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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Then there is Andres Varady. Cover of GP. In the interview he said that he knows absolutely no theory. He's an ear player and he sounds great.

    He knows everything he needs to know to do what he does -- and he knows it by sound.

    OTOH, there are multiple great players who mastered the Berklee material and more -- and use it to great advantage.

    What do they have in common? Great ears, great musical imagination and the ability to play what is in their minds.

    This suggests an approach to development. Ear training, building vocabulary and working on the mind-hands connection. The first two are typically done together by copying recordings. The third one comes from time on the instrument.

    Theory is optional, but, that said, most people, especially those who aren't as gifted as a player like Mr. Varady, benefit from theory.
    For me, theory is just a framework to put names to certain sounds. It doesn't do you much good if you don't associate the concepts with sounds. I think saying Varady doesn't know theory, while true isn't that useful. I am sure he knows by ear what a root chord is and a V chord and their typical usages.

    Totally agree, that It is all about the ear-mind-hand connection. Theory can be aid in getting there, IMO, by cataloging some important sounds you should recognize. For some people, though, it probably is easier to go directly to the sounds and learn these things by osmosis.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I don’t care about improvisation. I have enough on my plate just trying to make music lol

    Whatever the dictionary says, the real world definition for Improvisation = music that’s not written down, because there’s no way of telling what’s going on if you are just listening to a player for the first time.

    So you might be hearing something worked out or spontaneous....

    theres a lot of unhelpful mystique. The music is the most important thing. Focus on doing stuff that sounds good. The more you do it, the more flexible you’ll get.
    Love this philosophy. I've just recently started adopting it thanks to some of your posts.

    Totally, agree on the unhelpful mystique part, too. It's held me back, and I've "wasted" a lot of time on ear training and chord scale theory, as I thought, these would improve my ability to spontaneously create melodies.

    You know what helps you create jazz melodies, copying and learning other melodies that you like.

  4. #53

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    This begs the age-old question of what is jazz improvisation. While some us would love to believe it is plucking random notes out of the sky to create spontaneous melody, nothing could be further from the truth. Jazz is a language and you need to learn the vocabulary and grammar. The improvising aspect is stringing together deeply embedded words and phrases within an established grammatical framework. You learn the language by studying, actively absorbing, and imitating the masters. For most of us, you develop your own voice first by mastering what came before you.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by one_dude

    Here;s my question; is the ability to improvise well something you are born with, or can it be learned?
    Both.

  6. #55

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    I have a theory that is untested.
    We have the memory. It is active. And works like that: Something happens, and the most active and vivid one will offer a response.
    There are so much more "proposals" but they are silenced because the most comfy and secure one always wins.

  7. #56

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    True, you have a point. Although, personally, I know when I'm not thinking. Well, usually :-)

  8. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    I have a theory that is untested.
    We have the memory. It is active. And works like that: Something happens, and the most active and vivid one will offer a response.
    There are so much more "proposals" but they are silenced because the most comfy and secure one always wins.
    I read a book about understanding jazz once that tested the idea of how much people like predictability and surprise in their listening. Maybe something around fifty fifty for new material was most pleasing? Disonance or comfort notes? Depends on the style I guess.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan

    ?(?s?no? ?o '??? ??? ?) ????d s??? ?o? "u? ll?" ?q o? s?? ?uo ??? ?q ?lq?qo?d plno? s??? '?u????nb ?ldo?d ?so? ?o ???l?q?qo?d ??? ?z???x?? plno? ???? "po????" uo???s??o?d?? zz?? ? ?u??u? o? p??u?? ?uo ?? ????? ?? - ????? ???? ?u???s???s ?o pu?? ?u? u? ?u?u?dd?? ???? uo ?uno? ?,uop ?nq ??no ?l?s?no? ??ou? '??? ?o ?o? ??p? ?u? ?u???? ?no???? oo? ?? op u?? no? "¡?ood" ?lu?ppns u??? ??p ????? ???? ?o? ?u????? ?l??? ???? ? ?? ?uo solos zz?? ?do? pu? ??? ?q ??ld o? ?u?? no? ?? ?3
    As an ear player, it really depends on how you look (listen) at it.

  10. #59

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    Hi One-dude

    Too much to read to see if what I say has already been said but...if you know your bar chord shapes and maybe (though not critical yet) a scale or two...

    i) set up a long relaxed groove on a single chord on a device and loop it

    ii) improvise over that groove using what notes you see in the chord shape/grip, or in the scale you are relating to the chord, if you know any scales - in SEMI BREVES first, then MINIMS. Take some time to shift gear as there is much of yourself to learn and to allow its expression here.

    This is already going to challenge you because you will have to make up your mind where to go in a time period that allows you to go many places. This will allow you to deal with knowing where to go AND allowing your creative spirit to influence where you WANT to go. You're now improvising. Then, after a good amount of time, go to CROTCHETS (playing the same note more than once is still playing crotchets :-) ) Now the pressure is on.


    After that, do the same for a two chord groove - maybe diatonic to start e.g. Am, D7, but later 'unrelated' chords e.g. Amaj7, CMaj7.

    Then you can just add complexity to this by setting the bar higher and higher but most people fall over very quickly at this simple level.

    iii) Another thing that I like is to take a simple two note motif and take it through the chords of another groove, changing the notes on the way when forced by the harmony. Then add notes, say a four note motif and grind that through the chords.

    You will find you DO have a creative self. As your confidence grows you will be able to choose how to develop more, and it might come down to woodshedding chord/scale patterns, but I hope it always comes down to listening and simplicity.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    I have a theory that is untested.
    We have the memory. It is active. And works like that: Something happens, and the most active and vivid one will offer a response.
    There are so much more "proposals" but they are silenced because the most comfy and secure one always wins.
    I suppose that's what the classic Miles advice, 'don't play the first thing that comes into your head, but the the second or third thing' come in. Self editing... but you need to get to the point where you have something to edit, of course.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    As an ear player, it really depends on how you look (listen) at it.
    I can't seem to find that insightful GTRMan post on this thread?

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I can't seem to find that insightful GTRMan post on this thread?
    It's his third labeled point; I inserted it upside down using a text flipper but a font was not found, so the desired effect was spoiled... but the point maybe still kind of shows through.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    It's his third labeled point; I inserted it upside down using a text flipper but a font was not found, so the desired effect was spoiled... but the point maybe still kind of shows through.
    The note below? What about it?

    3. If you want to play by ear and copy jazz solos one at a time while waiting for that magic day when suddenly "poof!" you can do it too without having any idea how or why, knock yourself out. But don't count on that happening in any kind of satisfying time frame - if ever. If one wanted to invent a jazz improvisation "method" that would maximize the probablity of most people quitting, this would probably be it. One has to be "all in" for this path. (A few are, of course).


  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    The note below? What about it?

    3. If you want to play by ear and copy jazz solos one at a time while waiting for that magic day when suddenly "poof!" you can do it too without having any idea how or why, knock yourself out. But don't count on that happening in any kind of satisfying time frame - if ever. If one wanted to invent a jazz improvisation "method" that would maximize the probablity of most people quitting, this would probably be it. One has to be "all in" for this path. (A few are, of course).

    I was just challenging the note, which suggests to me you don't understand playing by ear.

    - I don't think anyone believes in "that magic day when suddenly "poof!" you can do it too...", the time frame is long and requires lots of work, whatever method or path.

    - Most people that attempt the guitar actually do quit within the first couple of days or weeks (their fingers hurt), irrespective of and/or before any method or path.

    - One really has to be "all in" to learn to perform jazz, whatever method or path.

  16. #65

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    I've been playing for 56 years. If I'd had any idea of what kind of music I ended up playing, I'd have done the first few years differently.

    I was fortunate, in retrospect, that my first teacher gave me a pretty good foundation, including reading, repertoire, chord melody and comping. OTOH, I don't recall any advice on improvisation or ear training. The main thing I wish I had done differently was ear training. Back then, I never heard of it, didn't have any idea how to do it, and badly needed it.

    So, I wasn't waiting for a "poof" and if I had one I probably wouldn't have realized it.

  17. #66

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    I remember during a post-game press conference they asked LeBron James about a particular play during the game. The play looked like a spectacular creation in the moment.

    He said something very unusual when star players are confronted with a question to explain their (or their teams) brilliance. He said the play worked because they practiced it hundreds of times during the training. Otherwise they wouldn't have even attempted it. He said these things don't doesn't just happen in the moment, they work hard to drill these combinations and skills. Of course no two situations are the same during a game, so you have to "improvise" to adapt the skill to the specifics of the situation.

    It's well known that Charlie Parker was laughed at during a jam session in his teens. He went and worked on his skills for years after that before he emerged as a special player.

    I also remember a soccer player telling that when he was a kid, his coach made him draw on piece of paper every possible angle he could receive the ball and think about how he would have to position himself to score in each instance. He visualized the ball coming at angle day and night for years, even in his sleep, he worked out his moves, drew them. So when a striker, after an unexpected deflection of the ball still manages to "improvise" and connect perfectly with the ball in a split second, that's a product of years of hard work.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    It's his third labeled point; I inserted it upside down using a text flipper but a font was not found, so the desired effect was spoiled... but the point maybe still kind of shows through.
    I liked the text flipped version. It seemed apt to the meaning of thread somehow.

  19. #68

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    In that spirit may I just say

    f'buw]efpig]1eopijrghb efgj'qpio u1[piogu fd[sivu2er9igu2303 fe;gij1h[gpri1hg