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Steve Weiss Mallet Workshop

 

Ok, I see all these videos of you guys comping for yourself. How do you do it? I'm sure it's not a simple answer. I recently had a gig filling in for my jazz piano teacher on vibes. it was a trio setting and i could not for the life of me comp for myself. Every time I took a solo I would just have to go Strollin'. Should I just be focusing on the 3rd and 7th? The video I was watching was Tony burning through Cherokee, or when he played Giant Steps last night.

Also I have been having trouble making my practice time effective. What do you guys usually do in your practice sessions? How about when you were a beginner like me? I need to learn my Chords and extensions and be comfortable enough to use them without thinking too long but I just dont know how to go about it. I understand the Theory (at least I think I do), I just need it to be useable. It's difficult with only 4 mallets. It would be nice if I could hold 10 or just play vibes with my fingers.

Comments

James Fri, 06/05/2009 - 07:40

I think the rest of the crowd is probably better equipped to answer your question about comping for oneself... but here's some stuff to get you started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uLyjTiBlqI&feature=channel_page

That video is of Ed playing blues and comping in a 'stride' style with pretty much just the 3rd and 7th of the chords.

Here is Ed playing one of his originals (Life's Blessings) with just his left hand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkv45rnNJv4&feature=channel

You can download the lead sheet of that tune here on the site or off of Ed's site if you're restricted by not being a full member here yet and that should help you see what notes Ed is picking to define the changes. You can also find several other versions of that song (just the melody w/ embellishment, full solo version, w/ a band, etc.) on you tube to see how his playing changes depending on what type of ensemble he's in.

Have fun,

James

Jdoubleday Fri, 06/05/2009 - 13:28

In reply to by James

The blues is pretty easy to understand how to comp for yourself. I was just curious if you could use more than the 3rd and 7th on standards like Stella. On half diminished chords, the 3rd and 7th doesnt sound like enough for me. My piano teacher says I should always have my 3rd and 7th in the voicings somewhere. Easy to do on the piano when you can bust out a bunch of notes, vibes is a bit different. haha

tonymiceli Fri, 06/05/2009 - 13:43

In reply to by Jdoubleday

i think with the vibes, we use upper partials to move the harmony. one way to move harmony would be 3rd 7th and then a root note. that totally moves it. i think on vibes, we're not going to really get into a lot of bass note kind of stuff therefore we use the upper partials to go from chord to chord. i think some people call them the color tones. that's a real quick answer i think.

personally i LOVe moving harmony like that.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Jdoubleday Fri, 06/05/2009 - 14:07

In reply to by tonymiceli

In a trio setting wouldnt you want to stay away from the root?

So you're saying I could just stick with the upper extensions?

tonymiceli Fri, 06/05/2009 - 16:20

In reply to by Jdoubleday

another short answer. yes stick with the upper extensions and learn how to voice dominant chords with the extensions. is it a b9 diminished sound? a b9 augmented sound? a natural 9 sound. that's all the stuff you have to learn to hear.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Jdoubleday Fri, 06/05/2009 - 20:39

In reply to by tonymiceli

Guess what.

I'm subscribed. Direct me to the nearest Badass'dness

tonymiceli Fri, 06/05/2009 - 21:06

In reply to by Jdoubleday

hit the online books and see where the stuff is. just look around for a day or 2, then get a plan and get to work. be brave and post stuff, let us see what you're up to. that help you a ton i think!!! there are so many great and hard working players on the inside.

and there's also marie who is our hostess and will totally support you every way she can. she's so cool.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

John Keene Fri, 06/05/2009 - 09:51

My opinion at this might be very different from others at this site, so here it goes. If I admitted to being a beginner on jazz piano and asked who I should listen to for ideas and the reply was "Art Tatum," I'd probably check out ten bars of Art and then give up the instrument for good. Although there is certainly nothing to be lost by knowing what the main players are doing, I still think you have to find people who relate to your own taste at this point in time.

So rather than recommend people whose technique is worthy of study, you may want to consider specific songs with vibraphone in them that you like. As insane as this might sound, I was thinking the other day about the discussion on another thread about Gary's Tennessee Firebird album, and playing country ballads and learning self-accompaniment on songs with basic harmonic structure is a great way learn to develop confidence.

James Fri, 06/05/2009 - 10:29

In reply to by John Keene

Yea, John, I think that's a great idea. There are so many factors as to what works for different kinds of learners that it is great to have a board like this with a wide variety of opinions rather than just getting it straight from one person (or one school of thought) all the time.

That's another great thing about the music... there are so many different paths to travel!

James

tonymiceli Fri, 06/05/2009 - 11:05

I will toot the website's horn by saying that there are many many lessons and videos inside dealing with just this. And as a subscriber you can post your playing and get responses from the others. I have a bunch of etudes dealing with just this, Danasud just did a video on wide interval comping, etc. There's also major conversations about topics like this inside.

This lessons part of this site is slowly turning into a HUGE HUGE bike on playing the vibes.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Jdoubleday Fri, 06/05/2009 - 11:09

In reply to by tonymiceli

Haha I figured as much. I really cannot wait to finally subscribe!