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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    how about the triplet-itis that a lot of learning jazz players tend to use as a default? It manifests in a janky exaggerated triplet swing feel that I have consciously fought out of my own playing (it still creeps in if I'm not careful). That rhythmic disposition seems to be very much a plight of many an amateur guitar player at jam sessions I've frequented in my own circles. As in, guitarists often play a bunch of triplets instead of eighth note lines or double time lines. I wonder why it is so prevalent? Once again, I fall victim to that janky feel and rhythm in my own playing as well.
    Tell me about it.

    I think that’s one think this needs analysis tries to address. Players are often taught often that jazz lines are strings of notes rather than rhythmic phrases.

    Many players struggle with medium tempo single time.

    Feel wise as a soloist one has to get used to playing behind while catching the upbeats. It can feel very weird doing this at first, but I’ve got some great results from students. Feel the swing upbeats and play legato and even. You’ll feel like you are stretching it out like elastic. It’s a very relaxed feeling.

    Also 1/4 triplets are big and clever.

    Uptempo and double time is much easier if you have the chops because it’s much closer to straight 16ths. So you can fake it (hey that’s what Barry said Stitt did !)

    This is I think why a lot of modern jazz avoids medium tempo - it’s the absolute test of whether a player can really swing. Plus you don’t have the dancers to call you on it when it’s not good to dance too :-)

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Parker seems like an obvious place to start as he is the originator of bebop, remains source for most of the rhythmic phrases we use in jazz today, and was certainly one the music’s most rhythmically imaginative improvisers.
    Or perhaps, at least for guitarists, Charlie Christian.

  4. #53

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    Watched some videos of his.

    Dam this shit is good.
    Hal Galper good. Great stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is a submission for an assignment set on my Music Education postgrad, thought I'd share

    ------

    Needs Analysis - Jazz Rhythmic Phrases

    I’m interested in addressing a very specific issue with learning jazz improvisers. Most jazz students have a good grasp of music theory, scales, modes and so on, but lack the ability to construct musical lines that sound actually sound like jazz. Solos tend to be faltering, meandering and lacking in a sense of pulse - what jazz musicians term ‘noodling.’

    A fundamental part of moving beyond this is to be able to create convincing jazz rhythms which the student can then use to create melodic lines. To quote Dizzy Gillespie’s description of his process of improvisation, he said that he would ‘find a rhythm and throw some notes on it’, an idea shared by many great jazz musicians and educators, and certainly something that relates to my own experience as an improviser.

    However, I haven’t found many commercial learning resources focussed on helping students find these rhythms; certainly not compared to pitch-based resources. Obviously, one should always give the simple and vital advice to listen to lots and lots jazz (immersion), but I feel other resources would be helpful, and possibly enjoyable for the student. One way to avoid the ‘blank page problem’ would be to provide the student with rhythmic phrases to base their lines on.

    Most commercial materials that contain rhythmic material focus on reading, whereas I feel I require something more specific and applicable to improvisation, perhaps allowing the student some creative input.

    The use of the term language is common in jazz circles, and the theory set out in Edwin Gordon’s Learning Sequences in Music share the concept that music should be learned like a language. Gordon mirrors, explores in depth and ties into his theory some other exercises and ideas that are also found in the jazz tradition.

    Fundamentally Gordon's theory is a method of teaching geared first around oral/aural activities and only later introducing notation (Gordon, Learning Sequences in Music, Chapter 2) and is mirrored by many traditional jazz practice activities such as the type of imitation/ear learning practice described in Lucy Green's Hear Listen Play.

    Furthermore, it seems from experience that while it is possible (if not desirable) for students to read pitches on the guitar mechanically, it is in fact very difficult to read complex syncopated jazz and pop rhythms without what Gordon calls Type 2 audiation. In fact, as I plan on giving the student existing rhythms either as notation or heard phrases (Type 1 or 2 audiation) the resource would have applications in that area too, which is important, because guitarists are notoriously poor readers.

    I also want to root what I am doing in actual, classic, jazz language, so it is all directly relevant to the style of music I most commonly teach to advanced students.

    In Gordon’s terms (Gordon, Learning Sequences in Music - Chapter 8), what I require is a way of teaching rhythmic patterns sourced from actual jazz, such as the transcriptions found in the Charlie Parker Omnibook, perhaps by chaining a number of what Gordon calls macrobeats, which might also allow students the opportunity to combine macrobeats in different combinations to create different rhythmic patterns.

    Parker seems like an obvious place to start as he is the originator of bebop, remains source for most of the rhythmic phrases we use in jazz today, and was certainly one the music’s most rhythmically imaginative improvisers.

    Gordon does point out ‘…[rhythm patterns] are important to style and form in music. For example the same notation of syncopation is performed differently in the music Mozart than in Jazz.’ Because of this the material will focus squarely on raw musical materials, and the correct stylistic performance of rhythm (another neglected area) will have to handled with a different learning resource.

    I look forward to exploring Gordon’s ideas and seeing how I can use his understanding in combination with use in my teaching practice to try to create a helpful resource.

    Bibliography

    Aebersold, Jamie and Ken Stone. Charlie Parker Omnibook, Atlantic Music Corp, 1978.
    Bellson, Louis and Gil Brienes. Modern Reading Text in 4/4, Alfred Music, 1985
    Gordon, Edwin. Learning Sequences in Music: A Contemporary Music Learning Theory. GIA Publications, 2007.
    Green, Lucy. Hear, Listen, Play!: How to Free Your Students' Aural, Improvisation, and Performance Skills, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    -------

    I will post the learning resource I came up with when I submit the rest of the assignment on Thursday, but interested to hear your thoughts in response to this post. Do you agree? Is there something you use in your own teaching or practice?

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    So one of his exercises is, take a bop head you know well. Now sing it without any pitch.
    That’s the only way I ever sing anything.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz View Post
    That’s the only way I ever sing anything.
    Oh jazz should be easy then ;-)

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think that’s entirely true, but I’m not sure what relevance this has.
    It depends, of course, on the player, but I'd suggest that working on time-feel to create a foundation for work on rhythmic vocabulary makes sense. Otherwise, I see a potential for the sort of rabbit hole that follows when a player who can't play a good line with a major scale spends his practice time focused excessively on learning more scales.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    It depends, of course, on the player, but I'd suggest that working on time-feel to create a foundation for work on rhythmic vocabulary makes sense.
    No. Completely disagree. I don't think you can practice timing in the abstract in this way (if I understand you.)

    Look at it this way - if you are working on your time somehow - practicing with a metronome, recording yourself and listening back, getting feedback from a teacher. However - you require some rhythmic material to practice.

    It might start as beats, off beats and triplets, say... But you progress to audiating actual rhythmic phrases very quickly, and why wouldn't you? You would start by working on looped grooves.

    To solo, you must be able to move beyond playing repetitious rhythms to improvising non-repetitious rhythms - this effectively doing two things at the same time. An obvious intermediate point is playing non-repetitious rhythms that are prescribed. (You can work on your reading at the same time. Horn players do this a lot. It's called playing in section.)

    That's an essential part of practicing, no? You know what you meant to do and you assess how close you got, and work out what wasn't right, and work on those bits. If you don't know what you are meaning to play, you can't possibly do this.

    And most of us presumably mean to play music.

    When I was playing strings of notes my time/feel was complete ass because I was just trying to synchronise long strings of notes to the metronome. This may be in time (eventually) but it will NEVER swing. That's because you are evening out something which wasn't rhythmically conceived to begin with. You are just trying to synch your noodling with a click. This was a very depressing experience.

    (From Gordon's point of view it's simple - I wasn't audiating any rhythm. How could I play in time?)

    But when I knew what I actually rhythmically it started to improve and became fun. That's actually one of the main reasons why transcription is so massively important. You need some vocabulary, something to see.

    Now I'm at the point where I'm not happy with my time (I doubt I ever will be), but I can hear what the problems because - I knew what I meant to play.

    I feel stupid spelling this out in such a pedantic way. I mean, this is completely blinking obvious right?

    Perhaps I misunderstand you, and you have some specific examples of what you would consider better practice.

    Otherwise, I see a potential for the sort of rabbit hole that follows when a player who can't play a good line with a major scale spends his practice time focused excessively on learning more scales.
    No, that's a poor analogy. I hope I've explained why.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-23-2019 at 04:36 PM.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    No. Completely disagree. I don't think you can practice timing in the abstract in this way (if I understand you.)

    Look at it this way - if you are working on your time somehow - practicing with a metronome, recording yourself and listening back, getting feedback from a teacher. However - you require some rhythmic material to practice.

    It might start as beats, off beats and triplets, say... But you progress to audiating actual rhythmic phrases very quickly, and why wouldn't you? You would start by working on looped grooves.

    To solo, you must be able to move beyond playing repetitious rhythms to improvising non-repetitious rhythms - this effectively doing two things at the same time. An obvious intermediate point is playing non-repetitious rhythms that are prescribed. (You can work on your reading at the same time. Horn players do this a lot. It's called playing in section.)

    That's an essential part of practicing, no? You know what you meant to do and you assess how close you got, and work out what wasn't right, and work on those bits. If you don't know what you are meaning to play, you can't possibly do this.

    And most of us presumably mean to play music.

    When I was playing strings of notes my time/feel was complete ass because I was just trying to synchronise long strings of notes to the metronome. This may be in time (eventually) but it will NEVER swing. That's because you are evening out something which wasn't rhythmically conceived to begin with. You are just trying to synch your noodling with a click. This was a very depressing experience.

    (From Gordon's point of view it's simple - I wasn't audiating any rhythm. How could I play in time?)

    But when I knew what I actually rhythmically it started to improve and became fun. That's actually one of the main reasons why transcription is so massively important. You need some vocabulary, something to see.

    Now I'm at the point where I'm not happy with my time (I doubt I ever will be), but I can hear what the problems because - I knew what I meant to play.

    I feel stupid spelling this out in such a pedantic way. I mean, this is completely blinking obvious right?

    Perhaps I misunderstand you, and you have some specific examples of what you would consider better practice.



    No, that's a poor analogy. I hope I've explained why.
    The thread seemed to focus on rhythmic vocabulary without any mention of time-feel.

    I think that time-feel is of paramount importance and needed to be mentioned.

    I have heard great players sound terrific playing a D against a Bbmaj7 because the note was placed perfectly.

    All of us have heard strings of eighth notes sound great, not necessarily because of the melody, but because of the time feel.

    In learning jazz guitar, I think it's easy to gloss over some difficult fundamentals (time-feel being the most important, arguably) while exploring advanced topics. I think that some players focus on advanced scale theory without much thought about time feel or melodic content.

    How to work on it? I would suggest working on getting simple rhythmic vocabulary to crackle and pop with good time feel. This is done as much or more with comping than soloing. The point is to avoid thinking you can play more sophisticated rhythms if the time feel isn't there. So, play with the best rhythm section you can, record everything, mercilessly critique your time-feel on playback, and never sacrifice time feel in the service of trying to play something more complex.

    I'm convinced, basically from my own circuitous path, that focusing on time-feel will improve an intermediate guitarists playing faster than anything else.

    I'm not convinced, one way or the other, that practicing specific rhythms repeatedly, or even practicing with a metronome is the best way to improve. I know that some teachers swear by the metronome and others don't. Some who swear by it don't use it themselves. I think you acquire this skill by playing with a good rhythm section and critiquing your playing.

  10. #59

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    "'Now I'm at the point where I'm not happy with my time (I doubt I ever will be), but I can hear what the problems because - I knew what I meant to play."

    --Chris77


    I thought I was the only one that did that.

    I agree with RP and Chris77. Time feel and rhythm, are inseparable. When you are imagining what a great rhythm sounds like, you are also injecting the time feel of the player that you want to model.

    In my case, I use Cannonball and Billy Bean as my models. They both have infectious time feels. And Cannonball plays rhythm like no one else. I love Parker as well, but Cannonball pops in my opinion.

    Here's another question. When you are imagining sound in your head, do you hear just the rhythms and add notes or do you hear rhythm and notes simultaneously. The reason that I sing and train my ear contextually as much as I do is so I can move beyond hearing the notes and make the rhythms and time more clear.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    The thread seemed to focus on rhythmic vocabulary without any mention of time-feel.

    I think that time-feel is of paramount importance and needed to be mentioned.

    I have heard great players sound terrific playing a D against a Bbmaj7 because the note was placed perfectly.

    All of us have heard strings of eighth notes sound great, not necessarily because of the melody, but because of the time feel.

    In learning jazz guitar, I think it's easy to gloss over some difficult fundamentals (time-feel being the most important, arguably) while exploring advanced topics. I think that some players focus on advanced scale theory without much thought about time feel or melodic content.

    How to work on it? I would suggest working on getting simple rhythmic vocabulary to crackle and pop with good time feel. This is done as much or more with comping than soloing. The point is to avoid thinking you can play more sophisticated rhythms if the time feel isn't there. So, play with the best rhythm section you can, record everything, mercilessly critique your time-feel on playback, and never sacrifice time feel in the service of trying to play something more complex.

    I'm convinced, basically from my own circuitous path, that focusing on time-feel will improve an intermediate guitarists playing faster than anything else.

    I'm not convinced, one way or the other, that practicing specific rhythms repeatedly, or even practicing with a metronome is the best way to improve. I know that some teachers swear by the metronome and others don't. Some who swear by it don't use it themselves. I think you acquire this skill by playing with a good rhythm section and critiquing your playing.
    I find this post fantastically aggravating, not because I disagree with it, but because mostly that's what I've been trying to say. At times like this I feel I am not being read carefully, or worse I am not articulating my ideas with any degree of clarity.

    (Except the bit about mostly focussing on the rhythm of comping... I mean, sure, will get you gigs if you are a great comper, but you do need to focus on soloing separately for a number of reasons, not least that the beat placement for a soloist is different.)

    I think you think I'm proposing something I'm not? Probably not so clear from the OP or something (if you read it.)

    The self critiquing aspect I mentioned several times in my last post.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    "'Now I'm at the point where I'm not happy with my time (I doubt I ever will be), but I can hear what the problems because - I knew what I meant to play."

    --Chris77


    I thought I was the only one that did that.

    I agree with RP and Chris77. Time feel and rhythm, are inseparable. When you are imagining what a great rhythm sounds like, you are also injecting the time feel of the player that you want to model.

    In my case, I use Cannonball and Billy Bean as my models. They both have infectious time feels. And Cannonball plays rhythm like no one else. I love Parker as well, but Cannonball pops in my opinion.

    Here's another question. When you are imagining sound in your head, do you hear just the rhythms and add notes or do you hear rhythm and notes simultaneously. The reason that I sing and train my ear contextually as much as I do is so I can move beyond hearing the notes and make the rhythms and time more clear.
    Rhythm first.

    On a bad day the notes and technique fuck up the rhythm. Muscle memory's a bitch.

  13. #62

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    I hear them at the same time. I can sing the phrase I want to play. I 'd have to think about it to extract the rhythm and tap it. I couldn't easily sing the notes out of time.

    Christian .. I don't know if this will make sense to others, but I was reacting to the part about beats and triplets. Speaking solely from my own journey, I didn't get much out of that kind of practice. I can already scat sing rhythms better than I can play them without scat singing. So, for me, it isn't working on this bit of vocabulary or that. It's imagining a good line and then getting it to pop and crackle - time-feel - when I play it.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I hear them at the same time. I can sing the phrase I want to play. I 'd have to think about it to extract the rhythm and tap it. I couldn't easily sing the notes out of time.

    Christian .. I don't know if this will make sense to others, but I was reacting to the part about beats and triplets. Speaking solely from my own journey, I didn't get much out of that kind of practice. I can already scat sing rhythms better than I can play them without scat singing. So, for me, it isn't working on this bit of vocabulary or that. It's imagining a good line and then getting it to pop and crackle - time-feel - when I play it.
    Beats and triplets - was that in my reply to Irez?

    A lot of people want to (or can only) discuss their own journey, while for me it’s about having a diverse tool kit that can help a student get better. It’s really no more complicated than that.

    There’s lots of great informal jazz advice about time/feel, including your own, but it has taken a long time for me to collate ideas and form a general framework in the commonalities of advice between different educators. There are disagreements, but there is more agreement when you dig right down. (The general framework allows me to understand better what each thing addresses and to come up with my own variations.)

    I see my job in relation to the intermediate jazz student as something of a language coach. The player has to be playing with other musicians, preferably ones better than them, to advance, but I can make suggestions to improve their accent and idiom, suggest listening material, reading material and of course tunes to learn.

    The advice on triplets etc as draws from classic jazz advice from musicians like Peter Bernstein, Charles MacPherson and so on.

    Which would mean nothing if it didn’t work. But it does work.

    Getting a student to do this immediately fixes the number one feel problem of learning jazzers - even some accomplished players who listen, transcribe and work with a metronome a lot - overdotting, while ensuring they are still catching the upbeat and swinging - rather than simply playing straight on swing (which is another colour we can use.)

    I can’t tell you how common this problem is even among some accomplished (uni level) players. I had it myself, of course. To the student it feels in a totally different zone, so there is some resistance to it at first. It might not stick without some teacherly nagging, but they can do it usually right away.

    I’ll take that to the bank.

    (I’m not claiming anything revolutionary here BTW. This exercise is not my idea)

    Of course, jazz musicians refer to this feeling as ‘the pocket’. A teacher that can help a student find this, is IMO, doing their job.

    You may well not have this issue (I haven’t heard you play) which would be why this advice seems superfluous to you.

    The job of the teacher when it comes to time/feel as I see it, is to encourage the student to explore the relationship between the external nature (for instance in recording) of their playing to the internal feelings and perceptions when they play. I’m sure you’ve had the same experience when critiquing your own playing - ‘hey that seemed in time when I played it, but actually it’s fractionally on top!’ or ‘I didn’t notice but I’m rushing that phrase there’ and so on.

    That said your ear needs to get used to looking out for these things.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-24-2019 at 04:52 AM.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Possibly... I would say this was true of me, for sure.

    However, some people just have trouble thinking of rhythmic phrases at all.

    I think this is right. People recognize the rhythm of musical phrase but most (at least, most beginners and many intermediate players) don't regard that rhythm as something in itself.

    One way to learn this is old fashioned: take a melody you know, then change the notes (pitches) of it. I think this is how early jazz players tended to start out as soloists. (Both in the sense of taking a chorus that "played off the melody," which is to say, kept the rhythm---at least in rough outline---but changed the pitches, and in terms of starting to learn to improvise. The template is the rhythm.)

    Frank Vignola stresses this in his teaching.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  16. #65

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    good ideas to think about

    im curious where and what are you all learning about groove, rhythm section roles , phrasing ?

    im getting a feeling the educational system doesnt address it.

    its kind of like sex education and sex, when it gets down to really doing it, you have to find out on your own then with a partner. you wont get what you really need from your parents or the educational system.

    classical notation cant even notate swing correctly, we all read the real book and make the adjustment to a swing feel in our minds.

    lets face it, after all the official education you have to start over in the real education...on the bandstand. the bandstand will tell you really quickly what will work and what wont and how much you have to discard of your formal education to adjust to the real life bandstand.

    i like what someone said dizzy said, get a rhythm and then you can throw any notes over it . this is what i mean by saying you can play a bell part from these ketu groove like bravum / jinka and you automaticly swing.

    i went in the studio with a horn player ( and just a guitar player also to do this) where , in this case, we did milestones as a duet and i told him he could only use the rhtyhm of the head ( which is actualy a speeded up opanije implication). we tried it , when he did it , he didn always do it, but when he did, it worked like a charm. he said he never played that fast before.

    i havent tried this yet ,im working it out in my head , but,i beleive i can take any reasonably competent jazz player , and play milestones, and on the a section, you can play any notes, but all the phrasing has to be various ketu bell parts either normal time or half time. in my head as i think about it, there will be 100 percent hook up and you will be able to go at tempos faster than you ever played before

    a very important overlooked point...monk said to steve lacey, "make the drummer look good"..think about it. i have another theory , if you are soloing out front , and you play to your drummer, you will automaticly start to be cliche free and in the moment and entering what jazz is all about. for those who have jazz gigs , try it sometime. play to your drummer, giving him phrases to catch , laying into his groove, less notes , more groove , more rhythmic exitement

  17. #66

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    the whole other part i cant see much of in the educational system is , in improvisation, how do you get intouch with your instinct , intuition and subconcious to harness it to your playing?

    this is a huge huge subject to address ,and so fundimental to jazz playing

  18. #67

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    There's a lot one can teach but there's also a lot one can't teach.

  19. #68

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    My perspective, as an ear player, which I submit for inclusion in your analysis, is that this problem likely emerges from abstracting rhythm as a separate component from pitch and harmony.

    For a self taught ear player, the musical objects are phenomenological Gestalts - any pitches or harmonies are intrinsically and necessarily made manifest by rhythm. Even when rubatoing one's way through a new song to become familiar with how it goes, the pitches and chords have beginnings, duration, ends, and separation. The things are heard, grasped, internalized, played, and ultimately performed as wholes, from the beginning and throughout.

    In the canonical teaching of formal music, strangely enough, this same thing is true - a note in the score is always an indicated duration by virtue of the type of intrinsic mark (whole, half, quarter, etc.) and additional marks (dots, triplet numeral, ties, etc.).

    In the informal lesson environment it is irresitably common practice to separate rhythm as in independent component for examination, practice, and study. For the student, the pitch and harmony space is multidimensional and the attachment or dependence to the score prolongs the transition to grasping melody and chords by ear. However, the separated abstracted rhythm is fairly one dimensional (if you don't consider all the Italian words, marks, and symbols all over the score indicating phrasing, volume, style, etc.).

