REALLY Learning a tune

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Jan 26, 2007.


  1. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I the example quoted, I had read it as indicating the notes would be played in ascending order - so the G in the 2nd Inv G7 chord would *not* be the lowest tone in the arpeggio. Correct me if I'm wrong...
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    First, it may help to start thinking of notes and pitches as separate entities. There is only one NOTE G, but there are any number of PITCHES that are G, right? With your question, you seem to be thinking that, even though the NOTES are arranged in the order that they should be played (D F G B) that the PITCHES are not. This is not the case. As relates to the fingerboard, one possible fingering for this would be D fifth fret on the A string to Fthird fret on the D string to G fifth fret on the D string to B fourth fret on the G string. All the pitches ascend.

    Again, we were talking about proximity. If you keep that in mind, from your root position D minor 7 chord (D F A C, bottom to top), if you are keeping two pitches constant (D and F) and want to move the other two voices proximately, you want to move them to the PITCH that is the closest NOTE, right? So why would you drop the G an octave, simply because it's the tonic of the chord? The closest G pitch to the A (2nd fret on the G string) is either the open G string or the G that is the fifth fret on the D string.

    Is that clearer?
     
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    You've got frets in NYC??? Damn - that explains a lot.
     
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    "Was it OVER when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" :)
     
  5. I understand. That makes sense.
    You weren't implying that it was inverted by virtue of the fact
    that the root was not played first. It was inverted because the
    root note was not the bass note.
    However, because the root note was not played first, it made
    sense to be inverted because of where it would logically be played.
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Hmmm. I'm not sure what you're saying warner. The sentence "...because the root note was not played first, it made sense to be inverted because of where it would logically be played." does not convey any meaning to me.
    Are you solid on what an inversion is? We're not talking about a bass line, we're talking about a specific definition. If I play D B G descending, I have NOT played a second inversion triad simply because I started on D. I've played a ROOT position triad, descending. The bottom note of the arpeggio or chord defines the position/voicing. If, instaed of playing those notes descending, what am I playing if I played the same notes, but in ascending pitches? What would you call that?
     
  7. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    If ... she weighs ... the same as a duck ... then she's made of wood ...
    And therefore?
     
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  8. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    She turned me into a newt!
     
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  9. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I'm just getting started with this, and I'm confused about the proximity/close position concept. The examples in this thread seem to emphasize ascending direction, but I'm gonna run out of fingerboard if I keep going in one direction. Are we trying to stay in one position?

    Someone earlier in the thread mentioned ascending/descending, so I suppose either is okay to make it to the nearest note. I also assume that it's okay to drop an octave to get to the next closest note (not pitch). After all, if the intent is to hear the chords, then I can accomplish that in whichever way minimizes shifts, no? This is what I understand from what I've read, and I've been through this thread several times trying to answer these questions. Or I've missed it.

    I see great potential in this exercise. Thanks, Ed.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I'm not quite sure I understand this Mike. From the example given (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 ) you shouldn't even have to move out of one position. From the root position of the first chord
    D F A C (1 possibility, starting on D on your A string) the next chord uses the exact same notes/pitches (D F) and moves two notes; one a whole step down (A to G) and one a half step down (C to B). Then the next chord does something similar D moves down a whole step to C (root), F moves down a half step to E(third) and the G (fifth) and B (maj 7th) stay where they were. Does that make things clearer?
    If not, gimme a little while and I'll try to attach a pdf from the book.
     
  11. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Thanks for the quick reply, Ed.

    Okay, so when the first chord ends on C (G string), you go back down to D on the A string, rather than continuing with D on the G string. That's what I was getting at—same note; original pitch.

    I just found it in your book, not surprisingly in the "Proximity of fingering" section. I'm still in Part 1. I needed the visual aid.

    What led me to this thread is an immediate need to figure out a bass line to play for "It's Alright With Me" (Kai Winding/JJ Johnson arrangement). All I have are melody and chords. I have to come up with something, but I have no delusions of being able to play like that. This should help me get the structure into my head.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Check out page 9, the chord line for SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN, the lowest note is the F below the staff (half step above the open E string) and the highest note is the Eb above the staff (which is the Eb above the D on your G string).
    So it sounds like you're on the right track...
     
  13. atomicdog

    atomicdog

    Jun 18, 2011
    Good stuff, Ed. Rufus Reid also recommends learning some piano to help get the theory part down. There is something to be said for the way a keyboard lays everything out in a linear fashion. Can't hurt.
     
