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#1718835 - 07/22/11 04:47 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: KlinkKlonk]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
It would be interesting to see the scientist explain internal hearing. I've heard many many conflicting reports of how this works. Many seem to regard the state where you prehear every phrase as desireable? Then how is that improvising? I assume you'd only be able to play phrases you practiced intensivly and play them verbatim. How does that fit in with split second descions during interplay? And what you previously played has to be taken into consideration. This is what I regard as prehearing: that you know what will come next based on what you already played. But I certainly don't hear every phrase before I play it. And I dont think I want to.

Is that guy in the vid even improvising? Sounds like some unfocused noodling on the blues scale...

How do we know every persons brain behaves the same way during improvisation?


LOL -- yes the guy is on the very basic level of improvising.

BTW - if you sing what you play, is that prehearing? At a millisecond level, the fingers must respond in the same way.

I sometimes sing what I play.
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#1718858 - 07/22/11 05:23 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: KlinkKlonk]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk

It would be interesting to see the scientist explain internal hearing. I've heard many many conflicting reports of how this works. Many seem to regard the state where you prehear every phrase as desireable? Then how is that improvising? I assume you'd only be able to play phrases you practiced intensivly and play them verbatim. How does that fit in with split second descions during interplay? And what you previously played has to be taken into consideration. This is what I regard as prehearing: that you know what will come next based on what you already played. But I certainly don't hear every phrase before I play it. And I dont think I want to.


I don't have any real answers here but I think that it is similar to speech in that we can (I can) hear words in my head and to some degree rehearse what I want to say in advance of saying it. When actually having a conversation there isn't time to rehearse every twist and turn but I may still have an idea of what I am going to say beforehand. Even when I am just rambling on (like now) these words must somehow exist in my brain before they exist on paper as my brain is controlling my fingers doing the typing.
I think it is pretty well established that when we imagine doing things the little lights inside out brains (ie the blood flow) come on in the same way as if we were actually to do those things. Scientists have shown this by scanning coma patients who are imagining playing tennis.
When schizophrenics are hallucinating and hearing voices their brains are stimulated in the same way as if they were really hearing voices.
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#1718866 - 07/22/11 05:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
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Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Although the video doesn't explain anything, it just shows that different brain development may be required for better improvising. Maybe that's why it comes easier to some than others.


Oliver Sacks in his book 'musicophilia' (a fascinating read) suggests that due to the plasticity of the brain musicians actually change the structure of their brain through learning music. Those modules heavily involved can actually grow physically, just as London taxi drivers have an enlarged 'knowing where you are' module.
But I think that being good at music involves very many different skills. I guess the Jarretts of this world are not only built with all the best modules but also have the chance and circumstance to build those modules at the best time.
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#1718899 - 07/22/11 06:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 354
I've read that book by Sacks. My mother bought it and she's convinced my interest in music was sparked by concussions and haemorrhage I had as a kid.
Truly fascinating book. I wonder how the memory the people that were experiencing aural hallucinations differs from the more conscious memory. Those people were reliving every detail of some silly song they've heard 60 years ago.
I've had simular experiences just as I'm about to fall asleep and where I can even control it. I think it's pretty common. Everything is gone once your awake of course. It's like all the music you've ever heard is stored somewhere where we can't access it.

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#1718951 - 07/22/11 07:51 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
One interesting observation from that scientist is that playing classical music uses a different part of the brain than jazz. So I would assume that the classical music part is focused more on the memorization aspect.

But theoretically, if we improvise and pull out a collection of shapes/licks/patterns that it is also being pulled from memory.

So since the brain waves are different, then it must mean we need to develop a skill beyond memorization to a much larger degree.

I'm back to thinking that memorizing licks isn't as important. Certainly when I improvise, I am not aware of any attempt in my brain to recall a particular lick. Instead I percieve that I'm assembling smaller elements. I also perceive when I play that I react to what I did last. And adding space gives me more opportunity to react (another possible advantage to space).


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#1718998 - 07/22/11 09:09 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

One interesting observation from that scientist is that playing classical music uses a different part of the brain than jazz. So I would assume that the classical music part is focused more on the memorization aspect.

But theoretically, if we improvise and pull out a collection of shapes/licks/patterns that it is also being pulled from memory.

So since the brain waves are different, then it must mean we need to develop a skill beyond memorization to a much larger degree.


I don't think I would want to draw those conclusions from the research. Memory is a big topic and really badly understood. We don't even know where in the brain memories are stored or even what physical form they are stored in. It would be impossible to even perceive a single melody without memory so it is quite apparent that memory plays a vital role not just in the playing of music but on every level of perception.
If you have the ability to improvise then that itself must be stored in the brain as memory.
Unfortunately I think that it has been shown that 'working memory' is a crucial aspect of many skills, and that appears to be something that it is very difficult to improve.
Then again I am no brain scientist so you can take my observations of badly remembered articles I have read with a pinch of salt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_memory

It seems to me that any skill that we can develop has to be based in memory of some form, how else could it exist in the brain? So I don't think there can be any other skill beyond memorization.
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#1719174 - 07/23/11 08:45 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Just saw this interesting interview with Denny Zeitlin and thought some here may enjoy it

the intimacy of solo piano

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_0G_iO22O8&feature=digest


and another with a bit more music in it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGpJz_c0kKc&feature=digest
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#1719212 - 07/23/11 10:24 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Nice BB, thanks for the tip
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#1719292 - 07/23/11 12:46 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Beeboss, though we may not understand in detail, we can at least distinguish (from that experiment) that a different brain process occurs in improvisation and it is different from what one does with classical playing.

So think about what you do with classical playing. You are constantly repeating the same thing over and over.

In jazz, it's probably less about the perfection of the motions but more of the process (intervals, relationships). When I improvise, I listen to it differently than when I play Chopin. I react to what I last did.

Remember that exercise I mentioned sometime back where I play a motif and then force the next phrase to be connected to it? Brad Mehldau talks about doing this. So maybe that's the skill to be developed more. It's some combination of listening + creating.

It also forces the conscious mind to be involved and prevents repetitivenes in the solo (muscle memory based movements).

I'm just making this guess because if the scientist found a difference in the brain waves, then there may be a way to apply this observation to actual analysis of what we practice.


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#1719396 - 07/23/11 03:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

So think about what you do with classical playing. You are constantly repeating the same thing over and over.


I am just not sure the study has anything to do with memory. It states …
"Since the brain areas activated during memorized playing are parts that tend to be active during any kind of piano playing, the researchers subtracted those images from ones taken during improvisation."

The scientists found that a region of the brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a broad portion of the front of the brain that extends to the sides, showed a slowdown in activity during improvisation. This area has been linked to planned actions and self-censoring, such as carefully deciding what words you might say at a job interview.
The researchers also saw increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which sits in the center of the brain’s frontal lobe.  This area has been linked with self-expression and activities that convey individuality, such as telling a story about yourself.
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/medi...eity_creativity

Originally Posted By: jazzwee

I'm just making this guess because if the scientist found a difference in the brain waves, then there may be a way to apply this observation to actual analysis of what we practice.


We may well play more creatively if we shutdown the "dorsolateral prefrontal cortex" and increase the activity in the "medial prefrontal cortex", but how on earth can we begin to do that? Maybe we should practice in the MRI scanner.
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#1719774 - 07/24/11 03:12 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
LOL -- maybe it shows that Kenny Werner is right. It's the self censoring that's the issue.

unfortunately I may have misconstrued the study and we're back at the beginning.

Too bad. I thought I was into something.
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#1719776 - 07/24/11 03:16 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Very good gig tonight. We were very well received. I may have a short video clip. Nothing special on my end but the group was solid. We continue to be booked regularly so we must be entertaining them.


We didn't play Naima though. Crowd was upbeat and wanted swing and we even had the audience dance.


Edited by jazzwee (07/24/11 03:17 AM)
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#1719806 - 07/24/11 05:29 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
In order to let the subconscious go and do it's thing (performance)
one has to fill the conscious mind with information (practice)

The subconscious needs to have paths to move through.

There's a reason why we need; mantras (II-V-I 1,2,3,5,7 - move to the dominant, bring in the half/whole tone, directions to the mind: play slower, play less, play more, repeat and play again . . ), mudras (finger excercises, hand patterns . . ) mandalas (graphic representation of music), slow focused breathing, inner directed movements - we need the aid of a disciplined consciousness in order to be able to allow (let) the sub-conscious roam free.

I've been practising an esoteric martial art since 81, a part of the school is a improvisational part called "Henka" which is literally free improv, no defense nr 54 against attack nr 47- but rather: no mind, no intention: just do whatever happens - let the inner mind/ear/body decide. But in order for my Henka to be 'good' or rather; a appropriate response to a situation I need to practice the basic forms (Kihon) again and again so that my body will 'know' what to do and when to do it.

So, I'll end my riffing here with a quote from Enter the Dragon (yeah I know smile ):
Lee: [a student approaches Lee; both bow] Kick me.
[Student looks confused]
Lee: Kick me.
[Student attempts kick]
Lee: What was that? An Exhibition? We need emotional content. Now try again!
[Student tries again]
Lee: I said "emotional content." Not anger! Now try again!
[Student tries again and succeeds]
Lee: That's it! How did it feel?
[Student thinks; Lee smacks his head]
Lee: Don't think. FEEL. It's like a finger pointing at the moon.
[Looks at student who is looking at the finger; smacks student again]
Lee: Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!
[Student bows; Lee smacks him again]
Lee: Never take your eyes off your opponent... even when you're bowing!
[Student bows again this time keeping his eyes on Lee]
Lee: That's better.


Edited by chrisbell (07/24/11 06:32 AM)
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#1719815 - 07/24/11 06:05 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
In order to let the subconscious go and do it's thing (performance)
one has to fill the conscious mind with information (practice)

The subconscious needs to have paths to move through.



Nicely in a nutshell.
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#1720412 - 07/25/11 03:46 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Here are a few samples from one my gigs this weekend. This was my 8 piece band (Piano, Bass, Drums, Sax, Trumpet, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals). Forgive the loud background noise. There was a lot of people and some chose to hang out near the Zoom H4.

As usual, we don't rehearse any of these and many of the people in the band are new to each other. Seems to work out though.

There Will Be Another You
http://www.box.net/shared/r6sfx9atki1uf3ukzk9l

All Blues
http://www.box.net/shared/7erii8hlsrpu97lg0cza

Girl From Ipanema
http://www.box.net/shared/5oqc3fpfs74af4r2vzih

Canteloupe Island
http://www.box.net/shared/ey6zjaivbzzz5fm1h1tq

Mr PC
http://www.box.net/shared/zds558fv2us7u2x3l9kk

On Green Dolphin Street
http://www.box.net/shared/2utlv3qvx3u3bbok22z7
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#1720507 - 07/25/11 10:50 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Sounds good!

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#1721078 - 07/26/11 06:11 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
yeah sounding good jw
you should get a trio together to give you more of a chance to stretch out on the tunes
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#1721230 - 07/26/11 12:45 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
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Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Hey jazzwee, nice stuff from the gig! I especially like your solo on Canteloupe Island. Overall it sounds like a good group, and the vocalist sounds good too, which in my experience is always the weakest link frown. It's interesting because to me the group sounds better on the straight stuff... Girl, Canteloupe, Mr PC. The swing just feels a little squishy at times particularly in the solos, but it is harder to do I guess. I second beeboss's suggestion to try out a trio. It's a great way to really get into the tunes more and it sounds like you're ready for that. Have you thought about giving more space when comping? I think your solos were the strongest in the group, particularly the rhythm. Nice work!

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#1721245 - 07/26/11 01:18 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Thanks guys. You guys are right, there's not much time to stretch when there's 10 million soloists and you only have a chorus to play. But this has given me the confidence now and this light kind of jazz appeals to the audience.

In the meantime, I going to be able to build my skills.

Actually this is my band. I'm the leader so obviously I can just cut everyone out and leave it as a trio. So I'm not making money since I'm paying so many. If I do a trio though, I'd like to have an acoustic bass guy instead. I might think of that on some of the gigs.

Scott - swing definitely needs work. I didn't realize how hard it was to switch from latin to swing, which we did on several tunes (Green Dolphin, Invitation). Sometimes I don't feel like I was convincing in the change of feel. Typically the swing is overdone when it shifts. I need to listen to some records again to compare smile

In any case, this group is getting the gigs. We're pre-booked ahead for months. It's light jazz and the crowd loves it. The measure is always the bar sales smile We've been so successful at increasing the bar sales that they've kicked some other musicians out and put us in their place.
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#1721247 - 07/26/11 01:19 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Scott, tell me more about what you mean by more space when comping. Which tune was I over comping? There's a guitar comping too and he's a bit of a problem.
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#1721275 - 07/26/11 02:32 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Nice JW! Really really cool that you've made it this far!
That vocalist is a treat, make sure you keep him. To be blunt; fire the guitarist, you don't need one - and he does tend to get in your way. Nice rhythm section, not bad indeed.
Some tunes needs a horn arrangement, especially if they aren't playing unison - those trumpety: ba ba baah! got on my nerves a couple of times and reminded me how I dislike brassy showmanship, I'm much more for the mute or the softer, sexier sound of the trumpet.
Your comping is so much better, way to go! I enjoyed the solos. I also agree with maybe a trio setting per tune, now and again. Or just piano, vocals and a sax solo . . . on a ballad.
Next song maybe start with only the bass walking, perc and the vocalist doing the first verse, then bring in the whole band in the refrain.
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#1721321 - 07/26/11 04:00 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Chris, I really appreciate the specific advice. And it's really funny to see me grow as a jazz musician right here in this thread. smile

The vocalist btw is someone seen on TV a lot. I don't watch a lot of TV but he has a lot of screen and TV credits. He's really quite a professional to work with.

My sax player BTW is a petite young woman. She's quite a hit with the crowd.

How about the percussionist? Any comments on that? I just added that for the first time this gig. This is why we did more latin. Does it work negatively in swing tunes?

On these particular gigs, ballads don't seem to go well. They apparently like the energy of the full rhythm section going. I usually do 2 ballads and I end up doing double-time feel on them. This is why Naima didn't get played.

Notice there really isn't any quiet moment in the audience. The place is packed and some listen more seriously than others. One of these days, I'll have to shoot for a true concert setting.
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#1721341 - 07/26/11 04:34 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
The percussionist was a great addition I think, I love congas in swing tunes (I'm a huge fan of percussion). But maybe not every swing tune?

Cool, more women in Jazz! When the sax started the solo in "There will be . . " wow! I dug that.

I find that sometimes ballads in busy crowds can work if they're sung.


Keep sax, drums, perc, bass, vox . . ehh and the pianist. smile
They are the more musical of the lot.
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#1721354 - 07/26/11 04:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Well I'm not sure about the pianist, I may have to dump him... wink

BTW I was playing solo piano the next day at the restaurant and I was ignored (as expected). The vibe and enjoyment of playing with a group is so different. It's hard to ignore a band. I will probably do less solo piano.
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#1721373 - 07/26/11 05:38 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
It's hard to ignore a band. I will probably do less solo piano.


Solo piano can be pretty hard work especially in a restaurant but it was definitely useful for me years ago when I was racking up about 12 hours of solo gigs a week. It forced me to play in a solo style which is something you can miss out on with a band. It gets the left hand really working. And gigs are always good experience even if they are not always enjoyable.
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#1721380 - 07/26/11 05:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Well that's the point. It's so much work but no one's paying attention. So it's emotionally draining. At least I got to practice 'Very Early' in public. I hardly ever get to do that.

Truly, every gig teaches something. On this one I realized I needed a larger list of solo piano tunes. Although my tune list is getting big now, solo piano needs a little bit of planning/arrangement to be convincing.

I was on a Cruise (Cruise Ship), a little over a week ago and I felt sorry for the Lounge pianist. It's a tough job. You put so much energy into what you do and nobody cares.

Well they do care because everyone likes the ambience of a piano playing. But they just like to hear the non-specific tinkle-tinkle of the piano. For part of my gig, I was having a conversation so I just doodled around for awhile.
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#1721417 - 07/26/11 07:00 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
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Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Scott, tell me more about what you mean by more space when comping. Which tune was I over comping? There's a guitar comping too and he's a bit of a problem.


I don't think you're over comping... I just think for variety you could leave more space sometimes by not playing every chord or only stabbing a chord once.

Here's an example of what I mean over the first few bars of There Will Never Be Another You:

Ebmaj on "1" and "and of 2", nothing in bar 2, D-7b5 on "and of 1" in bar 3 and G7 on "and of 4" in bar 3 held into bar 4. Nothing in bars 5 and 6. Bb-7 on "1" of bar 7 and "3" of bar 7, then Eb7 on "and of 4" in bar 7 held into bar 8.

Hope this makes sense smile.

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#1721420 - 07/26/11 07:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee


Truly, every gig teaches something. On this one I realized I needed a larger list of solo piano tunes. Although my tune list is getting big now, solo piano needs a little bit of planning/arrangement to be convincing.


I remember I used to improvise all the tunes together freely but it is really hard to get variety into the set. Tunes with a repetitive groove can be good for a bit of a change.

On that note here is my weekly youtube upload

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Siqh2s2TY0s

Blackberry Winter by Alec Wilder, with a groove section towards the end
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1721433 - 07/26/11 07:39 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Oh yeh ! Everything was beautiful about it, the tune, your touch, your improvised inner lines and the bluesey flavour. Have favourited it. Thanks for sharing Dave B.

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#1721460 - 07/26/11 08:37 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
my pleasure custard apple
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http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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