Lesson 8: ‘Pop ‘n’ Play’, swingin’, ‘be-bop’ and other stuff apostrophized or in quote marks.

I’m getting less and less time to document in detail the enormous quantity of info that emanates from Master each week so I’m going to be starting to jot down basic ideas as reminders to myself later and try to remember the blanks based on these.

Pop and Play

Master said that this pearl of wisdom originated from She-Jazzer Emily Remler who noted that most budding Jazz musicians will at some point benefit from using a technique that she referred to as Pop ‘n’ Play. The basic idea being that you Pop a chord (i.e. just strum a chord) on the 1 beat, then Play a little connecting solo for the remaining beats.

Looking below, you can see we are in the key of G major. We start just by counting 1, 2, 3, 4 to get into the groove. After that, we just start playing a chord on each beat. From there, we then play a chord on 1, then rest for the remaining three beats. Next we play the chord stab on 1, then any notes in the key of G for the remaining three beats.

The next step (step 5) is where things get interesting; looking closely you’ll see that my chord stab is now on the 2nd beat of each bar. Hence, we play our chord, then solo over the end of the bar ending on a chord tone of the next chord prior to playing our next chord stab.  This is crucial – now instead of just a bunch of random notes from the key of G, my phrase leads towards the next chord by homing in on a chord tone – in the case of going from bar 1 to bar 2, I visualize all my Cmaj7 chord shapes and aim for one of those guys, and so on.

Taking a simple two chord vamp of Gmaj7 to Cmaj7, first count

  1. one    two     three    four  |  one    two     three    four 
  2. chord, chord, chord, chord | chord, chord, chord, chord
  3. chord,  rest,   rest,  rest     | chord,  rest,   rest,  rest
  4. chord, notes, notes, notes | chord, notes, notes, notes
  5. notes, chord, notes, notes | notes, chord, notes, notes

later in the lesson, we applied this to a I | vi | ii | V in G, i.e. Gmaj7 | Emin7 | Am7 | D7.

Be-Bop

Master mentioned this verbal device of saying the word ‘Be-Bop’ at the end of my phrases as I played some notes along with it which would give them some rhythmic impetus if played on the correct beat/half-beat. Need to ask him more about this – don’t really understand.

Swinging

Part of what makes Jazz cool is that ‘swing’ feel, i.e. those funny ‘and’ notes in-between the main beats. We spent some time grooving and trying to get my swing feel down, and gravitated towards this exercise/device below.

Essentially, swinging is all about the rhythm he said. In my geometric world of Rock and Metal, I would usually have started all my solo lines on the ‘1’ beat of a bar. Jazz, being more syncopated can be made to feel more swingin’ by  starting on different beats and different ‘ands’. We spent some time with him comping and me starting (and badly messing up) new lines on the ‘and of 1’, the ‘and of 2’ etc.

1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  | 1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &

    &  2  &  3  &  4  &  | 1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &

            &  3  &  4  &  | 1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &

                    &  4  &  | 1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &

Plenty more which I haven’t written here, but this post will end with this great quote from the Wikipedia article on Emily Remler (must track down some of her CDs):

“I may look like a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey, but inside I’m a 50-year-old, heavyset black man with a big thumb, like Wes Montgomery.”

Indeed.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Lesson 8: ‘Pop ‘n’ Play’, swingin’, ‘be-bop’ and other stuff apostrophized or in quote marks.”

  1. […] out. Sorry. In the meantime, here’s something I’ve been learning recently to improve my improv: Lesson 8: ‘Pop ‘n’ Play’, swingin’, ‘be-bop’ and other stu… __________________ World’s most fabulous guitar blog: https://gitbuddy.wordpress.com […]

  2. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMaster said that this pearl of wisdom originated from She-Jazzer Emily Remler who noted that most budding Jazz musicians will at some point benefit from using a technique that she referred to as Pop ‘n’ Play. The basic idea being that … […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: