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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack

    Always go to the source, then you can proceed as an informed interpreter, creator or whatever...
    Fair warning. I will often NOT be using the original composer's source materials. I've got lots of broadway scores and their chordal readings and interpreted harmonic readings are often far from the versions we, as jazz interpreters, work with.
    Different. The originals served the broadway stage production better, the versions we know have been handed down as part of a canon of knowledge. I use the illegal Real Book version 6 as my go-to.

    David

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz


    I see people who get stuck in their fingers, trapped in habits formed for security and unable to see the forest from the trees, one step above being lost in a solo who's goal is to get to the end of a piece without a train wreck. THAT is what this thread is about.

    At one tune a week, there's no time for polishing, but there IS a daily chance to increase your awareness of structure, hone your abilities to hear and confront changes, build a working vocabulary of melodic language, see the ways these things can be used and develop the confidence to bring yourself to EVERY playing situation as a strong and expressive composer. THAT's the goal of these weekly exercises.


    I will address the mechanisms of transcriptions in future weeks. I've set the groundwork by strongly suggesting that you learn the tunes by Roman Numeral harmonic structure. Start now while the tune is straight forward.
    I have a list of 52 topics I'll introduce weekly.
    Good time to ask all of you:
    What are some really important questions, mysteries, stumbling blocks, guiding ideas or requests for weekly topics? This is our playground after all.

    David
    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?-first-three-al-png
    I believe you have caught me just where I want to be in this thread idea.
    I'll repeat the tenant, "own the tune"...it is what I believe drove the dance band pro into jazz in the first place.
    (Not to disregard the art form.)
    Here are the first three notes in A Dorian (Gmaj7).

    Get in the mode!

  4. #28

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    I'm luckier than many: My dad played soundtrack albums around the house from my earliest memory, and also sang. Maybe I was 3. So, at least in a 3-year-old way, I knew the songs from My Fair Lady, the overture to Porgy and Bess, etc. We saw West Side Story when it came out in '62 or so, also saw My Fair Lady on Broadway.

    The seed having been planted, years later I had further luck studying and hanging out after-hours with a great teacher, the late John Foca of Mill Basin, Brooklyn. John told me that on one of his first gigs he worked with a guitarist, and 'he couldn't play a f'ing chorus---but if I played one wrong chord in a song he literally slapped my face'. John gave me the same tough love. When I messed up or acted the fool musically he'd slap my face just a little, and: 'SHIMINUD! When are you gonna become a MUSICIAN?!' I was like 21, and very impressed that he knew tunes like Ace in the Hole. He played club dates and his band probably knew hundreds, if not thousands of tunes. That's the kind of musician I wanted to be, and at 63 I think I may be at least part of the way there. Anyway, after soul-searching and checking out so many approaches to playing I feel that my role is to be a presenter of great songs. Presenter, not interpreter---that's there, it's always gonna come out you. All you have to do is get out of the way and turn on the faucet. People need to hear great songs like sick people need medicine or a chiropractor.

    My only regret is that I'm not a better singer, the better to present these songs. There's only so much, I feel, that can be said with notes. But I've been singing more in public, maybe one ballad a gig. And as far as playing, I called my CD Melody Messenger.

    The songs are a forever study, and will keep us all humble and focused...

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz


    I worked with a vocalist. I didn't even write down the keys we'd do a tune in. She'd hum a bar or two and count it off. I learned more than I can describe.
    David
    Working with singers---good, bad or indifferent, is the best training we can have.

    Many years ago I played with a godawful lounge band---Mafia joints in Brooklyn. One time a girl wanted to sing Somewhere. No one would even try to follow her---except stupid me, and I could not even get out of the gate. No clue, even though I'd heard the song since I was a child. I realized I had a LOT of work to do.

    When I became more competent I started to work with real singers---including a few great ones. The most memorable gig of my life, jazz or no, was accompanying a singer from L.A., Hadda Brooks. We worked around a month at Michael's Pub in NY, and it didn't take long to see that, at least for my taste, she may have been one of the best ballad singers ever. Anyway, she sang The Thrill is Gone (the standard, not the B.B. King tune) every night, getting up from the piano to go to the front mic. She did it rubato, with just me strumming lightly and bassist Morris Edwards bowing. It never failed to give me chills, and if I can somehow learn to get that depth of feeling out of a guitar...

    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-02-2017 at 02:22 PM.

  6. #30

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    I'm just speaking for myself, but I realized when I decided to try to do this earlier that the reason I needed to do this was that, before, I was much too pretentious and full of myself, basically putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

    My goal was to not go through 1,000 elaborate theories of improvisation, but something much more mundane, basic and elemental:

    Do I know the song in such a stone cold fashion that I don't even have to think about the melody, chords and form?

    To wit: can I sing it? Can I play the melody in all registers (i.e., all places on the neck)? Can I comp the backing chords everywhere on the neck, no matter where I may be at any given moment? Can I find at least ONE way of playing the tune straight through, in time, with self-accompaniment (no backing tracks).

    I can't say that I do with any particular song, but I do know how to play a bunch of songs much better now. The goal is to get progressively better and more familiar with the material.

    I think many people were like me: if you are struggling to remember the tune, the solo's gonna suck.

  7. #31

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    I'm early enough on my guitar path that I'm likely to participate at a far different level and perhaps intention than many as well. But I think it will be good to walk along the path laid out and work at my level taking the challenge to find what I can on each tune and enjoy the journey.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    I'm gonna use this as a way to put into practice all the Barry Harris Science I've been absorbing of late since I bought and started going through his 8 DVDs of material, recently.

    Practically speaking, for example, this is a way to, as he (or Alan Kingstone) says, "play with the family members-brothers and sisters".

    So, no ii-Vs, but the unifying factor between the major (G) and the relative minor (E minor) is that the V chords of the these two are, in fact, "brothers and sisters" D7 and B7. (They have two other brothers and sisters, F7 and Ab7)l.
    I've been around Barry for many years. I met him in '76, and was in the class at the Jazz Forum from '80 on---and literally lived at the Jazz Cultural Theater for a bit.

    My weakness is theory, so when he would tell us to 'run from the 5th to...., then do it backwards', etc. I was lost and felt like a moron. Just not my thing to think and play that fast, and it didn't help that others were parroting what he said and playing it right back.

    But what I really got from him was more important to me: playing along with the singers in class and learning the songs in their keys. The tempo was always the same, so it was transposing, and playing rhythm guitar along with Murray Wall, the piano students (who were all good professional players) and the drummer whose name I never knew. Barry, for whatever else he does, really knows the songs to play, sing and teach. He also regularly presented a master of the ASB, the late Chris Anderson, in concert every chance he had.

    Barry may have his theory stuff, but to me---like pretty much all the players of his generation---he is a song maven of the highest order...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-02-2017 at 03:03 PM.

  9. #33

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    Hey there, guido5. Hey there NSJ. I hear you loud and clear.
    I'll tell you something nobody likes to talk about when it comes to playing jazz: Wasting time. Wasting time worrying if you're good enough to get a teacher. Wasting time wondering where and how to get started. Wasting time feeling like it's all something that will come in its own time. Honestly, it's much easier to buy a shiny guitar and know you have something beautiful than to gamble with an uncertain future that you don't know how to grab, no less unwrap and start to enjoy.
    Really, it's just a song, your guitar and you. If you're an absolute beginner, ask questions. There are SO many answers to be had and a handy thread to use as a lab for answers. If you've been doing this a little while but finding the time to apply everyone else's advice is an issue, here's 50 minutes to relax and try things out. If you play from a lead sheet but long for the day when you can just let the ideas flow, then here are pieces and some pointers on what the DOING can teach you. If you've been playing a while and want a new approach to integrate that cycle 6 voice led Melodic Minor progression into a standard, then at some time I'll discuss Outside and Inside and you'll have the slow to fast treatment of a piece to try it.

    Yeah, I wasted a LOT of time waiting for the "lesson". It was in the music. I got this when I found a good playing partner. The piece itself taught me more than any teacher could.

    Guitarist John Scofield started to teach at NYU a few years ago. Just as he was starting, he sagely said to me "I have no idea what I'm gonna do. You know what they say, "Jazz can be learned, but it can't be taught."
    The song is you.
    Do. Ask. Learn. Play.

    David

  10. #34

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    I'm in. May not post publicly until later on but will be playing, learning, logging, analysing and reflecting.
    Thank you David

  11. #35

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    Somebody was telling me not practice sequences and patterns because “that’s not music dammit “

    Then I look at “autumn leaves” and see a beautiful, iconic Melody made up of descending step-wise, partial diatonic sequences that act as a call with the response being an intervalic leap of a perfect fourth or a major third .

    Well imagine that, amazing. Good thing the great composers don’t listen to idiots .

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    Somebody was telling me not practice sequences and patterns because “that’s not music dammit “

    Then I look at “autumn leaves” and see a beautiful, iconic Melody made up of descending step-wise, partial diatonic sequences that act as a call with the response being an intervalic leap of a perfect fourth or a major third .

    Well imagine that, amazing. Good thing the great composers don’t listen to idiots .
    Excellent study of a motific sequential use of pickup notes to... a single note target.
    This is an excellent piece to realize developing ideas, sequences, lyrical contrasts with sequential melodic work.
    There's a wealth of material in practicing sequences with awareness: kinesthetic proficiency, melodic and intervallic fluency, studies in continuity, expanding awareness of the power of shape, the ability to contrast blocks of melodic material of varying length in the employment of a meaning context, rhythmicizing pattern to impart shifting note weight into sequential patterns, learning to think in sounds larger than the single note duration... and SO much more, if you're smart about it. It can be potent material.
    Of course if you're stupid about any music material you might get away with pretty for a little while but it's still gonna be stupid. Sequences are not music, they're phrases of commonality arranged in the service of aesthetics and ordered by an underlying logic. That's music dammit.

    David

  13. #37

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    I did some work on this last night, not an hour I must admit.

    To my ears playing F# minor blues sounded best? Is that possible? Why?

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez
    I did some work on this last night, not an hour I must admit.

    To my ears playing F# minor blues sounded best? Is that possible? Why?
    If you hear it, and you play with conviction what you believe is right, it sounds like it belongs. I could see where the F# blues would fit, especially in the bridge. Third bar into the bridge, slide yourself down a whole tone and play an E minor blues scale there. What do you think?

    Try breaking the piece into sections, you'll hear where they might be. Then try finding a sense of tonality or centre in there. Play to that. Let your ear take you, then find out where you are and after that, figure out the reason it works.

    This'll help you become familiar with the structure of the piece so you can play to that by ear. Give it a try.

    David

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    The piece is in the key of G for this version.
    --- snip---

    G is your I chord.
    ------snip------

    Have fun.
    David
    No it isn't. Autumn Leaves is a minor key song, in this case E minor.

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    No it isn't. Autumn Leaves is a minor key song, in this case E minor.
    Right you are.
    I think of it as a song with a bi-modal feel to it, a minor/major relationship so that's why I made that call. I also see G major and E minor as being so closely akin that in the actual playing of the tune there's a shifting minor and major give and take. But you are absolutely right.
    I hope my calling it G didn't cause any long term distress.

    DonEsteban, you can ignore my analysis of the tune and think of it as you will, do you see the opening chords as v minor going to a III major? That's just confusing to me.

    David
    Last edited by TH; 10-03-2017 at 07:36 PM.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    No it isn't. Autumn Leaves is a minor key song, in this case E minor.
    You're both wrong, sorry.

    If we're in G/E Min the first 2 chords are A Min 7//// D7////...

    I agree with whoever said it's in both relative major and relative minor. The first half pulls toward G---rel. maj. 2nd half (bridge to last A) is more in E min---rel. min. No key change, just a different emphasis from the beginning to the 2nd half...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 10-03-2017 at 07:56 PM.

  18. #42

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    OK OK OK, the piece is in F# Locrian, OK? Just wanted to see who the first one was who'd be astute enough to catch that.
    I'm gonna keep the prize money for myself.

