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  1. #1

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    What you REALLY need to play the changes-d9b7ed803a12a17cc9ddd3c09ece02d1-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    What you REALLY need to play the changes-d9b7ed803a12a17cc9ddd3c09ece02d1-jpg
    Lol, but so true...

    If you can hear the melody as you play, and what chords are points of rest versus which create movement, youre like 90% there.

  4. #3

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    Hahaha! One of my teachers used to refer to highly developed aural skills as "elephant ears."

  5. #4

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    ...and maybe some lessons.



    More about Bini at Wiki

  6. #5

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    What you REALLY need to play the changes-image-jpeg

  7. #6

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    So true ... listen and respond to what is around you....I would probably add don't rush or over plan...

  8. #7

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    Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible

  9. #8

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    This is my rabbit:
    IMG_20200703_192200.jpg - Google Drive

    He visits my yard every day. Doesn't run away at all. Closest we've been chilling together was 10m.

  10. #9

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    Using 'em is the easy part; getting 'em, not so much. (For those of us not born with perfect pitch.)
    Big Ears

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Using 'em is the easy part; getting 'em, not so much. (For those of us not born with perfect pitch.)
    Big Ears
    "Big ears" has nothing to do with so called perfect pitch.

    It's hearing relative pitch,
    recognizing chord type,
    hearing progression harmony,
    anticipating song form,
    and a long slew of other things.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    "Big ears" has nothing to do with so called perfect pitch.

    It's hearing relative pitch,
    recognizing chord type,
    hearing progression harmony,
    anticipating song form,
    and a long slew of other things.
    yes !
    thank God

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    "Big ears" has nothing to do with so called perfect pitch.

    It's hearing relative pitch,
    recognizing chord type,
    hearing progression harmony,
    anticipating song form,
    and a long slew of other things.
    I wouldn't say "nothing." If you're born with perfect pitch, you have great ears. (Put another way, your ears can't hear pitches any better than that. Or yet another way, your ears cannot be any more finely tuned than that. And this is why some people who have perfect pitch wish they did not----they not only recognize the name of each musical pitch they hear but they know what pitches their phone is ringing in, what pitch a jet flies overhead in, the pitch of chalk squeaking across a blackboard, and so on, endlessly.) To say the least, perfect (or absolute) pitch makes learning songs by ear much faster. It's as if one doesn't have to learn at all it because the imprint of hearing alone is so strong and so precise.

    Relative pitch is what players need to develop if they don't have perfect pitch. It can be done.

    Thank God! I was born with very imperfect pitch; my mom's is near-perfect. She literally doesn't understand why anyone would fuss with learning to play a song when they could, you know, just play it. To her, playing a song she has heard is like me tracing over a drawing--it's that direct for her. Less so now at 90 with dementia and arthritic hands, but her ear remains true. She knows immediately if anything is even slightly 'off', and me being the biggest source of that in our home when I was a kid, I realized the great gulf between her hearing and mine. I would not trade places---or talents---with her, but I sure wish I knew what it was like to have such ears.

    By the way, "big ears" is also used to refer to people who pick hit records for labels and also non-musicians who love the music and get more out of it than do casual listeners. And sound engineers, of course.

    Hoagy Carmichael said that Bing Crosby had perfect pitch. So much so, that when he fell asleep on a strain, he snored to the same pitch the train whistle made. It is said that Ella Fitzgerald's pitch was so good, the band could tune to her.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I wouldn't say "nothing." If you're born with perfect pitch, you have great ears. (Put another way, your ears can't hear pitches any better than that. Or yet another way, your ears cannot be any more finely tuned than that. And this is why some people who have perfect pitch wish they did not----they not only recognize the name of each musical pitch they hear but they know what pitches their phone is ringing in, what pitch a jet flies overhead in, the pitch of chalk squeaking across a blackboard, and so on, endlessly.) To say the least, perfect (or absolute) pitch makes learning songs by ear much faster. It's as if one doesn't have to learn at all it because the imprint of hearing alone is so strong and so precise.

    Relative pitch is what players need to develop if they don't have perfect pitch. It can be done.

    Thank God! I was born with very imperfect pitch; my mom's is near-perfect. She literally doesn't understand why anyone would fuss with learning to play a song when they could, you know, just play it. To her, playing a song she has heard is like me tracing over a drawing--it's that direct for her. Less so now at 90 with dementia and arthritic hands, but her ear remains true. She knows immediately if anything is even slightly 'off', and me being the biggest source of that in our home when I was a kid, I realized the great gulf between her hearing and mine. I would not trade places---or talents---with her, but I sure wish I knew what it was like to have such ears.

    By the way, "big ears" is also used to refer to people who pick hit records for labels and also non-musicians who love the music and get more out of it than do casual listeners. And sound engineers, of course.

    Hoagy Carmichael said that Bing Crosby had perfect pitch. So much so, that when he fell asleep on a strain, he snored to the same pitch the train whistle made. It is said that Ella Fitzgerald's pitch was so good, the band could tune to her.
    Not picking on you, I just always ask when it comes up...

    What concert pitch is perfect pitch?
    Concert pitch has ranged over half an octave in the last 400 years.

    What temperament is perfect pitch?
    There are over two dozen known temperaments, only a few historically popular, equal temperament quite recent.

    What is the precision of perfect pitch?
    Simply identifying a letter name and accidental if necessary spans almost a half step (quarter step flat to quarter step sharp, exclusive).

    I still say "nothing". If there were such a thing as perfect pitch, it would be useless for a musician.
    Relative pitch does not have to be developed, most who have never played an instrument have it.

  15. #14

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    I spoke at some length with a jazz musician with perfect pitch. He can close his eyes, you can play any combination of notes on a piano and he can tell you what they were accurately, every time. in addition to piano he also played saxophone. I don't know if he could do the same thing with other instruments, presumably so since pitch is pitch no matter what instrument it's being played on.

    When we talked about using music theory for improvisation, he replied "I've always been able to hear what notes I wanted to play." Basically it seemed as though playing an instrument was as intuitive to him as humming along with a song is to me.

  16. #15

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    I can play by ear only when training enough. But the trouble is, not all of it is.. you know.. brilliant. Sad to say, we need something extra. More than just good ears. So sad

  17. #16

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    Does perfect pitch guarantee that one will come up with interesting lines when improvising? I don't think the intent of the OP was perfect vs relative pitch. Having a good ear for music is the point which means coming up with melodic phrases when soloing.

    However, let's also not forget about the importance of rhythm. The spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes. The ability to play melodies and harmonies without inherent rhythm doesn't quite make it.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobby d
    Does perfect pitch guarantee that one will come up with interesting lines when improvising?
    No! It's a separate thing. Though Ella was a better improviser than some of the horn players in the bands she fronted...(Curiously, so far as I know, she never wrote a tune...)

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Not picking on you, I just always ask when it comes up...

    What concert pitch is perfect pitch?
    Concert pitch has ranged over half an octave in the last 400 years.
    Paul, Paul, Paul, you're focusing too much on names. Perfect pitch is the ability to distinguish pitches immediately and accurately. What those pitches are CALLED may change. (One may have perfect pitch and never play music at all, or even hear a lot of it. It's not the claim that someone is born knowing the names of all tones in concert pitch!)

    Think of vision as the perception of color: the names of colors may change, but that is not itself a matter of visual perception. Naming musical pitches is not a matter of hearing but of naming. No one is talking about 'perfect naming.'


