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#1606417 - 01/26/11 11:41 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Scott Coletta]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Scott Coletta
Thanks riverrun for the polymetric expansion exercices. I'm going to print those off and practice them a little. smile

I've been working on improvising on Beatrice. In the spirit of Bill Evans' Conversations With Myself, I recorded some two track improv with the first track panned left and the second panned right. For now I'm practicing with the metronome until I feel more comfortable with the changes. Then I'll try it without and see if I can still keep it together. By the way, it sounds best with headphones. cool Any comments or criticism are welcome.

http://www.box.net/shared/4999ykj18s


Amazing Scott. Wonderful work! I listened to it many times.

Something that you may not have thought about though, when you go outside on your solo side, the chords on the other channel were in conflict so in a few instances there I thought the piano was out of tune smile

So if you're going to do this style again, you probably have to be sparse with the voicing so you have room to manuever. Also experiment with different registers. This sounds like so much fun.

I was so impressed. Lines feel well connected. Nice touch too. It seems that when you leave your LH out of the picture the whole sound changes. It's a lighter touch and seems to bring out the tone of the piano well. My teacher always tells me to leave the LH out a lot.

thumb

I have to practice some tunes for a Monday Jam so I can't do Beatrice yet.
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#1606629 - 01/27/11 11:13 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Thanks jazzwee for your comments on Beatrice. All good observations.

I've been thinking about all this rhythm stuff. When you say...
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

It's pretty hard to maintain any swing feel at a fast tempo since you can't shuffle at 200bpm, but this shows it can be done simply by dragging the downbeat. And I believe the rest takes care of itself.


I think I get what you mean based on your breakdown. At fast tempos though, I can't feel 6 subdivisions in a quarter note. I guess you don't have to if you play straight eighths where the "and" coincides with the 3rd of 3 subdivisions in a quarter? Which by default, drags the downbeat? I wonder then if this is what makes sixteenths swing when they are played straight, just by playing the same way but double time?

I don't know though... I'm having a hard time with this because of the whole delaying the down beat. You also mentioned accenting the downbeat and playing straight eighths. So you're accenting a downbeat that is delayed?

Maybe I don't get it? confused

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#1606723 - 01/27/11 01:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Scott, this is exactly what I was trying to solve. How to keep it from sounding mechanical at 200bpm. I found out that I'm supposed to play "There will never be Another You" at 200bpm on Monday and it got me worried that I can't handle it.

Everytime I've tried this I've sounded like a machine and can't get into groove, so I decided to put more analytical thought into it.

The question is: How do you drag at 200bpm? The answer came in a Peter Erskine drummer tutorial video. Subdivide with a sound from your mouth.

So let's say you play quarter notes and sound it out as "Ga Ga Ga Ga". And make this match the pulse. Now to get a good drag going, say "Uh-Ga Uh-Ga Uh-Ga Uh-Ga". The time difference between Uh and Ga would be whatever you feel the drag should be. Obviously at 200 it's pretty short. Land your key hits on the "Uh".

To practice this, I then start out getting in sync by saying "Ga Ga..." each time I hit a note and then switch to Uh-Ga Uh-Ga" to create a drag.

Now I was taught to accent the upbeat (not the downbeat), which will fall on the swing eighth as I described above. So this will be added swing at that point.

I noticed that your swing style is a harder swing of the old school. All you have to do to go a little modern (long the lines of Herbie, Mehldau, Charlap, Kenny Werner, Pasqua, etc.) is to drag the downbeat. That straightens out the eighths and actually gives it a laid back effect.

Typically the accent is heavier at slower tempos and then less uptempo. So medium swing would be the max accent. Combined with some dragging, it has a nice rounded effect and less of the jaggedness of a shuffle.

I have to tell you that I learned this for years and didn't know why. The absence of the "why" meant I wasn't always executing it right. I now realize that the drag is a key part of this. Without it, there's no swing in a traditional sense.

I ought to study how Chick swings too. Mostly he plays very even eighths. His is a little different.

I'm already noticing improvements on my swing since I figured this out. It does take a lot of concentration to think of "Uh-Ga...". I have to practice it consistently to master it.
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#1606727 - 01/27/11 01:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Now sixteenths are a different story. I was told that from medium swing up, it's to be played like classical. Completely even.

