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  1. #1

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    I think the speed thing in jazz (guitar) is one of the most misunderstood aspects of it. People (even jazz guitarists) often state that it's only scales bla bla, that there is too little emotion, that'it is mechanical bla bla and then invariably Jim Hall appears magically as proof of the good taste of the listener and you get the "one note by Jim Hall is more musical than Bireli's entire solo" nonsense.

    I always hate when the umptieth discussion of Bireli (or Martino, or Oberg or fill in any chops player) ends up like that again. It tells me more about the listener than about the players that are being dissed for their ability to play fast stuff. Slow any fast solo down and listen again. It will all be there still content wise. But somehow people do not hear that.

    So the point is that all the speed monsters (George Benson, Bireli Lagrene, Tal Farlow, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson, Ulf Wakenius, Andreas Oberg and probably all of the modern jazz guitar players that I am leaving out here) do not lose much if anything at all content wise or when they are burning. They are just as musical as on slower tempi. They simply have the ability to play fast (Genetic thing ... they seem to have a faster processor in their system) where others do not have the capability to play musically at these tempi anymore.

    IMHO it is really popular myth that chops players do not play musically. That they play scales without emotion and all that crap you read under vids on Youtube. Sometimes even here.

    If you can play meaningful stuff on high tempi, you are probably even more musical on slower tempi.

    It's not about speed. It's about being able to play competently on all required tempi. Pro jazzers that can only handle slow tempi?????? I think not.

    And what about audiences not liking burning solos? That is something that you often read too but .... The strange thing is that gypsy jazz is very popular in my country. Way more popular than mainstream jazz. Audiences are exposed to flurries of notes that must be totally incomprehensible for them (?). Yet they all love it over here. The best paid jazz musicians in my country are those that play the most notes. How can that be? I am sure the audience has no clue whatsoever about what is going on when Stochelo or Jimmy are playing but I think they simple like the excitement it generates and they all seem to be in awe of the virtuosity, even those that hate jazz otherwise ...

    Quarantine rant over. I have too much time on my hand, yeah sorry about that.

    DB
    Last edited by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog; 04-02-2020 at 09:36 AM.

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  3. #2

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    I can’t imagine life without playing fast anymore than I could without playing slow. Or like only playing songs in one key. Or like only eating one food. Or like only having sex with (ooops, never mind).

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kleinhaut
    I can’t imagine life without playing fast anymore than I could without playing slow. Or like only playing songs in one key. Or like only eating one food. Or like only having sex with (ooops, never mind).
    Exactly. They are two sides of the same coin.

    DB

  5. #4

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    So here’s the thing. Some players play fast and it’s empty and boring and some players play fast and it’s interesting and swinging and all that good stuff.

    otoh some people play slow and it doesn’t swing or have any musical content either haha. They’d be the first to lecture you about playing to many notes lol.

    And yes, some people play fewer notes and it sounds great. The latter people are the rarest group I’d say which makes them super interesting.

    I think a lot of players make the mistake that if you play less notes it will sound good. This I think is not generally true. What is more true (and once again here I go, regurgitating paragraphs of Hal Galper) playing fewer notes is actually an editing process. I think this is more generally the case. But you need something to edit, right?

    I also think you can hear all the notes going on and just not be able to catch all of them, and it still sounds good. I get this impression with Sco for instance. I think Scos chops used to be a lot more polished in Miles days than he’s been for a long time... now he sounds like playing all of what he hears is just a bit keen, and he’ll just catch bits of it. Sounds good to me!

    (OTOH maybe Jim Hall was always in that position of having to edit... but then he was listening I think more to Lester and Charlie Christian than to Parker.)

    Rhyrhm is also a really big deal. Listen to the way Benson digs into the upbeat accents and it’s clear he’s not just stringing notes together, but the notes are a vehicle for the rhythm, kind of like a hand percussionist but with pitches.

    I do have to say I rarely listen back to something I’ve done and think ‘hmmmm could have really done with some more notes’, so I think editing is a good shout. Otherwise I’m just doing the autobop thing.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I think the speed thing in jazz (guitar) is one of the most misunderstood aspects of it. People (even jazz guitarists) often state that it's only scales bla bla, that there is too little emotion, mechanical bla bla and then invariably Jim Hall appears magically as proof of the good taste of the listener and you get the "one note by Jim Hall is more musical than Bireli's entire solo" nonsense.

    I always hate when the umptieth discussion of Bireli (or Martino, or Oberg or fill in any chops player) ends up like that again. It tells me more about the listener than about the players that are being dissed for their ability to play fast stuff. Slow any fast solo down and listen again. It will all be there still content wise. But somehow people do not hear that.

    So the point is that all the speed monsters (George Benson, Bireli Lagrene, Tal Farlow, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson, Ulf Wakenius, Andreas Oberg and probably all of the modern jazz guitar players that I am leaving out here) do not lose much if anything at all content wise or when they are burning. They are just as musical as on slower tempi. They simply have the ability to play fast (Genetic thing ... they seem to have a faster processor in their system) where others do not have the capability to play musically at these tempi anymore.

    IMHO it is really popular myth that chops players do not play musically. That they play scales without emotion and all that crap you read under vids on Youtube. Sometimes even here.

    If you can play meaningful stuff on high tempi, you are probably even more musical on slower tempi.

    It's not about speed. It's about being able to play competently on all required tempi. Pro jazzers that can only handle slow tempi?????? I think not.

    And how about audiences not liking burning solos? That is something that you often read too but .... The strange thin is that gypsy jazz is very popular in my country. Way more popular than mainstream jazz. Audiences are exposed to flurries of notes that must be totally incomprehensible for them (?). Yet they all love it over here. The best paid jazz musicians in my country are those that play the most notes. How can that be? I am sure the audience has no clue whatsoever about what is going on Stocheo or Jimmy are playing but they simple like the excitement it generates and they all seem to be in awe of the virtuosity, even those that hate jazz otherwise ...

    Quarantine rant over. I have too much time on my hand, yeah sorry about that.

    DB
    I would expand it beyond the speed discussion and say that in general any critique that so-and-so plays without emotion is suspect, whether speed, or scales, or tone, or any other characteristic is cited as a reason. All you ("you" generically, not you DB) can really say is that you are not feeling whatever emotion the player is trying to put out. That doesn't mean it's not there, it just means you are not on that wavelength, which is neither a good thing nor a bad thing IMO; it's just how it is. Also, many of the people who get cited as exemplars of non-technical expressiveness are actually way more technically proficient than it may seem. I mean, e.g., Jim Hall was always humble about his own chops, but the reality is he could play straight 8ths at crazy tempos, and could play contrapuntal harmony at any tempo. Very few people can actually execute what he did.

    Another one is Sco -- I often joke that he is much less sloppy than he sounds. If you actually try to transcribe his greasy "easy" stuff, it's not easy at all. And in a weird way, someone who is playing pattern-based stuff at high tempos is almost easier to understand than some of the "slower" guys. That's the point of patterns -- less to think about note-wise, more opportunity to develop themes, motifs, and dynamics. I mean Martino is in some ways simpler than Hall, for example, but his approach brings a different energy. Birelli and Benson, are just in a whole 'nother universe when it comes to both technique and content though. Anyone who accuses them of playing without feeling is just completely missing something.
    John

  7. #6

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    As one who struggles with speed, especially with improvising at quick tempos, I agree. I have started thinking not of "speed" but of "fluency." If I'm conversing with someone in a language that is a second language for me, and I say really deep and amazing things, but have to look up every other word, have to consult a grammar to get the right verbal form, and then still end up with a wrong idiom... my "content" won't matter because it will be lost in the delays and static in my speech. But if I have internalized the language so that as ideas are formed they transition into correct sentences smoothly so that I can maintain the pace of the conversation, my speech keeping up with my thinking rather than bogging it down, then what I say will have more impact.

    I know that the analogy between jazz and "language" has lots of weaknesses, and honestly, I don't find it as useful as I used to. But still, I find "fluency" a better concept that "speed." What I notice with Pat Metheny and Joe Pass is that they never seem to feel like the guitar is an obstacle that is in the way of expressing their musical ideas. Joe even told me once that the guitar is basically a typewriter. We use it to spell out our ideas. That of course involves enormous technical ability, but without the ability to express readily on the instrument the musical ideas in our minds, those ideas are pretty useless unless we switch over to being a keyboard-and-paper composer (which isn't a bad thing, ether).

    Whatever, I find I can play a memorized piece up to about 225 bpm, and with practice, can play it fluidly. But I find my ability to think of musical ideas and express them on the instrument is far, far, slower than that. Partly because my technical ability lags, but also... I still don't have really great musical ideas in my head to start with!

  8. #7

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    Haha John A - we both chose Sco. He's a master of sounding like he's dipping in and out of something.

  9. #8

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    So here’s the thing. Some players play fast and it’s empty and boring and some players play fast and it’s interesting and swinging and all that good stuff. otoh some people play slow and it doesn’t swing or have any musical content either haha. They’d be the first to lecture you about playing to many notes lol.
    Yes. But the empty and boring stuff will be found only in guys trying to do stuff they cannot handle. Never the masters. And my entire post was about the masters. I do not mean amateur or student level playing, which is of course a diffent thing.

    I think a lot of players make the mistake that if you play less notes it will sound good. This I think is not generally true. What is more true (and once again here I go, regurgitating paragraphs of Hal Galper) playing fewer notes is actually an editing process. I think this is more generally the case. But you need something to edit, right?
    Agreed. When editing is a conscious attempt and you have your stuff together you will sound good anyway But if you lack content, skills or musicality, you will lack musicality at all tempi. I cannot imagine a competent player only sounding good on slow tempi.

    Rhyrhm is also a really big deal. Listen to the way Benson digs into the upbeat accents and it’s clear he’s not just stringing notes together, but the notes are a vehicle for the rhythm, kind of like a hand percussionist but with pitches.
    It is yes but even that is different in all great players and is less dominant in some. I just love Pat Martino machine gunning 16th notes.

    DB

  10. #9

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    We'd all burn on Cherokee and 330 if we could

    Fast playing is an important part of jazz playing. It's the balance to slow playing, which is also important.

    Balance is the most important. We pick put Jim Hall as the "slow" player. Whatever. Listen to the ways he creates balance. That's why it sounds good.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    It is yes but even that is different in all great players and is less dominant in some. I just love Pat Martino machine gunning 16th notes.

    DB
    There's a lot of rhythmic shape in Martino's playing. You might think - oh a big long string of notes, but then you get into it... the way he creates patterns of accentuation using the contour of his lines. And his placement is just - delicious. I would say rhythm is a dominant aspect of his playing, actually. It's just expressed in a different way to Benson or Grant Green.

    I used to not like his more recent playing, then a light bulb went on one day and I heard it.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    IMHO it is really popular myth that chops players do not play musically.
    In a way, the faster you want to play the more musical you have to play.

    Paradoxically, I think this is what makes some fast playing boring for some listeners---not that the technique is poor (it isn't) or the notes are wrong (clash in an unwanted way): it is all fast, fitting and impressive but 'fast, fitting and impressive' can tire the ear in a hurry. (As can anything else that is overdone.) This is what bothered many people about Sonny Stitt: no one doubted his ability or thought he was playing wrong notes; he just wore some listeners out with it. (I'm a Sonny Stitt fan but I acknowledge a lot of jazz lovers found him dazzling but not--often enough--emotionally gripping.)

    I think some boppers were especially prone to this because they added changes and raced the tempo so that 'making the changes' could be truly improvisation (not pre-planned), very impressive, and yet very same-y (-there are only so many moves one can make on the fly at 300+ bpm. You have yours, I have mine, and may both our storehouses grow, but the faster you're going, the more "automatic" your playing must be just to execute it. This was even true of Coltrane.)

  13. #12

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    Paradoxically, I think this is what makes some fast playing boring for some listeners---not that the technique is poor (it isn't) or the notes are wrong (clash in an unwanted way): it is all fast, fitting and impressive but 'fast, fitting and impressive' can tire the ear in a hurry. (As can anything else that is overdone.) This is what bothered many people about Sonny Stitt: no one doubted his ability or thought he was playing wrong notes; he just wore some listeners out with it. (I'm a Sonny Stitt fan but I acknowledge a lot of jazz lovers found him dazzling but not--often enough--emotionally gripping.)
    Is boring the right word here? It's more like a listener saying "there's so much information in the playing I cannot process it anymore." On the other hand a more experienced listener who IS able to process it may say "wow, now that is virtuoso and exciting playing" I think the type of info in a fast Sonny Stitt is more or less the same as in a slower playing Stitt. Only the amount of info will differ. He is executing more or less the same stuff only faster!

    But maybe overstimulaton is the same as boring for most people ...

    DB

  14. #13

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    I often wonder if I was able to play fast whether I'd appreciate the faster guitar players more. Allied to that, I often think I don't even hear fast enough, let along be able to move my fingers fast enough.

    You mentioned gypsy jazz, I've been watching some Jimmy Rosenberg recently and have been amazed and delighted at some of the melodic and rhythmic twists and turned he puts into the standard melodies, but then he goes off into Sweet Georgia Brown at a tempo that is simply crazy. The fact he can play at this dazzling tempo is almost unbelievable and mind-blowing but it leaves me a little cold.

    Similarly, only last night I was watching an old Stochelo DVD in which he demonstrates many tunes at slow / medium / fast tempos. Watching many of the performances it struck me that my description of these tempos would have been fast, very fast, and ludicrously fast. I enjoyed the "slow" versions most of all.

    But, as I said above, I can't hep wondering if I was able to play at these tempos (or even hear at these tempos), would I be saying and thinking differently?

    I think the answer is probably yes. Which means this issue is with me, rather than with the players.

  15. #14

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    I'm one of those who can't play fast (yet!!) but still really enjoy hearing fast players, as long as they are not monotonous. I hate to say it, but sometimes Pat Martino really is monotonous to me. On "Sonny" he has practically a whole chorus that is just one figure played over and over. Sure, accented differently, but I find it not boring, but annoying. Grant Green on "My Favorite Things" also has a long section of just one figure. These are amazing, great players, but that's something the "fast" players often do that I find un-interesting and even detracting. I'm sure they are deep within their own feeling at the moment, so no doubt it's very sincere, but it does not communicate to me.

    But guys like Joe Pass, Birelli Lagrene, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, who keep a lot of variety in their fast lines are very engaging to me.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger
    I often wonder if I was able to play fast whether I'd appreciate the faster guitar players more. Allied to that, I often think I don't even hear fast enough, let along be able to move my fingers fast enough.

    You mentioned gypsy jazz, I've been watching some Jimmy Rosenberg recently and have been amazed and delighted at some of the melodic and rhythmic twists and turned he puts into the standard melodies, but then he goes off into Sweet Georgia Brown at a tempo that is simply crazy. The fact he can play at this dazzling tempo is almost unbelievable and mind-blowing but it leaves me a little cold.

    Similarly, only last night I was watching an old Stochelo DVD in which he demonstrates many tunes at slow / medium / fast tempos. Watching many of the performances it struck me that my description of these tempos would have been fast, very fast, and ludicrously fast. I enjoyed the "slow" versions most of all.

    But, as I said above, I can't hep wondering if I was able to play at these tempos (or even hear at these tempos), would I be saying and thinking differently?

    I think the answer is probably yes. Which means this issue is with me, rather than with the players.
    What baffles me is how popular the Rosenbergs are over here. They have been very succesful for many, many years and have made lots of money. They are the most commercially succesful jazzers in the Netherlands. How come all these people - that really cannot be bothered with mainstream jazz - like them so much?????

    DB

  17. #16

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    Of course there are limits. Here's Robert Anchipolovsky plaing Cherokee at over 450 BPM on his sax way beyond anybody's processing level I guess. Would be interesting to slow it down and see what he is really playing. I don't know him but he seems to be an established player in the Bird tradition with a good cv. The backing is sped up but not the sax!



    and here he is on a slow blues to assess his "regular" playing.


  18. #17

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    .. . every one is blonde and everyone is beautifull ...




    Sent from My Blog Page
    Last edited by Vladan; 04-02-2020 at 01:25 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    Of course there are limits. Here's Robert Anchipolovsky plaing Cherokee at over 450 BPM on his sax way beyond anybody's processing level I guess. Would be interesting to slow it down and see what he is really playing. I don't know him but he seems to be an established player in the Bird tradition with a good cv. The backing is sped up but not the sax!



    and here he is on a slow blues to assess his "regular" playing.

