You don’t need much…

No sir.

1. The first piece you can see here proves that you don’t need 4 strings – 3 are enough, if you open and end a piece on a gimbri.

2. You also don’t need a lot of chords – sometimes one chord is enough to totally rock da house. Hear the second one, which Marcus announced in perfect French.

3. and 4. They continue with Miles’ “Tutu“. Marcus, who is about two and a half years younger than me played that in 1986 with Miles, and here (at around the 33 minute mark) they swing like the devils, and play some really nice hard bop and cool jazz lines, just as if Miles would be present. And during the bass solo they switch to Marcus’ own “Blast”, the opening track from his 2008 album “Marcus” (and also on his 2007 album “Free“).

No, you don’t need much. Just keep practising for some 40+ years, and play as much as you can. See his discography.

Enjoy.

Many thanks, Prof. Dr. Andreas Kissenbeck!

I’m following Andreas’ Youtube channel ‘creating your own music‘ since a while, and I can really recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about music theory. He explains it so that you can really understand the stuff, no matter what previous knowledge you might have.

But there’s more. The professor seems to be a really really nice guy as well. Yesterday I was watching his talk on ‘Exploring Harmony for Jazz Improvisation‘, and all of a sudden he made a remark like:

“I transcribed Cory Henry’s solo from the Snarky Puppy video ‘We like it here’…”

– and that stopped my right there. Couldn’t believe it; that solo starts at around 4:20 minutes in the following video, and lasts pretty much to the end of the song, which is at 10:44 or so. Wow. Look and listen:

So on Andreas’ channel I wrote how amazing that is – just imagine the amount of work he did, with transcribing each single note of what Cory played there! And, curiously, I asked if I could have that transcription.

And guess what Andreas replied, in German? Something like “sure, drop me an email and I’ll send it”.

Wow.

Thanks Andreas! As a kind of reward, I’ve put your first two books on my wishlist, and I’m pretty sure that once I have these, I want the next ones as well!

Andreas’ homepage is here; go have a look if you’re interested in a good and nice music teacher.

So, thanks again, Prof. Dr. Andreas Kissenbeck!

P.S. (Update from Wednesday, 3rd of May, 2017):

Andreas sent me an email with the transcriptions – and after reading this blog entry, he wants to emphasize that he didn’t do the work all alone – but he corrected a single-note transcription of Cory’s solo, and added the chords which were played. So double kudos to Andreas for being nice and honest. Cannot wait to hear him play with his own band

Swing

(ka)-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-… (Americans: say this with a looong letter “u”, like in “choon”)

If you listen to modern music, you won’t hear much of that rhythm anymore, and maybe that’s why most people now have a horrible rhythmic feeling. They count the ones and the threes, and all they can do is stomp and clap their hands in absolutely the wrong moments. Don’t. Just don’t be that guy (or girl) who claps on the 1s and 3s. There’s so much more.

And hey, before you can even start dreaming of doing the bop like Bird or Diz or Monk, or of being cool like Miles, you have to go way back in history, and re-learn how to swing. That’s how you’ll become one of the cool cats, and that’s promised.

Just saw a short and sweet intro into this from Aimee Nolte. Look, listen, and feel:

Now the first piece she mentions – “April in Paris” from the Count Basie Orchestra – is a nice piece – if you’re able to even hear those small little accents on 2 and 4, and hear that “ka-chun-ka-chun” from the rhythm section (guitar, bass, drums) – which you probably don’t. I’ll show you anyway, just for reference and because Aimee mentioned it:

Nice. But much stronger than that is the one from Nina Simone which Aimee mentioned, and it’s called “My baby just cares for me”. Now these are the really cool cats, and maybe you’ll hear (and feel) it in that one:

But the one where you should really get it is the “C Jam Blues” from the Oscar Peterson Trio – those 2s and 4s are so strong, and after these 9 minutes you should recognize that your right foot hurts from just lifting on those last 8th triplets before the following (downbeat) quarter notes – and remember and listen what you can do with a main melody of just two notes!

Yeah. Aimee’s right. Train that for 10 minutes each day. Listen to many more swing titles, saying “(ka)-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-” – and after a while, you might feel the swing.

