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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So, my take on slurring lines. With the difficulty of putting sax lines on guitar, something is always changed. Jimmy Raney's feel is not like Parker's - it's straighter, more behind, for instance, but I love it. One player I feel has really nice articulation is Mike Moreno, a real bop guy but with a modern twist... And I've basically stolen his rules, which are similar to PMBs, except not so strict, in that I will pick two notes in a row if they are on adjacent strings (Moreno uses economy/sweep picking) so Moreno's/my fingerings end up being a bit more standard/traditional.

    That said practicing the stricter version of slurring is probably a very good idea.

    Also, simply playing a scale or other phrase but accenting all the upbeats. Of course, jazz musicians do not in fact accent all the upbeats, but it is often a necessary corrective to the tendency for many people to accent the downbeats. It also helps draw attention to their rhythmic placement.

    Beyond that, I also practice stuff with a metronome click on the 'ands' - maybe the '+' of 2 and 4. Given that's where you will be picking, these exercises work hand in glove.

    Again, this is not the end of the road, but it's a very useful stepping stone on it. Upbeats are a problem for most students. Playing with records won't help unless you are able to perceive where Bird is placing his notes. Some people are just really good at this, and find breaking stuff down in this way tiresome or pointless. Others less so...

    I think playing with a click can help with that, if only in that it gets you used to synchronising exactly with another sound. Some might dispute the value of using a metronome, but I think the thing is not the click, or the regularity of it, but being able to lock in with something. That's the thing to learn.

    (The next step is being able to project your time feel, of course.)

    It's complicated. Guitarists (like me) are quite stupid about this stuff, so don't listen too much to them. They get distracted by having to know the chords to things and so on.

    Instead, talk to drummers. If they aren't just able to do it because they were playing Samba or Gospel at 7 years old or something, they have to be able to break down this stuff and get good at it because they can't simply lock into the pocket - they are the pocket!

    Exercises develop perception and flexibility. They are not holy writ. And they shouldn't form too much of your practice. In the end, your ears are the ultimate judge, and the thing that needs work, all the time.
    All great advice, Christian. Btw, it was Moreno that got me rethinking about the optimum tonal areas of the guitar neck. I also agree that working with metronomes/clicks is valid as long as we approach them in a creative, exploratory manner rather than as a crutch.

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  3. #52

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    it's the phrasing, the little baroque embellishments, the quotes. the rhythms of course. but most importantly it's that in-your-face quality, that is a vital part of bop but is mostly overlooked these days. this is why to my ears grasso's low-key approach sounds not really like bud powell or bird. i hear no sense of urgency. it's all well rehearsed and impressive. but all bop styles need to kick ass to an extend imo. like bird playing white christmas with an almost punk rock attitude.
    Definitely. As much as I love Tal Farlow and Jimmy Raney (and Grant Green was a big fan of the latter), for me one of the only guitarists back in the day that managed to combine the laminar flow of Bird and the rhythmic urgency of Bud Powell was Billy Bean (check out this clip at 0'54"):

    Last edited by PMB; 02-16-2020 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    i think at times he sounds so much like lou donaldson it's uncanny. check out "here tis" (foggy day) and "good gracious" (caracas). good solos to learn too.

    same with stan turrentine. the way you look tonight is worth investigating. turrentine's solo could verbatim be from grant and vice versa. or broadway from the live recording.

    listen to the brazil solo from 1:15 to 1:30. if that's not pure bird i do not know what is. i hear more bird in those 15 seconds than from any other guitarist (maybe except eddie mcfadden).

    it's the phrasing, the little baroque embellishments, the quotes. the rhythms of course. but most importantly it's that in-your-face quality, that is a vital part of bop but is mostly overlooked these days. this is why to my ears grasso's low-key approach sounds not really like bud powell or bird. i hear no sense of urgency. it's all well rehearsed and impressive. but all bop styles need to kick ass to an extend imo. like bird playing white christmas with an almost punk rock attitude.
    Interesting observations DJG. I never thought about the in-your-face quality of bebop but now you mention it ... I'll check out the tunes by Donaldson and Turrentine. I know you are a big Grant Green fan but I need to check him out more than I have already done so far.

    DB

  5. #54

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    tiny grimes on tenor guitar...very early on with bird..grimes had great pedigree...had played in art taum trio with slam stewart



    bird also played with barney kessel, arv garrison and bill d'arango early on...the latter was a pretty good bopper, before he disappeared back to the midwest

    nobody did it better than jimmy raney..he was a true bopper...a bird disciple...& of the era!!

    cheers

  6. #55

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    I always liked the Tiny Grimes sessions, despite Parker's superiority Grimes would always dig in and blow.

  7. #56

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    Bebop Jazz Guitar Licks - Classic Bebop Sound Decoded - Advanced Jazz Guitar Lesson

    How Charlie Parker Licks can help you play better Jazz Guitar - Bebop Jazz Guitar Lesson

    others exercises

  8. #57

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    I'm not much of a "learn a whole solo" guy, more of a "take the parts I like and run" kinda player. But that's more on the constraints of time, really.

    I'm not sure what bad could come of trying this. Lawson will likely find out that a lot of Bird sits like crap on the guitar and it's impractical, but he can learn phrasing ideas, and assuming he's paying attention to the harmony as well (which I'm sure he is) he'll learn a lot about how Bird approached different common movements in this music, as Donna/Indiana has a bunch of them.

    It's music, not brain surgery. We can fuck up a few times, world keeps spinning.

  9. #58

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    I was not planning to post anymore on this thread, but the fact is, I gain so much from the observations, insights, and advice that you all give, and also, this is my only real jazz guitar "community." You all are my teachers, but colleagues, my audience, and my critics. So I realized that I want to keep posting here as I make progress simply as a way to be accountable and gain insight as I go.

    So the whole debate about slurring that kind of went of the rails actually struck me as something worth working on. I decided to slow it down a bit, to maybe 170, and try to adjust fingerings where I could slur into the downbeat. I think I also got a little sloppy slurring a lot of other stuff, but I'm having fun with the solo and feel like I'm making some progress.

    I really do appreciate observations, things that I'm hanging up on you notice, and advice for making progress.


  10. #59

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    I'm glad to see you're sticking with the thread! I really think the tune holds up well at this tempo. Maybe it's not full on Bebop, but it sounds good to me. So much smoother, and it swings nicely.

    I actually started working directly on hammers, pulls and trills last year. Very boring exercises, but I think it's helped me to play these elements with more clarity, more 'shape' and a better feel.

    I was led to believe that alternate picking every note was the real way to play jazz guitar when I very first got involved. This came to me through a guitar buddy who actually took some lessons. It was reported to have come down from J. Smith himself. A lot has happened in jazz guitar education since then. (late 60's)

    I think you're moving in the right direction by slowing down and having some fun. I've said this before, and I've been caught in the trap a few times myself: if playing just becomes a series of problems to overcome you soon lose the true joy in playing actual music, and in the end that's really what it's all about. Sometimes we need to temper our ambitions a bit and have some patience.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone
    I always liked the Tiny Grimes sessions, despite Parker's superiority Grimes would always dig in and blow.
    Tiny played like he was 6 foot 8.

  12. #61

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    very nice and enjoyable..great tempo....worth a second replay..

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I was not planning to post anymore on this thread, but the fact is, I gain so much from the observations, insights, and advice that you all give, and also, this is my only real jazz guitar "community." You all are my teachers, but colleagues, my audience, and my critics. So I realized that I want to keep posting here as I make progress simply as a way to be accountable and gain insight as I go.

    So the whole debate about slurring that kind of went of the rails actually struck me as something worth working on. I decided to slow it down a bit, to maybe 170, and try to adjust fingerings where I could slur into the downbeat. I think I also got a little sloppy slurring a lot of other stuff, but I'm having fun with the solo and feel like I'm making some progress.

    I really do appreciate observations, things that I'm hanging up on you notice, and advice for making progress.

    Great post. Nice to see people who can put their ego aside. Your playing sounds good; it sounds like bop. I can offer two pieces of advice since you genuinely seem to want honest feedback:

    1. Have you adjusted the pole pieces on your pickup? The top couple strings sound very thin compared to the great tone on most of the guitar.

    2. The only thing that took away from the performance were the couple spots where notes rang into each other, but I think I saw somewhere else on here that you're aware already and working on it.

    You're sounding pretty solid at this tempo.

  14. #63

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    I like the slurring effect, it makes your playing sound more relaxed and legato. I do it quite a bit myself, probably influenced by listening to Wes Montgomery but also because it just seems to work better for me than picking every note.

    I was going to write this in French, but then I considered your blood pressure, so I didn’t.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Tiny played like he was 6 foot 8.
    and he did it wearing a kilt, he had some cojones.

    Learning Charlie Parker "Donna Lee" Solo?-d0fd473a-9fad-43cb-8df6-73b91d36e0d6-jpg

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Great post. Nice to see people who can put their ego aside. Your playing sounds good; it sounds like bop. I can offer two pieces of advice since you genuinely seem to want honest feedback:

    1. Have you adjusted the pole pieces on your pickup? The top couple strings sound very thin compared to the great tone on most of the guitar.

    2. The only thing that took away from the performance were the couple spots where notes rang into each other, but I think I saw somewhere else on here that you're aware already and working on it.

    You're sounding pretty solid at this tempo.
    Thanks. I'll check those pole pieces. Notes ringing over other notes has been a weakness in my playing for a long time. Still a lot to work on there!

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Great post. Nice to see people who can put their ego aside. Your playing sounds good; it sounds like bop. I can offer two pieces of advice since you genuinely seem to want honest feedback:

    1. Have you adjusted the pole pieces on your pickup? The top couple strings sound very thin compared to the great tone on most of the guitar.

    2. The only thing that took away from the performance were the couple spots where notes rang into each other, but I think I saw somewhere else on here that you're aware already and working on it.

    You're sounding pretty solid at this tempo.
    What adjustment of the pole pieces would you recommend?

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    What adjustment of the pole pieces would you recommend?
    I play a 175 also, and the only way I've been able to get a (nearly) even sound on the strings was to raise the high e pole piece as high as it can go without it being touched by your pick or interfering when you play. I think the low e is close to as low as it goes (they can go below the level of the pickup surface). So I start with the high e and adjust by ear from there. I think if you use your ear you'll and up with them very staggered. You can always set them back, no big deal.

    edit: Strings make a big difference too

  19. #68

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    On mine I have the high E pole piece up quite a bit, and all the others down at the same level.

  20. #69

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    So I go back and forth between the 16" and 17" guitars, 24.75 and 25.5" scales. This L5ces just sounds so sweet I wanted to post this clip. The amp is a Fender Princeton Reverb ReIssue, the Sweetwater Limited Edition with the 12" Cannabis Rex speaker. This amp just sounds fabulous; I hope the recording here captures a sense of it. ON the tune itself, I'm working on the legato feel, slurring esp. to the downbeat, and generally easing the tempo up.


  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I like the slurring effect, it makes your playing sound more relaxed and legato. I do it quite a bit myself, probably influenced by listening to Wes Montgomery but also because it just seems to work better for me than picking every note.

    I was going to write this in French, but then I considered your blood pressure, so I didn’t.
    Ha! My blood pressure is actually quite good and French is a wonderful language I wish I knew. Then again...

  22. #71

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    Excellent, Lawson. You're sounding (and looking) so much more relaxed in these last couple of clips.

  23. #72

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    This clip isn't much different, but playing this morning it all felt so much more fluid, smoother, somehow. Still mistakes, but it all seemed to flow so much better than before. Posting this just to log that moment. I'm sure it felt a lot better than it actually sounds, but there you are.


  24. #73

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    So this is the last 22 measures of Bird's solo, played with the recording slowed down to 170 bpm. I am learning this is nothing like playing with the recording to get nuances of time and feel better. I go through this little segment 3 times, one each on an Epiphone Zephyr Regent Reissue, a Gibson L5ces, and a Peerless Monarch.

    One feature of Bird's solo that intrigues me is his re-use of ideas between the two choruses. It's a heavily used device in this solo.


  25. #74

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    So here's Bird's two choruses of solo from the Omnibook, played at about 170 bpm for now. Not without some clams, I'll admit, but I can feel it clicking into place and I hope to get it cleaner and quicker in the days to come.

    I find this solo actually lays out rather nicely on the guitar. I have found very few uncomfortable stretches, unlike the head!


