Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#2001365 - 12/18/12 07:54 PM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Hi, first I'll share nice short article about how to divide your jazz practicing time http://www.philmarkowitzjazz.com/practice.html This helped me a lot, because now I know how I can make my practicing time more efficient:

15% technique and warm-up
15% repertoire
50% linear construction
20% performance

Especially it have changed my approach to technique (I used to devote even 80% of time for technique). Of course it's simplification, because it doesn't include transcribing for example. But I'd like to ask you experienced guys how to understand linear construction exactly. If I understand it correctly, it's ability to freely playing any melodic shape at any given moment in piece, which enables me to play a few-note sequence that repeats higher and higher through subsequent changes. as an example I'll past fragment of "jazz piano book" by Mark Levine (by the way I'm very grateful to ML since it's only book I found that gives a few pages to this subject).



Levine also mentions Herbie's solo on "all blues" on "my funny valentine" album (1964), which contains beautiful sequences from about halfway of his solo. Anyway, sequences are very important since they are the best way to increase energy and add some nice structure to the solo. So my questions are:

1) do I understand "linear construction" term correctly?

2) do you know some books covering this subject? or any materials explaining, encouraging or showing how to practice it?

3) how have you learned it and how to practice it?


I'll be very grateful for your responses since I'm digging this subject right now. BTW, I practice Hanon in all keys and consider doing it in such scales as melodic or diminished, which also may be a route, but in real life you change chord much often, even every second (I guess that's why we call it changes).



PS. Other subject is what mentioned Rufus Reid in this workshop (or in part two): you may play 5 hours or you may practice 15 minutes a day, but really REALLY practice and that makes the difference.
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#2001606 - 12/19/12 08:44 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
I've never heard the term linear construction, but my guess is that it simply means working on putting together improvised melodic lines that work over chord progressions. Sequences, as suggested in the Mark Levine passage, are on one way of approaching this. Scales, arpeggios, guide tones and many other ways exists. It's not surprising that someone suggests spending 50% of practice time on this because that is what improvisation really is; creating a linear melodic line over the chord changes in a piece.

I'd note that there are two ways to doing sequences. The Mark Levine expert shows a sequence that stays diatonic to the chord progression. Herbie Hancock frequently creates a sequence that stays true to its own pattern and goes outside the chord changes. The notion is that the ear begins to hear the sequence and doesn't care that it no longer follows the chord progression, although the key to it is how to return to the chord progression. Herbie's technique is, in my view, a more advanced one that is very hard to pull off, but very exciting when you do.

Top
#2001640 - 12/19/12 10:11 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Thanks man smile I guess we can think about sequence as 3-note motif, but also 15-note one, and now border between traditional understanding of "melody" and "sequence" blurs; as I read Markovitz I see that you're right and he also means just the melody that terminates and not repeats. But for practice he advices to repeat it over the whole song in the same range and focus on "harmonic content, directionality and rhythmic approach".

For now I just play invented sequence very slowly through a standard and than chose another tune and motif; but it's hard not to start freely improvising since sequences give you such an energy and base for solo smile

It's also interesting what you write about Herbe's approach, I have to transcribe some of his work. Or maybe you have any material or example of it?

Any other voices wold be highly appreciated.
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2001699 - 12/19/12 12:46 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
Listen to Herbie's solo around 6:40: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvRkGglLe-U

Great example of a pattern (might be dimished?)that crosses harmony and bar lines.

Top
#2002127 - 12/20/12 12:26 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Based on what Markowitz says, namely:

"...the three essentials of linear construction: harmonic content, directionality and rhythmic approach."

I conclude that he's simply talking about constructing the lines of your solo. By linear, he means notes without big leaps. IOW, you want to make a lyrical melody line, perhaps with a lot of scalar motion, and you want to make sure that it fits with the chords and has an interesting rhythm.

The other things you mention are interesting, but I don't think that's what he's talking about.
_________________________
- Al

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

Top
#2002221 - 12/20/12 03:14 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
He just meant linear construction = "creating\learning vocabulary".

Which makes sense too considering the % of time allocated to it. But he did use the word vocabulary eventually. Weird usage though because we tend to think of linear lines as stepwise or chromatic melodic movement vs. arpeggiated lines. For example, Bebop is heavily linear (bebop scalar passages).
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2002384 - 12/20/12 09:23 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Jerry Bergonzi has a book called Melodic structures&Thesaurus of Intervallic Melodies , and those books deals with patterns quite a bit. So does Dave liebman's "A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody". I think John Coltrane used "Thesaurus Of Scales And Melodic Patterns" by Slonimsky" for source of his ideas.

These are all great, but are you talking about this in terms of playing inside the changes or outside of changes? While learning inside patterns may be valuable, I've noticed a lot of people kind of over-reached and worked on outside patterns without having sufficient background in inside/bebop playing.

Top
#2002991 - 12/22/12 08:02 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jazzwee]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Thanks for your replies, guys!

Originally Posted By: jazzwee
He just meant linear construction = "creating\learning vocabulary".


Agreed. But the question is how do you understand and use "words".

First, there is understanding of pattern like in "Bebop bible" or supplement to Aebersold 3rd volume, where you learn exact pattern and execute it in very similar way, on progression it was written. In this approach you practice certain pattern in 12 keys and intervals of melody are the key to play it "right".

Second
way is to think about pattern more like shape (not exact intervals), so you play it more freely on any change, just saving rhythm and direction INSIDE changes ("harmonic content, directionality and rhythmic approach"). You practice it very different way - moving stepwise in every scale in every key or though a whole song.

Second way enables you to play sequences (repeating pattern), and that's the subject I'm digging.
etcetra, I believe the books you mention say more about first way of understanding "pattern". Though I looked only at Bergonzi and also I might overlook something. Anyways thanks a lot and I'll take a look at them all.
The subject is essential since it says HOW TO PRACTICE something very basic. Of course advanced use of knowledge in all these books leads you to play sequences etc., but I'd like to see something about it directly. Moreover, I'd like to see not only theory, but advices how to practice it effectively. Maybe I demand too much? smile
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2003082 - 12/22/12 12:44 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.

Agreed. But the question is how do you understand and use "words".


It's all the above and more. And it's a lifetime of searching.

Building vocabulary is a combination of (a) Copying, and (b) Self-Creation.

There's no one formula. I have had a long term teacher who is such a great composer that he comes up with new stuff on his own day in day out. He can also pull out lines that some master did (perfect pitch and really long term pitch memory).

He never actually taught me vocabulary but thought it was important for me early on to not hit random notes but always be outlining some underlying harmony that I'm playing against. So as a starting point, it was about playing chord tones on downbeats (strong beats). Chord tones being 1-3-5-7 of the chord.

If you copy (transcribe), you'll find out that outlining the harmony is the most important thing to learn. If you study it based on the harmony and chord tones, you will discover the same thing.

But it seems like you're focused on patterns and such and I have to tell you that randomly playing patterns without understanding the harmony you're playing with doesn't yield good results.

When my teacher plays outside the written harmony, I found he was actually implying some the other harmony (chord substitution) so he's never without a foundation underneath.

Now what I'm saying isn't all. Since these are just the words, and not the sentences.

I was just thinking that the new Band-In-the-Box is able to automatically generate really good sounding computer-generated solos based on cliché lines. What this means is that someone at BIAB was able to create written rules for vocabulary and put that logic in software, vocabulary which are in fact cliché sentences. In the absence of that, then we are left with our own ears to hear these cliché's which are the starting point (transcribing).

BTW a good book on the harmony outlining I'm talking about is available on the internet. Forward Motion (Hal Galper). It explains the concept well. I think it's an important foundation myself.

Then on actual vocabulary examples that are found in jazz, I found the book Comprehensive Technique for Jazz Musicians(Bert Ligon) really practical. He already did the transcribing. You just have to read it and practice it.

I would start here. And don't jump the gun on linear patterns that are out of context.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2003155 - 12/22/12 04:16 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Thanks for your advices smile I didn't mention I know most (if not all) scales and play most of them (maybe not these as exotic as in-sen or some unusual pentatonics) when I want, so I have no problem in freely playing inside bebop songs. But what I see in the first sheet example in this thread is still out of my reach, so I'm searching a way to go there. Actually I have enough theory, I'm searching some nice ways to practice new techniques I feel can take me another step forward.

Though I appreciate all the comments and I'll take look at these books.
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2003173 - 12/22/12 05:01 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: jazzwee


When my teacher plays outside the written harmony, I found he was actually implying some the other harmony (chord substitution) so he's never without a foundation underneath.



With his LH, does he tend to
a) play the chord sub
b) keep the original chord
c) do a mixture ?

