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Hello,

I play with a gospel/funk/blues/smooth jazz type sound but I've been wanting to better understand the "outside" jazz sound.
I hear players move into this sound often......Here's a clip that demonstrates kind of the sound that I hear others getting but don't fully grasp the concept behind getting that sound. .....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obyN-HF2sZc .......From about 1:05 to 3:05, this guy is using scales/sounds that I would like to achieve and understand better.
I would like to better understand the devices such as diminished scales, etc that seem to be used to achieve this sound.
I want to add this sound to my playing but want to fully understand it and not just approach it from a chromatic approach.
I want to be able to go from melody or from a funk/blues/smooth sound in improv and move out to this sound but I want to understand the concept and not just randomly lay altered scales over chords.
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! One can only learn by asking questions and inquiring so I'm open to any input anyone wants to give.

Many Thanks!
 

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My thoughts; listen to Coltrane, get a transcription of Giant Steps, then listen to more Coltrane to give it musical perspective.
I suggest "musical perspective" because I feel that too much advanced theory and technique is stuck into music where it serves little or no musical purpose, is not musical, carries no meaning or emotion, and may not even carry any musical intent on the part of the player.
Coltrane isn't the only source, but he seems to have served a higher calling.
 

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Buy Transcribe, download DVDVIDEOSOFT, record an artist that is doing what you dig. Slow it down get that phrase under your fingers, learn the harmony beneath phrase you dig. Play the harmonic sequence on the piano and break that phrase down every which way imaginable. Once you do this religiously with everything you hear, you will start to understand what's happening.
 

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As you stated (more or less), 'outside' playing is a combination of certain intervals/modes and a certain way of playing. Either one without the other does nothing. Generally, the 'way of playing' I mean is a discipline in which precise articulation and intonation are abandoned. Plus, the players most often use a certain type of mouthpiece with more resistance along with a harder reed, to remove any trace of 'lushness' and instill a sense of 'stridency' or 'urgency' into the sound. It comes pretty naturally to those who learn to think that way.
 

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As you stated (more or less), 'outside' playing is a combination of certain intervals/modes and a certain way of playing. Either one without the other does nothing. Generally, the 'way of playing' I mean is a discipline in which precise articulation and intonation are abandoned. Plus, the players most often use a certain type of mouthpiece with more resistance along with a harder reed, to remove any trace of 'lushness' and instill a sense of 'stridency' or 'urgency' into the sound. It comes pretty naturally to those who learn to think that way.
I'm not sure I understand your post? What do you mean by "articulation and intonation are abandoned" and what does a harder reed and certain type of mouthpiece have to do with playing outside?


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Wow, nice fresh approach to a Standard tune!

There's a clear Coltrane influence to his approach. It's outside, and yet not really outside, because he resolves the 'outside' notes logically. Check out his solo performance on youtube of 'It could Happen to You'. He can definitely play inside. He knows the horn, and harmony.
 

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Some of the intervallic stuff sounds really diatonic to me. Starting around 1:22 I'm talking...definitely gets exotic sounding after that but I'm not sure if he's sideslipping or doing some scale substitution...Very hard to say without slowing a lot of this down and getting the notes...

Hakukani - great call on the the It Could Happen to You...I actually like that one better than just blowing all the crazy chops in the other clip. Nice to hear some melody...
 

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My 2 cents.

Something has to be in first before than can be an outside, otherwise it sounds a bit undefined.

If the phrasing and motion and flow don't sound like they are going somewhere and have a destination, then it can sound undefined.

Outside playing is very phrase and resolution dependent because when someone goes outside the notes don't have a strong "in" relationship with the harmony, so something else has to come to the fore and takeover, which is usually phrasing and resolution and intent and attitude and there is also the resolution bringing it back in, and it could include multiple outside/resolution bits even in one phrase.

By attitude, I mean knowing where you are going and force your way there with your phrasing using outside notes/patterns.

Allan Holdsworth goes outside quite a bit and he says it's basically in the phrasing and if he's got the phrasing in context then the notes don't matter much.
 

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This is a simple example for guitar, but it's the same for any instrument.

He talks about the phrasing and resolution of the outside notes and possibly when to go outside.

Someone really needs to feel the tension and release caused by going outside then back in, to be able to use it where they want tension and release.

 

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Hello,

I play with a gospel/funk/blues/smooth jazz type sound but I've been wanting to better understand the "outside" jazz sound.
I hear players move into this sound often......Here's a clip that demonstrates kind of the sound that I hear others getting but don't fully grasp the concept behind getting that sound. .....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obyN-HF2sZc .......From about 1:05 to 3:05, this guy is using scales/sounds that I would like to achieve and understand better.
I would like to better understand the devices such as diminished scales, etc that seem to be used to achieve this sound.
I want to add this sound to my playing but want to fully understand it and not just approach it from a chromatic approach.
I want to be able to go from melody or from a funk/blues/smooth sound in improv and move out to this sound but I want to understand the concept and not just randomly lay altered scales over chords.
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! One can only learn by asking questions and inquiring so I'm open to any input anyone wants to give.

Many Thanks!

This guy is just playing the "wrong" scales in the right way

;-)
 

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Funny, as soon as I read the words "Outside Sound", I was going to recommend studying Wayne Krantz. When I actually listened to Chad playing on Summertime, I'm almost positive that Wayne was a huge influence. I posted a comment on the video asking as much, so hopefully we'll get a response.

If there is one "Bible" to outside playing, it would have to be "An Improviser's OS" by Wayne Krantz. Wayne is an incredibly innovative jazz guitarist who has some pretty deep ideas on the subjects of improvisation, outside playing, and chromaticism. And honestly, in order to learn outside playing, it's best to follow the advice of our friends in the rhythm section. A good rhythm section player will know how to play chords that are "outside", but still compliment the tonal center. As saxophonists, we are naturally trying to find something that's lyrical and melodic. As such, guitarists, pianists, and bassists have a huge advantage when it comes to playing outside, even though it was Coltrane who, arguably, started this "trane of thought" (pun intended). That said, there is a certain lack of thinking when it comes to playing outside. As opposed to falling back to a bunch of stock licks in your goody bag, it actually works better when you play cat and mouse with the other members of your band. Meaning, if the keyboards or guitar start going off into using altered chords, follow them by using your ears. They will, or at least should, do the same with you if you choose to play outside first.

As with any new scale, chord progression, or style, you have to internalize and feel comfortable with the sound you're going for. Start listening to the masters of outside playing. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend checking out;

-Wayne Krantz
-Mike Stern
-Herbie Hancock (Virtually anything off of Head Hunters)
-John Mclaughlin
-John Coltrane
-Tim Reynolds
-Charlie Parker (Bit of a stretch here, but the bebop movement was the precursor to outside playing. I would take a good hard look at Koko in particular)

Also, start discussing this with the rhythm section that you are working with. Get inside their heads in order to know how they break away, and how they bring themselves back in. Knowing how they "tick" will help you with knowing how to resolve back to the tonal center.
 

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First off, thanks for hipping me to that guy... another one pops out of the woodwork! Music is a great thing.

Sax4, you seem to have some presupposed ideas, uh or pre conceived notions... he didn't seem to start getting outside until a chorus or so. You know there is a tritone interval contained in the diatonic pattern, right in there between the natural halfsteps? It is the most dissonant interval, but it is solidly inside the tonality. How do you know the dissonance is outside? You haven't transcribed it and anal-ized it yet?? How do you know that the concept really IS to just randomly lay altered scales over chords?

Saxpieces line; Allan Holdsworth goes outside quite a bit and he says it's basically in the phrasing and if he's got the phrasing in context then the notes don't matter much.

Zahiir is giving it to you straight man

I seemed to hear him to be playing pan-diatonic sequences and then ....

You know, all the answers to your questions are right there to listen to. Rip that sucker oFF baBY! He is a good time player and the solo seem really well constructed, logical, it should be easy to write down.

I hear that once he established his take on a diatonic sound, he started to use subs in the same sequence pattern to start to get out and then...

Well we are just generalizing here right? I mean trying to talk about this stuff. Talk to you, about what I hear? You need to hear it. You need to be able to go, 'Oh yeah, there he goes running a short rootless motif through a phrase, then inverted it on the next phrase, then he sequenced the same notes against a pedal point!!!" Right? It's like being the play by play announcer for a basketball game, describing compositional techniques in time.

We use words to convey the function of harmony counterpoint, describe compositional ideas tools devices. It ain't the funk man. The glue that holds stuff together. Just words.

There is so much going on or not going on phrase to phrase... you got your work cut out for you. Dig in, write it down, play along. All will be revealed when you can both listen and hear.
 

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I only listened to about 20 seconds of Chad's solo and I can tell you that he is basically just transposing ideas that he is playing into different keys. The most dissonant outside sound is transposing an idea up or down a half step. For example, play 1235 using the G Maj scale, then play 1235 using the G#Maj scale or the F#Maj scale.
This only is effective or recommended when you go outside the changes, but come back inside the changes. Tension and Release.
I realize that quite a few people have already addressed his answer. I feel that it always helps to explain it with different words to help somebody to better understand.
 

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Some of the intervallic stuff sounds really diatonic to me. Starting around 1:22 I'm talking...definitely gets exotic sounding after that but I'm not sure if he's sideslipping or doing some scale substitution...Very hard to say without slowing a lot of this down and getting the notes...

Hakukani - great call on the the It Could Happen to You...I actually like that one better than just blowing all the crazy chops in the other clip. Nice to hear some melody...
+1 on It Could Happen to You, I liked it a lot; and (I think) it is worlds better than the Summertime cut.
Having listened primarily to the post 1960 Coltrane and related stuff for the last 28 years, as well as some of the Folkways and other recordings of pre-Western-influenced non Western music, I don't hear it as "dissonant" or "out". I know how those terms are applied, but it seems like after decades of transcription and analysis in mainstream music education, the terms "out" and "dissonant" are no longer applicable.
As a musical illiterate, my perception of a successful piece like ICHtY is there are different parts woven together, separated by rhythmic and dynamic accents, placing a melody (or melodies) above, along with different rhythm section parts, that just happen to be played on one instrument.
Coltrane was quoted as saying "I'm just trying to find that one simple line", and often it seems to be floating amongst the barrage of notes.
While a huge amount of intellectually creative thought preceded the playing, I suspect that a lot of the notes are there to map out a sequence of centers, and that for us to now understand the map as the destination, that one simple line may be lost.
There may be musical content hidden in the Summertime recording that either Chad failed to clarify or I failed to grasp.
I'm pretty sure that it is common to put what fsaxwas9 referred to as "just blowing all those crazy chops", into a piece of music, and not actually include any pertinent musical content.
Maybe that would be more correctly (to me) termed as "out", if it has no musical connection to a piece beyond it's having been practiced and rationalized over and over by the musician playing the song. OTOH, if it serves a familiar purpose, we don't have to know what it is to know it when we see it.
And explaining it doesn't make it anything that it wasn't already.
 

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The best way to approach "oUtSiDe" playing is to very clearly understand what you consider inside. Seriously. Then analyze one "oUtSiDe" note at a time. Transcribing licks either up or down a half step will give you a taste for it. But good time and phrasing are critical to "selling" it.

Think of music as a balance of RHYTHM-MELODY-HARMONY. If you want to stray oUtSiDe of HARMONY then your RHYTHM and MELODY have to be that much stronger to support it.
 

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The same goes for time.
The best way to approach "oUtSiDe" playing is to very clearly understand what you consider inside. Seriously. Then analyze one "oUtSiDe" note at a time. Transcribing licks either up or down a half step will give you a taste for it. But good time and phrasing are critical to "selling" it.

Think of music as a balance of RHYTHM-MELODY-HARMONY. If you want to stray oUtSiDe of HARMONY then your RHYTHM and MELODY have to be that much stronger to support it.
 

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SuperAction80 said:
Funny, as soon as I read the words "Outside Sound", I was going to recommend studying Wayne Krantz. When I actually listened to Chad playing on Summertime, I'm almost positive that Wayne was a huge influence. I posted a comment on the video asking as much, so hopefully we'll get a response.
View attachment 43623
:bluewink:
 

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You have to know how to navigate the inside harmony as well as you can navigate your house in the pitch darkness. If/when you can do that well enough, outside playing is just your own way to introduce variation to what you could then say is "mundane" (in a non-pejorative way). Maybe a better way to say it is think of your favorite place to go in your home town (or the grocery store). What is the usual, or maybe the most direct route? But you know your home town pretty well so think of how many other ways you can think of the get to the same place. To me that's like outside playing. I hope I don't sound like a blathering idiot... :)
 

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Wow, nice fresh approach to a Standard tune!

There's a clear Coltrane influence to his approach. It's outside, and yet not really outside, because he resolves the 'outside' notes logically. Check out his solo performance on youtube of 'It could Happen to You'. He can definitely play inside. He knows the horn, and harmony.
To play Coltrane changes over any tune is rooting in being a solid "inside" player. You have to master both the execution and hearing of these changes (which are basically ii-V7s descending in major thirds), or any other set of changes or alternate chords you might choose to superimpose over another set of changes (or vamp).
 
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