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  1. #51

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    It's true though...I think so many of us come up playing GASB tunes and bop tunes, and we spend a lot of time trying to simplify changes...then we get to these tunes that have "simple" changes (or at least, not as many in #) and the script gets flipped on us!

    I can't remember who I heard say it, but I stole it years ago and repeat it a lot: "The job of a jazz musician is to make the complex sound simple, and the simple sound complex."

    I guess it all goes to show why jazz is not for "dabbling." You can commit yourself completely to it and STILL not master all of it in a lifetime.

    That can sound kind of glum, I suppose...I just like to think of it as an excuse to never be bored again, my whole life. There's ALWAYS something else to learn.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Anyway, this would scramble anyone. I thought I'd do it a bit more swingy and it seemed to work. Every chorus is different and there are lots of different ideas in it.


  4. #53

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    Hmm... this reminds me of a convo I had the other day on a duo gig with an excellent jazz guitar player who had learned completely by ear (his background was in gypsy jazz) - not a jot of theory. He said the the'd been taking theory lessons so the he could play more contemporary New York style jazz.

    Which led me to thinking - is there something about the more modern music that necessitates theoretical thinking/hearing? Hard to find a counter example, as all the players I know with an interest in contemporary jazz have a very thorough grounding in theory.

    Obviously when you learn standards, there's a shared vocabulary of moves. Learn a few hundred standard tunes, bop numbers etc etc and you'll know 90% of what comes up in a new tune (ii V I's being the obvious example). There's always unfamiliar changes, but you can focus on these in isolation when they crop up.

    Whereas in modern jazz even within the ouvre of one composer, such as Wayne Shorter there's not that much stuff that gets repeated from tune to tune. The 'room' is much larger. There are common general features - stepwise bass lines, counterpoint, melody on the extensions. blues, pentatonic influences etc - but it's not like there's neat little modules like ii-V's (unless there are actual ii-V's).

    (That said, I'm starting to look at old school standards more in this specific way as well, trying to find what's unique about a tune.)

    Modern jazz theory like CST based improv approaches always gives you an approach on these tunes, even it doesn't always map onto what the original musicians did on them. Play your patterns over the chords, etc.

    One alternative approach for literally any tune that always works great is variation of the melody, which seems a favourite of Wayne - so maybe you can?

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    It's true though...I think so many of us come up playing GASB tunes and bop tunes, and we spend a lot of time trying to simplify changes...then we get to these tunes that have "simple" changes (or at least, not as many in #) and the script gets flipped on us!

    I can't remember who I heard say it, but I stole it years ago and repeat it a lot: "The job of a jazz musician is to make the complex sound simple, and the simple sound complex."

    I guess it all goes to show why jazz is not for "dabbling." You can commit yourself completely to it and STILL not master all of it in a lifetime.

    That can sound kind of glum, I suppose...I just like to think of it as an excuse to never be bored again, my whole life. There's ALWAYS something else to learn.
    You're 100% right.
    I was at a blues jam session some time ago.
    There were probably 30 guitarists.
    Eight musicians played on the stage and new guitarists entered every two tunes.
    It was great fun on three or two chords.The audience had a great time.
    ... the musicians just came out and played quite nice blues solos.
    I don't even know if any of these bluesmen have ever listened to Shorter's music.
    They were all happy.
    The fun was great.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Hmm... this reminds me of a convo I had the other day on a duo gig with an excellent jazz guitar player who had learned completely by ear (his background was in gypsy jazz) - not a jot of theory. He said the the'd been taking theory lessons so the he could play more contemporary New York style jazz.

    Which led me to thinking - is there something about the more modern music that necessitates theoretical thinking/hearing? Hard to find a counter example, as all the players I know with an interest in contemporary jazz have a very thorough grounding in theory.

    Obviously when you learn standards, there's a shared vocabulary of moves. Learn a few hundred standard tunes, bop numbers etc etc and you'll know 90% of what comes up in a new tune (ii V I's being the obvious example). There's always unfamiliar changes, but you can focus on these in isolation when they crop up.

    Whereas in modern jazz even within the ouvre of one composer, such as Wayne Shorter there's not that much stuff that gets repeated from tune to tune. The 'room' is much larger. There are common general features - stepwise bass lines, counterpoint, melody on the extensions. blues, pentatonic influences etc - but it's not like there's neat little modules like ii-V's (unless there are actual ii-V's).

    (That said, I'm starting to look at old school standards more in this specific way as well, trying to find what's unique about a tune.)

    Modern jazz theory like CST based improv approaches always gives you an approach on these tunes, even it doesn't always map onto what the original musicians did on them. Play your patterns over the chords, etc.

    One alternative approach for literally any tune that always works great is variation of the melody, which seems a favourite of Wayne - so maybe you can?
    Christian,
    You once mentioned that you can play anything in gypsy style ...Can you try to play "Iris" in gypsy style?
    This is a serious question.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    It's true though...I think so many of us come up playing GASB tunes and bop tunes, and we spend a lot of time trying to simplify changes...then we get to these tunes that have "simple" changes (or at least, not as many in #) and the script gets flipped on us!

    I can't remember who I heard say it, but I stole it years ago and repeat it a lot: "The job of a jazz musician is to make the complex sound simple, and the simple sound complex."

    I guess it all goes to show why jazz is not for "dabbling." You can commit yourself completely to it and STILL not master all of it in a lifetime.

    That can sound kind of glum, I suppose...I just like to think of it as an excuse to never be bored again, my whole life. There's ALWAYS something else to learn.
    I often come back to what Miles said in his autobiography about what he was up to from Kind of Blue forward, and especially with the second quintet. He was sick of playing changes and wanted another way to frame songs and improvisation, but still have structure. He experimented with different approaches to this -- the simplified phrasing, increased use of space, and quartal palette of Ahmad Jamal; explicitly modal tunes; tunes that kind of have changes, but don't really have resolutions (such as Iris); soloing in a "free" style over conventional tunes; funk vamps, to name a few. I'm not sure I've understood it correctly, but I think of it as taking harmony out of the picture as a firm constraint and elevating other elements of musical structure -- articulation, dynamics, dissonance, harmonic rhythm, surprise, long/short notes, etc. Something like the Plugged Nickel recordings are kind of the ultimate expression of this.

    Calling Iris a "Miles Davis" tune rather than a "Wayne Shorter" tune helps me understand it a little better. Yes, Shorter wrote it (and Evans, maybe, wrote Nardis, yada yada). But he wrote it (I think and could be wrong) for a band/context/purpose, not as an independent work. As I play this kind of tune, I try to have the sound of that band in my mind and let stuff happen rather than force what I play to fit in a thought-out harmony. Obviously, there are certain devices that have thought behind them (e.g., playing bits of an altered dominant scale over a dom7 or a lydian mode over a maj7), but I try to make it as much as possible about sound/feel rather than thought/harmony.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I'm not sure I've understood it correctly, but I think of it as taking harmony out of the picture as a firm constraint and elevating other elements of musical structure -- articulation, dynamics, dissonance, harmonic rhythm, surprise, long/short notes, etc.
    I like your way of looking at it. On Iris, the improviser is responsible for explaining or interpreting or making sense of the harmony for the listener, because (at least to my relatively unsophisticated ear), the harmony itself doesn’t have the same kind of internal logic of a functional harmony tune that you can hang your hat on. When I listened to Mr B.’s take I was like “ohhhhhh I get it”, but when I sit down to try and play something, it becomes clear quickly that I will need a lot more time with the tune to even begin to make a coherent statement.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Christian,
    You once mentioned that you can play anything in gypsy style ...Can you try to play "Iris" in gypsy style?
    This is a serious question.
    I would say ‘challenge accepted’ in a heartbeat normally, but it’s so hard for me to find time to do anything at the moment. I would love to give it a try… maybe?

    Matz will probably me beat me to the punch haha

    (Anyway it wasn’t me who did that, but my bass player haha, I find it a fun theory and I have yet to find any counterexamples.)

  10. #59

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    I did do Witch Hunt
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  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Christian,
    You once mentioned that you can play anything in gypsy style ...Can you try to play "Iris" in gypsy style?
    This is a serious question.
    The melody would sound great on violin...

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I often come back to what Miles said in his autobiography about what he was up to from Kind of Blue forward, and especially with the second quintet. He was sick of playing changes and wanted another way to frame songs and improvisation, but still have structure. He experimented with different approaches to this -- the simplified phrasing, increased use of space, and quartal palette of Ahmad Jamal; explicitly modal tunes; tunes that kind of have changes, but don't really have resolutions (such as Iris); soloing in a "free" style over conventional tunes; funk vamps, to name a few. I'm not sure I've understood it correctly, but I think of it as taking harmony out of the picture as a firm constraint and elevating other elements of musical structure -- articulation, dynamics, dissonance, harmonic rhythm, surprise, long/short notes, etc. Something like the Plugged Nickel recordings are kind of the ultimate expression of this.

    Calling Iris a "Miles Davis" tune rather than a "Wayne Shorter" tune helps me understand it a little better. Yes, Shorter wrote it (and Evans, maybe, wrote Nardis, yada yada). But he wrote it (I think and could be wrong) for a band/context/purpose, not as an independent work. As I play this kind of tune, I try to have the sound of that band in my mind and let stuff happen rather than force what I play to fit in a thought-out harmony. Obviously, there are certain devices that have thought behind them (e.g., playing bits of an altered dominant scale over a dom7 or a lydian mode over a maj7), but I try to make it as much as possible about sound/feel rather than thought/harmony.
    Each musician can take a different approach to Iris.
    You can just take this tune as standard from Real Book and try to use modern jazz language.
    Ragman posted a recording of a guitarist/Alesio Menconi/ who seems to implement such concepts.
    Jazz waltz- in right tempo.
    I prefer the original recordings from ESP- Miles Davis recording..
    This is my individual feeling.
    Maybe the guitar doesn't match this tune.

  13. #62

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    Playing melodically no matter what the changes is an ideal. And with changes like these, unless it's all planned out beforehand, extremely difficult. The notes have got to come from somewhere, they can't all be random.

    That means having a very firm idea what to use at any point. But combining that necessity with attractive melodic lines, that's another story.

    I'm fairly sure that's why the pros use so many effects rather than lines in tunes like this. Also, it probably means internalising the whole thing till it's become second nature. Probably the only way to master any tune really.

    Not that I have with this one so far, of course.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    No, saying "you and I" in that context is incorrect grammatically. In context, it's two personal pronouns that are the object of the preposition "of". "Me" is the first person object pronoun, not "I". Correcting it with "we" would also be wrong; "us" would be correct.
    God this kind of talk warms my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  15. #64

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    Hey, I said my lyrics were shitty.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hey, I said my lyrics were shitty.
    Change it to "glimpse of you and me" and they'll be sublime (and grammatical)
    Last edited by John A.; 10-18-2021 at 09:18 PM.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hey, I said my lyrics were shitty.
    It's not that, you only wrote a little aide-mémoire, quite nice too. My comment was just a jest. I got it wrong (amazingly) but now it's a syntactical symposium. Poor you!

  18. #67

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    I would like to say goodbye to the JGBE participants for a while.
    I have a few recording jobs and I would like to focus on that.
    Good luck with the music.
    ps.
    I think Ragman 1 and others will be saddened by this decision.
    Do not be sad, I will come back someday.
    Last edited by kris; 10-19-2021 at 02:25 AM.

  19. #68

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    It doesn’t mean anything if it hasn’t got that ‘swing’

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I will come back someday.
    Oh, I have no doubt!

    What about your poor old 90 year-old man?

  21. #70

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    I don't think it's possible to solo over this tune without making it sound weird. It IS weird, even if you play all the right notes. I think the nice tune disguises the strangeness.

    But, personally, I quite like weird...

  22. #71

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    Yes, not an easy tune to get your head around. I played around with the melody and chords for quite a while until I could come up with some ideas which seemed to fit. The only 2 chords which really gave me trouble were (unsurprisingly) the Abmaj#5 and the Dbm b6. So I worked out a sort of 'pool' of notes I could use on each one, and just made ideas out of those. Probably the closest I've ever got to using anything like 'chord-scale theory'!

    Also I put some delay on the guitar to make it sound a bit more mysterious, wayney, shorterish, milesey, etc. etc.

    Last edited by grahambop; 10-19-2021 at 07:30 AM.

  23. #72

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    Not simple, is it? The AbM7#5 is just C/Ab. I just play it like a C chord, sort of C D E G notes.*

    Over the Dbmb6 I just use the Db harmonic minor - Db Eb E Gb Ab A C . Or use the Dbm pentatonic. Using the 9th (Eb) with it sounds good.

    I thought the other stuff you were doing was great, sounded nice.


    * The other scale is F melodic minor because it has the natural E but it can be tricky because the F note is basically redundant. And one tends to head naturally for the root.

  24. #73

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    Thanks, yes for the Abmaj#5 I was using some kind of Fm melodic lines (though when playing I just tend to think of it as Fm lines with a maj7).

    For the Dbm b6 I was essentially using Amaj7 lines.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It's not that, you only wrote a little aide-mémoire, quite nice too. My comment was just a jest. I got it wrong (amazingly) but now it's a syntactical symposium. Poor you!
    Sorry about the grammar diversion, Jeff, but a day without poking Rags in the eye about something irrelevant is like a day without sunshine, or a fish without a bicycle, or something.

  26. #75

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    For me, the thing which stands out from your solos is that you've achieved some lovely melodic lines. Not easy in this tune and you've done it marvellously.

    I'm not against CST myself. It's certainly not as black as it's painted. I think what most people object to is that it can easily be taken as some sort of final authority, not to be questioned or deviated from, the 'bible' of what-to-play-over-what, and so on.

    Experienced players, knowing there are frequently many options over a progression, poo-poo that, naturally. But I think those beginning in this stuff need some kind of guide to what to play. The ideas set out by CST are sound. It also factors in context and options, which is often overlooked by its detractors.

    I think the real downfall is a dependency on it and therefore a reluctance to look outside it because it's 'safe'. But that's applicable to any sphere of life, not just music. But it's okay for establishing a grounding. In my view, anyway. One can experiment later.

    And I certainly don't believe in the 'no scales, no modes' idea. That's just foolish because the notes have got to come from somewhere.