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Discussion Starter #1
As for me:

1. I recently bought a Jazzlab Silencer so I could work on mouthpiece exercises without being thrown out of the house by my wife and pets. So far I'm finding it difficult. It's adds quite a bit of resistance and raises the pitch of the mouthpiece. If I work really hard I can (kind of) hold one note steady without squeaking, but playing other pitches is out of the question for now. It's definitely giving my abs a good workout and taking the Silencer out and playing just the mouthpiece seems easy now in comparison! Maybe that's its true value?

2. I've been working through the book "Voicing" by Donald Sinta. It's a great book, but I'm kind of stuck on the second mode of the overtone series. I can play up to octave-key F(C), but can't seem to get F#(C#) without my reed closing up.

3. "Patterns for Jazz" by Jerry Coker is my go-to book. The title is a bit of a misnomer, as there is now a whole sub-genre now of "pattern" books that give you licks to use for improv, but this is really more of a book of exercises to acquire technique for jazz that takes you through basic arpeggios and scale sequences and forces you to transpose them in all keys. I tend to work through it very slowly, taking maybe six pages and spending a month on them to really get the exercises into my muscle memory. I *might* get all the way through the book before I give up the ghost, but no guarantees!

4. I play in a small jazz combo and practice our setlist with backing tracks.

5. If my face isn't hurting too much already, I work on long tones with a tuner.

How about you?
 

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I start with long tones, work through some scales, do some of the exercises in the Rascher overtones book (the ones I can reach at least!), then I move onto some repertoire. Right now it's Tableaux de Provence and the Glazunov Concerto.
 

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What am I working on right now? Fast close-interval babbling on the baritone.
 

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America the beautiful for church service this morning. If enough of my orchestra shows up, we will do a fairly straight version I put together. If not, it's going to be me adlibbing. I have to lead the worship service today too. So it's going to be a little hectic.
 

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Reeet: Are you working?

) Still working my way through learning the Major scales./QUOTE]

Me too.

Q-note, 'sup Bubba? Mostly I'm learning how to count. It's really hard. I have to think about it... and do it. At the same time.

Also, started a new tune list to learn this year. Close to getting them memorized, able to nail heads & burn a couple choruses of solid lines. Still along ways from being totally relaxed... but I'm getting there. Trying to relax at all costs.

I've been playing a lot every day. Been writing in my note books a lot too. Did I tell you about finding the "Rosetta Stone". It's a piece of manuscript paper from 1973, that my roommate in the Army Band Seth Brody gave me. We were each getting stationed different places overseas, so I ask him to write down some things he was working on. I had been looking at the Slonimsky book, but just the beginning; division of the octave into two parts and the variations of interpolations... 1, 2, or 3 notes... in every key, as much of the range as I had. Didn't get into three and four divisions on the octave until just a few years ago.

It was some hard stuff, but wonderfully hard exercises for transposition of motifs and interval packages. I'm not sure if I understood the bigger picture of how the thesaurus is organized at that point... maybe I did. Seth was into the section about Pan-Diatonic scales/harmonies, and had been telling me I should look at. He scribbled out a bunch of examples and some brief instructions for me and then... poof we were gone.

So. I found this page folded up in a box of music books that I have been carting around for 40 years. Q-note, I should give the box to you!! A ton of great stuff! I'm never going use it, specially the Bb books. I can barely even read Bb anymore.

It was little hard to understand what Seth wrote at first. I guess that is why I don't ever remember working this Pan-Diatonic stuff out. Seth's note at the bottom says.... "blah, blah, you can do this or that, all kinds of permutations... but obviously, you need to write the first examples out in every key to get the hang of it." Obviously.

I can see in the note book that I did start to write some stuff out, but the book ended, so maybe I didn't take it with me to Germany. Now I'm tripping on this stuff really hard. It one of those deals like "The Lick"... once you know what the intervals are for that sound are... you start to hear it in everybody's soloing!!

