All fees from subs and sales are supporting musicians suffering hardship due to COVID-19
ArtistWorks

Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,864
Hi everyone, this thread is for the guys taking the course to chat about it, ask questions, compare notes, etc etc. It will be a sticky for the duration of the course.. Please lets try and not get to far off topic..

Chris..
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,595
Hi Chris,

Well done ...you beat me too it.

Had a brief look at this weeks material.
Doesn't look too scary...still it's early days.

Their forum (Coursera) also looks pretty mind blowing, people with vast experience are also taking it from all over the world!
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
Got to watch the comparing of notes doesn't breach the honour code I guess.

So, anyone else confused yet? I've watched all the videos tonight. Perfectly straightforward. Correctly answered the little multiple choice questions, no problem. All looking great... UNTIL... yikes... So assignment one is to improvise over a backing track with what to a beginner like me appear at first look to be some fairly tasty chords, and no mention of the fact that they are in concert pitch so transposing intruments will need to transpose. Goes with the territory I guess but I'm finding it a pretty deep end to get thrown in for assignment number 1 with little explanation. Maybe I'm not ready for this course yet. My improvisation to date has only been with pentatonics and bluescales where appropriate. Looks like this needs more clinical improvisation based on the chord symbols unless anyone thinks different? I think they could have explained a bit more what they are expecting for this first assignment. Am I missing something?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,595
Oh oh!
Hmmm I didn't get to that bit Thomas...however don't panic, we have all the help we can ask for in the Cafe Sax forum and the coursera one too!

Hang in there and learn that's what we came for!

I need to break my own pattern of not asking for help...this is why I'm where I am now!

Keep your pecker up!

Cheers
Jimu
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,516
I haven't got through all the intro videos, nor reached the assignment yet....i am also expecting it to be tough, but intend to give it some time tomorrow.
I'm sure we can transpose between us as necessary!
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
Oh oh!
Hmmm I didn't get to that bit Thomas...however don't panic, we have all the help we can ask for in the Cafe Sax forum and the coursera one too!

Hang in there and learn that's what we came for!

I need to break my own pattern of not asking for help...this is why I'm where I am now!

Keep your pecker up!

Cheers
Jimu
lol thanks. Keen to hear people's takes on what they see as expected/required. I figure if I transpose the chords for tenor, write out the notes of the chords (and probably the rest of the notes of the mode's scale) then with loads of takes I might be able to bodge together some sort of an "improvisation" eventually, but I'm not sure one could really call that improvising. I'm just not seeing how the videos taught me how to approach this assignment.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,862
lol thanks. Keen to hear people's takes on what they see as expected/required. I figure if I transpose the chords for tenor, write out the notes of the chords (and probably the rest of the notes of the mode's scale) then with loads of takes I might be able to bodge together some sort of an "improvisation" eventually, but I'm not sure one could really call that improvising. I'm just not seeing how the videos taught me how to approach this assignment.
I get the impression that the idea is to establish some sort of base line for your playing and see how you improve from there. I must admit I was expecting something simpler like a 12-bar blues for the first week. The plan you set out seems pretty reasonable to me. The tune seems to be mostly ii-v-i's in various keys. My plan at this point is to try and remember the sequence of keys, listen to the backing track a few times and see what I can make of it.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
Just done a quick once through everything to get an idea of what's happening wasnt sure if you shoul dive in and answer the tick box questions straight off or submit it later,and feeling pretty much the same as Profusia had a listen to the piano impro, was a bit surprised at the intricacy of it,early days I suppose will look forward to see how the rest find it .....John
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
The tune seems to be mostly ii-v-i's in various keys.
Ok first point of confusion for me. Does the "Mi" in GMi7(b5) mean minor or something else? I've seen Gm, Gmin, and G- all used to mean minor but never GMi.

I'm guessing it might mean something else as the F minor is given as "F-" and I would hope they would stick to the same chord notation standard throughout a piece. But then again...

With regard to the II V Is this is where my lack of knowledge and understanding on chord progressions lets me down badly. I too see the II V Is in that for instance it starts with a G chord, followed by C followed by F (II V I of F) but get confused because it doesn't follow what I understand as 2nd, 5th, and 1st modes of a major scale (the F chord being minor). In fact in terms of likely applicable keys and scales I see probably a G Locrian (key signature as per Ab major), followed by a C Mixolydian (F major key sig but that's obviously too simplistic because of the flatted 9th), followed by any minor mode starting on F (perhaps F Dorian i.e. Eb maj key sig). Clearly I'm stretching here and need much better understanding. Perhaps looking for modes to identify safe passing notes is over-thinking it. Suggestions?

P.S. I'm off sick today so probably making even less sense than usual! Got to try to find the energy to go to CAB now as my sister and I got ripped off by a cowboy window installer on trying to renovate my father's house. Joy!
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,862
Ok first point of confusion for me. Does the "Mi" in GMi7(b5) mean minor or something else? I've seen Gm, Gmin, and G- all used to mean minor but never GMi.
Yep, Gm7(b5). First chord of a ii-v-i in the key of F minor.

I'm guessing it might mean something else as the F minor is given as "F-" and I would hope they would stick to the same chord notation standard throughout a piece. But then again...

With regard to the II V Is this is where my lack of knowledge and understanding on chord progressions lets me down badly. I too see the II V Is in that for instance it starts with a G chord, followed by C followed by F (II V I of F) but get confused because it doesn't follow what I understand as 2nd, 5th, and 1st modes of a major scale (the F chord being minor).
Right. We're in F minor not major. Hence the b5 (Db) in the first chord, which belongs to F harmonic minor (and also to F natural minor.)

In fact in terms of likely applicable keys and scales I see probably a G Locrian (key signature as per Ab major),
Notice that that's the same key sig as F Minor (which is the relative minor of Ab major). But I wouldn't get too hung up about chord/scale relationships at this point. As you say, we haven't covered that yet.

followed by a C Mixolydian (F major key sig but that's obviously too simplistic because of the flatted 9th),
There's the Db again.

followed by any minor mode starting on F (perhaps F Dorian i.e. Eb maj key sig). Clearly I'm stretching here and need much better understanding. Perhaps looking for modes to identify safe passing notes is over-thinking it.
I think so, at this stage.

Suggestions?
Just think "We're in F minor" (except we're not 'cause we're sax players. Would have been nice if they provided Bb and Eb chord sheets) and try to play something that fits. At some point you have to stop calculating and trust your ear.

P.S. I'm off sick today so probably making even less sense than usual! Got to try to find the energy to go to CAB now as my sister and I got ripped off by a cowboy window installer on trying to renovate my father's house. Joy!
Get well soon and good luck with the cowboys.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,189
Ok, iv'e got to 'The relationship between spoken language & music' it won't play so played next vid ok then onto 'Creating your assignment' again it won't play !! :( a good start (not) it's coming up invalid source ?
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,862
Ok, iv'e got to 'The relationship between spoken language & music' it won't play so played next vid ok then onto 'Creating your assignment' again it won't play !! :( a good start (not) it's coming up invalid source ?
They're working for me (except the download link for part 5 seems to be broken). Maybe it was a temporary problem at their end?
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,862
By the way, was anyone reminded of the Benny Hill sketch?

"Ooh, what is this thing called, love?"

"Cut! No, no, no it's 'What is this thing called love?"
 
OP
Chris

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,864
Hmmm! looks like this is causing some discussion.. Just to kick things off..

This https://www.box.com/s/ylhvcmr1vc4y2ln2uy5w will get you transposed sheets...

Perhaps rather than thinking chord scale relationships, think key centres or just chord tones with a few half steps...


Chris...
 

Jobylou

Member
Messages
322
I've just signed up for this course, but having now read this thread I am thinking perhaps I am not quite ready for this yet? My background some 20 years ago is brass band, so no improvising whatsoever. Been playing sax for 2 years and so far managed to avoid it, but I can't put it off any longer!
Oh well, here goes!
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
Yep, Gm7(b5). First chord of a ii-v-i in the key of F minor.


Right. We're in F minor not major. Hence the b5 (Db) in the first chord, which belongs to F harmonic minor (and also to F natural minor.)


Notice that that's the same key sig as F Minor (which is the relative minor of Ab major). But I wouldn't get too hung up about chord/scale relationships at this point. As you say, we haven't covered that yet.


There's the Db again.


I think so, at this stage.


Just think "We're in F minor" (except we're not 'cause we're sax players. Would have been nice if they provided Bb and Eb chord sheets) and try to play something that fits. At some point you have to stop calculating and trust your ear.

Get well soon and good luck with the cowboys.
Martin, thanks a lot for all of the above. You've tied together neatly for me a whole load of loose ends that were floating around in my head. By indicating key signatures I didn't mean to imply that we were IN that key but that the flats (or sharps) would be as per that signature at least for that bar, and that could just as easily apply to the complementary minor. I'd even wondered about melodic and harmonic minors but have never studied or even practiced them so didn't dare go there. You've brought it all together and made it make sense which is brilliant so thank you. Now I just need you to teach me how to play over it! lol
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
I've just signed up for this course, but having now read this thread I am thinking perhaps I am not quite ready for this yet? My background some 20 years ago is brass band, so no improvising whatsoever. Been playing sax for 2 years and so far managed to avoid it, but I can't put it off any longer!
Oh well, here goes!
Just give it a shot. What's to lose? :)

Seriously though I know how daunting improvisation can be when your first start, and having been improvising a bit already in pentatonics and bluescales I see this course as nothing like an "introduction" so far, but since its free it has to be worth a loook and some good things are bound to come out of it.
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
986
Ok, iv'e got to 'The relationship between spoken language & music' it won't play so played next vid ok then onto 'Creating your assignment' again it won't play !! :( a good start (not) it's coming up invalid source ?
I had a problem with one of them which just wouldn't play. How did I fix it? Sorry I've slept since then! I think I may have right clicked on the video and changed an option. I remember it said something about HTML5 and it picked another type and suddenly it worked. No idea why it was only on one of them. Not helping much am I - sorry. I'll go back to bed.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members OnlineStatistics

Help!

Sign up to the Mailing List

Latest posts

Top Bottom