Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 71
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Our standard for Jan 2018 will be Take the A Train - by Billy Strayhorn (1941).

    Background:
    Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (Take the "A" Train)

    Contrafacts:
    Dextivity - Dexter Gordon (1947)
    Rhodomagnetics - Wilber Harden

    Best wishes for the coming new year!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I just noticed that David (TruthHertz) is also doing Take the A Train this week, in his song-a-week thread.

    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?
    Last edited by M-ster; 12-31-2017 at 05:26 PM.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster
    I just noticed that David (TruthHertz) is also doing Take the A Train? this week, in his song-a-week thread.

    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?
    Yes, but I think our approaches are broad and this piece is lovely enough to warrant the study. I have a relaxed and rigorous tune a week approach that introduces optional suggestions for deeper study every week. This week with A Train, I'm also including a challenging Etude that we can use to highlight and assimilate a working bebop vocabulary into our linear constructions. It's my intention that that etude will be ongoing beyond this week as my Rhythm changes thread was.
    I love it that we're on the same wavelength here at the start of the year. Let's have fun M-ster!

    David

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    So is this thread about how to learn these tunes? If so I've found the following the easyist way.

    1.) A section =8 bars
    2.)B section= 8 bars
    3.) AABA form =32 bar form
    4.)2 bar turnarounds = exit, or on ramps to A or B sections

    *Melody and Bass line are the guides, Harmony is the interpretation in between those 2., Memorize the melody first by singing or humming it. then look how bass line goes> upwards or downwards direction

    *Bridge sections always seem to go to the 4 chord, if not it moves usually in major or minor 3rds.

    ** Repeat over & over slowly until you are really familiar with Melody & Form!

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    So is this thread about how to learn these tunes? If so I've found the following the easyist way.

    1.) A section =8 bars
    2.)B section= 8 bars
    3.) AABA form =32 bar form
    4.)2 bar turnarounds = exit, or on ramps to A or B sections

    *Melody and Bass line are the guides, Harmony is the interpretation in between those 2., Memorize the melody first by singing or humming it. then look how bass line goes> upwards or downwards direction

    *Bridge sections always seem to go to the 4 chord, if not it moves usually in major or minor 3rds.

    ** Repeat over & over slowly until you are really familiar with Melody & Form!
    There are a lot of backing tracks on youtube.Try to sing and play with them.
    ...and the next try to play solos:

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Over in the Robert Conti group this tune came up and I went ahead and learned the head, with a backing track, and put his exercise solo with it. So this isn't my improvisation, but the head is my own playing and ideas, modest though they might be. The Conti solo also has some good moments, though it's obviously a beginners' level solo to illustrate how lines go with chords.


  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    So, for me - and I won't repeat my version posted above - it's basically a train song. Not in the country music sense but a kind of trundle through the NYC subway, not all of it underground, basically heading up through Harlem to Manhattan. Perhaps that's quintessentially jazzy itself, that idea. It's also (how can I say this so it stays 'PC'; you know what it's like today) essentially a black-based idea, culturally. It's not swish nightclub stuff for rich white folks, or something like that. Although, I hate to say it, it may have ended up that way.

    Personally, I like that a great deal. One had the same kind of feel going round Brixton in London where I lived for some time. There was a totally different feel, socio-culturally, to what happened when you went back over the river to Victoria and into central London. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

    So there's that. It's a swing tune too, not bop or blues, although there are moments where the odd blues sound should happen. And happy, not in any way introverted. Whether an old Brit whitey like me can do it justice, of course, I don't know. Let's hope so.

    Musically speaking, it's very straightforward, just a few of the usual chords in C. The interesting point, of course, is the D7#11. The obvious thing to use is the wholetone scale but I found that sound became repetitive and predictable, especially as it repeats 3 times each chorus! So, personally, I used A melodic because it gave me greater scope. But I also put in a bit of wholetone and a touch of D alt (Eb mel). That was basically it. I found it had to bounce rather than glide so I did that too.

