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#1868900 - 03/26/12 06:26 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Part of the point is that the chord symbols for a chart like "All Of Me" give no clue about what the obvious alterations are for the E7 and A7 chords... Masny of my students assume Mixolydian is the implied scale, but we know an E7 b9 b13 type of scale will generally work more smoothly .

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#1868930 - 03/26/12 07:08 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Well, if you want something that work more smoothly, playing/outlining minor ii-V (Emin7b5 A7b9) instead to Dmin7 or Bmin7b5-E7b9 to Amin7 will be smoother, and in some ways more inside/fundamental way of thinking about it.

I think that's is what Oscar Peterson seems to be doing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJvaC012LUg

I think this is all the more reason to take charts and scale theory with grain of salt and focus more on learning tunes/solos by ear. charts/scales are good starting point/guideline, but they are oversimplified representation of what happens in music. Also, You can use the altered scale and still make it sound like nonsense unless you play it in a way that it outlines the harmony.

Instead of telling students to use this or that scale, I'd rather have them try to transcribe solos and help them figure things out own their own, come to their own conclusion.. but that all depends on the student's level of motivation.



Edited by etcetra (03/26/12 07:20 PM)

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#1869036 - 03/27/12 12:27 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Part of the point is that the chord symbols for a chart like "All Of Me" give no clue about what the obvious alterations are for the E7 and A7 chords... Masny of my students assume Mixolydian is the implied scale, but we know an E7 b9 b13 type of scale will generally work more smoothly .


I'm not familiar with that scale, but I am familiar with a ton of tunes that are diatonic and have smoothly written melodies. I agree that mixolydian isn't that hip though these days cool


Originally Posted By: etcetra


Instead of telling students to use this or that scale, I'd rather have them try to transcribe solos and help them figure things out own their own, come to their own conclusion.. but that all depends on the student's level of motivation.



One of my teachers encouraged me to not transcribe, but rather to write my own solos. That was an invaluable endeavor.

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#1869055 - 03/27/12 01:50 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Ilion]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Ilion


One of my teachers encouraged me to not transcribe, but rather to write my own solos. That was an invaluable endeavor.



I understand the value of writing your own solos.. but Do you mean your teacher told you not to transcribe at all? I ask because pretty much every teacher I had encouraged transcribing as the primary source to learn jazz. They've done 100s of pages of transcriptions in their lifetime, and some of them have actually learned to play an entire album of solos by ear without writing any of it down on paper!

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#1869080 - 03/27/12 04:26 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
Ilion Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Originally Posted By: Ilion


One of my teachers encouraged me to not transcribe, but rather to write my own solos. That was an invaluable endeavor.



I understand the value of writing your own solos.. but Do you mean your teacher told you not to transcribe at all? I ask because pretty much every teacher I had encouraged transcribing as the primary source to learn jazz. They've done 100s of pages of transcriptions in their lifetime, and some of them have actually learned to play an entire album of solos by ear without writing any of it down on paper!


He had done his share of transcribing I'm sure and I definitely did in college. But his point was that if you write your own solos and practice playing them you develop your own voice much more quickly (and learn more quickly) than if you copy someone else's.

And certainly when you transcribe the great players you learn that anything goes. You CAN play major 7ths over dominant chords. You CAN put the 4th on a strong beat, etc...

I know there's value in transcribing but I got far more out of writing the solos myself. Everybody's got their own approach though...

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#1869229 - 03/27/12 12:39 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Ilion]
beeboss Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1201
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Ilion

But his point was that if you write your own solos and practice playing them you develop your own voice much more quickly (and learn more quickly) than if you copy someone else's.

And certainly when you transcribe the great players you learn that anything goes. You CAN play major 7ths over dominant chords. You CAN put the 4th on a strong beat, etc...

I know there's value in transcribing but I got far more out of writing the solos myself. Everybody's got their own approach though...



Definitely I agree with that. Composing your own solos can really help learning to think in a creative way rather than the more passive approach of learning transcriptions. And that is the goal isn't it, to be creative playing lines and music that come from our imagination?
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1869287 - 03/27/12 03:22 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I know this is kind of getting off topic.. but

I do agree that writing your own solos can be helpful, but I find that at the same time it's easy to just get stuck in what you already know/can do at that point, unless you make conscious effort to absorb something outside of yourself. I don't think I would have came up with all these difficult poly-rhythm or knew how to use them musically if I didn't spend the time transcribing people like Robert Glasper, Tigran Hamasyan, Kenny Kirkland..etc. I felt like my attempts to play outside didn't make much musical sense until I spent a lot of time learning how other people like Chick Corea used it, and learned couples of his solos by ear. transcribing gets me thinking in ways I haven't before.

As far as I know people like Pat Metheny still transcribe music to this day, and my teachers have done well over 500 pages of transcription in their lifetime. That is not to say transcribing is the answer to everything, and often times you still need to figure out how to use what you learned from transcribing, but I just don't believe in this idea that transcriptions are something you grow out of at one point. Maybe I'll stop transcribing when I get to the point nothing I hear is mystery anymore.

