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  1. #81

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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
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  3. #82
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dave Pollack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post

    However I am talking about an ideal situation for me where I can achieve what I want and be reasonably sure that the phrase I play will end how I want it to. I found this important once I got beyond the student stage and making a living, because what was expected of me on a session was to actually play stuff that was complete and good enough for public release.

    Yes I did take risks on a session if I knew it was going to be possible to try a second take, e.g. going for a very difficult high altissimo. (Possibly is a digression from the topic of ending phrases I suppose, unless that high note is the phrase ending) But if it was a live session, or a session where there are 100 other players who would not appreciate a second take just because I fluffed an altissimo note at the end of a phrase.
    I think studio session work will be viewed a little differently in regards to risk in improvisation compared to live gigs. I'm just going from my own personal experience- when playing with the Mingus Big Band and Orchestra, there were LOTS of risks being taken on the bandstand! That music lends itself to that, though (compared to the Vanguard Orchestra for example). To me neither is better or worse- just different. I know I definitely alter my own improvisational approach depending on the setting!

  4. #83
    Roundmidnite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    I'm such a newbie at recording that I always write out my solos to make sure the phrases end well! Otherwise I get all flustered
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  5. #84
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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    I think the concept of playing "risky" solos or taking chances just depends on the show - If it's a concert or wedding, or other critical gig, I pretty much know what I will play on all my solos before I play the first note - It might sound like an improv, but I have a very defined direction in my mind. I might change a few notes if I get behind or miss something, but the beginning and ending phrases are pretty carefully crafted.

    On the flip side, if it's 1:00 am at a blues club and everyone's lit, all of us in the band like to walk as far out on the limb as we can just to see if we can make it back safely. Solo's are extended and extended again, the bassist often gets one too, and maybe even the drummer. On occasion the entire rhythm section has dropped out and I've been left to go it alone for an unspecified period of time. That unspoken approach, has helped us all with our phrasing. You have to do a decent job of defining your solos end just so folks know when to come back in...of course it's also resulted in both fiery train wrecks and magical moments, but those magical moments are why I even bother to play at all anymore.

    If I knew my ability and the instrument so well that I could no longer surprise myself - I'd quit.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Dave Pollack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post
    I think the concept of playing "risky" solos or taking chances just depends on the show - If it's a concert or wedding, or other critical gig, I pretty much know what I will play on all my solos before I play the first note - It might sound like an improv, but I have a very defined direction in my mind. I might change a few notes if I get behind or miss something, but the beginning and ending phrases are pretty carefully crafted.

    On the flip side, if it's 1:00 am at a blues club and everyone's lit, all of us in the band like to walk as far out on the limb as we can just to see if we can make it back safely. Solo's are extended and extended again, the bassist often gets one too, and maybe even the drummer. On occasion the entire rhythm section has dropped out and I've been left to go it alone for an unspecified period of time. That unspoken approach, has helped us all with our phrasing. You have to do a decent job of defining your solos end just so folks know when to come back in...of course it's also resulted in both fiery train wrecks and magical moments, but those magical moments are why I even bother to play at all anymore.

    If I knew my ability and the instrument so well that I could no longer surprise myself - I'd quit.
    Thank you!

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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post
    I think the concept of playing "risky" solos or taking chances just depends on the show - If it's a concert or wedding, or other critical gig, I pretty much know what I will play on all my solos before I play the first note - It might sound like an improv, but I have a very defined direction in my mind. I might change a few notes if I get behind or miss something, but the beginning and ending phrases are pretty carefully crafted.

    On the flip side, if it's 1:00 am at a blues club and everyone's lit, all of us in the band like to walk as far out on the limb as we can just to see if we can make it back safely. Solo's are extended and extended again, the bassist often gets one too, and maybe even the drummer. On occasion the entire rhythm section has dropped out and I've been left to go it alone for an unspecified period of time. That unspoken approach, has helped us all with our phrasing. You have to do a decent job of defining your solos end just so folks know when to come back in...of course it's also resulted in both fiery train wrecks and magical moments, but those magical moments are why I even bother to play at all anymore.

    If I knew my ability and the instrument so well that I could no longer surprise myself - I'd quit.
    Yeah, generally... that would be the way it works over here too.



    I have gone through the same realization listening to my practice tapes; my phrasing was ragged and didn't always make sense.

    My problem is not consciously counting. Not counting all the way through each measure and each phrase. Consciously counting the phrases as they progress through the form; This is the first time through A, This is the 2nd time through A... here is the bridge! Here comes the first ending, or here comes the second ending... need to nail the turnaround to the top.

    I know it's hard to do... but it's fairly simple... 1, 2, 3, 4

    1 &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &



    1234, 2234, 3234, 4234...
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  8. #87

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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Pollack View Post
    I think studio session work will be viewed a little differently in regards to risk in improvisation compared to live gigs. !
    Without any doubt ; studio recording - a completely different situation than a performance in a jazz club (Bonafide? ) It means , you'll play three takes, and then the producer will ask for another take with reproduction of the solo from the second time.

  9. #88
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    Apologies haven't read this thread for a few days. Nobody has especially commented, it was my own feeling from listening to recordings.

    I've done one for what will be next month's TOTM that I tried to really think about ending the phrases during the improv and it sounds much better, though is also over a song that I know well (I'll save the title as a surprise for that thread...)

    For examples there are a few in the members recordings such as this take of Beatrice:

    https://soundcloud.com/matthew-darwi...e-gonzalezreed

    A couple of points where I think the phrases end badly (& rather than end badly after reading thoughts from here I think it may be that they outstay their welcome...) are at:

    1:18 - 1:26 where the phrase should end about four notes earlier.

    At 1:43 - 1:49 the last thre notes are horrible, though get rescued a bit by picking up the crappy phrase ending as a sequence in the next phrase, but otherwise totally kills the nice clipped phrase itself.

    2:19 - 2:25 similar thing, the last couple of notes add nothing.

    Theeres other stuff where the whole phrase is just garbage but these are phrases that otherwise I'd be really happy with & are let down by not finishing properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveyx View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrblackbat View Post
    After having a listen back to some of the recordings I've recently done for TOTM & so on, I'm becoming aware of how often I'm not finishing phrases particulalrly well or decisively. I think there are some good ideas in places and some phrases and ideas that get developed well, but then end up going nowhere or getting a bit fudgy. And there are quite a few that always seem to finish in the same way on a prelearned lick, especially at speed.

    Any good tips for learning how to finish off a phrase, or carry it over into a new one without it sounding so abrupt?
    @ Mrblackbat.

    Has anyone else commented on this aspect of your soloing or is it maybe purely subjective. You could post a particular example . . Improvisation if thats what you are doing will be by definition a unique rendering. I often try to reproduce exact reproductions of Improvs I,ve done and enjoyed ,but they always end up being subtley different.. starts middles and ends.
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  10. #89

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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    I haven't read all the posts on the thread, so I hope I'm not repeating what others have said. When I first learned to improvise, I quickly realized that I had to feel the phrase lengths and that I had to cadence. I made up cadences and played them in different keys. Probably the most difficult cadences to play are those that are final to the section or are final to the solo and do not end on the root. If you listen to Blue grass soloists, they run all over he place and seem to magically end on the root at the right time. This is because they have several cadence formula that they can jump to at the finish line. Not ending on the root requires a bit more thought.

  11. #90

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    Default Re: Ending phrases well

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrblackbat View Post

    1:18 - 1:26 where the phrase should end about four notes earlier.

    At 1:43 - 1:49 the last thre notes are horrible, though get rescued a bit by picking up the crappy phrase ending as a sequence in the next phrase, but otherwise totally kills the nice clipped phrase itself.

    2:19 - 2:25 similar thing, the last couple of notes add nothing.

    Theeres other stuff where the whole phrase is just garbage but these are phrases that otherwise I'd be really happy with & are let down by not finishing properly.
    1:18 - 1:26 - a wonderful phrase; I take it whole!

    At 1:43 does not sound like end of the phrase, but the upbeat to the next. It really is static ( upbeat always gives energy) and somewhat apprehensively ; solving the problem: change for ex.to ||-DEDGDAD || B...

    2:19 - 2:25 -An energetic question was answered in the form of a banal blues phrase that does not flow from previous : it is not surprising that its ending without energy.

  12. #91
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    Hah just goes to show that opinions differ, I think that first phrase could have been so much better! I'll have a look at your suggestion for the second one, need to play it on the horn to fully hear it I think.

    Agree the third one is laclustre though.
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