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  1. #1

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    Hey Everybody,

    I am working on creating my own chord melody arrangments to standards, but I am still at a loss for creating my own extended intros and endings. I note that Dirk has posted a lesson endings, but I don't see one on intros.

    I would be really intrested if anyone can give ideas for how to create our own (instead of just memorizing someone else's). Some I have seen are diatonic stepwise aproaches to the first chord of the some, and others employ backcyling. I guess I am asking what are the underlying structures to many of these ideas. Does anyone have input?

    All the best,
    Mike

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    One of the things you can check out is playing part or all of the melody through rubato, free time, and then play it in tempo. Bill Evans did this alot and it really helps set up a tune. You can also blow or play a simple melody over the last 4 or 8 bars of the tune. It always helps to relate your intro to the tune or melody in some way.

    MW

  4. #3

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    Thanks, Matt, I'll give that a try. BTW - I like your chord melody solos that you have been posting. Your solos seem to flow a bit better than mine, I guess I need to work on some voice leading, too.

  5. #4

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    Hey Mike,
    Thanks, here are two great exercises that I was taught while cutting my teeth that might help you out.

    The first is from Toronto guitarist Roy Patterson:

    Take any tune you're working on, then write out a voicing for each chord in the tune but do it all within four frets. Then do two voicings for each chord, then four. Once you can do that move to the next four frets and repeat. Great way to learn inversions and to see a whole tune within a short span of the neck.

    The next one I got from pianist Fred Hersch, but it is similar to what John Abercrombie teaches as well:

    Take a tune you're working on, set a timer for 20-30 minutes. In that time comp one chord per change on the tune but only move the top note of the chord up or down by a tone or half tone. This way you are always thinking about the melody line, instead of the bass line like most guitarists, in your playing.

    The key to great melodic comping and chord soloing/melody playing is to think of the top note of the chord, the highest note, at all times. Too often guitar players think of the lowest note because they are looking for the root or other note to help them with their grips.

    MW

  6. #5

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    That first exercise sounds pretty intense. I guess after you do it a couple of times the inversions start to fall into place. I'll give both exercises a try.
    -Mike

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by m78w View Post
    Hey Mike,
    Thanks, here are two great exercises that I was taught while cutting my teeth that might help you out.

    The first is from Toronto guitarist Roy Patterson:

    Take any tune you're working on, then write out a voicing for each chord in the tune but do it all within four frets. Then do two voicings for each chord, then four. Once you can do that move to the next four frets and repeat. Great way to learn inversions and to see a whole tune within a short span of the neck.

    The next one I got from pianist Fred Hersch, but it is similar to what John Abercrombie teaches as well:

    Take a tune you're working on, set a timer for 20-30 minutes. In that time comp one chord per change on the tune but only move the top note of the chord up or down by a tone or half tone. This way you are always thinking about the melody line, instead of the bass line like most guitarists, in your playing.

    The key to great melodic comping and chord soloing/melody playing is to think of the top note of the chord, the highest note, at all times. Too often guitar players think of the lowest note because they are looking for the root or other note to help them with their grips.

    MW
    Not unlike what Jody Fisher suggests. He divides the guitar into 5 regions, frets 1-5, frets 5-8, frets 8-octave, first 4 strings, middle 4, bottom 4. He says to learn the melody in each region, then taking one region at a time, catalog every chord possibility in that region for the chords in the tune you are working.

    The idea is, of course, to be able to play your tunes anywhere on the neck, and give you tons of options for voicings, leading you to the place where you play the tune differently each time. Takes quite a while for the first 2-3 tunes he says, then as Mike suggests, things start to fall into place and it becomes much easier.

    I am starting this process currently, as I haven't done it before. Pretty intense, but like boot camp for chord melody.

  8. #7

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    You can also check out a book by Ron Eschete called Intros and Endings for Jazz Guitar, it's under 20$ on Amazon.

    MW

  9. #8

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    Very interesting advices m78w, I'll work on that stuff tonight !

    All the best
    Guelda

  10. #9

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    Another idea, I think covered in the Ron Eschete book, I'm not sure right now, is to play a large-voiced chord a bVmi b5 above your target root chord. Then play a IV chord keeping the common tone on top from the first chord, then III mi chord, bIII mi chord (still with the initial common tone on top (IF YOU LIKE), then back up a half-step to a 2-5 from the III mi, a 2-5 from the II mi, and you end on the target root chord. In C for example, it would be F#mi7b5 (C on top); Fma7 (C on top); E mi7 (C on top if you like); Eb mi7 (6th on top); E mi7-A7th; D mi7- G7th-C, for a tune in C.

  11. #10

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    mickey baker has a couple of chapters devoted to intros in his book jazz guitar

  12. #11

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    Though not an original way to do intros, some players use the verse as an intro. Most of the Hal Leonard Real Books don't have the verse, but other fake books do.

    It could also serve as a jumping off point for your own intro.

  13. #12

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    Hi, everybody!
    My question may sound stupid to you but I don't know the meaning of chord voicing and voicing a chord. What does it mean? Instead of strumming the chord playing it string by string from the first to the sixth or viceversa?

    Thank you!

  14. #13

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    There are no stupid questions here man. A voicing is just a "grip" so it is the notes that are combined to make the chord on the guitar. For example, C, D, G, Em, Am, etc.

    That's all.

    MW

  15. #14

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    If I understand well, after a C major chord for example C, E, G (1, 3, 5) any other note is called a voicing?
    Thanks for your comprehension and your reply.

  16. #15

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    I mean, if I add another note or more notes to a simple major or minor chord is this other note/s called voicing?

  17. #16

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    Well actually the C major or minor chord is a voicing. The term "voicing" just means the shape of that chord on the guitar.

    So for example C major could be played:

    C E G

    E G C

    G C E

    So those are three "voicings" of the C major triad/chord.


    I hope that helps.

    MW

  18. #17

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    Then a voicing is just an inversion be that 1st or 2nd, right?

  19. #18

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    Kind of. I think you're just confused that voicing and chord are different things. The term "vocing" is just a jazzy way of saying the word "chord". So if you said:

    "Did you see Wes' cool voicings?"

    It would be the exact same thing as saying:

    "Did you see Wes' cool chords?"

    Hope that helps!
    MW

  20. #19

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    Another way to think of it is that the word "chord" refers to a group of 3 or more notes on any instrument, or by a group of instruments like a sax section in a big band.

    The word "voicing" refers to the exact same thing though you are refering to those same chords but how they are fingered on the guitar.

    MW

  21. #20

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    Thanks for the explanation. You know, english is not my language and though it's a thecnical word I never heard it before with this meaning.

    Thank a lot!

  22. #21

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    No problem! Glad my explanation made sense. I went through the same thing because my first language is english but I spent a year going to a bilingual, french/english, school and most of the music classes were in french.

    MW

  23. #22

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    Hi everybody!
    Hey, m78w, thanks for everything.
    I would like to ask you guys what you think about the course Play What You Hear by Chris Standring. I got a lot of e-mails announcing it and I don't know what to do. I never purchased a thing through the internet and in those e-mails I got there are some guitarrists who say this course is marvellous, I will learn in a short time what I can learn in 15 years, I will be able to play advances chords in jazz without having to learn hundreds of chord shapes...and they promise me heaven. So what's your opinion?

    Have a nice day!

  24. #23

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    I have the course and must say it is deep. Get ready to play a ton of scales. It is set up to interact while on line. I printed the lesson I was working on so I didn't have to be sitting at the computer all the time. Chris is a very savvy guitarist. Can't hurt to try it, you are bound to get something from it. Pennies make dollars!

  25. #24

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    Just posting this in case it's of interest. I can't vouch for whether it's good or not since I haven't seen it yet. But I'll be working through this in the near future....

    Intros, Endings & Turnarounds - The DVDi

  26. #25

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    Conti is great! He is also a monster guitar player. Do yourself a favor and watch ALL of his You Tube clips. Totally unreal. I have 8 of his tutorials and laughed when I opened them up...NO WAY!!!! There is however, a lot of chord applications that I have surgically removed for my own enjoyment. But then I am no icon in music.

  27. #26

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    Hi, all!

    I'm happy to get an answer exactly 1 year after my quiery. You can see the dates my last post was writen and pauljoeys answer.

    Thanks anyway. By now I have BIAB and maybe afterwards I will think of buying it. You know, in one year many things happened and learned more other things.

    Take care!

  28. #27

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    Wow! I didn't even check the date. Well, it was the intent that mattered...LOL

  29. #28

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    I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a jazz guitarist trying to compliment a trio consisting of guitar, bass, and sax. I'm feeling a little challenged since when I improvise there is no harmony to fall back on. Any suggestions?

    Jeff

  30. #29

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    Welcome aboard! I played for 3 years in that exact type of trio. When I started I struggled, but by the end my time, harmony and feel had greatly improved.

    Try comping for yourself, like a piano would. Play a bar or two of single notes, then comp a bar or two of chords. This will help break up your ideas and give you time to think, hear, the next line. Then you can get into longer sections of lines, or chords, later on in the solo. Or you could just combine the chords/lines the whole time like Jim Hall, Ed Bickert or Lenny Breau would.

    MW