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#1575641 - 12/12/10 11:11 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
I purchased "How to play from a fake book" by Blake Neely over the weekend.
I read it cover to cover first (it is only 95 pages and not wordy.).
It seems very informative about how to form chords,(up to 13ths), and different styles and left hand patterns. It comes with a lot of musical example to practice. I then started from the beginning doing the examples. I'm only on the first pages where you do block chords, and root and fifths in the left over a plain melody. That part was easy, but obviously I would not be able to get way with that for a performance. It is good however for learning chords and their inversions.
The book makes it sound so easy, but I can tell that in practice, it will not be.
After reading the book, I pulled out some pop full sheet music books I have, and studied what was going on. What do you know. It was all exactly as the book said!. Chord tones, arpeggios, block chords, inversions, etc.

In the other thread that this spawned out of, many people said One could play in this style pretty well in a year or two. It seems hard to believe, but then again, in the past 1.5 years I am playing some piece that looked impossible to me. I practice pretty much every day at least for a half hour. I plan to up that now, which shouldn't be hard because this new style is so much fun.
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#1576133 - 12/13/10 07:57 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: josuff247]
bluespianofan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 102
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I wonder if any extremely benevolent soul would be interested in taking a fake book piece and showing us their process in working up an arrangement.
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Hailun 178

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#1576215 - 12/13/10 10:28 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
RayzKane Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 11
Here is a very LONG thread on arranging Autumn Leaves from the ground-up!

A PDF file is available. It prints out several hundred pages on arranging this classic tune.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1569787/1.html

Ray

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#1576457 - 12/14/10 09:40 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
A great thread -- and I'm even mentioned in it! It reminded me how much I enjoyed your book, Robin, so I'm reading it again.

Here's a question for you, Robin: You noted that you knew mostly classical pieces when you went to Lino Tambellino's bar to practice. He heard you playing, and offered you a job.

Here's the question: what were you playing/practicing when he heard you? Classical, pop, jazz, or all three?
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1576467 - 12/14/10 09:59 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Here's a tip: memorize not only some tunes, but memorize a "my top ten" set list.

I learned this when I sat down for an impromptu concert once, and sometimes couldn't think of what to play next. When I was done, I thought "Oh I should have played ____, one of my favorites." I vowed that that wouldn't happen again.

So what I do is memorize a set list of favorite tunes using the memory techniques of Harry Lorayne to have that list of songs always in my head.

For example, here's my current "solo top ten" list:

Til There was You
Have you Met Miss Jones
Pennies From Heaven
Days of Wine and Roses
Easter Parade
Afternoon in Paris
Ain't She Sweet
Blue Monk
Blue skies
If I only Had a Brain
Five Foot Two
Polka Dots & Moonbeams
Take Five
Tenderly
Linus and Lucy
Misty

And here's how I memorize it:

1. I picture myself trying to think of what songs to play as I'm standing in a garden, tilling the soil.

2. I think of a woman I know who's last name is Jones, and she's tilling the soil.

3. I picture Ms. Jones, who is quite buxom, leaning forward, and thousands of pennies are spilling out of her cleavage.

4. I picture tons of pennies falling out of the sky, and falling on wine bottles, breaking them.

5. I picture a herd of big drunken Easter bunnies in a parade (they are drunk from the wine).

6. I picture Easter bunnies jumping all over the Eiffel tower.

7. I picture people licking the Eiffel tower and finding that it is sweet.

Etc. You get the idea.

Using this technique, I played my first paid solo gig last week, and sat down with no music or notes, and played seamlessly through the list. It was great fun.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1576471 - 12/14/10 10:10 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: bluespianofan]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Originally Posted By: bluespianofan
I wonder if any extremely benevolent soul would be interested in taking a fake book piece and showing us their process in working up an arrangement.


I hope these help:



_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1576484 - 12/14/10 10:44 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
bluespianofan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 102
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Al, fantastic stuff--thanks!
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Hailun 178

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#1576579 - 12/14/10 02:04 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Thanks for the honorable mention of the very long running Jazz Study Group thread in the ABF.

