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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I haven’t heard him do that either. I thought you might have found a solo....

    Dim chords of course don’t necessarily have anything to do with the diminished scale. I suspect the dim scale use in jazz started with LNT embellishment of the arpeggio.



    Well it’s more likely with Chico that he is coming from that place as he is part of the current paradigm. Btw Here’s a nice example of melodic minor usage I found jn one of his solos:

    Good video. It looks to me, though, that an average player (which Chico is decidedly not) would probably have been thinking tritone sub with the root of the original chord (the high D) and the rest being, mostly, an Ab major lick. Ablyddom, Ebmelmin if you like, but, for many of us, it's probably easier to find that Ab major triad and embellish it.

    So, this strikes me as one of those cases where something catches your ear, you figure it out, and the device that the player seems to have been using is a familiar one. What is less familiar, is the quality of the melodic content, the quality of his time and the absolute clarity with which each of his notes rings out.

    You're probably familiar with his song Triades which includes a lot of split triads making an incredible musical statement. If you haven't heard it, I think it's on youtube and is worth checking out.

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  3. #52

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    Nica's Dream was released in 1954
    || Bb- maj7 | Ab- maj7 | etc..
    Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and Herbie Hancock, to name a few, also liked to compose borrowing from the modes of melodic minor. I don't see that there could be any controversy over the modes of melodic minor 50 years after the fact.

  4. #53
    As far as history, Reg contends that it was a BANDSTAND evolution and not an academic-only one. He played this stuff in the sixties when HM minor was the thing.

    Then, the tradition of including the #9 as an 8th pitch to HM became a thing. At that point, it's not a huge leap to the NEXT step of using MM as the 7-note evolution of that idea. There are a lot of players and teachers who to talk about using it. It's widely considered the 2nd most important scale for improv.

    At a certain level, I guess I have to just decide whether this account by someone who played in the 60s is accurate or whether they're just making it up or something. The way we continue to go on about these things feels a little bit like we think the Gary Burton's and reg's of the world are just making this stuff up , contributing to some kind of flat earth or fake moon landing -type conspiracy or something.

    Of course all of those horn players and keyboardists who talk about MM being important are in on it as well.

    Whatever.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 07-09-2019 at 11:22 PM.

  5. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    As far as history, Reg contends that it was a BANDSTAND evolution and not an academic-only one. He played this stuff in the sixties when HM minor was the thing.

    Then, the tradition of including the #9 as an 8th pitch to HM became a thing. At that point, it's not a huge leap to the NEXT step of using MM as the 7-note evolution of that idea. There are a lot of players and teachers who to talk about using it. It's widely considered the 2nd most important scale for improv. ...
    Indeed, it is considered to be very important, which is why I have doubts about turning my back on it! I suppose it could be a bit like a Swing era player (or earlier) refusing to play b5ths in defiance of "those filthy modernists", he'd be missing out on a lot of fun, but it's a choice, perhaps a very brave choice given that he would definitely have been perceived as uncool at the time. I expect that people like Reg, and perhaps yourself in a similar way may consider MM organisation to be de rigeur, but maybe I'm seeing it quite differently to how it would have evolved on the street. I mean, I love LD and altered Dominants, but I just happen to feel that modes of MM are just optional ways of addressing them, and not necessarily more important than say, HW dim scales or whole tones etc..

    So maybe I'm closing the door on what the cats did with it all after 1965, but perhaps I can live with that, I mean, I expect it will take the rest of my playing life to catch up to what my favourite cats were doing in 1963 ! But feel free to remind me of all the fun I'll be missing ...

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Good video. It looks to me, though, that an average player (which Chico is decidedly not) would probably have been thinking tritone sub with the root of the original chord (the high D) and the rest being, mostly, an Ab major lick. Ablyddom, Ebmelmin if you like, but, for many of us, it's probably easier to find that Ab major triad and embellish it.

    So, this strikes me as one of those cases where something catches your ear, you figure it out, and the device that the player seems to have been using is a familiar one. What is less familiar, is the quality of the melodic content, the quality of his time and the absolute clarity with which each of his notes rings out.

    You're probably familiar with his song Triades which includes a lot of split triads making an incredible musical statement. If you haven't heard it, I think it's on youtube and is worth checking out.
    Aye



    I think you’ve seen this and already critiqued my pronunciation of ‘Traides’ iirc?

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Indeed, it is considered to be very important, which is why I have doubts about turning my back on it! I suppose it could be a bit like a Swing era player (or earlier) refusing to play b5ths in defiance of "those filthy modernists", he'd be missing out on a lot of fun, but it's a choice, perhaps a very brave choice given that he would definitely have been perceived as uncool at the time. I expect that people like Reg, and perhaps yourself in a similar way may consider MM organisation to be de rigeur, but maybe I'm seeing it quite differently to how it would have evolved on the street. I mean, I love LD and altered Dominants, but I just happen to feel that modes of MM are just optional ways of addressing them, and not necessarily more important than say, HW dim scales or whole tones etc..

    So maybe I'm closing the door on what the cats did with it all after 1965, but perhaps I can live with that, I mean, I expect it will take the rest of my playing life to catch up to what my favourite cats were doing in 1963 ! But feel free to remind me of all the fun I'll be missing ...
    I like the word 'optional' here. You could be a great Grant Green style player and never go near a MM scale, for instance.

