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#1525562 - 09/30/10 11:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Hey Knotty, I've been working on articulation and swing at slow tempos, something I really haven't practiced much and I've noticed that you're better at this at slow tempos than I am.

What tempos do you practice at for something like this?

At your current skill level, at what tempo do you feel you begin to lose your articulation?
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#1525588 - 09/30/10 12:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
JW,

Depends on the tune.
For the purpose of practicing a new tune, I like to start around 72bpm. I could probably play much slower.
If I still have to think about the changes, I will start sliding at around 100. That means I can still come up with decent lines, but they are not the ones I intended to play, and I forget to count in 4s.

On something easier, I might be able to keep it at 150bpm. But I haven't really made it a goal yet.

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#1525626 - 09/30/10 01:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Wow - 72 is awfully slow and very hard to do. The problem is that articulation at 72 is different from 120 and different from 150. They all require different techniques.

I found that at 120 you'd have to play at a true 12/8 feel and very hard swing. At 150 you can't do that. I'm very weak at triplet feel at so slow a tempo.

72 would be even be more exacting as far as triplet feel. Any secrets to doing it that slow? This is truly something I haven't focused much on. I've really been concentrating on the notes more.

I've been practicing at 120-130 and maybe I'll get a chance to post progress at that tempo. It's slow going though as technique has to be built...72 wow. I'm not sure I can even do that.
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#1525660 - 09/30/10 02:00 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I gotta say, I never really looked at it in terms of triplets.

I really only do 2 things.
1. Count in 4s, with a slight accent on the first of each 4 notes. That's really the key, and it's easy to do, if you do it slow enough.
2. Listen and sing with solos of various horn players.

The rest is secondary. Sometimes, putting the metronome on 2 and 4 might help, sometimes 1 and 3 feels better. Sometimes you may want to play with before or after the beats.
You might want to play with the metronome on only 1 (if it goes slow enough).

But to me, it's very simple. Count is 4s. If you're playing 8ths in 4/4 that is ...
The thing about counting in 4s is that you play in your head 4 notes at a time. So it gets more difficult as the tempo increases because you have less time to create the line before it is time to play it.

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#1525670 - 09/30/10 02:25 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
David Sprunger Offline
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Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 162
Loc: Oregon, USA
"...I can still come up with decent lines, but they are not the ones I intended to play"

An amazing quote I heard Marian Mcpartland say was that she never plays a jazz piano piece in public unless she's practiced it privately for at least a year. Whoa!

So even though I can totally identify with your quote, I don't get as freaked out on a new tune and my solos lines within it like I used to. I'm trying to give myself more time to practice it, let my subconscious work on it etc.

I've been finding that if I give the jazz piano piece enough time under my hands, my lines start sounding decent, in fact I start hearing great lines and am able to get them to the keyboard.

I guess it all comes down to where our teacher used to tell us... practice
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#1525695 - 09/30/10 03:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
I gotta say, I never really looked at it in terms of triplets.



I'm talking about the swing. At slow tempos, swing is exaggerated with triplet feel.

Your accent on every 4 must be a Dave Frank thing. I accent on upbeats. But the amount does vary based on the line.
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#1525703 - 09/30/10 03:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>>Your accent on every 4 must be a Dave Frank thing. I accent on upbeats. But the amount does vary based on the line.

Yes it is a Dave Frank thing. But you see, I don't mention beats at all. Upbeat, downbeat, it's all too complex for me. It's about counting in 4s. That's really all there is to it. So who says I have to accent the 1st beat?

