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Practical Music Workshop #8 - Jazzy Eights (Two Chords, Two Modes)

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by dogletnoir, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This is the last time on this thread I'll post a variation on my take. I've replaced the solo, which was total tosh first time round. I think this is better. Hopefully, I'll make further progress in future, but I'm not expecting everyone to listen to me practise.

     
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  2. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    Very nice Simon. You've developed your theme and used some cool tone delivering it. There is something in your solo work at the 2:00 mark that is familiar to me but I can't put my finger on it. It was cool to watch you build your track - nice!
     
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  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I was quoting this in a very approximate way:

     
  4. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    There it is. Thanks Simon.
     
  5. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    @simoncroft, maybe inches ahead instead of miles... but progress is progress nonetheless.
    You are still keeping to the 60s vibe vision overall and following the changes in the solo section,
    but it is sounding more confident this time around.
    i enjoyed the solo in your first version, but this take is definitely more purposeful and intentional
    (i liked the quote of Moondance, too... it's a very common jazz device to do that kind of thing),
    and the subtle effect of the keyboards in the mix is felt rather than heard most of the time but
    it does make a difference!

    As for the 'listening to me practice' bit, well... it IS a workshop, and one of the things i find interesting
    is how the various participants develop and alter their approach to the piece over the course of the run.
    It would be cool to hear people's first attempt as a kind of 'baseline', and then see what happens as they
    spend some time and effort studying and working with the material.
    The next PMW may have different parameters, but please feel free to post anything and everything in this one:
    complete takes, WIP takes, experimental takes, proof of concept takes, whatever.
    As long as it relates to the workshop, it's all good!

    Speaking of which, there are still a few folks that haven't turned in anything at all.
    i'm not calling you out, because you know who you are, LOL.
    We have another two weeks to go, so if you want to get in on this one, there's still lots of time to roll up
    your sleeves and get to work!
    :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  6. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m really trying to get a handle on playing in a Jazz style but ugh :D
    More bloopers from yours truly lol.
    I’m not quitting though .
    If nothing else it is helping with my fretboard recognition:)
     
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  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would say making mistakes is an essential part of the learning process, otherwise, we're just churning out the same old stuff we've already got a handle on. I can imagine your theme working well on a TV series.
     
  8. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you simoncroft!
    I’m so glad you referenced Moondance in your take .
    I wasn’t sure what song it was that was going through my mind lol.
    You definitely captured a 60’s style flair with your last submission :thumb:
     
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  9. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I give my jazz students permission to hit a lot of bad notes in the process of finding the right ones.

    The fact that you now hear what isn't a good melodic choice is very important. :thumb:
     
  10. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    @duzie, there's a lot to like in this take: some cool modal melodies, nice arpeggio based lines,
    and i especially enjoyed that Wes Montgomery style diminished run at about 1 minute in.
    i'm definitely going to lift that. :)

    For playing in a jazz style, i'd say the first step would be to go to the music, really listen to it,
    and then take a solo and try to learn it phrase by phrase.

    Miles takes a great solo on this classic from Kind Of Blue starting at about 50 seconds in.
    Just work on that, up to about 2:37. There's a lot of gold there in under 2 minutes.
    It's at a moderate tempo, with relaxed phrasing, awesome note choices, great use of space,
    and it's not too difficult to follow... don't start with Coltrane, LOL.

    i've found that improving fingerboard recognition and ear training are two side benefits of taking part
    in these workshops.
    When you listen back to your take and you hear a 'blooper', play the phrase, isolate the notes you aren't
    happy with and then analyze their relationship to the chord you're playing over.
    There will usually be certain 'avoid' notes if you're trying to outline the changes, and that's where sticking strictly
    to the suggested modes helps the most, in that you won't be playing major 3rds and 7ths against minor 7th chords.
    Minor 3rds and 7ths can work against major chords because they are the 'blue' notes; the opposite isn't a great match
    though.

    If we let the fingers lead the way instead of our mind and/or ears, we tend to fall into familiar patterns which may
    or may not fit the harmony. This is probably why you hit the F# against the final G minor 7 chord again this time
    around, although it is also quite possible that you actually do like the way that sounds.
    (F against the Gmi7 would work better imo; it is actually quite hip to end on the 7th instead of the root,
    but preferably the one that's actually a chord tone. Try it both ways, and see which one you like better.)

    On the other hand, if you're thinking about what you're playing, you will soon find new and appropriate patterns
    as the mind, the ears, and the fingers all start to sync up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  11. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    You hit the nail on the head with your comments here .
    I appreciate the effort you put into this thread !
    I’m definitely going to work on getting familiar with the solo you referenced here .
    Muscle memory and a lack of preparation led me to that dastardly f# again :p
     
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  12. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    In contrast, I'm the type of person that finds symmetry appealing and will naturally tend toward that. In something I did a couple of years ago, I had set out to just put down some scratch tracks to help flesh out a song idea I had. Once I was done I found I was quite satisfied with it but thought I should lay out a defined and symmetrical form. Without trying to, that was what I had already done in my scratch track!! At that point, I just documented what I had already done.

