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#1286752 - 10/14/09 10:50 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
simon288 Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 99
Loc: london
Thanks Jazzwee had fun noodling with that last night!
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Bill Evans spoke of the "universal mind" that exists in all people, if they can learn to think in the language that the universal mind uses -- a musical language that remains alive and well today, still scintillating, still expanding, still showing those who can hear it the depths of ecstasy and pain and life and love.

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#1286763 - 10/14/09 11:03 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: simon288]
jotur Online   blank
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
simon - that was cool! It would have made a great piece for late Fri night in a piano bar! smile

Cathy
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#1286775 - 10/14/09 11:28 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
simon288 Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 99
Loc: london
Thanks Cathy, I was in a relaxed mood!
_________________________
Bill Evans spoke of the "universal mind" that exists in all people, if they can learn to think in the language that the universal mind uses -- a musical language that remains alive and well today, still scintillating, still expanding, still showing those who can hear it the depths of ecstasy and pain and life and love.

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#1287015 - 10/14/09 05:03 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

What these patterns do is mix between chords of the scale (1/5/7) with chords outside of the scale (#1/5/7) so you have to kind of alternate so the tension/dissonance gets a little bit of release by returning to the base key (C).



Why pick 1/5/7 (1/3/4)? Is this just at random, or is there some logic behind it?

I have several thoughts about this.

On the one hand, it's very interesting, and throws up some new harmonies.

On the other, I can't really see myself using it much, because my brain couldn't take it into another key.

Also, I'm not at the level where I can see what kind of chord is going to come out, predict the sound, and make adjustments to avoid a really bad clash. So I'm not going to 'perform' with this. I think it might be a different story for someone who's already well-versed in voicings and harmonies, and can make little decisions as they go along.

It would be interesting to hear the outcome from someone who genuinely knows nothing about theory. That would be the proof of the pudding! smile
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#1287029 - 10/14/09 05:18 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
I recorded this today for my submission to the Mary improvs.

Mary-Variations


---
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#1287038 - 10/14/09 05:30 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Why pick 1/5/7?

I just made that up actually (although there's some logic to selection - a major third interval and a 9th interval will hit some good combinations).

I could have said let's do 1/3/5/7 (which is awfully close), in which case we would be doing scale degrees of the C scale in seventh chords.

For an advanced person, what I showed has some inherent meaning, which is probably too much to get into in this thread. Maybe it's something to cover in the Jazz thread (discussion already occuring in the Non-Classical section).

For the beginner, it gives a comfort level to the "physicality" of the instrument and how it connects to scale degrees. Using the #1/5/7 pattern (and there are many many more possible patterns), shows how you can move away from the current key one note at a time and see how it sounds.

It allows a beginner to think about reharmonization and not be scared of chords, and after all, we already know the scales. This is just running through the scale.

It's easily applied to any key as the base pattern is just the seventh chord without the 3rd. It does have to be practiced since the intervals change with
each scale degree. It is indeed another layer of information for the advanced player, beyond normal voicings. But many advanced players use this.

Anyway, this thread is about reharmonization and it just provided one tool to reharmonize by ear just using the patterns I stated (without needing to initially understand the chords that back it up).
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#1287040 - 10/14/09 05:35 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Joe that was really neat! It was like a "Broadway" version smile Although I thought I heard everything from Ragtime, Broadway, and Pop. The modulation made it interesting too.

That was really creative and of course well executed. I know you like writing the score out so maybe you can post it for everyone.

Thanks for sharing that.

Such variation here. It's really fun!
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#1287047 - 10/14/09 05:40 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Thanks Jazzwee, I appreciate your comments.

I am working on the score, but it may be a few days before it's finished. It seems to take longer to write the score than it does to improvise a piece.
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#1287104 - 10/14/09 07:15 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1136
Loc: New Jersey
I wanted to dance to that one, Joe!

Well, I tried the 134 and 134# chords a few times last night. I was a little awkward playing them, but I liked how it sounded - MOST of the time. I just don't remember which combinations I didn't like.

Since I have no way of recording, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Besides, it wasn't anywhere as good as what I've been hearing here. :-) I'm bookmarking this thread so I can keep going back to it when it disappears.
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#1287107 - 10/14/09 07:18 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jotur Online   blank
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
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Joe, that was great fun smile

Cathy
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#1287160 - 10/14/09 09:01 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: mom3gram

Well, I tried the 134 and 134# chords a few times last night. I was a little awkward playing them, but I liked how it sounded - MOST of the time. I just don't remember which combinations I didn't like.

Since I have no way of recording, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Besides, it wasn't anywhere as good as what I've been hearing here. :-) I'm bookmarking this thread so I can keep going back to it when it disappears.


mom3gram, I'm glad you tried it out. You can noodle Christmas carols and such this way as well. And if you write them down (the ones that sound good), you just did a reharmonization smile In this case, all you have to remember is the first note.

