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  1. #1

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    Hello all,

    Having been a member here for quite a few years I've finally got round to posting something!

    I'm attempting to play along to Romaine from the album Undercurrent (Bill Evans and Jim Hall), but I'm having real trouble following the timing of the piece. Does anyone have any tips on how to identify the beat on this tune? While I think I'm managing to figure out the notes and timing within phrases ok (by my standards), I'm pretty much just guessing at when to come in with the next phrase and it's annoying me! I don't usually have too much of a problem with this, but sometimes I hit a tune (like this one) where I just can't lock in with the timing. I wonder if it is maybe because both Evans and Hall are playing around the beats? Any hints or tips relating to this particular tune, or how to tackle this in general, would be very much appreciated.

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  3. #2

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    It's a very floaty 4. Once jim comes in, I find it easiest to feel as a 6 on 4 feel-- two triplets per bar in 4 beats.

    See if you can "sing" drums over it..."trip-pl-et trip-pl-et"
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

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  4. #3
    Thank you mr. beaumont ... yes, thinking in the way you describe definitely helps, but just when I think I've got it, I realize I've lost it again. Some parts of the piece seem easier to follow than others - I guess that's progress anyway!
    Last edited by clovie; 10-01-2019 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #4
    Yeah. Definite 12/8 feel. Two masters who have played forever who basically can hear the drummer and bass player which aren't there. They're hearing the full thing in an overplayed, slow blues version in their head and just reducing down from there to something sparser and a lot harder to hear if you don't know what you're listening to.

    While you're trying to learn something more difficult like this , I would maybe listen to equal parts "Fine and Mellow" , the old Billie holiday live recording with a ton of players.... very large ensemble, until you can basically hear 12/8 under everything, even when it is not overtly stated. That recording really has everything for learning to hear this stuff:doubletime, quarter note triplets, eighth note triplets, as well as certain players playing with very different swing feel, which isn't directly tied to the 12/8 slavishly.

    In that old version, you really hear all the subdivisions of the beat very clearly, and it's slow enough to easily here.

    Anyway, in my mind, I imagine that's what Jim Hall and Bill Evans are hearing over everything. Then, they just subtract out most of it when they play.


    Doubletime feel around 2:00+ in the Evans/ Hall BTW. You can basically tap your foot twice as fast and hear the triplets for each note etc.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 10-02-2019 at 06:07 AM.

  6. #5

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    Well, for chrissakes let's hear what you're on about!



    I'd say this is something spontaneous that you just feel when you're playing. I've done that with tunes, got something wrong and then tried to copy it... fatal error, couldn't do it. Not properly anyway. These things arise from a natural feel for syncopation.

    What I'm saying is that it's extremely doubtful if they sat down and measured out fractions of timing, etc etc. Absurd, really :-)

  7. #6

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    It sounds out-of-time until a brief silence, after which Jim enters. An edit perhaps? Maybe they counted it in?

    There is then a brief period that sounds uncertain, after which it feels like a slow 4/4. Keeping a 12/8 overlay in mind probably won't hurt.

    An aside, roughly related:

    In the last few years, I've been playing with a big band that does a lot of material in 6/8, broken up in different ways. So, there may be a section of dotted quarters interspersed, here and there, with actual eighth notes or combinations of quarters and eighths.

    The guitar and bass are reading the same line. That's helpful when you need him to show you what's going on. It's not so great when he's nailing it and you're not.

    In adjusting to this, I went through a phase where I tried out different ways of tapping my foot. A better reader/player probably wouldn't have to think about this, but I found it necessary.

    Eventually, I came to the realization that, often, tapping my foot on dotted quarters was easiest, depending on the tune. But, it can create some excitement when, after 32 bars of dotted quarters, you suddenly have to play quarters (no dots). In that situation, it was sometimes easiest to tap my foot on the 1 of each bar. So, it was one-and for dotted quarters. Feeling a triplet for quarters or two triplets for eighths. So far, I haven't found it easiest to tap quarters or eighths.

    In 3/4, it seems to be easiest to tap dotted halves.

    After a while it suddenly seemed easy. It didn't at first.

    One hint that went over my head at first: the leader usually counted it off the easiest way to tap. So, he'd count off dotted quarters, say, in 6/8.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    These things arise from a natural feel for syncopation.
    It may be NATURAL in the end, after a ton of listening, playing with others and working it out, but I think that misses the point. You aren't going to magically wake up one day with that level of "natural feel for syncopation".