    In practical terms, all jazz players, I think, have to have a way of dealing with m6. That's an interesting and useful sound because it gives us the m7b5, the m6 (obv!), the 9th chord, and a half step above the dominant that 7b9b13 sound (by the way, interesting fact - Abm6 is present in the D harmonic minor scale through enharmony.)

    Now the fact that it's a short step to build a melodic minor scale around the m6 leads me to be surprised that you wouldn't do that (Barry Harris rather doesn't, for instance, using the m6-dim instead.) But most players of the 30s - 60s favoured I have studied favoured mixed scale usage, usually the 7 in ascent, the b7 in descent. You hear this in Charlie Christian etc.

    To take the opposite case, Miles's solo on So What mixes the scales too, even though it's obstensibly based around the dorian mode. I remember being struck by that when I was learning the solo as a baby jazzer who had just encountered the modes and CST.



    The C# in bar 14 could be a LNT of course (it's on the '4 and'), but either way the leading tone C#-->D makes for better melodic flow and swing.

    From a more philosophical standpoint, it's fair to say the MM and its modes has a ghost, if not overt, presence in the history of jazz - to take a very old fashioned example, here is Stephan Grappelli on Limehouse Blues, what do you hear on the C7 chord (the first four bars of his solo)?



    It's a similar example to the George Shearing. Just flat the third of the key and there you are, a LD on IV7, or an altered scale on VII7. Does that mean he was 'using' the melodic minor?

    Same sort of question - did Django use Harmonic Major harmony in 'Manoir de Mes Reves.'?

    I don't know. Christian van Hemert objected on these forums to my saying this. Technically it's true - but no gypsy player would think of it that way. His argument I think, is if it's not how the player thinks, it's not valid, and I have some sympathy for that viewpoint, but I'm not a mind reader when it comes to the greats of the past.

    OTOH I remember Reg arguing that Django wasn't using it on the basis that it hadn't been invented yet (so - what does 'invented' mean here?) He also argued that first chord is Bbo7, even though there is clearly an F# in the melody in the violin, and every gypsy player plays 6 x 5 6 7 x (the song is in D.) I tend to think of it as a Bbo7 with an F# on, somewhat influenced by Reg, but Van Hemert was pretty adamant that no Manouche player he had met (and he's met a lot more than me) thinks of it that way. either. (It's a colourful A7 chord, not a Bbo7)

    All these answers can be true. There's a difference between playing something and 'knowing' what you are doing: arguably Django did not use the harmonic major in that sense, because he lacked the language to talk about it. He wasn't self aware of it in the way Miles was, or most of these forum members are. He didn't have a 'concept', so to speak - well he probably did, but he obviously didn't write a Mel Bay book or whatever. The importance of having a communicable concept encourage us towards seeing music theory - including Melodic Minor harmony - as a social phenomenon rather than something immanent in the music itself.

    Which in English means, you can take it or leave it.

    OTOH, one's analysis of a music always comes through the prism of your understanding, because that analysis is always ambiguous. Therefore 'the words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.'

    Tl;DR - you can find melodic minor modes in jazz from the early days to the present. But
    1) when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail
    and 2) the question I think prince is interested in is not what we can find in the music, but rather when musicians started self-consciously using MM modes, and therefore if that type of thinking is that helpful for the type of music he wants to play.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-10-2019 at 04:19 AM.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    As far as history, Reg contends that it was a BANDSTAND evolution and not an academic-only one. He played this stuff in the sixties when HM minor was the thing.

    Then, the tradition of including the #9 as an 8th pitch to HM became a thing. At that point, it's not a huge leap to the NEXT step of using MM as the 7-note evolution of that idea. There are a lot of players and teachers who to talk about using it. It's widely considered the 2nd most important scale for improv.
    I'd just like to point out Reg's timeline chimes with my hunch.

    At a certain level, I guess I have to just decide whether this account by someone who played in the 60s is accurate or whether they're just making it up or something. The way we continue to go on about these things feels a little bit like we think the Gary Burton's and reg's of the world are just making this stuff up , contributing to some kind of flat earth or fake moon landing -type conspiracy or something.

    Of course all of those horn players and keyboardists who talk about MM being important are in on it as well.

    Whatever.
    Well, you know, we are just rebelling against the boomers now... Also you are a filthy globist.

    Actually in seriousness, there's a social context..

    Again, I would relate to the social aspect. Gary Burton was innovating jazz rock in the 60s, obviously, going beyond standards. (Many of the teachers in the UK were part of a specific movement in jazz that turned away from US models in the 80s and so on.) Bear in mind by the 1960s the whole history of changes based jazz had pretty much happened, and Burton et al were looking for something new.

    And this CST stuff, it kind of tries to extend a hegemony - 'this is the way we play jazz now.' Is that a fact? Does Tim Berne play jazz that way?

    I'm sure Tim knows all the CST and MM modes there are... But you know I am not arguing against learning about them. I think Prince's word 'option' is important here. Ignorance isn't cool. A musician should learn all the options they can, but the thing that selects which are useful, is in my experience, listening and that's an emotional connection. You aren't going to get that in a Jazz Harmony 101 lecture theatre.

    I know a lot of players who regard the harmony teaching they received at college as pretty useless and unhelpful. Those are the players who are tuning into Barry Harris etc.

