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  1. Jeff Michael

    Vibrato technique issue

    That high on the neck I usually use more than one finger on the string. The back ones tend to "snowplow" the lower strings and keep them muted. My vibrato technique tends to come more from the elbow, as if you were checking the heft of something in your hand. JAM
  2. Jeff Michael

    How to make odd time signatures unobtrusive and danceable?

    No difference at all outside of writing it down. Some people might try to tell you that 5/8 after 4/4 should sound like 2 1/2 beats and not 5, but I say 5 = 5 and if you want the pulse to change you mark it as such via a tempo change. It's what the Doors do between "let it rolllll..." and...
  3. Jeff Michael

    How many of you can't sing?

    Practically everybody's capable of singing, although there are a concrete number of people who quite literally cannot. Most people who sing badly do so because they've never properly practiced it. It's another instrument; you have to come to it with patience and discipline. And it can be hard...
  4. Jeff Michael

    Applying the diminished scale?

    By the by, the thing I like best about symmetrical scales is if you find a neat little trick you like, you can move it up or down the neck in the correct increment of frets and it's still the same scale. Sometimes I'll get on a whole tone jag and just run up and down the G and B strings with...
  5. Jeff Michael

    Applying the diminished scale?

    To me, the most important things about playing any weird out angular symmetrical scale sounds are: 1.) how you get into them, and 2.) how you get out of them. Restless dissonance is very cool, because it brings a little tension to the mix. But it's the consonance you're moving from and to...
  6. Jeff Michael

    How to accompany the "out" soloist

    Same as any comping ever: listen, follow, support. It's not easy, but it is right. My mantra is that the soloist (especially in the case of a singer) is always right--especially when they're wrong. Soloist drops the last eight bars of So What? Well guess what--if you hear it going somewhere...
  7. Jeff Michael

    How to accompany the "out" soloist

    Well, I didn't think you thought you heard me say I didn't like it. Because I'm not fairly unsure that I didn't say I didn't like it. And I still don't. I'm glad we cleared that up. JAM
  8. Jeff Michael

    How to accompany the "out" soloist

    I think Miles was trying to make a funk rock record. And it ain't. But it's a good thing to try. And he managed to get it right later. If you like it, great. But it's just so damned famous for being first that I think it develops this secondhand aura of godlike quality that's a little more...
  9. Jeff Michael

    How to accompany the "out" soloist

    Call me crazy, but I disagree with the statement that Bitches Brew worked. I dig what Miles was trying to do on that record, but to me it's a failed experiment. Now a couple of records later, he's got guys more fluent in funk, and the vision is realized. But I think BB gets all the column...
  10. Jeff Michael

    Sweet Home Alabama

    Does you conscience bother you? Tell the truth! JAM
  11. Jeff Michael

    Sweet Home Alabama

    I think the intention there is to allude to that quick F -> C thing over the "ooh, ooh" that follows "guv'nor". Of course there it goes back to D...which, granted, still muddies the waters some. I was just working on Hey Jude with a student on Saturday, and of course the end of the tune does...
  12. Jeff Michael

    Sweet Home Alabama

    Real men solo over SHA in A major. Tonality is for dorks who play for money, and here on TGP money is to be made in corporate middle management gigs and spent on big-bucks boutique toys. Silly rabbits. JAM
  13. Jeff Michael

    Jump Blues, Swing Guitar?

    P.P.S. Man, I wonder who played trumpet on that session. "Okay Tony, you have to be absolutely awful for six bars here..." JAM
  14. Jeff Michael

    Jump Blues, Swing Guitar?

    P.S. That cartoon you referred to is a hoot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTSOjbp0Hs0 JAM
  15. Jeff Michael

    Jump Blues, Swing Guitar?

    Tell you what--I can't recommend enough David April's Roots Of Rhythm And Blues show on Hatboro PA community radio station WRDV. Naturally this is lame advice unless you're real close to Hatboro...but ah! They stream their broadcast on the internet at www.wrdv.com There are actually a bunch...
  16. Jeff Michael

    Jazz Vocabulary versus Modern Fusion Playing ..?

    Let me be perfectly clear that I was specifically referring to Tony's playing on Stuff, the leadoff track on Miles In The Sky, not Stuff (incorrectly capitalized) in general. I don't know who plays what on Bitches Brew, but I remember the bass not sounding 'right' on that record. Plus I've...
  17. Jeff Michael

    Jazz Vocabulary versus Modern Fusion Playing ..?

    Tell you what, I think the reason I don't like Bitches Brew as much as everybody else is that the jazzbots hadn't figured out how to play funk and rock convincingly yet. Miles' later fusion efforts (Live/Evil, say) sounded a lot more fully formed to my ears. I mean, I love Tony Williams, but...
  18. Jeff Michael

    Jazz Vocabulary versus Modern Fusion Playing ..?

    I'm embarrassed to have read this thread, let alone to have posted to it at all. I should have been practicing. I really pity guys who are so starved for validation and acceptance that they need to prove that what they're into is somehow quantitatively legitimate or empirically better than...
  19. Jeff Michael

    Jazz Vocabulary versus Modern Fusion Playing ..?

    Bach died in 1750. I think of blues as the uniquely American hybridization of European and African musical styles. So nobody figured it out. Bach had the European side down, and various cultures in east Africa had the other side down, probably for a whole lot longer. JAM
  20. Jeff Michael

    Need Help Understanding 12/8 Time

    Just had this very chat with some of my fellow teachers tonight. Stupidly enough, there is no good answer--might as well call it 12/2 and use 12 half notes, or even 12/1 and use 12 whole notes. You want my opinion? They default to 12/8 because eighth notes are the largest subdivision having...
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