hi custard, I know you asked knotty, but I'll answer because I've been noticing a lot lately about tension. I'll start the hanon slow and controlled, very relaxed. Stay relaxed as I get faster. Once I reach a speed that is really challenging, or a key that is challenging, that's where the tension starts to creep in, and it's a job keeping it at bay. It starts in my right calf, goes from there to the shoulders and then all the way down.
I suppose the message is, if you want to work on speed, you need to stay relaxed, and that is easier said than done.
The other thing that has changed in my practice recently, I used to play a section slow if it was tripping me up. Get it slow, really slow, get it right, then speed it up. But somehow in the process of speeding it up, or putting it in the context of the rest of the tune, it would still trip me up.
So, now my slow practice is different. I don't move on till I can do it correct, slow, and completely relaxed, mind and body. No panic, no confusion, right calf completely relaxed. Then I'm much more likely to get it right at speed.
Cus, I do thelastic anytime I want to work on speed. I'm doing it now with basslines and it's really working great. When you go down one click, it suddenly feels so relaxed. And then more and more relaxed. I do one chorus at each tempo, up, then down.
Custard: Pascal gives a one-page intro for each tune, but he doesn't go into great detail. It's snippets of interesting features about the different recordings. The music is written out fully, also with chords, so while one can work it all out, I honestly find I can't really follow the main gist of where Bill is taking the harmonic progressions. It's easy enough to notice how he likes to voice the chords, however.
I am a competent teacher.
Hey Knotty Thanks so much for posting your very nice arrangement and for your pdf. I can learn a lot from this. Your solo technique sounds beautiful as does your piano. I especially liked your altered chords. After I learn ATTYA, maybe I will have a break from improv and do an arrangement, perhaps on There is No Greater Love.
Hi 10 Yeah I could study Bill forever. The big picture of how he moves harmonically, I've been studying on and off for over one and a half years, it's so profound and still baffles me. Then the detail of his individual chord choices, his alterations seem so wacky but they still work e.g. I had never heard of a maj 7 #5 but Bill uses them in all the right places.
Thanks Jazz +. I agree that "When I Fall in Love" is beautiful. And it seems to be always played as a ballad. Whereas for "There is No Greater Love", it seems like half of the masters swing it mid-up tempo, and half of them play it as a ballad.
When I play the 2nd half of ATTYA A2 section, the RH melody is so low that it has resulted in my LH chords being too low and muddy. The problem with starting the whole song up an octave is that the high notes end up being too high. Any suggestions on what I should do ?
Cus, When you play the melody solo, it's nice to play the roots, so your lefy hand can go down quite low. There are many options:
2+2, or 2+3 as J+ describes Shell in the LH and full chords in the RH Arrangement, as simple as it might be, that usually involves broken chords, passing chords, drop 2s etc... Stride Walk the bass
If you simulate playing with a bass player, you can play chords in the LH. They don't always have to be full. The bass player and melody already do most of the harmonies so a simple note can sometimes be enough.
2. 1-3, 1-7 in the LH is enough. 3 or 4 notes in the RH.
3. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. If you write the arrangement down, there's no need to memorize it. And whether you want it it not, you are memorizing at least small parts of it. Learning some tricks and new voicings along the way. I agree that it takes time ....
Thanks for your clarification Knotty. For arranging, last week I got up to the 2nd section of When I Fall in Love, but am finding I don't have enough time to work on 2 standards at once. So I've decided to park arranging yet again. Maybe I should start arranging ATTYA instead.
Hey everyone just want to let you know that I'm still here Today I finally finished #4 (uff). I hope every one is doing fine. Fooling around with some chords from #4 I suddenly stumbled over a few tones. I'm not sure how to develop the whole thing to make it work and fill 8 bars.
here's the progression. I don't know if they make sense (theoretically).
Cmaj6 E G A C Bbmaj7 F Ab b D Cmaj6 E G A C Fmin7 Eb G Ab C Cmaj7 G B C E Dbma7 Ab C Db F Eb7 G C Db F Abmaj7 Ab C Eb G
Comparing this with the circle of 5ths I couldn't discover any pattern that could give me a hint on what to do next .. do you know where I could look for chords that sound like the ones at the start of this video?
Loc: Elkins Park, PA
I agree with 10, It all sounds quite smooth, and I look forward to hearing more. The Jazzy Hip Hop sound has loads of (ex)tensions to play with. I don't know if this will really work, but here's my 2 cents. It sounds like you started in the key of F and modulated down to Ab. Here's one way to get there:
Loc: Elkins Park, PA
For some odd reason this tune took some time to get into my hands, and still it's a somewhat slippery fish.
It's far from perfect, with some missed beats and one beautifully and massively flubbed chord: "If you fail, fail splendidly!".
Still, it was the only one of twenty takes where I didn't stop near the end to shake my fist at the Fates, but went on to the bitter end. To release some tension, I capped it off with some frenetically pressurized scat singing.
Hey Norm You are definitely ready for Lesson 10 Just Friends. As usual, your sung versions were great, my favorite was the 2nd one with the LH chords. For your non-sung version, try to make the phrases which start on beat 3 the same swung-8th rhythm as your sung versions.
I agree with 10 that your improvement is phenomenal for each lesson.
Loc: Elkins Park, PA
Thanks for your merciful comments,
I can't help but sing when I play (you don't hear my voice or the metronome when I record through MIDI), but my fingers don't quite obey my voice (or vice versa). I'm hoping the two will eventually be in sync with this "inner ear" or "inner voice" or "inner hand" method. But I imagine it's a bit of a marathon. So I greatly appreciate the sideline cheers!
So on to the double digits! On to Lesson 10!
P.S. A by-product of this venture is that I'm actually learning to read music through the 4-star series. My musical illiteracy may eventually be a thing of the past. I imagine I could get through JOI not knowing how to read, but there's something just not right about that.
Every disease is a musical problem. Its cure, a musical solution. -- Novalis
Hi custard, It's been a bit of a pointless summer. Kids around and all over the place, watching telly, making noise, and generally interrupting everything I do. In the end I just gave up on piano. Need to get back into it.
I am a competent teacher.