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  1. #251

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    My notion of theory has nothing to do with not using your ears. I wish people stopped strawman'ing theory like that. It's quite the contrary, my notion of theory is how to get your ears stronger. I suspect most people who teach using theoretical tools also understand that.
    Very well said.

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  3. #252
    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    I'm not a beginner, are you?
    Is this a how to teach beginners sort of forum?
    Is this a pro jazz guitarists only sort of forum?

    Sure, the number of beginners is small, but there is a huge amount of intermediate players like me. Most of us dug a lot into theory and the result is that theory made us stop sounding bad, but can't make us sound good. I willing to wager that there are a lot of guitar players like me that knows how to make sense of everything yet not being able to play shit that sounds great


    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    It seems C is always an advocate for that sort of thing; makes me wonder if perhaps he's always thinking about students.
    Off course he is ... and making no secret about it either. Just like Rick Beato is trying to make everyone buy his 600 page Rick Beato Book that deals with .. yes .. Theory

    In my mind C's transcriptions probably give more benefits than Beato's musings on modes and what not



    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy : "Lingus" keyboardist), is no slouch. He thinks theory when he practices. He doesn't think theory when he performs: he goes into the flow, listens, and his theory is simultaneously employed subconsciously.

    This is a guitar forum. You don't have to practice stuff in C-major and C#-major. You just move your hand a fret.


    I mean I choose the click bait title of "C champions NO THEORY" for this thread in order to generate debate, but if you get into his material then it's not really theory free. Focus is just on mechanics, tone and timing. Part is learning new sounds .. Part is taking a certain mechanical idea and milking it thru moving it around.

    Also to take an example of his from I don't know which vid.

    He takes a killer Ulf Wakenious blues lick with double stops and other such sexy sauce. The claim is there is no way you're going too extract a lick like that from theory. You gotta hear someone else playing it or something similar.


    So yeah, C is running a business, but he actually delivers a good product. If you watch the vids (which is a lot of time) it is a lot more nuanced than "No theory" .. and I'm not struggling with theory, but with playing .. So currently I'm buying into his approach. We'll see in 12 months if I'm still smitten

  4. #253

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    I'm still struggling to see what the debate is. There isn't one really.

    You have to use your ears to connect directly with the music, and provided you are doing that, 'theory' (small t) does no harm and may actively help many people.

    In fact there's really no reason to include the 'the' in the sentence above... Jazz has a developed a mystique where people seem to think you learn it in a way which is unlike other (non classical) music. But ultimately the process for learning jazz is no different than any other style of music, which is to say it is best learned by listening and imitating until the language is mastered. I don't think anyone actually disagrees with this, again, but I think it's very easy to miss this central truth.

    It may be less accessible but that's in part because contemporary pop/rock/EDM has abandoned the songbook changes that formed the basis of most jazz recordings up to the modal era, but in the end you learn it the same way.

    (I'm aware that it can be argued that because of the rise of the internet and the dreaded Tabz means that popular musicians no longer learn music this way, but that's another side topic.)

    Here, I tend to get people saying I am characterising a type of student that doesn't exist (the one who knows all the theory and no tunes, for example), but I encounter these students all the time. A student may have been studying jazz for decades and still be, functionally, a beginner. That's a problem.

  5. #254

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    @rintincop

    I think those who can actually play will be fine. And in the end we learn everything we need.

    I think the problem is always how to teach beginners, because that is a very delicate time. This is to do with priorities and the order of what we learn and when, and how.

    From what I have observed many mainstream practices in jazz education do a really poor job of this and choose completely the wrong priorities (for instance an idealised notion of improvisation over musical legitimacy). They have done for decades, and this is widely known by educators. And yet we seem to fail to provide alternative models that might be better suited.

  6. #255

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    If your interest is to learn two hundred jazz standards and jam them, you can do it with minimal, or no, theory. It has been done that way.

    If you want to play originals with unconventional harmony and be able to solo on the first run-through of a chart you've never heard, it is still possible to do it knowing little or no theory, but you're going to have to play way behind the harmony (so you can hear what chord you're supposed to play over).

    Most of us, in the latter situation, will be very happy we know enough theory to find a few notes that work over each chord. It may not be art, but at least it isn't clams.

  7. #256
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    (I'm aware that it can be argued that because of the rise of the internet and the dreaded Tabz means that popular musicians no longer learn music this way, but that's another side topic.)

    "Tabz" sickness is actually indeed a quite present danger if you dig into Christiaans material. It's all presented very neatly and you can easily end up learning solo after solo without any gain than learning solo after solo. I mean at least you'll get some mechanical skills, so that's nice

    That was one of the "good things" when being a struggling kid in the 80s/90s. You'd sit with your record player and not being all that good you'd pick up a lick or two after hours of "transcribing". Then you just shrugged your shoulders and went out to conquer the world with those licks and in the process internalizing them in all possible manners.


    Another danger is that you don't listen to the original material, but instead end up emulating Christiaan. Now Christiaan surely can play, but whether he plays Stohelo or Wes he definately sounds like Christiaan. I mean this a definately a good thing, you've talked about how you always want to sound the same recently .. But the Christiaan van Hemert feel is quite stiff and you miss out a lot of the grease that is inherent in some of the 60s players.

  8. #257

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    Be like Christiaan, not like someone who watches his videos.

    Part of this is about what licks you choose. If Christiaan has his own sound as a player, it’s because he has chosen the material that appeals to him.

    Ear training aside, it’s creative castration to allow someone else to make that call for you.

  9. #258
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Be like Christiaan, not like someone who watches his videos
    Sure ... But give me 6-12 months where I steal fingerings first

  10. #259
    You may ask why steal Christiaan's fingerings when they might not be right for me?

