#1
Good Evening/Morning/Whatever MT!

As we all know, these are dark days for MT indeed. After the travesty of the last few argument and hashtag filled threads, I figure we need more discussion-y and informative type threads, and less complain-y and argumentative ones.

I figure I should contribute to the creation of said threads, and as I often find myself jumping into threads, being an overachiever/try-hard and talking about chords that go higher than 7 and other fancy things that no one asked for, this was inevitable:

Jet Talks Jazz!

A place where I, a hard-working and obsessive (I prefer the term psycho) musician who has literally dedicated all of his training to solely developing the ability to make everything up as I go, discuss and inform upon the lost art of....making everything up as you go.

I am doing this as I write

My original plan was to start small, and have a big long series of installments on every aspect of playing a "modern" guitar improvisation (this is not necessarily a solo, playing rhythm is improvisation as well).

By modern, I mean one that does not rely on guitar "cliches" (see every rock guitarist ever for examples), but actually depends on note choice, taste, and creativity; all great solos are perfect mixtures of harmonically general and harmonically specific materials.

These skills, though having a point of origin in heavily improvised music such as Jazz, are applicable across all genres and facets of guitarmanship, and quite frankly I just chose the word for both its:

1.Relevance: I am DEFINITELY a hardcore Jazzer, its what I do for school/a living, and I know my way around a standard

2.Alliterative property. (Jet talks Jamming? See, it sounds dumb )

However, common sense soon got the better of me, and I figured it best to have a preliminary thread where I can ask all of MT/UG/The World:

What should this Penguin talk about? What aspects of Improvisational Theory and Practice should we get into? I have plenty of ideas, but I want YOURS!

I'm gonna make a shameless double post to use as a notepad for people's ideas, and make future threads discussing suggested topics and whatnot.

I might even talk about the "M-word," if you guys can behave!

So let's use this space, not to argue (please don't), not even to necessarily answer big questions, but to discuss certain topics we as MT would like to dive into in more, glorious, detail!

Let's get on the same team everyone. We can rise above.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#2
This is the aforementioned shameless double post, where I will keep track of questions/topics you all want to explore further!

1. Analyzing A Tune: Using Harmonic Analysis & CST to Inform Improvisation
-SuperKid -The4thHorsemen Wolflen

2. Developing An Idea: How Do I "Practice" Improvisation?
-Sickz

3. Making Bad Sound Good: The Art Of "Outside" Playing
-HaydenHohns

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Superimposition And You
-JerryKramskoy
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#4
Awesome idea SuperKid.

Maybe I can do a CST/Analysis day/megathread. CST has its holes, but they often go hand in hand.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#5
I'll give my thoughts on this later but,

JUST SO EVERYONE IS AWARE
JRF's ban was requested. I don't want the MT mods getting stick for something they didn't do.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#6
Good to know, Baby Joel. I didn't mean any sort of attack on the mods/community, I just figured to use it as a rallying cry to attempt to improve MT.

I'll take care of it. Consider the post edited, and all OJRF references removed.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#7
nah nah I know. I've jsut seen it pop up a few places, and decided best to sort it out now
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#8
Well good on you for quarantining it now before it gets out of hand.

Aaaaand we get to promote the thread with the extra posts
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#9
good threads deserve attention

I promise I'll say something substantial/relevant tomorrow :p
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#10
Well I'm glad only one of us thinks I'm a lunatic then!

I look forward to your relevance. And more promotion.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#11
I'm definitely interested in seeing where you go with this. I don't really have any ideas in particular as to what you should cover, sorry I'm no help there. The idea of doing some analysis does peak my interest. I like seeing how other people break down songs and explain their take on what's going on.


oh, and thanks to Joel for clarifying the JRF thing. Earlier I was wondering what the hell happened and couldn't find anything
#12
Being a jazz musician myself i might have one or two topics i would like to discuss with a bigger group of people, since now i am only discussing it with my peers at my college and we pretty much share the same opinion on things.

