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#1688051 - 05/31/11 08:00 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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So where are you now in sightreading skill?

I've been following kid's learning and I can see how they train kids to sight read. They focus on interval recognition a lot. In contrast, I still try to see each note as an actual note I can state aloud. I realize that's why I'm so slow.

Now my kid is doing Chord recognition while reading.

Is the adult approach different?


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#1688057 - 05/31/11 08:13 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I find that transposing tunes (on the fly) is not too difficult for most tunes, if you think in bigger chunks. For example, the form of Black Orpheus is basically I-vi-ii-V, goes to relative major, and on B section goes to the iv chord. If you can hear those progressions, (esp bass movement), then following a tune in new key or playing a new tune may not be so bad. The only other thing you have to watch out for is passing chords, and variations.

#1688061 - 05/31/11 08:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
So where are you now in sightreading skill?

I've been following kid's learning and I can see how they train kids to sight read. They focus on interval recognition a lot. In contrast, I still try to see each note as an actual note I can state aloud. I realize that's why I'm so slow.

Now my kid is doing Chord recognition while reading.

Is the adult approach different?


Basically the same.
I'm following a method called 4 stars. I'm in the middle of level 3. Each level I think will take me about 6 months and there are about a dozen. Level 12 seems very advanced however.
It starts in a way that you pretty much are forced to see it as intervals. It teaches you to recognize them, but also starts with minimal hand movement. Therefore reading intervals is simpler, and looking at hands is useless (the hand doesn't move).
After a while, you learn larger intervals than a 5th, and the hand moves naturally. It becomes very much about fingering. With the right fingering, stuff is not too hard.

But reading contrary motion is still not easy. And for some reason, when the movement goes from LH to RH, I still struggle.

The technique makes you play one 4 measure piece each day.

I'm doing another series at the same time. From Faber I think. Improve your Sight REading. It's extremely similar. I'm level 2 on that one. There are many more exercises, so it moves slightly slower. But I have better success. So I'm moving about the same pace.

That takes me to about 10 mins a day. Once in a while, I pick up a piece and try to sight read it, but I don't think it's extremely productive. I like the method best.


#1688063 - 05/31/11 08:24 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I should add that I get tremendous pleasure out of hearing music I've never heard before. And that music coming out of me. There's something to it.
The reading has become one of the favorite parts of the day. But you can't just plow through it. I think it takes time. And that's fine.
Also, it requires a lot of focus. Like Beeboss says, same as transposing.


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#1688222 - 06/01/11 01:31 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: etcetra]  
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Originally Posted by etcetra
I find that transposing tunes (on the fly) is not too difficult for most tunes, if you think in bigger chunks. For example, the form of Black Orpheus is basically I-vi-ii-V, goes to relative major, and on B section goes to the iv chord. If you can hear those progressions, (esp bass movement), then following a tune in new key or playing a new tune may not be so bad. The only other thing you have to watch out for is passing chords, and variations.


I understand that etcetera. But are you able to transpose in the amount of time that the tune is called in a new key and counted down? Unless one's ability to transpose is that fast, I'll stick to transposing the leadsheet with my Iphone App.

Vocalist says: "God Bless the Child in E. One-Two-1-2-3-4..."



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#1688223 - 06/01/11 01:32 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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#1688303 - 06/01/11 07:03 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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yes it is.
I bought mine at Music & Arts. Maybe you have one around your place. I paid less than online and you get to see what your level is. They even have keyboards so you could try.
They have tons of other sight reading methods. Well at least 5 or 6 others.
This one came recommended by many, so I chose it.
It's written so that you play one a day. What I do is that I play it at whatever speed is good, then I come back to it the next day, increasing tempo a bit, and taking a new one. That's how I spend my 10 mins. They're not all equally difficult for me.

#1688391 - 06/01/11 09:45 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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On sightreading: I'm very good at that (my weakness, sadly, is my ear), because for 20 years before starting jazz all I did was buy sheet music and sight read it for fun. Gershwin, Porter, Arlen, etc. I don't think there is any substitute for just doing it a lot.

