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  1. #1

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    Just did a quick tutorial/review of iReal pro, great for practicing improvising over chords, learning new songs, and bringing to the jam/studio session instead of the old real book(s)

    Check it out here!

    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Worse thing to happen to jazz since Kenny G

  4. #3

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    (And do I use it? Of course I do...)

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Worse thing to happen to jazz since Kenny G

    haha, why do you think so?
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  6. #5

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    I have found it to be the most helpful practice tool I've ever used.

    Any tune I can think of. Any tempo. Choice of rhythmic style and instrumentation. Can change key with every chorus.
    Backgrounds sound pretty good.

    Then, on a gig, chords for a zillion tunes, at my fingertips, in any key. Usually, the commonplace changes.

  7. #6

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    It’s a great app for practice and learning. I like that I can easily edit chord charts, and often do to make a vanilla version or reharmonize. For practice I usually use just the bass for a backing track, maybe with a bit of drums. I think the comping track is awful.

    It’s not a real book replacement since it lacks melody. But I try to learn melodies by ear rather than reading.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Worse thing to happen to jazz since Kenny G
    not having to transpose on
    the fly for singers is both a blessing and a curse

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    not having to transpose on
    the fly for singers is both a blessing and a curse
    Yeah, it depends on your ambitions, and if you are into playing/jamming with singers, then of course it is good to get used to transpose by yourself. Overall it is of course good to be able to do it quickly, but me personally, I seldom found myself in situations where that was needed.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    It’s a great app for practice and learning. I like that I can easily edit chord charts, and often do to make a vanilla version or reharmonize. For practice I usually use just the bass for a backing track, maybe with a bit of drums. I think the comping track is awful.

    It’s not a real book replacement since it lacks melody. But I try to learn melodies by ear rather than reading.

    Oh yes, the comping is awful, lol. I just turn it off completely.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I have found it to be the most helpful practice tool I've ever used.

    Any tune I can think of. Any tempo. Choice of rhythmic style and instrumentation. Can change key with every chorus.
    Backgrounds sound pretty good.

    Then, on a gig, chords for a zillion tunes, at my fingertips, in any key. Usually, the commonplace changes.
    Yes, great for finding chords to songs, and very useful for practice.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by greveost View Post
    haha, why do you think so?
    - No melodies
    - Robotic accompaniment (don’t practice with that shit, please, play with humans live or on record.)
    - Playing ‘over’ standards (rather than learning to outline harmony in their lines)
    - People start to think learning tunes is memorising chord progressions
    - Bad changes very often
    - excuse for people not to learn repertoire
    - jazz gigs devolve into people staring at their phones just like the rest of modern fucking life

    As a tool it is very useful, but increasingly it is becoming a crutch. A couple of these issues could also be identified from using the Real Book or Aebersold playalongs.

    But iReal takes these problems, centralises them into one place and adds some more. It is another step down the line of the devolution of our music into ‘notes over chords’ and robotic, non swinging rhythm. More automation of the soul. More pseudo music.

    (No wonder the technocrats think they can automate music with AI.)

    Now, want my recommendation for a great jazz app? Drum Genius is amazing.

  13. #12

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    Best iRealB story is a friend and colleague of mine saw a mate of his playing bass on the Ronnie Scott’s late show - reading off his phone.

    This guy (one of best musicians I know) sends him a text. Instantly the guy (also a fab player) freaks out, stops playing and starts swiping at his phone screen.

    Text reads: ‘learn some ****ing tunes.’

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Best iRealB story is a friend and colleague of mine saw a mate of his playing bass on the Ronnie Scott’s late show - reading off his phone.

    This guy (one of best musicians I know) sends him a text. Instantly the guy (also a fab player) freaks out, stops playing and starts swiping at his phone screen.

    Text reads: ‘learn some ****ing tunes.’
    How stupid. Nobody knows every tune.

  15. #14

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    iRealPro is a great tool for real musicians, since it's very easy to 1) change the chords into whatever re-harms one prefers, 2) write your own charts on originals or add any tunes not already available, 3) create intros, interludes and outros, 4) transpose into the key favored by the singer or leader; on top of all that, one can send one's arrangements to either another player's device (phone or tablet) or to a printer. As a bandleader who has been lugging around heavy boxes of arrangements for singers for decades, the iRealPro makes life much easier and gives an arranger/leader a flexibility that is nearly miraculous. And nobody will not improve by practicing along with it's "robotic" backing tracks. I have 4 filing cabinets full of parts for groups of various sizes and instrumentation: all of the rhythm section charts fit easily into one iPad, that's hundreds of tunes. Add ForScore to your software collection, and all the written parts and lyrics can also be carried in that same 9-ounce iPad. Its shortcomings are far outweighed by its convenience and price, and easily overcome by good musicians.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Best iRealB story is a friend and colleague of mine saw a mate of his playing bass on the Ronnie Scott’s late show - reading off his phone.

