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Passion// To be or not to be??
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Martacus



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've NEVER noticed that - I'm going to listen to him now, I REALLY need to hear this!

But you gotta admit, Keith is the champion of grunting.
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Fredrik



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You made me think of Bill Evans, you can hear the guy grunting, snorting...gosh knows what else on pretty much everything he's ever recorded.


Have you heard Oscar Peterson grunting what he plays in the background( especially on the album On The Town), now that's hilarious Laughing

I also remember when I was at a wayne shorter concert last year. He was playing with his quartet and the piano player would just make the silliest faces. I thought to myself is guy for real. It didn't quite disturb me, but I sure got a good laugh. Wink
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Gorecki
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martacus wrote:
I've NEVER noticed that - I'm going to listen to him now, I REALLY need to hear this!

But you gotta admit, Keith is the champion of grunting.


Yes he is and didn't even think of him right off. Laughing

Trio 64 comes to mind as being quite noticeable.
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Martacus



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPEAKING of Herb Ellis, I'm watching his DVD right now (I love Netflix - I have tons of jazz queued up, just lettin' keep flowin' in); he speaks of singing with your solos, and starts singing LOUDLY along with his solo. Doesn't sound as pretty as George Benson (that's not REALLY a critique - Mr. B. has PIPES most people would kill for...), but it's fun to listen to...
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alfonso



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 1258
Location: Sacramento

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidently one of Herb Ellis' "Hints on Improvising" and I'm quoting him, "When you are working on your own Improvisation, try to sing or hum the figures you play". "You will find that this not only develops your ear, but also will make you pretty friendly with the whole fingerboard". "In other words, you will get to the point where you can play anything you can sing, and this should be the primary aim of every jazz player". This quote was taken from The Herb Ellis Jazz Guitar Style book, this is a very old book 1963, out of print. I've also read or seen other players sing or hum everything they play and basically say the same thing. This is just information I thought I would pass on, basically to show Herb's reason for it. peace Cool
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Viper



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is something worth talking about. When you improvise ideally you do so from an empty mind so that the music flows. All the preparation, harmony scales etc is in one sense discarded or left in the woodshed and you blow.

In order to help me try and improvise I have found two things that seem to help. One is breath, being aware of breathing and let it flow easily and naturally. The other thing is to scat along which seems help to give rhythmic form as the pitches slot in. Not really trying to accurately sing what is played but just sort of self accompaniment.

(I have to be honest and say am I describing an ideal and not what usually happens.)

I think this is because we play a stringed instrument. If we were Saxes or brass etc this would not arise because that what they have to do anyway breathe and manage the embouchure (which involves the muscles of the mouth as does singing).

I have noticed I am not the only one and when I asked another very experienced and high standard guitarist why he did this he said he didn't know but he had always done it. (you can always rely on the masters to provide enlightenment Laughing )

Of course some have raised this to a different level e.g. G. Benson accompanying himself and Slam Stewart playing arco and simultaneously humming an octave above.

I am less sure about Keith's grunting I have heard him live a couple of times. I guess it is more obvious when he is solo.

Basically I am in favour of gurning and grunting if it helps I guess it's just up to the individual, though I tend to be a grunter rather than a gurner.

(Sorry about this I did not see page 2 of this post and therefore have put some stuff in that has already been covered)
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My teacher takes an interesting approach to the issue of singing with your playing.

He says that when playing you should be listening to yourself real well. He stressed listening to yourself, listening to your phrasing, listening to your tone. I used to always sing with my phrases, and since I started playing jazz I have not been.

For one thing when I've heard recordings of myself and I'm singing along in the background it sounds annoying as all hell!

The other is that it's really made me REALLY listen to myself, which was very beneficial.

I think singing with yourself is very valuable for a lot of reasons, I should do it more often again, but I guess I thought I'd share a different perspective on the issue.
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Viper



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is interesting JakeJew. I will give it try. It supposes you have good singing skills. One exercise I do is to play/sing four note chordal scales arpeggios to train the finger and ear. e.g. C E G B, D F A C, ...B D F A. and variations.
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dewey decibel



Joined: 15 Feb 2006
Posts: 1677

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alfonso- I agree with you, but at the same time I've never seen the faces you make. Is it possible the guy was trying to save you some embarrassment? I've seen players that made faces and it didn't bother me, but I've seen others and I just couldn't get past it. Don't forget, you're a preformer, and how you look and act on stage is part of it.

About singing when you play- I went through that. It helps you better conceive your ideas and can also help your ear, but I agree it's better used as a practice tool than a playing tool. Another thing that was very important to me was phrasing like a horn, and for a couple of months I practiced literally holding my breath as I played and letting it out only when I breathed during my lines. Now I tend to grunt in between my lines, where I want a drum hit or piano stab or even just a space, basically the opposite. Even if no one in the band acknolwedges that space, it helps me as a player- it gives you something to play off of.
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Viper



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One exercise I do is to play/sing four note chordal scales arpeggios to train the finger and ear. e.g. C E G B, D F A C, ...B D F A. and variations.


What i forgot to mention was singing solfedge to develop relative pitch so for C Major you

--------CM7, ---------------Dm7----------etc.
play: C E G B, ----------D F A C----------etc.
Sing: Do mi sol ti, -----re fa la do. -----etc.

This can of course be adapted to any and all chordal scales includin whole tone and diminshed If I do the minor I sing ma for the Eb.

I think alllows exercises to become musical rather than mechanical and syncs the brain and hand.

anyway, there you go! As Homer would say 'Doh'

As to holding my breath I find sometimes I start doing this when I am trying to learn a difficult bit. It doesn't help.
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Fredrik



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singing what you play improves your playing simply because in regards to what level you're at you usally sing better ideas than you can play. I never regret starting to sing every note that I play. It's worked great as an eartrainer and my phrases sound much better.

An artist that incorporates this in his playing is Richard Bona. He is true master of singin every note he plays. Both his solo stuff and the stuff he plays with Mike Stern is great.

I also reccommend as vipers drag mentioned to sing arpeggios. Take a standard like autumn leaves for instance and sing the 4 chord degrees of each chord. When you are getting better at this sing all the thirds.

What i forgot to mention was singing solfedge to develop relative pitch so for C Major you

we learn solfedge system at school, but I can't say Im any good at it. I know that students in france learn it at an early age and they are later able to sing from different pitches. I have a booklet lying at home explaining the simple steps and I could probably post it if anyones interested.
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