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#1286092 - 10/13/09 11:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Jazzwee, I hadn't noticed this last post, but will reply to it later.

For now I have some recordings to share.

Song for my Father (Horace Silver) as transcribed by Richards:
http://www.box.net/shared/agp6jsvag8

Autumn Leaves, honest improvising, focus on 3rds, but with a bit of give:
http://www.box.net/shared/pn384je37h
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#1286141 - 10/13/09 12:51 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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TLT, you are just excellent at playing these written pieces, even for such quick work, you've got it rhythmically close! BRAVO! Use these as learning opportunities to see what he does with certain chords.

Of course this is more Blues style than Latin. But there are so many versions of Song for My Father...
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#1286144 - 10/13/09 12:57 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
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That AL is SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT! It sounds like real improvising. Then I can hear your ear taking over later so it's even better. At the beginning you were relying on the 3rds, then you took over. That is exactly what I hoped would happen.

In my commentary above on improvising, I said I don't know if it can be learned by someone without some inate ability at this. My teacher did it with me with 3rds just like I did in this thread. He said it works. It certainly works for me and other teachers use this style as well (3rds).

But if anyone is looking for proof, IT'S RIGHT HERE!

I think, it's like gravity. Certain tones cause motion. Dominant chords want resolution. 3rds define harmony.

THIS IS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION!! YAY! thumb
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#1286235 - 10/13/09 02:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
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Quote:

Maybe we can ask Knotty and Riddler who both can seem to come up with melodies.

Not totally sure I understand the question. I will tell you that I think everyone will have a slightly different approach to things. For me, the exercise of composition is the exercise of improvising, but you are allowed to go back. It takes a while to hear chord changes to un-familiar tunes. But with time, you hear it, and you can hear a melody in your head. I have listened to Jazz since I was a baby, so much of the vocabulary is in there somewhere.

The good thing about the composition exercise is that you get to apply all the rules that make up a great solo.
Number 1 is to create a melody, something that you could sing, or play on your horn, versus something crazy. Create a conversation, you talk, I respond. And apply rule that will make the solo interesting. A phrase in only as good as the phrase that came before and the phrase that comes next. You want to get used to playing long lines. The composition will allow you to do this, and make sense, much more easily. Then when you improvise on the same tune, things come more naturally.

Overall, you want to tackle things slowly and easily, so you can understand what you do. So even a complicated topic such as crazy scales and modes, can become very easily, if you work on one scale over one chord for so long.

Of course it can be learned. Some people will pick it up more easily than others. I would say the main factors are age, and the amount of music you have absorbed in your life.

Great solo TLT, that's really coming along!

++

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#1286246 - 10/13/09 03:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Thanks for listening, knotty and jazzwee! smile I have been totally hooked on Song for my Father. I could hear the beat strongly even when I wasn't playing it (damn, where is that third hand?). I just love being able to play that. As you say jazzwee, bluesy in places, almost good ol rock 'n roll.

As for improvising, it felt quite comfortable doing what I was doing. There was no point of panic - what am I doing next? If in doubt - hit the 3rd.

I don't know about whether everyone can learn to improvise, or whether only some can. Imo, most people can learn to do most things, given the chance.

What I have noticed is that before I can improvise, I need to feel safe. By that, I mean that I need to feel like whatever I do will be OK. I imagine it's the same for everybody. You can't improvise if you feel you're going to make a mistake and everyone will laugh at you.

But everyone's different. So me, for example. I have many years of learning to play the right notes, a pretty finely tuned musical ear, and quite high standards for myself. I can sit alone in a room, with no recorder on, and still feel 'not safe' to improvise - because if I won't like the sound, then I'd rather not do it.

My son, on the other hand, has little aural training, little experience of having to play the right note, and generally thinks he's God's gift to music. Put him on a stage in front of a thousand people, tell him to improvise, and he'll feel safe.

That's one reason I think this system of learning by posting recordings might actually be quite good. I can make a recording, and if I don't like it, I just delete it. So I can play (and get feedback) without the pressure of having a teacher sitting right next to me.

So that's my tuppence-worth on improvising. smile
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#1286254 - 10/13/09 03:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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Knotty, the gist of my question, which TLT has elaborated on, is if improvising is inate for you. The difficulty in my answering this globally for every person is that I know that improvising (to some degree) comes naturally to me.

Now of course, improvising at the jazz level came from honing skills and ear but I had some built in skills for the basics. When I was young, I would harmonize the alto in a choir instinctively.