    This guy (one of best musicians I know) sends him a text. Instantly the guy (also a fab player) freaks out, stops playing and starts swiping at his phone screen.

    Text reads: ‘learn some ****ing tunes.’
    Hahaha! Hilarious! Yeah, I see people reading from phones a lot nowadays, especially on jams. Well... I do too (but I put my phone flight mode heh heh heh)
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    How stupid. Nobody knows every tune.
    Don't play them then. Why play a tune you don't know?

    TBF, it was a dick move. But a funny one. The guy playing has worked with household name artists... he's not some semi-pro... He can take it...

    And in practice, as I said, everyone uses this thing including me. When everyone is using this crutch, it becomes de rigeur to do so. You can't hold back the tide. But no-one wants to go to a performance where everyone stares at their phones, surely? Charts are bad enough. Hell, as Reg points out most of us (myself included) too much time contemplating the fretboard...

    Maybe 20 somethings actually. They're on their phones anyway... probably if someone tried to perform to them it would freak them out.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    Hahaha! Hilarious! Yeah, I see people reading from phones a lot nowadays, especially on jams. Well... I do too (but I put my phone flight mode heh heh heh)
    Flight mode! The last refuge of the scoundrel. ;-)

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    iRealPro is a great tool for real musicians,
    I thought people might feel got at, which I was keen to say I also use the app. This is not a personal thing or a gatekeeping\shibboleth thing for me, because I think that kind of judgemental BS is very annoying and rather adolescent.

    It's just that I agree with the excellent musicians who are very down on it for very specific reasons. Ethan Iverson is one example. I don't know if he's a 'real' musician or not. What do you think?

    No-one's saying iReal isn't useful, me or Iverson, or anyone else... It's very useful. And as with anything it can be a handy tool when used with intelligence.

    since it's very easy to 1) change the chords into whatever re-harms one prefers, 2) write your own charts on originals or add any tunes not already available, 3) create intros, interludes and outros, 4) transpose into the key favored by the singer or leader; on top of all that, one can send one's arrangements to either another player's device (phone or tablet) or to a printer.
    Again iReal tends to exacerbate problems already existent in jazz. Budgets. Lack of rehearsal time. Diversification of the repertoire (people don't play old show tunes all the time) which while not a problem, does mean there's more stuff to learn, more styles of tune. Like I say, none of us can impact this. But we can acknowledge the problems rather than saying 'modern tech is great!'

    As a bandleader who has been lugging around heavy boxes of arrangements for singers for decades, the iRealPro makes life much easier and gives an arranger/leader a flexibility that is nearly miraculous.
    Well, you do have score apps on an iPad. I've done plenty of singer gigs off iReal charts (often printed out.) I'd much rather be reading off a chart with the melody and lyrics. Getting them in the right key is a faff, especially as singers are often a bit clueless in this department. (Although singers are a lot more clued up in other ways....)

    And nobody will not improve by practicing along with it's "robotic" backing tracks.
    Do you think they swing?

    I mean, I dunno, my time feel is hardly as good as I want it to be, but I do know that the best musicians I know swear by playing with great drummers who really swing, and say that feel is basically learned experientially. There's some good'uns on records if you can't get the real thing.

    I have 4 filing cabinets full of parts for groups of various sizes and instrumentation: all of the rhythm section charts fit easily into one iPad, that's hundreds of tunes. Add ForScore to your software collection, and all the written parts and lyrics can also be carried in that same 9-ounce iPad. Its shortcomings are far outweighed by its convenience and price, and easily overcome by good musicians.
    Convenience.

    Why do we crave convenience as musicians? Lack of rehearsal time, practice time, and so on? Pressures of pulling together gigs? All understandable.

    Yes good musicians can overcome it... but you know what? Good musicians also have good ears, better sometimes than they think. Putting aside interesting reharms, arrangements and so on, you should be able to learn a standard by ear. If a gig is unimportant enough for the players to be looking at a phone, it will also be forgiving of mistakes in the changes. And you'll learn more.

