[Harp-L] Jazz Imnprovisising on the chromatic

Joseph Leone 3N037@xxxxx
Tue Jan 23 13:21:31 EST 2018

> On Jan 22, 2018, at 6:35 PM, Rick Dempster <rickdempster33 at xxxxx> wrote:
> I think this, from Slim, is very helpful, because it's about playing what
> YOU hear:

Yeah, Slim is one of my heroes. :)

> "Most people can improvise more easily singing, humming, or whistling than
> we can on our instruments,

Mainly because we are born with it. OR, more correctly, we developed it. Usually from a (very) young age. The voice is, after all, our first instrument. Possibly even beFORE birth. :)

> so it can be helpful to try to improvise this way and then try to emulate
> what you did on your instrument.?

That?s why I always agree with Slim. He has been at this a long time. So I take his writings right to the bank. 

> And like Joe says "Just play what?s inside you. Other
> people?s stuff is just that. It?s other people."
> Well, as a 65 year old hillbilly harpman, I'm still working at this process!

I wasn?t aware that you were a hillbilly. I always pictured you wearing an ankle length duster coat. From ?once upon a time in the west?. 

> RD
Ok, I wasn?t going to put this on list. I was afraid it would be taken the wrong way. And hurting feelings is not high on my priority list of fun things to do. But
I?ve gotten a raft of off list messages. So I need to expound.

IF one were to ascribe to learning modes, I say go for it. I am not capping on learning this. But if one were to spend 87.358046 % of their time on: 
Locrian, Dorian, Tyrhenian, Carthiginian, Fridgidaireian, etc. modes, I feel that this is too much effort. Maybe good in the long run. But tedious. 

I put this all in my ?emperor?s new clothes? file. I remember standing and staring at a street scene with at least 438 faces. Each face was the size of your little 
fingernail. Each face was different. I was amazed. The painting was by Jan Vermeer. THAT was art. Across the alley at the Van Gogh museum there were 
paintings that looked like they were done with a cement trowel. Needless to say I was not impressed. Yet people will trip all over themselves to own this stuff.

I always thought Dali & Picasso painted junk. I guess this all makes me a Luddite. Then we have Cecil Taylor. A proponent of ?free jazz?. It?s garbage. I know or
 have known people who could stun you with what they knew about theory. Which would be good if not for the fact that they played like automotons. Robotic,
 choppy, boring. So I guess it?s all a matter of taste. I find some professionals to be boring. Whereas I find some (relatively) unknown players to be a breath of fresh 
air. Why IS this? I think it may be because just as Caesar said of Cassius..They have that "lean & hungry look???still. lolol. 


> On 23 January 2018 at 07:07, Jordan Feldman via Harp-L <harp-l at xxxxx>
> wrote:
>> The Jamey Aebersold stuff is great.  I have most of the volumes, but with
>> today's technology, apps such as iReal Pro are even better, cheaper and
>> allow you to change key, tempo, backing instruments, number of cycles,
>> everything.  One caveat, is that chord notation is presented as opposed to
>> lead sheets, so you'll have to either know the head or have a fake book for
>> the head, assuming you read.  But, for learning how to play through a
>> progression there is nothing easier and as flexible.
>> For about $12 you can have the app and thousands of tunes loaded in it in
>> 10 minutes.
>>> On Jan 22, 2018, at 2:58 PM, philharpn--- via Harp-L <harp-l at xxxxx>
>> wrote:
>>> I'm shocked that no one has mentioned Jamey Aebersold books/CD/DVDs.
>>> His books and videos are available everywhere but also at his own web
>> site.
>>> For openers, there is his DVD "Jazz: Anyone Can Improvise! - DVD" . at
>> $19.95. <jazzbooks.com>
>>> Check out:
>>> VOLUME 1 - HOW TO PLAY JAZZ & IMPROVISE now with 2 CDs! ($19.95)
>>> VOLUME 2 - NOTHIN' BUT BLUES ($15.90)
>>> but you can get your own copy at jazzbook dot com.
>>> ALSO NOTE: Free  downloads are listed at the bottom of the page:
>>> jazz handbook
>>> scale and chord reference
>>> nomenclature
>>> scale syllabus
>>> dominant 7th tree of scale choices
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Slim Heilpern <slim at xxxxx>
>>> To: JERL WELCH <dfwhoot at xxxxx>; harp-l harp-l <harp-l at xxxxx>
>>> Sent: Mon, Jan 22, 2018 10:13 am
>>> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Jazz Imnprovisising on the chromatic
>>> Hi Jerl -
>>> I?m afraid there?s no simple answer to your question, but here?s my 2 or
>> 3 cents:
>>> What you?re asking, for the most part, has little to do with what kind
>> of axe you?re playing (harmonica or otherwise) beyond being able to play
>> that instrument chromatically. If you already know how to improvise over a
>> blues or country chord progression, then you can think of improvising over
>> jazz as a considerably more complex version of the same thing. I say more
>> complex partially because of the chord structure on many jazz tunes and
>> also because the music has evolved relatively quickly from its beginnings
>> over the last century and encompasses a very wide range of influences,
>> styles, and approaches.
>>> Jazz improvisation comes more quickly to some than others (I?m in the
>> ?others? category, been working at it for many years and I still feel like
>> a beginner). For most of us it requires a lot of diligence and patience to
>> make any real progress (I myself am good on patience, less so on diligence).
>>> There are many approaches, but I would say the first thing is to make
>> sure you?re well versed in whatever music you?re trying to play. Just like
>> any style of music you're trying to learn, you need to be a good listener
>> and appreciator of that style if you?re going to be convincing when you
>> play it. Dixieland jazz is the foundation that other styles of jazz sit on,
>> so it?s not a bad place to start. Listen to Louis Armstrong and pay
>> attention to the _way_ he plays the melody (phrasing) as well as the
>> content of his solos and the way he plays them. That?s probably as good a
>> place to start as any.
>>> Most people can improvise more easily singing, humming, or whistling
>> than we can on our instruments, so it can be helpful to try to improvise
>> this way and then try to emulate what you did on your instrument.
>>> In parallel with that, I would suggest a course in music theory (if you
>> need to, start with basic music theory before moving on to jazz theory). To
>> play reasonably well, you?re going to have to learn that either by osmosis
>> or by studying it and a bit of study can accelerate the learning process.
>>> And then there?s learning the various scales and arpeggios in all keys,
>> also really important. Sounds like drudgery, but it can be fun and I?m
>> convinced it improves brain function ;-).
>>> I hope this helps even just a little bit!
>>> - Slim
>>> http://slimandpenny <http://slimandpenny/>.com
>>>> On Jan 21, 2018, at 12:34 PM, JERL WELCH <dfwhoot at xxxxx> wrote:
>>>> Learning to perform melodies on jazz tunes is not that difficult , with
>> a little practice and talent , but to improvise beyond is another process
>> that I'm having problems with properly. Any suggestions out there from some
>> of you jazz chromatic players. I know that to play a jazz tune , one starts
>> with the head, then improvise , then head and out.I would like to know for
>> myself , plus to share with our monthly harmonica meetings, HOOT.
>>>> Thanks, Jerl Welch
>>>> |  | Virus-free. www.avg.com  |

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