Likes Likes:  0
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    So I currently have access to jazz guitar chord melodies without any tabs and it took me a pretty long time to go through one. I'm tempted to order one of those Mel Bay books that someone posted on here that has the tabs below the standard notation, but I feel like that will hold me back from reading well. Anyone have any tips on how to approach standard notation like this in an efficient way? Should I focus on each measure and how the notes relate to the chord? What about finding the easiest fingerings? I'm curious to hear how some of you approach a new piece and what you look out for. My goal is to improve my reading and understanding of the actual music rather than just memorize the thing as fast as possible.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bmanyanks View Post
    So I currently have access to jazz guitar chord melodies without any tabs and it took me a pretty long time to go through one. I'm tempted to order one of those Mel Bay books that someone posted on here that has the tabs below the standard notation, but I feel like that will hold me back from reading well. Anyone have any tips on how to approach standard notation like this in an efficient way? Should I focus on each measure and how the notes relate to the chord? What about finding the easiest fingerings? I'm curious to hear how some of you approach a new piece and what you look out for. My goal is to improve my reading and understanding of the actual music rather than just memorize the thing as fast as possible.
    Man, that is a great question. I confess that though I read single notes just fine, I have to suss out chords if all that is present is standard notated chords. Leadsheets like in the Real Book, no problem, and if there is tab, I will check just for position's sake.

    I know several guys who publish jazz books, and they all say the publisher requires tab due to so many using it. I see it as another tool, but try not to depend on it too much.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Chordal reading is harder.

    One thing I do is look for the intervals to comprehend the chord and the voicing.

    For even numbered intervals (2nd 4th 6th 8th etc.) they change from line to space or space to line.
    For odd numbered intervals (3rd 5th 7th 9th etc) they stay the same line to line or space to space.

    Once I name the chord I can remember it better and take the pressure off of my eyesight.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Yeah derek, I like knowing what position to be in also. I tend to try out a bunch until I find out one that's the most reasonable. A frustrating process, but maybe it's something that will get easier over time for me? Dunno

    I'm going to try looking at the intervals and see if that will help me for reading the chords. I'm assuming that, if you know what chord you're playing over, it would help to know the types of intervals involved in there in advance.

    Ex: if you're playing over an Amin7, the C-E interval is going to be a major third or 4 half steps. Something to keep in mind when choosing fingerings/positions maybe.

    I'll try to find a specific example later, thanks guys.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    You guys mean to tell me there is no little circled number beside the lowest pitched note in a chord that tells you what string to play it on?
    In all the "classical" scores I have read, there has been something like that or a roman numeral for the barres.
    I might never bother to try to read chords now that I know they make it almost impossible.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Well now I feel very stupid for not knowing this. Yes val, my sheets do have circled numbers, just next to the highest note. This should help me now.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Val View Post
    You guys mean to tell me there is no little circled number beside the lowest pitched note in a chord that tells you what string to play it on?
    In all the "classical" scores I have read, there has been something like that or a roman numeral for the barres.
    I might never bother to try to read chords now that I know they make it almost impossible.
    Sometimes, sometimes not. I have plenty of sheets that do not. That is one of the big differences between jazz guitar and classical. Positions are prescriptive in classical, not in jazz. You can play it where ever you want.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by derek View Post
    Sometimes, sometimes not. I have plenty of sheets that do not. That is one of the big differences between jazz guitar and classical. Positions are prescriptive in classical, not in jazz. You can play it where ever you want.
    Man! Pity the poor self-taught Jazz guitarist who decides to better himself and take classical guitar lessons: use this little foot rest, put your left hand thumb here, hold your right hand like this, don't let the pinky touch the guitar, for your first week we're just going to practice rest strokes for i and m. And you haven't even looked at any music yet!

    In the other direction, there was just a thread started yesterday from someone going from fingerstyle to using a pick and asking for the correct technique. The first response: try some different things and see what works for you.

    Now I know why I like Jazz so much.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Man! Pity the poor self-taught Jazz guitarist who decides to better himself and take classical guitar lessons: use this little foot rest, put your left hand thumb here, hold your right hand like this, don't let the pinky touch the guitar, for your first week we're just going to practice rest strokes for i and m. And you haven't even looked at any music yet!

    In the other direction, there was just a thread started yesterday from someone going from fingerstyle to using a pick and asking for the correct technique. The first response: try some different things and see what works for you.

    Now I know why I like Jazz so much.
    Yes. Players/composers of other instruments really have a good laugh over classical guitar notation. Generally, sheet music for another string instrument won't tell you what finger to put where and all that. I remember reading Toru Takemitsu had some problem with that.
    As far as the little foot stool and all the little rules for classical guitar, remember that dogma can take over anything worth doing and ruin it. Jazz is not immune.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Man! Pity the poor self-taught Jazz guitarist who decides to better himself and take classical guitar lessons: use this little foot rest, put your left hand thumb here, hold your right hand like this, don't let the pinky touch the guitar, for your first week we're just going to practice rest strokes for i and m. And you haven't even looked at any music yet!

    In the other direction, there was just a thread started yesterday from someone going from fingerstyle to using a pick and asking for the correct technique. The first response: try some different things and see what works for you.

    Now I know why I like Jazz so much.
    Yeah but all those little directions, hand position, foot position etc, have been learned through years of looking for best practise.
    I have enormous respect for classical musicians; most jazz players I know, have enormous gaps in their knowledge, myself included.

    Pity the self taught jazz guitarist, period!

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by guitaroscar View Post
    Yeah but all those little directions, hand position, foot position etc, have been learned through years of looking for best practise.
    I have enormous respect for classical musicians; most jazz players I know, have enormous gaps in their knowledge, myself included.

    Pity the self taught jazz guitarist, period!
    Yes. There is a lot to be said for diligence and tradition when it comes to the study of music. Jazz musicians have tended toward a more intuitive understanding (at least until recently), and classical guys seem to like their bookish ways. I suppose to neglect either one is a mistake. But we only have one lifetime to learn it all.
    And there are many self taught "classical" guitarists. Segovia always claimed he was one of them.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    I think for any serious jazz guitar student there is more to be gained from not having tab.

    Besides, the best way to study jazz is to get a good fake book and learn the three basics a ovo: comping, chord melody, and solo improvisation. It is better to learn positions that suit particular rhythmic/playing styles than have only one position committed to memory via tab.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Dubs View Post
    I think for any serious jazz guitar student there is more to be gained from not having tab.

    Besides, the best way to study jazz is to get a good fake book and learn the three basics a ovo: comping, chord melody, and solo improvisation. It is better to learn positions that suit particular rhythmic/playing styles than have only one position committed to memory via tab.
    I agree 100%. Tab is like painting by numbers. The whole thing that mystifies me is that reading music is not that hard. Sure, sight reading at a session level is demanding, but most of us will sail through life and never be asked to perform at that standard; the session days are all but gone.

    I remember the first time I encountered TAB. It was on a guitar tuitor that boldly claimed You Don't Have To Read Music To Play This Book!, as if reading was the great Satan or something.

    Time and time again I have seen the inability to read hold young players back.

    Myth number 1; Reading is hard
    2; Reading stifles creativity. (All knowledge opens creative doors)
    3; It is time I could put to use learning new licks, chords etc. (You will learn fewer of these in the long run by not being able to open yourself up to the ideas of instruments that are not tabbed out.)

    The first jazz guitar solo I learned was an Oscar Peterson piano solo. My teacher had me replace piano-possible, guitar impossible chords, double and triple stops with appropriate guitar voicings.
    This meant that without even being aware of it, I was learning theory at the same time.

    Sorry for ranting but I feel that the advent of TAB is the greatest disservice that has been wrought upon guitarists.

    Ten minutes a day invested in learning how to read will pay immeasurable dividends in a relatively short space of time.

    Cheers
    Harry

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Hi Guitaroscar. Your comment is exactly right IMHO. TAB is a blight on the music community. It's a lazy method that teaches you very little, but it is also a marketers con-trick to suck people in to buying things.