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    What I'm saying is that it's extremely doubtful if they sat down and measured out fractions of timing, etc etc. Absurd, really :-)
    At surface level, this seems based on the number one logical fallacy used on the forum: "Practice room methodology must be the same as bandstand methodology." Maybe you're not sailing that exactly?

    Anyway, they're two different entities entirely. The number of things which the greats DON'T think about on the bandstand isn't necessarily related to their NEVER having done a ton of listening, playing and working out those same things in practice.

    How one thinks in the end isn't necessarily related to how one thinks in practice. That's the whole point: to get to the point where you think about things in a completely different way , ....or basically DON'T think. But that's not the starting point.

  9. #8

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    I'm quite sure that one can have a natural feel for syncopation although it can be enhanced with experience. There's no question of magically waking up with it. Some have it, some don't, some have it in abundance. All things can be improved on, of course.

    I think Jim Hall hesitated very slightly before coming in, not that I blame him; he recovered quickly enough. Personally, listening to that, I found getting the pulse of Evans' playing very difficult. There's no rhythm section tapping out a consistent beat. There probably is a pulse somewhere to it but, let's be honest, it sounds very much like free play to me.

    Try tapping along to it, not easy. It's much more obvious when they both get into it later, especially at about 3.40 when Jim starts strumming the beat! I think there's a lot of rubato playing at the beginning, they're both feeling their way.

  10. #9

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    As soon as Jim Hall starts playing, they go into tempo (i.e. it is not rubato any more) and the beat is there, it’s not that hard to hear if you are used to ballad tempos. Also remember these guys are at a level where they don’t need to state it explicitly, or do anything so obvious as count it in.

    I recommend the OP listens to a lot of slow ballads (e.g. Dexter Gordon), then they will eventually get a better feel for this kind of tempo.

    At this tempo the soloist normally has a choice of playing triplets on each beat, or going a bit faster and playing sixteenths, Jim Hall keeps switching between the two, which is probably what is confusing for the OP.

    I would add it took me a lot of listening before I could get my head around these really slow tempos, especially coming to jazz from rock.

  11. #10
    rpjazzguitar - thanks for those tips on following the beat. This is definitely something I have to work at, but as you and others have said above the more time that is spent actively working on this the clearer, and more natural, it becomes.

  12. #11
    grahambop & matt.guitarteacher - Thank you for the recommendation to spend more time listening to slow ballads and examples like Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" to get a better feel for the underlying timing being applied here - will look into these.

    grahambop - I think I get what you are saying about Jim Hall switching between triplets and sixteenths. This is perhaps what I was getting at in my reply to mr. beaumont - I could follow along (tapping) for a while, then there seems to be a change - to me I can follow some parts most easily by tapping or clapping a triplet rhythm, but other parts seem to fit more easily with a syncopated rhythm.
    Last edited by clovie; 10-02-2019 at 09:18 PM.

  13. #12
    ragman1 - You mentioned finding it hard to identify a solid 'one' and that is I think the crux of the reason I initially brought this up. Although not probably naturally gifted in the rhythm department I can usually figure things out provided I can identify the basic pulse - which I just could not seem to do with this piece. I think you also brought up the other area that was confusing me. Having listened more to the track, and really focused on time, I think the tempo does change a few times through the piece (not just in the introduction section).

    Anyway, it is encouraging to know that "it's not just me", and there does appear to be some complexity or quirkiness to the timing in this track - which I'm sure more experienced players can probably roll with fairly easily, but definitely presents challenges to me!

    Having said all that, to me this is a beautiful tune with beautiful piano and guitar sounds, and maybe the complexity/quirkiness of the timing is part of what draws me to it. It amazes me that the two of them can seemingly sail through it all so effortlessly together. Awesome tune I think.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by clovie View Post
    ragman1 - You mentioned finding it hard to identify a solid 'one' and that is I think the crux of the reason I initially brought this up. Although not probably naturally gifted in the rhythm department I can usually figure things out provided I can identify the basic pulse - which I just could not seem to do with this piece. I think you also brought up the other area that was confusing me. Having listened more to the track, and really focused on time, I think the tempo does change a few times through the piece (not just in the introduction section).

