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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I don't know of an example of Joe Pass doing this. He did talk about singing, but I don't recall seeing or hearing any example. Can you point me?
    He does it at 1:03:30 on this video:


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  3. #52

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    I'm all for the horizontal approach...

    The horizontal approach-excuse-me-please-jpg

  4. #53

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    While everyone seems to be offering their suggestions for how Jazz should be played, or how Bop should be improvised or how the music should be taught etc etc, I'd just like to add my own thoughts. Yes, playing too vertically can sound boring but playing horizontally too loosely can as well. Singing your lines, and trying to play them while you sing them is fine, but unless you work hard on your instrument at expressing THE changes clearly first, then the quality of your sung lines may be limited. Take that 2 - 5 - 1 - 6 progression mentioned. Sure, if it's iim7 - V7 - I - vim7, then even a non musician could probably scat some decent lines agains it, and yes they would probably be generalizing the tonic...

    But turn the V into a V7alt, and the vi into a VI7b9, then suddenly the untutored singer doesn't sound so great. Let's face it, even jazz students at all levels may still manage to sing clams against those altered sounds. And if they don't, then perhaps they're not hitting the juicy altered notes in interesting ways that the schooled improvisor might play on his/her instrument. I bet most of you (if you've practiced vertical lines enough) would probably sound more convincing on Giant Steps playing your instrument as opposed to scatting. The more experienced players (especially the ones that eventually get good at playing what they hear) may be able to sing against these challenging progressions and hit enough important guide tones to sound "legit", but that's only because - and here's my point - they trained their ear to hear these important notes through years of practicing playing the strict changes.

    I certainly hear what Christian is saying, and I know I need to heed the advice, and I do, but only because I'm now ready for it. 5 years ago I certainly wasn't! Like someone said earlier, learn the rules first, and then bend them. I suppose you gotta ask yourself at what point do you start to encourage practicing "skating" over changes? Too soon may lead to lazy habits in some. Too late may entrench different lazy habits for others.

    As I said in my first post in this thread - It's a fine line, innit?

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    But they're not stupid. If we can think of ways and means, so can they.

    Same answer. It's a good job the teachers of academic subjects are so-called specialists!
    A music specialist is not a jazz specialist. It's reasonable that someone like this should receive guidance.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I certainly hear what Christian is saying, and I know I need to heed the advice, and I do, but only because I'm now ready for it. 5 years ago I certainly wasn't! Like someone said earlier, learn the rules first, and then bend them. I suppose you gotta ask yourself at what point do you start to encourage practicing "skating" over changes? Too soon may lead to lazy habits in some. Too late may entrench different lazy habits for others.
    THERE ARE NO RULES

    there are only resources. The only people who think there are rules are people marking exam papers.

    how did everyone get so afraid to be a musician? Play music. Play melodies. Use your ears. Listen, play.

    Steal someone else's minor key lines and play it on another minor key tune. Quote melodies. Embellish the melody. do what you have to. Just play MUSIC.

    Later, there are resources beyond this.

    Look, Giant Steps is a whole different bag. People who start with Giant Steps are going to get the wrong end of the stick.

    Fine line? More like sunk costs fallacy...

    BTW I'm not anti theory. I'm not anti-theory tests either, even. I am pro context.
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-03-2020 at 12:20 PM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    THERE ARE NO RULES

    ...
    Tell that to your beloved Barry Harris!

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Tell that to your beloved Barry Harris!
    he teaches things you can play. The music, or one branch of the tree at least. Play the music. Students need this because they need to learn the language one way or another.

    problem with the way many people think with jazz - the ones who can’t play it, or rather don’t feel they can ... they think of what they shouldn’t play. Avoid notes, clams, bad sounding notes.

    thats dumb. Basic educational psychology, right?

    Don't think of the pink elephant!

    why do we make things so difficult for students? Jazz takes enough work as it is.

    And the worst thing! Students can’t let this BS go. Because sunk costs. It’s hard to admit you were sold a pup. But the silver lining is that info will come in useful further down the line.

    I see this all the time with students.