I suppose you could drag it if you're playing a ballad or slow swing. But just like you can't drag at 250bpm with eighth notes, them sixteenths have no chance. Maybe Chick can do it smile
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#1606792 - 01/27/11 02:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
BTW - we seem to have skipped the discussion of the fragmented lines approach. I'm going to remove that recording soon but wanted everyone to have some baseline for discussion.

So the general idea that I would typically practice is to solo with a fixed long line and then syncopate it at unusual spots (so basically taking the same melodic concept but applying rhythmic rules)

The approach in the recording though is even more extreme in that each fragment could be unrelated to the prior fragment. The rhythm is more unexpected as well since there is no long underlying melodic idea that's obvious.

Scott - I wonder how this all relates to your "wandering"?
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#1606838 - 01/27/11 04:04 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
I just tried something that seems to verify your concept jazzwee. I sequenced a basic swing ride pattern and bass that is quantized to be exactly on a triplet subdivision. Then I recorded some eighth note lines. Here it is at 220bpm where the eighths are played on the downbeat and on the 3rd beat of the triplet. It sounds bad. frown (not to mention it's very mechanical due to being quantized with a sequencer).

http://www.box.net/shared/x871kvhjec

Then I went in and moved all the downbeats over to the 2nd beat of 6 subdivisions to make the eights straight, but the "and" still lines up with the original 3rd beat of the triplet. Again, it's mechanical from being sequenced, but definitely sounds better. smile

http://www.box.net/shared/qj65z71xt4

Now for 16th notes. I slowed the tempo down because 16ths just don't work well at 220. Then I recorded 16th note lines and quantized them evenly to fall on the downbeats. (the "ands" are accented to emphasize the off beat) Here that is, it doesn't swing at all. frown

http://www.box.net/shared/73323adyc3

Then I moved everything over so that the sixteenths are still even but start on the 2nd beat of 6 subdivisions, and the "and" falls on the 3rd beat of the triplet. It's much better I think. smile

http://www.box.net/shared/6ttn9poshx

It seems that the trick here is basing everything off the "and" that is provided by the 3rd beat of a triplet. So it's like playing straight but feeling it against a triplet subdivision where the "and" is primary instead of the downbeat.

Of course playing this with a "human" feel and some more musical syncopated ideas should work better than solid lines on a sequencer. grin

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#1606845 - 01/27/11 04:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

The approach in the recording though is even more extreme in that each fragment could be unrelated to the prior fragment. The rhythm is more unexpected as well since there is no long underlying melodic idea that's obvious.

Scott - I wonder how this all relates to your "wandering"?


This is pretty much what I was getting at with the "wandering" bit. Unrelated fragments... and I would think of it the same way even if the fragments weren't separated but played as a solid line.

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#1606876 - 01/27/11 04:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Scott Coletta]
scepticalforumguy Offline
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Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Scott Coletta


I've been working on improvising on Beatrice....Any comments or criticism are welcome.

http://www.box.net/shared/4999ykj18s


Scott, nice stuff once again. You've got some great lines, and I like your timing on your RH. Some great articulation in there too.
One thing that catches my attention, and my only criticism is that at a few times you play some wrong notes in the solo lines. I know, I know, there are no wrong notes in jazz, blah, blah, blah smile but I think you'd also agree that at those places you were trying something that didn't fit (some chromatic notes at (:34 and 1:22), and then didn't really resolve properly. And at another time you used a descending pattern that you lost control of and so it didn't sound as crisp as the surrounding lines (:54). I remember reading that sometimes it's easier to know what notes NOT to play in a scale/chord rather than knowing which to play, and I think that is especially true on a tune like this that appears simple, but is actually a bit tricky to make sound decent.

So, as for wandering, I heard none of it at all. All the lines (with a few exceptions) sounded purposeful, and quite musical.

Now, one observation: It sounds like you learn lines before a tune, and then use these to put into a tune as in 'this run works well going from Dm to Eb--I'll use it here' and so on. And it appears that this would sort of follow your approach to playing a head. And the whole approach would be somewhat similar to Bill Evans working out ideas, then using them in the same ways, perhaps with minor modifications, every time he played a song. Is this correct? If so, I'd be curious about your opinion/approach to playing this tune in a few other keys, say E and F#. Would you use runs/melodic fragments, etc, that fit those keys, or would you transpose what you have already worked out? I suspect the former, but am curious.

