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Carl

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 

Hey there, I was just wondering if any past students of Ted or anyone else for that matter may know how Ted approached the study of Bach and his style. I saw a video of him giving a seminar on youtube where played "Autumn Leaves" and improvised in jazz style then in the style of Bach. I have read somewhere that Ted spent alot of time studying the Bach Chorales. I was wondering if anyone knew how he approached his study of Bach. Perhaps someone in this forum had the luxury of having Ted himself show him how to apply Bach's harmonic and melodic techniques to improvisation. I am currently studying jazz improvisation and chord melody through mostly Ted's books, but being a classical guitarist myself who has played ton's of Bach I would love to develop an improvisation technique that incorporates not only the jazz style but Baroque and Classical/Romantic Styles as well. Any info anyone may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !!

Carl...

MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #2 

As it just so happens, I did some of this with Ted, and I shall share the jist of it here...

 

You start with your triads, and by adding little 4 note melodic patterns on top of familiar shapes, a quasi-baroque feel takes place (3-note and 6-note for '3' feels also).  Take some common progressions, and experiment! Start with I IV V, and things like that (there are many combinations), and begin working with 3-note close voicings up and down the neck, and then try with 3 note open voicings, etc. 

 

I've written out an example showing what Ted demonstrated for me, the first is I IV V in close triads, followed by a similar idea modulating to the relative minor using open triads.

 

Then, of course, there is the world of the 4-note triads and their connections, decorations, along with worksheets with progressions to work with. The Secondary Dominants is where things get really beautiful.  Ted led quite a number of students into the world of Traditional Harmony, as these sounds are quite lovely indeed.

 

Ted also encouraged me to take standards and try this, as lots of them actually lend themselves to this sort of treatment.

 

One of Ted's sources was the Robert W. Ottman textbooks on harmony. Well worth the investment.

 

I hope this is helpful, and that it gets things going for you!

 

POST SCRIPTUM:  THIS SHEET HAS SOME ERRORS IN IT! SCROLL DOWN AND I HAVE POSTED THE CORRECTION  !!

Attached Images
jpeg Quasi_Baroque_Examples1_&_2.jpg (336.70 KB, 777 views)


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Carl

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you so much Mark, I really appreciate your help. I did notice in the lessons menu that there will be a section on baroque improvisation as soon as the lessons come online. I will work with these ideas to see what I can come up with. Perhaps when the lessons come online it will take these ideas even further. Thanks Again !! Carl...  
MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #4 

I just noticed a typo...2nd row of chords, 4th from the left, I have written the F chord in manuscript correctly, but the diagram is wrong...the fingering should be an A on the 4th string, not the D on the 3rd.

 

Sorry 'bout that!


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PaulV

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Reply with quote  #5 

Mark,

Thanks for posting this.  I am also interested in learning more of this.  Good stuff!

I noticed another typo in the grid boxes -- 2nd row, first chord.  The C note should be on the 4th string, not the 3rd string.

(I like these in .jpg format, which allows me to make these changes!)

--Paul

 


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MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #6 

Yup, same kind of goof...I am not too used to these wider grids! 

 

Sorry again.  I've got some more variation ideas, I just need to write them down...do you think anybody would be interested?

 

Thanks for spotting these errors, I didn't go over it too carefully, just wanted to show some examples, and the mind works faster than the pencil!


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tedstafford

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Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #7 
I for one would love to see another example or two, though the 1st two will keep me busy for a while. Thanks Mark!

ted stafford


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Hal9000

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Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #8 
thanks Mark, I will pass this along to some of my students
MarkThornbury

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #9 

Here's the corrected sheet, as I cannot edit out the previous one without deleting the whole thing, and that would just make the thread confusing...

 

Sorry again about the errors.  I'm working on some more examples, as this is not enough, and Ted and I spent a lot more time on this subject than this sheet suggests.

 

I should add here that Ted would first have me play just the chord forms, in order shown, to set up a foundation, and get a general familiarity with the 'point of departure', thinking the chord names and their numbers(harmonic analysis Roman numerals) simultaneously.  If the numbers are too much at first, at least do the chord names.

Attached Images
jpeg Quasi_Baroque_1.jpg (847.17 KB, 742 views)


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John

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #10 
Good Information in this section!

Another aspect I've heard Ted stress in this style is knowing each common I, IV, V chord function for the bass notes you happen to be playing. As an example: a G major scale would be something like this:
G = I chord in root position = G Major
a = V chord in 2nd inversion = D/A
b = I chord in 1st inversion = G/B
C = IV in Root position = C Major
D = V chord in root position = D Major, or, I chord in 2nd inversion = G/D
E = IV chord in 1st inversion = C/E
F# = V chord in 1st inversion = D/F#

this is a very rewarding line of study for anyone interested in this baroque influenced improvised counterpoint style ( a daily practice of mine for many years now! )

Ted also advocated developing a dialouge texture with 2 voices...i.e., playing a phrase in the soprano and then answering with a similar motivic phrase in the bass...

hope this is of interest to someone out there!
Best Wishes to all from John in Maine
John

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #11 
Just in case someone out there is interested in this:

another very fertile area of this Improvising Baroque-flavored Counterpoint
that I heard Ted mention several times is what he referred to as cycles of 6ths. The basic idea is to play a IV, V, I ( say in C ) and then do the same progression targeting the root a 6th away...the IV & V chords are both in first inversion which leads the ear to I with a nice stepwise motion.

So, in C:

F/A
G7/B
C

then IV, V, I a sixth away...in this case Aminor:

D/F#
E7/G#
Am

then the same again a sixth away...in this instance F:

Bb/D
C7/E
F

keep going on to IV, V, I in Dminor...

one can continue this way for awhile and it serves to create much in the way of coherent motion and interest...

give it a try and see/hear what you think!
best from John in Maine
YoungBlood

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Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John
.....
that I heard Ted mention several times is what he referred to as cycles of 6ths. The basic idea is to play a IV, V, I ( say in C ) and then do the same progression targeting the root a 6th away...the IV & V chords are both in first inversion which leads the ear to I with a nice stepwise motion.
So, in C:

F/A
G7/B
C
then IV, V, I a sixth away...in this case Aminor:

D/F#
E7/G#
Am

then the same again a sixth away...in this instance F:
Bb/D
C7/E
F



I'm going to have to grab my guitar and try that out soon as I can. The very idea of this sounds really cool!
Thanks for posting this.

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John

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #13 
To elaborate on this just a bit more:

IV, V, I in C...the IV & V chords are in first inversion...

a good place to start to get the feel/sound of this is just with two voices, i.e. ~

IV: F/A

an A in the lowest voice and a F in the soprano

V: G7/B

a B in the lowest voice and a F or G in the soprano

I: C

a C in the lowest voice and an E in the soprano

the options are many but this small bit will get you going...
be methodical if need be and write them out...
it's really quite satisfying to improvise in this fashion...

hope you enjoy it!
wkriski

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Posts: 117
Reply with quote  #14 
I just watched the newly posted baroque improv vids on youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/TedGreeneArchives#p/u/4/Zkuo2384ZN4 and my mind is blown, even after 28 years of playing and teaching. Thanks for posting any step by step baroque improv info you have here.
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John

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Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #15 
I have received a little feedback that the previous posts in this thread on chord qualities and the major scale were helpful so I am taking the liberty of posting some related ideas in the hope that it might be of interest and assistance to someone out there. 

One thing you may have already tried is contrary motion studies...I find these to be engaging and rewarding...

A good one to try if you're interested is: 

staying in the key of C:

F on the 4th String 3rd Fret ( 4/3 ) 2nd Finger
B on the 3rd String 4th Fret ( 3/4 ) 3rd Finger

E ( 4/2 ) 1st Finger
C ( 3/5 ) 4th Finger

D ( 5/5 ) 3rd Finger
D ( 2/3 ) 1st Finger

C ( 5/3 ) 1st Finger
E ( 2/5 ) 4th Finger

B ( 6/7 ) 3rd Finger
F ( 2/6 ) 2nd Finger

A ( 6/5 ) 1st Finger
G ( 2/8 ) 4th Finger

G ( 5/10 ) 3rd Finger
A ( 2/10 ) 4th Finger

F ( 5/8 ) 2nd Finger
B ( 1/7 ) 1st Finger

E ( 5/7 ) 1st Finger
C ( 1/8 ) 3rd Finger

These lines can continue on...
It is always a matter of choosing to change register somewhere...(as we did here by bringing the bass line to G on the 10th fret).

This can be done with any type of scale and one finds (through exploration) some starting intervals yield more usable intervals than others...

Stretches of chromatic contrary motion (lines moving in half steps) will often get you into Bachian waters and he uses this when cycling through more
distantly related tonalities...

The fingerings are only suggestions but they are a good starting point for developing more independence with the fretting hand...

hope this helps...!
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