  26. #75

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    Still working away on Donna Lee in the Omnibook. This is finally the head and both choruses, played at something like almost a reasonable tempo of 185 bpm. Some flubbed notes in here, of course. I never seem to be able to play it clean at any pace, so I would rather make mistakes at higher tempos!

    I appreciate observations and advice, especially from any who have tried to play this.


  27. #76

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    Forgive me for yet another post of this, but over on one of the threads dealing with the new Fender Tone Master line of amps, the question was asked how the 1 Watt setting on the TM Twin Reverb sounds. I mean, well, 1 watt... but then you have the whole pre-amp behind it, and 2 12" speakers... so I decided to do the Donna Lee thing through the TMTR set on 1 Watt and rather than record direct, I parked a Shure SM57 in front of it.

    Funny, I was thinking more about the amp than the solo, and I think I might have played it better not really focusing on it!

    I actually am pretty impressed at how this amp sounds even set on a measly 1 Watt.


  28. #77

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    Coming along nicely, LS! And you are right; the recorded sound at 1 watt is mighty jazz-worthy!

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Coming along nicely, LS! And you are right; the recorded sound at 1 watt is mighty jazz-worthy!
    Thank you. It was also a different guitar, the VOS1959 rather than the modern ES175. I love them both, but they play and sound different.

  30. #79

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    Yes, a clambake here on the Omnibook "Donna Lee" head and solo, but I survive it without cracking up and bailing on the solo. Lots to improve here, but I feel like there may be a pocket around here somewhere...

    Only sycophantic cheers and syrupy affirmation please. Participation Trophies are welcome.

    Seriously, observations and advice are always welcome.

    Of the 3 people who follow this thread...


  31. #80

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    I think you've learned all there is tto be learned, about that tune and that solo.
    Abandon it for awhile and concetrate on making/ keeping/ fitting into groove.

    BTW, you picked up the worst solo to learn. It sounds half assed even when Bird plays it. You will not learn much from it, except, maybe, to place prepared licks at random/ poorly chosen places.

    Sent from My Blog Page

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Yes, a clambake here on the Omnibook "Donna Lee" head and solo, but I survive it without cracking up and bailing on the solo. Lots to improve here, but I feel like there may be a pocket around here somewhere...

    Only sycophantic cheers and syrupy affirmation please. Participation Trophies are welcome.

    Seriously, observations and advice are always welcome.

    Of the 3 people who follow this thread...

    As for the feel, there are still some “dum de dum de dum” eighth notes (especially slurred notes), as opposed to when you nail it with the more even 8ths that are locked into the swung up beat. An example of when you nail it is around :50, which interestingly and possibly importantly is where you appear most relaxed.

    I really think the tension in your body is slowing you down. If I had to guess, I would wager that you are fretting the strings way harder than you need to.

    Take a small section and play it, but only touch the string with your finger as if you were playing a harmonic. Do that til all the tension is gone (because what is there to be tense about if there no strength needed?) Then try to fret the note so that it is buzzy. What you might find, maybe not, is that it’s difficult to not press hard enough. At that time it could point to the amount of over exertion you may or may not be using.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    Abandon it for awhile and concetrate on making/ keeping/ fitting into groove.
    What do you think he’s been doing this entire time?

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    What do you think he’s been doing this entire time?
    I think he's been trying to learn the notes and their placement, so to match one particular recording.

    Sent from My Blog Page

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    I think he's been trying to learn the notes and their placement, so to match one particular recording.

    Sent from My Blog Page
    What does he do to work on groove after he abandons it?

    To be honest, I don’t think there’s anything better to do than what he’s doing as long as he’s making adjustments in the right direction.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    What does he do to work on groove after he abandons it?

    To be honest, I don’t think there’s anything better to do than what he’s doing as long as he’s making adjustments in the right direction.
    I feel uncomfortablet to talk like this about 3rd person who is actually present. I told him what I had to say. If he wants more detail, he can ask and maybe I will answer, maybe not.

    To answer your question and address your comment ...
    He should do whatever makes him sound better in regard to grove.

    Reading your post above (your last post before you turned to talk to me), we could agree on some issues.
    I think, probably we have different idea about what the right direction to goal is. Maybe we have different idea about goal it self. I can say, we have different idea about 1/8th note swing in this particular tune, based on how I understood that post of yours.
    I also think there's no need to discuss it further.