    There are a few times where TAB is helpful to understand a particular solo, especially for beginners, but anyone with any experience shouldn't need it at all.

    I see TAB the same as youngsters smoking; they think it looks cool, but they ignore the fact that it's bad for you!!!

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    "I feel that the advent of TAB is the greatest disservice that has been wrought upon guitarists."

    "TAB is a blight on the music community"

    (TAB) "it's bad for you"

    "It's a lazy method"

    Some strong opinions here. I think there is room for both notations actually. I've taught persons with learning disabilities who had great frustration with standard notation. TAB, for some, made more sense to them and they were able to better comprehend and visualize the fretboard. There will always be purists that will poo poo anything other than the existing offering of note reading, as evidenced by the generalized statements above. But to me the ultimate goal is really the enjoyment of expressing oneself on the instrument regardless of methodology.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Hey Jazzalta. I think what you have said here has a great deal of validity when you mention disabled individuals. You can actually think of that in a much different light. You're not dealing with the average brain but one that needs some type of alternative to get around a damaged area of the brain. It's sort of like dyslexia where the standard method of learning how to read has to be modified. There tab can be extremely helpful. I also think that tab can be helpful when it comes to figuring out where a soloist is strutting his/her stuff on the neck especially with chord melodies with a lot of apparent hand shifting going on. I'm a relatively new player of chord melodies and I do that in a number of cases, but I go back to the notation for the rest of my info like what chord am I playing. I think the situation can be summed up in this way. The guitar is a very unique instrument in that you can show someone a few things on the guitar and immediately, they're playing songs. With today's hectic lifestyles and the need for immediate gratification, many guitar players look for the quickest way they can find to be able to become a "guitar hero". They'll even go so far as to invent an instrument that will totally negate the need to learn how to play. In a music store in Florida, the guy who owned the store once asked me " Do you see this guitar? What kind of instrument do you think it is?" The guitar had 5 strings, two heavy ones like bass strings and three like regular strings. I thought maybe it was tuned like a banjo or something odd. The owner said it was a heavy metal guitar. It's tuned so that all you have to do to play it is to plug it into a big amp, turn up the volume, add 120 pounds of distortion and lay just one finger across the fretboard to play all the metal chords. He then said someone invented a guitar so you don't have to learn to play a guitar the traditional way. With tab in most cases, a player just wants to know where do I put my fingers. Forget about knowing the relationships of the notes to one another or how they relate to the song. that's just like the paint by number situation that was brought up. One box has no connection with any of the other boxes. That doesn't seem that important. All of the other band instrumens I'm familiar with (sax, tuba, French horn, flute, violin, piano, trombone, trumpet, etc.) must be learned and taught with standard notation. Why does the guitar have to be different?

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I am a self taught guitar player, I do like tabs. They are good for getting ideas on how to play a song correctly. That said it can also give you some ideas to try on other songs.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    I am sort of a beginner at all of this, but this may help. I am not that good at sight reading, but want to become so, so here is what I do. First I identify the place that the melody fits best on the neck. I am usually reading the melody line out of the real book and try to find the melody on strings 1-4 and somewhere in the middle of the neck. Then I start working the chords out around the melody notes that I have located. Sometimes I change the melody location to make chords more convenient to find. Next I try to find another place (higher or lower) to improvise in single notes. Standard notation works the best for this method. It is kind of tedious, but I have learned a number of songs that way. The arrangements are kind of simple, but I'm still learning to find good fills and interesting transitions.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Great input all around. In the time since I first posted this thread, I have actually purchased one of those Mel Bay chord melody books that contains both tabs and standard notation. My justification of this is that I am not familiar with the chord melody style, and I would find it beneficial to see first hand how a few tunes are played. I don't completely ignore the standard notation, however. I find it useful to look at each chord, see what it's called, look at the intervals on the staff, then see the notes on the guitar. It slows the process down, but in the end makes it easier and hopefully opens up new roads in the future. I'm still leaning towards standard notation in the long run.