    So, I think in the lesson environment the student will come to hear and learn the rhythm component by ear long before the melody and chord components. (Think of the times you have seen a group playing where everyone has a book on a stand, except the drummer... why is that?) So thinking about how they might play, they might be reading or thinking of what to play, but the way that is played (rhythm) is done by ear (like the drummer)... like the wonderful quote about coming up with a rhythm and then putting some notes on it. The rhythm is first because it is by ear, but then one switches mode to figure out what notes to play in that rhythm.

    Now imagine four guitarists:

    1 - plays by reading/thinking both notes and rhythms (pure state)
    2 - plays by reading/thinking notes but plays rhythms by ear (mixed state)
    3 - plays notes by ear but reads/thinks rhythm (mixed state)
    4 - plays both notes and rhythms by ear (pure state)

    Type 1 and type 4 look coherent and I would expect that helps or even enables a high level of performance.
    Type 2, cross mixing in constant requirement of continuous conscious abstracted integration, represents maybe most out there.
    Type 3, rare (?), lucky studio work where one already knows the song, but artist adapting it to their own style?
    Last edited by pauln; 04-24-2019 at 03:07 PM.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos View Post
    good ideas to think about

    im curious where and what are you all learning about groove, rhythm section roles , phrasing ?

    im getting a feeling the educational system doesnt address it.

    its kind of like sex education and sex, when it gets down to really doing it, you have to find out on your own then with a partner. you wont get what you really need from your parents or the educational system.
    t
    I think these are good points.

    The players I like all have great time-feel and melodic gifts. If you ask them how they developed these skills, some will mention metronome practice and some won't. Some who recommend it to their students don't actually do it themselves, and never have. I've never heard anybody attribute it specifically to exercises, although it may be that progress is so subtle that a player may not be fully aware of the nature of the acquisition of the skill. One thing they all seem to have in common is that they were very good even as teenagers.

    Since I've never taught intermediate jazz players, I'm relying on my own experience and my impressions from being around musicians for many years. I think that improving time feel is difficult. I know, very well, a player who practices regularly with a metronome with no apparent benefit. I've found the issue frustrating in my own playing, with just a few things producing some progress. The following occur to me as having helped.

    1. Playing percussion instruments. I had a lesson with a drummer some time ago who demonstrated a samba beat with a small shaker. None of the students could make it sound the same. I recorded it and listened to it quite a bit, trying to feel it the way he did. I actually think that helped. Understanding that the position of the "notes" must vary with tempo also helped. Now, I keep a shaker handy (and, often, some other hand percussion instruments) and I play them instead of comping, at times. It's easy to tell when I'm on the beat -- the drummer doesn't look angry.

    2. Recording rehearsals, jams and gigs and critiquing the time. I got better at hearing where I was in relation to other players (too often, a couple of nanoseconds behind) and worked at trying to feel where other musicians started the notes. For that matter, focusing on how different players release notes was also helpful.

    3. Playing with the very best players I could. It is very hard to have great time with a wobbly rhythm section. It holds you back. I am reminded of Gladwell's "Outliers" in which he described the path taken by Canadian Hockey players -- the issue being that the more talented kids got funneled into the better leagues. This afforded them the best opportunities for growth - for years.

    4. Recognizing the all-too-frequent error of making the notes more important than the time. I hear this all the time, even from pros (hopefully, on bad nights). No matter how great the melodic concept, it's no good if the time isn't right. Very easy mistake to make, and you have to listen for it on the recordings I mentioned above.

    5. Reminding myself to sing as I solo. That improves rhythmic vocabulary instantly, compared to not singing.

    6. This last one may sound strange. Giving up. A few years ago, in recognition of the reality that I didn't have all that many years left as a player, I stopped trying to do certain things that had eluded me for years. It turned out that my time was better when I was playing the sort of idea that occurs to me spontaneously, rather than chasing a sound that was a stretch.

    I'll try to think of more. Perhaps others can chime in on the topic of what actually improved their time feel.

    7. Here's another one. I'm less sure about this one. Playing without another chord instrument. I play a lot with piano. In that situation, the pianist really affects how the guitarist comps and solos. It can reduce freedom and increase opportunities for problems, depending on the pianist's skill and style. I think it may help a guitarist to express his/her time feel without a comping instrument influencing it, at least part of the time.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 04-24-2019 at 05:54 PM.

  21. #70

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    Except the singing. I couldn't possibly sing while I play... very weird :-)

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Except the singing. I couldn't possibly sing while I play... very weird :-)
    Me too, so we sing with my hands.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  23. #72

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    rpjazz guitar, i like all your points

    "playing percusion " ..absolutly, this is everything im aluding to about the ketu candomble percusion. im not expecting anyone to go as deep as ive gone. but even thinking about it, how profound these rhythm concepts are, how they are the the blueprints for so many jazz evolutions and phrasings and writings , will go a long way to working on how to get a philosophy on how to play jazz

    redording gigs and reherasals , absolutly , a very good idea, just to hear how we are. we dont know how we truley sound when we play, we have to hear a recording , or video , even then it can not be the best , but, it definitly helps to gouge your progress as a player

    playing with better players , definitly big deal ...i sought out older players , in the places this music was innovated. big thing . i went to live in new york to be closer to bebop, clave and hip hop, i lived in rio to really be close to samba, recife to learn maracatu and coco and salvador to learn ketu and bloco afro. it related to business , in some of the places and id extend longer to learn there

    yes , i heartily concur that time is more important than notes . i would even extend that to say that not just good time , but, being in and understanding groove. good time is one thing, you can have incredable time , but if the groove of a samba , for instance , comes in on the anticipation, and the guy is laying it down on the one, no matter how good the time, its clashing...maybe "good enough for jazz" hahahaha , a person could convince themselves its ok, but, if you really know, and you are laying it down anticipating the one, someone coming down on the one totaly throws the original groove off a little, enough to feel it if you know it. so its groove knowledge that even is more advanced. and it takes experiance, especialy bandstand experiance and playing with older guys or guys who really know that starts bringing these things home to understand

    i think one thing i can pass on to guitar players on this forum , as a drummer who catches ideas and as a person who hires guitar players in the studio and for gigs, what is most important to me is , deep time , more so deep groove knowledge, ability to hold the form, id prefer to not have paper on the bandstand , but sometimes its nescasary , i have my charts , but really simple. so , reading is a nescasary skill , but my gig will be simple, ability to hold hands with the group , especialy when the tempos get faster and more powerful, i need the solo to give up the one and not float linear, of course all the profesional demands of being on time and presentable condition to play are huge also for hiring someone and i cross people off my list if they mess up on those things fast.

    i hear you about the guitar with piano...what i think is, of course there are serious harmonic things to work out. great players seem to know. it relates to simplicity and listening as well as knowledge and experiance. i like guitarists who arnt afraid to do it with no bass or anyone but drums and percusion. lots of cats dont do that

    as a drummer, im grunting and singing also, its just not anything recognisable in the european tuning lexicon hahaha, but, by gosh, it is affective, breathing along with the soloists phrasing.

    one thing i do beleive from learning these ketu candomble beats and dances. you can learn groove , feel , rhythm section concept, how to trust intuition , how to recognise what it takes to make something groove even if it isnt exactly ketu, how to deal with simplicity and holding hands...

    it is cultural and quantifiable, its not such a mystery if we start to dig deeper into origins and roots of this music

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos View Post
    rpjazz guitar, i like all your points

    "playing percusion " ..absolutly, this is everything im aluding to about the ketu candomble percusion. im not expecting anyone to go as deep as ive gone. but even thinking about it, how profound these rhythm concepts are, how they are the the blueprints for so many jazz evolutions and phrasings and writings , will go a long way to working on how to get a philosophy on how to play jazz
    I completely agree about groove. I used the term time-feel more generally, but it has to be applied to groove. I have spent years studying Brazilian music (samba and various northeast styles) and it is from Brazilian music that my appreciation for subtleties of time and groove emerged.

