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Country scales

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Krunoslav, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    BTW, two of the finest classically-trained pianists I’ve known, who also taught classical piano as their only source of income, told me independently that an emphasis on learning modes and the appropriate applicable theory was: A - a waste of time, and B - detrimental to expressiveness, which they both viewed as THE quality that separates pianists who concertize at most levels.

    These two pianists are/were judges for the Florida Music Federation, and developed students judged superior by other Federation members in annual competitions. RIP, Susanna LaJoie. I miss you a lot.
     
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  2. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    Major Pentatonic. "Can you bend them guitar strings?"
     
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  3. Krunoslav

    Krunoslav TDPRI Member

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    I know what you mean. I have a lot of gigging experience, but I have never played country. It is simply not very popular out here. Our "country" music is totally different. And I played a lot of rock gigs, but you know. It is different. Well, personally, I always liked country, and I will learn it, if only for personal pleasure. And I see I can get a bunch of smart advices on this forum. Thanks guys.
     
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  4. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I'm well acquainted with many concert pianists, one is my partner's sister, who perform with orchestras and enter/administrate piano competitions. Out of a over a dozen, only one can improvise at all, and is still a very weak Jazz player. Ability to read music and perform Classical compositions is a narrow field of endeavor.

    Getting a degree in music will require passing theory classes. Being a working Jazz musician at a level to perform with nationally/internationally recognized artists DOESN'T require any formal knowledge of music theory. But, many well known Jazz artists have a lifetime of music studies under their belt, (Kenny Burrell, for instance) including comprehending the Greek modes, which is a trivially easy bit of memorization based on the Major scale.

    Advocating willful ignorance is not a laudable pursuit.
     
  5. Krunoslav

    Krunoslav TDPRI Member

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    Yeah. I am not a guy for theory. By scales, I mean positions on the neck. I do not have to know which notes I am playing. I will be quite satisfied if I find a few boxes in every key, to solo over. :)
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Many people have trouble playing country because they are not into major scales. That's what you need a lot of the time. As mentioned, you can move down into a minor pentatonic and use many of the same major scale notes.
     
  7. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    Glad to hear that you have some experience in classical piano and competitions. And my experience mirrors yours in that both of the pianists I mentioned were and are weak on improvisation. But both of them had/have superb sight-reading skills. In ALL genres of music. The late Susanna LaJoie was also a much sought-after organist (and American Guild of Organists [AGO] member) in South Florida, hired by a number of wealthy Protestant congregations to play inspirational music on the best pipe organs in this area.

    I don’t think those congregations gave a rat’s patoot about her ability to solo in the Dorian, Lydian, or Mixolydian modes. That is, IMO, a completely different skill set. One that my friend Susanna appreciated, since her late husband, Leo LaJoie, was the leader of a big-band jazz orchestra before his death. One that played out every week. And got paid.

    “Willful ignorance “? I think not. Knowing what one does and understanding the value in it? More accurate, IMO.

    I’ve known a few jazz players in my life who are wonderfully expressive and inspiring musicians. I’ve also known far more posers who claim to know and break down music modally, but they typify the “wheedly-wheedly” so-called “jazz musician” who plays 3,000 notes in front of 3 people. While others play classical pieces from memory at the Chopin festival in Fort Lauderdale in front of 1,500 people. Or play 3 or 4 chords in front of 500 people 6 nights a week.

    Everyone needs to decide for themself which type of musician they wish to be, and the path they choose to get there.
     
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  8. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    "Many people have trouble playing country because ..." they won't make the effort to listen to and learn the playing of established Country players, and are looking for a quick shortcut to gratification.
     
  9. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Knowledge in no way stifles creativity, and anyone who espouses such nonsense is anti-intellectual and shouldn't venture anywhere near earnest students of Music.

    Posers aren't Jazz musicians, and their inadequacies shouldn't reflect on competent players. I think you already knew that.
     
  10. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    Yes, I do already know that.

    I also know that your characterization of classical pianists shouldn’t include people such as my good friend Susanna LaJoie, who was a Professor of Music for 29 years before her retirement, teaching theory and performance classes in addition to teaching private students.

    As an engineer (now retired) by profession, I do believe that Knowledge is Power. As a guitarist for 58 years on and off, I believe that expressiveness is something one either has or does not. I also believe that audiences - even those who are uneducated about the nuances of the various note patterns being played - can somehow feel the difference between players who are expressive and those who are not.

    On stage or on recording, I will always choose expression over note-for-note perfection. You, @strat a various, can do as you like.
     
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  11. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Is Susanna one of the pianists that claimed knowledge of Modes stifles creativity? If not, she's irrelevant to the discussion regarding theoretical knowledge having a negative effect on creative performance ... which furthermore has nothing to do with note-for-note perfection.

    I'll give you the last word, you must be tired from moving these goal posts around so much. I'll cordially agree to disagree, no offense intended.

    Oh, and I'll edit to add: Ask Susanna her take on note-for-note-perfection when performing Classical music. Different genres have varying standards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  12. Krunoslav

    Krunoslav TDPRI Member

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    Amen to that brother. I know there is no "easy" way. But, if there is an option for making a path smother, yeah, I am all for it. That is why I am asking for advice. :)
     
  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Well then, here's some advice ... learn to play well... put the effort into understanding the music and the instrument.
     
  14. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    Ok.

    I wish I could ask Susanna. She passed away in 2017. But I did ask her, as well as my other friend I mentioned that was also a teacher of note (and her duet partner at Morning Musicale in Fort Lauderdale). They both said that performing the piece note-for-note was a given at upper levels of play. Expressiveness was the differentiator between pianists of similar precision.

    https://www.tmralph.com/obituary/susanna-lajoie

    She was a great, great lady.
     
  15. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    THEY know what they're talkin' 'bout.

    Sorry for your loss. I recently lost a close piano teacher friend to cancer (also a female pilot). She was a talented and lovely lady.
     
  16. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    Sorry for your loss, too. I still miss her.

    I’ve had the opportunity to record three extremely talented pianists. Only one is still alive. Very sad.

    Time to stop the crossfire. Thanks for the condolences.
     
  17. mojavedesert

    mojavedesert Tele-Meister

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    I try to keep in mind it's just "Three chords and the Truth" with a lot of "big band" arrangements, horn riffs, parlor piano adaptation, and a couple hundred years of musical invention reanimated by the backing band.
     
  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Hank Williams said, "It's all about the Do, Re, Mi."

    He was right. Most Western music (I don't mean Country-Western, I mean western civilization and culture) is based on manipulating the Major scale, or adapting it, but referencing it as a starting point.
     
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  19. mojavedesert

    mojavedesert Tele-Meister

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    And Hawaii.
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Hawaiian music?

    I knew Mary Kaye, played at her birthday party one time. Cool Strat she had.
     
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