Also, about having your own voice and doing your own thing, I've went to Carl Allen's workshop and he pretty much said that you'll end up doing things your way anyways while you are grinding things out, and finding your own voice shouldn't be something that you should focus your energy on.

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#1869555 - 03/28/12 12:53 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Like I said, everyone has their own approach and I was just relating what that particular teacher said on that particular day. But I learned so much from writing that it eclipsed the value of transcribing. Keith Jarrett has said he's never listened to or transcribed any other pianists. Probably untrue, but I personally fall more on that side of the philosophy than Metheny's.

That said, I definitely do focus on listening as much as possible mostly to understand melody and phrasing because the players who are great at that are who I admire most. I have grown out of "what scale is so and so playing over this chord" which is why I initially responded to this thread. (Bringing this back on topic haha).

With respect to one's own voice I really believe that most of us who play jazz will not be remembered among the Kirklands and Jarretts and Hancocks of the world, so there is some inherent futility in finding our own voice. But forcing oneself to create from a blank page can be a great exercise toward that goal.

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#1869565 - 03/28/12 01:27 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I understand where you are coming from and I hope I don't sound like I am trying to convince you which approach is better. I guess for me, I do a little bit of everything because I see advantage/disadvantage in both.

I've noticed that a lot of good players do pre-arrange their solos and when you listen to different recording of the same song done around the same time, they tend to do a lot of the same stuff, sometimes they do 4-8 measures worth of stuff note-by-note(I've read that Oscar Peterson works on fingerings for the ideas he plays over tunes before the gig). It may not be as deliberate as writing out your own solos, but the process is very similar.

I do agree with the whole thing about what scale over chord part.. Hal Galper calls chord-scale theory bogus smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx1JsuT4&feature=related

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#1869601 - 03/28/12 03:37 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Hal Galper calls chord-scale theory bogus smile
+1
It's a waste of time.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1869621 - 03/28/12 05:08 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
beeboss Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1201
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: etcetra

I've noticed that a lot of good players do pre-arrange their solos and when you listen to different recording of the same song done around the same time, they tend to do a lot of the same stuff, sometimes they do 4-8 measures worth of stuff note-by-note(I've read that Oscar Peterson works on fingerings for the ideas he plays over tunes before the gig). It may not be as deliberate as writing out your own solos, but the process is very similar.


It does not have to be about 'pre-arranging' the solo though. The idea of writing your own lines is to use you ears and theoretical knowledge to creatively find lines rather than just playing and letting the fingers fall in their familiar patterns or copying someone else's ideas. This way you get to explore your own musical imagination and explore ideas that sound good to your ear. It is much more creatively active than just transcribing and copying. Composing is like improvisation, the more of it you do the better you get at it. Doing this does not mean you have to work out your solos before hand or anything like that.



Originally Posted By: etcetra


I do agree with the whole thing about what scale over chord part.. Hal Galper calls chord-scale theory bogus



Messiaen was into scale theory. One of the greatest composers of the 20th c.
Scales are just groups of notes, as are chords, melodies, licks, all music is made of note patterns. You will get out of scale study what you put into it I think. I certainly find new musical ideas in scales almost every day. Most jazz musicians have not even heard of these scales let alone know what you can do with them.
_________________________
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#1869633 - 03/28/12 06:03 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: beeboss]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Well put Dave B. You suggested that I go slow and deep when exploring and understanding chords and associated scales-arps, which I've done. I've been richly rewarded.
Coltrane and Rollins were known to study physics/astronomy books to find the ideal arps.

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#1869907 - 03/28/12 05:19 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
beeboss,

Just to be clear, I am not completely dismissing chord scale theory, but I agree with hal galper when he says that in jazz education it's often used as a shortcut and it can be an oversimplified and even misleading.

I think you have take much bigger step and understand each notes of the scale in relations to the harmony, i.e knowing chord tones and how they make up strong melody and how different "embellishments" work in relationship to the chord. I don't think most people are treating ii-V-I as Dorian-Mixolydan-Ionian, but rather one scale with emphasis on different notes for each chord.



so back to the topic, IMO I think it's more valuable to learn how b9 or b13 is working on E7 and A7 and how it's resolving to the next chord, rather than telling someone to use the E7b9b13 scale


Edited by etcetra (03/28/12 05:25 PM)

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#1870296 - 03/29/12 11:09 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
It's the same thing...

The word "scale" sure has a negative connotation around here. Would it be more acceptable to say "the pool of notes comprised of chords tones and extensions formerly known as the "scale"

A scale is chord tones!
1= root
2= 9th
3= 3rd
4= 11th
5= 5th
6= 13th
7= 7th

uh what's the problem?

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#1870302 - 03/29/12 11:17 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I think the problem with thinking in terms of scales is that some people tend to treat each note in the scale equally without understanding the importance of how each note relate to the harmony. Like I said you can play the right scale over a chord and still sound like nonsense if you aren't emphasizing the right notes to outline the harmony. The reason bebop scale tend to work better than descending mixolodian scale has a lot to do with the fact that bebop scale emphasize chord tones on the strong beats.