    The names of the notes are not what people hear, it is the pitches. If one learns the names of notes AND has perfect pitch, the two may become linked, but one who DOESN'T know the names of the notes may be able to play back any set of pitches presented to them. This was the case with singer Mariah Carey---her mom noticed she could sing back any song she heard on the radio and not only that, she was singing the same pitches---she has incredible range. That is, she sang everything in the same key as she heard it, not in 'her own key'. She was, I think, four. She didn't know the names of any of these pitches. But she distinguished them and duplicated them as if there were nothing to it. That's perfect pitch. And over a 5-octave range---can you imagine?

    One may have perfect pitch without knowing the names of any notes, just as one may distinguish colors without knowing their names. I'm sure you were struck the first time you read Homer by his habit of referring to the Mediterranean as "the wine-dark sea." Much has been written about Homer's use of color terms. He didn't seem to see much "blue" in the world. (Of course, legend has it he was blind, though it is not clear that this would mean blind from birth---never seeing color---or blinded during the course of one's life, which was more common in the ancient world than it is today, which is why the NT makes a clear distinction in the case 'the man born blind', meaning a man who had never seen, rather than someone born with sight who had gone blind, such as,a soldier who lost his sight in battle. Also some of the elderly had poor sight and might be called 'blind' the way we might now refer to someone as "legally blind", which is not the same as sightless. But I digress...)

    It's only recently that there's been a wide ranging theory of how color perception and naming evolve.
    In the grossest terms: 1) black and white (or light and dark), 2) red, 3) either green OR yellow, 4) green AND yellow, 5) blue, 6) brown 7) purple, pink, orange, or grey . This is controversial. The idea is that any society at stage n+1 will have the color names of the previous stage(s) as well.

    Some languages have a richer color vocabulary than others. I have heard that the Russian language is richer in color terms than English. But Russian speakers are not therefore better at perceiving color than English speakers. Their eyes work like everyone else's eyes do. But they do have more names at their disposal.

    Perfect pitch is about hearing, not naming. It is about clearly distinguishing various pitches, regardless of their names (or even if they have no names at all).

  20. #19

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    If you think about it melody is rhythm - expressed through some pitch set like a scale or chord tones etc.

    Its the rhythm that makes it more than simple notes

  21. #20

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    In the 1st lessons in a jazz college, the teach said something like "rhythm counts, notes don't almost matter"
    Coming from classical school, I disagreed entirely while witnessing the truth in this statement all the time there.
    Still disagreeing. But cant prove a thing.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    In the 1st lessons in a jazz college, the teach said something like "rhythm counts, notes don't almost matter"
    Coming from classical school, I disagreed entirely while witnessing the truth in this statement all the time there.
    Still disagreeing. But cant prove a thing.
    I think the truth is; "Rhythm is a given, from which all notes absolutely matter".

  23. #22

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    I am here. I am here.I am here.
    That's rhythm in language and also works the same in classical music most of the time.
    In jazz music, what would be equivalent example when the rhythm is carrying the meaning instead?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    I am here. I am here.I am here.
    That's rhythm in language and also works the same in classical music most of the time.
    In jazz music, what would be equivalent example when the rhythm is carrying the meaning instead?
    Wow, where do I even start?

    One exercise I often get students to do is to practice taking a phrase that finishes on beat 1 (a rest beat) on a chord tone and running variations on it.

    For instance:
    • What happens if I start a beat earlier? Now it ends on a tension beat.
    • What if I start an eighth note earlier? Now the phrase ends on a push. Now, maybe the chord tones are on the 'ands.' Changes the emphasis.
    • What do we have to do to get the chord tones back on the beat? Should we put in a chromatic tone? If so, where?
    • Now let's roll the phrase up, take one note away at a time, and then put them back.
    • And so on.


    For example, Bop language, and as a result most modern playing too that isn't just harmonically conceived (such as playing a harmonic voicing/chord scale pattern or something as a melody - which of course still requires rhythm to happen) hinges on the understanding of how pitch choices and rhythm interrelate. Approaches such as Barry Harris's are primarily pre-ocupied with that connection.