Now later in the thread, I re-arranged it into another inversion (1-5-7 and #1-5-7) which plays better on the LH. This one you can play lower. It's really the same thing but is what we call a more "open" voicing vs. a "clustered" voicing.

When we make chords in unusual forms (not the usual 1-3-5 and its inversions), we refer to it as a voicing.
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#1287188 - 10/14/09 09:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Posts: 1136
Loc: New Jersey
Yes, I plan to try the 1-5-7 next.

Any suggestion as to which Christmas Carol would be the best to try this on? Jingle Bells?

I was wondering what "voicing" meant. :-)
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#1287225 - 10/14/09 11:22 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Lesson 1 - Intro to Scale Degrees

I'm hoping more people will try this out and get excited about playing by ear. So for those less advanced, I'm going to write out a simple version, and then we'll go from here and maybe learn about some music theory.

This is called a "Lead Sheet". It gives the chords to use and the bars signify 4 beats. So if you see two chords in a bar, give each a count of 2 beats.

Lead Sheet - Mary Had A Little Lamb


| CMaj7 FMaj7| Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little lamb...
| G7 | Little lamb...
| CMaj7 |
| CMaj7 FMaj7 | Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little Lamb
| G7 | Whose Fleece...
| CMaj7 | Snow


Now all the notes in the above chords are all white notes and are in the key of C. I will teach you about something called "Scale Degrees". Starting with the first note of the scale (C), put your fingers on alternating notes.

So from the C Scale of C D E F G A B C

You will come up with:
C-E-G-B

Let's call this the 'I' chord or the first chord. Now if we use our same four fingers and move it up one step, keeping the same alternating notes, we come up with

D-F-A-C

and the next step is

E-G-B-D

etc.

Written out in sequence and with a Roman Numeral to identify it, the chords are as follows:

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Now what's interesting about this is that skipping alternate scale notes in any key will result in the same sequence of chords types REGARDLESS OF KEY. The first chord is always major, the next is minor, etc. And the first chord is always the first note of the scale and then one step after in sequence. So this is clear, music theorists show Major chords as Capitalized and minor chords as lower case.

Now Let's express the tune Mary had a Little Lamb in Roman numeral format:


| I IV| Mary had ..
| I | Little lamb...
| V | Little lamb...
| I |
| I IV | Mary had ..
| I | Little Lamb
| V | Whose Fleece...
| I | Snow


This short cut form shows that the tune uses I, IV and V chords in its regular form. Based on the scale degrees chart above, you will find that I and IV are always Major and the V chord is always a Dominant 7th.


Some posters have used other sequences like IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I or portions thereof.

This is the circle of fifths order and is VERY common in many popular and jazz tunes.
IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I. So when you see them refer to Roman numerals, then you will understand what they are talking about.

Changing Key

If you know Roman numerals, you can pretty much translate this tune to any key.
I IV V in the key of F are chords starting with FMaj7 CMaj7 D7.

So knowing the Roman numeral notation simplifies the understanding of chord progressions. Most tunes can be expressed using this.
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#1287239 - 10/14/09 11:44 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Intro to Fancy Voicings

This is an introduction to the more interesting chords used here. This is just basic introduction to "Voicings". it will show you how to make those lush sounds you hear in piano.

Again, I refer to our original discussion of Scale Degrees in the key of C as shown below.


Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Now we're going to change this. Instead of 4 notes, we will make it 5 notes per chord. The rule is the same, any additional note is added by skipping a note in between. So the chords will look like this now.


Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B-D (CMaj7(9) )
ii D-F-A-C-E (Dm7(9) )
iii E-G-B-D-F (Em7(9) )
IV F-A-C-E-G (FMaj7(9) )
V G-B-D-F-A (G7(9) )
vi A-C-E-G-B (Am7(9) )
vii B-D-F-A-C (Bm7b5(9) )


So now all of the chords have a little extra color note which is referred to as the "9th". It doesn't matter if you don't remember that. All you need to know is that you can add an extra alternating note to the original set of 4.

Now wait.

If you are playing the melody on the RH, you can't play these 5 notes as 1 chord. So I want you to visualize it this way as shown below. Think of the first note as a bass note that is separate from the other 4 notes. You can think of playing the bass note separate from the rest of the chord. Now notice that the chord following the bass note is actually a chord a third away in scale degrees. I will indicate the bass code and the chord implied by the next 4 notes.


Scale Degrees in C
I C / E-G-B-D (Em7)
ii D / F-A-C-E (FMaj7 )
iii E / G-B-D-F (G7)
IV F / A-C-E-G (Am7 )
V G / B-D-F-A (Bm7b5 )
vi A / C-E-G-B (CMaj7 )
vii B / D-F-A-C (Dm7 )

You don't need to know what chords I named the ones after the bass note but I just showed it there to show the interesting relationship (a little like Math).

