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Rhythm Changes?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JetJazz, Dec 26, 2004.


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  1. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Wow -

    Pac, Ed, way to be rude. Pac, you're a Mod, I'm pretty surprised - you attacked right out of the gates with that "if something is boring it's probably you". Flame?

    geoffkhan, I admire your ability to stay cool under all the heat.
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Absolutely not a flame - you missed my point. Lynn Seaton's comment (which you posted above) was not aimed at Geoff. He doesn't know Geoff.

    My point is this: Artists have been drawn to those changes (and other tunes like that) since they were written, over and over again. And they keep coming up with original, meaningful things to say with them. So for Lynn (and for a lot of the rest of us), when he hears someone say that they're 'boring', he firsts suspects the person who says it.



    I agree with him.




    edit: I just re-read this thread, taylor, and you should as well, the comment you refer to came after the 'cliched and boring' comment. Hardly 'attacking right out of the gates'.....
     
  3. Actually, I understand I probably offended them -- when I first posted in this thread, being relatively new to Talkbass, I had no idea of the musical ability and experience of Ed Fuqua and Pacman (though I am familiar with Mike Dimin -- having read and enjoyed his online lessons).

    Things I have learned:

    - In jazz, experience is extremely important, not only to do with repetoire, but knowing songs proper context and the history of reharmonizations on tunes.

    - Recomposition versus reharmonization. Earlier I basically had the two terms lumped into one.

    Just so you guys aren't under the impression that I only play complicated, weird, unorthodox chord progressions, here's a mood-lightening excerpt from the song Hard Eighths.

    http://herculeaneffort.adventuredevelopers.com/hardeights.mp3

    I got the sudden urge to play the Mario theme. Must be the fever I had at the time. :)
     
  4. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Suspect them of what? geoffkhan stated his opinion about a chord progression. You replied with a vague but implicitly negative comment about him.
     
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    No, you're just wrong. I responded, with a statement that a respected jazz musician hold the opinion that if person "A" complains that a standard is "boring", he (Lynn) suspects that the person complaining is the one who's boring. He holds this opinion because great musicians have been drawn to, and have played amazing things over, standard tunes for years upon years, without a hint of boring.

    Is English your first language? How could you not get that, when everybody else who read this thread did?
     
  6. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    OK, so I was wrong, and what you really meant was: since geoffkahn complained the standard was boring to him, he is actually what is boring. Wait, that's exactly what I said.

    Also, is it Lynn's opinion or yours?
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I exist but to serve.

    That may have been PAC's argument, but it's certainly not mine. The point I raised was that there was no way to tell whether or not what RAFF OF KHAN played over progression X was more or less interesting than what he played over progression Y without hearing it.
    And I reiterated PAC's Seaton quote
    Because interesting, involving, surprising, inventive and meaningful playing does NOT happen because you are playing hip reharms/ Trane changes/Bird licks or ANYTHING else that exists as an intellectual construct (I'm gonna do THIS now) and does not serve the "greater good" of the musical moment that is occurring RIGHT NOW. In the words of a drummer I had occasion to meet, DON'T LET WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN GET IN THE WAY OF WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
    So, it's not that I thing your changes are WRONG or WON'T WORK or SOUND STUPID as I think it is that you are, how shall I put this? Did you ever see ENTER THE DRAGON? There's that scene in the Shaolin Temple after the bout when Lee is instructing the young monk and he says "It's like a finger pointing at the moon. If you look at only the finger, you miss all of that heavenly glory".

    Chris has a funny Hal Galper story you could prolly find by searching GALPER here.

    Which kinda gets us to
    Because that's what you hear going on, that's the what you are hearing in relation to everything else. Why do you think that people reharmonize a tune to begin with? To impress music school gits? NO, something in the melody, something they heard in someone's solo, something they heard in a Bach chorale made them HEAR SOMETHING DIFFERENT GOING ON, so they decided to check out how it would sound.
    Unfortunately, what you get is YMSG (young music school gits) who cycle Trane changes incessantly no matter what else is going on, do the descending chromatic ii-Vs no matter what else is happening, do the half step above ii-Vs no matter what else is happening. In general just play **** that has no musical relation to the rest of the band because it's "more complicated". As far as being "more challenging", again the gist of Lynn's comment speak to an over reliance on the "exterior" (more harmonic movement), rather than the "interior" (the ability to create a moment of poetic beauty with ANY material). Warne Marsh can play wonderful, intricate, involving and BEAUTIFUL **** on TEA FOR TWO. As far too many Berklee students have proven, many players can play stupid, meaningless boring **** over GIANT STEPS.

    It ain't the changes, it's the player.
     
  8. Hear- Hear ED
    I was trying to explain that earlier but you done it in more detail now that's experience for ya
    But that last line hit it right on the head

    IT AINT THE CHANGES - IT'S THE PLAYER
     
  9. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    absolutely
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I met Chuck in 1983 (or earlier?) when he was playing with Dexter Gordon, I'm playing with a buddy of his, Dan Greenblatt, if you see him again, tell him Dan says Hi.
     
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Since I've not heard Geoff play, I meant that I suspected that Geoff has much to learn about making a musical statement that stands on its own, regardless of the harmony. By God, you've figured me out. Do I owe it to Geoff to tell him how wonderful he is, when I actually think something else, because I'm a mod? Especially after he implied that I was cliched and boring?


    edit: It's Lynn's opinion, and I share it
     
  12. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    OK, thanks.
     
  13. Lol, click on the links I posted. :)

    Oh, unless you're talking about hearing me play live. If you want, I'll keep you updated on concert dates. But if you don't live in California, it wouldn't be worth the flight just to hear me play, of course.

    I have much to learn -- what's wrong with that? Do you have anything to learn, or have you hit that limit, where you're so good there's nothing left to learn? What's wrong with having things to learn?

    Hmmm, it's not really that I find the standard boring. I just find reharmonizations/recompositions of the B section more fun and challenging to play than the original changes. In my experience, I get better by playing more challenging songs and changes.

    Oh, then I don't see why you have a problem with my chord progression. After all, it's about the player, not the changes.

    Of course not, that's ridiculous. IMO musicians should treat each other equally.

    I did not say you were cliched and boring. I was saying that in my opinion, playing the original changes on the Rhythm Changes B section is cliched and thus boring. Geez, that's only my opinion. I'm just some unknown 18 year old jazz pianist living in California. Why does my opinion matter so much to you? After all, you made a big point of telling me how much more experienced you are and what a better player you are. I'm not denying that, either -- you are a better player and have more experience than I do.

    So why do you guys feel the urge to push down a less-experienced musician like me? Does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel like a better player? I certainly hope that isn't the case.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd have to agree with Charles Mingus- "Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."


    It's like public speakers. Huge vocabularies and immense knowledge of grammar won't make great speakers. Saying something meaningful and moving does. My view is that it isn't what you play, it's how you play it. The coolest thing I've heard in months was a philip glass peice. It was incredibly simplistic. That's where its beauty came from.
     
  15. I agree, but I think there are times when the brain craves detail and complexity. I mean, otherwise, why don't you just play ii-V-Is or just even stay on the same chord for the entire song?

    I mean, Stella by Starlight isn't the most simple of songs, and yet it's still a great tune.

    Creativity, in my opinion, comes from limitations.
     
  16. You can stay on the same chord but have different rhythm displacement or inversions I mean there are many possibilities look at Wes Montgomery for example
    I mean you gotta have a mixture as well as you say having detail and complexity is great but overdoing it becomes predictable and lack melodic context unless the other musicians playing with you are on the same wavelength
    But it all comes down to listening to others so that you know when to be more complex or when to keep things simple
    Don't worry it just takes alot've playing with others as well as you continuing on with what you are doing but when you start getting more experienced you can just play the simplest of notes and make it sound AWESOME
    Although I'm still away from Ed's callibre I've had my fair share of gigs to know what and what not to do
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I do agree that complexity has it's place, but I think there is way too much of an emphasis on it. But my main point was that simplicity is more challenging than complexity. When I rehearse tunes with groups, it is always the simple ones that need the most work. You can definitely get better by practicing the simple stuff. I can see where that is a lot more beneficially that practicing complex things. It is practicing how you can do things verses what things you can do. By practicing what things you can do, you add vocabulary. By practicing how to do things, you are learning how to make your statements more powerful.
     
  18. Exactly! That's SO the way I think about things. Like when I write an odd meter tune, I make sure to have a simple chord progression and a simple melody to make up for, or rather to balance, the complex rhythm.

    I agree, and as an addition to what you said, play whatever you hear. If you hear something very simple, play that. If you hear something complex, play that. But make sure you know and are able to play both simple things and complicated things.
     
  19. willgroove2

    willgroove2

    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    "So why do you guys feel the urge to push down a less-experienced musician like me? Does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel like a better player? I certainly hope that isn't the case." no my friend their trying to make you better,geoff you sound like many music student's i have ran into over the years(i played my first pro gig about a year before you were born)and i remember the great feeling of being in school learning from great teacher's(bobby broom,frank caruso,larry grey ect)and thinking i knew everything and wanting to share my newfound knowledge with older bandmates to only find out that i had to learn the "when"and the "why" to go with the "what"one of the thing's IMO that's missing from music today is the old school "head thump" and you got one on this thread. live and learn, your headed the right way
     
  20. I understand, and if you read one of my previous posts, I list the things I learned from this thread. You're acting as if I've completely ignored all the advice people gave me throughout this thread. I make it a point to soak up every drop of insight.

    See, that's the thing you guys assume about me -- that I think I know everything -- which is far from the truth! I never made such a preposterous claim like this. I'm always trying to learn from everything people tell me, even without the old school "head thump" (by the way, the main jazz instructor here is REALLY good at it, so I'm not unfamiliar with it).

    However, what is this supposed to tell me? Is that supposed to help me learn? I listen and try to learn from any musician, younger or older, without needing them to brag to me how long they've been playing. Frankly I find the remarks I've been getting rather depressing. Is there anyone out there who can give me advice without adding cutting comments?

    I'm tired. I'm going to go to sleep now. But don't worry, tomorrow I'll wake up with plenty of fighting-energy! :)
     

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