    On with practice, call it whatever helps you see it. As I've said, the tune is the project. Anything I might add is for insight, contemplation and certainly not for confusion.

    Keep the fingers moving. This is a playing thread.
    David

  19. #43

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    Alright, alright. I know I share too much because my wife tells me all the time. I plan to occasionally post a recording just to keep me honest. Here's my first stab at Autumn Leaves for the week. I have to say it's quite liberating not having the rhythmic restrictions of the straight-up Superchops method. So I like where we are headed, David!

    Autumn Leaves a super-ballad: 48 beats per minute, key of H demolished:


  20. #44

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    It's a lot easier for me to think of AL as a G6 tune; descending cycles of fifths A-D-G-C-F#-B-G6, like falling leaves.

    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?-autumn-leaves-fh-png

  21. #45

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    That's the way I hear it too...

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5
    That's the way I hear it too...
    This thread is not for me... i'm out here.

  23. #47

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    I should of read the original post closer I was more interested in learn tunes, because I have a tough time with it. This appear to me more Super Chops like so I probably will back to my other studies, but since I'm here.

    The things I been studying is look at thing in cadences and functional point of view as Von Freeman would say.

    First I see AL as a three bars of II V I in major. Bar 4 is the pivot to minor. Bars 5-8 are II V I I in the relative minor. S

    If playing fast further simplify bars 1 and 2 are dominant function, bar 3 is tonic. 4 still pivot. Then bar 5 and 6 are dominant function and bars 7 and 8 tonic.

    For me the faster the tempo the more you think in function than making every change. More advanced cats might reduce it to dominant function in major to dominant function in minor.

    For noobies to improv you can keep it simple too and focus on first four bar being clearly major sound, second four clearly minor. That's what is hard for noobs is it all same pitch collection, but you have to make them sound major then sound minor.

    So that's how i look at things at this point in time.

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    No it isn't. Autumn Leaves is a minor key song, in this case E minor.
    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1
    It's a lot easier for me to think of AL as a G6 tune; descending cycles of fifths A-D-G-C-F#-B-G6, like falling leaves.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    This thread is not for me... i'm out here.
    I'm going to state this right here and this goes for as long as the thread goes.
    This thread is for the betterment of any players who would like to improve their knowledge through a regular weekly encounter with real tunes.
    It's an adventure in ear training skills, fingerboard logistics, conceptual and theoretical fluency and we're all here with a common goal: to play better through playing.

    Any analysis I give is an attempt to clarify some aspect in taking music "off the page" and into our inner player.
    To this end, let's discuss ways we see the pieces in practical ways.
    This is not a a theoretical dick waving, it's us looking at a piece from slow to fast through the week and looking at some things that make the big picture clearer.

    Wilson 1, for sure a great way to see the piece, especially since the guitar is laid out so nicely in fourths. One thing to consider in this treatment is our actual playing strategies might be informed by the theory but build upon that too.
    If we're "playing" ideas for each measure, it challenges our ability to phrase longer lines. A phrase that follows a major section, followed by a phrase that focuses on an idea in minor still obeys the chords but also opens up a different spacial perspective. Does that make any sense?

    At the opposite extreme is seeing the entire piece to be played in a strict minor tonality. That would certainly be a legit theoretical reading but for practical use, to treat a solo space as a 36 bar aolean vamp is not my point here.

    So thank you all for the ongoing contributions. Let the music we play be the guidance for questions and answers we share with one another.

    David

  25. #49

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    This is good idea for a studygroup and I will also try to parcipate as much as possible. Thanks David for setting this up. New tune every week might be too much for me, but I will try to tag along.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhui
    This is good idea for a studygroup and I will also try to parcipate as much as possible. Thanks David for setting this up. New tune every week might be too much for me, but I will try to tag along.
    At any level it's a good thing to be playing, to be encountering and learning from new tunes. Unlike the Roberts thread I completed, this is NOT necessarily progressive. Come and go as you please. But just identify with the guitar above all else and find joy in playing. To that end, I'll provide tunes and handy thoughts.

    Every month the first tune will be the simplest followed by some increase in complexity each week. Next month we begin with a simple tune again...

    So know you're welcome!

    David