Keep up the cool playing!
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#1606884 - 01/27/11 05:00 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
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Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
BTW - we seem to have skipped the discussion of the fragmented lines approach....

The approach in the recording though is even more extreme in that each fragment could be unrelated to the prior fragment.

Not from what I heard. The fragments are all working together, and do relate to one another. That is what makes them sound good. You change one of the fragments and it will change the context of the others.
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

The rhythm is more unexpected as well since there is no long underlying melodic idea that's obvious.

I think I need you to clarify what you mean by unexpected. Aren't we used to syncopation, and come to expect it. And can appreciate and even come to anticipate it? If he did that type of playing in a Country and Western gig, it might be unexpected, but in this context, not at all.

As for the lack of long underlying melodic idea, I'm not sure what you mean or why that affects our perception of the rhythm.
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#1606895 - 01/27/11 05:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1310
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
. . . .them sixteenths have no chance. Maybe Chick can do it smile

Chick Corea playing his a** off!

I've listened a lot to this tune (and the others on the album), and especially this solo is sooo good and fresh sounding. It's a great example of swing, inside-outside playing, and just general musicianship. (this is just the last 3 mins of la Fiesta - and for those purists, it's a Rhodes smile ).

[i'll join in the foray again once i've got through editing 14 tunes]
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#1606920 - 01/27/11 05:39 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Thanks scep for your comments and criticism. I agree that there are some bad notes and unresolved ideas... probably more than what you pointed out. smile I do work out ideas for changes in tunes and try to put them in, but usually only a few in each tune. Mostly I play around with parts of the tune and search for things that I'm hearing, then try to practice those ideas to get the sound of them in my head and in some cases get the technical facility for them. Doing this on tune after tune, I've kind of acquired a "vocabulary" of sounds and patterns that I extract ideas from when I improvise. Of course I do usually try to drop a few "prepared-in-advance" ideas in certain places everytime I play a tune... kind of like my signature stuff I guess. grin As far as playing a tune in a different key, I would say that it depends on how similar the new key is. I may use some of the same patterns but in different places, where they might be applied differently. But I probably wouldn't transpose any specific ideas in the same location for the most part, just because they likely wouldn't lay as well on the keys.

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#1606964 - 01/27/11 06:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
Not from what I heard. The fragments are all working together, and do relate to one another. That is what makes them sound good. You change one of the fragments and it will change the context of the others.


The fragments are working together, but to me it's because of their connection to the underlying harmonic progression, which works together. I'm sure that they work together on some other level too.

Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
I think I need you to clarify what you mean by unexpected. Aren't we used to syncopation, and come to expect it. And can appreciate and even come to anticipate it? If he did that type of playing in a Country and Western gig, it might be unexpected, but in this context, not at all.


By unexpected I would think of what an individual anticipates or doesn't anticipate of what will come next, which of course varies from person to person.

Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy

As for the lack of long underlying melodic idea, I'm not sure what you mean or why that affects our perception of the rhythm.


Again, to me there is an underlying melodic idea implied by the harmonic changes. The things that occur over the changes can be organized in different ways and on many levels. So I might call it wandering when someone else calls it fragmented and someone else says it all goes together just fine. Again it just depends on the individual's perception, which I don't think can be communicated for certain until you are looking at notes on a page and pointing out and analyzing specific things there. And even then I'm not so sure.

I suggest reading this:

http://bradmehldau.com/writing/papers/progression.html

I'm really inclined to say that this kind of discussion can't ever be finished. smile

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#1606997 - 01/27/11 07:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Scott Coletta]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Scott Coletta
I just tried something that seems to verify your concept jazzwee. I sequenced a basic swing ride pattern and bass that is quantized to be exactly on a triplet subdivision. Then I recorded some eighth note lines. Here it is at 220bpm where the eighths are played on the downbeat and on the 3rd beat of the triplet. It sounds bad. frown (not to mention it's very mechanical due to being quantized with a sequencer).

http://www.box.net/shared/x871kvhjec

Then I went in and moved all the downbeats over to the 2nd beat of 6 subdivisions to make the eights straight, but the "and" still lines up with the original 3rd beat of the triplet. Again, it's mechanical from being sequenced, but definitely sounds better. smile

http://www.box.net/shared/qj65z71xt4

Now for 16th notes. I slowed the tempo down because 16ths just don't work well at 220. Then I recorded 16th note lines and quantized them evenly to fall on the downbeats. (the "ands" are accented to emphasize the off beat) Here that is, it doesn't swing at all. frown

http://www.box.net/shared/73323adyc3

Then I moved everything over so that the sixteenths are still even but start on the 2nd beat of 6 subdivisions, and the "and" falls on the 3rd beat of the triplet. It's much better I think. smile

http://www.box.net/shared/6ttn9poshx

It seems that the trick here is basing everything off the "and" that is provided by the 3rd beat of a triplet. So it's like playing straight but feeling it against a triplet subdivision where the "and" is primary instead of the downbeat.

Of course playing this with a "human" feel and some more musical syncopated ideas should work better than solid lines on a sequencer. grin



WOW! The kind of symbiosis we're getting here is just amazing. This is the kind of proof that is incontestible. If you slow down recording #1, that's how every beginner sounds like.

#2 is exactly what I'm shooting for with some variation to be in between the two. But when I heard it, just confirmed that it is correct. That's the target style of playing, minus the machine aspects of the perfection. First in real life playing, will also include varying levels of accents on the offbeats.

I've tried to explain this for years and failed. I don't know how you did this Scott but it's amazing. Can I steal these recordings so I can post as a permanent reference on the AL thread and on my blog?

If you slowed this down a tad, let's say 160-170bpm, the subdivisions will be clearer. At that point, it would be interesting to increase the subdvisions to 12 for 2 eighth notes and drag the downbeat less and see what happens. I think that for purposes of articulation, that downbeat dragging is adjusted to a lesser amount and it should make the swing slightly harder.

I'm guessing that that is the sweet spot in the swing range.

I just had lesson today and I asked that we work on this. And my teacher confirmed the idea of subdividing the 3 of the triplet (in triplet feel) and making a sound. Apparently, Erskine does a little exercise doing exactly this. He has his students say "Uh" with him as he plays the drums to see if they can feel the groove with the swing 8th.

So when I was actively aware of this sweet spot when playing, it really swung and he recorded it. I can't sustain it all the time though. It was like 50% in the groove and 50% back to the old on-top-of-the-beat no swing. I'm always playing straight eighths BTW.

The stuff we are figuring out here is like enough to write a thesis on.
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#1607007 - 01/27/11 07:30 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
So apparently Scep reported to my teacher that I posted his tune on-line...(I thought he would have the copyright police after me).

The good news is that I got permission to keep it posted (the fragmented ATTYA) and he didn't mind the post at all. So here's a repost so we don't have to dig it out from above and I will not delete it.

ATTYA Fragmented
http://www.box.net/shared/k13ibez7c0

Going back to that discussion, we have to clarify what is meant by unrelated fragments. Because this could be the misconception. In a way, it's a mental thing. You're either thinking of a melody or you're not.

If I'm just following a line based on HARMONY, it might seem connected because of course you're hitting the right chord tones. But what I was talking about were two separate approaches that have a different sound.

If you take a long melody and just syncopate it so it starts/stops in unexpected places, the melodic line is still constant and it's the rhythm that appears to change.

If you take multiple unrelated melodies or phrases and connect them (with rhythmic variations), I think it's a different effect.

Just to be clear, I think in the ATTYA example, he does BOTH. So I don't perceive one approach as being better than the other. But I do think it's a modern kind of style since it doesn't sound like bebop at all. I think of Bebop as being heavily in the melody centric style #1.

Now rhythmically, I think most of us think just in terms of mixing up 3's and 4's rhythmicaly. But with the random starts and stops in that recording, it suddenly doesn't sound so black and white. Possibly sounding more like some metric overlay.

It's a hell of a study though, that recording, because it's very unusual. In fact, it's the only tune I know of where he played like that (in case you think all his tunes sound like this).
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#1607012 - 01/27/11 07:42 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
. . . .them sixteenths have no chance. Maybe Chick can do it smile

Chick Corea playing his a** off!

I've listened a lot to this tune (and the others on the album), and especially this solo is sooo good and fresh sounding. It's a great example of swing, inside-outside playing, and just general musicianship. (this is just the last 3 mins of la Fiesta - and for those purists, it's a Rhodes smile ).

[i'll join in the foray again once i've got through editing 14 tunes]


I knew it! He's not playing on top of the beat even on a latin tune. His control is just amazing. But Chick is uniquely interesting because he plays straight eighths.

I'm sure KJ can swing sixteenths too. I've actually transcribed some stuff that I slowed down and sure enough, it was swinging. However KJ doesn't play straight eighths so I would expect this.
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#1607024 - 01/27/11 08:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Jazzwee... sure you can use my recordings on the AL thread and your blog!

I recorded them using an old stand alone midi sequencer and the floppy disk laugh drive is broken so I can't save anything I do on it. Therefore I would have to redo all the recordings again from scratch to try dividing the quarter in 12. So they of course would be different and not as good for comparison. Although, it seems to me that trying to feel any subdivisions that small wouldn't work anyway, especially at faster tempos. It would probably be more of an approximation don't you think?

I tend to think that at slower tempos the triplet subdivision works best and that straight eighths aren't as desirable anyway. But I suppose there is some flexibility here, and some players with a really good sense of time can probably feel smaller subdivions at slower tempos and play off of them. Not me though... at least not yet!

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#1607031 - 01/27/11 08:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I have my rule of thumb for myself. 100-120 closer to triplet feel and then I start playing straight at 150. Maybe that's why I like 150 as my base tempo when I record because I like the modern playing better.

I'm so glad we had a chance to discuss this here (thanks to riverrun's rhythmic ideas) because until we talked of finer subdivisions, I didn't understand exactly what was going on.

I think re-recording at 220 with 12 subdivisions is probably not going to be too useful since we would be playing straight at that tempo anyway. But it would be an awesome proof of concept at a slower tempo.

It's pretty hard to subdivide that swung eighth even at 180. That's the tempo I did with my teacher and I couldn't sustain it all the time. If I didn't have that Erskine "Uh" I'd probably not been able to do it at all.

My teacher said though that I'm starting to show the correct articulation for eighth notes at these tempos. So I'm focusing on more practice on this. I think this is the key to sounding like a pro jazz player. THIS IS MAJOR MAN!
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#1607079 - 01/27/11 09:36 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
_riverrun_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 38
Wow! I've just read all the commentary after a major snowfall that left me literally in the dark for an entire day. (Electricity went out)

This is the best thread I've ever found on jazz, and it just gets better and better. I have many thoughts on your posts Chris, Scott and Jazzwee, but I'm currently just online again and making sure my families computers are ok.

This, if correct, saddened me: "So apparently Scep reported to my teacher that I posted his tune on-line...(I thought he would have the copyright police after me)."

The irony that your teacher, as a jazz man, is cool with spreading his music, whilst others feel the need to censure it, isn't lost on me. Jazz is more than lines, it's an attitude towards life and music seemingly missed by some.

If it wasn't for your posting I wouldn't have bought a CD and a DVD. The CD being his standards, (still waiting for it to arrive), the DVD is with Allan Holdsworth. Over $50 on your teacher's work happily spent after hearing one tune for free. Thanks again for posting it. smile


Edited by _riverrun_ (01/27/11 09:58 PM)

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#1607103 - 01/27/11 10:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
riverrun, just to be clear, Scep didn't report me for copyright stuff smile (by the word 'He' I actually meant my teacher). Scep just contacted my teacher on how to get a copy of the CD in Canada and told him that the ATTYA was posted online. So one never knows how the artist will react to this. He said, it's fine as long as it is not complete. And I only have a little over a minute snippet of it.

I explained our discussion of "fragmented" playing (which I learned conceptually from him) and he was excited at our discussions. So he was actually pleased to hear it being used as an example.

So let's just keep actual names out of the open as it is not germaine anyway and I don't want to be accused of marketing either. (Any questions on details by anyone else can be done via PM)

And it actually ended up being a positive as you say. The little post caused people to buy some music. I love hearing new players myself and bought some CD's because we discussed it here.

This thread has so many exciting discussions going on at the same time. The only problem is that it's getting pretty hard to go back. So maybe I'll put common reference items on my blog so it's easy to find. Or maybe it's time for a page 1 index.




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#1607162 - 01/28/11 12:47 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Take a listen to this recording of our lesson. We were working on a feel for uptempo as I said earlier. It's amazing how laid back the feel is here. It shows how far I have to go (very far smile ). Straight eighths and very precise positioning in the groove. I'm messing up the comping in the background (2 pianos).

ATTYA 180bpm
http://www.box.net/shared/ncz1fp5xnb
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#1607309 - 01/28/11 09:33 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
this sample recording is absolute perfection on every level. This is a great example to post because it is much more accessible and simple than what you might find in records. This is exactly what a student should aim for. That's what I'd refer to as the foundation.

