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#1366644 - 02/05/10 07:57 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Inlanding]  
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Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A

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#1367632 - 02/07/10 02:41 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Beeboss, since some of our goals are the same, I'm just wondering how are specifically addressing practicing at fast tempos?

This has always frustrated me but then I see Dave Solazzo (one of our Jazz thread buddies) have these superfast fingers and I get encouraged somehow. Dave S., if you're reading this, I'm just amazed at how fast you trill between 4 & 5 fingers. Obviously it's equal to the speed of any of the other fingers. I think I need to conquer that.

Anyway, after weeks of frustration, something felt different today. Maybe it's all the practice of Matrix. Not that I can play anything near the complexity of Matrix on my own, but somehow it's had an effect on my articulation, which is one of my developmental issues at fast tempos. Maybe all the odd shapes in this solo has created some new neural connections. Or maybe it's the practice of trills using 3,4 &5.

If it's from Matrix, that's good because I was beginning to wonder why I'm spending so much time on this. But my teacher seems to think it's important.

Although I can play the Matrix solo at close to tempo, when I started putting the LH in there, my mind just about blew up. It was too much going on and Chick was doing these subs and comping chromatically (I think he's playing fourths). That's when I realized this was too complex for my brain. My teacher said I wasn't ready for the LH yet and now I can see why.


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#1367667 - 02/07/10 06:30 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Beeboss, since some of our goals are the same, I'm just wondering how are specifically addressing practicing at fast tempos?



Hi Jazzwee,
Apart from generally trying to get my technique in decent shape with some Hannon and Bach I find the only thing that helps me improvise at the faster tempos is just doing it, and doing it a real lot.

With a metronome or backing track I just work on one tune over and over for at least 45 minutes, and after a week of doing this every day it is more comfortable. Rhythm changes is always a good one to work on as that is always called very fast at gigs, but I am trying all the bop tunes at the moment, donna lee confirmation scrapple ornithology etc

#1368102 - 02/07/10 07:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Beeboss, just for establishing a comfort level, what is "very fast at gigs"?

300bpm? 250bpm? I'm just wondering what's typical.


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#1368122 - 02/07/10 07:49 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A


BTW Beeboss, this was incredible! Stylistically that was so unique and so rhythmic. Though I can't place exactly what category to put this Rhythm in. It's almost like a merging of Fusion + Cuban smile


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#1368124 - 02/07/10 07:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I guess 250 is comfortable and 300 is uncomfortable, on average, for me. I certainly wouldn't want to play any tune at 300 on a gig unless I was fairly sure it wasn't going to fall apart.

#1368128 - 02/07/10 08:03 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
I guess 250 is comfortable and 300 is uncomfortable, on average, for me. I certainly wouldn't want to play any tune at 300 on a gig unless I was fairly sure it wasn't going to fall apart.


Sometimes I think of 300bpm as starting to lose musical value and becomes like a macho competition. smile Not exactly laid back smile Right now I'd be uncomfortable maintaining a pace beyond 220bpm, unless I think half time, in which case it's fine.

But do you really get a lot 300bpm tunes at gigs? Or is it unusual?


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#1368142 - 02/07/10 08:40 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Not at lot at 300 but a couple of tunes at 250 or faster I guess. Whether it sounds musical or not is down to the players, some guys can play at that speed seemingly without effort.
I find the faster I get the more I have to rely on patterns and things that I know will work ok. There is less room for creativity and freedom and always a disaster not far away.
I do like contrast though. Also practicing at fast tempos speeds up the brain so that when you play at a more normal tempo you suddenly have extra brainpower to spare.

#1368150 - 02/07/10 08:58 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Also practicing at fast tempos speeds up the brain so that when you play at a more normal tempo you suddenly have extra brainpower to spare.


Now that is so true. I specifically focused on building speed up the last many months and my objective as "headroom"...

So I too practice at high tempos (280bpm is the fastest on my keyboard), but I really don't expect to be playing at that speed.

