Emily and the MIDI Machine, by nomorbrass on 05/22/2006, 22:18:45

Been working on Emily mostly as of late. It started to sound pretty good to me so I decided to get my laptop rigged up so I could record a midi version. Wow. Was it ever a revelation. When recorded, it didn't sound near;y so good. The voicing is ok and all, but the pauses while I think about what the next chord is or try to find the keys seem to last forever. Just afew seconds inreality, but an eternity musically. My classical piano teacher had me play it for her, then had me do the left and right hands by themselves and pointed out to me that the problem was that I really didn't 'know' the tune yet. So lots more work to do. I found four recordings on iTunes and have them on my iPod now. Bill Evans (of course), George Shearing, Marilyn McPartland (my favorite recording) and a new guy whose name escapes me now. I checked with a metronome and 76 bpm is about the slowest tempo that sounds right. So that's where I'm headed.

Also doing albetans Lead Sheet exercises. Or I should say exercise. Assuming that it's best to go through each exercise in all keys, I'll be on number one for some time now. I have A flat to the point that I can do it smoothly at 60 and have started working in the key of Db. Like I said, it's gonna be a while. But it's fun.

Only one more classical lesson before the summer break. Looking forward to a summer doing the stuff here. But I plan to continue with the classical teacher agtain next year. To me it's not a matter of classical vs jazz, it's a matter of developing basic skills on the instrument. The physical skills seem to be pretty much the same. I'm finding that playing hymns from the Methodist hymnal is the best way for an old treble clef trumpet player to master reading piano charts.

Anyway, it's still all fun.

LJP Journal: rtackett

  • 05/22/2006 - Emily and the MIDI Machine

    Been working on Emily mostly as of late. It started to sound pretty good to me so I decided to get my laptop rigged up so I could record a midi version. Wow. Was it ever a revelation. When recorded, it didn't sound near;y so good. The voicing is ok and all, but the pauses while I think about what the next chord is or try to find the keys seem to last forever. Just afew seconds inreality, but an eternity musically. My classical piano teacher had me play it for her, then had me do the left and right hands by ...

  • 05/13/2006 - Practice Session

    Good practice today. Albetan's harmonic background exercise on jazz leadsheets for about half an hour. It's harder than I thought, but I'm making progress. I should have it in another week or so. I'd like to be able to play it smoothly at 120 then move on to the next key (Db...yikes!) Spent fifteen minutes on Levine style scales. Got the c major down and working on F now. Have the ascending version pretty good but still working on the descending. Spent fifteen minutes or so on Emily. The tempo's slow...

  • 05/12/2006 - Practice Session

    Practiced for about an hour and a half today. Worked on 'Emily' and Albetans 'Performing Jazz Lead Sheets'. Emily is coming along. I seem to have the progression and the voicing in my hands. Still playing it way slow though. I have a tendency to want o play things up to speed, but i'm trying to make myself keep the tempo down to the mistake free level. It's hard for me to do. Working on Albetan's first lead sheet exercise. All The Things You Are, the first four bars in Ab. Left hand is two half notes of...

  • 05/11/2006 - Starting My New Blog

    I'm 68 years old, and was a fairly decent trumpet player for a while, playing mostly big band lead. I have always wished that I could play jazz piano and when I turned 65 I took advantage of free tuition for old folks and took two semesters of group piano. I read the Noah Adams book and, yes, I even tried the David Sudnow approach. I got wind of the Mark Levine book several years ago and have worked my way through the ii-V- I's in all keys using the three note voicings and have bugun working on a few lead s...


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