Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Email with Tyler Lieb

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 11:11:55 -0800
Subject: Hi Tyler,

Hi Tyler, I am writing you from the Amsterdam near the coast of Namibia where we are making land fall tomorrow morning. This will be the end of 8 productive sea days and I wondered if you wouldn’t offer me some encouragement by letting this email act as my next blog post. I haven’t done much to the blog and I have a feeling that giving it a personal touch would do a lot for my motivation. I am basically really enjoying all this free time and wanted to share some of what I am learning/trying to learn. So here’s the first thing... Slash chords are pretty cool and useful. I’m enjoying D/Bb and C/Bb as voicings of Em7b5. It was also a sort of “aha” moment when I realized that moving that up a minor third would make it a suitable V chord in a minor ii-V-i, and that moving it up again this time by a major third would likely make it a great i chord. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the Mel Bay Complete Book of Harmony Theory and Voicing by Bret Willmott but, it is really ear opening and just too comprehensive. It is a tome which offers a really amazing education in its pages. Just playing through it has given me some really fresh ideas. I use band in a box and mute the chord instruments so I can have free reign over the middle voices and play thorough the examples that way. Good times. There aren’t any jazz musicians per se on the ship and I am certain that the level of repetition that I embrace in practice would drive any of them mad. So computers are good. On the other hand, I would never perform with one in place of a real band. In my experience tracks suck! I play shows sometimes where the act uses one or two and we just stand there. The second thing I am working on is reading and executing pentuplets with grace and precision. I have started by just alternating them with sixteenth notes using a metronome and playing combinations of 5 notes on different strings, using different articulations. Thirdly, I am working on 4 note licks to play in the various spots of Rhythm Changes where the harmony is briefly different from the norm. Specific licks to plug into those trouble spots where a tritone sub needs your specific attention. By practicing these licks you gain an awareness of what is really different about them (aurally and mechanically) and can proceed more intuitively. I don’t advocate lick based playing but it is a way to learn.

So how is Victoria treating you? What’s new? Don’t worry, your response won’t go on my blog unless you want some of it to. Thanks for letting me bend your ear or whatever the email equivalent is.

All the best,

On 2/22/10 9:50 PM, "Tyler Lieb" wrote:

Great to hear from you!

You can use this reply as a blog post if you want, although I don't know how much you'll find in it!

Really neat insight on using slash chords... Whether as looking at them as "true" slash chords or inversions, they certainly open up neat doors. In terms of chords, voicings, and the like, lately I have been spending time at, an amazing harmony resource.

Try moving your JM based voicings up a half step from the altered V to make your I chords nifty maj7+5 chords. I love that trick.

Have been studying with Mike Moreno over skype. Has been amazing. We have been talking a lot about phrasing, leading me to check out Hal Crook's How to Improvise book... Amazing. Having been spending a lot of time with his play/rest approach, and I think it's been doing good things for me.

Pentuplets are scary. :)

When are you back near this landmass?