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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    http://www.jazzguitarlife.com/Wes%20...Techniques.pdf

    Thought some may find this interesting.
    I sure do. Thanks!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    IMO it's better to learn one thing excellently than try to learn everything. I would advise my students to focus on one thing. I've got on fella working on m6 arpeggios in every position and around the cycle of fourths. Another guy is just focussing on the b7 sub (he's a more modern cat), another guy is working on triads through a blues and so on....

    If you can decide what to practice and focus on it that is half the battle. I have this problem myself. That's why having a teacher is helpful....
    Agree, of course. I started from zero, from scratch, but I got to study the foundations with the absolute best teacher here. The best advice he gave me was that the best student ultimately becomes her or his own teacher, cultivates an inquisitive mind and knows how to focus while always asking questions and seeking knowledge that will present its own perpetually generated follow up questions. Learning is a never ending process, we are all always students at heart.

    that said, I have a good program and know generally what I want to accomplish---to play the guitar like a piano. Generally getting up to 4 hours pracrice time a day in now. I can actually see a light at the end of this tunnel. Which will of course lead to other pathways ...
    Navdeep Singh.

  4. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    barry also shared Wes' disdain for Trane's Impulse era music --wonder what that was all about ? I know from reading something that Wes felt his time with Trane's band was not the best place for him --he didn't dig playing one song for 45 minutes straight.

    wonder what Barry's beef was ?
    I don't blame Wes there's only so much to say in a song then you start to meander! Don't get me wrong I love that Trane stuff and jam band type music but I can also see where the other cats are coming from. Listen to Bird he'd say everything he needed to say in a matter of minutes.

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  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017 View Post
    I don't blame Wes there's only so much to say in a song then you start to meander! Don't get me wrong I love that Trane stuff and jam band type music but I can also see where the other cats are coming from. Listen to Bird he'd say everything he needed to say in a matter of minutes.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I kinda feel that the less form a tune has, the longer you can go. You're essentially creating form, at that point, the solo can have a much wider arc...

    In the compartmentalization of a standard, repetition in the form becomes much more apparent.
    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

  6. #155

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    Can you be more specific about how one goes about playing a guitar like a piano.

    Thanks

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    Can you be more specific about how one goes about playing a guitar like a piano.

    Thanks
    Watch lenny breau and Pasquale Grasso play. They're the quintessential prototypes. Grassos hero was Bud Powell.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  8. #157

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  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    It's all different point of view of the same thing. That is the language of the Bebop and early legends, but they all had their own way they viewed it so they could play it. Some just heard it and played it.
    I wish I heard it and could just play it heh.

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  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Man it gets lengthy with quotes. I don't think you are quite following me.

    I'm not talking about chord/scale relationships here. I'm talking about actual scales going up or down (usually down) in steps. The sort of thing you learn on piano when you are a child.

    Very often in bop and Parker's music, it's the descending harmonic minor over a secondary dominant moving to a minor chord. A minor ii V if you prefer. In the case of G7b9 going to to Cm we would run a descending c harmonic minor scale for example. Pretty straight no?

    The the last few measures of Donna Lee (which yes may have been written by miles) contain a typical example, but this scale is extremely common in his music.

    You could rationalise it terms of some sort of other thing but that seems a bit silly to me. Why wouldn't bird know what a harmonic minor scale was?

    That said, There is a different way of interpreting this scale which comes from Barry Harris/David baker. Here it is understood as a dominant scale a tone below the target chord with a raised root at some point.

    So sure bop uses scales, just not in a cst kind of way... It's more classical...

    An important skill for a bop improviser is to understand how to run scales to describe functional harmony rather than to float over the top or express some type of upper structure.

    I was able to play harmonic jazz perfectly well without doing this (and historically I think many guitarists from the Charlie christian school didn't employ scalar runs much, for example) but since I have started work on this it's opened up quite a few doors. the Barry Harris method is very heavily based around scales for example, but woe betide you if you confuse it with CST or any type of modal improvisation haha.
    Pardon my ignorance but what is CST stand for? Some kinda method?

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  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I don't want to argue either. Let's say we talked past each other and let it go.

    As for the question about the notes G F E D C# Bb A G, no, I would not think of them as a scale. But that's me. I don't think that way.

    To be clear, I don't consider myself an exemplary player and am not suggesting what I happen to do is of any general interest. I have learned a lot from Herb Ellis and he did know scales but he played MAINLY (his word) out of chord shapes and that's how he thought and how he organized the fretboard. I find that approach congenial. You find your approach congenial. Good for both of us, I say.
    I don't know how you couldn't see them as a descending scale but what do I know compared to most of you guys on here.

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  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    G F E D C# is just half-diminshed. Bb A G sounds like a lick. A lead in to a G7 or Gm chord.
    That's how I hear it.

    ......G F E D.....................C#......................Bb A G
    (G half-dim scale) (C# dim chord) (lick leading into G7 chord)

    I try to relate everything to chord shapes.
    That makes sense also. That's probably how the bop players would've seen it right? Sense we've mentioned before that they thought in terms of chords/harmony.

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  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017 View Post
    I don't know how you couldn't see them as a descending scale but what do I know compared to most of you guys on here.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I can see the scale too.

    But, I asked myself, in what situation would I be most likely to play that sequence of notes?

    And, I responded to myself by asking clarifying questions - what's the phrasing?, which notes are getting leaned on? What is the bassist doing?

    I couldn't answer those, but it still looked like this: I might use those notes in playing against an A dominant probably leading to a Dm. The G at the outset leaning to a C# gives the 3rd and 7th. Then, as the line descends, you reach C and B. In this context, I'd be likely to want to hear the b9, which resolves nicely to the A in Dm. So, in a way, I know I'm going to want Bb and not B. What's left is whether or not to play the C. It sounds ok to me, but sometimes you want to interrupt a line that's too dense -- meaning throw in an interval larger than a whole step.

