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#1702503 - 06/26/11 05:06 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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IMHO Playing at a club is not a casual. I would not call my particular gigs casual since they're public affairs. We're scheduled performers and are publicized in advance and people choose to go on their own.

Playing at a private party where you are background music is casual IMHO. The gigs I do actually draw people based on what we will perform. And they sit down and watch.

Weddings are the most lucrative of all casuals I suppose. And a lot of it occur in people's homes.

Why do I care if it's a casual? Expectations on what you play on casuals vary and you have to play what they want to hear (which is a general audience typically). So you've to do pop covers as well.

I don't know if our set list would appeal to a casual gig (Mr PC, All Blues, Canteloupe, Naima, Invitation, Recordame, Footprints, So What, etc.). Notice that Jazz+ sticks to the typical melodic showtunes. I do them too obviously but it would be clear to me that long Coltrane-like solos would not be typical Casual fare.
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#1702506 - 06/26/11 05:11 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Jazz+, wow -- you have quick turnarounds. When the vocalist is involved, there's a lot of discussion before every tune.

On the instrumentals, maybe a minute to change leadsheets, and count it down. And we have 3 soloists. Add occasional drum solos and bass solos and each tune is probably 7 minutes including prep.

I guess because we don't rehearse and most of the tunes are new to the group, there's more talk needed among us.
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#1702930 - 06/27/11 11:43 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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We never rehearse and we don't use vocalists. Our gig book is a 3 ring black binder with the tunes arranged in ordered sets (lead sheets in clear plastic page savers). Takes about 2 seconds to go into the next tune. Been using it on casual$ for years now, love the tunes. It's low stress... getting there and getting set up is stressful enough.
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#1703148 - 06/27/11 05:50 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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In my particular case, I'm playing regularly at one venue. So the same people tend to listen to us (at least there's a hardcore group that's always there). This means, I will look bad if I play the same tunes all the time. Thus I'm forced to constantly learn something new to keep them happy.

Since most of the players in the group are mercenaries :), we just call the tune on the spot and see how it goes. Fortunately, the screw ups have been minimal (people have the tune in the different keys is the most common problem). But there has to be discussion of it on the spot.

I don't feel bad doing this because I watched Herbie and Wayne Shorter do a major gig with thousands watching and obviously they're just jamming on ths spot, armed with just a "motif" for each tune. LOL.

Fortunately, I now have a collection of 50 tunes that the group has played and so I think we got a lot of the difficult ones covered. I don't think I have to worry about standard stuff like Autumn Leaves/ATTYA, etc.

We take longer to start a tune but the audience doesn't seem to care.
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#1705957 - 07/01/11 11:09 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Here's Naima in solo piano -- Sorry about not having a successful recording of the actual gig. It's a little hard keeping time without a rhythm section here and I'm not happy about that.

Naima
http://www.box.net/shared/p0t99huergcno7v0c6av
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#1706060 - 07/02/11 06:59 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1353
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Here's Naima in solo piano

Nice to hear you play solo JW. I enjoyed listening.
I would love to hear a version with 'no' time; more free.
Your touch is definitely improving!
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#1706210 - 07/02/11 01:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Thanks Chris. It sounds pretty bad actually. Aside from making mistakes in the changes, I'm not clear yet on how to articulate a tune like this in solo piano. I updated the link with another try.


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#1706569 - 07/03/11 09:48 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Anyone on google+ ?
This thing looks awesome, and we can create hangouts and circles.

Let me know if anyone wants to try this. This is the future man!!

this is NOT like facebook. You can decide to separate groups of people. Co-workers do not see music buddies, etc....
Looks like, as usual, google gets it right.

It is in restricted access, so I don't really know how easy it is to get in.

Any takers? I'm thinking of setting up a hangout, where anyone in my circles can see our band play on jam evenings.

Far out!

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#1706593 - 07/03/11 10:54 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1353
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Not sure about it . . . I'll give a whirl . . though yet another virtual place to keep track of doesn't really make me a happy puppy. smile
It is possible to create closed groups on FB as well.
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#1706603 - 07/03/11 11:18 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> It is possible to create closed groups on FB as well.
I did not know that. I thought posts went to everyone.