    I slowed it down to half speed to see if I could tell whether he was really hanging with the tune. It seemed like mostly he wasn't -- his notes seemed pretty much random, except he would every once in a while play something consonant. He also he slipped in and out of time with the backing track. But he did keep up with sort of the basic direction of the tune, and it did seem like he knew where he was. Surely better than I could do, but I wouldn't even try.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 04-02-2020 at 02:18 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I'm one of those who can't play fast (yet!!) but still really enjoy hearing fast players, as long as they are not monotonous. I hate to say it, but sometimes Pat Martino really is monotonous to me. On "Sonny" he has practically a whole chorus that is just one figure played over and over. Sure, accented differently, but I find it not boring, but annoying. Grant Green on "My Favorite Things" also has a long section of just one figure. These are amazing, great players, but that's something the "fast" players often do that I find un-interesting and even detracting. I'm sure they are deep within their own feeling at the moment, so no doubt it's very sincere, but it does not communicate to me.

    But guys like Joe Pass, Birelli Lagrene, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, who keep a lot of variety in their fast lines are very engaging to me.
    I know what you mean about Martino's repetition, but experiencing that sort of thing the in the flesh is a very different experience from a recording or a video.

    John

  21. #20

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    Yeah there are things that work in the room that don’t work on recordings

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah there are things that work in the room that don’t work on recordings
    True that.

    DB


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I slowed it down to half speed to see if I could tell whether he was really hanging with the tune. It seemed like mostly he wasn't -- his notes seemed pretty much random, except he would every once in a while play something consonant. He also he slipped in and out of time with the backing track. But he did keep up with sort of the basic direction of the tune, and it did seem like he knew where he was. Surely better than I could do, but I wouldn't even try.

    John
    Thanks for that. I did the slowing down too and could not make much of it either!

    DB

  24. #23

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    For me, it's the player.

    I once walked out of the Keystone Korner in mid-show because I was so bored by a famous guitarist. He played faster and cleaner than I thought possible, but I didn't care for a single note. I do like his records and some performances I've seen on video. But I didn't like that show.

    OTOH, there are players with burning speed who are nothing short of thrilling to listen to. And, on the third hand, I rarely want to listen to any of that a second time.

    The music I've listened to repeatedly is generally played at a more modest tempo. So, I love Jim Hall's ballad playing. But, I also love Wes (who doesn't sound so fast until you try to play his lines).

    I can't play fast, so I don't play flurries of meaningless notes. But, I'm absolutely certain that if I had the chops, that's exactly what I'd do.

  25. #24

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    I really like the doesn’t sound fast until you try to play it thing. Bernstein does that.

    also I went to see Birelli a couple of years back and it was just ... dull. Two hours of sweep picking on electric. His bass player was awesome though, and played the best most musical guitar solo all night on Hono’s d hole. Not bad.

    And I say that as a Birelli fan. One of the few GJ things I find constantly inspiring is his stuff because he is always struggling against the boundaries of the tradition probably because he’s so bored of it - that’s why he sounds good imo!

    It’s like he’s bored of music tbh. Too easy. He got the cheat codes. Competed every level.

  26. #25

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    Very well said DB. I think a lot of the dissing is envy/jealousy driven. I knew a guy that would start criticizing when a player was starting to throw in fast phrasing, saying he was "playing too many notes," even when it was done tastefully. He was clearly envious.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I really like the doesn’t sound fast until you try to play it thing. Bernstein does that.

    also I went to see Birelli a couple of years back and it was just ... dull. Two hours of sweep picking on electric. His bass player was awesome though, and played the best most musical guitar solo all night on Hono’s d hole. Not bad.

    And I say that as a Birelli fan. One of the few GJ things I find constantly inspiring is his stuff because he is always struggling against the boundaries of the tradition probably because he’s so bored of it - that’s why he sounds good imo!

    It’s like he’s bored of music tbh. Too easy. He got the cheat codes. Competed every level.
    I've never gotten into Bireli, either. Nothing against him...just not my bag. And I dig fast playing. Even gypsy jazz fast playing, which is really one huge dick measuring contest. But stuff like this, this cat...looks like he's having the time of his life, in some tiny hot room full of dudes. How can you not appreciate that? And he fucking BURNS.



