirdly reminiscent of New Orleans, ESPECIALLY the low brass. If it's not your thing you should at least hold out long enough to treat yourself to the magic that happens at 1.20



    D.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I wouldn't make it too technical and I wouldn't break it down too much. Your ten-to-ten thing was quite good. If they can sing it, or just say it, they can play it.

    Just the basic feel is good enough (and if they're any good they'll get it instinctively anyway) then you can tidy up the details later.

    It's actually a very basic rhythm anyway, isn't it? Dum-de-dum-de-dum :-)
    If they aren’t instinctively getting it - and some do - you have to find a way to break it down.

    Listen to Jimmy Raney and tell me he’s going Dum-de-dum-de-dum lol

  11. #60

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    Just to clarify a bit more. Starting from 6:54 or so where it's slowed down, if you just look at the staff notation at the top of the video and follow the the moving bar, it's pretty easy to see that all up beats are aligned with the accents of Art Blakey.
    My point is, if the drummer I'm playing with is accenting up beats like in the video, my up beats would be aligned with the drummer. Not because I'm the master swing but it'd be harder to do otherwise. Does that not make sense?

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    This is interesting. However I think the phenomenon shown 6:46 onwards have a simple explanation. Art Blakey is accenting upbeats and Freddie Hubbard is locking in Art Blakey's rhythm. This is natural since those up beats are the audible, emphasized beats and downbeats are a lot harder to hear. Looks to me like Art Blakey is dictating how the swing is played here.
    Well I don’t know about the science, but two bits of advice that I have had and pass on to my students is 1) don’t dot too much 2) lock into the upbeats

    If you can tap or sing the upbeats when you hear a record, give the upbeats equal weight in your playing and play along with the record in the pocket the you will be able to swing.

    And the pocket does seem to mean, focus on the position of the upbeat in your line with reference to the ensemble. That bit of information I’ve found useful.

    The quantification of that I’ll leave to the academics, I don’t really care.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Just to clarify a bit more. Starting from 6:54 or so where it's slowed down, if you just look at the staff notation at the top of the video and follow the the moving bar, it's pretty easy to see that all up beats are aligned with the accents of Art Blakey.
    My point is, if the drummer I'm playing with is accenting up beats like in the video, my up beats would be aligned with the drummer. Not because I'm the master swing but it'd be harder to do otherwise. Does that not make sense?
    Can you swing?

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    If they aren’t instinctively getting it - and some do - you have to find a way to break it down.

    Listen to Jimmy Raney and tell me he’s going Dum-de-dum-de-dum lol
    He's feeling every subdivision as a unique entity. A bar is not a bar but part of a four bar section. A beat ain't a beat but it is 'that' beat, different from every other one in the bar and different from the ones in the other bars because of the previous sentence.

    Sometimes this is described as 'an eagles eye view'. Best way to get this is to drum and sing along with good vocalists. Next step is to make your metronome do it.

    Other things that help are asymmetrical counting patterns such as Son and Rhumba clave's in both inversions, the Cascara and the various other Afro Cuban bell patterns.



    I don't know how Jimmy got it, probably by playing tunes well.

    D.

  15. #64

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    Oh I should have mentioned, if you recite the Cascada aloud whilst playing technical exercises like scales you should very naturally develop the ability to accent ANY part of the bar with control and relaxation, which is another thing that helps music live.

    D.

  16. #65

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    Or let me put it another way - is your interest in this issue primarily practical or intellectual?

  17. #66

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    Sorry, I should have helped with the nuts and bolts.

    A good way to memorise the Cascara is this phrase.

    I don't like Carrots-I like Potatoes, reverse the order of the phrases to invert the rhythm.

    Learn to recite that whilst drumming hand to hand, then maybe some picking exercise, then scale fragments, then ....get creative.


    D.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Can you swing?
    I'm not sure what a particular individual means when they say swing. According to people I studied with apparently I have good grove, but I was paying them I don't know what other people think
    I think you misunderstood me. I am not disagreeing with you on your emphasis of upbeats.
    I'm just pointing out that in the video Hubbard's alignment with up beats seem to be dictated by the accents of Art Blakey. I didn't post this video which discusses the scientific breakdown of swing, I just watched it because I was reading the thread.

