Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Closed Thread
Old 12-29-2006, 11:17 PM   #1
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Giant Steps

Ok as you all may know, I am auditioning for Berklee on Jan. 20th, and I thought it would be impressive if I played a shred piece (Bad Horsie), a metal piece (dont know yet), and an improvisation over the famous jazz masterpiece, Giant Steps. The reason for these 3 choices is so I can show them that I love to rock out to metal, I have good technique to use, and I am also smart about music, and not close minded, and pay respect to history. So far, Ive done it all by ear, and I think the chords are:

B D7 G EbMaj7 Am7 D7 F#m7 Fm7 Bb7 and C#m7, not in the order that they are played, but the general pool of chords in this song. I was listening to it, and I know it plays around with the Circle of Fifths, but it sounds like it is switching into the 3rd of every other note, so while improvising, this is really confusing to me. It switches keys so fast, I have no idea what to do.

My question is, what do you guys recommend I do, to be able to improvise in a way that I can smoothly change keys this fast?
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 11:19 PM   #2
garden of grey
RIP David Gold
 
garden of grey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Just work on cool licks that connect smoothly. Some degrees tend to lean into eachother i find,
__________________
King of rustlers, psuedointellectuals, trolls, and/or drug addicts.
garden of grey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 11:25 PM   #3
HonestyFails_Jo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
yeah man...but watching you on you tube...your pretty good...but you really need to practice with a metronome...u have the technique down...but the rythm just isnt there...it's really hard to keep the beat when listening to you. Try it yourself...tap your foot while listening to yourself ...it's not even...but besides that man pretty good
HonestyFails_Jo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2006, 11:29 PM   #4
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestyFails_Jo
yeah man...but watching you on you tube...your pretty good...but you really need to practice with a metronome...u have the technique down...but the rythm just isnt there...it's really hard to keep the beat when listening to you. Try it yourself...tap your foot while listening to yourself ...it's not even...but besides that man pretty good



That totally didnt help me at all, . I dunno about you but I can keep the rythm, though I usually play it alittle or alot faster than the actual song, out of boredom.
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2006, 12:06 AM   #5
Johnljones7443
Registered User
 
Johnljones7443's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: UK
Yeah - you're correct in saying that it moves in 3rds, but if you look at it closely, it only changes keys 3 times and moves either up or down in major thirds, and all the chords are simple V - I and ii - V - I in three keys (B, G & Eb).

I'll go through the first 6 or so bars with you, so you can see the simplicity of the changes...

Bar 1 starts with BΔ and goes to D7. So we can look at this as being I in B, and then V in our next key. G.

Bar 2 goes GΔ (D7 - GΔ is a ii - V in G) which is followed by Bb7, the V of our next key, Eb.

Bar 3 is just one chord, EbΔ - which completes are V - I in Eb.

Even in the first three bars he changes key three times with major thirds. B a major third down to G, then G a major third down to Eb. So, here - whatever lick/phrase/scale you're playing with, can be used again a major third down each time he changes key - and you can look for common tones that connect all three keys to tie in all your scales with the changes.

If you start with B Ionian on the first chord and anticipate the D7 - you'll find that B Major has 3 notes in common with D Mixolydian (for example - assuming you use D mixolydian, which you don't have to if you find something you like).. the three notes are F#, E and of course B.. there's three notes right there you can land on the change and smoothly go into the ii - V in G by playing D Mixoldyian - G Ionian, and you can apply the same thing with G Ionian to Bb Mixolydian in time for the the key change to Eb.

So, anyway - the first three bars look like this.

Code:
|BΔ - D7 | GΔ - Bb7 | EbΔ | BbΔ = I in B. D7 - GΔ = V - I in G. Bb7 - EbΔ = V - I in Eb.


Bar 4 starts with Am7 (ii in the key of G) moves onto D7 (V in the key of G) and brings us to the 5th bar which lands on GΔ (I in the key of G).. voila, a simple ii - V - I in the key of GΔ.

