ronjazz wrote: ↑Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:52 amThe study of theory from the jazz perspective really works well on the guitar, since most theoretical examples can be played on the guitar, most likely the same with "legit" theory. I feel that it helps interpretation to be able to utilize the theory to shape a phrase or choose the dynamics. It can also assist in memorization, knowing the architecture of the structure from a tension-resolution point of view. And how can it hurt to know more than less? It's also fun the hear the "changes" in a tune or piece.
Yes. When I choose a piece of music for performance, my first goal is to understand what the composer wanted to say. I look at the title, for example, "Lagrima"--which means "the tear" in Spanish. I know immediately that it is not a dance, will undoubtedly have a somber melody, will likely require rubato and interpretative nuances and, most likely, will not be played allegretto. I, then, do a quick mental "read through" noting the dynamics, tempo, embellishments, etc. to get a deeper flavor of the piece. Next, I find the melody, determine the chord progression, key changes and only then will I begin to pick slowly through the piece. The reason this is important, to me, is that it gives me a quick picture of the journey I will take with this piece of music. And, then the real fun begins when you begin your path of discoveries that will ultimately result in a finished performance. My point is that a performer that approaches a piece of music from this perspective will undoubtedly give a more interesting and accurate performance of the composer's wishes than one who merely "learns the notes." As a former saxophonist who was an obsessive devotee of Jazz Music for most of my early life, I quickly realized the importance of knowing where the music is going. And, even though saxophone is a linear instrument--playing one note at a time, no respectable improvisation could exist outside the chord progression of the song. If you didn't know the changes, you couldn't improvise(note: unless, of course, you played "Free Jazz" where melody and harmonic structure are ignored/inconsequential and that's another story). These skills are sorely lacking in many CG's I have known including some with degrees in Music. However, they are the bread and butter of the CG's that bring magic through their strings. Playing again . . . Rognvald