Stupid question about wrong notes

(8 posts)

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  1. Din
    Member

    Every solo (usually at fast tempo) I check its transcription usually has a lot of what I (maybe in my ignorance, hence this thread) would assume to be wrong notes.
    If we are being subjective, yes, wrong notes doesn't exist. However, if we have this system of chord scales (Gary Burton can talk hours about it) why we don't see it much when we transcribe solos? (Except on those obvious diatonic and melodic solos).
    Another perspective of the same question would be:
    Why the head of 99% of the tunes don't have "wrong notes"?

    By "wrong notes" I mean:
    Notes that doesn't resolve by step
    Major 7ths over dominant chords that last one quarter note or even more, and that doesn't resolve

    Thinking as everything as "outside playing" is enough?
    One "wrong note" is automatically being a substitution going on?
    Why he hear sometimes "that guy isn't hitting the right notes" so?
    If I have my modes all messed up for the solo I'm gonna play, and it sounds all really outside, am I a genius for someone maybe?

    Thanks!

    Secret
  2. I think that is one of the most interesting aspects of solo transcriptions: trying to find out what the player is thinking during a particular line which doesn't fall flat within the chord scale concept. Sometimes I recognize a non harmonic note as part of a blues scale. In that case you wouldn't really need a tradtional resolution. Other times you can view certain outside notes a being an anticipation of the following chord scale. Sometimes it can best be interpreted as a superimposed substitution chord. Also, pentatonic lines often don't resolve by step and so do lines based on even wider intervals like fourths etc.

    Some lines are just based on intervalic considerations and don't have any traditionalv relationship to the chord of the moment.

    A line which sounds musical and logical in itself doesn't always need to relate to a written chord in the way it is being taught at jazz schools and the more contemporary players will take more and more liberties with the chord scale relationship and try to find new and interesting solutions.

  3. jazznan
    Member

    There are no wrong notes in jazz: only notes in the wrong places.
    -Miles Davis

    It's not the note you play that's the wrong note - it's the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong. -
    Miles Davis

  4. jazzbum
    Member

    "If it sounds good and feels good, then it is good." - Duke Ellington.

    Don't get too bogged down with theory. Something they don't really teach you in music school is that theory is put in place to try and make sense of something after it is created. It is also a tool to learn to access sounds we hear in our heads (which is another reason it is taught), it is not the be all and end all of improvisation.

    One of the other things I hang on to all the time, and I know Metheny has talked about this, is STRONG rhythm. When we are talking about "wrong" notes we are usually looking at them from a harmonic perspective...but really if you have a strong feel, confident, it is going to sound good and people are going to accept what you play.

    I think what it comes down to is simple. Play what YOU hear. That is what these players are doing, that is what Monk was doing, even if people thought it sounded weird. If you think about it that way, this concept of "outside" playing doesn't really exist. I really don't think Scofield is in the middle of a line and thinks, "I am going to play some whacky ass shit right here." He probably doesn't think at all - he is focused on the sound, and the feel of the music. If you interrupted him, he'd be able to tell you what he just did, but it is not his intellect that is guiding his solo....it is his feel and intuition.

    When people say - "he is playing the wrong" notes - what they more likely mean is what Miles is getting at - notes in the wrong places....and I would assert that as opposed to wrong places in the bar....he is more likely referring to wrong places on the beat, out of step with the band.

    Last thing I will say is that I firmly believe logic is important in understanding art and music, but it is not essential and can be detrimental to it's creation......

    Didn't mean to ramble on......guess that nickel was waiting to be put in for a while.

  5. aramaya
    Member

    I have found that using harmony as a means of thinking is far more efficient than scales.

    from the Root you get b9,9,#9. from the fifth you get 11,#11,(5), b13, 13. add your 3&7 and you
    have every conceivable scale, but better, you have the means to understand the voice leading and
    resolution/tonal gravity of every note you play. Add even a basic understanding of chord substitution to
    this (ie B-7-E7 subs for F-7-Bb7; tritone) and all of a sudden you have the means to playing what looks like
    (on paper) complex lines, but in reality is simple and easily understood by the ear. Wes.

    play with conviction (strong rhythm) and develop a melodic sense. play in context.

  6. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Totally agree with aramaya. When I'm playing (except on a blues, where you can and should throw blues lines), I basically think on two kind of notes: Chord tones and tensions. Anything that isn't a chord tone is a tension, and it should resolve eventually (that's the general rule anyway).

    The thing is, you don't need to resolve to a chord tone at a regular interval. Nor you need to resolve to a chord tone of every tone. You could, for example, use ONLY the 7th, 9th and 13th (or 7, 9 and 11) of some changes, and your solo will sound coherent. That's because, even if you're playing tensions, the ear hears a pattern, so it will make sense out of it.

    If you start mixing up 5ths and 9ths with 7ths and 13ths, then the pattern fades out and you have to be more careful to resolve the tension properly.

    Hope it helps!

    Email
  7. Din
    Member

    Everybody wrote great thoughts, thanks!!

    I think now that probably it's just something subjective and that's it.

  8. jazznan
    Member

    I sometimes like to think of it this way, it helps me to not just think about theory and notes, I'll use C:

    C=one color
    C+D=another color
    C+D+E=another color (basically, intervals)

    C+D+E+F+G+A+B=another color (any scales or group of notes)

    Each note is just a color and as you add a note you get a different shade, a scale a broader palette, a chord (triad, 9, 9, 13 #11, etc..) more colors.

    Add context, rhythm, instruments, tone, dynamics etc = infinite possibilities

    The individual human musician, and WOW, music.

    Learn your colors. Pick the ones you want and just paint!

    Admin

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