    OTOH, and this may hurt to hear, is it any wonder most people are bored by jazz gigs when we don't truly inhabit and perform the music we claim to love? (You may dislike modern pop for instance, but at least Ed Sheeran isn't reading off a fucking tablet.)

    Not being horrible or judgemental, just stuff to think about.

    But as I say social norms are hard to fight. iReal is here to stay. It's the job of the jazz educators to point out it's shortcomings. As we do of Kenny G :-)

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    - No melodies
    - Robotic accompaniment (don’t practice with that shit, please, play with humans live or on record.)
    - Playing ‘over’ standards (rather than learning to outline harmony in their lines)
    - People start to think learning tunes is memorising chord progressions
    - Bad changes very often
    - excuse for people not to learn repertoire
    - jazz gigs devolve into people staring at their phones just like the rest of modern fucking life

    As a tool it is very useful, but increasingly it is becoming a crutch. A couple of these issues could also be identified from using the Real Book or Aebersold playalongs.
    Yes, it is a tool, no more no less.

    The software in itself will not suggest that you play over changes rather than through and/or anticipate changes. It doesn't matter if you play with real people or a software.

    The software, is not a substitute for real people, it is a tool used for practice.

    Yes, the Real Book as with all kinds of lead sheets will make you lazy if you take the easy route, it is also just a tool. Use it wisely and it can become a real benefit.

    The responsibility is, in the end, it the hands of the improviser.





    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Now, want my recommendation for a great jazz app? Drum Genius is amazing.
    Heard about that one as well, will check it out, thanks!
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Don't play them then. Why play a tune you don't know?
    I get your point, but sometimes I am in the house band of a jamsession and sometimes a tune gets called that I don’t know. Especially when there’s no pianist, it’s nice that iReal allows me to play the tune with the rest of the band anyway. Btw, that’s a skill on its own, imho, to be able to make something musical out of it, when you see the chords and hear the tune for the first time. Fun!

    (Okay, when none of the other musicians on stage know the tune, it’s better not to play it; that’s asking for trouble).
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  22. #21

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    It's the same thing like any Real Book...if you use it as a tool, and know how to use it, it's great, and if you use it as a crutch, it's crap.

    Clickbait title on my new blog Authoritarian Jazz Guitar: "Burn your iPhones!"
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    I get your point, but sometimes I am in the house band of a jamsession and sometimes a tune gets called that I don’t know. Especially when there’s no pianist, it’s nice that iReal allows me to play the tune with the rest of the band anyway. Btw, that’s a skill on its own, imho, to be able to make something musical out of it, when you see the chords and hear the tune for the first time. Fun!

    (Okay, when none of the other musicians on stage know the tune, it’s better not to play it; that’s asking for trouble).
    Fair enough! I mean people have always used fake books... But you get around the rep, the idea is to get off them fast, no?

    Look, when I say diversification of the rep presents an issue - in the 1930's Tea for Two was a big deal. But most jam tunes you could lughole. Rhythm changes with a honeysuckle bridge, riff tunes in F, you get good at hearing bVI7 chords and so on....

    Now, a sax player comes up and wants to play a Wayne tune... it's not so easy. And it's fun to have a read through and decide whether you want to learn that tune or not.... So jams, sure... I wouldn't like to get up on a tune I'm reading, but a a house band stalwart, you kind of have to get through things.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Fair enough! I mean people have always used fake books... But you get around the rep, the idea is to get off them fast, no?
    It is and it isn't. Sometimes I think every new song I know pushes two I kinda knew out of my brain.

    That and I'm realizing, there was about 5 bridges ever written, and every standard uses one of them. But how to remember which one they use? Sometimes a quick glance "brings it all back."

    Or maybe I'm just getting older, have a stressful life, and need to make excuses for forgetting things that aren't "BUY TOILET PAPER AND FURNACE FILTER, NOLANS GAME IS AT 6, HOW ABOUT SOME KIND OF PASTA TONIGHT?
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Flight mode! The last refuge of the scoundrel. ;-)
    According to Oscar Wilde, the last refuge of the scoundrel is...seriousness. ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by greveost View Post
    Oh yes, the comping is awful, lol. I just turn it off completely.
    How is that done? I have iReal Pro on my phone but all I know how to do is change keys and the tempo. I think I would use it more if I could just hear the bass and drums.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    How is that done? I have iReal Pro on my phone but all I know how to do is change keys and the tempo. I think I would use it more if I could just hear the bass and drums.
    select the ‘mixer’ icon (4th one from the left at the bottom of the screen), then slide the piano level to zero.

    also you can touch ‘piano’ in this mixer screen, and select other sounds e.g. vibes, Rhodes etc. Some of these might sound a bit better than the piano.