Again here, you'd play in G Ionian and go A Dorian over Am7, D Mixolydian over D7 and G Ionian over GΔ - no key change here, just a nice straight ii - V - I (you might want to start improvising your own ii - V - I licks in the same manner I described above with common tones (okay, all the tones are common within the tonal center, but with emphasis on sounding like you're following the changes (playing F# when you move into D7 for example) instead of just playing one scale over 3 chords).

After GΔ, we change key again from G down a major third again to Eb and we have a Bb7 in bar 5 (V in Eb) which takes us to EbΔ (I in Eb).. and again you notice, another V - I a major third down from our last key.

So we've gone like this from bar 4 to 6 with the key changes, started in G, down a major third to Eb, then down another major third again to B (or enharmonically D# down to B, D# being the major third of B) - that's another three key changes in another three bars, but still is relatively simply because it's only V - I and ii - V - I progressions in all three keys.

After the EbΔ, we have F#7 which starts another V - I in the key of B (the sixth key change), but I won't go that far.

So now, we have this (Bar 1 - 6).

Code:
| BΔ - D7 | GΔ - Bb7 | EbΔ | Am7 - D7 | GΔ - Bb7 | EbΔ | BbΔ = I in B. D7 - GΔ = V - I in G. Bb7 - EbΔ = V - I in Eb. Am7 - D7 - GΔ = ii - V - I in G. Bb7 - EbΔ = V - I in Eb.


If you can master playing over ii - V - I changes, you can pretty much nail Giant Steps without too many problems - so what I suggest you do is practice ii - V - I progressions in every key (not just G, Eb & B), and then practice changing into key changes by using the common tone method I was talking about earlier to find how you can connect different scales by landing on any common tone and anticipating the key change.

If you want me to go into more detail on all 16 bars for you - then I will carry one from where I lef off, but I haven't got time at the moment and am hoping you can digest this first.

Oh and btw, get in here and answer some questions!


Last edited by Johnljones7443 : 12-30-2006 at 05:18 PM.
Johnljones7443 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2006, 02:17 AM   #6
splice
crank that jessie jackson
 
splice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mississippi
and berklee isnt exactly known as having a tough entrance no-nonsense approach. i know a guy who got in and didn't even know what an eighth note was.


ofcourse he dropped out within one semester
splice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2006, 03:03 PM   #7
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Quote:
Originally Posted by splice
and berklee isnt exactly known as having a tough entrance no-nonsense approach. i know a guy who got in and didn't even know what an eighth note was.


ofcourse he dropped out within one semester



I want to pass with flying colors, im not satisfied with just passing. And John, do you think you could please go over the rest of the bars with me? That was quite helpful
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2006, 09:50 PM   #8
Johnljones7443
Registered User
 
Johnljones7443's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: UK
^Of course mate - I'll start from where I left off.

So, we're in the 6th bar and just done a V - I in Eb, the second chord of the 6th bar is F#7 (the V chord in the key of B) which goes into the 7th bar and we land on BΔ - giving us another V - I progression in the key of B.

Bar 8 starts with the ii chord in the key of Eb, Fm7 and continues a ii - V - I progression into the 9th bar. So we go Fm7 - Bb7 (8th bar: ii - V in Eb) and lands on EbΔ in the 9th bar. Yet another ii - V - I progression, this time in a key a major third down from our previous key.

Bar 10 now takes us back to bar 4, a ii - V - I in the key of G (another major third down from Eb).. so bar 10 goes Am7 - D7 (ii - V in G) and lands on GΔ in the 11th bar.

Just do a quick recap here to make sure you're following, so from where we left off, we now have..

Code:
(Starting from the 2nd chord in the 6th bar.) Bar 6... | F#7 | BΔ | Fm7 - Bb7 | EbΔ | Am7 - D7 | GΔ | F#7 - BΔ = ii - V in B. Fm7 - Bb7 - EbΔ = ii - V - I in Eb. Am7 - D7 - GΔ = ii - V - I in G. B an M3 down to Eb. Eb an M3 down to G.