  19. #68
    is it possible blakey was accenting the up beat because ?of how hubbard was swinging at that time? yeah it would sound pants, as we like to say, if the drummer was accenting up beats and the soloist was trying to swing by locking in with down beats and playing straight. or maybe it would be awesome who knows
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  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well I don’t know about the science, but two bits of advice that I have had and pass on to my students is 1) don’t dot too much 2) lock into the upbeats

    If you can tap or sing the upbeats when you hear a record, give the upbeats equal weight in your playing and play along with the record in the pocket the you will be able to swing.

    And the pocket does seem to mean, focus on the position of the upbeat in your line with reference to the ensemble. That bit of information I’ve found useful.

    The quantification of that I’ll leave to the academics, I don’t really care.
    Very good stuff. When I listen to the records I lock in with 2 & 4's. If I know the tune, I try to follow the form. I'll try paying attention to upbeats as well from now on as you suggest.

  21. #70
    yeah Tal I been doing that since i made this post, and i found it funny at first how i kept landing (i was tapping the up beats) on the drummer’s snare comping
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  22. #71
    or i should say since the music is fast i was tapping random “ands” of the various beats
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  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    I'm not sure what a particular individual means when they say swing. According to people I studied with apparently I have good grove, but I was paying them I don't know what other people think
    I think you misunderstood me. I am not disagreeing with you on your emphasis of upbeats.
    I'm just pointing out that in the video Hubbard's alignment with up beats seem to be dictated by the accents of Art Blakey. I didn't post this video which discusses the scientific breakdown of swing, I just watched it because I was reading the thread.
    Yeah, there's a lot to unpack, but I would say that a basic aspect of swing is how to articulate 8th notes and place them whether they are syncopated or not... Just basic even execution of 8th notes.

    We could talk about pushes and accents (the cascara/clave thing is hip BTW - try playing parker heads with a clave, Moose the Mooche is a 3/2 clave), triplets and all sorts of things being part of swing and the rhythmic vocabulary, but as I understand it Joe's focus was just on this basic element.

    I spend quite a lot of time actually straightening out the 8ths of students from the horrible jerky dotted 8th, 16th swing or the corny doo-be-doo-be-doos (what Destiny used to call the 'twee bounce') - even those who are otherwise excellent players. Often people who listen mostly to things like Hip-hop, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Snarky Puppy, Glasper etc actually are the worse culprits, even though you would think the opposite lol. They actually overcompensate.

    OTOH if they can't feel the swing bounce 'ands' of the bar, they won't swing at all... So you have to (I think) tackle the problem from both ends. (Of course I have no idea if you are making any of these mistakes or not.)

    I think the written out ideas of 'swing' such as found here Swing (jazz performance style) - Wikipedia are incredibly unhelpful.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    And the pocket does seem to mean, focus on the position of the upbeat in your line with reference to the ensemble. That bit of information I’ve found useful.
    In the video "in the pocket" is defined as being a little behind the beat. I think Emily Remler used the term in the same sense in her Hot Licks video (I might be wrong, I watched it a while ago).
    Terminology in music seems to be associative rather than definitive.
    Even the term upbeat which seems to have originated by conductors' hand gesture to indicate the last beat of a measure (and the downbeat is the gesture of for the first beat), but at least in jazz it's used differently.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    i watched the video, the last bit is exactly what i’m talking about
    So upbeat synced with the pulse of the drummer's upbeat, downbeat where it feels good?

