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  1. #1

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    Our standard for May 2019 will be Prelude to a Kiss (Duke Ellington, 1938).

    Background:
    Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (Prelude to a Kiss)

    (Two Ellington tunes in a row? Strayhorn really was a genius, no?)

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    A great choice and an example of Ellington's chromaticism. A chordal work out, for certain !
    I found this version by Eddie Duran , which I think is beautifully done.


  4. #3

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    I was just looking at it... very weird tune in parts. Still, there's always a way.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrplrfla View Post
    A great choice and an example of Ellington's chromaticism. A chordal work out, for certain !
    I found this version by Eddie Duran , which I think is beautifully done.
    There's a solo version by Joe Pass, too, that's nice. But, let's hear you do it, gtrplrfla!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrplrfla View Post
    I found this version by Eddie Duran , which I think is beautifully done.
    Not only is that very nice, but he's wearing a puffy, pirate shirt. Seinfeld might not agree, but I think that's cool.

    And just to actually post something besides snarkiness...a Jim Hall version.

    Last edited by Bahnzo; 05-01-2019 at 02:12 AM.

  7. #6

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    I'm still learning the in's and out's of Sophisticated Lady.

    I still think Satin Doll is a cool tune to play and solo over--still not sure why it is always classified as an easy tune...

    Prelude to a Kiss is a haunting melody.

    If I could only play jazz tunes by one composer for the rest of my life--it would be Billy Strayhorn tunes.

    Dig that Mood Indigo quote by Jim Hall!

    Another moving tune that I've played on occasion is Chelsea Bridge--those augmented harmonies and what a melody there as well.

    And I still get chills when Johnny Hartman sings Lush Life on the Hartman/Coltrane album!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bahnzo View Post
    Not only is that very nice, but he's wearing a puffy, pirate shirt. Seinfeld might not agree, but I think that's cool.

    And just to actually post something besides snarkiness...a Jim Hall version.

    All Across the City (the album) is my desert island album.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  9. #8

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    Getting round it's not a problem, doing something more interesting with it as a chord-melody probably is :-)


  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues View Post
    All Across the City (the album) is my desert island album.
    I've been listening to pieces of it on Youtube (Spotify doesn't have it) and it's real nice. His tone and playing are supreme.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrplrfla View Post
    A great choice and an example of Ellington's chromaticism. A chordal work out, for certain !
    I found this version by Eddie Duran , which I think is beautifully done.

    Mighty fine playing... and those cuffs are fabulous if you are one of the three musketeers!

  12. #11

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    Sorry, I'm bored with this tune!


  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Sorry, I'm bored with this tune!

    Man you seem to have a low tolerance on the boredom front. The boredom barrier is often the door to some real creativity.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Getting round it's not a problem, doing something more interesting with it as a chord-melody probably is :-)
    Part of the problem is that the tune has already incorporated compositionally the tritone subs and chromaticism that we typically use for variety and improvisation. I enjoy chord-melody playing of this tune, but I can't do much with melodic improvisation yet.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  15. #14

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    This song is not that hard if you use the right arrangement. That said, I haven't learned it yet but Steve Crowell has a really nice arrangement. Here's Dick's take on his piece, youtube. ~Cheers!



  16. #15

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    Man you seem to have a low tolerance on the boredom front.
    I do, you're right. I've played this now several times and... what can I say? I wasn't bored with Satin Doll, that was fun. This one, not so much.

    I've already done a CM. All the right sounds, etc, but a bit so what. Probably the way I play them :-)

    That new version above has been reharmonised with tritones. It's acceptable because it echoes the chromatic melody lines.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I do, you're right. I've played this now several times and... what can I say? I wasn't bored with Satin Doll, that was fun. This one, not so much.

    I've already done a CM. All the right sounds, etc, but a bit so what. Probably the way I play them :-)

    That new version above has been reharmonised with tritones. It's acceptable because it echoes the chromatic melody lines.
    Just kidding around with you!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Just kidding around with you!
    No, no, it's important. Some tunes hit the spot and it affects how you play them. Really, Prelude is basically just quite a sweet tune that's been spiced up a bit with syncopation in the bridge and chromatic runs. But really it's fairly basic.

  19. #18

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    Here you go. Tune starts at 2.32.


  20. #19

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    I thank you for the invitation, but I haven't the equipment necessary , just an old acoustic and a vast music collection !

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster View Post
    There's a solo version by Joe Pass, too, that's nice. But, let's hear you do it, gtrplrfla!
    I thank you for the invitation, but I lack the necessary equipment and only possess an old acoustic round-hole
    and an enviable music collection !

  22. #21

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    So here's my shot at this tune. The chord-melody for the head I first learned in the 1990's using the Crowell arrangement DutchBopper shared above, but I've drifted a long way from it in the mean time. The attempt at improvisation could be better, but I decided I wanted to try, and post it, even though this is where I always fall short. For now I just seem to land on arpeggios. I guess it could be worse.

    I'm playing this 1970's Aria Pro II PE180 *(L5ces clone, and a fantastic one) through a 1960's Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve Head, and using the 2 10" speakers in the Yamaha G100-210 as the cabinet. It's a very nice combination! This old 6L6 powered Silvertone is a lot of fun to play through.

    Last edited by lawson-stone; 05-11-2019 at 06:34 PM.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22

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    I still have Satin Doll to complete, but here's my Prelude ...

    http://www.noiseinthebasement.com/mp...0kiss%2001.mp3

  24. #23

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    This is a sort of bluesy version. I'll spare you the whole tune at the beginning.


  25. #24

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    Damn Ragman! I wish I could crank out stuff like you. Still working on them arpeggios......

  26. #25

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    Hi Bahnzo -

    Well, it took a bit of time but not much if you know the subs. You remember all that minorisation stuff.

    On the first effort, not very good, I saw the first two bars as a run-down to F, the second as a run-down to Dm, and the next as a run-down to C. So I just played major scales, I think. The bridge was just E and G major, G because playing the relative major over the minor works (F#m7b5/B7b9 = Em = G maj). The dissonance doesn't matter as long as it resolves. That's the theory anyway :-)

    Then I thought it was slow enough to do something with each bar using subs, mostly minor triads for altered sounds over the doms, so D7 (Ebm) - G7 (Abm) - C7 (C#m) - FM7 - B7 (Fm, alt sub off the 3rd) - E7 (Fm) - A7 (Bbm) - Dm. Most of those minor subs represent alt scales/melodic minors so that gives you more notes than a bland triad so you can do lines. I was probably lucky it worked.

    The bluesy one used different subs and turned them into blues pentatonics a lot - D7 (Ebm blues) - G7 - C7 (Am, 13 sound) - FM7 (Dm) - B7 (Bm blues) - E7 (Dm, b9 sound) - A7 (C7, relative maj) - Dm.

    That's the idea. Takes a bit of experimentation but it's easier once you get into it.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Takes a bit of experimentation but it's easier once you get into it.
    That's true. I'm still working on the thread Lawson posted(btw Lawson, very nice take up there, re: Prelude) about TWNBAY, experimenting with different ideas while trying to keep the melody in mind. I keep telling myself I'm going to work on these monthly standards...and then I get sidetracked.

  28. #27

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    sidetracked
    Nah, you're playing what you really want to play. Quite right too :-)

  29. #28

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    prelude

    NOUN

    an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important :-)


  30. #29

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    Here is my go at the tune.




    andyb

  31. #30

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    %"*! me, signs of life!

    Well done, Andy, a lot of that was very nice :-)

  32. #31

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    I wasn't going to post this... what with someone in another thread telling me I'm "mediocre" and in a PM that I "suck" and was "lower than sh*t" but hey, I never claimed to be Joe Pass, and you folks have always been helpful and encouraging, so your reward is... I post!

    What I'm enjoying about "Prelude" is that it gives a great workout for dominant-7th chords in a cycle pattern. I've never been good at linking arpeggios so I decided to make this tune a little project in doing that.

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  33. #32

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    Lawson...

    Well, first of all, I like your arrangement of the head enough that I think I'll learn it from this video.