    That took a paragraph to explain. Just thinking DHM is simpler, but, in fact, I never really spent a lot of time thinking about the theory of HM (I'm starting to now, a little). I always glossed over the formal study because I thought it was a sound I could already hear. The point is that there's more than one way to get to those notes.

    I generally only transcribe when something catches my ear. When that happens, it usually turns out that it was a simple line, often mostly an arp, but not played against the usual chord. Last night's visit to the Omnibook revealed a nice A7-looking line -- simple stuff really, but played against an Ab7 chord.

  14. #163

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    I’ve totally forgotten what is being discussed on this thread

  15. #164

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    @ RPguitar I'm glad you raised the Omniboook - using it together with the relevant Parker recordings is the fastest and most reliable way to get to grips with bebop lines.

    Re your point about Parker playing an A7th scale/lick/arpeggio over Ab7: my guess is that it's a tritone into I or I7. But please give the tune and bar reference - I'm geeeeeeky enough to want to explore!

    Re your comment about harmonic minor: imho a trained musician of Parker's stature would almost certainly know about the HM, but equally certainly he (and the rest of the beboppers) would not think this way when improvising. They were outlining changes and staying close to them (the trick is figuring about which reharms and alterations they pre-applied, but actually these reharms are limited in type and pretty straightforward). In my numerous BH studies - in class and with videos and books, I do not remember the HM being recommended, but I could be wrong.

    I have attached the last few bars of Donna Lee, which amply demonstrate my point. I am genuinely interested to know where, how, and why anyone would get worthwhile mileage out of analysing them in harmonic minor terms.
    Attached Images Attached Images Barry Harris & Wes Montgomery-donna-lee-final-bars-jpg 
    Last edited by sunnysideup; 03-08-2018 at 11:01 AM.
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  16. #165

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    @djg No it doesn't (unless my couple of post-prandial glasses of red wine are laced with LSD); and even if you were right it wouldn't answer my question "where, how, and why would anyone get worthwhile mileage out of analysing it in harmonic minor terms".
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  17. #166

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    Thanks for expanding and elaborating @djg.

    - so you've answered the where and how; what about the "why"?

    - do you play this kind of music on guitar? if so, do you really think of this line as a Bb harm min line?

    - if you do - then why? what does it give you that a changes based approach doesn't?
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  18. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    Thanks for expanding and elaborating @djg.

    - so you've answered the where and how; what about the "why"?

    why? because it's common practice in bebop and related styles. it sounds good. bird does it.

    - do you play this kind of music on guitar? if so, do you really think of this line as a Bb harm min line?

    yes, i play in that style. i've internalized the sounds, movements and licks enough not to think about it on stage. but it is what it is.

    - if you do - then why? what does it give you that a changes based approach doesn't?

    it's a functional approach that yields the idiomatic sounds and lines i'm after.

    see above

  19. #168

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    I think your answer to "why" is based on a misunderstanding of my question. Yes, sure you can fit HM over the changes, but I don't think that's what the beboppers did. I believe they were thinking of the changes, not an HM scale.

    I think what I'm saying is borne out by BH's approach. Like him or not, at least he understands the way the beboppers thought, as he was there at the time. Not that I'm a BH devotee at all; I think the rigidity with which his acolytes are interpreting his rules is extremely damaging.

    But I'm still trying to understand what benefit you get from thinking about it as HM rather than just following the changes.

    It's possible that we think of the term "functional" in different ways. Classic bebop is overhelmingly dominant-tonic in conception, as demonstrated by the BH approach, not HM.
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  20. #169

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    @djg I do appreciate your replies.

    I have both of BH's videos, but have never really gone into video 2. But based on your prompting I've checked the contents and sure enough there are a few refs to the harmonic minor scale in video2.

    As I mentioned earlier, you can shoe-horn or overlay HM onto some Parker passages, as you can with the melodic minor. But exactly the same note choices can be arrived at just by following a changes-based approach. And for me at least this is a much easier and more efficacious way of doing it.

    Back to my mini-pdf of Donna Lee, and your analysis of it. Why think of the first bar as Bb HM, when really it's just diatonic to Ab (Donna is in the key of Ab), with one standard bop alteration (just one non-diatonic note) ?

    (1) the first bar for me is more easily analysed as per the chord symbols from the Omnibook, with the addition of a flat 9 on the F7 (V1domb9 is common in bop right).

    (2) the HM scale approach only works in a few places, as does the melodic minor approach, whereas the simpler diatonic approach with altered chord tones works universally in Parkeresque bebop.

    I'm not saying that what you're saying is wrong, but it does seem to me to be superfluous for playing this kind of jazz; it's adding an extra layer which isn't necessary in bebop from that period.

    The benefits of the changes-based approach that I'm advocating (as are numerous major players) are that (1) one is not constrained by scale tones; one can simply add whatever altered chord tones that are relevant, as in my preferred way of thinking about bar 1 of the Donna excerpt (2) one doesn't have to think about other scales.

    Also worth bearing in mind that BH has had half a century or more to elaborate his theory. Parker didn't have that luxury.
    Last edited by sunnysideup; 03-08-2018 at 02:09 PM.
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  21. #170

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  22. #171

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  23. #172

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    I recommend the Barry Harris DVDs to interested parties, beyond that, I'm out of here.

    EDIT: also the Roni Ben Hur my music masterclass video on minor blues covers running chords in to the 3rd of the dom 7 and it's a bit cheaper for those skeptical about such a big investment as the DVDs....