    Anyway, it is encouraging to know that "it's not just me", and there does appear to be some complexity or quirkiness to the timing in this track - which I'm sure more experienced players can probably roll with fairly easily, but definitely presents challenges to me!

    Having said all that, to me this is a beautiful tune with beautiful piano and guitar sounds, and maybe the complexity/quirkiness of the timing is part of what draws me to it. It amazes me that the two of them can seemingly sail through it all so effortlessly together. Awesome tune I think.
    Absolutely right, it's a very beautiful piece of music, beautifully played. But there's no particular time at the beginning, they're playing off each other. It's very well done and very subtle. It's certainly not just you.

    I've tapped out the strong beats to see if there's a set interval between them; there isn't. I've also speeded it up quite a lot. If there was a steady pulse you'd hear it; there isn't. They're playing off each other. Only at 3-something when Jim Hall starts strumming is there a recognisable beat.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Only at 3-something when Jim Hall starts strumming is there a recognisable beat.
    Not really, as soon as jim comes in the 6 on 4 feel is pretty evident, and Bill plays plenty of quarter note triplets in his left hand too.
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    "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

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    it’s not that hard to hear if you are used to ballad tempos.
    I would add it took me a lot of listening before I could get my head around these really slow tempos.
    Um, so it's not hard to hear... but only after lots and lots of listening. Right!

    It's hard for me, I couldn't tap to it. I think I'm waiting for a solid 'one' beat followed by a 'two' which doesn't seem to come, and just get confused. Maybe I'm missing something.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Not really, as soon as jim comes in the 6 on 4 feel is pretty evident, and Bill plays plenty of quarter note triplets in his left hand too.
    Well, maybe a little earlier, but not at the beginning. I can't tap it out and, like I said, if it's speeded up there's no steady pulse. I can see we're going to go round and round with this :-)

    It's rhythm, Jim, but not as we know it

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Absolutely right, it's a very beautiful piece of music, beautifully played. But there's no particular time at the beginning, they're playing off each other. It's very well done and very subtle. It's certainly not just you.

    I've tapped out the strong beats to see if there's a set interval between them; there isn't. I've also speeded it up quite a lot. If there was a steady pulse you'd hear it; there isn't. They're playing off each other. Only at 3-something when Jim Hall starts strumming is there a recognisable beat.
    Sorry, you are just wrong on this. As soon as Jim Hall starts playing at 40 seconds, Bill Evans holds the tempo at about 90 bpm (you can hear the beat in the first 2 chords he plays at the moment Jim starts) and this tempo is pretty well maintained from then on. I can hear it and count it easily.

  19. #18

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    Another thing worth listening to is the solo sessions Bill Evans did to finish his Riverside contract. He did a marathon set of solo piano takes which constantly switch between rubato and tempo playing, listening to these is a great way to learn to hear where he is placing the beat. When he plays in tempo he doesn’t always place an obvious chord on the one for example, it’s a lot more subtle than that.

  20. #19

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    I found this, for what it's worth. Seems to be an honest try and maybe not bad. They have it in 2/2 and say it's 'free tempo until guitar first enters'. First 29 bars here.


    Bill Evans & Jim Hall - Undercurrent - Romain sheet music download free in PDF or MIDI

    Timing in Jim Hall's Romaine-score_0-png@1000000-jpg

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Sorry, you are just wrong on this. As soon as Jim Hall starts playing at 40 seconds, Bill Evans holds the tempo at about 90 bpm (you can hear the beat in the first 2 chords he plays at the moment Jim starts) and this tempo is pretty well maintained from then on. I can hear it and count it easily.
    OK. I don't mind being wrong :-)

  22. #21

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    I still can't tap to it till well into the tune

  23. #22

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    Try listening to 49 seconds in, when the chord changes, Bill Evans clearly states all 4 beats at a nice steady tempo, with a chord played on each beat. For the purposes of hearing the beat, ignore what Jim Hall is doing at this point and just listen to Bill.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    As soon as Jim Hall starts playing, they go into tempo (i.e. it is not rubato any more) and the beat is there, it’s not that hard to hear if you are used to ballad tempos. Also remember these guys are at a level where they don’t need to state it explicitly, or do anything so obvious as count it in.
    My perceptions is the very same. It is completely in 4/4, and JH when enters plays triplet feel, then some delay, then some syncopation.when starting the phrase. Great ballad rhythm, and all part of the "rhythm vocabulary"

    ***

    I would add that I can hear the 4/4 by Bill Evans in the very preceding bar before Jim Hall enters. So there is some kinda "count in"..