    I was that person.
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-03-2020 at 02:20 PM.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    A music specialist is not a jazz specialist. It's reasonable that someone like this should receive guidance.
    Then why are they trying to teach jazz if they're not qualified? Would they let someone who couldn't speak French teach French?
    Last edited by ragman1; 06-04-2020 at 12:08 AM.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    He does it at 1:03:30 on this video:

    Actually that kind of illustrates my question. I have that video and that's the only place I know of where Joe does it. He clearly can, he clearly does play what he hears in his mind, but I know of no example in a performance where Joe is "singing his lines" vocally like Oscar Petersen or Herb Ellis often do.

    Not disputing the idea of playing what is heard internally, just not thinking of Joe Pass as someone who vocalizes that.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Then why are they trying to teach jazz if they're not qualified? Would they let someone who couldn't speak French to teach French?
    In your world the school big band is run by a dedicated jazz instructor?

    I’m taking about what the yanks call ‘grade school.’

    TBF I know a lot of jazz musicians who teach this way too. Usually it’s because that’s how they were taught. (But not necessarily how they learned.)

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I don't know of an example of Joe Pass doing this. He did talk about singing, but I don't recall seeing or hearing any example. Can you point me?
    I cannot point to an example of Joe Pass doing this. Which isn't surprising, as normally his voice would not be mic'ed during a performance. (We hear pianists because they often have a mic before them so they announce tunes and introduce the band.)

    You can hear Herb Ellis talk about it here. He knew Joe and performed with him; I'm taking his word for it.
    Starts at 10:49

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I cannot point to an example of Joe Pass doing this. Which isn't surprising, as normally his voice would not be mic'ed during a performance. (We hear pianists because they often have a mic before them so they announce tunes and introduce the band.)

    You can hear Herb Ellis talk about it here. He knew Joe and performed with him; I'm taking his word for it.
    Starts at 10:49
    I knew about Herb Ellis, as I said. It was Joe Pass I was asking about. I spent about 15 years being obsessed with Joe Pass. I can't find a single example where he's singing/vocalizing lines while performing. Video representative of his whole career is out there. I never found an example. He can do it, for sure, and has demonstrated it while giving clinics. But so far, I know of no example where he's found vocalizing lines while playing.
    it's small point, to be sure. But I'm feeling cranky!

  14. #63

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    as for singing .... and playing

    Ed Cherry sings right now live from Smalls... Peter Bernstein also hums something but Ed just really sings

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    as for singing .... and playing

    Ed Cherry sings right now live from Smalls... Peter Bernstein also hums something but Ed just really sings
    Good call.

  16. #65

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    Ed Cherry has a great resume and is a great player. I heard him at Small's last Fall, sitting a couple of feet from him. Loved his time feel.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Actually that kind of illustrates my question. I have that video and that's the only place I know of where Joe does it. He clearly can, he clearly does play what he hears in his mind, but I know of no example in a performance where Joe is "singing his lines" vocally like Oscar Petersen or Herb Ellis often do.

    Not disputing the idea of playing what is heard internally, just not thinking of Joe Pass as someone who vocalizes that.
    "Singing" in the sense Herb is using it does not imply singing out loud. Some do. Benson surely does. But you don't have to. And as Joe says in this bit here, he is playing what he hears in his head. That's the guide. I haven't see Wes doing it either but Herb says he did and I give Herb the benefit of the doubt here. Especially with Joe because they worked together often. It's almost as if they could hear the music in each other's heads! They could solo simultaneously and not get in each other's way.




  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    In your world the school big band is run by a dedicated jazz instructor?

    I’m taking about what the yanks call ‘grade school.’
    I recently saw my friend's (non-musician) kids (we were spending holiday together at their suburban house) learning tunes on recorder (recorders are not common in Russia for education as in US of Europe, people have no bad associations with it))) ... but it was terrible... they played Blue Moon - but they never heard the song... they ignored meter and note values (not to say articulation and breath)... and they did not seem to improve it.
    besides - the tune of Blue Moon without comping sounds quite boring fi you are not creative with phrasing or ornaments...

    I asked what they were doing.. he said they go to orchestra... Russia has pretty solid dedicated musical education for kids and I could not believe they went to real musical school.

    He said: No, they just go to 'Noise orchestra'.. they just gather together and play tunes.. recorders, harpsichord, drums, guitar.... and now they do it online.... I imagined this band (these poor kids) doing 'Blue moon' online...

    Noise orchestra! ...

  19. #68

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    A video by Adam Neely on audiation.