  14. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Just out of curiosity FOGHORN:

    Have you ever take this approach, and replaced the melody with a chorus from someone's solo? I suppose if you're working on something like Donna Lee, you're essentially working on Back Home in Indiana but playing Bird's solo/head for the melody.

    Not that you'd really want to use Donna Lee as your learning vehicle tho... but just to get the idea across.
     
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Not really, I work on Bird heads as Bird heads and solos as solos (with the method I talk about elsewhere), this exercise is about something else, right? But there's no reason that one of your 4 "tear apart" tunes can't be QUASIMODO instead of EMBRACEABLE YOU, it's just that EY is gonna be a LOT easier to cop...
     
  16. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    True, it's about nailing the melody inside/out/at-every-single-beat. I'll go back and read your posts about transcriptions and what not. I think I already copped your approach in that regard or got it from someone else.

    Does Joe say anything in particular? Just wondering if you guys had something that was outlined methodically. I turned a horn-player friend of mine onto Joe's slow approach and he seems to like it. Wondering about other things I could give him.
     
  17. matius88

    matius88

    Jun 25, 2012
    Argentina
    i cant undestand this part of the exercise:

    PART 4 - as above, but the improvised chorus will have the 3 bars of melody dropped into a different place for each 8 bar segment( moving melody). That is, if you start the first 8 bars with meldoy, NO OTHER 8 bar section can start with melody.
    PART 5 - as above, the improvised chorus now becomes only improvised half notes and rests. You should play (approximately) as many beats rest as you play measures of half note per 8 bar section.

    so in part 3 you have
    3 melody 5 improv half - 3 melody 5 improv half - 3 melody 5 improv half - 3 melody 5 improv half

    you have to move the melody to another part, but i dont know how to do this, for example you stay the first bar like this:
    3 melody 5 improv
    the second :
    5 improv 3 melody, but in the third you have to repeat the first bar, only if you wanted to do something like this 3 improv 3 melod 2 improv???

    the part 5 i dont understand it at all haha
     
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Part 4, you sort of have it. For a 32 bar tune you can go
    3 bars melody 5 bars improv
    1 bar improv, 3bars melody, 4bars improv
    3bars improv, 3bars melody, 2 bars improv
    5 bars improv, 3 bars melody
    OR
    however you'd like. But if you play the melody starting on the first bar of an 8bar phrase, you can't start in the first bar of any other 8 bar phrase. But you can START ON ANY OTHER BAR. And when you start on THAT bar, it becomes off limits for any other phrase. Is that clearer?

    Part 5 - no more melody, just improvising. The second part of the exercise (notes and rests) - in an 8bar phrase you have the opportunity to play a maximum of 16 halfnotes, right? So if you play 6 bars of half notes, you should play 6 beats of rests (or three halfnote rests, right?) This starts putting the beginning of each phrase in a different part of the bar, as well as putting the end of the phrase in a different part of the bar, including pushing over the bar lines. Is that clearer?
     
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  19. I know this post hasn't had any comments on it for over a year but i've been tinkering with elements of it for a while so I thought I'd share. My full disclosure is that I haven't done the exercise as described which does sound tremendously beneficial I just haven't worked it into my practice schedule as of yet.

    I write the chord line as described for a tune in my rep (I've done about 10 of these). I always include the root and quality of the chord but I may omit the 5th if there's a color I think is very important to the harmony and I don't have to "leap" to fit it in (for example for a C7b9 chord, I may play E-Db-C-Bb and omit the G but I would never play E-Bb-C-Db which would require "leaping" past the G).

    I memorize the chord line in a fingering I like and play it with a metronome until it feels as good as a walking bass line. I'll play the melody at the same tempo, and then I'll sing the melody while I play the chord line (recording myself to check back for pitch accuracy, at least ball park enough that I know I was hearing the correct pitches against the chord line. When I get very comfortable with this I will play the melody while I sing the chord line, which is really difficult. Finally I'll go through playing the chord line, the melody, then improvising in successive choruses.

    This is well short of what I'm sure can be accomplished with the exercise as intended but there's something to be said about incorporating singing which was absent from the pinned post and I wanted to share.
     
  20. Thanks for this post! I'm always seeking out better ways to learn tunes and help my students with their learning. Looking forward to working through this process.
     
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