Thanks for posting this. I assume it's your teacher playing?

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#1607428 - 01/28/11 11:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Here's some more recordings demonstrating shifting the downbeat on eighth notes. The tempo is 170.

This one is just plain old straight eighths smack on the down beat:

http://www.box.net/shared/ppipgj1ij6

This one is straight with the downbeat shifted over to the 2nd of 6 subdivisions and the "and" on the 3rd beat of a triplet:

http://www.box.net/shared/o5jnyn799f

Here the eighths are swung with the downbeat right on, and the "and" on the 3rd beat of a triplet:

http://www.box.net/shared/o3l3dkek93

And here the eighths are swung with the downbeat delayed to the 2nd of 12 subdivisions and the "and" on the third beat of a triplet:

http://www.box.net/shared/shui87jz20

Also, just out of curiosity, I recorded some eighth note lines the way I would naturally play them and when into the microscope feature on my sequencer to see where things fell and what I found was interesting. But first, to put this into context the sequencer divides the quarter into 480 parts. Straight eighths fall on 1-0, 1-240, 2-0, 2-240 etc. Delaying the downbeat to the 2nd of 6 subdivisions puts it on 1-80, 2-80, 3-80 etc. Delaying the downbeat to the 2nd of 12 subdivions puts it on 1-40, 2-40, 3-40 etc. And the swung "and" falls on 1-320, 2-320, 3-320 etc. Here's what I found when I looked at about 5 measures of my natural unsequenced lines. I averaged out where the "ands" fell and found the average to be on part 306. The average for the downbeats was on part 56. So obviously the downbeats are not on 0, but slightly delayed, and the "ands", though on average a bit rushed, fall close to part 320. The recording was short and I didn't really feel that I locked in as well as I could, so these numbers would probably come out better if I looked at a segment of a longer recording where I was more comfortable. I may try this later just to see.


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#1607451 - 01/28/11 12:10 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Scott, I think we're really on to something here. When I listen to the jam recordings I made, I sound like recording #1 -- no drag. In fact the tempo is perfect because it's approximately the tempo of the tunes. So it's clear what my problem is and I've actually already heard that I sound better just from dragging.

Now #3 is the typical hard swing which I hear you use (and sometimes me too). So this concurs with your own recording. It's really good to know with precision what we are trying to control. So clearly, more drag comes out straight, on top of the beat is hokey. Slight drag seems to be the norm.

So we can conclude that articulation practice means (a) land offbeats exactly on 3 of the triplet. (b) adjust delay of downbeat from a slight delay up to a max of playing straight.

How to practice this? I'm thinking maybe using a slowed down drum rhythm and then first making your sure your offbeats are always landing on 'A' in Ding-A-Ding. Wow. This is a whole change in strategy. All this time (years!), I've been faithfully practicing with a metronome to land on top of the beat. Even on the offbeat.

When I play, there must be all the internal subsconscious judgements saying that playing on top of the beat, particularly on offbeats is wrong and perhaps that too is generating inconsistencies.

(Although I suppose, I could say it's training for Latin Beat which is on top of the beat).

In any case, this may make a case that a metronome is not the best for learning to subdivide this. I'm thinking that beginners should start with a rhythm track. This discussion might be quite valuable for several of you who are music teachers.
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#1607454 - 01/28/11 12:17 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
this sample recording is absolute perfection on every level. This is a great example to post because it is much more accessible and simple than what you might find in records. This is exactly what a student should aim for. That's what I'd refer to as the foundation.

Thanks for posting this. I assume it's your teacher playing?



What's neat is that I played the first portion of this and he comped. Then he played and the differences in the same recording are so stark.

My conclusion, I'M OVERPLAYING. We think we hear everything as a complex blob, and clearly simplicity works better.

Listening back, it's not even a matter of note choices. I'm playing the same notes but my phrasing is pathetic in comparison (and no I will not include my playing here smile.

The groove difference too is apparent. So far to go...Sigh...
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#1607524 - 01/28/11 01:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
I used to practice with the metronome designating the 3rd beat of the triplet, which I think helps. Although it's not easy to do. smile I may revisit this.