    It's a style. I know CST wonks like to say it's a theory of harmony, but it leads to a ****ing style. I can hear it a mile off. The jazz edu international style.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-10-2019 at 04:49 AM.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Aye



    I think you’ve seen this and already critiqued my pronunciation of ‘Traides’ iirc?
    Don't recall that, but that doesn't rule it out.

    What surprises me about Triades is that it seems to be much easier to play fingerstyle, but, he picks it.
    Also, from the chart, it looks like a kind of classical piece, but live, it's a high energy burner.

    On a separate, but possibly related topic, have you seen Irrequieto?

    I'm wondering what you have to practice to think of a line like that one.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    And that’s why I think we need to draw attention to the problem that jazz has become obsessed with chord symbols. It’s not the scales that are the problem- they are great sounds - it’s the imperative to use them.
    Maestro, just recently you were "keen to be non value judgmental about it".

    Below is an example of the kind of horrendous simplification that I see too often and that is a poor representation of the actual composition. (I have no idea of what Mingus' original score looked like, but these simple chords don't make the music justice.)


    Now, Compare to this:



    Melodic Minor is just a tool. We don't need it to make music, but it's neat to make theory comply with reality (in those rare situations this would be of importance to somebody).

  11. #60

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    Ok Jcat I tried! I tried!!! But it’s so hard haha.

  12. #61

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    Ultimately I think it boils down to the individual player's relationship to the music at hand and what he thinks is his role;

    If I view myself as a "lead guitarist" with a purpose to run scales over a series of chords, (maybe I never learned to play chords because I think my guitar is a horn), that harmony is the responsibility of someone else to provide support for my soloing; or

    If I see my role as the provider of harmony and to what extent this is supposed to be improvised or a formalized part of the music structure.

    Also, If I know the music by heart, If I have had time to study the changes or if I'm supposed to sight-read. Most of the time I would have the opportunity to adjust the changes and make the kind of simplifications that serve my purpose. I think that's the responsibility of the player, not the composer/arranger.

    If I get your point, it serves no purpose to write overly complicated, I shall do my best.
    Last edited by JCat; 07-10-2019 at 07:49 AM.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Don't recall that, but that doesn't rule it out.

    What surprises me about Triades is that it seems to be much easier to play fingerstyle, but, he picks it.
    Well most plectrum players , even quite a few pros, have poor string crossing technique so this kind of thing is MUCH more intimidating than shred licks or whatever.... It's not too hard to fix though.

    I don't actually find Triades is difficult to play at Chico's tempo on that youtube vid, which is dotted quarter = 116 (assuming it's written in 3/8 or 6/8.) I did it just now without warming up.

    The tell tale is if you see your hand moving in and out over the strings to try and avoid them (there is a way of making this work, but I don't use it neither does Chico as far as I can tell). Bad/over dogmatic alternate picking pedagogy is usually to blame.

    I got an instant gain in string skipping speed as a side benefit of rest stroke picking (even though Gypsy players don't use it this way). It's counterintuitive but playing consecutive downward rest strokes facilitates string skipping a lot better than alternate free strokes. It's all to do with being able to escape the plane of the strings on the upstroke.

    Notice Chico picks it DDU. Lage Lund also uses this combination for arpeggios. And lots of Bluegrass guys and girls whose MO could be summed up as 'it'd be easier fingerpicked' haha.*

    (Come to think of it doesn't di Meola use this sort of pattern too for things like Mediterranean Sundance? Obviously he's known as one of the alternate guys, but he changes it up for these types of passages.)

    Also, from the chart, it looks like a kind of classical piece, but live, it's a high energy burner.

    On a separate, but possibly related topic, have you seen Irrequieto?

    I'm wondering what you have to practice to think of a line like that one.
    I'll take a look at it!

    *there are a heap of great Bluegrass players who alternate... Just reporting how I do it, and AFAIK how Chico does it too.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-10-2019 at 09:17 AM.

  14. #63

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    but I'm not a mind reader when it comes to the greats of the past.
    Music can be analyzed in ways that have little to do with original conception of
    the creator. For example, western academics referring to rhythms they encountered
    in African music as polyrhythm.

    It is not the intervallic content that is in question but rather how prince is finding
    greater success in accessing them musically through multiple modifications of
    smaller note collections than he did while focused on scale content.

    It is our imperative as musicians to seek out the best doorways to support our
    creative individuality. Prevailing orthodoxy is cool as something to consider
    but we don't all learn in the same way. While there is likely some common ground
    overlap, the best path forward is a personal puzzle to solve.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I thought I knew, what you meant, but wasn't entirely sure because you specifically referred to the MM sound, and I don't really think of the MM-mode-thing as a sound so much as a means of organizing one's musical thinking. Regarding Nica's dream, I don't know anything about Horace Silver's composition process, but it's in interesting question and may send me off to google ...

    John
    Yes, that is an interesting one.

  16. #65

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    "Chelsea Bridge" 1941

    || Bb- maj7 | Ab- maj7 | Bb- maj7 Ab- maj7 | Bb7 | Eb-7 | Ab7 | Db 6 | Db6 / C7 B7 :|| (see "The New Real Book I" for original changes)

    The bass plays the roots and the melody plays the major 7ths in the first two measures.
    Chelsea Bridge is 80 years old now, do we really want to try and make a case to let go of melodic minor?

