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Thread: iJam - Cry Me A River

  1. #31
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood View Post
    for me i hadn't checked them because they were labelled as melody and scale choices. so i didn't think of it. If they had been labelled as Chord structure as seen in backing track, or lead sheet as seen in backing track i would have downloaded them.

    so it has nothing to do with crap or not for me, I just didn't get to the point yet where i wanted to look up that information.

    but will now, thanks.

    edit: that's them?! by crikey looks more complicated than it sounds.

    ... actually i think i know why, when i look at the chords it's like a whole plethora of chords, when really alot of those are the same basic chord where only one note changes, which is more of a bummer in guitar because of the way your fingers need to be placed that often means you need to reposition all your fingers, but in piano, you only need to move one finger all the time.

    still, this is going to be rough i think. I wish i could give it a go right now.
    Make sure you can play the melody in the relevant key. This (along with 3rds and 7ths of each chord) will help guide you through the sequence, make sense of it.
    It's always easiest (and best) if you begin a solo by developing phrases from the melody.

  2. #32
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    This is turning out to be a great thread.

    JonR- How did you go about organizing the chord tones when beginning to use them to improvise? That is...when you started doing this. It is probably second nature now eh?

    -matt

  3. #33
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I think if they were crap someone would say so. Or post some kind of confused comments.
    Being a deeply flawed human being (with prima donna tendencies ), I need feedback to check that there is usefull things in my contributions
    I'm also not very sure about these things, and would appreciate corrections (comments, etc) to the errors that I make.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Make sure you can play the melody in the relevant key. This (along with 3rds and 7ths of each chord) will help guide you through the sequence, make sense of it.
    It's always easiest (and best) if you begin a solo by developing phrases from the melody.
    sometimes i like to do that, but also the melody can be limiting if you stick to it too much. it's fun to just go way off from it.

    that's not a problem for me though, if i can remember the melody i can play it. i don't need to know the notes of it, just remember the sounds of it, like i remember how to sing happy birthday without knowing what notes it is.

    if i know the melody in one key i know it in all keys, on guitar at lest. on piano it's a little different because the black notes make different keys confusing sometimes, and i'm not accustomed to playing in all of them really i don't think. basically, my knowing of melody's has nothing to do with theory. which i think is necessary for improv.

    i find it is necessary to be able to ear out any tune you hear immediately, so that it fits any key, and in any mode.

    you also need to be able to read and write the theory you know and hear it as sounds in your mind. and do the reverse also, know the theory from just listening.

    if you cannot do these things, then you are liekly depending on the theory to play the music for you a little too much.

    if you can't hear any melody, and play it right away, then how could you possibly imagine any phrase and play it right away?

    and if you cannot tell what will be the sound of that next chord in the chord progression, then how can reading it help you improvise more than just winging it? you need to know which chord is coming next in order to phrase into it, either by reading it, or from memory, if you do it from memory, you don't need to be able to understand chord symbols. if you do it from reading lead sheets, then you need to know who those symbols are about to sound.

    this is not necessary for playing "correct" notes, but it is necessary for building great phrasing. theory can tell you which notes you can play over the next chord.

    but music is judging by sound which notes you want to hear. theory should come after your desire, not before it.

    you need to be able to sing what you're about to play before you play it, hear it in your mind before you play it, and this should allow for the reverse also, to hear, and know exactly where on the fretboard you'd need to play in order to play that. not, to go from hearing to theory to placing it on your fretboard. straight from hearing to playing. although clearly when just listening like this, unless you have perfect pitch, you won't know the key, but every key is the same pattern on guitar anyways, so the relative placing of the notes you should be able to imagine in your mind as you hear them.

    for single notes, for melodies, as long as the solo or whatever is not in super speed, i can do this. so for me, learning the melody is basically a non-issue. my tone memory is really good too. if you played a game with people of "sing that melody" of popular songs, and only hummed or sang without words, the tunes and others had to guess, you'd find that most people make mistakes in timing and in tone, and if you do not make those mistakes, many will have trouble recognizing it. some people tend to have visual memory, and some audible memory, and some other kinds of memory. me, i can hear a melody and remember it (obiously it can't be too long or complex) without any problem, and reproduce it. i can ear out a song i've only heard a few times, in one room, and then later at my piano play it by ear from memory.

    theory can't train you for this. you need to practice without theory for this. the blind man hears better.

    i don't mean you need to drop, or forget theory for this ability, or never start with it. but your practice must not be theory oriented for it. it must be purely sound oriented. then when you mix both together you're really strong.

    what else is fun though, is playing a whole different melody from a whole different song instead.

    what i'm going to work on is knowing what the chords are, and playing with my left hand at the same time as my right. i'm happy enough with my right hand.

    which i guess you're not, if you listened to the link i posted.

    i can easily enough imagine the sounds, and play them with my right, i can even do it with my eyes closed, but i can't handle doing that for both left and right hand at the same time, this is where i'm hoping the theory will come in and help me out.

    but ya, touche, what i recorded is probably way off from the melody. once i got the backing track from gersdal that became just the backing track as it is, no longer the tune cry me a river. just playing with it and trying to know the chords. this is still practice for me and this tune. i'm not trying to do a rendition of cry me a river just yet. i might try that later on if i get to the point where i can cope with both hands, and then maybe do something just piano, that way i have full chord freedom, full voicing freedom, and i can mess around with the tempo however i want.

    besides i've already forgotten that melody, i mean i know i said i'm pretty good at remembering melodies but that one's fairly long with a fairly changing chord structure, and i only heard it a couple of times a bunch of days ago, so i'm not quite there yet. i haven't listened to it since sometime before the backing track post. since probably the post where i posted that i had found it.
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 01-26-2010 at 07:57 PM.

  5. #35
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    hey gersdal, the lead sheet is good, but what sucks is i still need to figure out the voicings and stuff like that, would be at all possible to post the piano part as a midi file, or all parts as separate midi files?

    this would really help me out.

    or actually what's a Bb5#5? seems like this might be a mistake, i can't find it on the net, and it's unconventional in music to use the same reference a note, it would more likely be called Bb5b6 before 5#5 which would be quite dissonant too.

    do you mean possibly Bb5#9?

    doesn't your midi program you used to build your backing track automatically print out chord names of your midi track for you?
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 01-26-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  6. #36
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood View Post
    hey gersdal, the lead sheet is good, but what sucks is i still need to figure out the voicings and stuff like that, would be at all possible to post the piano part as a midi file, or all parts as separate midi files?
    The voicings are given in the tab, but surely I could post a midi as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood View Post
    or actually what's a Bb5#5? seems like this might be a mistake,
    Yes, it's a typo. It should be Bb7#5. Sorry. And thanks a lot for letting me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood View Post
    doesn't your midi program you used to build your backing track automatically print out chord names of your midi track for you?
    Don't know... Have never had the need, so I haven't tried. However, the midi file is created from the written sheet so there is really no need.

  7. #37
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    I've fixed the typo in all files (I hope). The midi file is uploaded.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gersdal View Post
    The voicings are given in the tab, but surely I could post a midi as well.

    Yes, it's a typo. It should be Bb7#5. Sorry. And thanks a lot for letting me know.

    Don't know... Have never had the need, so I haven't tried. However, the midi file is created from the written sheet so there is really no need.
    sweet, i'm not much of a tabs kind of guy, i never really got used to them. when i first started guitar i used them to learn songs alittle, but quickly found how wrong they were and how i needed to ear the stuff out anyways, so i ended up getting better at transcribing before i got better at reading tabs with any kind of speed.

    sure, man, np, thanks for making all that stuff. if i end up finding more, i'll let you know. I pretty much got stuck at that part. which is why i got kind of annoyed with trying to figure out the chords. i don't know all my chords yet on piano, so it takes a little time for me to figure them out still.

    well that's just as good i guess, make the sheet and have the midi built from that, but what's got me confused then is how your typo was not a typo in your backing track.

    Quote Originally Posted by gersdal View Post
    I've fixed the typo in all files (I hope). The midi file is uploaded.
    sweeeet thanks man.

  9. #39
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingood View Post
    well that's just as good i guess, make the sheet and have the midi built from that, but what's got me confused then is how your typo was not a typo in your backing track.
    The chord symbol is just a text. It's the written voicing that is played in the midi. I guess a more advanced user of tools like guitarpro could do this in a better way, but that is how I do it

  10. #40
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    oh oh oh, it's the tab that's writing the midi. ya, idk, i used to have that program, but ended up not using it much. the problem is, that often the files you get are full of errors, and sifting through them sucks. but hey, if we make alot of these, save your midi files and you could build a dependable resource for good ones perhaps.

  11. #41
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    I noticed not all the passing notes are there, which i suppose is a godo thing as well as a common thing.

    this is pretty cool though, thanks man.

  12. #42
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaljustice83 View Post
    This is turning out to be a great thread.

    JonR- How did you go about organizing the chord tones when beginning to use them to improvise? That is...when you started doing this. It is probably second nature now eh?

    -matt
    If you want how I started, that's lost back in the mists of time... when dinosaurs roamed the earth.... (people call them prog rock bands now, haha...).

    Seriously... I started improvising (as far as I can remember) by just adding easy notes to chord shapes. This amounted mostly to major pent on major chords and minor pent on minor chords (although I didn't know those scale names then).
    I was already used to playing melody at that time, because the first thing I did when I had my first real guitar was write tunes (4 in the first week), or try to play guitar instrumentals (Shadows, etc). I couldn't really play chords at that time - too many strings to hold down at once! - but I could play tunes, they were only one note at a time!
    IOW, melody seemed to come naturally to me. When faced with a chord sequence (once I could handle them OK), it was the easiest thing in the world to add the odd note here and there, working my way melodically between a note in one chord and another note in another chord; the "other notes" were always notes that could be found in the other chords. It was a no brainer really. I didn't think in "scales", but of course I was playing scales, because that's all chords are: a few notes taken from a scale and played simultaneously.
    (I was encouraged in this because it seemed to be the way people improvised on the records I was learning.)

    I soon began to notice a sense of character for each chord tone, to give melodic lines particular expression.

    Eg the root is "home" - a grounded note, unexpressive, but absolutely direct. Playing only the roots of chords sounds like you're just repeating what someone else says, underlining the salient points of the sequence, if you like. Not interesting or very melodic, IOW, but still a useful sound now and then.

    The 5th supports the root, and (appropriately enough) has a kind of supportive sound, strong, warm, reassuring. Still not a lot of expressive character on its own, but more so than the root. (An especially reassuring warmth comes from harmonising a tonic note with the IV chord, where it's the 5th of the chord. Dylan used to love doing this, and it was his songs where I first identified this effect - eg Mr Tambourine Man, which is full of melodic 5ths, giving the tune its nostalgic sweetness.)

    The 3rd is where the chord really starts to "speak". The major 3rd is open, clear, sweet, bright. Almost "innocent", but still pretty strong. It says "yes".
    The minor 3rd is darker, more moody. Not always sad, but definitely thoughtful, intense. It says "hmm, maybe, I dunno - let me think about it".

    Then there's the two 7ths.
    The b7 is groovy, always wears shades : makes either major or minor chords much cooler, adding a quizzical, hip kind of tension. Usually helps chords move more smoothly, gives them a bit of forward motion as well as helping them blend into the next one. Moody, but good natured, therefore. It says (if you like) "come on guys let's get this show on the road."
    The maj7 is total contrast. A melancholy, wistful sound: quite airy and bright - bittersweet - on a major chord, but very intense, almost painful, on a minor chord (its bitterness unsweetened by a major 3rd). Obviously a great ballad sound on a major chord, but only really suitable for mysterious endings (or transitions) on a minor chord.
    It sighs "If only... but I guess that's life, huh?"

    The major 6th has a cheesy, smug sound on a major chord. Like this:. You can't help but grin stupidly (or groan at the cliche) if you end a song on a major 6th. It says "thank you kindly, folks!"
    On a minor chord the 6th also makes a good cheesy/jazz ending to a minor sequence, but more of a quirky, mysterious wink than the major - like someone smirking at a joke you don't get.
    On a dom7 chord, the 6th becomes a 13th, which is the as far as a dom7 can reach in extending its tension - sweetly, mind, without the dissonance you get with altered dom7s. A dom13 collapses back into a tonic with a huge sigh of relief.

    The 9th is a great poignant sound, esp on its own as an add9. (The m(add9) chord is possibly the saddest chord sound.) It has a yearning quality, as if stretching beyond the moment - looking longingly towards those blue hills in the distance. Stack one on a maj7 to pump up the melancholy another notch. Put one on top of a dom7 to add a smart jazz suit-and-tie to the plain blues chord (think T-Bone Walker).

    That leaves the 4th. A suspension, of course, on a major chord (or a dom7), so doesn't really count as a chord tone (in functional harmony).
    As a modal sound, a 7sus4 (or 9sus4 or 13sus4) is a delicious ambiguity - this chord REALLY has shades on . You just can't tell who it is, or where it's going - because of course it isn't going anywhere. It's just going to sit right here and chill, man....toke on this joint...

    Beyond there are the alterations: #5/b6, b9, #9, b5/#11. Mostly these function as increasing the dissonance of a plain dom7, to drive it even more forcefully towards the next chord (tonic): passing notes, IOW, although their role is to pass to the next chord, not to another note on this chord.
    Last edited by JonR; 01-27-2010 at 04:01 PM.

  13. #43
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    That was a pleasure to read Jon. Amazingly similar to my internal feelings about each interval (and probably to many others'). I could never explain it that clearly though.

    Thanks!
    "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar"

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  14. #44
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Well written JonR. Thanks.

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    Idk, i get quite different reactions for those chords, and to be honest i get compeltely different reactions from the same chord depending on everything else, on the timber, the instrument, the tempo, the style of music, where it is played in relation to other chords.

    in context i think i could describe what it evokes in me, but just like that, on its own, it is nothing to me. it is the chord, the name. just the straight sound of it, but even that, to me, is not a thing on its own because different voicings and different timbers and different instruments will make the same chord sound different to me, evoke deifferent emotions. even how hard or soft you play it i find makes a difference.

    for me, when improvising, i know the sound i want, and to make that sound might be a 9th, or a 7th, but on it's own without being in context, played with emotion, to me it is nothing in terms of emotion, just an emotion i have will trigger to play a 9th or a 7th, sometimes the same kind of mood or image or feeling might make me at one time play a 7th and at one time a 9th.

    to me also, it's kind of more important tonally, where the extension sits in regards to the key scale rather than the chord it's on top of. i find that is much more prominent.

    just as a scale is nothing to me. if you play the major scale in one way in straight order, that is specific, and if you played it i would describe how it seems to me. but a scale need not be played in order, and on different songs it will sound different.

    there are tendencies of chords though, the chords are different, but so often they break these rules.

    like major is considered by many to be a happy sound, while minor a sad one. but i've often heard sad sounding major chords.

    so idk, if you ask me what a 9th sounds like, my only response can be "like this" and then i play you one, and then play it to you in multiple voicings.

    I know what you're getting at though JonR, and it was interesting to read your thoughts about those chords, and I kind of get what you mean for some of the sounds, some of them i just feel differently about i guess, but i think you'd agree also these are huge generalizations, and chords can take on very different disguise in different situations. i think so at least.
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 01-27-2010 at 08:23 PM.

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