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  1. #1

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    Ragman's pick this week. Again, anybody who would like to call the next one, send me a message!

    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 14) - Tune Up-1618456834709-jpg

    Just a quick note...the last 4 bars...you'll see some conflicts...Miles did originally end with another ii V I in D, at least on the head, So a 16 bar form twice through with 2 different endings. The quartet version, solos too, but on "Cookin" I don't think so...Rollins never goes to D until the end of the tune (and even then, holy b5!)

    I think most folks play it as a 16 bar form now and ignore the return to D until the end...but if you are getting a track for this one, watch out! Could go either way...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Can't wait to hear Ragman do this at the Cookin' tempo! [I might have to break out my acoustic and do it as a ballad ...]

    John

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Can't wait to hear Ragman do this at the Cookin' tempo! [I might have to break out my acoustic and do it as a ballad ...]

    John
    I see what you did there, you rascal!

    Anyway: good choice!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Can't wait to hear Ragman do this at the Cookin' tempo! [I might have to break out my acoustic and do it as a ballad ...]

    John
    Fingerstyle!

  6. #5

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    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 14) - Tune Up-79dfc095-b068-40bc-bc0d-441f36ff71b8-jpegJGBE Virtual Jam (Round 14) - Tune Up-9f6adc13-914e-4994-9f80-44105d2fd380-jpeg

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Can't wait to hear Ragman do this at the Cookin' tempo! [I might have to break out my acoustic and do it as a ballad ...]

    John
    Don't laugh too loud, I used to do bluegrass, standard 220. These days, no.

    Anyway, after you... :-)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Don't laugh too loud, I used to do bluegrass, standard 220. These days, no.

    Anyway, after you... :-)
    I may do this as a black metal dirge.

  9. #8

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    It doesn't have to be done that fast. Even this is a bit hectic for me :-)

    I see these circular tunes, not as tunes per se, but exercises, so really this is all variations on the theme.


  10. #9

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    Here's my go at it!
    I've been working on some altered lines and playing, and checking out Mike Stern's new book.
    I tried to not get into that too much here and just play!
    But all that practising can make me play too many notes and try to play long lines, which I find doesn't always suit me that well.
    The Organ play along is a fun one!
    Did this with my little Yamaha THR amp and tried to record the way Jeff does with a phone. I may have been a little too close, we still hear some of the acoustic sound of the guitar...And I really like this guitar, the single coil neck pickup is just perfect. Just a standard Telecaster no modifications.

    Last edited by Ronstuff; 04-15-2021 at 08:33 PM.

  11. #10

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    Gonna post my first take and then go back and listen to everyone else so far.

    First impressions: I don't know this tune nearly as well as I thought I did!

    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 04-15-2021 at 10:28 PM.

  12. #11
    Hi. Archtop Eddy here. I lost my account here when I bought a new computer and couldn't access my password. Easiest way to solve the problem was just to open a new account, which I did. Anyway, I thought I'd throw my hat in here with a version of Tune In I recorded in February. It doesn't have lightning speed because I don't have the dexterity but I hope it's all cool. It seemed like a nice way to get back on the forum here. Feels good to be back!


  13. #12

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    Got to listen...

    Rag, wouldn't have expected any less...er...more of you Sparse, melodic, fun.

    Ron, cool track. You sound great on whatever guitar you play. All sorts of stuff in here i enjoyed...there was a lick around 1:25 that I just loved, a low to high thing...great stuff.

  14. #13

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    I jumped on it!

    Beautiful day for an upload. I love the smell of jazz in the morning

  15. #14

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    Ragman, good call with the tune! Good version played "In Your Own Sweet Way"!

    Jeff, really liked the vibrato in there. Reminded me of Phillipe Catherine! Nice energy in there!

    Picking, I'm hearing some bop in there. Very nice!

  16. #15

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    Thanks Ron!

    I call my brand of bop "meep bop" as in:



    First day of my interdisciplinary music & literature class starts tomorrow. Excited...

    And it's gonna be a hybrid class...

    Boo!

    C19 has made me really hate technology. Where's my typewriter?



    I'm all outta gags...

  17. #16

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    OK here's mine ...

    So far as I can recall, I don't think I've played this before (maybe on a jam, but I've never shedded it). The tune itself is easy to learn, but not necessarily to execute at breakneck hard bop speed. I tried it initially with with one of the crazy fast backing tracks, but wasn't feeling it, and decided to go with the organ groove version. My usual bluesy motivic stuff sprinkled with bop-ish-isms schtick fits well with this. But I do feel like I ought play stuff that's a little less obvious/vanilla and man up to the crazy fast breakneck hard bop way Miles intended it. Hopefully I can shed it a bit more and take a crack at that.



    Ron: Very cool. I like the call and response stuff on the head. Cool ideas throughout the solo, lots of variety in the phrasing, and great groove.

    Jeff: Feels a bit more like tone-center-inner-Jerry-Jeff, than hardbop-altered-dominant-side-slipping-Jeff, in a good way. Kudos for hanging with the more challenging backing track.

    Ragman: You can't fool me -- that ain't no bluegrass. But I dig the usual Ragman harmonic nooks and crannies.

    YouCanPickYourFriendsAndYouCanPickYourNoseButYouCa n'tWipeYourFriendsUnderTheSofa: Some nice longer lines and flow there; great tone, and it feels "in the pocket" despite the sparseness.

    John

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    OK here's mine ...

    So far as I can recall, I don't think I've played this before (maybe on a jam, but I've never shedded it). The tune itself is easy to learn, but not necessarily to execute at breakneck hard bop speed. I tried it initially with with one of the crazy fast backing tracks, but wasn't feeling it, and decided to go with the organ groove version. My usual bluesy motivic stuff sprinkled with bop-ish-isms schtick fits well with this. But I do feel like I ought play stuff that's a little less obvious/vanilla and man up to the crazy fast breakneck hard bop way Miles intended it. Hopefully I can shed it a bit more and take a crack at that.



    Ron: Very cool. I like the call and response stuff on the head. Cool ideas throughout the solo, lots of variety in the phrasing, and great groove.

    Jeff: Feels a bit more like tone-center-inner-Jerry-Jeff, than hardbop-altered-dominant-side-slipping-Jeff, in a good way. Kudos for hanging with the more challenging backing track.

    Ragman: You can't fool me -- that ain't no bluegrass. But I dig the usual Ragman harmonic nooks and crannies.

    YouCanPickYourFriendsAndYouCanPickYourNoseButYouCa n'tWipeYourFriendsUnderTheSofa: Some nice longer lines and flow there; great tone, and it feels "in the pocket" despite the sparseness.

    John
    I dunno—that seemed pretty breakneck to me and you were all over it, no sweat. Lots of nice runs on all registers of the instrument.

    (Do you use something lighter than 12s on that guitar? I have a single pickup Hawk Deep Standard with TI flat 12s, but I’m hearing a little something different in the resonance of your guitar. Not really pickup related—almost like your guitar has a lighter overall tone and resonance whereas mine feels deep and heavy.)

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    I dunno—that seemed pretty breakneck to me and you were all over it, no sweat. Lots of nice runs on all registers of the instrument.

    (Do you use something lighter than 12s on that guitar? I have a single pickup Hawk Deep Standard with TI flat 12s, but I’m hearing a little something different in the resonance of your guitar. Not really pickup related—almost like your guitar has a lighter overall tone and resonance whereas mine feels deep and heavy.)
    Thanks. Trust me, though, when I was playing over the tracks that are upwards of 230 bpm, I wasn't able to do much (at least not tonight). This tempo (180 bpm) feels good, especially with this kind of in-the-pocket groove, but I think I need to work on the tune some more.

    I'm playing with Chrome 12's. I think the spec's of my guitar (Hawk Jazz) are somewhat different from the Hawk Deep. Mine has a laminated spruce top, 3" depth, and an ebony fingerboard. The Deep has a maple top, 3 1/2 (3/4?) rims, and a rosewood(?) board, right? That would probably account for some of the differences. Amp settings probably figure in as well (this cut is a plug-in of a BF Super Reverb head mated to a SF Twin Reverb cabinet).

    John

  20. #19

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    I dunno what's more gross, boogers or ear wax...

    If I ever join a forum for amateur florists, I am going with "Picked_Noses_Smell_It_Better"

    Thankfully I don't teach elementary aged kiddos, they actually eat their nose nuggets.

    Gotta start somewhere...

    Great pick, rags! This tune used to totally kick my ass on jam sessions. To my credit, I was usually paired up with the least experienced rhythm section. I think jam sessions should do it the other way. You gotta pair the least experienced soloists with the best rhythm sections and the most pro soloists with weaker rhythm section players like me. Honestly, it helps everyone. If you really know your stuff, then playing with a weak rhythm section keeps you on your toes and pushes you to lead and hold the band together with your melodic/ harmonic/ rhythmic clarity. If you are more inexperienced, then a strong rhythm section can teach ya how to groove.

    I dunno. One day, when I lead my own jazz jam session... that's how I'll organize the session. No posturing. Just learning. Keep the knife fights for outside the jam session and such.

    The only price of admission would be great banter. Great jazz requires great wit. Life is too serious, laughing does the mind and body good.

  21. #20

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    Incidentally this is another tune that Miles Davis DIDN’T write. The general consensus (including from Eddie himself apparently) is that it was written by Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson.

    If you’re wondering how he got that nickname, here’s a photo I took of him in 1981 (he’s on the right, the others are Doc Cheatham and Eddie Chamblee):

    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 14) - Tune Up-cf0aa34e-187c-42e4-87dc-fe9fea16e2cd-jpeg

  22. #21

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    John, fun take. There's a "Barney Kessel just on the edge of losing it but staying in control" element to your fast stuff i love.

    I really do need to work on my picking.

    Speaking of Picking, some Monkish angular stuff in there, and some nice longer bop lines. Good take.

    Re: Vinson...I was THIS close to using his picture and giving him credit for this week's tune, but I didn't want to confuse people!

    I like this organ track...I'm definitely going to try another take. But I also kind of want to do an acoustic version, since it's ragman's week.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It doesn't have to be done that fast.
    Goes to show that it works fine at slow tempo - well done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronstuff
    Here's my go at it!

    Very nice mix of long lines and choruses with more space.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopEddy!
    Hi. Archtop Eddy here.
    Well done! And I seem to spot another Eastman...



    Good space between your lines, PME.

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    OK here's mine ...





    John
    Another great take, John and great tone!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopEddy!
    Hi. Archtop Eddy here. I lost my account here when I bought a new computer and couldn't access my password. Easiest way to solve the problem was just to open a new account, which I did. Anyway, I thought I'd throw my hat in here with a version of Tune In I recorded in February. It doesn't have lightning speed because I don't have the dexterity but I hope it's all cool. It seemed like a nice way to get back on the forum here. Feels good to be back!

    Missed this one! Nice take and welcome aboard. Great sound with the bright guitar/fullness of the thumb, and some very nice relaxed swinging lines in there.

  25. #24

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    Eastman guitar players unite

    With all of our guitars combined, we form:



    Changed the animation a bit since the 80s, no?

    Great to see more Eastman players on the forum. Love my trusty AR 803 "PickingMyEars" model. Even though I modded the hell outta my Eastman, I still love her the same.

  26. #25

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    Cool Choice Rag, I never really played this tune before and had fun with it!


    Ron – Amazing cut, you had me all in the whole way through. So much beautiful style, ebbs, and peaks!


    Jeff – Sounded like you knew it well enough ;D the stuff at 0:42 was killin


    Arch Eddy – Welcome, wonderful arrangement and voicings. Much respect for being a thumb player


    Picking – Nice lines, great use of rhythm 2:26


    John A – As usually amazing tone, killin at 1:13! Love your placement of blues in this




  27. #26

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    Here is my submission, I went all in.

    I played it first on 17” then switched to 16” and tried it. I fused the two recordings together. I’m still trying to figure out which guitars allow me to play fast tempos more comfortably.

    Last edited by Triple_Jazz; 04-16-2021 at 12:57 PM.

  28. #27

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    Cool! I wish I could manage fast lines like these (and be able to scratch an itching nose in between).

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO;[URL="tel:1114934"
    1114934[/URL]]Cool! I wish I could manage fast lines like these (and be able to scratch an itching nose in between).
    I got back on the beat by the skin of my nose!

  30. #29

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    COOKIN' TRIPLE!

    For my money, I like the sound of the 16." But you seem to get around fine on both.

  31. #30

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    Since we have my daughter and her boyfriend here for the weekend I guess I'll not be able to record and post a clip until sunday...

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple_Jazz
    Here is my submission, I went all in.

    I played it first on 17” then switched to 16” and tried it. I fused the two recordings together. I’m still trying to figure out which guitars allow me to play fast tempos more comfortably.

    When you first switched to the smaller guitar it seemed like you were more in sync with track and your picking had a better swing feel, but wound up drifting a bit and toward the end sounded pretty much the same as with the larger guitar.

    John

  33. #32

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    What I find challenging about this tune is to somehow get beyond playing a series of 4 bar phrases.

    So, I went back to Miles' original. He played a series of 4 bar phrases.

    So, I tried to play a three bar phrase and then play 4 bar phrases starting with the second bar of each Imaj. Then with an extra bar at the end.

    Looked good in writing.

    I'm going to try it again.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.;[URL="tel:1114973"
    1114973[/URL]]When you first switched to the smaller guitar it seemed like you were more in sync with track and your picking had a better swing feel, but wound up drifting a bit and toward the end sounded pretty much the same as with the larger guitar.

    John
    Feel is my number one obstacle. I just don’t know how to really get into the groove right. Sometimes I hit it and then fall right off.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple_Jazz
    Feel is my number one obstacle. I just don’t know how to really get into the groove right. Sometimes I hit it and then fall right off.
    If you're struggling with feel at fast tempos, slow it down, and gradually work your way up. iRealPro is great for that.

    John

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.;[URL="tel:1115003"
    1115003[/URL]]If you're struggling with feel at fast tempos, slow it down, and gradually work your way up. iRealPro is great for that.

    John
    Its not that, my feel sucks in general. Last jam IYOSW is half the speed and my feel only was swinging at moments. I’ve got this robotic delivery for some reason.

  37. #36

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    For giggles, a tribute to our pal ragman

    Nice and slow, reverby acoustic, trying to be melodic. Fun


  38. #37

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    I hear long strings of rapid eighth notes in my mind, but I can't play that fast.

    It's hard to construct a melodic line that doesn't restart every 4 bars, but I tried.

    That's the Comins GCS-1 through a Boss ME80, to add reverb. Then to a Little Jazz with the bass all the way down. Mids and highs at about noon. Reverb at 8o'clock. Backing track from an old phone into a Roland KB150. All right into a second, newer, phone.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Since we have my daughter and her boyfriend here for the weekend I guess I'll not be able to record and post a clip until sunday...
    Make the boyfriend take a chorus. Even if he doesn’t play. Show him who’s boss.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar


    I hear long strings of rapid eighth notes in my mind, but I can't play that fast.

    It's hard to construct a melodic line that doesn't restart every 4 bars, but I tried.

    That's the Comins GCS-1 through a Boss ME80, to add reverb. Then to a Little Jazz with the bass all the way down. Mids and highs at about noon. Reverb at 8o'clock. Backing track from an old phone into a Roland KB150. All right into a second, newer, phone.
    I feel like you always have some new sounding lines in every solo. This was especially cookin’ you might say. Sonny Stitt has a version of this tune with lots of really long flowing lines.

  41. #40

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    Call me SchmatteMensch ...



    John

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple_Jazz
    Its not that, my feel sucks in general. Last jam IYOSW is half the speed and my feel only was swinging at moments. I’ve got this robotic delivery for some reason.
    If you can hear what is off in your rhythm (which seems to be the case) then you're a good percent of the way towards solving it through practice. I do think that slowing down is one of the key elements of that.

    The faster you go, the less you swing (you in general, not just you specifically). So to really internalize swingtime, you have to practice it consciously at tempos where you can control the degree of swing in your 1/8 notes and (if playing with iRealPro or backing tracks) where your 1/8 notes sit in relation to the ride cymbal.

    It's also helpful to practice stuff like starting and ending phrases on different beats and off vs down beats, as well as triplets of varying duration, again, at tempos where you can really do this with intention.

    John

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar


    I hear long strings of rapid eighth notes in my mind, but I can't play that fast.

    It's hard to construct a melodic line that doesn't restart every 4 bars, but I tried.

    That's the Comins GCS-1 through a Boss ME80, to add reverb. Then to a Little Jazz with the bass all the way down. Mids and highs at about noon. Reverb at 8o'clock. Backing track from an old phone into a Roland KB150. All right into a second, newer, phone.
    I like this a lot. Lots of good ideas, and interesting mix of phrase lengths and note durations.

    John

  44. #43

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    John, nice variety in your lines. Blues, fast lines and those chord lines were cool!

