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Reflections

Wade Cornell

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A not so great take on the same track. Now I remember why I didn't keep my part in the original practice recording. Well it's out there now. Was trying to tap into the feeling of Morgana King's version of "It's a lazy afternoon". Somehow just doesn’t make it, but I think it's important to sometimes share what doesn't quite work.

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=12163579&q=hi

Compliments are not desired. Would be much more interesting to have opinions why it doesn't quite come together.

Here's the Morgana King track if you've never heard this it's worth a listen

http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=16546289&ac=now
 
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Mike

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No compliments desired, hmmm...A few inappropriate notes? Guitar/sax minor clash of unintentional dissonance? Extremely brief and not worth mentioning....However, I just did!

Okay:
I wasn't sitting quite right in my chair to hear the sounds at my normal angle. That may mean I'm biased at that particular moment.
I happened to have sneezed during the first minute and I had to go back, ruining the overall initial sequence.
I heard my wife call me for lunch which added an unexpected modulation to the tune.
I had extemporaneous thoughts of what I was doing 17 years ago and I remembered where I had left my...Oh wait, I still don't remember! The piece is called Reflections!

Other than that, It was fine for what the piece represents. Don't mind how my mind works and what takes place in my house when I listen to music....
 

Chris

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A couple of places where there was some dissonance, but after a couple of listens through it helped the piece along. Not sure what didn't work for you Wade.. Was another interesting version of a piece of music..

Chris..
 

Wade Cornell

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OK, I guess I'm still pushing a vision that most don't want to visit. Critical listening and comments can be very useful for the listener as well as the person who posts.

To my ears what I posted had trouble meshing with the guitar in terms of timing and feel. I tried for a more emotive style but it sounded pushed instead of natural. If you listened to the Morgan King piece the arrangement (by Torrie Zito [sp] I think) is lush and evocative which sets the stage for Mrgana's lush over-the-top emotive voice. You feel every note she sings. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

My interpretation was flawed in concept and execution. Surprisingly I wanted those "dissonances" as to me they made up tension and release in what is otherwise a piece that doesn't have much movement or change within it.

I am happy to try and hear through others ears what works for them and what doesn't. There is no such thing for me as anyone being too critical as I can assess what I think is real and what isn't and don't take criticism in any way personally.

Probably time for me to just sit back and accept that most who post just want a pat on the back and those who listen are happy to oblige.
 

Tenor Viol

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The usual use of dissonance is to create tension, traditionally heightened by use of a suspension. The tension is then released as the dissonance is resolved to a consonance.

You've got some 'hard' dissonances near the start - i.e. ones which are not prepared - but landed straight on. That would have jarred ears right up to mid/late C19th, but Stravinsky has happened since then!

I think you're being a bit harsh on yourself - I think some of this is timbre: you can't really compare the more percussive nature of the guitar to the rather 'swooshy' romantic strings in the other recording.
 

Mike

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OK, I guess I'm still pushing a vision that most don't want to visit. Critical listening and comments can be very useful for the listener as well as the person who posts.

To my ears what I posted had trouble meshing with the guitar in terms of timing and feel. I tried for a more emotive style but it sounded pushed instead of natural. If you listened to the Morgan King piece the arrangement (by Torrie Zito [sp] I think) is lush and evocative which sets the stage for Mrgana's lush over-the-top emotive voice. You feel every note she sings. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

My interpretation was flawed in concept and execution. Surprisingly I wanted those "dissonances" as to me they made up tension and release in what is otherwise a piece that doesn't have much movement or change within it.

I am happy to try and hear through others ears what works for them and what doesn't. There is no such thing for me as anyone being too critical as I can assess what I think is real and what isn't and don't take criticism in any way personally.

Probably time for me to just sit back and accept that most who post just want a pat on the back and those who listen are happy to oblige.
Wade, you know me, I certainly don't want a pat on the back.
I'm fine if no one replies. The bottom line for me is to share and if I see only
views, then it's possibly I'm sharing something. I have no ultierior motive in what I do.


I hate to bring it up but once upon a time back at SOTW, I purposely
lambasted one of your pieces. However, it was out of jest and I told you so. You did not take it well at all.
In fact you came right back at me and said something along the lines of my compositions, oh..... how should I say it,
'pre-fabricated'. You became defensive so you attacked my approach to art, which surprised me, especially coming from you.


I personally don't like to critique anyone in any type of deficiency. Why? Because I'm deficient as well
and it's not my place to offer that kind of critique. I only look for anything positive that I can hear and I respond to that. That's my way of being constructive because it is sincere!
You feel agile in that department and that's fine. That's you! I respect it, but it's not something I do.
I do however, offer techniques in which anyone may take and try to get something out of. That's the best I can offer. I would like others to improve in improvisation, because from what I've read some are having difficulties.


I mentioned dissonance in your work. It's not the kind of dissonance that I personally like. But that's just my ears, not yours. Why would you take my word for it? You have ears and you know what's good and what's not because you do indeed critique others effortlessly in how you feel their work would sound better.

That's not something I can easily do for anyone. Their work has nothing to do with me. If indeed anyone asked for help, as in taking it upon themselves to ask I would help them all I can.


I still think you're a really nice guy, though! ;}
Or, should I say something detrimental about you?
 
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Wade Cornell

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I think some of this is timbre: you can't really compare the more percussive nature of the guitar to the rather 'swooshy' romantic strings in the other recording.
I think you're absolutely right, but that's why I said that "My interpretation was flawed in concept and execution". I really wanted something to not fit smoothly into the ear from the start as the background is otherwise too smooth and doesn't go anywhere, thus the 'hard' dissonance. Classic case of using one's head and heart instead of their ears.

Excellent comment and good critical listening that's much appreciated. Thanks
 

Wade Cornell

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Ah yes Mike, I do recall those exchanges. We've both acknowledged that this is a very limited means of exchanging views, which is open to misinterpretation that wouldn't happen in a face to face situation. That was one of those moments. I thought you were being both aggressive and flippant instead of humorous. In retrospect there was no reason for me to respond, but I did.

Yes we are different creatures. I lack sensitivity, and to some degree common sense in giving opinions when they are not sought. The part I don't get is not getting or giving opinions when they are sought. I like to think of these sites as safe places where people can share their music and thoughts in an atmosphere where we learn from each other. If only compliments are sought and offered then this defeats what I see as a primary purpose.
 
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Mike

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You must consider the individual you are dealing with first and foremost. You have no idea of the sensitivity level of an individual you feel you might be helping. That's just my take on it. I look for only what I find appealing. I sort out what doesn't appeal to me. Why should I let anyone know about that? What purpose would it serve? That's a responsibility I don't wish to have.
If I told you Wade, that I found your work useless, how would that make you a better musician? Well, I don't find your work useless or anyone else's and in those works I find good things that I like and I focus on those issues. Let others determine what sounds bad to their ears. It's not my job or place to do that sort of thing.

We have two things to go on:
1. The music displayed
2. The alphabet and how it's used in sequence....and maybe an occasional emoticon.

That's it! Your imagination has to foot the bill for everything else.

Also, when you came back at me in your defense and told me what you thought of my work, should I not feel that you've been
patting me on the back all this time? Personally, I think that you were just angry and didn't mean it. You've been a great supporter of my work.
I was creating a parody at SOTW because of how you warrant honesty and not to hold back. I approached it from an extreme position.


If you're ever in my neck of the woods, you know you'd be a most welcomed guest.
 
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TimboSax

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A not so great take on the same track. Now I remember why I didn't keep my part in the original practice recording. Well it's out there now. Was trying to tap into the feeling of Morgana King's version of "It's a lazy afternoon". Somehow just doesn’t make it, but I think it's important to sometimes share what doesn't quite work.

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=12163579&q=hi

Compliments are not desired. Would be much more interesting to have opinions why it doesn't quite come together.

Here's the Morgana King track if you've never heard this it's worth a listen

http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=16546289&ac=now
At my level of playing, getting a sound out of the bloody thing is a bonus, and hence I can see it's not easy for someone to give me constructive criticism :) However, in time that will come, and I agree that I always value construcutive criticism as a tool to improve.

So, in that spirit...

  • Overall I like the recording. I like the tone that you get, and the control over the dynamics. I am a fan of that breathy sax sound, to me it is the epitome of cool. It is one of my goals.
  • I didn't particularly like the Morgana King track (in fact, that didn't seem to gel for me). It reminded me in feel of some of the music in the original Jungle Book (which I like, and think is better that the King track), and it's possible that that association colours my perception of the track.
  • I much prefer the feel of your backing track (but then, I'm a guitarist so I might be expected to lean towards that anyway!). I think that the guitar is played well apart from some of the extra small fills between around 1:03 and 1:20. They change the rhythm slighly, and because that's not picked up by the sax it creates a rhythmic dissonance that doesn't quite fit for me (see 1:14 - 1:17 in particular). There's more of this around 1:38, which fits better, and in the fade out (which is where I'd prefer to hear it anyway).
  • There is some fret buzz at the start, possibly from too hard fretting, which is most noticeable because the sax hasn't come in yet. If it happens elsewhere, I'd leave it, but right at the start I'd clean it up.
  • Regarding the sax, I wonder if pushing a reverb track out to the sides might create a further sense of space, possibly dynamically panning the reverb throughout the track while keeping the sax stationary. I'd move the sax slightly more off to one side, and raise it in the mix slightly. The eq of the two instruments seems fine and complimentary, but because the guitar is taking the higher eq, it just needs to come back a touch, possible with a touch more reverb to smooth it a bit more.
  • I'm not quite sure of the dissonance created by the first sax note, it doesn't seem quite right, and there is nothing else that picks up on the dissonance played until 1:00, so it seems a bit "lonely".
  • I like the dissonance introduced at 1:00, but would like it picked up more elsewhere, so that it is an integral part of the playing rather than a few bars.
  • The note at 1:35 seems a bit sharp, until the vibrato comes in, the second time that note's hit at 1:43 is fine.

That's it. Again, I emphasise that I like it, and want my comments to be taken in that context. These are things that I would pick up if I were producing/mixing down the track, and really are small points: the final 5% polish as it were. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary, etc.

(Do let me know if I'm out of order, or misunderstood what you're after)

Tim
 

Wade Cornell

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Man, you've got great ears and just the sort of reply I wanted to hear. I've been sloppy about doing the editing, mainly because all the recordings I've done are just letting the recorder run during get-together plays/rehearsals. Mostly these are one-off throw-away riffs that are modal (few or no chord changes) and looped by the guitarist who then plays against them. So, nothing rehearsed or special. Lots of flaws in the guitar track and you've picked them up. The ones that were most difficult to work with were the rhythmic bits he did against his loop. Since this was recorded live, all the guitar sound was on one track and I couldn't do anything about his timing goofs. The feel was the important thing, so I kept the track hoping that playing the sax over/against it would cover/diminish the timing problem. Well, that didn't work.

The editing was sloppy (my usual). Just stuck in what I thought was an appropriate amount of reverb, pan a bit each way, and it's done. Good job picking up the sloppiness, but also giving advice about what would make it sound better. That's great constructive criticism and greatly appreciated. Won't make the guitarist's playing any better (or mine), but is a reference for what I should be listening for and ways in which to improve the edit.

The dissonance has been mentioned several times and I've got to take that in and think you're right. It needed repeating as it was hanging out there without reinforcement. The funny thing was that I really wanted it at the start and thought that it was necessary to set some tension and keep it from being too much the same, but didn't think about the need to repeat it and give some consistency. Spot on.

Thank you for taking the time and hopefully you will be able to do the same for other recordings I’m likely to post. Would be good if I can incorporate those suggestions and make those improvements in future tracks. None are likely to be at a professional level as we just don't put that kind of practice in. It's mostly just free flow improvisation, but even within that there’s heaps of room to improve.

Without this kind excellent critical comment I'd just continue to be sloppy in my approach. I'd hoped that someone like you was out there.

Cheers!
 
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Mike

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559
What confuses me Wade, is that you're very agile in critique when it comes to other music, yet
you don't apply this same approach to your own work.

Step back and listen to your work as if someone else wrote it and listen to what you think is deficient.
Do you suddenly become tone deaf when it applies to your own work?
 

Wade Cornell

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Strange reply Mike that I will try to take as complimentary. You presume that I can hear and understand everything? There are lots of players, regardless of their own level of playing, who have great ears and can make significant comments. I'm also interested in what people think or hear as I don't consider myself omniscient and don't play music just for my own gratification. I play publically and like doing this. This particular rendition was not very good and said so at the beginning, but wanted to find out why as I couldn't quite put my finger on the problem.

Reality checks are not a bad idea in my opinion. I'm often my own worst critic, which can be helpful if I know what the problem is and how to fix it. If others don't hear a problem then maybe there is no need. I also respect anyone who listens, and think it's possible I can learn from them as I have from TimboSax and others. I'm not now, and will probably never be at a level where I can't learn something or improve. Where's the problem in seeking help, opinions, and wanting to grow? I like being sort of a hermit, but don't want to be a "mushroom".
 

daveysaxboy

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Just caught up on this.For me theres some nice bits in there.As for some of the mentioned tension notes some work.Once you start throwing stuff like that in a line you need to know how,where it should go,end.Its just like learning a new scale.lick.At 1st you think wow its out but its how you lead and get out of it.I feel it needs more work as it sounds to me as your not sure and holding back on these new notes.I've never really heard you use much tension,release before.This is just my opinion and nothing else and think with more prep you could get a better feel to it.
 

Mike

Senior Member
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559
Mushrooms tend to grow quite quickly.

I apologize if I may be annoying you Wade. I'm, by nature, inquisitive. Simple uninflected words will have to do.

I think it's best advised that from now I'll let my saxophone playing do my talking. I do not want to partake in these types of discussions again. I'm at fault for opening too many doors, that in a forum, don't really need to be opened.

I'll just participate in the new releases that come out.
I'm being counter-productive in the literary department.
 
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Wade Cornell

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Mushrooms tend to grow quite quickly.

I apologize if I may be annoying you Wade. I'm, by nature, inquisitive. Simple uninflected words will have to do.

I think it's best advised that from now I'll let my saxophone playing do my talking. I do not want to partake in these types of discussions again. I'm at fault for opening too many doors, that in a forum, don't really need to be opened.

I'll just participate in the new releases that come out.
I'm being counter-productive in the literary department.
I don't think you have anything to apologise about as you are right about my being a critic. Doesn't mean that I know everything, but actually means that I want and expect the same. It's about growth and feeling that it's OK to be honest in one's opinions. Those opinions are nothing more than that, one opinion, not a universal truth.

This is where I run into problems as it seems that others may not be interested in open and frank feedback, yourself as an example. You claim to not want or care about feedback and just post to "share". Maybe the majority do this and don't wish to have their work critiqued or possibly learn something. I really don't know, but would think it interesting to find out. A poll?

I guess you have achieved whatever level you wished in your time as a pro, and there are bound to be other pros who similarly don't want or need feedback. That's fine, but I don't think the majority who use this site are current or former pros. The question still remains as to whether the majority of those who post (who want feedback) would rather have constructive criticism/opinions or just get pats on the back. I've made my position as clear as possible and greatly appreciate anyone who would take the time to offer help. I will do the same for those who think similarly. Now if we can just ID who those people are who are similarly inclined.
 
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Wade Cornell

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Just caught up on this.For me theres some nice bits in there.As for some of the mentioned tension notes some work.Once you start throwing stuff like that in a line you need to know how,where it should go,end.Its just like learning a new scale.lick.At 1st you think wow its out but its how you lead and get out of it.I feel it needs more work as it sounds to me as your not sure and holding back on these new notes.I've never really heard you use much tension,release before.This is just my opinion and nothing else and think with more prep you could get a better feel to it.
[FONT=&amp]You're right in that I don't work out what I'm going to play. It's more of a feeling thing even when I've listened a number of times. I tend to just play an improv and if not satisfied wipe it out and have another go. Each might be different, and it's possible I may have picked up something that I want to repeat or do differently, but it's not really worked out. Not a very good way to go about things, but I'm currently hung up on the idea of trying to just play what I hear in my head spontaneously rather than compose a thought out piece. Well, that's my excuse, and it may just be that I'm lazy, but hey, when stuff doesn't work it may be time to re-examine and consider the options. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and given me something to think about.

Cheer[/FONT]s.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,312
[FONT=&]You're right in that I don't work out what I'm going to play. It's more of a feeling thing even when I've listened a number of times. I tend to just play an improv and if not satisfied wipe it out and have another go. Each might be different, and it's possible I may have picked up something that I want to repeat or do differently, but it's not really worked out. Not a very good way to go about things, but I'm currently hung up on the idea of trying to just play what I hear in my head spontaneously rather than compose a thought out piece. Well, that's my excuse, and it may just be that I'm lazy, but hey, when stuff doesn't work it may be time to re-examine and consider the options. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and given me something to think about.

Cheer[/FONT]s.
I get what your saying.Playing whats in your head is the way to go but with the tension notes you need to find your feet and get to a point where you know how to use them to get the best result.Use a wrong note (tension) on a up beat and resolve on the down beat.In the end you have to get your ears kind of tuned in to these wrong notes which when used right make a phrase come to life.Look forward to hearing another take.Playing off the cuff is such a free and great thing to do but we need to still be prepared in our ears,head on these new exotic tension notes.Nice to see you letting go atad and stretching out.All them flats and sharps brings us more joy.
 

TimboSax

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I find I benefit from getting someone else to listen to my own stuff, as they hear it without the baggage that I bring to it when I listen to it. Similarly, unless I'm in a hurry, I'll leave a mix for a week or so and then listen again fresh. I'll usually hear or perceive things differently when I've put some distance between me and the recording.

Worth repeating: I thought the track was great, just a few things I'd have tweaked, but that's all they were: tweaks. It certainly wasn't sloppy, and most of the editing tweaks could be fixed easily in under half an hour (and most people wouldn't notice the difference!)
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,312
Just to add if the player likes what he's done thats all that matters also.I know Wade has said he's not really happy with the take so its just a case of recap on what did'nt work 1st time and apply some prep work.
 
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