learning bill frisell tunes

Zappafreak

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218
I know this is quite a task but i love his sound and style and want to begin learning some of his tunes.. what would be the best place to start?
 

deeohgee

Member
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12,294
That book is great. I find myself dipping into it now and again, it's easy to get lost in it (in a good way).
 

Clifford-D

Member
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17,052
That book just has basic charts of tunes. What it doesn't have is the way in how Friz plays/interprets these tunes. That is whole other can of worms.

JonR transcribed Surfer Girl and has it still available I believe. JonR is a popular contributor to this forum. Ask him about it, if he doesn't read this first. Anyway Surfer Girl is a good example of his playing style imo. I've transcribed many bits and pieces of his playing over the years, the things that appeal to me, transcribing is a great thing to do and be able to do.
 
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Frisell's licks are not hard to learn in of themselves, but his use of vibrato makes the simplest chord sound unique. I would definitely recommend transcribing his music. He doesn't play that fast, so you can hear what he's doing. I've never transcribed a whole song, but I have copped many phrases from him. You would be surprised how easy his stuff is, but how hard it is to play like him. It's crazy in the weirdest way. Transcribing Bill's music has helped me see how much I overplayed.

You probably know this, but just in case you don't... One consisted thing in Bill's playing is his use of triads combining both the natural and minor 3rd.
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
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7,049
That book above was one of my last projects at Cherry Lane and a very proud moment.
Had some cool conversations with him, from what titles to include to chord names. I think his little cartoons are so clever and make the book a lot of fun.

We never did any note for note stuff, though I would have pushed for it if I was still in-house. That ship has probably sailed, but maybe HL would do a best of. I think the interest is there. FWIW, Guitar One ran a transcription of his version of "Straight, No Chaser."
 

Clifford-D

Member
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17,052
I remember one of the mags had a transcription of Moon River with Elvin Jones and I believe Dave Holland. Note for note is the way to go.
 

Lephty

Member
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1,558
I have listened to a ton of Friz but have to admit I have never transcribed a whole lot (definitely have spent some hours mesmerized by JonR's transcription of "Surfer Girl" BTW...gorgeous stuff). Nevertheless I have found his influence creeping into my playing--in particular, his use of open strings and pedal tones to create that full, ringing sound. To me, that's part of the beauty of his style. It's transparent enough (at least some of the time) that we mortals can actually glean something from it.
 




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