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Jazzers.. Do you swing your scales when practising them?


MaFunk

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No, no, and no. :D

 

More detailed answer:

When my students do technique, they play scales slow and even, or with various types of accents, but always in notes of equal duration. Plus they do short runs of two, three or four fast notes plus one slow (fermata). Also various types of longer runs, but no swing involved.

 

However, in one occasion, they play scales in swing eights: When putting together the structure of a new piece they're learning, they're required to play the 'big scale': Up and down the instrument, many times without stopping, following the rhythmic/harmonic structure of the piece, changing key as the tune changes. This is done in quarter notes first, then in swing eights (if the tune has a swing character), then in eight-note triplets if the student's technique allows.

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I don't Mafunk.

 

Practicing scales is for practicing scales. Once you know how to swing, regular mechanical practice of swing in scalar form is not too useful IMHO. I'd rather practice on a real tune. The reason is that scalar practice assumes that articulation is constant over a phrase and in real life articulations vary. And real lines have a mixture of different length notes.

 

Practicing scales for evenness is really a technique development tool so it needs to be done for its own sake and not related to swing.

 

As Marino states for his students, I too did it on one occasion. The only time I practiced a scale in swing was the first time I was trying to learn to do swing right. And in reality it isn't nearly as challenging as doing it in a non-scale situation.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Yes.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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Originally posted by delirium:

how otherwise practice "swinging", playing chords? :freak:

...By practicing using heads of tunes (or one's own improv). How many swing tunes have we heard that was made up of scales?

 

Typical swing problems will include starting on the beat/offbeat, preceeded by a quarter note/followed by a quarter note, preceeded by rest/no rest, beginning of a phrase/end of a phrase, fingering issues, accenting.

 

This is why 'scale' practice in swing does not really teach the many factors that make one good at swing IMHO. You'll only be good at the moments of isolated eights in scalar runs.

 

As an example, one can play the head of Donna Lee or Confirmation or something like that and that should give one a good opportunity to learn various swing concepts.

 

I don't know how many times one needs to practice doing swing with scales before it is second nature. For me, not very many times and it became a boring exercise. I wasn't learning anything new.

 

I still play Donna Lee everyday, and I still find ways to improv my swing. Just my opinion of course.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Absolutely not! There is a time and a place for practicing swing, and for me that is not during scale practice. When I practice scales, my goal is smooth and even articulation along with economy of motion. There are plenty of opportunities to "swing" when practicing the repertoire.

 

But that's just me - every musician must determine what works best for them...

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Typical swing problems will include starting on the beat/offbeat, preceeded by a quarter note/followed by a quarter note, preceeded by rest/no rest, beginning of a phrase/end of a phrase, fingering issues, accenting.

man, too much science to simple feeling ;)

 

I don't know how many times one needs to practice doing swing with scales before it is second nature. For me, not very many times and it became a boring exercise. I wasn't learning anything new.

playing scales without the swing that's the really boring actvity. Even when I prcatice I try make some music of it.
♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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I practice scales with a metronome in a variety of ways.

 

To practice swing I'll start with practicing the scale in triplets and then I'll eventually leave the middle note out.

 

Other metronome practice ideas to ingrain your sense of time:

 

1. Metronome @160, play one note per click.

 

2. Metronome @ 80 (clicks on beats 1 and 3), play two notes per click.

 

3. Metronome @ 80 (clicks on beats 2 and 4), play two notes per click.

 

4. Metronome @ 40 (click on beat 1 only), play four notes per click.

 

5. Metronome @ 40 (click on beat 2 only), play four notes per click. This is where it starts to get a little tricky, but stick with it.

 

6. Metronome @ 40 (click on beat 3 only), play four notes per click.

 

7. Metronome @ 40 (click on beat 4 only), play four notes per click.

 

8. Metronome @ 40 (click on beat 1 only), play one note per click; two notes/click; three notes/click, etc., all the way up to nine notes/click.

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Originally posted by delirium:

Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Typical swing problems will include starting on the beat/offbeat, preceeded by a quarter note/followed by a quarter note, preceeded by rest/no rest, beginning of a phrase/end of a phrase, fingering issues, accenting.

man, too much science to simple feeling ;)

 

Jeez, we're back to feeling again. Swing is more than "feeling". Swing is a technique. Swing technique can be used to express the feelings, but without the technique, it ain't gonna come to you automatically.

 

Sample swing practice for me in short phrases

 

1. Repeated 8th notes same note, started on downbeat

2. Repeated 8th notes different note, started on downbeat

3. Quarter note + eight note, started on downbeat

4. Eight note + quarter note, started on downbeat

5. Repeated 8th notes same note, started on upbeat

6. Repeated 8th notes different note, started on upbeat

7. Quarter note + eight note, started on upbeat

8. Eight note + quarter note, started on upbeat

 

Since the basic articulations of each these are different, they need to be practiced. One would find these kinds of articulations in a typical bebop heads.

 

Obviously this is just the beginning. Rhythmic displacement, triplet quarter notes, triplet sixteenth, accents on upbeats, phrase accenting, note dynamics, on and on and on. These kinds of things do not exist in scale practice.

 

This isn't science but it means woodshedding.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Jeez, we're back to feeling again. Swing is more than "feeling". Swing is a technique. Swing technique can be used to express the feelings, but without the technique, it ain't gonna come to you automatically.

so you're saying without the technique I don't feel anything? :confused::wave:
♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Sure you can feel it. It will feel like s...t :D:wave:

 

 

Seriously though, this is all about mastery of rhythm and we don't learn to play in the pocket without practice do we? Swing is knowing where the pocket is and playing with it but always keeping it in control. That's tough, man. I reminds me of a tightrope. You can juggle, lift a leg, move forward, stop moving but you always have to be in balance or you fall off!

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Sure you can feel it. It will feel like s...t :D:wave:

oh man, that stinks :D

 

 

Seriously though, this is all about mastery of rhythm and we don't learn to play in the pocket without practice do we? Swing is knowing where the pocket is and playing with it but always keeping it in control.

even if you know it exactly how it suppose to be,

and you don't feel it you won't swing...

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Originally posted by delirium:

even if you know it exactly how it suppose to be,

and you don't feel it you won't swing...

I absolutely agree Delirium. Our first agreement of the day! :D:wave:

 

I was speaking of practice. You know muscle control and all that scientific stuff...

 

 

Do you do a lot of free jazz Delirium? You need to express your feelings more. Straight ahead jazz has too many rules. :D

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Do you do a lot of free jazz Delirium? You need to express your feelings more. Straight ahead jazz has too many rules. :D

actually I do, you just remind me I wanted to start a separate thread about that. Ans you're right I hate rules. Somehow art and rules don't look good in pair :cool:
♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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I always practise my scales with swing.

 

This is simply to counter my 12 years of classical training where I practised all my scales straight.

 

I was advised to swing everything, after I played Autumn Leaves straight unconciouslessly with a Jazz Trio.

 

I even went to extremes of not playing or listening to classical music for the past 4 years.

 

In my opinion, practising everything from scales to pieces with swing is the quickest way to get rid of the "classical" feel.

 

Those not coming from a formal classical piano may not need to do this excercise.

 

(Of course, you need to listen, listen to as much jazz, especially the older musicians - like Louis Armstrong. vs someone like Keith Jarrett.)

 

regards

Alby

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Originally posted by delirium:

Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Typical swing problems will include starting on the beat/offbeat, preceeded by a quarter note/followed by a quarter note, preceeded by rest/no rest, beginning of a phrase/end of a phrase, fingering issues, accenting.

man, too much science to simple feeling ;)

 

I don't know how many times one needs to practice doing swing with scales before it is second nature. For me, not very many times and it became a boring exercise. I wasn't learning anything new.

playing scales without the swing that's the really boring actvity. Even when I prcatice I try make some music of it.
1st answer...especially if the drummers kicken yo a**////

 

and scales, hanon, straight with tangents in between of course...

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