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  1. #1

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    This is probably old hat for most of you, but I just ran across this on youtube in the last few days. I really like his chord melody style of playing, which he credits to Allan Ruess. He seems to have quite a nice collection of guitars as well ! Lots of youtubes...maybe he is a member here, I dunno ! Check him out if you havent already:

    Last edited by pcpicker47; 02-15-2018 at 05:58 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Jonathan is a well-known and appreciated member here. He's doing some amazing work, and is happy to share his knowledge. We need more Jonathan Stouts in this world!

  4. #3

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    Here's a link to Jonathan's blog. Well worth reading.

    Swing Guitar Blog — Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #4

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    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for posting that Allan Reuss inspired chord melody solo - very nice!

    Although I've heard some recordings of Allan before, I'm more familiar with Carl Kress, Dick McDonough, and George Barnes who also played in that "dixieland" style - at least that's what I call it for lack of a better word.

    I'm glad you are keeping that style alive for everyone to hear.

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Chord Melody Guitar

  6. #5

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    Mark thanks for posting that link to his blog...very very interesting ! Wow...I continue to be blown away with his playing...cant get enough !

  7. #6

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    You can see a few more videos with Jonathon playing here: Olde Town Pickin' Parlor
    - YouTube

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcpicker47 View Post
    Mark thanks for posting that link to his blog...very very interesting ! Wow...I continue to be blown away with his playing...cant get enough !
    I know the feeling! I think this was the first video of Jonathan's that I saw. Still look at from time to time. Love the feel of this.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #8

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    Seems like a great style to have some good familiarity and fluency in. I could see using this playing solo guitar, duo, trio or anything larger.

  10. #9

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    Here's a lesson Jonathan did on Allen Reuss' chord melody style.

    Jonathan is devoted to this style of music, which makes his blog essential reading. He knows his stuff and tells it straight.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    You can see a few more videos with Jonathon playing here: Olde Town Pickin' Parlor
    - YouTube
    Wow these are very entertaining videos! Thanks for posting. I bought a guitar there many years ago when visiting some family in Denver.

  12. #11

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    Jonathan Stout is my main inspiration to play swing music around here in Brazil. I learn a lot from his videos and songs and I really hope to see he playing live some day.

  13. #12

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    Boy what a nice thread to run across - thanks everybody!

    So, with Swing-era Chord Melody stuff, I tend to compose/orchestrate the heads which helps me find new voicings and approaches to chords, and then I like to compose a solo chorus so I can plan an approach to soloing over the chords. Once I've got both the melody and a solo chorus pretty well memorized and under my fingers, it makes attempting an ad lib solo a lot easier, because I've got some tricks up my sleeve. I think it's a good way of not only becoming a better chord melody player, but learning the melody of tune, and seeing it's relationship to the chord underneath is huge lesson to being a better musician.

    That said, I tend write one of these arrangements, practice it a ton, do a video of it, practice it bunch more, but then it either becomes something I play a lot, or it sort of falls out of rotation and I start to forget/loose muscle memory, and then I have to relearn it if I want to play it. But my goal has been to be able to play a couple sets of solo chord melody guitar, and that's a lot to keep well practiced on.

    But a bigger problem of practicing alone is that it's too easy to stop when I make a mistake, and there's nothing like the accountability of having a live audience. So, I've been starting to do Facebook live videos every so often where I go out on my front porch, set up my iphone and play for 15-20 minutes. This has usually correlated to when my 18 month is napping during the day, or while my wife is putting him down for bed in the evening. Anyway, the last one I did stretched out to about 45 minutes, and while I still made some mistakes, I think there was a lot of stuff worth keeping, so I extracted the video from Facebook and put it up on Youtube.

    There's a bunch of noodling between tunes, and some single note stuff mixed in here and there, but I hope you all will dig it.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  14. #13

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    I already have all your chord melodies videos in mp3 to listen and study and now I can have an entire set. Thanks.

    I would love to have a book from you. I know it's a lot of work to do, but it would be a great thing for the swing guitar lovers.
    Last edited by clebergf; 03-21-2018 at 08:11 AM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by clebergf View Post
    I already have all your chord melodies videos in mp3 to listen and study and now I can have an entire set. Thanks.