In this thread, we are trying to each everybody, and TLT, fortunately for me, you learn very quickly. But is doable for everyone? Knotty, I'm just trying to get at where it comes from for you and Riddler, just to compare notes.
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#1286264 - 10/13/09 03:47 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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I've not met a 3-year old who doesn't sing little ditties to him or herself.
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#1286309 - 10/13/09 05:24 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I've not met a 3-year old who doesn't sing little ditties to him or herself.


My kids do not like to sing smile But they can create melodies on the piano.
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#1286472 - 10/14/09 12:30 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee

.. the gist of my question,... is if improvising is inate for you.
....Knotty, I'm just trying to get at where it comes from for you and Riddler, just to compare notes.


I know I was playing by ear when I was a little kid, and that eventually evolved into a primitive form of improvising.

That gets me to thinking: maybe the first step in learning to improvise should be ear training (???).

Just a thought.

I liked Knotty's thoughts above, too, especially about the relationship between improv and composition.

Ed
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#1286756 - 10/14/09 10:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Riddler]
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Thanks Ed. Now one would think that if you play by ear a little, that you could just plunk down an experimental series of notes (a primitive improvisation as you say), and then at some point, one hears the random notes as a remembered pattern and is able to duplicate it.

Aside from the concept of "hearing", which I believe is a necessary skill to improvising, maybe the rest of it is just letting go of structure.

In the 'Reharm' thread, you can see some being cautious and then you see others being experimental. Maybe improvising is a natural skill that is impaired by the feeling of picking out the "wrong notes"?

At least as discussed here, we give a range of notes that cannot be wrong (chord tones) so we can initially limit that fear factor. Since the original Classical composers were improvisers, maybe this is just a training thing. From a young age, children are taught to follow a fixed musical score in Piano.

Guitar players (like me) on the other hand learn to just "Jam". It's just a theory...
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#1287024 - 10/14/09 05:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee

My kids do not like to sing smile But they can create melodies on the piano.


I got the age wrong. 3-year olds are already being socialised and getting inhibitions.

I was thinking more of the babbling stage (say, 8 months) to about 18 months, when they begin to take interest in an object, or an activity. Most kids I know would (at least some of the time) sing, hum away quitely to themselves. It's easy not to notice, and they won't do it when the TV is on.

Then when they are taught songs in nursery, they stop doing it.
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#1287057 - 10/14/09 05:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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TLT, I'll answer your question here so it doesn't get too advanced at the 'Reharm' thread.

Re: 1/5/7 LH pattern or 1/3/4 RH pattern or alternatively
#1/5/7 LH pattern or 1/3/4# RH Pattern

Remember that the key (no pun) here is that we remain in a single key and we move around to different scale degrees. In reality, moving around within a scale in seventh chords as you know is just moving around the circle of fifths. Nothing particularly new there. The absence of the third is intended to make the voicing more vague which typically opens up more consonant possibilities (less clashes).

So there's no real mystery here that we're actually moving around implying different modes of the scale. Now the true experiment is that sharped note. Often, if you stay within a scale and just move a single note outside of the scale, you come up with some acceptable reharmonizations. For example in the C scale, the #1 voicings used the following chords:

So in C these are A7, Cm7, D7, E7, C7. Did you notice how many of these were used by Ed (Riddler)?

It's an interesting fact that reharmonization is often accomplished by just modifying one note. Now of course this is just a fun exercise in the reharm thread, but to someone more astute in Jazz, you can see how the tension/jazziness is increased simply by changing one note. The patterns I showed allowed one to do this without resorting to too much trial and error. It limits the possibilities.

When you're comping a chord that sits in place for a long time, often you need to create some internal voice movement. So you often do this by roughly staying in the same key, but changing modes.

This is demonstrated by Dave Solazzo in his vide on comping (where he shows comping with moving voices). You can actually do this with the patterns I showed, or you can fake it by just moving one of the inner notes by a scale step. So the exercise in using "shapes" is actually quite useful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9TT10adu88
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#1287735 - 10/15/09 05:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee

In reality, moving around within a scale in seventh chords as you know is just moving around the circle of fifths.


Er - well, you get the same notes in the end (forgetting the sharpened note), but moving in a cycle of 5th is moving in a cycle of 5ths, and descending a step at a time is something different. So, no, I don't know this. Unless I'm missing something...

I'm not even going to begin to address the rest, except to say that Dave's dog totally stole the show in the video. He works so hard to find the one bit of sofa that doesn't have the blanket down to keep dog-hairs off! That's one persistent pooch.
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#1287994 - 10/16/09 01:54 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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Circle of Fifths and CHROMATIC movement are QUITE INTERRELATED. I will get to that in Nursery Rhymes. One could say that Chromatic and Circle of Fifths are actually the same. I will explain it later, but in the meantime, I will just give you a clue: Tritone Sub.