    Ah, fuck you youtube, not gonna let me embed, but its Joscho Stephan playing After You've Gone for probably the 1 millionth time in his life, and he's still having fun.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I'm one of those who can't play fast (yet!!) but still really enjoy hearing fast players, as long as they are not monotonous. I hate to say it, but sometimes Pat Martino really is monotonous to me. On "Sonny" he has practically a whole chorus that is just one figure played over and over. Sure, accented differently, but I find it not boring, but annoying. Grant Green on "My Favorite Things" also has a long section of just one figure. These are amazing, great players, but that's something the "fast" players often do that I find un-interesting and even detracting. I'm sure they are deep within their own feeling at the moment, so no doubt it's very sincere, but it does not communicate to me.
    I know. I checked out at 45:00.


  29. #28

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    For you reading enjoyment, the 50 fastest guitarists of all time. Not jazz focused, but it includes folks like Django, DiMeola, McLaughlin.

    https://www.guitarworld.com/magazine...rists-all-time

    Take it with a grain of salt, of course. It's also from 2015.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    Ah, fuck you youtube, not gonna let me embed, but its Joscho Stephan playing After You've Gone for probably the 1 millionth time in his life, and he's still having fun.
    Yes, excellent take. It is from at least 5 years ago, though, the level of joy might have changed since.



    Sent from My Blog Page

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    I know. I checked out at 45:00.

    This is so cool I’m going to transcribe it. Just hope I’ve got enough paper left.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    I know. I checked out at 45:00.

    Here's the transcription - it just keeps getting better and better!

    AMAZING 1 HOUR GUITAR SOLO (MUST WATCH).pdf | DocDroid

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kleinhaut
    I can’t imagine life without playing fast anymore than I could without playing slow. Or like only playing songs in one key. Or like only eating one food. Or like only having sex with (ooops, never mind).
    One sheep. Don't be bashful, Mark, spit it out, we're all experienced chaps here :-)

  34. #33

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    I just saw a Tony Rice where somebody did the same thing to him.

    I love Martino. Been listening to him from the beginning, but this little habit he gets into from time to time is something I really do not enjoy. I'll also admit that I'm not that fond of bars and bars of straight 16ths either. I like to hear a phrase or 3. And for me that goes for all the instruments.

    Anyways... my thoughts on speed are you need it. And you need everything else as well.

    It's such a guitar thing: speed is good up to a point and then it's not. You don't hear it about piano, violin, and horn players in the same way. I've thought that speed is an easy way for laymen to decide who's a good guitarist and who isn't. I guess 'cause everyone knows it's hard.

    I played in fusion groups through the 70's. That music demanded speed from the guitarists. I learned how to do it. Otherwise nobody noticed you, and nobody wanted to play with you. I stopped playing for a long time and picked up a few years ago. I've been working on my old fusion chops. I've been working on a lot of other things too. Like playing chords and soloing on changes :-)

    I like what someone said about fluency. I want to be able to use everything.

  35. #34
    Speed is a tool to convey emotion, feelings, and energy, IMHO. When Parker and Powell are burning their music has an incredible drive and at the same time they are playing great lines with twists and turns that delight the ear.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I know what you mean about Martino's repetition, but experiencing that sort of thing the in the flesh is a very different experience from a recording or a video.

    John
    different strokes but if you've seen him in person, he builds that tension w/the band building behind him and then drops back in, very exciting.
    you don't need to be flying all over the fingerboard to create tension, some of Grant Green's lines are like this and work very well for him.
    I've used that device more than once and it can be a crowd pleaser, but ymmv

  37. #36

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    Even though I know that Martino video is just a loop, I swear Scofield’s smile looks a tiny bit more forced and desperate each time it goes round.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    It’s like he’s bored of music tbh. Too easy. He got the cheat codes. Competed every level.
    True. I love that guy. The most perfect time feel, endless chops and creativity. I have said it earlier. If there were an intergalactic jazz guitar contest I'd send in Bireli as earth's contender.

    DB

  39. #38

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    I can't play fast, so I don't play flurries of meaningless notes. But, I'm absolutely certain that if I had the chops, that's exactly what I'd do.
    A note is a note and cannot be meaningless. If you play a lick twice or three times as fast as normally on a higher tempo suddenly it becomes meaningless? Because it is fast? That same lick? Does not make sense to me.