Of course, I'm still working on my "Sequence Project". Lately focused on what I would call in Slonimsky terms... Equal division of the octave into twelve parts, interpolating one note... or 2-note scales sequenced off the chromatic scale. Have worked my way from interpolating a half step... in each direction... to a whole step, minor and major thirds. Sequence going up, pattern going up... sequence going down, pattern going up. Sequence going up, pattern going down... sequence going down, pattern going down.

Let's see, the other thing I'm..."Thinking about"; because if I can't remember to play it, I won't... is to change the direction of my lines every phrase. It gives lines more shape so it sounds conversational. i stumbled on a cheap trick using triad pairs and or tritone pairs, where I use #A of the pair in the bottom octave and #B of the pair on top. Then reverse and alternate the order so they can be played in circles while alternated A to B patterns too... up and down back and forth. Then I discovered I can alternate the direction of that last two notes of the motif for even more hypnotic effects.

In every key. Practicing really slowly. A total chop and knuckle buster. Long tones are soo overrated.

I realized that closely related keys... plus or minus one sharp or flat either direction in the circle... share a common element of the two pairs. It's nice to be able "fold" one key into the next. Works flawlessly on the blues!

And of course, I spend ridiculous amounts of time playing the 3 Note Game up and down chromatically in two and four beat rhythmic packages. Also working out the five note game using all the pentatonics. I call it the Trane Game. haha

Most of the time, I woof a giant spliff and try to relax. Relaxing is the key. Relax and think about what you want to hear. Your fingers can already play anything you can think of... it's mostly that there is nothing in your brain to think about yet. You can't hear it yet. Or it would be coming out already.


Just like I can't play time if I don't count.



Q? Got your tickets for the blues festival? If nothing else, my Uncle Dave is hosting the after hours jams for three nights at the Hotel Rose across form the Morrison Bridge on Naito. No cover, insane hang. Did you see Kenny Garrett Thursday night? I heard though my homey King Louis that the folks who ended up with the Jimmy Macs deal that folded, are opening a new jazz club.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"Q? Got your tickets for the blues festival? If nothing else, my Uncle Dave is hosting the after hours jams for three nights at the Hotel Rose across form the Morrison Bridge on Naito. No cover, insane hang. Did you see Kenny Garrett Thursday night? I heard though my homey King Louis that the folks who ended up with the Jimmy Macs deal that folded, are opening a new jazz club."

Hey Clary!

Good to hear from you. Will send you an e-mail...
 

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... good to hear about your mouthpiece experiments. I saved up all my lunch money for a new 6* Link Tone Edge. Works great for $106 & free shipping! Didn't change my sound, still sounds like me. Good that your recording yourself. It's brutal listening back sometimes... a lot of the time... but recording keeps it real. What's the line, "Tape don't lie." I am out of the habit of recording for a while... the tunes I'm working on are so hard I sound horrible. Maybe in a few months.

I have to forget that I'm recording so I can get in the zone, be relaxed, listen to what is coming out. When I get focused on playing... sometimes I forget I'm recording... so if I can't quite pull my idea off... I stop to go back to fix it, or start practicing at the flub. Blew that take. Hard to get a clean take unless I have a plan... Intro, head, 2 choruses, head and coda. Don't stop, fake it if you have brain fade, but mow through it. It's frustrating to get all the way through something, good solo and you forget to take the second ending or honk out a big wrong note or a note doesn't speak. AHHH! And if I don't get it in three takes, it ain't never gonna happen either. Recording eats a ton of time. Worth it if you have time to burn. Same with transcribing.
 

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Altered scales, melodic minor modes....Tom Harrell's Sail Away....
 

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Finding every interesting(4 me) piano voicing I can and taking it to the horn. I am working on McCoy Tyner and Red Garland right now.
 

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Heading off to St Louis for the Webster U Jazz camp.

Other than that I’m working on overall technical facility wth Klose and Rascher, working on projection in the lower register on tenor and cleaner LH cluster overall with scales at slow tempos. Articulation on scales and arpeggios, and altissimo.

I’m not doing a huge expansion on tunes right now, I’m focusing on building tempo on some of the “standard standards” that are generally played up tempo.

Oh yeah and developing a tone on alto.
 

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Let us/me know how that camp goes for you. I graduated UMSL in 1980 and played in Bob Kubans band among others. goos luck K
Heading off to St Louis for the Webster U Jazz camp.

Other than that I’m working on overall technical facility wth Klose and Rascher, working on projection in the lower register on tenor and cleaner LH cluster overall with scales at slow tempos. Articulation on scales and arpeggios, and altissimo.

I’m not doing a huge expansion on tunes right now, I’m focusing on building tempo on some of the “standard standards” that are generally played up tempo.

Oh yeah and developing a tone on alto.
 

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Aside from the usual stuff (ii-Vs, tunes, arpeggios, scales, blues 'catharsis,' general messing around), I've been working on some diminished scale patterns and figuring out how to use them over their related dominant chords and getting them to resolve within the melody line. Trying to make them usable and useful in a solo. Simply because I really like the diminished sound and want to find a practical use for it that 'works.' Time will tell.
 

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Keith,

More than anything else, getting immersed in music for a solid week will be good for me... Being an older participant I’m sure I’ll stick out like a sore thumb and don’t care :). Like everyone else, I’m going to get better!
 

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I'm working on Bird's "Warming Up a Riff" which is based on Cherokee changes. I've transcribed it by ear and now I'm playing through it and taking phrases from it I like, analysing it over the chord in my head, then taking it through the keys.
 

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Re: Reeet: Are you working?

I've got my usual fairly rigid routine... tone drills, finger drills, tonguing drills, vocabulary (scales), reading, rhythm and repertoire/improv. Right now the fun stuff that I spend most time focusing on is vocabulary and repertoire. I do the major scales and some patterns, but the unfamiliar pattern I'm working on right now is pentatonic scales in triads, specifically working on going up and down the scale alternating between descending and ascending triads. I shed that out through the keys and also work on using it in improvisation on the tunes I'm working on. This week it's brushing up on the melody of Simone, the changes of Yes Or No and Locomotion, and the whole thing of Straight Street, which I always seem to give up on before I've got it memorized. NOT THIS TIME! LOL

Let's see, the other thing I'm..."Thinking about"; because if I can't remember to play it, I won't... is to change the direction of my lines every phrase. It gives lines more shape so it sounds conversational. i stumbled on a cheap trick using triad pairs and or tritone pairs, where I use #A of the pair in the bottom octave and #B of the pair on top. Then reverse and alternate the order so they can be played in circles while alternated A to B patterns too... up and down back and forth. Then I discovered I can alternate the direction of that last two notes of the motif for even more hypnotic effects.

In every key. Practicing really slowly. A total chop and knuckle buster. Long tones are soo overrated.

I realized that closely related keys... plus or minus one sharp or flat either direction in the circle... share a common element of the two pairs. It's nice to be able "fold" one key into the next. Works flawlessly on the blues!
Can you explain the traid pair process a little more? It sounds interesting, but I don't understand what you're saying 100%. Maybe a specific example of a pair?

And of course, I spend ridiculous amounts of time playing the 3 Note Game up and down chromatically in two and four beat rhythmic packages. Also working out the five note game using all the pentatonics. I call it the Trane Game. haha
What's the 3 note game and the 5 note game? Spill the beans! You've got good stuff going on!
 

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Just spent 4 days at the 31st annual Waterfront Blues Festival here in Poortland, Orygun. They say it's the biggest festival west of the Mississippi. Maybe Chicago is bigger and the Heritage fest in NOLA is for sure. Over a 100 bands, 1000 musicians, 4 stages... right downtown, in a big natural grass bowl facing the river, with views of snow capped Mt. Hood in the distance. 10 minutes from home. Unreal great weather, spectacular views of the river & bridges, scantily clad women dancing. I poured on sunscreen and still got a nice tan!



It was great to take some days off from my routine. Yesterday I had to take a day off from 4 days of getting baked inside and out. Can't wait to pick up the horn again. Got my horn out and strapped on a reed yesterday, but took a nap instead. I have been going to this thing since 1987 and survived two 5 day festivals! 4 days is about the maximum any music fan can take. On paper it looks like fun, back to back to back great artists! But it takes an amount of energy to pay attention, listen and experience an hour performance.

Most if not all of the sets were on fire and the emotional climaxes that many of these artists ended their performance with, would leave any music fan fulfilled. Normally I would would walk out of a club or concert, thinking wow that was great, and get to digest what I experienced. But here you turn around and there are at least two other stages starting up again. There were a few name-brand groups that i just couldn't get to, and some bands that I only watched half a set, then went off to another stage to see something I didn't want to miss.

End of the first 10 hour day I was already sonically abraded and emotionally pummeled. The last days line up was packed back to back great shows. You would think that it would be hard to burn out on listening to music, but I ODed. I didn't drink anything but water, brought a bunch of good food... just to survive! Like I said, I had to take a day off to nap yesterday.

A couple observations; There are a bunch of horrible saxophone players working in touring bands. Sometimes it's embarrassing. I mean I feel bad for them to get up in front of a huge audience and suck. There were just as many horrible guitar players too... sorry I won't go there. It seemed to me that best 5 or 6 sax players were all local PDX cats. The worst set was the closing headliner, George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Talking to blues fans, everyone was really excited to see these guys. I saw George Thorogood at Fillmore West in '69 or '70... and I thought he was a horrible joke back then. The noise that they made for the "intro" to the first tune was not recognizable as being musical or even in a key system. All I could take was a couple songs. The first tenor solo was so lame and obnoxious, I had to leave! I went to see Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. As I walked away, Old George, finished destroying and tune said; "I'm so full of Bull S&!#... that sometimes even I don't believe it!" At least he is honest.

There ain't no party line a Chubby party! haha They were just crushing it, with hundreds of people on a real dance floor. The first dozen or so years, I didn't know anything about Zydeco or the Cajun and Creole culture. I didn't really like Zydeco, it all sounded the same, but six years ago I heard Chubby and some other Louisiana Road House bands like Cory Ledet & his Zydeco Band, Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express and Dexter Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers. Seriously Badd juke-joint groove merchants!

One of my favorite "touring bands" was a group called Motet, whose groove intensive set really seemed to connect with the audience in the same way, but in a modern funk genre. Still, there were local musicians featured in combinations that we don't normally see at gigs... who I would stack up with any of the national touring groups. We are so lucky to have a great music scene here. Please don't move here though.



Dan... our buddy Keith Ridenhour, started a thread a couple years ago, about playing root third seventh in every key, in different combinations. I used his idea of playing C E Bb (C7), in some kind of rhythmic package... for two beats or four beats... mix up the order of notes, invert the intervals. You know, up and down chromatically, around the circle both ways, up and down in whole steps, minor thirds, major thirds.

I remembered you talking about transposing licks and motifs into every key... you said, short or shorter motifs are easier to learn and play, easier to put into general improvisational use... than some convoluted four bar Breckerism. I don't remember if Keith called them 3 note games, or if it was me sheding on the pedestrian over-crossing over the interstate. Man, I can make all the horrible noise I want out there, and watch the automotive circus. haha

Three notes is pretty short. I guess I could think of a two note motif... but wouldn't it just be a tritone? ... because any other intervals would just sound consonant, parallel and not "progressive", as in function towards resolution. Unless that is a sound color effect you want to paint with.

I want to say; Listen to my Chris Potter bootleg, that I made at Kuumbwa Jazz Center a couple years ago... ALL will be revealed... as it was to me. haha Dood, I know YOU have ears!

Where do I start to explain? When the bottom fell out of the real estate market during the depression, I lost my contracting business, cabinet shop, house, garage full of toys, guitars and horns. So, right now I stay in a pretty cool place. It is small, so that most of my "Stuff" is in deep storage. I don't have to take care of anything so I can travel, go and come back whenever I want. I'm living on $1,100 a month... not that high on the hog. As long as nothing goes wrong, I can fake being normal.

So, i broke a rocker arm on my 44 year old truck coming back from a jam in the middle of the night two weeks ago. My engine is in a hundred piece and am waiting on my machinist to rebuild my head. It will prolly run for another 44 years... I won't. My crappy cell phone died, one thing after another has disintegrated in slow motion right in front of me. So far this year, one of my friends has passed away every month. Just got another e-mail in July... Hey, did you hear about Henry? You know it's not good when they start like that.

I'm typing on the 3rd nice MacBook laptop that someone has given me. None of them will run a current browser, so they will only load pages from sites with no flash players or old software like this forum. Can't load Facebook, craigslist and the worst for me is I can't get to NoteFlight. I have been transcribing my notebooks and writing tunes online, because it's free. It's cool because it will play back what I write.

I wish I could get to NoteFlight, so I could post links to my notebook examples and sequence stuff... you should be able to hear the notation with their player. A writer friend bought a new MacBook Air, but for some reason it is not working out, so she got different machine. I'm supposed to inherit the new Mac, but like I said, truck is in pieces or I would have a computer that will let me work online.


I have begun to write examples of ways to sequence any kind of scale, and ways to "manufacture" patterns/motifs used to sequence. It came out of conversations with a guitar player i grew up with, who has lived in London for 40 years. i got tired of him asking me; "What are you working on?" So I tried to go back to remember how I got to where I am now. I'd just bury him with page of examples...

MrBlueNote! I gave you the first half dozen pages of the Sequence Project last year!!! Did you ever look at that stuff? Did you ever work out the Circular licks/Sequence over a pedal point on page 9? I heard some gitar whacker quote that sh!+ over the blues the other day... I laughed so hard!

This "bury them with material must have backfired"... my friend never really worked any of the stuff out... after I spent hours trying to organize the material for him. I guess he realized pretty quickly that you have to actually shed this stuff for it to pay off. It's all in one key, so it's up to you to transpose. Too much like endless work unless you have a reason to add the material to your internal melodic/lick library.

Another thing is that I'm in this for the long haul. I don't particularly want to work as a musician or even perform... got it our of my system in my 20's. I learn, experiment and understand how to apply things at my own pace. I'm pretty happy as long as i get to play every day and chop away at tunes. My friend probably thought... wow, it's going to take me a year to learn each page!!!

Which was probably about right. The thing is... I sent this stuff to him ten years ago... like I gave MrQnote pages last year... have you finished Page 1 yet Bub? In ten years he could have worked my first ten pages out. I did.

I think the reason I failed, was not getting Git Wacker to understand the reason to work out sequences, is not to learn impressive lines... but to open your ears up... make your mind's ear identify intervals autonomically. I'm hoping someday soon to catch up to the things I'm writing in my notebook and working on right now, entered into NoteFlight notation.

So regarding the tritone pairs and triad pairs; it's a compositional device that you want to know about. Not the nuts and bolts of the patterns and their variations. Patterns is patterns is patterns. They sound like patterns... just like playing Breckerisms make you sound like some fool who worked real hard to sound like Brecker. The "Glue" that holds that patterns together is sequences, and the trick to making melodic lines that don't sound like obvious patterns, is a working knowledge of what I would call functional devices.

As in Slonimsky, play pattern forward, retrograde, inverted and retrograde inversions... then sequence those variations of the pattern using any kind of scale or scale/chord... finally if you have enough space in time like a one chord funk groove... sequence the sequences.

That's the $100 sax lesson right there Bubba! Give me some time to get on NoteFlight.

I'm working on being poor... and living a life money can't buy. I stand on the over crossing where thousand of people who are driving to work on the freeway see Tenorcat playing the horn...
 
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