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Triplet Exercises kill me.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good example. But seriously, playing quarter note triplets -- I suck at it. I just always zoomed past before. But really, REALLY nailing it?? I suck. I can go through a couple of patterns before my time falls away, slightly ahead. I just have a hard time maintaining that 3 over 2 feel. Yet I PLAY it all the time in the music. I thought I nailed it. But if I can't do exercises with a metronome, it's time to go back to the drawing board.

You guys that can do it - slow 100-125 quarter note triple scale or arpeggio exercises - my hats off to you! I'll catch up. Just wait!
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JakeJew



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly I have a sneaking suspicion you are just being too hard on yourself. Don't you teach jazz guitar at a university or am I confusing you with another poster? If you have some way of posting video, that would be most helpful, but I bet you your triplets are simply imperfect, as everything is, and your attentiveness is bothering you.
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Viper



Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 568
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wan na be in a mer ic a

da na va, da na va, daa naa vaa

--------------------------------------------------------------------
everything's free in america




or so they say
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JakeJew wrote:
Honestly I have a sneaking suspicion you are just being too hard on yourself. Don't you teach jazz guitar at a university or am I confusing you with another poster? If you have some way of posting video, that would be most helpful, but I bet you your triplets are simply imperfect, as everything is, and your attentiveness is bothering you.
Yes I do teach at a university and at a community college. I am being hard on myself, but I have to be. I can sense minute drift and I can't stand it. I play with great musicians, often well known musicians and I can't have it.

I'm not looking for lessons, so I'm not going to post any videos. I think, for jazz, the triplet, as it's tied in roughly with the swing feel, is very important. And particularly with bop derived jazz. When my time gets slightly out of sync I feel it in my solar plexus, then I start listening to my playing rather than the time or the music and it gets worse.

I stopped using a metronome some years ago. I used it incessantly and my playing started sounding stiff and maybe a bit forced. Then I stopped "practicing" all together in favor of just playing tunes. In the past month I returned to the metronome, hence all the whining. That's all. I listened to some recordings I recently did of very fast tempos where my time drops in a spot or two and I was horrified. I don't know if anyone else would noticed really, or not. That's not important whether anyone else notices. I would HOPE they wouldn't.

I'm a practicing fiend. I always look for new things to work on. This is just the latest in my quest for perfection. And I'm not nearly as hard on my students as I am on myself. I have very high standards.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 180
Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Viper wrote:
I wan na be in a mer ic a

da na va, da na va, daa naa vaa

--------------------------------------------------------------------
everything's free in america




or so they say
Yes. Good. Triplets, where the last phrases are quarter note triplets.
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henryrobinett wrote:
JakeJew wrote:
Honestly I have a sneaking suspicion you are just being too hard on yourself. Don't you teach jazz guitar at a university or am I confusing you with another poster? If you have some way of posting video, that would be most helpful, but I bet you your triplets are simply imperfect, as everything is, and your attentiveness is bothering you.
Yes I do teach at a university and at a community college. I am being hard on myself, but I have to be. I can sense minute drift and I can't stand it. I play with great musicians, often well known musicians and I can't have it.

I'm not looking for lessons, so I'm not going to post any videos. I think, for jazz, the triplet, as it's tied in roughly with the swing feel, is very important. And particularly with bop derived jazz. When my time gets slightly out of sync I feel it in my solar plexus, then I start listening to my playing rather than the time or the music and it gets worse.

I stopped using a metronome some years ago. I used it incessantly and my playing started sounding stiff and maybe a bit forced. Then I stopped "practicing" all together in favor of just playing tunes. In the past month I returned to the metronome, hence all the whining. That's all. I listened to some recordings I recently did of very fast tempos where my time drops in a spot or two and I was horrified. I don't know if anyone else would noticed really, or not. That's not important whether anyone else notices. I would HOPE they wouldn't.

I'm a practicing fiend. I always look for new things to work on. This is just the latest in my quest for perfection. And I'm not nearly as hard on my students as I am on myself. I have very high standards.


More or less what I figured.

For what it's worth, something I've really found to be true is that we all have certain tempos that are comfortable for us and others that feel more awkward. Like we all have some ingrained (probably from listening and experience) perception of what is "medium," what is "up," what is "ballad" etc and another player (or a metronome) doing a slightly faster or slightly slower version can trip us up.

So, just another idea to throw out there, if it's 125bpm that feels especially hard to you, it might not be the triplets but rather the tempo itself, so really honing in on the difference between 125 and 140, or 125 and 110. And then the difference between 125/135, 125/115, then the difference between 125/120, 125/130, etc. Just a thought. This is vaguely related to a Mick Goodrick time-keeping exercise that I could share if interested.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the space between the triplets. I natural play fast and have to laso myself to hold slower tempos. I will double and triple time, if possible, all the time. So I have to REALLY concentrate on slowing down. Slow, quarter note triplets kill me.

I practice tempos from 100 to 250 daily.

One of the things that made Monk so hard, if you PLAYED with him, were his tempos. He had those in between -- not fast but not slow. You couldn't easily double time them. Awkward, according to Sonny Rollins and his last tenor player -- name escapes me.

But the slower tempos are killer. 80-90 kills. I'm not ready for that yet.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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Location: Sacramento, Ca

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thought on my tendency to always want to play fast - maybe related to my not really nailing the slower tempos. I see this as a very common problem. Double time is subdividing the beat which makes playing in time easier. Without this subdivision it becomes much, much harder to "predict" or perceive the next beat.

It's like in audio engineering, when giving a drummer a click, he generally prefers having a click that has subdivisions in it. Not just quarter notes, but throw in some softer 8ths or even 16ths.

Last week we played this Charles Lloyd tune called DWIJA at 40 BPM. Tough to play. Thank god the drummer played it with a double time feel from time to time. But playing quarter notes posed no particular problems. Quarter note triplets?? Forget it.
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cjm



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henryrobinett wrote:
Another thought on my tendency to always want to play fast - maybe related to my not really nailing the slower tempos. I see this as a very common problem. Double time is subdividing the beat which makes playing in time easier. Without this subdivision it becomes much, much harder to "predict" or perceive the next beat.


I know this is a bit off topic for this thread...but the first sentence of this paragraph made me think of something I've been working on -- and that's not playing.

By that I mean, and I think it was Howard Roberts who once said (and if it wasn't, it doesn't really matter who actually said it): "Silence is the canvas upon which we paint."

Or words to that effect.

It's not like I have any real speed, because I don't. But I've been working on silence between phrases and not just trying to fill up 32 bars with a machine gun flurry of notes (albeit a broken and malfunctioning machine gun that cycles slowly).

The point is that I believe always wanting to play at speed and always being overly busy are sort of the flip sides of one coin...it's easier to play double time -- it's awkward to remain silent. It's easier to play fast and fill every beat with 8ths and 16ths and never come up for air.

But that ain't how we talk...and if music is a language...
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JakeJew



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practicing those slower tempos is really what it's at.

If I really think I've "nailed" a rhythmic concept, something simple to complex, I see if I can play it with a drum machine (just a midi program on my computer) set to just play half notes...then just whole notes...then just one click per two measures, then one click per four, then one click per eight...etc.

I've worked on that stuff a lot and found it extremely helpful. If anything, I can test myself to see if I'm really keeping time or not, and to what extent, and whether I'm speeding up or slowing down.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's great Jake. As I said, I only just got back to the metronome. I used to use it fairly heavily. I've even started back up with my metric modulations exercises.

I start at 100 BPM (today I started at 185) and pick a standard to play, one for every increment of 20-25 up to 250. Then I do my battery of exercises at various tempos, but generally slower like 120-130. I'll do pick combinations and triplets, of course -- quarter note and 8th, but mostly straight 8ths and 16ths.

Then I have my picking exercises. This is good when I want to give my left hand a rest. Whole session varies but generally it takes me 2-3 hours to get through it all, daily. My hand's in pretty good shape, that's why it pisses me off when I find something SIMPLE that gives me difficulty.
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Viper



Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry man I hesitate to ask this but were you classically trained? I think musicians who were sometimes have to unlearn something to understand the use of triplets and acquire a (ahem) natural swing. The whole concept of a time signature can be inhibiting.

One thing jazz seems to me to do is exploit a rhythmical ambiguity between two and three, which is inherent in its African heritage. I think the way around this is learn rhythmic mnemonics so that you associate the rhythm with a sound

e.g. for swung 1/8 (semiquavers) notes. 1 bar
|| 4/4 da ba, da ba, da ba, da ba, ||

Triplets for 1/4 (quavers) notes 1 bar
|| 4/4 da na va, da na va ||

I hope you dig the above.

I've got a book I'll look out the title

If you try and do it with a metronome you are setting an impossible task 3 cannot be divided into 2 precisely so there will be always imprecision. If you want to go into this in great detail then go for Johnny McLauglin's DVD on Konokol which is the way South Indian (Karnatic) classical musicians do it.

I may have made a similar posting a few years ago.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really cool viper. Thank you. I do dig it.

No, I'm not classically trained. Jazz in my veins from way back. Charles Mingus is a relative. Grew up with his music and other jazz artists from my parents. Played early. I know all this about jazz rhythms. I CAN PLAY! I think I mentioned the african connection earlier in the thread, and then the connection of triplets to swing.

There is a close enough to be precise and far enough to be wrong way of playing triplets.
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Viper



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I CAN PLAY!
I wish I could. Its a work in progress.

Wow Mingus. That's impressive but maybe a bit dangerous as well. He seems to have been a bit temperamental..a genius nevertheless... possibly underrated
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

His press was bad, but he didn't mind that. He often said even bad press was good. But his anger was over written about. From my experience he was very, very gentle and kind. The problem was when he was pushed, and you had to really push him, he would not hold back. And you FELT his anger.

Re play - it's ALWAYS a work in progress. Cool Very Happy
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