  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    "Singing" in the sense Herb is using it does not imply singing out loud. Some do. Benson surely does. But you don't have to. And as Joe says in this bit here, he is playing what he hears in his head. That's the guide. I haven't see Wes doing it either but Herb says he did and I give Herb the benefit of the doubt here. Especially with Joe because they worked together often. It's almost as if they could hear the music in each other's heads! They could solo simultaneously and not get in each other's way.



    The point of vocalizing is important though, because it's pretty much universally affirmed and expected that the great players play "what they hear in their heads." That's in literally every guide to improvisation, every analysis of the great players.

    But when one singles out as examples people noteworthy for doing so audibly, I think that's another step and is a very interesting thing. But Joe Pass is not one of those who did this audibly. It's not a judgment on anyone or anything, just a descriptive statement. If one is talking about players who "sing their lines while they play" and the examples involve vocalizing, the Joe Pass does not belong in that group because he didn't do that typically in performance. All these great players have internal singing of their lines, so it's the vocalizing that's distinctive.

    But it's not worth pursuing further.

  21. #70

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    Another teacher going over the same ground.

    "If you can sing it, you can play it."


  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    But when one singles out as examples people noteworthy for doing so audibly, I think that's another step and is a very interesting thing.
    I think you misinterpret what was said. Herb said all the guitarists he knew (and liked) did this. Joe Pass is one. He did NOT say that Joe did this out loud or that you could hear him do it on record. Indeed, the only one he mentioned doing it so you could hear it was George Benson. "It's part of his act." (But this does not mean you can always hear George doing it, or see his lips move when he's on camera.) John Pizzarelli does this as part of his act too, but that does not mean you can always hear him doing it. Hell, you can't even always hear Oscar Peterson do it on the records where you can clearly hear him doing it at times. ;o)

    Again, Herb did NOT cite Joe Pass as a noteworthy example of someone doing this audibly. He cited Joe Pass as an example of a guitarist he knew and liked who did it, period. You have introduced an emphasis ("doing so audibly") that was not in the original. This is reinforced by Herb's reference to George Benson along with the gloss "you can HEAR him to it." This means that in most cases one will NOT hear the guitarist 'sing what he plays'.

    Being heard by others is NOT part of the meaning of 'sing what you play' (or 'play what you sing'.) You can't always hear / see Herb doing it in this very video wherein he emphasizes the importance of doing this very thing.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    When playing horizontally (in functional music) one is still playing changes because melody notes have function. If you just sing a melody then you're very likely implying one of the common progressions (I vi ii V etc). That's because these progressions sound pleasing to us (the ones that come up again and again).
    I don't know about you but I think I vi ii V sounds shite.

    The question is what actual progression are you imposing your implied changes over when playing horizontally. If there is a mismatch and it's unintentional it'll sound like scale noodling. But if one is familiar with the tune and aurally aware of the harmony, then they have a lot of freedom as the what melodic devices to employ and sound coherent over the changes. Targeting primary chord tones is just one device not the only one.
    Yeah? But also, the framing of this is still kind of off for me.

    People have this ingrained don't they? Harmony is the solution! It's all about harmony.

    I would hope that the Lester Young solos would be a strong counter example to this. I mean, there's this thing called the blues for the matter?

    Logically, pitch choices on chords cannot be the problem, because we can exactly quantify both. So the reason Wynton sounds badass playing D on Bbm6 is for other reasons that make him badass. Tone, taste, time, the way he's hearing it, and above all swing. All the stuff they can't put in a book.

    Never mind.

    Anyway, consider this for a sec: the reason why scale noodling sounds like noodling is not because it's scales with notes that clash, but because it's noodling.
    - Why is it noodling? It's because the player isn't really hearing what they are playing. That's what noodling means.
    - How do you fix this? By learning to audiate what you play.
    - How do you do that? Learn music by ear and sing your lines.

    Aha, you say - by learning music by ear you will learn harmony aurally! To which I say - yes, isn't that nice! But you will also learn rhythm, phrasing, melody and vocabulary.

    If you are really hearing your lines in G major, you are less likely to play a clam like E against a Cm chord. OTOH if you do it won't be a clam, because you will have heard it and it will sound good in context.

    But also, you won't really worry about it. And worry is the thing I find is the problem. Because theory gives us things to worry about if we take it in the wrong way. Theory is useful for contextualising things but it cannot drive the music, at least not at the beginner-intermediate level.

    And that's what people who struggle with jazz do - they worry. And often they don't know any songs or solos because they've spent so much time worrying. Their time is shit because they are soooo stressed out and thinking.

    And now people think jazz is theory. Which perpetuates the whole stupid cycle. It's what people expect.

    The other extreme is if you just pedal on the tonic note over the entire changes. It won't sound like you are functionally clashing with the harmony. It'll sound like you're deliberately bringing out different colors of the chords. You can also do that not just with a single note but with phrases and motifs. I hear a lot of coloristic, motivic playing in Miles's playing.
    Sure. Why not start on that now instead of getting involved with all this other drama?
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-03-2020 at 05:27 PM.

  24. #73

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    YOu guys saw the drawings of Stravinsky of music?

    Does 'Bach' look like horizontal or vertical approach?

    Art is ambiguity... we never catch but theough making it.

  25. #74

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    Singing your lines can be done very quietly, with an airy sound. I always sing the rhythmic phrasing of everything a play, I can't help it. The problem is that it interrupts steady normal breathing. Barry Harris does it, Erroll Garner grunts it, Monty Alexander, Keith Jarrett whines it.
    Last edited by rintincop; 06-03-2020 at 06:45 PM.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I don't know about you but I think I vi ii V sounds shite.



    Yeah? But also, the framing of this is still kind of off for me.

    People have this ingrained don't they? Harmony is the solution! It's all about harmony.

    I would hope that the Lester Young solos would be a strong counter example to this. I mean, there's this thing called the blues for the matter?

    Logically, pitch choices on chords cannot be the problem, because we can exactly quantify both. So the reason Wynton sounds badass playing D on Bbm6 is for other reasons that make him badass. Tone, taste, time, the way he's hearing it, and above all swing. All the stuff they can't put in a book.

    Never mind.

    Anyway, consider this for a sec: the reason why scale noodling sounds like noodling is not because it's scales with notes that clash, but because it's noodling.
    - Why is it noodling? It's because the player isn't really hearing what they are playing. That's what noodling means.
    - How do you fix this? By learning to audiate what you play.
    - How do you do that? Learn music by ear and sing your lines.

    Aha, you say - by learning music by ear you will learn harmony aurally! To which I say - yes, isn't that nice! But you will also learn rhythm, phrasing, melody and vocabulary.

    If you are really hearing your lines in G major, you are less likely to play a clam like E against a Cm chord. OTOH if you do it won't be a clam, because you will have heard it and it will sound good in context.

    But also, you won't really worry about it. And worry is the thing I find is the problem. Because theory gives us things to worry about if we take it in the wrong way. Theory is useful for contextualising things but it cannot drive the music, at least not at the beginner-intermediate level.

    And that's what people who struggle with jazz do - they worry. And often they don't know any songs or solos because they've spent so much time worrying. Their time is shit because they are soooo stressed out and thinking.

    And now people think jazz is theory. Which perpetuates the whole stupid cycle. It's what people expect.



    Sure. Why not start on that now instead of getting involved with all this other drama?
    Yeah this is interesting. Maybe harmony is over emphisized when people talk about jazz improvisation. Melodic sensibilities and phrasing are more important in eliciting emotional response from the listener and keeping their interest.

    I actually wasn't trying to make a case against the horizontal approach. But I think it's unlikely Lester Young would've played his solo on any tune exactly the same way over a different progression (in the same key) despite thinking more horizontally. I'm sure that's not what you are suggesting either. So harmony does inform melodic choices even for horizontal players. Therefore having absorbed the harmony of a tune would give one more melodic freedom. You don't think so?

    I do appreciate you thoughts about de-emphising harmony in improvisation. It's giving me something to chew on. But may be your frustration on the subject is resulting in an over-correction or do you really mean relying on transcribing melodic phrasing as a way of digesting harmony?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 06-03-2020 at 06:09 PM.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    In your world the school big band is run by a dedicated jazz instructor?
    I think I've completely lost track of this conversation... We didn't have any kind of school band. But, if that is your scenario, then 'big band' implies jazz-based music and therefore should be organised by someone who knows about big bands and that era. If they don't, they shouldn't be doing it.

    I know a lot of jazz musicians who teach this way too
    Sorry, which way? It's been a long day.

  28. #77

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    I like to mix the two approaches, play the key, then detail some chords, back and forth. I thought that was most common with players.

  29. #78

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    [QUOTE=MarkRhodes;1038040]"Singing" in the sense Herb is using it does not imply singing out loud. Some do. Benson surely does. But you don't have to. And as Joe says in this bit here, he is playing what he hears in his head. That's the guide. I haven't see Wes doing it either but Herb says he did and I give Herb the benefit of the doubt here. Especially with Joe because they worked together often. It's almost as if they could hear the music in each other's heads! They could solo simultaneously and not get in each other's way.

    ...

    I think I let myself get over-exercised and over fixated on this, and derailed the conversation a bit. I do that sometimes. Sorry for that! I personally think "vocalizers" are in fact a pretty special group of improvisers and I always notice that. I can't imagine the word "sing" not involving the voice. But I also realize we all use words in different ways and I am happy to surrender the discussion!

    As for the horizontal, I've always been a diagonal guy myself....

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I think I've completely lost track of this conversation... We didn't have any kind of school band. But, if that is your scenario, then 'big band' implies jazz-based music and therefore should be organised by someone who knows about big bands and that era. If they don't, they shouldn't be doing it.
    I was lucky to have one, and it was good for me. It was also run by a director who was a good teacher but not a jazz player. There was also a uni big band, again not run by a jazzer.

    Also you get music service ‘jazz bands’; the one I work at has one for instance. No idea whether or not it’s led by a jazzer, although he do have Pete Churchill in to do sessions.

    So; a passionate classroom or peripatetic music teacher decides to put aside time to run a school big band (which BTW is not an insignificant logistical enterprise) and you want to tell them they ‘shouldn’t do it?’

    I would want to support that person, personally. No one knows everything.

    Also I don’t know if you have much experience with big bands but a lot of the time players aren’t jazz players per se.

    For instance the (excellent) band I play in features an ex principal from the LSO, a lot of West End players often with classical backgrounds, as well as genuine jazzers. The pad is entirely jazz though; Ellington, Basie a little Buddy Rich, which is not true of all big bands, many play TV themes, pops and so on.

    Also, organising charts, sourcing arrangements, band direction, conducting, logistics and so on.

    So even if there was a jazz instructor they might not necessarily be the right person to lead a big band, even...

    Sorry, which way? It's been a long day.
    chord scales

  31. #80

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    [QUOTE=lawson-stone;1038212]
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    "Singing" in the sense Herb is using it does not imply singing out loud. Some do. Benson surely does. But you don't have to. And as Joe says in this bit here, he is playing what he hears in his head. That's the guide. I haven't see Wes doing it either but Herb says he did and I give Herb the benefit of the doubt here. Especially with Joe because they worked together often. It's almost as if they could hear the music in each other's heads! They could solo simultaneously and not get in each other's way.

    ...

    I think I let myself get over-exercised and over fixated on this, and derailed the conversation a bit. I do that sometimes. Sorry for that! I personally think "vocalizers" are in fact a pretty special group of improvisers and I always notice that. I can't imagine the word "sing" not involving the voice. But I also realize we all use words in different ways and I am happy to surrender the discussion!

    As for the horizontal, I've always been a diagonal guy myself....
    ‘Audiate’ is a good word. Singing is a useful tool for audiation. Just because you are singing doesn’t mean you are audiating though, and one can audiate without singing.

    no idea what Keith Jarrett is doing though

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    you want to tell them they ‘shouldn’t do it?’
    I didn't say that. Our discussion on this subject didn't begin with organising a big band, it was about teaching jazz. A music specialist could certainly get a big band together. Quite a different thing to teaching jazz.

    chord scales
    Well, we know about that!

  33. #82

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    [QUOTE=christianm77;1038231]
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post

    ‘Audiate’ is a good word....
    no idea what Keith Jarrett is doing though
    "Adulterate"? ... Jarrett is probably the world's best improvising musician, and yet he cannot sing anything close to what he's playing.
    There can be no doubt he is audiating, obviously, and to a very high level that few of us can ever imagine...

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    "Adulterate"? ... Jarrett is probably the world's best improvising musician, and yet he cannot sing anything close to what he's playing.
    There can be no doubt he is audiating, obviously, and to a very high level that few of us can ever imagine...
    For some jazz musicians I suspect it's just grunting (a la Sharapova) for concentration purposes not singing what's being played per se. Other then may be just following the melodic curve they are not hitting the pitches.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I didn't say that. Our discussion on this subject didn't begin with organising a big band, it was about teaching jazz. A music specialist could certainly get a big band together. Quite a different thing to teaching jazz.
    OK I feel a bit like I'm going in circles here.

    I would prefer to remain a member of the reality based community and point out people who take ensembles often have to wear a lot of hats. They might find a resource that offers advice for teaching jazz to ensembles useful if one does not already exist. It could have a whole range of approaches and ideas to try instead of just one.

    But, TBH jazz educators do also teach in the same way. It's a bit of an ingrained culture.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    OK I feel a bit like I'm going in circles here.
    Me too, that's why I went back to the start of the discussion.

    They might find a resource that offers advice for teaching jazz to ensembles useful if one does not already exist. It could have a whole range of approaches and ideas to try instead of just one.
    They exist. Whether you'd agree with their approach is another thing.

    Jazz Pedagogy for Music Educators - Jazz Education Network

    Jazz Pedagogy | Hal Galper

    Jazz Pedagogy: Book & DVD: J. Richard Dunscomb

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Most people would scat song horizontal lines because that’s the way people generally hear melodies.

    Also, people do not play their best sight reading chord symbols of course. I think that’s ok. A pro player has enough canned vocab that they can make that sound good right away.

    OTOH experience obviously exposes you to repeated situations.

    I’m with Peter Bernstein when he objects to thoughtless ‘throwing notes on chords’ - you develop that skill ig you are a gigging player because it gets you out of trouble (and also it’s what is generally taught) and it’s a basic level of competence, but if that’s all you do... everything sounds the same
    If I know the tune, I sing to myself and try to play that. It tends to be less harmonically adventurous, because my ear is less developed, in a way, than my ability to play bad notes from a theoretical foundation.

    But, if I don't know the tune and can't "feel" the chord changes on the chart, then, suddenly, chord symbols take over. In that situation, it depends on how a particular chord symbol triggers a body of knowledge for the individual player. For me, I know the chord tones for most chord symbols I encounter, in all keys, mostly without thought. If that knowledge takes flight (meaning I freeze) then the second response is likely to be a fingering pattern, often based on the root. Or, it could be a scale.

    So, for example if I can feel a minor ii V I, I won't think about anything but the melody I'm singing to myself -- and to call that "thought" is to elevate the process. If I see a m7b5 in some unexpected context, I know the chord tones. If for some reason, I freeze, say on a D#m7b5 (which I don't have as burned in to the reptile brain as the Eb version) , then I can find a D# and I'll know the arp by geometric pattern or interval. Or, I might think melmin b3 higher and play an F#melmin scale.

    So, what I'm trying for is generally horizontal and what I end up with includes all kinds of vertical stuff, generally used to cover failure.

    I'm aware that some players make very fine music with a much more vertical approach. Of course, I wish I could do that too, but I have enough to do with the singing approach.

  38. #87

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    That's well known video of Bill.

    What he does at 02:24 can be done only if you are heading to some moment of form. It is almost impossible to come up with stuff like that relating to every chord though in some moments he plays arpeggios in sequence.


  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Me too, that's why I went back to the start of the discussion.



    They exist. Whether you'd agree with their approach is another thing.

    Jazz Pedagogy for Music Educators - Jazz Education Network

    Jazz Pedagogy | Hal Galper

    Jazz Pedagogy: Book & DVD: J. Richard Dunscomb
    Thanks for the links. Galper I generally agree with, but this is more like a paragraph than a resource.

    the book looks interesting, but I’m probably not going to throw $70 at it until I need to. which I might if I choose to look into this seriously for my course.

  40. #89

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    Well Barry Harris's scale applications to tunes seem very vertical to me.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Well Barry Harris's scale applications to tunes seem very vertical to me.
    I do not know...

    there is such a thing as harmonic polyphony (Bach is all about it) -- what is it? vertical? or horizonthal? It is both... and that makes so multifolded.. goves so many artistic possibilities, such a complexity of levels and meanings and meters

    I would formulate it like this
    Barry is definitely harmony centered hearing but melody centered thinking

    Pete Bernstein too...

  42. #91

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    Re the previous post, i also think you can play both, this gets fuzzy here, i mean you can play with chord tones or arps etc chord to chord, but play vertically in the sense, you connect it ia way that makes a continuous melody i realise its difficult to know where this starts and ends, but it is the connection. or how you connect or join, that determines whether just ( im play over chord to chord) meaning the connection/joining makes a melody, as opposed to play over a chord/s also WHERE this happens ie pickup or playing ahead or after the bar.

    i guess its not a simple case of Horizontal or Vertical, i dont normally pay attention to this kind of thing, but playing what you hear as being correct/good/musical for what ever tune, but use/think different approaches for different songs, i mean there are
    different strategies for say ( Autumn Leaves ATTYR ) than say E.S.P Inner Urge Recordame etc

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinvv View Post
    Re the previous post, i also think you can play both, this gets fuzzy here, i mean you can play with chord tones or arps etc chord to chord, but play vertically in the sense, you connect it ia way that makes a continuous melody i realise its difficult to know where this starts and ends, but it is the connection. or how you connect or join, that determines whether just ( im play over chord to chord) meaning the connection/joining makes a melody, as opposed to play over a chord/s also WHERE this happens ie pickup or playing ahead or after the bar.
    Fuzzy is good! The problem is - worry. People get worried. They can do what they like IMO if they aren't worrying about irrelevant bullshit like 'oh no what if I play this note over this chord?' That kind of thing makes the creative process much harder. And you know what - I STILL DO IT!

    I'm in favour of whatever approaches reduce worry. Which is not the same as making excuses for bad music. Actually it creates the mental space for good music to happen.

    i guess its not a simple case of Horizontal or Vertical, i dont normally pay attention to this kind of thing, but playing what you hear as being correct/good/musical for what ever tune, but use/think different approaches for different songs, i mean there are
    different strategies for say ( Autumn Leaves ATTYR ) than say E.S.P Inner Urge Recordame etc
    In general, vertical or modal or post-functional tunes have changes that stick around for longer than 2 beats. The psychology is obvious - you want time for the listener to be able to appreciate the sound of these rich, sometimes unfamiliar, chord/scale sounds.

    Wayne uses unusual changes which move faster, but they tend to have some sort of cadential nature, and you can drive a truck (i.e. go II-V-I) through them if you really need to.

    You can certainly make Inner Urge a lot more vertical/bop if you want. First section is a lot like Cherokee B, or Tune up, or even how High the Moon (in F), without the II-V's. Main difference is bop players tend to accentuate the dominant rather than the tonic - and Inner Urge is mostly tonics moving around.

    The tricky bit is of course the turnaround, but even that is one chord a bar.

    | E | C# | D | B |
    | C | A | Bb7 | G |

    But also (bVII sub):

    | E | Eb7 | D | Db7 |
    | C | B7 | Bb7 | G |

    That bit is also Cherokee. Clever huh? Functional after all.

    But then - reverse the polarity - and play Inner Urge on Cherokee or whatever...

    By the same token, you can also play Autumn Leaves, ATTYA etc in a much more modal of non functional way.

    The PROBLEM - which a lot of even very good players don't get and is really the key to playing things like Rhythm Changes well is that verticality in soloing doesn't follow the changes, it simplifies the changes and adds complexity in over the top.

    That's why you have so many players doing things like swapping between Eb7, Ebm6 and Eo7 in bar 6 of a Rhythm A for instance. Even in the same head (Bud Powell's Wail is a good example.)

    Steve Coleman calls this 'invisible paths'. The pathways are between chords that have a relationship to the basic tonality - but they are not themselves related to the other chords.

    The #1 mistake people make is to assume that they are. If they find Rhythm Changes hard to play, it's usually because of this.

    This is why I advocate ignoring anything that acts as a passing chord and then adding your own shit in. All good straight ahead players do this. People like Peter Bernstein take this to the nth degree.

    (You also have to know the melody to do this well with a singer etc, and Peter is a stickler for knowing the original chords too, so it's not either/or.)

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    This is why I advocate ignoring anything that acts as a passing chord and then adding your own shit in. .....
    Yeah, but what would you classify as a "passing chord"? To take a progression you think is shite , ii - V - I - VI7b9 , would you ignore the maj 3rd and b9 in the VI chord ? - after all, it's just a passing chord (#1 dim7), no?

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Well Barry Harris's scale applications to tunes seem very vertical to me.
    So I’m using vertical here to mean ‘relates to the chord of the moment’ as opposed suggesting chords and in the line using arpeggios, thirds and so on. They might overlap but they are not the same thing.

