Stop repeating yourself, start making music

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ASATKat, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    The great Bruce Forman talking about "getting away" from the changes and just make music.



    I've been hip to Bruce since around '83 when he was guest artist at my college jazz show, but it was the clinic where everyone's jaw dropped, awesome player. One of my favorite bebop players.
     
  2. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Plus, that is an absolutely beautiful guitar.
     
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  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bruce Forman is the $h1t!
    Great player and super nice guy.
     
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Cool!
    Groovy red guitar, too!
     
  5. G-52

    G-52 Tele-Meister

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    Okay.

    Okay.
     
  6. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

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    Easier said than done. If music is a journey, reaching the point where you can just cut loose is a ways into the trip, an obviously important milestone.
     
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  7. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Respectfully I have to disagree. This place of "playing what you feel" is not a destination way out in the future. It starts as soon as you make the choice to play what you hear. Playing what you hear does not require any theoretical ideas like scales etc.

    One thing with playing what you hear, you need to believe that what you're playing in the moment will lead you to the next correct note. You need that confidence.

    Here is a fact, when soloing and you hit a sour note, you are never more than 1/2 step away from a note that WILL work so the sour note can be used as a tension note in tension/release. That trick also requires great hearing not learned in books or school, it's a personal development.

    Something I've heard from a number of well developed musicians,,,
    "today you play what you hear,
    tomorrow you'll be better at it".

    Martin Taylor says, "there are no wrong notes, only opportunities".

    Bruce Forman would say at his clinics,,,,
    "make practice your play and make play your practice"

    That is a lot of permission lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Playing what you hear requires you to hear it. And to hear it in context of the song and what the other musicians are doing. And to know where to find what you hear on the fretboard.

    Unless you are some sort of natural prodigy (if that even exists?) that is well down the line and way into the journey, as @thebowl notes.
     
  9. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    I hate videos with this kind of advice. Or, I should say I hate how they are often interpreted on the internet and how they are taken out of context.

    Yes, I agree that playing in a bubble of licks is boring for everyone involved. Takes a lot of skill, taste, and knowledge to get out of that habit and create compelling music though. He’s not just blindly freewheeling his way around the fretboard.
     
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  10. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

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    That is all very interesting; inspirational, I suppose. I guess I will alter what I originally posted by saying that in my own musical journey, it has taken a long time to get to the point where I feel comfortable cutting loose, which has happened for me recently. I won't bore anyone with the details, but it has been an atypical journey. I first began to play 50 years ago, with a decade off here and there. I finally began to learn theory in the from of scales, cord formation, harmonization, etc. within the past 5 years or so. Could/should I have tried to just "cut loose" years ago? Perhaps, but I honestly can't imagine that it would have been very rewarding. I can imagine a lot of frustration and, frankly, a loss of interest. There may not be wrong notes for Martin Taylor, but there sure are for me.
     
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  11. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting, there is no blanket method to all this, we are all just chipping away at the paint.

    I'm talking about starting easy, stuff you know. There is plenty of harder things down the road, but imo start at the very beginning with this, even your first licks.

    Take licks that you know, use your ear and play the same licks in all the spots on the fretboard. For example, how many ways are there to play these four notes

    -8--5-------- . -8------------ . --------------------
    ---------8--5-. ----10--8--- . -13--10---------
    ---------------- . -------------9- . -----------12--9
    ---------------- . ---------------- . -------------------
    ---------------- . ---------------- . -------------------
    ---------------- . ----------------. --------------------

    ---------------------- . ---------------- . -
    -13----------------- . ---------------- . -
    ------14--12------ . -5--2--------- . -
    -----------------14- . ---------5--2- . -
    ---------------------- . ---------------- . - etc...
    ---------------------- . ---------------- . -

    Play all that by ear, in all the locations, in all keys, no eyes only ears. Become a good assessor of the simple task. Don't call it hard, simplify and "think how easy it is", build it up slow, and give it time for all the wins to convince you it is easy.
    Very much the same as a winning attitude on your company's softball team.