Top
#2003190 - 12/22/12 05:45 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
there's a lot of nice stuff in this discussion ... just to add a few more ideas (to clarify) ... in music, that term 'linear' refer to things that happen in a row ... one thing after another. it doesn't really mean anything more than that. having said that, it's one of those words that can SEEM to mean quite a bit more! sometimes the use of that term is more jargon than anything else ... every profession, including jazz, has it's jargon ...

sequences: THE source for how to use them is JS Bach. Sequences were a huge stylistic feature in Baroque music and Bach, among others took their usage to stratospheric levels. So, for example, get out Bach inventions, Sinfonias, fugues ... it's all there as a basic foundation.

as was said earlier in this thread a sequence is just a short little idea repeated at another pitch level. usually, the original figure that gets repeated is 3 or 4 notes. that's not a strict limit - but the point of a sequence is you usually want the listener to hear that you're repeating (and varying) some short group of notes. so a 3 or 4 note pattern is a pretty ideal size for that.

the notes in sequences can be altered so the sequence doesn't have to contain exact repetitions (whether transposed diatonically or chromatically). there are ways to alter sequence patterns other than transposing modally or diatonically ....

custard apple ... those three questions you raised.pretty much, when jazz musicians do that stuff, they can do some combination or choice among all three. it's very common-practice stuff. but if you haven't come across it before, it can seem absolutely MAGICAL and MYSTiCAL! well, that was my experience when i first found out about it.

you can find examples in charlie parker all over the place. john coltrane and mccoy tyner took it to another level. a really really REALLY influential teacher in boston (charlie banacos) called it "chord-on-chord" and he taught it specifically in terms of mccoy tyner's style.

hope this stuff helps ...

Top
#2003222 - 12/22/12 07:25 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1


custard apple ... those three questions you raised.pretty much, when jazz musicians do that stuff, they can do some combination or choice among all three. it's very common-practice stuff. but if you haven't come across it before, it can seem absolutely MAGICAL and MYSTiCAL! well, that was my experience when i first found out about it.

you can find examples in charlie parker all over the place. john coltrane and mccoy tyner took it to another level. a really really REALLY influential teacher in boston (charlie banacos) called it "chord-on-chord" and he taught it specifically in terms of mccoy tyner's style.

hope this stuff helps ...


Thanks prints. You've been very helpful as usual.
At the moment, my improv is 98% inside the changes.
I haven't studied McCoy Tyner yet but maybe in the latter part of 2013 I will be ready to introduce more variety in my improvs.

One way to introduce variety is to use modes. I don't mean modal but getting outside of the chord-scale while sticking to the functional harmony of the standard. Do you agree ? I'm thinking my long-term goal for 2013 should be "To employ more variety in my solos by using modes".

Top
#2003233 - 12/22/12 08:17 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
CA, certainly, you could do what you're suggesting. Sometimes a little variety is all we need to think differently and out of the box. I find that to be true all the time.

As long as you feel like you're moving forward, well, then you are. Never worry about the speed at which you move forward!

Maybe another thing to point out is "chord scales" are taught as very basic things we need to know. But maybe their not? (Just raising the question!) ... Is it the chord scale that's important or the melody we make with the chord scale? I'm saying this because Louis Armstrong and Lester Young - you can't really find that many complete chord scales in their solos. But wow do they they have something to say! As we all know! (And their ALWAYS inside the chord and key!)

... have you read Miles Davis' autobiography. There are some great passages in it where he talks about modal playing ... It's like a lesson w/Miles!

Hope this helps!

Top
#2003288 - 12/23/12 12:08 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Originally Posted By: jazzwee


When my teacher plays outside the written harmony, I found he was actually implying some the other harmony (chord substitution) so he's never without a foundation underneath.



With his LH, does he tend to
a) play the chord sub
b) keep the original chord
c) do a mixture ?


With this particular player, I would say it depends. If the chord is dominant, then it could go either way. Contrasts are made by moving dominants around in minor thirds, and right hand may support the chord or add extensions.

This may not be entirely clear. If the chord is Bb7 and a player starts playing a B- shape, is it really implying B- or Bb7(b9)(#5). What I'm saying is that in this case, his LH will likely be playing a dominant voicing of some chord in the diminished cycle of that dominant (Bb7/Db7/E7/G7--these are all related)

Now on non-dominant chords, I would expect that he will in fact play the sub on the LH or at least not interfere with the RH.

This is what I've seen him do.

If I ask him though, I will often get the answer that he is very, very clear on what harmony he is implying AT ALL TIMES. So in that sense, I would say, he believes he is NEVER OUTSIDE. But yet his music does sound outside.

For example, let's say he wants to imply a chord a half step up, he won't just repeat a line from the previous phrase, he will make a brand new melody using chord tones on the chord a half step up. So it's a very conscious choice and it will sound completely independent.

I personally can't "hear" that...
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2003304 - 12/23/12 01:00 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi JW
Yeah I agree that often for major chords, the overall sound is too clashing if one didn't play the sub with the LH.
I also agree that for dominant chords, it's up to what the player feels like/ hears at the time.

Hi Prints
No I haven't read Miles' auto. What is it called ?
I do want to understand this Dizzy/Miles/Trane approach at some stage.

Top
#2003442 - 12/23/12 10:07 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
After some amount of practice I must say it's not as hard as I thought smile (1 st figure in the thread)

Difficulty I see are scales which have uncommon interval structure - diminished and whole tone. While first example is in major harmony or melodic harmony (which are quite similar in stepwise sequences playing), playing diminished or whole tone on dominants and other scales on tonics demands much more focus. Also sometimes it forces you to change sequence in the middle of it or to stay in the same place for one cycle if you want save the structure of sequence.

Other thing I see is playing sequences on pentatonics is a must and will also take much practice.


But getting back to "linear construction" term. I try to imagine how exactly Phil Markovitz would told to practice it for an hour (it's a pity there is no contact with him). With jjo or TrmomboneAl understanding it would mean to simply jamming (creating horizontal lines), but with much attention. I guess it's choosing some phrase which we want to input to vocabulary (jazzwee explained what may be source to such a phrase) and playing it in all keys, then using it as a sequence and playing through one or two songs in every bar. Then another phrase and another until time expires. And doing that every day for 50% of practice time. That's a lot of endless work smile
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2003492 - 12/23/12 12:29 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
I didn't intend to suggest that linear construction meant "jamming." What I intended to say is that the term linear construction doesn't suggest how to go about putting together a linear line. There are dozens of ways to go about this and one needs to select how one wishes to go about this. The term itself is too broad and doesn't suggest an approach.

I'd also suggest, as Jazzwee has pointed out elsewhere, that one must be careful about placing too much importance on what notes you play. Linear construction involves rhythm, as well as note selection, and rhythm is really more important.

Here's an exercise to help your rhythmic approach. Solo through half a piece playing only on beats 1 and 2. They do it again soloing only on beats 3 and 4. Then solo all over, but start your phrases on the and of 2, then the and of 3, and then the and of 4. Most of us have habits and tend to start our phrases in the same place and begin to use rhythmic cliches. This simple exercise can break some of those habits and lead to more interesting "linear construction."

Good luck!

Top
#2003603 - 12/23/12 06:07 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
custard apple ... here's the miles autoB ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Miles-The-Autobi...2226&sr=8-1 ... it's a great great read! ... as in once you start, you might not put it down! i read it twice in a row. it's THAT good!

that chord substitution stuff that's being discussed ... yes, it can sound dissonant if the left hand doesn't agree with the right hand. BUT, that's part of the style ...RH going outside and LH staying in. Bud Powell is a model for this. And also one of the first to go at it. You'll often find in his solos that, say over, an F dominant 7 chord he plays Dbm7 which resolves to Gb7. Everyone knows that you can substitute a dominant chord a tri-tone away from another dominant chord. You can also throw the ii-7 chord of that substitution in. Which is what Bud Powell did all the time.

What makes this stuff work is the strength - the quality - of the lines. And sometimes the lines can be of a very high quality and not so easy to analyse - meaning the line works but there doesn't seem to be any apparent way to analyse them.

Another amazing example to hear is Paul Bley playing a solo on All the Things You are on a recording called, I think, Newk meets Hawk (Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins). Bley's solo (his RH) is light years from the changes which for the most part his left hand plays very literally.

lenny tristano is another great source for inspiration in this style.

at the risk of seeming repetitive (since I've said it already) ... IF you're thinking about sequences and how to work with them take a look at JS Bach .... actually, too ... his counterpoint has an amazing variety of dissonance.

And for sheer technique in how to construct a line (ummmmm ... linear construction if you will ....) take a look at the Brahms transcription for left hand of Bachs Dm Violin Chaconne. It's really difficult to play LH alone. If you split it between two hands it not so hard ... it sounds great. and wow! what a line!

another take on this i remember from an interview somewhere w/Joe Henderson. When asked how he plays outside of the harmony of a particular tune, he said he sometime's plays everything up a whole step from where it should be.

this stuff is all kind of like the x-files (that tv show ...) ... the truth is out there!

anyway, hope this helps!

Top
#2003653 - 12/23/12 08:08 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jjo]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
jjo, sorry, I didn't want to simplify your statement too much smile

Originally Posted By: jjo
I'd also suggest, as Jazzwee has pointed out elsewhere, that one must be careful about placing too much importance on what notes you play. Linear construction involves rhythm, as well as note selection, and rhythm is really more important.

Thanks! Though to play rhythm freely, you have to spend thousands of hours playing inside changes, so you don't have to worry about it anymore and may focus on the rhythm. Right now I'm working on these thousands wink


Originally Posted By: jjo
Here's an exercise to help your rhythmic approach. Solo through half a piece playing only on beats 1 and 2. They do it again soloing only on beats 3 and 4. Then solo all over, but start your phrases on the and of 2, then the and of 3, and then the and of 4. Most of us have habits and tend to start our phrases in the same place and begin to use rhythmic cliches. This simple exercise can break some of those habits and lead to more interesting "linear construction."

Good luck!

Now that's what I like: exact exercise + encouragement smile your exercise is very much like Bergonzi's approach, where he takes everything to pieces. At first it looks like being too mathematical, but it's the way to go. It requires a lot of patience, so I didn't follow Bergonzi, but I'll do this exercise and I thing I'll go back to mr B. There is a lot of truth in what you say, since I often start my phrase on and of 1.

Originally Posted By: printer1
another take on this i remember from an interview somewhere w/Joe Henderson. When asked how he plays outside of the harmony of a particular tune, he said he sometime's plays everything up a whole step from where it should be.

I know it's OT a little but masters have their tricks and it reminded me Ornette Coleman. He was asked what he plays when he play free and have nothing to rely on. "I play Giant Steps", that's what he said smile
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2003659 - 12/23/12 08:35 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1
custard apple ... here's the miles autoB ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Miles-The-Autobi...2226&sr=8-1 ... it's a great great read! ... as in once you start, you might not put it down! i read it twice in a row. it's THAT good!

that chord substitution stuff that's being discussed ... yes, it can sound dissonant if the left hand doesn't agree with the right hand. BUT, that's part of the style ...RH going outside and LH staying in. Bud Powell is a model for this. And also one of the first to go at it. You'll often find in his solos that, say over, an F dominant 7 chord he plays Dbm7 which resolves to Gb7. Everyone knows that you can substitute a dominant chord a tri-tone away from another dominant chord. You can also throw the ii-7 chord of that substitution in. Which is what Bud Powell did all the time.

What makes this stuff work is the strength - the quality - of the lines. And sometimes the lines can be of a very high quality and not so easy to analyse - meaning the line works but there doesn't seem to be any apparent way to analyse them.

Another amazing example to hear is Paul Bley playing a solo on All the Things You are on a recording called, I think, Newk meets Hawk (Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins). Bley's solo (his RH) is light years from the changes which for the most part his left hand plays very literally.

lenny tristano is another great source for inspiration in this style.

at the risk of seeming repetitive (since I've said it already) ... IF you're thinking about sequences and how to work with them take a look at JS Bach .... actually, too ... his counterpoint has an amazing variety of dissonance.

And for sheer technique in how to construct a line (ummmmm ... linear construction if you will ....) take a look at the Brahms transcription for left hand of Bachs Dm Violin Chaconne. It's really difficult to play LH alone. If you split it between two hands it not so hard ... it sounds great. and wow! what a line!

another take on this i remember from an interview somewhere w/Joe Henderson. When asked how he plays outside of the harmony of a particular tune, he said he sometime's plays everything up a whole step from where it should be.

this stuff is all kind of like the x-files (that tv show ...) ... the truth is out there!

anyway, hope this helps!



Hi again Prints
Thanks for the name of the auto and for introducing me to Paul Bley. Wow, his solo on ATTYA as you say was light years ahead, it reminds me of the style of the very modern Jacky Terrasson. Even though I will study this solo, I might never be able to emulate it. This is exactly the type of exciting playing I like.

You make an interesting point on the strength of the lines. For my soloing at the moment, I'm trying to justify everything theoretically e.g. melodic minor, dim arp. But I am at the point where I hear the line very clearly in my head, maybe I should just play it with my RH regardless of whether I can justify it theoretically or not ?

Hey jjo
Thanks for your exercise of starting lines on a different beat. I tend to start on 1+. I will work at varying from now on for my solos.

Top
#2003667 - 12/23/12 08:52 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
Custard Apple ... glad you found the Bley solo (and good work at that!) ... it is amazing.

In my opinion, if you're hearing the line in your head, just play it! Justify later. Once you really trust yourself and follow that line, you'll be amazed at what comes out. Sometimes whatever comes out will be super simple. Sometimes not. But if you're hearing it, it's yours. Focus on it, phrase it, shape it, as best as you can, play it like it's the best thing in the world! Because it it!

... I'm not saying don't know anything about theory, etc. Theory is great and helpful. But that inner hearing and then the ability to translate it into sound at your instrument. THAT's what it's about!

Am totally serious! It's great to hear you say you're hearing ... !!!

Top
#2004130 - 12/24/12 10:00 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
I recently stumbled across Dave Frank's video master classes on YouTube. He did one that pretty directly addresses the topics being discussed here. His vids are excellent. Check this one out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVUj-a29mzI

Gary Burton's improv class is also pretty good - about the first half of this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2txO_u2eNg&feature=related

Top
#2004482 - 12/26/12 05:54 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi everyone

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas.

The Gary Burton one is a lot of work. But I am prepared to invest the years in learning each of the modes over each of the 12 tonal centers.
That's why I'm learning the "easier" scales first e.g. half-whole dim scale.
I need to watch that vid again before the New Year.

Meanwhile I'm trying to make my improv over the 1st chord of ATTYA A2 sec more interesting. I prefer to play the C min 7 as rootless, so could you please suggest to me a hip mode to use over Eb maj 7 ?

Top
#2004541 - 12/26/12 10:37 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
custard apple ... the hippest mode over that Cm7 is the one you hear! Having said that, here's a transcription of Lennie Tristano playing All The Things You Are.

http://dmitri.tymoczko.com/files/transcriptions/tristano.pdf. You'll notice a very interesting mode over the Cm!

One way to think about a mode for that chord is to ask yourself (ask your ear ....): Where is the Cm7 chord going? The answer, of course is to Fm7. So one answer for a mode to play is what could you play in (over) that bar with Cm7? I'm posing this as a question because if think just about "how can we get to the Fm7" you might well come up with, well, a mode or a line or an arpeggio or a melody, etc. that strongly suggests C dominant 7 (where the E natural - a leading tone to F - is the important note). But's only one way and I have a feeling that there are as many answers to your question as there are readers of this particular thread!

Returning to the idea of the "hippest mode for Cmin7 is the one you hear ..." you could also transcribe JUST THAT ONE measure from a million other soloists who have recorded ATTYA. You could try every possible mode and scale you can think of ...(one at a time, chorus after chorus ... or just isolate the measures that surround that Cm7 and experiment.). If you find something that to use that isn't standard vocabularly probably all who hear you will ask (in a very good way!) "What are you doing there?"

The LF voicing .... if you need to alter it to accomodate the mode, not a problem. If you want to leave it as is even if the mode you use clashes with it, NOT A PROBLEM! You could also not play at all with your left hand in the measure (and just use a/the mode alone). Or, just play a chord and omit a line in the RH.

You'll notice in the transcription that Lennie Tristano has a really really interesting way of playing the Cm7.

Hope this helps!

Happy holidays!

Top
#2004697 - 12/26/12 06:25 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
oh wow Prints, your Lennie Tristano example is very hip indeed. Thanks for telling me about this awesome live recording with Lee Konitz, and for the transcription. So Lennie is treating the C min 7 as a C7 and applying the altered scale ? As you say the sound is really really interesting.

I also like your other ideas:
1. Study just the C min 7 usage of the masters
2. Thinking C7 can provide smooth voice leading to the following F min 7.

btw I've also started using your mantra "Play what you hear and justify later".

For solo piano, how often do you omit the LH chord for a given measure (and just play the RH) ?

Top
#2004708 - 12/26/12 08:02 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
hi custard apple. ... the part i saw that looked really interesting in the LT solo was the first time the Cm7 chord shows up. he deals with it by not playing anything! that's measure where the Cm7 goes is blank! it's a rest!

also worth noting in that transcription is there's a ton stuff over the changes more or less a half-step away from where it should be.

about leaving out the LF when playing solo. that's a really interesting question. ... you can play a whole entire solo piano improv w/out using the LH. (or using it only slightly). there's a bill evans solo version of All The Things You Are where his left hand barely plays anything. ....

you might also try pushing the notes of a chord down w/LH but really softly so that if possible the keys go down but they don't sound. then just hold the chord like that and play your lines. and listen to amazing resonance!

... something i read in the miles davis autoB that explains some stuff in herbie hancock solos is (to MAKE UP an example ... ) play a C7 where it usually goes in some given progression. then at the point the C7 SHOULD resolve (to F major or Fmin ... whatever) just KEEP playing C7! hold off on the resolution as long as possible. so ... instead of playing 1 bar of C7 followed by one bar of Fm7, your playing one bar of C7, and then 3 more beats of C7, and then resolve that finally on the 4th beat of where the Fm or Fmaj should be. herbie used to do that kind of stuff with (very) altered scales to emphasize the dissonances and the resolution. if you think about it, all that is is just playing w/harmonic rhythm.

but having said all of this ... playing what you hear is so essential. so it may be that sometimes you'll hear stuff that very complex and complicated and if that's so it's fine. if on the other hand the stuff you hear is simple, that's ok too!

hope this helps!

Top
#2004726 - 12/26/12 09:38 PM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Checking in late, here . . . not intentionally, but it does give one the opportunity to read and consider the thoughts of all the others. The original question had to do with linear construction – harmonic content, directionality (Is that a word?), and rhythm.

Unfortunately, Phil Markowitz does not elaborate upon exactly what he means, and thus kiedysktos’ question. I am unfamiliar with the work of Mr. Markowitz, and therefore need to make some assumptions, just like everyone else here.

I concur completely with this:
Originally Posted By: printer1
... in music, that term 'linear' refer [sic] to things that happen in a row ... one thing after another. it doesn't really mean anything more than that. having said that, it's one of those words that can SEEM to mean quite a bit more!

So, here’s my take on linear construction : It is something that is built horizontally, rather than vertically. This would NOT be limited to step-wise, or chromatic movements. Indeed, large leaps in intervals do nothing to keep a piece from being “linear” in concept.

If we are considering melodies, we are constructing LONG melodies, as opposed to fragments. If we are working with sequences, they will be strung together to form those LONG melodies. I would think that phrases would be extended and flowing, rather than clipped. Improvisational ideas would be over-arching, rather than compartmentalized.

Why would one devote 50% of ones practice time to developing these linear constructions? Because we now suffer from several generations of “jazz musicians” who learned their “craft” by playing scales and licks.
Fmaj7 – oh yea. Here is where I play just the F major scale. Oh, wait, I saw on the Forum that I might get a really cool sound by playing the relative minor. Let’s see - D minor (natural) scale. OK. let’s try that.”
Gm7 - now this is where I play some Dorian mode, or is it Mixolydian? (I always get the two confused.) I do remember someone mentioning that if you want some nice color, include the minor ninth interval, so that would be -- let’s see -- Ab, there.”
“Oh, wait! That Gm7 is followed by a C7(b9) . This is an ideal time to use one of those cadences on which I have been working. What do they call it? Oh -- II – V7 – I -- that’s it. I have a few licks memorized for just this purpose. Let’s see: transpose to the key of F . . .”
“Wow! I got through it, and played all the “right” notes.”

This is the way jazz is taught to the masses. This is the way jazz is learned by most. And, unfortunately, this is the way jazz sounds, all too often. Focusing upon what scale, or mode, or lick one needs to play over the chord that is sounding right now leads to trite, hackneyed, and generally UNinspired playing. Focusing upon inventing a melody, or a large portion of a melody, or a nice fat sequence that can become a melody, and that fits over the harmonic PROGRESSION , leads to much more interesting improvisation, and certainly more continuity.

I would also be willing to delve into the linear aspects of harmonic structure, but will probably suffer enough back-lash from this post to keep me busy for awhile.

Ed

_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#2004733 - 12/26/12 10:03 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1
hi custard apple. ... the part i saw that looked really interesting in the LT solo was the first time the Cm7 chord shows up. he deals with it by not playing anything! that's measure where the Cm7 goes is blank! it's a rest!

also worth noting in that transcription is there's a ton stuff over the changes more or less a half-step away from where it should be.

about leaving out the LF when playing solo. that's a really interesting question. ... you can play a whole entire solo piano improv w/out using the LH. (or using it only slightly). there's a bill evans solo version of All The Things You Are where his left hand barely plays anything. ....

you might also try pushing the notes of a chord down w/LH but really softly so that if possible the keys go down but they don't sound. then just hold the chord like that and play your lines. and listen to amazing resonance!

... something i read in the miles davis autoB that explains some stuff in herbie hancock solos is (to MAKE UP an example ... ) play a C7 where it usually goes in some given progression. then at the point the C7 SHOULD resolve (to F major or Fmin ... whatever) just KEEP playing C7! hold off on the resolution as long as possible. so ... instead of playing 1 bar of C7 followed by one bar of Fm7, your playing one bar of C7, and then 3 more beats of C7, and then resolve that finally on the 4th beat of where the Fm or Fmaj should be. herbie used to do that kind of stuff with (very) altered scales to emphasize the dissonances and the resolution. if you think about it, all that is is just playing w/harmonic rhythm.

but having said all of this ... playing what you hear is so essential. so it may be that sometimes you'll hear stuff that very complex and complicated and if that's so it's fine. if on the other hand the stuff you hear is simple, that's ok too!

hope this helps!



That's a very interesting example which you provided, printer, of using the LH to emphasize delayed resolution. My rhythm is still not good enough during improv to apply this concept, but I look forward to using it in the future.

But for now I can experiment with not always playing the LH chord, especially in a tune such as ATTYA where there are 4 instances of repeated major chords.

Top
#2004743 - 12/26/12 11:01 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
> at the point the C7 SHOULD resolve (to F major or Fmin ... whatever) just KEEP playing C7! hold off on the resolution as long as possible. so ... instead of playing 1 bar of C7 followed by one bar of Fm7, your playing one bar of C7, and then 3 more beats of C7, and then resolve that finally on the 4th beat of where the Fm or Fmaj should be

Dave Frank mentions this at the end of his "freedom at last" video lesson of playing it outside the changes. He somewhat confusingly calls it "chord diminution or extension". In this case he doesn't mean extending or diminishing the harmonies, but extending or diminishing the amount of time the chord is held.

Top
#2004753 - 12/26/12 11:35 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
right. Lennie showed me this extension/dim thing at a memorable lesson once. He was reluctant to show it to me but did. it was pretty mind-blowing at the time..

Top
#2004821 - 12/27/12 07:29 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: custard apple
That's a very interesting example which you provided, printer, of using the LH to emphasize delayed resolution.
It's something that Mozart gets up to quite a lot.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

Top
#2004825 - 12/27/12 07:41 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: LoPresti]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
So, here’s my take on linear construction : It is something that is built horizontally, rather than vertically. This would NOT be limited to step-wise, or chromatic movements. Indeed, large leaps in intervals do nothing to keep a piece from being “linear” in concept.

If we are considering melodies, we are constructing LONG melodies, as opposed to fragments. If we are working with sequences, they will be strung together to form those LONG melodies. I would think that phrases would be extended and flowing, rather than clipped. Improvisational ideas would be over-arching, rather than compartmentalized.


Thanks for your post a lot! I think you nailed it. That's what Barry Harris said listening present pianists: "Poverty. Lots of notes, but lack of the right ones"
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2004833 - 12/27/12 08:11 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By: davefrank
right. Lennie showed me this extension/dim thing at a memorable lesson once. He was reluctant to show it to me but did. it was pretty mind-blowing at the time..


You said as much in the vid Dave and I'm not sure I understand the reluctance? It seemed like one of the more straightforward ideas you presented. Modal assignment seemed like a more sophisticated trick to me. If you are playing at a level where you can pretty easily pull that one off then holding a chord for a few extra beats should be cake. I do it all the time but in my case it's because I'm failing to keep up... wink

Top
#2004837 - 12/27/12 08:30 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
It had more to do with me I think than him. I hadn't been studying with him all that long with him at the time, and back then most of us were playing on changes and trying to master the form, so from a teaching standpoint it was kinda early to be messing with that.
He presented the chord ex/dim thing like he was showing me a secret handshake of the Masons or something)

DF

Top
#2004941 - 12/27/12 12:53 PM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
So, here’s my take on linear construction : It is something that is built horizontally, rather than vertically. . . . . . If we are considering melodies, we are constructing LONG melodies, as opposed to fragments. If we are working with sequences, they will be strung together to form those LONG melodies. I would think that phrases would be extended and flowing, rather than clipped. Improvisational ideas would be over-arching, rather than compartmentalized.

Thanks for your post a lot! I think you nailed it. That's what Barry Harris said listening present pianists: "Poverty. Lots of notes, but lack of the right ones"

I like the quote from Barry Harris - HE nailed it!

Those who endeavor to “teach jazz”, if that is even possible, have always struggled with how to impart everything that needs to be transferred from master to apprentice. Obviously, the best way is, and always has been, a one-on-one, in-person teaching, where the master helps his student build knowledge and skills precisely as needed.

Somewhere along the path, the educational technicians realized there was a market for learning to play __________ (fill in your favorite type of music.) In true math or science fashion, they set about breaking down the playing of music into its component parts. During this deconstruction and analyzing, then reassembling the various parts process, much of the soul of music disappears. It is even worse for jazz than for many other forms of music, since the improvisational heart of jazz is not written down, and is not intended to be duplicated note-for-note. Even the very notation of jazz depends upon the sadly inadequate Western-European system that serves classical music fairly well.

But the educational technicians, aided by many famous jazz players, did take up the challenge of teaching improvisation. We have chords and we have scales - concrete and definable. If we can teach the student to play the notes of a certain scale while a certain chord is sounding, that will be a good start. More advanced? If we can teach the student to play a certain substitute chord when they see a basic harmony, now we are accomplishing the goal - jazz playing for the masses. “Double-time feel”? No problem: Have the bass walk, and the drummer doubles his hi-hat. Now we are really cooking! And . . . it is all systematized and clearly defined -- all from a textbook.

So, where is the problem? Many (MANY) players who grew up with this sort of hands-off training, got stalled while they were still learning. They completed the elementary method book, thought they had conquered jazz, and are now ready to be playing it. They never made the next leap:
[1] Melodic melodies, that have some soul and actually say something meaningful. They extend way beyond scales and exercise-like eighth notes.
[2] Chords that are substituted with taste, and that serve to make the harmonies “progress”
[3] Rhythms that accentuate the flavor of the piece in question, and that buoy the melodic and harmonic elements
[4] Combining these musical elements in new and creative ways

I have a feeling that Phil Markowitz, with this metaphor of “linear construction” is attempting to help those who are stalled make that next leap to playing meaningful, creative, and soulful jazz, instead of fragmented, compartmentalized, boxed-in exercises.

I could be wrong.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#2005043 - 12/27/12 04:10 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: LoPresti]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
Ed (LoPresti): Have you actually encountered students who, when improvising, play scales? In various jazz discussions, I frequently hear the criticisms you level at chord-scale theory (often targeting Berkeley where it was supposedly developed), but I've never encountered a player that seems to suffer the ills it should cause.

My teacher certainly taught me basic chord-scale theory, but it was always explained as a pool of notes to draw upon; never was it suggested that you play a scale or anything like it. Furthermore, I was also taught things such as emphasizing the 3rd and 7th, using enclosures, not to mention listening to tons of music and transcribing and playing actual solos.

I go to a jazz camp each summer, and sure, some of the very, very beginners will play scales for an improvisation. But all the more advanced players rely on chord-scale theory, and yet all of their improvisations are attempts to play melodies; I never hear scales used in some mechanical way.

So I agree with everything you say about the need to learn how to produce melodies, but I'm curious as to whether there is really a probably out there?

Top
#2005111 - 12/27/12 06:43 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: davefrank
right. Lennie showed me this extension/dim thing at a memorable lesson once. He was reluctant to show it to me but did. it was pretty mind-blowing at the time..


I learned this too and the example used was Tristano. I was told Evans and Bud Powell apparently used it a lot too. I just heard this referred to as "over the barline" changes.

Haven't put it to use yet but glad to have been reminded of a very old lesson. I guess I was not ready when this topic was introduced. In one ear and out the other... smile

My teacher actually used it in a recording of ATTYA and so I have some practical reference to it.

By the way Dave, I missed this on your video. Maybe it's time to watch that again. I must not have been paying attention at that moment.


Edited by jazzwee (12/27/12 06:44 PM)
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2005118 - 12/27/12 06:55 PM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jjo]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
In fairness, jjo, I do not recall ever hearing any improviser, even students, playing a complete 6, 7, or 8 note scale or mode consecutively. (Unlike Joy to the World, which has become an internationally popular . . . you get the idea.) What I do hear often is the use of scale fragments, chord outlines, and exercise-like pattern repetitions, IN PLACE OF an extended melody. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with using any one of those elements occasionally, and in conjunction with other melodic ideas; and ESPECIALLY if the scale fragment, or chord skeleton, or pattern-of–alternating-thirds enhances or completes the melodic idea.

But what frequently happens is that the improviser strings together a bunch of these devices - scale, chord, exercise, mode, chord, etc., and the entire solo sounds fragmented, contrived, and exercise-like. The faster the tempo = the greater the desire to fill every microsecond with sound = the higher the reliance on the devices. Further aggravating this problem is the more recent trend of jazz composers to utilize static harmonies, and for long periods. I can play Dorian on G only so many ways!

Personally, I learned to improvise by ear - by careful listening, and by trying different things. (This method has its limitations.) The chord -> scale theory you mention is a means of categorizing and teaching jazz, and obviously a very good one based on its wide-spread use. I have absolutely no problem with that method, or any other method that proves to be effective. My problem is with the students who use the method to “learn jazz”, but then fail to go beyond it. The study method has become the goal. They are stuck in chord -> scale theory, and their improvising reflects that limited state of development.

I can not recall EVER criticizing Berklee. (But then I have trouble remembering what I had for lunch!) Indeed, I have a very high regard for that institution – especially the “old Berklee”. One of the finest players I had in my big band was a Berklee graduate. He could sight-read ANYTHING, and he could play the most amazing solos! A real, full musician.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#2005147 - 12/27/12 07:54 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: LoPresti]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK


... charlie parker playing rhythm changes ... the first measure is a pickup ... disregard the chord notations.

Top
#2005258 - 12/28/12 12:35 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Printer
To me this is a lovely example of two exquisite lines, a long one and a medium one. The lines can be analyzed by chord-scale theory and chromatics. Also I love the space between those two lines.

Even though Bird might never have heard of CST, his music can be explained by it.

Here is my own imperfect understanding, from a beginner's perspective of various approaches to improv, and artists exemplifying these approaches, regardless of whether the artist has ever described his music as such.

1. CST (Bird)
2. Guide-tones within CST (Clifford Brown)
3. Modes within CST (Burton, LaVerne)
4. Thematic improv (Rollins, Pilc)
5. Modal (Miles Davis)

The above are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
For 1 year I've been working with just CST. Lately I've been adding 2 and 4.
Next year I want to begin adding 3.

I think it's good to be open to learning all the different approaches to improv. Then it's fine to stick with the one(s) that you feel are most you. That is what defines your style.

Hey Chris
So this delayed harmonic resolution is a classical thing pre-dating jazz. Interesting, I didn't know that.
oh and I just noticed the nice cake, have a good one.


Edited by custard apple (12/28/12 12:40 AM)
Edit Reason: b'day

Top
#2005350 - 12/28/12 08:06 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Hey Chris. So this delayed harmonic resolution is a classical thing pre-dating jazz. Interesting, I didn't know that.
oh and I just noticed the nice cake, have a good one.

Thank you.

Yes they did. Those old masters got up to all kinds of mischief.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

Top
#2005379 - 12/28/12 09:08 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jazzwee]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
What did you say JW?

DF

Top
#2005386 - 12/28/12 09:25 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
custard apple ... those two lines really don't get explained by (so-called) CST. did you (and you certainly DO NOT HAVE TO AS A REQUIREMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(a) look at those lines as they fall over rhythm changes and
(b) if they do fall over rhythm changes identify the scales?

in other words ... what are the scales and what are the chords? what are the scales over which chords? ... do you see what i'm getting at ... ? smile

those two lines are gems w/qualities that go unnoticed and unseen - soooo easily --- in the bigger picture.

... please don't think at all that is a test to see who knows what! ... i have my understanding of those lines ... which is precisely what i have (my understanding!) ... which may not convince anyone else.

it may be that if someone ventures to explain what's going on we'll all learn something very valuable.

hope this helps ... and again it's not a test! no way!

Top
#2005392 - 12/28/12 09:39 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
LoPresti:

I agree with what you say. Perhaps, though, the problem is some people simply don't have the creative spark to truly improvise. They like the sound of jazz, but don't really have the creativity to truly improvise. On the other hand, maybe, as you suggest, if their instructional program had emphasized imitating actual solos and using the ear, to theory, a creative spark might have been ignited. My teacher, who does use basic chord-scale theory, has nonetheless told me many times that she is amazed at the improvement she hears in her students' improvisations after they learn to play a transcribed solo.

Top
#2005444 - 12/28/12 11:03 AM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jjo]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jjo
LoPresti:
I agree with what you say. Perhaps, though, the problem is some people simply don't have the creative spark to truly improvise. They like the sound of jazz, but don't really have the creativity to truly improvise. On the other hand, maybe, as you suggest, if their instructional program had emphasized imitating actual solos and using the ear, to theory, a creative spark might have been ignited. My teacher, who does use basic chord-scale theory, has nonetheless told me many times that she is amazed at the improvement she hears in her students' improvisations after they learn to play a transcribed solo.

And, I agree with what you say, AND would like to further comment on your transcription idea. There is huge value in learning to play a transcribed solo, and even more value in TRANSCRIBING that solo before learning to play it. When one thinks about it, the cycle involved here really covers it all:
[1] Find a recording that one likes, and that is worth working.
[2] Listen -- REALLY LISTEN -- to the piece to be transcribed.
[3] Learn to capture the sound on staff paper. (This involves a whole other sub-set of valuable skills.)
[4] In transferring the piece or solo from sound to paper, certain things become evident - melodic patterns, phrases, rhythmic patterns, (perhaps the harmonic patterns also), spaces of silence (in the solo), the overall form, the use of range of the instrument (for horns), accents and inflections, etc.
[5] Turning finally to one’s instrument, the transcriber plays with a depth of understanding that was not there before the transcription.
[6] Finally, tackle (and practice) the technical playing problems that are found in the solo - yet another learning.

Painstaking? Yes. Invaluable? YES!
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#2005470 - 12/28/12 11:30 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
Couldn't agree more. However, I have to confess that right now I'm working on a Bud Powell transcribed solo (Celia) that I got from a book. I am learning to play it at full speed with (hopefully) many of the subtle things Bud does. With a full time job, I don't always have the time to transcribe a solo (It's still slow going to me, even with a slow down program), but I'm learning a ton even from this half of the process. It's critical not just to learn the notes in the solo, but all the nuances: how are the notes articulated, what notes are accented, etc.

Top
#2005475 - 12/28/12 11:36 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: jjo]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
I can tell you without question that EVERYONE has the creative spark to improvise, it simply has to be cultivated correctly. It's exactly the same as the fact that everyone can speak English if they go about it the right way.

Human life = the potential for musical improvisation. It's a matter of combining all the things that have been well described here as necessary into a coherent system of approach. It's a whole brain activity -analytical and FLOW working hand in hand hehe. Science and an art. Serious study of musical elements are necessary, such as chord/scale relationships, etc. etc, and then the real improv process is ignited with the enzyme of improv concepts that introduce flow into the mind and heart.

Birds can sing. Humans can improvise music.

It's a gas)

Top
#2005659 - 12/28/12 04:15 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: davefrank
the real improv process is ignited with the enzyme of improv concepts that introduce flow into the mind and heart.


Hi. "The enzyme of improv" ... did you just, like, improvise that? A great lick, hope you don't mind if I use it from time to time!

By the way, I agree a hunderd percent, EVERYONE has the creative spark to improvise.

Top
#2005689 - 12/28/12 05:14 PM linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hey Dave,

I think that “spark” of which jjo and you write is evident in many, many players. But it seems to me that the “cultivation” part is where things begin to fall apart, and much of the discussion on this thread is devoted to that.

Many (MANY) examples are found on the Composers Forum. There is never a shortage of individuals who WANT to be a composer. Composing is an impulse (spark?) in a high percentage of players. But, in reality, very few actually become composers, and even fewer ever compose anything of note or lasting worth.

I have given much thought to this disparity between those who WANT to compose (spark), and those who actually do BECOME composers (cultivation). If I follow the course of most of these aspirants, they are like amateur mountain climbers who have scarcely walked up a hill. They may have a basic desire, and maybe even some of the equipment. But, most have no idea about the scope of what is involved: the training, the conditioning, the commitment, the dedication, the hardships, and the failures.

To me, that cultivation part of improvisation, of which you write, is critical . Would you mind sharing a few thoughts on what it typically takes to jump the breach between wanting to improvise, and being able to solo in a meaningful and cohesive way?

Oh -- and keep that gas under control . . .
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#2005691 - 12/28/12 05:16 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: landorrano]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
steal away, mein host!

Top
#2005994 - 12/29/12 11:46 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.

1) do I understand "linear construction" term correctly?

Phil Markowitz, the "inventor" of the word "linear construction" wrote:

Linear construction:
This is the specific practice routine for developing and expanding your linear improvisational style.
...
This has to do with linear development and developing a strategy for developing and expanding your linear vocabulary. An example of this is the execution of an etude that you create incorporating the three essentials of linear construction: harmonic content, directionality and rhythmic approach. The important factor is to play the phrases all the way through the tune you are working on.


This is basically developing a phrase (motive) throughout a complete song.
Meanwhile mantaining the rhythm the phrase must be adapted harmonically to the chord progression.

Scalar stepwise ascending phrases like yours cited from the Levin Book are fine when based on chordscales without avoids. Levine took MM6 for Dm7(b5), MM7 for G7alt. and MM for Cm6. None of these scales have avoids.
Similar exercises can be done based on pentatonic scales. When I was a student I did transform all Hanon Exercises into pentatonic. This kind of sequence-playing is good when harmony is not changing to fast. It is like practizing thechnique and linear development at the same time!
A even better thing is to start these exercises within the circle of fifth like in ATTYA or Autumn Leaves.

Top
#2006026 - 12/29/12 12:50 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: LoPresti]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
1) Get a good teacher
2) Do what he/she says
3) Practice

Bingo

Top
#2006081 - 12/29/12 03:28 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: davefrank]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Originally Posted By: davefrank
1) Get a good teacher

Any good names?

Top
#2006094 - 12/29/12 03:53 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Cudo]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Originally Posted By: Cudo
Scalar stepwise ascending phrases like yours cited from the Levin Book are fine when based on chordscales without avoids. Levine took MM6 for Dm7(b5), MM7 for G7alt. and MM for Cm6. None of these scales have avoids.


I play sequences using avoids also. When it is on 1 or in other important place, I alter it (raise the fourth etc.), but in other places I leave it as it is. But it is easier without avoids.

It still sounds quite overwhelming devoting 50% of practice time to play a few phrases across the songs. For me it's qite tiring to do so for 15 minutes, not speaking about an hour or two smile But I admit it requires such an effort it has to be very fruitful.
I also don't catch the connection between this 'linear construction' approach and playing meaningful melodies, which are also discussed here. I suspect this way of practice leads to such a freedom that it's much easier to play phrases from your head and not stopping because of difficulties (technical, rhythmic or harmonic ones).
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2006095 - 12/29/12 03:56 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: knotty]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
Phineas Newborn, Thelonius Monk, Conan the Barbarian, Colonel Angus, Evan Evans, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Lady Bird Johnson, anyone named Ernst, Sigmund Freud, Moonunit Zappa, Whoopi Goldberg,
Engelbert Humperdink,Chubby Checker, Chevy Chase, Cher, Bing Crosby, Elvis Costello, Rodney Dangerfield, Millard Fillmore,
Dame Margot Fonteyn, Redd Foxx, Alicia Keys, Pee Wee Herman, Spike Lee, Twiggy, Meat Loaf, Benito Mussolini, Groucho Marx, Barbra Streisand, Zero Mostel, Judge Reinhold, Soupy Sales,
Phoebe Snow, Flip Wilson..

Top
#2006114 - 12/29/12 04:30 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Dave I hope you've seen this before: Eddie Izzard on Engelbert Humperdinck:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=ckGmMO0zbJo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DckGmMO0zbJo

Also I left you a PM.

Top
#2006150 - 12/29/12 05:52 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
keidyskos, it's worth saying more than a few times that "linear" is just a jargon word that's long been used by musical theorists. in fact, it's been used all over the place.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gabo-linear-construction-no-1-t00191

i'm not saying this to say the LC method isn't worth doing. If you want to do it and/or it you've been doing it and it works for you, well, then GREAT! Get going with it or keep at it! My point is these kinds of jargon names sometimes obscure essential stuff .. which you kind of point out in your post: "i ... don't catch the connection between this 'linear construction' approach and playing meaningful melodies."

Yes. Playing meaningful melodies is EXACTLY what you want!

i'm not saying at all the LC method won't lead you to meaningful melodies. What i am saying is trying to figure out HOW that method leads you to meaningful melodies or just structuring your time along the lines of that particular method may take longer than you want need to get to the "meaningful" melody part .... The thing is. You can be working with meaningful melodies right from the start!

For example. Transcription, which has been mentioned and described very well in this thread basically includes learning to hear a solo, learning to notate it, learning to play it, learning to analyse it, using it to inspire your creativity. And as you do all that you're DIRECTLY IN CONTACT WITH MEANINGFUL MELODIES!

Yet, Fred Hersch, who many consider to be at the apex in the jazz piano food chain (if you haven't heard FH, at least check out his recordings ... the last two are from live sets the Village Vanguard). He's said many times (interviews on the web) that he found no value in transcribing. So there you go. A major artist who didn't transcribe to learn jazz and has said he doesn't see the point in it. FH recommends instead very, very, VERY serious directed listening to all the different versions of jazz repertoire that great artists have produced. That is pretty serious!

Or, instead of transcribing, sing great solos (sing along with the recording). Sing, as in: FOCUS ON THE SOLO AND SING IT LIKE PLANET EARTH DEPENDS ON THAT SKILL!

Or get out whatever classical scores you have. Mozart, Bach, Chopin, etc. They all wrote INCREDIBLY MEANINGFUL MELODIES! In most cases, with just a little of bit of creative phrasing, those melodies will work directly in jazz.

A great book about listening to and creating music is "The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music" by W.A. Mathieu (he has major credits including writing for Stan Kenton). The chapter in the book: "What should I practice?" He says: "It doesn't matter what you practice as long as your energy for it is HOT [... my emphasis ...]. It is the quality of your practice that matters ... "

Mathieu isn't saying just be unstructured and do whatever you want ... you gotta read the book to get that larger context and to see how he says it. But the point is this: If you have limited time (and most of us do), one good way to go is practice whatever you can put your whole 100% focus on. Get your mind, ear, and body RESONATE to when you practice. If your interest is in playing and creating meaningful melodies, then focus your practice right onto that. Find examples, in recordings, scores, transcriptions Work directly with them! Play them, sing them listen to them, copy them, transpose them, think about them, discuss them, quote them, Play them in all keys. Play the major ones in minor keys. Play the minor ones in major keys! Write counterpoint against them. Re-harmonize them. Take liberties with them. Learn them so they just about feel like you own them!

Work with meaningful melodies -- you'll soon be making them yourself.

Just my opinion ....

Hope this helps!

Top
#2006204 - 12/29/12 07:34 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Fred Hersch is one of my faves, printer1. I see his student (Brad Mehldau) was influenced by him too since I hear where some of Brad's stuff came from when listening to Hersch's recordings, including stuff like hand independence (solos in both hands simultaneously).

He seldom gets mentioned around here and maybe because he's original sounding (his syncopation for example is not typical of bebop). But I'm glad you did because I consider him a top influence for me.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2006222 - 12/29/12 08:08 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1
The thing is. You can be working with meaningful melodies right from the start!



+1.
So if you are learning a scale, don't get off the piano stool until you have created a meaningful melody out of it, even if it's only 1 or 2 bars e.g.
Bar 1: add a chromatic to the beginning of the scale
Bar 2: for your new chord, repeat the Bar 1 pattern

Printer
I tried your delayed resolution idea across the G7, C maj 7 of ATTYA A sec. It sounded really really cool, even if I couldn't quite keep time.

Top
#2006264 - 12/29/12 09:50 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
jazzwee ... my opinion is FH is the most innovative pianist in jazz today. who knows? smile and the sound FH gets from the piano is otherworldy! ... i see we're on the same page with that. it's a very nice page smile

custardapple ... yes, as you describe it that's, you've really said it PERFECTLY. in the learning space STAY ON THE BENCH (as you say!) until you've gotten an expressive and meaningful bit. ... and the bar 1 and bar 2 scheme you describe is perfect. you might look at it (metaphorically) as bar 1 is give the call - and bar 2 is give the response. (call and response)

your delayed resolution experiment sounds great too! ... it's perfectly fine if your time is a little off. for now you have the sound of the line and how it stretched out the harmony ... next step is get the sound of those things along with the time feel you want. (and then repeat as necessary smile




Edited by printer1 (12/29/12 09:56 PM)

Top
#2006340 - 12/30/12 03:21 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.

I play sequences using avoids also. When it is on 1 or in other important place, I alter it (raise the fourth etc.), but in other places I leave it as it is. But it is easier without avoids.

Using avoids as important melody notes implies the oposite function of the actual harmony. This could be contradictory.

There is almost no standard song without sequenced melody phrases. Sequencing is a very powerful tool in elaborating melody lines. That for it has to be practiced in any possible manner.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
It still sounds quite overwhelming devoting 50% of practice time to play a few phrases across the songs. For me it's qite tiring to do so for 15 minutes, not speaking about an hour or two smile But I admit it requires such an effort it has to be very fruitful.

I would design these exercises in a musically way and vary the sequenzes slightly. So it won´t sound like an etude.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
I also don't catch the connection between this 'linear construction' approach and playing meaningful melodies,

Things become meaningful when you repeat them. If you are able to reapeat something transposed to another key function or vary it only in a rhythmically sense it becomes meaningful.

Originally Posted By: kiedysktos.
I suspect this way of practice leads to such a freedom that it's much easier to play phrases from your head and not stopping because of difficulties (technical, rhythmic or harmonic ones).
Yes.

Top
#2006577 - 12/30/12 02:18 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Cudo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Cudo
There is almost no standard song without sequenced melody phrases. Sequencing is a very powerful tool in elaborating melody lines. That for it has to be practiced in any possible manner.
.................
Things become meaningful when you repeat them. If you are able to reapeat something transposed to another key function or vary it only in a rhythmically sense it becomes meaningful.

Well said.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

Top
#2007050 - 12/31/12 12:52 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: chrisbell]
jjo Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
Just want to add that I'm a huge Fred Hersch fan, as well. I've been lucky to see him hear in Chicago twice in the last couple of years.

Top
#2011461 - 01/08/13 09:48 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1


your delayed resolution experiment sounds great too! ... it's perfectly fine if your time is a little off. for now you have the sound of the line and how it stretched out the harmony ... next step is get the sound of those things along with the time feel you want. (and then repeat as necessary smile




I'm getting quite comfortable with this now using eighth-notes in my RH. Could I please confirm that delayed resolution is mostly used in solo if it is not agreed beforehand with the bassist ?
Normally the bassist would still be playing G7 over 4 beats, C maj over 4 beats. Whereas if I were to continue in G7alt, it could sometimes sound too out if the bassist had already switched to C maj ?

Top
#2011799 - 01/09/13 04:35 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
hi CA!

it's a very common contemporary technique and it's perfectly fine to do it in an ensemble where the bass is plsying the normal changes.

HOWEVER, it does take trial and error to find where you can use it when soloing with a bass player. a really good bass player - when they hear you doing it - will simplify the bassline. what happens in that case is the delayed resolution lines get played (by the pianist) over the roots and fifths of the bass. It's a cery bice sound.

Just to mention another way to look at it ... in classical music there's a thingy called a suspension' ... which is a prepared dissonance on a strong beat ... that's a very simple example of a delayed resolution. this stuff is all over classical repertoire ..... beethoven, bach, mozart, etc..

another example .. if you google 'herbie hancock seven steps to heaven transcription' you'll get a link to, well, a transcription of hh playing SSTH! there are some great examples in that solo of delayed resolutions. and also that solo has great exampkes where HH anticipates an upcoming chord. so for example, if a Gm7 to C7 is upcoming, HG will get to it before the bass does. that tension he creates resolves when the bass player catches up with HH, so to speak. you can find this all over the place in the omnibook .... the chord might be V7 leading to I and CP plays over the V chord to show he's already arrives at the I chord!

of course all depends on the judgement of your ear. i'm guessing too that as you get some fluency with delayed resolutions you're finding it easier to also play directly on the chord changes ....

hope this helps!

Top
#2011899 - 01/09/13 08:33 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Prints
Thanks for your cool answer, it's very insightful coming from someone who knows both the piano and bass.
Your answer illustrates very well to me how anticipation of an upcoming chord or progression can help to delay the resolution.

1. I've now bought Seven Steps to Heaven and slowed it down. Do you agree that in the 2nd A sec of Herbie's solo, that he anticipates the G min 7, C7 not just one bar ahead but virtually for the whole of this section ?
I also like how the bassist waits until the final bar of this section to resolve.

2. Yes this delayed resolution makes it easier for me to do a long line, and keep the line both thematic and interesting-sounding.

3. With your Bird example, I just looked up the Omnibook transcription for Now's The Time. Yes I can find Bird playing the C7 as if he's already arrived at the tonic F.

Top
#2011941 - 01/09/13 09:45 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
CA ... Very well done! The Omnibook has examples such as the one you've mentioned all over the place ... in just about every solo. Just once you've found one example, you'll find many!

IF I'm listening and looking at the same STTH as you (the original Miles Davis recording?) I' don't hear the WHOLE 2nd A section as you do. BUT .... HH definitely gets to the Gm chord early (in that 2nd A section) ... how early I'll leave to you as a question .. because different ears will interpret it in different ways ....

Definitely, he emphasises the F# to G in the first A section ... so that little bit may contribute to how you hear the 2nd A section. Much more important than whether you and I agree is just that you're asking yourself about what you hear ... and trying to explain it. That internal question/answer process is priceless ...

Here's the transcription if you haven't already found it it's a serious gem of a solo. If we only talked about the rhythms he's using (without any regard for pitch at all) we could still talk for quite a while!

http://armand.reynaud.free.fr/i_pdf/impro_herbie_mus.pdf

.... for building a fluid relaxed technique, it's worth it to play the solo VERY SLOWLY and WITH UTTER EXTREME RELAXATION. Very free and out of time is fine. Literally, let gravity drop your fingers to the the notes. When you can play the notes in a very relaxed and slow way without any thought at all of playing in tempo gradually then start to play in tempo. But slowly. Don't play any faster than a tempo at which you can maintain extreme relaxation. You might find it interesting to pick a phrase or two that you like and learn to sing them too ...

Hope this all helps!

Top
#2011942 - 01/09/13 09:47 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
And CA ... very nicely said ...

"2. Yes this delayed resolution makes it easier for me to do a long line, and keep the line both thematic and interesting-sounding."

Top
#2012084 - 01/10/13 05:23 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: printer1


.... for building a fluid relaxed technique, it's worth it to play the solo VERY SLOWLY and WITH UTTER EXTREME RELAXATION. Very free and out of time is fine. Literally, let gravity drop your fingers to the the notes. When you can play the notes in a very relaxed and slow way without any thought at all of playing in tempo gradually then start to play in tempo. But slowly. Don't play any faster than a tempo at which you can maintain extreme relaxation. You might find it interesting to pick a phrase or two that you like and learn to sing them too ...

Hope this all helps!



Thanks printer for the transcription and advice. I'm looking forward to working on it a bit each day.
I'm actually in the process of exploring exciting possibilities to my major chords. HH's treatment of the F maj 7 in the 2nd A section is exquisite.

Top
#2012900 - 01/11/13 03:15 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 723
I've enjoyed reading this thread and just thought of a jazz artist that's all about sequencing when he solos - Oliver Nelson. Just thought I'd throw his name in the fray smile
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

Top
#2013099 - 01/11/13 09:28 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: 36251]
custard apple Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Thanks 36251. I hadn't heard of Oliver Nelson before and I've just finished listening to Stolen Moments on you-tube. His use of sequences was very soulful, there were some really nice triads in there.

Top
#2013201 - 01/12/13 03:43 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
oliver nelson's improvisation book


http://ebookbrowse.com/45074734-oliver-nelson-improvisation-for-saxophone-pdf-d293950896

on amazon ..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Patterns-Improvi...9973&sr=8-2

From the preface:

A sequence ís a repetition of a pattern on different scale steps. As long as the ori-
ginal pattern is correct, any irregularities which might appear in its sequence are
justified. -

If the above statement is true, then the music of Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, Charlie
Parker, John Coltrane, even some of todays electronic music is constructed much in the
same manner. The use of sequential musical devices is not by any means dry and mechan-
ical, but can be a useful aid in the art of improvisation, with or without inspiration
and immense natural talent.

Inspiration to a 20th Century Composer is nothing more than working with his materials
until the pieces fit properly. Natural talent to John Coltrane is long and tedious
hours of practice and a great insight and understanding of the materials of music.

.... AMAZING what's out there in google land!

Top
#2013270 - 01/12/13 08:04 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: printer1

Many thanks for that link printer1.

Originally Posted By: printer1
. . . the music of Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, even some of todays electronic music is constructed much in the
same manner. The use of sequential musical devices is not by any means dry and mechanical, but can be a useful aid in the art of improvisation, with or without inspiration and immense natural talent.
Oh no . . don't give away one of the best secrets of improv/composition . . .! Oh darn it . . now "everybody" will be able to sound good . .
grin
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

Top
#2013344 - 01/12/13 10:20 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: Mark Polishook]
kiedysktos. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 425
Loc: Europe, Poland
Originally Posted By: printer1
keidyskos, it's worth saying more than a few times that "linear" is just a jargon word that's long been used by musical theorists. in fact, it's been used all over the place.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gabo-linear-construction-no-1-t00191

i'm not saying this to say the LC method isn't worth doing. If you want to do it and/or it you've been doing it and it works for you, well, then GREAT! Get going with it or keep at it! My point is these kinds of jargon names sometimes obscure essential stuff .. which you kind of point out in your post: "i ... don't catch the connection between this 'linear construction' approach and playing meaningful melodies."

Yes. Playing meaningful melodies is EXACTLY what you want!

i'm not saying at all the LC method won't lead you to meaningful melodies. What i am saying is trying to figure out HOW that method leads you to meaningful melodies or just structuring your time along the lines of that particular method may take longer than you want need to get to the "meaningful" melody part .... The thing is. You can be working with meaningful melodies right from the start!

For example. Transcription, which has been mentioned and described very well in this thread basically includes learning to hear a solo, learning to notate it, learning to play it, learning to analyse it, using it to inspire your creativity. And as you do all that you're DIRECTLY IN CONTACT WITH MEANINGFUL MELODIES!

Yet, Fred Hersch, who many consider to be at the apex in the jazz piano food chain (if you haven't heard FH, at least check out his recordings ... the last two are from live sets the Village Vanguard). He's said many times (interviews on the web) that he found no value in transcribing. So there you go. A major artist who didn't transcribe to learn jazz and has said he doesn't see the point in it. FH recommends instead very, very, VERY serious directed listening to all the different versions of jazz repertoire that great artists have produced. That is pretty serious!

Or, instead of transcribing, sing great solos (sing along with the recording). Sing, as in: FOCUS ON THE SOLO AND SING IT LIKE PLANET EARTH DEPENDS ON THAT SKILL!

Or get out whatever classical scores you have. Mozart, Bach, Chopin, etc. They all wrote INCREDIBLY MEANINGFUL MELODIES! In most cases, with just a little of bit of creative phrasing, those melodies will work directly in jazz.

A great book about listening to and creating music is "The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music" by W.A. Mathieu (he has major credits including writing for Stan Kenton). The chapter in the book: "What should I practice?" He says: "It doesn't matter what you practice as long as your energy for it is HOT [... my emphasis ...]. It is the quality of your practice that matters ... "

Mathieu isn't saying just be unstructured and do whatever you want ... you gotta read the book to get that larger context and to see how he says it. But the point is this: If you have limited time (and most of us do), one good way to go is practice whatever you can put your whole 100% focus on. Get your mind, ear, and body RESONATE to when you practice. If your interest is in playing and creating meaningful melodies, then focus your practice right onto that. Find examples, in recordings, scores, transcriptions Work directly with them! Play them, sing them listen to them, copy them, transpose them, think about them, discuss them, quote them, Play them in all keys. Play the major ones in minor keys. Play the minor ones in major keys! Write counterpoint against them. Re-harmonize them. Take liberties with them. Learn them so they just about feel like you own them!

Work with meaningful melodies -- you'll soon be making them yourself.

Just my opinion ....

Hope this helps!





Thanks for that post! I wish I could just put all these valuable advices into work smile I'll try. One question about singing: do you think more about learning to sing bigger part, or rather taking two or four measures, but work with them much more?

I forgot to mention my influence in playing sequences - pianist Raphael Alcala. He is great teacher, and he presented playing solo in terms of tension-resolution: playing outside-inside or sequences-"tough compose" playing. In the last pair, sequence is played when you need more energy and structure for playing, and "tough compose" means creating more free bebop line. He was able to play nice flowing solo by playing one of these things alternately and commenting it on the fly. Especially he played sequences at the end of song parts or 8-bar phrases, where he gained so much energy, that he could consume it by playing literally any "tough compose" idea in the beginning of next part. That made me want to learn playing sequences in very fluent way.
_________________________
Roland FP-4

Top
#2013422 - 01/12/13 12:51 PM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
keidyskos,

the main thing is: whatever you're practicing - put 100% into it. the equation is:

short + focused > long w/no focus

about singing ... the ear is the link in the chain that usually needs more work. so WHAT you sing isn't as important as, well, singing! when you sing, don't worry about the sound of your voice - whether you like your sound or not ..., just sing in tune w/good phrasing, etc. IF and WHEN you can sing an interval or a piece of a phrase or a phrase or a longer line or an entire solo, then at that point you are HEARING it. that singing process will naturally start to shape how you play the piano. so as w/piano practice - it's QUALITY you want and not QUANTITY!

your teacher sounds great. he has HIS way. ... ummmmmmm, what's YOUR way? (that's not a question that has to be answered!) but it ia good question to think about! and intended with all respect!!!!!!!

hope this helps!


Edited by printer1 (01/12/13 01:10 PM)

Top
#2013749 - 01/13/13 12:59 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
I don't think you have to look any further than Bach's first two- part invention in C to see that sequences have been around a long time and that simple sequences can give rise to surprisingly sophisticated music. Anyone still in doubt should consult the Well-Tempered Clavier.

Top
#2014243 - 01/14/13 05:46 AM Re: linear construction in jazz and general practice routine [Re: kiedysktos.]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
If you're interested ... .. the music of Bach in particular and Baroque composers in general are a great starting place to see the how and why of sequences. If you (I mean the general 'you' ... anyone reading this who's looking for more inforrmation about sequence technique) google things like 'sequence technique music theory' you'll find a lot o easyf background information that might help you understand what you can find in Bach's music and that of other Baroque composers. It's well worth looking into this stuff .. it's also well worh learning to play ALL 15 of Bach's 2-part inventions. After that, go to the 3-part inventions. After that ... smile

If you love the patterns in Hanon excercises, it's worth knowing that Coltrane worked through them (on saxophone, of course).

Also, while Bach and Baroque composers are pretty much the first word in 'how to make sequences,' they are NOT at all the last word! IF you do start w/Bach but expand into really almost any style that comes after you'll get a very nice overview of sequence technique. You don't have to be exhaustive about it ... spend a few hours over a few weeks just to see that these great sources are out there. By COMPARING Bach, etc to others, you'll learn an amazing amount. Even if all you do is just compare a few measures 'here' to a few measures 'there.' AND, you'll be working DIRECTLY w/'meaningful melodies.'

OF COURSE, there are a million other ways, at least!, to learn and absorb all this same stuff ...

Hope this helps!




Edited by printer1 (01/14/13 05:48 AM)

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  sharpsandflats 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
130 registered (aesop, accordeur, aDino, 36251, Al LaPorte, 36 invisible), 1632 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75581 Members
42 Forums
156278 Topics
2295126 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Help with dynamics
by noobpianist90
Today at 03:53 AM
Using Kawai MP6 faders/knobs with virtual instruments?
by chicolom
Today at 02:35 AM
Coming up with new compositional methods.
by gsmonks
Today at 01:58 AM
Impromptu in A
by Ritzycat
Today at 12:42 AM
what do you think piano teachers about it?
by Maximillyan
Today at 12:15 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission