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Practical Arps



  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆVirtuoso 503
    Well, in a major key you should probably begin practicing it by placing over the V chord, not the I chord. So Am6 arpeggios (equivalent F#m7b5) would be played over the D7 chord in the key of G. This is an "inside" sound, so you can't go wrong, and there are a zillion choices for easy Djam tunes in G :)

    If you really want to play it over the I chord (maj), then you can look at key D major (C is the weird note, a b7 in context here, but it doesn't sound too out of place for reasons I don't understand myself). You can also look at key C major, but you have an outside note that needs to be handled with care (that's the #11 sound, the simpsons theme, i.e. the F# note here). It's not a bad note, just has a kinda spicy flavor and wants to lead to the perfect 5th - you can try and use it chromatically like that!

    So, yeah, m6 and m7b5 is same arpeggio. You can call it whichever name you prefer because it's literally the same 4 notes. Unless you're writing a chart it doesn't even matter the name, really - just being able to recognize that sound when you hear it, and knowing the right arpeggio shape to get that sound, that's the most important thing.
  • Wim - this is very good material. I'll echo...what might be your source for fingerings that work well with rest stroke picking?
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Hey thanks Wim! I'll try to wrap my head around that but theory isn't my strong point.

    Can you easily point to an example where Oliver Kikteff uses that sound over the I chord? Don't go to a big search for it but if you know right off the top of your head. I want to try to hear the sound in context.

    Thanks again
  • Tim Robinson has an excellent section on arpeggios:
    Wim GlennJosechiky
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Bones wrote: »

    I'm guessing this is a common problem (or maybe I'm just lame) but has anyone else figured out a good way to overcome this thing of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the possibilities and limiting practice to a reasonable number of practical and basic patterns?


    Pick a tune* and play it in open position by ear. As soon as you find a reasonable fingering change key.

    Avoid moving a single fingering around the neck if you want to work on your ear. Playing by ear means finding fingerings on the fly. If you get good at that then you get thousands of 'patterns'.

    And you should start to notice some things. Like recently you asked if anyone had an example of the pentatonic scale being used in Gypsy Jazz. Well 'After You've Gone' is in G and THE TUNE starts with a phrase in G pentatonic. But it starts with the IV chord so over the IV you play I pentatonic. Same for 'I'll See you In My Dreams'(different key).

    So whenever a tune has that 'Wistful' quality like those two do the tune has been reharmonised with the IV chord replacing the I at the opening. And that is what makes the wistful happen.

    And that is a good way to remember the sounds you like. By connecting them to the tunes you love. And it is good to keep an eye on the key of a tune and see every chord as related to the key. Also avoid thinking of chords as merely Major and Minor, think more I IV and V, ie the three major chords in a major key ARE NOT EQUAL.

    It's fun to work on tunes. I had a good harmony teacher and he said 'Yeah you read the book and learn the rules and it gives you some ideas but then you look at Bach and start working out what is actually going on.' It is a big mistake to copy another guys answers for too long, you need to work things out for yourself.

    Tunes will show you how to connect arps if you let them. Big clunking three octave arpeggio pattern..... not so much.

    They look pretty on the page though. But then you listen to the guy who wrote them out and you think.... 'Really !?'........'Start every bar on the downbeat........ with the tonic ????!!!!!!!!!!!'. That aint what Django did at all.


    *'A tune is a tune is a tune, what makes it a tune is the tune.'
  • JDRookeJDRooke New
    edited May 2017
    I think you should view it as building a structure that you will build on. Joe Pass reduces the complexity of arps and jazz in general by saying there are basically three chords, major, minor, and dominant. Everything else is just color. Based on that, I'd say memorize those, horizontally and vertically to create the architecture that you will build on later. Then, when you learn licks, you can more easily find where they fit in those shapes. Though the major and minor aren't that useful for improv by themselves, learning them sets you up to do enclosures, which are huge in the style.

    After that, learn your maj6 (min7) arps and then diminished. Later you can worry about adding your b9 to the dominant (which is the same thing as diminished).

    That said, to get things moving more quickly towards actual improv, I'd say memorize the sh*te out of the min7b5 (min6) arps (as mentioned by the fellow Wim above) and do the same for the major six (which is the min7 btw). This will give you something useful while familiarizing you with the tones in these arps.

    All the arps and scales are like the grammar. But, you can't get around the fact that licks and transcription are required to actually speak the language.
  • Bones, you might consider checking out the following texts:

    Anthony Parker - "Manifesting Manouche"
    Daniel Givone - "La Guitare Manouche"

    I don't have any affiliation with either parties, but I bought both and they've helped me learn the difference between knowing a few arpeggios along the neck and actually applying them to chord changes and songs. Anthony's version is in English, but the Givone method is only in French. Both books give you a handful of licks via the CAGED system, and are a great resource to pull from. It may be what you're looking for. Everyone else's advice is spot on though!!

    All the best-

    McQBill Da Costa Williams
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Thanks for the info guys. I'll check out those books Michael.
  • NylonDave wrote: »
    So whenever a tune has that 'Wistful' quality like those two do the tune has been reharmonised with the IV chord replacing the I at the opening. And that is what makes the wistful happen.

    Funny how I had something similar happen lately. I've been putting effort into learning a repertoire recently, it's getting tiresome to go to the Django in June and keep looking at the sheet or skip on then tune and skip on fun.
    The good thing is that after having worked on this for a couple of months it became relatively easy to learn a tune. After I know or can hum a melody, it only takes a couple of run throughs to memorize the chords. The not so good and easy part is the maintenance. So after not remembering some of the tunes after a while, rather than going back to iReal app, I try to figure it out by ear.
    That's when I ran into this thing a couple of times where I'm trying to figure out the chords and the turnaround sounds so familiar but I just can't find it on the fingerboard and finally I'll cheat and look at the sheet and realize it's the 2-5-1 turnaround in minor; m7b5 to dom to minor.
    So now I kinda know whenever I hear something that sounds familiar but kinda ambiguous at the same time it's that, 2-5-1 in minor.

    So Bones, are you gonna start adding color or try to memorize 70+ patterns? ;)
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • JDRookeJDRooke New
    edited May 2017
    Er, not to butt in... but I believe the answer would be "both". :) I'm a convert to the learning licks and patterns approach after doing the more general arps and theory jazz improv thing for years. I always wondered why other folks got more of the sound of gypsy jazz than I did. Licks show you your destination, which give you better judgement on how much time to spend on what with the arp/scale/theory side of things.

    Also, as side note, I was looking up online discussion regarding transcribing solos to find the best approach. One author said something that needs to be remembered. The best way to learn music is through our ears first and not through our brains. Kids pick up tunes by hearing them and we should too. So... another way to speed up the process, in my experience, is to find licks that are recorded (say in the Horowitz books or others). Put em on your phone and listen to them until you are sick to death of em (all while humming or do-doing along) . Then when you go to learn them, they'll come a lot easier. Oh, and practice em real slow for a really long time.

    My 10 cents.
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