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#1476333 - 07/17/10 11:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Riddler]
jazzwee Offline
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Ed, thanks for upping that to 45,000 reads! smile You must not do anything else...LOL.

BTW - I can't even keep track of how many times your PDF compilation has been downloaded. Thanks to you.
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#1476882 - 07/19/10 05:43 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Cross posted from teacher's forum: I found this website which has links to master classes on Eric Dolphy, Charlie Parker, Bruce Hornsby, Keith Jarrett, Frank Zappa. I've had a little look, and there's nice discussion of the phrasing, and of how jazz developed. It's interesting.


www.davefrankjazz.com
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#1476898 - 07/19/10 06:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: ten left thumbs]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2261
Loc: Sydney
Cool, the classes on Charlie Parker and Frank Zappa in particular give very useful pointers for composition/improv.

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#1477162 - 07/19/10 03:09 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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Talking about two handed voicings or the idea of ten-fingers (instead of two hands), watch Barry Harris play here.

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

He says the piano is "Horizontal" not "Vertical". This is why I think it is important to approach the piano with a multi-octave, multi-register kind of thinking and start approaching playing by creating this rich texture.

As you get more advanced, you start experimenting with these stretched chords and you begin to create your own. Due to a change in overtones, often changing what goes in the bass note changes the entire sound.

For example, in the first few seconds, Barry was demonstrating a chord that looked almost exactly like a BbMaj7 chord like we discuss here (two handed), except he added an 11th (so it looked like a BbMaj7(11).

Apparently he was playing a C7Alt. Amazing because the b7 was the very low note. Voicings are interesting stuff. After awhile, you throw the instructions away and you experiment.
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#1477578 - 07/20/10 02:30 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
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Thank you JW ! You’re right – this vid illustrates real well how thinking horizontally can help you enrich texture.
At 3:17 I can now see how these multi-finger voicings can be used to create a melody.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can just shut myself up in a room like Bill Evans and experiment with voicings.
In the meantime I’ve almost automated “Creating a maj 7 chord”.

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#1477784 - 07/20/10 11:23 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: custard apple
In the meantime I’ve almost automated “Creating a maj 7 chord”.


Remember, once you've got the Major 7 Chord, it doesn't take much brain power to make a min 7 chord (move RH down a Half step).

Two handed voicings are seldom discussed on the internet. This is the real way to play guys. It's also discussed in Levine's book and Metphors for a Musician if you think I'm dreaming this up.

All I've done here is visualize it a little differently (in my own flavor).
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#1478166 - 07/20/10 10:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Registered: 08/12/09
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I can't even play that first chord he shows, Bb C / D A Eb ....he's using his 4th and not even the pinky!

My hands aren't that big so I never play anything above a 7th for 1 hand.

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#1478218 - 07/20/10 11:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Wizard of Oz]
jazzwee Offline
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Wow - you and TLT have small hands...

But you can take that into considerationa and learn a new technique and that is to create rhythmic interest by splitting each hand into two sets of shapes.

This is something I was doing because I was playing Falling Grace with a latin beat. On beat 1 I play just the root and the melody, then you pedal and all the fingers jump into the middle voices. Then you can reach everything. If you do the middle voices really softly it's really neat sounding.

Unfortunately, I cannot record to demonstrate as my computer is down. I'm doing this on a borrowed computer.

If my posts get spotty for a week or so, please don't think I've abandoned all of you. I have a more serious problem of trying to recover all my data on a computer I can't restart.
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#1478282 - 07/21/10 03:00 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
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Posts: 2261
Loc: Sydney
And even if you have big hands, I think it might sound nice at times to just play the root first (before playing the middle voices) if you want to emphasise the root, especially if you are doing a solo without a bass player.

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#1478568 - 07/21/10 03:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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But what I didn't emphasize is the rhythmic aspect. I don't mean hit the pedal and jump to middle voices in two steps. When done by some really good players, they actually play a little rhythmic pattern on the middle voice like hitting it more than once per bar. Hard to explain until I can record.
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#1480520 - 07/24/10 12:49 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Last night I was watching a DVD NYU masterclass from Barry Harris. I got it from Netflix after being exposed to his videos on Youtube. Fantastic stuff! His understanding of rhythm and harmony is very sophisticated. In some cases he doesn't fully explain (because there isn't enough time).

Some of this probably requires watching multiple times to fully comprehend. This is such a fraction of what's available from this guy, and he's in his 80's.

If I lived in NY, I'd attend his classes there.

Some interesting snippets include: when playing ballads, think in 6, not 4/4. And discussions of Whole Tone Scales and it's connection to diminished scales and how that applies to dominants that are "brother and sister". Phrasing comments.

And just fabulous playing overall both of ballads and bebop.
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#1480915 - 07/24/10 11:45 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2261
Loc: Sydney
Sounds interesting. Re ballads, is the intention to create a waltzy feel ?

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#1481110 - 07/25/10 11:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: custard apple
Sounds interesting. Re ballads, is the intention to create a waltzy feel ?


This is a play on 2 against 3 beats and seems to be done all the time. When you play a waltz, you counter it with a 2 beat pattern to make it swing. I guess here's the reverse. Thinking in six, he says affects phrasing because a lot of normal English conversation is in triplets.

How-do-you Do (Tri-p-let One)
Where-did-you Go

This was something I started to know instinctively but wasn't certain. But this is how he wanted us to think for the soloist and even the singer. The rhythm section still plays in regular 4/4 so this is a counter rhythm.

This is like getting permission to play ballads with triplet 16ths as the main driving rhythm (vs. eighth notes for medium swing).

This is why it's an important practice to go from quarter notes to triplet 32nds in Ballad mode. Hard to execute though.
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#1481115 - 07/25/10 12:02 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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There's an interesting concept here related to bringing the tempo to some middle level all the time. For ballads, concentrating on triplet sixteenths brings the tempo up (cut time feel). For fast tunes, they bring the tempo feel down by doing half time feel (counting in twos rather than in 4's).

He said in the old days, this made Jazz danceable even with playing Cherokee at a fast tempo or playing a ballad. As you know, playing notes at medium swing allows you to swing those notes (be it quarter, triplet, or eighths). It's impossible to swing well when the notes are too fast or too slow.

The discussion was interesting because he was focused on rhythm. He says rhythm is king. The rest of it is just Classical music. Barry says the best and oldest Jazz musician is Bach.

Then from Bach, he went into the music theory stuff about diminished scales.
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#1481399 - 07/25/10 08:06 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
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Loc: Sydney
I didn’t realise that the English language is in threes. He’s right. So is Italian – Buongiorno, arrivare.
I agree that rhythm is king. I think that knowing drums would help. That’s one reason why I think Keith Jarrett was so good at rhythm. As beeboss mentioned, the Keith Jarrett recording of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier is very good. When I listen to it, I feel the rhythmic drive/ tempo.
Dave Brubeck was good at switching from ¾ to 2/4 then back to ¾. I am nowhere near this stage.
What’s an example of swinging in triplets ? Is it like dragging the first of the three notes/ delaying the second of the three notes ?

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#1481466 - 07/25/10 10:34 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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BTW correction - when I said Ballads in 6, that's actually triplet eights.

Custard, you don't specifically swing triplets. But if you play a waltz and you play 16ths (which is two beats per eighth), then you can swing it. The idea of 3 against 2 is more of a counter rhythm thing rather than specifically swinging triplets. The 4/4 pulse can still swing as before. These are pretty hard concepts and I can't necesarily grasp all this either. Sometimes the feel just comes and I'm unable to intellectualize.

Looking again at a waltz. Here's another look at it. The main pulse is 3/4. But the counter-rhythm is 2/4. Listen to a lot of Waltz and you'll here the counter rhythm of 2/4. Very Early as discussed in the advanced thread is full of it because the melody is actually in 2/4.

Tunes like Windows, Someday My Prince Will Come has strong 2/4 feel, and you can swing the 2/4. So there are multiple places to swing whenever there are pairs of something. There has to be a pair though. That's why quarter notes in 3/4 can't swing. But you can swing the eighth notes.

This took me a long time to absorb (3 against 2). Probably a year of playing waltzes. It just didn't come naturally. Now it's funny that Barry Harris actually says to turn the 4/4 into a slow 6/4. Looks like the study of waltzes became really handy smile
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#1481477 - 07/25/10 10:45 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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One more comment on the lesson -- On two handed comping while playing the melody -- It's really hard to do this legato. You really need a lot of hand strength, especially with 4/5 finger. I hate Hanon but I actually did a lot of Hanon these past few weeks. I imagine this would be an occasional thing though...

Anyone trying those lessons out yet? I'm telling you, it's pretty important in jazz playing. If in doubt, watch that same Barry Harris video that I got from Netflix. Everything Barry does is with two hands.
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#1481545 - 07/26/10 02:09 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
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OK JW thanks for clarifying. I think I now understand better. So for swing, you’re talking about three pairs of eighth notes per measure ?
As Knotty said, two handed voicings are commonly used by Bill Evans. I can hear it clearly in Bill Evans’ Here’s that Rainy Day.

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#1481561 - 07/26/10 03:15 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Custard, yes, any pair of eights. Actually that's not even accurate. It depends on the tempo. On a ballad, the pair could be sixteenths. There's a narrow window of time that can be typically swung, let's say the equivalent of 100bpm to 180bpm in eighth notes.

On two handed voicings, I would say any jazz musician playing solo piano would be required to play two handed. And in a combo, there are some that didn't (way back when) but I would say that it is an expected skill. Besides, it just sounds better.

BTW - I play the head of Giant steps with two hands. It really helps when soloing because your hands just gravitate to the correct shape for soloing this way.
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#1500280 - 08/21/10 03:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
snakechaser Offline
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Registered: 05/24/09
Posts: 43
Hello,

First of all, what a great study group this is, and what a great lessons it contains! Jazzwee and all the others you guys have put and are still putting a lot of effort in here and I really really appreciate that. smile

I've made it to lesson 3 now without a lot of trouble, but I always like listening to music I want to learn. How do you guys think of Nat King Cole as for listening to? I don't like all his music, but some of them I really love.

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#1500297 - 08/21/10 05:28 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: snakechaser]
Inlanding Offline
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Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1633
Loc: Colorado
I agree with you, snakechaser.

This thread and as well many others are quite read worthy. I've not been posting here as much, as I've been participating lately in recitals, e-citals, lots of recordings, and local playing gigs. There are some very fine pianists, piano enthusiasts, and composers/arrangers that post and click around here. Lots to learn, all the time.


Nat King Cole produced some timeless music. His singing is magical and he was a fantastic pianist. His ballads are inspiring and you can count on Nat King Cole for his ability to really swing, no doubt about it. As well, he had much respect from his peers.

Here's an old standard that he made very famous that I enjoy playing every now and then and attempt to jazz-up.
Nature Boy

Here are a few free-play improv ideas in minor keys from me as well... when you have the time. Some are more sensible than others.

Post Recital Blues

Heat Stifled

Idea for Three Quarters of One

Another Minor Idea

Almost Three


Glen

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#1500371 - 08/21/10 10:06 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Inlanding]
Riddler Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 547
Loc: Florida

Jazzwee,

I have put together an excercise for practicing two handed solo voicings, following my understanding of the guidelines in the lessons you posted a few weeks ago.

The objective is to leave some fingers free for playing the melody (head of the song), while playing 3 and 7 and 9 with either RH or LH.

I put this together for my own practicing, but in the event that others are interested, here is a link to the PDF file:

http://www.box.net/shared/107j239m9f

For any given chord, the voicing you would choose might depend on whether the melody note is 3, or 7, or between 3 and 7, or between 7 and 3, so there are several options to practice. Also, sometimes it is cool to put the 9th in the LH, but sometimes that is a bit too low, or the stretch is uncomfortable, so there are options for the 9th in LH or RH.

Obviously this does not cover all the possibilities, but I'm hoping to develop voicing habits that leave upper fingers free.

The idea, of course, is to practice these in all keys.

Ed
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#1500438 - 08/21/10 12:46 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Riddler]
Inlanding Offline
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Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1633
Loc: Colorado
Those are some great ideas to put into practice, Ed.

Thanks for sharing them.

Glen
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#1500707 - 08/21/10 11:26 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: snakechaser]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: snakechaser
Hello,

First of all, what a great study group this is, and what a great lessons it contains! Jazzwee and all the others you guys have put and are still putting a lot of effort in here and I really really appreciate that. smile

I've made it to lesson 3 now without a lot of trouble, but I always like listening to music I want to learn. How do you guys think of Nat King Cole as for listening to? I don't like all his music, but some of them I really love.


Hello Snakechaser, welcome! You always have to listen a lot as that is what Jazz is all about. Nat King Cole is great and a nice one to start with as far as listening to Jazz is concerned.

And if you want to really learn, it's best to post what you accomplished and get some critique as that's the only way to improve.
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#1500708 - 08/21/10 11:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: Riddler]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Riddler

Jazzwee,

I have put together an excercise for practicing two handed solo voicings, following my understanding of the guidelines in the lessons you posted a few weeks ago.

The objective is to leave some fingers free for playing the melody (head of the song), while playing 3 and 7 and 9 with either RH or LH.

I put this together for my own practicing, but in the event that others are interested, here is a link to the PDF file:

http://www.box.net/shared/107j239m9f

For any given chord, the voicing you would choose might depend on whether the melody note is 3, or 7, or between 3 and 7, or between 7 and 3, so there are several options to practice. Also, sometimes it is cool to put the 9th in the LH, but sometimes that is a bit too low, or the stretch is uncomfortable, so there are options for the 9th in LH or RH.

Obviously this does not cover all the possibilities, but I'm hoping to develop voicing habits that leave upper fingers free.

The idea, of course, is to practice these in all keys.

Ed



Nice Ed! Very helpful for visualization. I surely recognize them as what's discussed in the lessons! Don't forget the exception cases. Those have to be learned too (like LH 1/3 higher up).

Hopefuly I'll be posting a recording of Falling Grace (maybe in the other thread), shortly. And it is primarily played with 2 handed voicings the whole time. So that will be another example.
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#1500927 - 08/22/10 12:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: jazzwee]
snakechaser Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/09
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Originally Posted By: snakechaser
...


Hello Snakechaser, welcome! You always have to listen a lot as that is what Jazz is all about. Nat King Cole is great and a nice one to start with as far as listening to Jazz is concerned.

And if you want to really learn, it's best to post what you accomplished and get some critique as that's the only way to improve.

Hi Jazzwee, thank you very much for the warm welcome. smile
I've recorded AL, I'm very curious about what you and maybe others think of it. So far I've done the first three lessons, but didn't really break my head about that 2nd beat accent... I thought I'd do that automatically blush
Maybe I did, maybe I didn't, I'll hear in a moment I think, hahaha.

Here is Autumn Leaves.
I've also made this short jazzy composition a short time ago, before I knew about this study group anyway, you can listen to it if you like here. Watch out for the volume though!! This one is recorded with my previous soundcard and the volume is way higher than AL (which is way too low, so I'm off searching for a 3rd soundcard right now eek .
About Nat King Cole, I've imitated his intro of "Frim Fram Sauce", when I heard that intro for the first time I fell in love immediately with it ha
It was tough though, first of all because I'm not that into jazz yet, but even more because his piano is just so out of tune it was hard to play along.
Anyway, here it is.


Edited by snakechaser (08/22/10 12:41 PM)

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#1500972 - 08/22/10 01:34 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: snakechaser]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hey Snake,

I thought this was really good. Very nice arrangement. I like your use of dynamics, and the movement in the left hand, especially on the bridge. Very nice.
How long have you been playing? Are you classically trained?

As far as good starting points for listening to solo piano, Keith Jarrett playing standards solo are always wonderfully arranged and generally easy to listen to. He'll pick old standards like Oh Danny Boy or Time on your Hand and treat them with great respect.

There is a collection of solo concerts from the Maybeck Recital Hall that are also very well recorded and showcase a variety of artists. Most albums are really great. Monty Alexander's might be my favorite of the bunch, but Gene Harris' is gorgeous and so is McKenna's. All easy to listen, all different in style.


You have a good sense of time and a good ear. I think you'll enjoy Jazz a lot.

take care++

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#1500996 - 08/22/10 02:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
snakechaser Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/09
Posts: 43
Thank you for your elaborate reply knotty. I've used a VST (Native Upright) for midi processing, so maybe that explains the nice dynamics, most keys are multi-sampled and all that.
I've been playing for some 11 years right now, but not all of these years have been really useful. I am 19 now, maybe that explains some things, for in my earlier years I didn't always like to learn and play the piano. I've not been classically trained however, more pop I guess. I quit taking lessons maybe a year ago since I felt like I didn't learn anymore from lessons, I was learning more from listening to recordings than from my teachers.
FWIW, I didn't really think about my "arrangement" of AL, I practiced of course, but left hand and all comes automatically. It is easy and nice in one way, but on the other hand it's not good because a lot of things you play feel the same, as if you can't vary enough in your playing.

Anyway, thank you for the artists, I'll look them up soon and try to learn from them. smile

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#1501011 - 08/22/10 02:47 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: snakechaser]
knotty Offline
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Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> FWIW, I didn't really think about my "arrangement" of AL, I practiced of course, but left hand and all comes automatically. It is easy and nice in one way, but on the other hand it's not good because a lot of things you play feel the same, as if you can't vary enough in your playing.

That's the issue you run into when you apply a formula to arrangements. It's great to be able to do that, but you're going to want more. I believe that comes with writing down arrangements (or at least working them out). Ideally, you'd want each of your tunes to have a little something special.

There are so many different styles in Jazz, only you can tell what's really going to click. Peterson, Hancock, Corea, Jarrett, Monty, Palmieri. All very different. Many people lack the training required to listen to Jazz. And so they simply dismiss it. So I recommend starting easy. I would not start with Coltrane with Eric Dolphy for example. All in good time.

If you are 19, the key I think will be to find friends to play with.

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#1501095 - 08/22/10 05:19 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc. [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Snakechaser, nice touch! Sounds like you been dabbling in this for awhile. That was Autumn Leaves with a Latin beat. Did you know you were doing that? Sounded great.

I noticed that your rhythmic skills are above average so you are advantaged here. Time to get into some improvisation because as you know that's the real meat of jazz.

Do you have a jazz teacher? Read up on the commentary on swing here as you can improve on that a little (lots of pages of stuff).

AL is a great platform for learning to improvise since it contains to ii-V-I's. (major and minor). That's found in so many tunes so theoretically, if you can play AL in every key, you will hit most of the changes in standards.

Keep posting stuff as it's from feedback that we improve.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Piano 88
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