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Old 09-20-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
Apples on Cacti
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What kind of scale(s) are being used in "The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery

I'm mainly a blues and major/minor scale sort of guy, so I can improvise in those feels in an alright manner, but I recently discovered jazz blues and other kinds of jazz in Wes Montgomery's "Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery". I'm very interested in learning how he does the things he does when he solos, as well as the pianist. I've learned the bebop scale so far, but can only use it to a limited extent. I'm not even entirely sure if that's even the scale that's used.
Basically, I'd like to know what kind of scales that Montgomery and his band are using in their soloing. I suppose a lot of people would tell me to just transcribe the solos, but I feel like I'd be able to go about that a lot easier if I knew what I was working with.
Thanks.
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1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:44 PM   #2
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LMAO

great question and a great subject, but Wes doesn't use any scales. Wes' magic has nothing to do with scales.

I might give you a detailed analysis of his solo on D Natural Blues if I have the time.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
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I actually had a feeling someone would say that. Not the first time I've heard that about jazz players. I don't understand that at all. I'd appreciate that analysis if you could do it. I'm also very interested in Mr. Walker, Airegin, and In Your Own Sweet Way, if you had anything that could help me out with those.

Also, it seems like the melodies are in mostly major/minor/blues based things, but his solos seem so different to my ears. I remember seeing one pianist using the bebop scale but playing it in sort of an arpeggiated style that made it sound really different. Is that kind of what's going on? I can hear some of that happening.
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:51 PM   #4
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most jazz players use a 24.75" scale but i could be mistaken
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apples on Cacti
I actually had a feeling someone would say that. Not the first time I've heard that about jazz players. I don't understand that at all. I'd appreciate that analysis if you could do it. I'm also very interested in Mr. Walker, Airegin, and In Your Own Sweet Way, if you had anything that could help me out with those.

Also, it seems like the melodies are in mostly major/minor/blues based things, but his solos seem so different to my ears. I remember seeing one pianist using the bebop scale but playing it in sort of an arpeggiated style that made it sound really different. Is that kind of what's going on? I can hear some of that happening.

There's no such thing as the bebop scale alright.

Furthermore, no great players use scales. They're using melodic languages that have idiomatic ways of interacting with the harmonies. That applies for any style and genre. Scale is merely an afterthought for college professors to grade you with. Wes Montgomery didn't go to college. He didn't take any formal lessons either. You really think he sat there and worked out which scale is which? Hell NO. He was too busy fine tuning his ear and intuition with the harmonic changes.
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Last edited by Xiaoxi : 09-20-2012 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
most jazz players use a 24.75" scale but i could be mistaken


So that's the secret.

Xiaoxi - I'm going to take a different approach with you here, seeing as I probably understand nothing anyways. How would I begin learning how to train my musical intuition?
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Apples on Cacti
So that's the secret.

Xiaoxi - I'm going to take a different approach with you here, seeing as I probably understand nothing anyways. How would I begin learning how to train my musical intuition?

Stop trying to package every note neatly into a scale. Start thinking about how each note relates to the underlying harmony and also how it affects the next notes. Start lookin at Wes' solos this way.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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Could you possibly point out a few examples of how this works? I kind of see what you're talking about, but I don't understand how it works.
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Apples on Cacti
Could you possibly point out a few examples of how this works? I kind of see what you're talking about, but I don't understand how it works.

check back in a few days and I might have something up. Too busy righ tnow.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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Righto. I'll be checking, then.
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:03 AM   #11
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Ok let me explain this easily.

Wes used minor and major scales just like everyone else. The difference is that he probably couldn't tell you their names. Wes Montgomery played "happy blues" as George Benson mentioned in a DVD about Wes. It's what gives him that unique sound. His sound is bluesy but with a happy poppy sound.

People who say Wes didn't know any theory are completely wrong. He knew enough theory to communicate with other musicians and know chord changes.

Things that will give you the Wes type of sound.

Call and Response - Wes played many call and response type licks in his improvs. He usually plays a lick (usually arpeggio) and responds with another lick in lower register similar to the 1st lick but harmonically different. (both licks have similar groove also)

Arppegios - Wes played a lot of 3-4 note arpeggios. Usually right in between chord changes (4th beat or 1st beat)

7th & Root - He tend to land a lot on those notes related to the chord playing over.

Octaves - This is his signature sound basically. Playing Octaves in unison with the fleshy side of your thumb.

SWING!!! - Seriously! this is what gives Wes his sound. If you try to play Wes solos. You'll realize how hard it is to time his licks. That's why is hard to copy Wes. He could swing like no other.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:09 AM   #12
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I will also say that Wes played more arppegios than scale runs. He plays pretty wide intervals in his licks.

I will try and maybe post some of his licks tomorrow in this thread.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco444
Wes used minor and major scales just like everyone else.
You can say that, but I guarantee you that he's never thought in terms of scales.
Quote:
People who say Wes didn't know any theory are completely wrong. He knew enough theory to communicate with other musicians and know chord changes.
I'm not suggesting he doesn't know theory. He may not be literate in the technical terms, but he knew them in the most direct way - his inner sense of harmony.

Quote:
Arppegios - Wes played a lot of 3-4 note arpeggios. Usually right in between chord changes (4th beat or 1st beat)
This is really the characteristic of the entire bop style. Arpeggios are the main vocabulary in any bebop players. Good point, although I think it's hard to average out where he uses them. He just USES them.

Quote:
7th & Root - He tend to land a lot on those notes related to the chord playing over.
This isn't really accurate or helpful. He could land on any chord tone including 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13. This is too minute a detail to be useful.

Quote:
Octaves - This is his signature sound basically. Playing Octaves in unison with the fleshy side of your thumb.
Yes, but the language is a different story. Hendrix also plays octaves a lot, but it's very easy to tell them apart.
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Last edited by Xiaoxi : 09-21-2012 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:20 AM   #14
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Thanks, cisco444, I really appreciate the information. So he does play a lot of arpeggios, then, huh. I felt like it probably was, but he plays them in such a way that they don't even feel like just plain old arpeggios. I'll look more into that kind of phrasing. The licks would be really great if you could that, too. Thanks for the help.
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco444

Wes used minor and major scales just like everyone else.


i walk in straight lines just like everyone else. do you think i estimate the angle with which i walk?

TS: learn music. not scales, not modes, not neapolitan chords. just learn music. listen to it - like, really listen to it. learn it by ear, and pay attention to it.

when you're in high school and a teacher has you read dickens, your tendency is to just skim over it and read the words without actually understanding what they mean. this is what most people do with music. you have to fight that urge - take a paragraph, and explain it when you get out. even if it's "this is a guy, and he's on a street", something very simple, break it down and summarize it. do this with your music. "this sounds weird", then look at all the elements that could make it sound weird, and make a mental note.

over time your ability to understand the melodic language will develop and your palate will become more mature, and music will be a lot easier to understand, and 2 years later you'll be posting llamas and .gifs on a music theory subforum on a tablature site
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Apples on Cacti
So he does play a lot of arpeggios, then, huh. I felt like it probably was, but he plays them in such a way that they don't even feel like just plain old arpeggios.

Of course! That's the meat of his playing. But it's always musical. Never sounding like an exercise. The arpeggios are his licks, not merely "chord tones that belong to that harmony".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
over time your ability to understand the melodic language will develop and your palate will become more mature, and music will be a lot easier to understand, and 2 years later you'll be posting llamas and .gifs on a music theory subforum on a tablature site

the need to post llamas is uncanny
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Last edited by Xiaoxi : 09-21-2012 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:16 AM   #17
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Since as as long as I can remember, my musical goals have always revolved around llamas and dumb .gifs. Thank you for helping me take another step to reaching my dreams.

On another note, Hail, I spoke with a jazz bassist today who had told me the same thing you just told me. Listening, as it seems, is going to be the best way to learn.
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Play the blues in five easy steps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGen
1) Be black
2) Have very horrible things happen to you
3) pick up a guitar
4) ???
5) Play blues
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apples on Cacti
Since as as long as I can remember, my musical goals have always revolved around llamas and dumb .gifs. Thank you for helping me take another step to reaching my dreams.

On another note, Hail, I spoke with a jazz bassist today who had told me the same thing you just told me. Listening, as it seems, is going to be the best way to learn.

Yes, cliche though the following may sound, 'tis true... The best way to learn a language is to go and live in that country.

So with the music you should immerse yourself in it, just surround your self with Jazz. If you have a genuine love for it, then you'll enjoy it...

...just the same way with Metal.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdc
Yes, cliche though the following may sound, 'tis true... The best way to learn a language is to go and live in that country.

So with the music you should immerse yourself in it, just surround your self with Jazz. If you have a genuine love for it, then you'll enjoy it...

...just the same way with Metal.


can you, like, make this sound, like, really heavy? you know, like DEATH
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:32 AM   #20
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I'll be posting licks tommorrow. 4 sure =)
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