    Sent from My Blog Page

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    As for the feel, there are still some “dum de dum de dum” eighth notes (especially slurred notes), as opposed to when you nail it with the more even 8ths that are locked into the swung up beat. An example of when you nail it is around :50, which interestingly and possibly importantly is where you appear most relaxed.

    I really think the tension in your body is slowing you down. If I had to guess, I would wager that you are fretting the strings way harder than you need to.

    Take a small section and play it, but only touch the string with your finger as if you were playing a harmonic. Do that til all the tension is gone (because what is there to be tense about if there no strength needed?) Then try to fret the note so that it is buzzy. What you might find, maybe not, is that it’s difficult to not press hard enough. At that time it could point to the amount of over exertion you may or may not be using.
    Yes the part you reference is actually 2 16th notes on the upbeat of 1 followed by an 8th not triplet on 2. I had just been playing it as a sloppy 5 note sweep and only recently have developed enough control to start playing it correctly. Parker's handling of it is really slippery. It's interesting to be playing a notated form of an actual performed solo, one of the classic solos of the whole bebop era that saxophone players have been learning ever since Bird played it. I guess they didn't think it was "half-assed" but rather a standard-setter for bebop vocabulary and style. So I'm using the notation to try to get to the played feel, allowing of course for the differences between the guitar and the saxophone.

    What' strange is that I don't feel any tension in my body at all. I think you and earlier Potlatch read some tension into the fact that my 65 year old academician's "stoop" can look tense, but I"m not aware of being tense. I am aware of breathing while I play, and after an hour of this, I have no discomfort in my hands, back, neck, or anywhere else. I'll pay more attention to that, but that's my sense right now. That I prop on my pinkie makes some think I'm tense, but I've done that for 50+ years and see no value in trying to change it in the twilight of life before I slip into senility or death.

    I'll try the idea of pressing with less force. If I can pick up just a little more ease, it will likely make a difference at this tempo.

  38. #87

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    Sorry if I was off base, I do try to always disclose on here I’m not very experienced in teaching.

    I probably read too far into the video because the tension thing was one of the biggest and fastest improvements I’ve had back in the day— Maybe I automatically think that’s everyone’s problem.

  39. #88

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    Hey I appreciate it and sometimes we (I) am not self aware enough to detect it. I will try to figure out how I can be more relaxed because that’s such a big part of a good flow. On this solo just getting the notes right can consume all else so one reason I’m staying with it is to get it so part of me that I can be relaxed. Crazy maybe but I’m my own teacher, band, and audience most of the time so I do what I want.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  40. #89

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    You are a good teacher for yourself it seems. I have no idea why multiple people have told you to stop.

  41. #90

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    Me neither but Vladan is a serious musician and I respect his viewpoint though I don’t think he and I have ever agreed on anything! He might just think taking a break from DL and then coming back to it could help. He might be right but I’m not tired of it yet!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  42. #91

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    Oh, Mr. Stone, I have one more thought. Consider that my opinion was your best feel was on 16th notes. Many Players think in half time and sixteenth notes. Hal Galper teaches this, but I know mostly from talking to horn players. Of course, no one right way to swing. Except mine. Just kidding.

  43. #92

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    Your progress is audible, and that last octave sweep had some serious sass! You're doin' good, Big Guy!

  44. #93

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    I can hear you improving, so that's a valuable thing.

    Bear in mind learning is not linear. Changing tasks to something else totally different - for instance working on chordal technique - might have knock on effects to the other aspects of your playing. Don't be afraid to move on and come back to something.

  45. #94

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    In line with corpse's advice, you may try playing the head and solo while tapping your foot at half and then quarter the rate to get a more relaxed feel with a greater sense of flow. This is particularly important to experience at faster tempos. Check out this video where Joe Lovano demonstrates the differences:


  46. #95

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    As I keep on working with this, I'm using it to "jazz demo" various pieces of gear. This is my 2015 L5ces and the Quilter Tone Block 202, recording direct.

    Also: I realize in m. 15 I'm dropping the 2 notes on beat 4. I've separated this phrase out for further work and for the moment playing it "partial."

    I gotta say I am very impressed by the Quilter Tone Block 202. My only complaints are with the user interface and dual-purpose switches that put me in a bind from time to time, forcing choices I would rather not have to make.