Jazz Education

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by fenderlead, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Much as I love that video, we should remember that it - and your previous few posts - are all about pre-modal jazz. Be-bop, and the traditional treatment of standards from the Great American Songbook. The first 40-50 years of jazz.

    I agree with you that those principles are where jazz students should start, at least assuming they're beginning with a proper historical perspective of how jazz got to where it is.

    But modal jazz did introduce some fundamentally different approaches. It didn't throw the baby out - those old principles (rhythm, melodic lines and phrasing, blues vocalisations) still apply - but "chord structure" became much more fluid, not a rigid sequence you could follow or build phrases from. If you wanted arpeggios (useful melodic structures), you had to apply them, the music didn't give you them.
    But then again, only a good understanding of the older forms of jazz (or rather the popular music it worked with) creates a suitable foundation for melodic invention.

    Naturally, that's assuming we're not satisfied with just noodling around on chord-scales and showing off our chops... ;) (Some people, audience as well as players, seem to find that satisfying enough.)
     
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  2. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    Modal is different but it was at least partly formed and played by chord tone players with Bop experience which is interesting.

    I think Carol Kaye and Hal Galper and others are only talking about Bop and maybe Swing.

    Django was chord tone city, he had chord tone radar, the way he landed on them was second nature to him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  3. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    Even Beethoven was making some moves into Modal and other things in his later period.

    I think it had just run it's course but now it's back thanks to Yngwie :D.
     
  4. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    I’m currently reading through an impressive PHD thesis on Jimmy Raney I chanced upon and am finding it insightful in terms of getting an idea about his thinking (and, to give things a particular TGP flavour, his anecdotal attitude to G.A.S.).

    I’ll leave it at that because, as I’ve discovered from the caliber of discourse in this thread, I’m way, way out of my depth already.

    https://www.jonraney.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Glen-Hodges-PhD.pdf
     
  5. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    Whenever it comes to modal jazz I remember an off the cuff remark the inimitable Jimmy Bruno makes in one his recuperation bedside videos (in a dressing gown and general state of dishevelment), that “they came up with modal jazz so junkies could solo”.

    I know that will rankle some sensitivities (like it did last time I posted it) but I think it’s pretty darn funny ...
     
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  6. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I love that guy. What a character.
     
  7. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Have you ever heard a pentatonic wanker take a deuce on a blues...just play a bunch of nonsense? They just haven't put the time in, listening and studying.No amount of books, YouTube videos, can make up for the necessary listening immersion.
    The same thing is true in jazz, bop, modal...whatever. If Carol Kaye hears somebody running scales it's just that they haven't put the time in studying the music. That's not some teacher's fault. Believe me, the thing any jazz teacher wants to hear more than anything is for the student to come in and say something like "man, I was checking out this Fat Navarro side, (or Kurt Rosenwinkel...whatever). That listening connection is universally #1.
    BTW have you ever heard the recording of Bird playing scales in twelve keys?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  8. stevebo

    stevebo Member

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    Indeed!
     
  9. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    This reminded me of the time (circa ‘79) when I was struggling through the Leavitt books under instruction from “THE guy” in my city, for a not inconsiderable amount of dough at the time. When I think of what I’d paid per page of Books 1 and 2... And believe me, at times, with me as a student, he deserved every penny!

    Anyway, I happened to mention at my lesson that I’d just been blown away by a live Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis recording and flagged my utter respect for players from “that” era and how I envied the good fortune of those who grew up with that music. (My teacher was professionally active through the bop era.)

    Immediately our relationship shifted whereby, while I lacked the outright talent (and chops) of his inner circle of acolytes, I found myself a place in his estimation whereby my weekly lessons would often evolve into life advice and encouragement.

    At some point when I announced I needed to take an indefinite hiatus from the rigours of my guitar studies, he even offered to teach me for free.
     
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  10. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    It's hilarious!
     
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  11. Mike

    Mike Member

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    That IS funny!
     
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  12. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    I think it was Bird giving a lesson to someone who recorded it.

    Scales are scales, but what are the money notes in a scale over what harmony?

    Thinking in chord tones is thinking about how the chord tones resolve into the next chord, thinking about what sounds solid, thinking about chord tone melodies etc.

    It's not anti scale, it just so happens that most well known melodies are chord tone based because of the way chord tones sound over harmony and as Hal Galper points out it's used by Bach and just about everyone including Jazz Standards and Jazz.

    It doesn't hurt to be able to nail chord tones in lines instinctively and at first they need to be practiced just like anything else.

    The lines also have scale fragments in them but are spun around the chord tones mostly.

    If someone thinks it's all BS and Carol Kaye and Hal Galper are full of it then whatever, there is more than one way to do things and no one is the ultimate authority.

    No one wants to think about all of this BS when they play, the last thing I'm thinking about when I play some Blues is the Blues scale and chord tones and chromatics and b5ths etc I'm just going on instincts from previous listening and practice and hoping I get something happening.




     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  13. JonR

    JonR Member

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    So, a useful social service! Who'd have thought?

    And then they came up with "free jazz" because - well, nobody would pay to see it.
     
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  14. JonR

    JonR Member

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    No, but sometimes teachers take stuff for granted. They don't tell you things that they think should be obvious. They think they shouldn't have to, but sometimes they do.
    Absolutely. But maybe the teacher needs to suggest names sometimes. Students don't know the whole history, or even who the best players are, even on their own instrument. "If you want to play like (x), you should check out (y)." *

    Naturally, the best students are those who are motivated enough to do their own research. We all like students who come in enthused by something or somebody they just discovered, the kind who always ask good questions in class. Unfortunately (and I always find this baffling) such students are a minority.

    * I read an interview with Buddy Guy where he told this story about his young teenage son (some time in the 80s). The kid was obsessed with Prince, and - naturally - thought his own dad was some kind of old has-been. "I'm going to learn to play like Prince, and blow you away!"
    Buddy suggested that if he liked Prince, he should look up some guy called Jimi Hendrix. Kid was duly blown away - man, that dude is even better than Prince! Then he found an interview where Jimi was asked about his own influences; and he mentioned sitting at the feet of some blues hero named - Buddy Guy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  15. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Beethoven wrote modal pieces in his late period? Which ones are those?
     
  16. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Yup.

    A guitar teacher of mine many years ago told me a story about sharing a house with John Coltrane when Coltrane was looking for a temporary place to crash while he was in town. Everyone in the house was a musician and they were so excited to think about hanging out with Coltrane all day and night talking philosophy and harmony and stories, but when Coltrane showed up he went straight to his room, closed the door, and practiced nothing but major and minor scales in various rhythmic and interval permutations until they finally kicked him out.
     
  17. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Ha! There's an old Dave Liebman quote I love - "Learn from the father, not the son"...taken here quite literally...
     
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  18. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    IDK, but his late Quartets sounded different...
     
  19. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

    3rd movement Lydian

    Missa Solemnis Dorian and Mixolydian parts

    "With its archaic cadences, extensive modal writing and organic attachment of musical motives to the underlying text, Beethoven’s Credo is far closer in spirit to the great Mass settings of the Renaissance than to those of Haydn and his contemporaries." https://static1.squarespace.com/sta...5d/1438128827053/Beethoven+Missa+Solemnis.pdf

    He was going back to modes and experimenting with them, and he released some of it.

    He also reharmonized some folk tunes, but that was earlier, some were modal https://www.rafaelg64.com/Bellman/Beethoven,s-Folk.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  20. DeadLazy

    DeadLazy Member

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    I’d disagree. It’s become a lot more than licks to me. I don’t think in licks I think in notes relative to the chord I’m on, where I’m coming from and where I’m going. I don’t use an encyclopedia of licks.

    The simplicity of it all, after finally seeing it, was staggering.

    To be honest, in django’s playing I hear a lot that is really musically uninteresting. Playing wise, very interesting. Musically, rather dull and repetitive.

    I would point out rhythm. Playing changes, bringing those changes out, it’s all about rhythm.

    Blues was easy for me to feel, and I could instinctively play those changes. But I remember the moment it first sunk in and how right in my face the reality was when I could feel my 3-6-2-5-1’s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020

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