    I did not study bata ketu specifically, although I'm aware of it. I agree that it is the foundation. I began with samba bataria and tried to apply those rhythmic ideas to guitar -- as had been done before.

  25. #74

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    some great topic related exercises - his "fundamentals" seem wildly advanced That said quite a few of these less common variations sound like they would not be that difficult to incorporate into ones playing. Around 25 mins he starts showing mapping pitches to rhythms


    Will
    Last edited by WillMbCdn5; 04-24-2019 at 09:47 PM.

  26. #75

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    oh guitar jazz players , please indulge me here , and i apologise in advance for anyone who is tired of the "check the percusion out" on a guitar forum, but, after seeing the nice video above ,i feel compelled to share this with you. this is my "sequence", i practice pretty much every day on drums, right handed , left handed , throw back beats on it...all the ones im playing percusion , i have drum beats for. bear with me now, i know , "what is this doing on a guitar thread ?", but, key issues of improvisation in jazz and how to aproach it are stimulating me to participate .

    i like this guy above, the finger snap parts, some of those things are directly in some of these ketu beats. i like how he is playing his thing on guitar, a simple thing that doesnt go into complexities of scales and harmony, to show his rhythmic aproaches. so i want you to imagine a guitar player playing that simple aproach to each change of the rhythm above in the youtube im bringing in.

    and remember , ive linked many of these grooves directly to armstrong, miles ,ellington etc the masters of jazz. i say , take this guys guitar aproach and aply it to these rhythms and you are going closer to the source.

    there is a point he starts to mentaly fatigue me, following the ketu grooves, i dont think you would fatigue mentaliy like that. i think it puts you directly into phrasing awareness, groove awareness , energy awareness. swing awareness especialy on some of the bouncy ones...

    the dance is in there too, so very important. jack joao goes back and forth from the accompanying "pi" , to the solo "rum". i could bring in the pure terreiro examples, but, im doing all the talking , better to see my referance first

    also, i want to make clear, im never saying dont learn the histroy of jazz songbook and go off to do anything, im saying this is all added on to the knowledge you already are exploring

    and, this guy starts going off into the deeper sub divisions, and, here is where he is going past the african rooted ketu and into the india related odd times and here is where it can go down the rabbit hole and i dont know if i want to do that now, but, i can say this, these ketu concepts are about the deep ancient african concepts and how they informed what jazz is all about , especialy groove and improvisation ,from joplin , jelly roll , armstrong, ellington, miles , bird, coltrane, wayne, hard bop , modal bop that still was 12 bar and aaba....when brubeck and ornette coleman brought their concepts on the scene, there is a severly sharp change away from these concepts , and , since then, there are huge variations and new definitions of jazz, i call it the de africanisation of jazz

    so its the rabbit hole , and its only personal opinion at that point , and i can only say, i have played free music with high leval players, complicated odd times with fusion groups in the spell of mcclauglin and that is a high point in odd times, he has sat with the masters. i can say i listened to allah rakah and then zakir hussein , which i listen to often ,i respect all high leval discipline and cultures , but, my heart is in afro diasporic grooves, in jazz that is those names i keep saying and of course brazilian music , i started on bongos and congas so cuban music is dear to my heart. and these ketu rhythms have so many secrets that answers a lot of questions for those things i love so much to play, for various reasons. that is why im so deep into them now and i am trying to share it

    but, i guess that is what jazz is all aboutm, a lot of differant opinions of how to play it ,and, its good to know what you really love and make that choice in the most committed way

  27. #76

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    isnt it better to practice with a groove than a metranome?...i dont know , just asking

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    1. Playing percussion instruments.
    Mimi Fox plays drums and keeps a kit in her garage. Being a percussionist has a big impact on how she plays (and teaches) guitar
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Mimi Fox plays drums and keeps a kit in her garage. Being a percussionist has a big impact on how she plays (and teaches) guitar
    Mimi's time-feel is superb and she attributes it to starting out as a drummer. If you ever have a chance to listen to her play a bass line with chord stabs on guitar --- the bass line is as deep in the pocket as anybody's.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Mimi's time-feel is superb and she attributes it to starting out as a drummer. If you ever have a chance to listen to her play a bass line with chord stabs on guitar --- the bass line is as deep in the pocket as anybody's.
    I contend that learning jazz drumming basics should be required for any jazz university program.

    When I was at the new school, we had to learn jazz piano basics which is I guess somewhat useful (I didn't personally find it useful at all) but it really grinds my gears that jazz drumming was not required for everyone.

  31. #80

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    Miles Okazaki again( yes I'm a fan) Drumuitaring!



    Will

  32. #81

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    If anyone's interested here's my resource.

    Should be good for any instrument...

    My Resource for Working on Rhythmic Vocabulary

  33. #82

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    miles okazaki has the right idea for sure...gees his 3/4 near the end is sato from ketu

    if you want to do paradidles , a neat trick i used to do is start the paradidle on the anticapation so it comes in before the one, it gets really syncopated and interesting..on the one almost sounds like a march, anticipated it really gets groovy style, "latinish" (im not a fan of saying "latin rhythms", there are too many variable but sometimes it gets the idea over)

    i like he is saying you can practice out of any drum book...

    but, ill tell you, i used to have these tricks with rudiments, all my limbs playing 16 notes at the same time and accent the rudiment but keep all limbs playing 16 notes...

    i dont do rudiments any more. these ketu codes cover everything. flams and ruffs are ingrained and the grooves are so powerful when i start "rum" ing , soloing over it but coming back to the groove, im doing lots of rolls .playing them left handed and right totaly strengthens the opisite hand, but, guitar players dont have to do this , miles shows well how a guitar player can aproach this

    how miles is explaining playing guitar to these drum rhythms , if you just aplied that to these ketu beats, you are playing the actual origins and roots of what is in jazz . its one of the most direct pracitce routines i can do to take right to the bandstand

    miles has the right idea , its good to see players coming up with their ways to deal with rhythms .i can see his exercises are going to give him a sharp attack

    same with your game technique , christian

    its not abandoning the educational system, its adding on to it

  34. #83

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    It's been interesting to see this thread evolve into general 'advice for working on your time' thread having started with something rather specific.

    Good and great advice generally, though.

    I used to feel the only way to learn this music was to try anad walk the path the greats did. I'm more open these days. The music changes, the way in which it performs changes and I think that's a good think as long as we don't abandon the groove and improvisation (which I feel are both essential to this music.) Change is life. Life is change.

    And while the time honoured stuff - learning from the records, playing with the best musicians we can find, immersing ourselves in the culture and finding the pocket within ourselves is always the emphasis for me, I also think we should be open to new information as it comes along, and as teachers and self-educators use it to inform our work. Also other cultures and artforms ... the arts are the same really. I get the feeling this is understood in Japan...