    You can also swap the bass for a tuba, I haven’t tried that yet.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    select the ‘mixer’ icon (4th one from the left at the bottom of the screen), then slide the piano level to zero.
    Yep, I fire the piano player every time I open the app. Bassist ain't bad. Drummer's a bit boring, but serviceable. I actually really like practicing with only the bass.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  29. #28

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    You can replace the drummer with a click, hadn’t noticed that before.

  30. #29

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    also check out the ‘teacher’s hat’ (mortarboard), you can make it auto-change key or tempo at each chorus.

  31. #30

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    for all that, I don’t actually use it much!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    select the ‘mixer’ icon (4th one from the left at the bottom of the screen), then slide the piano level to zero....
    Thank you, Graham!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    How is that done? I have iReal Pro on my phone but all I know how to do is change keys and the tempo. I think I would use it more if I could just hear the bass and drums.
    Just pull the volume down all the way, as I think I mention in the video as well

    Edit: oops, someone already mentioned it.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  34. #33

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    In the shows I go to in the SF Bay Area and in NYC, I often see the musicians reading.

    If they weren't reading, they'd have to play songs they all knew, which is limiting.

    A more personal point -- I know about 100, maybe 125 tunes, which is nowhere near enough. My ears aren't good enough to transpose all of them to any key on the fly without making mistakes. I work on that, but I'll never get it to the level of the NYC wedding musicians of my youth. Should I give up music? I'd rather rely on IRealPro for the tunes I should know, but don't, and continue playing.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    In the shows I go to in the SF Bay Area and in NYC, I often see the musicians reading.

    If they weren't reading, they'd have to play songs they all knew, which is limiting.

    A more personal point -- I know about 100, maybe 125 tunes, which is nowhere near enough. My ears aren't good enough to transpose all of them to any key on the fly without making mistakes. I work on that, but I'll never get it to the level of the NYC wedding musicians of my youth. Should I give up music? I'd rather rely on IRealPro for the tunes I should know, but don't, and continue playing.
    I think people sometimes use charts out of fear. Fear of fucking up, looking a fool in front of your peers, fear under the spotlight. Fear of failure.

    Mistakes are not the worst thing. Really. It’s worse to play without feel for instance. A background gig is not going to fall apart because you played the wrong chord. The world won’t stop turning. It’s fine. Try and get it on the next pass. Maybe the bass or piano will help you out.

    I respect honest mistakes a lot more than someone insulating themselves from risk. Mistakes are important because it means you are learning. Failure is the most important teacher. If you never allow yourself to fail, you can’t grow.

    It helps to have the supportive environment - people who don’t get pissed off with you etc. And I hope I am supportive myself in that situation.... this learning experience doesn’t need to be Whiplash like. A chilled background gig with players who are open to a little risk.... well I think it livens up a routine gig.

    Look if you are playing a standard, a sentence or two about the form and the bridge can be all you need - ‘it’s AABA F major, starts on ii and goes to Ab in the bridge.’

    Imo the reason why we learn a zillion tunes is not because we want to learn a zillion tunes, but because we want to practice learning a tune by ear a zillion times. And lessons learned under pressure stick.

    It’s the same as transcription. The licks don’t matter. What matters is the speed and fluency of the process.

    Transposing is a good one too. Singer gigs are always good for that...

    Also when you learn a tune, try teaching it someone else without a chart....

    Again these things are more common in the trad and mainstream worlds where the repertoire is based around a narrow set of harmonic movements. But I do think they do this in NYC too.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-21-2019 at 03:51 PM.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think people sometimes use charts out of fear. Fear of fucking up, looking a fool in front of your peers, fear under the spotlight. Fear of failure. .
    One long term, well known pro whose name you might know, told me that he likes having a chart, even for tunes he knows, saying "it frees me up". This is a guy who could easily function as a NYC wedding musician who knows every tune and doesn't care what key he plays them in.

    Most players won't admit liking to have a chart, but he does.

  37. #36

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    Please bear in mind is not how *I* do it in my wokring life... Mostly, I do it the way most people here do it, a mix of tunes I've learned, and stuff I'm reading. I have been in circles where everything is primarily aural, but like I said more on the dixieland side of things, maybe some standards stuff... it requires musos who are on the same page.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-21-2019 at 05:27 PM.

  38. #37

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    I don't completely understand the problem with iRealPro not swinging. Have you never played with anyone who didn't swing? I don't actually use the accompaniment much, but I don't expect it to swing when I do. If you have the proper feel, you can swing by yourself, whether the rest of the band swings or not. iReal won't teach you to swing, but that's not its purpose. It won't make you a ham sandwich, either, not even if you say 'sudo'.


    The last sentence is a Linux joke. If you don't use Linux, and few of you do, just ignore it and get on with your life.

  39. #38

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    This thread triggered some stray thoughts.


    A couple of friends of mine are playing in a band where the leader wrote and arranged all the tunes. Not simple stuff. Lots of hits and some of the tunes have unusual time changes.

    They're now trying to play a night's worth of music without charts. Two of them can do it and two of them can't. Oddly enough, the composer is having trouble remembering his own tunes. My guess is that composition and memorization are different skills.

    At the other extreme, I play in a horn band where one of the other guys arranged one of my tunes. I have to play it from memory. I find the chart very confusing -- even though I wrote the tune. Partly, that's because the chart has odd numbers of bars per line and starts motifs in the middle of a line. I mention this only because it also suggests an odd relationship between reading a tune and knowing it from memory.

  40. #39

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    I always thought, the better the player the better (s)he can handle even bad comping.

    That said iRealPro should really work for a fine player. And IMO it could really be improved if there would be a mode where it accidentally drops or inserts beats, plays wrong cords, rushs or drags, or gets completely lost etc.....
    Please excuse my bad english!

  41. #40

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    christian, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. I am a full-time, lifelong gigging musician, not a jamming or casual one. I need to be able to play what the leader or buyer wants, period. iRealpro is a great tool for professional musicians who know how to wield tools. Whether is swings or not is irrelevant, since no fake book chart swings, that's dependent on the players. The real world is where I like to live, not inside my perfect imagination. I always prefer to play with great players who know the tunes I call, but that is not reality most of the time.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Oddly enough, the composer is having trouble remembering his own tunes. My guess is that composition and memorization are different skills.
    Yes, if you compose a very complicated piece, for example with the help of a sequencer, and then seldom listens or play it, someone who playes the piece repeatidly, and makes an effort to remember the piece will most likely remember it better than the composer.
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    the other extreme, I play in a horn band where one of the other guys arranged one of my tunes. I have to play it from memory. I find the chart very confusing -- even though I wrote the tune. Partly, that's because the chart has odd numbers of bars per line and starts motifs in the middle of a line. I mention this only because it also suggests an odd relationship between reading a tune and knowing it from memory.
    Yeah, not the same thing.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think people sometimes use charts out of fear. Fear of fucking up, looking a fool in front of your peers, fear under the spotlight. Fear of failure.
    Yes, there is a sense of security having a chart in front of you.
    Testing a Gibson ES335 vs Harley Benton HB 35 (very inexpensive semi hollow body guitar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGMIs1wNEA&t=185s

    Jamming the Jazz standard All the things you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzDEct613g&t=3s

    Playing a solo over my friends tune Cookies and Cream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJHqt_lpyKM

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    christian, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. I am a full-time, lifelong gigging musician, not a jamming or casual one. I need to be able to play what the leader or buyer wants, period. iRealpro is a great tool for professional musicians who know how to wield tools. Whether is swings or not is irrelevant, since no fake book chart swings, that's dependent on the players. The real world is where I like to live, not inside my perfect imagination. I always prefer to play with great players who know the tunes I call, but that is not reality most of the time.
    Well there are some traditions, some circles of musicians that operate this way. It’s not idealised in that sense. Dance bands for instance. Some bands I have played with have no time between tunes and expect you to transpose at the drop of a hat. That’s proper training that is. You just have to listen out and have a go. I might not know all the tunes, but I can lughole them....

    But of course it’s also great to learn to read charts too.

    iReal is pernicious because it nudges the needle further in that direction. It becomes normalised. People have to use it because it is expected.

    You nor I nor anyone here is to blame for that.

