Jazz Fusion

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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lydian7
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#31 Post by lydian7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:40 pm

Deyo wrote:
MR4Y wrote:Jazz is probably the most difficult type of music that exists, because they use all the things praticable in theory and playing either. To play jazz you need to lear new techniques like "approaching notes", "outside notes", etc... Learning to play jazz is like learning from the very beginning how to play the guitar. But, if you play jazz, you'll be able to play all the styles fo music.

hm...try to master flamenco guitar sound and techniques..jazz is way easier

:wink:
Flemenco guitar isn't that hard. Just learn to harmonise the phrygian dominant scale and alternate pick at a rapid speed up and down the scale. Obviously there's more to it than that, and the nuances of the style are as intricate as any other, but it's not as difficult as it may first appear.

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#32 Post by lydian7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:41 pm

Deyo wrote: i agree that there is a lot of theory involved in flamenco music as in every kind of music, BUT lets be realistic, real old school flamenco has nothing to do with jazz
One word...Django!!!! ;)

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#33 Post by lydian7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:46 pm

burnt out wrote:
If he'd have stuck to the colourless tones of the minor pentatonic scales, then there would have been no Kind of Blue.
pentatonic scales don't have to be colo(u)rless you know

it's all in how you use them really...
Maybe it was a little unfair of me saying they were 'colourless'. I just feel too many guitarists use the minor pentatonic scale to fall back on. Because of it's over-use, I find it uninteresting to listen to. Remember, it took a genius like Hendrix to re-invent the blues, and he did so by incorporating notes from various modes into his playing. He may not have had any formal understanding of modes and musical theory, but he had a magical ear that could pick out the tonal colours of the modes instinctually!

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#34 Post by burnt out » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:48 pm

Flemenco Sketches is a study into the Phrygian mode, and again the minor pentatonic notes do exist within the mode, but without the notes added from the Phrygian mode, the whole spanish atmosphere of the piece would never be possible.
just play the minor pentatonic built on the b7th of phrygian
and you get the b7,b9,b3,11,b13 of phrygian

that's pretty phrygian for a pentatonic scale!

the major triad from the b9 of the phrygian scale = b9 11 b13

etc..

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#35 Post by ernzzz » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:01 pm

cool trick!

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#36 Post by Deyo » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:51 am

lydian7 wrote:
Deyo wrote:
MR4Y wrote:Jazz is probably the most difficult type of music that exists, because they use all the things praticable in theory and playing either. To play jazz you need to lear new techniques like "approaching notes", "outside notes", etc... Learning to play jazz is like learning from the very beginning how to play the guitar. But, if you play jazz, you'll be able to play all the styles fo music.

hm...try to master flamenco guitar sound and techniques..jazz is way easier

:wink:
Flemenco guitar isn't that hard. Just learn to harmonise the phrygian dominant scale and alternate pick at a rapid speed up and down the scale. Obviously there's more to it than that, and the nuances of the style are as intricate as any other, but it's not as difficult as it may first appear.
LOL ! Have you ever actualy listened to real flamenco or seen some pro playing it ? First of all, it is not played with pick by any means, all of the tecniques are played exclusively with fingers. And it's not only phrygian dominant played rapidly up and down.. :roll: With good discipline and practising you can pretty much shred after 2 years of playing with pick. I've seen it a lot, even on this forum. But belive me, after 2 years of learning flamenco you will still be pretty much a rookie.

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#37 Post by ernzzz » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:53 am

thats Ricardo playing flamenco... flawless.. i hope someday i could play half part of what u done here hehe

...

thats all the kind styles or "Palos" that exist on flamenco..

Alborea Alegría Bambera Bulería Campanillero Cantiña Caña Caracoles Carcelera Cartagenera Colombiana Debla Fandango Fandanguillo Farruca Garrotín Granaína Guajira Jabera Jaleo Liviana Malagueña Mariana Martinete Media Media Granaína Milonga Minera Mirabrás Nana Petenera Polo Romance Romera Rondeña Rumba Saeta Seguirilla o Seguiriya Serrana Sevillana Soleá Tango Tanguillo Taranta Taranta o Taranto Tiento Toná Trillera Verdiales Vidalita Zambra Zorongo

for the purists.. u cant understand flamenco if u dont understand the historical and regional context of em.. how they evolved thru time and from where they come or are based.. also its higly based on the poetry and lyricism of that epoque too.. and the "scientifical" or theoric aproaches have almost always been poor.. not quite understandin it..

why? because flamenco is a tradition started around 1853.. it has been influenced by romans, hispanic-romans, paleo-christians, andalusí, (muslim), castellano, jew, moriscos (granada), gipsy, american, african, and aragonese (celtic influence).. and it evolved thru time in a real complex way..

what i want to tell with this? nothing! i dont know shit :P , but i will say few ppl really understand flamenco, not just as theoric concepts, but the whole cultural travel that it has made..
Last edited by ernzzz on Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#38 Post by lydian7 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:20 am

ernzzz wrote: what i want to tell with this? nothing! i dont know shit :P , but i will say few ppl really understand flamenco, not just as theoric concepts, but the whole cultural travel that it has made..
I completely understand. Every cultural musical style requires an intimate understanding of the culture that it derives from, and every musical culture be it Hungary, Okinawa, or India requires intense study of both the theoretical tools and a deep understanding of the emotional context in which it is played in it's native country.

Flemenco/Spanish guitar playing is a hard style to master, as is any highly evolved style, but I wouldn't say that it was harder to learn than jazz as someone suggested earlier. It's a completely different kettle of fish anyway.

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#39 Post by smj » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:13 am

lydian7 wrote:
Freddie is the weakest song on the album, and yes that is the most traditional 12-bar piece, and as a result the most uninteresting piece on the album according to alot of critics (myself included). ;)
When you reduce music to the mechanics and academics...that's precisely what's wrong with jazz today....a lot of it is socially disengaged from the culture around it. No wonder jazz records don't sell that much any more.

I think you kind of missed the point here. Anyone can learn the scales and theory...if that's all jazz is...then everyone would be able to do it. It's the feel, the time, the space...the emotion...you can't cop that from a book. That song is beautiful...a lot to be absorbed. You get to hear several approaches on how to swing on a blues. Miles, Cannonball, Garland...they didn't play flashy...they played in the moment.

I transcribed Red Garland's solo on Freddie....because I wanted to learn to swing a bit harder. It's almost all right hand and he just swings his arss off....the whole band does....they all went through that tradition...not go around it. Coltrane didn't start the Giant Steps thing until well after he had played with Miles and done the inside thing.

For someone trying to learn how to play "jazz fusion" if you can't swing on a blues...at 120 bpm....and sound good....it's just not gonna happen on Humpty Dumpty at 300bpm.

Sean Meredith-Jones

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#40 Post by burnt out » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:44 pm

Miles, Cannonball, Garland...they didn't play flashy...they played in the moment.
That's a big key right there to appreciating music.Sometimes 'in the moment' might be flashy or technical and other times it may not.

I say this because I hear alot of people these days who don't like simple songs because they say they aren't technical enough.And then there's those people at the other end of the spectrum who say that anything flashy,fast or technical doesn't have any feeling. *sigh*

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#41 Post by lydian7 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:59 pm

smj wrote: I think you kind of missed the point here. Anyone can learn the scales and theory...if that's all jazz is...then everyone would be able to do it.
When did I ever say music was simply about theory? I actually think the exact opposite, and a genuine feel and emotional understanding of a musical form is everything. Hendrix was an excellent player, so was Miles, and neither one were excellent musical theorists (remember, Miles was thrown out of Julliard after his first year!), but their playing consisted of more than just a series of blues licks. Their musical minds were extremely inquizative, and they bought in a lot of influences from different sources. Their emotional attachment to their music was such that they had the natural musical insight and ear to evolve what had already been established, and breathe new life into it.

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#42 Post by Ricardo » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:33 pm

WOW! Awesome thread, going from fusion to blues, to modes, to FLAMENCO, lol!

Ok, I am no expert on Jazz, but I love it and recommend once again the McLaughlin DVD. I admit to being a bit of an "expert" in regards to flamenco though.

SMJ is right on IMO, very smart guy and no doubt a great player. "Kind of Blue" is exactly what it says. Modal, but bluesy. But the point SMJ made is important. SWING, the rhythmic feel is what it is all about. You can play chromatic bull shit, but if it swings, you get the idea, the feeling. Swing is more complex than just triplet feel. It defines the phrasing and style or the type of music or form you are playing. It is maybe THE most important thing.

Lydian 7, I get your point about the jazz stuff. Break out of the box, yeah that is important. But blues is blues, you can do melodic minor modes and still make it the "blues". So you have a point, but should not really argue with SMJ, he is meaning something else about blues and what it means to modern fusion. But in regards to the flamenco stuff, por favor amigo. You don't have a clue, or at least really BAD missconception about it. Just listen to it FIRST before commenting on it as "easy" to learn.

Modern flamenco guys love jazz and incorporate sounds, chords, scales, but not really the function or meaning. Let me give you an example of Tomatito type modern flamenco. It is not traditional, but not flamenco/jazz fusion either:

http://www.flamenco-teacher.com/rm/ricardo.wmv

I am playing 'falsetas" by Diego del Morao and Tomatito. The thing that this music has in common with old traditional flamenco, what is most fundamental at defining this as "FLAMENCO MUSIC" without a doubt, is the "compas" or rhythm. It is equivalent to "swing" in the blues. It is SO important, and goes right along with the point SMJ was making.

Hope this clears up a few missconceptions.

Ricardo

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#43 Post by smj » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:02 pm

Ricardo wrote:

Ok, I am no expert on Jazz, but I love it and recommend once again the McLaughlin DVD. I admit to being a bit of an "expert" in regards to flamenco though.

Ricardo
It's funny you mention him. There's a guy whose a prime example of what I was talking about. Even when he's doing the Shakti thing...playing all sorts of polyrhythms, ethnic scales....chromatic ideas.....the blues is still a huge part of it. The way he bends the strings, the vibrato, the attack...how he digs into the guitar....his feel....it still grooves really hard. The blues licks are there for sure...but at the same time they're laced with a lot of other flavors.

I saw Eric Clapton's Crossroad Festival DVD a while ago...and even John noted in an interview the importance of the blues in his playing and in jazz as a whole. Branford Marsalis also talks about this at great length in his Love Supreme DVD...where he's interviewing Alice Coltrane. Both of those guys are definitely at the forefront of modern jazz and fusion.

Sean Meredith-Jones
Last edited by smj on Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#44 Post by Ricardo » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:37 pm

I saw Eric Clapton's Crossroad Festival DVD a while ago...and even John noted in an interview the importance of the blues in his playing and in jazz as a whole.
Yeah that is right. And to drive home the point of rhythm being the basis, his performance on the DVD certainly had interesting harmonic and scalar ideas, "out of the box", but his backing band consisted of TWO DRUMMERS...thats it. Talk about an emphasis on "groove". 8)

Ricardo

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#45 Post by mesavox » Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:11 pm

I don't get this bash on the simple. Man, Blue Monk is one of the greatest jazz tunes of all time and it's a 12 bar blues song. Bag's Groove... same thing. Great stuff born totally from the blues.

Going in another direction... one of the things that made a band like Cream so progressive was thier treating blues with strong hints of jazz. Sunshine Of Your Love is a great example. Blues all the way, but the melody line at the beginning, the vocal descending patter at the end of the chorus, and even the solo are chock full of jazz concepts. It's far from a difficult song to play but it's one of the all time great tunes.

If you approach jazz as an excercise in outlining the chord, you're not going to know what scale your playing ever anyway. Can you play all the chords in jazz? If so, you can likely play convincing jazz solos just by playing the notes in the chord. Who cares what scale or mode it is right then. Is the note in the chord anywhere? Yes? Then it's a great note to play. Speed is irrelevant.

I still say that hearing in your head what the music sounds like is more important than even the theory of it. If you like the style, can hear it in a musical context, and can make your fingers go where your head is, the theory will come. Sing Blue Monk. Those chromatic motifs in the main melody. Listen to the chord progression in your head. Now, sing a solo where the chorus starts. Now it's just a matter of learning on the guitar what you can sing in your head. I doubt any of the great improvisors sit there and think out note names, and analyze the note names that they just played in a phrase as they solo. If Miles Davis was that caught up in the modes, his solos would not have been so free sounding. Some of the live So What solos are pretty different from the record.

Again, my biggest bit of advice, if you will, is go join in on some jazz bands. Particularly at a college where a prof is dealing with the education of jazz. We can analyze these minute details all day long but the fact is, no one really knows ALL the rules, and if you wait until you know them all to play, you'll never do anything but read books and practice scales.

If there is any rule to jazz though, it's that jazz can be as simple as playing the root note over the whole thing and if it's rhythmically interesting and played with all the gusto in the world.... it's a great jazz solo. Most people I know consider the rhythmic aspect of jazz to be it's greatest uniqueness in terms of being different from it's blues ancestry. Jazz is all about groove. Mostly the swing groove(like So What), but even straight, the main emphasis is on 2 and 4, which is the big jazz identifier.

One other thing to note... John Coltrane's So What solo is more a study in chromatics than any modes. lol


Speaking of Pat Mortino... his version of Blue Bossa is... :shock: Great stuff.

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