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Do you know your 4ths?

zannad

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Well, I thought I knew my 4ths - and if anyone told me a couple of weeks ago something like: "can you play perfect 4ths using the steps of an Harmonic Scale?" I would have had little doubts cos:
1) I know my Harmonic Scales and
2) I know how to find my fourths?!
So adding these two should give me an effortless rendition of a pattern of perfect 4ths built over an Harmonic scale, right?...well, I did it; but I wouldn't call it an effortless task and I was amazed how little grasp I had of my 4ths - after a cramped attempt I decided to try to find the forths within the scale (so a mix of perfect fourths, augmented and a 3rd in a Harmonic scale) but it wasn't any easier...I realized (if there was any need for further confirmation) how we are so dominated by thirds as chords and tonality are generally built on thirds.
Someone suggests to open up the sound by going even further and concentrate on longer intervals e.g. 6ths - ok, but at least the 6ths being opposite of 3rds have some links with some ready made material.
In my opinion that gap, that black hole where 4ths and it's opposite 5ths lies is very important...at least for me, that's why I'm concentrating so much in filling that massive void.

err...no, not that interested in Quartal harmony either (as much as a Kaos Theory really) as my grasp of Jazz Theories is practically nil, zero, zilch, "can't be bothered" (perhaps my weakest spot) - just for the sake to conquer the 4ths for good.
 

aldevis

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err...no, not that interested in Quartal harmony either (as much as a Kaos Theory really) as my grasp of Jazz Theories is practically nil, zero, zilch, "can't be bothered" (perhaps my weakest spot) - just for the sake to conquer the 4ths for good.
Something I do not understand:
If you are not interested in quartal harmony (Hancock/Corea can make quite interesting things with it) why are you bothering wit that exercise?

From the way you are describing, if you mean Minor Harmonic, You are simply going to play Amin harm and Dmin harm one note each (perfect fourths) or you end up playing 4ths on a scale that will have little melodic use: 4ths starting on B of the A min harm scale if the chord is E7b9 leading to A min (the only use that comes to my mind).
 

Wade Cornell

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Once had an impromptu (unrehearsed improvisation) with my guitarist where he played a fourths exercise. The exercise for me was to hear a melodic line that fitted the fourths exercise. Yet another dimension to hearing fourths is to hear something that sounds interesting against them. We had the recorder going and this is what it sounded like:

http://soundcloud.com/whampton-court/forth-dimentia

As you can hear he eventually hit the loop button which allowed us to both play against it. Not a "happy face" sound, but I guess what I felt and seemed right at the time. For me it was most useful to hear the relationship as a sound series rather than trying to think in terms of seeing music or any other reference except using your ear.
 
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zannad

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Something I do not understand:

If you are not interested in quartal harmony (Hancock/Corea can make quite interesting things with it) why are you bothering wit that exercise?

From the way you are describing, if you mean Minor Harmonic, You are simply going to play Amin harm and Dmin harm one note each (perfect fourths) or you end up playing 4ths on a scale that will have little melodic use: 4ths starting on B of the A min harm scale if the chord is E7b9 leading to A min (the only use that comes to my mind).
That exercise is just an example....I'm practicing 4ths with all sort of scales: Pentatonic, Major etc. (one might opt to use any pattern - right now I've chosen to use scales)...
Quartal Harmony sounds really interesting and while I'm not exactly "bothering" about it - well, it seems rather odd to start studying Jazz Theory from the top rather than from the basics (something I've been postponing for years by now).
You are right...playing perfect fourths from any given pattern (e.g. an Harmonic Minor) is like playing the same scale on two different keys (e.g. A Minor Harmonic scale and D Minor Harmonic scale. Then, by plaing 4ths within a scale we are basically playing a mix of different 4ths (not all perfect).
Beside, the 2 exercises above aren't interchangeable...the one with perfect fourths is perhaps more difficult because one has to juggle with 2 scales - then, as we are dealing with two keys a fourth apart there might be some extra benefits especially with major scales.
 

aldevis

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That exercise is just an example....I'm practicing 4ths with all sort of scales: Pentatonic, Major etc. (one might opt to use any pattern - right now I've chosen to use scales)...
Quartal Harmony sounds really interesting and while I'm not exactly "bothering" about it - well, it seems rather odd to start studying Jazz Theory from the top rather than from the basics (something I've been postponing for years by now).
You are right...playing perfect fourths from any given pattern (e.g. an Harmonic Minor) is like playing the same scale on two different keys (e.g. A Minor Harmonic scale and D Minor Harmonic scale. Then, by plaing 4ths within a scale we are basically playing a mix of different 4ths (not all perfect).
Beside, the 2 exercises above aren't interchangeable...the one with perfect fourths is perhaps more difficult because one has to juggle with 2 scales - then, as we are dealing with two keys a fourth apart there might be some extra benefits especially with major scales.
So, if you want some real, useful fun, start using fourths on octatonic scales (HW). they work on almost any dominant chord.
 
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zannad

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Once had an impromptu (unrehearsed improvisation) with my guitarist where he played a fourths exercise. The exercise for me was to hear a melodic line that fitted the fourths exercise. Yet another dimension to hearing fourths is to hear something that sounds interesting against them. We had the recorder going and this is what it sounded like:

http://soundcloud.com/whampton-court/forth-dimentia

As you can hear he eventually hit the loop button which allowed us to both play against it. Not a "happy face" sound, but I guess what I felt and seemed right at the time. For me it was most useful to hear the relationship as a sound series rather than trying to think in terms of seeing music or any other reference except using your ear.
It sounds interesting....like you were actually listening and exploring rather than using mindless ready made patterns.
Opening up...that's understanding 4ths - my training sessions aren't that technical as I basically play standard tunes on all keys but studying 4ths require a technical approach - why? Because 4ths aren't in mainstream music...practicing standards hits = unconscious practice and over practicing of thirds...well, I got the 4ths bug now.
 

Pete C

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Yes have done a lot of work on diatonic fourths and practise them routinely on major, ascending melodic minor (so they can get into 7#11 and 7alt chords) and also on pentatonic scales. In the bigger scheme of things, fourths are just one of the diatonic intervals in these scales and I also practise 3rds 4ths 5ths and 6ths. These intervals get more interesting when you start inverting alternate ones e.g. C major in fourths: CFGDEABFGCDABEFC

Pete
 

aldevis

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These intervals get more interesting when you start inverting alternate ones e.g. C major in fourths: CFGDEABFGCDABEFC

Pete
BEDAGCBFEAGDC

This is my daily exercise n.4

It sounds quartal also when you invert thirds (CEFDEGA...)
Dorians are my favourite, but John Coltrane explored them already.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Forgive me for being thick but isn't all this codswallop an attempt to justify theory teaching, enabling those who cannot improvise or have insufficient self confidence to do so, give some technical reason for their inability?

In simple terms there are only twelve notes in an octave as the "classical" world, in inverted commas, discovered around half a century before the jazz genre.

Now pick the bones out of that you technophiles or why not try playing your instruments instead of thinking about it. ;};};}

Well Kev, that should get you some work, maybe some of it in understandable English, except of course, that is not their aim. "They" understand this claptrap and we, "the great unwashed", don't. >:)>:)>:)
 

aldevis

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In simple terms there are only twelve notes in an octave as the "classical" world, in inverted commas, discovered around half a century before the jazz genre.
But at some point someone points you that on one particular album, a whole tune is made with only two scales of seven notes each.
You can either learn dorian scales or try to work out how they did it.

When someone showed me HOW TO THINK the double diminished, I suddenly understood Paul Gonsalves.

That is why theory is useful: it a shortcut that allows us not to go through 20 centuries of music history on our own when we pick up an instrument.

4ths explain some Coltrane, Corea, Tyner, Hancock, Scriabin, Messiaen, Varese... Having them under your fingers (not an easy task) gives you one more colour for your palette.

Even in English.
 

BigMartin

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Forgive me for being thick but isn't all this codswallop an attempt to justify theory teaching, enabling those who cannot improvise or have insufficient self confidence to do so, give some technical reason for their inability?
One could also argue (not that I am, necessarily) that saying "there are only 12 notes, just use your ear" is just an excuse for not learning your scales, arpeggios, 4ths, etc. For me, it would be impossible to play without some sort of tonal framework to guide me. Maybe that means I have no talent, but I don't care. Some of my playing pleases me, and I'll learn whatever I need to learn (including ear-training) so that more of it pleases me. This stuff works.
 

andyjb

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I'm studying 4ths at the moment (albeit on the piano). Can you go through how you get the sequence CFGDEABFGCDABEFC
by inverting the alternate ones. A standard 4 ths sequence would be CFBbEbAb etc..

Thanks

Andy

ps. i am no piano man with a piano :w00t:
 
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zannad

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So, if you want some real, useful fun, start using fourths on octatonic scales (HW). they work on almost any dominant chord.
Octatonic....yep, the Half Diminished (half/whole).
Thanks for that...I would eventually got there as I'm trying all combinations - any hint on why this one is more useful with fourths than others?
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
When someone showed me HOW TO THINK the double diminished, I suddenly understood Paul Gonsalves.
Did you not enjoy his performances before?

Jazz improvisation is supposed to be a spontaneous performance, not a carefully planned, emotion free equation.

Is TV a mathematician? If so could he work out the number of different note sequences that can be played. Nearly three quarters of a century so can't be bothered to work it out but doesn't it start 12 x 11 x 10 x 9 etc and that is only using West European notation. Tuners of accordions used in Egypt have to get used to quarter tones, but Jai and Kay used them in their music so what does that do to the number of sequences?

Why not use your ears as the main judging medium?
 

aldevis

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I'm studying 4ths at the moment (albeit on the piano). Can you go through how you get the sequence CFGDEABFGCDABEFC
by inverting the alternate ones. A standard 4 ths sequence would be CFBbEbAb etc..

Thanks

Andy

ps. i am no piano man with a piano :w00t:
I guess yours is a question.

Let's do it in D minor dorian (all the white keys, D on the left hand)

DGAEFBCGADEBCFGD (down)CFEBADCGFBAEDDDDDDDDD

D, up a 4th: G up a note: A, down a 4th: E up a note F up a 4th B ...

up a 4th, up a note, down a fourth up a note, up a fourth up a note....
 

aldevis

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Octatonic....yep, the Half Diminished (half/whole).
Thanks for that...I would eventually got there as I'm trying all combinations - any hint on why this one is more useful with fourths than others?
Don't confuse the octatonic with the Half Diminished. The Half Dim is B to B with no alterations.
 

aldevis

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Did you not enjoy his performances before?

Jazz improvisation is supposed to be a spontaneous performance, not a carefully planned, emotion free equation.

Is TV a mathematician? If so could he work out the number of different note sequences that can be played. Nearly three quarters of a century so can't be bothered to work it out but doesn't it start 12 x 11 x 10 x 9 etc and that is only using West European notation. Tuners of accordions used in Egypt have to get used to quarter tones, but Jai and Kay used them in their music so what does that do to the number of sequences?

Why not use your ears as the main judging medium?
I enjoyed his playing, but now I can try that at home.

12! is quite a big number, and we are not considering notes' length.
I judge with my ears. I play as many things as I can and I choose what I like.
Listening and playing are quite interleaved separate things.

A whole music genre (and derivates) is built upon a single scale: The blue scale (or pentatonic minor). Maybe we shouldn't practice it and wait for our ears to judge it. It might work, but it takes a long, long time.
 
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