    And, now in general (so not aimed at you). All the bop masters I mentioned play more or less the same meaningful content, both on lower and higher tempi. So why like the slow tempi and dislike the fast parts?

    DB
    Last edited by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog; 04-03-2020 at 06:27 AM.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    Speed is a tool to convey emotion, feelings, and energy, IMHO. When Parker and Powell are burning their music has an incredible drive and at the same time they are playing great lines with twists and turns that delight the ear.
    Exactly. Playing fast is just a tool that comes with the trade. Speed is an essential ingredient when you want to play bop. Let's have a look at Wikipedia:

    Bebop or bop is a style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the United States, which features songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, the use of scales and occasional references to the melody.
    Speed is ONE of the hallmarks of bop and therefore a necessary tool.

    If a guy seriously lacks speed, even the heads of many bop standards will be beyond him and that's ok for a student or fun player (anything goes there) but surely not for a guy that is serious about his playing, let alone a pro.

    It's a non discussion really.

    DB

  41. #40

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    I just always figured that technical virtuosity was one of the hallmarks of jazz since the beginning. A big part of the tradition has always been wowing fans with some fast tempos, and you had to be able to hang. Up to a certain point jazz was music for musicians who wanted to show off their chops, it was kinda expected and kept lots of slackers from being part of the brotherhood.

    Don't we all usually expect jazz musicians to have exceptional skills???

  42. #41

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    Well you guys have got me finally working on my speed chops after all these years (it’s amazing how you can get addicted to practising during the lockdown!)

    I’m doing what Pasquale Grasso suggested in a video, i.e. playing at your maximum comfortable speed with a metronome, then just increasing it by one increment every few days.

    In a year I will be just as fast as Pasquale!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I still don't have really great musical ideas in my head to start with!
    That's where it all starts Lawson. I find your honesty and introspection soooo refreshing.

    Now get back to your guitar and practise some more ...

    DB

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    If a guy seriously lacks speed, even the heads of many bop standards will be beyond him and that's ok for a student or fun player
    Well, the above is me, so take my view with a pinch of salt, and as I said earlier, I'm sure if I could play faster and hear faster then I'd be happy and more inclined to do so, so I'm probably just rationalising my lack of ability. But another thought crosses my mind: is the speed thing part of the reason why we ending up asking why jazz isn't more popular? Somewhere along the line we want our music to appeal to non-players, and do non-players care for the speed as much as we do? I know my better half often remarks "What's that? I like that." when I'm listening to some jazz. But that never happens when it's some superfast jazz-shred-fest. Although, Joscho, who Mr. B mentioned earlier, does actually pass that test. His playing, even at speed, always has a fun and easily-hearable quality to it.

    Derek

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    True. I love that guy. The most perfect time feel, endless chops and creativity. I have said it earlier. If there were an intergalactic jazz guitar contest I'd send in Bireli as earth's contender.

    DB
    Haha!

    For people who haven’t fully grasped Birelli’s power level:






  46. #45

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    And his metal, fusion and blues stuff:






  47. #46

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    However it must be said that’s some classic bee in a jam jar 80s shred fizz he’s got going on there.

    what is he using, a Boss Metalzone?

  48. #47

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    A boss DS1 into an AER?

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    However it must be said that’s some classic bee in a jam jar 80s shred fizz he’s got going on there.

    what is he using, a Boss Metalzone?
    Yeah, sound is so so. It's part of some educational stuff he did for DM music school. They locked him up in a small studio in the sweltering heat and recorded a 100 clips or so haha. Probably run his guitar through some DI box.

    His live fusion sounds are much better.

    DB

  50. #49

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    #freebireli

  51. #50

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    I hear you , DB, its about mastery of time and space .

    i love burners who have mastered time and space, but , i want to give hope to those who are intimidated by fast tempos . i want to encourage them to look at it as a groove and if they know a song well and can hold their part in the groove, they can easily get by with less notes.

    but i love the on the edge gun slingers , who know time and the song and groove and holding their part.

    cats with chops who dont have the groove will make it a long night

    also , im perplexed at the people that rip off super fast runs on medium tempos but cant handle up tempos. it means they haven mastered the groove