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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Hmmm for that we have Vernon Reid! Alas, he still didn't record his 'jazz' album (I think would be awesome if he did), but it's the first name that comes to my mind.
    And what about Alex Skolnick ?
    Make a jazz noise here

  2. #62
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    Listen to Lady Day sing...a black woman sitting so far back on the beat it must have made the players dizzy. Of course Lester too. Funny..I always thought Miles played behind the beat too!

    I recall a piece that Shearing played where he imitated Lady Day singing and the trick was to play way back on the beat with his right hand (melody) but play right on the beat with his left. Blew my mind. I will try to find it.
    Last edited by Roberoo; 06-19-2018 at 11:12 PM.

  3. #63
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    Dan Wilson does not play on top either, to my ears

  4. #64
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    The Shearing piece I mention above is Don't Explain (a key Billie Holiday song) where Shearing, with his right hand, seems to be trying to imitate Holiday's manner of sitting far back on the beat. His left hand tries to play straight. The effect appears strongly around 1:30 at the bridge...


  5. #65
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    I think Kurt does this a bit. On guitar. Check out the timing on the top of his solo, where he is imitating the two hands of the piano.



    His phrasing of single notes is late’n’straight (tm) while his playing of the comping chords is much more present and on top.

  6. #66
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    Anyway whatever your placement of the beat, the upbeats will synchronise to the ride upbeat apparently.

    Also as Wynton points out Billies phrases synchronise to the quarter triplet. There’s nothing lazy or late when looked at in that way.

  7. #67
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    Yes, it's about where you land your phrases. You can be pretty elastic with time but you have to sync up at some point. I agree somewhat with Wynton (as a general rule) but Holiday could pretty free and elastic in some tunes. I play with a singer in Ottawa that does a damn good imitation of Holiday's phrasing and timing and her guidance to the band is "don't listen to me or we will all be out of time"..a and she is right!


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Anyway whatever your placement of the beat, the upbeats will synchronise to the ride upbeat apparently.

    Also as Wynton points out Billies phrases synchronise to the quarter triplet. There’s nothing lazy or late when looked at in that way.

  8. #68
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    What sounds free and elastic is often a higher order exactly executed rhythmic complexity. I feel this very strongly with Billie... I don't think she sat around counting this stuff, it came intuitively... But it's still grooving because it's related to higher order African Diaspora rhythms... .

    I hate sloppy 'backphrasing' - I LOVE Billie.

    For me Billie is very often about the second triplet off beat. If you displace a quarter triplet so it synchronises to 2 and 4 - it's a very hip phrasing device, and people will go 'that sounds behind the beat.' Try it... (Related to the West African bell pattern....)

  9. #69
    Yep. The problem with the way we talk about Billie's phrasing - and others - is in describing it as a variation of QUARTER notes or 8th notes or something. It's a variation of TRIPLETS.

    This type of thing is impossible to count - mathematically, the way we Westerners like to, when working this stuff. The great players didn't learn this feel from counting and concentrating. They learned it from playing slow blues with a 12/8 feel. It's a double stop feel.

    Triplets played with strict alternating hands for a drummer... Alternating hands for pianist or a rocking hand. Triplet double stops for guitarists are very basic sound for blooze. These are simple mechanical devices which any kid could play on these instruments , with a couple of minutes instruction. But that's because you're playing a MECHANICAL 2-part melodic element against 3.

    Anyway, when you play double stop triplets like Steve Cropper or whatever, the high voice is playing one set of quarter note triplets ON the beat, while the lower voice is playing the offbeat quarter note triplets or vice versa. I like to think of one being on and the other OFF, but this isn't really a good description when referencing four beats. That's the real problem is sinking up terminology between Western and non-Western. Triplets are really their own organizational structure , almost separate from the beat.

    Anyway, probably the easiest way to learn this is to tap quarter notes with alternating hands every time you're sitting waiting for the bus or in line or whatever. If you tap triplets RIGHT left right, LEFT right left etc... , your right hand is tapping on one and three , while your left hand is picking up two and four. if you practice singing tunes over this 12/8 feel while tapping, you begin to automatically feel the straighter rhythms with subdivisions between , and you also begin to start hearing the in between triplets and polyrhythm elements.

    When you're tapping triplets with alternating hands, you also begin to hear something else... just as you could be tapping "ONE and TWO and" with alternating hands, you can SUB the same type of phrasing over the triplet time base. So you begin to hear all of the "right-hand" triplet notes as basically being "on the beat" , and all of the left hand as being your new offbeat reference.

    The thing is , triplets effectively "rush " their non-triplet counterparts . So, you get all of this great phrasing and space. This phenomena actually DEMANDS that you basically start behind so that you can catch up and be AHEAD by the end of the phrase.

    This is the single BEST ASPECT in all of playing music in my opinion , and it actually infuriates me that we aren't taught this stuff from the VERY beginning in playing jazz. It's the most important element, And I think most of us learn it by accident or just playing a crap ton of different things.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 07-06-2018 at 06:35 PM.

  10. #70
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    White musicians lagging behind the beat

    That reminds me


  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    What sounds free and elastic is often a higher order exactly executed rhythmic complexity. I feel this very strongly with Billie... I don't think she sat around counting this stuff, it came intuitively... But it's still grooving because it's related to higher order African Diaspora rhythms... .

    I hate sloppy 'backphrasing' - I LOVE Billie.

    For me Billie is very often about the second triplet off beat. If you displace a quarter triplet so it synchronises to 2 and 4 - it's a very hip phrasing device, and people will go 'that sounds behind the beat.' Try it... (Related to the West African bell pattern....)
    Nat Cole does this too on a bunch of stuff. It's definitely a 12/8 blues feel thing, and it's really fun to do.

    I do it now all the time comping over slower blues, just switching back and forth between the triplet feel. I think it's right there with swinging double-time in a feel you have to be able to do to convincingly play traditional jazz.

  12. #72
    I really like the more complex jazz examples, in talking about this stuff , but I hope it doesn't get lost that the basic quarter not triplet feel is just one half of a generic country or blues double stop. This stuff is basic to a type of musical phrasing which goes back about 80 years or so. You really need to be on top of this to play or sing country, bluegrass, R&B, folk tunes, almost anything really.

    Jazzers do this in a really compelling way , but at basic levels, it's simple and really just about 12/8 or simple double stops.

    Cheesy non-jazz stuff here:



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  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Haven't watched the clip yet....(The Tour De France is on) but....many years ago I got myself lost in a fairly remote part of Senegal - I was following a weird bird call & ended up on a spur of land surrounded by water & couldn't find my way back.

    I'd assumed the increasing loud drumming was for my benefit but didn't know until the next day that the village Tama player had started by calling me by my name, when I didn't show he'd summoned the Mbeung mbeung player to ask the next village if I was there (I'd said I was going that way before the bird calls distracted me).They had a drum conversation about whether I was stupid enough to wander off into the bush on my own, and did someone need to get a boat into the Senegal river, at which point I showed up & was congratulated on my ability to understand the drums - I didn't confess until the next day that I was just following the noise...

    Several years later, my Wolof much improved, I was at a street dance in Dakar, the Tama player insulted me & it was immediately clear to everyone that I'd understood what he'd 'said' with the drum. I accepted his apology but declined both the offer of the drum to reply in kind, and several marriage proposals, one of my better nights...

  14. #74
    And...

    Muddy Waters, when asked what he thought of white blues musicians said pointedly

    'First, you gotta go to church.'

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot75 View Post
    Haven't watched the clip yet....(The Tour De France is on) but....many years ago I got myself lost in a fairly remote part of Senegal - I was following a weird bird call & ended up on a spur of land surrounded by water & couldn't find my way back.

    I'd assumed the increasing loud drumming was for my benefit but didn't know until the next day that the village Tama player had started by calling me by my name, when I didn't show he'd summoned the Mbeung mbeung player to ask the next village if I was there (I'd said I was going that way before the bird calls distracted me).They had a drum conversation about whether I was stupid enough to wander off into the bush on my own, and did someone need to get a boat into the Senegal river, at which point I showed up & was congratulated on my ability to understand the drums - I didn't confess until the next day that I was just following the noise...

    Several years later, my Wolof much improved, I was at a street dance in Dakar, the Tama player insulted me & it was immediately clear to everyone that I'd understood what he'd 'said' with the drum. I accepted his apology but declined both the offer of the drum to reply in kind, and several marriage proposals, one of my better nights...
    Awesome story, love it!

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Forgot to post this....the free course itself is good but the 'assessments' ain't.

    Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why | Coursera

  17. #77
    Part of a PM conversation continued: This is Penthouse Serenade from a couple of years ago. Basically an étude on using triplets to displace things rhythmically and/or vary phrasing. Nowadays, I mostly do a lot of this stuff with plectrum, but like in this example, I really started doing it with right hand fingers. That's still probably the easiest way to learn to feel it IMO.