  26. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Often people who listen mostly to things like Hip-hop, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Snarky Puppy, Glasper etc actually are the worse culprits, even though you would think the opposite lol. They actually overcompensate.
    .
    dude i was at a wedding and this spanish hiphop song came on and i was like “that rapper is swinging like MAD.” like in what i would consider a really nice feel. i always knew good hiphop is no joke- but this guy was like a horn player
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  27. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    So upbeat synced with the pulse of the drummer's upbeat, downbeat where it feels good?
    yes, except in my case i’m not controling the down beat i just it it fall where ever it does when i play the 8ths evenly (which is behind the beat). im sure real players can control to the tiniest degree
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  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    In the video "in the pocket" is defined as being a little behind the beat. I think Emily Remler used the term in the same sense in her Hot Licks video (I might be wrong, I watched it a while ago).
    Terminology in music seems to be associative rather than definitive.
    Even the term upbeat seems to have originated by conductors' hand gesture to indicate last beat of a measure (and the downbeat is the gesture of for the first beat), but at least in jazz it's used differently.
    I think you would enjoy this vid, I posted it earlier but maybe it got swept away as the thread progressed,



    Mark takes a long time showing his METHODOLODY for working on the elements of feel that are being discussed. Nothing helps if we don't just sit down and work with it, all the graphs and stuff are really just trivia. You listen to the band and try and fit, or it can be the metronome as Mark shows expertly. It's all about listening, not about the interpretation of arbitrary language, that just goes round and round in circles, as it must.

    The way you play should be constantly fluid and responsive, ie you should never try and be right, good is a much better goal.

    If a technical explanation seems logically consistent but after having 'understood' it you are no further forward in refining your practice approach then it is just a piece of trivia. Good for arguing but of little use for playing.

    Maybe some of you are wondering if I can swing. Well the answer is that I couldn't give a monkeys, if I feel good when playing then that is good enough for me.

    D.

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freel View Post
    Twitter

    So there is a classical dude, a few dancers of unknown provenance and an immediate musical connection.

    When I was six years old my dad would play accordion once in a while when my mum was out playing bingo.

    Myself, my brother and my sister would find ourselves getting up and dancing and always right and always uncaring, it was no bother at all.

    Thirty years later I had been studying hard, practicing every day studying classical guitar and would try and play with him. And I found myself the screwdriver among the spokes. He would look at me with pity that he could not disguise, but not unkindly.

    He had learned to play by ear as a child and only for joy and I had started too late and been in too much of a rush and had missed the important things.

    We are all born Supermen and bad practice is our Kryptonite.

    But when we let our ego aside and instead be honest and patient we find that a little baby superman is there waiting to solve all our problems for us, by not giving a sh1t about anything but enjoyment. Play what you can, not what you cannot.

    But yeah, nirvana, beginners mind, all that too.

    D.
    This reminds me of learning to handle horses, which, like jazz, I undertook as an adult. I kept reading stuff from a well known horse trainer who, like you, loved using metaphors, images, talk about feel and so on, and all I got was an unruly horse and a lot of frustration. I have as vital an imagination as the next guy, but nothing about all that you've said helps me at all. No offense to you, I know this works for you, but all it does is describe your feeling, not how I might get there.

    Eventually I found a trainer who was a very astute observer of how humans and horses got along. We discussed my horse's background (rescue horse, previous abuse, left for dead, etc) as well as my own temperament, why I wanted to learn to relate well to horses, and we started with very simple, very concrete exercises, we actually called them "games" to play with the horse, in the round pen, no saddle, all on the ground. I was astonished to find that after just about 6 or 7 sessions of playing these silly but very specific concrete "games" with my horse he started paying attention to me, I started spotting his signals, we learned each other's language, and that launched me and that horse on a 15+ year journey together that only ended this past summer with him breaking a leg and having to be put down.

    What I'm saying is for some, these images and feeling descriptions mean very little, or make us feel like we'll never get it.

    I'm glad there are other ways to get there, or I'd have given up a long time ago when a guy looked at me and said, "Stone, you really don't swing, do you?"
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    So upbeat synced with the pulse of the drummer's upbeat, downbeat where it feels good?
    I'm gonna go right ahead and say yes. And it might feel good in different ways as a piece and a performance unfold.

    D.

  31. #80

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    Something that always seems to get overshadowed by "when to play each 8th note" in swing feel discussions is "how long to hold each 8th note"? How much space between the notes, regardless of where they start or stop. Some players have an almost staccato feel to their swing. It's not always legato.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    dude i was at a wedding and this spanish hiphop song came on and i was like “that rapper is swinging like MAD.” like in what i would consider a really nice feel. i always knew good hiphop is no joke- but this guy was like a horn player
    Well, I mean that Kendrick track 'For Free?' is like an object lesson in that. Hip-hop with a burning acoustic jazz rhythm section. Swings as hard as any horn player.

    Given the overlaps it's interesting that they DON'T apply that stuff to swing. I think it's partly the completely incorrect notation that gets described as written out swing. Even from people who actually know how to swing themselves! Mind boggling.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    In the video "in the pocket" is defined as being a little behind the beat. I think Emily Remler used the term in the same sense in her Hot Licks video (I might be wrong, I watched it a while ago).
    Terminology in music seems to be associative rather than definitive.
    Even the term upbeat which seems to have originated by conductors' hand gesture to indicate the last beat of a measure (and the downbeat is the gesture of for the first beat), but at least in jazz it's used differently.
    Hmmm.... the classic advice I have heard is 'straight and late' - Peter Bernstein, Mike Moreno, many others. Emily too by the sounds of it.

    It's advice that works IF the student can feel the swing at the same time and lock in. Otherwise they will sound rhythmically uncoupled. This is the problem Joe had in the OP, if you recall, before we realised he had to lock into the upbeat.

    Also, there is a confusion between causes and effects in language about jazz rhythm. For instance people talk about 'behind the beat phrasing' - this is an effect, not a cause. As Jonathan Kreisberg puts it 'people think this music is floating, but actually it's locked in.'

    Wynton Marsalis points out the Billie's phrasing is heavily based on 1/4 triplets and this gives the phrasing that sounds 'behind the beat.' If a singer simply sings 'behind the beat' then it just drags and is all over the place rhythmically, we all know that awful carry on.

    And so on. Matt normally chimes in at this point.

  34. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    Something that always seems to get overshadowed by "when to play each 8th note" in swing feel discussions is "how long to hold each 8th note"? How much space between the notes, regardless of where they start or stop. Some players have an almost staccato feel to their swing. It's not always legato.
    good point. i always try to play legato (except for an accent or something. but i do give it a lot of mind when im play quarter note 44 rhythm; i try to let go roght on the up beat
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  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    Something that always seems to get overshadowed by "when to play each 8th note" in swing feel discussions is "how long to hold each 8th note"? How much space between the notes, regardless of where they start or stop. Some players have an almost staccato feel to their swing. It's not always legato.
    Like Dexter you mean? Any others spring to mind?

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post

    Eventually I found a trainer who was a very astute observer of how humans and horses got along. We discussed my horse's background (rescue horse, previous abuse, left for dead, etc) as well as my own temperament, why I wanted to learn to relate well to horses, and we started with very simple, very concrete exercises, we actually called them "games" to play with the horse, in the round pen, no saddle, all on the ground. I was astonished to find that after just about 6 or 7 sessions of playing these silly but very specific concrete "games" with my horse he started paying attention to me, I started spotting his signals, we learned each other's language, and that launched me and that horse on a 15+ year journey together that only ended this past summer with him breaking a leg and having to be put down.
    That's a nice story Lawson, I enjoyed it.

    OK, here you go, a childish game to learn to treat your metronome like a horse. (You are aiming at even notes here, adapt for swing once other things are solved).

    1.Set your metronome at 40

    2.Count 1e+A,2e+A,3e+A,4e+A

    3. Get those A's perfectly in time with the metronome.

    4. Lift your foot with A' and drop it when it feels good, that is the downbeat (ie on 1,2,3+4)

    5. Take one bar of music that you are working on and play the first thing that happens, quite often a bass note on one for guitar music but really it can be anything.

    6. Take the rest of the bar to think about wether or not playing that one thing interrupted your sense of the flow of the rhythm. It will probably take a lot of just playing that one note to notice.

    7. Repeat 5+6
    8.Repeat 5+6
    9. Repeat 5+6 until you stop resenting it and are completely happy to continue
    10. Repeat 9.....

    11. Grudgingly add the next thing that happens in the bar (maybe it is a chord stab, or the second note of a scale or well anything. Just add that one thing, resist utterly the temptation to pretend that you wanted to play more than that, that is an illusion caused by a lack of control.