    Triple Jazz, I liked the 16'. To me it seemed more alive, but there was nice articulations and phrasing on both!

    Rp, I really like that sound. Very melodic playing. Makes me want to get a DV Little Jazz amp even though I really don't need another amp...

    Nice acoustic versions John and Jeff. Good tribute to this week's tune chooser!

  45. #44

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    John, that abstract was nice! Love the SelMac sound for it too.

    Rp, that's some "grown up" playing. I had originally tried this tune with a track that was about 260...I kept telling myself ,"just be musical" but every time, once I settled in, it was off to the races...and because I was in over my head, it was off to the races with boring cliche lines and shit time.

    This is an example of great restraint and melodicism. WWJHD? (What would Jim Hall do?)

  46. #45

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    Mr. B, I think you are too hard on yourself about your take.

    Hate to criticize our beloved backing tracks iReal or elsewise but... a good rhythm section doesn't play up tempo the same as mid tempo. iReal and most programmable backing track bs takes mid tempo comping and just speeds it up.

    A great rhythm section can make 300+ feel just as comfortable as 120. It's the hits. Too many hits at a fast tempo will tense up the soloist. That old adage of "think slow when you play fast" is so true because it allows you to relax and actually play some. If I feel every quarter note in my body when I play uptempo I lock up. I can't groove. It's very psychological.

    Uptempo is a great opportunity to think big beat. Unfortunately, big beat isn't a popular subject on Youtube--even for a lot of drummers. Being able to feel one measure or two measures without counting isn't a parlor trick--it's a survival skill. Subdividing is a crucial skill, but so is macro time... but don't tell Ari Hoeing I said that

    I'll post some examples of macro time concepts over Tune-up. Big beat, macro-time--whatever you wanna call it--that's what taught me how to flow and how to have more control of silence. Still a work in progress, but learning to feel larger chunks of time gives a framework to hang your musical ideas and allows your body to relax so you can actually execute those ideas.

    Hopefully this post doesn't spring another pissing contest. Honestly, big beat studies can REALLY open up your playing at ANY tempo.

    Here is a rare video on macro time--Lage Lund to the rescue:



    Remember, this isn't about showing off with your metronome. Feeling the pulse like this frees up your body so you can be more and more musical. Added bonus--using the metronome like this is the best way to learn how to phrase. Want to work on your 2 bar phrases? Setup your metronome to click once every two measures. Want longer, four bar phrases? Setup your metronome to click once every four measures. Helps you hear the end of each phrase.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    John, that abstract was nice! Love the SelMac sound for it too.

    Rp, that's some "grown up" playing. I had originally tried this tune with a track that was about 260...I kept telling myself ,"just be musical" but every time, once I settled in, it was off to the races...and because I was in over my head, it was off to the races with boring cliche lines and shit time.

    This is an example of great restraint and melodicism. WWJHD? (What would Jim Hall do?)
    MrB, thanks for the positive review ... and you brought up an issue I think about all the time. Since I don't recall it discussed on here, I'll bring it up.

    What do you do when you don't have all the tools that the greats of the genre have?

    What if you have a simpler harmonic palette, you don't have a lot of jazz vocabulary, you can't play fast and you don't have other aspects of great technique? And, what if you've reached a certain age, having done your best to develop them, and you got only part way? Im talking about my own experience.

    I thought about calligraphy. This is an artist with one brush, one color, and that color is black. Yet, the calligrapher makes art too. It's not an oil painting, but it's art and people appreciate it.

    I recall a great LA based saxophonist, Robert Kyle, at a jam. He played an absolutely killer solo and I realized somewhere along the line that he didn't play a lot of notes and he didn't play anything "outside". What he did do was make great melody with great time feel. He made you want to dance and scream.

    Then I thought about scat singing, which I've posted about before. It seems to me that your scat singing is very close to your heart. Can players really scat eighth notes at 260bpm? Or are they piecing things together in a different way? My conclusion is that it's a combination of jazz vocabulary and a certain amount of new material. Done well, it's fantastic, but, I wondered, Robert Kyle's solo could easily have been scat sung. Maybe I should think about that.

    Jim Hall is my ATF. But, his slow stuff. I didn't enjoy his fast playing nearly as much. I like Carlos Santana - he does it with melody, time and tone. He's no daredevil harmonically and his best stuff isn't particularly fast. Wes is as melodic as anyone and doesn't sound fast (although it seems faster when you actually try to play his stuff).