    Again, this is pretty old fashioned cheesy stuff, but that's just how BASIC this kind of Billie/Lester "behind" triplet phrasing can be in the beginning. It begins with double stops basically. There's a lot more to what the greats are doing in the end, but learning to hear it/feel it in the BEGINNING comes through a very basic understanding.




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  18. #78
    I understand exactly what Miles is referring to.

    Pat Metheny made a similar comment regarding ' swing' [on a Video ] regarding Guitarists not often sounding like they are 'in it '
    rhythmically but floating along..Metheny also mentions on the Video - ' most white guys can't do it '

    He didn't mean 'they can't do it BECAUSE they are white' just a mathematical observation- you will see IF you watch a bunch of Dancers - a MUCH higher % of African American dancers will land their feet precisely on beat.

    You can hear yourself especially doing complex Rhythms on recordings - on playback ,there is nowhere to hide...

    Swing is one thing, lagging way behind the beat or sounding like a runner with legs of two different lengths is another.
    I call myself an R&B Fusion Guitarist so despite being white lol
    although not quite as tight as George Benson ...I am tighter if I so choose than most Jazz Guitarists..

    Although there is a way to be a little more relaxed and still not lag like Wes was on single lines...but Wes' chording was very tight.

    I think a good way to illuminate what I am trying to say is :[ just occurred to me ]-
    Listen to most Brazilian Guitarists- having ZERO to do with race -
    They MUST be very tight on Rhythm Guitar to even PLAY the Music- no way around it. Nowhere to hide.

    On single lines in Jazz, Funk,Fusion or Urban Jazz etc there is a lot of room for 'artisic interpretation ' on Notes and Time Feel...and the Brazilian Guitarists do wander in time on single lines a bit...but rarely on Rhythm Parts.

    But on Brazilian Pop or Brazilian Jazz the Rhythms really have to be very tight or it sticks out in the mix or ensemble.

    Some' Styles' require a much tighter feel and the Players have it or they get screened out ..
    The finer subdivisions of the Percussionists on certain styles really expose timing slop IMO..having nothing to do with Race.

    Listen to John McLaughlin on Jazz and he's good timing wise ..but listen to him with Shakti...and he's great super tight.
    But I think the Brazilian Musicians wipe out 'Racial Distinctions ' - and transcend the observations I made above about Dancers and Players..and make what I was trying to say more clear.

    I think the time thing is even more obvious on precise Rhythm Guitar parts especially over numerous simultaneous parts ( drummer and percussion etc.).

    However ,Metheny as talented as he is still does not sound 'Urban'...
    Listen to anything by Metheny ...then listen to Benson...

    It's not a Racial thing..it's how you 'hear' and process 'time' and create Rhythmic Tension .
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 09-14-2018 at 09:29 AM.

  19. #79
    It would have been a much better quote if he had said -GUITARISTS have a tendency to lag behind the beat.

    Jazz Guitarists lag behind the beat more than R&B Guitarists. If you are white and R&B oriented you will probably lag less.

    George Benson is the tightest to the Beat of all the Jazz Guitarists.

    As I have mentioned before you could take
    Adam Rodgers ....go to track 18 in the DAW where his Solos are and move them forward in time then accent a few notes here and there and get them to end on a 1 or subdivision/ main beat ....then sharpen the attack at the front of each note and
    BAM - close to Benson .
    Remember I am only talking about a few milliseconds here.

    IF you are really on beat you will sound like a percussionist.. you can be tighter to the beat and still swing .

    Most Guitarists can push the beat a bit on Rhythm Funk Guitar parts ...but it is difficult for them to 'hear' a different 'pocket' for their Solos.

    People often have a default 'pocket ' for their Solos ....sometimes they can't hear the difference ...sometimes they can hear the difference but can not move forward in the measure [ like Benson ] because of physical and mental lag .

    Behind the Beat can sound good but ideally you could choose to lay back or be aggressive.

    Hancock is certainly a funky more aggressive sounding Rhythmatist but I assume Miles was not talking about his own Playing.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Yeah I find it puzzling.

    But Miles maybe was hearing the rhythm differently?

    Playing behind is approximation. Swinging players are exact.

    Inaccurate 'behind' 'loose' playing does not swing, it's a caricature of hipness. A hip player knows the difference intuitively.

    Difference as I understand it - European rhythm is has the beat as the structural basis. Jazz reverses that at least a little - the upbeats are structural.
    No. It is definiely possible to 'swing' earlier in time tighter to the beat like Benson OR more behind the Beat like Metheny.