    I would love to have a book from you. I know it's a lot of work to do, but it would be a great thing for the swing guitar lovers.
    I’ll buy my copy right now.

  16. #15

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    Jonathan is such an inspiration to me...I have been working daily on his tunes that he has posted to youtube...lots of great things to learn from watching his playing...I feel like I have learned a great deal since I discovered his playing.

  17. #16

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    Jonathan is one of the best out there. Hoping he gets around to releasing his transcriptions some day!
    Completely unhindered by talent.

  18. #17

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    So, good news for anyone interested in this thread: I'm going to be recording an album of swing-style solo chord melody guitar in two weeks. I've only got one session scheduled, though I may do another if I don't get what I need on the first pass. But, considering mixing is going to get a lot faster for a one instrument session than my usual band CDs, I'm hoping to have it out in time for Christmas.

    Anyway, here's another installment of my porch practice sessions that have been leading up this:
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  19. #18

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    This is amazing Jonathan. Have fun recording and I'm looking forward to hear it.

  20. #19

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    Man, that sounds great!
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  21. #20

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    Should you plan releasing also a tabs book with your album ... count me in

  22. #21

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    Jonathan, that is great news ! I will buy a cd for sure...I really enjoy your playing as well as any I have heard.
    Thanks !

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive View Post
    So, good news for anyone interested in this thread: I'm going to be recording an album of swing-style solo chord melody guitar in two weeks. I've only got one session scheduled, though I may do another if I don't get what I need on the first pass. But, considering mixing is going to get a lot faster for a one instrument session than my usual band CDs, I'm hoping to have it out in time for Christmas.

    Anyway, here's another installment of my porch practice sessions that have been leading up this:
    is that an ebbets field flannel hat?! i love those guys!
    White belt
    My Youtube

  24. #23

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    I hate those guys. I'm a third-generation StL fan (my grandson is fifth-gen) and the NY teams were killing them when I was young, back in the '50s. I've never been able to get over my dislike of the Dodgers and Giants. May they dwell in the cellar forever!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I hate those guys. I'm a third-generation StL fan (my grandson is fifth-gen) and the NY teams were killing them when I was young, back in the '50s. I've never been able to get over my dislike of the Dodgers and Giants. May they dwell in the cellar forever!
    So, that's not a Brooklyn Dodgers hats. It's a reproduction of a pre-Castro Cuban team, "Los Barbudos". It's made by Ebbetts Field Flannels, a company that specializes in really nice flannel hats and jerseys, but specifically for extinct teams. I enjoy a good baseball game from time to time, but I really dread the rivalry thing. I have enough negativity coursing through my head all time without that drama.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  26. #25

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    There is no negativity in baseball. Hope springs eternal, and there is always next year.

  27. #26

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    Two days until the session for my solo guitar record and I'm stoked because I've made great progress on tightening up and finalizing the arrangements and tune list. I'll be recording 4 historical "arranged" pieces (2 from the 1938 Reuss folio, 1 by Frank Victor for 1936, and a Roy Smeck piece from 1928), probably another 8-12 tunes of my own chord melody arrangements and chord solos. But I'm also excited to debut two of my own compositions that are very much steeped in the 1930's plectrum guitar tradition.

    I'll be bringing my 1932 and 1939 L-5's to see what works better in the studio, and I'll probably do a couple passes of each tune on each guitar. I'm also planning to try using my Waterloo WL-14LTR for the Roy Smeck tune. I'll also bring my National and see if there's any tunes that it might fit.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    There is no negativity in baseball. Hope springs eternal, and there is always next year.
    And there's no crying in baseball either. ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  29. #28

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    Hello all,

    Jonathan Stout chord melody playing and guitars !-sloppy-square-jpg
    I'm excited to announce my solo CD is done and out for production!
    It'll be released next Tuesday, 12/18 on Bandcamp, but you can check out the previews NOW here:
    Pick It and Play It | Jonathan Stout
    The CDs won't arrive until 12/21, so I can't guarantee Christmas delivery, but with bandcamp you do get an immediate digital download with every CD purchase. And it'll be on all the other digital services within a month.