    I think the biggest thing for you to work on here is time. You're rushing on the head, and then floating a bit on the solo.

    You settle in a bit on the second chorus, but then you pull out some of those lines from a book...which are just terrible. The lines are terrible in the first place, not your playing, and they're not YOU.

    When you play YOU you always sound great. Put the books away and just play. You're far better than mediocre, you certainly dont suck, and anybody who'd call you shit is a jealous asshole who can't play. Guaranteed.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  34. #33

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    Lawson, That was really nice my man.
    I am really praying that someone didn’t really make that comment to you.
    If they did, that was awful and inaccurate. You’ve come such a long way as a player and I think you are doing great bro. So, to anyone making those rude comments, go somewhere else. Lawson is my boy and he is doing just great.
    Joe D

  35. #34

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    there you go Lawson. Great commentary from one of the best players we got around here.
    thats why I love Jeff. He tells it like it is. No BS.
    JD
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Lawson...

    Well, first of all, I like your arrangement of the head enough that I think I'll learn it from this video.

    I think the biggest thing for you to work on here is time. You're rushing on the head, and then floating a bit on the solo.

    You settle in a bit on the second chorus, but then you pull out some of those lines from a book...which are just terrible. The lines are terrible in the first place, not your playing, and they're not YOU.

    When you play YOU you always sound great. Put the books away and just play. You're far better than mediocre, you certainly dont suck, and anybody who'd call you shit is a jealous asshole who can't play. Guaranteed.

  36. #35

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    Hi Lawson, That sounded great to me.
    Whoever said the harmful and untrue things is probably jealous, they should be kicked off the forum.
    you are an awesome guy that has always been supportive to me. Keep posting, I for one appreciate what you’re doing.

    May 2019 - Prelude to a Kiss-39eff6a6-37e0-4109-8987-4e260cedb660-jpeg

    Andyb

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I wasn't going to post this... what with someone in another thread telling me I'm "mediocre" and in a PM that I "suck" and was "lower than sh*t" but hey, I never claimed to be Joe Pass, and you folks have always been helpful and encouraging, so your reward is... I post!
    If someone tells me my playing sucks, I just agree with them. If they say my ears suck, those are fighting words! ;-)
    Don’t stop posting. We’re just sharing our progress, not showing off.
    A few years ago someone told me to make every note count—like a kiss. I think they attributed that idea to Miles Davis, but I haven’t been able to verify it.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Lawson...

    Well, first of all, I like your arrangement of the head enough that I think I'll learn it from this video.

    I think the biggest thing for you to work on here is time. You're rushing on the head, and then floating a bit on the solo.

    You settle in a bit on the second chorus, but then you pull out some of those lines from a book...which are just terrible. The lines are terrible in the first place, not your playing, and they're not YOU.

    When you play YOU you always sound great. Put the books away and just play. You're far better than mediocre, you certainly dont suck, and anybody who'd call you shit is a jealous asshole who can't play. Guaranteed.
    Thanks Mr. B. You have a great gift for truly constructive criticism that I appreciate very much. As I said in the post, one thing I'm "drilling" on in this is arpeggios, so the 2nd chorus has some mechanical parts. I'd love to know what lines specifically you think are terrible so I can banish them from my life forever. I don't recollect any of them being from books, but some I do recall were just scale runs.

    I am still trying to figure out what is actually "me" in my playing. Still not sure, but having fun flailing around in it.

    Thanks for your substantive and helpful feedback!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Lawson, That was really nice my man.
    I am really praying that someone didn’t really make that comment to you.
    If they did, that was awful and inaccurate. You’ve come such a long way as a player and I think you are doing great bro. So, to anyone making those rude comments, go somewhere else. Lawson is my boy and he is doing just great.
    Joe D
    Yeah that was really said in a series of harassing PMs. The person has since been banned. Thanks for having my back!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyb View Post
    Hi Lawson, That sounded great to me.
    Whoever said the harmful and untrue things is probably jealous, they should be kicked off the forum.
    you are an awesome guy that has always been supportive to me. Keep posting, I for one appreciate what you’re doing.



    Andyb
    Thanks Andy. We gotta stick together. The person who made those comments was clearly pretty disturbed and they're gone now.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    If someone tells me my playing sucks, I just agree with them. If they say my ears suck, those are fighting words! ;-)
    Don’t stop posting. We’re just sharing our progress, not showing off.
    A few years ago someone told me to make every note count—like a kiss. I think they attributed that idea to Miles Davis, but I haven’t been able to verify it.
    Thanks. I like to say "I'm not making history, just trying to make music." I don't plan to stop. This forum has done so much for my playing, I couldn't leave.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Lawson...

    Well, first of all, I like your arrangement of the head enough that I think I'll learn it from this video.

    I think the biggest thing for you to work on here is time. You're rushing on the head, and then floating a bit on the solo.

    You settle in a bit on the second chorus, but then you pull out some of those lines from a book...which are just terrible. The lines are terrible in the first place, not your playing, and they're not YOU.

    When you play YOU you always sound great. Put the books away and just play. You're far better than mediocre, you certainly dont suck, and anybody who'd call you shit is a jealous asshole who can't play. Guaranteed.
    Mr. B.
    I have a question that I'd like to hear your serious thoughts on. On a couple of my clips, you've commented on the difference between "me" and lines I learned from books (or something like that). But here's my question.

    Everything you think is "me" was once a line I learned from a book! The head to "Prelude" was originally learned from Steve Crowell's books, though it has evolved/devolved considerably since then.

    How do I learn new jazz vocabulary, new ideas, without them sounding forced or awkward at least in the beginning? Everything that is "me" was once learned the old-fashioned way, from books, recordings, a teacher, and felt odd and unnatural.

    Unlike many, when I post here, I don't post my most excellent take. I pick one that pretty much shows where I am at the moment. Not my best, not my worst, just "median" playing. Sometimes I post stuff that I'm trying to figure out, experiments. Like on Prelude here, I was drilling on linking dom. 7th chord arpeggios through the cycle.

    So could you help me, and feel free to use my clip, I'm not offended by specifying parts you see as flawed, and give me some perspective on "the real me" vs. lines learned from books or what doesn't work. And your comments on the process of assimilating new vocabulary and ideas, which it seems to me always starts out awkward and forced, would be welcome.

    I am not defending my playing here, but wanting to drill down to the next level (speaking of clichés!!!).

    I know I won't be disappointed with your response. Few on this forum have helped me as much as you have.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  43. #42

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    I'd be happy to expound on that stuff. I'll have some time at lunch today to take a closer listen.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I'd be happy to expound on that stuff. I'll have some time at lunch today to take a closer listen.
    Thanks! Believe me, I do not take it for granted that this consumes your time and attention.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  45. #44

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    Ok, took another listen.

    So yeah, I talk a lot about YOU versus what sounds… well..like not you. It really comes down to comfort level. But from what I can hear in your playing, when you are learning a lick or idea you tend to play it very strtaight, as if you’re reading it off paper. When you’re playing what I’m calling “YOU,” it might just be material you’re more comfortable with, but the end result is you lay back on the beat a little, accent notes differently (or accent them at all) and generally, you swing.

    I would still say taking ideas off records is better than books, but we all have different ways of learning.

    Ok, so a little analysis of your solo…

    Opening lick sounds canned, very “Bob Conti” ish…the funny thing about the Bob Conti stuff is that it is SOOOOO lame and square (and I’m positive Bob thinks so too)—but it’s great for learning how to play changes, and even Bob suggests to not play his stuff “straight.” So basically once you assimilate it completely, you’ve got great ideas, but the process is a bit ugly. It’s like making sausage. Something tells me Bob would like that analogy.

    But what makes it stand out is the timing…slow tempos are tough! You almost have to lay back even a bit more, because if you play right on the beat this slow, it sounds really stiff. It’s tricky. My defense mechanism is if you hear me play a ballad, I’ll almost never play straight 8ths.

    You can really hear a shift in your comfort level when you switch to double time on the second chorus—but more on that later.

    The following lick is nice, half step approaches and then getting up the neck with some chromatics…maybe wanted a stronger resolution, but you can hear how much more comfortable you are there…clearly, that’s an idea you’ve assimilated.

    This follows with a little descending diminished thing that you end going back up and cap the line with a double stop. Really liked that.

    You get into some bluesy arpeggio ideas next, which I like. You seem to be fishing for an ending to some of these lines, starting with confidence, but then it’s like your brain kicks in thinking and says “follow the changes” instead of “keep going with the melody.” Or something. Happens to me all the time. I usually make a guitar face about that point.

    Double time kicks in…and now I’m hearing Lawson. You sound laid back, your time is soooo much more in pocket, and you pull off some really nice lines…There’s a great boppy line ending around 3:05 or so. Look at your body language—now you’re feeling it. You’re playing YOU.

    Then we slow back down…

    You go back to an earlier idea, which is totally fine, bookending a solo, creating a shape…but listen to your time…you’re out of that comfort zone again. Good news is, the way to get better is just to keep playing a lot of slow ballads, which I don’t think you’ll find too painfulJ

    The lines that seem to mess with your time the most are again ones that sound canned to me—the arpeggio lines where notes ring together…and that is a tough thing to keep in time, no two ways about it.

    Overall, there's nothing in there that isn't going to work itself out with time and repetition really. Keep at it brother!
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Ok, took another listen.

    So yeah, I talk a lot about YOU versus what sounds… well..like not you. It really comes down to comfort level. But from what I can hear in your playing, when you are learning a lick or idea you tend to play it very strtaight, as if you’re reading it off paper. When you’re playing what I’m calling “YOU,” it might just be material you’re more comfortable with, but the end result is you lay back on the beat a little, accent notes differently (or accent them at all) and generally, you swing.

    I would still say taking ideas off records is better than books, but we all have different ways of learning.

    Ok, so a little analysis of your solo…

    Opening lick sounds canned, very “Bob Conti” ish…the funny thing about the Bob Conti stuff is that it is SOOOOO lame and square (and I’m positive Bob thinks so too)—but it’s great for learning how to play changes, and even Bob suggests to not play his stuff “straight.” So basically once you assimilate it completely, you’ve got great ideas, but the process is a bit ugly. It’s like making sausage. Something tells me Bob would like that analogy.

    But what makes it stand out is the timing…slow tempos are tough! You almost have to lay back even a bit more, because if you play right on the beat this slow, it sounds really stiff. It’s tricky. My defense mechanism is if you hear me play a ballad, I’ll almost never play straight 8ths.

    You can really hear a shift in your comfort level when you switch to double time on the second chorus—but more on that later.

    The following lick is nice, half step approaches and then getting up the neck with some chromatics…maybe wanted a stronger resolution, but you can hear how much more comfortable you are there…clearly, that’s an idea you’ve assimilated.

    This follows with a little descending diminished thing that you end going back up and cap the line with a double stop. Really liked that.

    You get into some bluesy arpeggio ideas next, which I like. You seem to be fishing for an ending to some of these lines, starting with confidence, but then it’s like your brain kicks in thinking and says “follow the changes” instead of “keep going with the melody.” Or something. Happens to me all the time. I usually make a guitar face about that point.

    Double time kicks in…and now I’m hearing Lawson. You sound laid back, your time is soooo much more in pocket, and you pull off some really nice lines…There’s a great boppy line ending around 3:05 or so. Look at your body language—now you’re feeling it. You’re playing YOU.

    Then we slow back down…

    You go back to an earlier idea, which is totally fine, bookending a solo, creating a shape…but listen to your time…you’re out of that comfort zone again. Good news is, the way to get better is just to keep playing a lot of slow ballads, which I don’t think you’ll find too painfulJ

    The lines that seem to mess with your time the most are again ones that sound canned to me—the arpeggio lines where notes ring together…and that is a tough thing to keep in time, no two ways about it.

    Overall, there's nothing in there that isn't going to work itself out with time and repetition really. Keep at it brother!
    Thanks! This is like getting a lesson and it has been DECADES since I took a lesson. You've invested a lot of attention and time into my little clip and everything you've said clicks for me. I don't know of any Conti ideas that I actually tried to use, but I get the idea. I had the notion of trying to arpeggiate through the changes using linking notes but I think the mechanics of it got a bit messy. I also literally can't figure out the changes in some places, despite having some lead sheets to look at. At the end of the A sections when it resolves to C my instincts are to move up to A7 in preparation for the D7 at the second A section... but the lead sheets say Dm7 there... so I need to decide what I'm going to play and just play it like I know what I'm doing.

    The bridge was literally a mental blank. I had some ideas, but when I got to it I got confused and so... just played what I thought would be fun, so you actually nailed me exactly on that. It's funny that you liked that when I was thinking "Run some scales and live to tell the tale." The boppish lick at 3:05 was also something I don't ever recall playing before! Again, it was a desperate moment, I couldn't remember what I wanted to play, wasn't sure where I was.

    So maybe I need to try more freestyle improvisation? The stuff you thought was best was my least prepared and most spontaneous, which is encouraging.

    I'm going to print out your post and think more about it. Getting such concrete feedback on my playing from somebody who I have confidence in is a rare privilege indeed.

    Thank you!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  47. #46

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    Wow, the last few posts from Mr. B and Mr. L-S represent the best of what this forum has to offer—thoughtful and friendly insights and give & take. It’s encouraging.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post

    So maybe I need to try more freestyle improvisation? The stuff you thought was best was my least prepared and most spontaneous, which is encouraging.


    Thank you!
    Most welcome.

    How much are you planning ahead now?

    I've posted about this here before, but I feel like I should mention it again, see what other people think. It's like there's multiple levels of improv and the mindstate you're in when improvising...

    The simplest level is you're thinking, you're planning, there's canned licks, you might misfire and throw off a whole chorus because you landed on the wrong beat or something. I call this phase "you tell your fingers where to go."

    Then we get into another state, we've practiced, assimilated some stuff, done the legwork, and things start to "just happen." It's autopilot. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it blows. I call this "your fingers tell you where to go."

    Then there's a higher level, where we can think and react in the moment. We might even be able to hear whole solos ahead of time, or parts of them, or visualize a shape of a solo and play to it. When can adapt and change based on accompanyment. This phase is "YOU tell your fingers where to go."

    It's not like some graduated scheme, like "Im a level 3 player." We are all at once in all three levels and could be knocked out of or into another at any given moment...

    So when you said that you blanked and that bridge "just happened," that's not a bad thing at all, as it shows you've done the legwork...if you blank and you haven't put in the work, it sounds...pretty different

    Basically, I feel like you're doing everything right. You clearly know what you want to play, you know your strengths and limitations, you record not to make pretty little "perfect takes" to share on social media but to keep kind of an audio/video diary that you can go back and be critical of.

    Honestly, the thing you should work on this weekend is to listen to Grant Green and Kenny Burrell play ballads with an organ trio. There's that laid back feel you only get in that environment for some reason...absorb a bunch of that and listen to what it does for your phrasing on those slooooow tempos. Because they are HARD.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Most welcome.

    How much are you planning ahead now?

    I've posted about this here before, but I feel like I should mention it again, see what other people think. It's like there's multiple levels of improv and the mindstate you're in when improvising...

    The simplest level is you're thinking, you're planning, there's canned licks, you might misfire and throw off a whole chorus because you landed on the wrong beat or something. I call this phase "you tell your fingers where to go."

    Then we get into another state, we've practiced, assimilated some stuff, done the legwork, and things start to "just happen." It's autopilot. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it blows. I call this "your fingers tell you where to go."

    Then there's a higher level, where we can think and react in the moment. We might even be able to hear whole solos ahead of time, or parts of them, or visualize a shape of a solo and play to it. When can adapt and change based on accompanyment. This phase is "YOU tell your fingers where to go."

    It's not like some graduated scheme, like "Im a level 3 player." We are all at once in all three levels and could be knocked out of or into another at any given moment...

    So when you said that you blanked and that bridge "just happened," that's not a bad thing at all, as it shows you've done the legwork...if you blank and you haven't put in the work, it sounds...pretty different

    Basically, I feel like you're doing everything right. You clearly know what you want to play, you know your strengths and limitations, you record not to make pretty little "perfect takes" to share on social media but to keep kind of an audio/video diary that you can go back and be critical of.

    Honestly, the thing you should work on this weekend is to listen to Grant Green and Kenny Burrell play ballads with an organ trio. There's that laid back feel you only get in that environment for some reason...absorb a bunch of that and listen to what it does for your phrasing on those slooooow tempos. Because they are HARD.
    I've actually done a lot of planning because I have been prone to run the same scales and licks over and over so I'm trying to broaden my skills. I never really nailed arpeggios in all forms, from any note but just kind of "slide to ROOT-3-5-9-7" I think you know that lick! So I'm trying to make sure I know where my chord tones are at least for Maj, Minor7 Dom7, m7b5, and diminished. So nowadays I tend to want to try and use that.

    I also have learned a ton of Jimmy Raney solos (as you know) and that vocabulary is wonderful but I have not yet been able to transfer it into my own playing very consistently. I think that will need to be osmosis. Raney also has been messing with my time and what rhythmic figures I use. Currently I have maybe 4 rhythmic patterns that control every phase I play. Obviously that needs to expand.

    I also find that while I play really nice (I think) chord-melody, I have trouble when I play the melody as a single-note line connecting melody notes with neighboring chord-tones and such. It's almost like the melody exists in my head without the harmony, and the chords exist without the melody, except for my C-M playing.

    So in my Prelude solo, the opening A section was definitely "telling my fingers" to play this dom7 arpeggio, connect to the next by a half-step, play the next one, etc. The second A section felt a little better to me. I ws having trouble hearing the backing track, and the bassist on that track does some odd stuff, like a human bassist will.

    The bridge was "Oh God where am I? This isn't what I planned to do! Play something. Play anything. Just do it." Not sure where that fits in your scheme! Evidently all the shedding on this tune came through and as i watched it I liked the bridge more than the rest.

    The idea of a solo or section of a solo having a shape is interesting. I think I've felt that a few times on this, kind of a mental picture of a part of the solo. But it kind of evaporates when I miss a change.

    Good thoughts, thank you again for the lesson(s). I might try another chorus next week, see if I can get into that elusive pocket a bit sooner and stay in it a bit longer!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  50. #49

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    Yeah, Jeffy B!

    You show em all how we grade school teachers do it!

    In all seriousness, Lawson-Stone--whoever told you off on a PM should get a life.

    Everyone I talk to, professional or not, we all have our self doubts.

    Check out this video by Larry Koonse on self doubt (he talks at the very beginning):



    I was lucky enough to take one lesson--just one--with Larry at his house. He is the real deal and what he talks about with self doubt
    rings true for so many of us--that self hatred of our playing--I still fight with that problem.

    Here's the thing. I don't wanna be crass, but Lawson-Stone--you have the cajones to continually post videos of your playing without fail. I don't post as much because I get scared off--and recording is so annoying with my setup...

    Anyway, I agree with listening to organ trio stuff. I'd throw in Peter Bernstein, just because I am on such a Larry Goldings trip right now--it ain't even funny. Of all the organ trios I've heard these days---yikes, Larry Goldings does something special--but having Pete B and Bill Stewart is something special as well.

    I think the hardest thing to master--is time. You can have the hippest licks in the world, but they won't mean dirt without time--rhythm, placement, all that. When I critique my own playing, I am usually getting really granular with how I handle time--and I know when my stuff isn't swinging.

    That said, keep fighting the good fight. I'm being totally transparent here, you've made leaps and bounds your playing since I started looking at your videos a couple of years ago--I'm jealous of that progress.

    Keep at it, and listen to Jeffy B--he'll learn us all some

  51. #50

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    As a parting shot I've done a chord melody thing. I'm NOT good at these, you can probably hear me struggling a bit, but it is wot it is. It probably ought to be swung too, and it's not. Anyway, roll on the next tune :-)