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#1292507 - 10/23/09 02:44 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Swingin' Barb]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
The day Gyro posts his own music is the day I sound better than Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Oscar all put together.

ALL jazz musicians learn by copying and imitating other players. After you've done it enough THEN you learn to develop your own voice. It takes years to do that. Listen to some of the newer players today, Brad Melhdau, Marcin Wasilewski, Taylor Eigsti, Esbjorn Svennson (RIP).... you can distinctly tell they have learned from the past jazz masters, yet have incorporated their own personality and style.

Many of these players have listed the old masters as big influences and inspirations. Yet they have pushed beyond that so we can hear their voice. Listen to Diana Krall, you hear bits of Oscar Peterson in there. But you hear her come through.

Gyro, you saying "find your own voice" would disregard the entire classical genre. They are playing the works of other people, like Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart. Some players spend their entire lives just doing that, so is that a waste in your opinion?

I am calling you out to post your own playing otherwise you are contradicting everything you say. Let's hear YOUR voice.

Like you said, it's better for a beginner to play a few bad notes than to sound almost as good as the masters. You sir are that beginner.

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#1292517 - 10/23/09 03:16 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Swingin' Barb]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Swingin' Barb, I'll do you a great favor
and not post something. You don't
want to listen to me play or to anyone
else. You've already got plenty
of material to work with if you're
a Sudnow player, intermeditate classical
student, etc. Furthermore you've
listened to music all your life
and it's all stored in your psyche
and can be tapped as you improvise.

Sit down at the piano and dig in with
both hands and all ten fingers, and
play stuff purely by ear, with no
consideration for any theory. You're
not trying to sound like anyone in particular
or produce any particular type of
sound. You are producing your own sound,
influenced by all of your experience
with music. If what comes out initially
sounds like a chimp pounding on a piano,
that's good, not bad, and you know you're
on the right track, because you want to
sound different. In any case, that's a
million times better than a jazz player
who just copies the sound of the jazz
greats. You might as well not play if
you're just going to do that.

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#1292523 - 10/23/09 03:28 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Wizard of Oz]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Gyro

By all means Please name one great jazz pianist who NEVER imitated other great pianist. Which pianist do you consider original in their approach? Can you even name a single jazz pianist that you like listening to?

You talk about how the "forces that be" are turning jazz into a 'fossilized' art.. Can you name a one well-known jazz pianist who is alive&at the forefront of jazz scene right now? Because If you listen to David Kikoski, Robert Glasper, Geri Allen, Tigran Hamasyan.. etc you will never come to those kind of conclusion.


Originally Posted By: Gyro

Now Wizard of Oz wants me to post
something so he can see how it checks
out with the forumlas, because that's
the only thing he knows, copying
from set patterns. I'll do you a
favor Wizard and not post anything.
Then there's a chance that one
day you'll stop copying others and
develop your own style.



The only thing we want to know is whether your playing sounds anything like jazz.. I think we are just curious as to whether you really know what you are talking about. I mean how much do you really know about jazz?


Guess what?? , the truth is that most great players spent a lot of time copying others, but they end up becoming their own thing anyways. Just because you copy other people it doesn't mean you lose your originality..those two things are mutually exclusive. You don't hear people saying that Geoffrey Keezer sounds too much like McCoy Tyner, or Gearld clayton sounding too much like Oscar Peterson.. but then again, I doubt you know who any of these people are.


Edited by etcetra (10/23/09 03:49 PM)

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#1292525 - 10/23/09 03:36 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Gyro]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Gyro


Sit down at the piano and dig in with
both hands and all ten fingers, and
play stuff purely by ear, with no
consideration for any theory. You're
not trying to sound like anyone in particular
or produce any particular type of
sound. You are producing your own sound,
influenced by all of your experience
with music. If what comes out initially
sounds like a chimp pounding on a piano,
that's good, not bad, and you know you're
on the right track, because you want to
sound different. In any case, that's a
million times better than a jazz player
who just copies the sound of the jazz
greats. You might as well not play if
you're just going to do that.





