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  1. #51

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    Jazz is more like life itself. Its has spontaneous conversations, among other life like traits.
    Jazz IS (one) representation of how energy manifests. The musicians use their instruments to let the energy flow through them, ideally. The musicians make sound in that moment, of the moment.

    Its beyond entertainment. It is an obvious focus on the exact moment in time that it is being played. It's one way to be totally present and in the moment. Just like life itself.

    My rambling is done.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52
    fep makes a really good point- there is no getting to jazz without first taking a detour through the blues. You'll see that the styles of all the greats are firmly rooted in blues (to me, Miles was primarily a blues player- check out Straight No Chaser on Milestones if you have any doubts). Jazz players that can't play a convincing gut-bucket twelve bar blues (I've heard guys rip on Cherokee and get lost on a I-IV-V) ultimately don't swing and sound academic. Check out Sco on YouTube play a twelve bar on a telecaster. It's convincing.
    And on the topic of classical/jazz, I thought about a player that really epitomizes a blending of the styles: African guitarist Lionel Loueke. He studied classical guitar in Europe, went to Berklee, and plays with Herbie Hancock. His new album Karibu (definitely not straight ahead jazz) is a perfect example of how cool a nylon string played fingerstyle can sound in the jazz context. Great tone, right hand technique and, above all, feel.
    Cheers Jazzers!
    Shiffron
    Last edited by ShiffronLandren; 10-30-2008 at 12:08 PM.

  4. #53

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    Bach is the best. He was the jazz musician of his time. Until I took a course when I was in college (sometime during the reign of Julius Caesar) I never realized how much improvisation he did.

  5. #54

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    You are an educated man Hot Ford! It all begins with Bach, something for everyone and too much to listen to in a lifetime.

    I like Jamesjohns response a lot;very thoughtful. Maybe this interpretation applies to all music and art though. As a newer jazz player it DOES seem to be the most spontaneous, but I think members of any good string quartet playing Beethoven would say they experience the exact same thing even though there is a definitive score. It's still a temporal art, only in the moment!

    Sailor

  6. #55

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    I'm with Sailor again as I heartily agree that Sor and Carcassi are the way to go if you're a jazzer wanting to learn classical guitar. And with nails too(!). Plus I would add Aguado into the mix. These guys had the genius to write real music that was also instructional for the chops. This definitely makes it more fun to learn. More hobby-ish then homework-ish you might say. Furthermore, you know this stuff was written by guitarists for the guitar, thereby making it by nature more "guitaristic" then some transcriptions can be. (Before you cry "j'acuse!" I did say SOME).

    I can read this kind of music pretty well, but single note jazz lines make me quiver in fright sometimes. (Does anyone remember Jerry Van Dyke trying to play the banjo when he was "awake"?). When I take the trouble to slowly learn the melody of the tune I want to play, it comes more naturally. Then I can start to feel it.

    I'm finding too that playing blues is a great bridge for me in learning to play over less familiar jazz progressions. And although it's poo-poo-ed on here sometimes, knowing the CAGED system inside and out is a tremendous help. It's helped me to understand how to "play inside" while I learn to vary it in order to "play outside".

    Herby

    P.S. What jamesjohn said was spot on. I'd only add that when I'm playing a classical piece well, I have that same feeling. It's still an exact moment in time, captured by (it so happens in this case) me! This makes it, arguably, an entire new and fresh moment of interpretation that is unique and that will perhaps ring throughout the ether. The idea that just because someone else has played the same piece before me with their own unique interpretation doesn't really matter. Listen to the different interpretations of any great classical music by any great players or orchestras and you'll hear tremendously different points of view as to how it should sound. Viva la difference.
    Last edited by Herby; 10-30-2008 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    You are an educated man Hot Ford! It all begins with Bach, something for everyone and too much to listen to in a lifetime.

    I like Jamesjohns response a lot;very thoughtful. Maybe this interpretation applies to all music and art though. As a newer jazz player it DOES seem to be the most spontaneous, but I think members of any good string quartet playing Beethoven would say they experience the exact same thing even though there is a definitive score. It's still a temporal art, only in the moment!

    Sailor
    I would agree, one can find the same kind of transcendence in jazz as they can in playing a Beethoven quartet or Brahms symphony or whatever - it is just a matter of the music being powerful and the player being connected with it. Just because the notes are written down does not mean the music is not "in the moment" - I think that has to do more with the players like Sailor is saying. I do think, though, that when playing something like Beethoven that you are definitely playing his voice, whereas in jazz that in the moment expression is coming from the improviser. Though one could argue that it's not only the improviser but also all the his heroes and influences.

    Someone might say "then what about classical improv" and I would say that if we are talking about Bach or in modern day organ recitals, yes that is similar to jazz because they are within a form and "changes" so to speak. When I think of "classical improv" now, though, I think of sort of free-form 20th century type stuff, which is more far removed from what (in my opinion) constitutes jazz...but that would be a whole other thing to talk about!

    Quick side note, my favorite Bach improv story was that the first movement in the Musical Offering, the fugue, was made on the spot by Bach when he asked the king or whoever it was to give him a melody. He did so and then Bach improvised the entire fugue...if I could go back in time (this is a toss up, hearing Beethoven's 3rd for the very first time at the premiere, live Coltrane, and many others) I would go back to hear Bach's improvisations. In fact I would even go to church just to hear him play!

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herby
    I'm with Sailor again as I heartily agree that Sor and Carcassi are the way to go if you're a jazzer wanting to learn classical guitar.
    and don't forget villa lobos!

  9. #58

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    What about the story of Bach and Buxtehude(?), supposedly trying out for the same Kappelmeister position in some town. After hearing Bach improvising on the church organ at night the other dude left town!!

    Sailor

  10. #59

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    Herby - single note jazz lines make me quiver too, but not sonatas by Ponce or Villa-Lobos. What's with this? We can read sophisticated music on one hand, and I can't even read the head to billies bounce on the other?????

    Hey Rio - Do you think the poor congregation that had to listen to hours of fresh Bach music each sunday appreciated it?? Poor saps, they probably wanted to listen to the "popular" songs of their day, their Brittany Spears! LOL

    Sailor

  11. #60

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    And they were probably itching to get out of church to get to their Sunday afternoon soccer matches.

    You tell me Sailor. I've just spent the morning re-reading through Sor's #9 with no trouble, but just yesterday I actually was struggling through Billy's Bounce. The grass is always greener.... eh?

    Herby

  12. #61

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    Ironic similarities. Sor is so "guitary". I too play Sor, Aguado, Carcassi, naturally. I am also working on billies bounce; it must have been an improv that was written down after the fact! I did figure out the incredibly simple head to Bags Groove and I feel like I accomplished something when in actuality it's probably like the simplest Aguado piece you could find. Jazz is HARD!

    Sailor

  13. #62
    Hey Mates
    I think the difficulty in reading jazz lines may be that jazz is first and foremost an aural art. The fake book is called "fake" for a reason. I think of the charts as friendly reminders, nothing more. The standard repetoire was passed down in essntially an aural tradition. Armstrong wasn't on the band stand reading charts. Heads have to be heard, transcribed, and memorized. This is why disciplined transcription is so important. How did Wes learn guitar? He didn't have a fakebook, or any other materials for that matter; he transcribed all of Charlie Christian's solos note for note until the records wore out- a feat so impressive that Lionel Hampton hired him for this alone. Classical music, on the other hand, is a written/notated tradition. The professional classical musician is expected to mentally translate the notation into sound. There are people who can hear everything just by reading-quite a fantastic skill. But this is quite different from hearing something and without hesitation playing it note for note.
    Ciao
    Shiffron

  14. #63

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    You are so right shiffron - I am spoiled by having music as a written form first.
    It's hard for us classical guys, even with education, to transcribe a lot of these heads let alone the solos!! The 1/4s and 1/8s don't fit nicely between the bar lines and the solos don't stick to diatonic scales.

    A different art form to be sure with many similarities and differences; worthy of talking about and helping all to comprehend both styles.

    I wonder if this has been adequately written about in Ed. material?? Probably worth it seeing the response to this thread!!!

    Sailor

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    Hey Rio - Do you think the poor congregation that had to listen to hours of fresh Bach music each sunday appreciated it?? Poor saps, they probably wanted to listen to the "popular" songs of their day, their Brittany Spears! LOL

    Sailor
    I bet not many of them appreciated it It still amazes me that his own sons did not appreciate him musically and regarded him as "old hat". The f***ing wrapped fish with his manuscripts after he died, how much more of a disregard can there be? Though it is ironic that the "new" style they were writing in (the whole Rococo thing) is not regarded as being much more than a transitional stage...

    And regarding single note lines, are you learning them fingerstyle? I always envied those that could do that...I can't get my feel to be right with fingers when playing single lines...though playing with fingers for anything else or specifically classical playing is not a problem. But then again when playing violin music on the guitar I can't use my fingers either (bad time feel compared to the pick) unless it's a very chordal thing like a fugue With that said, though, I think single line playing is definitely easier with a pick...just like with a bowed instrument it just seems to lend itself better to that technique.

  16. #65

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    Rio- Not sure I understand the fingering issue. I definitely play single melodic lines with fingers/nails only; feels very good to me as long as the alternation between fingers is correct and string crossing principles are applied.

    There is certainly a different feel, and at one point I would probably play rock/pop leads with a pick but the kind of Jazz I'm playing, basically old standards/ballads is very condusive to fingertips/nails.

    I do enjoy your Bach anectdotes - can't get enough of that stuff!! How prolific was this guy and how much was lost!!!

    Sailor

  17. #66

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    Sailor, Even for pop or rock you could play with fingers. Mark Knofler, for one, does.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    You are an educated man Hot Ford! It all begins with Bach, something for everyone and too much to listen to in a lifetime.
    Thanks Sailor but I must give credit to the teacher I had. This guy did something many music 101 teachers never even get close to. Along with all the Baroque, Classical etc etc, he threw in a healthy dose of jazz from Tatum all the way through modern jazz. He showed how the music was all tied together. Once he did that, a whole new world opened up. He was the best.

  19. #68

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    Re: the RH issue:
    I sometimes find myself, when playing chord-melody standards, using my RH index nail just like i would use a pick — holding it against my thumb as if I were holding a pick and doing single note runs. I never do it in classical playing, but it's pretty easy in chord-melody. One drawback is in the instant it takes me to re-orient back into regular classical style playing position to get back on to the chord elements.

    Does anyone else do this? And how is it working out for you.

    Herby

  20. #69
    Mates,
    Let me chime in on the RH issue, being a former flat picker that made the switch. Sailor, you'd probably cringe at my techinique, but I alternate between the thumb and pointer/middle, depending on the passage, and use flesh. (I play a Martin). It is certainly more difficult to articulate single note lines on one string; hammer-ons and pull-offs are necessary. But what I've found is that I have a different approach and orientation to the instrument using fingers as opposed to pick - I'm not trying to duplicate what I'd play with a pick. Instead, I'll play across strings more, or switch positions, or employ rolls a la Chet Atkins to play arpeggios. Check out Kevin Eubanks on YouTube to see what fingers can do- he rips on both chords and lead. I can actually play faster between strings with my fingers. For some reason, I'm more in touch with the beat, more in the pocket. And maybe the constraints of using fingers forces us to dig deeper for melody and soul as opposed to aimless virtuosity.
    Cheers
    Shiffron

  21. #70

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    Great posting Shiffron. I've never thought of it that way, and have been trying to "duplicate what I'd play with a pick." I'm going to give this a try.

    Thanks,
    Herby

  22. #71

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    Shiffron - love your posts as always. I'm open minded enough not to cringe at anything. I don't completely understand it though.

    I still feel that a little nail goes a long way to producing a clear tone, more precise than flesh, and gives you volume when you need it.

    I would like to hear more about the way you play.

    Sailor

  23. #72

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    Sorry if someone mentioned it already, I haven't read all the posts yet (but I will).

    The thing is that Adam Rogers, amazing jazz guitarist, plays with Chris Potter, Brian Blade, and all the great jazzers from nowadays, well, he did 4 or 5 years of classic guitar. Check out the album line by line by John Pattitucci. He plays some kinda classical stuff in there, his technique is amazing btw.

  24. #73

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    I talked to Adam about this one night outside a club in Chicago. He told me that he studied with Frederick Hand for about 5 years, totally classical, then just dove into jazz and never really studied with anyone, just learned on his own.

    He also said that he still has all his students work on the Segovia scales and then applies them to improv. Kind of a cool way of thinking about the neck.

    Another great modern player that has a strong classical approach to jazz is Ben Monder. His solo compositions are on par with anything written by the great classical guitar composers. Really cool stuff, check him out if you can.

    MW

  25. #74

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    I am studying jazz in highschool and it's awesome.
    You have to decide what you would like to do in the future and chose the best option. You would better don't hurry, take some time and make a good choice
    I love to play jazz and it was not hard for me to make this decision.

  26. #75

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    I just feel compelled to say that I am really impressed with the caliber of ppl here. I have had some of these same thoughts/questions. I have played Classical guitar for about a dozen years combined and I agree that the experience can be limiting. I just picked up the electric guitar recently and feel like I have been completely re-introduced to music. Sure the technique from Classical is an advantage but that is about it in my opinion. I am relieved to see that no one here is making the statement that intelligence is directly related with the type of music they pursue. I turned my nose up from Classical for a time in consideration of the biased opinions towards other genres, even though I considered myself a classical player. I never thought that Jazz guitar would strike my interest but the more that I learn the more that I find that I love it all. Wow!

    Take care everyone