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Anyone into writing new "jazz standards"?


EightString

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Like Cole Porter/Jimmy Van Heusen/Sammy Cahn/etc.?

I've been interested in this sort of material for a long time now, been a fan of Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Bennett, etc. for years.

So I finally decided to bite the bullet and write some songs in this vein, and basically have about a dozen songs written and arranged, that I'm now recording.

Here's a sample from a live web performance of one of the songs.



This is probably the most sedate track out of all of them, since the majority have more of a toe-tapping swing vibe.


Anyway, I'd like to hear thoughts from anyone writing this sort of stuff, and what your approach is like. wave.gif

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I really like that, great vibe, great, timeless feel. My only complaint would be that it felt a little long by the end. Understood that much was due to the relatively short time available on a 10" 78, but if one checks out some of the classic presentations of the songs from the 30s and 40s that would become standards, he'll see that many of those big band arrangements would do a full instrumental chorus and then follow with a full reading of the song, and wrap it all up in 3 minutes or so... that was economy.

At any rate, I think you're really on to something here with this track. Maybe slice the double solo (I'm a fan of mouth muted trobone when it works but, well, it doesn't always work wink.gif ) and look for other trimmable sections to bring down the overall bar count.


We normally restrict posting specific songs for critique of new works but why don't I just put on my moderator hat (Looks like this:cop.gifbiggrin.gif ) and we'll throw the thread open to any lounge or neo-standard tunes that folks might have sitting around...

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Quote Originally Posted by blue2blue View Post
I really like that, great vibe, great, timeless feel. My only complaint would be that it felt a little long by the end. Understood that much was due to the relatively short time available on a 10" 78, but if one checks out some of the classic presentations of the songs from the 30s and 40s that would become standards, he'll see that many of those big band arrangements would do a full instrumental chorus and then follow with a full reading of the song, and wrap it all up in 3 minutes or so... that was economy.

At any rate, I think you're really on to something here with this track. Maybe slice the double solo (I'm a fan of mouth muted trobone when it works but, well, it doesn't always work wink.gif ) and look for other trimmable sections to bring down the overall bar count.


We normally restrict posting specific songs for critique of new works but why don't I just put on my moderator hat (Looks like this:cop.gifbiggrin.gif ) and we'll throw the thread open to any lounge or neo-standard tunes that folks might have sitting around...

Thanks for the feedback. wave.gif

I guess I was a little vague when I said "I'd like to hear thoughts...". In retrospect, it looks like a call for critique, even thought that wasn't what I was aiming for. (But if someone HAS some, that's fine. redface.gif)

My intent was to post as an example of that "timeless" (thank you wink.gif) vibe that I'm going for, and hoping there would be some takers to get a discussion going about the writing process of putting this sort of vocal jazz material. smile.gif


Regarding opening it up for other clips, that's a great idea, and I would very much like to hear anyone else's material in the genre. thumb.gif
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This is great. Is your "live webcast" audience cool with backing tracks?

It's not exactly the same vein, but I worked up a little AABA bossa nove tune a while ago.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8826988

The thought process was mostly to try and work some interesting/fingerable chord voicings into an "All The Things You Are"/Circle of 5ths type of progression.

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Quote Originally Posted by rsadasiv View Post
This is great. Is your "live webcast" audience cool with backing tracks?

It's not exactly the same vein, but I worked up a little AABA bossa nove tune a while ago.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8826988

The thought process was mostly to try and work some interesting/fingerable chord voicings into an "All The Things You Are"/Circle of 5ths type of progression.
Thanks. wave.gif

My audience seems to like the "one man band" thing. I do a show every Friday night, and have hundreds of songs sequenced up via MIDI, everything from Sinatra to Sabbath, plus I throw in the originals once in a while.

I think I sometimes give people whiplash, going from "Misty" to "Ace of Spades". icon_lol.gif


I like the groove you have going in your track. I have a bossa-nova song I'm putting on the Jazz CD, but after listening to your track, I'm thinking it's a little too "speedy". I think I like your more laid-back tempo. thumb.gif
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That's cool that you have a weekly show-gigging from home sounds like a great solution to finding venues and hauling gear.

Thanks for your nice comment, but I'm only a jazz dilettante - the person you really want is Johnny-Boy, who is a fantastic cocktail pianist and churns out that kind of Cole Porter stuff at an amazing rate. He usually posts a song in the Monthly Showcase thread.

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Quote Originally Posted by blue2blue View Post
BTW... you sure got a lot of strings on that there geetar, my lad!

biggrin.gif
Totally_jammin_out.gif

Yeah, it LOOKS like a "metal machine", but it's surprisingly versatile. That guitar is actually the best "all around" guitar I own, and I play it almost exclusively these days. redface.gif
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Hey EightString, I love it! That "star room" effect works great in the visual. A fine crooning voice you've got.

I wouldn't change anything - except...

for three glitches that steal the beauty for a second. At 1:19, 3:26, and 3:34 it sounds like a guitar chord jumps out (and sounds detached). Could be the piano, but I doubt it.

Anyway, a well oiled track. Probably a music library would gobble it up. Yeah, definitely standard material.

Best, Johncool.gif

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Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-Boy View Post
Hey EightString, I love it! That "star room" effect works great in the visual. A fine crooning voice you've got.

I wouldn't change anything - except...

for three glitches that steal the beauty for a second. At 1:19, 3:26, and 3:34 it sounds like a guitar chord jumps out (and sounds detached). Could be the piano, but I doubt it.

Anyway, a well oiled track. Probably a music library would gobble it up. Yeah, definitely standard material.

Best, Johncool.gif
Hey Johnny.

Thanks for the kind comments. wave.gif

Re. the glitches, I'm thinking that my raw "live" version of my tracks needs a little tweaking. In the "studio" version of the song that I'm working on for the CD, I don't have that problem.

Thanks for noticing the exact time stamps, and I'll probably try to fix those little annoyances before tomorrow night's webcast. thumb.gif
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Interesting. Love the jazz style tunes. I want to move more in that direction myself. Tune works great. A little plodding in places, but very nice. The video technique is a little strange. If you're going to play a backing track, then I put the electric guitar on it, and that funky mouth horn (? ? ?). I'd lay down a synth track, and then just become a jazz vocalist.

Plus the sitting in your home studio with a messy book shelf in the background wearing a tee shirt then morphing into a dream-land visual landscape is inconsistent. Either do a casual home recording, or bump the whole thing up into a visual video production.

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It's an old/necroed thread. The EG/GJ GPOTD (Guitar Picture Of The Day) yesterday was an eight string model, and some of the responses were along the lines of "probably good for the kind of music that you would play on that guitar" and "I would crush bones with that thing". I posted a link to EightStrings clip to show that it is the player, not the instrument (although I can't see myself ever playing, let alone buying, an eight string).

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Quote Originally Posted by rsadasiv View Post
It's an old/necroed thread. The EG/GJ GPOTD (Guitar Picture Of The Day) yesterday was an eight string model, and some of the responses were along the lines of "probably good for the kind of music that you would play on that guitar" and "I would crush bones with that thing". I posted a link to EightStrings clip to show that it is the player, not the instrument (although I can't see myself ever playing, let alone buying, an eight string).
Ah...

I personally won't play any bass with less than 9 strings.
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Quote Originally Posted by Lee Knight View Post
Ah...

I personally won't play any bass with less than 9 strings.
I'm learning Chick Corea's Spain for my guitar lesson this week, and I've been checking out some of the YouTube resources on the track. So far the only thing I can say for sure is that the song attracts bass players who have way too many strings and play way too many notes. redface.gif
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Quote Originally Posted by rsadasiv View Post
I'm learning Chick Corea's Spain for my guitar lesson this week, and I've been checking out some of the YouTube resources on the track. So far the only thing I can say for sure is that the song attracts bass players who have way too many strings and play way too many notes. redface.gif
smile.gif

Though yeah, I agree with your earlier point. EightString's got some serious skills. He uses that thing with lots of taste and rightness.
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It's a nice tune and it does fit the style you were going for well. I really like this music as well from Frank, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Ella to the more modern practioners like Diana Krall and Harry Connick. I have written a few of these jazz standard type of tunes, but restricted to melody and changes. I haven't done any lyrics. I think there are two interconnected reasons. One, the lyrical style is quite distinct and specific and I can't get a handle on it. Two, my own vocal abilities are severely limited so I write melodies, while not particularly complex, are ones that I can play but could never sing so I don't even attempt lyrics.

I would like to hear some of your 'swingier' stuff. Also, how is the guitar strung and tuned? I am assuming a B string below the bottom E and an A above the high E.

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Hi, Saturn.

I use a couple of tunings. When I'm playing jazz, I often tune the 7th and 8th strings to a low A and a low E, same as the bottom two strings on a bass. So my drop-2 and drop-3 shapes work equally well with the bass notes on 5 and 6 (guitar A and E strings) or 7 and 8 (bass A and E strings) without changing the fret of each bass note at all.

The other tuning I use is where the lowest 7th and 8th strings are a low B and a low F#.

wave.gif

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