    This is demonstrable as is what I said above looking at a Computer if you want to get Scientific ...I have never done ..that but know by listening and playing.

    Also by definition swing has a range though rather narrow...which can be expressed as a mathematical range in MIDI Sequencers etc...there is a point too fast and too slow which even non musicians will hear as 'odd'.

    And if we have a Which Guitarist Swings Hardest lol It will go on for 6.97 months some will say Benson some will say Wes some will say Metheny , some etc.

    Swing is soooooooo subjective-moving forward or backward in a measure in a DAW with audio slices is not .

    Who swings harder is always subjective.

    Very very few Guitarists if any can play like a percussionist with pitch.

    So swing is very subjective ...the behind the beat thing Miles said...less subjective
    if you have ever played in the Studio to a quantized track -it is possible to make Guitar Parts sound comically robotic if you really lock onto the kick and snare etc. and grab the notes in chords but there's a range where live percussion and Guitar can slightly slop up in a good way and humanize a track....

    It is pretty cool that there are different timings of swing that sound good but everyone especially guitars and horns in Jazz seems to have their own variations...more art than Science.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    It would have been a much better quote if he had said -GUITARISTS have a tendency to lag behind the beat.

    Jazz Guitarists lag behind the beat more than R&B Guitarists. If you are white and R&B oriented you will probably lag less.

    George Benson is the tightest to the Beat of all the Jazz Guitarists.

    As I have mentioned before you could take
    Adam Rodgers ....go to track 18 in the DAW where his Solos are and move them forward in time then accent a few notes here and there and get them to end on a 1 or subdivision/ main beat ....then sharpen the attack at the front of each note and
    BAM - close to Benson .
    Remember I am only talking about a few milliseconds here.

    IF you are really on beat you will sound like a percussionist.. you can be tighter to the beat and still swing .

    Most Guitarists can push the beat a bit on Rhythm Funk Guitar parts ...but it is difficult for them to 'hear' a different 'pocket' for their Solos.

    People often have a default 'pocket ' for their Solos ....sometimes they can't hear the difference ...sometimes they can hear the difference but can not move forward in the measure [ like Benson ] because of physical and mental lag .

    Behind the Beat can sound good but ideally you could choose to lay back or be aggressive.

    Hancock is certainly a funky more aggressive sounding Rhythmatist but I assume Miles was not talking about his own Playing.
    That's an interesting post - have you actually tried that experiment with Adam Rogers?

  22. #82
    No but I know it will work ...

  23. #83
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  24. #84
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    I would say that all People when they start to learn an instrament will eather tap thier foot or use a metronome to help them keep time. Latter they should be able to keep time with out such Things.some people have no real feel for time and have to use them. the only problem I have with being on the beat is when the Tempo changes a lot.in that case I have to practice the song more to be spot on the beat. and I don't think has any thing to do with color.Though I do notice that people with darker skin seem to be able to stay with the beat a little more then the Non Darker skin people for over all. I don't like referring people by race we are all just people

  25. #85
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    I might actually try the Adam Rogers experiment on my own playing. TBH it's always quite interesting to look at your own playing in a DAW... Not sure how much it helps, but it's a thing lol.

  26. #86
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    I dunno about this 'up on the beat' thing.

    Listen to this half speed and tell me GB is doing anything other than locking into the swung upbeat, playing very accurate triplets and occasionally doing the straight against the swing thing that Lester Young pioneered and Grant Green did so well.



    The difference to me is that not only is GB's time super accurate, but also the phrasing has a lot of life to it. The attacks are snappy, there's a lot of dynamics with the accents, quite a bit of rhythmic vocabulary beyond strings of 8th notes which contribute to the swing and vibeyness and over all feel.... To me this is not a distinction based on beat placement that you could tweak on a DAW - I think any competent jazz musician would place their upbeats in a similar place.

    I just think that the more 'modern' players use less rhythmic variety and a more uniform and softer attack.

  27. #87
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    Unless of course you mean to say Rogers et al lag further behind this upbeat position


  28. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I dunno about this 'up on the beat' thing.

    Listen to this half speed and tell me GB is doing anything other than locking into the swung upbeat, playing very accurate triplets and occasionally doing the straight against the swing thing that Lester Young pioneered and Grant Green did so well.