I think the following lessons in there might be relevant here as they apply to solo piano style of playing.

Solo Piano 2 + 3 Voicing Lesson

Two hand Voicings - Practice Strategy This one is interesting because I broke out the two handed voicing as a pattern so you're hand just gets drawn to it.

I also tend to mix it up with what I call "modern stride" (I don't know the name for the actual style), where you pedal the bass root and then hit a rootless voicing above. I'll tend to do this when I'm improvising with the RH or just want to play a single line melody. But the difference with the regular stride is that the bass note is not always on beat 1, and often it is played only on every 2 or more chords.

Rootless voicings are also covered in that Jazz thread.

Typically I'd be mixing it up for interest.

Just in general, when playing solo piano, you really have to think "orchestrally" and pay attention to multiple registers. So often it is important to eye the forefinger/thumb of both hands and be aware of what harmonization can be done with them. In the simplest case, just think of harmonizing the melody in thirds ala Bill Evans.

I'm not exactly sure of the difference in playing between jazz solo pianists and cocktail style, other than the fact that I'd be likely to be improvising an alternate melody.

Perhaps Robin can tell us. I'm enjoying Robin's book too thumb and finally took the plunge after reading this thread.
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#1576581 - 12/14/10 02:12 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Nice Al! You obviously spent a bit of time figuring those specific arrangements out.
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#1576586 - 12/14/10 02:22 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Thanks, JW, I'm going to work on that. It would be nice to add some voicings to my quiver that include 5ths.

For the practicing of the 5ths, I'm guessing I should use fingering of 1 & 4, right?

It would be great if you could post a recording or video of you playing something strictly with these voicings. I'm having trouble seeing how to fit the melody note in there.


Edited by TromboneAl (12/14/10 05:42 PM)
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1576594 - 12/14/10 02:41 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
BTW Al, I'm no different from you since I'm a relative newbie too.

Just to compare notes, I noticed you do a lot of rootless in the RH. I don't know what happened but I rarely do that now. Maybe because I'm always freeing the upper fingers for improvisation or for the melody. So I try to keep the harmonic structure below finger 2 of my RH.

I guess I was influenced a lot by someone in another forum who said "think 10 fingers rather than LH/RH".

I probably also tend to arrange less and play in a more standard way that I apply to multiple tunes and tend to improvise what I do more. So I'm impressed at how you vary what you do in your arrangements. I probably "wing it" more and rely on more general strategies for a harmonic base and rhythmic variations.
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#1576599 - 12/14/10 02:49 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: TromboneAl]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: TromboneAl
Thanks, JW, I'm going to work on that. It would be nice to add some voicings to my quill that include 5ths.

For the practicing of the 5ths, what fingering should I use, 1 & 5 or 1 & 4?


Did I not describe that in the lesson? Wow that's a big omission.

I personally use LH 5 2 and was taught to practice 1 2 5 in the RH (playing two fifths in a row). The reason for the RH practicing in two fifths was so that that the role of playing the fifth pattern can be done either with fingers 1 2 or 2 5 depending on melody position.

If you move to the later lessons where the extensions are added you will see why.

My "pedagogic" example for this style of two handed playing is probably All the Things You Are, because of the predominance of thirds in the melody so the RH is actually a shape for "3 7 3" and the LH is shaped for "1 5 9"

The reason for practicing in the fifth shapes was not because this is the only way to play but because it allows one to visualize the keyboard differently and you get the facility to mix it up more.

Not easy though....
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#1576602 - 12/14/10 02:50 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: jazzwee]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
Quote:
I'm not exactly sure of the difference in playing between jazz solo pianists and cocktail style, other than the fact that I'd be likely to be improvising an alternate melody.

