Bob Williams, Music Theorist
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I'm a lifetime student of bebop. I call myself a theorist because that's what I spend much time doing. Everybody I meet has at least one theory. Soon I will invite you to join me to explore melodic approaches to various tunes using my current theory. Should be fun.
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At 9:29am on September 23, 2009, Artur Bayramgalin said…
I am glad to announce the release of my debut CD called "Interro Island". This is my first solo project, which includes original tunes composed and arranged by me. I hope you will enjoy my work!
Artur Bayramgalin: Interro Island
available on CD Baby now!
At 5:36pm on April 16, 2009, Eric B. said…
Hey Bob. I hope that all is well with you. I havent been on here this last week because i've had to help with care of my mom since she had a stroke. so im usually out of town during weekends helping out with her. I'm just thankful that the rehab is working..and she is slowly getting the use of her legs again and her speech back.
Situations like that really make me thankful that there is a way to express my feelings through music. Music is my escape.
But I've been practicing this week a bit and I'm recording a new song..sort of a fusion type song. Hopefully I'll have it up by Friday afternoon
At 9:17am on April 8, 2009, Eric B. said…
Great Info! I appreciate that. I'm going to put that into my study this afternoon.
At 9:12am on April 8, 2009, Eric B. said…
You're right aobut that. that was my train of thought too..but while typing i didnt show that. I meant to say instrumentalist. I'm learning the scales and all- but right now I am not good with applying the jazz theory as it is intended. I'll often hear a song and play to it and have no idea what key its in.. or the changes or none of that. I am not quick at the application of jazz theory. I'll see the scales and the changes sometimes..but i have to think about the harder. and once i start thinking so much.. i sound awful. thats when i start just playing what feels the best. but i think with a bit more practice I will be able to handle the jazz theory more.
To some extent- im sort of intimdated by it-- because if I get with some guys and they are yelling out this scale and that scale and move it up this amount of steps. i dont feel like i can keep up because I cant process the math behind jazz as quickly. and its mainly because I still have to practice more and more until its second nature. at the same time I'm a bit hesistant because I don't want it to change my style. i simply want it to add to my style. I'll have more tools to pick and choose from at my disposal.
At 5:41pm on April 7, 2009, Eric B. said…
oh yea.. i know the blues scales too and pentatonic. ive learned quite a number of the scales over the last few months. I've learned all of those scales and im learning how to utilize them all.
At 5:28pm on April 7, 2009, Eric B. said…
surprising. I never really listened to much kenny g. actually on some of the songs i played they were minor scales..but minors and major are relative so i suppose the way i use them makes the sound major, because sometimes I'll play a minor scale but use a differernt note as my root. i know major, minor, bebop, and some dominant 7th scales. when it comes to jazz i go with emotion and reaction. there is no one person that i emulate. it comes from many of experiences. Things Ive heard in jazz, things from church, things from classical music, rock music, pop..even the beatles. Anything. one thing to note is that I am/was primarily a classical musician. I've taken ideas from classical music and added different vibes to them..and also things i've picked up on in music from all different genres. i like to focus on spaces.. for example playing the base of a chord and going to the 3rd tone gives a completely different feel than going to the 6th or 4th. i even hear things in peoples speech pattern that i can play and turn into music. for example.. my grandmother use to say "Lord...that child.." but the way she said it had a certain melody to it. I now use that in my music- but no one would know but me.
as i said.. i go after the emotion and response of the listener. i truly believe that sometimes too much knowledge of jazz can get in your way, if you're focusing on how many jazz techniques to add to each song. nothing is wrong with trying to put a lot into your songs..but sometimes if u can find something that works and really grabs the listener.. it works. my concern grabbing the listener, and not to prove that I know all the jazz techniques. there has been people who have no interest in jazz that actually said they would buy my music. I havent been advertising myself...but ive been getting a lot of people talking.

There was a point that Miles Davis got bored with jazz as it was, as great as it was. Thats around the time he did "B****** Brew".. and a lot of people didn't understand it or criticized it- but it was what he felt. He couldnt be contained.
I have a large collection of jazz and the more modern jazz of lately kind of bores me. I hear all the turnarounds, cycles, progression..but if its not done right- its still boring. I don't intend for any song I play to be "background music" or "elevator music".
I want people to stop and listen. i want people to be able to "sing" my song. i feel that in doing so, they can relate to it.

I think i play the way people sing. Singers dont typically go into several scales in each song..but moreso focus on the emotion of notes they are singing. They do..but not in the way a musician does.

I have a large collection of books and manuals and play alongs and I've been teaching myself this jazz theory. I think its good to know. I do believe its important that I learn theory- but use it only as a reference and not to define my style of play.
But I don't want to follow protocol. I don't want my jazz to be based off of what someone else wrote in a book.. althought I wont dispute its valuable information to know and I can take it and somehow mix it into my idea of music.
What i want people to say about my music is this:
"His music isnt made just to sound good..its made to 'feel...'"
Its all about feeling to me.
At 8:07am on April 6, 2009, Bob Williams, Music Theorist said…
By the way, after some more thought, I hear some great artists who broke the rules of traditional music theory knowingly while others have broken those same rules with no knowledge of them. Go figure.
At 7:05pm on April 1, 2009, Eric B. said…
wow. that quote from that book really struck home. It really made me think about my playing and originality. it makes a lot of sense and I never looked at it that way.. Thanks!
At 6:59pm on March 31, 2009, Eric B. said…
thanks very much. i appreciate your advice. I think its true..what I hear in my head is very important because music itself is very natural. sometimes I dont feel confidence because Ive never learned traditional jazz theory..but i think if i pay attention to what comes from my head and analyze that..that'll help me out a lot.
At 6:57pm on March 30, 2009, Eric B. said…
Bob.. do you know jazz theory well? anyone who teaches it?
It may not sound like it..but i'm not strong in that department. I never really learned theory. I've always played what was in my head and just followed that. I know a little theory--but i think learning more can take me to a higher level.

















Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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