If you get on there, look me up.

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#1708041 - 07/05/11 09:13 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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When I solo on Naima I usually go double time feel with 8 to the bar. It's as if each bar gets played twice. With pedaling, I would play a modified modern stride pattern, the Root and 5th on beat one and then on the "+ of beat two" either a 3 note or 4 note rootless voicing. Tempo would be around 100. Also, on the "+ of beat four" I would play a single mote Bb (the 5th of Eb) as a pickup to beat one.

| Bb-7/Eb | Bb-7/Eb | etc
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#1708184 - 07/06/11 12:24 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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Loc: Banned
Did you figure out all the proper scale associations for Naima? That third bar can be a little misleading.
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#1708245 - 07/06/11 03:25 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Jazz+,

I have mostly played Naima to a rhythm section with double time feel. I'm clearly uncomfortable with a pure ballad and even more so solo piano. smile I'll try the modern stride approach.

Now when you say, root, are we talking about the pedals Eb and then the Ab? You end up playing the pedals pretty frequently then? I just occasionally hint at it.

Everyone has a different scale in mind for the 3rd bar, I suppose, but my teacher showed me a different scale to play for the A7. (A B C# D# F# G). The one thing he told me to exclude was the C natural. I was originally thinking A Alt and he didn't think it fit. So the scale I'm using is A7(#11)(13).

What do you play on it?
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#1708337 - 07/06/11 10:20 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 08/07/04
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Chord changes for 'Naima':

||: Bb-7/Eb | Eb-7 | Amaj7+5/Eb, Gmaj7+5/Eb | Abmaj7/Eb :||

|| Bmaj7/Bb | Bb7b9 | Bmaj7/Bb | Bb7b9 |

| B-maj7/Bb | Bmaj7/Bb | Abmaj7/Bb | Emaj7 #4 ||

|| Bb-7/Eb | Eb-7 | Amaj7+5/Eb Gmaj7+5/Eb | Abmaj7/Eb ||

Scale associations:

||: Eb Mixolydian | Eb Dorian | F# Melodic Minor, E Melodic Minor | Ab Lydian :||

|| Bb Phrygian | Bb diminished scale (half-whole)| Bb Phrygian | Bb dim. scale |

| Bb7 'alt' (B Melodic Minor) | Bb Phrygian | Bb Mixolydian | E Lydian ||

|| Eb Mixolydian | Eb Dorian | F# Melodic Minor, E Melodic Minor | Ab Lydian ||
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#1708431 - 07/06/11 12:43 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Your changes are very differently notated. Where did you get this?
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#1708440 - 07/06/11 12:51 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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A couple of different sources has this. Minor variation in notation is that the second to the last chord is noted as F-7 in one and AbMaj7 in another.

|Bb-7 | Eb-7 | B7#11 A7#11 | AbMaj7
Pedal Eb

|BMaj7 | Bb7(#11)(b13) |BMaj7 | Bb7(#11)(b13) |
|E7#11 | BMaj7 | AbMaj7 | Gb13 |
Pedal Bb
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#1708722 - 07/06/11 09:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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I got the changes from listening to McCoy Tyner. They are like yours, except for McCoy plays bar 2 and 4 of the bridge as Bb7b9 (dim scale harmony) and bar 8 of the bridge is Emaj7 #4 (Lydian). The changes I wrote are more exact as to what McCoy's left hand played.
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#1708828 - 07/07/11 01:13 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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It's true that the voicing implied by your changes is very similar to what I'm using.

Just hard to change thinking though once you memorize it a particular way.

I managed to reenter the chords to my iRealBook Iphone App so I can record this in double time feel with a rhythm section. I'll give that a try in the next day or so.
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#1708836 - 07/07/11 01:29 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Technique Question for All: What's a good exercise for increasing velocity when soloing?

A linear scale approach doesn't seem to be the best since soloing tends to mixed arpeggios and linear phrases. Obviously scale practice is the best for linear/scalar speed.

