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#2060680 - 04/07/13 08:43 AM Berklee improvisation course on Coursera
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
Introduction to Improvisation is a free course offered by the Berklee college of music on Coursera:

https://www.coursera.org/course/improvisation
It will start on April 22nd.


Just in case you wonder about what Coursera is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PojLL3E-zk0

--

Also, if anyone is interested in learning how to play the guitar have a look at this course:
https://www.coursera.org/course/guitar

You can browse Coursera for other music courses:
https://www.coursera.org/courses?search=music
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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Piano & Music Accessories
#2060687 - 04/07/13 09:18 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanks for the tip!
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2060766 - 04/07/13 12:42 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Just signed up. I couldn't tell from the website... Are these courses live? Are they taught along side students at the college?
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2060801 - 04/07/13 02:18 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
The lectures come in form of videos which are recorded (you can watch the videos any time you want). Every week new videos are realeased. The course also includes a discussion forum.

I don't know if the course actually takes place at the college too.
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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#2060823 - 04/07/13 03:25 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2060889 - 04/07/13 05:33 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Looks like the coursera version has an abbreviated syllabus that lasts only five lectures (vs 12 for the full Berklee version). I'm not even sure it is a subset since several of the coursera lectures don't appear in the full course. I wonder if Otis taped separately. Still, hard to beat a free class by Gary Burton.
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2060961 - 04/07/13 07:10 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Riddler Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 609
Loc: Florida
I signed up a few weeks ago.

Looking forward to this!

Ed
_________________________
http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.


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#2061018 - 04/07/13 09:12 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: chrisbell


Thanks Chris.
Here is our course content for the abbreviated 5 week course.

Lesson 1: Overview of the Mechanics of Jazz Improvisation
This lesson explores how improvisation uses our language abilities to construct logical melodic phrases. It introduces the concept of musical speech with vocabulary and grammar, when applied to improvisation.


Lesson 2: Chord Outlines and Chord Scales
This lesson examines the use of chord outlines. It identifies the most commonly occurring chord scales and how to practice them in order to assimilate them
.

Lesson 3: Choosing the Correct Chord Scales
This lesson introduces a set of guidelines for determining the correct choices for scales in various harmonic situations.

Lesson 4: Understanding Harmonic Movement
In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of harmony movement and resolution, and how the improviser uses them when playing through the different types of chord progressions.

Lesson 5: Making Melodies
In this lesson, you will learn about theme development and establishing continuity of melodic phrases and ideas to build musical story lines as a basis for improvisations.

So it looks like I will miss out on comping, and analysing compositions.
I'm really cool with that as I don't think I yet have my ear sufficiently well developed for comping.
Analysing compositions with Gary's insight would have been phenomenal.

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#2061120 - 04/08/13 03:05 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Here's Gary Burton's 2-hour workshop on improvisation. It's excellent:
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2061817 - 04/09/13 10:59 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Thank you for the link! I signed up today, and it looks like a great class.
_________________________
M.M., Piano performance and pedagogy
Member, MTNA and NCMTA

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#2062044 - 04/09/13 04:29 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Is this absolutely free? No obligations at all? Free classes and peer reviews for free seems almost to good to be true. Anyone who's got experiece with coursera?


Edited by Lost Woods (04/09/13 04:29 PM)

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#2062210 - 04/10/13 12:05 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hi LW
I hope you sign up because why would you say no to a 2013 Grammy award winner ?
I haven't done any subject in Coursera but my friends have done Computer Programming and Calculus and have loved it, they enjoy top professors marking their assignments.

I don't think Gary will be marking any of your assignments but you will be marked by "peers" some of which will be advanced, and some from blues/rock/fusion. You don't have to feel pressure to submit anything.

I think your only obligation is to watch the weekly vids.

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#2062229 - 04/10/13 12:56 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Amy B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 78
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Just signed up! I've been actively trying to "free" myself from the notes on the page....this seems like a great way to dive in. Looking forward to it, and thanks to the OP for the info.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK6 (as of 10/22/12!!)
Ivers and Pond upright
MTNA, CAPMT

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#2062281 - 04/10/13 05:34 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Well custard you're right smile I signed up, looking forward to it!

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#2067297 - 04/19/13 06:29 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
It's very considerate of Coursera/ Berklee to advise of the one week delay.

"The tragedy, which took place in Boston this past Monday occurred one block from the Berklee Online offices. Authorities are treating a multi-block radius around the bombings at the Boston Marathon as a crime scene, and as such, access to all buildings in the area has not been possible, including the Berklee Online offices.

Unfortunately, what this means is that we have not been able to access the assets we need to launch our Introduction to Improvisation course with Coursera this coming Monday. We are confident that we will be allowed back into the area shortly, and that we will be able to launch Gary Burton's course on Monday, April 29th.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you, and we are all really excited for you to see what we've created. You are going to love this course.

Thank you for your understanding,

The Berklee Online Team

Introduction to Improvisation Course Staff"

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#2073457 - 04/29/13 12:33 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Anyone else having trouble logging in? Haven't been able to for about three hours now.
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2073540 - 04/29/13 03:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
No problem here.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2074102 - 04/30/13 11:10 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Impressions of the first class? I thought it was interesting how, after a brief high level lecture comparing improvisation to language, Gary threw the students into fairly deep waters. He asked students to analyze his solo with lots of quick eight note passages using lots of chromaticism and alterations, and then asked students to submit their own solos on What Is This Thing Called Love at 160 bpm. While not the most advanced changes, they hardly introductory, starting out in F minor, and then modulating between F minor, C major (with a false start in C minor) and Bb major. No attempt was made to explain how to improvise over these changes. I would have expected him to start with a simpler tune at a slower tempo, or a blues. Reading the class forum, some of the students are clearly baffled, asking questions like "what does F- mean?". Any thoughts on his choice for the assignment?

For me, this is actually starting at the right level. I am still struggling to learn how to improvise, but understand the basics well enough get by. This assignment forces me to record and critique my own solos at a tempo slightly out of my comfort zone. Not to easy but not too hard. I couldn't have done this a year ago.
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2074121 - 04/30/13 11:29 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Good choice.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2074624 - 05/01/13 12:00 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
kippesc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
@Elkayem. Good summary of Week 1. I may "audit" the class. But I'm not too adept at this kind of music, and I don't have the time to do the assignments at any level I could be proud of. Finding the 6 sections of Sea Journey looked like it'd take me half the week, though I figure eventually someone on the forums will provide a map of that solo fairly soon.
_________________________
Steinway B
Yamaha AvantGrand N2
Roland RD-700NX

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#2075830 - 05/02/13 11:32 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Elkayem, totally agreeing with you. Not sure if I can do the assignment. When I opened the solo pdf I was like.. okay well didn't expect that lol. But I think I'll just give it a try even though my improv won't make any sense lol.

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#2076362 - 05/03/13 12:38 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
There are plenty of people on the course forum who are complete beginners and yet are not shy about posting and sharing their soundcloud improv recordings. I think it is great, and fascinating. The only way to learn this art is to practice doing it over and over, and the first assignment has everyone doing it right out of the gate.
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2076559 - 05/03/13 10:30 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Well, I spent most of Week 1 learning how to use Garage Band and Soundcloud and I'll probably have just as much "learning" next week. Finally got my assignment recorded and submitted after a fashion. Can't wait for Week 2!
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2079664 - 05/09/13 06:07 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Elkayem
There are plenty of people on the course forum who are complete beginners and yet are not shy about posting and sharing their soundcloud improv recordings. I think it is great, and fascinating. The only way to learn this art is to practice doing it over and over, and the first assignment has everyone doing it right out of the gate.


Well actually, hearing the beginners like me pulled me over the line.. to try the improv and record. I think what I tend to do is to be to hard on myself.. one can never start with improvising and sound like a pro. I find it hard to keep the pace, find the right notes in RH and keep the left hand chords going.

Well, it sounds like this: https://soundcloud.com/scott-fr-d-ric

When I listen back sometimes I think.. well it's not that bad.. but the other time I'm like, this sounds like nothing.

Have you guys made any soundcloud recordings?

About the leadsheet, I play some chords different cause I'm used to doing that in 2-5-1 (and used to the sound), is this a problem?
I make all the majors and minors a 7/9 and the "7" chords I make b9/b13 expect Ab7 and G7 (bar 14 and 16)


Edited by Lost Woods (05/09/13 06:09 AM)

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#2079686 - 05/09/13 07:15 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hey LW
Those lines were cool, they don't sound they come from a beginner.
You can use whatever chord you like, as long as it:
a) follows (e.g. by a small step) from the previous chord; and
b) the chord sounds good to your ears.


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#2079731 - 05/09/13 08:50 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
custard apple, thx for your reply..
Well I'll take the "doesn't sound beginner" comment as a compliment laugh wink so thank you.
Actually I think I did the approach of "follows by small steps".

Though I had to get used to the Dmi7(b5) - G7(b9 b13) - C sound. Cause my ears want to hear a C minor chord instead of C mjaor. But well, I guess it's just about getting used to sounds.

Really enjoying listening to others on the course forum. Cause everybody has the same 32 bars and very different aproaches and solo's, learning a lot. Because of the assignment it pushes you to play. I used to always stop with trying to improvise after like 1 minute and move on to something I already knew, now I'm pushed to just play play play.

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#2079832 - 05/09/13 12:52 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Not bad LW. I agree with Custard, it doesn't sound like a beginner. Here's my take: http://soundcloud.com/chrisb/c-bell-l01-part2
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2079876 - 05/09/13 02:57 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
kenjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 213
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
I joined late, but thought I would give it a try also. It looks like they are going to weed a lot of us out with this first assignment. It was fun anyway...


Ken's Cousera Improv Attempt
_________________________
The Melody Never Lies

Schimmel 120J

Learning To Play Jazz Piano After Age 50+

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#2079903 - 05/09/13 03:58 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
sounds really good guys.

What were the rules?
did they provide the backing track?

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#2079906 - 05/09/13 04:04 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
kenjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 213
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
Yeah, they provided a backing track and lead sheet with no melody. They also provided a transcript of one verse of Gary's solo for analysis.

Actually, there were two backing tracks. One for piano players (with no piano on it), and one for all others that had a piano player.
_________________________
The Melody Never Lies

Schimmel 120J

Learning To Play Jazz Piano After Age 50+

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#2079910 - 05/09/13 04:10 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Play at least 1 chorus. Otherwise no rules.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2079967 - 05/09/13 06:10 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
It's too bad I missed that course, I think I would have enjoyed it.

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#2080120 - 05/10/13 02:12 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Yikes, I can't believe I'm posting my really lame attempt here!

https://soundcloud.com/elkayem/intro-to-improv-assignment-1

The 160 bpm tempo is simply too fast for me at this stage of my development. 120 bpm would have been more ideal, and my lines sound much more interesting at that tempo. What am I going to do when faced with a really uptempo tune?!

I know everyone learns at their own pace, but I seriously would like to know how many years it is going to take until it starts to happen. You wouldn't know it but I've been at it for over 2 years and still sound like a beginner. My secret weapon is that I am stubborn and refuse to give up until I die.
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2080176 - 05/10/13 06:26 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
you're being way too hard on yourself.
your time was good . your lines ended well and you used good rest.

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#2080201 - 05/10/13 07:56 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hey elkayem
That was a nice Lesson 1 solo.
Personally, I'm happy to be a beginner forever, insofar as if you have high expectations of yourself, it causes unnecessary stress, and decreases your performance level.

Hey Knotty
I'm impressed with how professionally the course is run. It is worth signing up for just to receive Gary's solos and backing tracks.
I expect it will run again later in the year.

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#2080724 - 05/11/13 10:15 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Thanks knotty and custard apple. You are right, I am being hard on myself. It is amazing how much time and effort is required to make noticeable progress, but I am improving little by little. Problem is my standards are set way too high. I expect I should be playing at Oscar Peterson's level in about 200 years, meanwhile I should enjoy the journey more. Thanks for the encouragement!
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#2081045 - 05/11/13 08:53 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Thanks to Chris who noted that I could still join, I did join the course!
Here's assignment 1 for which I'll get no credit (not that I need any).
http://snd.sc/1396BXr

Anyway, I find it odd the way Burton approaches improv. 10 scales to learn but it isn't quite clear when to use which.
For example, when are Phrygian and Aeolian used?

And more importantly, some of the most common scales are missing (at least to me):
- Melodic minor - 1st mode. What are you supposed to play on the 1 of a minor 2-5-1. Maybe we'll find out next week?
- Pentatonic - half the real book is made up of pentatonic melodies)
- Blues. Nothing like a good blues scale to bring it home.
- Harmonic Minor - maybe you don't like that one, but it's my 5 year old's favorite. First scale C minor, 2nd is A melodic Minor and 3rd he ever learned was A harmonic minor. It's gotta be worth something.

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#2081067 - 05/11/13 09:52 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
kenjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 213
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
Masterful! I'm hoping he is going to explain the rational behind all of those missing core scales. I think it is because they are not chord scales and Berklee is at war against non-chord scales. Melodic, harmonic and blues go across a harmony. I will bet that they burn melodic and harmonic at the stake, and reluctantly offer blues as an alternative when necessary.
_________________________
The Melody Never Lies

Schimmel 120J

Learning To Play Jazz Piano After Age 50+

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#2081072 - 05/11/13 10:15 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Thanks ken.
see I thought the basic scale on the 1 of a minor 251 was melodic minor.
just like major scale for major 251.
modes of melodic minor are used as altered (7) and lydian dominant (4). but not the 1st mode. that is odd.

I know some here dont like harmonic minor in jazz (I wont say any names).
but I do, so take that Sweden ;-)

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#2081100 - 05/11/13 11:28 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: knotty
Thanks to Chris who noted that I could still join, I did join the course!
Here's assignment 1 for which I'll get no credit (not that I need any).
http://snd.sc/1396BXr

Anyway, I find it odd the way Burton approaches improv. 10 scales to learn but it isn't quite clear when to use which.
For example, when are Phrygian and Aeolian used?



Hey Knots
Thanks for posting your fun solo.
In terms of modes, I only got up to learning Aeolian as I'm working on other things at the moment.
So I never ended up learning Phrygian.

Aeolian is typically used in a very specific setting in jazz, I still actually haven't found a chord in a jazz standard which calls for this particular type of dark sound.
But also there is a type of jazz standard (that I haven't yet played) with such a long minor harmonic progression such that you can switch modes/scales to maintain listener interest - switching from dorian to blues to aeolian would sound very cool.

I think in this coming week, Gary will talk about when to use chord-scale x or y.

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#2081156 - 05/12/13 02:23 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
Hi Custard, Aeolian is used often on vi-7 especially in the very common
Cmaj7 A-7 D-7 G7 progression , like in "I Can't Get Started" or "Blue Moon".

and Phrygian on iii-7

iii-7 vi-7 ii-7 V7

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#2081199 - 05/12/13 05:15 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: knotty
Thanks to Chris who noted that I could still join, I did join the course! Here's assignment 1 for which I'll get no credit (not that I need any). http://snd.sc/1396BXr
Nice Knotty, very nice.

Originally Posted By: knotty
Anyway, I find it odd the way Burton approaches improv. 10 scales to learn but it isn't quite clear when to use which. For example, when are Phrygian and Aeolian used?
Lesson two is about scales, not chords, that's next week. smile The approach, as I understand it, is getting to know the sound/texture and shape of the different scales; from light to dark (like Gaffa tape; it has a light and a dark side - keep the Universe together . . . ).

However, there is a method to this "madness", it's Gary Burton's method for ... sake. So there must be a reason why he's teaching the stuff in this manner. laugh
Look at the scale choices we have been given for the 2nd assignment, nothing arbitrary there.


Edited by chrisbell (05/12/13 05:57 AM)
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#2081200 - 05/12/13 05:17 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
I know some here dont like harmonic minor in jazz (I wont say any names).
but I do, so take that Sweden ;-)
Yep. And I'm man enough to admit it. smile
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#2081222 - 05/12/13 07:18 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
Hi Custard, Aeolian is used often on vi-7 especially in the very common
Cmaj7 A-7 D-7 G7 progression , like in "I Can't Get Started" or "Blue Moon".

and Phrygian on iii-7

iii-7 vi-7 ii-7 V7


Thanks rintincop, I didn't know that.
I found "I Can't Get Started" in Real Book 6th, and will play around with it tomorrow.
Are you suggesting that the b6 in the leads to the A ?

Are there any excerpts of solos which use Phrygian ?

Cheers
cus

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#2081245 - 05/12/13 08:11 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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thank you Chris and rintincop and cus. That makes perfect sense.

Chris, I am looking forward to that Barrista in 2 months. I hear Sweden is the largest consumer of coffee.

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#2081268 - 05/12/13 09:16 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Chris, I am looking forward to that Barrista in 2 months. I hear Sweden is the largest consumer of coffee.
Ah yes, Quills. Great coffee!
Sorry, only 6th, the Finns are the heaviest consumers.
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#2081768 - 05/13/13 08:39 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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So assignment 2; 6 Scales: http://snd.sc/10ltJEk
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#2081788 - 05/13/13 09:43 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
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I kind of like yours a whole lot more than I like mine. The six vignettes put together is really nice. I tried to put them all together with one theme and common notes transitioning. Ugh.

I also start and end with a bar or two of C (not in the lesson), but shoot me.