    12. Keep adding one thing at a time until you notice that the quality is dropping, take a break and then go back to the start either with the same section or with a new one.

    -------------

    That's it.

    I am so glad you shared your description of how gentle and fun learning is when we choose the right entry level. Yehudi Menuhin said something like this 'There comes a time in every musician's life when he needs to start over again from the very beginning and learn anew like a total beginner, that time is every morning.'

    People generally learn a whole piece and then proceed to redo their mistakes over and over and over. The internet doesn't help, too much edutainment, people showing off and really not sharing the truth of what practice is.

    I chose to share the story about my father because, no matter how difficult a person may find playing the guitar to be, we can all feel it when it is right. If you have the capacity to feel it then you have the capacity to make others feel it too.

    When we learn too fast we tend to want to hold onto our bad habits because we did not give ourselves the time needed to think when practicing.

    When anyone starts playing their IQ sinks like a stone and with it their ability to learn, that's why it is so important to work on CONTROL first and notes later, the control comes from saying NO to the habit of hacking through.

    The above exercise will make EVERY SUBDIVISION UNIQUE, because in putting a piece together like this you learn to RELISH the special and unique character of every part of the bar.

    Happy playing.

    PS, I do this every day, except for the days when I don't improve.

    D.

  37. #86
    i thought DG default is legato with staccato punctuations, not usally a string of staccato 8ths right?
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  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    i thought DG default is legato with staccato punctuations, not usally a string of staccato 8ths right?
    Just put a record on that you like and have memorised the solo note for note. Play it at something like 20 percent speed, resist the temptation to care about how odd it sounds. Play along with the player for a short looped section ( a few bars ).

    Try it like I just outlined for Lawson. or if you feel confident play the whole section with him.

    Notice stuff, try and synch perfectly, be lazy where he/she is, be loud,soft,legato,staccato, wherever they are.

    Speed up in 5 percent increments till you start playing rubbish, pick another section.

    In no way will talking about minutia of an imaginary idealised perspective of an particular player do the things for your playing that this exercise will.

    I really don't know why people are trying to put things in boxes with statistics. Play along with the record, but play smart, that's all anyone ever needed. Dexter played every bar different, so should you.

    (for all I know you swing super hard and would shame me on the bandstand, but I am getting a bit frustrated by the fact that click bait videos of limited interest seem to be dictating the direction of this discussion)

    D.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freel View Post
    In no way will talking about minutia of an imaginary idealised perspective of an particular player do the things for your playing that this exercise will.

    I really don't know why people are trying to put things in boxes with statistics. Play along with the record, but play smart, that's all anyone ever needed. Dexter played every bar different, so should you.

    (for all I know you swing super hard and would shame me on the bandstand, but I am getting a bit frustrated by the fact that click bait videos of limited interest seem to be dictating the direction of this discussion)

    D.
    Bloody hell I'm sorry I ever posted that video now.

    Anyway, I only responded to what Joe said specifically. He said he'd found something which helped him, a concept I felt had helped me, and posted a video which seemed to back up his interpretation of swing eights.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Bloody hell I'm sorry I ever posted that video now.

    Anyway, I only responded to what Joe said specifically. He said he'd found something which helped him, a concept I felt had helped me, and posted a video which seemed to back up his interpretation of swing eights.
    Fair enough, I do think I mentioned the concept some time ago. I find it peoples approach to video intriguing.

    I had a class of pupils who I struggled to get to listen to me, one day the classroom teacher put a video on of me playing electric, they were impressed.

    I was depressed.

    Anyway I guess that's just another story about me, I should be less selfish to stick to other peoples ideas and experiences, even if I don't really get them yet.

    D.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freel View Post
    That's a nice story Lawson, I enjoyed it.

    OK, here you go, a childish game to learn to treat your metronome like a horse. (You are aiming at even notes here, adapt for swing once other things are solved).

    1.Set your metronome at 40

    2.Count 1e+A,2e+A,3e+A,4e+A

    3. Get those A's perfectly in time with the metronome.

    4. Lift your foot with A' and drop it when it feels good, that is the downbeat (ie on 1,2,3+4)

    5. Take one bar of music that you are working on and play the first thing that happens, quite often a bass note on one for guitar music but really it can be anything.

