The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #101

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    Hey Joe...Dallin is just letting "you" know if you understand and have an approach for compose melodies and combine them. Species counterpoint was just one of the standard approaches for composing in that style.

    Typical cantus firmus melodies were 8 to 16 measures long and species counterpoint was an approach for adding other melodies. There were a bunch of guidelines. Species 1 -4 were steps to get to species 5, which was combination of 1-4 which were steps of adding parts almost like test tube music which eventually lead to composing somewhat in the style of Bach chorales.


    It's not really possible to just do a bar or two... the organization of this style of composition is designed on the length of the cantus firmus... or melody and it's length.

    Maybe just go over the Species guidelines... the rules of creating melodies and then adding parts and move on to the Folk song. And buzz through Chapters 1-3... it might start to get more interesting and useful in Chapter 4 and onward ....Functional concepts... Harmony will begin to come into play.

    Much of species type of melodic composition is based on not doing anything more that two times without change, LOL. That's just a rule of thumb thing. Anyway obviously by now you know if your example might needs some work... eventually if you like this type of composition you'll get to the Fugue and maybe even 20th century counterpoint...polytonal counterpoint and maybe even Non-Diatonic counterpoint. Then you'll throw it all away and and compose in the Sonata concepts, Form and Harmony. Counterpoint becomes a tool.

    This is the point where Dallins book will help.

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  3. #102

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    It's not really possible to just do a bar or two... the organization of this style of composition is designed on the length of the cantus firmus... or melody and it's length.

    Hi Reg,
    Thanks so much for the reply!
    Although I'm not addressing everything you wrote I am taking it all in.

    I knew the first bar would be wrong, I decided I didn't need to do more of the piece wrong to start.
    Here's the full piece (as you know)
    Music Theory vs Harmony-vulpius-chorale-jpg
    Doing the single bar (twice wrong) I achieved 2 things:
    1. - I learned how to use Musescore to post notation with sound. Highlighting each note/chord as it plays.
    Should be a great tool moving forward.
    2. - I received some really great help and direction from you and the other great scholars on this forum.
    Failing has it's positives!

    Question for you:
    On the folk song, I'm going to give that a shot (not sure when) and I assume it's a matter of which chords
    work with which measures/group of notes unlike the chorale. Is that correct?
    I can do a kind of chord melody thing on the guitar for that?

    The species counterpoint link is really great (Thanks again.) and I'm going to spend part of my study time
    working on that.
    Nice that your link has the cantus firmus as musescore files. An unexpected bonus!

    I'm a counterpoint noob and have never heard of the cantus firmus before.
    It sounds like the latin name of a houseplant. wiseguy

    Also, I found some interesting youtube vids on species counterpoint and the book i bought (from Berklee) called Counterpoint in Jazz Arranging.
    All this will eventually lead back to Dallin.

  4. #103

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    Just wanted to add another video that I found interesting.
    It's from the same guy that Christian posted.


  5. #104

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    Hey Joe... yes look at the tune as a whole... the form is A A B A right, so that makes it simple, the melody basically spells out the changes... watch the C#.

    Yea the 4 part vid... well pretty useless. He's starting in the middle and never really gets anywhere. Counterpoint needs musical organization from melodic concepts. His source for filling in the blanks is... well childish,I'm sure he's great musician, composer etc... but really vanilla, I guess I'm still under the impression that you have a goal in mind.

    And the Berklee material really needs teacher... at least 1/2 the material is not there. I was at Berklee and graduated as composition maj in mid 70's. Back then most music schools combined everything into a few classes, Berklee at least broke it down into different subjects LOL.

    Anyway keep going...

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCoconut
    It's not really possible to just do a bar or two... the organization of this style of composition is designed on the length of the cantus firmus... or melody and it's length.

    Hi Reg,
    Thanks so much for the reply!
    Although I'm not addressing everything you wrote I am taking it all in.

    I knew the first bar would be wrong, I decided I didn't need to do more of the piece wrong to start.
    Here's the full piece (as you know)
    Music Theory vs Harmony-vulpius-chorale-jpg
    Doing the single bar (twice wrong) I achieved 2 things:
    1. - I learned how to use Musescore to post notation with sound. Highlighting each note/chord as it plays.
    Should be a great tool moving forward.
    2. - I received some really great help and direction from you and the other great scholars on this forum.
    Failing has it's positives!

    Question for you:
    On the folk song, I'm going to give that a shot (not sure when) and I assume it's a matter of which chords
    work with which measures/group of notes unlike the chorale. Is that correct?
    I can do a kind of chord melody thing on the guitar for that?

    The species counterpoint link is really great (Thanks again.) and I'm going to spend part of my study time
    working on that.
    Nice that your link has the cantus firmus as musescore files. An unexpected bonus!

    I'm a counterpoint noob and have never heard of the cantus firmus before.
    It sounds like the latin name of a houseplant. wiseguy

    Also, I found some interesting youtube vids on species counterpoint and the book i bought (from Berklee) called Counterpoint in Jazz Arranging.
    All this will eventually lead back to Dallin.
    Oh I should probably have a crack at this.

    Four part chorale harmony is typically the bane of music students life. How much does it have to do with jazz harmony? Probs not that much, but a lot of good jazz players seem to have dipped into it at some point. I'm working on classical harmony and counterpoint at the moment and I think the benefits are nonlinear.

    The main difference is I'm focussing on playing things rather than writing them atm.

    OTOH if your aim is to master basic jazz harmony quickly, there are more direct paths for sure.

  7. #106

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    ^ There are absolutely more direct paths to chord melody and harmony. I'm taking lessons with Tony Monaco and I was kind of flabbergasted because his main devices for chord melody is to double the outside voices while playing mostly diatonically inside and playing inversions up and down. It really surprised me because I thought chord melody was all advanced with a separate chord for every melody but apparently it doesn't have to be. He does use other devices such as inner voices but his chord melody world view is very graspable.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    ^ There are absolutely more direct paths to chord melody and harmony. I'm taking lessons with Tony Monaco and I was kind of flabbergasted because his main devices for chord melody is to double the outside voices while playing mostly diatonically inside and playing inversions up and down. It really surprised me because I thought chord melody was all advanced with a separate chord for every melody but apparently it doesn't have to be. He does use other devices such as inner voices but his chord melody world view is very graspable.
    I think so called 'chord-melody' is bit overestimated from musical point of view among guitarists because of technical difficulties and limitations of guitar... pianists can do many things without second thought and without any complex conceptions - just through natural flow of harmony/melody and inner voices... with some experience one can do these things on piano quite intuitively.
    On guitar you have to figure out patterns...

    It is ok... but it is interesting how technical complexity sometimes seems to subsitute musical complexity.

  9. #108

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    Jonah : it is interesting how technical complexity sometimes seems to subsitute musical complexity.

    Of course because technical proficiency can be attained universally by reading, study and repetition. Sort of an ‘anyone can master this’.
    Musicality on the other hand is not obtained universally, nor able necessarily to be taught.
    Either it’s there or it isn’t. You know it when you hear it. Some lucky folks can listen and develop it sure. But listening to videos of players on this site proves my point. There be technical wizzes and there be musicians.
    It certainly was frustrating when I had students, you listened to some and realized they would - could - never make that intuitive leap.

    jk

  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I think so called 'chord-melody' is bit overestimated from musical point of view among guitarists because of technical difficulties and limitations of guitar... pianists can do many things without second thought and without any complex conceptions - just through natural flow of harmony/melody and inner voices... with some experience one can do these things on piano quite intuitively.
    On guitar you have to figure out patterns...

    It is ok... but it is interesting how technical complexity sometimes seems to subsitute musical complexity.
    Yes! Chord melody should be teaching something more fundamental, eventually…. Took me about three decades to learn it but I’m quite stupid.

    Anyway that’s why I think building from two or three voices is the best way to go. True four voice independence is basically impossible on guitar, so you are limited to grips. The drop 2 block chord stuff and so on works on that basis. And it’s cool, but I don’t think you can get a true sense of all the voices nor freedom to voice lead as you wish. (Well maybe Ben Monder can.)

    You can get various flavours of parallelism or even some oblique motion but that’s the main thing.

    Three voices on the other hand offer a lot more flexibility and independence of the voices. Two voices are surprisingly full as well. But this lands you in the realm of counterpoint and intervallic relationships.

    I mean what’s this?
    6 x 5 7 x x

  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I mean what’s this?
    6 x 5 7 x x
    Sounds like the Va of Bm... first inversion of F# 7#5
    Or the V of Ebmaj... Bb 7b6

    OK scratch that, I misread it as 6 x 4 7 x x

    ------------------

    6 x 5 7 x x

    I play that in SBSL... as a Bb6sus4 -> Bb 6

    6 x 5 7 x x -> 6 x 5 6 x x... just changing the fourth string voice for starting the Eb D C Bb D line

    6 x 5 7 x x is also Gm first inversion and Dsus4#5
    Last edited by pauln; 08-09-2022 at 02:24 PM.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Sounds like the Va of Bm... first inversion of F# 7#5
    Or the V of Ebmaj... Bb 7b6

    OK scratch that, I misread it as 6 x 4 7 x x

    ------------------

    6 x 5 7 x x

    I play that in SBSL... as a Bb6sus4 -> Bb 6

    6 x 5 7 x x -> 6 x 5 6 x x... just changing the fourth string voice for starting the Eb D C Bb D line

    6 x 5 7 x x is also Gm first inversion and Dsus4#5
    Wrong it’s a rootless Ebmaj7! What do you mean you can’t tell? :-)

    Of course: It’s a major sixth with a major tenth on top.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 08-09-2022 at 05:30 PM.

  13. #112

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    always worth posting:

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I think so called 'chord-melody' is bit overestimated from musical point of view among guitarists because of technical difficulties and limitations of guitar... pianists can do many things without second thought and without any complex conceptions - just through natural flow of harmony/melody and inner voices... with some experience one can do these things on piano quite intuitively.
    On guitar you have to figure out patterns...

    It is ok... but it is interesting how technical complexity sometimes seems to subsitute musical complexity.
    Yeah, but if I were to work out chord melody on guitar I would still approach it with the simplicity I learned from Tony. Slide the same shape a bit, move the melody only in between chord grips, throw in some lower voices. It doesn't have to be this mega satb voice leading composition for it to catch the listeners ear as being chord melody.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Yeah, but if I were to work out chord melody on guitar I would still approach it with the simplicity I learned from Tony. Slide the same shape a bit, move the melody only in between chord grips, throw in some lower voices. It doesn't have to be this mega satb voice leading composition for it to catch the listeners ear as being chord melody.
    Yes.. I also try to simplify things.

    But on the other hand when I play something alone I quite often feel some kind of limitations... I want to exand things that I hear inside and for example - though I am not pianist and do not have good skills - it is often that I can do that just because everything is under my hands I can change paths here and there without much thinking about any theoretic things or technical patterns- and mostly I rely on hearing.

    On guitar I still feel it is like patterns interfere musical thinking. I enjoy practicing some nice ideas and conceptiont but as a result I really rarely use them in real musical thinking process.

    As a result I end up just playing melody and occasionally adding some intervals - that gives some kind of relative freedom I look for.

    But maybe I am just lazy to elaborate and incorporate really complex tools?

  16. #115

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    It's up to you if you like playing like that. As a listener, I never hear guitar with melody and some 2 note intervals and feel it's lacking. It's only as a player that I want to have command of all the conventions for my instrument - organ, which are necessarily somewhat complex. Guitar is tougher because it's only your left hand grabbing the chords, one of the reasons I chose to just focus on keys. But it's my opinion that it makes you more musical to develop more complex tools that are suited for you.