On transposing (which I can't do at gig speed), the most amazing display was at a concert a few years back with Shelly Berg (piano) accompaning Tierney Sutton at a club in New York. The format was they placed 5 or 6 tune names in glasses on everyone's table. They said they had about a hundred tunes out there. They would point to a table, and the people got to call out which tune they wanted. No music in sight. On several tunes, Tierney changed key after a few notes. Shelly Berg, a great but not famous piano player (he heads the jazz program at U of Miami) didn't skip a beat or break a sweat.

#1688436 - 06/01/11 11:12 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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jjo, I know Shelly Berg very well. He transferred from being head of USC Jazz over here in LA. Monster player. At that level (World class), I'm sure they can transpose that fast.

However, now with Iphone Apps that transpose, it has suddenly become a lower priority project. I have so many deficiencies that there's not enough time. I don't feel too bad though. Two of my band members don't transpose on the fly and they've been playing for 20-30 years (drummer not counted...).

Gig speed transposing (from calling the tune to countdown) -- yup, I'd like to know who can do the difficult tunes like that among us. Nope Blues doesn't count. But I'm prepared to be impressed. That's some serious commitment if one of you guys can do that. Beeboss?








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#1688441 - 06/01/11 11:17 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
yes it is.
I bought mine at Music & Arts. Maybe you have one around your place. I paid less than online and you get to see what your level is. They even have keyboards so you could try.
They have tons of other sight reading methods. Well at least 5 or 6 others.
This one came recommended by many, so I chose it.
It's written so that you play one a day. What I do is that I play it at whatever speed is good, then I come back to it the next day, increasing tempo a bit, and taking a new one. That's how I spend my 10 mins. They're not all equally difficult for me.


I'm guessing I can just use my Kid's books first. At least I can sightread Level 1 books for sure since I help him with it and tell him what's wrong immediately.

But I just hate doing it. It's like my mind rejects it initially. In theory I know how to read it. There's some missing brain connection somewhere...


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#1688454 - 06/01/11 11:30 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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A normal student usually reads at one level below their playing level.
That won't be the case for you.
Your kid stuff might work, but you'll come from a different angle and might find it frustrating.

I'm on the side that does not believe that just randomly sight reading will be the best use of your time.

But doing exercises specifically for sight reading will. All exercises in those books are 4 measures long. It gets longer.

#1688464 - 06/01/11 11:42 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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The kid stuff IS designed for sight reading. In fact, at this level, it seems to be the main point of the books. It is easy for me to read them. But the reaction time is the issue.

I think my problem is more basic. I can't keep my eyes on the music. If I'm not on the keyboard, I can read it in any key signature. I can just can't KEEP looking at it. Once I look away, all is lost.

Do you have a similar problem or you actually cannot decide what the notes are?


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#1688467 - 06/01/11 11:45 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee

Gig speed transposing (from calling the tune to countdown) -- yup, I'd like to know who can do the difficult tunes like that among us. Nope Blues doesn't count. But I'm prepared to be impressed. That's some serious commitment if one of you guys can do that. Beeboss?




It's no big deal to transpose on the fly, and I have been dropped in it enough times to not really worry about it all that much. That said it doesn't make for good performance so you would have to question why you would have to do that. Maybe an unprofessional singer who is too lazy to have a chart or not experienced enough to know what key s/he sings in, or a muso test from a experienced musician to just wants to see what you can do in a difficult situation, I don't know.
Sometimes on a really boring winebar gig that nobody much cares what you play I have done autumn leaves in E in 7/4 or something just for a laugh but really most tunes are hard enough even if you play them in the keys that you know them in best. I must admit not really practicing transposition but when I learn a tune I do try to play it in a few keys, it seams to help me get the changes down solidly in my memory.

I wish I knew a secret to sightread better.

#1688485 - 06/01/11 12:08 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Beeboss, that's the point though. Transposing at "countdown speed" seems to be a macho muso thing more than a practical issue.

For some tunes, it's easier. I gave the example of Autumn Leaves because if you know the key and translate to relative minor you're done. However, playing it WELL in E is another issue.

But for ATTYA?

For those of us who solo, we can't really be rushing to think of the next chord. The picture has to tbe clear or our solos don't have any form or shape. It's just chord by chord response.

Most transposing is done for vocalists. And I have to admit that my solos on vocalist tunes are a lot less memorable.

And I've learned to negotiate with them. If they say F#, I say F or G. If they say E, I offer Eb. Seems to work. Heck, if they can't sing up or down a half step, we're in big trouble.



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#1688490 - 06/01/11 12:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I have a question for you Beeboss on vocalists. When vocalists sing, they expect to through the head, then a brief instrumental solo through an A section, and then they're back singing the B section.

I told the vocalist that we're not going to do that since that's not a jazz way and this would be true of a pure singer's gig. I said that as an instrumental soloist, I'd like to know what to expect I'm going to play so I can improvise accordingly. Let's say I intend to go past 1 chorus, doing a full chorus and end on an A section would leave me hanging. I've got to do the AABA or whatever so the solo has a proper ending.

So I told them that we'll stick to the traditional instrumental approach that each instrument gets a full chorus each time (however many). And the vocalist always ends the tune on the whole head.

Is this correct? If there are multiple soloists, the last soloist will get unfairly cut short if we follow the singer entering the B section only. Apparently, this is written into some lead sheets (I seem to recall some Billy Holiday ones).

Thoughts?




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#1688526 - 06/01/11 01:05 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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>>I think my problem is more basic. I can't keep my eyes on the music. If I'm not on the keyboard, I can read it in any key signature. I can just can't KEEP looking at it. Once I look away, all is lost.
>>Do you have a similar problem or you actually cannot decide what the notes are?

No, I would say you are reading above your level, then. You must learn to read, and read ahead. This is more easily done on music that recognizable patterns, and that are short.
If the piece if 4 measure long, then you are likely to be able to read it in one simply look. That is teaching you to read ahead.

La Cucaracha or other folk songs might be within reach, but unless you've passed that level of staying focused, you'll be struggling.


#1688565 - 06/01/11 02:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee


Thoughts?



Can't you just talk through the form before you play it. I mean some tunes make sense coming in on the bridge and some don't, some singers scat and some don't, the occasion will determine wether it is a 5 minute solo or a 20 second one. There is no rule. The form is not sacred, you can change it if you want - AABA then come in at the bridge for instance.
Often the bass solo takes the last half chorus as nobody seems to like long bass solos much.
I must say I prefer it if everyone doesn't solo on every tune, that gets very boring. Better if the musicians take fewer but longer solos, they get a chance to say more.

#1688569 - 06/01/11 02:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
>>I think my problem is more basic. I can't keep my eyes on the music. If I'm not on the keyboard, I can read it in any key signature. I can just can't KEEP looking at it. Once I look away, all is lost.



I think it is best to sight read without looking at your hands. After some time you will find they know where the notes are all by themselves. Maybe a quick glance when a leap is necessary.

#1688634 - 06/01/11 04:15 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee


Thoughts?



Can't you just talk through the form before you play it. I mean some tunes make sense coming in on the bridge and some don't, some singers scat and some don't, the occasion will determine wether it is a 5 minute solo or a 20 second one. There is no rule. The form is not sacred, you can change it if you want - AABA then come in at the bridge for instance.
Often the bass solo takes the last half chorus as nobody seems to like long bass solos much.
I must say I prefer it if everyone doesn't solo on every tune, that gets very boring. Better if the musicians take fewer but longer solos, they get a chance to say more.



Good thought on the half chorus for the bass. But if there's no discussion, I've trained my vocalist to just expect herself to be treated like an instrument playing a head.

Normally this works out particulary on fast tunes. Where I get the argument is in a ballad because going through the whole head is too long. But the usual strategy for a ballad in our group is only one chorus each sax/piano and NO bass/drum solo and the singer hits the head twice.

I personally would feel unresolved ending a solo on the AA. It wasn't meant to be resolved there.

I appreciate the clarification. I'm setting some rules for the group here and I'm the newbie. I pay them so I'm the leader. But I don't want my inexperience to show. So far so good. I don't think any of the players know how little experience I have.



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#1688637 - 06/01/11 04:18 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss]  
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by knotty
>>I think my problem is more basic. I can't keep my eyes on the music. If I'm not on the keyboard, I can read it in any key signature. I can just can't KEEP looking at it. Once I look away, all is lost.



I think it is best to sight read without looking at your hands. After some time you will find they know where the notes are all by themselves. Maybe a quick glance when a leap is necessary.


I can play with my eyes closed. It's just a bad habit. I enjoy watching my hands and it's how I improvise. So it's hard to keep looking at the music. Too many years of this. Like I said, I can read the music fine enough by itself.

I just freeze when I'm at a piano.

It'll take a long time to break this...


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#1689084 - 06/02/11 09:20 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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>> Like I said, I can read the music fine enough by itself.
playing the music is much better than reading it! It's also a lot harder.

There are many reasons why sight reading is not easy. You have to read several measures ahead, several notes at the same time, you need to read 2 staves. Sometimes the RH drives, sometimes it's the LH, sometimes both. Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not. Sometimes it's the same direction, and sometimes it moves in contrary motion. And all that time, the metronome is clicking.


#1689114 - 06/02/11 10:10 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not.


Can you show an example where the interval between two lines is neither a major third nor a minor third?


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
#1689126 - 06/02/11 10:30 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Joe, that's what I meant.

#1689194 - 06/02/11 12:06 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Knotty, I realize now why I am so poor at this. I read the music, then look down to play it. So in a sense I work by memorizing a few bars then I play. To play it completely, I have to memorize the whole thing.

So I never really rely on the music to direct my fingers. Thus I'm missing some basic neural connections for this to occur.

Even when I can read music, I actually NEVER sight read. Because I can actually read the music, I survived but the deficiency is so glaring. There is so few reasons so far to actually sight read anything in jazz that I failed miserably in developing this skill.

I can memorize even classical music so I look at the music only to remember. I've done this to several Chopin pieces successfully. But if I haven't played it in awhile I forget and I'm back to square one.

I hate to admit this but there's no quick fix here.

The sad part is the my actual reading of the music is many levels above my ability to sight read it. I don't have a problem visualizing key signatures, accidentals. I can read above and below the staves.

Last edited by jazzwee; 06/02/11 12:09 PM.

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#1689254 - 06/02/11 01:25 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Right, you are deciphering, then memorizing.

If you have interest in learning to sight read, I can share a few pages with you so you get an idea about this method.

There's great benefits in knowing how to read music for jazz musicians.



#1689283 - 06/02/11 02:03 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Please share. Oh I have no doubts about the benefits. I think my teacher realizes there's a problem when he puts music in front of my face and I can't follow.

But I go home and it's no problem (because of my method).

Unfortunately, I think it would take years to correct this.

Everything I've done in jazz requires memorization anyway so I've been able to hide the problem.


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#1689288 - 06/02/11 02:10 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Studio Joe]  
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by knotty
Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not.


Can you show an example where the interval between two lines is neither a major third nor a minor third?



Well Gb and B would fit the bill :-)

#1689315 - 06/02/11 02:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazztpt]  
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Originally Posted by jazztpt
Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by knotty
Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not.


Can you show an example where the interval between two lines is neither a major third nor a minor third?



Well Gb and B would fit the bill :-)


LOL - Good one! Which shows how well you read smile


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#1689327 - 06/02/11 03:20 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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jazztpt Offline
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jazztpt  Offline
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by jazztpt
Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by knotty
Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not.


Can you show an example where the interval between two lines is neither a major third nor a minor third?



Well Gb and B would fit the bill :-)


LOL - Good one! Which shows how well you read smile


Did I miss something, is that not an example as requested?

#1689328 - 06/02/11 03:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazztpt]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Studio Joe Offline
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Studio Joe  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted by jazztpt
Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by knotty
Sometimes the interval between 2 lines is a 3rd, sometimes not.


Can you show an example where the interval between two lines is neither a major third nor a minor third?



Well Gb and B would fit the bill :-)


You might find those two notes in the key of Gb (6 flats) but the B would be written as Cb. C is flat in the key signature.


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