I think one difference might be that cocktail pianists tend to play more right-hand full octave-chords (playing the melody as an octave with one or more chord notes in between). smile


Edited by Elssa (12/14/10 02:54 PM)

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#1576607 - 12/14/10 02:57 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Elssa]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Elssa

I think one difference might be that cocktail pianists tend to play more right-hand full octave-chords with the melody. smile


That's specific to jazz pianist Red Garland style. smile Actually he does a 1-5-8 pattern. So some jazz pianists do this a lot too to emulate Garland. But true enough, I don't ever do this.

The reason is that usually I'm reserving extra fingers for more harmony so I personally tend to avoid duplicate notes. So maybe that's one difference, jazz pianists tend to have more complex voicings.
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#1576628 - 12/14/10 03:27 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: jazzwee]
s_winitsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 61
I think its all just music, some good, some bad smile

I sometimes like to point out its just as bad to accent bar lines in classical music as it is in jazz smile This was my first reaction when I was first taught phrasing in a jazz setting. I told my teacher its actually the same way in classical music (this is kind of a long story.) He did not disagree smile

b.t.w. Jazzwee you have put together some really good and helpful resources/notes in this forum.




Edited by s_winitsky (12/14/10 03:28 PM)

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#1576707 - 12/14/10 06:20 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: s_winitsky]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
Interesting how they call George Shearing's style "Cocktail Jazz": smile

http://batlyrics.com/george_shearing-lyrics.html

George Shearing (born 13 August 1919 in London) is a well-known jazz pianist and inventor of the famous "Shearing Sound": a form of smooth cocktail jazz characterised by block chords played on the piano along with similar chords played on the vibraphone.

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#1577114 - 12/15/10 10:55 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Elssa]
s_winitsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 61
Yeah Shearing is really an excellent pianist. Among my favorite. He has some really excellent solo piano CD's. If I had to put a label on it, it would be just 'really good piano playing' smile

Originally Posted By: Elssa
Interesting how they call George Shearing's style "Cocktail Jazz": smile

http://batlyrics.com/george_shearing-lyrics.html

George Shearing (born 13 August 1919 in London) is a well-known jazz pianist and inventor of the famous "Shearing Sound": a form of smooth cocktail jazz characterised by block chords played on the piano along with similar chords played on the vibraphone.


Edited by s_winitsky (12/15/10 10:56 AM)

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#1577331 - 12/15/10 04:36 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BistroBaron Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 3
Loc: DC
A couple of “lounging around” memories...while thinking I’ve played the wrong ones - -

Interrupted while playing Gershwin: “Do you know 'Jeremiah was Bullfrog?' How about 'Rollin’ on the River?' No, wait, I know! Do you know that song my father and mother like, the one from that movie? You know, the one that was famous back then? [hums an unrecognizable, out-of-tune bar of something] You must know THAT one!”

Working a (very) classy lounge: A drunk tries to sit next to you to “help” with 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' spills red wine on your white tux shirt, and you have to sit there for the rest of the night because the spare shirt you usually keep in the car is at the cleaners.

Having the next Carmen McCrea wobble up unannounced to the piano, begin to sing, and then stop and tell you in a loud voice you’re playing her favorite song in the wrong key.

Playing (once is enough, thank you) in a lounge where all sound has to run through a master so the manager can control both your piano and mic volume. Everyone’s a critic...

Cringing every other chord because the grand hasn’t been tuned since the day they bought it (probably 40 years ago), and improvising around all the flat/sharp/busted keys. “Oh, geeez, I need to transpose that one to Db for it to sound good?”

Having someone in management tell you in no uncertain terms not to hit on a certain cocktail waitress: the last musician that did was found at the bottom of a cliff. (I kid you not.)

Having Lola Falana and Lou Rawls walk in after their show for a drink while you’re playing 'You’ll Never Find' and stare at you without expressions on their faces until you finish the song. (They do, however, stay a while and also wave good night.)

Having the lounge manager ask if you’re taking all your things home that night or coming back in the morning. He seems strangely relieved to hear you’re packing-up and taking everything when you leave. The place burns down later that same night.

~BB

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#1577359 - 12/15/10 05:17 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
BistroBaron, with stories like those (especially the last three! wow ), I sure wish you would de-lurk more often! smile
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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1577544 - 12/15/10 10:02 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
DaleM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
Robin -- I loved your book, and think it's very generous of you to be chatting on this board with us.

I have a question that I was wondering while reading your book:

With your father, Mister Rogers and later your husband, you've been fortunate to have had ready-made contacts in the business.

I've wondered if these contacts have helped propel your career forward -- either by helping you understand what's required to be successful (i.e. how to polish your act, what to practice, etc.) or by actually helping you make contacts with people who've helped you get nice gigs?

By asking this, I am very aware that any help they've given you is only part of the equation. Certainly they weren't able to memorize that ton of music you've memorized, and they haven't drilled chords and scales for you. But, I wonder what sort of help those contacts have provided.

Thanks,
Dale

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#1577578 - 12/15/10 10:57 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
RayzKane Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 11
From some of the cocktail pianists, I would like to hear the definitive answer to: "What exactly is cocktail piano?"

www.dictionary.com

That link produces no results: "not found".

How would YOU describe it, in detail?

Ray

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#1577599 - 12/15/10 11:51 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: RayzKane]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
Great question, Ray. smile I'll tack on another one.. Do most "cocktail pianists" know how to play by ear? I know the method inside and out that's taught by the two most popular play-by-ear online teachers, and it's a great help in my cocktail piano playing. I don't need to rely on sheet music or memorize anything most of the time.

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#1577618 - 12/16/10 12:33 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Quote:
I know the method inside and out that's taught by the two most popular play-by-ear online teachers


Can you give us a brief synopsis of this method?
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1577631 - 12/16/10 01:02 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: TromboneAl]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
This isn't an endorsement of any course, but just to give you the main idea of what they teach.. smile

http://www.articlesbase.com/music-articl...song-22725.html

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#1577640 - 12/16/10 01:25 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Thanks to all of the musicians who have added their technical expertise to this thread—I knew I could count on you. I'm sure many readers will find your posts helpful.

Dale, I loved your question for several reasons. I'll try to answer:

1. Although I loved music as a kid, and really enjoyed playing the piano, I never wanted to be a musician. I didn't think I was good enough, and didn't have it in me to put in the hours of daily practice necessary for any kind of a serious concert career. I had other ideas about what I wanted to do with my life.

2. Nobody sets out to be a cocktail pianist. Most of us who do this for a living have all bumped into the work by accident, driven by the desire to make a living doing something we actually enjoy.

3. I got my first job on Nantucket by accident, far away from home, my dad, and all of his contacts. You read the book--you know--he was mortified that his eighteen year old daughter had landed a gig in a bar that catered to drunken yachtsmen. Did he help me land that job or any other job after that? No. He stayed out of my way. Did he help me with suggestions and musical advice? Of course. The best piece of advice he gave me was to find my own style and not try to copy other musicians.

I spent a lot of time in bars and nightclubs when I was a kid. My mom would take us to hear my dad play, so I was around music more than the average kid, that's for sure. And I knew from my dad's stories what it was like dealing with customers and F&B managers and drunks and waiters. So yes, in a way I was more prepared than the average teenager.

Another interesting thing: My father was/is a very versatile musician. He could sub for the symphony, do studio work, AND go out and play in bars. I think I learned early on about the difference between performance work and background work. He told all those goofy stories about playing in nightclubs, but he always respected the art and craft of playing this kind of music. He NEVER copped an attitude about playing in clubs. He respected the people who were good at it.

Dad once had a gig at the White House, playing with Mister Rogers for Nancy Reagan. That same night he was at the Swissvale Elk's Club in Pittsburgh, playing on a makeshift stage with a Dixieland band for a Christmas party.

I think most successful musicians have these kinds of stories. Up-down-high-low.

Wait! Now that I think about it, Dad did introduce me to Pete Frank (possibly not his real name) an agent in Pittsburgh who ONLY sent me on horrible jobs, including one gig at the Oakdale Army Support Base where the client was expecting a Snake Dancer and got me instead. Thanks, Dad.

There was an entire "family" of people involved with the Mister Rogers program, including Don Brockett (Chef Brockett) who was also a theatrical producer of note in the Pittsburgh area. He knew me (because of my dad) and eventually hired me for several of his shows, first as a pianist, then later as an actor. He's in the book, too.

I never worked on the Rogers program, but I think Fred and his philosophy had a major influence on my family. Fred, some of you may know, was a pianist and composer of his own songs. In a way, I think he would have loved to have been a cocktail pianist himself. Nothing gave him more pleasure than sitting in the corner, noodling and playing the piano. On several occasions he showed up where I was working. You want some street cred at your cocktail piano gig? Have Mister Rogers hang out next to your piano.

He said to me one time; "It must make you happy to know you're giving people so much joy with your music."

I try to remember those words. Especially when I'm starting my fourth set, there's a feuding couple at the table next to the piano, the waitress is glaring at me because she wants to go home, I can't remember the bridge to one of my own compositions, and my bra strap is slipping.

Here is my definition of cocktail piano music. "Sophisticated music that enhances the evening without getting in the way."

You could also call it an "artistic musical backdrop to the evening."

Or you could just say: "It's there if you want to listen, it blends in if you don't."
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1577706 - 12/16/10 03:57 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
About playing by ear, after 1 year of playing piano, I played at a Christmas party at a friends house. I played every Christmas song by ear, and improvised a bit. My keyboard was an arranger so I just played LH chords and it took care of the rhythm section. You can imagine how horrendous my technique was at 1 year of playing. But heck, I could play anything they dished out (I could guess the chords).

So maybe that counts as a cocktail gig. I did get tips! (my only payment smile.

Looking back at what I can do today, that must have been an embarrassment. But heck I was just background anyway...
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#1577912 - 12/16/10 11:15 AM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Here's my problem when playing by ear. I can get the melody notes right 95% of the time, but I need at least 99%. Consider, for example, the second ending of On Green Dolphin Street:



Even if I know the song very well in my head, if I've never played it, I am not going to be able to reliably hit the notes pointed out by the arrows.

Can you do this? Is there any way to get better at it?
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1578068 - 12/16/10 03:12 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Al, it may mean you don't really know the melody in your head, truly. It's what you think the melody is.

Green Dolphin is such a good example. There are alterations in the melody too (B section I think). Once I really learned the melody as it should be, I can play it by ear now. I remember my teacher correcting me on this exact tune.

I think the term playing by ear is sometimes a misnomer. Playing what's in your ear vs. what "should be" in your ear is different IMHO.

Fortunately each of these types of errors is learned only once. I bet you can play it perfectly now all the time. The other good news is that no one will notice.
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#1578193 - 12/16/10 06:24 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Well, I can sing it perfectly, but although I've played it hundreds of times, I sometimes hit some of those notes wrong. I have to mentally remember what notes they are.

If you play it in another key, can you play it perfectly the first time?


Edited by TromboneAl (12/16/10 06:25 PM)
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#1578251 - 12/16/10 07:37 PM Re: Let's Talk Cocktail Piano [Re: TromboneAl]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7086
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: TromboneAl
Well, I can sing it perfectly, but although I've played it hundreds of times, I sometimes hit some of those notes wrong. I have to mentally remember what notes they are.

If you play it in another key, can you play it perfectly the first time?


I'm sure I'll hit some wrong notes if I do it blindly. But since I think jazz and soloing, I'd be looking at the changes (a transposed one if necessary) and I will be able to follow the melody as it fits the changes. It works for a LOT of tune fortunately. Even Green Dolphin.

But you do pick a hard one. When I'm doing a jam, I've avoided playing the melody if I don't know it well enough because there's too much to think about in a group situation. I can probably wing it but it's too much pressure. Maybe when I'm a seasoned veteran.

BTW - I don't have the skills to transpose a complex tune on the fly. Too much brainpower. I use my Iphone App to transpose and I just read the changes.
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