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Oleo - Getting ready for auditions

1566 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Jazz House
Hi Everyone!

I am pleased to say I have graduated. No more school :). Anyway, I am getting ready for auditions at the WAAPA, Monash and Sydney. They start next week. PLenty of travel ahead.

Anyway, I thought I would post a clip of me playing Oleo solo. It's must me and a tiny bit of reverb. Apologies for the slightly wonky timing. I don't play alone that much. (Probably should) :twisted:

Any advice ahead of auditions would be appreciated!

Anyway, enjoy the clip (I hope). Here is the link to my Soundclick. Oleo - 2011
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Sounds great! I dig your tone, and your time feel is good (swingin), though I feel like the beat itself gets a bit obscured at one or two points. If I had to give advice, I'd say to always shed with the metronome and practice doing that at obscenely slow tempos for great lengths of time (think like 20 choruses at 50-70bpm). This will greatly improve your perception of the beat and help you to play more spontaneously at any tempo. Also, I'd try to differentiate a bit more between the choruses. If you're gonna do a few choruses, have a reason to keep going. Just staying in the exact same vibe is cool for one or two, but it's more fun to build if you try a different tack over the same changes. Not that your solo was egregiously monotonous... I enjoyed it. I just think it could have changed up a bit more. For example, try a new harmonic approach (extended sub V7s is a cool sound, or a triadic pair over the A section), or a different rhythmic idea (one that works to great effect is to play a low root for a beat and then an 8th note phrase as a response, and keep it up for a section like, "BOP! 2, 3, blase blase blase blase 4 BOP! 2 tri-pl-et blase blah, blase blase 4 BOP..." LOL)
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Triadic pairs are a pretty simple concept but can be a bit awkward under the fingers. Bergonzi has a whole book of exercises devoted to the idea, which he calls hexatonics (six note scales). Basically, you can take any two triads, the same quality or different, and experiment with limiting yourself to those tones. For example, a strong, distinct sounding pair that doesn't sound terrible is two major triads a whole step apart. Experiment with different patterns like two notes from one chord, then three from the other, etc. Can be used to great effect, but it is a very strong sound. Another strong pair is two major triads a tritone apart. Try an approach like G up to B up to D down to C# down to G# up to E#, etc. The key is to play intervallically in order to highlight the two triads instead of just making a scale out of them. You have to be careful not to overdo it though, because you can easily destroy the underlying harmony of the tune with a technique like this, especially playing solo. It's a cool effect, though.
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Oh, and the key to the slow improv thing is not to play that tempo like a ballad. Rather, imagine that you are playing up-tempo, but that you've slowed your mental tape down 2 or 4 times. Try to think of up-tempo ideas, play with a straighter up-tempo feel, even record it and speed up the recording for playback to see how it's sounding. I got this from Jon Klopotowski's book, "A Jazz Life," about his studies with Warne Marsh. PHENOMENAL book. Read it. For some examples of recordings done this way, check out Tristano on All The Things You Are, and I believe there are a few Les Paul recordings like this, too. Really cool guitar sound when it's sped up, too.
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