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#1
Hey gang.

So the next JTJ was going to be a big ol' thread on the finer points of comping, but that whole art form in itself is pretty difficult to verbalize, and would more than likely result in me just posting a bunch of Ed Bickert and Bill Evans videos, summarizing it to three points:

1. Don't strum that's absurd. No one's listening to you play barre chords, they're listening to the trumpet solo.

2. Support the soloist. The soloist already knows how to play music. Stop loudly announcing to the soloist how to play music.

3. Comping is not playing chords. Comping is playing a 3, sometimes 4 part harmonized guitar solo underneath another solo and having the result be a duet, itself part of a bigger conversation (read: 4 way solo) with the bass and drums.

But I dunno.

So, this is me, asking you all, what in the HELL I should talk about next. Or what I should organize, or anything really.

I'm open to suggestions and game for anything, provided it's actually in my area of knowledge. And trust me, I'll let you know if I think someone else can do better.

So, instead of me arbitrarily coming up with stuff and then writing 5000 words on it, let's narrow things down. I honestly wouldn't mind doing more threads that are more brief, than the rare mega-post.

So what's next, MT?

Here's a present:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQRt5E-JJfg
"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
#2
I don't know what that was but I liked it.

And I don't really know. I spent so much time on jazz comping before I moved on to improvisation that I feel like I should take a break from rhythm playing and actually work on my lead playing. One thing that does interest me is altered chords, there are plenty of "weird" chords that I can pull off but don't really know what to do with them. I know about the basics of creating and resolving tension but actually coming up with non-diatonic chords that actually sound beautiful in a progression is still a problem. My current approach is usually just pulling chords from MM and Hmaj and seeing if they fit at all, but I feel like there's a lot more to it
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
^You'd be surprised. We can talk extended harmony.

I love Lightning Bolt. Great duo. A friend of mine saw them live:

They set up in the middle of the dance floor while the opener was on stage and started playing the exact second they ended the last song.

He had to go outside because the bass guitar was physically hurting him. Like hurting his body, not his ears.
"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
#4
Quote by Jet Penguin
^You'd be surprised.

I love lightning bolt. Great duo. A friend of mine saw them live (they set up in the middle of the dance floor while the opener is on stage and start playing the second they finish) and had to go outside because the bass guitar was physically hurting him. Like hurting his body, not his ears.


And I honestly mean that I'm a fan of their style (whatever you would call it), and holy shit that sounds epic. Maybe not the most comfortable show, but epic nonetheless.

And I actively seek to be surprised by music. Keeps things interesting.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#5
I'd personally benefit from anything that explains what the heck musical development is or how it works, but since that's not necessarily a jazz topic outright, I think an introduction to listening might be useful, either in the sense of listening to the other members of a group while you play, or in the sense of how to start listening to jazz in a more active way and get more out of the 'iconic' recordings of the past and such than just, "Hey that was a cool nine notes that just whizzed by."
You might could use some double modals.
#6
^That I can do. Development and jazz appreciation? Done.

Yeah Keva, they're from a city about 40 mins away from me and they rule. Great noise-improv whatever you wanna call it. Just jamming as hard as possible and leaving the tape running.
"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
#7
Lightning Bolt are wicked good

Jazz appreciation sounds like a neat idea. Miles Smiles is the one I've been listening to a lot lately, mostly for Wayne Shorter's songwriting. Gingerbread Boy is just nuts like how can that even be a melody?
https://youtu.be/Jbs_-BobfOs

You guys been keeping up with Flying Lotus's You're Dead album? Or Kamasi Washington's The Epic? Both came out in the last 12-odd months. You're Dead is like a psychedelic hip-hop jazz journey. The Epic is a 3-hour jazz album - I haven't listened to the whole thing yet but what I have heard is amazing. Here's some super high-intensity post-bop: https://youtu.be/F-75-tUHIrQ


As far as actually playing music goes, 'cause that's kinda part of it too, I've been learning jazz piano. Mostly chord playing and a bit of soloing. I'm pretty shocked at how long it's taking. I'd say I've been playing jazz piano for about a year now(guitar for longer). I can play a ii-V-I in every key, voice any altered chord and I can transpose on the fly.

But when it comes to playing a standard like "Sophisticated Lady," I find myself using every MB of my brainpower to get through the changes. My playing is too slow and most importantly, passionless as a result.