Some valid topics might be:
How to go about improvisation. With this i mean that there is (what i have noticed) a divide in what people deem the way to improve upon improvisation. Some people praise the chord scales that were introduced when we began getting Jazz schools around the world. Some advocate the old school method of learning improvisation through transcription of language, the aural tradition of jazz. We use different types of limitations practices for our improvisation (only chord tones, steady eight note lines etc). Basically, a discussion about developing improvisational ability, i would love to see how the people of MT think about this.

Old Before New. This is a discussion i would like to have that is based on something i have heard personally from some of the jazz professors i study for (and i know is something that is not uncommon across the globe), that i thought would be an interesting topic. Some teachers say that you should not study/transcribe modern players when starting out playing jazz, with the argument that you need a firm sense of the traditional form of jazz (Masters like Parker, Coltrane, Evans, Brubeck, Davis, etc etc) before you can alter your voice in jazz and study more current cats (Scofield, Brecker, Rosenwinkel, etc)

Those are the ones i can come up with on the top of my head this early from waking up.
Love the idea of bringing these types of discussion threads up though, i will be eagerly following them all.

Best Regards,
Sickz
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#13
I'm not a regular in this particular part of the forum but I know I would definitely be interested if you discussed approaches to atonality and if possible, maintaining consonance or melody within atonality. I also support what the above posters have said in terms of content to address.
#14
As a newbie, what is "MT"? (Is that this music theory forum, or some other site?)

Anywas, one cool topic is the reuse of licks / lines in keys other than their original. E.g. playing a major pentatonic rooted a b5 away from the key of the moment. Examples of these (as in where to hear them. whic track, whereabouts) would be good.

I too play a lot of jazz, along with metal, rock etc.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 5, 2014,
#15
Great suggestions everyone, I'll add them to the list.

Like I said my original plan was to start with the easiest thing I can think of and just keep ramping it up, but I'd rather talk about what you guys want to talk about.

@Jerry: Yeah MT is the music theory/musicianship sub-forum, and I will DEFINITELY be talking about Pentatonic/Triadic/1235 Superimposition in one of them. It is the gateway to playing "out"

@Hayden: If I can get technical for a second (oh god ), you can't really do an "Atonal" solo in an ensemble because the band will playing tonally; your notes will still have function, if that makes sense. However, we will definitely do a thread on playing "outside"

@Sickz: I love the first idea! I will probably lump a CST and analysis thread together; they go hand in hand, after all. Most topics will likely be a facet of improvisation, so no worries there, but I will add a topic of development, taking an idea and running as far as possible with it.

As far as the old vs. new goes, we can certainly talk Jazz history and context, but one of my goals is to break down the "jazz" barrier and show people that all these skills can be applied to your rock/metal/funk/pop guitar playing as well!

And I might get flamed, but I will tell you that I am very anti-transcribing. At least in the traditional sense. I would venture you do not need as much of a grounding in the vocabulary as you do in the principles of linear harmony and voice leading.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#16
Quote by Jet Penguin

And I might get flamed, but I will tell you that I am very anti-transcribing. At least in the traditional sense. I would venture you do not need as much of a grounding in the vocabulary as you do in the principles of linear harmony and voice leading.

It's still very useful as ear training, though.
#17
This is very true. That is the main advantage to transcription. In addition, understanding the intricacies of voice leading will allow you to instantly hear harmonic progressions and improvise appropriately.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#18
Quote by Jet Penguin


@Sickz: I love the first idea! I will probably lump a CST and analysis thread together; they go hand in hand, after all. Most topics will likely be a facet of improvisation, so no worries there, but I will add a topic of development, taking an idea and running as far as possible with it.

As far as the old vs. new goes, we can certainly talk Jazz history and context, but one of my goals is to break down the "jazz" barrier and show people that all these skills can be applied to your rock/metal/funk/pop guitar playing as well!

And I might get flamed, but I will tell you that I am very anti-transcribing. At least in the traditional sense. I would venture you do not need as much of a grounding in the vocabulary as you do in the principles of linear harmony and voice leading.


Ah, my bad. I re-read your OP and found the application to all styles bit, so i see why the old vs new discussion might be something for another time and another place.