    Last edited by rintincop; 07-12-2019 at 05:50 PM.

  17. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop View Post
    "Chelsea Bridge" 1941

    || Bb- maj7 | Ab- maj7 | Bb- maj7 Ab- maj7 | Bb7 | Eb-7 | Ab7 | Db 6 | Db6 / C7 B7 :|| (see "The New Real Book I" for original changes)

    The bass plays the roots and the melody plays the major 7ths in the first two measures.
    Chelsea Bridge is 80 years old now, do we really want to try and make a case to let go of melodic minor?

    I don't think anyone here would suggest that Melodic Minor over the minor tonic is a new idea! Just that using it's modes to address various types of Dominant chords doesn't have to be the only way ... TBH, I'm still waiting for folks to offer strong reasons why MM modes are indispensable for Jazz players who are not so interested in post 70's styles...

  18. #67

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    I’m such a berk, of course it’s Bbm(maj7) on Chelsea Bridge not Eb7.

    Those unresolved sevenths in the minor key - especially in the shout chorus... are the seed of it all though. That’s jazz baby, not classical... And I might be wrong but I think pretty novel in ‘41.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I don't think anyone here would suggest that Melodic Minor over the minor tonic is a new idea! Just that using it's modes to address various types of Dominant chords doesn't have to be the only way ... TBH, I'm still waiting for folks to offer strong reasons why MM modes are indispensable for Jazz players who are not so interested in post 70's styles...
    minor6 is indispensable though.... II minor 6 on V7 is the swing sound - Charlie C, Django, Lester etc (don’t say V9, that’s for chumps)

    So it’s a small step with tritone subs, the m6/m7b5 connection and adding a major seventh to the minor chord to get there without ever having to speak in Greek.

    It’s not actually a big deal, but they had to make it into a thing so that people think they are getting value for money.

    Btw a nice use of m6 like this is Peter Bernstein’s solo on the Goldings trio version of Puttin on the Ritz. Early Peter is very indebted to Charlie and Grant.

  20. #69
    Indeed, that's my feeling too. Where's Reg these days? If he read this thread I'm sure he'd have a word to say !

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Indeed, that's my feeling too. Where's Reg these days? If he read this thread I'm sure he'd have a word to say !
    Probably just super busy with gigs. It’s the season....

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I don't think anyone here would suggest that Melodic Minor over the minor tonic is a new idea! Just that using it's modes to address various types of Dominant chords doesn't have to be the only way ... TBH, I'm still waiting for folks to offer strong reasons why MM modes are indispensable for Jazz players who are not so interested in post 70's styles...
    I mostly use MM to get quick options for available(close) altered chords. I'd rather go play folk music if there was no easy framework for those. So, the usage is the other way round in my case... mostly.
    I wouldn't ditch MM just because it tends to sound certain way certain times. It is one of those essential things. Many hundreds of years old.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I wouldn't ditch MM just because it tends to sound certain way certain times. It is one of those essential things. Many hundreds of years old.
    Yes and no...

    Melodic minor use is... Complex... Mostly what we understand as the melodic minor in jazz - which is of course the ascending form, was used that way... in ascent and melodically, mixed with other scales, most obviously the natural minor or descending form. A good example of a familiar melody that uses this is Beautiful Love.

    At least that's what the textbooks say.

    It's not QUITE that simple. Bach for instance was famously quite fond of the ascending form when descending, especially on V chords. In jazz theory terms we would say he favoured mixolydian b13 (although if you said that in Bach's time they would probably have burned you at the stake.)

    But the idea of using an ascending melodic minor mode to express an altered dominant - I think that's very much a jazz concept AFAIK, but I haven't encountered it in non jazz music, maybe some bits of Ravel. I don't think it would have occurred to most pre jazz composers to apply an Ab minor scale on a G7 chord in the key of Cm, for instance. But, if anyone has an example...

    History and style aside, I think what bothers me about thinking too much about MM use etc is that it draws attention away from language and melody, and really, authentic minor key jazz lines use a lot of mixed modality just like classical music does - even when substituted on dom chords etc... It can sound a bit pedantic sometimes to just use the scale.

    I mean, it's actually pretty hard to sing thirds through the MM scale compared to Major, NM or HM. There's something a bit ... weird and unnatural .... about it from a melodic perspective to the Western Ear. All those tritones and whole tones. Going up fine, but in other directions - takes practice... Not that that's a reason to avoid it necessarily, but it's certainly a little unfamiliar

    Building a line around a triad or other chord is often the best route here.. I've mentioned m6 (which isn't MM per se), but there are many other options of course.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-13-2019 at 05:01 PM.

  24. #73

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    I'll vent a little more. Maybe, instead of ditching the MM--we ditch scale talk for a little bit.

    I've known the MM up and down in all keys for 10 years... It never helped me...

    UNTIL I learned how to use it.

    That doesn't mean "use the MM a half step above the dominant or use the MM on the I or the IV"

    Man, I'm telling you all. There's some players still learning scales, that's totally fine. But for a lot of us, it's too much scale talk.

    I think what would helpful is looking at melodic cells/ fragments that use the scales. Not licks, but melodic fragments to build licks upon.