But did any of you try something specific to build facility in soloing, speed wise?

My teacher would always promote motions that force my hand to move in leaps to make sure I'm comfortable with intervallic playing. But as you build up speed and start playing at the really fast tempos, I then realize that most of my attention has been on linear (scalar) movement or chromatic movement. It's really impossible for me to think of individual notes at the really fast tempos. So thinking in sets and patterns might help for now.

I'm thinking to start by maybe just doing things like arpeggiating chords by changing inversions but doing it really quickly, like 250bpm in 8ths. And maybe building up speed in chunks. Short bursts.

I suppose some people do licks too but I don't have a good source of pre-organized licks, other than playing heads at a fast tempo (like Donna Lee, Confirmation, etc.).

Anyway, what's best?
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#1708931 - 07/07/11 08:16 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
cubop Offline

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Registered: 12/17/10
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Jazzwee. Very interesting question you have here. Your question is about increasing speed in jazz soloing, and that is what we are aiming at. But lets take a look at the basics of playing fast. First: how to use your fingers when playing fast. That is very different from playing slow. Next the technical exercises, and how to use those exercises in the most effective way. This is the common basics for all piano playing. But improvisation, especially in jazz, is something special. I have the following approaches to that: Learning theory is obvious. Picking up licks from the best performers works fine for me, but the best approach is perhaps to do an awful lot of improvisation.
Concerning special techniques, arpeggiated chords is fine, since the speed is only limited by what you can do with control of the rhythm.
"Anyway, what is best?" I think Scott Coletta said something like this: The best thing is to approach the problem in as many ways as possible. Well, that is also my best solution.

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#1708958 - 07/07/11 09:46 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Every morning, I transcribed a famous solo. The transcription takes a couple of days. Then I learn to play it. I mark down or remember key fingering. Then I speed it up. I did many Charlie Parker solos. This week, I'm doing Clifford Brown.
That's my technique exercise.

On each tune I learn, I run scales, arps and extended arps. That's good for technique too, and that helps me memorize the tunes.

this was the one from a couple week ago:



By the end of next week, I should have Clifford Brown on all the things. Outrageous solo.


Edited by knotty (07/07/11 09:49 AM)

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#1708964 - 07/07/11 10:02 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Jazz+ Offline
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Jazwee,

What scales are you using for each measure of Naima?

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#1708968 - 07/07/11 10:17 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: cubop]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 632
Loc: Chicago
One technique my teacher recommends is learning a fast, transcribed solo really well, so you can play it note for note at full tempo. She says that this gets yours hands used to intervals you might shy away from at high speed, and thinks it's beneficial even if you don't learn a specific lick from the solo. Right now, I'm transcribing some of Herbie's solo from One Finger Snap, which is certainly fast and amazing.

As for me, off to Jazz Camp on Sunday!

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#1709032 - 07/07/11 12:05 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Learning a transcribed solo is a good idea. What's a good source? I forgot, I was building speed one time playing Chick Corea's Matrix. Maybe I should try that first.

jjo -- you hit exactly what I'm concerned about. At high speed you tend to avoid certain moves and I want to avoid that. I didn't realize this until I started soloing at 240bpm. At this tempo, I can hit notes of familiar shapes but there's too much hesitation for the unfamiliar.

This is just a technical exercise issue. I'm not really concerned if I learn a lick. I just want to avoid the hesitation, especially with larger intervals.

I might invent my own licks too. That's a good double exercise. I just want to do something short since I don't have an hour to spend on this each day.

BTW - I think working on Chopin 10/1 was good at actually building the speed. Too bad the moves aren't directly translatable (because a lot of it is in C).

I seem to be at the edge of jumping to another level here so I just want to push it a little.
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#1709039 - 07/07/11 12:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Jazz+, using my changes...