What you just described is free improvisation.. how in the world does this help you with your jazz improv, or playing a tune in a fakebook, in which you have to play over a specific harmony and rhythm? Do you realize the methods you have been posting has nothing to do with the topic?


And what makes you think it's " a million times better than a jazz player who just copies the sound of the jazz greats?" Isn't that just matter of opinion? If you prefer hearing something that sounds like "chimp pounding on a piano" over someone who imitates a jazz greats.. then well.. I am glad I don't have the same kind of taste in music as you do smile

Again I need to ask you what makes you think that copying someone and being original have to be mutually exclusive? Can't you do both? What makes you in an expert in these issue?



Edited by etcetra (10/23/09 03:41 PM)

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#1292527 - 10/23/09 03:40 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Swingin' Barb]
pianojazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: dearborn, mi
Gyro - I understand your point about being creative, and striving to create your own style. And I agree, at least partially. But we disagree on how best to accomplish that goal. IMHO, I believe in order to best create one's own style, one must first understand what has been done before - perhaps not everything, but much of it: Then, and only then is one in a position to creat anew. Certainly Einstein understood the limitations of Newtonian physics before he went on to create Special and then General relatively. And although music, an art, is not a science, certainly music, be it classical, jazz, pop, whatever genre, evolves as musicians add their particular styles and nuances to those of their predecessors. You simply can't ignore what has preceeded you.
_________________________
www.myspace.com/michaelbreenpiano

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#1292581 - 10/23/09 05:20 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: pianojazz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Gyro, you irritate me with what you write. If I were to take your advice, I might as well stop playing the piano altogether and never listen to music at all. Lest I end up copying someone and be tainted by how they sound. Better to just use my elbows and fists and see what comes out of the piano. At least I'll be original!


How did you manage to write 3600 posts?!?!? Wait, I think I've read that one before, about sounding like a chimp. Do you recycle everything?

Let me ask you one last question, which musicians do you like the most and who did you listen to as a kid and now?
Who inspired you to learn to play the piano?

Don't tell me you learned because you wanted to find your own voice, I know you listen to some music. I have a bad feeling it's Yanni though!!!

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#1292591 - 10/23/09 05:43 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: pianojazz]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I also think there is a huge problem in the way gyro describes "playing by ear".. what does he really mean? I hear Lizst's Hungarian rhapsody in my head, but I do not have the ability to reproduce that music just by ear.

I can imagine how much harder it would be to play be ear esp if you are a beginner.. without any training, how in the world will you be able to hear and play complex chords just by ear? how many of us are capable of hearing 3-4 voice counterpoint, and actually be able to play them on the spot?

I think what Gyro really means is free-playing, and you aren't necessary hearing what you are playing when you do his exercise. Playing by ear is not as easy as Gyro puts it... if you really want to play by ear, try singing your melody as you play it with your right hand, and see how easy that is.

The problem here is that Gyro doesn't realize how important muscle memory is in improv/playing by ear. We imitate and copy what we like so that our hands will know where to go when we recall a melodic idea.

Also most of us are not born with the ability to identify intervals/chord quality.. etc..chances are that you need quite a lot of training to be able to make sense of what you are hearing in your head... and we also build muscle memory to reproduce that sound. Unless Gyro has perfect pitch(which he might).. I really doubt that he is actually "playing by ear".

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#1292821 - 10/24/09 07:44 AM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: etcetra]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 135
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Hi Gyro,

are you sometimes inspired by somebodies composition or playing? Can you think of basic patterns which you follow in your own way? Do you know that doing this, is the Art of Improvisation?

Look, for me it doesn't matter if the pattern I follow is of classical, Jazz or own origin. But important is, to follow a pattern, rhythmically or harmonically or both.

If you write something here in this forum, there is allways an idea behind it. You are not writing just words without any context. In your writings there is always a matter behind it. And there is a form in your writing and still it is your own writing. The same happens in music.

Look, you know maybe Beethovens Moonlight Serenade. I love this song and when I play it I do it my own way. I mean, there is still the form and harmony Beethoven did, but I am speaking in my language over the same form and harmony. ---> www.cisum.info/mondschein.mp3

If I would not have practiced certain improvisation skills, for me it would be impossible to express myself in that way.
I am born in a world of tonal music and so I prefer to improvise/speak in a tonal form. I express myself like I feel.
Beethoven was a great improviser and his music was born out of the classical tradition and not out of nowhere.

Cadenzas are a natural form of resolving tensions. All music is about that. These formulas have so many aspects. You have to learn them. The more variety you learn the more freedom you'll get.

Here is another example of my improvisations. The composer is Anatoly Lyadov ---> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoly_Lyadov

His prelude was really inspiring for me. I love his harmonic concept!
Now, please have a look at the music first. You can read music, right? It is here on page 7 ---> http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/2/29/IMSLP06754-Liadov_-_Op.40_-_Etude___3_Preludes.pdf

Now read it carefully and try to imagine the melody in your head. Try also to improvise over it.

Than listen to my version. ---> www.cisum.info/prelude.mp3
Is this what you call a carbon copy?


Edited by Cudo (10/24/09 07:47 AM)

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#1292824 - 10/24/09 07:55 AM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Cudo]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
wow, cudo, I like your example, that is very nice! And helpful, I'm just starting to look at fake books.

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#1292940 - 10/24/09 01:34 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: guest1013]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Larry B, I'd like to address what
you posted, about how if you could
play even a fraction as well as
some jazz great, then you'd be
satisfied with that.

This is a very natural attitude in
a jazz novice. Indeed I used to feel
exactly the same way, and to that
end I tried to wade through 3 jazz
piano method books, as well as books
on classical harmony, both types of
counterpoint, orchestration, and form,
because I thought that knowing the theory
behind it all would be necessary to play
and improvise jazz and popular music.
However, I didn't get very far and soon
gave up on all of the books. There
were a number of reasons for this.
First, I'm mainly a classical player,
and my daily practice session is
dominated by difficult classical
repertoire, leaving little time for
anything else. Second, wading through
all that theory was the most tedious
thing imaginable, and I just couldn't
handle it. Third, although I didn't
get very far into the books, what I
did cover didn't help me one bit
in improvising jazz and popular.
Fourth, reading between the lines,
the books seemed to be saying that
it all comes down in the end to playing
by ear. Fifth, I began to think that
this is not what jazz is all about.
Some the best early jazz players
could not even read music and could
never have waded through a theory
book. They improvised and innovated
on the fly, never concerned for a second
about if their playing was in accordance
with some textbook.

Because of all the above reasons I
finally decided to give up on all theory
study, but since I still wanted to play
jazz, the only way available to me then
was to just dig in and play it, purely
by ear. So that's was I did, and it
was a revelation. I was creating my
own music, free from the restraints of
theory books. There were no rules,
no right or wrong notes, no patterns
to follow. This was pure music, created
by me on the spot. It was the most
enjoyable thing I had ever done at
the piano.

Initially, I thought that I would do
this for a while and train my ear,
and then this would help me to
arrange, play from fake books, etc.
But now I've lost all interest in doing
that. Why bother with arranging someone
else's tunes, when you can create your
own music, every day? And questions
like if I can ever play a fraction
as well as some jazz great are now
irrelevant. I'm playing my own
music, my own way, and how some jazz
great happens to play is no longer of
any interest to me.



Edited by Gyro (10/24/09 01:39 PM)

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#1292959 - 10/24/09 02:27 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: Gyro]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Gyro,

There is nothing wrong with what you are doing, whether you want to learn jazz is entirely up to you.. but do you realize that what you are playing has very little to do with jazz? Just because it's improvised music it doesn't mean you are playing jazz.

So why are you giving your advice to people who are actually trying to learn jazz? Are you actually discouraging others to learn from fake book and adopt your method instead? Why bother posting your opinion on jazz improv when you have no knowledge/interest at all in it?

Frankly I don't share your extreme view of theory vs ear, copying vs being original.. as far as I know, most of us are capable of doing both at the same time.. Why should anyone adopt your extreme approach instead of a more well-rounded approach?

"Fifth, I began to think that
this is not what jazz is all about.
Some the best early jazz players
could not even read music and could
never have waded through a theory
book. They improvised and innovated
on the fly, never concerned for a second
about if their playing was in accordance
with some textbook.
"

Do you realize that the early jazz players did IMITATE other players using their EARS??

Also Are you actually hearing everything you are playing as you improvise? Are you playing what you are hearing in your head, or are you just playing whatever it is that comes out? Frankly everything you described so far is about free-playing, which may or may not have to do with you ears.

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#1293312 - 10/25/09 10:54 AM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: etcetra]
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
Hi Gyro,

Why are you so hesitant to let us hear your playing? I for one think that it would just be interesting to hear your improvising....just like I find it interesting to hear others' play....

Its interesting to hear Monk, Chopin, a nine year old, and it'd be likewise interesting to hear your improvising.

With over 3,000 posts from someone on musical topics, it'd be great to hear that person's playing......

Just like listening to someone who has appeared in over 3,000 appearances on a talk show now talking about how he or she has great experiences in improvised art refuses to share the art leaves a lot of questions in the audience unanswered, don't you think it would be great for your audience in this forum to hear your play?

With all due respect, again, it sounds like someone talking about some art that he or she produced, but never shares it....

Don't you think you would make your point better by sharing your stuff?

Or is the music you produce in improvisation so personal? Is music to be shared with others?

Put yourself in our shoes.....You are hearing from someone who has over 3,000 posts state how he or she is having such a blast making improvised muisc. Wouldn't you be interested in hearing it?

Thanks


Edited by angelojf (10/25/09 12:04 PM)

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#1293364 - 10/25/09 12:43 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: angelojf]
HooDoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Los Angeles
I for one am confident that if Gyro posts an example of his playing we will all be impressed. Someone who has given his advice 3000 times on Pianoworld is surely onto something unique and any reluctance to share his innovative musicality merely reflects shyness and not any underlying pathology.

I have no doubt that, should we ever happen to hear his original approach to improvisation, he will not resemble some of my classmates in film school who talked endlessly about not imitating past filmmaking giants, but when pressed to show their work after their assignments were overdue and were about to be failed in class, turned out to be simply godawful.

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#1293376 - 10/25/09 01:02 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: HooDoo]
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
Hi HooDoo,

I for one did not suggest any "pathology, " but someone who posts over 3000 posts (with most of them probably being against the grain) can hardly be described as shy.

Come on Gyro, lets just hear your stuff! _


Edited by angelojf (10/25/09 01:04 PM)

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#1293386 - 10/25/09 01:13 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: angelojf]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
True,

after all he does insist on adopting his approach whenever someone post a question about improv. I am sure I am not the only one who wants to know just how effective his method is.

There are plenty of garage band who claims to be 'original' and refuse to be influenced by anything... it's only natural that we are all suspicious.

Again I don't discredit what he is doing as a means for personal fulfillment If that's what you like then that's fine. But it does become a problem when you are telling aspiring student that the entire jazz world is wrong and that his approach is what jazz is really supposed to be.


Edited by etcetra (10/25/09 01:34 PM)

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#1293405 - 10/25/09 01:30 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: etcetra]
HooDoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Los Angeles
Pardon my feeble attempt to be ironic. With Gyro, I detect the scent of what comes out of the backside of an uncastrated male bovine.

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#1293645 - 10/25/09 08:32 PM Re: techniques for practicing fake book or improvisation [Re: HooDoo]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
hahahah that made me laugh!! I think I'm being too hard on Gyro, if he doesn't want to post that's fine. I get the sense that he's just been very frustrated with the traditional approaches to piano playing, with classical and jazz.

I can understand it as I learned jazz on my own, and alot of those theory books are over-complicated. It's easy to see how someone can feel like they aren't improving and don't want to keep learning.

I was talking in another thread about Taylor Eigsti's way to playing music, which uses shapes of the hand to create sounds on a diatonic scale. He had a great philosophy: would you rather understand the theory or just know how to play.

That is why I want to hear Gyro's improvising, as I'm sure it would be quite different to what we may hear.

Once I get a good recording device I'll be putting up some songs.

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