    That comes from transcription, definitely. But we could share those "cells/fragments" with each other and get SO MUCH more mileage than talking about scales over and over and over again.

    This is the frustration I get from most Youtube videos that are of the jazz guitar instructional variety (I'm not lumping you in, Chris'77--this is just a caveat for future videos). Horn players seem to go much deeper than rote scale talk, piano players go deeper as well.

    This isn't a "get rid of theory" rant. This is a "we need to talk more about musical application" rant.

    End rant. I'm quoting Nas now, "You can hate me now, but I won't stop now..."

    I'm used to people not liking what I say, remember? I'm the guy that won't stop blathering about ear training--cause I think that's the most important part of my development, that and LEARNING TUNES (I'm yelling at myself here)

  25. #74

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    Irez87, I don't think folks claim that melodic minor's purpose is to make nice melodies... it's more about convenient harmonic shapes and coincidences: its i mode is tonic minor, its vi mode is half dim (by coincidence), its 7th mode is ALT (by coincidence) etc...
    I personally can't avoid using it a lot, more than the diminished and whole tone scales. MM is very practical for Wayne Shorter type tunes!

    And MM is the minor version of the 6th diminished scale for block chords (per Barry Harris)

    You want melodic "cells", then internalize the Barry Harris 5432 phrases (and extrapolate the 876 phrases while your at it) , mix and blend them all with 7th chord arpeggios ... also internalize the three essential Bill Evans phrases (cells) , and the classic Oscar Peterson blues break and you are pretty well melodic-ized.

  26. #75

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    rintincop, I love your handle--honestly (Rin Tin Tin)

    But

    This goes back to what Chris'77 brought up with chord symbols--but I don't want Chris'77 to get flack for my diatribe.

    It's all theory and no sound to me in the way you explained it--to be fair, you gave a quick application.

    What I'm talking about is being more descriptive, though it might sound like the other way.

    Instead, of thinking "vi mode of MM is a half diminished with a natural 9th" I think, okay--now I'm thinking of a ii7b5 with a natural 9th...okay let's look in Cm

    D F Ab C E

    Wait, what--an E natural in Cm--that's a major 3rd.

    Now, the Berklee theorists would say (Peabody voice) "no, you have to think of it as a mode of melodic minor. It's not a major third against a minor tonality"

    I actually had a fierce back and forth on the Youtube comments sections about this... you all are MUCH nicer (and smarter) than the Youtube crowd.

    Anyway, really? Not a major 3rd against a minor tonality? It sure as hellfire sounds like a major 3rd against a minor tonality, especially because the whole progression is in minor. We're not talking a ii7b5 to a V in major--at least not in the Bill Evans sense--I learned in cottage that he was one of the pioneers of that major 9th against a half diminished sound guys.

    So, why the long speech... because I can't play guitar right now cause my in laws are here... Well, that--and

    and it means that you have to pay special attention to how you treat that natural 9th. Prescribing a scale doesn't address that, at all. Nope, nope.

    Same thing happens with the whole altered scale business. Until you hear how others treat that type of harmony, you can't just plug and play and expect to sound passable.

    Harmony--I love discussing harmony. But this post is WAY over my cap--I talk too much. But some of what I say is worth a listen to, I promise.

  27. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop View Post
    ....

    You want melodic "cells", then internalize the Barry Harris 5432 phrases (and extrapolate the 876 phrases while your at it) , mix and blend them all with 7th chord arpeggios ... also internalize the three essential Bill Evans phrases (cells) , and the classic Oscar Peterson blues break and you are pretty well melodic-ized.
    I think I can find the BH phrases, but care to share the Bill Evans phrases as well as the OP lick? I'd be interested in hearing those, and I agree with what has been said about how sharing ideas showing actual usage of note groups is way more useful than discussing scales!

  28. #77

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    Like I said, learning all the basic scales is super important to being a great improviser.

    I don't think anyone can argue that Wes or Raney didn't know their basic majors and minors.

    But in the jazz guitar community we (this is something I can find ample proof here, on Youtube, and everywhere else) are obsessed with scales.

    So much so that many of us (not all) forget that we need to play music, not scales.

    Please don't tell me I'm generalizing, I really don't feel like spamming JGF with the thousands upon thousands of scale talk we guitarists do on the internet and else wise... I don't, because I like you guys and gals and that would ruin the forum--but don't push me to prove the obvious.

    Instead, let's turn a page--take a break from rote scale talk--and start posting our own examples. Let's show the rest of the jazz guitar world how it's meant to be done.

    Yes, other instrumentalists engage in this scale obsessiveness. But--sometimes (I'm stressing the sometimes) I feel like all we talk about is scales.

    That's an honest evaluation. Not an effort to troll--I know some of us love name calling over here--that's unfortunate. I think we get deeper and dig beneath the surface to find out what's really important: application, vocabulary, cells, melodic development (we've had a couple of those threads fizzle out, why?) harmonic movement--inner movement, big band arrangements applied to the guitar, really looking at Ed Bickert's comping, or Jim Hall's (Jeffy B got us started)...

    all that.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it

  29. #78

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    On the tune Blue Bossa I never much liked playing an E melodically on that D-7 b5... but I like it harmonically and when I am block chording over the D-7b5 (6 dim scale system)

  30. #79
    People mostly talk scales when someone asks a question or starts a thread about them. I just don't see many statements about how melody, listening, transcribing etc AREN'T important. I don't think anyone is saying those things, but it always seems implied.