    And I expect I will be using it tonight for a couple of tunes. At least I can glance at the changes for a few seconds and memorise the changes. That’s better I suppose. I still feel cheap tho haha.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by greveost View Post
    Yes, there is a sense of security having a chart in front of you.
    Nice and comfortable. Safe. Easy.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    christian, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. I am a full-time, lifelong gigging musician, not a jamming or casual one. I need to be able to play what the leader or buyer wants, period. iRealpro is a great tool for professional musicians who know how to wield tools. Whether is swings or not is irrelevant, since no fake book chart swings, that's dependent on the players. The real world is where I like to live, not inside my perfect imagination. I always prefer to play with great players who know the tunes I call, but that is not reality most of the time.
    Great post, Ron!

  47. #46

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    Some of you may not know this: it's waaayyy harder to learn a new tune at 65 than it was at 25. Charts and iReal deff come in handy.

    I do get what Christian is talking about. There's some truth there, but he kinda sounds like somebody my age. So... OK Boomer! :-)

    I'll do a public service and let other N.Americans know that 'lugholing it' would be playing by ear.

  48. #47

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    I find that a lot of players fall between 2 extremes:

    1) Players who think their ears are better than they actually are - “...I don’t need the chart, I’ll hear the changes”. They might hear about 60% of them and dribble around the rest. After the tune is over, they’ll give you a detailed explanation of what they (incorrectly) thought the changes were and why.

    2) Players who take a fakebook chart literally, and play those changes literally, chorus after chorus, regardless of what the melody, bass line, soloist or other players suggest.

    There’s no shame at looking at the changes from ANY source to get the road map of the form, outline of the bridge and anything “unusual” about the tune, and even better, some sense of the melody, even if you’re not going to be playing it. The rest is ears, instinct, inspiration, taste and time in the shed.
    Last edited by unknownguitarplayer; 11-24-2019 at 02:05 PM.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Some of you may not know this: it's waaayyy harder to learn a new tune at 65 than it was at 25. Charts and iReal deff come in handy.

    I do get what Christian is talking about. There's some truth there, but he kinda sounds like somebody my age. So... OK Boomer! :-)

    I'll do a public service and let other N.Americans know that 'lugholing it' would be playing by ear.
    I had wondered what "lugholing it" meant, so thanks for clearing that up!
    It IS harder to learn new material as one ages. And also to recall all the details of things one has known a long time.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Some of you may not know this: it's waaayyy harder to learn a new tune at 65 than it was at 25. Charts and iReal deff come in handy.

    I do get what Christian is talking about. There's some truth there, but he kinda sounds like somebody my age. So... OK Boomer! :-)

    I'll do a public service and let other N.Americans know that 'lugholing it' would be playing by ear.
    Haha I’ve been OK Boomered by a Boomer! I love it ;-)

  51. #50

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    Warren Nunes told me that if he heard a song on a jukebox one time, he'd know it for the rest of his life.

    The NYC wedding musicians of my youth were never stumped and could play anything in any key. The leader would signal with fingers up or fingers down (number of sharps or flats) and count it in.

    But, in a story I've recounted here before, I was in a group with two well known guitarists, one a college professor of jazz guitar, when Stella got called in F. Neither one got it on the first chorus. One got it on the second, one (the professor) on the third.

    In my small corner of the music world, I'm rarely in a situation where I'm expected to play random tunes from memory. Even on standards gigs, there are often arrangements which have to be read. Even the leader/arranger is reading.

    There's a pretty high level jam I go to occasionally at a local restaurant. B3 kicking bass. The guys sitting in never use charts, but the B3 player has IRealPro on his phone sitting on the organ. And, depending on who is there, they stick with pretty common standards so that the young horn players have a chance of knowing the tune. For example, when I called I Should Care, they asked me to pick something else. We ended up with Another You. The horn player who runs that jam seems to know every tune that's called -- and he has a jazz Grammy.

    I did a horn/guitar/bass standards gig recently. The leader was on sax and called all the tunes. He played from memory -- which, of course, is easier when you're calling the tunes. I knew a lot of them, but I was glad I didn't need to find out exactly what I meant by "knew". The bassist had a tablet with the RB charts and we both looked at that. Didn't miss a chord all night as a result, which is better than I'd have done without it. Embarrassing? A bit. But, I certainly felt that sense of security another poster talked about. Oh, and having the RB chart rather than the IRealPro chart allowed me to play accurate melody on tunes I didn't know well. I could have stumbled through the melodies without the chart, but there's that added sense of security.

    That horn player, btw, was the same one who has to read his own compositions in the band I mentioned.