In bar 12 we introduce a new chord, C#m7, the ii chord in the key of B.. so from bar 11 in the key of G, this time - we go up a major third to the key of B. Bar 12 goes C#m7 - F#7 (ii - V in the key of B) and again, bar 13 completes our ii - V - I with a BΔ chord.

Bar 14 & 15 is again, another ii - V - I progression, but this time a major third down from the preceding key (Eb - B), Fm7 - Bb7 - EbΔ. The ii - V in the 14th bar, and the 15th bar completes it with the I chord (EbΔ).

In the last bar, 16 - we go back to the key we started the whole thing in, B Major - the first chord in the first bar is BΔ, so I bet you can guess what the 2 chord in bar 16 (the last bar) are, right? A ii - V in the key of B major, C#m7 - F#7.. which takes you right back to the top to land on I (BΔ). Another ii - V - I!

Those are all the chords (I'll write up a diagram for you in a minute to show them properly).. now you might be thinking, that's a lot of chords and a lot of key changes, but when you really look at it, all those V - I and ii - V - I progressions only make up 10 key changes - 10 key changes in 26 chords, sure - the chords move pretty fast, and Giant Steps is always a challenge for improvising (I'll mention a nice way you can get to grips with it in a minute, that my teacher taught me - and I think Mark Levine mentions in his Jazz Theory Book, which involves playing the V pentatonic over each tonal center) - but with only 10 key changes in those chords, there's a lot of things you can do to make getting your head around the changes easier.

Okay - before I go on to describing a couple of ways you can go about tackling this, I'll give you a whole diagram of the chord changes. (I've made the text a bit bigger than normal so you can see it without squinting, on my resolution the text in code is tiny!)

Code:
| BΔ - D7 | GΔ - Bb7 | EbΔ | Am7 - D7 | | GΔ - Bb7| EbΔ - F#m7 | BΔ | Fm7 - Bb7| | EbΔ | Am7 - D7 | GΔ | C#m7 - F#7 | | BΔ | Fm7 - Bb7| EbΔ | C#m7 - F#7 |


Okay - now you have the changes down, I'll go through a couple of ways of playing on them.

The first one, I've already mentioned (and ties in with the second, but the second is a more specific approach, and easier)... I mentioned playing common tones on each key change, and gave F#, E and B of common tones within B Ionian and D Mixolydian in changing from the key of B (BΔ) to G (D7 - GΔ).. I'm not sure if you grasped this, so I'll give you an example on the changes of Giant Steps, and a way to practice becoming quicker at connecting these scales.

So, my example is going to be over BbΔ - D7 in the first bar of Giant Steps, just to make sure you've understood and can actually 'see' what I'm saying.

Code:
BΔ D7 |-----------------------| |-----------------------| |----------6------------| |-------6---------------| |-6--9------------------| |-----------------------|


In that example, we have an eighth note melody over the BΔ chord starting on it's major third, D# and ascending up to C# before we change key. Now, if we go on ahead and play the next scale tone in B Ionian as we change into D7, we're going to hit a D# again, the minor second (minor ninth) of D, or augmented fifth of our key change, G. Sure - that's going to give you a nice Ionian augmented tonality in the grand scheme of things, but if you're looking to impress with your knowledge of theory/jazz, you don't want to be hitting a minor ninth in a consonant tune like Giant Steps. Now, I'm not saying you can't use it - I'm just saying that with your limited experience of the tune, it's going to sound much more like a 'Oops, wrong note' as opposed to intentional dissonance with complete detachment a la Monk.

So, to avoid that dissonance, what can we do? We can hit one of our common tones as we change into D7 (B, E or F#) to make that change noticable, but smooth, effortless - if you will.

You might change by going like this... using B Ionians perfect fifth and D Mixolydians major third, F# - to connect each chord, and the continuing with D Mixolydian.

Code:
BΔ D7 |-------------------------7-| |--------------7--8--10-----| |----------6----------------| |-------6-------------------| |-6--9----------------------| |---------------------------|


So there you have an eighth note run in B Ionian, and an eighth note run in D Mixolydian with that one common tone, F# connecting them both - that's an example of how you might go about using common tones. Now, I know what you're probably thinking is this is supposed to be improvising, and I only have X amount of time before I perform it.. and sure, you can go in there all guns blazing and just have a rough idea of what you're going to play scalar wise.. but with something like common tones, you have a general idea of what's going to sound good at the right time, as opposed to hit and miss, and that one 'wrong' note might cost you the placement. So it's vitally important you practice this method in every key with every possible key change (okay, start with the changes in Giant Steps so you've done the work for the audition).. once you've practiced it, and done it for a couple of weeks, patiently writing out the notes and showing yourself the options.. things become a lot more visually in integrated on the fretboard, so you can see the available common tones for each change right in front of you without checking your scales on paper.

Okay - I'm running out of time here, so I'll discuss the second method quickly, which involves playing the V pentatonic scale (that is the major pentatonic scale of the V in your key) over V - I and ii - V - I changes.. the get this into your head, I'll give an example with the ii – V – I changes from bar 4 & 5 of Giant Steps in the key of G.

In the key of G Major our ii - V - I progression goes Am7 - D7 – GΔ. I’m sure you’re aware of ‘avoid notes’, or notes that cause a dissonant interval within a chord/scale.. such as playing F over Cmaj7 making a minor ninth interval. This is what the whole playing V pentatonic thing revolves around, and why it works. By playing the V pentatonic over the ii – V – I you automatically get rid of all the ‘avoid notes’ you’d normally have to think about.

Let’s take this apart in our key of G and see what we have… our first chord is Am7 – on this chord, we don’t have any avoid notes as such, any note from G Ionian (A Dorian) we play over this is going to sound okay, no major dissonance. Now, over D7 – the avoid note is G, our perfect fourth which makes a minor ninth interval between it and our chords 3rd (F# - G)… on our tonic chord we have another avoid note, C. Which again creates a minor ninth interval between it and our major third (B – C).

So, take away those two notes from G Ionian, and what do you get? D – E – F# - A – B. Notice what that is? The D Major pentatonic scale – the V pentatonic of our key, it’s our major scale, but without the ‘avoid’ notes – this means you don’t have to worry about hitting a ‘wrong note’ if you’re stuck for time.

Just as an example of where to play what I’ll show you an example on Giant Steps and the V pentatonic to play over them… bar 1 we have BΔ – so over that we play F# major pentatonic, move to D7 in the key of G, we play D major pentatonic, move to Bb7 in the 2nd bar, we have the key of Eb, play Bb major pentatonic.. and you get the idea.

That’s a brief synopsis of a couple of ways to tackle this tune, and I hope you understand them and do well in your audition – if you don’t understand, you know the drill.

Johnljones7443 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2006, 11:52 PM   #9
splice
crank that jessie jackson
 
splice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mississippi
i was just saying, its not that hard. trying to make you less nervous i suppose.
splice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2006, 12:58 AM   #10
justin_fraser
AKA J-Frase
 
justin_fraser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Umm, John basically said what I was going to say.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkdaddyfresh
justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.


Screaming Help
justin_fraser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2006, 01:23 AM   #11
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Man I feel so stupid and useless. Its really hard for me to absorb all that
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2006, 07:40 AM   #12
IlIk2plygUItAr
UG Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: freezin my ass off in a friggin igloo (a.k.a. alaska)
You aren't alone haha you think he learned all that in one day? No.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Traineez0rz
Putting semen inside the braille books ftw!




Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewbiles
IlIk2plygUItAr, you're a douche.




Funniest shit in the world
IlIk2plygUItAr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
Johnljones7443
Registered User
 
Johnljones7443's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: UK
What part don't you understand, insideac? I assume you understand what I said about the chord progression, and at least understood what chords to play, at least that way you know the progression.

I'm sorry if I went too deep and assumed you'd understand me, if you tell me what you didn't understand, I can go over it at a slower pace with you - making sure you know what I'm talking about, before I go further.

Edit: Oh, he's banned again, lol

Last edited by Johnljones7443 : 12-31-2006 at 06:21 PM.
Johnljones7443 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 06:25 AM   #14
faqu
Potato Chips rule!
 
faqu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: israel
Yo, Johnljones7443.
can you please explain what you said again, insideac's having a hard time to understand it.
__________________
books have knowledge, knowledge is power, power corrupts, corruption is a crime, and crime doesn't pay..so if you keep reading, you'll go broke.

UG Profile
faqu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 08:44 AM   #15
Hawker45
Registered User
 
Hawker45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
I didnt read your post Johnljones as it would've gone straight over my head, but much respect to you for writing a 1780 word post to help a random on the internet.
Hawker45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 08:54 AM   #16
Resiliance
Acta est fabula
 
Resiliance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: The doggy wee-wee has blinded me.
Yes, John. Quite a nice analysis so far.
__________________
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
Resiliance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #17
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
What part don't you understand, insideac? I assume you understand what I said about the chord progression, and at least understood what chords to play, at least that way you know the progression.

I'm sorry if I went too deep and assumed you'd understand me, if you tell me what you didn't understand, I can go over it at a slower pace with you - making sure you know what I'm talking about, before I go further.

Edit: Oh, he's banned again, lol



lol not banned again, for now. Well, the way that you were talking about the modes, and the few notes that they all had in common, is what threw me off. I understood everything else, but Im still pretty foggy on the modes and all that, I mean, I didnt think a mode was a scale till a few days ago
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 10:05 PM   #18
VR2005
UG Addict
 
VR2005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Spartanburg,SC
The best advice that I can give you is since the entire song is ii-V's and ii-V-I's changing tonal centers every once in awhile. What you need to do is start your recording of Giant Steps, I imagine it's John Coltrane's not McCoy Tyner's later version well it could also possibly be Jimmy Bruno's or Pat Metheny's but yeah, listen for the first three changes and transcribe the lines that the soloist is playing during the solo on the ii-V's and kind of ignore what the inside notes their playing and focus on where they place the outside notes of the key from that ii-V. Possibly confusing but I hope it helped. Giant Steps is pretty harmonically advanced for its speed so I imagine if you can pull it off you'll be a shoe in. Maybe you could record a version with you soloing on it and post it in the thread.

EDIT: This might also help, there are a lot of intelligent jazzers there http://www.playjazzguitar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2109
__________________
Co-Founder of the Jazz Guitarist Community. PM me or Zeppelin256 to join.

Come listen to Zeppelin256 and I jam over some jazz tunes! Unit 7

Last edited by VR2005 : 01-01-2007 at 10:08 PM.
VR2005 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2007, 04:03 AM   #19
insideac
is present!
 
insideac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UG
Quote:
Originally Posted by VR2005
The best advice that I can give you is since the entire song is ii-V's and ii-V-I's changing tonal centers every once in awhile. What you need to do is start your recording of Giant Steps, I imagine it's John Coltrane's not McCoy Tyner's later version well it could also possibly be Jimmy Bruno's or Pat Metheny's but yeah, listen for the first three changes and transcribe the lines that the soloist is playing during the solo on the ii-V's and kind of ignore what the inside notes their playing and focus on where they place the outside notes of the key from that ii-V. Possibly confusing but I hope it helped. Giant Steps is pretty harmonically advanced for its speed so I imagine if you can pull it off you'll be a shoe in. Maybe you could record a version with you soloing on it and post it in the thread.

EDIT: This might also help, there are a lot of intelligent jazzers there http://www.playjazzguitar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2109




Or do you think I should copy the original Giant Steps note for note? Ill try the improv tomorrow, everyones asleep now
__________________






Need logos/layouts/sites/merch designs?

Contorted Visuals
insideac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2007, 04:18 AM   #20
Satch_Boogie
Registered User
 
Satch_Boogie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
My God you people are helpful!

I applaud thee Johnljones7443
Satch_Boogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Closed Thread


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:04 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.