Ken's Week 2 assignment
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#2081800 - 05/13/13 09:54 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Thanks. I played them one after another . . I found it very stimulating and challenging.

Pow! Nice idea that, putting a chord/scale/mode as a start and end. I'm so a... that I "have to" follow the given order . . . it's great hearing other version; very interesting. . . . nicely played.
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#2081818 - 05/13/13 10:21 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
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Thanks! I'm not sure if I'll redo it, but its really giving me a hankerin' to look at working up a modal jazz tune now.
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#2082028 - 05/13/13 06:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: kenjazz]
Lost Woods Offline
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Originally Posted By: chrisbell
So assignment 2; 6 Scales: http://snd.sc/10ltJEk


wow I wish I could "see" the notes being played. Ofcourse I could transcribe and know the scales which are used.. but that will take too much time for just an exercise.. but some really neat ideas!!!

Originally Posted By: kenjazz


Love it smile

Love what u guys do with the left hand.. I will try the exercise tomorrow but I think it's likely I'll only just play the chords smirk


Edited by Lost Woods (05/13/13 06:05 PM)

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#2082064 - 05/13/13 07:24 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
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I'm definitely going to redo this. I thought that I could make the scales sound like they had the right character even though I was was playing them over LH that was different (like D Dorian over C6add11 preceded by a G to C bass note). I was wrong, wrong wrong. At the end of the day, it sounds like just playing in C no matter what you emphasize in the RH. I made that mistake on some of the others too. So a redo is in order. It is a nice little exercise, though. Now I know for sure what the sound difference would be.
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#2082307 - 05/14/13 07:58 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Chris
You've captured the six different modes really really well. Thanks for posting.

Hey Ken
Looking forward to your new version. Yup, you have it, moving out of the parent scale is the key.

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#2082350 - 05/14/13 09:51 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Chris and Ken, thanks for sharing! Great playing! Ken, nice idea using Flamenco Sketches. That's the same motif Bill Evans also uses on Peace Piece, and is a great vehicle for modal improvisation. I enjoyed hearing how you used it for the assignment.
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#2082356 - 05/14/13 10:20 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Just checked out the new assignment. 500 Miles High?! Whoa, this is going to scare a lot of folks off (those who haven't left already). All I can figure is that Gary wanted to find a tune where a more traditional functional analysis doesn't work, so his more deductive approach to chord scales would be needed. I'm can't tell where the key centers are on this tune, though I do spot a minor 2-5-1 in there.
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#2082475 - 05/14/13 02:01 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: custard apple
Hey Chris. You've captured the six different modes really really well. Thanks for posting.
Thanks Custard . . and thanks LW. Appreciate that you had a listen.
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#2082494 - 05/14/13 02:50 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Anyone got any tips for (easy) LH patters for the week 2 assignment?
I hear u guys do all kind of stuff but don't know what (maybe it is advanced so I can't even know smile )..

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#2082559 - 05/14/13 05:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
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Hopefully I fixed them to keep the character of the scales.

Ken's Fixed Up Scale Lesson
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#2082565 - 05/14/13 05:05 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
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Thanks for picking up on the Flemenco Sketches. I wasn't sure if it was identifiable enough to pick up.
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#2082974 - 05/15/13 08:35 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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I have to say the method for finding scales is very very interesting. I'll try and post a version 500 Miles in a few days.

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#2082980 - 05/15/13 08:40 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
I have to say the method for finding scales is very very interesting. I'll try and post a version 500 Miles in a few days.
smile Yeah, it is isn't it?!?
Btw, are you going to do the 6-scales? Submission due in 1 day 9 hours. (500 miles due in 1 week, 2 days)


Edited by chrisbell (05/15/13 08:42 AM)
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#2082989 - 05/15/13 08:48 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Week 2, kind of done in a rush but I know I won't have time:
http://snd.sc/10pv7Ww

LW, you can find some very simple LH patterns in there.
A good pattern would be to play just the root on 1 and hold it for 4 beats. I found the tricky part with these was to maintain the tonality and not gravitate towards the 1st mode. For example, A lydian dominant feels like an E- scale. So playing the A in the bottom really helps.

This would be much harder for a horn player with no harmony under.

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#2083028 - 05/15/13 10:47 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Week 2, kind of done in a rush but I know I won't have time:
http://snd.sc/10pv7Ww
Groovy!
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#2083085 - 05/15/13 12:56 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Thanks Chris.
I didn't even listen to it smile

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#2083111 - 05/15/13 01:56 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
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Really nice. I like how you gave his "brightest" of all scales, Lydian, a brighter rhythmic treatment, and his "darkest" of all scales, Locrian, a pensive treatment. Cool
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#2083166 - 05/15/13 03:22 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Wow awesome knotty.

What I hear from you guys, you can make any scale sound really jazzy. I mean I can make the blues scale sound blues.. by just playing the notes lol.. but no way I can make like the C Major scale sound "jazzy".
I think this has to do with the articulation... In general the accents have to be on the "and"? So on the 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.

But it seems you guys have also a certain way to play the notes like staccato or something.

I find the articulation part very hard.

Originally Posted By: knotty

LW, you can find some very simple LH patterns in there.
A good pattern would be to play just the root on 1 and hold it for 4 beats. I found the tricky part with these was to maintain the tonality and not gravitate towards the 1st mode. For example, A lydian dominant feels like an E- scale. So playing the A in the bottom really helps.

This would be much harder for a horn player with no harmony under.


Yeah that's nice. I tried something like the vamps from Dave Frank's lessons. Seems to work.. maybe I'll post mine here lol.. if I got the confidence hah!


Edited by Lost Woods (05/15/13 03:33 PM)

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#2083197 - 05/15/13 04:21 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Thanks ken. Nice of you to comment.

Lw,
Articulation is key. In my view, it's 100 more important than scales and notes. If a guy is blowing on complicated scales, most people won't know.
If you screw up the rythm you will sound like an amateur after just 1 measure.
If burton doesn't get into it, I can share my thoughts later.

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#2083235 - 05/15/13 05:31 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Articulation is key. In my view, it's 100 more important than scales and notes. If a guy is blowing on complicated scales, most people won't know. If you screw up the rhythm you will sound like an amateur after just 1 measure.
Amen to that.
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#2083263 - 05/15/13 06:29 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Week 2, kind of done in a rush but I know I won't have time:
http://snd.sc/10pv7Ww



A high distinction for you Knotty.

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#2083276 - 05/15/13 07:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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blush I gotta listen to those recordings. You all are so kind with me.

But I'm really looking forward to 500 mile high. I'm starting to like GB's approach.

I had developed a method for memorizing tunes, mostly based on ear. So far I've memorized a little bit under 100 tunes. But now I realize there's a whole other layer to it, which is picking scales based on those rules.
So for example, take a tune like Cherokee. Really the whole A section is one big Bb pentatonic scale. I don't think there's a single note in there outside. So that's how I came to memorize it. Once you know that, memorizing the melody is super easy. And the harmony is pretty standard. I don't think I will go back and think all those modes.

But my ear method is weak on tunes that use non traditional harmonies, because it is difficult to hear. So for tunes like Prince of Darkness, which will wipe me in a second, I think it will really help.

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#2083629 - 05/16/13 10:52 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Well since I didn't have much time this week... I tried to learn the scales and record/submit something today... well it's not much compared to you guys but well, I'll just post it.. maybe it just motivates others to record an post here laugh (finger and rhythm mistakes included! lol)

https://soundcloud.com/scott-fr-d-ric/6-scales-exercise


Edited by Lost Woods (05/16/13 10:53 AM)

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#2083781 - 05/16/13 05:53 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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lw,
thats nicely done. one thing is I think you are supposed to start playing the scale straight up, and that helps us hear the improv that comea after, but its a detail.
I think you will enjoy week 3 also.

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#2083983 - 05/17/13 03:49 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Thanks for you reply, yes I think that would make it more clear.. bit rushed the assignment. Today I'll check the week 3 vids let's see what this week is about smile

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#2084046 - 05/17/13 08:07 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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LW,
one easy tip to sound better. The most important note of a phrase is the last one. Hold it and let it ring. On occasion, it's ok to play it short, but generally, hold that last note like you meant it.

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#2084162 - 05/17/13 12:54 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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500 Mile high on a lunch break... I get a bit surprised by the ending :-)

http://snd.sc/13t6Soe

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#2084181 - 05/17/13 01:42 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Not bad Knotty! Very smooth. Like the end of chorus 3 sequence . . . Yeah the ending is on the Cm7.

And now, some inspiration. From the horses mouth: http://soundcloud.com/chickcorea/grammy-500-miles-high
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#2084392 - 05/17/13 07:37 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Was listening to rtf this afternoon and its just incredible the control and flow these guys have

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#2084549 - 05/18/13 04:00 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Yeah those first two albums, Return to Forever and Light as a Feather are jazz classics!
The playing, as you write, is absolutely stupendously groovy; the Rhodes has never sounded better.