    The difference to me is that not only is GB's time super accurate, but also the phrasing has a lot of life to it. The attacks are snappy, there's a lot of dynamics with the accents, quite a bit of rhythmic vocabulary beyond strings of 8th notes which contribute to the swing and vibeyness and over all feel.... To me this is not a distinction based on beat placement that you could tweak on a DAW - I think any competent jazz musician would place their upbeats in a similar place.

    I just think that the more 'modern' players use less rhythmic variety and a more uniform and softer attack.
    I heard Benson live years ago and was astonished by his chops. He has the whole package, of course, but I just want to focus on chops for a moment.

    He has chops to spare. So that, when he executes a line, he isn't struggling. He can nail them at the full speed they need to be played at. He doesn't have to fudge -- when a note needs to be picked to work, he can pick it. He doesn't have to substitute a slide, a hammer, a pull-off or a sweep.

    So, he can play an uptempo tune with the facility that many other players can only bring to much lower tempos. Also, he played as if he was unwilling to play something that he couldn't nail accurately. That's a judgment issue that I've had to relearn several times. "Nothing will sound good if the time is bad".

    For comparison, a couple of months ago I attended a show with a guitarist whose name is mentioned on this forum occasionally. I won't name him in case I'm wrong about this, although I don't think I am. He played some uptempo tunes and I don't think he executed a single one of his fast lines in time. I thought he was very sloppy. Maybe just a bad night. It may be hard to resist trying to play something that comes to mind, even if you don't have the chops. But, Benson did not have that problem -- chops to spare.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I heard Benson live years ago and was astonished by his chops. He has the whole package, of course, but I just want to focus on chops for a moment.

    He has chops to spare. So that, when he executes a line, he isn't struggling. He can nail them at the full speed they need to be played at. He doesn't have to fudge -- when a note needs to be picked to work, he can pick it. He doesn't have to substitute a slide, a hammer, a pull-off or a sweep.

    So, he can play an uptempo tune with the facility that many other players can only bring to much lower tempos. Also, he played as if he was unwilling to play something that he couldn't nail accurately. That's a judgment issue that I've had to relearn several times. "Nothing will sound good if the time is bad".

    For comparison, a couple of months ago I attended a show with a guitarist whose name is mentioned on this forum occasionally. I won't name him in case I'm wrong about this, although I don't think I am. He played some uptempo tunes and I don't think he executed a single one of his fast lines in time. I thought he was very sloppy. Maybe just a bad night. It may be hard to resist trying to play something that comes to mind, even if you don't have the chops. But, Benson did not have that problem -- chops to spare.
    You can't just say something like that and not tell us who lol... But fair enough.

    It's not nothing to be able to lock into the feel at any tempo, play rhythmically varied lines with clarity and precision. It's a HUGE achievement that sometimes slips people by. The guitar is hard. Even if your time is A+, the articulation and clarity can be super demanding. I don't think Grant Green gets enough props for his genius in this area, because it doesn't SOUND hard. It should never sound hard. Benson has uber-chops obv. ... But he also has the Grant Green elements.

    As someone who aspires to use at least some of that rhythmic vocabulary myself, I can say that it's a bit different from simply trying to play laid back swing 8th notes. As I say - triplets, nice crispy triplets.... I can get them at some tempos, but not all..

    I also don't want to analyse things too much, but I think that the idea one can move note placement from Adam Rogers and get Benson is ... wrong? And I love both players dearly. What Benson plays is just different phrasing wise from AR if you wrote it down in the most basic way. You can compare on the recordings...

  30. #90
    I find myself buffeted about by the winds of jazz. That is, every day, or week, some new weakness in my playing comes to the forefront and I try to focus on it, at least until something else bubbles to the top of the to-do list.

    But, for a while now I've been focusing on the issue of "feel". I've posted before about some frequency spectrum/time graphs which prove that the groove is not what we typically write on the page. If you play it 100% accurate with the metronome, it doesn't feel right. Good feel is something else.

    The music that moves people has "it" referring to the elusive quality of great feel.

    I doubt that there is only one version of "great feel". GB and Wes don't feel the same even at the same tempo.

    And, I don't think that massive chops are required. I like Paul Desmond's feel, and he doesn't play a lot of notes. But, then again, he never plays anything he can't execute -- he has that in common with the chops masters. Hank Mobley is like that.

    The big question is, how do you develop it?

    My current thinking, this afternoon, is that making it a priority may go a long way. I'm trying to think about it constantly when I play.

    I also spent some time playing along with some of Reg's videos. In my opinion, he has great time feel. I'll confess that I don't understand a lot of what he writes, but the time issue is very clear.

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