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#1011190 - 03/20/08 10:41 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Swingin' Barb Offline
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Deeluk - I agree. That exercise is something else. I haven't done anything but the easy pattern that Jazzwee suggested. I do the 3-5-7-9 going up and 7-5-3-root going down while accenting the off beats. Until you memorize the changes, I don't think it is cheating to have the lead sheet in front of you. That way, you don't have to worry about the changes, just concentrate on the arps at first.


A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

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#1011191 - 03/20/08 10:43 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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deeluk,
I'm with you on this one with almost exactly the same results. I only spend about 10 -15 minutes on it during my limited week night practices. I think I'm going to have to put a few hours in over the weekend so I can move on. Hang in there, we'll get it yet.


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#1011192 - 03/20/08 01:41 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Woody and Barb, I am somewhat relieved to hear that you guys are having similar problems. Not that I'm glad that you all are having problems, but just that I'm not the only one. Barb, I have been running through the same pattern too. The 3-5-7-9 up and 7-5-3-R down.

I can usually make it all the way through that one once (8 bars). For the 2nd A section I have been trying to do 2 octave runs down. That's where things quickly fall apart for me. I probably need to think of another pattern coming back up because I think it's the big jump back to the starting point that I usually miss. So, maybe if I do 2 octaves down, 1 up to get me halfway back, maybe another up, and then repeat, I might be better off.

I feel like I'm very far from improvisation though. There's so much thought going in ahead of time. I don't think I could ever just whip one of these out in the middle of a solo on a new piece, for instance. Maybe the goal is just to get the mechanics down and that will get me closer to playing it naturally.

#1011193 - 03/20/08 01:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Deeluk - Tell the truth now. You are relieved to find out that we are all suffering here. Your 2 octave run down sounds interesting. You are the brave soul. I'm not about to do anything other than the EASY pattern until I can do it in my sleep at a good speed with good accents.

We do need to get the mechanics down first. Let's not worry about anything else. Hey, if improvisation was easy, we would all be born doing it.


A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com
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#1011194 - 03/20/08 04:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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deeluk, It's not just you. It just isn't as easy as it sounds. (Now I think the Jazzwee knew this and used this to get piece and quiet for a while interesting idea, huh?) It'll be at least another week or two for me before I can say I've "got it down".


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#1011195 - 03/21/08 12:26 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Guys, sorry, I've been a little tied up.

On the subject of arpeggiation, putting our little exercises aside, how well can you arpeggiate up and down?

If you haven't mastered this technically, then it needs to be practiced in general. The application of arpeggiation is broader overall and you'll be amazed at how much arpeggiation is actually used, and by that I mean repeated playing of the 1-3-5-7-9-11-13 of a chord in some order (not necessarily linear).

What you want to apply in the short term is to mix in this kind of arpeggiation in your solos. Some chords are harder to arpeggiate than others and there may be some fingering issues. But Am7 or CM7 or GM7 or Em7 should be easy candidates right? These are mostly white keys.

Just had a jazz lesson today and once again there was opportunity to do more arpeggiation in some passages I was working on (mixed in with other moves). So this is a major part of the vocabulary and you can blame everyone from Bill Evans, to Coltrane, to Charlie Parker for all this.

Have I said everything that can be said on this thread? The answer is absolutely not. But without an audience that is able to absorb the information, it is best to watch everyone grow first. At this time, what's needed is more expansion on what's already been said, including perhaps adding explanations as needed. There's too much still that has to be covered on the basics of voicings and solos.

For some of you that haven't done the solos, you really need to do this. It will expand all aspects of your playing. For those doing only solos, you need to really work on voicings as both skills need to be developed.

For those who have stuck to AL, you can simultaneously hit other tunes, but hopefully going beyond just playing the head. The whole point is to train the brain to handle different progressions.


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#1011196 - 03/21/08 12:39 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Rosa, on the subject of "cocktail piano". There really is a stylistic difference between true jazz and cocktail piano. And the differences are not in the tempo.

It is true that "cocktail" style has the image of constant rubato while jazz does not. But more so, cocktail style is based on repeated arpeggiations and scale runs while Jazz focuses on creating new melodies and complex voicings. I am personally not a good source for cocktail style as I don't play that way and wouldn't know how. I think my preferences would be clear here and I don't intend to be too judgemental about a style. However, jazz playing offers more return I think, both to the listener and to the player as there is more musical content.

I was at a restaurant and heard someone play Stella by Starlight, a beautiful standard and great for improvisation, but it was approached with nothing but scale runs. A properly played jazz version of Stella would appeal to everyone.

When people distance themselves from jazz it's usually due to the dissonance. Keith Jarrett is not dissonant, and neither is Bill Evans. Listen to Bill Evans playing My Foolish Heart or My Romance. Should we really change that to cocktail style?

Here's Bill Evans playing My Foolish Heart in true Jazz form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2LFVWBmoiw

Personally, I shoot for this level. But that's me. If I weren't hardcore about jazz, I guess I wouldn't have the energy to do this thread so maybe it's good I have a bias.


Pianoclues.com for Beginners
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#1011197 - 03/21/08 01:24 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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#1011198 - 03/21/08 02:15 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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"Cocktail piano" is not a style, it's a situation, meaning it's piano music heard in a bar, restaurant or hotel. It could be Teddy Wilson, Dave Mckenna or Kenny Barron... or more likely somebody who is pretty mediocre, which is why it's become a pejorative term. If it's not a concert and it's background music, then it's "cocktail music."

"Cocktail piano" is often solo jazz piano, with the idea that the music should sound like what was heard in the exclusive restaurants of Hollywood in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's.

What Jazzwee is calling cocktail piano is the "easy listening" pop piano style.


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.
#1011199 - 03/21/08 06:26 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Jazzwee, I was only kidding about the arps exercise being given to us to keep us busy. I think all of us here find that the excercise is helping us to train for what comes down the road later. I think all of us are working hard at it and won't leave it alone until we've got it down. I've learned on this thread that taking things in steps, mastering those steps and going on to the next one is perfect for me. I'm not only wokring on AL and I can progress at my own speed and put the priorities where I need to. I think all of the people replying now understand that fact. I can't speak for the others but I'm happy with my progress, need more work at it, and wouldn't be ready for the next lesson from you at this time anyway. And for all of us, we do appreciate the time you spend with us on this thread. Like it or not you're our hero.


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#1011200 - 03/21/08 11:26 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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ritincop, that may be the official explanation, but regardless, everyone in this forum seems to associate cocktail style piano or what is expected to be heard in this situation as music that is characterized by runs, or broken chords usually in between repetitions of the melody in continuously rubato tempo.

I hope it's clear to everyone that that's not what we're teaching here and it takes a lot of work to get to this "next" level that we call jazz improvisation. There's a characterization of casual piano playing as being simplified and it is true that for someone with good scale technique, the flowery style of cocktail piano (as everyone expects it to sound) is quite doable.

I asked my teacher once, long ago, if I'm expected to sound like that when I play in a casual setting and being the jazz master that he his, he laughed and said "why would you want to?". Until he said that, I began to doubt myself too because what I heard being played in restaurants is not what I was learning.

So in my own mind, I've defined two roads to playing Standards and I am sticking to the style that is jazz. Mind you, it may not always swing since ballads usually don't. But it will have a fixed tempo and not meander time wise, and it will have improvisation in the typical style of head + solo + head of jazz. Depending on the audience the solo will be much simplified or maybe not. It will conceptually be formed with the same concepts that we have discussed so far in AL.

In a casual setting where people need to hear the familiar, the solo can stick closely to the melody so that it is always suggested as opposed to a serious jazz setting where the solo is expected to be unrecognizable as the original. Nothing wrong with this kind of variation in response to the audience as this is the reality (even in my own family).


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#1011201 - 03/21/08 11:34 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Woody, thanks for the show of support. Remember that I'm just a little bit ahead of all of you since I'm still actively taking lessons and I haven't done this that long either.

What I have learned is that some of these early concepts, like coming up with simplified melodies (as I did in the early stages of soloing), to coming up with a vocabulary for a stream of eighth notes, is not going to come instantaneously.

I don't think it's my words in the lessons so much that's important. What is key is that when someone posts a recording and we as a group give feedback, we are giving much more specific advice and that I think is invaluable. One cannot get that from a book. It's why everyone improves so much.

BTW - some people in this forum continue to rate me down for doing this. I can't say it's particularly motivating. But comments like yours Woody, put me back on track. Thanks.


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#1011202 - 03/21/08 11:53 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Jazzwee, I don't think any of us are just blindly following you. We understand what's ahead and the direction we're going. We know it won't be easy but I don't think of us want the easy way.

Look, I'm 61 and have had a triple bypass. I've got about a year now back on the piano. I'm addicted and in the near future may have the time to devote to it that I can't right now. I figure I have another maybe 20 years to learn whatever is is I'll learn in my lifetime. But, I fully intend to cram as much of the stuff I want to learn into my head (and hopefully fingers) and your guidance for the Jazz works for me.

I think you'll hear similar stories from all of us.

By the way, next time they give you crap again about your thread, quote my last posting to them and tell them what they can do with it.


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#1011203 - 03/21/08 12:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Woody, fortunately, you don't have to wait 20 years laugh I'm at 3.5 years total time with piano + jazz. Everyone says this is impossible for us older guys. Not true.

Yesterday, I actually got complimented by my teacher. He said I sounded good. laugh Wow! Finally a lesson where he's not saying I need a lot of work...

But getting to his level is another matter.


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#1011204 - 03/21/08 12:20 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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I can confirm that age and learning are not mutally exclusive nor is acheivement possible without time and hardwork.


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#1011205 - 03/21/08 12:55 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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some weekend reading: THIS is your brain on Jazz
"A pair of Johns Hopkins and government scientists have discovered that when jazz musicians improvise, their brains turn off areas linked to self-censoring and inhibition, and turn on those that let self-expression flow."

#1011206 - 03/21/08 01:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Jazzwee, BTW, I want to go to the bar that has a person at Bill Evans' level playing. I may not even have a drink for fear of missing just one note. There is nothing to say it couldn't happen.


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#1011207 - 03/21/08 01:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Chris, How's the baby doing?


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#1011208 - 03/21/08 02:28 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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She's fine thanks. more pictures
She sleeps a lot so Dad gets to practice everyday with a sleeping beauty laying next to the piano.

Btw; age . . . interesting topic . . . nobody's to old to start to learn to play Jazz!
If you want to learn it, immerse yourself, listen everyday to the best; Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, don't ever compare yourself to them, just compare yourself to yourself and listen listen listen. That's the secret . . and of course . . . play the piano! There's a reason it's called "play".

#1011209 - 03/21/08 02:43 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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GREAT PICTURES!!! Sounds like a great arrangement for practice. Does she perfer the acoustic or the digital? Written any songs for her yet?

Yeah, a lot of us are getting up there in years, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!!! I think it beat the alternative. Post when you are able to. I'm sure the others will love to see the pictures too!

Has the weather broke yet over there? We have mid-spring here right now.


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#1011210 - 03/21/08 03:36 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Ahh well digital or acoustic . . . another topic for discussion.

Well it was green for a while, yesterday and today: snowstorm! So now it's -2C and the lake close by is freezing yet again.

Btw: go to this page it's an hours interview with Keith Jarrett from 2005, where KJ talks about playing cocktail piano as well as bar mitzvahs, weddings, performing with Miles, solo concerts, etc

#1011211 - 03/21/08 04:13 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Jazzwee - Your lesson news made me smile. thumb

Chris - lucky you, serenading a sleeping beauty. She is a cutie.

Woody - why only 20 years left to learn? I'm planning on learning until I go to that great jam session above.


A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com
#1011212 - 03/22/08 07:20 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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well said, Woody. Jazzwee is our hero and mentor here. i'm progressing at my own speed and now that i have a zoom2, will try to get a file uploaded when i'm ready.

btw Woody, we are on parallel paths...i'm 60 now, had a piano in the house since i was a kid but only played Christmas Carols (poorly) so last fall sat down with determination.

i'ts been great.....and this thread has consistently kept me engaged, practicing, and learning.


"The human brain can be quite wasteful." Chang, Fundamentals of Piano Practice
#1011213 - 03/22/08 07:34 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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westarm,
Good morning. Yes, the best part about the AL thread is you can progress at your own pace. I lurked in the background with thread for a while but decided I had to add my 2 cents. All here will look forward to listening to your recordings.

I have found playing the piano is much more rewarding than when I was younger. I never did object to the hours of practice, but I never did look forward to each practice like I do now. I wish I had more time to spend on weekday evenings but work still gets in the way.

I have about a 1000 questions on your Zoom H2. I've been thinking about getting one myself. With your Acro, you would be recording acoustically same as I would. I'm interested in finding out the results. I would like to start posting my recordings for review here also.


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#1011214 - 03/22/08 09:31 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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westarm - Welcome back out of lurker status. Please keep posting here. It's important that we stay on page 1 of the AB forum. After all, this is "The Best Thread" of the forum hosted by jazzwee, "The Best Leader" and mentor!


A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com
#1011215 - 03/22/08 10:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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So. With nothing better to do, I put together a little arpeggio exercise based on some of the harmony's in ATTYA. Play them straight and swing.
PDF

#1011216 - 03/22/08 10:42 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Way to go, Chris. Just printed it out. It's beautiful. Of "all the things you are", "GREAT" describes it best.

Thanks so much!!


A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com
#1011217 - 03/22/08 10:52 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Yup, We got Chris back!!! Thanks


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#1011218 - 03/22/08 12:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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You guys are so nice. You make this all worth it despite detractors. I've told many this, part of the reason I do this is that it improves my own playing as I try to explain. So it benefits all of us.

You guys are tops!


Pianoclues.com for Beginners
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#1011219 - 03/22/08 01:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.  
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Are they starting to rag you again about the AL thread? I thought that was over with. Anything we can do?


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