    Part of the idea here is to step out of our norms, so I think it's good for me personally that this track isn't symmetrical. It forces us to listen to and feel the changes.

    Earlier in the thread, @rafasounds and @Alan L Cole talked about their improvisational approach and recorded takes being a unique snapshot in time. I am the same. It's why I'll even record my "practice runs" because many times there is good stuff in there too. It is hard for me to go back and fix bits and pieces so I rarely do...I go for the good full take. If it's 90% good to my ears, I'll go fix bits. I did this with my last tune to fix a glaring blunder. I was surprised at how long it took me to learn the phrase (which I played and conceived of myself!) and play it in the same feel from the original moment.

    I'm all refreshed from a beach vacation and plan on digging in this week.
     
  13. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Absolutely one has to listen to a lot of jazz before being able to play it.

    As a teacher AND jazz historian, I find that most people do not go far enough back in their jazz listening.

    Miles and Trane are musts in any listening series; but I suggest going back to Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, and make sure one listens to:

    Duke Ellington - ALL years

    Basie - same, not just the 50's stuff - early stuff includes Lester Young

    Chick Webb - includes early Ella F.

    Swing greats like Benny Goodman (that will include Charlie Christian), Artie Shaw, the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, etc.

    Coleman Hawkins

    Now we get to where most people start these days, bebop:

    ALL Charlie Parker recordings

    Dizzy Gillespie

    Nat Cole Trio

    Miles Davis

    Coltrane

    Monk

    and as guitar players we should listen to any and all jazz greats

    DO NOT LISTEN ONLY TO BOP

    you can't play bop if you can't play swing

    you can't play swing if you can't play "Dixieland"

    you can't play any of it without the basic blues - I don't mean SRV, but Bessie Smith era blues with jazz players.
     
  14. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    Years ago I watched the Ken Burns documentary Jazz and it really opened my eyes and ears to this early stuff you are talking about. As a complete neophyte to that period of music, learning about the lives of the artists and the environment that they played in gave it all a whole new dimension.
     
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  15. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Burns had the sense to make Louis Armstrong, arguably the most influential single musician in the 20th century both as a player and singer, as a central figure in that documentary.
     
  16. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    "Years ago I watched the Ken Burns documentary Jazz and it really opened my eyes and ears to this early stuff you are talking about.
    As a complete neophyte to that period of music, learning about the lives of the artists and the environment that they played in gave it all a whole new dimension."


    Funny, i just started watching that documentary again last night. It really is wonderful.
    Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest and most innovative musicians to ever grace this planet with his presence.
    Those Hot Five, Hot Seven, and Savoy Ballroom Five recordings still sound fresh and powerful to me, and although
    i used to prefer Parker to Prez when i was younger and more impressed by speed, now it's Lester Young that moves me.
    They are both great artists, but in Lester i hear a kind of tragic yet transcendent acceptance of life as it is,
    with all of its joys as well as tragedies, while in Bird there is anger, and an expression of a need for things to change.
    Listening to bop is like listening to the Miles Davis live in Japan recordings Agharta and Panagea...
    a perfect soundtrack for an evil mood, LOL. And we all have days like that too...

    The history of jazz is a long, varied, and rich one, and knowing the roots of it gives a greater appreciation for the innovations
    that followed, each one building on what came before.
    Go back to Tampa Red and even the Hawaiian lap steel players like Sol Ho'opi'i, Sam Ku West, and King Benny Nawahi
    and you will hear some really great stuff.



    Just to be perfectly clear, i've probably listened to a lot more 'hot' jazz and swing music than bebop myself.
    Those styles (and the ones that come after bop like cool, modal, and fusion) just seem to resonate with me more,
    and have more application to my own personal musical endeavours.

    i will say this though: nothing that Miles plays in that solo above is as tricky or difficult to play correctly
    as the opening cadenza to West End Blues. Older style notwithstanding...
    :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Working down that list everything gets a tick from me, as far down as Nat Cole, then my interest wanes like a EQ roll off. It's still there but I just stop hearing it... :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  18. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    Funny, i just started watching that documentary again last night. It is really great.
    Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest and most innovative musicians to ever grace this planet with his presence.
    Those Hot Five, Hot Seven, and Savoy Ballroom Five recordings still sound fresh and powerful to me, and although
    i used to prefer Bird to Prez when i was younger and more impressed by speed, now it's Lester Young that moves me more.
    The history of jazz is a long, varied, and rich one, and knowing the roots of it gives a greater appreciation for the innovations
    that followed, each one building on what came before.

    i will say this though: nothing that Miles plays in that solo above is as tricky or difficult to play correctly as the opening cadenza to
    West End Blues. Older style notwithstanding...
    :D[/QUOTE]

    I've watched it through at least 3 times. Perhaps I should watch it again...I'm about due :). If anything, the passion these guys had is inspiring.

    After watching the first time, I discovered a treasure trove of CDs in my local library system that I dove into. This was before you could find anything you wanted to listen to on Spotify or YouTube.

    I haven't listened to any Lester Young in a long time either...need to remedy that too!
     
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  19. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah, you do.

    As a bonus, you get a nice electric guitar solo by Eddie Durham too!
     
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  20. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ALERT: Reference post!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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