  31. #80

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    Maybe some are obsessed with thinking others are obsessed with scales?

    If you are around intermediate players, then scales will be talked about, they are like the ABCs as Joe Henderson said to me.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop View Post
    Maybe some are obsessed with thinking others are obsessed with scales?

    If you are around intermediate players, then scales will be talked about, they are like the ABCs as Joe Henderson said to me.
    I think it's much harder to talk about melody and rhythmic feel than it is to talk about scales.

    So people talk about the part of things that can be expressed in writing. There just seems to be more than can be written about regarding scales.

    I go back and forth. Sometimes I think that maybe I don't pay enough attention to scales, but other times I think the opposite.

    I think it depends on what you want to sound like and where you are in relation to your goal.

    I think that more scale knowledge is probably like the eighth thing I should work on.

  33. #82

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    We should have a sticky thread in this forum that lists commonly shared insights so they don't get repeated in every thread:
    1- Tone is in the hands. Yes, player is a big part of the sound. When people talk gear they know that.
    2- Speed isn't everything. Yes, people who talk technique and want to get faster often know that.
    3- Use your ears. Yes, people who have a question about theory often understand the importance of ears. But some knowledge of theory allows your conscious mind to train your ears.
    4- Just playing scales isn't improvisation. Yes, trying to get better at using scales is just a step in development as a jazz musician.
    5- It's all in the records. Actually, this is an exception, this one should be stated in every thread.
    Feel free to add to the list.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-14-2019 at 08:56 PM.

  34. #83

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    Scales are not synonymous with CST.

    Scales are the raw materials of melody. They are necessary for almost all music.

    CST is something quite distinct from that.

    The problem as I see it is not that many guitarists are obsessed with scales, but they are obsessed with harmonic relationships to the nth degree on every chord.

    Blue Bossa offers a clear example. Where does that #9 come from?

    The melody is a simple natural minor one for the first 8 bars. No accidentals at all until the modulation to Db. It’s very scalar. And yet with its deft combination of steps, leaps and sequences, it’s clearly a strong, well written one.

    Over the G7 chord we have a held Bb resolving to an Ab. So this is where our harmonic interpretation would see this as #9 which is what we might dutifully record in the chord symbols.

    However - what does it actually mean? In classical terms it’s a false relation, the Bb against the B in the chord. This particular one - the use of a b3 against a dom7 chord is perhaps the most common in jazz.

    OTOH - how about this? I think Dorham wrote a strong melody in Cm, and rather than mapping it out over every chord, wrote some changes to tune that sounded good to him. Dorham harmonised a melody.

    Chord symbols freeze that sometimes casual relationship between melody and chords and freezes it in time. CST, explodes that relationship into further scales. In this case we might use the G altered scale. We melodicise the harmony.

    But where is the G altered scale in the original melody?

    When I talk about mixed mode usage I mean that it’s entirely too possible for students to get locked into playing, say, Dm7b5 G7b9 Cm. Expressing the changes in that kind of way - compromises melodic invention in a sense. A good melody takes advantages of the natural tensions present in the scale - for instance the tendency of b6 and 7 to create tension, and so on.

    If you find yourself locked into the changes too much, either playing endless bop lines, or CST ideas, it can be really useful to take a step back and hear and think melodically… And simple scales are certainly a part of this.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-14-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  35. #84

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    Can I add an extra point?

    6 - There's absolutely nothing wrong with playing stepwise scales. Every jazz musician does it, and they do it a lot.

  36. #85

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    7 - just make sure it's not the only thing you do - and that you LINK that sucker to the next chord.

  37. #86

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    The problem isn't the scale talk.

    It's that the talk ends at scale talk--as the end all be all.

    An obsession over the scale instead of HOW to use the scale.

    Not "what degree do I start on" stuff... that's still scale talk.

    I mean talk like "here's where I lean in to create tension" or "this melodic fragment is a great place to start learning the altered sound #9, b9, R"

    Or... instead of going all Ab MM on a G7alt chord, why not directly relate it to the final destination--the Cminor?

    I blame Berklee. I just spoke to a former Berklee prof, and we had a conversation about all this...

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    The problem isn't the scale talk.

    It's that the talk ends at scale talk--as the end all be all.

    An obsession over the scale instead of HOW to use the scale.

    Not "what degree do I start on" stuff... that's still scale talk.
    Yes, as if playing 500 scales will make you play jazz.

    How about this? Focus for about a year on one scale. Say, the mixolydian. Learn how to apply it everywhere.

    Break it up into triads, arpeggios, thirds. Add in LNTs, UNTs, enclosures, run it with added notes, octave displacements etc. Learn how to connect to a target chords and resolve.

    Congratulations, you have learned how to bebop.

    Now you can learn the minor.

    It's amazing how easy it is to go from pattern to language, if you have a road map.

    Having strong rhythmic ideas helps too, of course. Luckily you can steal them. That's probably the single biggest thing to listen out for when transcribing. Rhythm is the language. Rhythm constrains and governs pitch choice much more than you would think from the books out there.

    Another problem with modern CST pedagogy and improvisation styles is it decouples the two things either consciously or by accident. You can do this sort of thing well of course - but you have to learn bop FIRST.

