#1

Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:59 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Is there any known systematic approach that could be applied to electric guitar playing, that can grant one the ability to auraly pre-hear and therefore to "improvise" music that 1.)exists outside of any sort of tonal center and 2.) has some sort of horizontal (melodic) and vertical (...I was almost tempted to say harmonic here) set of meaningfull relationships that guides and structures the tones that are played. I have a lot of music books, but only one of them tries to lay any sort of intelligible framework for atonal music; and thats Allen Forte's "The structure of atonal music". Unfortunately, though I think that its one thing to be able to understand what is being played as a visual matrix or group of P.C.'s on paper...But I would suspect that its a whole nother ball game ENTIRELY when it comes to developing any sort of aural intuition for that kinda stuff if one were an instrumentalist that might want to start to compose stuff and improvise stuff that is both meaningful BUT is outside of the traditional tonal framework...I think you would need to find a way of the ear hearing it first before you could play it...what sort of resources (if any) exist out there for string musicians learning how to do it?

Maybe my ear just isnt ready for this kinda stuff...but I think there is little more for me to benefit from sinking more time into ear trainers like the guy on the musictheory.net website...that pre-requisite for exploring post tonal music has already been dealt with and crossed-off on my list of goals.


Last edited Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:10 am | Scroll up

#2

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:36 am
by deltadiscos • 310 Posts

What you are talking about may be way above me.
But is this not what we are doing when we sing everything we play.
so if you know the note you want in your head your fingers should find it.


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#3

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:28 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Zitat
that pre-requisite for exploring post tonal music has already been dealt with and crossed-off on my list of goals



I have the most polite and "hope-it-finally-sinks-in" intentions when I type the following sentence. I call BS.

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#4

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:48 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Lets entertain that notion for the sake of it huh? If it is BS, than the only person who would ultimately loose out would be myself...However if you had to deal with the kinda ivory-tower elitest music theory and analysis proffessor that I did every day for 3 straight years, I think you would see where I was coming from...He hated guitar music...And since I was the only guitarist (and only non music major) in the classroom full of nothing but music majors...I realized that the best way that I could fight back was to get better at the ear training tests than anyone else in the class...I knew that would bug the shit out of him, so for about 8 months straight that was litterally all I did with every ounce of spare time I had...There were times where it was really frustrating b/c I would hear class mates joking before class on how they had only spent like 5-10 min on on the drills/homework assignments that I had spent 5 hours the previous day...and for the first 8 months of the program...they would get there assignments back I would peek out of the corner of my eye asnd see that they were getting A's while I was busting my ass just to get C's...Funny how things worked out though...because by the end of the 3rd semester, I was the only one who was even still bothering to turn homework assignments in as they had fallen hopelessly behind. It was essentially a tortoise and the Hare sort of personal victory.


Last edited Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:49 am | Scroll up

#5

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:55 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Cool. Congrats on your ability to listen.........

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#6

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:00 am
by deltadiscos • 310 Posts

I think a great tonal ear is something you can work on, some people just seem to connect easier.
got to say if I heard a tune I could always replicate it on the keyboard (playing by ear) from a young age
now its just a matter of moving that onto the guitar where the notes don't line up so easily
gotta say improvement at this with Pebber has been phenomenal. i find myself playing along with tunes on the tv (films,Adverts,music) easily (With A few bum notes ). of course,


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#7

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:21 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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The issue that I face is that when it comes to "playing from my inner ear" I feel like the major and minor scales are being used as a melodic crutch...Practicing the chromatic form and forcing myself to figure out how to use the chromatic scale tonally have helped...but without the advantage of having some sort of tonal center my inner ear is silent. And that bothers me.


Last edited Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:23 am | Scroll up

#8

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:48 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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First, we need to define what is "atonality." Volumes have been written by "elitist ivory tower theorists" about how Schoenberg and his pupils Alban Berg and Anton Webern were not actually writing music "free of a tonal center." Even Schoenberg himself dismissed the term "atonal."

I use the term because it is the accepted verbiage when referencing that style.

There was definitely a division at some point in the 20th century where you had the Stravinsky side of things and the Schoenberg side of things. They were both getting at the same thing, which was a break with the tonality of the Old Masters, however, they were coming at it from 2 different perspectives.

When I was younger (teen years) I never gave it much thought but as I get older, I feel it may be impossible to totally break from tonality.

This first occurred to me with Pebber. I would develop some idea I thought to be "atonal" but Pebber would be quick to point out that it was more "quasi-atonal" "pan-tonal" but not wholly "atonal."

I never really pressed him on the issue, mainly because I felt that he was under the belief that we could never truly develop anything that completely lacked tonality. I started to investigate this. Again, many large volumes have been written on the subject.

So, it is possible to "stretch" the tonality into some far off chromaticism that may not have an easily identifiable tonality. That's exactly what Stravinsky, Zappa, etc where doing. But to completely not have a tonal center may not actually be achievable.

I apologize for the length of reply.

Regardless, to get back to your question of is it possible to improvise atonal music the answer is ....maybe. It's something I've spent years working on. Literally years. Good luck.

Here you go. One of my favorites.


YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche
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#9

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:57 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Tk6Z6XbMs haha I just rediscovered these guys...they got quite a stage presence

I gotta learn to solo like the first sax solo dude...Dang!


Last edited Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:01 pm | Scroll up

#10

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:07 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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Oh yeah man. Sun Ra. Bad ass stuff. I always had the idea of fusing this type of thing with Yngwie and placing it in a rock context so that it had some harmonic/melodic center. Then I heard Frank Zappa's guitar playing and Shawn Lane, Ron Thal, then Brian, and I was like...Oh well. I think that's exactly where rock guitar is headed. You can already see it happening with guys like Guthrie Govan and Jimmy Herring is more popular than ever now...the "outside" jazzy lines have become very acceptable to throw in whereas before it was Van Halen and Yngwie and Vai and Satriani and they weren't doing anything jazz...they may have used some odd scales that no other rock guys had used before but it wasn't like diminished/chromatic scales all over the place. It's only time before it gets expanded out into full on chromaticism and then that becomes accepted. It's jazz but, like everything else, it takes decades for the rock guys to catch on and then the masses have to accept it as the next evolution. If they will or not remains to be seen.

With this new thinking (actually OLD thinking just applied to rock guitar) new sounds will be developed. Because we've stretched technique as far as it will go. So, now we must rely on the harmonic/melodic materials and, if rock guitarists can push further into Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy, Coltrane and apply it to Hendrix and Jeff Beck, then new techniques will develop and we can go further.

That's what Lane and Brian and Thal were into and it can be taken further but in baby steps...not the huge leaps of Hendrix to Van Halen.

Just my thinking.


YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/ursinderoche

Last edited Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:12 pm | Scroll up

#11

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:57 pm
by RevHead • 3 Posts

To NicholasJacquet.
I am not sure why you are so concerned about this. If your Youtube vid is an example of what you are trying to achieve, it's easy. Here's how.

Pick a key.Any key,doesn't matter.
Now pick a scale, again any scale but preferably an obscure Himalayan Tibetan altered,or something like.
Next fill in any gaps that are between the scale notes. We don't want to have any notes getting lonely. This will help with even wear of your strings and frets as a side benefit.
Now,this part is crucial, take the scale you have formed, cut it in half,and stack the bottom on the top.

Good to go. To practice this just stick a blindfold on,and play the first thing that comes to mind. It doesn't matter,just play any combination of notes, but try not to repeat anything. Any timing is fine,and you can even change keys if you want. For extra flavour, try bending each note micro tonally different amounts. Don't worry about your inner ear, it's fine. If you try to cram stuff into it, you will get vertigo and fall over, and break your guitar or leg. Then you will need more than a Major or minor scale as a crutch.

To make it all come together,just make sure any one accompanying you is playing in a different mode of your altered, filled in, added to, split, stacked scale.

To each their own,but that does absolutely nothing for me. Shawn Lane, Hell yeah, but these guys. Nope.

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#12

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:45 am
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

Well to get started playing outside, why not just play INSIDE first, and then just approach all of your chord tones from a halfstep above? Then Below... etc etc

Nick; I'd love to see some video footage or hear some mp3 of you playing 'inside' to a jazz standard and outlining chord changes. Then maybe post a chart with your tritone subs and and passing diminished, and solos to go with. John Scofield is a master of that sort of thing. Pat Matheny, Pat Martino... Maybe a case of you need to walk before you run? I dunno...

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#13

RE: Atonality

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:45 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Been working on Chopins Piano Concerto A minor Opus 2...Its is essentially one big tonal, chord change implying, chromatic run. I have been becoming increasingly angry at myself for how bad I am at playing the chromatic scale...the chopin should stick a fork in it once and for all though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcb1dkqp1Q8

I am only @ 50% of the way to playing it as fast as this dude...But I bet with Sarod, that one could rip thru chromastic scale with petrucci-esque speeds.


Last edited Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:47 pm | Scroll up


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