Oh man, the 70's; Return to Forever, Herbie with the Headhunters, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Keith Jarrett's american and european quartets - no wonder I'm still "stuck" there.
smile
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#2084798 - 05/18/13 02:44 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Knotty, very nice playing on 500 Miles High! I want to play like you!

Just finished recording my own assignment for 500 miles:

https://soundcloud.com/elkayem/500-miles-high

I feel a little better about this one than I did about my "What is this thing called love" recording, though clearly have a ways to go before I sound like a pro. The tempo (140) is better for me. Feedback and helpful tips welcome.
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#2084859 - 05/18/13 05:31 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
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Knotty - Man, That sounded right on and so so fluid! Amazing that you can just pump that out on a lunch break.

Elkayem - Really nice head on that version. I think you have the same problem as me on this one - getting lost in the form the more verses you go in the solo. Nothing that more practicing wouldn't solve (if we had the time).

Here is my first attempt -

Ken's attempt at 500 Miles High
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#2084960 - 05/18/13 10:00 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Ken, your take has a very nice laid back feel to it. I think I'll go pour myself a glass of wine, sit by the fire, and listen again.

Glad you liked how I approached the head on that. Sometimes simple is the best, at least for me at this point. Three solo choruses is almost too many for me, especially when I'm aware the mic is on and I have to keep "performing". I definitely lost the form in that recording a few times. I've done a few more takes since then, but each has its highlights and blemishes so I think I'll just keep the first take. I also need to improve at "telling my story" as Gary told us in his first lecture, otherwise it can sound aimless.

I'm going to miss this course when it's done. Only 2 more left. frown Maybe I'll sign up for the 12 week version...
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#2085109 - 05/19/13 08:19 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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yeah Elkayem,
I agree your head was spot on, very much in the pocket. one thing that might help you not get lost in the form is playing those scales straigjt up and down a few times. I think even Gary says to do that.
also to stay in the pocket like you were you can play shorter phrases but use mostly 8th notes.

Nice job also Ken. wathc those hits marked on the sheet on the Cm7.
Realize that this tune is tricky because it has 2 extra measures at the end so our hear gets confused. nothing a little singing can't solve!

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#2085161 - 05/19/13 11:27 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Thanks Knotty.

Rhythm has always been one of my areas area that needs attention, so when you use hip terms like "in the pocket" to describe my playing I think I must be doing something right. As the tune goes on, I definitely lose that "in the pocket" feeling a number of times as I struggle to create original lines. Shorter phrases, definitely. Something about Latin tunes makes me want to create these continuous melodies, so I should try to willfully break that.

I am realizing that I may not understand what you or Ken mean be "lost in the form". I never lost my place (I do in AABA tunes sometimes when I forget if the bridge is coming), at least I don't think I did. I definitely did hit a few wrong notes in there. Or maybe you were referring to my rhythm? I need to go back and listen to my recording again...
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#2085256 - 05/19/13 03:12 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
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Originally Posted By: Elkayem


I am realizing that I may not understand what you or Ken mean be "lost in the form". I never lost my place (I do in AABA tunes sometimes when I forget if the bridge is coming), at least I don't think I did. I definitely did hit a few wrong notes in there. Or maybe you were referring to my rhythm? I need to go back and listen to my recording again...


Not completely lost, but the change comes in late or awkwardly since there is more mental trying to remember where we are in the tune rather than having it on auto-pilot.

In my case, at the end of the last chorus, rather than change late, I literally just bailed on a LH voicing hoping that nobody would notice, and hit the change correctly on the RH. If I were locked in on the form, I wouldn't have that miss.
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#2085370 - 05/19/13 06:51 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Hi Ken, ok I understand now and can buy that. That gives me something to go back and listen to. One of the good things about this course is that it forces me to record and listen to my own recordings, warts and all. I see from your blog you've been doing that for years, and yes you've been an inspiration to me that it isn't too late to take on this art.
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#2085381 - 05/19/13 07:35 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Elkayem]
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I also saw what Knotty was saying about missing the marked hits hits on the Cm7. I went back and fixed those. Thanks!
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#2086598 - 05/22/13 06:26 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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#2086605 - 05/22/13 07:08 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Super job on the head chris. That was a nice arrangement.
I also like the bluesy effect in the 3rd chorus.

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#2086676 - 05/22/13 09:36 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Super job on the head chris. That was a nice arrangement.
I also like the bluesy effect in the 3rd chorus.
Thanks K. It was a b.... of a tempo to play to . . I would have loved for it to be faster.
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#2086809 - 05/22/13 01:14 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Another lunch break take. Probably I will submit this one. I wish I had the courage and energy to write and work on an arrangement like you did.

http://snd.sc/13IGjLL

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#2086846 - 05/22/13 02:15 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Enjoyed your lunch break. Yum. Nicely played, very relaxed, it breathes. Do submit it.

Well, I don't know if mine was so much arranged or written. I had an hour today, in-between my wife practising her oboe and shopping, I managed to record 3 versions. But I'm glad that it sounds like it holds together . . . (that sounds very Swinglish).


Edited by chrisbell (05/22/13 02:16 PM)
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#2086863 - 05/22/13 02:45 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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I struggle on what to do with the LH comping.

For now, I've two options. Just comp the A / B rootless voicings with 3rd/7th as lowest note. But this means E-7 won't go smooth into G-7 as those A / B voicings don't lay close to eachother.

Choose another inversion of the rootless chord so it's all smooth voice leading. This means for instance beginning E-7 with F# as lowest note, so for E- = F#-G-B-D which leads nicely to G-= F-A-Bb-D.

same for E7#9 to A min. As A- goes "to low".. because it's diving under middle C?

Next to that we see Bb Maj followed by B-b5.. But these are the same rootless voicings (because of b9 C melody in the piece)?!? So 4 bars same comping?


Edited by Lost Woods (05/22/13 02:48 PM)

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#2086929 - 05/22/13 04:58 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Lw,
Don't sweat the voicings. Pcik one, let it sinl in and stick to it.
For example g b d fs is fine on e-
E g a d is fine also. Just choose one.

For the b minor the root is nice here. D f a b will work good.
Don't do a lot rhythmically in the lh. Focus on a solid flow in the rh instead.

So many things to think about. ..

Chris, your head definitely sounds arranged, which is nice. The inner lines and parallel 6th (?) are at the right place.
I did steal the 2 handed last motif from you. Come to think of it I should have done 2 octaves instaed of 1.

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#2086932 - 05/22/13 05:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
I did steal the 2 handed last motif from you. Come to think of it I should have done 2 octaves instaed of 1.
Yes you should, you owe me a coffee. smile
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#2087179 - 05/23/13 06:18 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Chris and Knotty
Very nice work. Your lines are relaxed with space and your grace notes add to the cool ambience.
You're gonna top the course.

Chris: you should definitely consider performing this at your next gig.

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#2087267 - 05/23/13 10:14 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Thanks Custard!

We'll see about performing it . . . smile
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#2087350 - 05/23/13 11:48 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Since I didn't have any time this week, I just started today trying to improvise over the 500 Miles High tune... and this is exactly why I didn't try improvising anymore.

I just don't know what to do. Switching between scales at that speed makes me confused. Next to the switching I've also have to make a line which makes sense.. well.. it just doesn't work.

Give me one pentatonic (or blues) scale to use over a whole tune and I can improv.. I'll use the scale, arpeggios, add chord notes (if they aren't in the scale) etc. (on my level). Give me 10 scales over every chord a different scale and it sounds like nothing. Really frustrating.

I can run the scales up and down but well, that's not improvising. What I need are some sort of exercises which give something to hold on. Just giving scales and say: see what you can do with them maybe gives me too much freedom. Don't know where to start!


Edited by Lost Woods (05/23/13 11:48 AM)

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#2087367 - 05/23/13 12:04 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Try and look for common tones so that you can connect the scales.
For instance you can use a G on every chord.
Next is to find a second note ex: A (not on every chord, but nearly - not on Fm7)
Then another; F# and F

If you write out the scale tones you'll see that there's several different notes you can combine.
Next is rhythm . . . Patterns . . . it's a bossa . . .

I hear your frustration, but don't let it discourage you, your frustration is a potential for learning.
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#2087472 - 05/23/13 02:47 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Thanks Chris, I'll keep that in mind!
Well... some of my brain power still goes to the chords in the left hand.. so starting earlier than the deadline date.. to get the comping-chords in the fingers.. would be smart. To be really free in the right hand I can't spend to much brain on what chord to play.

