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Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
#3036959 04/06/20 02:50 AM
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Sundown Offline OP
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Hey all,

I love the first 30 seconds of this Scott Tibbs demo, and I'll be the first to tell you I have no idea what he's doing...

Scott Tibbs Roland RD-2000 Demo

Maybe what he is playing is so complex and a combination of many, many scales, but maybe it isn't... Some of the most impressive and arresting licks are simple when you break them down.

My ear can't detect what he's playing, but maybe yours can. What are you hearing? What scales is he using? Is he staying in one key or is it all over the place?

Thanks in advance.


Sundown

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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3036965 04/06/20 03:59 AM
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Definitely above my level, but I do think he's staying in one key or so. Reminds me of heavily-ornamented tritones or something like that. Of course I can't really play those either.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3036975 04/06/20 04:45 AM
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Almost sounds like he's hinting at Stevie Wonder's "Contusion" at times. Sounds like he's mostly using an altered sound over the dominant chords (what some people refer to as bII melodic minor). He's mixing in other stuff like more aeolian/dorian over quartal voicings but I think that's the main sound.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3036976 04/06/20 04:54 AM
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Sounds to me like a lot of "upper structure" triads and pentatonics. He plays a big honking A-major triad arpeggio over what sounds like a G13 voicing, and then when he comes down over the Ab13 (or D7(#9)) voicing it sounds like Ab lydian dominant (mixolydian with the #11) to me.

That first lick out of the gate is pretty epic. It sounds like some of the stuff from Chick Corea's legendary "Matrix" solo from Now He Sings, Now He Sobs


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3036988 04/06/20 08:43 AM
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Boy, he sounds great!

It's all coming from a very advanced, modern jazz sensibility. I wouldn't have the time or inclination to do a bar by bar analysis for you, but at times it's involving pentatonic scales over quartal harmony (the wellspring of ideas that grew out of McCoy Tyner's groundbreaking style, and then brought even more modern by Chick Corea and countless others). He doesn't stay there, and yes, as some have observed, he uses triadic ideas over advanced LH chord voicings, which emphasize the upper partials of a given chord. Some of it I call "slippery chromaticism"... others call it "harmonic planing", where you shift key centers in a free fashion. It seems very much "in the moment" and he is just working his obviously well-studied knowledge in a great flowing fashion.

I've known Scott for years, and seen many of his NAMM demos, but this is just a talented mofo having some fun. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!.

Jerry

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037075 04/06/20 04:17 PM
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IMHO, one could argue that the scales matter less than the fact that he's got great time. wink


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037078 04/06/20 04:22 PM
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he’s playing (or rifling through...) different modes and changing the key centre of those modes freely on the beat as he chooses. Left hand chords are using voicings built in 4ths, and are built upon whatever mode he happens to be in at that specific time. As for what specific modes he’s using, that is beyond my ears to identify after a quick listen, but it sounds to me like some type of altered minor mode built around minor 2 flat five.

re: your comment “many scales”...more like just playing “one” scale but moving that scale around many “different keys” at a very high rate and at a very fast tempo i.e. play a major triad in your left hand, play the accompanying major scale in your right, now improvise doing that while changing keys, i.e. sometimes play in C, move to D, etc. He is essentially doing the same thing, albeit with much more exotic sounding modes, and using voicings built in 4ths, and at a very high tempo.

The exoticness of the mode, the voicings in fourths (rather than thirds), the high tempo, and the rapid change in key centres, makes this sound really complex, but if you broke it down, and practiced it, it is not as conceptually hard as it sounds. Try doing it with a major scale, try with a minor, try with a blues scale, etc.

Modal jazz “sounds” difficult, but it’s actually way easier to play than say, improvising choruses over a standard tin pan alley AABA standard. i.e. traditional jazz. At the tempo this guy is playing, even if he hit a clam, you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Last edited by Paughrock; 04/06/20 05:17 PM.
Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037102 04/06/20 05:23 PM
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It's a YouTube so you can slow it down and listen, listen, listen, to get the what you can into your ear. Now listen for what chords his lines are implying. The old jazz cats I've been lucky enough to be a fly on the wall when they talk, talk about the chords they are trying to imply, they look at it as the scales come from the chords not the other way around.

Jerry Bergonzi jazz saxophonist and educator when asked the ten most important things when learning to improvise says..... the first nine are listening. It like learning to Swing it can't be written down you have to listen enough to get it in your gut. Improv is the same you have to listen and absorb the lines and the ideas they are weaving together. The more you listen the more you start hearing the words and sentences they are speaking. It's like learning to talk as a kid you heard others and imatated they sounds first, then learned certain sounds had relationships. you were already talking before you ever went to school, music is the same as talking.

Okay time for more coffee.

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037111 04/06/20 05:50 PM
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Not to go off topic (but I will), Is it just me or do ALL Roland keyboards sound "THIN" to me? Notwithstanding the Jupiter 80 Synth, but most of the Supernatural and Piano's really sound thin to my ear.

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037117 04/06/20 06:09 PM
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It doesn't interest me that much. It sounds like when I play a bunch of muscle memory BS. I think Eric said it best. He plays it with solid time and technique which makes it palatable. But it basically follows a pretty formulaic 'here's some 4th licks, here's an upperstructure triad arpeggio, here's some chromaticism'. There is a way to use these ideas but make them more interesting. Just listen to Chick, Robert Glasper, or Geoffrey Keezer.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037118 04/06/20 06:09 PM
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I think there is better stuff later in the video!


Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section
https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native
Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037129 04/06/20 06:41 PM
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My honest gut reaction: "Cool licks. GOD, I hate that Roland Rhodes sound..." [closes window after about 15 seconds]

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Josh Paxton #3037146 04/06/20 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Paxton
My honest gut reaction: "Cool licks. GOD, I hate that Roland Rhodes sound..." [closes window after about 15 seconds]

Haha, right on, my exact same reaction! roll

Now you can argue if Nord, Yamaha, or Korg have the best Rhodes sounds - Roland has it not.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Josh Paxton #3037149 04/06/20 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Paxton
My honest gut reaction: "Cool licks. GOD, I hate that Roland Rhodes sound..." [closes window after about 15 seconds]


Same.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037197 04/07/20 01:13 AM
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The song he plays at 1:27 sounds familiar, and it's bugging me that I can't identify it.

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037229 04/07/20 06:04 AM
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Lots of patterns in the 1st 30 seconds. There are plenty of books out on playing patterns.


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Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Josh Paxton #3037236 04/07/20 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
The song he plays at 1:27 sounds familiar, and it's bugging me that I can't identify it.

I don't think it's any particular song, just a major-susb9-major-susb9 chord progression over a drum machine beat. Used in a lot of soul and r&b, it's kind of "steviewonderish" so maybe that's it.

Originally Posted by Josh Paxton
My honest gut reaction: "Cool licks. GOD, I hate that Roland Rhodes sound..." [closes window after about 15 seconds]

Same, although I didn't particularly care for the playing either. I don't like "licks".

Last edited by BRW; 04/07/20 09:38 AM.
Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037295 04/07/20 05:08 PM
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Best is listen the solo a number of times then sing, growl, hum, yodel, a solo of your own and record it. Now transcribe what you sang. Keep doing that so your start building up the ability to play what your hear in your head. People can always sing, growl, hum, yodel, hear in their head a better solo than they can play because when you play you tend to basic things off familiar fingerings and licks and will limit themselves subconsciously to fit with what they think they can play. When you sing...etc you don't put limitations on yourself so start there and it will also push you to work on technique where needed.

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
BRW #3037300 04/07/20 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BRW
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
The song he plays at 1:27 sounds familiar, and it's bugging me that I can't identify it.

I don't think it's any particular song, just a major-susb9-major-susb9 chord progression over a drum machine beat. Used in a lot of soul and r&b, it's kind of "steviewonderish" so maybe that's it.

I think that's the chord progression used to start "Is It You", Lee Ritenour's pop hit back in the day.

Re: Got a great ear for jazz? Try this...
Sundown #3037724 04/09/20 03:01 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I wouldn't have picked up on the quartal piece. I did hear the descending triads. He's got good hands, that's for sure.

Thanks again.


Sundown

Just Finished: Condensation; Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
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