Then take your instrument, whatever it might be, and start using that rhythm. Or if you don’t have an instrument (yet), play it with your spoon on your cup of coffee, whatever. These guys could do it. They had that rhythm in their blood.

It’s a totally different experience especially for the young ones which maybe never heard something like that.

Enjoy.

Take Five backing track, version 3

Thanks to some help from finotti in the LinuxMusicians forum (and I didn’t even really ask for it, so I’m extra thankful), I’ve got my commercial xln audio Addictive Keys grand piano working in Ardour as well. And while Zuleikha was testing the sounds with my midi keyboard, I made a screenshot:

Screenshot from 2017-04-28 18:49:12

I’ve loaded the virtual instrument into Carla Patchbay, and after some manual configuration to hear the output, I could use the combination as an instrument within Ardour (which is still my favourite DAW (digital audio workstation) on Linux).

In the screenshot you see Ardour with the loaded “Take Five” song again, and I mixed that via Jamin into Audacity. The acoustic bass and the drum tracks both come via the Calf Fluidsynth and its included GM (general midi) soundfont. In the master track I also used a Calf Limiter; EQ and a bit of compression came from Jamin. The .wav file was then leveled to -23dB LUFS in Ardour, and with Audacity I converted it to an MP3 file again which you can listen to here:

This time I wanted a somewhat more warm and intimate sound, and the “Jazzish” preset of xln’s Studio Grand gave me exactly that.

That Steinway really sounds good, it’s the best piano we have in the house. But the Salamander Grand Piano V3, a Yamaha C5 recorded by Alexander Holm isn’t too far off – and it’s free.

Find many more tools for Linux music production on LibreMusicProduction if you like.

And like always, thanks for reading.

See what you can do with Ardour

Saw that cool video:

And remember, this orchestral sample library is loaded to the free Kontakt player for Windows, but together with Wine and Carla, it obviously works very nice within a free DAW in Linux as well.

Not everything will work tho – forget anything with dongles or other “security” hindrances. In that case, take really free (as in speech) things instead.

See also the German Howto about using Carla here. Thanks Felipe for this wonderful tool!

Take Five backing track, version2

I’ve made this today:

7e1_4270000-making-of-take5

Done with a nice commercial sample package from XLN audio called “Addictive Keys Studio Grand” – but on Linux (it’s a Windows version, you can also get it for Macs).

And this is how it sounds:

I wanted it to sound like recorded in some cellar hall, but didn’t use fancy stuff like a Klangfalter reverb yet. Just a Limiter on the master bus, and leveled to -23LUFS.

Anyway – I like the piano. It’s a Steinway Grand, recorded somewhere in Sweden.

Thanks for reading (and listening).

Good one…

Just stumbled over this one. It’s Katharine McPhee, and yes, if you like TV shows, she’s also the actress from “Scorpion”:

Enjoy…

Bill Laurance again

Here’s a complete concert, duration 1:44:48, filmed by an amateur (as he calls himself), but with good enough equipment to make it worthwhile:

Cam 1: Nikon D5300 w/Nikkor 18-300mm Lens
Cam 2: Nikon D5100 w/Sigma 17-50mm Lens
Audio: Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro(on camera) SBD Matrix } Zoom H6 w/X/Y Capsule(on stage) + Studio Projects LSD2(Blumlein on stage)

It’s black & white & so cool:

I also really liked Jamison Ross on drums on this one. Never seen him before, but what a cool cat he is! Oh, and don’t get me started on that Nord Stage piano – definitely the thing to take with you in case there isn’t a real one on stage already…

Enjoy!

Piano lessons by Aimee Nolte

Well I have to feature someone else again – and like so many times lately, found her on Youtube. So here’s her channel, her playlists, and her homepage.

Aimee is a mother of four, and most of her videos are pretty much advanced stuff – not your typical beginner lessons. But these are definitely fun, so let me give you a short example here:

You have cool stuff like this, and it goes on for hours. Easy to recommend this, especially if you like jazzy tunes (but she also covers simpler stuff at times, like for instance Adele). I find some of her stuff incredibly inspiring and useful – and I’m not even a pianist.

Enjoy!