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned here (AFAIK) is playing along with the records. There's a lot of players who learned doing that.

  35. #84

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    @christianm77 What "new information" are you talking about? Modern music theory has been around for a looong time. There isn't any "new information" there it's the same stuff that's been used since long before you were a twinkle in your mama's eye or even your grandmama's eye. It's really just a matter of how creative you are and then what you can creatively do with it.

    On the other hand sometimes I think guitarists think they have to have every lick spoon fed to them by someone else so they're always looking to someone else to show them some specific way to play everything. However if someone else shows a lick to you then, in a sense, it isn't really new. Rather you're regurgitating what's actually been done before and calling it "new". So in that sense it's actually a deception because it isn't really new or original.

    The concept I mentioned of "variable licks" is exactly a method for creating something new. Because if you're creative enough what you'll find is by using that method you'll eventually come up with brand new licks that are totally you're own that don't even resemble the original lick you started with anymore, even though they started out being based on the same idea.

    Having a solid foundation in the music theory, learning how to play with the different subdivisions during the measure, Playing some of what's already been done as a learning tool to see what's going on musically, then learning methods for creating your own original lines/musical ideas with it all, then playing what YOU hear and feel, that's how you create something new and original. That's how it becomes YOU and not just a clone of someone else.

  36. #85

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  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobalou View Post
    @christianm77 What "new information" are you talking about? Modern music theory has been around for a looong time. There isn't any "new information" there it's the same stuff that's been used since long before you were a twinkle in your mama's eye or even your grandmama's eye. It's really just a matter of how creative you are and then what you can creatively do with it.
    So there have been a few scientific papers talking about the objective nature of swing as recorded that I find quite interesting. The most recent one (2017) talks about synchronisation with the up beat which is a thing that all jazz musicians do, but few are aware of. I’ve found this is something that both you can absolutely hear and quite useful for working out what exactly I am trying to teach.

    I’ll find a citation but it’s a little dense, but lasted on gets a bit more readable.

    So the question is whether players need to know that - I would say not, but I do think it’s a useful thing to know in light of pedagogy because it ties up a lot of the threads that get very confused in the types of discussions here.

    (I am aware of possible critiques from the cultural side also)

    People have lots of great advice but it’s not always clear to someone who wants a deeper understanding (again not necessarily the player, more the teacher who wants to help students consistently) and kind of work out where mutually contradictory advice has commonality. There’s a lot of the latter in jazz edu. (And not much academic literature which may not be a bad thing, but is certainly in contrast to classical)

    On the other hand sometimes I think guitarists think they have to have every lick spoon fed to them by someone else so they're always looking to someone else to show them some specific way to play everything. However if someone else shows a lick to you then, in a sense, it isn't really new. Rather you're regurgitating what's actually been done before and calling it "new". So in that sense it's actually a deception because it isn't really new or original.

    The concept I mentioned of "variable licks" is exactly a method for creating something new. Because if you're creative enough what you'll find is by using that method you'll eventually come up with brand new licks that are totally you're own that don't even resemble the original lick you started with anymore, even though they started out being based on the same idea.

    Having a solid foundation in the music theory, learning how to play with the different subdivisions during the measure, Playing some of what's already been done as a learning tool to see what's going on musically, then learning methods for creating your own original lines/musical ideas with it all, then playing what YOU hear and feel, that's how you create something new and original. That's how it becomes YOU and not just a clone of someone else.
    Absolutely

  38. #87

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    This is a really interesting discussion.

    To me "sounding like jazz" is 90% about how you play notes or rhythms and only 10% about the actual note choice and rhythms.

    You can play any rhythm so it does not sound like jazz and you can also play most rhythms so do sound like jazz.

    The easiest way to learn (in my experience as a student and as a teacher) is imitation, so really playing along with solos you have learned, and preferably you learned them by ear otherwise you won't be able to nail the phrasing. This again just comes down to listening a lot.

    It is also important to keep in mind that swing feel is not something with a right or a wrong solution. Pat Martino and Grant Green are both right, but are at both ends of the spectrum with how even they play 8th notes. Benson emphasizes the down beat very often so does Wes, but not all the time, so there are no strict rules for that.

    This makes it hard to teach with analysis and explanations (otherwise I would have made a lot more videos on it.... ) and easier to learn and internalize by ear. This is also a good reason why you should transcribe stuff even if you get a lot of the notes wrong, in a way that is not really that important for learning phrasing and you will still learn tons!

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by JensL View Post
    This is a really interesting discussion.

    To me "sounding like jazz" is 90% about how you play notes or rhythms and only 10% about the actual note choice and rhythms.

    You can play any rhythm so it does not sound like jazz and you can also play most rhythms so do sound like jazz.

    The easiest way to learn (in my experience as a student and as a teacher) is imitation, so really playing along with solos you have learned, and preferably you learned them by ear otherwise you won't be able to nail the phrasing. This again just comes down to listening a lot.
    I think this is 100% true... I would posit that it is the teacher's job in part to help the student learn what to listen out FOR - to acquaint them with the level of detail they need to be listening with in order to be actually (to paraphrase Bill Evans)able to imitate what they are hearing not just do a version of it.

    I find things like just learning some basic rhythms on percussion (claves, bembe, that sort of stuff) and getting students to sing or play these patterns along with 4/4 swing does a lot to open up the phrasing beyond the usual 8th notes to death thing. Opens up an extra layer of nuance...

    It is also important to keep in mind that swing feel is not something with a right or a wrong solution. Pat Martino and Grant Green are both right, but are at both ends of the spectrum with how even they play 8th notes. Benson emphasizes the down beat very often so does Wes, but not all the time, so there are no strict rules for that.

    This makes it hard to teach with analysis and explanations (otherwise I would have made a lot more videos on it.... ) and easier to learn and internalize by ear. This is also a good reason why you should transcribe stuff even if you get a lot of the notes wrong, in a way that is not really that important for learning phrasing and you will still learn tons!

    Jens
    This is perhaps where we disagree a little, if only because I've been able to get students to swing more by asking them to do specific exercises, most of which are coming from.

    It's to me no different from any type of music theory really, just naming specific entities and training one's ear to hear them. Even if it's as simple as knowing what a Bembe bell pattern is, or how it relates to the ride pattern, or 6/8 clave, or the 1/4 triplet - that all strikes me as the sort of thing drummers are very aware of. Drummers are often historians of rhythm with a much deeper understanding of the connections between musical forms.

    Also rhythm relates to maths on the most basic level, it's can be as theoretical, or as natural, as any other aspect of music, even if it's as simple as knowing when something should synchronise and when it shouldn't, developing rhythmic independence and so on.

    For instance, how do you teach someone to play a Bembe pattern with one hand and tap their foot or other hand in 6/8, 3/4 and 2/4 (Peter Bernstein teaches this for phrasing on a fast jazz waltz for instance.)?

    I think most people would have to break it down step by step as with any polyrhythm stuff. There's probably other ways to do it, but that's the most common way I've seen.

    Good for the brain, I think. Although drummers are mental.

    I sometimes feel people want rhythm to be completely intuitive, different from other aspects of music which sometimes need to be broken down in a step by step way. I'm not sure why this is.

