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  1. #1

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    ***Note: I changed the title from "Streaming Eight Notes vs. Long/Short Phrases and Effects such as Ghost Notes" to get to the point about Haja's solo. ***

    I can identify primarily two styles of improvisation that seem to prevail. Some play steady, or semi-steady eight notes as the bulk of their improvisation. They, of course, speed things up, slow them down, and use rests but for the most part, there is a steady rhythm of notes.

    Others, such as the guitarist Haja (his solo starts at the 11:40 mark) mix in rapid fire, almost maniacal lines or phrases, interspersed with such "effects" as Ghost Notes, sweep-picked notes, rapid repeated motifs, harmonics and they also use chord fragments.

    I point you to this video below. The person that excited me the most was Haja, starting at the 11:40 minute mark. He has the long hair and the sunglasses and is one of the last to solo.

    I say all this because I have not seen any course that teaches you to solo like this. What the heck is he doing? All were beautiful and entertaining but Haja got my attention!

    Last edited by AlsoRan; 03-31-2019 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Clarity

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    IMO, Hajazz took the most abstract aproach to the tune where others worked with outlining the harmony/changes more. All talented guitarists, this tune requires some chops.

  4. #3

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    It's not either/or. It's what suits the tune.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    He has the long hair and the sunglasses.
    Might be worth trying this to see if it helps.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Might be worth trying this to see if it helps.
    Ha! Ha!

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    IMO, Hajazz took the most abstract aproach to the tune where others worked with outlining the harmony/changes more. All talented guitarists, this tune requires some chops.
    Interesting comment. An abstract approach is a good description.

    The reason I posted the video was to contrast the different styles and approaches, and to ask "How the heck does someone learn to play like Haja did?"

    What is he even doing and can it be described sufficiently.

    By the way, I love both approaches to playing, but that Haja solo really got my attention. To me, he was taking chances - "live without a net." Then again, maybe it was easy for him?)

  8. #7
    The 8th-note-stream usually has its accents. The "more significant" notes themselves present the rhythm.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    The 8th-note-stream usually has its accents. The "more significant" notes themselves present the rhythm.
    Very true. And as with any other approach, can be transcendent.

    It is obviously the "go-to" approach for a lot of Jazz, and the dominant way that is taught (at least from what I can see in the 40 or so books and DVDs that I have).

    That abstract approach that Haja used in the video was so striking. In my mind, almost like he was going towards a form a "Free Jazz." I have never seen this taught anywhere, or in any book. But I can see one would need very high technical proficiency at guitar to even have a chance of being able to play this way. And also, one heck of an ear.

  10. #9

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    I would say that on this video Haya has the largest rhytmic vocabulary of all the players. Nothing abstract

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    I would say that on this video Haya has the largest rhytmic vocabulary of all the players. Nothing abstract
    You have hit on something when you identify the rhythmic aspect of his playing. I went back and listened yet again and his accenting is something to pay attention to, along with those rhythms.

    I guess learning to play this way also requires a strong rhythmic command and awareness of sub-divisions. His approach, at least in this solo, is starting to get a little clearer to me. It is also like he takes a breath in between his statements, adding a vocal quality?

  12. #11

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    Since this musician is trained in many diverse ethnic styles practiced in Madagascar, is a creator of his own unique musical style and makes some of his own unique custom stringed instruments, I am not sure his jazz improvisation translates easily to western harmony and rhythm for the sake of analyzing and applying. It's like applying tabla to jazz drumming. It can be done if you're ready to study, but not casually described.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Since this musician is trained in many diverse ethnic styles practiced in Madagascar, is a creator of his own unique musical style and makes some of his own unique custom stringed instruments, I am not sure his jazz improvisation translates easily to western harmony and rhythm for the sake of analyzing and applying. It's like applying tabla to jazz drumming. It can be done if you're ready to study, but not casually described.
    Looks as though I am going to have to do the only thing that I can do - transcribe his solo!

  14. #13

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    Sorry for being partybreaker, but, IMO, a nuber of musical devices, he threw in there, fell off the mark.

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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Sorry for being partybreaker, but, IMO, a nuber of musical devices, he threw in there, fell off the mark.

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    That is fine, V.

    I appreciate you weighing in as a reality check. Jazz music covers such a wide territory that its probably impossible for us all to agree.

    It does kind of make me sad in that if I were to spend years practicing until I can pull off what Haja did, there would still be a lot of folks who would not like it. The same is true for early Pat Martino. There are many who have wrote they did not like his playing, while I absolutely loved it.

    I guess we just have to continue to celebrate our similarities and our differences. Maybe, that's life?

  16. #15

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    I agree.

    Thinking of it ... my initial reaction was that he played good but some of it, IMO, at wrong time, as related to background music, harmony ...
    On different thought and that is probably what you liked about it, maybe he just got carried away experimenting ...

    If you get to use those tricks, licks, and phrases, chances are you will apply them in context more to taste of those who do not totally buy what Haja did in that clip.
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  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    I agree.

    Thinking of it ... my initial reaction was that he played good but some of it, IMO, at wrong time, as related to background music, harmony ...
    On different thought and that is probably what you liked about it, maybe he just got carried away experimenting ...

    If you get to use those tricks, licks, and phrases, chances are you will apply them in context more to taste of those who do not totally buy what Haja did in that clip.
    This discussion reminded me of a night that I went out to watch a Jazz performance and got to sit at a table with a few professional Jazz musicians. For the most part, they enjoyed the show but I was amazed at how negative they could be, especially after the alcohol was flowing.

    One would rave about a solo, and another would call them crazy for liking it. They would have snide remarks about whether the sax player was off-key, or if a guy was just shredding like Eddie Van Halen. Each had their preferences and were not shy about expressing them. It was interesting to say the least.