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Thread: Bebop

  1. #1
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    Bebop

    I've been dealing with bebop for a few years now and it's starting to drive me nuts. I know a good amount about the general theory and historical aspect behind the music but it's break up and classify the certain kinds of licks and runs when people are ripping through a tune with solid sixteenths. I also have some problems playing in time and narrowing down my situational licks and phrases. What may Dizzy Gillespie be thinking when he's doing that transcendental solos that blaze through the chord changes at a constant and unwavering speed. What are some general ways that he plays with and deviates from this constant tempo.

  2. #2
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    Well,
    i don't know what Mr. Gillespie was thinking, but to get stable at a certain tempo i suggest practicing with a metronome. Maybe you can record yourself to get a hold on certain spots where you tend to be sloppy.

    If it's too fast and you are out of time - slow it down and practice.

    Easy as that i might say.

  3. #3
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I think one of the main problems with bebop (at least the one I have) is learning to think as fast as your hands move. It's tough, the closest I've gotten to that is be able to insert pre-worked phrases (a.k.a. licks) in a smart way, but I think the way masters like Parker, Gillespie, Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, etc, sound so great is their spontaneity. How they are making the stuff up as they go. Transcribing helps but ultimately the way to go is play slow enough that you can "play smart" and think your phrases as you are going and then speed things up I've been doing Bebop for about a year and I still practice at about 60 - 100 bpm depending on how complex the changes/phrases are. My phrasing has improved a bunch since, but I am nowhere near done.

    So play slow, play smart. Good luck

    -Jorge
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  4. #4
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    the problem with transcribing older material is that some of those guys recorded so much that it's possible that you are transcribing something they weren't even satisfied with. Don Thompson once mentioned how he met Dizzy and said he was transcribing a particular solo of his. Dizzy whinced and said "I think I played three good notes in that whole solo." I would lean more to transcribing sections of songs that you are having difficulty with, or phrases that you particularily like.

    Honestly, you're probably doing the right things. Just slow it down and nail the changes. Once you can nail the changes at a slow tempo you've won over half the battle. Speeding it up at a later date is the easy part.

  5. #5
    I like music.
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    pm me, I'll send you something that will help you.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  6. #6
    Ship of Ideas willyager's Avatar
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    I try to analyze Bird solos out of my Omnibook and steal licks. I've also been trying to utilize Extended Approaches.

  7. #7
    Artistically Bankrupt
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    Change of Latitude

    Last time I went through a bop fit, I had to spend a month memorizing bluegrass runs note-for-note. It is a surefire cure.

    "Cure?" Yep. Most guitar players I know have a difficult time shaking off the bending and dramatic pausing they incorporate into rock and blues solos. When they try bop, they stumble constantly. Just hammer in a few weeks of discipline, and you'll stop thinking in terms of tension and resolution, and start thinking in more of meter and flow.

    Perhaps none of this applies to you, though. It sure did me. Now, I can forego the bluegrass and just play a bop version of "Summertime" until I shake off the rock.

  8. #8
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Fingering

    Quote Originally Posted by mulliganenters
    I've been dealing with bebop for a few years now and it's starting to drive me nuts. I know a good amount about the general theory and historical aspect behind the music but it's break up and classify the certain kinds of licks and runs when people are ripping through a tune with solid sixteenths. I also have some problems playing in time and narrowing down my situational licks and phrases. What may Dizzy Gillespie be thinking when he's doing that transcendental solos that blaze through the chord changes at a constant and unwavering speed. What are some general ways that he plays with and deviates from this constant tempo.
    Sometimes if you have trouble with certain runs or riffs, something to try is changing the fingering. It may require more time and effort but can improve some areas.

    I was hung up on using my ring finger after my pinky to get half step decending notes and could never seem to master that technique at the speed required for the intended run. Then one day..

    One day I was watching a Pat Metheny video and noticed that he achieved the same notes at the correct tempo simply by taking his pinky and sliding down a half step instead of using the third finger.

    You can pick the notes, so nobody can really tell how you fingered it because they just hear two notes. Or you can do a slur/slide into it..

    Changing the fingering and expirementing with different fingerings can be the straw that keeps the camels back from breaking...IF you study Bach it becomes clear that fingering logic is EVERYTHING.

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