    A good bebop line, for instance, has swing built in. Rhythm is not something that comes packaged separately to note choices that you can add in later. It's actually integral. The use of passing tones, lower neighbours and so on is all about understanding that connection. That's obvious right?

    The bop heads of musicians like Parker show how very commonplace note choices can become very hip if given the right rhythmic impetus. Take Anthropology, for instance, very typical note choices that basically outline a lot of triads. The rhythm is what makes it sound like jazz.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    I am here. I am here.I am here.
    That's rhythm in language and also works the same in classical music most of the time.
    In jazz music, what would be equivalent example when the rhythm is carrying the meaning instead?
    If the rhythm is carrying all of the meaning, that is called a drum solo.

    The rhythm always carries some meaning in that it is the intrinsic foundation for everything else in the hierarchy:

    Song form
    Progression
    Harmony
    Melody
    Interval
    Pitch
    Rhythm - which comprises necessary existential occurrence and duration

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    If the rhythm is carrying all of the meaning, that is called a drum solo.
    I actually think that's quite an interesting way to investigate a player. How much of the music is rhythm? Hal Galper suggests learning heads etc as pure rhythm. If you take Bird's rhythms, it would make for an interesting drum solo. Other players, not so much.

    As I say it's not very easy to unpack pitch information from rhythmic information in straight-ahead jazz playing. It's not that rhythm dictates pitch completely, it's more that within certain conditions, pitch choice is highly subservient to rhythm.

    This is one thing many people seem to not quite get about so called 'bebop scales' for instance.

    But beyond this, there are obviously voicings in jazz. It's just - there's not really that much harmony to learn in straightahead playing. Jazz since the modal era of course has gone completely crazy with diversity the pitch resources, but if you go down a 1950s Blue Note rabbit hole for a bit, you are going to find a fairly standardised approach to harmony and language from most players. Jazz went through a Charlie Parker shaped evolutionary bottleneck in the late 1940s, so it figures.

    If that's your area of interest there's not that much stuff to learn. You have to know your repertoire and have fun making variations of the language of that style, but its not about doing interesting things with harmony for its own sake by and large (hey I even think that about Wayne Shorter). Aside from tone and instrument, many of the subtleties between players boil down to the prosody, phrasing, microrhythm and so on. That's not to say it was bad because actually those players were very individual - but it just goes to show how much we tend to miss the wood for the trees because of the way we are conditioned to think about the music.

  27. #26

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    that went downhill quickly

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    that went downhill quickly
    It did yes. I wonder if anyone understands what I really meant, except for you.

    DB

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I wonder if anyone understands what I really meant...DB
    Was it "Hare on a G String"?

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Was it "Hare on a G String"?
    Dunno, I’ll keep rabbiting on

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    Is there ONE single post you can NOT react too? What does your wife think of your forum addiction? How can even live typing 24-7???????

    DB
    its on account of my rabbit enthusiasm and false hare of authority

  32. #31

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    In a (probably) futile attempt to steer the conversation back...

    A friend of mine is a church organist. He has perfect pitch, but that doesn't mean that he can play a jazz solo.

    We rehearsed Bach's St Matthew Passion in historical tuning (A = 415) and he told me he had to adjust his ears to the different pitch. He didn't think of the note as A flat, but sort of recalibrated to identify 415 Hz as A.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I think you have real internet addiction problem. Get some help man.

    DB
    I deleted my last post as I was being infantile.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I deleted my last post as I was being infantile.
    And I probably was out of line too. My apologies.

    DB

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    And I probably was out of line too. My apologies.

    DB
    Nah it doesn’t bother me really, and you aren’t wrong. I spend too much time here. Truth is I’m pretty bored a lot of the time atm. But I was bad before lockdown!

  36. #35

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    I am reading Robin Kelley’s biography of Monk, and he describes how Monk’s recording sessions usually overran because he insisted on his sidemen learning all his new tunes by ear. Even if he had the music with him he refused to let them see the charts. When they complained, he said learning the tunes by ear would always lead to a better understanding and performance. Even Coltrane had to go through this when he played with Monk.

    If they had trouble improvising on the tunes, he would tell them to forget about the chord changes and play something based on the melody, or on the rhythms of the melody.

    Having ‘big ears’ was obviously of supreme importance for Monk.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I am reading Robin Kelley’s biography of Monk, and he describes how Monk’s recording sessions usually overran because he insisted on his sidemen learning all his new tunes by ear. Even if he had the music with him he refused to let them see the charts. When they complained, he said learning the tunes by ear would always lead to a better understanding and performance. Even Coltrane had to go through this when he played with Monk.

    If they had trouble improvising on the tunes, he would tell them to forget about the chord changes and play something based on the melody, or on the rhythms of the melody.

    Having ‘big ears’ was obviously of supreme importance for Monk.
    I guess in the folk scene as well it was common for session musicians to learn tunes without charts by ear at the expense of the studio time as many couldn't read:
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-06-2020 at 11:42 AM.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    Is there ONE single post you can NOT react too? What does your wife think of your forum addiction? How can even live typing 24-7???????

    DB
    I don't think that was called for at all. You post a vague thread about a very generic topic and start attacking people for initiating a discussion because they didn't get exactly what you intended from a picture. It's not your position to make character judgements and shame people for their posting habits. I'm surprised people just let you off the hook for that.

    Do you understand how internet forums work? Why don't you just post it in your blog if you want a monologue?

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I don't think that was called for at all. You post a vague thread about a very generic topic and start attacking people for initiating a discussion because they didn't get exactly what you intended from a picture. It's not your position to make character judgements and shame people for their posting habits. I'm surprised people just let you off the hook for that. Do you understand how internet forums work? Why don't you just post it in your blog if you want a monologue?
    I have been on fora for over 20 years. I started attacking people? More than one even? You mean Christian? That was dealt with (mutual apologies and we both deleted posts).. So your comment is obsolete and quite superfluous.

    DB

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I have been on fora for over 20 years. I started attacking people? More than one even? You mean Christian? That was dealt with (mutual apologies and we both deleted posts).. So your comment is obsolete and quite superfluous.

    DB
    Yes I was referring to your post about Christian. You've made remarks about Christians posting habits in the past. Your apology was only in response to Christian's apology and your rude post isn't deleted as of now.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Yes I was referring to your post about Christian. You've made remarks about Christians posting habits in the past. Your apology was only in response to Christian's apology and your rude post isn't deleted as of now.
    It is now. I can't delete him quoting me though.

    Yep, better to do a Blog on this.

    DB

  42. #41

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    it’s all cool as far as I’m concerned.

  43. #42

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    "Big Ears" are genetic and learned. Musical savants have perfect tonal recall. It's why they learn so quickly. Others, will take years or even a lifetime to develop. Some never get it. I once played with an "unschooled" R&B guitarist that was one of the greatest performers I've ever had the pleasure with whom to play. We were doing Tower of Power, BS and T, Ohio Players, Cold Blood, etc. and he'd listen to the record once(yes, LP's!) and play the licks perfectly. He never forgot a tune.
    Big ears? Yes, although I doubt Bugs would qualify.
    Good playing . . . Marinero

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you think about it melody is rhythm - expressed through some pitch set like a scale or chord tones etc.

    Its the rhythm that makes it more than simple notes
    There is a sense of flow to it. We don't hear the notes as individual ones (only) but as parts of phrases. Repetition. And (usually) a climactic point.


  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I guess in the folk scene as well it was common for session musicians to learn tunes without charts by ear at the expense of the studio time as many couldn't read:
    This was true in Nashville too. It's why so many used the "Nashville Number System." (It need not take very long to do, esp for pros who do this every day all day. Many of the singers and songwriters did not arrive with charts----even if the session players COULD read----and it is true many could not---there was nothing for them TO read except their own shorthand notes.

    What you REALLY need to play the changes-blog_nashville_numbers2-jpg

    This was also true in some cases with The Wrecking Crew in LA, even though those players could read well. They sometimes worked from demos and had to create their own parts for songs written by pop singers or bands who did not have charts for the musicians to play from. Carol Kaye wrote that when Quincy Jones was conducting the session for Bill Cosby's "Hickey Burr," his only direction to her was, "Play E minor."

  46. #45

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    Thing that bugs me more than anything.. If I am not able to play a simple but meaningful and beautiful solo, how the hell am I supposed to do it with more complex stuff?

    I bet soloing well has way more to do with something entirely psychological than we care to even think in mundane practice.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you think about it melody is rhythm - expressed through some pitch set like a scale or chord tones etc.
    Not only that , harmony is rhythm as well . What is a perfect 5th ? a rhythm of 3 against 4 played so fast that the individual pulses are heard as continuous tones .

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    Thing that bugs me more than anything.. If I am not able to play a simple but meaningful and beautiful solo, how the hell am I supposed to do it with more complex stuff?

    I bet soloing well has way more to do with something entirely psychological than we care to even think in mundane practice.
    Your intuition is correct. Descriptions like "testifying" and "making a statement" applied to soloing point to the single most important aspect of a solo, which is "having something to say". That is the foundation of what makes it meaningful, and if you are just calling it in, the lack of meaning will be felt.

    There is technical and theoretical musicological meaning, but what really makes a solo is having something to say whose meaning moves the feelings and emotions of the listener... it needs to be authentic to have this power, not contrived or constructed. All the studying and practicing only serves to develop the capacity to freely express yourself and become confident in that stand-alone capacity itself.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I am reading Robin Kelley’s biography of Monk, and he describes how Monk’s recording sessions usually overran because he insisted on his sidemen learning all his new tunes by ear. Even if he had the music with him he refused to let them see the charts. When they complained, he said learning the tunes by ear would always lead to a better understanding and performance. Even Coltrane had to go through this when he played with Monk.

    If they had trouble improvising on the tunes, he would tell them to forget about the chord changes and play something based on the melody, or on the rhythms of the melody.

    Having ‘big ears’ was obviously of supreme importance for Monk.
    Hmm. I'm not sure how much that has to do with 'big ears'. Learning stuff by listening rather than from a chart is more about getting the tune INTO you I think. Of course I wasn't there at these Monk sessions - if he refused to describe the chords then I could see that getting a bit more into the ears things, but learning a song by having someone play it and sort of describe it to you? I think that's just pretty normal. Also most pros do in fact have super good ears and so learning tunes by ear is pretty easy for them. Cool story either way though.

  50. #49

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    What about musical memory? It’s a separate perhaps more important quality? Many people have perfect pitch, but Mozart was said to have had perfect musical memory. He could hear a piece and go home and write it down with all the counterpoint parts. I don’t know if it’s true.

    i have Keyboard friends with perfect pitch to try to play jazz, but they’re very poor at it. I don’t have perfect pitch but I can play nice jazz piano.

    My friend David K Mathews, keyboardist for Santana and a heck of a fine jazz soloists, has perfect Pitch and he tells me it doesn’t really help for playing jazz, in his opinion.

    How about Rick Beato’s son, the kid with amazing perfect pitch? He doesn’t play changes as far as I know. Does he?

    this thread raises more questions than answers in my head. I think defining what “big ears” even means is tricky

  51. #50

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    To play a blues my mundane answer would be to know where the notes of the blues scale lay on your instrument. To Play Giant Steps my mundane answer would be to be able to remember the chord changes, and then be able to play them as arpeggio outlines, as Coltrane basically did ( he thru in some scale runs too, his 1235 motif, and a few short simple melodic turns of phrase)