If you play a chord without the bass note, it can apply to the original chord but without a "root", also referred to as a "rootless" voicing. Because of the ambiguity of the chord (for example, is it a CMaj7 or an Em7? ), it creates an interesting response in the listener and generates an extra tension.

Now when actually playing, often the bass note is played separately from the chord, like Stride. To have this make sense, I'm playing 'Mary' in an example link below. The first time around, I play it without the Bass note and you can hear it imply the Em7, Amy, and Bm7b5 chords. Then the second time around, I add the bass and instead of hearing the original chords, you now hear lush voicings.

Have fun with this. Remember this is just an introduction but it is enough to have people play any chord by ear.

http://www.box.net/shared/pq3krq4s55
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#1287249 - 10/14/09 11:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Yes, I plan to try the 1-5-7 next.

Any suggestion as to which Christmas Carol would be the best to try this on? Jingle Bells?

I was wondering what "voicing" meant. :-)



BTW - that 1-5-7 and #1-5-7 is addicting. I could just on the piano and invent tunes and the RH just has to make any melody in the white notes. It's great for a little background piano since no one needs to know what you're playing smile

For Christmas Carols, you'll need to think of tunes that are I-IV-V. Jingle Bells, Silent Night, We Three Kings, O Christmas Tree, gosh there's so many.

There are several that follow the circle of fifths so you can fit them into the scale degrees I discuss above but they're not I/IV/V. Tunes like "White Christmas","Have Yourself a Merry Christmas".

Just stay away from the Jazz based ones like "Christmas Song - Chestnuts Roasting....". That one's more work, or some Vince Guaraldi tune.

We could change the title of the thread because this could go on an on and we can handle all the typical songs just using those 1/5/7 and #1/5/7. BTW - just so it's clear, I just invented that smile That's not from any book.

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#1287335 - 10/15/09 06:07 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I've not had time to digest everything jazzwee's said here, but I just wanted to say I loved Joe's version 3hearts and I'm thrilled to bits the mom3gram tried it too! thumb It's a shame we can't hear how it turned out, but I'm glad you tried it anyway.
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#1287344 - 10/15/09 07:05 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
angelas Offline
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Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 114
Loc: New Zealand (South Pacific, Do...
Wow..this is a neat thread. I just love the jazz-type ones. Could someone do something that sounds a bit 'dark' too, if you know what I mean? I have the most amazing rendition of Jingle Bells on a Christmas CD. A really gothic sort of sound.

Keep these coming! wow
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#1287347 - 10/15/09 07:08 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
TLT, I'm so glad you liked it. I was afraid that it wouldn't be recieved very well because I don't use the jazz chords that you all are studying.
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#1287361 - 10/15/09 07:45 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1136
Loc: New Jersey
Wow! I have a lot of homework here! This should keep me busy for a while. Thanks, Jazzwee.

I've got a vacation coming up for 9 days, starting Tuesday. No piano access. But I will see what I can do before then and hope my brain retains some of it till I get back.

This is such a great thread!
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#1287385 - 10/15/09 08:40 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Studio Joe
TLT, I'm so glad you liked it. I was afraid that it wouldn't be recieved very well because I don't use the jazz chords that you all are studying.


It's not what you play, it's the way that you play it! cool

There's a bit, where it does go 'darker', and I can just picture the villain in a Buster Keyton flick tying up the blond and leaving her on the train-tracks. smile

Why not re-post this in the October piano bar? It's been a bit quiet there these last few days.
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#1287406 - 10/15/09 09:12 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
(Was)TrueBeginner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Northern VA, US
Thanks Jazzwee, your lessons help me a lot, please keep it going. I have been only figuring out the left hand by ear up to now, and your explanation is easier to understand than any book I read. thumb

TB
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#1287409 - 10/15/09 09:15 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
MiM Offline
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Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 543
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'm enjoying this thread too, and I thought Jazzwee gave a very nice summary of chord construction. Very nice.

I would suggest to keep this thread more interesting is for everyone to strictly keep the melody and the timing accurate; otherwise, I think it gets more difficult to make sense of what's being done here. Another thing is to differentiate between chord styles and harmony... I think these are very different topics. Personally, I would like to learn more about chord styles (in this thread or somewhere else). I like to hear the same song (strictly the same song, note for note, proper timing, etc) using block chords, broken chords, ballad style, Alberti Bass, arpeggiated styles, and many others, and variations thereof.

Yet, this is all great to hear.
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#1287447 - 10/15/09 10:26 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
I'm glad what I'm posting is of some use. I will keep expanding on it little by little.

