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Circle of fourths playalong

kernewegor

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Having had an early start this morning involving a car trip (don't ask) I thought that I may as well punish my brain a bit more.

What is known to jazz musicians as "Rhythm changes" (Gershwin's "I got rhythm" and umpteen developments based on it) can look mind-numbingly complicated if you start to look at all the (how many!?!) chord substitutions, variations and the rest, which exist... and one could be forgiven for thinking that so many choices exist that anything goes and one could easily disappear up one's own circle of fourths...

So there I was, contemplating life, death, beginnings, journeys, destinations, beginning again, learning, teaching, learning...yin, yang, Zen....circles of life... where do we go from here... and everything else.... (the systemic shock of early mornings combined with coffee does this to me) while I was browsing a discussion on "rhythm changes" variants.... and in the midst of it all I spotted a comment which led me to this:

http://www.jazclass.aust.com/rhythmcl/rc03.htm#06

Every so often someone on this forum says that they are having problems getting the hang of improvising. Also we have several teachers here... and resources for students are always worth looking at.

What I think is particularly useful is that Furstner's playalong gives each of the notes of the circle very solidly and distinctly - so reinforcing very effectively the tonality of the changes, which may be less obvious and less easy to hear when played by a real rhythm section.

I also like the way Furstner introduces students to improvisation and the circle of fourths as an early and basic part of the learning process. Simplifying, demystifying and presenting learning in digestible chunks is good teaching.
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
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That's a great link, thank you. It was reassuring to read it and think "yes, that's what I'm doing". I need to work out how to play midi files on my tablet. I hope everything is ok for you and yours (not asking, just hoping).

I always have a drawing of the circle of fourths on my music stand, it's just so incredibly useful. I also have the Aebersold Rhythm changes, it might be time to have a look.
 

kernewegor

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That's a great link, thank you. It was reassuring to read it and think "yes, that's what I'm doing". I need to work out how to play midi files on my tablet. I hope everything is ok for you and yours (not asking, just hoping).

I always have a drawing of the circle of fourths on my music stand, it's just so incredibly useful. I also have the Aebersold Rhythm changes, it might be time to have a look.
Yes, visual images are very powerful tools for memorisation - the circle of fourths and the visual image of a keyboard are useful things to have imprinted in your memory!

This morning I took my ex-wife to Truro. She is now traveling in an ambulance with her partner to London where he is to have heart bypass surgery tomorrow.

I got a message this morning from an ex girlfriend in the USA whose mother (who has terminal but slow growing cancer) is to have a foot amputated due to neurosthenia... with a 50:50 chance of survival because of her age.

The past few years have been trying, to say the least...
 

kernewegor

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Tamsin's partner Richard will now - we learn - have his op 'sometime in the next week'... so we have to nailbite for a bit longer...

But my American friend's mother (in her 80s) came through her op extremely well, although her cancer (which is elsewhere) is now growing more quickly... but that was not unexpected.

Thanks for the good wishes - very much appreciated.
 

Jeanette

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So sorry to hear of all your bad news, these things always come at once. Hope things improve soon.

Jx
 

Little My

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Thank you for the update. I'm glad your friend's mum came through her op well. I'm guessing there's more than a little fighting spirit there. I hope Richard's op isn't too far away. My father in law had a stent fitted some years back and stunned us all (and himself) with his recovery. The waiting was a horrible time though, and we didn't even have to wait that long.
 

Ivan

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Yes, visual images are very powerful tools for memorisation - the circle of fourths and the visual image of a keyboard are useful things to have imprinted in your memory!

This morning I took my ex-wife to Truro. She is now traveling in an ambulance with her partner to London where he is to have heart bypass surgery tomorrow.

I got a message this morning from an ex girlfriend in the USA whose mother (who has terminal but slow growing cancer) is to have a foot amputated due to neurosthenia... with a 50:50 chance of survival because of her age.

The past few years have been trying, to say the least...
Does neurasthenia exit?

Either way it's a gold medal to you for veering off topic
 

Little My

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Apologies for creating the diversion, Ivan.

kernewegor, I hope your sax and the fine Cornish coast can provide some distraction.
 

kernewegor

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I'm OK thanks, Little My - its the others in my life who are up against it... but, yeah, music and surroundings are a way of staying what I laughingly call sane...

I am sorry we diverted, Ivan, but - like death - these things happen. Is there a line between music and life?

Back on topic, in addition to that mentioned above I see that Michael Furstner has all sorts of other stuff on his site which students and teachers might find useful as additional resources.
 

Little My

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Off topic - just wondering how things are with your ex wife's partner. Do they have a date for the op yet?
 

kernewegor

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Off topic - just wondering how things are with your ex wife's partner. Do they have a date for the op yet?
Heart bypass surgery today sometime - thanks for asking.
 

Little My

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I hope it went well. At least the stress of waiting will be over.
 

agganitk

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how I can get chord track starting from A so that I can play along alto sax. ? I m getting confused.
 

Sue

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Play the audio and you start on A as above
 

kevgermany

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how I can get chord track starting from A so that I can play along alto sax. ? I m getting confused.

View attachment 2480

Play the audio and you start on A as above

aggantik, Just in case it's not obvious, the circle of fourths is the circle of fifths read in the opposite direction.

i.e. Going UP from C to G is a fifth. Going DOWN from G to C is also a fifth. But going from C to F is a fourth - if you go UP, not DOWN. Natural tendancy with circle of fourths/fifths is to think that because you're going the other way around the circle, you go down instead of up. True when you're staying with fifths, but not so if you're converting from fifths to fourths. Coonfused the living daylights out of me for ages.
 
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kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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how I can get chord track starting from A so that I can play along alto sax. ? I m getting confused.

When you start the recording off (by clicking on the Audio 3.2 above the diagram) the instruments playing on the backing track are pitched in C. So when the recording starts, they start off with C, then move to F, then Bb etc. around the circle.

But if you are playing an alto (pitched in Eb) you need to start with A ('cos an A on an Eb instrument is in tune with a C on a piano). Then you move on to D, then to G etc.

And if you were playing a tenor (pitched in Bb) you would start on D ( 'cos a D on a Bb instrument is in tune with a C on a piano) Then you move to G, and then C and so on.

That's what the diagram means - here are the instruments all playing simultaneously:

Piano, guitar etc
plays C F Bb etc

Alto
plays A D G etc

Tenor
plays D G C etc


...and everyone is in tune with each other.

EDIT - That is irritating. When you write or edit it isn't WYSIWYG - I lined them up nicely so the A was vertically above the D, and the C above the A, but it didn't come out like that. Ah well.

Subsequent EDIT - Kev has fixed it! Our moderators are smart dudes!
 
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zelda

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I tried clicking on the Audio 3.2 but a pop-up says I'm missing a plug-in. I'm using my Macbook Air laptop. Any suggestions as to how I can access the audio?
Jim
 

kernewegor

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Clever stuff, Kev - impressed!

Thank you!
 

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