    I managed to get 15 tunes recorded - 4 historic swing-era arrangements, 2 original tunes, and 9 of my own chord melody arrangements of classic tunes:
    1. Pickin' for Charlie - Jonathan Stout, 2018
    2. Stompin' at the Savoy - Goodman/Sampson/Webb, 1936
    3. Moonglow - Hudson/DeLange/Mills, 1934
    4. Cheek to Cheek - Irving Berlin, 1935
    5. Apartment G - Allan Reuss, 1938
    6. It's Only a Paper Moon - Harold Arlen, 1933
    7. Sunday - Miller/Styne/Cohn/Kreuger, 1926
    8. Charlie's Lullabye - Jonathan Stout, 2018
    9. Georgia on My Mind - Hoagy Carmichael, 1930
    10. Itching Fingers - Roy Smeck, 1928
    11. Ain't Misbehavin' - Waller/Brooks/Razaf, 1929
    12. Pet Shop - Allan Reuss, 1938
    13. Pick It and Play It - Frank Victor, 1936
    14. Somebody Loves Me - George Gershwin, 1934
    15. Over the Rainbow - Harold Arlen, 1938

    I used a Waterloo WL-14L on "Itching Fingers", and the rest was about evenly split between my 1932 L-5 and 1939 L-5.
    We used 6 ribbon mics (though 90% of what you hear is just a stereo pair of Ribbons) for a nice fat sound.
    I'm very proud of it, and I hope you'll dig it.

    Lastly, I'm planning to spend as much of January as it takes to finish writing a companion folio that will contain my original arrangements and tunes.
    Last edited by campusfive; 12-13-2018 at 11:43 PM.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  30. #29

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    Great Jonathan. I'm looking forward to hear this and for the folio.

  31. #30

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    About time, Jonathan! Good luck with it. Love the graphics!

  32. #31

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    Congrats! I'll be picking this up ASAP.

  33. #32

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    Alright the bandcamp store is OPEN:

    Pick It and Play It | Jonathan Stout

    And you can preview all the tracks now!
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  34. #33

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    This is so great Jonathan. Congrats.

    I just need to do some lessons with you, please, start the Skype or exchanging videos lessons as soon as possible.

  35. #34

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    I’ve listened to most of this and I love it. I sometimes forget what real music sounds like in this age of pop garbage. Great work!

  36. #35

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    Thanks guys!

    Hey, so, I goofed actually published the album already instead of merely initiating a pre-sale.
    So, yeah, feel free to buy it NOW. Oops.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  37. #36

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    Thats great news ! I've been looking forward to getting my copy since you announced you were going to record one. I am sure I will enjoy it very much ! I wish you much success with the sales !

  38. #37

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  39. #38

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    Finally! Someone recording a Frank Victor tune. Really looking forward to buying your recording. The sound samples sound great.
    Seeking beauty and truth through six strings.

  40. #39

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    Bought it. Love it. Play it nonstop.


    PS: did you say you were going to offer transcriptions of your arrangements? Not sure if that was this thread.

  41. #40

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    Jonathan is such a fine player and nice guy. Most deserving of accolades!
    On the Allan Ruess style Sunny Side of the Street, you really hear the influence of the plectrum banjo, on which many of those great players in the 30s started, then they swithed to guitar to keep up with the times, when Goodman brought in the swing era. The 1920s “rooty tooty” & “rat tat tat” rhythms are nicely played in correct syncopation. Kudos!
    Jerry T

  42. #41

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    Congratulations Jonathan! The samples are great. I’ve just got to decide whether to buy the digital version or splurge on the CD to get that beautiful graphic work.

  43. #42

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    Now you just need to write that technique book that we all want!

  44. #43

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    Picked this up today. Streamed the whole thing. Sounds great, I love it. I have transcribed a few of your arrangements off of YouTube including I got Rhythm, LA Fairytale and Stompin at the Savoy. I like the variation on SatS on your album. Did it evolve into the version you recorded or do you play it different each time? Just curious if your 'solo' sections are arranged completely or if you leave yourself room to improvise. Also, I'm curious if you plan on transcribing all of these pieces note for note in the matching folio you have planned and if it will be notated in standard as well as tablature. If so I am definitely going to buy it as well. I've learned a lot from the ones I've transcribed.

