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Peer Review Thread

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  1. silverwater
    Member

    When I attended a University music program, probably the one most beneficial things we did was a "Peer Review" amongst our fellow guitarists. Basically, all the guitarists would take turns performing a piece that they were working on, and the others would write one NEGATIVE comment for every one positive comment. This was so huge for me, because so often as musicians we shy away from criticizing each other (to each other's faces), or we take it personally if someone does criticize our playing and get defensive. The format of One Positive/One Negative, where everyone received some form of criticism helped me become aware of my faults without making me feel defensive.

    We already have a video with members playing thread. I'm hoping this can be mostly an audio thread where people can post links to recordings they've done, and other members can offer their criticism not only the playing, but on the composition, arranging, recording, mixing, etc. If people leave their egos at the door and other members leave brutally honest but not spiteful criticisms, one can really be made aware of what they have to work on as a musician. What this shouldn't be is a "Hey check out my song!" thread, where other people say "hey man sounds good!" or make no comments at all.

    So I'll start off, with an original composition. For me, I don't even want any positive comments, only negative please. Positive feedback sometimes has made me think I don't need to work on that anymore.

    http://soundcloud.com/the-jazz-junkeez/the-sheiks

    If for some reason you made it through that, the rest of that recording session is here:

    http://soundcloud.com/the-jazz-junkeez/sets/the-jazz-junkeez

    All of the tunes are original besides Litha and The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers.

  2. Basile865
    Member

    I think this is an excellent Idea. While I'll be the first to admit I'm not well enough versed in Jazz/Jazz guitar to make some truly constructive criticisms of the lines you chose, I am a musician and I'll give you my impression. I dug the chords swelling in and out in the beginning, it really felt like something was going to happen. I think possibly a theme should've been introduced by 0:37, but what truly killed it for me was the bass line. It sounded dreary and aimless just going on and on and on. Little to no rhythmic changes. It lacked cohesion and the song lacked an overall direction. There was no obvious motif returned to that atleast I could tell. I cut it off by the 4 minute mark because I felt a lack of direction and emotion. I think all the ingredients are there but I'd add some more focus to the bass line - make it more melodic and pretty, build a theme melody that defines the song, and add some more obvious rhythmic changes. I hope thats not too negative or anything - not my intention at all.

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  3. Basile865
    Member

    And for whatever its worth, I'd say you're easily a more accomplished Jazz guitarist than myself. The guitar work really wasn't that bad I just felt the framework underneath it needed more life to make it more valid and interesting.

  4. jazznan
    Member

    Overall, I think you've got some good things happening. I'm not a fan of distortion and it wore me down, so my favourite track was "string theory", it was brighter and easier to listen to. I think the trio format is difficult to carry off-gotta be quiet the player-so the sax added life and contrast to the group. I think you have some great potential. The weakest area to me, was rhythmically (but I think this is a lot if not most people's weakest area). Keep up the writing and playing, I'm sure it will come together for you.

  5. add4
    Member

    I don't have time right now to listen to the whole piece, and will only comment on the most obvious things about your playing, not the composition or group interaction. First thing i have in mind listening to that is about legato playing. Maybe it's a desired effect, but all your notes feel like they could be longer and their transition smoother, my ears were trying to link them while i was listening. I think your playing would benefit if you choosed to play in a more legato way, or if that is not desired, worked on it. Also i feel there is a lack or direction in the solo playing. I have the same kind of problem and for me, it comes from a belief that i'm not good enough to create excitement and energy so i try to make it happen all the time.
    Hope this helps. :)

  6. add4
    Member

    double post ... sorry about that

  7. Matt
    Member

    i really dig the chordal stuff. i must also say i'm a highschooler (not even close to being a decent jazzer!), but the chords were cool.
    i do think the improv. needs smoothness and direction - verve! that's something that i think really everyone has to perfect and aims at perfecting in a lifetime.

  8. silverwater
    Member

    Thank you all for the comments! It's just the kind of thing I was hoping for. It's amazing to know what people HONESTLY are thinking, instead of walking around with a set of the emperor's new clothes.

    @Basile865 "I think possibly a theme should've been introduced by 0:37"

    The tune is AAB, and at :37 I'm starting to state the second A...I think perhaps I tooled around a bit too much on the first A, but then stated things more clearly on the second one. I should have done the reverse!! I guess with standards you have more liberty to play with the melody since everyone's heard the tune before, but if it's an original tune, you've got to be aware that no one else has heard it, even though you yourself have heard it 100 times. See these are the kinds of revelations that I need.

    Anyone else going to post up a song?

  9. hey silverwater

    you honestly play good. your phrasing is pretty good. you've got good melodic ideas and you can get a "flow" going.
    i liked your tune the sheiks of bedford ave. the harmonies are really nice. some of those changes definitely stretched my ears a bit. the AAB form is cool too.

    the distortion didn't bother me but i could definitely hear kurt there. ;)

    like jazznan mentioned you can still work on your time. (like all of us heh...). you are getting there tho.
    the bass playing seemed a little awkward and as a trio y'all seemed a little hesitant. you can all obviously play but there wasnt enough meshing going on yet.

    thanks for bringing this up silverwater. this is a good idea.
    i guess i'm next.

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  10. silverwater
    Member

    @themawt71 -

    Hey thanks for continuing this thread...Nice solo playing, you've got a good relaxed feel. I never felt like things were rushing. Your lines are good and logical and follow the chords, important for solo playing.

    I could have heard a little more chromaticism and some wider intervals to add variation to the lines, also stabbing at some more chunky chord voicings when you were solo here and there sounds good too...

  11. Eps
    Member

    Mawt,

    Nice playing, man. You sound spontaneous yet fairly controlled and logical. That is a tangled web to weave ;)

    Every now and then I felt like your lines resolved in a awkward way, but the majority of the time I really liked what you were doing. It looks like you have done quite a bit of single string work, especially on the high e and b strings. One thing you might want to try is resolving your lines higher up on the neck on the lower strings after working your way up there on the higher strings, don't feel obligated to move back down the e and b strings to find a resolution point. Sometimes shifting down the neck seemed to stagnate your line and interrupted the overall flow of your ideas Just a thought. The chordal stuff sounded very balanced and mature.

    One cool thing I like to do is record myself and then transcribe a small portion of it that felt awkward or didn't make musical sense when listening back. Then I'll look at it on paper and dissect what I did and why it did or didn't work. It's a great way to edit your playing and get rid of bad habits.

    http://www.myspace.com/jonathanepley

    check out the questionable beliefs guitar solo. This was recorded a couple years ago, but I don't have much straight ahead playing floating around on the net so I guess it will have to do.

    Very cool thread idea, silverwater.

  12. Pascau
    Member

    Cool idea for a thread.

    @Silverwater: I checked out "The Sheiks of Bedford Ave". I dig the tune. Your tone/the overdrive didn't bother me, although I think thats just a personal taste thing. On the personal taste note, I would drop the delay signal a bit lower in the mix, it comes through a bit loud to me at times. Overall, I would agree that you've got some really cool lines and they all seem to flow pretty nicely, and some cool voicings. The two biggest criticisms I can think of are:

    You should work on your rhythm, some of the subdivisions don't always sound secure. That could be because of not hearing them strongly enough, or just because of chops.

    The group should build more with the solo. More dynamics and shifts in energy would really help.

    @themawt: I thought that was honestly really good. Occasionally it felt like the time got a little bit skewed, and when you got into the head out it sped up a fair bit. Overall it felt really solid though. I think you should try work some chord stuff into the solos. You're chord melody for the head was really nice and well played, so it would've been cool to build the solo up into a chord melody before heading out.

    Here are some links from a recital I recently did for school. This was our first show together, but we all really enjoyed it, so we're going to turn into a band :)

    Lament (for Now)

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Plugin

    Trains

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Plugin

    Nemesis (by Aaron Parks)

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Plugin

    I'm the guitar player, as well as the composer for Lament and Trains. Harsh criticisms welcome!

  13. hey,
    so i posted a link in videos of members playing but perhaps this is a more appropriate thread for this. i would love to have feedback on this.
    as stated in the other thread this is peter dragotta on windsynth and a program he wrote that scans image data ( photos ) and with the help of algorhythms "improvises". the module that governs key or modulation was not set so these pieces end up sticking to a tonality. i would love to have feedback regarding any aspect of this.
    sorry for the redundant postings between threads.
    take care.

    http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/80131

  14. silverwater
    Member

    @Eps:

    Hell yeah man nice playing! The first thing that jumped out at me was the great relaxed feel you guys had on the head...very cool. I have a very hard time laying back behind the beat when I play, any advice? I also checked out Alone Together, you guys do a great job of of messing around with the time and where the chords fall, it's really an interesting version. I can hear the Frisell influence, but it's not overdone. I don't even have any constructive criticism. The only thing I *could* say is that your tone on Questionable Beliefs could have a had just a smidgen more high end for my taste, to cut through the bass and drums. But this could be a result of the gear you recorded on.

    Overall great playing!

    @Pascau:

    I agree with everything you said about The Sheiks...My time/feel are crap...I've been overhauling my right hand technique because it simply wasn't functional. And I don't know what happened when we got in that studio, we all just stopped listening to each other! oh well, live and learn....

    I only have time to check out one tune right now (Lament). Overall it's a great composition, really dark and colorful. I was getting images of a demented old carnival, way out in some desert, thanks to the 7/4 with unexpected accents and the horn melody w/ vibrato. And fantastic job with the arrangement of it! What kind of ax are you playing?

    Some constructive criticisms: There was a section or two of the song that felt a bit superfluous, as in the didn't really feel like they added anything to the composition as whole. On your solo you had some nice lines, and the tone was awesome! You seemed to get bit tight and started to dig in too hard though, causing some awkward phrasing. If you're playing over a tune like that with a heavy feel, I find it helps to use a lot of repetition and sequences to create energy and excitement.

  15. mastaneh
    Member

    Hello Everyone,
    My first post here, what a fantastic thread indeed! I like to make a comment about breathing as it happens in the moment and of course how it can help us have more choices available in creative interaction and communication. Regarding the wonderful posts that where on you tube breathing or the absence of it was easier to detect. So here is a radical concept: maybe the first person we want to communicate with through our music is our own selves, and if we are not letting our breathing mechanism which is an automatic system function properly (this is just how our brain calls on the lungs/cells/nerves/whole organism to expel what we don't need and take in new supply)our other senses (ears, eyes, kinesthetic and yes even taste) may not be functioning at their freest and most open level.
    The comments on the posted compositions and improvisations are fantastic! such a great learning tool. I just want to bring a bit of attention to co-ordination in it's fullest sense, and the breathing mechanism as an indicator of co-ordination.

    By the way here is a track from me:
    http://soundcloud.com/mastaneh/02-waltz-schmaltz


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