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how to keep a pop tune fresh? #2735860
05/12/18 12:31 AM
05/12/18 12:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 9
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noamb Offline OP
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noamb  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 9
Hey folks,

I flit back and forth between practicing difficult classical pieces and practicing singalong pop and showtunes.

I've noticed that when I commit myself to really learning a pop tune, my playing eventually starts to calcify: I tend to play the same licks at each spot in the piece.

This reminds me of what it's like to learn a classical piece, which of course requires creating muscle memory after hundreds of repetitions. But I don't think that's appropriate -- nor fun! -- for playing pop and jazz.

Got any suggestions for how I can keep my non-classical pieces fresh?

Thanks!

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Re: how to keep a pop tune fresh? [Re: noamb] #2736019
05/12/18 06:16 PM
05/12/18 06:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 48
equatorial asia
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krewster Offline
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Posts: 48
equatorial asia

Yeah...an easy one (tho the execution may be not):

-play the song in other keys (those “same licks” will not automatically pop out for your use and instead other’s may);

-rewrite the LH (e.g., the chords, e.g., figure out which 60-ish% of the chords are replaceable with one or more min6 chords or replace your “licks” with licks consisting of a string of min6 chords).

Re: how to keep a pop tune fresh? [Re: krewster] #2736283
05/14/18 12:25 AM
05/14/18 12:25 AM
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noamb Offline OP
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noamb  Offline OP
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Can you give me an example of your min6 advice?

Re: how to keep a pop tune fresh? [Re: noamb] #2736287
05/14/18 01:31 AM
05/14/18 01:31 AM
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BDB Offline
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Play it in different rhythms. A striking example was Toots Thielemans playing God Bless America in samba rhythm, or Dave Brubeck playing Someday My Prince Will Come in several different rhythms at once. There are way too many musicians who play everything in 4/4 time, even when it was written as a waltz. I will always remember Bobby Enriquez leading a duet with Flip Nuñez, playing accompaniment throughout, and leading them even into waltz tempo, to the (vocal) astonishment of Flip. Convert a 4/4 tune to 3/4, or 6/8, and you will wow the audience!


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Re: how to keep a pop tune fresh? [Re: noamb] #2736456
05/14/18 05:09 PM
05/14/18 05:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
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noamb Offline OP
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noamb  Offline OP
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Nice idea!

Re: how to keep a pop tune fresh? [Re: noamb] #2737174
05/16/18 02:00 PM
05/16/18 02:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
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charleslang Offline
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My system is: whenever you feel bored, change something and see if it sounds good. If it does, then keep that thing and keep doing it and learn more about how it might sound good.
For example, you get to a part of the melody that you've heard so many times that you feel bored, you feel your audience will be bored, and you feel like your playing is going to be not accomplishing much more than the radio accomplishes, when it plays the same recording of the tune that was made back in the 70s, over and over every day. Say that note of the melody is the 2 in a major key. Hit the 1 and 2 together and the dissonance will disrupt the state of boredom.

Other possibilities: if you've been hitting the roots of the chords on the downbeat, and that has gotten to feeling boring, try hitting the 3 instead, or even the 2 (that will give tension that you can let hang and then resolve.)

In each case you'll want to keep enough of the song going so that it's recognizable and so that your audience knows you are in control. So for example if you're messing with the bass note, you can emphasize the melody (played straight) on your right hand in the moments before you tweak the bass.


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