    6. Take the rest of the bar to think about wether or not playing that one thing interrupted your sense of the flow of the rhythm. It will probably take a lot of just playing that one note to notice.

    7. Repeat 5+6
    8.Repeat 5+6
    9. Repeat 5+6 until you stop resenting it and are completely happy to continue
    10. Repeat 9.....

    11. Grudgingly add the next thing that happens in the bar (maybe it is a chord stab, or the second note of a scale or well anything. Just add that one thing, resist utterly the temptation to pretend that you wanted to play more than that, that is an illusion caused by a lack of control.

    12. Keep adding one thing at a time until you notice that the quality is dropping, take a break and then go back to the start either with the same section or with a new one.

    -------------

    That's it.

    I am so glad you shared your description of how gentle and fun learning is when we choose the right entry level. Yehudi Menuhin said something like this 'There comes a time in every musician's life when he needs to start over again from the very beginning and learn anew like a total beginner, that time is every morning.'

    People generally learn a whole piece and then proceed to redo their mistakes over and over and over. The internet doesn't help, too much edutainment, people showing off and really not sharing the truth of what practice is.

    I chose to share the story about my father because, no matter how difficult a person may find playing the guitar to be, we can all feel it when it is right. If you have the capacity to feel it then you have the capacity to make others feel it too.

    When we learn too fast we tend to want to hold onto our bad habits because we did not give ourselves the time needed to think when practicing.

    When anyone starts playing their IQ sinks like a stone and with it their ability to learn, that's why it is so important to work on CONTROL first and notes later, the control comes from saying NO to the habit of hacking through.

    The above exercise will make EVERY SUBDIVISION UNIQUE, because in putting a piece together like this you learn to RELISH the special and unique character of every part of the bar.

    Happy playing.

    PS, I do this every day, except for the days when I don't improve.

    D.
    I'll try-I'm not sure what 1e+A means. You want me to count "One-and-a Two-and-a..."

    I'm not as dumb as I likely sound, but the beat description was a bit cryptic for me!

    Also I'm delighted you didn't take offense at my comment; re-reading it I would not blame you. I'm at a strange point musically. When I started jazz 25-30 years ago, I really hoped to sit in with jam sessions and organize a little band and all that. It hasn't happened, and so now I'm really just trying to learn to play to delight my own sense of accomplishment. I want to play Joe Pass sort of sounding solo guitar and I want to be able to play bebop sounding lines. I'd love to do those improvisational, but I've learned the most from learning things note for note, it seems. At this point I just want to hear music coming out of my amp that does not suck. Doesn't have to be "mine" any more. I still hope to play for others, but in my little community it's just not likely I'll ever have an ensemble or a chance to play much for others, so I want to like my own playing.

    Modest goals, but that's it. I doubt I'll ever get to the ideal sounding flow state you describe. Not resisting, just being honest about my future in music. Sucking less is my goal now.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  42. #91

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    Basically I'm talking about four notes per beat played even. Four syllables 1,e,and,a.

    Internet is terrible for getting to know people.

    It's good that you think you suck, you care and you want more.

    Go easy on yourself, and thanks again for the story, I REALLY liked it.

    D.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Like Dexter you mean? Any others spring to mind?
    Pat Martino?

    Actually I don't hear dexter as staccato at all. He does that thing where he plays dead straight against a swinging rhythm section though, that's just great, and instantly identifiable.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  44. #93
    [QUOTE=mr. beaumont He does that thing where he plays dead straight against a swinging rhythm section though, that's just great, and instantly identifiable.[/QUOTE]

    yeah man that’s pretty much the topic of discussion
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  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Actually I don't hear dexter as staccato at all. He does that thing where he plays dead straight against a swinging rhythm section though, that's just great, and instantly identifiable.
    I think this is what Jimmy Raney does too, in fact I think he said this somewhere, that bebop should be played fairly straight. I think he said a lot of what is perceived as swing comes from accents and shaping of the line somehow. (can’t remember where I saw this unfortunately).