    Lines should have swing in built. You know how it's impossible not to swing a Wes line, for instance?

    I mean talk like "here's where I lean in to create tension" or "this melodic fragment is a great place to start learning the altered sound #9, b9, R"

    Or... instead of going all Ab MM on a G7alt chord, why not directly relate it to the final destination--the Cminor?
    Yeah you nicked that off me.

    I blame Berklee. I just spoke to a former Berklee prof, and we had a conversation about all this...
    Oh yeah? What did he say in his defence? :-)

  39. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    The problem isn't the scale talk.

    It's that the talk ends at scale talk--as the end all be all.

    An obsession over the scale instead of HOW to use the scale.
    Okay, but seriously, who's doing that ? I've just never seen anybody oppose that conversation. We're having it now in a couple of different threads and yet... talking about it like it doesn't exist or something?

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I think it's much harder to talk about melody and rhythmic feel than it is to talk about scales.

    So people talk about the part of things that can be expressed in writing. There just seems to be more than can be written about regarding scales.

    I go back and forth. Sometimes I think that maybe I don't pay enough attention to scales, but other times I think the opposite.

    I think it depends on what you want to sound like and where you are in relation to your goal.

    I think that more scale knowledge is probably like the eighth thing I should work on.
    Well you seem happy to talk about feel and rhythm which is refreshing and I always feel you have something to say.

    I don’t think it’s harder necessarily. I think a lot of people just aren’t very interested in it.

    We should prob go hang out on some drum forums. Second an honest to god drummer shows up here and starts talking rhythm some people are ‘stop intellectualising it.’ It’s risible.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Okay, but seriously, who's doing that ? I've just never seen anybody oppose that conversation. We're having it now in a couple of different threads and yet... talking about it like it doesn't exist or something?
    Matt, I respect and appreciate our conversations.

    Do you really want all the examples? I was talking about on the internet in general.

    Would it help the conversation?

    I don't wanna drive away people I respect by spamming a thread with examples of things I don't even find helpful.

    You know what I mean?

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well you seem happy to talk about feel and rhythm which is refreshing and I always feel you have something to say.

    I don’t think it’s harder necessarily. I think a lot of people just aren’t very interested in it.

    We should prob go hang out on some drum forums. Second an honest to god drummer shows up here and starts talking rhythm some people are ‘stop intellectualising it.’ It’s risible.
    I would, actually, REALLY like that.

    Who was the guy who talked to us about Brazilian Ketu (?) rhythms? Where did he go? He was VERY interesting.

    I'd rather hear him talk about rhythm than reading the same theory and scale conversations over and over again. I'd rather hear the great guitar players on the forum actually play, and hear how other instrumentalists talk about music.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I would, actually, REALLY like that.

    Who was the guy who talked to us about Brazilian Ketu (?) rhythms? Where did he go? He was VERY interesting.

    I'd rather hear him talk about rhythm than reading the same theory and scale conversations over and over again. I'd rather hear the great guitar players on the forum actually play, and hear how other instrumentalists talk about music.
    Yes he was wasn’t he? I think if you ask questions direct re: the Ketu stuff he responds. It’s obvious it’s something important to him.

  44. #93

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  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    The problem isn't the scale talk.

    It's that the talk ends at scale talk--as the end all be all.

    An obsession over the scale instead of HOW to use the scale.

    Not "what degree do I start on" stuff... that's still scale talk.

    I mean talk like "here's where I lean in to create tension" or "this melodic fragment is a great place to start learning the altered sound #9, b9, R"

    Or... instead of going all Ab MM on a G7alt chord, why not directly relate it to the final destination--the Cminor?

    I blame Berklee. I just spoke to a former Berklee prof, and we had a conversation about all this...
    I'm not really sure what we're talking about, but I've played Blue Bossa a few times <g>.

    The way I hear that chord is, on guitar, 3x3446. That's R b7 3 b13 b9.

    So, that might suggest (not that I'd think this way in any playing situation) a G7b9b13 scale. Chord tones are G B Eb F and Bb.

    Notes that need to be handled with care could include F# D E and A. That avoids the nat7 on a dominant, the neighbors of the Eb and the natural 9 when you have a #9.

    That leaves Ab, C, Db. If you add in those three you get Galt, but it seems to me that it doesn't have to be that. It could be any scale that includes the chord tones (and probably some that don't).

    When I follow this logic past the road sign that says "No Outlet", I end up thinking that the theory isn't very helpful. Instead, I figure I've got chord tones, tones that are easily consonant and tones that I have to be careful with. So, I've got 7 notes, give or take, that are easy and another handful I'm going to pick by ear.

    This, as I understand from Joe Pass' interviews, is pretty much the way he did it.

    There are guitarists who talk about theoretical considerations in an arcane way and who sound great. But, when I listen to them, I don't hear the theory. Rather, I usually hear great time feel and a lot of jazz vocabulary. There are also players who wax eloquent about theory and I can hear them applying it -- I usually dislike this approach.

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Having strong rhythmic ideas helps too, of course. Luckily you can steal them. That's probably the single biggest thing to listen out for when transcribing. Rhythm is the language. Rhythm constrains and governs pitch choice much more than you would think from the books out there.