I guess that's just what its like learning a new style. What keeps me going is playing a piece like Wayne Shorter's Infant Eyes. It's slow enough for me to be able to express myself. It makes me feel like a musician again. I can see my progress through that piece and it feels good!
Last edited by Declan87 at Jul 7, 2015,
#8
Best insight I read recently on comping was that it's not really about harmony at all. It's about rhythm.
The soloist knows all the chords, he/she doesn't need you to remind them. It's rhythmic punctuation that can help - or hinder of course, which is why two instruments comping at the same time is a disaster waiting to happen.
#9
^More importantly, the soloist isn't even going to play the same chords as you; not if they're good anyways.

Harmony and rhythm both matter a great deal, but you need to think about it like you are also playing a solo behind another solo, a complementary one.

The reason 2 people comping is a disaster is because they aren't doing that, and they aren't listening to each other. I've had situations with three people comping at once and it's been fine.

But that was because it was a conversation of harmonic and melodic soloists, instead of one person soloing and everyone else haphazardly banging away behind them.

Declan:

You're Dead and The Epic are both crazy and some of the freshest stuff that I've heard this year. Love it.

Gingerbread Boy? It's a little easier to understand after you hear the original. It's a blues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YN-T4X8_Qc

But perhaps I should do the occasional jazz standard and break it down as well, giving insight into how to survive the tune.
"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
#10
I've been liking Kamasi's stuff as well, I haven't had the time to listen to the whole, quite accurately named epic, but bits and pieces I've come across have been great.

Do you mind answering a question here, Jet? Not really threadworthy, I have just this random thing I'm wondering and I think it should be right up your alley.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#11
Jet, don't pressurise yourself. It's very cool that your sharing the knowledge as you are, and at a young age (compared to me!!).

Here's possible topic ... chord reuse(same chord voicing applied in different contexts to create different harmonies. Loads of chords from jazz minor fall in this camp. But maybe offer up a few, once a (day, week, fortnight ...?? )

cheers, Jerry
#12
Keva: Hit me, I'm all ears. But if the answer is extremely long and convoluted; that'll be my next thread

Jerry: I actually just did a mega thread on a very similar topic here!

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1677402&highlight=jet+talks+jazz

But I do like the idea of a semi regular thing for various topics.
"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
#13
Okay, here we go. First of all, I hope you haven't covered this in JTJ, I still have two or three parts that I haven't gone through in detail so if you actually have talked about this previously just point me to it.

Secondly, I'm not sure if I actually want you to explain this to me or if I only want you to tell me if my own thought process is right. I have my own little theory considering the topic I'm about to unfold and I'd like to know if I'm on the right track. However, if you feel like explaining it go ahead.

So, my question is about the... whole tone scale. Dun dun duuun. More precisely, how to use it meaningfully without just slapping it on a track to make it sound like shrooms. So, obviously it works on augmented chords. The problem is, augmented chords aren't really a part of your everyday composition. I'm sure there are ways to utilize different shading devices to make them work in a progression, and of course you could treat the fifth like a passing tone and just resolve it after your blazing holdsworth lick.

But I had an idea from the JTJ on the diminished scale. Since the dim chord bears a lot of similarity to the dom7 chord, you can use it on top of the corresponding dom7 for great effect.

THE PARAGRAPH BELOW CONTAINS HILARIOUSLY MISSPELLED CHORDS

Now, the augmented chord actually bears a lot of resemblance to the maj7 chord. A C augmented shares a lot of notes with Dbmaj7. So could you play the whole tone scale over a maj7 chord? The problem with this is that the root of the maj7 chord really clashes with the WT scale but that's just tension waiting to be resolved. I made some of my own experiments with this and I think it sounded somewhat cool, so I wondered if there is actually some validity in my stream of consciousness. Or alternatively, I'm a ******.

Anyway, this post went on for way too long. Sorry for the wall. And derailing.

lol, UG actually censored that word. Shame, it's my favourite insult.

EDIT: oh goddamnit. Everytime I meant to write "m/maj7" I wrote maj7 and it made the post unintentionally hilarious. The point was that I feel much more comfortable with m/maj7 chords in my progressions than aug chords, the sound of which I don't like.

EDIT OF EDIT: though who knows, maybe it actually works over maj7 chords and I'm accidentally a genius.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jul 8, 2015,
#14
^This is great. You're on a very good track. Lemme connect the dots for you. Spoiler: You're an accidental genius!

1. The whole tone scale is used over dominant chords.

1a. The "vanilla" sound for whole tone is over Dom7#5 chords. A #5 is not and never will be a b13. (have to put that for accuracy)

2. Obviously, using a WT scale over a regular Dom7 chord IMPLIES 7#5.

3. An augmented triad is most likely a 7#5 waiting to happen. But it could also be an incomplete maj7#5. But that doesn't matter because:

4. m/maj7 chords come from (in the vanilla-verse) MM. And all the sounds in MM are subs for each other. 4 of those sounds are dominants, and one is a fully altered dominant so yes, that totally checks out, because those chords sync up.

5. This also works over the maj7 chords as well. If you see any chord, you can imply its dominant over it. It's going to go there anyways.

THE POINT?

You're totally right. Check this out. Let's go to the key of C for ease.

-You see G7#5? That SCREAMS "Whole Tone!"

-You see G7? Go ahead, play WT and imply G7#5!

-You see Abm/maj7? Or any other chord from Ab MM? Well those are all subs for each other, and the most heavily altered chord in there is G7alt. Go ahead and play WT, and imply G7#5!

-You see Cmaj7? Go imply a G7, it's dominant, over it and resolve it (or don't). And Better yet, go play WT and imply G7#5!

You see, this interpretation and reharmonization IN THE SOLO of what's on the page is what makes a great harmonically clear improvisation.

TLDR: A Whole tone scale works over not only any dominant chord, but any place you can imply a dominant chord. This includes any chord in the related MM with respect to the altered/SuperLocrian scale, as well as any destination of said dominant.

Lemme know if that makes sense.

Just because the chord to the song is 'Cmaj' doesn't mean you necessarily have to play anything that resembles Cmaj, only SHADES of C major.

The progression on the page is a series of checkpoints, but you get to drive.
"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
#15
That helps a lot and makes sense. And it's good to see that I was on the right track Thank you a lot for the detailed reply.

I still got to wrap my head around the whole "everything in MM is a substitute for each other" idea. I remember reading that point in JTJ and just thinking "holy shiet". That's one of the things that make me fall in love with music.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#16
^Technically every sound in every scale is a sub, but MM is the only one that is more or less consonant. But that's a whole different extremely advanced harmonic ballgame.

Think of it like this:

When you use MM, you are injecting a familiar chord from major/minor with some new energy and color that you found from this SCALE.

Which group of notes from that scale you use doesn't actually matter, because you aren't creating any kind of tonal (BIG tonal) harmony with MM. You're just adding extra color.
"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
#17
Do an analysis on non-typical jazz instruments in jazz. Like different folk instruments of the world.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#18
^Done!
"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
#19
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Technically every sound in every scale is a sub, but MM is the only one that is more or less consonant.



Thought you didn't like Mark Levine? :-)

As usual, I disagree on the MM (or rather, Jazz minor) not being used for creating tonality. But I obviously agree on how well different JM chords can be re-utilised.

You keep on denying what's happening out there all over the place. Is this Berklee's view these days, or your own take?

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 9, 2015,
#20
Haven't got time this morning for long post, but one of the reasons that Jazz minor works so well is to do with moving its chords around by b3's, (akin to diminished) ... if you try this with m7, rather than m/maj7, that introduces a maj3 against the original root, destroying the original minor flavour,

For example, if you voice Am7 as
3
5
5
7 (omit if bass player is playing A also)
x
x

and move that shape to C, then Eb, then Gbm you'll get the major 3rd of A intoduced by the last 2 chords.

Whereas if you voice A m/maj7 and do the same, you don't get this.

4
5
5
7
x
x

The b3 of A remains ... so makes it much more movable while maintaining the A minor flavour (you can argue same starting from dom chords in JM)

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 9, 2015,
#21
^Well sure, but that's nowhere near as fun!

Once you start planing you aren't just stick to melodic minor (or one scale system) anymore, you're moving through a bunch of different rationales. This obviously isn't true for symmetrical structures like WT and HW/WH.

As far as my take on it goes (a synthesis of a split classical/jazz/education and my own theorizing):

Melodic minor derived harmonies aren't in themselves tonal (again, little T), rather, they replace tonal (major/minor) harmonies. What I mean is:

You give me a chord progression made up of all melodic minor harmonies and what I see is a tonal chord progression replaced with jazzier chords. MM doesn't stand on it's own, it quite literally 'jazzes up' existing major/minor harmony. If that makes sense.

e.g. G7 alt is just regular G7 shaded with MM, Cmaj7#5 is just regular Cmaj7 shaded with MM, Am7b5 (nat.9,11).... etc.

-Painting a house red doesn't change the fact that it is a house, so to speak.

Also I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that part about being in denial, and call us even
"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
#22
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Well sure, but that's nowhere near as fun!

Once you start planing you aren't just stick to melodic minor (or one scale system) anymore, you're moving through a bunch of different rationales. This obviously isn't true for symmetrical structures like WT and HW/WH.

As far as my take on it goes (a synthesis of a split classical/jazz/education and my own theorizing):

Melodic minor derived harmonies aren't in themselves tonal (again, little T), rather, they replace tonal (major/minor) harmonies. What I mean is:

You give me a chord progression made up of all melodic minor harmonies and what I see is a tonal chord progression replaced with jazzier chords. MM doesn't stand on it's own, it quite literally 'jazzes up' existing major/minor harmony. If that makes sense.

e.g. G7 alt is just regular G7 shaded with MM, Cmaj7#5 is just regular Cmaj7 shaded with MM, Am7b5 (nat.9,11).... etc.

-Painting a house red doesn't change the fact that it is a house, so to speak.

Also I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that part about being in denial, and call us even



:-) Each to their own, mate.

cheers, Jerry
#23
^That's the beauty of it!
"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
#25
^Do one on electronic music and how it doesn't have a damn thing to do with being a human being.
"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
^Do one on electronic music and how it doesn't have a damn thing to do with being a human being.


Neither does modern mainstream pop music

But there are a lot of cool electronic styles and musicians out there though. And I feel like it can be used to great effect when blending it with traditional influences. Steven Wilsons newest album uses a lot of electronic stuff, and while I don't expect everyone to enjoy his music, no one can question its objective quality. And there's Guthrie and Theo Travis playing on the same album, which could turn a turd into art rock.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#27
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Do one on electronic music and how it doesn't have a damn thing to do with being a human being.

I could do one on electronic music I guess, but I wouldn't do it about that because it's weird and dumb lol.
#28
^Not literally, just how the music is both unaffected by human performance limitations and also has zero connection or reference to the 'natural' world/experience, necessitating a different mindset while listening/creating.

Blah blah the sound is the composition is the performance blah blah
"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
#29
That's just reminded of another possibility. consonance and dissonance, from a physics/cognitive viewpoint. I read a fascinating old book on this (sound and music), for layman. Talks about beats set up within harmonics of one pitch and the harmonics of another, and the strengths of these beats when the octave, (b3)3, 5 etc are played. Talks about different instruments producing different harmonics, hence different beats, hence creating mayhem with certain combinations of instruments and/or pitches. First time I've seen anything other than the usual one sentence throwaway about the overtone scale in most music theory books.

cheers, Jerry
#30
^ Jerry, that's been thoroughly researched. You just aren't looking in the right places. Just look up french spectralism for example on any academic search engine. It's not really consonance and dissonance though. The technical terms are actually harmonicity and inharmonicity.
The whole concept of tuning an acoustic piano relies on perceiving the beats thorughout its entire range, since you need to stretch the spectrum as you move up hence different beatings.
#31
^Yeah the French have been on that like white on rice since the early 70's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISXd_vQZjnM

Inb4 Zach comes after me for preaching Grisey again.

Other composers worth looking at are Murail, Haas, Chowning, Saariaho, etc.
"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
#32
Quote by Jet Penguin
Saariaho, etc.


That's a finnish name right? Always surprising to see people talk about anyone except sibelius. It often feels like finland has it's own, closed music scene.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#34
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Saariaho, and Rautavaara
Oh, and Mika Immonen.

I've never heard of these notation programs. Are they any gud?

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#35
Quote by Kevätuhri
That's a finnish name right? Always surprising to see people talk about anyone except sibelius. It often feels like finland has it's own, closed music scene.


A like a lot bands are Finnish, such as KYPCK, Thergothon, Skepticism, Wormphlegm, Tyranny, Beherit, Nest, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, Demilich, etc. Good doom and folk metal scenes up there.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#37
Not to mention that Sibelius was a Finland Swedish ;P But the Finnish metal scene is rather nice.
#38
Not true JRF. Elintasokas is Finnish!
"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
#39
Isn't Mag Finnish as well?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#40
^No idea
"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
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