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Learning bebop head -- Groovin' High

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Part of the University of Toronto audition is learning the head to Groovin' High and playing that tune (head, walking, solo) through with a rhythm section.

    I'm slowly working parts of this up to tempo and while it's manageable for the most part, there's ONE trill-esque thing that's giving m e trouble. This being the Bb-C-Bb-A, Bb-G where the first four notes are sixteenths, the last two are the "ba-da" eighth note motif that's present throughout the tune. The sixteenth note grouping is at the end of bar 16. I don't understand WHY I'm having so much trouble playing this part -- the notes are not that far apart, but it's giving me a lot of trouble.

    Are there any specific ways to finger this that work better? Right now (on the G string) I'm doing 1-4-2-1. Should I bring it up to the D string and play it 2-4-2-1? How do you guys play this?

    Basically, the problem is getting it clear and at tempo. I'm using Obligatos (...shouldn't these make it really easy to play this?) at a medium string height.

    EDIT: Now that discussion of the original topic is no longer necessary because I can play this...what're your favourite bebop heads to learn on DB? Working on any now?
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I looked through my books and the Real Book, Jazz Library, and Jazz Fake all agree with you. For some reason, however, the music that the University of Toronto provides --


    -- says Bb. The pull-off thing is helping. I'm playing this with the bow right now so I can concentrate entirely on the left hand as well...thanks. I'll practice it both ways and call the university tomorrow.
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Personally, I'd do it on the G string and finger it 2-4-2-1, 2-0. edit: alternately, you could do it on the D string, but I'd still leverage the open G at the end.

    (oops I thought stormwriter was talking about a different key altogether but on second take I think I might be wrong...in his case yeah slide from B to A there's no way I could do 1-2-4 whole steps there LOL)

    If I did it using your fingerings and shifted I'd have a harder time getting it out clean...nothing wrong with shifting (rather than pivoting) just more challenging for me to have the A in tune. Shifting's hard enough for me at slower tempos.

    Hey lots of lines are slurred in the music and the part you're talking about isn't how does that work in jazz?
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Have you tried 1 4 1 1 2 0(Bb C Bb A Bb G)?
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Thanks guys, but I 'shedded this head from 1-4 last night and it's sounding a lot better. Shouldn't give me too much more trouble. Thanks!
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I listened to the Amazon Dizzy teaser and yeah it has the horns slurring this too. I want to say I hear them doing it a half step down too (Bb instead of B natural) but it's fast and I may not be hearing it correctly.

    Man that's cool how the line creeps down in half-steps it's like it comes closer to me and then pulls back away when it starts the cycle back over
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Wooo! I almost have it done. I worked on it a bit tonight with my teachers, then learned it on guitar when I got home. FINALLY sounds right, and almost at tempo. I can do it both Bb and B natural, so it's all good. I'm going to call the university tomorrow and inquire about this, as there are a couple of other suspect notes.

    Tomorrow night I start Billie's Bounce :).
  8. rob f johnson

    rob f johnson

    Nov 15, 2005
    nelson bc
    A few bebop heads i like playing are parkers
    "au privave"
    "blues for alice"
    there finger twisters.
  9. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    I was working on 'Alice' just yesterday. It's a great tune, with a middle 4 bars that I find quite challenging. Still, being able to play the head makes walking and/or soloing so much more meaningful!

    My .02 cents...

    Eh_train (Paul)
  10. Libersolis


    Sep 9, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Wow making you learn those heads for auditions is some serious stuff!! Must be a great program! Of course I am used to the "We let anyone in but few people make it through approach" of schools I have been to.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I did "Alice" a while back. What a b!tc#! I ended up going up and down the neck since I haven't learned TP yet. I have fingerings down but my intonation goes every which way.

    But I just learned Anthropology recently, and having done Alice, it doesn't seem so hard to learn. :)
  12. It's not bebop, but I've been humming "Have you met Miss Jones" since I worked on the head two nights ago. I'm going to start it off and see who needs to open their book this Saturday night, hee hee...

    Aaron thanks for the version of Groov’in' High. The chord changes are a bit different then the Realbook (aka. Realwrongbook) version I've been doing (a couple of ii-V7's in the same bar, a'la Satindoll) and the UT head has slight changes in the first 2 A parts but it should lay nicely on the RB rhythm changes.

    I seen folks talk about playing Donna Lee and to me that’s Mount Everest, I would live to pull that off.