Then when I play 200bpm, it feels so relaxed. I'd say 220bbm is my old 180bpm.

My weakness though is the LH. It loses its place at fast tempos. It's a combination of a form thing and trying to play too much. My LH hasn't gotten used to the concept that playing fast requires a different approach (less). But it's getting better.


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#1368692 - 02/08/10 03:02 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Beeboss, how fast can you do the Donna Lee head? I just realized that I'm barely comfortable with it at 220. Realistically, I probably couldn't really play it consistently above 210.

It's a nice speed test in a way since this head is a little bit finger-busting and continuous streams of 8th notes. It's not a piano-friendly melody with the fingering.

But the good news is that I used to not play this above 180.


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#1368895 - 02/08/10 08:10 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Beeboss, how fast can you do the Donna Lee head? I just realized that I'm barely comfortable with it at 220. Realistically, I probably couldn't really play it consistently above 210.


I don't know.I have been playing it quite fast but I usually make some slips.
I give it a try and let you know

Here is a bit of My Romance that I was playing today...

www.divshare.com/download/10420506-5a6

I worked out some of the Bill Evans harmony on the front but its a bit stilted, I need to play it in a bit really. And then some improvisation, trying out a few ideas.

#1369061 - 02/08/10 11:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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beeboss, this is sure to be a Youtube hit! You should video this. That was amazing. thumb First of all it's rare to find an uptempo version of My Romance. But then over that you created some great melodies over a diatonic progression. It sounded really fresh.

I'd like to learn the intro portion. Let me know what reharms are in there and I'll try it out. It does sound like Evans.


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#1369167 - 02/09/10 02:27 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I was able to do Donna Lee at 230bpm but the last phrase required a little practice to get there. What was interesting was that practicing Donna Lee at that speed was like a warmup. After that my sixteenths started sounding smooth...

I'm working on a My Romance with a syncopated LH that's been challenging me for awhile. It got better today but every time I tried to record, I lose it. Anyway I figure I will even get better at it in the next couple of days. It's a little different rhythmically because the LH drives a nice swing rhythm in solo piano. This was inspired by a Kenny Werner version.



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#1369210 - 02/09/10 04:35 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?

#1369236 - 02/09/10 06:41 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
beeboss, this is sure to be a Youtube hit! You should video this. That was amazing. thumb First of all it's rare to find an uptempo version of My Romance. But then over that you created some great melodies over a diatonic progression. It sounded really fresh.

I'd like to learn the intro portion. Let me know what reharms are in there and I'll try it out. It does sound like Evans.


Glad you liked it. I may do a youtube version sometime but I need to practice the intro harmony first.
The intro harmony is pretty much what Bill played on the waltz for debby album version, I transcribed most of what I could hear and then filled in a few bits that I couldn't quite get and changed a few bits.
I haven't really written it out, just a few scrawled notes as I transcribed, but I can try to answer any harmonic questions you may have.

#1369237 - 02/09/10 06:44 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: custard apple]  
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Originally Posted by custard apple
When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?



Almost always the solo will be on the form of the tune, although sometimes they did play tricks with the time, doing alternate choruses in 3 and the 4, that kind of thing. Also, because they are so comfortable with the time they appear to pull the time around but actually they always know where they are.

#1369365 - 02/09/10 11:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by custard apple
When Bill Evans solos, does he "abandon" time ? I love his swing and how the bars flow into each other, but how would trio members know where he was up to ? I mean, each bar in his solos is not always common time, right ?
For example, how would another trio member keep the beat ?



Almost always the solo will be on the form of the tune, although sometimes they did play tricks with the time, doing alternate choruses in 3 and the 4, that kind of thing. Also, because they are so comfortable with the time they appear to pull the time around but actually they always know where they are.


Bill Evans specifically -- on these ballad type tunes like My Foolish Heart and My Romance, he'll start off at ballad tempo, then go double time with the trio. So in effect, it was always in the form.

On some other tunes where he changes tempo, I think like newer versions of Nardis ('80s), he goes to the actual form tempo at the last few bars of his solo piano intro.

I have always wondered how they signal each other when the intro is finished. They don't look at each other and it looks so precise. Most other trios, I see some eye action between the rhythm section and the piano. Perhaps that's part of the mystique they cultivate by planning out some of these in advance. It seems like such a stressful job to be Bill's rhythm section.


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#1369904 - 02/10/10 01:35 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Beeboss, this is what I was trying to do with My Romance. I don't know what you call this style of playing. Let me know so I can describe it later. I just barely got the rhythm right so I wasn't focusing on the solo.

http://www.box.net/shared/z17d42boja

I found that it was distracting with the LH almost on a different rhythm with the RH and I think I'm starting to conquer this. At some point I'll be able to put the attention back to soloing...




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#1369917 - 02/10/10 02:02 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Thanks beeboss and jazzwee for your responses. I think it would be kinda stressful to be in Keith Jarrett's trio too. They also don't signal to each other but seem to know when the intro ends, whether long/short, intensely elaborate/relatively simple.

#1369921 - 02/10/10 02:09 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: custard apple]  
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Originally Posted by custard apple
Thanks beeboss and jazzwee for your responses. I think it would be kinda stressful to be in Keith Jarrett's trio too. They also don't signal to each other but seem to know when the intro ends, whether long/short, intensely elaborate/relatively simple.


Since I only play solo piano (and playalongs), I'm a noob on this issue. So perhaps someone who gigs with a trio regularly can give us advice on such things as signaling solos, soloist sequence, trading 4's, stuff like that. Are there any assumed rules, like if you jam?


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#1369967 - 02/10/10 06:05 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Normally there is some clue in there - either the intro is over the form in which case everyone is expecting the time to start at the end of the intro, or a device will be used to bring the tune in in time, like a turnaround or vamp. Sometimes Jarrett just starts right in and it takes a few bars for the Jack and Gary to catch up. If the rhythm section is paying attention there shouldn't be a problem.

#1369969 - 02/10/10 06:11 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Hi Jazzwee,
I get what you mean about the LH syncopation now. Thats a good effect, but hard to maintain for a long time.

#1370138 - 02/10/10 12:30 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Jazzwee,
I get what you mean about the LH syncopation now. Thats a good effect, but hard to maintain for a long time.


That's what I've been trying to do is keep at it for a long time without losing beats, or losing my place in time. It's almost like a walking bass thing, it requires a lot of concentration. The idea is Bass + inner voice, the inner voice done with the inside fingers (1 & 2) of both hands). Then my fingers 2-4 on the RH play the solo.

Is there a term for this kind of playing? The bass + chord is stride-like but the rhythm is more like a pickup.

You can see why it's hard for me to focus on the solo here smile I'm getting there though. It's like the last couple of days has used less effort (brain wise) to do the LH.


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#1370575 - 02/10/10 10:37 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Beeboss, take a look at this. The LH pattern is very similar to what I was doing though a different rhythmic pattern. Looks like it could be applicable to multiple things I master it. It fills in solo piano nicely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7fVnvJSRb4

This one is the same hand movement

Bass + Inner voice but the inner voice is repeated twice...

I'm always attracted to rhythmically complex things -- except I can't execute yet.


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#1370754 - 02/11/10 06:43 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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It sounds to me like the accompaniment is all in the left hand except maybe just occasionally note when the bass note is too far away he fills in with the RH, but I could be wrong. It's very hard to get a pattern like that going and keep it in the pocket and solo over it at the same time. Mehldau is the master at that pattern.
Weeks of slow practice with a metronome and scale patterns in the RH are required to gain the independence between the hands.

If that one is difficult then how about this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqK1JJOFxw




#1370838 - 02/11/10 11:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Actually it's very similar to what I was practicing so I was able to do it for extended periods. I played this same pattern to playing 3/4 (as in the video), 5/4. It was a lot of fun and was not so hard because the regular practice was paying off.

It was actually easier to solo over in 5/4 and 3/4 because there was more time. What I was doing (the Kenny Werner My Romance thing) actually was more difficult because it was almost like a double time feel.

I didn't realize this before but Mehldau uses this a lot. It could be assumed that Mehldau and Kenny Werner (one of his teachers) could have worked on this.

When I was copying his style here, I was playing mostly LH alone but the way I was originally taught this could be a mixture. I generically just call it Root(Bass) + Inner-Voice.

But specifically, my LH was always playing 1-5-7, and then when within reach, I could always add 9-3 from my RH when it was not being used to solo.

The only real variation to what I was doing was how many times to hit the inner voice. So in 5/4 I was doing
Bass + Inner + Inner + Bass + Inner (syncopated though, not on the beat).

This is kind of neat. Like a new discovery. I tried it on My Romance and ATTYA.

BTW - in 5/4, Mehldau used this pattern extensively in Riverman. I'm actually excited about maybe trying that. I remember posting many years ago at KC Forum that I wanted to play Riverman and it seemed so difficult. But really it's this pattern played like an Ostinato.



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#1370841 - 02/11/10 11:40 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
If that one is difficult then how about this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqK1JJOFxw



HAHA! LOL. That was almost exact but superfast! smile

Wow that is so distracting to do at this tempo.



Now one difficulty I had when doing this pattern in 5/4 and 3/4 was the melody. There was no easy transition of the melody from 4/4 for My Romance. Maybe if I were to play this, I'd have to start off with My Romance as a Ballad before I could do 5/4. Or maybe an intro ala Evans.


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#1370878 - 02/11/10 12:17 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Hi Glen,
Glad you liked it.
If you have never heard Hermeto's music you are in for a shock. It's like nothing else on this planet.
Here is a little classic Hermeto from the 80s...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFFEpick3A


Hey beboss,

Good stuff. Pyrotechnics on the piano is another interest of mine and I make very feeble attempts at it. Hermeto seems like a very interesting guy and I will continue to listen to his music, along with a tiny bit of Keith Jarrett.

Here is the stuff to which I am an aspirant. There's something for everyone... Gotta love it!

Yesterdays
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Cs_zb4q14

Dvorak
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcZGPLAnHA

'round Midnight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ogyvI5GM8

Echoes of Spring
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArVhGSY0Spw


Glen


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#1371443 - 02/12/10 02:11 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Inlanding]  
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I had some fun practice doing 5/4 using this LH pattern ala Mehldau/Werner. If I sang the rhythm, I don't get lost.

Beeboss, how do you break up the beats on 7/4?

On 5/4, I'm
| 3 | 2 |
| 3 | 2 |
| 3 | 2 |
ala Take 5, all driven with the LH.

This left hand style doesn't seem to work on 7/4 on combinations I've tried.



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#1371460 - 02/12/10 02:43 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,457
etcetra Offline
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etcetra  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,457
There were some talks about tempo earlier..I think the magic number is 300 for speed. my teachers tell me that you need to be able to play at least at that speed. Right now 240 is ok for me, 280 is doable.. but I'd like to get to the point where I can do 300 comfortably and 320-330 would be my limit.

I realized that it's one thing to just play fast.. but it takes a lot of work to be able to play evenly and actually feel the tempo. Playing fast also makes you realize your weaknesses technically.. some of the stuff I play at 280 lays fine, but some of the stuff licks/lines are almost unplayable.. so it really forces me to find ways to be more efficient at those lines I am struggling with. I am notiicng that a lot of my problems are related to how I use my pinky and how I use my thumbs.

In some ways playing fast is like riding a bike.. if you are in 'the zone' and you relaxed, it can be done effortlessly.. it's just matter of being able to finding that and be able to turn that switch on at will.

Also it helps be able to find people who you can play fast tempo with to test your progress. I did that the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was able to do about 260 okay with the band.. the problem is that it sped up to 300 bpm after the drum solo and the head out was unplayable at that speed :)

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