Well anyway, I'll just post it. Can use ANY sort of critisism, ideas etc. on how to get better at this......
https://soundcloud.com/scott-fr-d-ric/500-miles-improv-2

O and for some reason my jazz playing is really rough.. gotta find some articulation tutorials.

EDIT:
Well I listened to yours and it's just awesome.
Some things I hear immediatly (next to the awesome voicings):
- sounds like making use of "sliding" on notes from half up/down?
- what you do on 1.15 and 1.17. It's like running down scale quickly very smooth or something like that?
- 1.36.. such a run sounds so cool.. gotta find out how to make one. Is this something you work out before playing or real improvise?


Edited by Lost Woods (05/23/13 02:55 PM)

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#2087493 - 05/23/13 03:11 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lost Woods
Well anyway, I'll just post it. Can use ANY sort of critisism, ideas etc. on how to get better at this......
https://soundcloud.com/scott-fr-d-ric/500-miles-improv-2
Not bad. Nice touch, a relaxed head.
Now you're subdividing with triplets, this is a Latin tune, subdivision works a little better if you think 16ths and little straighter 8 notes.

Originally Posted By: Lost Woods

Well I listened to yours and it's just awesome.
Some things I hear immediatly (next to the awesome voicings):
- sounds like making use of "sliding" on notes from half up/down?
- what you do on 1.15 and 1.17. It's like running down scale quickly very smooth or something like that?
- 1.36.. such a run sounds so cool.. gotta find out how to make one. Is this something you work out before playing or real improvise?

Thanks.
Side-slipping. It works especially best when its a dominant chord, like the E7(#9). Well, listening to Chick Corea play this tune in its original version on the Light as a Feather album will teach and inspire you a lot. Practising with a metronome (or iRealB) is a great aid to getting those runs smooth. (again it's all down to working and practising on subdivisions).
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#2087962 - 05/24/13 12:16 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
Elkayem Offline
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Originally Posted By: chrisbell

Side-slipping. It works especially best when its a dominant chord, like the E7(#9). Well, listening to Chick Corea play this tune in its original version on the Light as a Feather album will teach and inspire you a lot. Practising with a metronome (or iRealB) is a great aid to getting those runs smooth. (again it's all down to working and practising on subdivisions).

Side-slipping? Uh oh, some of these peer review graders are sticklers and are going to expect to hear the "correct" scales wink
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#2088260 - 05/24/13 06:52 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lost Woods


I just don't know what to do. Switching between scales at that speed makes me confused. Next to the switching I've also have to make a line which makes sense.. well.. it just doesn't work.

Give me one pentatonic (or blues) scale to use over a whole tune and I can improv.. I'll use the scale, arpeggios, add chord notes (if they aren't in the scale) etc. (on my level). Give me 10 scales over every chord a different scale and it sounds like nothing. Really frustrating.

I can run the scales up and down but well, that's not improvising. What I need are some sort of exercises which give something to hold on. Just giving scales and say: see what you can do with them maybe gives me too much freedom. Don't know where to start!


Don't worry LW.
Learning how to incorporate the right mode for each measure could take a few years to master.
If you are stressing out over Week 3, just leave it as the week where your lowest mark won't be counted.
You may find Week 4 easier. I like how Chris suggested common tones to you.

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#2088276 - 05/24/13 07:32 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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I'm utterly confused by Week 4.
Can the theory nuts enlighten me, please?

On line 5, we have a guide line:
B Bb A Ab G F# F
I can see that.

So how does that help me solo? Does it mean I get to use this scale (6 chromatic notes) any way I want for these 4 bars?
I think we're suppose to find another line based on third but it doesn't work that great because we get D, D, C and then Ab, to that's more than the whole tone we are allowed.

I actually have no idea what to do with these guide lines.

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#2088294 - 05/24/13 08:08 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
custard apple Offline
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oh Knotty, I have to admit that even though I understand the general concept of common tones, I haven't got past Video 2.
Video 2 is utterly confusing to me as well.

Does Gary means guide line = melodic line ?
It didn't seem clear to me at all.

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#2088299 - 05/24/13 08:40 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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I think the idea is to start on either root or 3rd of the first chord, and then walk up or down using chord tones. That seems to be what he does in his example. Though I fail to see what chord tone of Ab / Eb Gb is.
In other words, we have
E Ab/Eb | C#-7 B7 and so on, and the 2nd guide line is
G Gb E D#

Well I just don't get the Gb.

Help!

wink

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#2088303 - 05/24/13 08:44 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Add to that the fact that the tune is super hard, and either me or Keith are skipping beats, in measure 14, on the F-7, it's written as dotted 1/4 , followed by 2 1/4 notes which correctly adds up to 4 beats, but on the first chorus, keith plays 3 8th notes, skipping 2 beats of that measure. The 2nd chorus, he plays all beats though. So I just think he screwed up, but seeing how he's been one of my main source of happiness for the last 20 years, I'll give him a pass wink

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#2088385 - 05/25/13 01:35 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
Mike A Offline
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..

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#2088386 - 05/25/13 01:41 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
Mike A Offline
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..

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#2088391 - 05/25/13 02:00 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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It would be nice if Gary named the tune he is demonstrating guide tones on so folks could try it... It's "Con Alma" and I transcribed his G.T. lines for you... there was one mistaken note on the video transcription shown and I think he changed the resolutions in the 4th and 8th bar when he played all 3 at once... too bad I cannot upload a .pdf transcription I made of all 3 lines...

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#2088392 - 05/25/13 02:05 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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From Dan Haerle, a different take on the "guide tone game", well explained and demonstrated:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ8i5q1nSsA

"Guide tones are the hooks you hang your melodies on."
"If they're kind of ringing in your head I believe your melody is going to have a stronger shape to it, it's going to lead forward better."
Dan Haerle

And a more basic take on Guide Tones from Emily Remler (a former Berklee student):
Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vICCNOtGZ0
Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdER4qTcuRU
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#2088461 - 05/25/13 08:05 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
It would be nice if Gary named the tune he is demonstrating guide tones on so folks could try it... It's "Con Alma"


Thanks rintincop.
This context does help quite a lot.

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#2088482 - 05/25/13 09:46 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Thanks for pointing out Con Alma. More thoughts later.

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#2088484 - 05/25/13 09:51 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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I see Dave Frank tomorrow. I"m almost afraid to ask...

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#2088567 - 05/25/13 12:58 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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I'm digging this whole guide-tone concept(s), maybe it comes from spending all that time playing and analysing Bach Chorales.
It's maybe easier to discuss when one can actually see the notes:
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#2088568 - 05/25/13 12:59 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
I see Dave Frank tomorrow. I"m almost afraid to ask...
Ask ask! smile
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#2088762 - 05/25/13 06:59 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: chrisbell
I'm digging this whole guide-tone concept(s), maybe it comes from spending all that time playing and analysing Bach Chorales.
It's maybe easier to discuss when one can actually see the notes:


BEAUTIFUL work Chris. Great example of voice-leading.

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#2088880 - 05/25/13 10:25 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: custard apple]
Jim Frazee Offline
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Here's my week 4, Memories:

http://snd.sc/13RRzJb

Wish I'd had more time but I'm off to SF in the morning to see the granddaughter and Napa Valley. As I said on the sight, it IS improv, no? thumb
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#2088895 - 05/25/13 10:48 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Nice work Jim! This is a hard one.

Chris, thanks for posting the guide lines for Con Alma. I think after I do my analysis, I will post for cross check.

Still I am a bit confused as to what to do with these guide lines. Take the first measure of Con Alma. What notes are you allowed? All notes from the entire guide lines? All notes within any of the 3 guide lines?

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#2088918 - 05/25/13 11:08 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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OK, so I think maybe I get it. It's that you use it as chord tones, but instead of picking any random chord tone as your target, you pick a line and stick to it for some period of time.

That still leaves you with the issue of knowing what to play between those target notes.
So I assume the chord / Scale relationship is applied here? So on bar 5-5, you'd do F lydian, F# sym dim, and C major. or can you use C lydian on that F# dim, basically F# locrian, which makes it a lot easier with a lot more common tone and keeps it close to what overall seems to be a tune with a lot of G major scale. I'm gonna say that F#dim falls into the 15% where the basic rule does not apply.

I'll work on the 3rd line tomorrow...

Gracias guys.

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#2088995 - 05/26/13 03:16 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Gary Burton mentioned that most chord sequences have one guide tone line, sometimes two guide tone lines, and rarely 3 guide tone lines... He also said the guide tone approach is most useful when the chords are changing every 2 beats (such as the 5th line in "Memories of Tomorrow ") and when they are not obvious ii V I changes... something Gary forgot to mention is that you play your phrase into the next guide tone which becomes the resolution note, you don't play the guide tone as the starting note of each phrase, it's the last note of each phrase. They are points of resolution! Very important.