    Inspiration again ... There are some that the jury is out on .. But there are also others that I'd never really consider myself ... like doing a Cmaj7 arpeggio mostly 2 fingers like Django which makes you shift position You know starting around the 2nd or 3rd fret of the A string and ending on the 7th or 8th fret of the high e-string.

    Stuff like that

    (well ok, given that we're in gypsy territory maybe I'd figure it out ... but the gypsy isn't the main reason I here .. There just isn't no one else doing stuff like this, so beggars can't be choosers

    How about it Christian .. A greasy Wes/Grant/Kenny patreon?)

  11. #260

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    At the 22:23 mark I realized that I was watching my video screen, within which showed a video posted by Lobomov of Christiaan van Hemert, within which Christiaan was showing a video of Rhett Shull, within which Rhett was showing a video of Julian Lage.
    See? More meta!

  12. #261

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If your interest is to learn two hundred jazz standards and jam them, you can do it with minimal, or no, theory. It has been done that way.

    If you want to play originals with unconventional harmony and be able to solo on the first run-through of a chart you've never heard, it is still possible to do it knowing little or no theory, but you're going to have to play way behind the harmony (so you can hear what chord you're supposed to play over).

    Most of us, in the latter situation, will be very happy we know enough theory to find a few notes that work over each chord. It may not be art, but at least it isn't clams.
    Yeah, I think that's true, although I have some quibbles.

    Again I seem to come back to two things in my thinking
    1) everyone has a theory of sorts
    2) we tend to underestimate the amount of heavy lifting the unconscious/intuitive brain can do

    Anyway something I typed and then deleted because the post was long enough as it was is that people who can actually play (as in hear the language on an intuitive level) generally have no problem exploring theoretical concepts as players. The classic example of that is Miles's So What session, but there are countless other examples you can probably think of.

    People who were heading into the fantastically creative period of jazz in the 1960's were of course coming from the basis of knowing hundreds of standards and having learned all the Charlie Parker licks from his 78s; they were looking for new ideas. So, freedom, modes, pentatonics, 'non functional' changes etc etc became quite dry theoretical concepts that were given life by musicians who could play jazz.

    For example, in the interview Ritchie Cole states that Chord Scale Theory in the '70s was basically a way of telling horn players who didn't play a harmonic instrument what notes they could sit on over a given chord... and that pianists and guitarists already knew this stuff. Certainly the earlier jazz edu texts featuring modes seem to present themselves more as being resources for improvisors than a way of actually learning jazz. There's been a mission creep here..

    At least that's the way Ritchie (a prof at Berklee as well as an alum) and his interviewer (a recent Berklee alum) put it.

    Anyway CST is neither here nor there really; it just so happens it's the most common type of jazz theory out there. This is really about how things are taught. Theory of any kind is most useful to the musician and educator when used as a resource, and least useful when used as a panacea for jazz education, or as a way of explaining the workings of the music.

    Anyway speaking of unconventional harmony - by his account, Mike Brecker's approach to very unusual changes was pretty much ear-based.

    I think people sometimes underestimate what is possible with an intuitive, ear based approach. Take the example of one of the exercises Mick Goodrick's the Advancing Guitarist when he suggests students practice soloing sight unseen over random chords chosen by teacher. He says that if you do it enough students get really good at navigating tough changes by ear. (I understand this is a test they use to stream jazz students at Berklee, can someone confirm that?)

    Also a lot of the need for theory to do heavy lifting is partly based on the mistaken assumption that we all have to be making up our solos from whole cloth each time (to use Steve Swallow's wording) and actually, if we have a few good canned lines that work through difficult changes that's fine.

    Of course you hear the greats doing it all the time. Brecker does it on Song for Bilbao with that tricky 3/4 section with those modulating triads, using classic techniques like playing the melody on the difficult section or a simple passage in triadic chord tones (Joey Calderazzo stops playing lines and plays the chords here lol.) It sounds great of course because he has his magisterial tone and time feel, but quiet as it seems to kept, for a working musican it's more important to sound good than 'really improvise'. Every pro with limited practice time understands this, and I think there's a lesson there, one I could have done with learning 20 years ago.

    So, I feel educators and learners suffer from to much idealism and not enough brute pragmatism when it comes to improvisation. That I think is the underlying problem... And it is particularly acute with beginners because we are actually asking them to do too many things, and inevitably certain things get prioritised by default. We ask them to improvise, for example, before they can actually hear and play the music. Some people like this (I did) but I see many other students fall by the wayside.

    I'm an advocate of legitimate peripheral participation - that students/apprentices learn to make a peripheral/small, but professionally legitimate contribution to the music That's how it used to work in the original learning environment of touring bands etc of course.
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-04-2020 at 07:08 PM.

  13. #262

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    Barry Harris didn't have the options of by ear or by theory, it's not a zero sum game. The jazz theory route wasn't really available to him in those times.
    And why consider everything as what's best for "beginners". I'm not a beginner, are you?
    Is this a how to teach beginners sort of forum? It seems C is always an advocate for that sort of thing, just considering teaching students.

    Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy : "Lingus" keyboardist), is no slouch, he doesn't think "theory is a waste of time." He thinks theory when he practices to consciously organize what his ears hear. He doesn't think theory when he performs: he goes into the flow, listens, and his theory is simultaneously employed subconsciously.
    Slightly OT, but important. I got into playing jazz at a monthly jam (sponsored by the local Arts Council) to which I was invited. One of the explicit functions of the jam was to encourage younger players (like myself, in my 60s, but a newborn in jazz terms) and folks like my grandson and some of his friends from Jr. High that i would bring along to listen and to participate. I saw, over the years, many players mature into functional jazz players.
    Lack of outreach to younger and less experienced players will simply result in the eventual death of the art.

