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  1. #101

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    Don't forget Jody Fisher's books.

    I don't have this one but I am thinking that like his first one, it is a method where he goes into contructing chord melody songs by choosing the correct notes for the top string, reharmonization, and recommendations on inserting single notes or using dyads.

    Anyway, here is his latest, which I have not read, followed by one from his old book series, which I did buy around 10 years ago:

    Amazon.com: Alfred Jody Fisher's Jazz Guitar Chord-Melody Course (Book/CD): Musical Instruments

    Complete Jazz Guitar Method (Mastering Jazz Guitar: Chord/Melody): Fisher, Jody: 9780739009581: Amazon.com: Books

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    I agree that it’s best to sample a lot of books, videos, courses, glean what you can and start applying it to your own arrangements/improvisations.

    I recommend transcription books of Joe Pass, Martin Taylor, Gene Bertoncini, etc. I also like solo method books by Martin Taylor and Bertoncini.

  4. #103

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    I second the recommendation for Morgen's "Through Chord-Melody & Beyond" book. I've got a ton of books, and this is the best by far.

  5. #104

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    I second Jeff's suggestion.

    You sit down with a leadsheet and for each chord listed put a melody note on top.

    Find an inversion that works. Use drop 2, 3 or full chord grips. Use extensions. Use rootless voicings. Find a way!

    Initially put every melody note on top of a chord. Later you can play it in different ways, playing just the melody note or using a substitution chord.

    You will learn so much doing this. Not just about chord melody but about jazz and music in general. You will learn how to make chord melodies. You will learn to read music. You will expand your chord vocabulary.

    To get phrasing and other ideas watch some of the chord melody videos on youtube. Avail yourself of the chord melody section in this forum.

    Need a source for chords? Chord Dictionary
    Last edited by Drumbler; 02-06-2019 at 09:33 AM.

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    I second Jeff's suggestion.

    You sit down with a leadsheet and for each chord listed put a melody note on top.
    I think you're right. I've got a ton of books, hoping they'll give me the keys to the jazz guitar kingdom, guiding me to Joe Pass nirvana. Many have been helpful.

    But nothing has worked better than just slogging through the tunes slowly and painfully by myself figuring it out as I go. It's also more enjoyable and satisfying, despite the difficulty.

  7. #106

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    Yes finally sinking in for me too. I tend to work on tunes I like


    Get a lead sheet...learn the melody inside out every where on the neck.

    Recently discovered Baden Powell...he has some nice tasty yet sparse chord melodies. The Shadow of Your Smile comes to Mind.

  8. #107
    There's really only one book I've ever recommended much, and it's Conti's Assembly Line book.

    I believe there is a point at which it's really helpful to work through a lot of voicings , to know how to do things on your own , create your own etc. But I don't feel like that is necessarily a BEGINNING point for EVERYONE. If we were talking about something OTHER than chord melody,... like just jazz chords generally on the guitar, I would recommend learning some basic go-to grips that old players use, that you commonly see listed for beginners infor comping, like basic shell voicings for etc.

    The assembly line is basically just that , one old players go-to grips for voicings which work for CM. A lot of common problems addressed as well, like how to voice major seven over dominant etc. I am probably as cool as anyone with going down the rabbit hole after things in an obsessive of way, but it was really helpful for me in the beginning to NOT reinvent the wheel with chord melody voicings.

    It was a good jumping off point. I don't really play Conti style anymore honestly, but it got me started and is probably the single most helpful thing I ever worked through from getting me to another level of understanding the instrument and playing.

  9. #108

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    Best book I ever bought to learn chord melody style is by Steve Crowell and it sells for around $20!! I bought another book by Robert Yelin but I didn't like his teaching style at all. That said some players love books by Robert Yelin, that's fine, whatever works for you! Crowell made these books for non-reading guitar players so they're written in a format that's easy to understand even if you don't read music! Plus it comes with a CD so you can hear what the song is supposed to sound like anyways. He places the chords on one page and then he writes out the music on a separate page, all the chords are numbered and on the second page he writes the numbered chord that goes in that part of the music, so you puzzle things together! It's kinda like painting by numbers but you're playing jazz guitar by numbers!! I've been following Steve's books for years and I only bought one I didn't use much but that's my issue!! The one I didn't use much is an arpeggio book, I've never been good at studying arpeggios at all. How about you, what is your best chord melody book you ever bought or worked on??

    Steven Crowell Tabs - Guitar Solos, Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Chord Melody Book?-img_1504-jpg 

  10. #109

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    Same here. He has four books in that series and that’s where I learned most and best about this style of playing.


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  11. #110

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    Good on you Lawson! I'm surprised you're the only other person who has come across Crowell's books as I thought after the Dutchbopper played a few of his arrangements more people would realize that the Crowell books are an extremely good source for chord melody! Incidentally I first came across his books before I even knew how to read music, they're not easy but they're great for players who are up to a challenge!


  12. #111

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    Hal Leonard "Studio Series for Guitar" with Mike Elliot. Out of print. Books one and two. Can't beat them. There is a book Three with Len Braunling for the guys who want to stretch those fingers.

  13. #112

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    The book in the below pics is Volume 1! As far as the website goes, it should be fine. If you're having problems with the link above, I would try a different browser, also as Lawson mentioned, Steve Herron is a member of this forum and he posts on this forum quite a bit! I forgot to add that the hardest song for me to learn out of Volume 1, was "Have You Met Miss Jones", in fact I still can't play it!
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Chord Melody Book?-img_1653-jpg Good Chord Melody Book?-img_1504-jpg 
    Last edited by fathand; 02-22-2020 at 07:11 PM.

  14. #113

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    Howard Morgan's "Concepts".

  15. #114

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    Yup have all of Steves books, they are great..he used to live around the corner form me and we could get together and play once a week..miss the hang

  16. #115

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    George Van Eps: Original Guitar Solos.

    And I swear one of these days I'm gonna crack it...

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by fathand
    The book in the below pics is Volume 1! As far as the website goes, it should be fine. If you're having problems with the link above, I would try a different browser, also as Lawson mentioned, Steve Herron is a member of this forum and he posts on this forum quite a bit! I forgot to add that the hardest song for me to learn out of Volume 1, was "Have You Met Miss Jones", in fact I still can't play it!
    His treatment of "Have You Met Miss Jones" was a watershed for me. The moving voices, the chord-melody devices employed, yes it's a tough project but worth it! I think I'll review it and post a clip.

    What I love about the Crowell books is that he doesn't just give you arrangements to fill your repertoire. Rather, each one uses expressions and devices that are intended as teaching examples that can be employed in other contexts. Each one is 100% pedagogical in purpose. Working through several of these really provides an intermediate/advanced course in chord melody playing.

  18. #117

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    The groups own Jake Reichbart has a couple of published collections--I have his pop hits book and it's great! He's all over the internet (and around here) and his stuff is great.



  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    His treatment of "Have You Met Miss Jones" was a watershed for me. The moving voices, the chord-melody devices employed, yes it's a tough project but worth it! I think I'll review it and post a clip.
    Yeah, I'll get back to it, as I have to, the beginning kicks my butt tho'. I look forward to seeing your clip, when you get around to it! I'm working out of his "Formulas for Jazz Guitar Improvisation", book right now and that is one great book! Also, I just ordered his Jazz Guitar Power Soloing book. Lead guitar is my weakest area and his books are really great as they provide roadmaps to the fretboard! He has 8 solos in the "Formulas" book, and those are really kickin' my butt but I'm lovin' it!


    Jazz Science Guitar Institute
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Chord Melody Book?-img_1655-jpg 

  20. #119

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    The best is Ted Greene's chord chemistry. To do chord melody you have to know how to read and understand chord theory and Ted's book gives some super huge moves. I find the typical chord melody books to be complicated to read without the recording if they are doing some transcriptions. I read fine but musical notation sometimes nothing more than an approximation. Another good book is Joe Pass chord solos and it is old but generally has the right stuff.

    Finally I hate tab.Let me repeat I have tab. Any book with tab I would not have at all. Another option is rather than a book get some transcriptions on the internet. To me this is much more productive than most books. I have gotten some really nice things from Chord Melody productions in past years and that sight a many good resources.

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Finally I hate tab.Let me repeat I have tab. Any book with tab I would not have at all. Another option is rather than a book get some transcriptions on the internet. To me this is much more productive than most books. I have gotten some really nice things from Chord Melody productions in past years and that sight a many good resources.
    As far as the chord melody books by Steve Crowell, they don't have any Tab at all. That said, some of his other books like his "Formulas" book pictured above does have tab. I'm really glad it does as it's a lot easier for me to read the Tab, than it is for reading the notes. In some areas like when you're studying arpeggios, triads and lines of a song Tab comes in pretty handy IMHO.

  22. #121

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    Gary Wittner's "Thelonious Monk for Guitar"

    Sid Jacob's "Bill Evans for Guitar"

    Ben Monder Compositions

    Ted Greene's website has a bunch of terrific arrangements he did for his students

    The Jimmy Wyble Etudes

    I'm not a classical guitarist, but I've gotten a lot mileage from certain repertoire like Leo Brouwer's Simple Etudes

  23. #122

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    https://www.sokolowmusic.com/instructional/jazz

    Source Code DVD Series Archives • RobertConti.com


    Sorry but these are not one book. But these are my favorites.

    Sokolow and Conti taught me jazz guitar chord solos with these materials. Very liberating and allows you to play at a professional level.

  24. #123

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    I have tried lots of different books but I think the instruction I have gotten the most "modern" ideas from are the John Stowell original compositions that are at Mikes Master Classes.
    Pdfs and video. To me that helps a lot with finding a modern feel.
    Exploring Original Creations [Non-Diatonic] - Mike's Master Classes

    John Stowell also has an older chord melody class on true fire. That class has a few pieces from his album "Resonance"
    Jazz Guitar Lessons - Modern Chord Melody - John Stowell

    Both have pdf's and I just take that and have it printed at Fedex/kinkos in a spiral bound so I have a book. Be sure to watch Truefire for sales as you can get the classes at around 50% off during those times.

  25. #124

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    Steve Crowell's chord melody books are good but a little cumbersome to read. I wish the chord grids were show above the sheet music like in his Mastering Chord Melody book/dvd/cd combo. Also the CD's are CD-Rs so can be a little finicky in various CD players.

    A lead sheet and knowledge of drop 2 inversions can go a long way for developing a chord melody.

  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    Steve Crowell's chord melody books are good but a little cumbersome to read. I wish the chord grids were show above the sheet music like in his Mastering Chord Melody book/dvd/cd combo. Also the CD's are CD-Rs so can be a little finicky in various CD players.
    Yes, his compositions will take some work, some will take a lot of work but the great thing about his books is once you learn it, you can quickly change the tune and make it your own!!

  27. #126

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    I dont have his book,I am planing to buy, cause his playing is just outstanding....

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    Is the seller's operation as amateur as it looks?
    In defense of Steve Crowell's website, it's been in operation for many years (pre-Amazon). It does look dated now, but back in the days before you could buy anything with a few clicks on your phone and have it tomorrow, that website was a great resource for guitar materials that couldn't be found anywhere else. I bought many books and DVDs there and never had an issue.

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyBoden
    Are there any modern chord melody books?

    Modern Songs, not exclusively Jazz Standards.
    Yeah, someone mentioned the Jake Reichbart, he's on Youtube as well, see below!!

    "The groups own Jake Reichbart has a couple of published collections--I have his pop hits book and it's great! He's all over the internet (and around here) and his stuff is great."

  30. #129

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    None! I'm not that smart. I've developed a strong repertoire from my youth by watching great solo players like Barney Kessel, Tal, and, especially Joe Pass. They showed me how it's supposed to look and sound, and I took it from there..years of persistent, hard work. My biggest discovery was the evolution of my own voice. There are close similarities to expressive language (spoken communication). Your own voice, with all its limitations is the Gift you've been given to develop. Ron V., CT

  31. #130

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    Good Chord Melody Book?-screen-shot-2020-03-05-11-31-01-am-jpg

    This book and a couple of other Howard Roberts books were a big help for me getting started with jazz. It's out of print but you can find used copies and "other" ways of getting it.

  32. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by fathand
    Yeah, someone mentioned the Jake Reichbart, he's on Youtube as well, see below!! :
    Not a book, so off topic. But since Jake has been mentioned and if your learning style is more aligned with hands-on playing than reading, I think Jake's videos are excellent. I've seen a few and each is a general lesson in arranging as well as teaching a specific song... but not a specific arrangement. That is, he's somewhat arranging on the fly. The ideas are practical and immediately useful.