I like Dan Hearle's approach to "guide tones", shown on youtube, I think it's is less pedantic, more practical, flexible, easier to use, more creative, and funner... in my opinion.
Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ8i5q1nSsA
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#2089001 - 05/26/13 03:51 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
They are points of resolution!
Good point!


Edited by chrisbell (05/26/13 03:51 AM)
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#2089055 - 05/26/13 08:01 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop


I like Dan Hearle's approach to "guide tones", shown on youtube, I think it's is less pedantic.
Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ8i5q1nSsA


Thank you rintincop.
You are right, Dan's approach is significantly less pedantic.
For starters, Dan's definition of a guide tone is quite broad: a guide tone can be a 3rd, 7th, or other extension, or other alteration.

At the moment, I'm still trying to digest Gary's video 3.

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#2089085 - 05/26/13 09:32 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Hi Rintin,

I watched the Dan Hearle video. It is much easier indeed, but partly due to the fact that he picks a straight tune. I would think that for All the things you are, the concept of common scales applies mostly throughout.
I see Gary Burton's method as a way to help the student play through changes that are not common and move very fast, like Con Alma.

I'm going to work on memorizing that tune using these tones and then start blowing on it.

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#2089226 - 05/26/13 02:17 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Jim, I liked your version of Memories.

Here is my assignment. I really like this tune.
https://soundcloud.com/elkayem/memories-of-tomorrow
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#2090434 - 05/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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In "Olhos De Gato" by Carla Bley, it seems odd that Gary would identify Bb/A and B/Bb as lydians...

Bb/A sounds distinctly like A phrygian, not Bb lydian
B/Bb sounds distinctly like Bb phrygian, not Bb lydian

lydian has a floating and major sounding quality to it..
phrygian has a tense and dark sounding quality to it...

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#2090448 - 05/28/13 03:49 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
In "Olhos De Gato" by Carla Bley, it seems odd that Gary would identify Bb/A and B/Bb as lydians...
Bb/A sounds distinctly like A phrygian, not Bb lydian
B/Bb sounds distinctly like Bb phrygian, not Bb lydian

I don't find it odd. One reason is that Phrygian moves the tune into Spanish la fiesta land, and that's not CB's intention with the piece. The Lydian scale combined with the Maj7 as a root is a very cool sound. But . . I do love the Phrygian scale too . . .

I've spent a week many years back in the studio with Carla Bley, watching, talking and listening to her rehearse a big band work through her music. She would say "go for both if you want . . . it's your solo . . ".

btw on that note, She and Steve will be coming to Sweden next year to perform music written for a octet of Swedish musicians, I've been asked to record the sessions . . . sheer pleasure for me.
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#2090483 - 05/28/13 07:37 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
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Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.....it's all happening in Sweden.
You always manage to record/produce the big ones !

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#2090564 - 05/28/13 10:18 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Chris,

When "Olhos De Gato" reaches the Bb/A measures and the B/Bb measures do you feel and hear them as measures of release? As major harmony, virtually free of harmonic tension? That characteristic floating tension free major sound that Lydian has? ... Or do you hear them as a darker sound with substantial harmonic tension?

I hear those 2 bar episodes as one of harmonic tension, to me it's obviously the feeling of phrygian and not the harmonic release that lydian creates.

J+

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#2090566 - 05/28/13 10:22 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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I don't think it's a matter of which mode is easier to think of... I think it's important to know what two very different sounding modes really sound like...

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#2090571 - 05/28/13 10:30 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Okay... I guess it's sort of like this. If I want somebody to play the scale over C7 alt , then I tell them to play the C# melodic minor scale over C... although that can becomes a crutch after a while if the students never realizes what the alt scale is in its own right..
It's a way of explaining a short cut to those that don't know their "alt scales", it's the simplest way to find it...
In this, case Bb lydian explains to those not fluent in phrygian how to find the same pool of notes, it provides a short cut... but in the end the sound is phrygian not lydian. And perhaps some students never get the distinction.

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#2090594 - 05/28/13 11:11 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
When "Olhos De Gato" reaches the Bb/A measures and the B/Bb measures do you feel and hear them as measures of release? As major harmony, virtually free of harmonic tension? That characteristic floating tension free major sound that Lydian has? ... Or do you hear them as a darker sound with substantial harmonic tension?

I hear those 2 bar episodes as one of harmonic tension, to me it's obviously the feeling of phrygian and not the harmonic release that lydian creates.
I hear them as separate entities, free-floating . . . It's tricky when it is these chords with a pedal-bass, but I tend to view and hear the chord above the slash as the important thingie. (sorry, late in the afternoon, kids are hungry . . ), to me Olhos is straight out of classical harmony; Satie, Chopin, etc so I tend to view/hear it that way.
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#2090599 - 05/28/13 11:18 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
If I want somebody to play the scale over C7 alt , then I tell them to play the C# melodic minor scale over C...
As you write, its a crutch. Its a great mnemonic, but its leads to faulty thinking/playing. As a C altered scale is not a C# melodic minor; 7th degree.

It's like the Bb/A, that's a Bb major triad over a A, not a A phrygian - same notes, different sound/approach. As its a Bb major triad I focus on the Bb D F A
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#2090608 - 05/28/13 11:33 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Rintin,
For what it's worth, I think these scales become familiar once we play them. If the student picks a tune he's going to work on for a few weeks, and eacj time use c altered over a particular chord, that link will become natural and automatic as gary burton describes.
I think it is better to teach the proper concepts, but add new elements slowly.

I feel gary's course is week in that respect. It introduces many scales, but fails to tell us what to do with them. The concepts are extremely advanced, especially for a beginner improviser.
It is not enough knowing what scale and chord to use. One has to digest how to use those.


Edited by knotty (05/28/13 11:33 AM)

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#2090703 - 05/28/13 01:53 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Here's the lunch take for memories of tomorrow. I ran through the tune over the week end but didn't get to record.

I find this to be a very difficult tune, but I may post it as the final product. I'm not sure how much more I want to spend on it. Especially since lesson 5 has started.

http://snd.sc/13X6dit

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#2090729 - 05/28/13 02:21 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Here's the lunch take for memories of tomorrow. I ran through the tune over the week end but didn't get to record. I find this to be a very difficult tune, but I may post it as the final product. I'm not sure how much more I want to spend on it. Especially since lesson 5 has started.
Not bad K! Not bad indeed. Yeah, its difficult tune, also I'm getting frustrated about the tempo chosen . . . so I'm rushing all the time. You played the head very nicely.
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#2090816 - 05/28/13 04:59 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Thanks Chris.
Is the tempo too slow for you?

While practicing, I did a few 16th lines, especially on that d/f# followed by f. It worked good there.
But listening back, it was a bit rushed.

There are multiple challenges. For one, the changes are pretty tough And come quick.
Then, one needs to use a nice blend of scales and arps, while maintaining the concept of guide lines.
I dont know if those guide lines came out clear or no, but I was trying to have them there, not limited to a single octave.
I was not able to mix guide lines within a phrase.

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#2090819 - 05/28/13 05:02 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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A tad.

Also, the sort-of-bossa feel is not a favourite of mine.
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#2090950 - 05/28/13 10:15 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Would you not agree that phrygian and lydian have distinctively different sounds?
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#2090993 - 05/28/13 10:48 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Chick Corea taught me these triads over the bass note more than 20 years ago. He said this was the key to mastering modal harmony for improvisation. He had me practice them in all 12 keys to the point they are all automatic now.

E/A is the characteristic sound of Ionian
C/A is the characteristic sound of Dorian
Bb/A is the characteristic sound of Phrygian
B/A is the characteristic sound of Lydian
F/A is the characteristic sound of Aeolian
Eb/A is the characteristic sound of Locrian

Spend 3 minutes vamping on each and playing the mode, really listen to the sound until you can recognize it by it's emotional quality.

One should know and hear the associated parent majors scales of each mode in all 12 keys without thinking, and this quickly became the case with a little practice. There's no time to think about it when improvising.. this is really the ABC's of modal playing, so basic. But it is not stressed by many in jazz education.

I am a bit surprised about gary about implying it's a lydian sound...

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#2091025 - 05/28/13 11:19 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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See how the minor second and minor sixth intervals can be considered characteristic of the Phrygian mode, and how Bb/A captures that. See that the E in the melody is a passing note and not included in the left hand voicing, so you could argue that Bb Lydian places the wrong emphasis.

Okay, I am done with this lesson. I hope I am getting through but I fear I am not,
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#2091127 - 05/29/13 03:55 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
Would you not agree that phrygian and lydian have distinctively different sounds?
Absolutely. Sorry if I've been unclear about this.
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#2091129 - 05/29/13 04:06 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
I am a bit surprised about gary about implying it's a lydian sound...
When Chick plays those harmonies/scales his analysis makes perfect sense. On the other hand Gary's soloing makes also perfect sense. I "get" Gary's interpretation, he views the chord as the sound so Bb/A is a Bb lydian over an A played by the bassist. It's a different sound, than hearing A Bb C . .

And then again, they both are able to play together . . . smile

on that note: Gary says: play Locrian over a m7(b5), when Pat Metheny says in several interviews (and lesson recordings) play Locrian #2.

So many choices . . . so many colours . . . I used to be adamant Locrian #2, but after listening to Gary's lecture: "check the melody . . ." I've changed my mind, Locrian on some tunes, Locrian #2 on some tunes.
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#2091133 - 05/29/13 04:13 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
See how the minor second and minor sixth intervals can be considered characteristic of the Phrygian mode, and how Bb/A captures that. See that the E in the melody is a passing note and not included in the left hand voicing, so you could argue that Bb Lydian places the wrong emphasis. Okay, I am done with this lesson. I hope I am getting through but I fear I am not,
I hear you, have no worries. Its a good discussion.
To me in depends on context (and of course what do I want to achieve).
In the context of Carla Bley and her sound world then Lydian is fine, in the context of Chick and his world; a Phrygian sounds great.
An interesting experiment is to let the bassist play the bass notes and the pianist plays only the triads and the corresponding scales (no root notes).
It's a bit like the first bars of Green Dolphin Street; is it Maj7 min7, etc or is it Maj7 Maj7 Maj7 Maj7 . . .
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#2091159 - 05/29/13 06:02 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Here's my lunch break (Memories of T): http://snd.sc/19lodFD
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#2091167 - 05/29/13 06:20 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop

E/A is the characteristic sound of Ionian
C/A is the characteristic sound of Dorian
Bb/A is the characteristic sound of Phrygian
B/A is the characteristic sound of Lydian
F/A is the characteristic sound of Aeolian
Eb/A is the characteristic sound of Locrian

Btw. Thanks for sharing the above. Interesting and illuminating of Chick's chord/scale thinking.
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#2091175 - 05/29/13 06:38 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Hey chris,
Nice control. You just had to put t house those 16th where I said, didnt you.
I like the inner lines on the last fmaj, a la jarrett.
The guide lines did not come out as clear on the 4th line as it did on the first. I had to really break this one down into small sections.

How was your lunch?

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#2091176 - 05/29/13 06:43 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Thanks. Yeah that, D/F# just wants to have them thrown in there.
Guide-lines? F--- them! I just want to play! smile

Lunch was good. Schnitzel, salad and freedom fries.
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#2091374 - 05/29/13 01:00 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Ah, now that I see lesson 5, I understand why you all are talking about this obscure tune smile

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#2091379 - 05/29/13 01:03 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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I must be theory challenged, because I would have definitely picked a melody minor on that first A- chord... The fact that it says A- and not A-7 is a hint, but the fact that the voicing as the 6 in it would make me play a major 7th, not minor.

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#2091420 - 05/29/13 01:49 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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So now the whole discussion of Bb/A has opened a big can of worms for me.

Up until now, I thought they were 2 kinds of / chords. Those where the bass is in the triads, and then the rest.

For example, if I see C / E, then I take it that we want an inversion of C, nothing more. Since GB's course, I know to look for guide tones. Probably this was written this way with the intent to use a particular bass movement.

The 2nd kind would be E / C.
In that case, I see it as a simply way to write C maj7 #5. To think of it in terms of upper structure. One triad over a bass note. The chord in this case is a C chord.

So in the case of Bb/A, I would say like J+ and think that A is the chord, and the really, we're asking for Phrygian. Though one might argue that the intent is really Bbmaj7 / A. In which case, you'd see it as a Bb chord.

Getting home tonight, I will check Levine's book to see his thoughts on it.

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#2091479 - 05/29/13 03:58 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
rintincop Offline
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Phrygian has a distinctive sound (dark and brooding) and so does lydian (light and majestic), basically almost opposite sounding... It's beyond me how somebody really listening can hear lydian in the tune at that point ... it's sort of like saying sad sounds happy...

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#2091483 - 05/29/13 04:03 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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With his rushed schedule I think Gary must have simply forgotten to mention it's A phrygian (Bb/A) and that you can think of the Bb lydian scale when soloing (or the F major scale, or any of the 7 modes in F major for that matter).

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#2091520 - 05/29/13 05:04 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Have you seen this? Gary's solo on Green Dolphin St, transcribed by a participant.
https://class.coursera.org/improvisation-001/forum/thread?thread_id=1419
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#2091931 - 05/30/13 05:35 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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For some reason or the other, I don't really (and never did) dig this scale/guidetones etc. thing... Why not? Because there is a lot of thinking going which on distracts me from making the music and why think about a scale if all notes are available.

I would rather approach improv the way like, how Gary tells, Stan Getz does.
"He had never studies music theory much, didn't know much about chords, he just knew the basic triad for each chord symbol that he saw. He would start with those notes and than use his ear to find other notes and he would make mistakes sometimes, but he got very good at correcting them by sliding into the next note to make it sound ok and so on."

Since I'm never going to be a professional Jazz piano player, and do not have the time pro's have... Sometimes I think, isn't it smarter just to concentrate on the ear and learn how to play the melody's straight from your mind without thinking in scales etc. Isn't that what Improv is about in the end? Do pro's play like "o here is D dorian, E altered, A symmetrical diminished" or just "go with the flow" without really thinking about scales.

I'm thinking about a way to try playing the line as you hear it in your mind by for example: hear the changes (and melody).. than stop playing the changes (pause), sing the melody that just came up and learn it with your fingers and play it over the changes. Again and again until you can almost nail (any) melody in your head correctly immediately without having to pause..

Maybe I'm just not patient enough... but hope you guys understand where I'm coming from.

EDIT:
This is almost exactly like how I think:
Greg Fishman: Some students learn to play a diminished whole-tone scale when they see an altered dominant chord, and so they are going to play it because it is the "correct" thing to do. The problem with that is that it's meaningless if they arrive at those note choices by theory alone, and not by ear. I call this phenomenon "empty note playing." These are notes without specific harmonic intent. The notes may be technically correct, but they won't be as convincingly played as the same notes arrived at by a gut-level, emotional feeling to play those particular sounds.

http://www.iwasdoingallright.com/ear_training/184/


Edited by Lost Woods (05/30/13 05:45 AM)

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#2091976 - 05/30/13 08:19 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
knotty Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
With his rushed schedule I think Gary must have simply forgotten to mention it's A phrygian (Bb/A) and that you can think of the Bb lydian scale when soloing (or the F major scale, or any of the 7 modes in F major for that matter).


What about that first A- chord, would you see Dorian also ?

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#2091979 - 05/30/13 08:25 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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LW,

Don't feel bad. This course is VERY advanced.
A very smart teacher told me that beginner improvise with emotion and feeling, but as they advance, they learn to apply all those rules they have accumulated over the years.

That's not to say that everyone plays with guide lines. In fact, I'd bet that many of the greatest musicians wouldn't even know what they are.

I'm pretty sure Gene Harris didn't care about guide lines. That doesn't mean he didn't approach the music systematically.


The funny comment about Getz was "We don't want to settle for that.". When obviously, we gladly would !!

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#2092031 - 05/30/13 10:29 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Elkayem Offline
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Yes, what I wouldn't give to have that wonderful lyrical sound of Stan Getz. I recall hearing (from a documentary I saw 20 years ago so hopefully still have my facts straight) that Stan's buddy Chet Baker was the same way, and in fact could barely read music. I often wonder how common having a truly great ear is among jazz musicians, especially among people just starting out. I expect that over time my ear will slowly develop, but meanwhile chordscales give me a leg up on narrowing down the choices of notes.
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#2092187 - 05/30/13 01:55 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Elk,
Dave Frank is going to release another YouTube video covering ear training.
He will talk about lennie's method, charlie's, and finally his own.
Charlie Banacos is notorious for being one of the best jazz teacher ever and his ear trainig method is often referred to. However, everything ever taught was often very secretive. Presumably because he tailored his approach to each student.
Anyway, if you ve had the chanve to experience dave's ear, you will, like me, wait for the video to come out.

It is likely going to be painful. ..

