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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429044
05/03/10 01:52 PM
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The way I was taught, the greats do follow it.

As defined for me, a chord tone is an important tone in the chord, which typically is the 1/3/5/7 of the chord (modified for chord quality as needed). But of course if the chord is a Sus4 for example, then the 11 is important.

The key premise in this is that the masters will put importance on the correct tone on the downbeat and that this is found in the great solos (no limitation on the upbeat).

In a way, if this structure did not exist, then it would imply that the masters are constantly making wrong choices in notes (unplanned) or they ignore the harmony when playing.

I have found that after I learned this way, I can tell from listening if someone is stating the harmony on the downbeats (at a reasonable tempo, however). I'm hoping that this will improve my playing over time as hearing is a precursor to execution.

It is more difficult to comprehend conceptually when a master starts overlaying an alternate harmony. But I have a teacher who illustrates this for me since he can visualize it (he has perfect pitch). He states that this ability to control what tone is played at a given moment is what separates the "Men from the boys".

Now having said this, the masters have the skill of rhythmic displacement. So from Charlie Parker. Chick Corea, to Bill Evans, they may state a chord several beats ahead or behind (typically two beats). But it is done consistently so you shift the measures around in your head.

I remember specifically identifying several cases of Chick using this kind of displacement in Matrix. This is something that Hal Galper discusses in his book and he uses Charlie Parker as an example. The concept here is that rhythmic displacement increases tension. In a 2 beat case, the tension is resolved 2 beats later.

So all of this jargon and beat control really is nothing more than effective management of tension and release (which is what Galper states).

Pretty advanced concepts actually, but I found them very revealing.


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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429090
05/03/10 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee


The key premise in this is that the masters will put importance on the correct tone on the downbeat and that this is found in the great solos (no limitation on the upbeat).

In a way, if this structure did not exist, then it would imply that the masters are constantly making wrong choices in notes (unplanned) or they ignore the harmony when playing.

I have found that after I learned this way, I can tell from listening if someone is stating the harmony on the downbeats (at a reasonable tempo, however). I'm hoping that this will improve my playing over time as hearing is a precursor to execution.


I have never till this moment counted how many chord tones are stated on the downbeat. I would certainly not think it is the sort of thing I would be likely to recognise. If I am listening to a piece of music mostly I am not really aware of what chords the tune is passing through although I can tune in to that if I want to.
So I tried to count chord tones on downbeats. To make it easy I just counted how how many of the notes on the first beat in the bar were 1,3,5 or 7 of the chord.

These are the results... (from the first transcriptions that came to hand)

Wayne Shorter's solo on Adams apple - 50% of notes first beat in the bar are chord tones (only did the first 2 sequences)

Jarrett ATTYA (standards 1, first 2 choruses) - 46% are chord tones

Jarrett groovin high -
ist seq - 65%
2nd seq 52%
3rd - 48%
4th - 41%

So, if you average it out thats only about 50% of the notes played on the first beat of the bar are chord tones.

So I am wondering if it is really true that the masters put chord tones on the first beat of the bar. Have you ever counted?

Sure the harmony needs to be outlined, but is this the way to do it?


Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429108
05/03/10 04:08 PM
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The problem is that we're not looking at the same tune and then we have to interpret the different things going on like overlayed harmony and rhythmic displacement.

When I went through Chick's Matrix it was virtually spot on. There's an online transcription of that so it's easy to check. If you ignore the rhythmic displacement and substitutions, it will in fact be 50%. So are we doing apples and oranges here? Chick sounds like he's playing outside so you would think here that it would be like 20%.

Or in modal tunes like So What, Miles would lay out some harmonic movement over a non-moving chord. So here one couldn't look at the original chord alone.

I don't mean to suggest that this is my idea Beeboss. Obviously this is not a new concept as it appears in many books on Jazz (I know of half a dozen authors at the top of my head).

In general though, we'd have to find no dispute that their intent is to outline the harmony. But maybe with playing styles of moving the chord against the barline, perhaps it may be difficult to prove/disprove.

I have a teacher who actually does this displacement of the chord against the barline as a matter of course. Competely intentional and complete awareness of tension and release. So given that, he makes me assume that those masters also are capable of doing this at will (which ruins the alignment of the beat for analysis purposes).

So is this analysis one done in hindsight and that's not real? From a regular person's point of view, we may look at it that way. But I'm just telling you what complex stuff is going on and at least among the top tier players, they seem to be aware of this (since some of them talk about it).




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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429124
05/03/10 04:28 PM
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BTW - Beeboss, Matrix was easy to analyze in this regard because it's just a Blues progression.

http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/Jazz/Transcriptions/Matrix%20Solo.pdf

I went through this bar by bar with my teacher. He had me write out all the chords for each bar so I could track what was going on. It was just amazing the precision of this even from just the first couple of pages. And without his guidance, I would have thought that this was just random playing, going outside.

Most of it was chord substitution on the first couple of pages. Then if I remember right, he started the rhythmic displacement at about the 9th chorus. The alignment seemed all screwed up. But it was quite orderly in fact.

This kind of stuff just reveals genius to me. I can't help but expect Keith Jarrett to be as precise, if not more so.





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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429157
05/03/10 05:31 PM
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Chick certainly outlines the harmony, and is inventing it really. But he does not reliably put chord tones on the first beat. Not even close. Take the 2nd chorus - bars 1, 4,5,8, 10 and 11 do not have chord tones on the first beat, only bars 3 and 9 have a chord tone on the first beat- only about 25% of the notes he plays on the first beat are chord tones.

It's hardly surprising though, it's a fast modal blues. There are no fixed chords. How could you state the chord tones on the downbeats when the chord sequence is fluid like this? Chick could make any note could work in any place.

Sure we can look at Chick's lines and say well he is using a bit of B maj pentatonic here and a repetitive chromatic pattern there and a C diminished whole tone lick there, but that is entirely different kind of analysis that saying one should put chord tones on the downbeat.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429167
05/03/10 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Sure we can look at Chick's lines and say well he is using a bit of B maj pentatonic here and a repetitive chromatic pattern there and a C diminished whole tone lick there, but that is entirely different kind of analysis that saying one should put chord tones on the downbeat.


But just to be clear. That's the analysis that I'm making. You can't stop at saying this is | F7| Bb7 | C7|. It would definitely fail under that simplified analysis. So simply saying downbeat on stated chords is incomplete. And in the video, Hal Galper said the same thing.

It is in fact a B Maj Pentatonic (more likely an F# pentatonic though). And of course when he's using C Diminished WT, the chord tones apply to that chord.

I think if you simplify to "outlining your implied harmony", I don't think the downbeat rule is all that restrictive. It just means, follow the line by looking and seeing where he's going with the harmony, and look at the downbeats as a guide.



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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429174
05/03/10 06:15 PM
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The advice that jw seems to favor to is place a chord tone on every beat of a 4/4 measure, 1, 2, 3 and 4, which he refers to as the downbeats. For eighth-note lines, this would imply that at least every other note would be a chord tone.

The far more common advice is to place chord tones on strong beats, meaning, in 4/4, the harmonic strong beats of 1 and 3. This advice can be found in countless books, websites, instructional videos, etc. Of course, it is also offered with countless exceptions, including anticipations, displacements, ninths as honorary chord tones, etc., etc.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Mike A] #1429218
05/03/10 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike A

The far more common advice is to place chord tones on strong beats, meaning, in 4/4, the harmonic strong beats of 1 and 3. This advice can be found in countless books, websites, instructional videos, etc. Of course, it is also offered with countless exceptions, including anticipations, displacements, ninths as honorary chord tones, etc., etc.


I have certainly seen this many times but what is always lacking is an analysis of an actual solo that shows that it is indeed what the masters do. I am looking right now at the transcription of Chicks Matrix and I still can't see that he used chord tones on beats 1 and 3, but It's pretty hard to tell really, as if he is super-imposing imaginary substitutions upon the standards blues changes then basically these could be anything.If he is playing a semitone above the chord tone then we can just say thats another chromatic sidestep for example.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429221
05/03/10 07:29 PM
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hey guys, when you are playing a song, are you consciously thinking of the chord progression? Especially with tunes that have non-functioning chords like Nefertiti.

I find it almost is a hindrance and gets in the way of my playing. I would rather concentrate on the melody.

I'd have to work at the song and memorize the chords. On a standard 2-5-1 the progression is familiar enough that it's second nature, but say on Dolphin Dance I couldn't just sit down and play it.

I find my hands instinctively reach for chords that I know and have used many times.

The practice is working on new shapes and sounds and integrating them into your musical vocabulary.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429233
05/03/10 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee


It is in fact a B Maj Pentatonic (more likely an F# pentatonic though). And of course when he's using C Diminished WT, the chord tones apply to that chord.



The pentatonic in bars 14-15 is definitely B maj pentatonic, and F# pentatonic wouldn't have the B in it. B maj pentatonic makes sense if you regard those bars as F7#5#9 with a dim WT scale choice. But then again F# pentatonic also has its justifications. If he were playing an Db maj arpeggio we could doubtless come up with some kind of rational for that. Whatever possible combinations of notes he chooses to play you can regard them all as chord tones because we don't know what chord extensions and substitutions he is imagining.
So, just taking an F7 chord, at some point in the solo Chick plays every note on either beat 1 or 3 against the F7 chord with the exception of an E. Any note goes (except for E)

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429261
05/03/10 09:06 PM
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Beeboss, as you are finding, it does imply a dual analysis. If the chord tones are obvious, no analysis is necessary. If it doesn't make sense then you start looking at the downbeat notes and see what is being implied. So the downbeats are used to establish what chord is being played in the solo. Not the other way around.

The neat thing about this is that it's quite a vocabulary builder in a generic way. And in some ways it is easier to visualize than thinking of the scale (especially altered types of scales). It goes back to Scep's discussion of triads.

In Matrix one sees what Chick does on Dominants (lots of minor triads overlayed in the harmony). Again, I'm making this a presumption based on what he puts on a downbeat (assuming it is not displaced rhythmically, or dragged).

Mike A - Just to be clear again -- it's not a matter of favoring it. I was taught this specifically and its application defined for me. I attempt to put into practice and obviously it doesn't come easy.

Wiz - in answer to your question, while practicing, I'm extremely conscious of the chord tones, scales and beats. In practice, my ear defines it for me. I haven't heard you play regular tunes with a fixed beat at medium tempo so you can get away with a lot of stuff in a ballad that you can't with an established rhythm. Try Very Early and you'll see what I mean. You really have to know where you are at all times.



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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429271
05/03/10 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by beeboss
Originally Posted by jazzwee


It is in fact a B Maj Pentatonic (more likely an F# pentatonic though). And of course when he's using C Diminished WT, the chord tones apply to that chord.



The pentatonic in bars 14-15 is definitely B maj pentatonic, and F# pentatonic wouldn't have the B in it. B maj pentatonic makes sense if you regard those bars as F7#5#9 with a dim WT scale choice. But then again F# pentatonic also has its justifications. If he were playing an Db maj arpeggio we could doubtless come up with some kind of rational for that. Whatever possible combinations of notes he chooses to play you can regard them all as chord tones because we don't know what chord extensions and substitutions he is imagining.
So, just taking an F7 chord, at some point in the solo Chick plays every note on either beat 1 or 3 against the F7 chord with the exception of an E. Any note goes (except for E)


Now your analysis here is pretty good Beeboss. The same kind of stuff I went through. But regardless of which harmony is correct (since there can be more than one answer sometimes, especially if there are fewer notes), you would still be able to duplicate it right? Not as a lick but as a conceptual line.

THIS is how I was told to develop a vocabulary. Analyze the line according to the rhythmic importance and harmonic placement.

In the case of Chick, it could be as simple now as saying that you would play a B Pentatonic over F7, and I might also note he'd play it with some quartal pattern.

Now if I follow Mike A's advice and just choose beat 1 and 3, I wouldn't be able to make any sort of analysis. I hope you're seeing that I reversed the process here. Instead of saying, play your chord tones on the downbeats, I'm now saying LISTEN to the chord tones they play on downbeats. Subtle difference.

BTW - on Matrix if you listen to the recording, you will confirm Chick's harmonic choice with his comping on the LH (which I did).


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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429273
05/03/10 09:19 PM
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Nice transcription of Matrix. I have this somewhere but this copy looks cleaner.
Some good lines for transposition. Thanks for posting that.

That's a classic cut from a great trio--Miroslav & Roy Haynes.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Dave Ferris] #1429279
05/03/10 09:23 PM
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Change of topic for a moment, if someone can help me.

Often mentioned here is playing with the metronome on 2 and 4.

But when I'm playing at 220bpm for example, this sounds too crazy and tense to me. I'd think in half time with the metronome at 1 and 3 which is relaxing. What do you guys do uptempo with a metronome?

I think this 2 and 4 thing is useful only at medium swing and to develop one's swing.


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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429330
05/03/10 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike A
The advice that jw seems to favor to is place a chord tone on every beat of a 4/4 measure, 1, 2, 3 and 4, which he refers to as the downbeats. For eighth-note lines, this would imply that at least every other note would be a chord tone.

The far more common advice is to place chord tones on strong beats, meaning, in 4/4, the harmonic strong beats of 1 and 3. This advice can be found in countless books, websites, instructional videos, etc. Of course, it is also offered with countless exceptions, including anticipations, displacements, ninths as honorary chord tones, etc., etc.


Originally Posted by jazzwee
Mike A - Just to be clear again -- it's not a matter of favoring it. I was taught this specifically and its application defined for me. I attempt to put into practice and obviously it doesn't come easy.


Okay, well, what's your opinion?

To me it seems needlessly restrictive. Every other eighth note, at least, should be a chord tone? Among other things, that would rule out many of the common enclosures and chromatic targeting techniques that are used all the time to approach chord tones.

I wonder how many recorded solos out there are constructed around chord tones on every single beat, 1, 2, 3 & 4. I don't know; maybe I'd be surprised.

To me the conventional advice of chord tones on harmonic strong beats, 1 & 3, seems much more sensible. But as Dave says, I wonder how many recorded solos follow even that rule of thumb.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Mike A] #1429354
05/04/10 12:51 AM
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Mike A, my opinion is of little importance as I am no Jazz master. However, if one buys this analysis, it is eminently useful since I can listen to a Jarrett solo and have some foundation of what he's using to construct his melodies, particularly when players like him start to overlay a different harmony.

Whether you apply it for two beats or 4 (or 8 -- like Evans), is your choice. But if it is enough to outline the harmony, it will sound good and our ears will hear it.

You have to understand what I'm saying here though. If your intended chord shape is clear in your head (whatever it is), I don't find any limitation whatsoever. No one, not Galper or my teacher, ever said you couldn't substitute ANY chord that makes sense to you. The idea here is intent. If you just mean it, then you will always have at least 4 beats handled. No one sets a limit to diatonic chord shapes. If a Min7(#5) is the harmony you imply on the downbeats. That will be heard. Right or wrong. It basically amounts to anticipating what you're going to play and doing it intentionally.

So the way I understand it right now, I can't find anything wrong with the logic. Obviously, the masters have a better chance of executing what they intend better than the rest of us.

But don't be stuck on 1/3/5/7 of the original chord. That's not what it means, though that is how it is learned.


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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429402
05/04/10 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzwee


Now your analysis here is pretty good Beeboss. The same kind of stuff I went through. But regardless of which harmony is correct (since there can be more than one answer sometimes, especially if there are fewer notes), you would still be able to duplicate it right? Not as a lick but as a conceptual line.



It is a different kind of analysis though. It is a fact that Chick is playing a B major pentatonic at that point and it is a fact that all those notes can be found in an F dim wt scale. It does not specify anything about on which beats those notes should be played. It is purely descriptive and not imply any method as to what should be done. And more importantly it does not require any kind of assumption about the thought processes that are going on in Chick's mind, about what imaginary substitutions he is considering. He is playing B maj pentatonic - he may or may not be imagining F7alt or F#min7, or more likely something completely different.

Unfortunately we don't know what Chick was thinking as we only have to go on what notes he actually played. As you can justify any note with an imaginary substitution the whole process doesn't help much with note choice. What you are left with is the fact that Chick plays any note (except the E) against the F7.



Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429445
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Just for me to put this matter to rest in my own head I tried a bit of more in depth analysis, of Jarretts solo on If I should lose you, just the first chorus.
I figured that the first chorus would be closer to the sequence than the later ones and would use more chord tones.

my transcription is here...
http://www.divshare.com/download/11266117-080


First I looked at chord tones on beats 1 and 3. For the sake of completeness I included the 9th and 13th,so for the purposes of this test I defined chord tones as the 1 3 5 7 9 and 13th of the chord.
And I discovered that 80% of the notes on beats 1 and 3 are chord tones.
This seems like a lot, especially as if the notes were entirely random there should be around 50% chord tones.
Then I looked at beats 2 and 4 and found the result to be virtually the same - 85% chord tones.

So I am quite convinced that Jarrett uses mainly chord tones on the downbeats.

EXCEPT ... then I looked at the upbeats. And what I found is that 83% of upbeat notes are also chord tones.

So, there is NO difference in the percentage of chord tones played on downbeats and upbeats in the first chorus of this solo, no distinction whatsoever between the downbeat and upbeat.

And then I considered what the result would be if one randomly played the first scale choice over a given chord. And this is where it got interesting....
Imagine improvising over a C maj 7 chord by just playing random notes from the C major scale. 6 notes of the 7 are chord tones (from my definition above) so that would result in 85% of played notes being chord tones, which by a coincidence is almost exactly the same proportion that Jarrett is actaully using.

Now it seems pretty obvious that playing random notes from the scale does not constitute outlining the chord changes, but it does result in exactly the same proportion of chord tones on the downbeats as a really amazing solo by Jarrett. This suggests to me that chord tones on the downbeat is not a very good way of looking at things.

Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: beeboss] #1429515
05/04/10 10:40 AM
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Beeboss, perhaps this cannot be proven or disproven because we look at this with different colored glasses.

To me this is a useful tool in duplicating what a player is doing by looking at the tones not as random choices in the chord/scale but as moving harmony. So rather than looking at proving whether or not it is a downbeat tone, I'm just assuming that if they played it on the downbeat, then it is what it is.

I'll lay out a theoretical example here of how I look at it and then I will return to our regularly scheduled programming (some other topic)...

Let's say that we have two bars as follows:
| Cmaj7 | Cmaj7 |

Now player Keith Evans, plays a line using Dm tones on the first bar and then plays a line using Cmaj7 tones on the second bar. And let's assume here that he emphasized these tones by playing them on the downbeat. You can assume some passing tones in between.

Under casual analysis, you will say, "Hey Keith Evans played 9/11/13 on Cmaj7 on downbeats so he's not following the Downbeat rule. This rule sucks smile I better dump this stupid Hal Galper book".

Under the analysis I was taught to do, I would instead say, "Hmmmm, Keith Evans played a Dm against the CMaj7. Interesting. But looks like he resolved it back to Cmaj7 on the next bar. I think I can copy that."

I don't try to impose my own rule on what Keith Evans is playing. I'm just observing his structure and at some point I might apply the same approach of playing against the original Cmaj7 for a bar and then resolving to it.

Now there has to be faith here that player Keith Evans is some good player and makes good choices. Thus if I believe that, following this same line should sound good for me too. So if I have | EbMaj7 | EbMaj7 |, I might play Fm against the first bar so sound like him in some other tune.

BTW - this whole approach fails completely if you don't have faith in whoever you're listening to. smile I have a lot faith so it works for me.



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Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee] #1429571
05/04/10 01:18 PM
05/04/10 01:18 PM
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Joined: Aug 2009
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beeboss, have you played So Tender lately? I was playing the transcription you did and the chords do follow a 2-5-1 progression. The melody takes a few turns and goes through about 4 keys.

Plus he uses certain dominant 7 chords as a transition, most notably the #5 for a key. So, in A maj, he'll use that F7, what he talked about in the interview.

It adds that twist in the harmony where it's something you don't expect to hear, but sounds cool.


I want to ask, do you guys know the 2-5-1 for left hand chords so well that it's easy to modulate to many different keys without thinking?

The melody I can do, but remembering the harmony on the fly is what gets me. I need to sit and work out the tune beforehand and really drill it in my mind.


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