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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    Yes, so we'd pick a ratio, one per week. 1:2, 1:3, 2:3, 2:5 etc. Say we pick 2:3. So I'd need to be able to play every scale, 3 octaves, playing 2 notes for every 3 clicks and 3 notes for every 2 clicks, with the metronome very very slow (generally 40bpm or similar). Pianists would do this with each hand in a different rhythm but this is obviously not practical for guitar.

    Ed told me that Lennie taught this so you'd become very flexible pushing and pulling with time, and playing rhythmic games and such. Lennie loved Billie Holiday's phrasing apparently, and really wanted people to be able to be very free with a melody, and not as locked in. Ed always said that Lennie really idolized great ballad players, and really put an emphasis on playing ballads well.

    Does this help?
    Great , thank you . I shall incorporate this into my practice forthwith .
    Any other tips or ideas that you may want to pass on will be gratefully received .


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  3. #52

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    Definitely the biggest thing that helped my jazz playing was singing solos. You picked 12 solos from either Charlie Christian, Lester Young, or Louis Armstrong. Learn to sing all 12, one per week, As you learn them, keep singing the older ones every day. So do this for 12 weeks, singing them along with the record. Occasionally I'd repeat one for a second week if Ed didn't think I had it down. Then, same process, but sing one a week without the record. This is really, really hard. Then finally do this a third time but learn them on your instrument.

    After doing this, you could then pick Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro, or Bud Powell, and do the same thing. Ed said that Lennie preferred the earlier work of almost everyone, especially Bud for obvious reasons. He also said that Lennie felt Massey Hall was some of Bird's greatest playing, so, I learned most of those solos. They are very difficult and rhythmically very weird at times.

    Honestly the biggest benefit is the singing. It is clearly important to learn from Charlie Christian and how he approached things, so as a guitarist you can get a lot from learning those solos on the instrument. Lester's stuff also lays great on guitar.

    Bird and Bud are much more difficult on guitar, and I question the utility of getting those things to perfection, and I say that as someone who can play a bunch of parker solos along with the records pretty well. For me, the singing was far more important.

    Once, I asked Ed who he would recommend after Bird/Bud/Fats, and Ed said that Lennie would have recommended Freddie Hubbard, as he felt Freddie was the next major step in the language. Ed personally would have recommended Woody Shaw and Tom Harrell, both of whom Ed played with a bit. It's not a coincidence these are my favorite musicians.