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#2092200 - 05/30/13 02:05 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: rintincop]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: rintincop
With his rushed schedule I think Gary must have simply forgotten to mention it's A phrygian (Bb/A) . . .
I really don't think so, GB is extremly concious of what he's doing/saying/playing . . also as I can recall, from interviews, etc, Carla Bley wrote Ohlos for him, and she is very particular about what scale-sound to use in her tunes.
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#2092206 - 05/30/13 02:15 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lost Woods
For some reason or the other, I don't really (and never did) dig this scale/guidetones etc. thing... Why not? Because there is a lot of thinking going which on distracts me from making the music and why think about a scale if all notes are available. . . .
You're bringing forth some really valid points LW. David Baker told me in a class last summer (yay go Aebersold summer-camps!) that he was wrong in a lot of his early books and that the ear should always prevail.
That said, I really enjoy theory, I like finding out how and why "things" work, but apart from analysing, learning about chord-tones, etc I couldn't really connect it with my ear until I met Pat Harbison last summer (yay go Aebersold summer-camps!) in his theory class that I finally got a method to practice chord/scale relationships.
So I really believe that theory combined with an intuitive ear is the way to go.
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#2092207 - 05/30/13 02:16 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Anyway, if you ve had the chanve to experience dave's ear, you will, like me, wait for the video to come out.

It is likely going to be painful. ..
I hear you Knotty.
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#2092211 - 05/30/13 02:25 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Lost Woods]
chrisbell Offline
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Thanks for the link LW. Lot of interesting material to read.
Also I got this tip from the blog: http://www.iwasdoingallright.com/playbyear/iphone/
iPhone or Android, and its free!
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#2092255 - 05/30/13 03:41 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Thanks for the link LW. Lot of interesting material to read.
Also I got this tip from the blog: http://www.iwasdoingallright.com/playbyear/iphone/
iPhone or Android, and its free!


No problem:) Thanks for your comments.
Well for android it's not free.. but I'm downloading it right now.. well spend €1,45 (or 2 dollars). Really appreciate someone taking time to make it.

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#2092783 - 05/31/13 10:36 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
rintincop Offline
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Dear LW,

I found this paragraph written by jazz trumpet instructor Pat Harbison:

"It is the role of the conscious mind to listen to what's going on around you and to imagine the sound of the missing part. If you are reading music the dots tell you what sounds to imagine. If you are playing a memorized piece it is your memory that supplies the missing part. If you are improvising it is the unconscious creative mind that supplies the missing part. This is all that you should be consciously aware of while playing (when you have achieved a high level of skill). Sing the sound of the missing part in your mind and trust your unconscious mind, nervous system, and muscles to do what you have ordered. Your unconscious mind will do the very best it can based on your present level of skill and experience. We practice fundamentals (chord/scales/arpeggios) in order to store efficient ways to make all of the various sounds we might desire in our unconscious minds as kinesthetic memories. "



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#2092796 - 05/31/13 10:56 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Yay. That's Pat alright (Prof of Jazz studies at Indiana).
He's a great teacher and as I wrote earlier he has a really good method to practice theory and enable it to move from the conscious mind to the intuitive part.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2092991 - 05/31/13 04:25 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Lost Woods Offline
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Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Thanks rintin that's a really nice paragraph!

EDIT:
I just read "Learning to improvise - introduction / Learning to improvise - Article links" from the blog I mentioned earlier.

These are some good points why to learn the theory/chord scales:
"LEARNING THE SOUND OF JAZZ
Playing scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions will help train your ear to identify the sound of jazz melodies and harmonies."

"STIMULATES NEW IDEAS
Advanced theory concepts such as chord substitutions and alterations can help players unlock new sounds and directions in their playing. For some people, these ideas are easier to come by when visualized and/or thought of from a mathematical/structured approach."

That's a good point. I can only imagine playing for example a D dorian scale in my mind if I know what it sounds like. So knowing your scales/arpeggio's etc. broadens the horizon.


Edited by Lost Woods (05/31/13 07:48 PM)

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#2094448 - 06/03/13 10:23 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2094522 - 06/03/13 12:32 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Ah Chris... you son of a gun. I was gonna skip this last lesson.

Now I pretty much have to play that blues, don't I?

Well, it is lunch time....

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#2094531 - 06/03/13 12:44 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Alright, here we go.

I got totally surprised by the ending. I had an eye on garage band and I could see it kept going, but then finally it stopped smile. So sorry for the lame ending.
http://snd.sc/11RyasQ


I don't think I will take a stab at the other tune.

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#2094533 - 06/03/13 12:45 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Chris, I will listen after my break...Maybe that will make me want to play that other tune.

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#2094568 - 06/03/13 01:29 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Ahh take a stab at it.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2095090 - 06/04/13 07:39 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: chrisbell


Your stuff was really fun to listen to.
Thanks for posting Chris.

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#2095091 - 06/04/13 07:43 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: knotty
Alright, here we go.

I got totally surprised by the ending. I had an eye on garage band and I could see it kept going, but then finally it stopped smile. So sorry for the lame ending.
http://snd.sc/11RyasQ


I don't think I will take a stab at the other tune.



Hey Knots
Your blues had a really strong structure. I liked how you built up to the climax.

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#2095246 - 06/04/13 12:40 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Originally Posted By: chrisbell

Your stuff was really fun to listen to.
Thanks for posting Chris.

Thanks Custard.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2096404 - 06/05/13 05:28 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Nice notes, folks . And it swings. I think if you injected just a tiny bit more energy into the swing you would really have something there. Check Red Garland and Wynton Kelly, the way they make there swing sound lively on a blues at that tempo.
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#2097450 - 06/06/13 10:31 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Nice playing, Chris but you should have included Gary's head, at least according to the assignment. Me, I sure liked what you did. And, FWIW, here's mine . . .


http://snd.sc/15KG3iS

As DF says,"Seep Kwingin'!"
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2099362 - 06/09/13 03:06 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Jim Frazee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Jim Frazee
Nice playing, Chris but you should have included Gary's head, at least according to the assignment. Me, I sure liked what you did.

Thanks.
Though I'm not sure what you mean, in the blues I do play the head that's on the pdf.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2100129 - 06/10/13 07:06 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Any final comments now that it's over?
I enjoyed it and learnt a couple of things I didn't know so for me it was worth the effort.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2100374 - 06/10/13 02:22 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
+1 Chris
Though I skipped the last tune, I did learn a good amount of stuff. Nice class, well worth it.
Thanks for getting me to do it!

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#2100866 - 06/11/13 10:26 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Well, I'll be . . . you did play the head (and quite nicely, may I add). thumb I don't know what I was listening to - very strange. Anyway, I did enjoy the course a lot and have lots to work on in my own time. Let's hope there's another! In the evaluation, I wrote that I'd like to see a coursera offering on reharmonization, whole tone series compositions, etc. Whatever they offer, I'll probably sign up.
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2100890 - 06/11/13 11:42 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Jim Frazee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Jim Frazee
Well, I'll be . . . you did play the head (and quite nicely, may I add). thumb I don't know what I was listening to - very strange.

No worries. smile
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2100892 - 06/11/13 11:43 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: knotty
+1 Chris Though I skipped the last tune, I did learn a good amount of stuff. Nice class, well worth it. Thanks for getting me to do it!
Välbekommen.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2105709 - 06/21/13 11:40 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
I just received my certificate from Gary's course and I scored 91%. I am 60 and haven't been in school in for some time and so this was a real challenge for me and a lot of hard work. It was a wonderful learning experience and considered taking the whole course but at $1,800 reality sets in. Just curious what others scored?

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#2106245 - 06/22/13 02:01 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
99.7%
I enjoyed it, learnt some new stuff and I dig Gary's approach.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2106479 - 06/22/13 10:13 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
99.7%


What happened to the 0.3% ?
Congrats Chris, I told you that you'd top the course.

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#2106514 - 06/23/13 12:14 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
I figured as much Chris your work was really nice to listen to. In fact olhos de gato was a problem till I heard your version and some others to get a feel for the tune. I noticed that some were upset at their grade [not that it matters] but if you did not score high with what you presented I might of gave some credence to to grips on the discussion pages. Again it was a wonderful experience to see music the way Gary Burton analyzes and hears music.
DPVJAZZ

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#2106568 - 06/23/13 04:33 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Well I guess it shows I have some important work left to do. We, as humans, share 99% of our genes with bonobos and chimpanzees, and look where that last 1 procent has taken us. smile

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

Now off to prepare for my two weeks at the Aebersold camp. One Two Three Four . . .
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2106618 - 06/23/13 08:58 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I was watching a video about aebersoldv yesterday and guess who I saw playing the bass? wink

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#2106634 - 06/23/13 09:40 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Veelo]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Moi?
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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#2106694 - 06/23/13 11:40 AM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: chrisbell]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Hey, Chris!

My bass player, Allan Gabel, is also going to the camp. Look him up if you get the chance - I also told him you would be there and to look you up. sickI'm green with envy . . .
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2106726 - 06/23/13 12:52 PM Re: Berklee improvisation course on Coursera [Re: Jim Frazee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1361
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Jim Frazee
Hey, Chris! My bass player, Allan Gabel, is also going to the camp. Look him up if you get the chance - I also told him you would be there and to look you up. sickI'm green with envy . . .
Will do!
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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

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