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Thread: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2012 Toot Sweet!'s Avatar
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    Default George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Listening to George Garzone, I wonder whether he has published any method books about his approach? Has someone from the forum studied with him and could share his or her first hand experience with him?
    TootSweet
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  2. #2

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    I've studied with him privately & at the New School for 4 years in the past, so I think I qualify.

    He told me that the triadic chromatic approach is something he came up with just for the sake of teaching chromatic approach to the improvisation. It's not really what he plays. He is not an intellectual type of player/person and he would be the last person on earth to write a music theory treatise. He is a natural genius type. He did often refer to the late-period Coltrane recordings, such as Transitions, but I don't think he ever transcribed or analyzed them. If anything, his primary influence is Stan Getz which you can hear in his wonderful sound.

    His exercise for the students consisted of slowly playing random arpeggios of triads separated by half steps (i.e. GDB-BbGbEb-EGC-DbAF-etc.), gradually adding more half steps between the triads (i.e. GDB-BbAAb-AEC#-DEbEF-F#BD#etc.) until there are so many chromatic notes in between that the triads disappear. You are then free to play all intervals as you wish. Triads are only crutches. Having listened and played so much tonal music, he does utilizes tonal scales and triads, but he doesn't approach the music with any kind of systematic ways. It's all intuitive for him.

    I would recommend that you listen to his recordings as well as other chromatic styles of improvisers like Wayne Shorter with Miles Quintet, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach as well as 20th century composers like Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Boulez, to name a few, and really saturate your ears to the chromaticism. Dave Liebman's chromatic approach book is really helpful as well. You will eventually find sounds and shapes that appeal to you and you can develop your style from there. Chromatic style is very personal and open.

    Oh yeah, maybe you can study with him too, if you are ever in Boston/NYC area. He's really great to be with. God, I miss him so much!!
    Last edited by Destonius; 06-26-2006 at 02:11 PM.

  3. #3
    docformat's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for that Destonius. Very interesting stuff.

  4. #4

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    George has a new DVD, The Triadic Chromatic Approach available at http://www.jodyjazz.com/

  5. #5

    Cool Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    re: garzone's concept

    The randomness of this approach concerns me a little.

    I like the thinking but.....

    I would be interested in purchasing it but need more to go on than I can find on the net before I spend $100.00 on this.

    why not dim triads up chromatically to see if/when /how they resolve or many other possibilities.

    The line about it being able to resolve 'most' of the time is also disconcerting.

    If you play enough chromaticism there will be a link or you can make a link between any chord (s) and attach a concept to it.

    Russells concept seems, a bit more grounded.

    it may use renamed scales but the book organized things nicely although it is unnecessarilly over academically written!

    Any other thoughts on these two?

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    OK. I was hearing George through the jody jazz site and I appreciate very much his voice. I've a George CD, but his voice is not in so beautiful!
    Maybe now he's grown!
    Once yes once no

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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    i think all you have to do is play some lines using George's concept and you will hear the beauty of it. Modern music is largely about introducing dissonance to the music. There has been many different systems created to logically introduce dissonance. The triadic chromatic approach is another one. Lines created using chromatically connected triads are very beautiful in a modern conception. They create a random effect, yet are not only full of dissonance but also resolution. If you are interested in some etudes that explore these types of lines David Valdez has put some up on his web site: http://davidvaldez.blogspot.com/ or if you e-mail me (masciocapouya@yahoo.it) i will send you some pdf files. Also check out sotw member Matt Otto,http://ottojazz.wordpress.com he uses these types of lines very effectively

    i emphasize, these are not commercial sounding melodic structures, so you can't expect this will appeal to the mass, but i personally find this type of music very beautiful.
    Swing hard Daddy-O

  8. #8

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Just got the DVD (I haven't watched it all yet) It's definitely worth checking out if you are interested in Garzone and his ideas.

    There's plenty to practice!

  9. #9

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    There is an article in the current or a recent Downbeat magazine on the Garzone system, with a brief explanation and with examples. I'd like to try it but it looks to me to be very difficult ..... I can't really imagine playing successive triads a half step apart. I would like to hear others' experiences with the system, perhaps accompanied by sound clips.

  10. #10

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by DrWill View Post
    There is an article in the current or a recent Downbeat magazine on the Garzone system, with a brief explanation and with examples. I'd like to try it but it looks to me to be very difficult ..... I can't really imagine playing successive triads a half step apart. I would like to hear others' experiences with the system, perhaps accompanied by sound clips.
    My teacher does this. He tells me I should learn to do this and say, "Yea, eventually. I have enough trouble just using chord tones as target notes.

    BTW, I'm having fun using the diminished scales, which I've just learned, in my solos, and I noticed that the G dim, scale contains the G7, Bb7, Db7 and E7 chords. So I'm fooling around with playing these arpeggios against Dm7, G7. Nice polytonal sounds.

  11. #11

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Actually lutemann, A diminished scale can be subbed for a dominant chord 1/2 step BELOW that tonic (so Gº is a sub for F#7). This is because the Gº implies a F#7b9....specifically, the Gº chord tones are the same as a rootless F#7b9. Also, there are only 3 different diminished scales, and one scale is simply an inversion of 3 others, you'll see the pattern:
    1. Gº = Bbº = Dbº = Eº subs for: F#7-A7-C7-Eb7
    2. G#º = Bº = Dº = Fº subs for: G7-Bb7-Db7-E7
    3. Aº = Cº = Ebº = Gbº subs for: G#7-B7-D7-F7

    There is a similar "substitution" for Altered dominants. A G melodic minor scale can be played over an F#7alt. Actually, the G melodic minor contains all the tones of an F#7alt. chords so its not a true substitution, just a shorthand way to think of it on the fly. I myself am also getting deep into diminished and the diminished substitution will also work for an altered dominant.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Mike Cesati's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    Actually lutemann, A diminished scale can be subbed for a dominant chord 1/2 step BELOW that tonic (so Gº is a sub for F#7). This is because the Gº implies a F#7b9....specifically, the Gº chord tones are the same as a rootless F#7b9. Also, there are only 3 different diminished scales, and one scale is simply an inversion of 3 others, you'll see the pattern:
    1. Gº = Bbº = Dbº = Eº subs for: F#7-A7-C7-Eb7
    2. G#º = Bº = Dº = Fº subs for: G7-Bb7-Db7-E7
    3. Aº = Cº = Ebº = Gbº subs for: G#7-B7-D7-F7

    There is a similar "substitution" for Altered dominants. A G melodic minor scale can be played over an F#7alt. Actually, the G melodic minor contains all the tones of an F#7alt. chords so its not a true substitution, just a shorthand way to think of it on the fly. I myself am also getting deep into diminished and the diminished substitution will also work for an altered dominant.

    This is helpful, I am starting to get this finally. Been working with diminished for a few months and was first having trouble knowing wether to start 1/2 whole or whole 1/2. Your chart is correct and simplifies .

    example ....G7 start scale on the 7th, b9, 3. 5 and go whole step 1/2 step. (G# dim scale)

  13. #13

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cesati View Post

    This is helpful, I am starting to get this finally. Been working with diminished for a few months and was first having trouble knowing wether to start 1/2 whole or whole 1/2. Your chart is correct and simplifies .

    example ....G7 start scale on the 7th, b9, 3. 5 and go whole step 1/2 step. (G# dim scale)
    Cool, BTW...technically its a H-W diminished for dominants, and W-H for diminished, but I don't ever think of it that way because it seems to imply there are more than 3 diminished scales when there really aren't. I just memorized it the way I wrote out my "chart." If I'm subbing for a dominant (which I do all the time now as I'm getting the diminished 'in my bones') I'll also add the tonic note of the chord for which I'm subbing. So, I'll add the F# to the Gº chord. This really solidifies the the "F#-ness" and tends to obfuscate the diminished just a bit. Its really just an option, but right now I usually like to keep the tonic well established. And, of course, the F# IS in the G/Bb/Db/Eº scale if you're using more of the scale notes in your line(s).

  14. #14

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    REALLY summed it up nicely Destonius, thank you. I studied with George a few years at Berklee and did his avant-garde ensemble as well - what an amazing amazing guy and spirit. I miss him and the whole scene around him a lot - what a treat it was going to see the Fringe on thursday nights

    Quote Originally Posted by Destonius View Post
    I've studied with him privately & at the New School for 4 years in the past, so I think I qualify.

    He told me that the triadic chromatic approach is something he came up with just for the sake of teaching chromatic approach to the improvisation. It's not really what he plays. He is not an intellectual type of player/person and he would be the last person on earth to write a music theory treatise. He is a natural genius type. He did often refer to the late-period Coltrane recordings, such as Transitions, but I don't think he ever transcribed or analyzed them. If anything, his primary influence is Stan Getz which you can hear in his wonderful sound.

    His exercise for the students consisted of slowly playing random arpeggios of triads separated by half steps (i.e. GDB-BbGbEb-EGC-DbAF-etc.), gradually adding more half steps between the triads (i.e. GDB-BbAAb-AEC#-DEbEF-F#BD#etc.) until there are so many chromatic notes in between that the triads disappear. You are then free to play all intervals as you wish. Triads are only crutches. Having listened and played so much tonal music, he does utilizes tonal scales and triads, but he doesn't approach the music with any kind of systematic ways. It's all intuitive for him.

    I would recommend that you listen to his recordings as well as other chromatic styles of improvisers like Wayne Shorter with Miles Quintet, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach as well as 20th century composers like Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Boulez, to name a few, and really saturate your ears to the chromaticism. Dave Liebman's chromatic approach book is really helpful as well. You will eventually find sounds and shapes that appeal to you and you can develop your style from there. Chromatic style is very personal and open.

    Oh yeah, maybe you can study with him too, if you are ever in Boston/NYC area. He's really great to be with. God, I miss him so much!!
    Chris Alpiar - www.alpiar.com
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  15. #15

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzimprov View Post
    re: garzone's concept

    The randomness of this approach concerns me a little.

    I like the thinking but.....

    I would be interested in purchasing it but need more to go on than I can find on the net before I spend $100.00 on this.

    why not dim triads up chromatically to see if/when /how they resolve or many other possibilities.

    The line about it being able to resolve 'most' of the time is also disconcerting.

    If you play enough chromaticism there will be a link or you can make a link between any chord (s) and attach a concept to it.

    Russells concept seems, a bit more grounded.

    it may use renamed scales but the book organized things nicely although it is unnecessarilly over academically written!

    Any other thoughts on these two?

    Jim


    there is new clinic posted on youtube literally two weeks ago where he describes the concept. It is any triad so minor, major, augmented, and diminished works. He likes using tall of these in combination.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    What I'm trying to understand is where he fits this approach in over chord changes. From my understanding he more uses it as a device to go from one place to another as opposed to a harmonic device for playing over changes. Sort of non-changes playing. Borrowing from the 12 tone row allowing only one or two notes to give the feeling of fitting over whatever chord might be playing at the time.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    I started doing some of his stuff on clarinet. It's a lot of fun.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by DrWill View Post
    ..... I can't really imagine playing successive triads a half step apart.
    I've recently been fooling around with triads, mostly just to get them in my ear & under my fingers (then maybe figure out ways to apply them). One thing that sounds great to my ear, but I have no idea yet where I could use it in an actual solo, is to play successive triads a half step apart in the following pattern:

    Using major triads, play up the arpeggio, then drop down a half step and play down the next triad a half step lower, up the next triad a half step lower, etc, alternating direction with each triad. Continue moving down by half steps. Like this:

    C E G - F# D# B - Bb D F - E C# A - Ab C Eb - D B G - F# A# C# - C A F , etc.

    Those triads are moving down the chromatic scale: C B Bb A Ab G F# F. Note that each adjoining triad moves in the opposite direction (C triad arpeggio moves up: C E G, then B arpeggio moves down from the 5: F# D# B, etc). Dr Will, try that and see how it sounds. Don't ask me how to apply it though. Maybe someone on here can give us an idea? It sounds cool so I want to use it somehow...

  19. #19

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    I've recently been fooling around with triads, mostly just to get them in my ear & under my fingers (then maybe figure out ways to apply them). One thing that sounds great to my ear, but I have no idea yet where I could use it in an actual solo, is to play successive triads a half step apart in the following pattern:

    Using major triads, play up the arpeggio, then drop down a half step and play down the next triad a half step lower, up the next triad a half step lower, etc, alternating direction with each triad. Continue moving down by half steps. Like this:

    C E G - F# D# B - Bb D F - E C# A - Ab C Eb - D B G - F# A# C# - C A F , etc.

    Those triads are moving down the chromatic scale: C B Bb A Ab G F# F. Note that each adjoining triad moves in the opposite direction (C triad arpeggio moves up: C E G, then B arpeggio moves down from the 5: F# D# B, etc). Dr Will, try that and see how it sounds. Don't ask me how to apply it though. Maybe someone on here can give us an idea? It sounds cool so I want to use it somehow...
    Hey JL, maybe you could experiment with breaking that up into 4-5 note groups as in the following example in 1/8 notes):

    C E G F# (eighth rest) D# B Bb D F E could be played over 2 bars of C Major or C Dom (probably among others)
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  20. #20

    Default Re: George Garzone / triadic chromatic approach

    There is a very nice video of George on YT. He explaines a bit of his Triads and a lot of how to build Sound. That's good Stuff for Newbies like me.


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