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  #16  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
I wouldn't automatically assume this is meant to be played as swing or shuffle.

vindibona1 is quite right that blues is usually played that way, and a jazz musician would probably assume the 8ths should be swung. But for an exercise like this I think that feel would be indicated if it was required (usually by what's known as a "metric modulation" sign (like the one below).

So I suspect it's meant to be played straight. Certainly you wouldn't be criticised for playing it straight, because that's exactly how it's written! (That's how a classical musician would play it.)

Then again, if you play is as vindibona1 did, you shouldn't be criticised either, because you've added an appropriate stylistic interpretation.

The point is to be aware of both options, choose the one you prefer, and be able to explain your choice if asked.


Here's how it sounds played straight (on midi software):


As I say, take your choice. I guess you're OK with the fingering indications? One important thing is to let those long melody notes ring while playing the bass part.
Thanks for the contrast in straight vs swung. However, I disagree with playing the 8ths straight. It's out of context for the blues style. Perhaps I've missed something in the OP's set of instructions from his teacher.

It's never a bad idea to try playing things differently and perhaps the OP should try playing it both ways, but if played straight, it's just (in jazz idiom) "square". Blues/jazz is traditionally automatically assumed to be played swung. Since the OP is taking lessons I have to wonder what his teacher had to say about it. It would seem odd that it would be thrown at him with no instruction or demonstration.

Edit: As someone else said, I wonder why the teacher assigned this particular piece? While this may be a bit irrelevant to a player who has little or no prior musical experience, it should be noted that ALL written music is only a skeleton, an outline of what the sound actually is. It always must be interpreted in some way. If you listen to various orchestras playing the same symphony (pick you're classical symphonic piece here) you should hear a different interpretation in each and every orchestra, depending on the conductor's vision of it. Tempo, how figures are stresses, variation from staccato to legato... all interpreted. I cannot tell you how many times a conductor has said to a group that I was performing in; "Play it like it sounds, not as it's written". At higher levels you are expected to know how it's supposed to sound and choose the proper context. If you use Tab music as an extreme example, you have a minimum amount of information as to how the music goes.
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Last edited by vindibona1; 11-09-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2019, 02:42 PM
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I think his teacher has his methods and will be able to handle the student's progress.
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  #18  
Old 11-10-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
Thanks for the contrast in straight vs swung. However, I disagree with playing the 8ths straight. It's out of context for the blues style. Perhaps I've missed something in the OP's set of instructions from his teacher.
The OP stated earlier that his teacher is classical, and "he told me to first try to play it straight. But still I prefer playing it swingy... ;-)"

That's fine, the important thing is to understand the difference (which the OP clearly does): that the notation indicates "straight", but that "swingy" is a valid stylistic interpretation. And I would hope the teacher is OK with that.

It's quite common, in books of classical grade material, to find occasional "modern" tunes, sometimes with blues elements (as if to avoid accusations of stuffiness). If shuffle/swing is required with those, it's always clearly indicated; hence the teacher's instruction in this case.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2019, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
The OP stated earlier that his teacher is classical, and "he told me to first try to play it straight. But still I prefer playing it swingy... ;-)"

That's fine, the important thing is to understand the difference (which the OP clearly does): that the notation indicates "straight", but that "swingy" is a valid stylistic interpretation. And I would hope the teacher is OK with that.

It's quite common, in books of classical grade material, to find occasional "modern" tunes, sometimes with blues elements (as if to avoid accusations of stuffiness). If shuffle/swing is required with those, it's always clearly indicated; hence the teacher's instruction in this case.
You will note that I posted the recording before the OP said anything about playing it straight. [See his original post]
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  #20  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:00 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Drop this, guys, and get back to helping the OP with the blues piece at hand. If you can't, leave the thread alone.
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  #21  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:23 AM
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If you are not sure about reading standard notation there are plenty of websites that you can read that explain it well.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 11-11-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2019, 12:49 AM
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The only thing I’d add is that I never leave a lesson without a 30 second iPhone video or recording of the song played correctly*. I find that I can then play the song in my headphones or whenever. Once you can link timing with the correct notes, you can hum it. Once you can hum it, you can memorize it, and once you memorize it, you can leave the music sheet, hear it and play it. Now you know it. It’s not cheating. You are learning by ear, by sight, by placing your fingers correctly on both hands, and using your memory all at once and you will learn much more quickly. YMMV, etc. but that’s what works for me. If we could only eat and smell at the same time we could use all 5 senses to tackle the problem.

*personally, with my screen name, blindboyjimi would swing those 1/8 notes. But it is great to learn both ways.
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Last edited by blindboyjimi; 11-15-2019 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Keeping the piece (peace) in time.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2019, 12:41 AM
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Ok, so am I the only one here who feels that this assignment might be way over the head for someone who has been playing only for a few weeks?

Perhaps it's my lack of talent and/or skill (plus, I'm a flatpicker, not a fingerstyle player), but I would have to spend a little time with this piece, and I've been playing for a number of years...

There is something here that leads me to believe that this teacher could do a slightly better job at pacing his or her lessons and give the students a clear idea of what they're working on, and what the desired outcomes should sound like.
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Last edited by DesertTwang; 11-20-2019 at 12:56 AM.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2019, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
Ok, so am I the only one here who feels that this assignment might be way over the head for someone who has been playing only for a few weeks?
Not really. I'd say it was around grade 1 classical level.
I'd agree that it may be a little advanced if the student really has been playing only "a few weeks", but then it depends on (a) how old they are, and (b) how much practising they've been doing in those few weeks. (And how many weeks is a "few"? Two, three? or six or seven?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
There is something here that leads me to believe that this teacher could do a slightly better job at pacing his or her lessons and give the students a clear idea of what they're working on, and what the desired outcomes should sound like.
Sure. The student should not really have to come online and seek this kind of advice. The teacher should at least have played the tune for them so they know how it should sound.

At the same time, these are lessons in person, and the teacher will have a good idea of the skills of the student, and what they're ready for.
But sometimes, students don't ask teachers the questions they should, and the teacher can get the impression they're OK when they could actually use a little more help.
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2019, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindboyjimi View Post
The only thing Id add is that I never leave a lesson without a 30 second iPhone video or recording of the song played correctly
Yes - that's a great idea, and there's no good reason why that couldn't be done. I don't insist on that with my students, and it seems most of them are OK without, but I have no objection if any of them want to video me playing a demo.
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  #26  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:42 AM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Not really. I'd say it was around grade 1 classical level.
I'd agree that it may be a little advanced if the student really has been playing only "a few weeks", but then it depends on (a) how old they are, and (b) how much practising they've been doing in those few weeks. (And how many weeks is a "few"? Two, three? or six or seven?)
Sure. The student should not really have to come online and seek this kind of advice. The teacher should at least have played the tune for them so they know how it should sound.

At the same time, these are lessons in person, and the teacher will have a good idea of the skills of the student, and what they're ready for.
But sometimes, students don't ask teachers the questions they should, and the teacher can get the impression they're OK when they could actually use a little more help.
Great points, thanks! I learned something, too.
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