    Re. Dexter he sometimes does that thing where some notes in a line are ‘chopped’ short, presumably a tonguing thing (oo-er!). Maybe that’s what Joe meant.

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    ... I want to play Joe Pass sort of sounding solo guitar and I want to be able to play bebop sounding lines. I'd love to do those improvisational, but I've learned the most from learning things note for note, it seems. At this point I just want to hear music coming out of my amp that does not suck. ...
    Lswson, when you get it going, your playing does not suck. You could not always get it going, because, IMO, as far as I was able to follow, I am pretty much out of the forum flow for a while, you were trying to hard, to learn wrong things, from wrong people.

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  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Pat Martino?

    Actually I don't hear dexter as staccato at all. He does that thing where he plays dead straight against a swinging rhythm section though, that's just great, and instantly identifiable.
    Yeah, I suppose not. It is heavily articulated though - he doesn't slur from the upbeat to the downbeat like some players.

    The straight on swing thing is the subject of the thread. Straight is cool - it's where to fit it.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think this is what Jimmy Raney does too, in fact I think he said this somewhere, that bebop should be played fairly straight. I think he said a lot of what is perceived as swing comes from accents and shaping of the line somehow. (can’t remember where I saw this unfortunately).

    Re. Dexter he sometimes does that thing where some notes in a line are ‘chopped’ short, presumably a tonguing thing (oo-er!). Maybe that’s what Joe meant.
    having learned a bunch of Jimmy Raney solos, I can agree that his phrasing and shaping of the line is huge. When I listen to him, I imagine a guy on a tightrope or balance beam trying all kinds of tricks, periodically coming really close to falling off, but then recovering in some amazing and brilliant way. Jimmy Raney always sounds to me like he could wreck at any moment, but he never does. It's pretty exciting listening, and playing his lines and trying to find that same scary dynamic is fun. I also know when I try to "swing" Raney's lines they don't sound right, but when i play them more straight and let the notes and shapes do the talking, the feel is much better.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  49. #98

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    One should never try to swing.

  50. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Hmmm.... the classic advice I have heard is 'straight and late' - Peter Bernstein, Mike Moreno, many others. Emily too by the sounds of it.

    It's advice that works IF the student can feel the swing at the same time and lock in. Otherwise they will sound rhythmically uncoupled. This is the problem Joe had in the OP, if you recall, before we realised he had to lock into the upbeat.

    Also, there is a confusion between causes and effects in language about jazz rhythm. For instance people talk about 'behind the beat phrasing' - this is an effect, not a cause. As Jonathan Kreisberg puts it 'people think this music is floating, but actually it's locked in.'

    Wynton Marsalis points out the Billie's phrasing is heavily based on 1/4 triplets and this gives the phrasing that sounds 'behind the beat.' If a singer simply sings 'behind the beat' then it just drags and is all over the place rhythmically, we all know that awful carry on.

    And so on. Matt normally chimes in at this point.
    Ha. Sorry to obsess. It's just that this one is kind of personal to me, being something which only came to me in the last few years in a real meaningful way.

    Beyond that, I hear a lot of talk about these things which shows that there's a lot of confusion at much more BASIC levels than is often being discussed. The discussion in this thread for example about "behind" and "ahead" is the real stuff IMO, the way pros talk about it, but very often, we hobbyists are using these SAME TERMS to describe actual rhythms, like triplets.

    "Listen to so and so on this, laying WAYYYY back behind the beat". [Plays the video, and it's a quarter note triplet]. How frustrating is that? We're talking about 2 completely different things and using the same terms.

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Like Dexter you mean? Any others spring to mind?
    A lot of Wes has that sound to my ear. I want to say “choppy”, but that’s not the right word. There’s a subtle gap between the swing eighths that lends itself to a sort of staccato-ish sound.

    Bobby Broom is a player where I think there’s a very clear distinction between his legato eighths and his more staccato eighths. I just put some of his music on as I was writing this and there’s so much variation in swing feel in just one line, it’s really excellent. It sounds to me like he’s moving in and out of being ahead of the beat, behind the beat, staccato, legato, strong accents etc. All of this combines to make a really dynamic swing feel.