  14. #263

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov

    (well ok, given that we're in gypsy territory maybe I'd figure it out ... but the gypsy isn't the main reason I here .. There just isn't no one else doing stuff like this, so beggars can't be choosers

    How about it Christian .. A greasy Wes/Grant/Kenny patreon?)
    If you are talking to one 'A' Christian - or even not, funnily enough, I'm currently on commission writing content for a website that focusses on licks; I'm doing the jazz content.

    While it's quite fun to go 'lick shopping', it's not how I now approach music. But it's fun work if I get paid to do it. So, maybe?

    But as I say, in my general material, I'd much rather be the guy who teaches you fish then the guy who gives you a fish, yada yada. Hard to do via YouTube. Also an ultimately self defeating business model lol

    Still I'm not all educational theory and no fun. You can listen to my favourite licks and choose the ones you like!

    But quite weirdly any lick oriented videos I've done have not done that well... so, what works for Christiaan doesn't necessarily work for me... which is interesting.

  15. #264
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you are talking to one 'A' Christian - or even not, funnily enough, I'm currently on commission writing content for a website that focusses on licks; I'm doing the jazz content. .
    Indeed I was .. Two 'A' Christiaan does what he does and I can't really see him getting all greasy

    I mean you have your format too, so I can't really see you foing this either ... but hey Christiaan Van Hemert once again championing "No Theory"

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    But quite weirdly any lick oriented videos I've done have not done that well... so, what works for Christiaan doesn't necessarily work for me... which is interesting.
    As I education customer I can explain that .. Licks basically suck.

    Theory is great as it is zero effort and you go away from it with a feeling of having learned something. "Oh that is how Barry Harris employs this or that .. cool" ... Sure, won't actually improve your playing since I doubt many will do any work, but people have a feeling their understanding has improved and so they feel they've improved".

    That combined with good entertainment is what Beato does.


    Christiaan doesn't have the largest following, but it still has some appeal cause he gives entire solo. Minor Swing 1937 (why on earth he gave us Minor Swing Rome 1949 to start off with I don't get even if it is more interesting than the 1937 version). But stuff like that is cool .. Do some of the famous solos.


    But licks .. No one can be arsed. I mean what if I offered you bar 7 and 8 from Für Elise .. No one wants that. They want the entire piece of nothing. I can be arsed to do a bar by bar practice routine of a famous solo cause I know how it sounds, learning it is structured and dont require anything additional. You just practice bar by bar and slowly you start feeling like Django or Pat or ... But you don't need any context .. You can just practice the damn thing. That is Christiaan's niche offering.

    Maybe if you conceptualize the lick. Like made a phrase that you could use on every bar in a song, just moved a couple of frets back and forth. Maybe if you did a mix .. Phrygian vs minor illustrated by licks or .. I dunno .. But the thing is a lick is like .. er .. what now. Unlike an entire solo there is little in terms of musicality in it and if you want to practice it you need to get a backing track and do actual work .. yikes.


    Second brainstorming idea is maybe if you took say a Wes Montgomery simple phrase that he milks a lot and then sell it of as the Wes lick (1 out of 5 maybe) and then show like a couple of example where he used it .. Might especially work if that lick fits different types of chord. The key is that at this point you're no longer teaching a lick .. You're teaching Wes! There might be a market for teaching players.

    Yeah .. I like this idea ... Feel free to run with it .. Teaching players thru a lick or maybe five licks (this is how Wes thinks). Wanna make it more interesting then show how he chains that lick with other phrases.


    Tldr.
    Licks are fragments that demand work from you .. Solos less so .. Theory not at all.
    Unfortunately work isn't something that is popular


    (It's late and I don't know how coherent the above is .. hopefully it makes sense)
    Last edited by Lobomov; 12-04-2020 at 08:50 PM.

  16. #265

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    Any reasonable jazz musician should be able to create viable or even great phrases from only using theory - without needing to go and transcribe something. That's kind of a requirement of the idiom. If one can't make that basic step, then maybe they have creativity problems.

    Edit: Again, not trying to pit the aural approach against the theoretical approach. You need both. Jazz musician implies the guy has been listening to jazz for half his life and has a base of what good lines should sound like so it's using both skills. It's still mostly theory though, which studying will help you. Look at a framework of melody, changes, and key centers, and figure out how to make up lines. Theory. While also employing aural skills, but still theory.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 12-05-2020 at 02:11 AM.

  17. #266

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    Sometimes it seems like the bar gets moved in "does one need theory" discussions.

    At first it seems like we're talking about CST or some other well circumscribed body of knowledge that you can read about in a textbook.

    Then, someone (often, me) will point out that so-and-so, a great player, doesn't know anything remotely like that.

    At that point, the definition of "theory", ever flexible, is deemed to encompass whatever that player knows which permits him to play.

  18. #267

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    Again I seem to come back to two things in my thinking
    1) everyone has a theory of sorts
    2) we tend to underestimate the amount of heavy lifting the unconscious/intuitive brain can do
    Christian,

    I was searching for a simple way to say pretty much what you convey
    in these two sentences, so thanks.

  19. #268

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Any reasonable jazz musician should be able to create viable or even great phrases from only using theory - without needing to go and transcribe something. That's kind of a requirement of the idiom. If one can't make that basic step, then maybe they have creativity problems.

    Edit: Again, not trying to pit the aural approach against the theoretical approach. You need both. Jazz musician implies the guy has been listening to jazz for half his life and has a base of what good lines should sound like so it's using both skills. It's still mostly theory though, which studying will help you. Look at a framework of melody, changes, and key centers, and figure out how to make up lines. Theory. While also employing aural skills, but still theory.
    Have to say I rely on my ears and whatever lines the tune suggests to me to do all that, maybe using a few visual references to the chord shapes. I really do not use much theory when playing or coming up with ideas.

  20. #269

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think the problem is always how to teach beginners, because that is a very delicate time. This is to do with priorities and the order of what we learn and when, and how.
    why? beginners are beginners. they come for formal lessons, so you teach them the basics of music. if you plan your time well you can also show them stuff in a specific style if they are interested. some will put in the work, others won't. it's all good.

    as you've pointed out learning jazz is no different from learning any other style. with the exception that jazz isn't a style any longer. i teach dixie, swing, bop, modern mainstream. but i also teach 70s and 80s hard rock, blues and funk. not as competent as jazz though. but the principles are the same.

    imo one of the most important things for beginners is to give them tools for self-evaluation. i used to be the teacher who always gave some sort of critique after a student played his homework, an exercise, a solo, or whatever. i don't do that a lot these days. i try to let the student rate his own performance, verbally and on a scale from 0-10, and then work with him to try and "beat" his own score. it works wonders with younger students, who enjoy competiton and repetition anyway, and is quite effective with older ones as well.

  21. #270

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    [QUOTE=christianm77;1080358
    But as I say, in my general material, I'd much rather be the guy who teaches you fish then the guy who gives you a fish, yada yada. Hard to do via YouTube. .[/QUOTE]

    people have trouble finding the pond....

  22. #271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Indeed I was .. Two 'A' Christiaan does what he does and I can't really see him getting all greasy

    I mean you have your format too, so I can't really see you foing this either ... but hey Christiaan Van Hemert once again championing "No Theory"



    As I education customer I can explain that .. Licks basically suck.

    Theory is great as it is zero effort and you go away from it with a feeling of having learned something. "Oh that is how Barry Harris employs this or that .. cool" ... Sure, won't actually improve your playing since I doubt many will do any work, but people have a feeling their understanding has improved and so they feel they've improved".

    That combined with good entertainment is what Beato does.


    Christiaan doesn't have the largest following, but it still has some appeal cause he gives entire solo. Minor Swing 1937 (why on earth he gave us Minor Swing Rome 1949 to start off with I don't get even if it is more interesting than the 1937 version). But stuff like that is cool .. Do some of the famous solos.


    But licks .. No one can be arsed. I mean what if I offered you bar 7 and 8 from Für Elise .. No one wants that. They want the entire piece of nothing. I can be arsed to do a bar by bar practice routine of a famous solo cause I know how it sounds, learning it is structured and dont require anything additional. You just practice bar by bar and slowly you start feeling like Django or Pat or ... But you don't need any context .. You can just practice the damn thing. That is Christiaan's niche offering.

    Maybe if you conceptualize the lick. Like made a phrase that you could use on every bar in a song, just moved a couple of frets back and forth. Maybe if you did a mix .. Phrygian vs minor illustrated by licks or .. I dunno .. But the thing is a lick is like .. er .. what now. Unlike an entire solo there is little in terms of musicality in it and if you want to practice it you need to get a backing track and do actual work .. yikes.


    Second brainstorming idea is maybe if you took say a Wes Montgomery simple phrase that he milks a lot and then sell it of as the Wes lick (1 out of 5 maybe) and then show like a couple of example where he used it .. Might especially work if that lick fits different types of chord. The key is that at this point you're no longer teaching a lick .. You're teaching Wes! There might be a market for teaching players.

    Yeah .. I like this idea ... Feel free to run with it .. Teaching players thru a lick or maybe five licks (this is how Wes thinks). Wanna make it more interesting then show how he chains that lick with other phrases.


    Tldr.
    Licks are fragments that demand work from you .. Solos less so .. Theory not at all.
    Unfortunately work isn't something that is popular


    (It's late and I don't know how coherent the above is .. hopefully it makes sense)
    Learn complete solos? In the words of Emily Remler 'who does that?'

    So you can obviously think of greats like Wes and Bird who did learn whole solos. Ritchie Cole says he's done hundreds of Wes. But I can think of loads of players who just haven't.

    I think Peter Bernstein said he learned one whole solo; he had do it for music college. Everything else was just licks, bits and pieces he likes. Emily Remler too.

    Which is not an excuse for not using your ears, it's just more like - it's good to develop a casual relationship with ear learning, which means it shouldn't be a big deal to learn things by ears. That's why the word 'transcription' is poison to me. It sounds very grand and imposing, intimidating even. 'Oh I transcribed this solo'; this is more a classical mindset than a jazz one. I also have the problem with the 'scribe' bit. We don't need to do that.

    (And don't get me started on internet musicians playing the solo along with the record on Instagram, Jam of the Week etc. This the sort of bullshit elders would call you out on, if they were around in these online spaces. Play your own bloody solo! It's not a points scoring game.)

    But much like theory there's nothing wrong with learning a whole solo if you like. It is just that, like theory, it is demonstrably unnecessary.

    For some, setting out to do a whole solo is too much of a Big Deal. That's cool. Just focus on small achievable things. For me, personally, while I have done whole solos in the past, in the end this is better, because if I was going to transcribe 10 choruses of Wes, I'd never get it done. But a chorus of Wes is something I can fit into my schedule, and it's better than not doing any. After a while, you end up doing as much anyway, as it becomes a habit, and habits are good things to cultivate as a musician. Now I just spend 30 minutes listening to records and repeating phrases. Not to learn them, but to get better at hearing music in real time.

    Anyway, licks aren't the problem. It's more that people don't know how to use them.

    Scott Henderson 'never learn a phrase of more than seven notes.'

    So the information I really need to pass on is what to do with a lick once you've got one. Anyway, pretty much what you said lol.

  23. #272
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Learn complete solos? In the words of Emily Remler 'who does that?'
    Yeah .. just to repeat in case it got lost .. I'm not claiming that it's smart .. but just that I have the energy for that .. It might be more work than learning theory, but it is still fairly low effort. You spend half an hour learning a (couple of) measure(s) and then you can shut of your brain and just practice/noodle that .. either concentrated or while watching the latest episode of whatever your poison is.

    After a 2-4 weeks you'll have strung those measures together to a longer piece of music and it actually feels good!


    Actually working with music .. you know listening, transcribing, experimenting .. is an effort and to properly do that is only really possible every other weekend for me (no work, no lack of sleep and kids are at their mothers)

    (tho whether I learn complete solos is up for debate .. There is always the danger of getting side tracked after the first chorus )


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So the information I really need to pass on is what to do with a lick once you've got one. Anyway, pretty much what you said lol.
    Yes indeed .. If your goal is to teach then that is probably one of your main quests

    If your goal is to grow your channel as much as possible then you probably need to go after the casuals .. and they tend to value the feeling of improvement more than actual improvement

    You know despite the low nutrition there is a huge market for this




    Anyways this is just random thoughts of mine that might offer something or might not .. Customer feedback if you will
    Last edited by Lobomov; 12-05-2020 at 09:13 AM.

  24. #273

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Yeah .. just to repeat in case it got lost .. I'm not claiming that it's smart .. but just that I have the energy for that .. It might be more work than learning theory, but it is still fairly low effort. You spend half an hour learning a (couple of) measure(s) and then you can shut of your brain and just practice/noodle that .. either concentrated or while watching the latest episode of whatever your poison is.

    After a 2-4 weeks you'll have strung those measures together to a longer piece of music and it actually feels good!


    Actually working with music .. you know listening, transcribing, experimenting .. is an effort and to properly do that is only really possible every other weekend for me (no work, no lack of sleep and kids are at their mothers)

    (tho whether I learn complete solos is up for debate .. There is always the danger of getting side tracked after the first chorus )




    Yes indeed .. If your goal is to teach then that is probably one of your main quests

    If your goal is to grow your channel as much as possible then you probably need to go after the casuals .. and they tend to value the feeling of improvement more than actual improvement

    You know despite the low nutrition there is a huge market for this




    Anyways this is just random thoughts of mine that might offer something or might not .. Customer feedback if you will
    Well it had struck me that I have probably attracted about the size of the audience I would expect given the nature of my videos.

    so, of course you aren’t really a customer till you pay me, but that doesn’t stop the feedback from coming anyway haha (rule 1 of youtube.) anyway that’s why I haven’t started a Patreon; I don’t think I offer a product really. This may change.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’d ever describe the likes of Jens (250K subs) as the equivalent of McDonald’s; I think he gives excellent nutrition. He strikes a good balance.

    Anyway I think YT is partly about finding YOUR way of doing it. People like personalities as much as content. The next step for me I think is providing more focussed content that keeps the things that people say they like about my channel. It’s cool to provide many specific applications of the rather general things I’ve been talking about.

    Anyway coming back to you; is there a way of grabbing 15m a day in your schedule? (Actually it’s not that far away from what I have to deal with. I have relatively little time to practice, although my work is obviously music related.)

  25. #274
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Anyway coming back to you; is there a way of grabbing 15m a day in your schedule? (Actually it’s not that far away from what I have to deal with. I have relatively little time to practice, although my work is obviously music related.)

    Time isn't really the issue actually .. I mean, I've spent more than 15 minutes here on this forum already today, if we're honest. It's the energy that is the problem.


    Being passive is fine .. You just react .. With regards to applying licks.

    The Christiaan approach is mapping a tune. Here is a lick that you can repeat in these measures then here on the dominant chords play this lick .. later you get more licks. This is fine as it can be consumed passively. I can keep the tune in my head while doing this, no need for backing tracks or anything .. just something to do while relaxing.

    But the here is a cool lick without context video is a much harder sell ... OK, so I need to find a tune, fire it up .. I play that lick, which is fine .. but then comes the next measure and what now .. suddenly you're getting stressed and shut down.

    OK that isn't entirely true ... in my case then comes the next measure and I'm suddenly playing the same bland shit I've been playing for the last 5 years and I go screw this.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’d ever describe the likes of Jens (250K subs) as the equivalent of McDonald’s; I think he gives excellent nutrition. He strikes a good balance.

    He is highly praised .. and the number 1 recommendation whenever someone asks for jazz content, so he sure is doing something right

    However ...


    This is a talk about demographics, but you seem interested in me, so I'll gladly share.

    I hate the Jens Larsen stuff ... That is not due to anything being wrong with it .. but I am just not in his demographic in any way. He targets beginners and that is fine, but I can't stand it.

    I utterly hate that he will have a video called "How to sound good over ii-V's" and in the intro he plays some cool sounding licks (Jens has that grease that I like).

    But the actual video will be him spending 20 minutes demonstrating a basic (non-greasy) two measure ii V I lick. .. Just such a waste of my time. I can lift that lick from him just playing it. So 10 sec lick .. maybe a couple of minutes of me getting it down maybe after hitting the "-5 sec" arrow key a few time to catch this or that detail ... DONE! A total of max 2 minutes. I don't need him to tell me that he is using his index finger here .. or carefully explain that now he will go from the 3rd to the 6th of the chord .. or whatever .. Fuck it!!


    His musings on music, theory and stuff suffer from the same issues. There might be something interesting there that I'm missing, but most of it is just stretched out basic stuff and I have no intention of giving him 30 minutes of my time in the hope that maybe .. just maybe something interesting will show up.

    That is the difference between you and him. With you I know something interesting will show up, cause your schtick is that you're Christian "Here is something that most musician miss or don't consider" Miller. So even if there have been vids where I've been thinking "oh ffs Christian get on with it" it's not an issue as I know that at some point it's going to get interesting.

    Btw your "All Blues" video was a memorable one. No dumbing down, just licks and music with a clear punch line (and an important one at that too) .. Very nice work!


    So to sum up .. The reason I'm giving Christiaan my money is that he actually as one of the very few online instructors actually spot on targets my demographic. It's on point. There is little time wasting as he just assumes everyone can play what he is demonstrating and that is it. Also it can be enjoyed passively if need be (and usually it needs be).

    I doubt that Christiaan ever will hit 100.000 subscriber tho as my demographic is probably quite small.


    And yeah .. my way of approaching this is far from optional, but lately I've been getting quite a good bit under my fingers and it's starting to show up the few times I actually attempt to play on my own, so that's nice .. Beats doing nothing, eh?

    Also the "No theory" stuff that this thread is about is just spice and has nothing to do with why I like Christiaan


    But back to you .. You have a good active thing to do for those 15 minutes, since you're asking?
    Last edited by Lobomov; 12-05-2020 at 10:32 AM.

  26. #275

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    why? beginners are beginners. they come for formal lessons, so you teach them the basics of music. if you plan your time well you can also show them stuff in a specific style if they are interested. some will put in the work, others won't. it's all good.
    Well, beginners at jazz; most of these students can already play quite well. The basics of the MUSIC, in the understanding that I've come to take precedence at that stage over improvisation...

    Very often this is not prioritised in education environments I've been in featuring jazz... it's like asking a beginner language student to speak fluent German. What would come out would be gibberish. OTOH people are really hung up about the improvisation aspect of jazz so that's what they want form it. I'd quietly steer those people towards non-idiomatic or pop oriented improv workshops.

    as you've pointed out learning jazz is no different from learning any other style. with the exception that jazz isn't a style any longer. i teach dixie, swing, bop, modern mainstream. but i also teach 70s and 80s hard rock, blues and funk. not as competent as jazz though. but the principles are the same.
    Yep. I teach the same basic stuff to everyone. It doesn't matter. There are specifics - I don't teach Barry Harris stuff even to all my jazz students. Some just don't get it. But the basic stuff - listening, working stuff out, command of the fretboard etc etc, all identical really. And where the specifics are different, the process remains the same.

    One principle is I am often learning as much as the student. If a student brings me in some song I don't know, it is valuable for them to see my learning process working. I can talk them through it. Later on, I get them to assist me, and eventually I put more and more of the work on them.

    I still overestimate the amount of teaching I need to do. 'Teaching' is the sort of thing where someone plays a tune and you give them advice and they do it again and play it better. You end the lesson feeling all smug.

    (Of course, they learned nothing from you. They were warming up.)

    imo one of the most important things for beginners is to give them tools for self-evaluation. i used to be the teacher who always gave some sort of critique after a student played his homework, an exercise, a solo, or whatever. i don't do that a lot these days. i try to let the student rate his own performance, verbally and on a scale from 0-10, and then work with him to try and "beat" his own score. it works wonders with younger students, who enjoy competiton and repetition anyway, and is quite effective with older ones as well.
    Yes, self-evaluation is EVERYTHING. Constant questioning of the student on:
    - what went well?
    - what could be worked on?
    - can you think of how you might work on the stuff you didn't think well?
    as well as getting them to make recordings etc etc, that's golden. Making a video is a fantastic learning experience for them even without a teacher led self evaluation.

  27. #276

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    people have trouble finding the pond....
    ha, too right

  28. #277

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Time isn't really the issue actually .. I mean, I've spent more than 15 minutes here on this forum already today, if we're honest. It's the energy that is the problem.


    Being passive is fine .. You just react .. With regards to applying licks.

    The Christiaan approach is mapping a tune. Here is a lick that you can repeat in these measures then here on the dominant chords play this lick .. later you get more licks. This is fine as it can be consumed passively. I can keep the tune in my head while doing this, no need for backing tracks or anything .. just something to do while relaxing.

    But the here is a cool lick without context video is a much harder sell ... OK, so I need to find a tune, fire it up .. I play that lick, which is fine .. but then comes the next measure and what now .. suddenly you're getting stressed and shut down.

    OK that isn't entirely true ... in my case then comes the next measure and I'm suddenly playing the same bland shit I've been playing for the last 5 years and I go screw this.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’d ever describe the likes of Jens (250K subs) as the equivalent of McDonald’s; I think he gives excellent nutrition. He strikes a good balance.

    He is highly praised .. and the number 1 recommendation whenever someone asks for jazz content, so he sure is doing something right

    However ...


    This is a talk about demographics, but you seem interested in me, so I'll gladly share.

    I hate the Jens Larsen stuff ... That is not due to anything being wrong with it .. but I am just not in his demographic in any way. He targets beginners and that is fine, but I can't stand it.

    I utterly hate that he will have a video called "How to sound good over ii-V's" and in the intro he plays some cool sounding licks (Jens has that grease that I like).