Originally Posted By: jazzwee

|Bb-7 | Eb-7 | B7#11 A7#11 | AbMaj7
Pedal Eb

|BMaj7 | Bb7(#11)(b13) |BMaj7 | Bb7(#11)(b13) |
|E7#11 | BMaj7 | AbMaj7 | Gb13 |
Pedal Bb


|Bb Dorian | Eb Dorian | B Lydian Dominant | A Lydian Dominant | Ab Lydian |


|B Lydian | Bb H/W Dim | B Lydian | Bb H/W Dim | E Lydian Dominant | B Lydian | Ab | B |

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#1709048 - 07/07/11 12:28 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>>Learning a transcribed solo is a good idea. What's a good source?
youtube or just your own collection.
I recommend non-pianists. Bird has some unbelievably good solos. Donna Lee isn't my favorite, but Moose, Perhaps, Nows the time, Yardbird and Cherokee (Warming up a riff) are all out of this world.Any blues blows you away also. With good chops, you can take some of those full speed. The easiest imho are those where he plays between 180 and 240. Faster is fast, and slower is a lot of 16th that are hard to play.
Fats and Clifford Brown are also great sources, the lines are more advanced harmonically.

If you must stick to pianists, I'd do Bud Powell before doing Chick. Celia, Tunisia. IT's all good. You jut gotta make sure you pick the stuff from his "good" period. Most would not be able to keep up with Bud's abilities, so you'd have to seriously slow it down.

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#1709056 - 07/07/11 12:35 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 632
Loc: Chicago
Here's a good source for some transcriptions: University of South Carolina

My most recent transcription was Wynton Kelly's solo in This I Dig Of You, a great tune off Soul Station. It's a good solo if you want to work on that classic hard swingin' style.

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#1709084 - 07/07/11 01:35 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
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Loc: So. California
Great ideas guys.

Knotty - from what I recall - Matrix was actually pretty good for what I was looking for technically. Lot's of intervallic movement, quartal patterns, chromatic. What was difficult with his stuff is getting the rhythm right based on the transcription and I was spending so much time with the rhythm rather than the notes.

Chick's lines are still Bebop based in general but he overlays a different harmony so it's just a different chord than you expect.

The problem with the more simplistic patterns is that I'm already used to them. Horn players are good though for breaking the pattern since it didn't originate from the limitations of a keyboard.

Isn't the Omnibook a good source? No one mentioned that. I never bought it.
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#1709089 - 07/07/11 01:43 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scotpgot Offline
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Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 128
The answer depends on exactly what the question is. Are you look to simply better your technique? Or are you trying to be able to "think faster". If it is the second, what cubop says above is good.

If it is the first, I have two suggestions. The first is to mix and match the exercises you already know. e.g. arpeggios going up, scales coming down. Alternate arpeggios and chords. etc. etc. etc.

The second one is a question of piano technique, rather than jazz technique. I would probably recommend Chopin Etudes, or short that - Gradus Ad Parnassum or School of Velocity. I know nothing in the jazz canon that will improve technique as fast as those.

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#1709101 - 07/07/11 01:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Online   content
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scotpgot, I'm already doing Chopin 10/1. As I just mentioned, the only problem is that it is mostly in C so it develops a subset of skills as well as stretch. But definitely this is probably the biggest influence on my velocity issue. I actually highly recommend doing it. Jazz though is heavy on the black keys so a black key version of 10/1 might have been handy. The only problem in 10/1 vs. jazz is that 10/1 is linear up and down. There's always support at every move. Jazz is frequently broken up phrases so frequent hand lifting.

But you state a good point. Some of the issues are:

(a) Thinking of it -- at 250bpm is definitely a concern. The immediate answer is to think half time but that's not my goal though. I'd like to more comfortably stream longer eighth notes.

(b) Pure technique is always necessary -- My fingers will tend to gravitate to what it knows best (muscle memory) and I don't like that. Which translates to more linear lines, regular arpeggios, and nearby chromatic. I need to comfort to go anywhere (intervallic).

Not sure what the issue is. Maybe it's fingering at high speed. Maybe positioning. Maybe it's back to thinking.

It took me a while to even be able to solo at 240bpm without losing my place. So maybe it's just that I need more headroom.
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