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  1. #1

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    JGBE Virtual Jam  (Round 37) - Donna Lee-1632428158595-jpg

    Well, like at any jam, it WAS inevitable...

    Peterson has picked a love it/hate it jam session call, and I for one hear it with a sense of dread in my stomach, because I haven't practiced the head in a good year...



    Joking aside, its another absolute classic and must know, and even though there are some assholes in the world who call this just to show off speed (Peterson is NOT one of those people) you gotta be prepared! Have at it!

    (And seriously, try the head at some point this week, whether you record it or not. Its NAAASTY on guitar, in a fun way)


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I did a couple of takes on the melody.

    Then I had to stop to go on-line to see if there is a manufacturer's recall on my pick.

    And, yet another metronome with an electronic defect.

    Anyway, here's the video. Perfect background for a clambake.

    I could have done more takes but I got scared that, if I played it correctly, there would be a dangerous solar eclipse

    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 09-23-2021 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #3

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    I know Donna Lee over 40 years.
    I sugest to practise this tune with Band in the Box backing track with melody track playing unisono.
    In my opinion, this is the best way to memorize the theme melody correctly.
    You have to try to play the melody accurately and with the right articulation.
    Start practising at a slow tempo and then faster and faster.
    Improvising is the next issue.

  5. #4

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    The first 32 bars of Donna Lee are always the hardest

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    Jaco:


  8. #7

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    JGBE Virtual Jam  (Round 37) - Donna Lee-204444ba-7875-4f2f-81d3-8c4800ae5cd3-jpeg

  9. #8

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    Well, sorry, guys, but I ain't gonna go boss-eyed trying to do the head, even slowly. Although I could if I really tried hard... but, fact is, I don't need to.

    So, at a reasonable pace, here we go round the chords in C. And why not.

    See, I just see these kinds of tune as an exercise in making the notes fit the changes and getting through it. It's a practical thing, like fixing a car or making an omelet. There's not much room for expression in a thing this fast. Not that I'm doing it fast.



    It won't be long before someone posts Guthrie Govan's outing on Donna Lee, scooting round it with a big grin...
    Last edited by ragman1; 09-23-2021 at 09:25 PM.

  10. #9

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    OK, I'll do it.


  11. #10

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    Somebody had to post this one...


  12. #11

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    This held my attention all the way through. Wonderfully inventive solo.


  13. #12

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    I believe Donna is the wrong choice to jam here.Will anyone play the theme of this tune at the right tempo?
    In one week it is impossible.Someone who approaches it for the first time will not be able to do it. Even those who think they know it make mistakes. Donna is a piece that needs to be practiced for several years and constantly remembered.
    "Indiana"has a similar harmonic structure and the head is definitely easier to learn in a short time.


  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    The first 32 bars of Donna Lee are always the hardest
    Are there more bars than 32 ?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple_Jazz
    JGBE Virtual Jam  (Round 37) - Donna Lee-204444ba-7875-4f2f-81d3-8c4800ae5cd3-jpeg
    A good picture!
    The first time I played Donna Lee in front of an audience, I was under stress and I didn't want to go wrong.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Are there more bars than 32 ?
    Look at rp's video. His T-shirt says 'The first 70 years of...'. The complete version is 'The first 70 years of childhood are always the hardest'.

    JGBE Virtual Jam  (Round 37) - Donna Lee-index-jpg

    When I said 'The first 32 bars of Donna Lee are always the hardest' it's a joke. The whole tune is 32 bars. It's all hard :-)

  18. #17

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    i was looking forward to this week's jam, but...
    sweet jeeez... i truly don't have a snowball's chance in hell with this one.
    And just to prove it, here's me jamming over the Indiana changes a few years back:

    It kind of reminds me of an interview with Jim Hall where he talks about some reviewers mentioning his 'restrained' playing,
    and he's like, "Restrained? (laughs) Man, I was going for it with everything I had!"

    Oh well... i'm still looking forward to everyone else's attempts at it.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Look at rp's video. His T-shirt says 'The first 70 years of...'. The complete version is 'The first 70 years of childhood are always the hardest'.

    JGBE Virtual Jam  (Round 37) - Donna Lee-index-jpg

    When I said 'The first 32 bars of Donna Lee are always the hardest' it's a joke. The whole tune is 32 bars. It's all hard :-)
    I know that joke.Therefore, my question was humorous.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris;[URL="tel:1148004"
    1148004[/URL]]I believe Donna is the wrong choice to jam here.Will anyone play the theme of this tune at the right tempo?
    In one week it is impossible.
    Challenge accepted

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I believe Donna is the wrong choice to jam here.Will anyone play the theme of this tune at the right tempo?
    This is supposed to be fun and honestly, comments like that spoils it. The only “right” tempo is the one anyone feel like playing. I was quite glad to post a slow first attempt.
    Now I’m not, instead I’m glad this is virtual.

    Anyway...


  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterson
    This is supposed to be fun and honestly, comments like that spoils it. The only “right” tempo is the one anyone feel like playing. I was quite glad to post a slow first attempt.
    Now I’m not, instead I’m glad this is virtual.

    Anyway...

    I mean playing head in right tempo.I don't think I wrote clearly in earlier post.

  23. #22

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    It's a challenge to play Donna Lee on a guitar with nylon strings.
    Without the pick only by my fingers/right hand/...:


    Box

  24. #23

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    Peterson -

    I think that's a very fair effort. Easy it's not.

    (Kris said he's been doing this tune for 40 YEARS so...)
    Last edited by ragman1; 09-30-2021 at 12:26 PM.

  25. #24

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    I did not pick this to start a pissing contest! I picked it because I like the melody. It could be the quintessential bebop head and a symbol of an era. A challenge yes, but more importantly a treasure of bebop vocabulary.

    If anyone wants to flex their guitar muscles, please do it elsewhere.

  26. #25

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    Peterson, I think you sound fine...nice, light swinging.

    Kris, that take was cool on the nylon. Challenging indeed.

    This tune is what it is--it's pure bebop. And truly, the head is much more challenging than the changes (it's like the anti-Giant Steps)

    I do think it's a lot to expect folks who've never played it before to get the melody down in a week. It's not easy, it requires some deft position jumping on guitar, and at jam session tempo, it's damn fast.

    But no reason folks here couldn't have a crack at the changes (which, as mentioned, are "Indiana") I like the call...there are just some tunes you have to know...or have to know you can't play!

    It's also important to note that while this became a serious musical muscle flex over the years, the original is fast but not ridiculously fast.