    But the actual video will be him spending 20 minutes demonstrating a basic (non-greasy) two measure ii V I lick. .. Just such a waste of my time. I can lift that lick from him just playing it. So 10 sec lick .. maybe a couple of minutes of me getting it down maybe after hitting the "-5 sec" arrow key a few time to catch this or that detail ... DONE! A total of max 2 minutes. I don't need him to tell me that he is using his index finger here .. or carefully explain that now he will go from the 3rd to the 6th of the chord .. or whatever .. Fuck it!!
    Interesting.

    His musings on music, theory and stuff suffer from the same issues. There might be something interesting there that I'm missing, but most of it is just stretched out basic stuff and I have no intention of giving him 30 minutes of my time in the hope that maybe .. just maybe something interesting will show up.
    He provides solid basic advice. I think he has zero interest in the bullshit that fixates me lol.

    That is the difference between you and him. With you I know something interesting will show up, cause your schtick is that you're Christian "Here is something that most musician miss or don't consider" Miller. So even if there have been vids where I've been thinking "oh ffs Christian get on with it" it's not an issue as I know that at some point it's going to get interesting.
    Haha thanks; but you should see the takes I don't use. But I've tried to get a better lid on it recently. TBH I also have less time to make videos now, so if I can't get usable content in about an hour (plus an hour or so for editing), it takes too much time.

    So, I think more half of the work is choosing a good topic. If you want I can send you the notes I keep on topics I think of for the videos. Most never get made because I can't see how I can turn them into a useful video. Might be useful to see what you'd find interesting from that list. But trying not to push the interesting elements out. I have a reasonable idea what people like about my nonsense. It's finding away to make it more.... useful.

    My big consideration is I think more focus going on could be better and more accessibility. I have met quite a few people IRL who say 'I watch your videos, I have not idea what you are talking about, but I watch them anyway' lol.

    Part of it is really focussing on one very specific thing, and that takes quite a lot of thought. I have the same problem with writing essays. They all end up massively over the word limit and I open far too many cans of worms, so when they get marked I get comments like 'could have explored this more', and I think - yes, I did in the first draft, but as my essay editted is still twice the word limit, are you fucking nuts?

    I see no reason in general why videos should be longer than 20m, and these days I'm trying to get them down to under 10m for single point videos. Again, I did just now a Q&A video which if I was a REAL YouTuber I would have strung out as content for a few weeks. That was 25m long...

    Btw your "All Blues" video was a memorable one. No dumbing down, just licks and music with a clear punch line (and an important one at that too) .. Very nice work!
    Cool! I thought that was a good one. Was that the one from 2016 or the more recent one I did? (I've done a few low key remakes, they get shorter)

    So to sum up .. The reason I'm giving Christiaan my money is that he actually as one of the very few online instructors actually spot on targets my demographic. It's on point. There is little time wasting as he just assumes everyone can play what he is demonstrating and that is it. Also it can be enjoyed passively if need be (and usually it needs be).

    I doubt that Christiaan ever will hit 100.000 subscriber tho as my demographic is probably quite small.


    And yeah .. my way of approaching this is far from optional, but lately I've been getting quite a good bit under my fingers and it's starting to show up the few times I actually attempt to play on my own, so that's nice .. Beats doing nothing, eh?

    Also the "No theory" stuff that this thread is about is just spice and has nothing to do with why I like Christiaan

    But back to you .. You have a good active thing to do for those 15 minutes, since you're asking?
    You have to decide what you want to get better at. A teacher can help you decide this. Choose one thing.

    Set your timer and do the thing. And don't noodle, don't improvise. Work on specific, measurable stuff. TBH in 15m, you could do three 5m exercises, but see what works for you. I remember Lage Lund saying at any point he has one thing he practices for 15m a day (he has kids too you know); but his 15 minutes are not like most people's 15 minutes. (To paraphrase Segovia who I think only practiced for a couple of hours a day.)

    For most students who have a decent command of their instrument (know basic major and minor scale positions, arpeggios, basic jazz chord voicings etc), I would recommend learning some music by ear. Any style, any genre is fine, but jazz will presumably be a focus.) Over the course of a week you could learn a tune, or a chorus of a solo. I would prioritise tunes actually, as Bruce Forman suggests. Tunes have licks in BTW - a lot of people seem to miss this. And not just bop heads.

    Besides if you can't pick up a melody like My Shining Hour or My Secret Love quickly by ear, why the hell would you try to get started on bebop jazz solo? One thing I think gets missed is the important of fluency. We are, as aspiring improvisors presumably aiming to be fluent and conversant. It is necessary to choose simple things to keep it fluent. It's exactly the same as not picking classical pieces that are too hard... you don't want to get stuck.

    The important thing is to set your timer, and leave off wherever you are but come back to it. Little and often mounts up a lot better over time than isolated heavy sessions. Pick realistic targets. For instance, you might be able to learn the melody of simple standard, but not be quite ready to try a bop head or solo. You might be OK with single notes, but might struggle to recognise chords quickly. So choose goals that align with your level of ability but push it just enough. Again, this is what teachers are for, but you can get a feel for this yourself after a while.

    For me it's rhythmic exercises. That's pretty much the only routine practice I do ATM. I do my Konnakol exercises I get set, which are invariably horrendous and need a week or more to master, and I do my own rhythmic independence 16th syncopation exercises.

    I also try to learn at least tune a week, preferably by ear, and record it by Sunday. There's a Facebook group I'm a member of that picks tunes. This week I recorded someones original which was fun.

    Any extra time I spend 'shadowing' jazz recordings - listen/play listen/play. But that's if I get an hour or more.
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-05-2020 at 07:56 PM.

  29. #278
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Part of it is really focussing on one very specific thing, and that takes quite a lot of thought. I have the same problem with writing essays. They all end up massively over the word limit and I open far too many cans of worms, so when they get marked I get comments like 'could have explored this more', and I think - yes, I did in the first draft, but as my essay editted is still twice the word limit, are you fucking nuts?
    LOL .. That has always been one of my biggest downfalls too .. I really is shite as you lose control of the situation and open your self up to having to defend stuff you never intended to get into. Been very conscious about avoiding just that for quite a while

    My girlfriend asked why do you have to be so "støvet". Støvet translates to dusty, but in context the meaning is that of water dust? A picture for illustration to help with the translating




    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I see no reason in general why videos should be longer than 20m, and these days I'm trying to get them down to under 10m for single point videos.
    Agreed to the 20 min and the 10 min stuff is probably a very good approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Cool! I thought that was a good one. Was that the one from 2016 or the more recent one I did? (I've done a few low key remakes, they get shorter)
    2016 is too long ago .. It was the "Don't play altered on All Blues" one .. definately not older than 2019 .. About playing melodic on dominants.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You have to decide what you want to get better at. A teacher can help you decide this. Choose one thing.
    Oh God .. LOL .. Don't ask that question .. The thing is I don't really know .. I tried joining a small Jazz Trio a few years back (Guitar/guitar/bass) and for a couple of months I had tunes to look at .. But couldn't really swing something like that with my work and my kids. They've gotten bigger now with the youngest being 10, so maybe in a couple of years

    But that is the f..... problem

    Tho to be honest .. Currently I'm pretty content with the CvH stuff. Apart from the transcribed solo's his current offer is the van Hemert System. Which basically is here is a lot of of fundamental shapes. So you got different versions of a maj7th runs, min6th runs, diminished run .. etc etc .. split up into ascending and descending versions.

    Then there is talk about how those shapes fit over diffent types of chords (tonic, dominant etc) .. like a min6h works fine over a dominant and depending on which note in the dominant you choose as your starting note it will give different amounts of tension or "alteredness"

    Once you're done with the shapes then they are used to create ii-Vs and other phrases. It's structured .. easy to approach and so far still fun. Not rocket science, but hoping it will give me standard phrases that my ear can recognize like it can in blues and rock, a bit of mechanical skill and who knows?

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    And don't noodle.
    I used that word, but it really isn't true. I'll just run thru the Donna Lee theme while watching TV or similar .. whatever the CvH video I'm at currently. The Donna Lee theme took me about a month to get up to speed.


    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I would recommend learning some music by ear.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You might be OK with single notes, but might struggle to recognise chords quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Any extra time I spend 'shadowing' jazz recordings - listen/play listen/play. But that's if I get an hour or more.

    I used to do tons of that in my youth, but jazz came late .. maybe too late. Should give it a swing. But most pop/rock I can pick up on the fly. My youngest plays a wee bit of bass and will sometimes ask me to "translate" this or that currently popular song to bass and expect an on the fly thing .. Sure, here you go sweetheart

    But .. I listen far too little to jazz with my guitar in my hands. Rumor has it that is pretty common .. That people want to play jazz without actually listening to it actively

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I also try to learn at least tune a week, preferably by ear, and record it by Sunday. There's a Facebook group I'm a member of that picks tunes. This week I recorded someones original which was fun.
    Jam of the week? .. I'm actually a member, tho the level there is insanely high

    But if nothing else I could do the current monthly standard here before the months is over .. I've actually practiced "All of me" before

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you want I can send you the notes I keep on topics I think of for the videos. Most never get made because I can't see how I can turn them into a useful video. Might be useful to see what you'd find interesting from that list.
    Sure .. Shoot me a PM .. and if it doesn't fit a PM, then no problem .. I'll give you my mail or whatever is most convenient
    Last edited by Lobomov; 12-05-2020 at 09:08 PM.

  30. #279

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    I don’t do Jam of the Week much although I am a member. I do a different private Facebook group.
    of local musicians.

    The level on JOW is ridiculous. I just don’t have enough time to throw at it to do it justice (I think you have to have a TAKE on the tune not just play it on that forum.)

    Mark K and Jeff always post great stuff on there...

  31. #280

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    For me, personally, proficiency on the instrument feels like the biggest barrier. I started out late on Guitar, but I do have some background in music, saxophone in h.s., vocal choruses here and there and I picked up some piano when my daughter started.

    I started and stopped a few times on the guitar but never got very far in terms of chops. Unfortunately, with my musical knowledge most beginning to intermediate methods are incredibly boring to me. So for me the biggest obstacle is how to build technique while learning and playing stuff I like.

  32. #281

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    What many people here seem to have missed is that Christiaan is actually a theory expert. I checked some of his vids that prove that fact and besides, his job requires it. He teaches at a university and that means his students will be music teachers too so theory is obligatory in the curriculum. The main point I get from his videos is that he perceives knowing theory and playing well as SEPARATE skills. There is little to no connection between the two. So you can have people with lots of theory knowledge not being able to play well and great players knowing nothing about what they are actually playing (Bireli, Stochelo, Jimmy etc. etc.) And of course, the ones that can do both. Even in the case of a good player knowing his stuff, he still sees the two as separate skills that are not connected by the way!!!!! What he says IMHO is that you have to develop the skill you are after. You are not a teacher and want to play well? Start playing the sounds and do not waste too much time on theory but focus on the language rather than the grammar.

    Anyway, I will be publishing an interview with him soon so we can read a bit more about this guy.

    DB.

  33. #282

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    Never let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good strawman.