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jazzwee Offline OP
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Dave, I was watching your Lester Leaps in video. How the heck do I build chops like that? That was incredible. And you're just so relaxed and I can see relying on fingers 4 & 5 a lot. I'm finding it's chops that really block my progress in soloing. Heck, how do I work on my LH when my RH still has a ways to go? Certainly a ways, just from watching your finger work. Although I have to admit that's a pretty rare improvising pace. Your chops are Da Bomb!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciVDhY_U3Wg

I see the notes you're playing but I can't imagine playing at that speed and maintaining a nice tone.


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jazzwee,

hey man, thanks for compliment. you're too kind. blush

well, i grew up listening to oscar. my father turned me onto him when i was 12. i listened to oscar's records constantly when i was a kid and i heard him doing all the uptempo stuff. oscar was the only jazz piano player i had heard at the time so i thought that everyone played fast like that. but that was good because that made me not afraid to try it, because i didn't think of it as being that hard. i wish i had that attitude now. now i think everything is hard. laugh

the fast stuff was really shaky at first, but over the years i built up more control with it. it was definitely something that i worked on a lot.

i was also lucky because i played with a few bands where the uptempo stuff was expected of you. i played in a bebop band in my early 20's and every set there would be at least one tune over 300 beats per minute. and you'd have to solo on them--and sometimes they would be in hard keys, like A flat and D flat. but it was a great learning experience.

i think if you spend a little time every day on tempos you will see a lot of progress. also it's great to have someone else to practice with. i have a good friend who is a bass player and we used to get together and see how fast we could go.

you've got to find a bass player who is into tempo playing. that is the best practice. and it's a lot of fun too.



Last edited by dave solazzo; 08/30/09 05:53 AM.
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I second that; tempo playing is really important. Playing at fast tempos utilizes different muscles, and those need to be activated.

Here's another 4-5 exercise based on harmonic movements with an example of how to practice over ATTYA. pdf

As always, practise slow, fast, swing, straight. Tensions should ONLY be felt in the hand, NEVER in the lower arm.

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Chris,

these scales are working nicely for me. My exercise for this week is to write a line using only triplets. That's why I'm going with a more scalar approach.

Can you elaborate on how you came up with this statement:
--
The first four bars share:
E, A, G, B
--

Thanks!



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Maybe this will help.

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wow, that's impressive!! how'd you do that?

So when you say what notes the chord share in common, you count extensions and alterations?

For example, the G in B7 is not something I would have considered a note in the chord. I see how it works though.

So the way you came up with this diagram is you take the chromatic scale and see if each note works?

Take C
C is the the 6th of Em
The #11 of F
the b9 of B7
root of Cmaj

so no go?

D
7th of E
6th of F
#9 of B7
9th of C

that's the borderline note you mentionned

etc...
?

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Thanks.
Well the G in the B7 belongs in Nardis, because it's a B7alt., key of E minor 'needs' a B7 (#5).

I use the piano keyboard as a graphic aid. I've developed a method of practise where I take a melody note and play all chords that 'fit'.

Also, I like to base soloing using triads, ie; the C-major triad can be played over: C, Fmaj7, Dm7, Am7, Bb7, AbMaj7(#5) so I figured that one could use the C-major pentatonic as well. Of course, certain notes will not work, but it all depends on tempo, genre, and phrasing.


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jazzwee Offline OP
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chris, that was impressive, especially graphically showing that. Long ago I also worked that out on ii-V-I's because that was an important part of my lessons. Sometimes it doesn't work out too well though.

Finding common tones in parts of 'Very Early' (which is something I've been working on) has stumped my teacher, let alone me smile But in this tune at least, there's more of a search for chromatic motions, I'm discovering.

I think we need to explain the concept further as I've often repeated it here. Typical bebop is very vertically played. Chord = Scale, Chord = Scale, Chord = Scale...

It was Miles that started gluing the chords using common tones and looking for more of a melodic connection. And being melodic actually comes from connecting chord tones and having them cross bar lines. Beautiful songs are made that way.

So my teacher distinguishes between Bebop Style, fast moving changes and this 'Horizontal' Style. There's a place for both. But memorable melodies tend to be horizantally driven.

An even interesting approach due to the variety in the texture is to mix both, something I find my teacher using a lot.

But finding doing the Horizontal approach requires advance thinking and really studying the tune and harmonic flow (some theory). Hard to imagine that music can be played in such an organized way but that's how it's done and clearly the sound of those who put this thought in is different from those who don't.

I think guys like Jarrett, Mehldau, and of course Bill Evans, puts a lot of this thought into it.


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jazzwee Offline OP
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Originally Posted by chrisbell
I second that; tempo playing is really important. Playing at fast tempos utilizes different muscles, and those need to be activated.

Here's another 4-5 exercise based on harmonic movements with an example of how to practice over ATTYA. pdf

As always, practise slow, fast, swing, straight. Tensions should ONLY be felt in the hand, NEVER in the lower arm.


WOW! Chris, this is VERY interesting. Now I see the purpose of that particular practice. I really like that! I've never seen this style before. Pedal-less but still resonant. That requires a lot of thought to apply it everywhere. This is a very advanced concept.


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jazzwee Offline OP
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This couple of weeks is 'play fast' week for me and my hand is aching for sure, even my shoulder, from long periods of lifting that arm. I managed to get to play 200bpm comfortably with ATTYA. I'm shooting for 240bpm but my left hand loses control in the changes. It seems like a sign to me that I'm not completely hearing the changes at that speed.

I figure that once I master 240bpm, then 16th notes at 120 is going to be comfortable. I guess that's the point of my practice is to finally get comfortable with sixteenths.

I'm breaking the speed barrier by lightening the arm weight which puts the burden on the fingers more for articulation. I hope I'm doing this right. I get frustrated but each day it gets much better so maybe it is right.

Dave, didn't you say also to practice stacatto articulation?



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ah yes of course, the melody. I almost forgot I was talking about Nardis smile

thanks again, I have plenty to go on for now!!


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hey jazzwee,

yeah, i do sometimes practice lines staccato. it seems to give the fingers a better workout and it helps to loosen the wrists.

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In an effort to embarass myself further, I recorded a practice solo at 170bpm. One shot try so warts and all.

All the Things You Are (170Bpm)
http://www.box.net/shared/9pd1bx7690

Now here I'm purposely keeping my lines longer than what I would normally use. The reason is that I'm hoping to parlay this into 16th notes at the 120bpm tempo someday. (which means I have to push up my tempo here to 240bpm).

At the moment, I can't do that. For eighth note lines, I'm topping out at 200bpm. So that limits me to a ballad at 100bpm if I'm going to use 16ths.

I can do bursts, like quick runs at 240bpm, but it will not be thought out, it would be a completely scalar run.

Critique anyone? Dave and Chris?

My time was wavering a little at the beginning just because of the tempo but I just continued on and recovered later. Articulation is a bit of an issue at times, like legato is sometimes lost, so a control issue and would probably be worse at 200bpm. Like I said, the lines are too long for what I should normally be doing.


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hey jazzwee,

i thought that sounded fine. not bad at all. very nice tone too!

i think as you develop more control you'll be able to make your lines more nuanced. and you'll be able to do more rhythmically with your left hand.

but overall that sounded nice. nothing to be embarrassed about there.

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jazzwee,

i think slow practice is great for developing the control that is needed for fast playing. when you practice lines slowly you can concentrate on your form, and it also gives you more time with each note, so you can really get intimate with the keys.

try this: set the metronome, somewhere between 70 and 80 beats per minute. try running 8th note lines at that tempo for about 5 or 10 minutes, then bring the tempo back up to 170.

let me know how that feels.

Last edited by dave solazzo; 08/31/09 04:12 AM.
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dave, I was having a problem with the LH at faster tempos so I just kept it out of the way for now. I will try that slow down process too. Control of the LH is another issue.

The other problem was that I couldn't decide to play single note lines (our project) or just comp on the LH so in the end, the LH swing was lost in the indecision smile

I thought that reflected in my lines having less syncopation at the beginning. As I go faster, I'd probably tend to syncopate more normaly with more space and quarter notes. But I think I was getting confused with my intent here. What do think?


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Nice work jazzwee!

Dave, I can't believe your dog just walked out on you like that. I wouldn't have done. wink

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Dave, I just figured something out. If I try not to copy you on the pinky, leaving it out on turns, my speed improved and articulation improved.

I can see that that pinky is tripping me up. My fingers 1-4 have much more control for sure and can handle much higher tempos.

This is interesting as each hand and each finger has a different speed wall. My LH fails to be rhythmic above 150bpm. My pinky loses articulation above 150bpm. Fingers 1-4 can handle up to maybe 210bpm.

TLT - I didn't want you to be posting alone smile We're all learning as you know. Thanks!


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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs


Dave, I can't believe your dog just walked out on you like that. I wouldn't have done. wink


laugh laugh


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Originally Posted by jazzwee
dave, I was having a problem with the LH at faster tempos so I just kept it out of the way for now. I will try that slow down process too. Control of the LH is another issue.

The other problem was that I couldn't decide to play single note lines (our project) or just comp on the LH so in the end, the LH swing was lost in the indecision smile


control of the left is another issue. i'm working on that a lot myself. i want to get my left hand to the point where it is equal to my right hand in terms of what it can play. not quite there yet, but i am getting closer all the time.

in your last recording of ATTYA you were basically just holding the chords out in your left hand. that sounded fine...no problem with that. but when you develop a little more facility with your left hand (at the faster tempos) that will give you the freedom to move the voicings around more, and do more rhythmically with them. and that rhythmic interplay between the hands really helps you get into the pocket with the swing.

Last edited by dave solazzo; 08/31/09 03:15 PM.
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