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Transcription: Licks vs Solos

13

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  • edited April 2023 Posts: 4,799

    @tbleen what's CCQ? I'd like to check it out if it's a band...

    That AI response sounds exactly like a certain jazzer who's channel I follow, I could totally hear the guy's voice when reading that. Which is not to say he's using the chatbot to script his videos but oftentimes I listen to him and think "man could you be more to the point...". Like with each sentence I have to stop and think about what I just heard. But maybe I'm just slow. Anyway, with that kind of AI response, we're in trouble.

    Lastly, I'm just gonna come out and admit it: I'm ok with generic and copy and paste and stitching together and the like. For far too long I just lingered not getting anywhere with my improvising because I had no idea how to get to a place of spontaneous melodies creating. I could compose a nice solo and do it fairly quickly, but forget about improvising it. In my mind it's the only way, to actually go through the faze similar to what I admitted to above. Because for me, it's finally getting me to a point of having a command of the fretboard and being able to play over the song while having a clear path ahead. Long term goal is to marry the two at some point of my life, being able to compose nice sounding solos while playing in real time. Which also I'm aware may never happen the way I'm ideally visualizing.

    There was a player at Django in June, a monster player, love his playing and tone and precision etc...who said his playing isn't really improvising, he's only following a familiar path. Which is what I'm doing at this point. Everybody in the class was shocked because this guy sounds so great. He's French so nobody confuses him with the player we recently discussed ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    billyshakesBillDaCostaWilliams
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • edited April 2023 Posts: 1,233

    Another unpopular opinion - you need to learn the head first and you should know how to play it in multiple keys. Obviously, a waltz is a performance piece and that may be a little impractical. But the point is we should be playing melodies. That is, to me, what separates the players I prefer listening to from the other players. This is important to me because Django often embellished the head in very unique ways. There is a lot to be learned from this. Take Julian Lage, for example. That fellow is a master in rephrasing the melody in beautiful and unpredictable ways, with his superb embellishments in what some people may call a solo. It doesn't always have to be the hot lick. It can be a pretty well executed recreation of the melody.

    The other thing to remember is that even if you are cutting together licks you learned, you still are you. you may have slightly different things you stress on those. It is still creating communication from the common language of this style. There is no shame in that.

    There's no wrong way and how you apply it is up to you and what your goals are.

    JDRookeBucoDoubleWhiskybbwood_98billyshakesBillDaCostaWilliams
  • JDRookeJDRooke New
    Posts: 87

    You have a bunch of points that click with me. I enjoy picking up solos and feel that there is so much to glean from that approach. But, I am realizing what you realized late in this game. Licks, learned cold and rote, get you there. Solos do too, but much more indirectly. If I had another life and no job or kid, I'd probably do only or mostly solos.

    I mentioned in my first post how I became aware of a pattern in which fellows who have studied jazz prior, esp using a modern, non-lick approach... have a harder time reorienting to Gypsy. We start with the wrong model of what's happening. There is no way around using and learning the various patterns, idioms, licks.. whatever you want to call it.. that basically are the language of Gypsy Jazz. And these musical chunks need to be executed effortlessly without thought.

    Oh and... CCQ:

    www.instagram.com/thecoldclubofqueens/

    www.youtube.com/@thecoldclubofqueens-gz2pg/videos

    www.facebook.com/ColdClubofQueens/

    Bucobbwood_98billyshakes
  • JDRookeJDRooke New
    Posts: 87

    Limiting some solo grabbing to a chorus is a good idea. Limit the scope and minimize bogged-down-ness I referred to either.

  • Posts: 4,799

    Learning solos is for people who practice 10 hours a day or thereabouts. Because I don't think it's a good approach to learn it and study it to minutia, especially for people like most of us who get a couple of hours a day. I think you learn it and leave it be. Maybe if something really speaks to you, you try to assimilate it. But it's like as i heard Stephane W once said, it's like a bird that lands on your shoulder, you don't try to catch it, you let it be and it'll fly away but maybe one day it'll surprise you by landing on your shoulder again. That's basically what I think happens when you play and practice 10 hours a day and have time to learn to play a massive amount of solos.

    @Jim Kaznosky I agree, I just want to point out that embellishing the melody in nice and new ways on the fly is a highly developed skill. But it's often thrown around (not that you said that, you didn't) as in "oh hey if you run out of ways to improvise then just embellish the melody". Ain't that simple, takes time and effort to be able to do it well.

    Jim Kaznosky
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • edited April 2023 Posts: 1,233

    @Buco 100% agree. It's why we should be learning the melody and the interpretations of it from many players. It's another tool that could be developed and quite honestly isn't discussed all that much in GJ.

    And honestly, it should be since Django's interpretations are works of art and often contain incredible embellishments that are worth learning. The resurrected song of the month post that came back relatively recently (when I was away with my injury - I'm back) is an opportunity for players interested in that sort of thing. If you know the head well enough and run out of ideas, you can insert pieces of the main head in there and it has an effect of bringing us all back into the song. Lots of value in there.

    Don't mean to subvert the post at all and I'm not looking down my nose. In the past year and a half, with the injury, having to switch instruments, I've spent a lot of time on really learning heads. When my regular gig ended, I ended up having to also learn a lot of tunes in a lot if different keys, including lyrics if I wanted to keep on gigging with new folks and outside of the GJ comfort zone. It's humbling but fruitful work and is understated in how it can help one improvise.

    BucoBillDaCostaWilliams
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVAโœญโœญโœญ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,334

    @Buco ...like most of us who get a couple of hours a day

    I laugh as I think about the "minutes" a day I get to play (if I'm not on the road getting ZERO).

    DoubleWhiskyJDRookeBuco
  • JDRookeJDRooke New
    Posts: 87

    Such great discussion. Thanks, folks.

  • Posts: 4,799

    @billyshakes you know I fully believe even minutes only can amount to real progress as long as do a focused micro practice.

    DoubleWhisky
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVAโœญโœญโœญ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,334

    Yes, consistent practice over small periods of time can show gains. The weeks of ZERO are when I see regression when I return to the guitar. My comment was more envy at the freedom to have that much time to learn. <sigh> One day.

    DoubleWhiskyBuco
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