Music In Me -- perhaps others can contribute those versions you talk about. I'm a jazz guy so I wouldn't be a good source stylistically speaking for some of the styles you mention. However, I can explain them theoretically.

I don't rehearse whatever music I've posted here. I record it in one or two takes so I can't perfect it. Hopefully, some more patient players will contribute what you are asking for.

But focus on what is being discussed here as related to learning to play by ear so perhaps the premise of note by note exactness is the wrong direction. There's a couple of lessons to be learned so far: (a) There are FEW wrong notes, (b) There's a physicality to the instrument and a few 'shapes' will get you a long way.

I'm trying to keep the audience here general. If people have deeper questions on more jazz related things, I recommend posting it on the jazz thread so this doesn't get too heavy.

I want to summarize what I thought were my original goals in starting this:

1. TEACH that Playing by Ear is easy, if you let go
2. There's no fixed rule to what should sound good (as creative posters have proven here).
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#1287498 - 10/15/09 11:33 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Lead Sheet - Mary Had A Little Lamb

[b]
| CMaj7 FMaj7| Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little lamb...
| G7 | Little lamb...
| CMaj7 |
| CMaj7 FMaj7 | Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little Lamb
| G7 | Whose Fleece...
| CMaj7 | Snow



Just because it is good practice for me, I've decided to do a recording of these, one step at a time. This might be useful for lurkers who are new to this, and it's certainly useful for me!

Maj7ths:
http://www.box.net/shared/75i4pu05uj
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#1287500 - 10/15/09 11:36 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Fancy voicings - maj7(9) rootless:
http://www.box.net/shared/7qn594ay5q

Pale imitation of jazzwee's stride version:
http://www.box.net/shared/sbn9ctz5kk

(Jazzwee, were those 9ths with 7ths or with 6ths?)
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#1287502 - 10/15/09 11:38 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
MiM Offline
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Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 543
Loc: Pennsylvania
Incidentally, I don't agree with the no rules premise, a.k.a. Gyro's thesis. What you Jazzwee and everyone else have shown here is that there are very explicit rules one has to follow, else you'd just be banging left and right hoping to get something out of the instrument...don't expect much to come out! All of these chords, the way they are constructed, chord progressions, chord styles, etc., are the rules. Throwing in unusual and unanticipated chords might work but only rarely. Speaking for myself, I'm mostly interested in the rules for now, and later on I may consider breaking them. Cheers.
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#1287507 - 10/15/09 11:45 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jotur Online   blank
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Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
TLT - thanks for those recordings! It was really interesting to listen to them all in a row and compare the different ways they made Mary sound.

Hm. No one's tried to make anything sound like Mary's lamb laugh

Cathy
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#1287535 - 10/15/09 12:23 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Music_in_Me
Incidentally, I don't agree with the no rules premise, a.k.a. Gyro's thesis. What you Jazzwee and everyone else have shown here is that there are very explicit rules one has to follow, else you'd just be banging left and right hoping to get something out of the instrument...don't expect much to come out! All of these chords, the way they are constructed, chord progressions, chord styles, etc., are the rules. Throwing in unusual and unanticipated chords might work but only rarely. Speaking for myself, I'm mostly interested in the rules for now, and later on I may consider breaking them. Cheers.


M_I_M, nothing wrong with that. Yes there are rules, so it is not random. I'm not exactly a big Gyro supporter (is anyone?), but he does present the other side. Jazz Pianist Kenny Werner often states, "There are no wrong notes" and so the concept isn't specific to Gyro. The answer is somewhere in between. You can learn the rules by trial and error. By putting some of these guides in here, I able to show that there is leeway.

For example, although I state the circle of fifths scale degrees in the Key of C, if you listen to the first two recordings I made, I clearly step away from the Key of C. But really I'm only ONE note away from the key of C. I arrived at that by a little experimentation.

Later on as we get more advanced with this, I can explain more rules that people will discover on their own. In my case, since I know the rules, I can jump start the experimentation. I know roughly where to look so coming out with new sounds takes only few tries.

But you may not have as much fun if I just laid out all the rules smile
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#1287544 - 10/15/09 12:36 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7115
Loc: So. California
TLT, you did great! I couldn't even play the stride one at regular tempo without practice. Let's just say it was a good practice of being in some Lounge and someone makes a request smile That's pretty much how I handled it.

The chords were just 9ths with 7ths. These are not the Jazz voicings. They're a little simpler. We will try those next and it will make it a little more complicated since there's no single shape for all the chords.
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My Jazz Blog
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP


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#1287549 - 10/15/09 12:42 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Thanks, Cathy and jazzwee!

The stride one I found easiest to play. I confess I practiced the other two. But once my LH knew where it was going (for the rootless 9ths), it was easy (perhaps even easier) to put in the root also.

Baaaaa!
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