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#1972919 - 10/13/12 07:38 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al, how come it took you so long to post here? LOL. You expect that we'll beat you up?

That sounds really good Al. When I do solo piano gigs (extremely rarely), I never do walking bass thinking it would be tiring to hear more than once. But this is really nice and energetic.

You're playing is really good. Kudos to you. Solid pulse with that baseline.

You ever try varying with a little modern stride? Bass + chord on the LH but the time is more open? Just curious because that's usually how I do my solo piano. Besides, I can't pull off the WB thing. I don't practice that style much smile

I hope you post tunes regularly!



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#1972924 - 10/13/12 07:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Originally Posted by knotty
Hey Guys,

I thought I'd share a track from last night, at our somewhat regular spot. Everytime a different band!

https://www.box.com/s/i7b2xx4q2shpj4hgyv4h


Cus,
Are you doing the Burton masterclass ?


Very nice Knots! Keep 'em coming. It's interesting to note as well that we all sound a little better each time so perhaps this group is more intense than the average jazz player out there.

I have to say that your Sax guy is really pro and brings the group level really up there. Really nice sounding tone.

I hope you get the confidence to do more piano work (instead of EP). I do some EP just to change, but piano just has more to offer.


Thanks JW .You're right about the EP / piano. I just find it so much easier to play EP. I never play electric at home. In smaller places, the piano works ok, but in somewhat larger places, without monitors, the EP is easier for me to play.

The sax player is really nice. Whatever you say, he'll smile and say "oh yeah". Very relaxed guy. Toured in a big band the last 5 years and then 10 years in cruise ships before that. He just now settled in DC and he'll play any gig.
The bass player is amazing. 24 years old, solos with the bow, double stops, super tone. That kid's just amazing. It's a real treat. Also came back from cruises, settling down in Baltimore for a while. We're all enjoying him while we can. We had a good time. I just sit back and listen. Practically no audience on a debate night.


#1972926 - 10/13/12 07:53 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: TromboneAl]  
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
My first post in this thread -- boy am I nervous (just kidding).

I thought I'd post this recording from one of my few solo gigs (last night). The gig was somewhat disastrous in that the audience was pretty non-existent, and the ones that were there were non-responsive. But I played better than I have at other solo gigs.

I'm pleased with this tune since I somehow avoided speeding up, and didn't make too many errors. I'd like to improve it by varying the dynamics a bit. The bass line is pretty repetitive and basic (ha ha), but that makes it easier to play the melody above it. I stretched this out more than usual because I was running out of set list.

Afternoon in Paris

Comments welcome.


Very nice Al. That's real professional. What do you have in your solo list?

#1973107 - 10/14/12 09:41 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee

You ever try varying with a little modern stride? Bass + chord on the LH but the time is more open? Just curious because that's usually how I do my solo piano. Besides, I can't pull off the WB thing. I don't practice that style much smile

I hope you post tunes regularly!



Thanks.

Yes, I've been adding that in, but mostly on slower tunes. I agree that varying things is a great idea. Another variation that I do is improvising in octaves or double octaves, anything to change it up.

About Walking Bass:

The funny things with the WB here, is that this was one of the first tunes I did when I started doing the WB. So, it is almost entirely outlining the triads. For anyone learning WB, this is probably not a good strategy as it was a hard habit to break.

Plus, with this tune I ended up playing exactly the same notes each time. I could fix that, but I'd rather devote time to other tunes.

Finally, I recently thought it would be a good idea to compose a good bassline (with fingering) to a tune and memorize it. I was surprised to find that it's harder to improvise over that memorized WB than it is to improvise over an improvised bassline. Here's the tune (Au Privave):

https://www.box.com/s/19uwh6aogcbij1n1eh2e

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#1973110 - 10/14/12 09:49 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty


Very nice Al. That's real professional. What do you have in your solo list?


Thanks, Knotty.

Here's my full tunes list (although many need some work):

https://www.box.com/s/gg8i0kc1lax6wcmld1px

And here are the two sets I performed on Friday:

https://www.box.com/s/dbuj01fex32jujsfeiou

Here's a thread about the free Set List app I use.


Last edited by TromboneAl; 10/14/12 09:53 AM.
#1973150 - 10/14/12 11:11 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al,

That's a nice solo list. A little bit for everyone in there.

It's also hard for me to improvise against a written bass line, and vice versa, improvise a bass line over a written melody. I don't know why but that's true.

Have you watched that? :
[video:youtube]kyRdNAMfYH4[/video]

It's a great vehicle for solo piano.


#1973157 - 10/14/12 11:22 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al, that was an impressive song list. Do you have pre-done arrangements for each? Or are you at a stage where you just change depending on mood?

I have to say that I haven't been happy playing solo piano because I felt like I was always ignored smile. When my band plays, the volume alone forces people to pay "some" attention, if not a lot. I've never found a single person watch me intently with solo piano. LOL.

Now I usually have this habit now of setting up early for a gig and I usually have some time when I just sit there and play. I used to play some standards for a bit, but now I found that playing some "free" jazz loosens me up. Like meditation (just for you Knotty...). I copied Kenny Werner in this. He has this advice of "there is no wrong note" and I really took it to heart.

The good news about this approach is I stopped worrying about what tune I'm going to play. I just make it up.


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#1973229 - 10/14/12 03:53 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty

Have you watched that? :



Yes, that's an excellent set of videos (Thanks, Dave), and I've been using some of the advice to make my basslines more interesting. For example, before watching that, I always hit the root of the chord on the downbeat. He showed me that it isn't really that necessary.


#1973232 - 10/14/12 04:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Do you have pre-done arrangements for each? Or are you at a stage where you just change depending on mood?


A little of both.

Quote
I have to say that I haven't been happy playing solo piano because I felt like I was always ignored smile.


Right. That's how it was for my sparsely populated gig the other night. Even the person who left a tip, did so in a distracted way (no eye contact). I like to be playing background music, and one shouldn't base anything on people's comments, but it makes a different if at least one person says something like "Thanks, that sounded great!"

#1973237 - 10/14/12 04:24 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
Cus,

You're right, this recording is a crying shame. I didn't really pay attention. I forgot my mic clip and we just shove the mic in the bass quaver, which turned out disastrous. Oh well, I'll do better next time.



I fixed it to some extent:

https://www.box.com/s/p7qscdixjvxnj5o09uzr

Most of the problem was in the right channel. I eliminated that, copied the left to the right, then offset the tracks slightly to simulate stereo.

Really nice solo, Knotty, by the way. Great lyrical phrases, with nice ideas and plenty of rhythmic diversity.

Last edited by TromboneAl; 10/14/12 04:28 PM.
#1973238 - 10/14/12 04:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Hey Al,

Thanks. I actually have the scratch for it, and you are right, it's the bass channel. I can just kill it but it's a shame 'cuz this bass player is really killing. Well I know exactly what happened, and it won't happen again !!

#1973379 - 10/14/12 10:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al, my normal band is a quintet and we are an in-your-face kind of band. Lots of rhythmc interplay. So the people get intrigued. They clap after every solo, and they leave tips suitable for a quintet (like $20's). And some people are actually somewhat like groupies because they're always around at each gig.

After experiencing this on a regular basis, I have to say it feels like a let down to play solo piano. Now in theory, they could pay a solo player more. I wonder if they actually do though. You tell me.

The problem with a larger band and higher pay is that they expect us to draw the crowd in. So it's a bit more responsibility to promote, etc. They have no such expectations for a solo pianist.

In the end though, it is my experience that the bar makes more money investing in a real band. Your experience with crowd numbers is typical around here as well. On nights we don't play, one venue has a solo musician that plays/sings beatles tunes. The bartender says he gets 6 people in and all of them order soda water. And they're all pooped out by 8:30pm.

For us we go till 11pm because the crowd doesn't want to leave.

But it sure is easy to just go to the gig and worry only about yourself. Immerse yourself in the music and it's better than any woodshedding you can do at home.




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#1973392 - 10/14/12 11:18 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Here's a tune we played tonight. This is Solar. If you want to skip to my solo you can go to around 4:20.

https://www.box.com/s/8jqxbkkonulsyavk1s6a

This is a different drummer and the guy is swinging so I'm swinging right with him. The only problem is that he's quite loud. But the interesting this is that this drummer is the same one as on the Barry Harris videos (he's a long time Barry Harris student from NYC).



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#1973404 - 10/14/12 11:49 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Whoa, jazzwee! That was great fun! Yeah, you guys were swinin'. I love it that you have groupies smile

Cathy


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#1973408 - 10/15/12 12:08 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
Whoa, jazzwee! That was great fun! Yeah, you guys were swinin'. I love it that you have groupies smile

Cathy


Thanks Cathy! Too bad the recording was not too good. I was recording from a corner. Pretty high energy though. Unfortunately the crowd arrived right after this. LOL.


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#1973474 - 10/15/12 06:28 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
Thanks JW .You're right about the EP / piano. I just find it so much easier to play EP. I never play electric at home. In smaller places, the piano works ok, but in somewhat larger places, without monitors, the EP is easier for me to play.
Nice playin Knotty!
I dig the Rhodes sound, but maybe less reverb . . . ? It's a different beast than the piano, LH-chords need to be voiced differently, but it works great for jazz imnsho.
Just listen to Bob James on the tunes he backs Chet Baker on.

or George Duke on his tune Down the Road (Rhodes solo at 1:32)

Btw Listen to the whole tune; it groooooves! And don't miss the bass solo (Brian Bromberg)

Last edited by chrisbell; 10/15/12 06:30 AM.
#1973800 - 10/15/12 08:09 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Speaking of the epiano sound, I also like it, but I asked the members my piano group how they liked it (with me playing on my Yamaha P90), and the unanimous opinion was thumbs down. I was really surprised.

I've always felt that the epiano sound is more forgiving. That is, you don't notice errors as much. I can record something on the piano, then change the voicing and play it back, and the errors don't sound as bad to me when I use the epiano voice.

They also didn't care for the regular piano + strings.

Thumbs up for the Hammond B3 voice, though.

#1973834 - 10/15/12 09:42 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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JW,
You're sounding great on this. You could turn up a little. Especially if the zoom is somewhat distant, then I think you're a little soft.

Al,
Interesting point about asking what people think. I should try that !! smile

Chris,
That Chet Baker solo is -I think-, the first solo I ever transcribed. Thanks for that George Duke link. I'm going to try and get some more of his stuff. It is really groovy !


#1973866 - 10/15/12 10:51 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
JW,
You're sounding great on this. You could turn up a little. Especially if the zoom is somewhat distant, then I think you're a little soft.



Thanks Knots.

Notice how the piano sounds hollow? It's because it's behind the speakers. This is so difficult to balance (recording vs. live volume). And if put it in front, the only space available is in front of the sax player, in which case, all you hear is the sax.

I don't actually know how my volume is in front (the way the audience hears it). I'm just uncomfortable with a volume that is louder than a real piano to my ears. I feel like I'm pounding on the keys.

The bass is loud because bass frequency is non-directional.


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#1976368 - 10/20/12 04:13 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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I've become more aware of a major problem with my playing, which I had thought didn't affect my trio playing. Listen to this excerpt and tell me whether it is obvious to you also (try to identify it before you get to 1:30, where I skip ahead).

https://www.box.com/s/63tbdetyxrccwz7q4tpl

Thanks for the help,

Al

#1976405 - 10/20/12 05:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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You're rushing. Pushing to hard.
Nice lines though.

#1976412 - 10/20/12 05:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]  
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Originally Posted by chrisbell
You're rushing. Pushing to hard.
Nice lines though.


No doubt! Just have to relax and listen. It's fixable. Thanks!


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#1976446 - 10/20/12 07:47 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Yeah, bingo, rushing is the problem. I have been working on this problem for years, and have gotten better but it's still a problem.

I had thought that it was just a problem of the tempo increasing, but now I realize that it is really messing with the groove.

Relaxing and breathing help. I'm currently working on subdividing. Will concentrate on listening some more. Partly, if I can remember not to rush, I can keep it from happening. But when I'm into the music, and trying to create something interesting, I forget.

Until I fix it, perhaps I can get the bass/drums to not follow me??

#1976520 - 10/20/12 10:39 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Al, I think Chris was responding to my rushing (Solar). But it's a common problem!

I just listened to your recording and yes, you were rushing too. smile

My case was a little different because it was so uptempo. But generally, if you cut your phrases shorter, you can sync to the beat more frequently. It's a good practice strategy I learned. So space helps with rushing.

BTW Al, you play really well and I recall this is a new thing with you too. So this is proof that just hardcore commitment generates success!




Last edited by jazzwee; 10/20/12 10:43 PM.

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#1976588 - 10/21/12 01:55 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Al, I think Chris was responding to my rushing (Solar). But it's a common problem!
Both. smile

#1976593 - 10/21/12 02:17 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: TromboneAl]  
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At home: practice with a metronome.

With the trio: Pick a tempo. Play a blues. Trade 2's. First time use only quarter notes as a rhythmic base for solos.
Second: use eight notes. Third: eight note triplets. Etc.
Then trade 4's. Do the same as above.
Then trade 8's.

Next, similar but this time the solos are un-accompanied.

Take some drum lessons.

#1976674 - 10/21/12 09:03 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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for rushing, practice slow at home. Work on a solid flow at 72 or so.

You can try and practice rushing on purpose, then playing behind and on the beat. Trying to rush is actually not that easy.
Hey, check this out:
[video:youtube]1PRsRagfrm0[/video]

I really like your bass + drums, I think they're very good. The bass player does a little too much early on the head, around 30s, and I think you and him mess each other up so he's a bit off towards the beginning.

You guys sound really great though. I bet people love this trio. Do you sing?

#1976692 - 10/21/12 10:11 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Thanks for the tips. I like the "shorter phrases" idea. I'm always striving to play fewer notes.

This is an interesting article, we actually did these exercises as a group (marching around, singing and clapping) although I'm not sure it helped:

http://www.garciamusic.com/educator/articles/improve.groove.html

The good news is that if I can solve this, we'll sound better.

Thanks for the compliments. We don't sing. I'd like to add that, but we have too much on our plate already.

#1976864 - 10/21/12 07:12 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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What I realized is that, I may not rush at 150bpm, but at 240bpm probably a lot. So it's partly the panic of the situation and then I stop listening. Also, rushing has degrees too. It may not be obvious to a beginner that I rush. But it's obvious to me and I hear it in articulation rather than actually losing time.

The idea of cutting phrases shorter is to force yourself to listen. It's easy to stay in time if you're paying attention, so obviously it's about not paying attention.

Have you noticed that when we get a problem with time it's always because we rush? I've never heard anyone tell me I'm so relaxed that I'm dragging the beat. LOL. So in most cases it really is about just slowing down. Never about speeding up. That's good to know because when you're feeling out of control, just drag the beat and go easy.

And on an uptempo tune it really means thinking half time too.


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#1977114 - 10/22/12 12:29 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]  
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Yes, half the battle is paying attention. I'm working on my solo playing today, and it's as if my left hand is just waiting for a lapse of attention, and it sneaks in a little jump in the tempo.

I have more trouble maintaining a slow tempo. For example I just played A Train at 120 and at 170 BPM, and I maintained the tempo at 170 more effortlessly.

I'm doing pretty well with this today, perhaps there is hope.

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Arturia V2 Piano
by Beakybird. 12/16/17 08:42 PM
Connect Roland FP-30 to iPad?
by newbert. 12/16/17 05:16 PM
Two-layer Steinway Damper Guide Bushings
by RestorerPhil. 12/16/17 04:34 PM
Broken pedal
by PhilipInChina. 12/16/17 04:04 PM
stiff wrists
by elkabungo. 12/16/17 03:54 PM
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