    Or the difference between playing the changes and playing changes.

    Im not certain if this is a distinction people are getting, but it’s basically how you play bop.

    So with BH, we run simple little scale exercises on a reduced version of the changes, for instance, and build up from there.

    Not everyone uses the same language, but everyone chunks down progressions in one way or another, and then plays lines on the blocks.

    So, Lester doesn’t do this as much. His lines are more horizontal. He introduces some movement, but not as much as Parker.

    But, in bop, just as swing, you think in a blocked, generalised way. You aren’t thinking about every #9 or b13 because the line is kind of it’s own thing - you are thinking ‘line on D7’ or ‘line on the tritone of D7’ or whatever.

    The chips fall where they may harmonically, and there may be ‘clashes’ as we continually see in the actual music.

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Yeah, but what would you classify as a "passing chord"? To take a progression you think is shite , ii - V - I - VI7b9 , would you ignore the maj 3rd and b9 in the VI chord ? - after all, it's just a passing chord (#1 dim7), no?
    Haha you haven’t worked out what I’m going to say?

    you don’t have to classify - you get to CHOOSE.

    So, no, not if I didn’t want to.
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-05-2020 at 10:19 AM.

  47. #96

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    so in practice, I might choose whether or not I play that chord. Or perhaps choose a different one that achieves a similar role. Maybe - I dunno - bIIIm11. Or nothing.

    I mind VI7b9 less than VIm which I find incredibly non descript (really it’s an artefact of the bass, there’s never a reason to actually play that chord.)

    Or maybe I’ll just play I or V over the whole thing.

    For a bop improviser it’s important to realise the VI7b9 is a pickup to another chord. It’s not really part of the II V I by the way.

    So what I would do on beat 3 of the second bar would depend on what I was doing in the next bar. This is kind of a rhythmic thing. The chords on beat 3 are usually pickups or passing chords to the next bar. Even in Giant Steps.

    This is why I prefer things with more motion.

    But mostly I just play things intuitively, like harmonic vocab. I don’t think chord on chord - I think melody down.

  48. #97

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    Reg calls this weak side BTW - the chords on the weak side of the beat.

    Here is Kurt demonstrating the concept clearly


  49. #98

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    Here's an example: The chords going down chromatically near the end of the progression of Autumn leaves. It's common to play something along with each chord going down (arpeggios etc), Emi, Ebmi, Dmi, Db7. At some point I thought why not just keep the improvisation pretty much in the Emi blues scale during that section? It sounds less contrived and more natural IMO. Neither approach is wrong - let your ears be the guide.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    so in practice, I might choose whether or not I play that chord. Or perhaps choose a different one that achieves a similar role. Maybe - I dunno - bIIIm11. Or nothing.
    ....
    Ah, you're talking about comping, I thought you were talking about ignoring passing chords when improvising against them...

  51. #100

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    "Let your ears be the guide."

    You get more options, right?

    Barry said - 'The more ways you have of thinking about music, the more things you have to play in your solos.'

    So I'm really saying - lets be pro or against anything (although I think trying to track every chord in a bop tune is definitely not the way to get good at bop) - I'm actually saying, let's junk this idea there's a right and a wrong, that we have to do this or that thing or we are not doing it right.

    If Lester, Miles and Bird et al show us anything, it's that these constraints are more relaxed than we might think.
    Obligations like:
    - the obligation to invent new music on the spot
    - the obligation to play the changes
    - the obligation to play a line which agrees with the written chord symbols
    and so on

    Players get frustrated by 'not sounding like jazz' - but there's only really one way around that which I think everyone pretty much agrees, and that's to immerse yourself in the. music and try to imitate it.

    This is not a negative rules thing - "don't do that, don't play that note, that's a clam, make sure you don't sound like a rock player' - but rather learning a vocabulary of things to say that sound good because they are the language of the music, and most of all, because you hear them. More positive - 'try this phrase, try to copy this musician's sound and phrasing, listen closely, DO play these notes'; and so on. That's a framing thing.

    And this goes for any level of ability. You can take the minor pentatonic scale and teach people to play jazz with just that if they cop the phrasing and sound.

    It's a particularly difficult lesson for guitarists because we are chord people, and I don't know about you but I get a bit scared if I'm not outlining harmonies clearly when playing with just a bass player... but I have to let go of that too.