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#2419748 - 05/12/15 04:15 PM @#!$ High register. Touch and phrasing
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 402
I've been under the impression to play legato at all times and to press the key the whole way down when playing a jazz line. (similar to playing Bach). This works fine in the lower and mid register up until about the C4 (with exceptions I know, but bear with me for the sake of the argument) However, above that I found that this isn't true. A lighter touch and a staccato feel is probably a better choice. Also the amount of chromaticism has to be adjusted somehow as this tend to stands out more in the higher register.

For the longest time I've only been using the low and mid register and Im quite content with how I sound. But as soon as I'm in the high register the amount of overtones the "bach style" playing generates break my flow.

To illustrate my point Lennie tristano Line up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EmjgRnTZJU legato and depressing the keys the whole way down. And here's McCoy playing lighter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDp1l5W_UNY

This might seem totally obvious to some so forgive me my indulgence. But am I right? Has anyone else thought about this? Am I alone in the universe?

Piano & Music Accessories
#2419843 - 05/12/15 08:34 PM Re: @#!$ High register. Touch and phrasing [Re: KlinkKlonk]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1248
Loc: uk south
Jazz players all have their own articulations and dynamics, that is a large part of what makes a players unique and individual swing. The touch of McCoy is different from that of Bill Evans or Herbie or Red Garland or Thelonius etc. Definitely you don't want to be playing legato all the time, a little space in between the notes is important for a good swing I think.

#2420023 - 05/13/15 10:15 AM Re: @#!$ High register. Touch and phrasing [Re: KlinkKlonk]
Nahum Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/27/14
Posts: 636
Loc: Israel
Articulation in jazz is different from the classical,   legato also is different. If we talk about playing in the high register , so the best example - Count Basie ( I studied his touch and rhythm within two years- every morning for 10 minutes ).What characterizes the jazz touch - a permanent percussiveness, although its measure is constantly changing. Nope melodious touch - Jazz has no relation to bel canto and Italian at all , just to English in the American version, not even British !
For example, C. Basie in the high register (and often lower) play non-legato and without accents. Playing non-Legato liberates the natural piano attack of each sound, not as in the classics ; which brought to the forefront.

Edited by Nahum (05/13/15 10:15 AM)

#2423302 - 05/21/15 06:00 PM Re: @#!$ High register. Touch and phrasing [Re: KlinkKlonk]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 828
Loc: Leicester, UK

check out ahmad jamal and fred hersch when they play in high registers (top of the piano).


#2424764 - Today at 07:05 PM Re: @#!$ High register. Touch and phrasing [Re: KlinkKlonk]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 402
Thanks for chipping in. So, would you basically agree that playing in the high register requires a different touch and phrasing then playing in the low and mid register?


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