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#1139119 - 07/25/07 04:51 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi swingal \:\)

I'd love to be totally pure like you...absolute pitch is something I definitely don't have \:\( .

But, I'm still in the process of learning how to play by ear (nearly 4 years now).

For the first year or so I used lead sheets to help me a lot...but, they seemed to hamper my progress and much of what I memorized back then is lost in the mist of time.

I rarely look at a lead sheet nowadays and haven't done for the past few years. There is still much for me to learn and many, many songs I still cannot figure out for the life of me that I dearly want to (grrr!).

But, I seem to be still making steady progress day by day with my "by ear playing", I have to say that I have good days and I have bad days but, I can literally play hundreds of songs now by ear and I dearly love it and as a result I seem to get more addicted to this darned "piano thang" by the day .

However, I still have this nagging inner obsession to play jazzier and in a more cocktail/lounge style (than I do presently) and this is one area where it seems to me you need a huge knowledge of scales mixed in with a whole heap of really complicated stuff (that I don't have).

I just wanted to ask you... can you pick up the jazzy sounds say that Doug McKenzie plays on his youtube videos (man I love the way that guy plays) and copy that without knowing the theory?

Take a look at "Laura" for instance:-

Doug McKenzie playing Laura in a way me soooo likey {{click}} \:\)

Where he explains everything that he does as he goes along (all of which goes woooosh completely over my head! ). Can you just pick what he plays there out in an instant and play it similarily to him or is that too tricky?


regards


Lee \:\)
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#1139120 - 07/26/07 06:15 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
hello Lee,

You have picked a 'good' one here. Laura is very difficult to copy. I start on Eb and follow on from there. The theme is far from easy and this is why Doug McKenzie gives the help on the chords. Like you,they mean nothing to me either.

This song is full of what I think are minor key variations. It baffles many singers too. I have played along with an Erroll Garner recording of it which is OK for the general theme learning. Remarkably,he is not using one of his abstract keys this time!

I do not get too interested about playing this song. As it is very hard to play straight,let alone with jazz style added.

Yes, I find playing along a very good way to practice and it sharpens up the natural subconscious brain functions, as that is how I play.

Laura, is not often jazzed up, I can see why. It is more of a romantic ballad perhaps?

Regards,

Alan (swingal)

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#1139121 - 07/26/07 06:21 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
ktom.

Thanks for your help. I have registered with youtube and when time allows which is a rare commodity in my muddled retirement will visit it more deeply.

I like Floyd Cramer too and his recordings are nice simple jazz with a good swing style.

Alan

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#1139122 - 07/26/07 08:11 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Alan \:\)

Sorry it wasn't meant to sound like a test or anything \:\)

And maybe Laura was a bad example \:\(

All I wanted to know was are your ears good enough to create those jazzy chords without the theory.

The reason I was asking is because I have noticed that after learning to play by ear my ear is getting keener but, nowhere near keen enough to recreate the sounds Doug makes without having to learn the theory (learning theory is my major sticking point as I can't read music and is probably never going to happen to be honest)

And I suppose I was hoping that with all your years of playing that you could recreate those sounds not knowing the theory behind it

I'm guessing from what you say that you can do a pretty good job of it...which I think is rather kool if you can ...so maybe there's hope for me getting there someday without having to knuckle down and learn the theory?

Hope you get the recording thing sorted out soon cause I for one am bursting to hear you play and you'd be amazed how much can be picked up by questioning what you did and where if we get to listen to you play \:\) .


Lee \:\)
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#1139123 - 07/26/07 09:34 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
pianojazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: dearborn, mi
When you speak of creating those "jazzy chords", if you're like me, first you hear them (usually by listening to someone else playing them) - and they grab you in a certain way - I said to myself "Wow! That was Fantastic! What was that?" At the time I didn't know what it was - or what to call it - I just knew that I liked it - I wanted to hear more. I wanted to be able to play like that. As I listened more, I started trying to recreate those sounds - learning to recognize the sounds. Learning what to do to a chord to reproduce the sounds - how to voice the chords - what voices to add, what to leave out. Its at this point you begin to understand them - the theory part. It helps you organize your knowledge and your preferences. Then you start to learn to associate sounds with names - a m7b5 chord has a distinct sound - different from a m7b9 - totally different from a m7+9, which is totally different from a 7+5 chord - and on it goes. Its an evolutionary sort of thing. Enjoy the ride.
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#1139124 - 07/26/07 09:50 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
I was thinking of starting a style of music teaching which emphasizes the study of theory, technique, and improvisation rather than sight-reading and memorization of repertoire.

Perhaps a new breed of musicians could come of this.

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#1139125 - 07/26/07 11:32 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
pianojazz...its a pity that you don't live next door


thanks guys


Lee \:\)
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#1139126 - 07/26/07 01:29 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
Yeah, you don't need to able to read to understand theory, but examples are most easily given in sheet music notation. Now that webcams are so common, maybe we could make our own collection of lessons and put them on YouTube.
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#1139127 - 07/26/07 02:46 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Dear Reaper978, The style 0f piano teaching you are considering has my vote. Most pianist go the tradional route, I did, to study the classics, etc. Some people do not want to study that many years. I know a piano pro who can play in all 12 keys , on command, he knows all advanced music theory. I studied with him for 6 months to learn gospel style piano... for my own fun. He cannot read a note of music. He made enough money as a full time performer that he paid for his beautiful home ,in full, in 7 years... on the Baptist Gospel Circuit, playing piano. Many piano talents to be developed who do not need classical training. Your idea has a market for certain... Sandy B
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#1139128 - 07/26/07 03:36 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1567
Loc: NY
The best jazz teacher I ever had taught me a very specific jazz progression that helped immensely. It's the old ii-V-I but with a couple of twists so that its ii9-V13-IMaj7. Play the ii in first inversion, play the V as a 13th chord as 7,3,6 (or 7,9,3,6) and the I as a Maj9 in first inversion.

Key of C: dm9, G13, CMaj9

If you use the above inversions (with right hand),it should feel very comfortable to the hand with minimal movement - no jumping around with the chords. I still practice this progression in several keys and use it in a lot of songs. \:\)

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#1139129 - 07/27/07 02:24 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Good morning Lee and all.

Quote.

"All I wanted to know was are your ears good enough to create those jazzy chords without the theory." answer:- to a point. but only in style not precisely.

Quote:-
"The reason I was asking is because I have noticed that after learning to play by ear my ear is getting keener but, nowhere near keen enough to recreate the sounds Doug makes without having to learn the theory (learning theory is my major sticking point as I can't read music and is probably never going to happen to be honest)"

Well, without wanting to seem to be unusual in my abilities, the make up of my mental mind is not unique. Other people's brains are similar in ability to play from the sub-conscious. That is what I do.

Yes I can improvise. I don't know how. It's in the head and is natural in my brain design. I cannot, unfortunately sit down and give a public recital easily. I used to play piano at age 16 up in Pubs during the WW2 and then I was finding the popular music easy to play along to. The only downside to my ear playing is the need of no mental distractions, sound wise or people in the room.
OK, if they are in another room and not directly watching me. A silly situation but not that unusual perhaps.All in the mind again.

I bought a Kawai ES4 digital and boy does that make playing easier after 70 years of acoustic. Mainly because the fingering is sooooo' much more precise automatically. The instrument is light on muscle needs and takes away the skill needed to create sounds by the finger pressures. Plus there seem to be ways of rather cheating. However, the end result is super.

That is another thread I suppose.

No! Lee, you are not 'testing' me. Your questions are perfectly valid. I also wish you lived nearby. At least we don't live in the 'New world' where folk talk in the 1000's of miles.

Back to the question of individual ear players. This is 'subconscious mind' stuff and it appears that no two people are wired up the same.

Nor can they/we understand what other's brains do in the mind-set. Or in my way of mental abilities, can I describe exactly what goes on in my brain.

So apart from the main theme of playing the straight tune, the improvisation matter is made in the same way as Ella Fitzgerald does her scat singing; from the subconscious memory of sound recall. If you can sing it, so can you play it, yes?

Alan (swingal)

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#1139130 - 07/27/07 06:45 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Alan \:\)

Thanks for trying to explain how you see/hear things (because you can just do it you'll always be waaay kool in my book )

As you know I am going through a process which is actually teaching me how to be able to do something similar to what you do naturally and I notice that a lot of what you say makes sense and I can relate to it now. I am getting closer which trust me gives me a thrill.

As you already know I couldn't pick a melody out to save my life in the beginning, couldn't tell if melody went up or down...now things are different sometimes my fingers just know where to go to pick out the melodies and sometimes say when asked for a request if I know the melody I can just do it on the fly...other times I just can't .

Although I have to admit I can't tell what key a song is in just by listening yet, only occasionally does it happen (like for instance recently I was pecking out "An Affair To Remember" I was automatically working it out in F which is the key it is in...now, when I do something like that it really stuns me ...but, these things don't happen every day (though its good to know they are happening more often so I get the feeling that I am progressing with this).

