Tracker|Orphanz|FZShows|Catalogue| FAQ |Search |Register|Mail us

Profile |Log in to check your private messages |Log in|Chat Room|Scrapbook|Zappateers map
Zappa music as teaching material
Goto page:  1, 2, 3  Next  
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.zappateers.com Forum Index -> Speakers Corner
Author Message
cookie_manager
Power Poster
Joined: 2007-12-20
Posts: 2351
Post 2016-02-02 14:23   [Quote] 
I teach drums. One thing I like to do is playing duets with my students - they play drums, I dabble on piano. Over the years I've integrated a few Zappa-tunes into my "repertoire":

King Kong (so they can apply some freshly-learned reggae-stuff to some actual music)
Lumpy Gravy-finale (with that surf rock beat... in particular kids love that one)
We Are Not Alone (I practised that on piano from memory and it turned out a bit different than the original)

Another thing I like to do with advanced students is odd meter stuff. Among many others, I use Zappa-tunes for that in two ways:
On the one hand I show them a few grooves for 5/4, 7/8, 9/8 etc. For instance when it comes to 7/8, I love to use the "Don't eat the Yellow Song"-bass ostinato as an example, and play it along to the groove I wrote down. Same thing with "Thirteen", and for the more advanced folks I even try out the 19/16 of the guitar solo in the studio version of "Keep it Greasey". I think I also used "Outside Now" to demonstrate 11/8 (both 3/3/3/2 and Logeman's 2/2/2/2/3). That's always fun.

On the other hand, I like to play the original tracks and the students are supposed to find out what meter a given song is in. I guess I have at least three dozens of Zappa-examples for that... some are quite easy to figure out for most, others leave them completely irritated Smile (in particular "Inca Roads" and "Don't you ever wash...").

Last step usually is introducing them (mostly only in theory!) to complex poly-rhythms - that means quintuples and upwards. "Black Page" is the first example here (followed by more complex stuff by avantgarde composers). Just yesterday I played "The Black Page" to one guy, gave him the score to read along, and he was reeeaaally impressed (I was happy enough about his reaction that it made me start this thread). I explained to him that's a rock band playing - just to offer him a perspective about how limited the stuff is coming out of the TV etc.

I had a few guys who went like woah about something like Inca Roads... years ago one little kiddy said he really liked that, but I forgot to mention save write down Zappa's name. So it will remain a mystery for the rest of his life what I played him there. frustration I make sure I give them the full artist/song-credits ever since.

Oh, a last one:
One teeny girl in my drum class was very much interested in marimba (which I don't teach). So I gave her a 2CD-mix of Zappa with Art, Ruth and Ed in prominent role. A bit later I clicked through a CDR in search of some track, the full theme of "Black Page I" (short version from Läther) played for a fracture of a second until I zapped on, and she immediately recognised it, screeming something like hey, I know that! You might think I never listened to that Zappa-CD you gave me, but I did! (and obvioulsy quite a few times!)

I'm certainly not such a die-hard fan like many here, but seeing how those younger folks are impressed with Zappa-stuff I play for them really brings fun into my job.

------------------------------

Okay, blablabla. More interesting would be to hear other teachery persons report how they integrate Zappa into their teaching (sorry if this is pretty much condemned to be a music pedagogues-only thread)

_________________
The present day stattewäbchen refuses to compose.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
father-0blivion
Power Poster
Joined: 2012-02-07
Posts: 3538
Location: Dwarf Nebula
england.gif
Post 2016-02-02 15:18   [Quote] 
Not sure how inspired your students would be if they knew you described yourself as a pedagogue....

It's good to hear the younger folks are impressed with Zappa stuff...

_________________
''Just consider this..... You can be scared when it gets too real...''
(FZ: ''It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal'')

'' 'n pretty soon, there won't be no street, for dummies to jog on, or doggies to dog on, religious fanatics, can make it be all gone...''
(FZ: ''Dumb All Over'')
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
pbuzby
Site Admin
Joined: 2005-04-30
Posts: 9056
usa.gif
Post 2016-02-02 15:48   [Quote] 
cookie_manager wrote:


Last step usually is introducing them (mostly only in theory!) to complex poly-rhythms - that means quintuples and upwards. "Black Page" is the first example here (followed by more complex stuff by avantgarde composers).


Along with this, the middle section of "Echidna's Arf" (in the Roxy version where Chester plays a straight 4/4 while Ruth and Ralph play 5s) may be a good teaching tool.

I remember Vinnie's part on "Dong Work For Yuda" from JG being a good example of linear funk/rock grooves if you are interested in that field.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
yetanother
Power Poster
Joined: 2005-10-12
Posts: 6438
Location: Sampa Hell
brazil.gif
Post 2016-02-02 18:40   [Quote] 
cookie_manager wrote:
More interesting would be to hear other teachery persons report how they integrate Zappa into their teaching

I currently have only one student, and his focus is mainly in music analysis - specifically 20th-century repertoire, but he happens to be a Zappa fan (you know, he's one of those proggy guitarists who want to learn about contemporary music and so forth), so we've already looked at a bunch of Zappa pieces: Naval Aviation In Art?, the Sinister Footwear III guitar solo, Be-Bop Tango, Strictly Genteel... I may be forgetting something. Most of FZ's music is great for teaching analysis because of how it's scored - always very clean and objective, so it's really easy to separate structural elements and focus on their functioning within the context of the piece. NAIA? was great for discussing layered textures and the interaction between linear and non-linear aspects; SF3 for discussing FZ's approach to modal improvisation; Be-Bop Tango for discussing polyrhythms, motivic development, and their relation to form; and Strictly Genteel is a brilliant example of how tonal and modal approaches to diatonic harmony can mingle and interact and within a single composition. Pretty fun stuff.

pbuzby wrote:
the middle section of "Echidna's Arf" (in the Roxy version where Chester plays a straight 4/4 while Ruth and Ralph play 5s) may be a good teaching tool.

Do you mean the section where the melody is in 9/16 and the accompaniment is in 5/16? Otherwise I have no idea... timecode? hmm

_________________
nitramz.com
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM]  [www] 
brainpang
Power Poster
Joined: 2007-02-01
Posts: 3015
Post 2016-02-02 18:51   [Quote] 
I have nothing of import to add, just letting you know I have enjoyed reading this.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
bleachboy
Power Poster
Joined: 2006-07-25
Posts: 1760
france.gif
Post 2016-02-02 18:56   [Quote] 
I teach guitar, I made some of my students try and play the whole ending section of Echidna's Arf, they hated me after that

_________________
Alialiala...
Alialialalilalialila...

He could be a dog or a frog or a lesbian queen
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM]  [www] 
pbuzby
Site Admin
Joined: 2005-04-30
Posts: 9056
usa.gif
Post 2016-02-02 19:16   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:

pbuzby wrote:
the middle section of "Echidna's Arf" (in the Roxy version where Chester plays a straight 4/4 while Ruth and Ralph play 5s) may be a good teaching tool.

Do you mean the section where the melody is in 9/16 and the accompaniment is in 5/16? Otherwise I have no idea... timecode? hmm


The section starting approx. 2 minutes into the piece. (Pretty sure the melody is in 5 there too - eighth followed by dotted eighth).
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
yetanother
Power Poster
Joined: 2005-10-12
Posts: 6438
Location: Sampa Hell
brazil.gif
Post 2016-02-02 20:14   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
yetanother wrote:

pbuzby wrote:
the middle section of "Echidna's Arf" (in the Roxy version where Chester plays a straight 4/4 while Ruth and Ralph play 5s) may be a good teaching tool.

Do you mean the section where the melody is in 9/16 and the accompaniment is in 5/16? Otherwise I have no idea... timecode? hmm


The section starting approx. 2 minutes into the piece. (Pretty sure the melody is in 5 there too - eighth followed by dotted eighth).

Ahh, I see what you mean. Yes, these are sixteenth-note quintuplets in 4/4. (I was thinking something else, nevermind...)

The passage I meant (actually at the ending, starting at 3:24 or so) is a good example of polymeters, superimposing 5/16 and 9/16 with a common reference unit: the accompaniment repeats the eighth-dotted eighth pattern while the melody plays a string of nine-note patterns in sixteenths. (Furthermore, this string of nine-note patterns has an offset of three sixteenths, so that after the pattern is played five times, two sixteenths still have to be added to account for the ten 5/16 measures that elapsed.)

And of course, this implies a metric modulation at about 3:07, when the sixteenth quintuplets become whole measures in 5/16.

Also pretty fun stuff Very Happy

_________________
nitramz.com
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM]  [www] 
pbuzby
Site Admin
Joined: 2005-04-30
Posts: 9056
usa.gif
Post 2016-02-02 21:08   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:


The passage I meant (actually at the ending, starting at 3:24 or so) is a good example of polymeters, superimposing 5/16 and 9/16 with a common reference unit: the accompaniment repeats the eighth-dotted eighth pattern while the melody plays a string of nine-note patterns in sixteenths. (Furthermore, this string of nine-note patterns has an offset of three sixteenths, so that after the pattern is played five times, two sixteenths still have to be added to account for the ten 5/16 measures that elapsed.)


Ah yes. I noticed the pattern with those two extra sixteenths at the end, but never counted it out.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
chuck
Poster
Joined: 2006-03-06
Posts: 351
Location: Blue Mountains NSW
australia.gif
Post 2016-02-02 21:59   [Quote] 
[quote="bleachboy"]I teach guitar, I made some of my students try and play the whole ending section of Echidna's Arf, they hated me after that[/quote]

I learn't that once for a band, like 3 months to get it up to speed... I think my wife was close to hating me after that!

Strangely though she can pretty much whistle it now.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM]  [www] 
StrokeTheBoots
Power Poster
Joined: 2011-06-15
Posts: 1042
Location: Bremen, Germany
Post 2016-02-02 23:00   [Quote] 
Nice thread Smile

I have "Chunga" as a standard for electric guitar players. It is in the repertoire of a youngster's band I teach (11-13) as well (as an instrumental opener for a presentation).

I played "Black Napkins" with some students in relation to Blues pentatonic and teaching bending techniques. I also played "Zoot" and "Blessed Relief", "Watermelon" and the "Outside Now" Theme with some students - "Zoot" and "Blessed" are fun to teach! The "Pound For Brown" riff is also interesting regarding odd time signatures.

I showed my bass student "All You Need Is Love" and "Oh No" - explained him the philosophical and musical connection of these two pieces, the latter being a parody of the former and we played both pieces.

What I plan for some time now is a massive collection of rock riffs that I like, including the best FZ riffs, like the one in the middle of "Packard Goose", "Muffin Man", etc.

The students are always open to my suggestion since some of them like challenges and they trust. I don't think they listen to that stuff at home.

There is one student to whom I played some Magma the other day and he was very amused and astounded. He is very enthusiastic about getting to know new music. So FZ might be a good thing for him to expand his horizon and playing skills Smile

_________________
Interviewer: "Are there any rock lyrics, Mr. Zappa, that you have heard in the past couple of years that you wouldn't want your children listening to?"
FZ: "'We Are The World'"
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
uncle max
Power Poster
Joined: 2013-03-20
Posts: 1278
Location: Hamburg
germany.gif
Post 2016-02-03 07:15   [Quote] 
Very nice thread.

Please, keep on including as much FZ music in your music lessons as you can.
I'm sure there are a lot of youngsters out there potentially interested in FZ music.
Unfortunately, the way music and entertainment industry has managed the thing so far doesn't help.

Maybe you could be the guy opening their eyes
Very Happy

_________________
uncle max
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
cookie_manager
Power Poster
Joined: 2007-12-20
Posts: 2351
Post 2016-02-03 07:56   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
I remember Vinnie's part on "Dong Work For Yuda" from JG being a good example of linear funk/rock grooves if you are interested in that field.
I'm very much into linear drumming - amazing field for odd approaches, weird rhythmic constellations... great for integrating irregular but controlled loops into free improvisation - I also teach it from time to time (then in its straighter forms). But damn, I need to find more music examples to play for the kids! Yes, Colaiuta has tons of great playing on Joe's Garage.

StrokeTheBoots wrote:
What I plan for some time now is a massive collection of rock riffs that I like, including the best FZ riffs, like the one in the middle of "Packard Goose", "Muffin Man", etc.
I've been planning something like this too for... eh, years - I sure wrote down tons of grooves etc. but I really should come up with more music examples. So a massive collection of grooves specifically connected to songs I like + a CD with appropriately edited samples really would be something (something similar for fills would be useful too). 15 years ago, that would have been "Ant Man Bee" - great I broadened my horizon over the years.

You know this riff?
https://youtu.be/vCVJcdQXJ14?t=2m55s
At least St. Vincent fans will say it's "the best riff evva". Smile

_________________
The present day stattewäbchen refuses to compose.
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
uncle max
Power Poster
Joined: 2013-03-20
Posts: 1278
Location: Hamburg
germany.gif
Post 2016-02-03 14:56   [Quote] 
cookie_manager wrote:

You know this riff?
https://youtu.be/vCVJcdQXJ14?t=2m55s
At least St. Vincent fans will say it's "the best riff evva". Smile


If you like this kind of riffs, I think you better refer directly to the "God of riffs":

Mr. Tony Iommi Guitar Solo Baz


_________________
uncle max
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM] 
yetanother
Power Poster
Joined: 2005-10-12
Posts: 6438
Location: Sampa Hell
brazil.gif
Post 2016-02-03 15:51   [Quote] 
uncle max wrote:

Please, keep on including as much FZ music in your music lessons as you can.
I'm sure there are a lot of youngsters out there potentially interested in FZ music.

I forgot to say, but I mostly teach adults. The one student I have right now is one year older than me, and until recently I had another who was about ten years older.

_________________
nitramz.com
Back to top
 [Profile]  [PM]  [www] 
New topic title
Forum for new topic
 
Page 1 of 3 Goto page:  1, 2, 3  Next
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.zappateers.com Forum Index -> Speakers Corner All times are GMT

 

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group, TorrentPier © Meithar