    So, I concluded that I should try to develop a style that makes the most of what I can hear and play -- and not keep trying to do everything. I still ended up with more than enough to work on.

    Finally to the point. I went through the exact same process as you with Tune Up. I thought, this is a tune I should play north of 240, if not 280, in streams of eighths. I could sort of hear that, not the individual notes, but the resulting sheet of sound. When I tried I was completely dissatisfied with the results. I persevered and, eventually, realized it wasn't going to work. At that point I decided to try to play it in the style I've been working on. It feels like a compromise, because I think that most players and audience members prefer classic jazz guitar to what I'm trying to do -- and I agree with them. But, I can't do that. I'm trying to do calligraphy, not oils.

  48. #47

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    Picking, that's cool stuff, but it has nothing to do with my time, It's simple mechanics. I literally can't pick straight 8ths above 220 or so without slurring.

    Which isn't a sin, mind you, but it's a different sound.

    What I need to do is listen to more Jim Hall but also, to get my shit together picking wise. Its possible...but I need to put in some work. Spot on RP.

  49. #48

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    Rpjazzguitar and Jeff, you guys are both making me feel better about taking this one relatively slow.

    I like that calligraphy analogy, and your point about making art with what you've got. But I might push back a little against the idea that once you've reached a certain age you're done adding colors to your palette. I feel like there's still potential to improve technically and come up with new vocabulary. I'm almost 59, but I feel like I've added more in the last 5 years or so than in the prior 15 or more.

    Maybe that will end in another few years (or less), but I'm going to keep trying. There are limits - I'm never going to be George Benson or Michael Brecker, and there are certain stylistic and mental aspects that are probably set -- but subtle development and a feeling of progress are available.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 04-17-2021 at 03:35 PM.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Picking, that's cool stuff, but it has nothing to do with my time, It's simple mechanics. I literally can't pick straight 8ths above 220 or so without slurring
    You know me, I am all about obsessing over how I hear things.

    That said, it really is psychosomatic. The way you hear directly effects what you play... that's a given. The way you hear also directly effects how you play. If the way your hear gets you anxious that anxiety translates to physical rigidity.

    We've all heard you play, Mr. B. You've got the musicality and the technique to work up your picking. I always dig what you bring to these threads, playing wise. You know how to pull all that delicious tone outta yer jazzbox and tele

    Give yourself less aural input when you practice playing up above 220. My mentor did that with me over Cherokee. I was like, "I can't play anything over 200bpm! I'll never get there!" Next lesson, he starts playing Cherokee and says "play a little bit." I am listening to his comping and it sounds nice and relaxed. I'm thinking that he's playing 160 tops because it sounds so relaxed. I start playing some of my normal stuff and he says, "see! I knew you could play over 200bpm!"

    Technique is crucial, that's a given. Yes, there are mechanics and all. But I think we often under estimate how much of our physical technique starts with our ears. Aimee Nolte has a video where she talks about playing fast. She said something like, "you want to play faster, then you gotta listen to a bunch of master musicians playing fast." No amount of Troy Grady will totally remedy up tempo playing if it ain't thoroughly anchored in your ears first.

    Not hear to argue. Just saying, I bet you can alternate pick faster than you think. That's all coming from the fastest Ear Picker in the West. If I can pick mountains of wax outta my ears in seconds flat, than you can pick 8ths 220 and above

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Rpjazzguitar and Jeff, you guys are both making me feel better about taking this one relatively slow.

    I like that calligraphy analogy, and your point about making art with what you've got. But I might push back a little against the idea that once you've reached a certain age you're done adding colors to your palette. I feel like there's still potential to improve technically and come up with new vocabulary. I'm almost 59, but I feel like I've added more in the last 5 years or so than in the prior 15 or more.

    Maybe that will end in another few years (or less), but I'm going to keep trying. There are limits - I'm never going to be George Benson or Michael Breaker, and there are certain stylistic and mental aspects that are probably set -- but subtle development and a feeling of progress are available.

    John
    I agree with all of that. And, I still work to improve. It's just that I've narrowed my goals to furthering what I see as my own style. Then again, I'm 71 with arthritis. The bananas can't be too green, to use a terrible analogy.