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Jan Oelbrandt

 

From:
Herzele, Belgium
Post  Posted 5 Jan 2022 10:31 am    
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I wonder if other forumites do this? I often sing along to what I play. For practice. Here's an example, a blues in F. https://youtu.be/fzcFfMp675A
Just wish I could sing chords too Laughing
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2022 2:37 pm    
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I do, and strongly suggest that all my E9 students teach themselves to sing melodies and steel parts. When the notes are in your mind AND body, your playing vastly improves! Makes transcribing parts far easier.
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Ron Funk

 

From:
Ballwin, Missouri
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2022 11:37 pm    
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I agree with John McClung regarding how singing the melody of a song can help a player find the specific melodic voicings for the song - and then apply those voicings to the steel's fretboard.

Remember the old phrase....

"man, that guy can really make that steel sing!"
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Andy Vance

 

From:
Graham, Washington, USA
Post  Posted 7 Jan 2022 12:15 pm    
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Hah... I get comments all the time about my mouth moving while I'm playing steel and they ask if I'm talking to myself...

Nope, just singing to myself Very Happy
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J D Sauser


From:
Wellington, Florida
Post  Posted 7 Jan 2022 8:59 pm     Re: Singing what you play
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Jan Oelbrandt wrote:
I wonder if other forumites do this? I often sing along to what I play. For practice. Here's an example, a blues in F. https://youtu.be/fzcFfMp675A
Just wish I could sing chords too Laughing


Play only what you can sing, hum, mouth, "scat"-vocalize!

In my opinion the most effective self-teaching and practice method.
Most resent doing it -maybe because it's too cheap? Ha!- but I've never heard of anyone regretting doing it.
It's like reading out loud trying to learn a new language... it's 10-fold as effective!
Bebop Educator Barry Harris would do it in classes and during live performances. George Benson made it part of his act, but really, THAT's how he learned and he never came off it.
You can observe Buddy Emmons "silent-mouth" (for the lack of a better term) C6th improvisations on some videos.

I think it of it as effective as writing something down in an effort to memorize it. It's far more effective than just reading it... maybe a reason they had us write essays at school.

... J-D.
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Mark Greenway


From:
Lake Kiowa, Texas
Post  Posted 13 Jan 2022 4:28 pm    
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Paul Franklin also teaches that in his Method.

And I remember Jeff Newman saying, "If you can't hum it, don't play it."
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Per Berner


From:
Skövde, Sweden
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 8:30 am    
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I just find it difficult to sing two- or three part harmonies... Winking
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Tommy Martin Young


From:
Sacramento-California, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 11:35 am    
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I used to have my beginning harmonica students put down the harp and hum/scat/kazoo what they'd play over 12-bars. Within 4 bars I could tell whether or not they had a grasp of what the instrument does. Sometimes they'd sing stuff (sax lines) that a harp isn't set up to play other times it was just kinda "babbling" (that's what I call one of my solos that starts with no place in mind and finishes with me nowhere Smile ) Gotta be able to "hear" it.
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Last edited by Tommy Martin Young on 14 Jan 2022 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Sluszny

 

From:
Brussels, Belgium
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 1:50 pm    
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👍😉
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 9:29 pm    
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Over the years, I have encountered quite a few instrumentalists who played really well, but could not sing at all. I'm sure the notes are in their heads; but, that's not what comes out of their mouths!
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Jerry Van Hoose


From:
Tennessee & Florida
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2022 11:17 am    
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Jeff Newman once mentioned that as an instrumentalist, it also helps to learn the actual words as well as the phrasing.
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post  Posted 18 Jan 2022 8:36 am    
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Buddy did that. When a steel wasn't available, he practiced by thinking about it.
He also would say, when something was committed to muscle memory: "There's another crease on the cerebellum".
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Mark Greenway


From:
Lake Kiowa, Texas
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2022 2:35 am    
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This came from Paul Franklin. It was a discussion we were having on the student page from The Paul Franklin Method.

"All of the beginning stuff I keep pounding home....Such as the freedom for how diatonic harmonies are used to create new versions of melodies and recognizing interval sounds are so memorized...It's like singing "Mary, Mary, Had A Little Lamb", I will never forget how to recognize each note of an interval melody....I accomplish this just by singing in my brain the notes I hear. Because my brain has been trained redundantly to hear music this way I can hear to the point of recognition each note of any chord because I have spent my whole life practicing the interval relationships...By listening I am able to sing along and say "Oh! there is a b5 or #9 in the chord and I can hear which chord family (Major or minor) etc and than I know immediately where to find those intervals on the guitar, again because the basics are drilled into my memory.....This is not a special talent I was born with...It is how I practice to train my hearing and brain to muscle memory....Being able to hear exactly how something is played is the big picture benefit of knowing my musical timetables inside out.....This knowledge is the glue that binds everything together in my mind."
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2022 5:24 am    
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Nice. Thanks, Mark. Nice follow-up.
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Jan Oelbrandt

 

From:
Herzele, Belgium
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2022 8:17 am    
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Thanks to everyone for their insights on the matter. I just love doing it - phrasing is more musical right of the shelf. Plus it's a great way to monitor yourself: are the notes coming out of the steel as you intended them.
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Karl Paulsen

 

From:
Chicago
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2022 9:10 am    
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I instinctively sing what I play, (good pitch, poor tone) but not in the structured sort of way that used to (perhaps still is) be practiced in serious musical training.

I was lucky enough to study upright bass with Warren Benfield for a few years. He could sing virtually anything in solfege (do,re,mi...) off the page or by ear. Really impressive, but as I gather it had been simply an expected part of his musical education.
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David Ball


From:
North Carolina High Country
Post  Posted 21 Jan 2022 2:52 pm    
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Slam Stewart, the great bassist, used to scat sing along with his bass solos and to me anyway it was amazing. Sounded great, and he wasn't playing/scatting simple stuff. The old Slim and Slam recordings were priceless.

I think if you've got it in your head and can sing it, and your chops are up to duplicating it on an instrument, then I'm very envious. Maybe I'll get there some day.

Dave
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 10:11 pm    
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When I was getting into jazz guitar as a teenager, I didn't know where to start with the soloing. I recorded some scat singing over a few chords then listened back to the tape over and over and lifted the phrases...
I still do this sometimes as a way of generating licks that are free from muscle memory. Its amazing what your genuine musical mind will come up with.
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Samuel Phillippe


From:
Douglas Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 2 Feb 2022 8:30 am    
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For me, I need to sing or hum the tune, even if it is just in my head, because I play by ear....need to hear it in my brain,(Sometimes I'm hard of hearing) so for me it does help.
Sam
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Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 2 Feb 2022 2:37 pm    
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Like Paul says, you should be able to "hear" the notes in your head that you're trying to play. But singing, vocalizing, and mouthing aren't really necessary. Laughing
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2022 5:52 pm    
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I once dated a girl that scored all the parts for the Ft. Worth Symphony. We would be in a music store and she would pick up a piece of sheet music (staff notation) she's never seen or heard before and look at it for a few seconds and say "Oh, what a beautiful piece!" She could just look at the notes and hear it playing in her head.
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