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The dissonance of listening and playing


David R

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Some of the comments made in the Real Book thread, as well as going through my college radio station's library last night, got me on this line of thinking.

 

I love the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong records. Some of the songs which look unbearably cheesy on paper are delivered into hipness by two of the greatest phrasings of all time. The rhythm section of OP, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich isn't bad, either. And while I'd love to have OP's technique (even post-stroke), I don't really have any desire to play in that style.

 

Conversely, I'm in a group now that plays exclusively original compositions, mostly by the drummer but it's open to anybody in the band. It's sort of a Zorn/Zappa/Mike Patton type deal. I love playing this music - it's really challenging mentally and physically - but I rarely listen to music similar to it.

 

Has anybody else experienced this dichotomy?

 

David

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Actually this is pretty common thing. Listening only to what you play would be very boring.

E.g I listen to all kind of music but play mainly jazz and classic. I love listen to Buddy Rich solos, but no way I could mimic this on piano :D

When you listen to "other" music you develop your musical mind for your own playing.

 

Buddy Rich solo

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I agree, that dichotomy is probably more common than not among musicians.

 

In addition to various styles of music, I enjoy listening to other instrumentalists too.

 

Guess that explains my left-hand phrasing preference. Makes them jealous but I love their parts. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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With the talk about "what I want to play" vs. what the audience likes to hear, I think it's been a frequent theme on this board recently.

 

I don't have this problem, exactly, though--to me the aim is to play just what's needed and nothing less or more--so playing more is dissatisfying and a failure.

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Originally posted by dementedchord:

seems "shredders" for instance rarely stray from the comfort zone...

It is harder to stray when the brain is already fried. :D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by David R:

It's sort of a Zorn/Zappa/Mike Patton type deal.

Damn... is this the band you played with at Tranzac recently? If so, I'm doubly sorry I couldn't make the gig! :cry:

 

Sorry to veer OT for a second... just had to put that out there. :thu:

No, no - I was playing my jazz music at Tranzac with two friends and great musicians. The band you've quoted is still in its infancy - the compositions are quite demanding, so they've only done one gig (before I joined the fray).

 

You can check out some of the stuff at Myspace.com/KidsEatCrayons (recordings are with the old keyboard player).

 

[/end plug]

 

David

My Site

Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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Originally posted by dementedchord:

curious.... i wonder though if it's more prevelent in keyboardists though??? seems "shredders" for instance rarely stray from the comfort zone...

Not true. I can attest that lots of horn players listen to lots of keyboardists, drummers, and bassists.

 

I knew several "shredders" who drew some of their inspiration from classical, and I knew others who drew some of their inspiration from other stuff (like jazz, gospel, country, etc).

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Definitely true for me. Especially with rock 'n roll -- I've gotten pretty burnt out on playing pure rock music, but I still enjoy listening to it. Not all the time or anything, but the "classic rock" stations are on my radio presets in the car.

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Originally posted by David R:

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by David R:

It's sort of a Zorn/Zappa/Mike Patton type deal.

Damn... is this the band you played with at Tranzac recently? If so, I'm doubly sorry I couldn't make the gig! :cry:

 

Sorry to veer OT for a second... just had to put that out there. :thu:

No, no - I was playing my jazz music at Tranzac with two friends and great musicians. The band you've quoted is still in its infancy - the compositions are quite demanding, so they've only done one gig (before I joined the fray).

 

You can check out some of the stuff at Myspace.com/KidsEatCrayons (recordings are with the old keyboard player).

 

[/end plug]

 

David

Actually, to me it sounds more like System of a Down meets Ben Folds, with jazz horns. Pretty cool stuff. I can see what you mean, though. I can imagine that it would be really fun and interesting to play that kind of music. As for listening, I probably would listen to it only once in a while when the mood stikes. No offense intended there. I dug the music, but it likely wouldn't be in heavy rotation on my Ipod. Actually, I think music such as that deserves to be seen live. That kind of energy sometimes doesn't translate as well to a studio recording. I would definitely go check out that group live.
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I'll check later - no access to MySpace here. I usually find that whatever style I'm gigging a lot with - I tend to listen less to that style. When I was in a fusion band I listened to more acoustic jazz and African music; when playing straightahead jazz I'd listen to more funk and fusion; when playing mostly rock, I've not wanted to listen to it. I guess we crave a balance of styles of music - or at least I do.
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