    Re. other versions, Ray Nance with Ellington played his simple but acknowledged swing trumpet solos. Oscar Peterson used wholetone double-stops beautifully but I did think Paul Desmond's sound glided a bit smoothly for the tune.

    Will that do?

    (And is that catchy lick a version of the Jimmie Rodgers yodel-oh-oo, yodel-oh-oo, yodel-oh-ooo??? :-))

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Sorry, that's yodel-ay-ee-oh, yodel-ay-ee-ay, yodel-ay-eee. I just looked it up


  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Chewed through once. Not at all like it was meant to be played I guess.

    train.mp3 - Google Drive

    edit: oh, I read the above comments and get it now. Next month, if I can, I try to do something complete instead of a cut.
    Last edited by emanresu; 01-03-2018 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    Chewed through once. Not at all like it was meant to be played I guess.

    train.mp3 - Google Drive

    edit: oh, I read the above comments and get it now. Next month, if I can, I try to do something complete instead of a cut.
    Going in good direction...nice!
    Best
    Kris

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Hmm. See, I don't think you're playing 'Take the A train'. I think you're playing all kinds of clever stuff over the changes to that song. That's not the same thing. Where's the party? Where's the train? Where's the bubbling life? Where's HARLEM???!

    You might say 'But that's Jazz - you can do what you like with a tune, it's self-expression, it's jazz!'. I don't know. The professionals don't do that if you listen to them, they play the tune - that is, the spirit of the tune. The good ones do, anyway.

    Also, if the idea of the thread is to provide insights and musical advice etc about your thinking, where is that? I mean, something as sophisticated as what you were playing needs explanation to those learning, right? My stuff's easy but yours isn't.

    You don't mind if I speak frankly, I hope; that's what I feel about it.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    I found spontanic jam version of Take A on youtube with me/guitar/...a little Scof feel...:-)...opps 2014...today I play different:


  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    modern take :

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Or this. I like this... I think it works.


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    This song...ugh...played it to death in my gypsy jazz days...tried to do the most non gypsy take ever here...


  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Great playing in this thread! I did a recording of TTAT last year, I posted it on the forum before, but fits in this thread, so for those of you who haven't seen it I'll post it again.

    Very long Aebersold backing track; I ran out of ideas at some point :-) But it's a very nice tune to solo over.


  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    This song...ugh...played it to death in my gypsy jazz days...tried to do the most non gypsy take ever here...

    I dig it! Superb tone and playing!

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Great playing in this thread! I did a recording of TTAT last year, I posted it on the forum before, but fits in this thread, so for those of you who haven't seen it I'll post it again.

    Very long Aebersold backing track; I ran out of ideas at some point :-) But it's a very nice tune to solo over.

    Very nice sounding Gib es-125 in your hands.
    You play long solo over backing track and all we know that is not so easy.Good job.
    All The Best
    Kris

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    This song...ugh...played it to death in my gypsy jazz days...tried to do the most non gypsy take ever here...

    Hi Jeff,
    Is this backing track from youtube?
    You play nice chords-voicings...a little out but it is ok!
    it is a reall Take A train...
    Nice Tele sound on your hands.
    Best
    Kris

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    But perfect timing :-)

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Thanks kris, ragman, jay, anybody I missed...

    Yeah those chords got a little out there at the end...probably out of ideas for the moment

    The backing track is iReal, but just bass. I practice like this at lot, not sure why is find it so rnjoyable, but i do.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    It is been a while since I posted here, too busy with with work, kids and ..music.
    But here is my take on the train.



    Hans

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatim
    It is been a while since I posted here, too busy with with work, kids and ..music.
    But here is my take on the train.



    Hans
    Beautifull classic jazz sound and nice playing.
    Jazzingly Yours
    Kris

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Here is a take on my beloved stratocaster.
    It is my favorite guitar, but I never dare to take it on a jazz gig/ session.
    I must admit that playing jazz on that old Gibson es-125 (a couple of post here above ) is easier to make it sound 'jazzy',
    it is just that I love this strat so much.
    And please, lets not go into "Sure you can play jazz on a strat" with all kinds of examples.
    It is just that I am intrigued by this guitar, its possibilities and its limitations.