I had posted these simple examples on another thread. First ones I found out of completely random tunes from famous pianists. The feeling in 4 is really obvious in my opinion.
It's hard because my samples are so short, but put it in Transcribe at 50%. They are playing blocks of 4 notes. No question about it.
Kenny Barron
http://www.box.net/shared/3a31pkiq38

Keith Jarrett:
http://www.box.net/shared/zil8cck3tt

Bill Evans:
http://www.box.net/shared/yztuqmo67z

If needed, I can get those re-recorded slower to make it more obvious. 50% is a good speed. These guys play fast smile


I'm not encouraging you to change your approach and start counting in 4s, but that is a very simple approach for me. Very easy to apply. Yet, if I don't do it, I stop swinging and everyone can tell. It's that simple.

This is the easiest way I have seen to teach a beginner to swing.
Later on, you can add tons of things. But the foundation is just this. The feeling in 4s. smile

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#1525707 - 09/30/10 03:38 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
David,

I think I agree with everything you said smile

Telling a student to practice is good advice.
Telling a student what to practice is what separates the good from the bad teacher wink

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#1525769 - 09/30/10 05:29 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
The accent thing is definitely variable. I don't think Keith Jarrett has a noticeable accent because he's playing so legato. Herbie's accents on upbeats is very strong when he does it, though he seems to use it as an effect. Chick's playing is so even so no accent.

Modern Jazz players accent a lot though on upbeats. In the other thread, someone posted the Charlap/Rosnes thing and the accents were very strong on upbeats. It's the alternative approach to the "long/short - long/short" since modern players play mostly even eighths. Other than my teacher, other examples include Kenny Werner. It gives a lilt to playing straight eighths.

The problem I have experienced is that since I play mostly straight 1/8's (at 150 and above), I have little practice with unneven 1/8's and there I could not land the long/shorts at a consistent point. Thus I sound out of time. I think it is mostly tension though. I've been practicing it heavily at 120-130. That's why you scared me with the 72. It's much slower than I even figured.

The issue with articulation as you know is the legato playing. Something that Keith J apparently has zero problems with at any tempo...
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#1525773 - 09/30/10 05:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: David Sprunger]
jazzwee Offline
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Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: David Sprunger
"...I can still come up with decent lines, but they are not the ones I intended to play"


I think this is a natural effect at Knotty's stage.

What I realized is that soon enough, the ears take over rather than the fingers.

I override the problem above when I can sing what I want to play. So at home, I can do decent lines. In front of my teacher (where I'm uncomfortable singing), I don't. The consequence is that the ego and the fingers decide what is to be played. When, I can consistently override this, I will feel like I have a permanent solution.

But I have to learn to sing in my head and not be loud like Jarrett smile
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#1525781 - 09/30/10 05:44 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
I had posted these simple examples on another thread. First ones I found out of completely random tunes from famous pianists. The feeling in 4 is really obvious in my opinion.
It's hard because my samples are so short, but put it in Transcribe at 50%. They are playing blocks of 4 notes. No question about it.
Kenny Barron
http://www.box.net/shared/3a31pkiq38

Keith Jarrett:
http://www.box.net/shared/zil8cck3tt

Bill Evans:
http://www.box.net/shared/yztuqmo67z



I think these examples may be misleading. At very fast tempos like these, it is true that you have to play in groups of 4 if you play continuous eighths. Not true with shorter lines though or slower tempos. There are no accents possible when playing this fast at the individual note level so thinking in 4's here make sense. Plus there's no swing involved (at least for us normal people).
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#1525875 - 09/30/10 07:40 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
This is a recording of my Slow swing practice. It really took a lot of concentration to get those upbeat accents that you will hear. For a real technique challenge, I played this with mostly a continuous stream of 1/8 notes with little or no space. It can be quite a finger buster without practice. I forget the tempo here. Maybe 130.

http://www.box.net/shared/u1n75pmrqp

It's hard to maintain this type of articulation for long periods and I'm amazed at the precision of the masters like KJ.
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#1525899 - 09/30/10 08:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
David Sprunger Offline
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Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 162
Loc: Oregon, USA
Jarrett - my 14 yr old son heard that for the first time today and said "Is that a pig?" haaaa. I almost drove off the road - Keith plays like an angel and sings like.. a pig?
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#1525903 - 09/30/10 09:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hey JW,

I listened to it a couple time.
In my view, you get it right on the 2nd 16th bars (the section in Eb)
That's where I can hear the 4s. That line is really good.
Your first line is in 2s, you put an accent on every other note. Your accents are also quite pronounced, you can make it more subtle.
The section in G then E, you get a bit lost. The changes are no longer clear and the feeling in 4 is lost. I don't hear it back again.

You should ask your teacher to play single lines for you at 100 or so. Maybe 16 bars of ATTYA and then you take 16.
When Dave does that, I am amazed how good simple lines can sound. Immediately after, the feeling in 4s kicks in.

Is that a digital keyboard? Did you raise the pitch on it? I found it real sharp. Maybe the recording device.

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#1525909 - 09/30/10 09:23 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
btw, I've been back to Donna Lee lately and I remember some time back how you commented on the fact that some of my notes were wrong.
Well you were right! I had been transcribing an unreleased version of Bird.
I've been working off the released version and the notes are different. The triplets are different too. Interesting because these must have been recorded quite close to each other. Donna Lee is a real treasure.

Anyway, it is a great example of feeling in 4. Try playing it at 80bpm, or even 100. You will see. The feeling in 4 is really obvious. That's been the trick for me to playing that tune slow. Count in 4s.

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#1525980 - 10/01/10 12:37 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Knotty, I don't think you're getting what I'm doing here. I'm not soloing per se. I'm just practicing the swing with upbeat STRONG accents (exaggerated) by having long 1/8 lines. This is just technique practice and shows how I am doing it.

When I actually play, I can't maintain this kind of accent on a long line, especially without a space. I'm trying to but it takes a lot of concentration. How I actually play it will vary on each line.

Often I forget to even do this and I start playing straight.

When I hear someone like Herbie do this for example, he will vary the length of the accented note by phrase. He will vary the strength of the accent as well.

Bill Evans' accent is very strong but KJ's tends to be heard only on slow swing and there's much more change in dynamics, I find than I have the capacity to control.

Anyway, this is how I am taught to practice this. As you can see it's hard to achieve perfection. But it's much better than what I could do a couple of years ago.
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#1525983 - 10/01/10 12:44 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty

Anyway, it is a great example of feeling in 4. Try playing it at 80bpm, or even 100. You will see. The feeling in 4 is really obvious. That's been the trick for me to playing that tune slow. Count in 4s.


I'm just guessing that this is a case of hearing what you want to hear? I'm not listening to the recording but just from memory, I can't think of it like that. I hear phrases of varied lengths. I suppose you can think of it in chunks of 4 if you want to but I don't remember hearing that.

I presume by 4 you don't mean aligned to the beat right? Is this a phrase thing? Because if do think of it aligned to the beat and I'm accenting beat 1, I would lose swing.

If you have some phrase we can listen to with some way of referring to the track time, maybe I can understand what you're saying better. It is certainly not something I ever learned. You know we are weird over here on the Left coast. Wynton Marsalis on the radio, referred to West Coast Jazz as White Jazz smile
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#1525985 - 10/01/10 12:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: David Sprunger]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: David Sprunger
Jarrett - my 14 yr old son heard that for the first time today and said "Is that a pig?" haaaa. I almost drove off the road - Keith plays like an angel and sings like.. a pig?


I better not get into the habit of singing loudly smile grin

But talking about singing solos, it does allow more control of tension and release than just relying on fixed phrases or automated fingers. Somehow the ear knows (if you're paying attention that there is to much or too little tension) and it changes the result.
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#1526067 - 10/01/10 07:37 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> Knotty, I don't think you're getting what I'm doing here. I'm not soloing per se. I'm just practicing the swing with upbeat STRONG accents (exaggerated) by having long 1/8 lines. This is just technique practice and shows how I am doing it.
Right, I'm not commenting on the phrasing or notes. Simply where it swings, and where it doesn't. I thought that was your initial question. Swinging at lower tempos.
I can tell you that when I get lost in the changes, I no longer swing. That's because I must be in control of all the elements before I can swing.
That's why when someone starts improvising, I recommend starting with just a 251, working out the LF voicings, hitting on the 1, and just focusing on feeling in 4s.


>> I'm just guessing that this is a case of hearing what you want to hear?
is it?

>> If you have some phrase we can listen to with some way of referring to the track time,
I'll post a snippet.

>> I'm not listening to the recording but just from memory, I can't think of it like that. I hear phrases of varied lengths
The length of the phrase can be any number. Obviously, most solos aren't limited to 8th notes either. But the 8th notes feeling in 4s is the foundation. Again, the trick is to think of your phrases in blocks of 4 notes. Think of 4 notes in advance, and slightly accent the 1st.

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#1526071 - 10/01/10 07:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)

I apologize for the quality of the recording but I think it's sufficient:
http://www.box.net/shared/km8ax9eyh9

I hear the the lines being played in blocks of 4. You have 2 notes followed by 3 blocks of 4s, then triplet and then more 4s.

So back to the point, if you want to play DL and swing at 100bpm, do that, count in your head in 4s. 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 etc...

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#1526437 - 10/01/10 06:49 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty

I apologize for the quality of the recording but I think it's sufficient:
http://www.box.net/shared/km8ax9eyh9

I hear the the lines being played in blocks of 4. You have 2 notes followed by 3 blocks of 4s, then triplet and then more 4s.

So back to the point, if you want to play DL and swing at 100bpm, do that, count in your head in 4s. 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 etc...



I see what you're saying here. I have heard this thing that you are talking about, playing in groups and accenting the group, mostly from Tristano-ites like Dave Frank and other (including this guy that posted here before)

Virtuousic1 Donna Lee
http://www.box.net/shared/gk1mboa0os

It's really like another layer of dynamics over regular swing. It's an advanced concept, really. Of course this really over the regular upbeat accents. So the group upbeat accent is louder than the middle eighth upbeat accents then.

Nice example Knotty! It requires even more control...
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#1526440 - 10/01/10 06:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
BTW - last night I got an update from my Iphone App "REAL BOOK" and it is now a KILLER APP for Jazzers. The Real Book now comes with accompaniment/backing track! You pick your tune from the Real Book, you can set tempo, key, swing style (uptempo, middle, swing, ballad, latin), and the number of choruses. This was Fantastic!

I don't have to use any computer. I can even customize my changes if I want some substitutions.

The backing track is like the "Real Drums/Real Bass" from Band-In-The-Box but you don't have to enter the changes.

There are extra styles for $6. Otherwise you only get Medium Swing.

From here on, I don't have to worry about playing solo piano for swing constantly. I can always be prepared like Riddler smile

Yay!

I was testing it a moment ago playing Giant Steps, ATTYA, Windows, Blue Monk, etc. It sounded really good.
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#1526445 - 10/01/10 06:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Knotty, yes, I discovered by P-155 was sharp. There's a cents adjustment there to vary it from 440 and apparently my kids play with it and bang on it and accidentally keep resetting the tuning. I had to think about this because when I played against the Real Box comp, I was sharp. It was like 467 or something instead of 440. How did you find that out? Do you have perfect pitch?
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#1526520 - 10/01/10 09:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
That iphone app looks really cool. So if you mix the piano all the way down, you completely remove it?

>>How did you find that out? Do you have perfect pitch?
No, but I spend enough time at the piano that I can recall pitches for a while. Dave calls it recall memory. Really odd, he claims he doesn't have perfect pitch but yet, can recognize any note you play. That other teacher I was telling you about, same thing, he could sing a Bb no problem, because "he had played Misty enough".

Virtuosic1 is great. That guy burns like crazy. There used to be one of his students here, he could play real well too. All of a sudden, he stopped posting. I remember he always had very interesting exercises. Same Tristano-style approach. Playing by ear has a particular meaning to these folks. 7notemode has a similar approach, too. He posted a great tutorial on swing some time back. One of the best jazz instructional videos out there.

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#1526545 - 10/01/10 09:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
custard apple Online   blank
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2260
Loc: Sydney
Knotty
You've got me listening to a lot of horn players. I've been meaning to ask you why you listen to horn players so much e.g. is it because of their lyrical melodies and their phrasing ?

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#1526602 - 10/01/10 11:57 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6989
Loc: So. California
Knotty,

On Real Book, yes, I turned down the piano and you've got a trio going. This is really addicting. When I was playing, I was playing at a faster tempo than what I'm used to in solo piano (like 220 for Giant Steps). I realize that there's nothing like a rhythm section to keep you in synch with the form.

I have a Yamaha XS6 and the swing drums just don't sound realistic. This will really change my practice habits and will improve my time. I just didn't have the free time to dink around with backing tracks.
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#1526626 - 10/02/10 01:37 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Online   blank
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2260
Loc: Sydney
Hi JW
Sounds like real fun.
Do you have a name for your band ?!

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#1526997 - 10/02/10 06:30 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
time flies Offline
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Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 125
Hi Jazz Study Group. I've been lurking around for several months and decided to join the forum. First I want to thank Jazzwee for this incredible thread and all the contributors to it.

Knotty, I have a question about four-note sequences where you say to slightly accent the first note of every group. Does this mean accenting the first note of the group regardless of where the group lies within the measure? For example if your four-note group starts on the second half of the first beat (1-and), you would accent the first note. Continuing on with the next four-note group (across the bar line) your accent would be on 3-and. So in this example the accents occur on the off beats. Or should the accents occur on the beat (or have I missed the meaning entirely)? Thanks!





tf

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#1527091 - 10/02/10 08:49 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hey Cus,

I think it's good to listen to everything. Not just horn players. Tatum, Jarrett, Jahmal, Coltrane and Desmond.
As far as singing along to solos, ask yourself the question of why you are doing it.
Pianist always try to imitate other instruments. They have a full orchestra at their disposal. Imitating another instrument forces you to think in different ways, forces your fingers to play shapes that don't work well on a piano.

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#1527100 - 10/02/10 09:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hi TF,

Welcome to the club.
This feeling in 4 thing is really, really simple. It's amazingly simple. And there's really no need to make it more complicated than it is.
I never ever looked at what beat to emphasize and which not to.

My solution is purely non theory.
It's a 2 step process.

1. Sing along to great solos. This is probably the most important part because, really, all of the answers are there. Slow down the best solos ever recorded and sing along to them. You want to sing as much in pitch as possible, and imitate as much as you can with your voice. Lennie would have his students sing along to Bird while playing the records at half speed (and an octave higher). Today, you can sing at 1/2 speed while keeping the same pitch.
2. When you start to improvise, remember to count in 4s.

So the answer to your question is in bullet 1. Jazz is very much about imitation and learning by ear. More so that trying to put theory behind it.
Now if you listen to the Donna Lee sample I posted, you should be able to hear where the accents are. But if you don't, it's ok. As long as you can do it, who cares if you understand? right ?

The method that I am following involves little theory, but it is quite structured. From the beginning, you should spend some of your time singing along to solos (you can do that away from the keyboard). I will gladly recommend solos to sing along to. You start with early jazz and slowly build on it.
Singing along with solos will develop your ear because you are forced to sing in pitch, and trust me, that isn't easy. Most people will sing an F and think they are singing a B (not joking). It will develop your sense of creating melodies, and evolving tension throughout a solo. It will teach you what swing is, and how to experiment with time, behind the beat, on the beat etc...
It's not about learning licks or whatever, it's about learning the language of jazz.

Take care.

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