Friday, January 27, 2012

For All We Know -- Galaxy Vintage D

I downloaded the update to the Galaxy Vintage D piano last week.  I had stopped using it because of a bug that developed when Kontakt 4 was updated.  They've fixed the bug and the piano plays perfectly now.  I have been playing around with different outboard processors to customize the sound.  What is nice is that you can bounce down a wav track and then treat it pretty much like a recorded piano track.  It "takes" outboard process very much like a recorded piano track.  Re: playing -- I kind of felt this was channelling Bill Evans, one of my musical heroes.  My impression is that Bill Evans had a block chord style that was half way in between Red Garland and George Shearing; plus he added his unique voicings to the block chords that made it totally his sound.  I hope you  enjoy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to Learn to Improvise

This is a great example of learning an improvised solo by knotty75.  Using a Fats Navarro solo is classic Lennie Tristano learning method.  The process is identifying four, eight or sixteen bars of a horn solo that you like; learning to sing it with and without the record; and lastly, learning to play it on the piano.  Singing the solo allows the melody to reside in the brain and the body separate and apart from the fingers, which is a deeper way of knowing the passage.  The final step is playing the solo over the record and getting the feel of that classic bebop swing.  Knotty75 may also do the following, but it's not on this video, so I'll mention it:  I like to then learn to play the solo with both hands in locked octaves and with the left hand in order to gain the ability to solo locked octave and left hand as well.  I would suggest starting small.  Find a slow four bar solo to learn first.  You can then move to longer solos and faster tempos as you become comfortable with the method.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tenderly played over the Jackie Gleason Orchestra version

This is a link to the youtube video and sound cloud version of this tune.  I thought this was an interesting exercise.  Willie sent me a recording of him playing over the Jackie Gleason version.  I took out the Jackie Gleason version and did a different accompaniment to it.  I also played a version over the Willie + Gleason combo.  That is what is listed below.
Here is the original version:  Jackie Gleason Orchestra plays Tenderly: Amazon link

Here is the SoundCloud mp3 from JG, Willie, myself:
Tenderly: Jackie Gleason, Willie Carrero, 7note

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great Rhythm Exercise

This is a really interesting rhythmic exercise by bass player Thomson Kneeland.  It is applicable to the piano, and I have been trying it out recently.  He sets a metronome to 52 bpm.  He then plays several measures of one note per beat, two notes per beat, three notes per beat, four notes per beat, five notes per beat, six notes per beat, seven notes per beat and eight notes per beat.  It is an excellent way to practice dividing a pulse.  I have used either scales or arpeggios so I am not focusing on note choice, but instead focusing on the the timing.  This is a challenging exercise, but interesting.  I can't execute it as well as Thomson, but I think I'll keep working on it.