    Hans

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    I like this version very much/great solo on bass!/:

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Great big band!

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatim
    It is been a while since I posted here, too busy with with work, kids and ..music.
    But here is my take on the train.



    Hans
    Nice one Hans! Your 125 sounds remarkably like mine ;-) (duh!). I have seen your 125 advertised, I remember the missing pickup cover and classical tuners with black knobs. It was in Portugal, am I right?

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Little Jay wrote
    "Nice one Hans! Your 125 sounds remarkably like mine ;-) (duh!). I have seen your 125 advertised, I remember the missing pickup cover and classical tuners with black knobs. It was in Portugal, am I right?
    I bought this es-125 in Amsterdam in 2002 (Yes, I'm also Dutch). Never noticed the black tuners, so thanks. I like the guitar, but it is quit dark,'dof' like we say in dutch. There for switched the original pickup. I It's made in 1956.
    Hans

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    where is the head?

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Was working on this last night. I have been incorporating into my practice, especially when learning heads, the Mick Goodrich Advancing Guitarist idea of playing on a single string.

    Really interesting the different feel and dynamic exploration of a tune. Certain notes really pop, for me the song really came alive, much more than when playing in one position. You can then take that dynamic to a simpler way to get your fingers around the tune.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Reg, it'd be good to have you aboard for these, when you can.

    Yeah, I think the positive feedback is a big part, maybe the biggest. I'd also say don't be afraid to ask questions of players, too...like "Hey, I like what you play at :23, can you tell me what's going on there?" Obviously, we can dissect the whole tune too, if people want. But really it's about getting those recordings out there. It's an "audio diary."

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Yea there is a balance between playing, practicing and then actually talking about the music. Very few can just play... very few.

    So maybe a question... when we look at Take the A train... what do you think, what's your process to becoming aware of the tune how to perform etc...

    The Form is pretty straight ahead, A A B A. 8 bar sections.

    So the melody is not so clear, it hints at a few different directions.

    Personally I either play or hear the tune as a Blues or a jazz pop tune.

    The blues seems more common approach, but the I VI II V pop approach works.

    The A section is basically an eight bar blues, and the B section finally goes to the IV chord.

    The difference for me is how I approach the II chord in the A sections and how I approach that chord in the B section (both D7)

    So I either hear the D7 as a sub of some type, in the "A" section of, sub of A- the VI- chord .... or a V of II....anyway the reason I'm bring this up is because, personally how I hear the changes.... what type of function I hear the chord as having opens different doors of improvisation.

    I'll post something later and show the differences...

    Thanks for comments, and looking forward to becoming part of thread again.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    The A-part as an 8-bar blues..... hmmm, interesting. I don’t see it, but that’s probably just me. An 8 bar blues in what key?

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Yes.. OK so a latin or Bossa can also be a blues.... Personally what makes a blues... is I to IV.... or as in A train... Would be C to F (key of C)

    Generally I take that basic chord movement and hear... or think, Tonic and subdominant. ... I can hear the D7 functioning as subdominant or the IV chord.
    And then when the bridge goes to F... it somewhat reinforces the Blues.... OK can also be standard swing dance pop tun also.

    My point is the tune has options as far as to how one can play. As Kris said Similar changes as Girl from and Desafinado and playing typical latin montunos or rhythmic figures... performing as Latin Jazz, is great and personally one of my favorite approaches to performing almost any jazz tune. I love playing latin, Brazilian grooves... Hell most of the time at gigs I'll go into some type of latin feel for Blues feel standards... add II Vs or sus chord patterns, groove montunos Helps break up solos sections.

