Thank you! Still playing with different light settings in every video. I really am loving the tenor though, and Maybe someday soon I'll be able to fly around this tune even better!Nice, Dig the lights too! Blue Monk is a fun tune to play and you';re sounding right at home on that new axe already.
Thanks Lionel, so I have a similar set of changes for my tune. And it still looks like a concert Bb blues with some small changes, which would be C blues on tenor. I figured focusing on the the dim chord and some of the other chord tones while playing the C min blues scale would work, but it didn't sound right over the backing, have to depart from it to make this recording.Hi !
Bb7 / Eb7 / Bb7 / Bb7
Eb7 / E dim / Bb7 / Bb7 or G7
C-7 / F7 / Bb7 / F7
There can be some turnarounds time to time but basically, I think it's just this.
Thanks mdavej! I've actually been focusing a lot on trying to voice lead. Just saw a great youtube lesson on that and following the 3rds/7ths and how they move half steps. I was trying to focus on the Bb because my dumb brain messed up my chord spelling and I thought Bb was the fifth of F7 for some stupid reason. Gonna focus on the E/Eb(7th/3rd C/F) and A/Bb(3rd/7th F/C). I'll rework some of my ideas to fix that whole issue!Really coming along. Very nice sound on the low end. High end is very respectable, but work on your attacks up there so you get the chirps and squeaks under control.
Here's what I would do next in terms of improv:
- Learn the 3rds and 7ths of each chord, so you can play them instantly, and aim for those when the chords change. For example, going from C7 to F7, make the transition of the E in the C chord to the Eb in the F chord or the Bb in the C chord to the A in the F chord. If the listener doesn't hear these changing, it sounds wrong. This is what's called "voice leading". You shouldn't lay on the Bb for example, when going from C to F because that's the 4th of F, and it wants to resolve to a chord tone.
- You're swinging hard, but it can come off as hokey if it's too much of a triplet feel and over-articulated. Try tonguing only the off beats and see how that makes it sound more hip. You can sparingly tongue on the beats at the beginnings of phrases and direction changes. If you listen closely to the masters, that's what they do.
That said, you're doing great. These are just the stages all beginners go through. Above all, keep having fun.
Thanks for stopping by! Very great advice, and yeah, I do need to do more ear playing. I can work out pretty easily most simple heads just by ear - but its not a seamless transition like for many good players. Solos and faster heads are painful process. So there's lots of ear training that needs to be done.OK, I'm gong to stick my beak in, but you probably won't like what's said. If you're continually trying to think in terms of playing structurally/technically you're "translating" rather than hearing and playing a line that comes from you. Can you sing/hum the head? (being in tune or having a good voice doesn't matter). Can you now sing variations on that as a improvisation? OK if you can, that's YOU improvising. If you can play what you just sang, then you're on your way. If you can't then there is a major disconnect between you and the instrument which could take quite some time to remedy. If you can't hear what you're playing what's coming from you? Playing an improvisation is your composing in real time. If you're just trying to run memorized licks and arpeggios by formulae and finger memory, what part of that comes from you? There is a problem in teaching jazz and it starts with teaching via a technical approach in which the player doesn't connect to what they are playing and instead "operate" a sax as though it's calculator solving a formulae instead of a musical instrument. Music is an art form, not a calculation or equation to be solved. It's communication in which a player tells stories, gives emotions and tries to give an experience to a listener. Playing technically and trying to impress on the basis of some degree of technical achievement when you can't hear what you were playing before it comes out of your horn is non-communication.
Do you need to learn basics? Yes of course, and in that process you should be learning to sync your hands to your instrument so that you can play what's in your head. If you can't play simple tunes by ear or a close approximation after hearing a tune, then that's where you should be working. You also need a big mental library of music that you can draw on to HEAR lines to play...which isn't the same as memorizing patterns that may sound OK according to reading a chart, but you haven't a clue what it will sound like.
If the extent of your desire to play sax is simply to "ape" what others have done via formulae then you will never become a real player. The music has to come from within you, not via worn out technical patterns that communicate nothing.
Absolutely agreeing with you here! Trying to use all the tools at my disposal. However, my favorite goal is to be able to fluidly and accurately play what I hear in my head without hindrance. I have a long journey ahead, but training my ears more will be a huge step along the journey and I will strive to do more ear only playing. Thank youSo glad you've taken the advice positively. It sounds like you're trying to balance your approach. Only comment would be that you "wrote the first two choruses by singing patterns and playing them." It's excellent that you realized that the improvisation should come from you, but by writing this out you've put it back into a visual rather than ear/head to hands exercise. Strive to sync what you hear to your hands. It's a slow process that is unfortunately shunned by a teaching industry that is based on visual learning, but will eventually get you where you want to go a a creative REAL improviser. By all means learn the academic stuff, but when it comes to improvisation if you can hear the music, the object is to play what you hear and not a lot of technical formulated drivel.
Thanks for checking it out! Yeah I noticed I was a ways off beat, and it didn't sound great for the head. The octave drop is particularly missing from this key... because it would be a low A or G (can't remember which, just remember it was off the low end). Its also in the style of Dexter Gordon's take, where he excluded the octave drop as well. I've been listening to a lot, and I believe you're right in that I made too far a departure from the original. I've actually started preparing to play along with a few recordings (Dexter Gordon and a few others for sure). I'll continue to work on the head (my realbook isn't great) and see if I can come up with something more like the original.I know you're mostly doing this to work on improv, but I highly recommend listening to a recorded version of this and getting a better grasp on the melody. No sheet music. Sing and play it over and over again with and without the album until you can play it exactly like Monk and his cats. Then play it in every key. When you're the only one playing the head you can mess around with interpretation a little bit and people don't mind, but if you play this tune with anyone else what you've recorded so far won't fit with the rest of the group. I also recommend listening to and playing along with blues form tunes. You're playing so far behind the beat that you're out of time...especially on the melody. The day one melody was missing some important things (the octave drop...), but it was much closer to the real thing than this last take.