    ***

    It may help if the listener finds the 4/4 temp in this very last bar before Jim Hall enters, and if the listener already "in tempo" this way it could be easier understand, play along or sing along and catch Jim Hall's solo.
    Last edited by Gabor; 10-03-2019 at 10:29 AM.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Try listening to 49 seconds in, when the chord changes, Bill Evans clearly states all 4 beats at a nice steady tempo, with a chord played on each beat. For the purposes of hearing the beat, ignore what Jim Hall is doing at this point and just listen to Bill.
    It's okay, I've got it. I know they're doing it, I just find it incredibly difficult to tap along in time with it.

    (This was the guy who leapt out of bed without a warm-up and sailed through that time test we did (where the music stops and starts again later). I've still got it somewhere!).

  26. #25

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    When Jim comes in it's 4/4... and very stable (easily countable)...

    Actually I hear Jim plays quite conventionally - just some syncopated accents.

    But Bill at the beginning plays something like in triplet to 2/2 time...
    I am not sure.. it feels like twice slower (so it is 2) and feels like 3 pulse... so probably a triplet in 2/2
    Last edited by Jonah; 10-04-2019 at 09:39 AM.

  27. #26

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    I know, Jonah, but that's not the point. Can you tap along to it? Can anyone? Switch on your video (so we can see you!), turn on the background music, and tap along with it in beautiful time... it ain't so simple.

    Saying you can hear it and doing it yourself are two different things.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I know, Jonah, but that's not the point. Can you tap along to it? Can anyone? Switch on your video (so we can see you!), turn on the background music, and tap along with it in beautiful time... it ain't so simple.

    Saying you can hear it and doing it yourself are two different things.
    Honestly I can tap the beat to it, and I don’t see why you need people to prove they can, just because you can’t.

    Just to check, I have just played the whole thing and tapped the beat to it all the way from 40 seconds (where Jim Hall comes in) to the last few bars (where they do go back to rubato playing). The whole thing between those two points is at the same steady 4:4 tempo.
    Last edited by grahambop; 10-04-2019 at 11:33 AM.

  29. #28

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    You're taking me a bit seriously!

    I don't need people to prove anything. I'm just saying there's a difference between hearing it, which I can mostly, although I find it hard in parts, and being able to keep the beat myself. I'm not jealous of people who can do it! Also, it would be interesting for me to hear it done, seriously. It might educate my ear, apart from anything else.

    Don't forget you yourself said it took you a lot of listening before you could get your head around those really slow tempos. But I'm glad you can do it, your ears must be honed to precision now :-)

  30. #29
    I think it's admittedly not easy to play a chunk chunk Freddie Greene accompaniment along with this or something , but that's completely missing point. This is a good example of a jazz feel which is more easily felt in three IMO. It's pretty easy for me to tap the beat with kind of a brush pattern swing eighths or light triplets (and simply accent the actual 4/4 beat) than it is to just tap the beat out like a rock drum or something.

    Most things are actually EASIER if you subdivide somewhat, especially when it comes to really locking into a groove. One thing which tips you off as this being a particularly jazz feel is the fact that it's probably easier to tap the upbeat poor clave than it is the downbeat.

  31. #30

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    Yes, I think you have a point there.

  32. #31

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    Okay, I've sort of got it! But I cheated. I went to where the beat became obvious then applied it to where the guitar comes in. Trying without that, cold, I couldn't do it.

    I also think they speeded up a bit as they went along... not much, just a bit :-)

    Soundcloud won't let me show it, it's copyright. Needs a video.


  33. #32

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    Yes that’s the correct beat, you see you can do it! Also you did not cheat, it’s not possible to count until the guitar starts, because Bill Evans plays the intro rubato. I agree they did speed up a fraction.

    It does get a bit harder to follow later during Bill’s solo bit, as he sort of plays games with the time, I think he switches between triplets and sixteenths at the drop of a hat, and his left hand chords anticipate the ‘one’ quite a lot. But the pulse is there and it still comes out right.

  34. #33

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    Oh, yes, I cheated. I went forward (before the clip was recorded) to where the beat was obvious, got the beat, then started the recording applying the same beat. If I'd started from cold I couldn't have done it, or done it very badly.

    It was only because I ignored what they were playing and just kept tapping that it worked at all (and how I knew they'd speeded up!).

  35. #34

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    I know, Jonah, but that's not the point. Can you tap along to it? Can anyone? Switch on your video (so we can see you!), turn on the background music, and tap along with it in beautiful time... it ain't so simple.

    Saying you can hear it and doing it yourself are two different things.
    Sorry for late response I did not notice the answer

    Yes I can tap it.. actually this is why I said it was clear 4/4 becasue I just tapped it.

    Oh, yes, I cheated. I went forward (before the clip was recorded) to where the beat was obvious, got the beat, then started the recording applying the same beat. If I'd started from cold I couldn't have done it, or done it very badly.

    It was only because I ignored what they were playing and just kept tapping that it worked at all (and how I knew they'd speeded up!).

    I would not call it 'cheating'... it is retrospective implication of relationship - imho it happens quite often in music - and in classical music on much more complex level --- that is that we realize some realshioship only later when composer or performer shows them to us more clear and distinct... it is something that happens in good books too when you read till some point and then you see that the thinhgs that happened before had actually different meaning.

    Bill in Jim were already in that timing but we were not... so thee is nothing wronf in doing it restropectively.

    I myself do not know how I did it... I already heard the whole track so I definitely had an impression of overall timing.

    Last but not least - these 2 pick up notes that Jim plays set this timing - they are perfectly in time. THis gives us a feel of time too probably

  36. #35

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    Now try to beat it in 2/2 in triplets it also fits well))))

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I would not call it 'cheating'... it is retrospective implication of relationship
    Nice of you... but crap :-)

    Oh, if only life were retrospective...!

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Nice of you... but crap :-)Oh, if only life were retrospective...!
    I don't try to be nice.This is how I think things are.You have fantastic ability to make people feel sorry they have answered you.. retrospectively. And this is life.

  39. #38

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    Maybe there is a well definite borderline between asking for (musical or learning) advice and just arguing... Many valuable advice we got here from the beginning of this thread, and all concluding that Jim Hall uses ballad tempo idioms, which are will be clear for the listener after listening similar tempos from the greats. Patience and repetition needed of course. If one has doubt, then it may help to re-read the advises, and re-listen the recording based on that advises.Even Bill Evans could help, my observation was that the count in rhythm is definitely there in the very preceding bar before Jim Hall enters. At least of the 2,3,4 of that bar. Once the listener is able to catch it would be easier to keep it. Bill Evans start the second bar (after JH enters) with on "1 and" but this is also not so strange at all, should not distract the listener.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    See, if it's all so easy, why are we on post #39?
    Maybe because 16 of the posts are yours?

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I don't try to be nice.This is how I think things are.You have fantastic ability to make people feel sorry they have answered you.. retrospectively. And this is life.
    It's probably linguistic. Things like that are said with a smile, not offensively.

    Do you want me to explain it? I'd rather not, but I will. By 'cheating' I don't mean in any serious sense of trying to deceive. It just means I used a bit of a trick to make myself establish the rhythm. I couldn't get it the first time of listening, it was too difficult. At least for me. But, having speeded it up, I could hear them following each other, waiting for each other, playing off each other. And then, of course, there was the obvious strumming.

    Personally I found it hard for the reasons mentioned. So, to try to get it, I did what I said, applied the later rhythm earlier. I called it 'cheating' but that was a joke word. If you understand that.

    That's all. I still think it's a hard tune to follow, mainly because Bill Evans plays rubato at the start (if you'd never heard it before).

  42. #41

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    Bills four quarter notes starting at 0:49 define it hard and from there on its a breeze even to my amateur ears

    No to mention the James Bond'sh comping that starts at 1:03

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Maybe because 16 of the posts are yours?
    Absolutely. That's why I deleted that bit, but you were too quick for me :-)

    Now we've thrashed it out it's easy, of course, but it wasn't at the start. Not for me, anyway. But we're repeating.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    That's why I deleted that bit, but you were too quick for me :-)
    It’s all about timing...

  45. #44

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    Just what I was thinking. Not me - clovie and Romain. Hopefully sorted now

    Actually, Jeff got there first, about a minute after clovie posted... slick fella, that Beaumont. Wish I'd listened.

  46. #45
    Thanks for all the discussion, and advice. With further listening, and bearing in mind the insight shared, I can follow the beat now from the bar preceding Jim Hall's start. I can't say that I can yet confidently hold the beat all the way through without faltering - there are a few changes in feel(?) that still seem to throw me, but at least I can recover pretty quickly and get back to following where the pulse is again. I'm sure that this will also resolve itself with time.

    One thing that surprised me was that when I tapped the tempo throughout the piece (on a metronome) I found that what I had perceived as a change of speed, was actual still pretty much the same bpm. I suppose I put that down to the change of "feel"?

  47. #46

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    Probably an audio illusion. Like thinking colours change against different backgrounds, and all that.

    Timing in Jim Hall's Romaine-1-gep8sth8pozzujflp7-8cw-gif

    Er, you tapped it on a metronome? You've got to tap it!

    The trouble with triplets is that they can sound like 3/4 when it's 4/4. I'm sure that's one factor here. I know it befuddled me at first and I'm not bad at time. It's actually easier to count it in 3 than 4.

    I also have a nagging feeling about those who dismiss the timing on this tune this as 'obvious'; I don't think it is.

    Last edited by ragman1; 10-11-2019 at 06:32 AM.

  48. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by clovie View Post
    Thanks for all the discussion, and advice. With further listening, and bearing in mind the insight shared, I can follow the beat now from the bar preceding Jim Hall's start. I can't say that I can yet confidently hold the beat all the way through without faltering - there are a few changes in feel(?) that still seem to throw me, but at least I can recover pretty quickly and get back to following where the pulse is again. I'm sure that this will also resolve itself with time.

    One thing that surprised me was that when I tapped the tempo throughout the piece (on a metronome) I found that what I had perceived as a change of speed, was actual still pretty much the same bpm. I suppose I put that down to the change of "feel"?
    Around 1:48 to 2:40, it has a distinctive double time feel. If you're able to tap the beat and count swing 8ths up to that point, you'll notice that at that point the eighths straighten out and there are triplets for each eighth instead of each quarter.

    The easiest way to feel this is probably to tap your would-be 8ths at that point and count "1-2-3-4" in place of "1-&-2-&". You'll hear the triplets on each beat at a tempo basically twice as fast.

    There's a ton of this in ballad recordings of jazz. On some recordings the band goes in and out of doubletime feels every 4 bars or so, kind of trading fours. There are a lot of other recordings where one player is hinting and pulling towards double-time while others are keeping things locked down in more of a straight ahead 4. Sometimes they all gradually transition. So, it gives a big arch to the performance, achingly slow to start, with a gradual build to pretty cooking doubletime feel by all, and then, gradually back to the original.

    Keith Jarrett' s standards trio ballad recordings are a clinic in this kind of thing. Very often it STARTS as double time from the very beginning, but is very well disguised as very slow, straight-ahead 4. The big give away is usually a straight-eighths feel with tremendous swing feel, usually involving a difficult-to-count, fast, 8th note triplet subdivision.

    The best example I know of is Jarrett's my foolish heart, not available on YouTube apparently. You can listen on spotify. Beautiful arch. The head starts at 2:00 or so. That recording is an absolute clinic on that double time build.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by clovie View Post
    Thanks for all the discussion, and advice. With further listening, and bearing in mind the insight shared, I can follow the beat now from the bar preceding Jim Hall's start.
    Glad to hear :-). For me, the preceding bar is the key, at least its 2,3,4 beats. The more you listen the more you will experience you feel it.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I also have a nagging feeling about those who dismiss the timing on this tune this as 'obvious'; I don't think it is.
    Well to me the time on this tune is pretty obvious, I can’t speak for anyone else. That bit you counted in 3 is so obviously in 4:4 to me, I cannot understand why you think it sounds like 3. Most of the time Bill Evans is playing a chord on beat 1 of the bar, that totally contradicts your count in 3s. The way they are playing this is pretty much the standard way of playing slow jazz ballads, I still don’t get why it’s such a big deal. Maybe if there was a drummer on the track, playing brushes and hi-hat, it would be a bit more obvious.

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    Well, like I said before, your ears must be honed to perfection! Obviously it's easier for some than others.