The ultimate guitar related discussion thread.

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by Phil47uk, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I think it's whatever works for an individual. For someone like Joe Pass, he's probably thinking of a substitute for a substitute, whereas someone like Reinhardt just simply played without giving anything much thought in the theory department at all. ( He was probably thinking about fishing ). I have a great story about Reinhardt told to me by a leading jazz guitarist of the day who was working in a club that Reinhardt happened to be going for a drink in that night. But's that's another story another day.

    Many years ago though I was in a store in London with my freind who is a very good bass player and he was trying out a Fender Jazz bass.
    Off he goes on a lovely blusey jazzy walking bass line and I grabbed a guitar to fill things up a bit.
    All of a sudden the door bursts open and there is a big fat black guy in a white suit. " Yeah yeah I dig" He says beaming all over his face and sits at at a piano and joins in.. He didn't ask the key or anything and suddenly goes into a bass left hand all in octaves.:shock:
    We had a great jam and after about five minutes he gets up as quickly as he had sat down and shouts out.."Thanks guys, gotta go, catch ya later" and dissapears out of the store.

    "Jesus Christ I said to the store manager, who the fuck was that, he's an insane player?"
    The guy laughed and said "Don't you know who that is Phil?":hmm:
    " I have seen him somewhere I said, but I can't put a name to the face."

    "You idiot" my mate said.. " That was Oscar Peterson". :wow:

    Duhhhhhh!...:laugh2:

    What a great down to earth guy. No big head..No holier than thou attitude.
    He simply heard a groove he liked as he was passing and joined in.
    I have never forgotten that day because I hadn't heard piano playing like it before..Or since for that matter.
    I wonder what was going on in his head. It certainly wasn't..Shall I play this mode or that scale. He simply played what he felt...Awesome wasn't the word..
     
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  2. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    Phil with all due respect: theory is just words to explain what we do...we know it in our ear and then it becomes expressed through our playing....

    Reinhardt...knew what worked and what did not...he just did not have the words of theory to say it...he probably said...that is cool, that is not...

    I will just play chord X here because I know it works...is really the same as saying I will play chord x here because its' inner voices resolve to y.......

    sure some people get lazy and relay on theory to do the right thing but that is just being lazy...which I am sure we all do at times...

    (and I going to hire a stripper to go and dance just outside of your reach, to get back at you for this "that for another time" stuff....)
     
  3. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Well that's exactly what I was getting at in a previous post. What is it about some people who just..Do it!
    Ironically I had a new girl start today at one of the colleges. She's 15 and is African. She comes in with those dreadlock plaits beaming all over her face .
    " Hello" she says in a broken French accent.
    I asked her if she knew any chords and she said only a few that her friend had showed her.. " Would you like me to play you song I wrote ?"

    " Yeah,,Go for it gal I'm all ears".
    She strummed around on a couple of Oasis chords she'd learned but put her own melody to it...:wow:
    Bloody hell, it was good. She had a very low husky voice and sung beautifully in tune.
    I called in the heads of the music dept to have a listen and they were gob smacked.

    So what's going on? After her I have two boys who quite frankly couldn't hold a candle to her although they have both been playing for over a year and knew far more chords and scales.
    I don't know what the word we are looking for.. Perhaps it's simply called talent.:laugh2:

    Ok the Reinhardt story.
    I used to know the Jazz guitarist Curly Clayton very well as he had a studio near me in London and I'd often do sessions for him with other guys locally like Clem Catini ( The drummer on the original Telstar ).
    Curly used to play guitar for the Edmundo Ross orchestra and one day while he was playing a guy said to him.." Hey guess who's sitting over there in the corner Curly, it's Django Reinhardt." :shock:
    Curly reckoned he nearly crapped himself, but during the break went over to where Reinhardt was sitting. He reckons he had a woman in each arm and a pint tumbler of gin. Anyway Curly asks him if he wants to play and Reinhardt sort of grunted a no.
    Back on stage sometime later Reinhardt suddenly strolls up and points to Curly's guitar ( A Gibson L5 ).
    Curly hands it to him and the band leader asks him what he want's to play.. Reinhardt shrugs his shoulders, so eager to get things going the band leader suggests 'Sweet Georgia Brown'. Reinhardt nods an approval and they ask him what key he wants to do it in.. Again Reinhardt just shrugs.
    Anyway they kick off in the written key and Reinhardt just comes in. Curly said he just sat there watching as Reinhardt played 24 choruses of 'Sweet Georgia Brown ' and not one the same as the last.
    Then suddenly half way through a chorus he just gets up smiles and hands Curly back his guitar and walks off back to his table, women and gin.
    He didn't even wait for the band to finish or for anyone to applaud even.
    Curly observed him all evening and said that he was an amazing person, in fact extremely childish in his behaviour and sat there with these women and his drink giggling and laughing like a little kid in a sweet shop.
    In fact very much like that scene in 'Amadeus'.:laugh2:

    Youv'e just got to love these people..
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjmmjXGwarU[/ame]
     
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  4. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    There's alot to be said in favor of the notion that being childlike (not childish) is connected with artistic talent. I don't have the psychological expertise to explain, or even effectively describe it, but perhaps it as much about having fun as anything. Clearly, this is one area where children excel; adults tend to be rather boring in comparison, and overly interested in social status, money, what have you. Most of the musicians I know and respect truly enjoy playing and creating something new, and having alotta fun in life, no matter how sad or difficult their circumstances look to the average adult.

    Another thing, mebbe not entirely related...:naughty:...I've always been fascinated by the way women think and speak; when they're not pissed off and nagging, that is. :laugh2: There's something very musical about them; non-linear, perhaps, the way that they tell half of a story, move on to another tale, then come back to the ending of the first one, all while driving, eating, or doing their nails.

    When they're in a good mood, they're positively lyrical beings, sometimes.
     
  5. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    Some people are interested in making music. They will make music with what ever tools (instruments) they have available to them. They will make music with what ever skill they have available to them.

    Some people are interested in their "Chops", their level of skill, their technical proficiency.

    They are not really interested in making Music. More so they are interested in self importance.

    One needs a certain level of technical proficiency to get a communication across, but the key here is getting the communication across...................that is after all what music is..........communication
     
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  6. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    :applause:

    Roman - great post. All nails hit firmly on the head. :)
     
  7. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Exactly!
     
  8. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    +1.

    I can't think of how many so called musicians I played with that just wanted to be rock stars and would follow what ever musical path they thought would lead them there. Typically, their musical "taste" sucked, IMHO. :)

    I also met real musicians who would stay home Saturday nights to play and sing while everyone else was out on the town. Some of these guys have been a great influence on me.

    I am not sure where I fit in. I am not a great musician, or naturally gifted, but I love music and I think that shows through when I do play. People really seem to react to it. Well they did, back when I played out and such. I am now one of those who stays home Saturday nights to play and sing. :D

    I was always surprised at how many of those so called musicians had no real passion for making music.
     
  9. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Don't get me started on the women multi tasking thing.:laugh2:
    I have red some quite fascinating scientific things on that.

    Mind you having said that it is also women's biggest downfall too.
    Give a guy a lesson and he usually will wrap himself up in it to the detriment of all around. "What did you say about putting on the cooker dear? I didn't hear you say that."
    Give a woman some stuff to practise and you'll invariably find they haven't managed to complete it simply because they had to pick up the kids on Monday. Do the ironing Tuesday Drive little Tommy to swimming lessons on Wednesday . Go to a school meeting on Thursday and do the weeks shop on Friday.
    Men are far more selfish on the whole and focus on one thing at a time. Women are much more practicle and as a rule don't suffer from GAS with guitars. They get one they like and that's it.. Men are forever looking for the ultimate instrument and are much more self obsessed.
    Also give a man a scale and say " Improvise over this and they will have a go, make mistakes and learn by those mistakes, whereas women when asked the same question will often say. " Oh I couldn't possibly do that" and don't like making mistakes and taking risks.

    Of course that isn't everybody but just a general observance over the years. :laugh2:
     
  10. DrewG

    DrewG Senior Member

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    This excellent post has moved me to comment in this thread. As a beginner guitarist, something I have been more than once in my life :)laugh2:), for me as a teen, it was all about chops. I'd heard Van Halen's Eruption and that was the schizz. Of course, there was no way I was going to play like that any time soon, if ever, so I got disheartened quite quickly by unreasonable personal expectations. Similar thing when I picked it up again in my 30's actually.

    Having picked it up again fairly recently, I see the error of my ways, and just enjoying playing the damn thing. For me my mid 40's has been a seismic shift in the way I look at things, for various reasons, but that's now reflected in the way I practise, which kind of follows 3 patterns... the first is practising chords / scales / learning changes and keys and thinking a little about the theory, the second is learning songs that I like, which usually brings me up hard against a brick wall in some way or other, and which it's then good to break through, and the third is improvisational. I'll make up a 12-bar shuffle that I'll catch up on my Boss delay pedal (the only pedal I own apart from a tuner), then improvise solo over it.

    The thing I'm aiming for here is what Roman was commenting on, the communication piece. Most of the time I can get into it, sometimes I just look back at what I did and think 'meh', and just occasionally I think 'wow, did I just do that ?'.

    In these cases, it wasn't 24 bars at 6 notes per second, but a phrasing, or a run, that just seemed to say what I felt. To be honest, I wasn't so capable of doing that earlier in life.

    Thanks for that post Roman, and the thread in general folks, it's great for a newb like me to dip into and get the benefit of loads of experience :thumb:
     
  11. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    wow...roman that is some serious stuff....I have to say, overall, I agree....and I think that what you said is more important then my ability to see in between ideas....

    at one point I was struggling learning math...I asked my tutor...how can zero be nothing yet something....he said that I needed to just accept zero as it is...not to question it....he was right, as soon as I started to let go of my questions and got down to math I had no problems at all....and even came to enjoy math...and, after a while, when I had done enough math, I was able to see what zero was...sometimes music is like that, you have to go with what is....

    this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

    "But between theology and science there is a No Man’s Land, exposed to attack from both sides; this No Man’s Land is philosophy. " Bertrand Russell

    maybe some how what phil is talking about is in that land between chops and creativity...

    (even though, I set out not to write too much, I did, still I feel that Roman you have said something that should stand on its' own, sorry for my inability to shut up....:))

    (and thank you phil for the Django story)
     
  12. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Brilliant quote.

    You can make a variation of it: "...between art & science... is music".

    That's where we live, trying to balance science & art long enough to comunicate with the audience.
     
  13. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    :thumb:
     
  14. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    The thing NOT to become is one of those musicians who write useless, complex music just for the sake of being clever.
     
  15. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    That's true Mud, but I don't think that the level of complexity is necessarily the problem. :hmm:

    There's good & bad music at all levels of complexity from the simplest to the most involved. What I can't bear to listen to is "going through the motions" music, whether it has one chord or one hundred, or one time singnature or one hundred... :laugh2:
     
  16. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Just got back from Switzerland today..Got some reading and catching up to do in here..:laugh2:
     
  17. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    haha............I hear ya

    Im off there in feb next year....bit of snowboarding..Im a surfer at heart but..I will have a go. Any good guitar shops?
     
  18. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Yes, in the big towns. The nearest one to where I was staying was in Lausanne, but I wouldn't even consider buying anything over there. Put it this way, two cups of coffee will set you back around £10, so forget the price of a Les Paul. :laugh2:
    I'm lucky because I have lot's of relations over there.
    Here's a view from the balcony I took on our recent visit from one of my cousins houses on the lake of Geneva. They own the vineyards you can see on the left and just behind the tree is Montreux.

    Imagine waking up to that view every morning.:laugh2:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGbNK2i59dE[/ame]

    And here is another cousins chalet up in the mountains near the ski resort of Villars which is is in the mountains behind the tree at the begining of the video above..
    You can just make out my wife and my cousins husband on the balcony, with my daughter playing silly buggers in the snow. That was taken about ten years ago when we went over for new year.

    [​IMG]

    Where are you staying in Switzerland Moody?
     
  19. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    Not even sure yet....I will have to ask. Some big ski resort Im guessing....Apparantly it takes a 2 or 3 hour train ride to get from the airport to the place.
     
  20. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Is it in the French speaking part or the German speaking part of Switzerland?
    Probably in the German speaking part if it's a couple of hours from Geneva airport. Let me know I'd be interested to know where you are actually going.:dude:
    It's a gorgeous country, but boy is it expensive. I'm lucky because I have lots of relations over there I can stay with.
     

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