    Another problem with modern CST pedagogy and improvisation styles is it decouples the two things either consciously or by accident. You can do this sort of thing well of course - but you have to learn bop FIRST.

    Lines should have swing in built. You know how it's impossible not to swing a Wes line, for instance?
    Yes, you said it before. I think I am actually ranting about CST, to be honest.

    Your observation about rhythm and note choice is absent in MOST "pedagogy" about jazz guitar. That's a real shame.

    The conversation I had with the Berklee prof ended like this (paraphrased) "there's two pieces to the pie. You got the basic tools of music. Most colleges teach that. Heck, a guy in India can learn about the lydian domiant from the internet and be abreast with the folks here in the states. Then you got the foundational, big picture piece. This is all about making the music. This is stuff like learning flow, phrasing, and breathing--it's harder to teach, but it's crucial to being a great improviser"

    Some of you might know who I talked to just by that snippet. Do me a huge favor, don't name the person on this public forum. Thanks

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Yes, you said it before. I think I am actually ranting about CST, to be honest.

    Your observation about rhythm and note choice is absent in MOST "pedagogy" about jazz guitar. That's a real shame.

    The conversation I had with the Berklee prof ended like this (paraphrased) "there's two pieces to the pie. You got the basic tools of music. Most colleges teach that. Heck, a guy in India can learn about the lydian domiant from the internet and be abreast with the folks here in the states. Then you got the foundational, big picture piece. This is all about making the music. This is stuff like learning flow, phrasing, and breathing--it's harder to teach, but it's crucial to being a great improviser"

    Some of you might know who I talked to just by that snippet. Do me a huge favor, don't name the person on this public forum. Thanks
    Well I doubt anyone would seriously think studying the Berklee syllabus was the same as going to Berklee. Right?

    Anyway read that interview if you want to know what Wes taught Billy Hart about playing the drums.

    Rereading it now I realise it’s just been lodged in my brain for 5 years. (5 years!!!) one of the best I’ve read.

  48. #97

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    I read a snippet, but my in laws are here... so...

    What do you mean "my shit ain't laying"?

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Btw have you seen this interview?

    Interview with Billy Hart | DO THE M@TH

    that's one heck of an interview!! the great billy hart

    always like to see the tony williams praise!!..

    & liked this guitar realted line-

    "Guitarist Eddie McFadden told me: you can get it from other guys–or you can get from the source (by studying music from books, and learning it yourself). The thing was to get your own sound. If not your own style, at least your own sound."

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-14-2019 at 09:59 PM.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well you seem happy to talk about feel and rhythm which is refreshing and I always feel you have something to say.

    I don’t think it’s harder necessarily. I think a lot of people just aren’t very interested in it.

    We should prob go hang out on some drum forums. Second an honest to god drummer shows up here and starts talking rhythm some people are ‘stop intellectualising it.’ It’s risible.
    I have the tune Favela (aka O Morro) in my book and I've played it many times.

    Last night, I heard a Brazilian band with similar instrumentation (they had an extra guitar and two extra percussionists, but drums/bass/piano/guitar/reed was the same) play the same tune, among others. You could hear them from the street. People came in until the place was packed with people standing and dancing. The energy was great, the time feel was terrific and, really, not much else mattered. There were solos, and some of them were actually very good. One of the guitarists sounded like he'd had a background in shred guitar and was applying it to Brazilian tunes through changes in a way I hadn't heard before. Pianist played advanced harmony. But, the reed player was pretty basic and the nylon guitar player wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, but it didn't seem like anything was wrong during their solos.

    My groups play a perfectly acceptable version of Favela, but we don't achieve that high energy state. We play next tonight and I'm going to try to work on it.

    I came away thinking that jazz education should have two phases. Phase I you build great time feel on a couple of chord vamp.

    If you're able to do that well enough that your audience will only stop dancing when they pass out, then you get to begin phase 2 which is about advanced harmony and soloing.

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    The problem isn't the scale talk.

    It's that the talk ends at scale talk--as the end all be all.

    An obsession over the scale instead of HOW to use the scale.

    Not "what degree do I start on" stuff... that's still scale talk.

    I mean talk like "here's where I lean in to create tension" or "this melodic fragment is a great place to start learning the altered sound #9, b9, R"

    Or... instead of going all Ab MM on a G7alt chord, why not directly relate it to the final destination--the Cminor?

    I blame Berklee. I just spoke to a former Berklee prof, and we had a conversation about all this...
    I think there's an element of confirmation bias in what you're saying. I mean, yes, there are plenty of people on the internet talking about scales, but there are also plenty of people not talking about scales. I think eventually most people who stick with jazz for long enough get some sort of system down for knowing what what notes to play and how to reharmonize, and have moved on to other topics, but there's a always a fresh crop of scale-folk to keep that conversation going (and Christian ...). I don't think the world of jazz is scale obsessed. I think certain corners of the internet are, and you just have to pull what ever value you can out of scale discussions, and keep perspective.

    I am a moderately not terrible player, but I happen to hang out and jam with some very, very good players (including some who went to Berklee, NEC, etc). They mostly don't talk about scales. They talk about tunes, dynamics, the shape of a solo, phrasing, feel, time, etc. I do know a some who do, but that stems from having an intellectual/analytic cast of mind, and they don't talk about it to the exclusion of other elements of musicianship.

    John