I appreciate you bringing up the improvisation concept though, i'm looking forward to contributing and learning from that discussion.

Mind if i ask a question regarding your comment on transcription though? Do you mean you are against transcription as in writing it down or just learning by ear, or both?. I am a huge fan of transcription myself, but only in the sense that i take an idea and learn it by ear from a recording (without writing it down), getting that idea into as many keys and variations as possible to improve my conception of musical language. I would love pick your ( and others ) brain about this sometime.

Best Regards,
Sickz
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Last edited by Sickz at Oct 5, 2014,
#19
Yeah Sickz, you got it.

My stance on transcribing is to learn what other players are doing, and then Extract principles from their playing, not licks.

So I am totally for writing down a Coltrane solo and learning it by ear, but thats just a tool. You don't have to memorize it/learn every lick in all keys, what's important is to make realizations like:

"Oh, Trane's just using MM to substitute in a series of triads over this altered dominant!"

A principle like that has infinite applications to your own playing. Spitting back someone else's lick note for note only has one application. That's my 2 cents anyway.

The goal of improvisation should be not to string together pre-existing licks in novel combinations, but to actually invent new melodic ideas in real-time while soloing/comping!

So, in a sentence, I transcribe, but I don't play/memorize the solos as much as I do analyze them and apply the thought process to my own playing.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#20
^ Yeah, I think more like you do. Why would I learn something in every key when I can just learn the theory behind it and transpose it to any key? Well, as a piano player it can be useful, because every key has a totally different fingering/shape, but that's about it. The benefits are purely technical.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Oct 5, 2014,
#21
this would be a very hot idea .. a lot of work..but if it could stay on course and not meander into sub topica as many threads do..i would enjoy it and contribute to it..that said..definitions would be required for most "understood terms" because..well..many don't understand them in context..but in some abstract way..

jazz is such a broad pallet..and a discipline..study and practice are as much part of it as performance..some backround into some of the "masters" did to learn all aspects of the art..

breakdown of standards...the amount of harmonic knowledge in tunes by Gershwin-porter-and other of that period are so rich in essential elements of jazz - melody..harmony.. rhythm and an aspect that is not explored very much .. lyric..the aforementioned greats had lyrics for days that were nothing but mesmerizing .. Porter in particular (for me at least-.."..trips to the moon on gossamer wings..".. and of course our modern lyric masters - Simon..the beatles and the list goes on..blending lyrics with harmony is not as easy as some may think..in fact its not easy at all..and the "how to" is not in a book..but it would be part of a detailed discussion on here with many facets im sure..

Jet Penguine...like your style

play well

wolf
#22
Quote by Jet Penguin
...@Hayden: If I can get technical for a second (oh god ), you can't really do an "Atonal" solo in an ensemble because the band will playing tonally; your notes will still have function, if that makes sense. However, we will definitely do a thread on playing "outside"...


Thanks Jet Penguin. Yeah, I fully understand that, it's been a long time since I've had any formal theory lessons in music (not since my days of playing Trumpet) so my definitions are a little... off base.

That said, although Debussy is clearly not Jazz, that's the type of abstract melodic ideas I was referring too. The music isn't dissonant, but there are plenty of accidentals to be found. I'm pretty sure Crystal Silence by Chick Corea/Return to Forever is similar in a sense that it's outside the box but not dissonant.

Thanks again, I'll periodically check in here to keep an eye out for these threads.

EDIT: Also, applications to Metal would be very much appreciated.
#23
Hi Hayden,

Eventually, when I'm confident in the thread's ability to behave itself and not explode into a flame war, I plan on doing a Jet Talks Jazz about Modes and how they are used in contemporary music.

This, combined with other topics such as superimposition/planing, and usage of functional and non functional chromaticism will provide somewhat of an insight into the Impressionist harmonic language; we can certainly apply all this to metal!

Hell, if Jet Talks Jazz works out, I may branch out into Jet talks Common-Practice Music!

Right now my plan is to make the first thread a crash course on CST and harmonic analysis. More people have asked about that, and it'll be a good one to get out of the way, hopefully the information provided in there will give people a foundation so that they don't drown when I start talking about substitutions and "outside" playing!

Anyone who has requests/ideas for tunes for me to analyze for examples, should post them here or PM me. Otherwise I'll pick a few "typical" excerpts from tunes and just start laying on the theory!
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#24
How about a thread on the various aspects of Bebop? Some common Bebop things, like progressions, turnarounds, etc.
#25
That's a good call Sam. Perhaps I do one along the lines of "jazzing" up a chord progression, adding more harmonic complexity with substitutions and added chords? Is that what you mean?

As far as the melodic language is concerned, I plan to do one on chromaticism, and other threads on the various non-major scales.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#26
Quote by Jet Penguin
That's a good call Sam. Perhaps I do one along the lines of "jazzing" up a chord progression, adding more harmonic complexity with substitutions and added chords? Is that what you mean?

Well, kind of. I was thinking of specifically how Bebop does that. But a general one about Jazz would be cool, too.

As far as the melodic language is concerned, I plan to do one on chromaticism, and other threads on the various non-major scales.

Excellent!
#27
Yeah, large reharmonizations are mostly a Bebop thing, so that was what I meant.

So much terminology

Actually, this terminology is nothing compared to the disclaimers and terms I will be throwing everywhere in the CST thread.

OH GOD I'M GOING TO HAVE TO USE "M WORDS"

That will be up maybe tonight, depending on how late I stay up/when my wrists start to slow up from playing.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 5, 2014,
#28
@Jet Penguin: Awesome, just curious, is CST like a "catch-up" or general theory to make sure everyone is on the same page? I looked it up and found "content specialty test". Apart from that, all I could find was stuff relating to standard time and some companies with the initials CST. Regardless, if it is catch-up, then I'm sure I could use it. I hope it all works out, hearing about all these topics makes me feel really humbled right now and it would be shame if an opportunity to learn were to be shot down by others. The only Harmonic Analysis I know of is the mathematical kind.

Just an idea to possibly fuel some interaction and gain more interest in this sort of thing, why not encourage others to post musical ideas or links to some improvisations they've done with the only restriction that it uses the lesson topic as the main focus?
#29
There is something I've been meaning to ask but wasn't sure where to put it since the Bands and Artists forum is pretty dead and MT isn't really meant for this. Basically, what should I listen to next? The only actual jazz I have on my PC (that's not like jazz fusion metal) are Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew, and Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis and pretty much all of Charles Mingus's albums (I love Mingus). I also downloaded some Thelonious Monk after hearing a couple of songs on youtube, but then was kinda disappointed when I didn't really like most of it.

The genre is just so large that I feel kinda lost. I've heard lots of random songs on youtube that I like, but don't really know what to try next. Maybe Ellington or Coltraine?


Edit: Pretty sure CST is chord scale theory, which is where you relate certain scales to certain chords.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Oct 6, 2014,
#30
Would anyone like my simplified (any newbie to jazz and simple ii V I can play with it) harmonic analysis and solo improv approach to Coltrane's Giant Steps? I actually wrote it a while back as a teaching exercise for myself - to take a topic, that sounded complicated, and break it down so that more people could benefit from it, and demystify it.

Best,

Sean
#31
The First JTJ is up, so lets head over there, haha.

I want people to bring in examples of things pertaining to the topic they want analyzed, there are too many scenarios for me to distill a lifetime of chord scale theory into a singular post, but I tried. Whew. But I only had time/space to lay out the basics, I need all of you to bring in questions, musical examples (jazz or otherwise) so we can explore in further detail!

If anyone has further suggestions for topics that I didn't hear, PM me.

@Sean, If you want, PM it to me and when I talk about connecting seemingly unrelated chord progressions, I can post it and give you credit/a shout-out?

Just a thought. No pressure/harm in asking.

@4th Ellington is one of my favorites. If you want to branch out, Miles Davis was at the forefront of every jazz "movement." You could follow his career and if you particularly like a certain period, branch off and look up his contemporaries, bandmates!
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Oct 6, 2014,