    I need more inspiration, hmm, there's that part in Jonathan Livingston Seagull where he,,,,,,,,,,,
     
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  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think some of you missed what he was really driving at. He was talking about building a solo off of the tune's melody. Think about it. If you take any standard song-- any song at all, actually,
    the melody already follows the changes. If it didn't, it would not work as a melody. So no matter how complicated the changes are to a song, if you play the melody you are already automatically
    "playing the changes" without having to think about actually playing the changes in any kind of mechanical or analytical way. He mentioned guys like Django who mostly used this approach-- basically you
    build off the melody but add little ornaments, fills, and trills to spice it up a little. He provided an example which was to take a phrase from the melody and just transpose it up a minor 3rd, two times.
    He gave another example where he showed how you could add passing notes to the melody that are actually outside of the chord but sound fine because they are presented as passing notes to notes
    from the melody that are part of the underlying chord. He also used the phrase "motific way of playing through the tune". What he was driving at here is that you play the "tune"-- i.e., the melody--,
    but you add motifs to it....little phrases that fill the gaps within the basic melody.

    This is extremely important. Too many solo instructional approaches like Jamey Aebersold focus very heavily on learning the various arpeggios, scales, and modes that fit well with various chords. Then you
    are expected to figure out how to move from chord to chord in a natural, pleasing way. But this is very hard if the changes are coming fast, and what typically happens is you start using various licks,
    such as 2-5-1 licks, in order to make it happen-- and so you end up "repeating yourself".

    The instructors tend to mention barely in passing that another approach is to build a solo off the melody. But they give this really short shrift. Guys like Django show how starting with the melody and then making interesting
    modifications to it may actually be the BETTER way to approach a solo rather than the approach that is usually pushed. You don't have to think about how to string together phrases from different chords. By
    following the melody as your foundation you can be confident that you are always playing the changes, that your solo connects back to the song, that your solo has a musical arc from start to finish that
    is going to be fairly melodic, and you don't have to think so dang hard so now you can focus on the groove and feel of the song.
     
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  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In a similar vein, I liked this video. He's chatty! Starts to get down to it around 5:45

     
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  14. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

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    Here's the problem with that. It isn't really music. Not enough information. Is that a minor third-root-minor 7th-5th? Key of A? Or is it something else? If we establish that it is in the key of A, then yeah, I do that. Yes, all over the board. And I do it knowing how each of those notes relates to the key I'm in, which I didn't know three years ago. I have learned why that third is important to get to, especially in establishing a change; why it likes to be bent up a bit; etc. I can play based on what sounds good, but now I understand WHY notes sound good, and where to find them.

    Are there legendary players who never learned a lick of theory? Sure, but they are in the minority, aren't they? I respectfully reject the notion that this information isn't important (if that is your point). In my journey, it has been vital.
     
  15. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Isn't one Henry Kaiser enough???
     
  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love this guys videos. Specifically because they are not rhythm section player or guitar player oriented. In jazz, the horn players are miles ahead of us in linear playing and the piano players are light years beyond us harmonically.
    I recommend them to intermediate jazz improv students that I coach (at an arts HS).
     
  17. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Go for it, I practice what I say and most always approach improv by ear. But,,, I went to college for music in the 80s and bought literally around 100 of the latest and greatest guitar books as they came out, the 90s was a great time to buy the coolest books. I still have them, used them in teaching and constantly use a handful of my favorites in my own thing.

    But I have boundaries between what is practice and what is performance, I strive to keep it separate, until I get the confidence that I truly know it and get the value, then I "play" with it in my soloing/performance.
     
  18. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    and on that sour note thing if you play fast, you slide sharp or flat or bend to get to the note you need. I always found it easier to improvise on fast music, on the slow stuff it becomes way more apparent when you've landed on the wrong note...

    but you're right, the more you listen to the music in your head, the better you get at being able to play it (without the clams)...

    Its truly about beginning, no one is perfect when they begin, but you'll never do anything if you don't start somewhere...
     
  19. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    That's all great, wonderful, but now you know what key the song is in, you understand where on the fretboard to find the scales and patterns,,, what now? What is keeping you from just using your imagination and leaving all the theory back in the practice studio. You are the person this thread is for if you carry all that theory weight to the jam, not a newb that lacks having the basics down.
     
  20. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

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    "Carry all that theory weight"? Not me. I don't carry the theory; it carries me, actually. I have reached a point where I can just PLAY, to a decent degree. I play what I hear in my head, which seems to be the point of your posts on this thread. My point is simply that learning a bit of theory has really boosted me in getting to that point.
     
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