#1

Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:48 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

I keep promoting Coursera in a few of my posts. I just started a new course called "Introduction to Improvisation" which is being taught by Gary Burton. I just looked at his wikipedia page and thought that many of the jazz guys in here would know who he is already.

Anyway, the entire site is free. The course materials are put up weekly and you are totally free to ignore the assignments (or do them) as you wish. The course just started yesterday, so you are not behind at all.

I strongly encourage those of you with working knowledge in music to sign up. He says even professionals might get something out of the course, so maybe you teachers out there will learn a new way to help your students. To be honest, the course is very likely over my head.

Good luck!

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#2

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:19 am
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

This is AWESOME! Thank you! Just registered and am watching the videos now... very cool

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#3

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:01 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
avatar

Very cool. Nice post


-Ursin

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#4

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:57 pm
by diegopaudyal • 91 Posts

I am signed up for the class too but I am wondering if it was the right thing for me because I don't know how to read music and I don't have the basic knowledge about improvisation either.

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#5

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:26 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

If it's reading music that you're worried about, I wouldn't let that dissuade you from at least auditing the course. Worst case scenario is you're lost and you save the videos for a time in the future when you won't be. If you're willing to put in a little effort there are easy ways around the reading music problem. One that comes to mind is to use guitar pro (or a free variant like tuxguitar); type in the notation, see the tablature and hear the playback. You can also type up the chord sheets to hear those too (and practice your improv over loops).

Having written that, I think the class is going to be quite difficult for me too. But I'm going to give it a go since I'll never get better if I don't try.

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#6

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:45 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
avatar

I'm always super busy working on Pebber's stuff but I love Gary Burton's playing on the vibes so I signed up and watched the first set of videos. Don't know if I'll have time to get to the entire course right away but it seems very cool. I dig the format.


-Ursin

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#7

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:49 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

I'll be saving the videos and would be willing to share with you or anyone on this forum if you don't grab them yourself and save for a rainy day.

I also took the "Music Production" course from Loudon Stearns from Berklee on the site too. I bet you can still see it in the course catalog as they usually keep courses around for awhile after they are done. I have all the course material and would be willing to share that too. I think it was somewhere between 1 and 1.5 GB in total.

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#8

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed May 01, 2013 2:57 am
by Case • 68 Posts

Hi guys,

Slightly off-topic but coursera is also a good source for those interested in computing, machine learning and applied maths. For now, the videos are free (I guess Apple and the rest need their next generation of software engineers) but I get the feeling this may change in the future. They have had some exposure in the media and the site has been a great success so they already started charging for certificates, etc. Still a great startup! Embracing new technology in education, just like Pebber with the tons of online material. Ursin mentioned the importance of "new" platforms in his interview too..

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#9

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed May 01, 2013 4:07 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

I just got a certificate a week or two ago, free of charge (Data Analysis from Johns Hopkins). Given the number of free education sites out there (e.g. MIT's site, Khan academy), and the national push to increase exposure to math/science, I actually have the opposite opinion of yours. As they say, that's what makes a market.

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#10

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed May 01, 2013 7:22 am
by EricNY • 5 Posts

I signed up for it as well. Additionally I signed up for an Intro to Guitar course also on Coursera. One course is a little on the advanced side for me and the other is a little on the basic side (though not by much as I am pretty green). I figure the the basic intro course will solidify some things I already know and the improv course will give me a seed for what I can do in the future as practice I PBs stuff.


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#11

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon May 13, 2013 9:17 am
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

So how did everyone do w/ the first assignment? I BOMBED it and apparently was too lenient in grading because the only person I gave as low of a score as I actually got was someone who said they didn't have enough time to do it. Got a lot of good comments on my solo though and it definitely forced me to take a more analytical approach to building my ideas and utilize the chord tones, which is something I've never had to do before, so it was really cool to hear the final result of that pre-work. For anyone interested, here is my recording:

http://soundcloud.com/jake-luby/assignment-1

Will practice and record the new scales tonight and submit that homework and move on to assignment three. How's everyone else liking the course?

Also, just as an FYI there is another course starting today called the 'History of Rock' that I've signed up for as well.

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#12

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon May 13, 2013 11:49 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Nice. I was wondering if anyone of you stuck with this.

I got full points on the peer review grade, but it's tough to know what that means since it really depends on what they do/don't understand. As for liking the course, I think the depth of the videos is nowhere close to the level of detail that some of the other instructors have provided. But it is still worth for me to continue.

I got nothing done this weekend due to Mother's Day, so I too have to grind out the next one. Actually homework #2 should be SUPER EASY thanks to Pebber's 14 position system. I *should* be able to fill 30-60 seconds of each of those scales in my sleep. I'll know real soon if that's true or not.

Anyway here's mine. First time I played anything that could remotely be called jazz aside from covering a couple of SRVs covers. Rip me to shreds. Homework #1

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#13

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon May 13, 2013 1:28 pm
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

Yep, next HW is going to be VERY easy. 4 of the 6 scales are just modes of the major scale. Done. That means just getting two scales under your fingers enough to jam for 30 sec. Piece of cake.

As for your solo, not bad at all for your first shot at jazz, mine was my first shot at analytical jazz as well. How did you go about the note selection process? I can tell you have VERY strong technique, much better than mine. With that being said, I was more drawn to the passages and phrases that had a little bit of space to them, I'd say experiment w/ those more.

I'm kind of angry about the peer review grade on this 1st assignment because it's pretty obvious that I got some jazz gurus correcting mine and was only awarded TWO points out of the eight possible because I didn't mention the specific phrases from the rubric. I feel I was punished for not having a strong musical vocabulary as opposed to being graded on the effort put in and the points that I did point out, especially after listening to the recording. Part of the 'experience' I guess...

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#14

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon May 13, 2013 3:46 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

That sucks about the peer review, but seriously, you're not doing the work for a lousy certificate, are you? I know it feels great to get positive feedback for something you're working hard at, but even if you got that from anonymous people that may or may not have any clue at all, how lasting would that actually be if YOU still knew how much more there was to learn? What should matter much more, at least in my opinion, is feedback from people like the contributors here. You know, people that provide USEFUL criticism but then also show you their work for you to return the favor. Or people that have 20+ (or 40+) years of experience chiming in like "you're on the right track, but maybe try more of this next."

Which brings me to your feedback. Thank you very much. I know I should start listening to jazz but my ear hasn't gravitated to that yet. Listening would certainly help me with phrasing and would also teach me that less is more. As I read your feedback, I instantly remembered Pebber's videos where he told us to think like a horn player that has to use air to play notes. Pause frequently as if you're inhaling for the next phrase. Anyway, some jazz I end up really digging. Other jazz puts me to sleep in 30 seconds. I need a crash course in jazz appreciation to be able to learn the different subgenres and to figure out which ones I like from which ones I don't.

I guess I'll keep at it for another few decades!

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#15

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon May 13, 2013 5:22 pm
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

Thanks for the encouragement. Always did really well in school, so I'm just not used to getting a failing grade after I put time and effort into something. And no, I'm not doing this for a certificate... do they really do that?

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#16

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed May 22, 2013 1:05 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

So what's the right way to go about detecting "guide-tones" and "guide-tone lines"? [These are Berklee's preferred terms for voice-leading] Is it simply comparing the notes in adjacent harmonies, cancelling out common tones, and then choosing half/whole steps that work? For example, G7 resolving to C (or any V7 to I).

G7 = G, B, D, F
C = C, E, G, B

So the common tones are G & B. So D has to go to either C or E, and both distances are <= W. But F also has to go to C or E, and only E is a valid choice. So D resolves to C and F resolves to E. Then we memorize this for any V7 to I by saying the b7 of the V7 resolves to the 3rd of the I and the 5 of the V7 resolves to the root. Assuming I didn't screw up here, is this the way to go or is there an easier way?

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#17

RE: Introduction to Improvisation (Free)

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed May 22, 2013 6:35 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

And by that last question I meant, once we see F to E and D to C, the soloist can express the G7 to C tonal shift by landing on E or C on the downbeat having come from F or D, respectively? Is that what Burton is telling us to do this week with this guide-tone line idea?

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