    (BTW In Donna Lee it's Ab7 running into the third of F7. I think that's how Barry would see it...)

    For anyone not interested, nothing to add...

  24. #173

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    @djg I have got my head around what you're saying, it's simple enough.

    But it's not the way the beboppers thought about it. Neither is this approach recommended by Barry Harris in either of his videos, unlesss I've missed something. Out of interest, and courtesy to you, I have followed up the references to harmonic minor in Barry's 2nd video/book. They relate to min 2-5-1, and they cover 2 or 3 pages out of a total of 300.

    If you want to think of lines over III-VIdomb9 as harmonic minor of a diffferent key, be my guest. If you want to think of the first bar of my excerpt from Donna as harmonic minor of a different key, then please feel free to do so.

    But thinking in this way will imho limit you, as there are numerous potential lines through that simple change that are not remotely connected to HM. And I'm still not seeing what you think it buys you to think in that way.

    In addition to the BH vids, and a couple of week long BH workshops, and a very long playing history, I also have Alan's book.

    I have recommended it many times - it's a harmonic method, not a method for line construction. I do not remember any reference to harmonic minor in it, and there is no reference to HM in the table of contents.
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  25. #174

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    It is the notes of BbHM.

    The downbeats spell F7. The upbeats spell Ebm7.

    And, as has already been pointed out, it looks like scale and arp with a note or two thrown in.

    We know exactly what he was thinking: "forget it and just blow".

    Well, I have been thinking about what it takes to play a line at that tempo that guys are analyzing decades later.

    I find it hard to believe that he would have been thinking one chord at a time. These are more likely well practiced lines or, at least, bits of theory that wouldn't require a new concept every quarter or half second.
    Tonal center, chord tones with well practiced alterations, or maybe even a harmonic minor scale. Chord tones on the downbeats, interpolation on the upbeats. Hard to say.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-08-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  26. #175

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    I appreciate your rational reply @RP. Here are some of my thoughts on the lines.

    Seeing that phrase in the context of the 2 bar III-VI-II-V that it's a part of. Does that line sound in any way minor to you? It doesn't to my ears. It sounds very jolly, amost trite in its resolution. Wild horses wouldn't persuade me that CP was thinking of harmonic minor. Imho It's a simple III-VI-II-V with a standard bop altered VI dom, the b9 of which is the only note outside the tune's key centre of Ab.

    I agree CP wasn't thinking one chord at a time when he was improvising. But he was combining well practiced lines which were based on the changes. I feel that these lines relate to specific chords and their alterations, rather than a scalar approach. Joe Pass summed this approach up perfectly when he said "when the chord changes, you change with it".

    This excerpt is taken from the end of the head of Donna as you know. So it really is a very well thought out line - it's not spontaneous in the least.

    The irony for me personally is that I started out playing scalar, vaguely modal stuff. And increasingly worked towards a changes-based approach, which might be the opposite direction of many people.

    Finally, you're right, the line spells ut BbHM, but to me it's really spelling out III-VIalt as per the changes.

    As you said in an earlier post, there are many ways to get to the same conclusion, and I have no problem with anyone who takes the HM approach. Personally I reserve HM for genuine minor moods .

    Your idea of using lines from the Omnibook as the basis for analysis and discussion really is excellent. Trying to discuss these things in generalised abstractions is very difficult and prone to all sorts of misunderstandings. A thread on that would be great, but I'm not volunteering :-)
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  27. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    I appreciate your rational reply @RP. Here are some of my thoughts on the lines.

    Seeing that phrase in the context of the 2 bar III-VI-II-V that it's a part of. Does that line sound in any way minor to you? It doesn't to my ears. It sounds very jolly, amost trite in its resolution. Wild horses wouldn't persuade me that CP was thinking of harmonic minor. Imho It's a simple III-VI-II-V with a standard bop altered VI dom, the b9 of which is the only note outside the tune's key centre of Ab.

    I agree CP wasn't thinking one chord at a time when he was improvising. But he was combining well practiced lines which were based on the changes. I feel that these lines relate to specific chords and their alterations, rather than a scalar approach. Joe Pass summed this approach up perfectly when he said "when the chord changes, you change with it".



    This excerpt is taken from the end of the head of Donna as you know. So it really is a very well thought out line - it's not spontaneous in the least.

    The irony for me personally is that I started out playing scalar, vaguely modal stuff. And increasingly worked towards a changes-based approach, which might be the opposite direction of many people.

    Finally, you're right, the line spells ut BbHM, but to me it's really spelling out III-VIalt as per the changes.

    As you said in an earlier post, there are many ways to get to the same conclusion, and I have no problem with anyone who takes the HM approach. Personally I reserve HM for genuine minor moods .

    Your idea of using lines from the Omnibook as the basis for analysis and discussion really is excellent. Trying to discuss these things in generalised abstractions is very difficult and prone to all sorts of misunderstandings. A thread on that would be great, but I'm not volunteering :-)
    Was Donna Lee composed, with Parker sitting with a pencil and paper for a few hours? For some reason, I'd always assumed it was improvised and then written down. But, I can no longer remember where I got that idea. Thin air, maybe..

    I'm willing to accept that HM has some applications which simply do not sound "minor". This is clearly one of them. Might Parker have already appreciated that and played accordingly? I don't know, but I wouldn't put it past him <g>.

    I haven't any idea what he did in the practice room to reach a point where he could play this spontaneously, if that's what happened. It does occur to me that I could think "harmonic minor, from the 9th, with the root a step lower than the root of the iim" -- and get the right notes. After enough practice, I might be able to use it on the fly.

    Or, I could do something more like what I'm already doing most of the time -- being aware of tonal center and chord tones, and them embellishing them by ear. Should a young player work at thinking this way? Seems like some talented players and teachers on here might not recommend it. But, when the planets line up, this approach allows me to play exactly the solo I want to play. And, when it heads south, it's usually a failure of my finger to find the note in my mind. I could avoid that clam with CST and geometry, but then it wouldn't express what I'm trying to express.

  28. #177

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    Well personally I go with the approach you outlined in your final paragraph, but using embellishment guided by the subs and or alterations that I want to use. And by being aware of the various lines advocated by Barry Harris and many others, and not least of all by the musicians I've listened to, including CP.

    I can't find any reference by BH to thinking about this kind of line as HM in this III-VI-II-V context; if there is one tucked away somewhere it's definitely not a core part of III-VI-II-V. But he does reference HM in the context of minor 2-5-1, as I mentioned earlier (it occupies 3 or 4 pages out of 300, which gives an idea of how unimportant it is in the BH approach). This fits well with the way I think about it - who wants to think of a jolly little line like the Donna excerpt as a harmonic minor?

    Another reason that I think the changes approach is more useful is that it helps get the chord tones on the strong beats, which is considered key to a strong bop line.

    Yes, you could "think "harmonic minor, from the 9th, with the root a step lower than the root of the iim" -- and get the right notes", but it's much easier to think in terms of the changes as you already know them, isnt't it? There are stock alterations to changes as you know, and they soon come under the fingers, as you also know.

    Re my posted excerpt from Donna, if CP had decided not to use the b9 of the VIalt, which would be perfectly valid though slightly bland, then the line would not be interpretable as HM at all. The dom6alt is so common in bop I think of it as (almost) diatonic anyway.

    A scalar approach would obviously be much more in line with post-Parker jazz. Parker's solos are usually just 2-4 choruses in 2-3 minutes! Not the 20 minutes or more of the modals.

    There are many talented players and teachers on this forum, and they evidently don't all take the same approach.

    My advice to anyone wanting to learn bop lines is to work through the Omnibook with the relevant recordings. And to analyse the lines. It's the fastest, easiest, and most authentic way to get Parkeresque playing under your fingers. It's much faster than BH's method. Obviously it's fantastic for developing the ear and the time feel too, and it's free.

    These days I'm just enjoying hacking through solo standards. I do regularly insert Parker quotes and allusions into them, but I'm not trying to further develop my bop lines at the moment. To some extent I feel they have detracted from the lyrical side.

    Anyway, that's enough from me on this topic, over and out, have a good day.


    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  29. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    It is the notes of BbHM.

    The downbeats spell F7. The upbeats spell Ebm7.

    And, as has already been pointed out, it looks like scale and arp with a note or two thrown in.

    We know exactly what he was thinking: "forget it and just blow".

    Well, I have been thinking about what it takes to play a line at that tempo that guys are analyzing decades later.

    I find it hard to believe that he would have been thinking one chord at a time. These are more likely well practiced lines or, at least, bits of theory that wouldn't require a new concept every quarter or half second.
    Tonal center, chord tones with well practiced alterations, or maybe even a harmonic minor scale. Chord tones on the downbeats, interpolation on the upbeats. Hard to say.
    Yeah I mean the thing is that we have little direct idea of how Parker did it. Barry’s stuff is a reverse engineering of Parker’s music, no different from what any of us might do albeit on a very high level. And he was obviously there on the scene during the later years of the bop movement.

    One thing that surprised me about Barry in contrast to every other bop method I’d seen is how much he stresses the importance of scales as the basis of bop lines.

    And I didn’t really get it in classes, I had to spend some time with the music, and then come back to Barry’s stuff after I’d made my own analysis of it. I then saw his approach was far more complete and comprehensive. I still feel like I’m picking my way through it one step at a time.

    My hunch is any experienced player adopts a chunked approach to changes playing. And I do think this is how Parker like his hero Prez did it - he played movements through the chords, not on individual chords. We might analyse these vertically as subs, but I like Steve Coleman’s ideas on this. You take another path to the destination chord, which agrees with Coleman Hawkin’s classic quote repeated by Barry ‘I don’t play chords, I play movement.’

    And I’m pretty sure Bird practiced scales. He studied classical pattern books. And of course he ‘forgot all that shit and just played.’

    One of the confusions in jazz edu is that the scales Parker was talking about have any connection with the later CST theory.

    I think this sometimes means people go too far the other way ‘oh no one played scales until Miles.’

    Of course like telling a student to accent the upbeats in a line, this is useful simplification to tell students who need to hear it to develop. It was the right thing for me to hear at one time but later I realised the truth is more nuanced.

    (CST as others have pointed out is not in fact a theory of scales but of note organisations.)
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-09-2018 at 06:41 AM.

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    (CST as others have pointed out is not in fact a theory of scales but of note organisations.)
    Sure, but how is this any different from saying that any 13th arp pertains to "note organisations"?

    Also, why the continued obsession with Parker? Especially if you might prefer other soloists from the 50's, like Cannonball, Maclean, Rollins, Pepper, Getz etc. Sure, they each owed a debt to Bird, but by studying the players you really like listening to, you still get the Parker influence, as well as what they did with it. This also informs what we might do with it. Parker wasn't the only Bop stylist. A sax player once told me that Sonny Stitt was a better source for bop vocab...

    This is not to knock Bird off his perch- he's untouchable and unrepeatable- just saying' the Omnibook is not the only fountain of knowledge for those of us who wanna master playing changes. He himself would think that rather lame. He found his way, and would expect that others would find their own. Instead of feeling flattered at all the copycats, I bet he felt annoyed. There's plenty of ways to get from one note to the other, and there are other as yet undiscovered licks and devices that can still sound Boppish. There have been and will continue to be great players who don't have a single Bird lick in their bag.

    As for BH, it's great that he keeps the torch aflame, but for me, the inflexible rule based approach takes the fun out of making up one's own rules. Anyone else think this?

  31. #180

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    There's a lot to unpack from this post...

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Sure, but how is this any different from saying that any 13th arp pertains to "note organisations"?
    It isn't. But that's not my area really, explaining textbook CST. I have my uses for it.

    And of course there's a lot more you can do with CST beyond just notes up in stacking thirds, if you are interested in that (which I am actually.)

    Also, why the continued obsession with Parker? Especially if you might prefer other soloists from the 50's, like Cannonball, Maclean, Rollins, Pepper, Getz etc. Sure, they each owed a debt to Bird, but by studying the players you really like listening to, you still get the Parker influence, as well as what they did with it. This also informs what we might do with it. Parker wasn't the only Bop stylist. A sax player once told me that Sonny Stitt was a better source for bop vocab...
    Parker is what BH is all about... WELLL I say that but I think it's a little closer perhaps to Bud Powell. And since this is about what BH teaches as bebop common practice, Parker remains the touchstone.

    (In terms of who I like to listen to, any of the above will rock my world.)

    However, I would say that my transcription of '50s era players does reveal a surprising level of agreement in terms of how those musicians played changes. There was a real common practice. And it all stemmed from Bird.

    In terms of pure rhythmic imagination, Bird is still head and shoulders the greatest, apart from Rollins. Rollins is the next step from Parker, phrasing wise, IMO. A lot of the 2nd gen guys are a simplification of Bird in terms of phrasing, which is why often they are better to start with - Dexter, Mobley etc. Maybe Stitt.

    On the subject of this - and Barry, I urge you to read this article by Brad Meldhau

    Carnegie 05 — Brad Mehldau

    This is not to knock Bird off his perch- he's untouchable and unrepeatable- just saying' the Omnibook is not the only fountain of knowledge for those of us who wanna master playing changes. He himself would think that rather lame. He found his way, and would expect that others would find their own. Instead of feeling flattered at all the copycats, I bet he felt annoyed. There's plenty of ways to get from one note to the other, and there are other as yet undiscovered licks and devices that can still sound Boppish. There have been and will continue to be great players who don't have a single Bird lick in their bag.
    I don't personally use the Omnibook as a source for vocabulary. It's good for sight reading practice, and checking one's work.

    I use my ears. Although I don't use solos as a source of vocabulary either, these days. I'm really not interested in that at all. I want to master the language and become a real improviser, not regurgitate other people's words out of context.

    The whole idea of Barry's teaching is playing bebop beyond simply regurgitating licks. Bebop as a language. Also someone I feel who is always worth listening to on this is Bruce Foreman. Great bop players in the tradition who do not resort to cliches.

    As you rightly say: if bebop to you is about playing chunks of Bird, you have indeed missed the point of that music. I suspect college courses take that short cut.

    As for BH, it's great that he keeps the torch aflame, but for me, the inflexible rule based approach takes the fun out of making up one's own rules. Anyone else think this?
    I used to think this. Then I realised that inflexible rules based approaches have strong advantages. It's good to have something very specific to practice, and it helps teaching too. I don't expect musicians to go for it necessarily, but it's there if they want it.

    Would a composer skimp on learning Bach harmony? Species counterpoint?

    What bebop line construction teaches has, IMO, a value beyond just being able to play bop.

    Furthermore, should you be so minded, it's possible to very creative within the guidelines set by Barry. I actually find it very fun, at least in a very specific, weirdo sort of way, like Chess or crossword puzzles or something.

    If you are serious about developing your technique, sometimes the 'fun' creative side of it has to be tempered with some serious disciplined study. But you already knew that ;-)

    Doesn't have to be bop, or Barry, of course.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-09-2018 at 04:10 PM.

  32. #181

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    If anybody cares ...

    Mark Levine's Jazz Theory has a short section on HM. He suggests that it is used infrequently in its entirely, but frequently in fragments. He gives examples from players who do use it. It's minor ii V i stuff

    He also offers an opinion about why it isn't used more. He says, that "it fits no one particular chord .... no matter what chord you pay it on, at least one note ... sounds like an avoid note".

    And then he gives examples of the avoid note working anyway.

  33. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    There's a lot to unpack from this post...



    It isn't. But that's not my area really, explaining textbook CST. I have my uses for it.

    And of course there's a lot more you can do with CST beyond just notes up in stacking thirds, if you are interested in that (which I am actually.)



    Parker is what BH is all about... WELLL I say that but I think it's a little closer perhaps to Bud Powell. And since this is about what BH teaches as bebop common practice, Parker remains the touchstone.

    (In terms of who I like to listen to, any of the above will rock my world.)

    However, I would say that my transcription of '50s era players does reveal a surprising level of agreement in terms of how those musicians played changes. There was a real common practice. And it all stemmed from Bird.

    In terms of pure rhythmic imagination, Bird is still head and shoulders the greatest, apart from Rollins. Rollins is the next step from Parker, phrasing wise, IMO. A lot of the 2nd gen guys are a simplification of Bird in terms of phrasing, which is why often they are better to start with - Dexter, Mobley etc. Maybe Stitt.

    On the subject of this - and Barry, I urge you to read this article by Brad Meldhau

    Carnegie 05 — Brad Mehldau



    I don't personally use the Omnibook as a source for vocabulary. It's good for sight reading practice, and checking one's work.

    I use my ears. Although I don't use solos as a source of vocabulary either, these days. I'm really not interested in that at all. I want to master the language and become a real improviser, not regurgitate other people's words out of context.

    The whole idea of Barry's teaching is playing bebop beyond simply regurgitating licks. Bebop as a language. Also someone I feel who is always worth listening to on this is Bruce Foreman. Great bop players in the tradition who do not resort to cliches.

    As you rightly say: if bebop to you is about playing chunks of Bird, you have indeed missed the point of that music. I suspect college courses take that short cut.



    I used to think this. Then I realised that inflexible rules based approaches have strong advantages. It's good to have something very specific to practice, and it helps teaching too. I don't expect musicians to go for it necessarily, but it's there if they want it.

    Would a composer skimp on learning Bach harmony? Species counterpoint?

    What bebop line construction teaches has, IMO, a value beyond just being able to play bop.

    Furthermore, should you be so minded, it's possible to very creative within the guidelines set by Barry. I actually find it very fun, at least in a very specific, weirdo sort of way, like Chess or crossword puzzles or something.

    If you are serious about developing your technique, sometimes the 'fun' creative side of it has to be tempered with some serious disciplined study. But you already knew that ;-)

    Doesn't have to be bop, or Barry, of course.
    Great answers, as always Christian. I suppose my point was that there can be other systems of discipline we can discover for ourselves, and for me, that's the "fun" bit. I mean, if we consider just one of the basic tenets of Bop : "Thou shalt play chord tones or desirable extensions on most of the downbeats".... There are many ways to solve this "puzzle" without needing to know how others do it. Same goes for ways of targeting or encircling, approaching, pivoting etc.

    But really, if we listen enough to this music (Bop, Hard Bop etc), we get the inflection, the nuances, the phrasing etc of it's "language". Because of this, the traditions will still show up in our playing, but the inaccurate way that we might decipher it all leads to the interesting outgrowths of accidental new mutations. This more than anything will keep the music alive in an ever evolving way, it can be organic. Instead of worshipping it's ashes, we fan it's flames, or something...

    And yes, for those just wanting to get started, the BH road seems like a great one, but it seems to demand long term commitment in order to bear it's fruit. But some of us have a problem with method books, or courses. Too rigid, too static, too much fear that we'd turn out cookie cutter Jazz.... Not saying that's been a problem for you as you seem to have happily incorporated all things into your own "method", and I think that approach has been fun for you, right? Bit of this, bit of that.... although, some "bits" can be separate disciplines that will take years to incorporate (BH, for example).

    So yeah, just sayin' it may not be the best use of time to stick with just one discipline for too long if it will stunt your growth. This is why teachers are really important in Jazz study, it takes having gone through the long term learning experience in order to impart to the student his/her best use of time in each area of study in order to reach one's goals.

    Without a guide, you're kinda flying blind, as I did for too many years! I think a very good teacher would probably not suggest that his student do nothing but BH for the first 5 years...

  34. #183

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    ... and this article in right on point too, nice find. Interesting how Brad sees Trane's developing style as a misreading of both Dexter's and Bird's...

    Perhaps we might venture to say that Mehldau's own style is a result of misreading his own influences, as respectful as he is of them (after all, he doesn't really sound too derivative does he?).

    But if you listened to BH and Lou Donaldson and took it as the Bop Gospel, at best after many years you'd be a second rate BH, Bud Powell, or Bird. Barry may be happy for that to be the case, because his students will always remain in his shadow, but I say fuck that. I don't wanna spend 10,000 hours only to be in someone's towering shadow. I'd much rather put much of that time into developing my own "take" on this whole deal. It may come off sounding a little inauthentic or NQR, but if you spend that much time on any creative pursuit only to be a poor clone, then I say you've been ripped off! Others may disagree...

  35. #184

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    .... oh this bit's worth quoting - it's from essay#4

    "Authenticity and originality are both weak tropes because, on their own, they can only account for weak players. True originality, and thus true creativity, never takes place in a historical vacuum; it is always rooted to something that has gone before. I remember observing the phenomenon of rootless “creativity” in my high school jazz band growing up. There were those of us who were listening to jazz and would go on to try to be musicians. Our fledgling attempts at soloing reflected whatever we had absorbed at that point – a little Bird, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, what have you. Then there were kids in the band who were not going to pursue jazz for their life, had only a passing interest in playing music, and had hardly listened to jazz at all. They would also get a solo feature now and then.

    What did they play? It was sort of like playing scales up and down the horn. What was striking was that they all sounded the same: One would think that with all the freedom that an improvised context could have, they might all play something different. But collectively, the kids who weren’t really listening to jazz actually encompassed a style of sorts, and that style was dictated by their limitation. The limitation was due to the fact that they hadn’t absorbed anything; they hadn’t begun to even mimic like we were. There is a rule here, to gloss on Tolstoy: Rootless players are all alike, but every rooted player is rooted in his or her own way. Yes, there are tons of rooted players who are not original, but as a listener, give me the unoriginal player who has listened to a lot of great music and absorbed it any day to the player who hasn’t absorbed much of anything. This brings us back to the importance of input again: Without input, we have no model for our own style; without learning a language, we have no model to create our own. There is indeed an international style of rootless jazz playing. In the name of creativity, it expresses banality. In its lazy quest for the original, it finds only unoriginality.
    The champions of authenticity can take some poetic justice from that phenomenon. All their hard work, all their striving to do justice and pay homage to their forefathers, places them above the lazy, rootless denizens who never engage deeply in the music, who treat jazz like a subsidized vacation and not as a serious discipline. Through their loyal devotion to their influences, the authenticity-seekers have mastered a language; the rootless players merely babble with each other like babies on the bandstand. To be sure, there is justice for someone who devotes himself to the past in jazz: He has the comfort of his craft and the reassurance of deep knowledge. Still, knowledge alone makes him only a craftsman and not a creator."

    Yes, bravo. I'd just like to add though, that it's far too polemic too place the "rooted" (in jazz tradition) at one end of the spectrum, and the rootless at the other. In reality of course, on most Jazz bandstands, you have people not only somewhere in between, but mostly leaning towards the schooled side. So the distinction needs to be more subtle, i.e., what is deemed preferable, an improvisor who is partly rooted but has ideas outside of the usual, or someone who is deeply rooted, but is unoriginal?

    See, even here we know that there are good and bad examples on both sides. Suffice to say that for me, If I hear someone speaking "jazz", albeit with a strange and wonderful accent, I might prefer that to either of the diametrically opposed extremes- that being the completely unrooted that is speaking gibberish, and the deeply rooted that is mired in cliche... YMMV.

  36. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    If anybody cares ...

    Mark Levine's Jazz Theory has a short section on HM. He suggests that it is used infrequently in its entirely, but frequently in fragments. He gives examples from players who do use it. It's minor ii V i stuff

    He also offers an opinion about why it isn't used more. He says, that "it fits no one particular chord .... no matter what chord you pay it on, at least one note ... sounds like an avoid note".

    And then he gives examples of the avoid note working anyway.
    I kind of regard MLs book as completely irrelevant to the study of bop.

  37. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Great answers, as always Christian. I suppose my point was that there can be other systems of discipline we can discover for ourselves, and for me, that's the "fun" bit. I mean, if we consider just one of the basic tenets of Bop : "Thou shalt play chord tones or desirable extensions on most of the downbeats".... There are many ways to solve this "puzzle" without needing to know how others do it. Same goes for ways of targeting or encircling, approaching, pivoting etc.
    This is not one of the tenets of bop. Look at the first three notes of Billies bounce for instance.

    It is an essential skill if you want to learn to outline changes in scalar lines. And then subvert the rhythm from there.

    Personally, I had my own approach, and then I realised Barry’s approach completely encapsulated and extended it, and it was redundant.

    What Barry’s improv material really teaches imo is rhythm, and becoming sensitised to the connection between rhythm and pitch in lines.

    In regard to extensions - I think people get hung up on the wrong things. Extensions are for target chords. Everything else is just a line looking for a resolution. That’s why harmonic minor works btw. And why maj7 on dominant is not a big deal in a bop line.

    But really, if we listen enough to this music (Bop, Hard Bop etc), we get the inflection, the nuances, the phrasing etc of it's "language". Because of this, the traditions will still show up in our playing, but the inaccurate way that we might decipher it all leads to the interesting outgrowths of accidental new mutations. This more than anything will keep the music alive in an ever evolving way, it can be organic. Instead of worshipping it's ashes, we fan it's flames, or something...
    I respect this point, and I will think about it.

    And yes, for those just wanting to get started, the BH road seems like a great one, but it seems to demand long term commitment in order to bear it's fruit. But some of us have a problem with method books, or courses. Too rigid, too static, too much fear that we'd turn out cookie cutter Jazz.... Not saying that's been a problem for you as you seem to have happily incorporated all things into your own "method", and I think that approach has been fun for you, right? Bit of this, bit of that.... although, some "bits" can be separate disciplines that will take years to incorporate (BH, for example).
    I’m not sure it is for the beginner tbh. I’m in two minds about when to start teaching this stuff.

    Embellishing chord tones is certainly a very important basic skill. And to use BHs stuff you kind of have to be able to do that already imo.

    I came to Barry after an extended period of being a chord tone improviser and lick guy, which I think is maybe an important phase.

    So yeah, just sayin' it may not be the best use of time to stick with just one discipline for too long if it will stunt your growth. This is why teachers are really important in Jazz study, it takes having gone through the long term learning experience in order to impart to the student his/her best use of time in each area of study in order to reach one's goals.

    Without a guide, you're kinda flying blind, as I did for too many years! I think a very good teacher would probably not suggest that his student do nothing but BH for the first 5 years...
    One of the bits of advice I give to jazz novices is - learn bop heads by ear and try to take them apart to see how they work.

    Don’t do solos till later. Heads have the advantage that you can play them on gigs, and there’s plenty of language in them.

    Plus it’s less daunting for the student to learn the 12 bars of Billies Bounce or the 9 bars of material in Scrapple then a whole solo.

    I teach a few more advanced students (college level, pro players in other styles etc) and what i notice is obvious - those who can hear jazz phrases can play jazz, those who can’t, well they can’t. The good players have all done lots of transcription which is one obvious way to learn to hear phrases.

    So the next step for them is to move them away from playing licks, and get them to stop using transcription as a source of vocabulary and starting inventing their own shit.

    (Within bebop BH is a fun and flexible way to explore this. I also teach CST ideas too, I borrow from everywhere and try and target my teaching to the style and interests of the student.)

    But that’s not to say that what they’ve done is wrong. On the contrary, they are walking the path.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-10-2018 at 05:48 AM.

  38. #187

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    Oh btw I kind of feel that Forward Motion by Hal Galper is kind of Barry Harris approached from the opposite direction.

    The basic concerns are the same - how pitch and rhythm are interlaced.

  39. #188

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    Can you explain BH's rhythmic approach in a nutshell?

  40. #189

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    You’re missing the point. There’s no fancy special info here. There’s no theory here you don’t already know.

    There’s only practicing your scales etc in the way he outlines and then you get better at making bebop lines. Or at least I did.

    It’s old school hands on learning, like learning a trade or a craft. It’s not about ideas or debate.

  41. #190

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    OK, I thought you may have been alluding to some part of his teaching that refers specifically to a special rhythmic aspect. What I gleaned was long streams of 8ths with rules about where to insert chromatics. A few years back I made up a series of my own exercises where I use chromatic embellishments, sometimes only a couple, up to some that contain all of them. All in all I have dozens of these devices which I practice for every chord in every key in every position. I also vary how I start and end them, on different parts of the bar which forces alterations to the resolutions.

    I think it covers a lot of the same ground as the BH rules, but in different ways. I also have triplet based ideas that can be intermingled and still outline underlying chords, but the one thing all these exercises doesn't do is give me any facility for varying rhythmic phrasing. Sure, I can leave gaps, play some parts in double or half time and that provides for a lot of variation, but it's not giving me tools to phrase like Parker, that's for sure (which is OK by me). So was wondering, given that BH is big on Bird and Bud, if the BH teachings address this aspect, that's all.

    Regardless, I view all this training (I shed this stuff a lot BTW) as merely a way to add filler to more melodic playing, i.e., melody / filler / melody / filler etc. This comes from my analysis of players I admired where I noticed that they had the ability to improvise melody as well as a way to produce endless variations on their "devices". Some players, in addition, also have pet licks or lines that they also get good mileage from by offsetting, stretching, compressing, substituting etc. Me, if I play too much pattern or device based filler, I sound lame, but when I attempt pure melody (basically "singing" through the guitar) it's slower and not always accurately what I'm going for, and therefor also lame...

    But by combining these elements it sounds a little less lame. The new challenge of course becomes how to cover the seams and create the illusion that it's all spontaneously expressed melody on the fly. Now that is the one thing where Bird will always kick your ass. It took Thomas Owens years to figure out that Parker really was regurgitating just a coupla hundred or so chunks or cells, otherwise, you'd think he had a bottomless well to draw from, and that any perceived repetition was meant for effect...

    But like I said, there are other players that I'd rather sound in the ballpark of, this week it's early Martino

  42. #191

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    Well he's big on triplets.

    You have to work through the DVDs really, I don't want to recap what's on there. I would be surprised if there wasn't overlap between what you came up with and the BH material.

  43. #192

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    Maybe it has already been said in this long and interesting thread but it seems to me that the main reason BH has little to say about harmonic minor in particular is that the HM scale tones are included in the minor sixth diminished, his scale of choice for both minor tonality and altered dominants.

  44. #193

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    min6 dim, also he gives the scale as an alteration of the dominant, G7 to the third of E7 for instance. It’s true he doesn’t reference harmonic minor explicitly, and the only reason I do is when I talk about it the Barry way no one has a scooby what I’m on about.

    Probably because more people have heard about the harmony stuff and don’t realise the improvisation stuff is separate and different, although you can use the 6-dim scales to create lines also.

    Barry also uses tritone and tritone’s minor (altered) in lines.

  45. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    ... if I play too much pattern or device based filler, I sound lame, but when I attempt pure melody (basically "singing" through the guitar) it's slower and not always accurately what I'm going for, and therefor also lame...

    But by combining these elements it sounds a little less lame ...
    PP, I enjoyed your post, and I'd like to hear more about your "devices" -- but the bit above made me laugh. It approximates how I feel about my own playing.


  46. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Probably because more people have heard about the harmony stuff and don’t realise the improvisation stuff is separate and different, although you can use the 6-dim scales to create lines also.
    Yes, we are taught at the outset to distinguish between the linear and harmonic approaches but the further you go into it the more overlap you find. This is not to say that BH presents a unified theory of jazz improv and harmony, which may be why novices are cautioned to separate them.

  47. #196

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    I found many Harris things in Wes playing. What about this phrase from Sundown:

    Barry Harris &amp; Wes Montgomery-captura-de-pantalla-2019-02-22-las-20-35-17-png

    (Played over from A7 going to the IV) Chords from 7th and 3rd and diminished arpeggio from 2nd, pure Harris pedagogy. I am sure Wes wasn't a savant, He knew perfectly what the was doing and he had a plan; He played lines the same way he played chords, taking advantage of diminished chords in between.

  48. #197

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    I think that just illustrates how much there was a common practice post Parker...

    You know theory... it's a funny thing. I'm certain anyone as bright and musical as Wes would have noticed patterns and come up with systems for playing music, it's just that he didn't necessarily talk about it to my knowledge...

    I reckon anyone who can play does this.

  49. #198

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think that just illustrates how much there was a common practice post Parker...

    You know theory... it's a funny thing. I'm certain anyone as bright and musical as Wes would have noticed patterns and come up with systems for playing music, it's just that he didn't necessarily talk about it to my knowledge...
    Even people who don't play well (or don't play well yet) can hear this in the playing of others. Breaks by horn players are a great example. Those flourishes are not improvised note-to-note but pattern-to-pattern.

    You can hear a lot of that in Clifford Brown's playing.



    Here is a snippet of the "Clifford Brown practicing" floating around YouTube. Lot of patterns in there....

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  50. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think that just illustrates how much there was a common practice post Parker...

    You know theory... it's a funny thing. I'm certain anyone as bright and musical as Wes would have noticed patterns and come up with systems for playing music, it's just that he didn't necessarily talk about it to my knowledge...

    I reckon anyone who can play does this.
    There's that video of him showing Pim Jacobs how to play "End of a Love a Affair", especially the bit where he shows him a back-cycling/re-harm thing. That makes it pretty clear that he could talk about and explain harmony. It's obvious from that and his playing that Wes knew plenty and had a well structured and organized system. I imagine on his recording dates and when he rehearsed bands there was plenty of conversation about what's what. But his career was so short, and there are so few interviews with him that we just don't have much record of how he systematized his playing.

    John