Thursday, March 10, 2005

Back to Evans

Afternoon: I’m working on transcribing more Bill Evans today. I was a little reluctant to begin again. I’m really motivated or excited to look at the piece, but I’m seeing Tim Miller this weekend and I feel the need to be accountable for my actions. This is why I’m studying with someone in the first place: accountability. It was tough getting started the other day and it was tough today as well. It’s really been a month since I’ve worked on this transcription and I kind of forgot what I was doing. I started slow today and then really gained some momentum. I began to fall in love with the piece again. There are so many similarities to Bill Evans playing and the Mozart piece I was looking at yesterday. They are both beautiful pieces. I worked through a small chunk of the tune, but it took me a long time to do it. His piano voicings can be confusing. Sometimes I’m getting it right, sometimes I’m making additions or subtractions based on the fingers I have available and the location of the notes. It’s a weird way of going about it, but I think I’m getting good results. By analyzing the chord changes I get to understand Bill’s idea of reharm and substitutions. And by looking at the voicings I get a new way of looking at the guitar harmonically. After working through these voicings, my fingers feel really good on the guitar. It’s a good study and truthfully, I can imagine it keeping me busy through the spring. I’m picking up a lot of intuitive things that I don’t understand. It’s just easier to play the guitar and play what I’m hearing.

I also worked on the Mozart tune from yesterday. I had an easier time working through the voicings. I’m turning it into my own little Solo Guitar arrangement. If I get really bored transcribing, I might pick up the sheet music on this, but I’m having a lot of fun the way it’s going right now. It will be nice to add another piece to my classical repertoire.

In general, I’m really pleased with my work today. I had a busy guitar day with my studies and classes and I didn’t really feel like playing the guitar today. The responsibility of studying with Tim Miller is a nice incentive to get my butt in the chair and work on my work. After working for a couple of hours I don’t remember not wanting to practice and feel pretty good.

Evening: Had a quick practice session this evening (Val’s having her video release party tonight). I tried to do some free improv or even just melodic playing, but couldn’t come up with anything good. I looked over my Mozart piece again and wasn’t very inspired, so I rolled up my sleeves and went forward with Bill Evans. I’m getting faster at recognizing his voicings and I’m getting a better feel for what he is doing. I have to back and extract some voicings for future use and analyze the last section I transcribed. I know what it is, I just know why it is.

I put on a little Paul Motion Trio before I left the house and I think I’m going to work on that next (There Is No Greater Love). Joe Lovano’s lines & Frisell’s Harmony….. can’t go wrong with that.


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