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#1607585 - 01/28/11 03:03 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I was just practicing getting the groove away from a piano and it's surprising how well just singing "Uh" on the 3/triplet works. Like how Erskine does it here. This is really the video that finally got me understanding what's going on.

Those few of us who are starting to undestand this will have a big leg up in articulation. We'll all be sounding different by next year.

Important section is at 0:43





Edited by jazzwee (01/28/11 03:05 PM)
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#1607800 - 01/28/11 11:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
I understand the concept and execution of the 'uh' stuff, but wonder why he'd still do this? Wouldn't it be ingrained after a while? And if not, how present is he (or anyone who does this) in the music making with others at the moment if he's singing something to himself that is just a portion of the pulse rather than hearing that pulse in the surrounding music elsewhere?

I can also understand how this would be useful to practice (alone), but question the execution playing live. Does it seem like he misspoke his use of this 'uh' thing?

I'll have to try this when I'm playing with others to see if I not only sound more in the groove, but can also maintain some sort of musicality in my voicings and lines at the same time. I'm thinking that one or the other may give way. Maybe this application is really intended mostly for drummers?
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#1607814 - 01/28/11 11:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I think you missed the picture there Scep. The point is that rhythm is about subdivision. A drummer doesn't need to say "Uh" because he's already playing that beat on the Ride Cymbal. His line is already subdivided. Obviously at some point it's ingrained. But the whole body shifts in expectation of a jazz rhythm. You can even see it in his body movement.

Like I said, he TEACHES everyone (all jazz musicians of different instruments) to get used to the subdividing the beat by using singing. I have to say, at 200bpm, it's pretty hard to feel that subdivision otherwise.

But clearly, this is not taught with clarity. The Offbeat must land on that sweet spot. That's pretty darn hard to do. Thought it's quite easy at 100.

All day I'm been tapping this rhythm and it's a whole change in approach for me. I have the iRealbook drums playing and I'm trying to hit that spot at various tempos.

I'm finding progress by tapping only 2 fingers at a time. Just pairs of eighths. Then I'm able to spot unevenness.
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#1607826 - 01/29/11 12:26 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
BTW - watch some Chick Corea videos and watch his mouth. He is clearly subdividing internally with his mouth. He does it quietly but it's there. Chick is of course also a drummer and I don't know anyone with rhythmic accuracy on the piano that exceeds him.

I would say the most of us in this thread are rhythmically challenged so at least I am looking for some way to improve on that.
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#1608463 - 01/29/11 09:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
BTW - watch some Chick Corea videos and watch his mouth. He is clearly subdividing internally with his mouth. He does it quietly but it's there. Chick is of course also a drummer and I don't know anyone with rhythmic accuracy on the piano that exceeds him.

I would say the most of us in this thread are rhythmically challenged so at least I am looking for some way to improve on that.


Well, I do get the point, but I'm not sure I get yours. At first you are saying that drummers don't need to say 'uh' on the up beat because it is ingrained, and played somewhere on the kit, then you point out what you believe is an example of Chick Corea doing something that you previously said should be ingrained.

My question remains valid. Isn't this something that should become ingrained, and therefore it may be misleading to suggest that he (Erskine/Corea/whoknowswhoelse) still does this as a player at the top of his or her game?

I have no problem using whatever tools are at my disposal to make me a better player, but I'm wary of those that may improve me in one area but inhibit me in another if I use it the wrong way or overuse it.

So, to be clear, I'm not condemning anything that is being suggested as a way to improve pulse that has been mentioned on this thread. I myself proceed with caution when something doesn't sound right to me.

And, who's to say that Corea is doing what you are suggesting to keep a decent pulse? I play drums myself and when I play you'd swear that I'm talking or chewing gum if you saw me playing. However, this jaw movement of mine in no way is something that I've developed to play better, but rather its some sort of involuntary movement when I play intricate things or am concentrating too much.

I could also easily suggest that we all moan like KJ to play more from the heart too, since it is evident that it works for him. Some people actually believe this, and have given talks on it, suggesting that if you feel an impulse to moan, do it. And if you don't feel that impulse you should develop it to play better.

All I am saying is for me the jury is still out as too whether Erskine, and your inclusion of Corea actually NEED to say 'uh' either internally or otherwise to play the way they do. I think it might be that they're just amazing players and had a better pulse and technique from the beginning. And in Erskine's case Alfred publishing did some really bad editing for the Youtube videos and most likely misrepresented what Erskine actually meant.
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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