BTW - Isn't "Mary" easier to explain than Autumn Leaves? smile
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#1288031 - 10/16/09 04:35 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
Studio Joe Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Circle of Fifths and CHROMATIC movement are QUITE INTERRELATED. I will get to that in Nursery Rhymes. One could say that Chromatic and Circle of Fifths are actually the same. I will explain it later, but in the meantime, I will just give you a clue: Tritone Sub.


Huh? Is this a riddle?
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#1288034 - 10/16/09 04:52 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Studio Joe]
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#1288053 - 10/16/09 06:50 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Studio Joe]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: Studio Joe


Huh? Is this a riddle?


No riddle, Joe. This is jazzwee at his clearest. wink

Jazzwee, I get the connection between the circle of 5ths and chromatic movement (3/7, 7/3, 3/7, 7/3, etc descending chromatically). But this is not chromatic movement. One voice is descending through the scale. The other is doing a strange jumpy-about kind of thing. Unless we're hopping on an off the circle at random points? Is that it?

Joe, don't worry. I'm sure this makes no sense to another living soul. I'm not even sure it makes sense to me.

Will look up tritone subs in wiki next, see if that helps.
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#1288091 - 10/16/09 09:27 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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The #1 5 7 thing is not part of the circle of fifths of course. But it is a "Passing" tone.

I do a discussion of Tritone sub in the somewhere in this thread (check index) where I explain that ii-V-I is the same flow as ii-bii-I if you do a Tritone substitution. And true enough this is done a lot in music. For example in Bossa Nova, they use this instead of ii-V-I.

Bass Players will typically play a chromatic movement during a ii-V-I because they understand it to be the same thing. Jazz pianists substitute the chords freely in the same manner because there will be no conflict.

And TLT, you are correct in referring to the guidetones as being the same (3 and 7) between the original chord and it's tritone substitute.
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#1288818 - 10/17/09 03:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
The #1 5 7 thing is not part of the circle of fifths of course. But it is a "Passing" tone.


copy that.

Quote:
I do a discussion of Tritone sub in the somewhere in this thread (check index) where I explain that ii-V-I is the same flow as ii-bii-I if you do a Tritone substitution. And true enough this is done a lot in music. For example in Bossa Nova, they use this instead of ii-V-I.


Had a quick check on wikipedia. See Mary10 in the nursery rhyme thread. I think that's it.
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#1289055 - 10/17/09 11:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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If you include Tritone substitutions, you could have the following chords available in the key of C (expanding the usual Scale Degrees).

I CMaj7
bii Db7 (Tritone Sub)
ii Dm7
biii Eb7 (Tritone Sub)
iii Em7
IV FMaj7
bV F#7 (Tritone Sub)
V G7
vi Am7
vii Bm7b5

Now there are further explanations but you can really fill this out with dominants to have 12 tones, eventually that can work while staying in the key of C. So the simplified 1-5-7, #1-5-7 pattern goes through all the above, plus the following:

A7, C7, D7, E7.

These aren't in the key of C, but there's a reason they can be used as a substitute to the 4 dominants above (explanation has to do with the 'diminished cycle').

One might ask, what's the value to me knowing all these details of chords all these years. Well, one time I did a gig playing Christmas Carols with reharmonized jazzy sounds, ALL BY EAR. Pretty useful skill I thought smile No preparation.
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#1289148 - 10/18/09 06:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Oh boy. This is a lot like anatomy. The deeper you get, the more complex it gets, the more random, the less anything seems to make sense. Yet, you know it adds up in the end.
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#1289149 - 10/18/09 07:03 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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Actually, it's simpler than it looks. So you have your 7 scale degrees right?

You can make any non-scale tone as a chord as long as you make it a DOMINANT. And if you remember that, you will have at least 12 chord choices.

That's more manageable than saying you have hundreds of possible chords to use per key.

So now you know where Riddler got his chords (by Ear). And you will also note that my #1-5-7 pattern is always a dominant.
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#1293305 - 10/25/09 10:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Boy, this was getting heavy.

I've had to put jazz aside and learn some Debussy (for a student I've got). I can't describe how strange it feels to come to the same piece, time after time, and (attempt) to play it the same way each time. Just to play the notes as they are written. No need to improvise, even to understand the harmony.

Anyone else experience this?
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#1293563 - 10/25/09 06:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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Is that strange in a good way or a bad way? In my case, improvisation is so built in that playing classical doesn't disrupt it.

However, I can't keep my eyes on the music so I have to memorize it. I always have to visualize whatever I'm playing for some reason. I don't actually have to look anymore but in my head I'm still picturing the keyboard even with my eyes closed. I can never think of the sheet music.
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#1293573 - 10/25/09 06:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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I'm relearning how to improvise. This time in my LH. It might actually be useful to see if the techniques apply to someone learning to improvise (on the RH).

Dave and I have been working on developing the LH. Being technically much more deficient in the LH, I had paused for a moment and returned to scales (especially contrary motion), hanon-like exercises (all in contrary motion). Over the last couple of months, I've noticed an improvement now that I chose to return to 2 handed improvisation again.

Now at first, I only played the typical 1/5/7 pattern that the LH is used to so improvisation was limited.

So here's my practice regimen:

1.I practiced arpeggiating the whole chord (1/3/5/7) forwards and backward until my hand was used to that shape. I stayed with the chords of ATTYA when I did this since the tune contains the most common progressions.

2.Then I expanded that to be comfortable with 1/9/3/5/13/7 patterns. This required different thinking because of fingering. It can no longer be done as one hand shape like an arpeggio.

3. Next I practiced LH chromatic scales, especially chromatic movement between 1 and 3, and between 5 and 7.

4. Next, I practiced accenting upbeats in the LH.

5. Another thing I added to my practice regimen is practicing soloing in unison (LH/RH).

6. Finally, I studied fingering in the RH and looked for the inverse shape in the LH. For example A is the inverse of Eb. Then I looked at how I moved quickly in the RH and copied it on the inverse scale.

So these are the technical challenges everyone has with the RH. I've already noticed considerable improvement from when I first started using the LH. My LH is so much weaker than the RH so control has to develop further.




Edited by jazzwee (10/25/09 06:17 PM)
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#1293586 - 10/25/09 06:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Is that strange in a good way or a bad way? In my case, improvisation is so built in that playing classical doesn't disrupt it.



Just - strange. The good thing is that I can see much more clearly where I've made progress. Now I can put hands together, now I can speed it up, now it sounds OK. Whereas with jazz I just had to take it on trust that I was making progress sometimes.

Sounds obvious - but that I play it the same way over and over again. Same notes, repetitive, bit boring, no creative input. And that is how piano playing used to be for me - all the time. And now it feels strange that it feels strange, because actually it's very familiar!

I'm still doing scales for jazz (modes, and melodic minor). I think it will perhaps take just another week to break the back of this piece. Probably then my student will give up. smile

Don't get me wrong, I do like the sound I'm making, and I'm glad I can do this. smile
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#1293603 - 10/25/09 07:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Online   content
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TLT, in many ways, you are so advantaged because you have so many years of classical training behind you. In many ways, it should mean that learning to play Jazz should be easier than for someone like me who had to learn technique and jazz at the same time.

But you do have to "live/think jazz" constantly though to make that shift". So while you're learning a classical piece, keep going to youtube and see if you pick up a little thing or two each time you listen, whether it be rhythmic or musical. Often it takes a lot of listening to pick up something you can apply. If you become a good listener of jazz, I would say your playing/improvising will grow geometrically.

BTW - what's nice about the Reharm thread is that we get to discuss two aspects of improvisation. Here in this thread we are concerned about improvising the solo. In the reharm thread, it's about improvising the harmony. Two different things but essential. Typically the harmony side isn't studied until you get to advanced stages of Jazz and I don't really think it needs to wait that long.
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#1293793 - 10/26/09 05:31 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
Hi. I just started to learn jazz, and I was wondering what pieces to go to now [fake book]. I just finished Autumn leaves, or at least managed to get it somewhat right. Any other suggestions for next pieces?
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#1293837 - 10/26/09 07:57 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: galex]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2939
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Just Friends.

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#1293944 - 10/26/09 10:58 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Hi galex. Welcome. Some simple tunes to get your feet wet include:
A-Train, Satin Doll, Blue Monk, C Jam Blues, from the top of my head.

But remember that Jazz is about improvisation. The progressions in AL are common to many many tunes so think of it as a permanent pedagogical piece. Another pedagogical piece is All the Things You Are (ATTYA). You master these two tunes and you can play a lot of stuff in Jazz. ATTYA isn't easy at first but my teacher started me off on that tune and it's still something I play very often. It's not that hard when played with shell voicings (1/7).

Just Friends - I classify this as medium. In the same category as On Green Dolphin St.
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