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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
dave solazzo #1259712 08/31/09 03:11 PM
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Usually, at 150bpm I'd just do a Charleston stab in the open spaces.

But I saw your comping video where you're actually moving voices around. That's pretty neat stuff. That requires some practice to figure out though.



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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1260008 08/31/09 11:21 PM
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Dave, I just realized something. The reason my LH can't keep a tight rhythm on faster tempos is that my mind is focused on the RH. As I got to get comfortable with speed, the LH improved without me doing anything. So I guess I just focus on the RH until it's in the subconscious.

I noticed all my articulation mistakes, lack of legato, lack of accents and I'm paying more attention so it is distracting. Plus of course the solo notes themselves. But after revising the fingering to the fingers I can handle, it was more relaxed. At this moment, I don't have the technical ability to use 4 & 5 as you do so it'll have to come later.

Now I'm remembering what it's like for TLT smile TLT I'm feeling the same pain. Just at a faster tempo...


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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1260102 09/01/09 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee

Now I'm remembering what it's like for TLT smile TLT I'm feeling the same pain. Just at a faster tempo...


cool

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1260438 09/01/09 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by chrisbell
I second that; tempo playing is really important. Playing at fast tempos utilizes different muscles, and those need to be activated.

Here's another 4-5 exercise based on harmonic movements with an example of how to practice over ATTYA. pdf

As always, practise slow, fast, swing, straight. Tensions should ONLY be felt in the hand, NEVER in the lower arm.
WOW! Chris, this is VERY interesting. Now I see the purpose of that particular practice. I really like that! I've never seen this style before. Pedal-less but still resonant. That requires a lot of thought to apply it everywhere. This is a very advanced concept.

It comes from a lot of playing Chopin and Bach, especially Bach, listening and studying Glenn Gould's technique. - and my old piano teacher; "why are you using the pedal all the time? Stop it! Use your hands, tie together the notes with your hand!"

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell #1260439 09/01/09 04:19 PM
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Sorry Jazzwee, I have been away - from computers/online - since my last post so I haven't had the opportunity to listen to your post's.

one reason why it can be difficult getting the 4th and 5th finger moving is due to the angle of the wrist. If the angle is 'wrong' the brain doesn't really connect to the hand.
I'll make a picture to better describe what I mean and post later.

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell #1260476 09/01/09 05:21 PM
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Hi Chris, good you're back. Right now I'm avoiding using 4 & 5 where I can except to end lines. It is clear that it needs more time. Although I have to admit that two weeks of heavy 4/5 finger use has strengthened them.

I think I understand the wrist movement. I have incorporated it more so it is more relaxed. However, it is still weak as far as repetition is concerned.

When I took out the use of it in trill like movements, my speed wall went higher. I'm practicing now at 200bpm and more relaxed about it. We'll see where it takes me.

That 4/5 finger exercise is actually very useful in the context of the 3 + 2 voicings I keep talking about on AL. I realize I have been using it a lot -- middle voices with finger 1/2, melody with 3/4/5. Same thing! Except, nothing I can do at 200bpm. smile Sure -- ok for ballads.

I'll need a lot of practice to even use it past 150bpm...


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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell #1260493 09/01/09 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisbell

As always, trying to describe something musical is always full of pitfalls so please get to me with any questions.


Chris, if you're around, I have to say that this business of sitting with my elbow below the keyboard is utterly bizarre. Just feels plain weird, not at all comfortable for my back.

Does everyone go through this bit?

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
ten left thumbs #1260505 09/01/09 06:04 PM
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Yup TLT. I was debating that with Jazz+ who's sometimes in this thread. There was another poster in PW named 'Disciple' who was big on that lowered elbow. And he was on play from the knuckles. It's probably exactly what Chris is talking about, and maybe copying Gould too.

Some people apparently play like this successfully. However, many don't. My teacher does not. So not understanding it, I'll stick to my elbow level with the keys. I've been trying it for awhile and my hand has been too strained so I stopped.


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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1260849 09/02/09 05:14 AM
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That's helpful. I just feel that messing with the way I sit is such a huge change - you change one thing and everything else falls apart. It affects everything - shoulders, back, neck. I've had my fair share of injuries from other things.

That's not to say that it's not useful or necessary for a totally authentic sound. Just that I can't see myself doing this without a teacher at my side, long term, and that's not an option.

I do take the point about an adjustable piano stool, which would make it easier. My piano stool was made for me by my dad, upholstered by my mum. It's beautiful and hugely long for duets, and I love it. It would take a lot for me to replace it...

I did try with an adjustable office chair, but that really didn't give me the stability I need.

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
ten left thumbs #1261009 09/02/09 12:18 PM
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You know what TLT, everyone has a different method. I probably tried them all and hurt myself doing so (tendonitis). This is why I'm very conscious of what I do here. I think Chris was letting you know the tonal effect of some choices in position and I think he's right. But how your tone comes out is your choice anyway. Plenty of Jazz people play in a percussive manner.

I'll probably just stick to what I've learned and that is elbow level with the keys. Arm weight, fingers for articulation. But as I learned recently, for soloing, the arm weight needs to be quite light. Just enough to get the desired tone but not more. I was just experimenting with it myself. I was a little heavy on the keys for the accent before and now I can do the same thing with less. I just kept lessening the arm weight while still sticking to the tone I wanted.



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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1261102 09/02/09 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
You know what TLT, everyone has a different method. I probably tried them all and hurt myself doing so (tendonitis). This is why I'm very conscious of what I do here. I think Chris was letting you know the tonal effect of some choices in position and I think he's right.


Having the elbow a little below the keyboard; that means still sit up straight. The idea is to feel how the weight of your arm holds the keys down. Of course, as with anything new, it can feel weird, and by all means, don't do it if you get tensions in your back or arms.

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell #1262017 09/03/09 07:34 PM
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Chris and Dave, as you play at higher tempos, do you play detached or legato? Let's say 200-250bpm.

I've been experimenting with seat height. I've noticed that usually I sit a tad lower. But when playing fast stuff, I need to sit up higher. Thoughts?


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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1262169 09/04/09 01:13 AM
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hey jazzwee,

you said you sit higher when you're playing fast stuff? that's interesting. i tend to sit a little bit lower myself. but i'm a glenn gould fan so maybe that's why. smile

it's probably easier to play legato at the slower tempos, i guess. but you can do it at the faster tempos too. if you're playing a really fast line though you might not even notice the articulation--whether it's legato or staccato--because the notes are going by so quickly.

btw, how is the two handed stuff going these days? i've got to get back to that as it's been on the back burner for the last few weeks.

always so much to practice. but i guess that's the fun of it. grin

Last edited by dave solazzo; 09/04/09 01:15 AM.
Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
dave solazzo #1262253 09/04/09 09:25 AM
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Two handed took a backseat the last couple of weeks as I worked on increasing my speed. I started off at 170bpm as my upper end to toying with 220bpm today. Getting even comfortable at 210bpm. I thought that was a massive improvement in just a couple of weeks!

So a lot of my faults as using too much arm weight, and posture changes. I had to move my seat higher because I was WAY too low and too far away from the keys. As I raised the seat and came closer, I didn't end up playing much higher but just raised my elbow a tad. In the end, it was mostly a get closer to the keys than it was an elbow change. Being too far away gave me shoulder tension as I was lifting my elbow all the time. I didn't notice it before although I felt the tension.

BTW - you were a primary influence in making the move to faster playing. I just loved watching your touch. I wanted to learn how to do that smile

I had a lesson yesterday and finally learned what to do with the LH at fast tempos. I was trying to force a Charleston and that didn't work. So teacher said no rhythmic pattern at high speeds, fill in at upbeats and no downbeats. That was simple. Doing uptempo is like relearning.


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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1263268 09/05/09 11:53 PM
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I just discovered this thread after deciding it would be a good idea to get back to some jazz. I took lessons from an extremely talented guy for a year after 5 years of classical, but he never let me stay one place on one technique long enough to master it. I did learn chords and voicings and it greatly improved my sight reading because your mind is so much more active trying to determine how you're going to play each chord. This, however, is much more organized. I only have a little less than two years to catch up on!


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
mikhailoh #1263294 09/06/09 02:59 AM
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Michael, glad to see you here. You've been around here so long and never saw this thread? You're hanging out at the Piano Forum way too much then smile

It's getting massive now so aside from the more organized lessons at the top, the rest is a free for all. If you have any questions on anything prior, just again and we'll answer.

Just so you know, the lessons here are based on the basic lessons I've learned at the beginning of my jazz journey. So we will not lead your astray smile

I'll even give you special treatment because you're a Sailor. thumb

Welcome!

Last edited by jazzwee; 09/06/09 03:01 AM.

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Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee #1263390 09/06/09 10:49 AM
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Thanks, jazzwee! I think my teacher perceived me as more advanced than I really was. He was sooo talented, but maybe not the best teacher. I respond better to 'master this, then move on and build' rather than deep immersion all at once. I think I'll go through this pretty quickly. Also working on Take Five and Take The A Train. Needed a new challenge. The past year I have not played much and I need it back.


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
mikhailoh #1263393 09/06/09 10:56 AM
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Any chance of starting a new lesson thread on either of those venerable tunes?


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
mikhailoh #1263470 09/06/09 01:02 PM
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Hi Michael, Glad to have you on board! Think I know what you mean about immersion vs moving on. Both can be helpful. Certainly by now I feel like I know the chord progressions of Autumn Leaves well enough - I've been at this a few months now.

Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
ten left thumbs #1263601 09/06/09 05:41 PM
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Thanks, ten. I certainly don't want to give the impression that I did not learn anything - I learned a lot, and my sight reading improved greatly due to the increased mental activity behind comping. But I think a more methodical approach would have been better.


Michael

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He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
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