    The other think I like to do... is find blues in any tune. It's just another reference, a way to perform tunes. And I rarely find audiences that can't relate. Yea, it not hip and generally when musicians get together... they generally want to perform like the audience is all musicians etc... Anyway... just trying to get us thinking about how one could approach the tune.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    The A-part as an 8-bar blues..... hmmm, interesting. I don’t see it, but that’s probably just me. An 8 bar blues in what key?

    Hi Little Jay,
    Maybe there is a 8-bar blues in good key....I like it:

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    I like the blues feel very much...I saw George Benson playing the blues over Rythm changes.
    Thanks Reg for very interesting view.
    sorry for the clip with jazz dance---it is just for making good atmosphere.
    jazzingly
    Kris
    Last edited by kris; 01-11-2018 at 01:10 PM.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    I like the idea of D7 as a sub for Am7 (1-6-2-5-1) but I don't see it as a blues. An 8-bar blues usually has IV much earlier on. Going to IV for the bridge is pretty standard. It's more a swing tune with a sort of loose bluesy feel.

    I'm surprised no version I've heard has played the F to D7 in the bridge as |F / E7 Eb7 | D7 |. I was going to try that but never got round to it.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Question for mr. Reg:
    We are talking about blues feel over standard jazz progressions so where are bendings,light strings etc
    Most of jazz guitarsits use hard strings or hard tension set up.
    How do you mean blues feel?
    I am big fan of Scof...sometimes I think he is a reall blues player/ look BB.King/.
    I've heard Scof interpretation of ballad with a lot of string bendings used in typical blues/not jazzy blues/.
    I talked about the same to Mike Stern two months ago.Mike said - "my playing is from the heart"..." I feel bluesy today"...
    I like it.It is so natural.
    Thanks
    Kris

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Hey Kris.

    I'm not talking about Rock and roll blues. light strings, bending, rock pentatonics, cowboy chords etc...

    Generally the blues with jazz... are just use of Blue notes, and harmony, (chords) that are derived from blue notes. More from the gospel blues direction. Jazz blues.... not rock blues.

    The feel... it's difficult to break down.... so feel is basically how one organizes time.... and how they organize the attacks and articulations.

    Personally... the difference in feel, rhythmically, is how the swing aspect is played. Swing is about the breakdown of the triplet.

    Straight western swing, bluegrass etc... is straight. The phrasing is very mechanical, the breakdown is not stretched out. Don't just think or hear solos.... hear comping or rhythm section feel. Patterns are longer, comping phrases are longer and the patterns also have patterns.

    You can have a 16 bar phrase with repeating 4 bar patterns that have slight differences that also have a pattern.
    And then how one can organize the harmony, comping or soloing using that rhythmic feel.
    Or as could be with Take the A train... 8 bar phrases... I'll make vid asap.

    It's all good, no wrong... but different.

    You can imply a blue note and actually never play it. I remember years ago on this forum, I use to have heated discussions with this player, a straight player, very good player... but somewhat blind. Someone posted a comping version of a 12 bar blues... and this guy got into a discussion about the I IV V organization etc... and never even noticed that the V7 chord was never played... but you felt as though it was.
    I guess my point is sometimes there is more.... or less to what something is.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Jazz Masters:

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    I am playing around with diminished and augmented. Where might you use them in this tune for comping and or soloing?

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Well, over the D7#11 you could play:

    The wholetone scale (D E F# G# Bb C D)
    The Lydian Augmented scale (D E F# G# A B C D). This is really A melodic minor from D.

    Over the unaltered D7 in the bridge you could play:

    The whole-half diminished scale (D Eb F Gb Ab A B C D) to get a b9 sound, if you think it suits.

    Over the G7b9 at the end of the bridge:

    The whole-half diminished scale (G Ab Bb B C# D E F G)

    Some versions end with 2 bars of C6 but some have a Dm7-G7 turnaround. You could maybe use the G wholetone scale there to get a G7#5 sound.

    (That's probably it, you don't want to overdo it. Doubtless someone will introduce all sorts of triads and other tricks derived from these scales but I'll leave that to them ).

    If this is too simple for you, try Jens Larsen's video site. He's got lots of stuff on diminished and augmented 'secrets' :-) Jens Larsen
    - YouTube

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Thanks and do you think of this when you are playing or do you hear it/sing it. eg do you think wholetone scale over the D7 or do you hear/sing the b9?

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez
    Thanks and do you think of this when you are playing or do you hear it/sing it. eg do you think wholetone scale over the D7 or do you hear/sing the b9?
    I've already thought of it in the sense I know that those options work. When I come to a chord I'm usually thinking what I'll do over it, like A mel for the D7#11. I never work out exactly what I'll do because it destroys spontaneity. But I know what notes sound good, I know to put some emphasis on the #11 note, etc etc.

    I tried the wholetone over the D7#11 and found the sound repetitive after a while but still used it. Also the D alt (Eb mel) worked too.

    Same with the other chords. I don't sing them but I do know exactly how a B, A or D is going to make the C chord sound, for instance. Over the Dm7-G7-C I know I can use some sort of generic phrase that ends up on the C chord; it doesn't have to match the chords exactly.

    When I was playing the straight D7 I was at the 10th fret, I think, and automatically went to the Eb and ran down a diminished arpeggio. Luckily it worked :-)

    The G7b9 is in the lead sheet anyway (the melody note's an Ab) so that was more obvious. That called either for a diminished scale or arpeggio or just a straight G7 idea with the Ab thrown in. F melodic minor works very well too for a b9. And there was also always the option of the altered scale.

    I've played the tune so many times now the options are pretty well ingrained; I feel confident just launching into it and going for it. I mean, since all these tunes often repeat the same chord sequences, especially swing numbers, after a while it becomes second nature. But I'll still try things out to make sure.

    This is why I prefer playing tunes to exercises. After a while you get a nose for what will work best over a specific tune.

    I'd thoroughly recommend recording your practice if you're not already doing so. No one else needs to hear it and you'd be amazed at what you discover listening back to it. After a while it all becomes part of you.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    For all beginers players:
    Do not think too much about scales.
    Most important scale in jazz is melodic minor I think.
    Concentrate on using this scale over Take The A changes:
    a min melodic,d min melodic,Ab min melodic,g min melodic,c# min melodic
    there are:
    a min melodic over D7b5 or D7#11
    d min melodic/or d dorian/ over dm7
    Ab min melodic over G7/can be altered/
    g min melodic over gm7
    C# min melodic over C7/with alteration/...
    Creat 8th solos using this scale with nice melodies and nice phrasing.
    Great piano video but can be adopted for guitar:

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Don't think too much about scales.
    Think about lots of melodic minor scales!

    (gggomez wants to know about diminished/augmented sounds)

    I find with melodic minor that you have to be careful with the #6 and #7 sounds. They don't automatically sound good everywhere.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    I have one beginer sudent,that he know probaly more than me about scales but practicaly he don not know how to use them .
    So my sugestion is to learn more about one scale first/melodic minor/.
    This scale has everything if you want to creat nice solos not only at beginers levels.
    I recomend:
    Barry Galbraith "Daily Exercises in the melodic & harmonic minor modes" and Emily Remler Edu videos.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    It's like I was told many years ago...better to know 5 things and really KNOW them than to KNOW OF 50 things.

    (but for jazz, if you're gonna know something outside the good old major scale, melodic minor is where it's at...at least know how to access it's sounds, even if you can't run the scale up and down the neck)

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    There are a lot of patterns,licks with minor melodic in books or on youtube played by top musicians .
    So how to use it in good way is no so simple.Learn patterns,practise licks in every key,adopt to the style of your playing... it take years.
    what's a hard work...
    My first expierience with this scale was years ago when I started to transcribe and analyse 2 5 1 progressions. It was in 70's.
    ...and the next step - modes of melodic minor....
    Best
    Kris

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Very nice 3/4 version: