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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    So, you and princeplanet are one same person? Good to know.

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    Haha! Be careful, you might have offended our good colleague Christian. Let's just say that about some things we may vaguely be living on the same planet....

    I also think there's a Jazz tradition that expects the learner to be able to play certain exercises, for example - unbroken 8ths against a common Jazz tune where you play nothing but chord tones on down beats and embellishments (diatonic or chromatic ) on the off beats.

    It takes years to sound good at just that, and I think I can tell which players have put in the hard yards there, not because they always play like that, but because they can slip in and out of playing like that whenever they wish.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Haha! Be careful, you might have offended our good colleague Christian. Let's just say that about some things we may vaguely be living on the same planet....

    I also think there's a Jazz tradition that expects the learner to be able to play certain exercises, for example - unbroken 8ths against a common Jazz tune where you play nothing but chord tones on down beats and embellishments (diatonic or chromatic ) on the off beats.

    It takes years to sound good at just that, and I think I can tell which players have put in the hard yards there, not because they always play like that, but because they can slip in and out of playing like that whenever they wish.
    Shhh, I'm having a sulk.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Personally, I don't give a F if I place chord tones on beats as long as it's clear there's some tonic around and I think it sounds good. Is it really such a big deal? If musicians can tell I'm a novice, what would uneducated audience say? Would they object, or maybe even find it better on the ear, brain and stomach?
    AlsoI'm not quite sure how it's really connected, scales and chord tones on beats? Is there some rule saying you always have to play the whole scale begining to an end and use all the scale notes along the way!
    There is a test for this. I heard about it from Jamey Aebersold. Take a play-along track and listen to it without your guitar in hand. Instead, sing a solo. Scat, whatever. Make music with your mouth alone. Tape that and play it back. Play what you sang and you'll likely find chord tones landing on strong beats much more often than you would expect. Jamey says it's what humans tend to do. It's why some people can make great music without much knowledge of music.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    There is a test for this. I heard about it from Jamey Aebersold. Take a play-along track and listen to it without your guitar in hand. Instead, sing a solo. Scat, whatever. Make music with your mouth alone. Tape that and play it back. Play what you sang and you'll likely find chord tones landing on strong beats much more often than you would expect. Jamey says it's what humans tend to do. It's why some people can make great music without much knowledge of music.
    And another good test is to listen to a solo without the backing band. You often can hear the implied harmony in the great jazz soloists. Try the same with Rock guitarists, you often just hear the tonic chord being implied....

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    There is a test for this. I heard about it from Jamey Aebersold. Take a play-along track and listen to it without your guitar in hand. Instead, sing a solo. Scat, whatever. Make music with your mouth alone. Tape that and play it back. Play what you sang and you'll likely find chord tones landing on strong beats much more often than you would expect. Jamey says it's what humans tend to do. It's why some people can make great music without much knowledge of music.

    Right.

    The concept of practicing lines so that chord tones fall on strong beats is the silliest thing I've ever heard. And the resultant ridiculous "bebop scales" that aim to make your playing do that...Listen to good players, sing in your head.. Hear good lines. More often than not, a good line sounds good because of this. But you have to hear it. It has to be the music that plays in your head.
    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

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    And another good test is to listen to a solo without the backing band. You often can hear the implied harmony in the great jazz soloists. Try the same with Rock guitarists, you often just hear the tonic chord being implied....

    This is true. Sonny Rollins is often cited as an example of this---and he has performed solo and demonstrated this---but pretty much any good jazz soloist playing a jazz standard is going to imply the changes.

    Here's a great example by Herb Ellis, playing with bassist Dave Maslow. (The solo starts around the 2:00 minute mark.) This shifts from "It Might As Well Be Spring" to "Things Ain't What They Used To Be."

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

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Right.

    The concept of practicing lines so that chord tones fall on strong beats is the silliest thing I've ever heard. And the resultant ridiculous "bebop scales" that aim to make your playing do that...Listen to good players, sing in your head.. Hear good lines. More often than not, a good line sounds good because of this. But you have to hear it. It has to be the music that plays in your head.
    I think those are separate things. We do the vocal thing naturally enough (and if you 'play what you sing' you may do it on your guitar too.) But one reason Barry Harris emphasizes his half-step rules for scales is that it doesn't help a jazz player at all to play major (or minor or mixo) scales up and down because it's not rhythmic. When you add a note, the scale ends on beat one, rather than on the and-of-four, leaving beat one silent. But when you add a note---or three or five (which results in the line ending on other beats)---you realize THAT is what so many of your favorite bebop players were doing. Those lines are idiomatic bebop lines. (And they aren't as naturally sung as the root, third, and fifth of a major triad.) So it is good to practice them. If you're playing an angular line that runs for 7, 8, of 9 beats, you have to know where to start in order for it to end where you want it to. Eventually, you can do it without much thought, but it is a rare bird who can get to that point without a lot of conscious practice. (And we know how much Bird practiced!)

    This, I think, is the main reason noodling sounds like noodling and why Charlie Parker never sounded like noodling. He knew where he was heading and stopped (or paused) when he go there. Then he started off for somewhere else.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I think those are separate things. We do the vocal thing naturally enough (and if you 'play what you sing' you may do it on your guitar too.) But one reason Barry Harris emphasizes his half-step rules for scales is that it doesn't help a jazz player at all to play major (or minor or mixo) scales up and down because it's not rhythmic. When you add a note, the scale ends on beat one, rather than on the and-of-four, leaving beat one silent. But when you add a note---or three or five (which results in the line ending on other beats)---you realize THAT is what so many of your favorite bebop players were doing. Those lines are idiomatic bebop lines. (And they aren't as naturally sung as the root, third, and fifth of a major triad.) So it is good to practice them. If you're playing an angular line that runs for 7, 8, of 9 beats, you have to know where to start in order for it to end where you want it to. Eventually, you can do it without much thought, but it is a rare bird who can get to that point without a lot of conscious practice. (And we know how much Bird practiced!)

    This, I think, is the main reason noodling sounds like noodling and why Charlie Parker never sounded like noodling. He knew where he was heading and stopped (or paused) when he go there. Then he started off for somewhere else.
    It just seems to be a name put to common chromaticisms...something listening and transcribing would give a player without ever putting a "rule" on it.

    I see the lines people talk about that use this, And I hardly ever think of them as coming from a scale. But if it helps folks to analyze it that way, it's all good.
    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

  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Right.

    The concept of practicing lines so that chord tones fall on strong beats is the silliest thing I've ever heard. And the resultant ridiculous "bebop scales" that aim to make your playing do that...Listen to good players, sing in your head.. Hear good lines. More often than not, a good line sounds good because of this. But you have to hear it. It has to be the music that plays in your head.
    It's not horrible, as a beginning exercise , for how to make scales sound generally a little more musical . I guess it gets you thinking about chord tones more. But then these kind of things get turned into kind of "rules", and they're just not . They're "broken" by too many great players too often.

    Bert Ligon insists that, when practicing lines of any type, that you practice it starting ON, BEFORE, and AFTER the beat. I'm always struck by how a good line sounds good when displaced , often better. You can play them on triplets , and they sound great as well. That being said, he doesn't really emphasize the scale thing on the strong beat as much, either.

    Anyway, good melody is basically it's own the reference , and can handle much reworking, rhythmically. Rhythmic displacement is about 90% of playing a simple melody in a jazz style anyway. Isn't it? The strong beat thing is an exercise not a rule, and is one of the most misunderstand elements of beginning jazz pedagogy IMO. Its importance is inferred by beginners and jazz passers-by as being much more than it should be, for whatever reason.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 11-02-2016 at 11:01 AM.

  11. #60

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    Agreed about the placement of the line.

    Sometimes when I transcribe I'll just jot down the rhythm of a good line, won't look at pitch at all.
    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

  12. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I think those are separate things. We do the vocal thing naturally enough (and if you 'play what you sing' you may do it on your guitar too.) But one reason Barry Harris emphasizes his half-step rules for scales is that it doesn't help a jazz player at all to play major (or minor or mixo) scales up and down because it's not rhythmic. When you add a note, the scale ends on beat one, rather than on the and-of-four, leaving beat one silent. But when you add a note---or three or five (which results in the line ending on other beats)---you realize THAT is what so many of your favorite bebop players were doing. Those lines are idiomatic bebop lines. (And they aren't as naturally sung as the root, third, and fifth of a major triad.) So it is good to practice them. If you're playing an angular line that runs for 7, 8, of 9 beats, you have to know where to start in order for it to end where you want it to. Eventually, you can do it without much thought, but it is a rare bird who can get to that point without a lot of conscious practice. (And we know how much Bird practiced!)

    This, I think, is the main reason noodling sounds like noodling and why Charlie Parker never sounded like noodling. He knew where he was heading and stopped (or paused) when he go there. Then he started off for somewhere else.
    I dig Barry Harris and what he's doing. I'm definitely checking it out and playing through some. Again, a lot of of it is just a starting point, in my mind. Really gets you some training in creating rhythmically strong melody , in certain, very specific ways.

    Good melody is good melody . I still think much of that stuff sounds great displaced or played on triplets or whatever. It's ok to learn things one way first , and I'm cool with that.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I dig Barry Harris and what he's doing. I'm definitely checking it out and playing through some. Again, a lot of of it is just a starting point, in my mind. Really gets you some training in creating rhythmically strong melody , in certain, very specific ways.

    Good melody is good melody . I still think much of that stuff sounds great displaced or played on triplets or whatever. It's ok to learn things one way first , and I'm cool with that.
    Yes, that's the point of the exercises, to train you into the habit of expressing the chord of the moment, which is kinda like sticking to the railway track. Do that enough, they'll tell you, and you can then choose to move on and off the track at will, or even float above it, but you should still be able to pull straight back to the track at any moment.

    When I listen to the the greats (past and present), that is what I think I'm hearing. You can't sound like that without first practicing the "rules" for a long time. Sure, you can find original ways to play that eschews these rules, but it won't sound like Bop based playing, which for many of us, is still the real basis for most kinds of "Jazz".
    Last edited by princeplanet; 11-02-2016 at 12:38 PM.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Right.

    The concept of practicing lines so that chord tones fall on strong beats is the silliest thing I've ever heard. And the resultant ridiculous "bebop scales" that aim to make your playing do that...Listen to good players, sing in your head.. Hear good lines. More often than not, a good line sounds good because of this. But you have to hear it. It has to be the music that plays in your head.
    Bad man. Naughty bad flame war provoking naughty bad man.

    I never say things to get a rise out of people, ever ;-)

  15. #64

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    Vis 'bebop' scales.

    A bebop scale can be an ordinary scale where you just start the first note on the offbeat of 1, or hold the first note for a quarter note, or go 1 6 b7 6 5 3 2 1 or sommat.

    It's not necessarily about the chromatic. It's about thinking of a rhythmic phrase and making the frickin' notes work. You might question the need for a fancy set of rules to guide this, and you might be fine doing this without....

    Anyway, I see very few examples of classic example #1 of the How to Play Bebop David Baker bebop scales in the music of Bird. The obvious example is Donna Lee, which I do think was a Miles composition. There's something inherently square about the concept that seems alien to Bird, although I find it helps to know how to be on the beat with your chord tones if you then want to play around with that expectation.

    The Clifford I have transcribed tends to use the tactics I have described above rather than chromatics

    I confirm that too much practice of added note scales on the beat made my up tempo playing a little foursquare for my liking. It's important to work on things that start and finish on the upbeat. Needless to say, Barry has a thing to work on that, too.

    Barry Harris is about turning scales (well the dominant scale) into music. He has guidelines to do this. Many guidelines. YMMV. But, I find that one of his patterns can keep me in practice for a month or two. In a sense it's no different to any other pattern work, except of course that BH's patterns can be chopped up and melded into idiomatic bop phrases that are not simply cliches or licks ripped off records.

    A good alternative approach that would lead to very similar results (among others) would be Galper's Forward Motion concept.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-02-2016 at 01:46 PM.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarzen View Post
    That's the problem with humans, they are always looking for a list of 10 commandments or something. And history has proved time and time again, that doesn't work, in any context.
    EXACTLY!


  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Of course there is more than 1 scale to contain same 4 chord tones, as well as you can turn the thing upside down and consider those 4 tones to be connecting ones ...
    Personally, I don't give a F if I place chord tones on beats as long as it's clear there's some tonic around and I think it sounds good. Is it really such a big deal? If musicians can tell I'm a novice, what would uneducated audience say? Would they object, or maybe even find it better on the ear, brain and stomach?
    AlsoI'm not quite sure how it's really connected, scales and chord tones on beats? Is there some rule saying you always have to play the whole scale begining to an end and use all the scale notes along the way!


    VladanMovies BlogSpot
    You'd be cast out of the jazz club like Kenny G.

    But you'd drive a really nice car and live in Malibu.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Shhh, I'm having a sulk.
    I did this the other night. With a cup of epsom salt. Ahhhhh... so relaxing.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarzen View Post
    That's the problem with humans, they are always looking for a list of 10 commandments or something. And history has proved time and time again, that doesn't work, in any context.

    I see this as more of a modern tendency. If you look at Aristotle's Ethics, there are no commandments in it. It's about habit rather than rules. (Almost every modern who picks it up soon sets it down in frustration crying, "Just sum it up in something I can jot down on an index card, for godsake!")

    And if you look at the actual ten commandments, they're very general (don't murder, don't steal, respect your parents, hands off your neighbor's spouse...) The musical equivalent of: listen to the other members of the band; if you don't know what to play, lay out; learn tunes; show up on time, and sober; don't mess with the spouses of bandmates---it never ends well.

    Stephen Toulmin wrote about the modern obsession with certainty and exactness in his book "Cosmopolis." The ancients and medievals were not obsessed with those things. (They may have had other obsessions but not those.)

    Moderns are the first people in the world to think they should be able to read a short article and really understand something it takes serious students decades of study and experience to master. It's like teenagers talking about what they'll name their band and what to put on their first album even though they can't play a single song from start to finish. Maybe they haven't even gotten to the part about having instruments at all yet...
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #69

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    the improv line is like gymnastics ...
    Its nice to be elegant when flying though the air but you can pull some weird shapes and thats ok

    But you sure better land good
    Ie intentionally ...

    or you got a problem !

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    the improv line is like gymnastics ...
    Its nice to be elegant when flying though the air but you can pull some weird shapes and thats ok

    But you sure better land good
    Ie intentionally ...

    or you got a problem !
    In homiletics (-"preaching") class in seminary, this was called "landing the plane." As in "you gotta know how (and when) to land the plane." At least with music you have a beat to work with (-provided you can find "one"). What was the old Keith Moon line, "As long as you begin and end well, nobody remembers what happened in between." Something like that. An overstatement, but there's a good reason there are so many "patent" intros and endings for solos: they work (and not just any-old-thing will).
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    In homiletics (-"preaching") class in seminary
    Ah. I always thought priests and jazz were a very interesting combination :-)

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Ah. I always thought priests and jazz were a very interesting combination :-)
    Here's the obit for Rev. Norman J. O'Connor, aka "The Jazz Priest."

    Rev. Norman J. O'Connor, 81, 'Jazz Priest' - The New York Times
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  24. #73

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    Scales are just theoretical, I think to just make it explainable.


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  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I see this as more of a modern tendency. If you look at Aristotle's Ethics, there are no commandments in it. It's about habit rather than rules. (Almost every modern who picks it up soon sets it down in frustration crying, "Just sum it up in something I can jot down on an index card, for godsake!")

    Moderns are the first people in the world to think they should be able to read a short article and really understand something it takes serious students decades of study and experience to master. It's like teenagers talking about what they'll name their band and what to put on their first album even though they can't play a single song from start to finish. Maybe they haven't even gotten to the part about having instruments at all yet...
    one reason I wont teach "kids" speed - they just want to play fast..no theory..no keys..no scales..no chords..just fast..(and can you show me how to play fast in like 10 mins..)
    play well ...
    wolf

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Here's the obit for Rev. Norman J. O'Connor, aka "The Jazz Priest."
    There's always one :-)

    I want you to know this is a disreputable website!

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen View Post
    fast in like 10 mins..)
    That is fast...

  28. #77

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    "Jimmy Bruno and other current guys I follow seem to all use CST more than just arpeggios "

    In his teaching, Jimmy avoids discussion of CST like the plague.......

  29. #78

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    I don't think there's much wrong with matching scales to chords, it's just the theory that gets ya, not that we shouldn't have it. Know it and transcend it, I say - if that's possible...
    Last edited by ragman1; 11-05-2016 at 11:01 AM.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    ... Know it and transcend it ...
    Love it.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I don't think there's much wrong with matching scales to chords, it's just the theory that gets ya, not that we shouldn't have it. Know it and transcend it, I say - if that's possible...
    Bah. Whatever.

    I've already said my bit anyway, and the people who agree with me go 'yay' and the people who disagree say 'I can't understand why you say that' and none of us are anywhere other than where we started. I should learn not to weigh in really. No one gives a flying f*** and quite rightly so.

    Pitch choices aren't that important anyway. This is all a sideshow.

    But I do agree that whatever you learn, you must transcend. The sooner you are able to stop thinking about 'what note over what chord' when you play, the better. However you get to that result...

    I urge everyone on this thread who has not yet done so to watch Jordan's video.

  32. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic View Post
    "Jimmy Bruno and other current guys I follow seem to all use CST more than just arpeggios "

    In his teaching, Jimmy avoids discussion of CST like the plague.......
    Yep . The other post sounded like some confusion on what CST actually IS.

    For the sake of disambiguation, it should be said that CST is NOT simply playing scales versus playing arpeggios. You can play scales and arpeggios applying CST, and do the same while NOT applying CST per se.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Yep . The other post sounded like some confusion on what CST actually IS.

    For the sake of disambiguation, it should be said that CST is NOT simply playing scales versus playing arpeggios. You can play scales and arpeggios applying CST, and do the same while NOT applying CST per se.
    Thanks.

    They should call it Chord Mode Theory IMO, because scales are things that go up and down, from the Italian scala meaning ladder, while the notes modes can go in any order at all (at least in the jazz understanding.)

    BTW I think that's what Carol mean by 'note scales' - scales aren't necessarily the things she objects to I would imagine.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-05-2016 at 06:13 PM.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    They should call it Chord Mode Theory IMO, because scales are things that go up and down, from the Italian scala meaning ladder, while the notes modes can go in any order at all (at least in the jazz understanding.)

    BTW I think that's what Carol mean by 'note scales' - scales aren't necessarily the things she objects to I would imagine.
    You could be right about that. She speaks of their use for "traveling" (as in moving stepwise, I take it).

    She has also said a few times that many fakebooks have poor changes because the smart young things putting them together didn't think about standards (and music and the changes) the same way the greats who came before them did.

    She does know scales, but she doesn't think they are the organizing principle of good improvisation---her focus is on chords, the cycle, b5 subs (-she hates the term "tritone" and insists she never heard a studio player use it, though it's actually an old term, but I'll take her word for it not being in common use among West Coast jazz players of the '50s and '60s), "dims for doms", patterns. She's relentless about this. And she's clear that she's talking about jazz of a certain sort----the swing and bebop era. She knew a lot of those players, and a high percentage of her musical contacts over the decades have been successful pros--I think she knows what she's talking about.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    You could be right about that. She speaks of their use for "traveling" (as in moving stepwise, I take it).

    She has also said a few times that many fakebooks have poor changes because the smart young things putting them together didn't think about standards (and music and the changes) the same way the greats who came before them did.
    I'm actually thinking of putting a video together on this very subject. It's something I've been thinking about a lot.

    IMO people get very caught up in extensions and vertical relationships in these old popular songs, where as I see it, they are songs with melodies based mostly on the diatonic scales and the chords that accompany them are chosen for so on for reasons of voice leading and good counterpoint etc. People not familiar with the study of classical/common practice harmony can underestimate how complex the dissonances can get if they are well prepared and resolved, even though the basic resting chords are simple triad.

    It's not because of vertical relationships to do with 'upper structures'. Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers and Cole Porter, I guarantee you, had no idea what that stuff was.

    When in fact the 'upper structures' come from suspensions, appogiaturas and so on of basic diatonic material against chords in the accompaniment, not some of superimposed triad or anything else. That stuff is all a work of later theoreticians, and the way the ear perceives this stuff now is coloured by that.

    Of course it's not 'wrong' - nothing in music is. I use these sounds myself when I wish to take my music in that direction harmonically. It's more like a completely different interpretation of the same basic material that would completely confuse the original composer. Not the first time this has happened in music theory history!

    IMO it comes out of learning songs out of fake books instead of learning the melody and chords by ear and from sheet music and then going from there.

    As Barry Harris points out, the songs of the American Songbook were written by classically trained composers. That's the framework we have to play with - not the only stuff - but the basic foundation, and yet jazz musicians seem often to be quite militant about how our specific understanding of harmony is the right way to understand the music.

    I have a good friend who is both a great jazz musician and a thoroughly trained classical composer. He says all this stuff. 'What's the big deal about the ii-V-I' he says 'it's just one of whole bunch of ways of going to I.' Standards are full of Deceptive cadences, Plagal cadences, Neapolitan chords, Augmented Sixths and all the other rich harmonic movement of the 18th and 19th century.

    While, on the other hand, jazz educations teaching of tonal harmony remains somewhat limited and the published changes represent butcherings of the expert original harmony of the great popular composers. I'm not going full on Jay and suggesting we must always play the original harmony the way it is - but I think the really good players respect the song even where they change. They seek out the original changes and so on.

    But my friend is teaching now, at one of the top London conservatoires, so some young jazz musicians are getting good information on this stuff.

    Is this important? I don't know. I'm a great lover of the Western canon though, and the way that 20th century popular song and jazz relates to these traditions interests me. The way some of those songs are structured is fascinating from a compositional standpoint. I find understanding a little classic harmony has helped me write what I regard to be more beautiful harmony. It's all personal taste ultimately. No one should feel they have to understand anything.

    I would love to know what Carol has to say on the matter....
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-05-2016 at 08:01 PM.

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Bah. Whatever.
    I think it just means if it sounds ok then it is, to quote. I mean, if you like the sound of a note you don't want some Mary Whitehouse-type of the music world to appear shrieking 'You can't put that there!' because you bloody well can!

    Er... if it sounds ok, that is.

  37. #86

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    Mark -

    Well, it was 4 in the morning and I thought I'd have a bit of fun with Satin Doll (as it happened to come up on the other thread). For some reason it decided it wanted to go a bit country about halfway through so it got a tinge of that. (Strayhorn had nothing to do with it, that was a coincidence).

    Anyway, there are quite a few disreputable notes in it, including the one at the end, and a rather hot bass solo. Enjoy - I donate it to the cause!

    Last edited by ragman1; 11-06-2016 at 01:20 PM.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'm actually thinking of putting a video together on this very subject. It's something I've been thinking about a lot.

    IMO people get very caught up in extensions and vertical relationships in these old popular songs, where as I see it, they are songs with melodies based mostly on the diatonic scales and the chords that accompany them are chosen for so on for reasons of voice leading and good counterpoint etc. People not familiar with the study of classical/common practice harmony can underestimate how complex the dissonances can get if they are well prepared and resolved, even though the basic resting chords are simple triad.


    I would love to know what Carol has to say on the matter....
    Christian, make that video! ;o) I'm interested in this stuff too. (From another angle, it's easy to tell when someone is just blowing over the changes and when they're improvising on the tune. Sometimes blowing over the changes is fine---especially when done by someone adept at improvising based on the melody and the rhythm of the tune.)

    As for Carol's view on this, I'll leave it to you to ask her! (She's bitten my head off a few times now and I'm wary about asking her questions. She's quite a character and I admire her deeply but when others tell me they have found her, well, prickly, I nod and say, "Well, yes, there is that...")
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Mark -

    Well, it was 4 in the morning and I thought I'd have a bit of fun with Satin Doll (as it happened to come up on the other thread). For some reason it decided it wanted to go a bit country about halfway through so it got a tinge of that. (Strayhorn had nothing to do with it, that was a coincidence).


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

  40. #89

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    Thanks. I like the bass solo. Amazing what you can do with Audacity

    By the way, here are lots of Carol Kaye's tips etc:

    The Official Carol Kaye Web Site
    Last edited by ragman1; 11-06-2016 at 11:52 AM.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Of course there is more than 1 scale to contain same 4 chord tones, as well as you can turn the thing upside down and consider those 4 tones to be connecting ones ...
    Personally, I don't give a F if I place chord tones on beats as long as it's clear there's some tonic around and I think it sounds good. Is it really such a big deal? If musicians can tell I'm a novice, what would uneducated audience say? Would they object, or maybe even find it better on the ear, brain and stomach?
    AlsoI'm not quite sure how it's really connected, scales and chord tones on beats? Is there some rule saying you always have to play the whole scale begining to an end and use all the scale notes along the way!


    VladanMovies BlogSpot
    I agree with Vladan. I am sure that if you analyzed the solos of some of your favorite players you would find plenty of instance where a chord tone does not land on the beat. How boring and formulaic would it be to play that way.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnatola View Post
    I agree with Vladan. I am sure that if you analyzed the solos of some of your favorite players you would find plenty of instance where a chord tone does not land on the beat. How boring and formulaic would it be to play that way.
    That is because your fave players have mastered the art of the delayed resolution. Analyse your own solos, or of your friends solos who land a lot of non chord tones on down beats. Doesn't sound quite as good as your fave players, right?

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    That is because your fave players have mastered the art of the delayed resolution. Analyse your own solos, or of your friends solos who land a lot of non chord tones on down beats. Doesn't sound quite as good as your fave players, right?
    Don't forget anticipations as well. Chord tone on the upbeat.

    When all is said and done, it's about hearing it.

  44. #93

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    I think it was Joe Pass who said an improvisation should enunciate the chords and be able to be understood without any backing.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I think it was Joe Pass who said an improvisation should enunciate the chords and be able to be understood without any backing.
    Certainly a great thing to work on... I'm a very 'changes-ey' player myself. It's not right for every situation, but it's something I work on a lot in combination with my time just because I spend so much time playing without a chordal instrument.

    Where it gets interesting is when you realise that you can play 'motion' - not always the same motion as the written chords, nor even anything with any kind of vertical relationship to the changes either - provided you know where you are going and when you are going to get there.

  46. #95

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    I started out playing the trumpet, which is why I play single notes a lot. I can do the chords but prefer the notes for some reason.

    I put 'enunciate' but what's the word for when what you're playing shows or outlines the colour of the chord? It's probably outlines!

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Where it gets interesting is when you realise that you can play 'motion' - not always the same motion as the written chords, nor even anything with any kind of vertical relationship to the changes either - provided you know where you are going and when you are going to get there.
    This reminds me of something from another field: stand-up comedy. I interviewed a comic by phone for the local paper in advance of an upcoming stint at the Comedy Corner and he liked the write-up. I went to see him at the club when he got to town and we sat in the back while a string of unknowns went through their five minute bits for open-mic night. (Something I did myself several times; don't miss it but I'm glad I did it.) I asked the comic, "What is it that you know that they don't know?" He looked at me and thought a moment. "They don't know that the audience wants to like them."

    There's a lot to that. We kicked it around some and this is not a quote---my God, that was almost 20 years ago!---but it is the gist: Audiences will go with you just about anywhere so long as you know where you're going. But they can't stand it when you seem lost because that makes them feel helpless. They know you need help but they can't help you---they don't just feel helpless, they ARE helpless. And nobody likes to feel that way. Booting a bombing comic off the stage is a form of self-defense.

    (I experienced this once. I was doing my bit when the oddest thing happened: my mind went blank. It was like a TV set was turned off--all silent black. I wasn't disoriented (or stoned or drunk). I just went blank. And I did the worst thing possible: I said aloud, more as an observation to myself than a comment to them: "I forgot what I was going to say next." The groan form the audience was pervasive. I was doomed. Nothing to do but slink off and try again another day. Which I did.)

    As Milton Berle used to say, "Security is knowing your lines." Goes for jazz players too.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Don't forget anticipations as well. Chord tone on the upbeat.

    When all is said and done, it's about hearing it.
    True dat, and some players (Bird especially) got good at anticipating way before the chord cometh....

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    The way some of those songs are structured is fascinating from a compositional standpoint.
    That's what I think. Some of those tunes are absolute genius level in their apparent simplicity.

    I said that to someone once and they said 'Well, it's obvious, innit?'. I said that was the whole point but very few people could do it otherwise everybody would be doing it. Genius is often the art of the hidden obvious, if that makes sense.

    That's why I like Einstein, he pointed out much of the obvious that no one else saw. Of course having had it done for them the others all jump on the bandwagon :-)

  50. #99

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    Mark -

    I've been to a stand-up or two. Why is it that so many comics spend so much time swearing and being seriously aggressive, often right at the audience? I just don't find it funny because, basically, it's not. Why can't they come on and make people smile without effing and being crude all the time?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude or over-sensitive etc, I just don't see the attraction.

    Sorry, nothing to do with music

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Don't forget anticipations as well. Chord tone on the upbeat.
    .
    Herb Ellis did a lot of that. Sometimes a whole beat ahead of the bar line (where the chords will officially change).
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola