DO YOU "REALLY" KNOW THAT TUNE ?
Shortly after I posted my previous article (Do You Really "Know" That Tune ?) a former fellow University of Miami student contacted me: he jokingly wanted to remind me of what one of our teachers there had us go through when learning tunes...
I thought I should share some of this, so, here we go !
Once the 4 prerequisite points are mastered (see: Do You Really "Know" That Tune ?) we should be able to:
1) Play the melody in all 12 keys. For extra bonus points, we guitar players should do this in as many positions as possible: that way, we really memorize the sound of the melody, and not just a fingering.
2) Play a chord solo (harmonized melody) in all 12 keys.
3) Practice the tune in a variety of tempos (from absurdly slow to insanely fast) and in a variety of feels (Swing, Latin, 3/4, Funk, etc...). Nowadays, we would add some more odd meters like 5/4 or 7/4... or some more "current" beats. Every now and then I pull out my Zoom MRT-3 drum machine and play through a few Standards over a Hip-Hop, a Drum 'n Bass, or a House beat !!! It really is a lot of fun!
4) Memorize the lyrics (assuming the tune has some-- as most Standards do). And let's not forget the verse !
My original intent had been to keep the check-list short and practical (not to mention, reasonable) but I just had to add this "Part II". For the sake of good old times...
(Thanks to Randall for the inspiration, and to Doug for the memories...)
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