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#1870330 - 03/29/12 11:52 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
It's the same thing...

The word "scale" sure has a negative connotation around here. Would it be more acceptable to say "the pool of notes comprised of chords tones and extensions formerly known as the "scale"



This is pretty funny! I think your original question was a valid one too. Sometimes people want to help others by pointing out things that they assume were missed, but in doing so avoid the real question at hand. This leads to discussions such as this thread.
I'm still of the mind that a picture, or in this case a recording, is worth a thousand words.
Why not record some of the scales/notes/chord tones that you find more agreeable/hip/modern and others can respond by posting recording of their ideas?
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1870360 - 03/29/12 12:34 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 635
Loc: Chicago
What I've noticed about jazz is that people who try different methods and find one that works for them then seem to universalize what worked for them. In other words, if someone works through chord-scale theory and the guide tone methods,and finds that the later works for them, suddenly they start preaching that one is useless and the other is the holy grail. It's a useless form of in-fighting the only point of which is for someone to feel like they, alone, have discovered the key to jazz.

I think it's clear that there are many paths to the goal, and different paths work for different people. I think it's nonsense to say chord scale theory is a waste of time; I'm sure there are fabulous musicians for whom that was the key. I also have no doubt it is a dead end for some, and for some it's just a partial solution.

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#1870790 - 03/30/12 02:35 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
DaveRobertsJazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 74
When I solo I tend to play around with and off of the melody rather than thinking or worrying about scales.

All of Me is characterized by short descending melody lines. It starts with a descending C major arpeggio from the root to the third ("all of me") and then does a variation of that on E7 from the fifth to the tonic. Similar descending figures (although not falling as far) follow on A7 ("can't you see"), E7 ("take my lips") and later D7 ("take my arms").

So my solo might start out with short descending figures which might then lengthen into longer descending lines or invert into ascending figures or alternate between the two. I might take a descending figure and then move it up and down the keyboard or do a call-and-response with it at various places on the keyboard, etc.

Quoting and playing with the melody is interesting for me and also helps the listener follow the tune during the solo.

There's nothing more boring for me as a listener than hearing a self-indulgent "hip" soloist noodling endlessly with no connection to the tune - every solo tends to sound the same.

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#1870981 - 03/30/12 12:53 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: etcetra
I think the problem with thinking in terms of scales is that some people tend to treat each note in the scale equally without understanding the importance of how each note relate to the harmony. Like I said you can play the right scale over a chord and still sound like nonsense if you aren't emphasizing the right notes to outline the harmony. The reason bebop scale tend to work better than descending mixolodian scale has a lot to do with the fact that bebop scale emphasize chord tones on the strong beats.


We know all that, you must be talking about beginners or clueless players.

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#1870986 - 03/30/12 12:58 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
The word "scale" sure has a negative connotation around here! Let's be politically correct then... Let's just say "the pool of notes, formerly known as the "scale", comprised of chords tones (to be resolved to) and their extensions or passing tones!" That's a lot simpler than saying "scale".

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#1870989 - 03/30/12 01:01 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
The anti-scale talk reminds me of my friend who insists there are no chords! Just independent contrapuntal type lines that lazy theoreticians insist on calling "chords"... he says you can't be creative if you ever think in chordal terms. He gets a thrill by what he calls "thinking outside the box". He also invented his own notation system that nobody can read. That guy can't play worth a darn.

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#1871017 - 03/30/12 01:58 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
The anti-scale talk reminds me of my friend who insists there are no chords! Just independent contrapuntal type lines that lazy theoreticians insist on calling "chords"... he says you can't be creative if you ever think in chordal terms. He gets a thrill by what he calls "thinking outside the box". He also invented his own notation system that nobody can read. That guy can't play worth a darn.


I've heard Hal Galper and other fine piano players who have said the same thing about chords and counterpoint.

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#1871255 - 03/31/12 12:08 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: etcetra]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
The anti-scale talk reminds me of my friend who insists there are no chords! Just independent contrapuntal type lines that lazy theoreticians insist on calling "chords"... he says you can't be creative if you ever think in chordal terms. He gets a thrill by what he calls "thinking outside the box".

Originally Posted By: etcetra
I've heard Hal Galper and other fine piano players who have said the same thing about chords and counterpoint.

On a broad, philosophical level, of course your friend is right; although as etcetra points out, that is far from an original thought. It isn’t even very far “outside the box”. Musical rudiments like scales, intervals, and chords are merely attempts to label and classify series of, or collections of, sounds. In that sense, they are not real - they only serve to describe something real.

These theoretical structures do come in handy when one wants to remember or capture the complex composite of sounds that make up a song, for instance. And they are the very best we have, so far, for passing on musical information to those who wish to learn it. In that regard, it might be interesting to ask this friend how he would go about teaching counterpoint, or even a simple harmonization of a song, to someone learning music, without the use of scales or chords.
Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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