Anyone digging into this book? Hal Galper Forward Motion Book

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by proreverb68, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. proreverb68

    proreverb68 Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    NH
    From Bach To Bebop A corrective approach to Jazz phrasing.

    I'm just getting into it...on page 34 right now....

    This is already influencing how I think, listen and play.....already...

    He talks alot about the importance of choosing what and where to play chord tones vs passing tones on strong and weak beats among many, many other things...

    here's a vid of him playing...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg5W-ISzKVs

    So you might guess..he is going to talk about more than simply strong and weak beats...in the book.

    Looking forward to finding out who else is or has read it and what they got out of it as well.


    Peace,

    Andrew
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Member

    Messages:
    2,484
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Great book. I'm mindful of what he says every time I practice. Probably had the biggest impact on how/where I construct lines as anything else I've ever bought on the subject.

    Mike
     
  3. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,802
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Very valuable info. I confess that I didn't work through the examples in the book. Nonetheless, reading the text changed the way I hear music and, to a significant extent, the way I play.

    Big thumbs up.
     
  4. proreverb68

    proreverb68 Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    NH
    Glad to see some of the same sentiment for this book being shared by others on the forum.
    I skimmed through it quickly and already....I can tell It is going to change how I hear rhythm in my lines.
    There is also a site you can visit to hear the examples if your piano chops aren't where you'd like them to be. You can find the link in the book itself.
    I'm trying to go through it piece by piece...with patience... This might take me all winter...

    Hmmm...so now im on page 38...

    I have a question for you harmony masters...
    In an example...He super imposes an Ab triad on the G7b9 chord.
    I understand that this alters the chord by sharping the 5th etc.

    Here is the first example...
    In the key of Bb The progression goes like this: every chord gets 2 beats in a four beat measure.
    BbMaj7 G7b9 Cmin7 F7b9 etc etc...

    I thought he was using this as an example of playing chord tones on these chords to build a sort of guide tone melody...
    He starts out with playing a half note on The Bb root of Bb MAjor7.
    Then goes and plays the Eb over the G7b9 chord. He says he is thinking of it as the 5th tone of a superimposed Ab min triad (Ab,Cb,Eb) over the G7b9 chord.
    I figured he might put the 3rd or 5th of g7 but I was thrown a good curve ball with the Aminor triad.

    I realize the guy is light years ahead of me....so Im wiling to put on the extra work to decipher what I don't understand yet...

    Now....heres where my understanding must need a boost...
    I thought he was trying to put Chord tones on the strong beats...
    I get that those notes work...as Ab is the b9 of G7b9...sure.
    And...the rest of the notes work too... Cb is the 3rd and Eb can be seen as the Altered #5th (although i guess he just decided to alter it correct?)

    But why the #5 of the G7? on A strong beat?

    My other question is.......where did he get that chord?....Abmin triad.
    And am I to assume he is just using it to alter the g7b9 for the fun of it or does it relate to the key in some obvious way? Some sort of modal interchange thing?
    He does it again on the next two chords as well.

    I see an area of study already.......may have some brushing up to do.
     
  5. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    I haven't read Hal's book, but I was very surprised at how poor Hal's performance is on that youtube link, especially rhythmically! He really is just not swinging at all on any of 'em. there are other links to the same show (w Bergonzi) and his playing is pretty much the same thruout. Bad feel and time and not swinging...Maybe he was having a bad nite...Seems weird that he goes on about fwd motion, but those clips dont have much at all???? Who knows???
     
  6. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Yeah, I know Hal is well respected, but what about the link above? How does that work?
     
  7. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

    Messages:
    4,125
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    proreverb68,

    Just keep in mind that every note is a chord tone of some chord...

    Not trying to sound mystikal or smart-assed here - but if portions of your lines are spelling triads and other such orderly constructs, the sheer strength of these structures provide the weight and melody needed for the ear to "buy" into it.

    But I shouldn't say too much as I haven't read the book....

    Pleasure to see a local (Seattle) guy on bass in that clip (Jeff Johnson)...
     
  8. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Messages:
    14,154
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I love his playing on that clip linked on the OP. Love it. And that is such a beautiful, imaginative and swinging solo.

    I have Hal's book and I think there's some great stuff in it, but like most jazz method books I think it's best viewed as another tool in the toolbox, even if it's a very useful tool.

    I've had really great results using some of those techniques in the book on beginning improvisors that are often baffled by the 'scales over chords' technique that's often used.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  9. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,490
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Philly, Pa
    Man, oh man...........what beautiful, deep playing. Creative, without being self-consciously "clever". Incredibly locked-in.

    Off to buy some more Galper.....and his book.

    Thanks!

    - Jim

    PS.....another example of my theory that pianists and horn players are SO far ahead of guitarists in this music.
     
  10. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Messages:
    25,785
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Great book ... recommended it here last year ...
     
  11. benagain

    benagain Member

    Messages:
    520
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    New York State
    got it a couple months ago .. havent got into too much yet..
     
  12. TonyV

    TonyV Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Highly recommended book
    I would recommend the e-book version as the examples play on your PC and you can change tempo and key.

    In response to someones post on the chord tones and triads:

    Yes every note is a chord tone of some chord but the point is that it is where the line resolves to is what your ear will lock unto into. The strong beats are on the 1 and 3 which are the targets of phrases.

    You can play a line of triads all you want and it will be very weak. The structure of the line does not provide the weight, it is what is happening in the bar, do the lines target the strong 1 and/or 3 beats of the bars., it will not happen by happenstance of a sequence.

    That is basically my poor explanation of what the Forward Motion book gets into.

    The introduction of the book is free on Hal Galpers site, it explains it far better than I can in a text post

    There are other books on this from Mike Longo and Bert Ligon, they are also very good. Galpers is an easier read and more examples and has audio.
     
  13. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

    Messages:
    4,125
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    TonyV wrote:
    I guess I should have made it clear that I wasn't necessarily talking about the strength of lines in the context of what HG is talking about in the book and I don't want to confuse the OP any further but some music doesn't make use of normal cadences and indeed, sometimes "resolution" doesn't really enter the picture.

    In fact, even through a V7 - I cadence, some of the hippest lines I ever heard were when the soloist played over the barline and then never even addressed the I chord.

    It's all context dependent....
     
  14. TonyV

    TonyV Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Yes, if you don't know where the one is you can not play over the bar line. I think we are mixing up what we mean as where we resolve a line. I am not saying the progression dictates where you must resolve, but you must be targetting and whether you play through them or not the 1 and 3 are still the strong beats, you create tension by going through them, anticipating, delaying, etc. Just like you said context dictates.
     
  15. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,802
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Here's a link to an old thread about the book:
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=309753&highlight=galper

    Here is are a couple of my contributions to that thread, thought it might shed more light on the book:

    I read the book. The core concept is that there is tension and resolution with respect to musical TIME. In particular, beat 1 of a measure is the most stable, most 'resolved' moment in a measure of music. Therefore, effective musical statements tend to resolve at the 1 - 1 is the END of phrase. This contrasts with how we are taught in school, where 1 represents the beginning. Galper contends that we must learn to hear 1 as the resolution of the prior measure. Once we do so, we will start hearing music differenly and be more able to play like the masters, who tend to have excellent "foward motion". He lists Bach and Coltrane as musicians who exemplify this.

    The practical emphasis of the book is to align harmonic tension/resolution with temporal tension/resolution. Essentially, this means putting chord tones on the beats. Galper shows how once you do this, you can surround those chord tones with virtually ANY other notes and you will make a coherent statement. This is where the chromatic stuff comes in.

    Here's a little tidbit from the book.

    16th notes. We are taught to count them as:
    |1 e and a | 2 e and a | 3 e and a | 4 e and a|
    I've inserted the "|" symbol to group 4 16ths together.

    Per Galper's conception, the great musicians actually play straight 16ths so that we hear them grouped like this:

    e and a 1| e and a 2| e and a 3| e and a 4| e and a 1|

    The note that lands on the downbeats IS CONNECTED TO THE 3 PRIOR NOTES, not the 3 notes that follow. Groups of 16ths resolve on the beats, rather than beginning there.

    To support this, he shows examples of a Bach piece and cites the work of some scholar that studied Bach.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. proreverb68

    proreverb68 Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    NH
    Great way of putting it Hutch.



    A good line often spells out or leads the listeners ear into the next chord early.....often times a beat and a half before it arrives... by using tones that fit in both the chord of the moment and the chord it is leading to.

    Provides more bang when the big One does arrive.
     
  17. Washburnmemphis

    Washburnmemphis Member

    Messages:
    2,690
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Note: Audio examples are also accessible if you buy the hard copy (see page 2 of the book), plus you can read the book away from the computer.
     
  18. ivers

    ivers Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    I dug the hell outta it, and I'm usually quite allergic to rhythmic cluelessness.
     
  19. dead of night

    dead of night Member

    Messages:
    2,575
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    So is it safe to say one should play chord tones on the strong beats?
     
  20. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    It wasn't only the rhythmic incoherence, but the ideas generally. Total chaotic gibberish on the most amateur level. The other link to them playing ATTYA is just as bad.
    I actually felt like i was watching that classic english jazz spoof thing called "Jazz Club".

    I know Hal is a decent player, so they must have been having a very bad gig, or maybe there was some tension in the band being resolved "on the bandstand"
     

Share This Page