  45. #44

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    Thanks for digging it.

    To answer your question, most of the songs had improvised "solo" sections (not counting the "composed" pieces, such as my originals or the historical pieces from Smeck, Reuss, Victor, etc.).

    The youtube clips tend to be the earliest stage in developing an arranged head and solo ideas - so there is often some evolution over time, refinement, added complications, etc. Plus, for the sake of recording them, I wanted to come up with some intros and endings to make it all little more complete.

    All that said, two (I think) of the solos were composed, which I think is an important and overlooked part of swing-era jazz. The crafting of an improvised solo into a composed one, and repeating it is something that was very common in the pre-bop era. Charlie Christian, Lester Young, Cootie Williams, Sweets Edison, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong all had "bits" they would do on certain songs. And I think there's something to be said for the quality of crafting something that starts as improvised and refining it over time. Of course, like the way a stand up comedy routine needs to feel off-the-cuff to be believable, you then have the challenge of making the composition have a fresh life every time you play it. It's a different skill, to be sure, but a valid one.

    The rest of the solos were improvised.

    As far as the folio, I plan to transcribe to solos too.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive View Post

    All that said, two (I think) of the solos were composed, which I think is an important and overlooked part of swing-era jazz. The crafting of an improvised solo into a composed one, and repeating it is something that was very common in the pre-bop era. Charlie Christian, Lester Young, Cootie Williams, Sweets Edison, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong all had "bits" they would do on certain songs. And I think there's something to be said for the quality of crafting something that starts as improvised and refining it over time. Of course, like the way a stand up comedy routine needs to feel off-the-cuff to be believable, you then have the challenge of making the composition have a fresh life every time you play it. It's a different skill, to be sure, but a valid one.
    This is something that I'm starting to try now. I think this is very important and it's nice to have a "skeleton" from a solo and try to add and try different things on it or just play it as it "needed to be".

    Charlie Christian's solo on Stardust is one of my favorites solos from ever and I don't think that was improvised.

  47. #46

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    Thank you for taking the time to write that detailed answer. I appreciate it. I believe that improvisation usually occurs for me between ideas that have already been worked out previously. Kind of like new connections. After 35 years of playing music of many styles, I know that I better have starting and ending ideas in mind at the very least if I am to play something coherent.
    Last edited by Brion; 12-19-2018 at 01:54 PM.

  48. #47

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    Maybe Christian's solo on Stardust wasn't composed, but he played it almost note for note many times. From what I can deduce, he composed it, or at least played it, at a practice session and Benny liked it so much he had Christian perform it many times. This was common during the swing era.

  49. #48

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    Stardust is my favorite example - bits and pieces likely improvised, and then strung together and honed over time until it was perfected and repeatable. Also, Charlie had another whole chorus on Stardust as well, and he played that chorus, followed by the more well known one on an after hours jam session recorded in 1939 in Minneapolis. That first chorus, was played by Charlie, or least part of it was, on a session for Una Mae Carlisle.

    But I like the idea that in a mostly improvised medium, to occasionally make something crafted and concerted. Especially when you nail it. Things like the Illinois Jacquet solo to "Flying Home" become cannon for a reason.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  50. #49

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    Stardust is my favorite example - bits and pieces likely improvised, and then strung together and honed over time until it was perfected and repeatable. Also, Charlie had another whole chorus on Stardust as well, and he played that chorus, followed by the more well known one on an after hours jam session recorded in 1939 in Minneapolis. That first chorus, was played by Charlie, or least part of it was, on a session for Una Mae Carlisle.

    But I like the idea that in a mostly improvised medium, to occasionally make something crafted and concerted. Especially when you nail it. Things like the Illinois Jacquet solo to "Flying Home" become cannon for a reason.
    Jonathan Stout
    www.campusfive.com/swingguitarblog
    My new solo acoustic archtop CD, "Pick It and Play" is available NOW!
    Preview and pre-sales at jonathanstout.bandcamp.com

  51. #50

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    Just bought the download over Christmas- What a great sounding record! Very well done