Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crunch Time

It dawned on me this morning that I have just one week to go in my 30 day blogging/practicing challenge.  Yikes!  I feel like I still have oodles of work to do.

I am going to try to imagine that I am being given one week to prepare for an important gig or recording, and these are the tunes.  I wonder how much preparation time McCoy Tyner was given (if any) to practice these songs in advance of the recording sessions.  I also wonder if he chose not to play on Satellite.

At this point I have 26-2, But Not For Me, Countdown and Satellite memorized.  The problem is playing them fast.   

It is often said that improvisation is spontaneous composition.  At various points, different teachers of mine have had me write out solos.  Although I don't have the citation handy, I remember reading an article by Chick Corea in Contemporary Keyboard Magazine many years ago, where he "admitted" to writing out choruses on "I've Got Rhythm".  I found this to be a useful, helpful exercise, back when learning to play uptempo rhythm changes was my goal.  I think I will do some not-so-spontaneous composing this week, writing out my own lines through Coltrane's progressions.  I will follow through with writing out some half note guide-tone lines through the Coltrane matrix, and will also write out some embellishments to these simple melodies.
Today I finished my transcription of John Coltrane's solo on "Satellite".  I really just wanted to get this unfinished project completed, so that I can move onto some analysis and perhaps even learning the solos, to get them under my fingers and into my memory. The last three choruses appear below.

At this point, I've probably done enough transcribing (for now).  Tomorrow I will dig deep into my transcriptions of 26-2 and Satellite, and will do some comparisons.

If you are looking for choruses one, two and three they appear in previous posts: here and here.

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