44

From my experience, start really simple. I started with a metronome, and played a familiar piece at a variety of tempo's to get me used to listening to the beat and playing the notes in the right time as a result of an external influence. Move up to a simple backing track cd with a strong beat, something like a blues backing track for beginners. Keep going ...


27

Let me preface by saying I am not a jazz pianist but I do have a few decades of playing jazz under my belt as a bass player and have spent many hours at the piano writing and arranging music so I think I’m somewhat qualified to answer this. As you’ve seen in the comments, what the pianist is doing is called comping. Comping is an improvisational ...


23

Learning to play with others is a skill that needs to be learned just like any other thing that you need to learn to be able to play. "I’ve practised a piece all week and have it pretty close to perfect" How do you know it was "close to perfect"? Are you recording or videoing yourself and then playing it back? What you think you hear when you are playing ...


21

It often sounds quite amateurish to play the melody while the singer sings the same line. it's as if the piano player is having to help the vocals. generally, when I'm accompanying a vocal, I avoid the lead line. In the dots, sometimes this means leaving out the top line of 3 staves, or the dots with tails pointing upwards on the treble line of a grand stave....


12

You could try lots of things. Changing the rhythm pattern is one, but you could also try things that work with tone (timbre) and dynamics too. Here are some ideas that come from guitar, but I think should work on ukulele too: Palm mute. Creates a softened, quieter sound. You can increase/decrease the amount suddenly or gradually. Change the position where ...


12

One way to bridge the gap between classical and jazz keyboard is comparing figured bass accompaniment to jazz comping. In the old "classical" tradition - let's use a trio sonata as an example - the bass part gave the actual bass part with numeric figure written above the notes. An instrument like a cello may have played the bass, but it often was ...


10

To try and get a comment from the horse's mouth, so to speak, I'll start with a quote from a McCoy Tyner interview for Down Beat in 1963, about playing piano in John Coltrane's band, copy/pasted from this dissertation: A rhythm section is supposed to support and inspire a soloist, and it is a very sensitive thing...Sometimes when John is soloing I lay out ...


10

The general term for a repeating bass figure is ostinato. It is rare to see a bass line moving in steady sixteenth notes, but it is very common to see bass lines moving at steady pulses in other notes values: wholes notes, half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. You mention that the notes are played quickly, so I'll focus on the last two notes values. A ...


9

Backing tracks take no prisoners! They won't stop and wait while you work out what the next note is. Don't worry about this. You're not alone. Can you get a copy of the backing track to practice with? If you're a computer sort of person you could slow it down a bit (even Windows Media Player has this function). Playing in time is a learned skill.


9

As a guitarist, if I'm playing with a pianist, I usually do a couple of things. If I haven't played with them before, I'll usually lay off a bit in order to get a feel for how the pianist wants to approach the comping. I tend to adapt my paying around my bandmates when I'm comping. If the pianist wants to do some complicated rhythmic stuff, I tend to go ...


8

Yes, remove the melody line. If you double the melody line, you tie down the singer's interpretation to your own, taking away rhythmic and melodic freedom. Instrumental voice doubling is often fine in a choir setting. But for a solo singer, particularly where a song is to be interpreted rather than reproduced, it's a distraction.


8

It can, and does, but it depends on the exact nature of the accompaniment, and many times the best terminology is exactly what you've used already ... "accompaniment". For example, there's counterpoint, which Wikipedia currently defines as "the relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour"...


8

If I'm understanding the question correctly, it sounds like you are describing what is called appropriately enough, "Chord Melody" which is a popular method to harmonize a melody line often seen in jazz arrangements, but can be used in almost any style of popular music. I'm guessing you got your hands on some of those kind of arrangements, but I can assure ...


7

In a way, what 'the chord' is at a given time is, by definition, the notes that are being played at that time - so yes, the accompanying instruments will be playing notes in the chord - but only because the chord is the notes that are being played... (etc. etc., round in circles...) If we followed that idea strictly though, it would mean that 'the chord' ...


7

I'm not certain if this is what you're after, but you may be interested in the concept of the melodic-harmonic divorce in rock music. In short, it's a theory about this repertoire that states that a melody and its underlying harmonies don't always work in tandem the way they traditionally did (like, for instance, in a Christmas Carol), with dissonant pitches ...


7

There isn't, couldn't , and shouldn't be a prescription for what to play as a piano player playing in a jazz ensemble. Piano is unique - along with guitar - in that it can play single notes, chords, and be a percussive instrument, sometimes all simultaneously. (And even be the bass instrument!) As such, it can play in its role as part of the rhythm section ...


6

You could try to play 4 bars of the backing track and then skip 4 bars and try to enter. (my first thought was you might be stressed by the social situation, but then I remembered how difficult it was as a beginner when I dropped out to reenter. If this is your problem you could practice and train this also without harmonica and see if it works: I call ...


6

Maybe when you play alone you unknowingly stop for a fraction of a second whenever you are unsure what to play, or even when you know a difficult part starts. I think I have this problem, with the result that you describe: when playing with a backing track there's not enough time. I would still feel that I can play the song, but only alone. Others gave great ...


6

No. Try it and you will see how awful it sounds. There may be exceptions to this general rule, but they will be rare. In fact, it is common for song collections to be available in different keys for high, medium, and low voice. Were they specific to male or female singers, there would be twice as many editions, labeled for soprano, tenor, mezzo soprano, ...


6

Since the solid bass playing will stop during a bass solo, only coming back in during the last couple of bars, maybe, the drums often continue. That is to keep a rhythm going, sometimes even against what the bass is doing to solo. On occasions such as that, I may put stabs in, usually on beat 1 of every four or eight bars, or where there's a fundamental ...


5

I'm going to give you a very simple answer. (Some might say simplistic! But I hope it is useful for you as you begin your studies of music theory.) Often, yes -- but imagine a bass line. It's common, and lovely, to make the base line more melodic by inserting some notes that aren't part of the triad. Other voices in the ensemble can do that too -- but ...


5

Play the piano part as written. In most song accompaniments (except in special situations like songs for young children, or where the player is meant to be leading the audience singing, etc) the accompaniment does not "double" the voice part, and it will work fine sung in either a male or a female voice range. There may be a few exceptions to this in songs ...


5

You read the sheet music/chord charts/whatever of lots of songs. And listen to even more songs. It's really the only way. Lots of 'theory' tries to explain what composers HAVE done successfully. But it's all pretty crap at suggesting what YOU should do. You'll have noticed all the 'why does this work?' questions here from people who have encountered ...


4

I'm not sharing yo's misgivings. I use a dynamic mic- Shure 58 (others are available!) just like a heck of a lot of other stage vocalists. It's on a boom stand sited on the opposite side of the keys to where I sit/stand.So it points directly at me, as a mic should. It doesn't pick up anything extraneous, and is only switched on when I'm singing. The stage ...


4

My band, a three piece rock/techno/metal band, only uses drums from a machine. We did initially use live recorded drums, but for the type of music we play, we needed the rhythm section to have exact precision, to tie in with stage effects or video, for some events. So the entire rhythm section is generated within a DAW, using various tools, and synths and ...


4

When composing or creating a melody line to go with your chord progression (harmony) your safest bet is to choose a chord tone for the first note played after or simultaneous with the chord change. A chord tone is any note contained in the underlying chord (one of the three in a triad or one of the four in a 4 note chord such as a 7th). But you can ...


4

Perhaps you're referring to the idea of countermelody? There can be many melodies in a song, playing at the same time. One (usually) is the primary one, but the accompaniment often has other melodies floating around, which are often called countermelodies. It's important that the countermelodies don't get on the way of the primary melody, to avoid ...


4

Here's how I learned to write multiple melody lines playing at the same time: Study four-part harmony and voice leading. You'll want to learn chord analysis and how consonance and dissonance work. Study some of Bach's 2 and 3 part inventions. Pay attention to how the different melodies work together. Do chord analysis on at least one two-part invention. ...


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