  40. #89

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    Why does someone need to figure out the solo by ear to nail the phrasing?
    White belt
    My Youtube

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is perhaps where we disagree a little, if only because I've been able to get students to swing more by asking them to do specific exercises, most of which are coming from.

    It's to me no different from any type of music theory really, just naming specific entities and training one's ear to hear them. Even if it's as simple as knowing what a Bembe bell pattern is, or how it relates to the ride pattern, or 6/8 clave, or the 1/4 triplet - that all strikes me as the sort of thing drummers are very aware of. Drummers are often historians of rhythm with a much deeper understanding of the connections between musical forms.

    Also rhythm relates to maths on the most basic level, it's can be as theoretical, or as natural, as any other aspect of music, even if it's as simple as knowing when something should synchronise and when it shouldn't, developing rhythmic independence and so on.

    For instance, how do you teach someone to play a Bembe pattern with one hand and tap their foot or other hand in 6/8, 3/4 and 2/4 (Peter Bernstein teaches this for phrasing on a fast jazz waltz for instance.)?

    I think most people would have to break it down step by step as with any polyrhythm stuff. There's probably other ways to do it, but that's the most common way I've seen.

    Good for the brain, I think. Although drummers are mental.

    I sometimes feel people want rhythm to be completely intuitive, different from other aspects of music which sometimes need to be broken down in a step by step way. I'm not sure why this is.
    To me all the things you are talking about above are not on the topic of swing and phrasing, they are things to study and will help in all sorts of ways but they will not help you hear a certain swing feel, at most they help you develop the technique to execute it if you can hear it.

    When you teach them to swing, is it then with a Grant Green feel or a Pat Martino feel?

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    Why does someone need to figure out the solo by ear to nail the phrasing?
    They don't need to, but from my experience most people don't really get it right if they are reading the solo. Half the time they are more obsessed with remembering what was on the page, and if you are reading then you are not spending as much energy on getting the phrasing right.

    If you learn it by ear you usually have it internalized in a much stronger way.

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  43. #92

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    Speaking of jazz phrasing generally - one thing that has helped me a lot is learning the difference between an accented, structural note and 'filler' (it's analagous to ghost notes on a hand drumming), and the placement of those particular notes is important, while the other ones can be a bit less definite.

    Some players are more consistent with their beat placement, evenness etc than others, but they all seem to nail the timing of these accented notes very specifically.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by JensL View Post
    To me all the things you are talking about above are not on the topic of swing and phrasing, they are things to study and will help in all sorts of ways but they will not help you hear a certain swing feel, at most they help you develop the technique to execute it if you can hear it.

    Jens
    Well.... there's more to jazz than 8th notes.... Oh I seem to find you did a video on it.

    Bembe is a massive influence on good medium tempo swing feel. Triple time in general, obviously, but the Bembe just has that slinky push and pull thing. Take Wes on Willow Weep and sing the 6/8 clave with him. Billie Holiday too. Hearing Peter singing that rhythm switched on a light in my head, too.

    What this type of polyrhythm gives you is the right way to play behind the beat. As Wynton puts it:

    Wynton Marsalis:
    Mm-hmm. Well, it’s all of the musics that have a rhythm that’s a combination of 4 and 3. They are related technically. It all comes from that kind of African mother clave, then our shuffle is added in.

    The 3 rhythm is small and the 4 rhythm is big rhythm in the jazz language. Whereas in the African music, the 3 rhythm is the big rhythm that you hear. The 4 rhythm is the background rhythm. (Well, it’s a 6 but you know what I mean.) When they are playing they are hearing both of the times, and they are playing both of the times. But they swing in the lower time.
    EI: Barry Harris told me once that he thought Charlie Parker constantly played in 4 and 6 at the same time. That it was in there somewhere…
    WM: It’s in everybody’s music. Billie Holiday is the most pronounced one…
    EI: Oh, you think so?
    WM: Well, that I’ve heard of the jazz musicians. If we put on a Billie Holiday record and we tap quarter note triplets, a lot of her phrasing will line exactly up with those triplets. Put her music on and tap out a quarter note triplet. She’s always in that quarter note time. “Sailboat in the moonlight with you…”
    As Wynton says, you can boil it down to quarter triplets synchronising with 1/3 and this synching with 1 and 4 (as Kreisberg and Larry Koonse teach) but I like the Bembe because it's a bit more musical, obviously connected to the history and encapsulates both the 1/4 triplets in one rhythm.

    That said, most of my students struggle at first hearing 6/8 on 4/4 and accurately playing it, let alone the more complex Bembe rhythm, so learning 1/4 triplets is usually a necessary first step.

    I've learned a lot by reading interviews on Do the Math with Billy Hart, Charlie McPherson etc.. Those interviews are fantastic.

    When you teach them to swing, is it then with a Grant Green feel or a Pat Martino feel?
    Yeah - well here's the thing. The rhythmic language and phrasing of those two players is obviously very different; differences in rhythmic vocabulary, accentuation, articulation, not necessarily fundamental issues of beat placement, except in that Green has more of propensity to play other rhythms than swung eights. For instance, straight or double time over a swing rhythm section. I don't think I've yet heard Pat do that particular one.

    But you are going to find that they synchronise the upbeat with the rest of the band and don't overdot their 1/8s, anywhere up to playing them pretty much straight and fractionally behind the beat. That's non negotiable. Everyone does that. And that upbeat placement is agreed with the drummer and everyone else in the band.

    Anyway, I often find myself fixing players who do the overdotting, jerky thing. I'm sure you know it well.

    Can be for a number of reasons... number one reason, I reckon, too much practice trying to synch exactly with the metronome while swinging (which will never work), not enough experience playing straight ahead with drummers, not enough playing with records, whatever.

    So, step one, practice singing or tapping consistently the swing upbeat (which can take a while.) Go between 3rd triplet and straight and, just to get the basic reference points. Actually, a lot of overdotters are already able to do this.. (I had a teacher that suggested I practice with the metronome on '1 and' and '2 and', another good idea.)

    Then switch on the recorder, get them to start off playing their usual way, so probably quite triplety at this point - and then straighten their playing they ALWAYS sound good - they still swing because they are catching the swung upbeat.

    (That's the important part of it that sometimes gets missed. If you don't nail accurately the upbeats in any type of African diaspora music, you don't groove...)

    They usual feel a bit weird about it, you play them the recording and they go 'Oh' - do it a few times and they start to learn that feeling. It's not everything - you don't want to play accented downbeats late, for instance, but it works really well. Of course it does, it's the same advice given by many greats.

    So I think it doesn't have to be a big deal. If you know what you are doing, you can fix basic problems with swing feel. The other distinctions are more to do with rhythmic vocab, articulation etc

  45. #94

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    Sorry that was kind of a long one lol

  46. #95

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    I am not saying that people shouldn't learn polyrhythms and I learned Bembe quite early on back in Denemark.

    But I still find that if you want a novice jazz player to learn to sound more like jazz when they improvise then having them do a few solos by ear is not to be ignored. And that was what you started the thread with right?

    We can drown in exercises but checking out real music is pretty useful

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by JensL View Post
    I am not saying that people shouldn't learn polyrhythms and I learned Bembe quite early on back in Denemark.
    It seemed a little bit like you couldn't relate what I'd said to jazz phrasing, so hence the long ass Wynton quote.

    Polyrhythms are essential to jazz phrasing. A sense of swing builds on all of these elements.

    But I still find that if you want a novice jazz player to learn to sound more like jazz when they improvise then having them do a few solos by ear is not to be ignored. And that was what you started the thread with right?
    I'm not really talking about ignoring anything? I'm confused now.

    Re the OP I say : 'Obviously, one should always give the simple and vital advice to listen to lots and lots jazz (immersion), but I feel other resources would be helpful, and possibly enjoyable for the student.' Anyway, this was for an assignment. Feel free to check out the fairly lightweight but (I think) quite fun resource I posted on the thread linked above.

    In general, you could exactly the same value (probably quite a bit more) by transcribing the rhythms of solos (I think Galper has a exercise like this), but the cards thing is quite fun and also helps with reading skills. I do like having exercises where we can forget about pitch choices for 5 minutes. It's so easy to drown in questions about this or that scale.

    Personally, I feel the more resources we have that deal with jazz rhythm the better. And there's not that much out there, for the number of players who struggle with it. I know I did, and the advice I got was very general, and not that much help. You may have been luckier... My aim is always to give students a series of clear and finite things to work on rather than just saying 'work on your time.'

    I still am working on my time all the .... er... time, but the difference is now I know what I am working towards and I can measure my gains, both by listening critically to myself, because I know what I am listening out for and in other ways. As my understanding improves, so does my ear, so I never really catch up with it...

    Re: learning solos by ear. One thing I do is get students to transcribe in the lesson with my help. It can be really intimidating to do this for a beginner. Some students are 100% comfortable with it, even surprised that this is an advised activity.

    What's your approach?

    We can drown in exercises but checking out real music is pretty useful

    Jens
    I think we should play only exercises..

    (not really)
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-29-2019 at 05:26 PM.

  48. #97

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    i have to double check , but, i think "bembe " bell is called "vassi " in ketu . ketu has various vassi tempos for differant dieties, same bell and pi and le but differant tempos, the solo sometimes just hands on the drum, or ,hand and stick.

    what i have discovered in ketu is , if you stick to the basic laws or parameters , there is an incredable cross thing happening.

    for instance , jinka has a "pi" and "le" , the two sticks playing the same thing as the other drum , a really bounce pattern almost elvinish , but is in ellington accents on heads like satin doll . the jinka bell is the same as the bravum , where the "pi" and "le" are actualy an art blakey and philly jo jones splang a lang with a triplit cross stick in the jazz drum version. but the jinka / bravum bell is a figure in nows the time and jingle bell rock , so you all can get a very good idea of the feel, its really bouncy and if you just played that rhythm on a solo with a blues , any note you wanted , it would be swinging like crazy .

    so , in ketu, sato is a 3/4 beat , and, they just add a beat to the jinka/ bravum bell ( think jingle bell rock) and its totaly 3/4, but they keep the "pi" and "le" the same as in jinka , but , with the new bell, its dramaticly 3/4, yet there is a tug of the duple also

    the phrasing of the rums really start going back and forth with the 3 against 4 feeling ,like lets say billie holliday mentioned, but , it seems all these great jazz singers got it from louis armstrong, and , i skated on listening to the hot fives a long time, but , now , getting to it , im blown away. so much is there. his scatting is off the wall even doing a heavy cross 3 worthy of hancock and tony on 4 and more , and serious opanije phrasing on lots of stuff, he keeps coming back to opanije singing and playing the trumpet , even with some bars other cadence. but after hot fives , he doesnt do that as much , all swing went "bravum" for a minute .

    but, the actual parameters of these concepts let the phrasing of the solo play to that , or , on top of the beat , that is part of the range of expresion each player brings . in ketu , the solo "rum" has each player doing these similar licks for the dancers , but there are these differances in aproach, some slippery , some sharp , some behind , some on, some ahead, not unlike sax solos, or, the exact differance of a methany , who is more slippery and informed by coltrane and ornette and grant green more rooted in tradition.

    so its this incredable two against three , syncopated call responce , simple repeated micro cadences that lead to large beautiful ever changing like life because of improvisation , that you add a beat to a duple concept and the whole structure although playing the same thing , goes into a new feeling , in 3. this goes over and over, the tribe over the hill has a variation and a new dance , its so flexable it always evolves. look how it came to the americas , dominated all the places these concepts were brought to , the grooves , ginga, swing, dances that kept changing every decade ...and jazz is all that...

    for example, christian, one video you have i asume the drummer is playing a second line beat in the A . well, if you take a monster ketu beat , "ilu ", on the "pi" and "le" , its really fast, and isolate the opisite hand , still playing the pattern, start slowing it down and first you hit "frevo" then that second line beat ,some louis armstrong unison horn line cadences , some ray charles stuff has it also as a cadence, then you hit "olodum" the brazilian bloco afro who made that beat famous, then , really slow with a high hat and cross stick , you hit bossa...the opisite hand of "ilu", all slowed down, still playing the whole pi and le, starts covering cadences in various world recognised cultural musical patrimonies.

    this speaks to the crux of what is going on , the vitality and the importance to plugging into the big picture. which also includes powerful tickits to intuition and sub concious expresion , and the cultural genius of where this comes from

  49. #98

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    hot five didnt have drums,it had banjo

    neither jelly roll nor joplin

    this isnt drummer talk at all

  50. #99

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    I thought about a new thread for this,in On The Bandstand, but maybe it will make sense here.

    Some time back I heard a Brazilian master drummer play a simple egg shaker. None of the non-Brazilians could get the same groove.

    In the course of a lesson from another Brazilian master, the shaker reminded me of the Little Train That Could, meaning "I think I can" repeated. Some readers will know what that sounds like. The Little Train speeds up and the rhythm of the words changes with the speed, but somehow, it stays in a kind of pocket.

    So, I started bringing a shaker to jams. On the Brazilian tunes, if the guitar comp wasn't needed, I'd play shaker instead, chanting silently, "I think I can". The drummers looked happy, which is a good sign.

    Then, something interesting in another way happened. When I was playing guitar in one of the sessions, I kept feeling like I was getting off the time. I wasn't sure why. I couldn't hear where the problem was in the band, or in me. But, when I was playing shaker, keeping time with my arm and wrist, I felt pretty confident that I was on the beat. I could feel it clearly. Suddenly, I could hear when the drums, bass, or both faltered. At another session, with a different bassist and drummer, I did it again, finding that it was all fine.

    So, as a small, but possibly helpful, idea to improve time feel, I'd suggest putting the guitar down and playing shaker. Other hand percussion is possible, but most other percussion instruments are more complicated than a straightforward shaker part.

    Another thing I'd suggest is not playing too loud. I find it easier than it should be to get off the time if I inadvertently drown out the rhythm section. It's better if I put the amp further away, so I hear the guitar more in the group context.

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos View Post
    hot five didnt have drums,it had banjo

    neither jelly roll nor joplin

    this isnt drummer talk at all
    Which is why *we* should be talking about it of course.

    Also - guitar is a type of drum - but we forgot in jazz. Other forms of music haven’t, funk, rock, reggae and so on. In bossa the guitar is a whole percussion ensemble.

    I’ve played my fair share of early jazz rhythm guitar, even a little banjo. The guitar used to be the drums in the piano trio before Ahmad and Bill changes it up - just listen to Tal Farlow play rhythm.

    Jim Hall redefined the role of the guitar just as Charlie Christian had done (now it could play the part of piano as well as horn) but both were masters of the instrument in its original role.