I get the feeling that as I keep trying to make these sounds my brain/fingers are going to get used to knowing how to produce more of them.

and yes I agree if I can sing it I can play it...

Though it seems I may have to learn to sing in chromatic runs to achieve it


Lee

thanks Elssa I'll try it out \:\)
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#1139131 - 07/27/07 07:02 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Mahlzeit

 Quote:
Now that webcams are so common, maybe we could make our own collection of lessons and put them on YouTube.
Now that is a great idea


Lee \:D
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#1139132 - 07/27/07 09:49 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Seaside Lee, it's too bad you don't want to get into the theory. You don't even need a lot of theory but the concept to jazz chords are wholly repeatable. It has to do with knowing when to add tension notes. In order to do this, you must be able to construct a chord and identify every interval, instantaneously.

Once you know these rules, you can jazzify anything, even playing by ear. But to me playing by ear is not just tone identification. To me it means identifying harmonic progressions and thus from that comes the ability to identify specific chords. For example, a ii-V-I progression. Knowing this (and hearing this) makes you understand what qualities you can substitute to each chord to make it crunchier. This is all a study of tension and release. In the example above, the "crunchy jazz sound" is placed on the V chord.

I think that understanding basic theory makes understanding music easier, especially for ear players. And I don't think it's that hard at all.
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#1139133 - 07/27/07 09:58 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elssa:

Key of C: dm9, G13, CMaj9
[/b]
The problem is that this is just one variation and a pretty tame one at that. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to create tons of variations to this on the fly depending on what your mood dictates? That can only come from understanding voicings and knowing when you can use b9,9,#9,11,#11,b13,13 depending on chord function.

And knowing this is not dependent on ability to read music. It's just recognizing chords.

It's a lot of fun to know this.
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#1139134 - 07/27/07 10:30 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi jazzwee

to be honest I have actually learned quite a lot of theory a long the way and I can play rather well right now (although I have an unquenchable desire to play better and better ;\) )

I have a huge desire for the jazzier side (should I say the prettier side) of piano chords...so if theory is necessary then so be it

Definitely don't give up on me with regards to theory...I have a lot of free brain space now to devote to it. I can't read music...videos may be the way forward? as Mahlzeit says (because he knows a lot if not more of what I know)

Jazzwee if you can help any of us on that forum I mentioned above feel free to dig in and point us in the right direction...many heads are better than one....but be prepared to dumb it down to my level

Like for instance:-

 Quote:
That can only come from understanding voicings and knowing when you can use b9,9,#9,11,#11,b13,13 depending on chord function.
Q. So wheres the best place to start and to build from (in baby steps) to do this?


Lee \:\)
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#1139135 - 07/27/07 12:59 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
That's a great attitude Lee!

First step is to understand where you are in the scheme of things. Do you know the 1,3,5,7 interval of a chord? Do you know the 9,11,13 interval in a chord? Do you know what b9, #9, #11, b13 is?

There should be plenty of resources on the internet to explain that portion but otherwise tell me what you don't know. I'm patient.
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#1139136 - 07/27/07 01:07 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1567
Loc: NY
Key of C: dm9, G13, CMaj9

-------------------------------------------------
"The problem is that this is just one variation and a pretty tame one at that."

I agree.. I should have said this is a good one to learn first, then when comfortable with it, practice it playing the G13 with a b9 and try putting a half-step before the CMaj9, so it's:

Key of C: dm9, G13b9, Db9, CMaj9

(The Db9 would be played in first inversion)

I use the flat 9ths all the time instead of plain dominant 7ths.

Seaside, I'm like you..No matter how much I learn, it's never enough! \:\)

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#1139137 - 07/27/07 07:31 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Hi Elssa, all I meant is that it is often more useful to understand why it is done, then just memorize the mechanics. Your examples are great!

Lee,
The first premise is that chord "changes" can be heard in ones ear just by focusing on certain chord tones. Typically just the 3rd and 7th of the chord are enough to indicate chord quality. Although some chords like a m7b5 (half diminished) chord also need the b5/#11.

Given that in most cases only two notes need to be sounded to define a chord, that leaves other fingers to use tension notes that can add some crunch to a voicing.

Often little alteration is required of Maj 7 chords because these are supposed to be release chords so typically the only typical tension notes on it are 9, and 6/13 (replacing the maj 7th).

Minor chords are also seldom altered beyond adding a 9 (unless the tune is made up of moving minor chords).

The basic premise is that the V chord (or Dominant 7 chord, which could also appear as a diminished chord), have the most tension which propels one to a chord of release (typically a Maj 7 chord). Thus there is a large number of options on how to voice this chord and this is the main source of the "jazz" sound.

This requires a whole reinterpretation of how chords are represented and played (i.e. voiced) as we have a limited number of fingers.

A lot of this is sheer memorization so that instant replacement of chords is automatic. Once the basics are covered, one can then address reharmonization, which typically involves replacing some of the chords, mostly the Dominant 7, and sometimes the minor 7 chords with a completely different chord. The most common (but also the most expected) change is to alter the Dom 7 chord with its tritone substitute.

A lot of theory terms mentioned here.

So as a basic change to a typical tune, I would focus on changing all the dominant 7 chords so that one plays only the 3rd, the b7th and one other tension note like b9,#9,b13, 13. This minor change alone to one's playing will already bring out a little jazzier feel.
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#1139138 - 07/27/07 10:04 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi jazzwee

 Quote:
First step is to understand where you are in the scheme of things. Do you know the 1,3,5,7 interval of a chord?
yes

 Quote:
Do you know the 9,11,13 interval in a chord?
yes but I don't play in that many different keys confidently enough yet to know which notes those notes are (on the fly) in that many keys (sadly, I must confess I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to scale work...ahem...any scale work to be honest)...however, I know the key of C inside out

 Quote:

Do you know what b9, #9, #11, b13 is?
no problemo

I know what diminished chords are, I know what augmented chords are, I know what sus chords are. I know what major chords are, what minor chords are, what maj 7ths are and what 7 chords are

 Quote:
but otherwise tell me what you don't know
yikes is that a trick question?? I need:-

For Seasides - Moon River {click here}

This was recorded for the February 2007 Adult beginners forum recital:-

Seasides version of "I\'ll be See-ing You" {click Here}

This was recorded for the May 2007 ABF recital (apologies for the strings they are a bit pants! (I know) because I can't figure how to record them separately in another track?

Seasides - Old man River {click here}

There, that should give you a rough idea of what I'm harping on about! ;\)

{{All played and arranged by ear by yours truly}}

regards


Lee
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#1139139 - 07/28/07 12:35 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Great Lee!

It sounds like the left hand is arpeggiating the chord. Now normally, a typical chord is arpeggiated as 1,3,5,7, right?

Focusing only on the Dominant 7 chords, use 1, 3, 7 of the chord, then add 13. Forget the 5. Don't change anything else on any other chord for now.

Now as additional things to try, do the same thing but instead of 13 use b9, #9, or b13. In other words listen to the effect of the sound. This may mean that you arpeggiate starting either with the b7 of the chord instead of the root. Sometimes it's better to start with the 3rd of the chord. It depends on the chord.

You can also drop the root and use for example, both b9 and #9. Or use 9 and 13. Or use #9 and b13. Try it out and listen to what it sounds like.

So let's give a specific example so you know how to voice. In the key of C, the Dominant 7 will be a G7.

Here are the intervals for a G7 chord so you can verify
1 G
3 B
5 D
b7 F
b9 Ab
9 A
#9 Bb
11 C
#11 Db
b13 Eb
13 E

Again the important notes to always play are 3 and 7 (B, F). Root (G) is optional but make it the lowest note if you have spare fingers. Now add one to two tension notes to this and listen to the effect. Use lower fingers of the RH too to hit some of these notes. It is best to keep the LH and RH fairly close together.

It sounds to me like you're already using all fingers to make a full sound. It sounds great.

Just to summarize, start of with modifying only the G7 chord in key of C and leave everything else alone and listen to the effect.

Then let me know what happens.
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#1139140 - 07/28/07 05:06 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Kool, kool, KOOL

Let me try some of this next week...lets see if I can get my head around playing with this

This sounds like exactly the sort of thing I need.


Soon as I think I have a feel for it...I'll record something new...don't hold your breath but, in the words of Arnie..."I'll be baaaaack"


Lee \:D


Seems to me like I need to...erm... encourage/sway/entice/bribe/beg/ ;\) ...erm...force!
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#1139141 - 07/28/07 03:10 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5561
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I'm following this thread carefully - thanks, Lee for asking the questions, and thanks to all who are helping out with whatever observations, and certainly thanks to jazzwee for the time and well-thought-out suggestions - after the gig tonight when I have time to play around again I'm sure going to try out some of this stuff. I had just started using 7 chords anyplace they sounded even remotely useful, so this is great.

Cathy
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#1139142 - 07/29/07 02:22 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Hi all,

Message for Lee. If you get the CD titled:- 'Dick Hyman piano Ralph Sutton piano' CCD 4603 'Concord Duo Series' You may well find some inspiration for your urge to use more jazzy style to your playing.

There is a rendition of 'Old Man River', which I think you will find useful. Just keep repeating that recording and you will find it's in your subconscious brain.

If I were you I would not go the route of attempting to add modern piano jazz styles to the older traditional music, they may not sound suitable. In my personal view.

Alan

PS; If you can send me your email address via the private message facility I can contact you or you me easier.

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#1139143 - 07/29/07 02:59 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
As A general comment on all of these replies, may I as the 'topic starter' just add a small comment.

When you see professional pianists playing,what ever the style of music, it's rare to see them reading. So the brain is quite capable of storing a huge amount of piano music. Take classical, the only person in the orchestra that does'nt have the sheet music is the pianist. Now why is that. Singers do not usually read the stave, only the words.

I surely believe,it is vital to memorize the sounds and relate them to the piano notes, that is what the brain needs saturation of.

So perhaps we could find someone on this topic who plays completely by normal means such as reading and practice and their quailifications, who can say how they play without music having learned it that way.

What memory function do they use. Look how the great pianists over the years played in concerts,
no score in front of them. Don't all good singers have to have a good pitch too? And they have no keys to look at compared to the pianist!

Alan (swingal)

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#1139144 - 07/29/07 09:15 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Alan

is this the CD you mean?

Dick Hyman Ralph Sutton CD

Because if it is...I can't seem to find a copy to buy anywhere?? \:\(


Just one more thing

 Quote:
If I were you I would not go the route of attempting to add modern piano jazz styles to the older traditional music, they may not sound suitable. In my personal view.
I am not sure I quite understand what you mean...I was always of the thinking that the classics of the 30's,40's and 50's (AKA as "Standards" or "The Great American Songbook") songs that "Ella, Frank, Sammy, Dean, Bing & Co" sang were exactly the music that has been the target of all the greatest jazz pianists ever since. I was thinking they were exactly the type of the songs that were perfect for jazzing up

Lee \:\)

I've sent you my email addy...thanks
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#1139145 - 07/29/07 11:03 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
 Quote:
Originally posted by swingal:
If I were you I would not go the route of attempting to add modern piano jazz styles to the older traditional music, they may not sound suitable. In my personal view.
[/b]
I'd jazz up Twinkle Twinkle or Mary had a Little Lamb if anybody asked me to play that. And I certainly jazz up any Christmas tune.

I think it is a fun thing to try to jazz up anything, especially to see what it sounds like. Once it has been jazzed up, you've basically made a new sounding tune.
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#1139146 - 07/30/07 02:39 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Good morning, Lee and jazzwee.

Yes Lee, it is the CD you quote, must be out of production. Have you tried Amazon? They have second hand CD's too. Perhaps I could record that rendition of 'Old Man River' for you.

I stand corrected jazzwee.Perhaps I should re-phrase that comment of mine.Quote 'Originally posted by swingal:"If I were you I would not go the route of attempting to add modern piano jazz styles to the older traditional music, they may not sound suitable. In my personal view."

I will retract that statement as written.

In the reference of Laura, I do not think it easy to jazz up. Erroll Garner did do, but he played it slowly and added some embellishments that were quite acceptable. But Erroll Garner is a unique pianist,his style is his and only a perfect imitation seems to work.

The topic of jazzing up otherwise romantic or classical music is perhaps best left as just that; A New Topic?

Why not have a go on 'Greensleeves' which is one of my most disliked compositions. Joke?

Jaques Lossier did a good job on Bach I thought.

Have a nice day all.

Alan (swingal)

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#1139147 - 07/30/07 06:32 AM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Alan

hey...you can record a version of that "Old Man River" for me, even if I do manage to track down that CD!! :p

My thoughts on "jazzing up a tune" are to learn how to add those lush, pretty, hair on the back of the neck tingly, cocktail style chord changes


hmmm, wonder if you can do that to Greensleeves?


Lee \:\)
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#1139148 - 07/30/07 12:13 PM Re: Pianists who cannot read.
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
I don't know Lee, referring to jazz chords as "cocktail style chord changes" is actually the opposite sound. ;\)

My experience in cocktail style playing (listening to it), is that it tends to focus on Rubato and flourishy chord arpeggios and runs. Dissonance as found in jazz chords would be typically absent. And I'm not even bringing up the absence of swing.

When I listen to some of the better jazz musicians play ballads, I find that they successfully interject some swing into the playing that just changes the tune in addition to just the dissonance of jazz. One tune that sticks to my head is how Kenny Werner did "My Romance".

So jazzyfying a tune will usually involve a change both in chords and in stylistic playing style.
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