Podcast Episode 2: Corcorvado
Brendan: This is jazzguitarlegend.com Podcast Episode 2.
Brendan: Well today on the podcast we will be having a feature lesson called Corcorvado which is a Latin tune. Also in our key concept Dixon will be speaking about the difference between Abstract Practice and Applied Practice. So I hope you enjoy the lesson and Dixon, how are you my friend?
Dixon: Uhm good I’ve had a good week, busy week. How about you Brendan, how are you doing?
Brendan: I’ve been very very good, very very excited about the podcast last week. How did you find the podcast? Have you listened to it? Did anybody listen to it? Because this is really our second podcast.
Dixon: Yeah ah..
Brendan: Obviously we’re learning how to do a podcast.
Dixon: We’re learning about podcasting ‘coz you know we’re babies, we’re babies in this.
Brendan: It can only get better. Can’t it? It can’t get worse.
Dixon: I’m expecting this.
Brendan: We had some feedback this week. Ah we had a whole lot of people download podcast. Thanks for doing that guys but please if you wanna give us some feedback just keep writing here. Just send us your name out. Let us know what you want to hear and see on this lesson. So what else have you been up to? Have you been doing any recording or playing?
Dixon: Ah yeah, lots of looking after kids and lots of gigs, some pretty exciting gigs, lovely gig here in Auckland at the Domain it worked out a little “….” It was great! Couple of people come and listen some great jazz from a singer called Caitlyn Smith. Her album is launching soon but yeah she’s great. It was fun.
Brendan: That’s excellent! And also you’ve been teaching and teaching again this year, what do you..?
Dixon: Yeah that’s yeah I’m gonna get stuck into ‘em. I’m teaching at the University here in Auckland New Zealand at Auckland University “…” and yeah just doing a little one on one teaching and some ensemble, technical ensembles, and generally having lots of fun with jazz “…”. What about you man, how’s your week? “..”
Brendan: I’ve been working on a website this week and if you listen to this in the future obviously, you’re listening to an amazing ah, looking at an amazing website. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about these 42 lessons?
Dixon: You must be talking about jazzguitarlegend.com.
Brendan: Oh yes! Yes!
Dixon: Well, what we’re trying to develop is a pretty comprehensive learning system, a progressive learning model. That’s the keyword for the day. And by that we basically mean, okay we’ve got a concept of how we believe you would like to learn but we also know that we have experienced lots and lots of different level students. You know guys have comprehensive and robust and basically everyone learns in a different way so you may those expect those together you know we really want to make something that’s comprehensive and also follow some good principles that we believe in terms of teaching but we need your feedback to get this progressive model kind of like really solid so basically anything that it feels, “Ah man I wish they done this” so more supporting material, more videos on the same concept but what we have at the basic moment is 42 core lessons, and each one covers a set topic. Each one has a video and every single note that is playing on those videos is tab down noted for you, for the student and ahm that’s kind of the basic premise about tutorial video website.
Brendan: The great thing about it is that it is gonna be an interactive learning community which means that when we launch it’s not just gonna be static information on a website like..’coz no one’s ever learned just from having a static information right? It’s about a community. It’s about growing and learning in an interactive community.
Dixon: Yeah yeah, and also in the way it’s just like a “…” it’s like we’re learning as well. We need to learn how to teach. We need to learn the things you know, about the things that help you become a better sharer. We might have set ideas but it really is based all around comments and feedback and it’s just getting in touch with us at ah, what’s that email?
Brendan: email@example.com. You can email us if you have any comments or questions and we’d love to hear from you.
Well right now it is time for our feature lesson which is Corcorvado so why don’t you take it away Dixon.
Dixon: Today our feature lesson is on the Antonio Carlos Jobim tune, Corcorvado. We’ll be looking at laying a simple bass line down, laying down simple chords based around guide times and then all over I’d probably play the melody for you and then do some improvisations and we’ll talk about some concepts. Here we go. 1, 2, ah 1, 2, 3…
Dixon: Okay so ah what we’re gonna talk about first is guide times like what harmonically, what chords we’ll be using and how are we gonna play them. In our first podcast we talked about “…” I used very simple chords and if you saw from the PDF that accompany that podcast, you’d see that I was using chords like we’re gonna split it into the context of this tune [Music]. There’s only 3 notes n that chord: A, F# and C, and then order. So it’s just a tonic and then 2 other notes. Next chord, Ab diminished, and now the notes are Ab, F, and B natural. Next chord Gm. You can see this “…” rising. F diminished, F major 7, just the three and 7 or sometimes 6 and 3. And it could be flattened, it could be an augmented, ah sorry, a major or minor third, major or minor 7, just depending on the chord type. That’s the first thing that I was really conscious about doing with that. So I want you to investigate guide tones and ah think about how you can apply that to you know, your own favor, Latin tunes that you enjoy playing.
Now the other thing is that in a Brazilian style are two really important aspects of the guitar that you need to consider. The first one is the bass line. The bass line must be simple and it must be on the 1 and 3 and very very strong, very very strong, very very on top of the beat. Most probably a little bit lazy in places there it was just a one “…”. So ah hopefully it was a good enough to get that idea across but essentially it must be 1, 2, 3, 4…1, 2, 3, 4..1, 2, whatever the bass line happens to be. A then Ab 1, 2, 3, 4…1, 2, 3, 4…1, 2, 3…and that’s just when you’re “…” with an actual bass player “…” But when you’re comping, if you listen to “….” Jobim, you listen to any of these guys that play the Brazilian style, they play on the 1 or 3 and they don’t play the fifth of the chord. They don’t do this because that’s Samba. It’s a different thing and applies a different feeling and it’s just the tonic of the chord on beat 1 and beat 3 and I keep my quite not staccato but maybe “…”. So, those are 2 things that I want you to think about.
The next thing I want you to think about is the rhythm that you play so ahm the first thing you gotta be “…” of you like the sound of what you just heard if you wanna learn how to comp ahm, in that kind of simple 8th note feel, “..” feel, Latin style, Brazilian style, you should investigate the clave, son clave, rumba clave, 2-3 and 3-2 which is the reverse. And you, if you do a little bit of research there you’ll find out what those are. It’s very important you go and learn about those on your own “…..” . Once you done that, learn this rhythm – potato alto, potato alto. Ahm, and that rhythm is pa pa.. pa pa pa..pa pa. And I think of it like this: 2 down beats, 3 up beats and then 2 down beats over 2 bars, pa pa.. pa pa pa..pa pa. See how I combined it with that 1 3 very simple… Now that’s a great rhythm ‘coz that’s a really good introduction to this idea of the offbeat and how it propels us forward. If they’re all downbeats you don’t really get an idea of what’s happening with the “…” note. You get no idea of the funk, the syncopation, “…”, that’s very important.
And now, let’s look at the idea of rhythmic variation using 8th notes. Basically using the melody that’s written but ah “…” playing exactly what the melody is now that you can find a lead sheet Corcorvado, I’m going to improvise rhythmically and ah hopefully you get an idea of how we can make our own exciting kind of rhythmic statement using a simple melody.
Okay so that was the melody with a little rhythmic embellishment, little bit of rhythmic variation from the written melody. Ahm, and now I’m gonna play an improvised, an improvisation, just a solo using the idea of rhythmic motif, the idea of rhythmic motif, playing a rhythmic idea and then supporting it by repeating that rhythmic idea or continuing on from that rhythmic idea. And I’m gonna keep it really simple so I’m just gonna show you how you can make music using more rhythmic idea as your basis rather than kind of a “…”, not even thinking about scales, not thinking about ahm you know, what scale is it for this chord and how does this work. I’m just playing along the lines of “…..”
Okay so we had a look at ah Corcorvado by Jobim. We had a look at how to play guide tone chords and a basic Latin, Brazilian rhythm style using that note offbeat. We had a look at how to play the bass note, how to keep the proper 1 or 3. Don’t forget to practice that people and ahm also practice the claves that I mentioned before “…” It’s a really good insight and the basic Latin comping groove. From there we had a look at how to embellish the melody using offbeat, just place 8th notes. And then also lastly, last concept we looked at that was how to improvise using rhythmic motific development rather than melodic motific development.
Brendan: Awesome! Thanks for that Dixon. And ah don’t forget, if you’re listening to this, there’s tons of free material and lessons you can get hold of that at jazzguitarlegend.com. If you haven’t done so already ah, click it now and sign up for the free membership and we’re giving away a whole lot of free content. Also we have our paid membership site which is launching or has already launched, depending on when you’re listening to this. So make sure you do that now and ah thanks very much for that Dixon and I guess ah one question I wanted to ask about the lesson music.
Brendan: Is ah..Is that the music of love?
Dixon: (Laughed) Ah, yes. Yaah..it is.
Brendan: It is. It is the music of love.
Dixon: It is actually. It is the music of love.
Brendan: Excellent. Thank you for that. And ah do you think it’s easy to play lesson or is it harder “…”
Dixon: Yeah that’s a good question. I mean, if you wanna play it proper, you gotta put a little bit of time just like anything. But if you just want to learn about the music, I’d say, to make it easy on yourself so that it isn’t so difficult if you’re finding like what you just heard it seems “…..” I’d just say listen to the music and that always kind of informs your ear and your sense of what the music is about. And just do like bite-size pieces. Get the rhythm first and then get maybe the chord comping and get the bass line. Just do them separately and then try to put them together. Don’t try to do everything once if it’s a bit overwhelming. So that would be my advice but yeah, I think it certainly is, not wouldn’t be a great deal of time before you can play that “…” and being you know, providing a nice “…” or singer or for another instrument.
Brendan: I think with the podcast format we will be giving the comp track, sort of play-along track we’ll be giving it to our listeners so certainly if you’re driving in a car or at work or running, you can just listen to it over and over again…
Dixon: You know what, the beauty of that like, so what we’re gonna do we just take that comp track which I played for you the first one before we put the melody on it and we just looped that 4 or 5 times “…” and you can play over that, listen to it and the beauty of that is that as I’ve mentioned, you just loop that and loop that and you’re having trouble memorizing what the chords are, say you wanna improvise over or memorizing what the chords are so you can comp them. This is a great way of getting that sound in your brain so that you hear and you’re like okay, I know what chord comes after it. It’s this next color. That’s what chord follows you know this other chord. It’s just a memorization thing so I think that’s really helpful, apart from of course as being useful as a play-along track that you can use. And just lastly I would encourage you to make your own as well. Don’t just use one particular “…”. You just make your own and try and get that sounding and feeling really really good.
Brendan: Also that’s very “…” into jazz concept and today and Dixon you gotta be telling us the difference between abstract practice and applied practice.
Dixon: Abstract practice is when you play for example a scale or an arpeggio, something like that. So you’re playing this. And you practice that, up and down. Now very few songs of any in the world actually have that as a melody. So it’s an abstract thing. It’s purely a series of notes, a series of sounds that creates a certain color or a certain texture, a certain linear, passage, and a certain feeling hopefully. If we’re good enough we can evoke some kind of feeling with that ah over a given chord, at any context and that is abstract. And there’s of course millions of abstract ideas that you can go and practice. And those are very important because the jazz musician pulls together at any one given moment in time a whole lot of abstract practice things. He might have done heaps of abstract technical practice – just practicing how to pick the strings properly and doing that hundreds of times. And that’s abstract. “…”
Now, applied practice on the other hand is very very important because that’s when you say, great. I’ve learned the scale. How do I put that into music? Okay so that’s the very very important thing that I want you to focus on this: how to put the thing that you’re practicing into a musical context.
Brendan: Thanks so much for that Dixon and I’m sure the listeners got a lot of that. Don’t forget if you haven’t done so already you can sign up at jazzguitarlegend.com. One thing you can do if you want us to keep recording these, “…” to put together. But ah we’d love to keep doing them but please let us know and the way that you can do that is by giving us a review on iTunes, preferably 1 star or 5?
Dixon: Ah what’s that up to?
Brendan: 1 to 5
Dixon: 1 being correct?
Brendan: 1 being like, this is the worst podcast you’ve ever listened to.
Dixon: I’d hope for 3 “…”
Brendan: 3? Ah well hopefully in some cheeky persons “…”, I already put 5. I’ve done one.
Dixon: Are we allowed to vote ourselves?
Dixon: I’m gonna go in. I’m gonna log in and put 5.
Brendan: Please do that. It’s gonna help us know that we’re on the right track and make you sure you come back next week for another great podcast. We’ll see you soon.