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  1. #1

    How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?

    I have searched around this forum about this topic, and found some good tips, but since things change with time, I wanted to ask what the preferred approach is? I have just learned Drop 2 voicings on the three string sets, and also shell chords on 5th and 6th string. To you who have studied with a teacher, or at university, how did the teacher make you tackle this? Is there a good book to use for this topic? I find that many of the online articles, from some well known “bloggers” on jazz, are not very good written. They touch upon so many subjects in one article, that it gets more confusing than clear. I have a teacher, and what he wants me to do(which I do), is to play jazz standards. Well, I have only tackled autumn leaves and so what, for now. Luckily I understand music theory, to a degree, and I also practice arpeggios. Unfortunately, I don’t find myself evolving my vocabulary of chord shapes too much by using this approach, since I mostly play 7 chords, and either use shell or drop 2 voicings. I plan to study drop 3 also. Luckily, when you understand the concept of drop 2, that isn’t the biggest task.

    I am very up for using loads of time on this, so I just want a good approach. Unfortunately, I find that there are very few written out approaches on how to tackle this. It's much easier to practice something, when you have a clear road ahead

    I also bought The Jazz Theory Book, but after reading around on this forum, I understand that following that book, perhaps isn’t the best approach, as it is written for piano players.
    Last edited by znerken; 09-21-2018 at 09:03 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
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    I would recommend The Chord Melody Assembly Line which is a book with a DVD by Robert Conti for a number of reasons.

    First, he teaches you ALL of the jazz chord voicings that he uses (and there's a lot of them) when he does chord melody arrangements of jazz standards.

    Second, he teaches you how to harmonize numerous melodic phrases for practice and at the end of the book he teaches you a chord melody arrangement of Danny Boy where you are using a different chord for each melody note as well.

    This all makes memorizing lots of usable chord voicings relevant, fun, and motivating as versus just going through a chord dictionary.

    Hope this helps!
    Steven Herron
    Robert Conti Tabs - Guitar Solos, Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

  4. #3
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    Find all the possible uses of each interval structure/shape you learn, practice inverting them and changing individual notes and fixate and the sounds you really like, and move them to all strings groups.

    Also, listen to Pianists.

  5. #4
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    I didn't learn this from a teacher but I found this idea very useful for learning more chords. Take a 3 string set (ideally the top 3) and draw (draw only dots of the shape) all the possible chord shapes within 4 frets of that 3 string set. Disregard the shapes that have octaves for now. You'll have 33 chords drawn out. Figure out what they are and how you can use them. Draw the chords again but organize them into the possible inversions of that string set. Stick with them for a long time until you are absolutely sure that you can play with them with no qualms. (May take months to a few years).

    Once you have the chords shapes burned in your head then do the same for string set d-g-b and then a-d-g

    I don't play standard tuning but i have done the drawing exercise for it a long while ago (just the drawing), I still remember some of the chords there! Good luck

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    I have just learned Drop 2 voicings on the three string sets, and also shell chords on 5th and 6th string.
    Do you mean for dom7 chords, or for all chord types? Do you know Maj7, min7, min7b5?

  7. #6

    How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Do you mean for dom7 chords, or for all chord types? Do you know Maj7, min7, min7b5?
    I know all the chords you mentioned, yes. Playing autumn leaves i.e. without them, would be hard How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?

    I would like to expand my vocabulary of shapes, also on altered chords, 7(+5) for example. Basically, I want a jazz chord vocabulary, and a good one too! I realize this is a long term project, like arpeggios, but I would still love a road ahead.

  8. #7
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    I find the best way is to learn lots of tunes...chord melody is good but even just 'partial' chord melody like you might play in a trio setting will teach you a lot of common and useful voicings.

  9. #8
    My first teacher, Sid Margolis, did it this way.

    He wrote out some basic comping chords on chord grids and circled the root. It was my job to move the chord up and down the neck and learn the name of the chord at every fret. These were the chords you see in older books on swing guitar. He called them "muted string chords" because the A and high E strings were generally muted. If you're interested, let me know and I'll detail them.

    Then he picked a tune. The first one was Don't Blame Me. Then he taught me a chord melody. Some were chords had learned from the chord grids. The next one was Moonglow. Same thing - a few new chords. Each new chord went on a grid with the root circled. I think the third tune was Stars Fell On Alabama.

    In every case the chords linked to each other nicely. Years later, I found out this was called voice leading.

    My second teacher was Carl Barry. Carl showed me Chuck Wayne's system of four note chords on three sets of adjacent strings. And, we applied them to tunes.

    I found that I learned the material much better when I applied it to a tune.

    I got a few things here and there from books. The best were probably Almir Chediak's books on Brazilian tunes which show the composer's own grips.

    Doing it this way had the added advantage of including good chord movement - which studying chords in isolation doesn't provide.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    My first teacher, Sid Margolis, did it this way.

    He wrote out some basic comping chords on chord grids and circled the root. It was my job to move the chord up and down the neck and learn the name of the chord at every fret. These were the chords you see in older books on swing guitar. He called them "muted string chords" because the A and high E strings were generally muted. If you're interested, let me know and I'll detail them.

    Then he picked a tune. The first one was Don't Blame Me. Then he taught me a chord melody. Some were chords had learned from the chord grids. The next one was Moonglow. Same thing - a few new chords. Each new chord went on a grid with the root circled. I think the third tune was Stars Fell On Alabama.

    In every case the chords linked to each other nicely. Years later, I found out this was called voice leading.

    My second teacher was Carl Barry. Carl showed me Chuck Wayne's system of four note chords on three sets of adjacent strings. And, we applied them to tunes.

    I found that I learned the material much better when I applied it to a tune.

    I got a few things here and there from books. The best were probably Almir Chediak's books on Brazilian tunes which show the composer's own grips.

    Doing it this way had the added advantage of including good chord movement - which studying chords in isolation doesn't provide.
    Could you elaborate on that Carl 4 note system? Or perhaps link somewhere it is explained good enough? Sounds like drop chords?

  11. #10
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    I found Jazz Guitar Chord Thesaurus- Kirk Tatnell great to begin with. He lays out chord voicings on string sets 1234/2345/3456 as Drop 2 major 11-V-1/ so m7, 7 ,maj7 and Minor 11-V-1 so m7b5, V7#5 and m7 and also Dim7 chords . He covers linear movement , diagonal movement and melodic patterns . The last part of the book looks at applying the above to a few tunes including Autumn Leaves amongst others

    Will

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    I found Jazz Guitar Chord Thesaurus- Kirk Tatnell great to begin with. He lays out chord voicings on string sets 1234/2345/3456 as Drop 2 major 11-V-1/ so m7, 7 ,maj7 and Minor 11-V-1 so m7b5, V7#5 and m7 and also Dim7 chords . He covers linear movement , diagonal movement and melodic patterns . The last part of the book looks at applying the above to a few tunes including Autumn Leaves amongst others

    Will
    That sounds very good!

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    Forgot to mention he covers Drop 3 voicing in the same way as Drop 2

    Will

  14. #13
    nobody hipping this kid to barry harris? wtf guys. This is the best chord/harmony book:

    Jazz School Online - Harmonic Method - Guitar
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  15. #14

    How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?

    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    nobody hipping this kid to barry harris? wtf guys. This is the best chord/harmony book:

    Jazz School Online - Harmonic Method - Guitar
    I’m not a kid, haha. Isn’t he a piano player though?

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    since I mostly play 7 chords, and either use shell or drop 2 voicings. I plan to study drop 3 also. Luckily, when you understand the concept of drop 2, that isn’t the biggest task.
    sorry if this is already obvious to you, but a cool trick is if you play a drop 2 on the top string set you can take the note on the high e and put it on the low e-- then you have a drop three
    White belt
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  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    I’m not a kid, haha. Isn’t he a piano player though?
    he is but he teaches everyone. that particular book takes his concepts and applies to guitar
    White belt
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  18. #17
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    The thing that forced me to assemble a formidable chord vocabulary, was reading/playing advanced big band guitar charts at tempo. We're talking about 50% of the chart having 2,3,or 4 chord changes per measure...

    You can learn the dumbed down versions of the chords, which work and sound very good, but I forced myself to create actual voicings of the charted chords, and since the reading is so challenging, you can't really even glance at your neck, so you put together chords with incredible voice leading to keep your left hand from jumping all over the place. The best thing I ever did.

    Necessity is the mother of invention, nothing works better than using the music as your teacher.

  19. #18
    Here's a capsule version of how Carl taught it.

    For the top 4 strings, start with G7 xx3433. Now, change one note to make it Gm7. xx3333.
    Back to G7 and then change one note to make it G6. xx2433. From there, you can change one note and make it Gm6 xx2333.
    So, what you're doing is starting with that G7 and finding a bunch of other chords by changing a note or two. You end up with Gmaj7 Gmaj6, Gm7, Gm6, Gminmaj7, G7#11, G7#5 etc.

    Then, you move up the neck to the next G7. You do this by starting with xx3433 and moving each note up the string to the next note in the G7 chord. So, that F on the D string becomes a G, the B on the G string becomes a D etc. You end up with xx5767. And, you use that grip as the basis for all the alterations. Then, you move it up the neck and do this twice more.

    You then do the same thing on the inner 4 starting with x2303x. Then the lower 4 strings.

    Of course, you can accomplish the same sort of thing with any G7 voicing, but those are the ones Carl showed me.

    Then, learn it in 12 keys.

    For many of the voicings, it's possible to finger them while leaving your pinkie free -- which gives you the opportunity to add a note -- very helpful in trying to play chord melody on the fly.

    But, this is just the basics. The music comes from applying this approach to tunes.

    I don't recall ever hearing the term drop 2 (or drop 3 etc) until decades later. I don't think about that terminology, but I think that many of these voicings are drop 2.

    Here's one more thing I have found helpful. Know all the chord tones by name of the chords you play -- and certainly know every place the notes occur on the fingerboard. That can help you to find voice leading in situations you haven't encountered before and don't have a pre-learned solution to.

    All of this requires some work. I'd say the chord grips are months of work, but not years. Knowing everything by name may be longer than that, and, frankly, I'm not sure it's the most efficient way to acquire the skills. That's how I did it. Certainly there are better players who did it some other way.

  20. #19
    Alan Kingstones book on Barry Harris Harmonic Method for Guitar will sort you right out. Like Joe said!

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    I’m not a kid, haha. Isn’t he a piano player though?
    Check out Roni Ben-Hur and Pasquale Grasso. Disciples of Barry Harris and both guitarists. They can chord like MFs. Also Barry Harris once told me, "I think guitar is the perfect instrument" so him being a piano player doesn't matter! The piano players are the best at chording. Why do you think they get the gigs? 9/10 times it's because they are good at accompanying.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by don_oz View Post
    Alan Kingstones book on Barry Harris Harmonic Method for Guitar will sort you right out. Like Joe said!
    I have read quickly through this book now. Don’t really see the value of thinking of all chords as 6th chords, instead of 7s. Wouldn’t that be going against the status quo?

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    I have read quickly through this book now. Don’t really see the value of thinking of all chords as 6th chords, instead of 7s. Wouldn’t that be going against the status quo?
    It might seem weird at first, but once you check out some of Barry's videos on YouTube about his harmony and listen to his recordings of him comping you'll hear that he knows what he's talking about. After all... Am7 is the same as C6, Am7b5 is the same as Cm6, F9 is the same as Cm6 once you can see these it will all start to make sense.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Here's a capsule version of how Carl taught it.

    For the top 4 strings, start with G7 xx3433. Now, change one note to make it Gm7. xx3333.
    Back to G7 and then change one note to make it G6. xx2433. From there, you can change one note and make it Gm6 xx2333.
    So, what you're doing is starting with that G7 and finding a bunch of other chords by changing a note or two. You end up with Gmaj7 Gmaj6, Gm7, Gm6, Gminmaj7, G7#11, G7#5 etc.

    Then, you move up the neck to the next G7. You do this by starting with xx3433 and moving each note up the string to the next note in the G7 chord. So, that F on the D string becomes a G, the B on the G string becomes a D etc. You end up with xx5767. And, you use that grip as the basis for all the alterations. Then, you move it up the neck and do this twice more.
    Pat Martino reverses this process by starting with the symmetrical, diminished form and successively raises each note in every inversion to produce the other seventh chords. It makes sense really, especially on guitar where the diminished shapes are replicated; it's just that we're so used to regarding either major or dominant 7ths as fundamental. Here's how the process looks when applied to the five most common 7th chord types:

    How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?-progressive-7ths-jpeg

    Pat follows a similar procedure with the symmetrical, augmented form to derive the inversions of the major, minor and diminished triads. Seen this way, it's no wonder Barry Harris views guitar as the ideal chordal instrument!

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB View Post
    Pat Martino reverses this process by starting with the symmetrical, diminished form and successively raises each note in every inversion to produce the other seventh chords. It makes sense really, especially on guitar where the diminished shapes are replicated; it's just that we're so used to regarding either major or dominant 7ths as fundamental. Here's how the process looks when applied to the five most common 7th chord types:
    These are the same voicings that I learned from Carl.

  26. Play 3-voice chords as you would play a scale.
    chordsexample.pdf - Google Drive
    All comfy. Those become usable as "bridge" between the main chords.. the anchors.. the function chords. Can be used to raise tension or even mimic the soloist's licks or add "chord-lines".

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    I found Jazz Guitar Chord Thesaurus- Kirk Tatnell great to begin with. He lays out chord voicings on string sets 1234/2345/3456 as Drop 2 major 11-V-1/ so m7, 7 ,maj7 and Minor 11-V-1 so m7b5, V7#5 and m7 and also Dim7 chords . He covers linear movement , diagonal movement and melodic patterns . The last part of the book looks at applying the above to a few tunes including Autumn Leaves amongst others

    Will

    Sorry if I am slow, but is the daily practice like this:

    Go through each section that has "exercise in it", then play the exercise relevant to the key you chose?

    So for chapter 1, for example, you go through these, then you do the same for chapter 2, 3 and 5?

  28. #27
    How about mickey baker's complete course in jazz guitar?How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?-screen-shot-2018-09-22-18-01-18-jpg


    @fep, perhaps we should do a study group for this book? Look at the following amazon review:

    I'm returning to jazz guitar study after nearly 20 years away. When I was learning, in a college focused on jazz, this was standard fare. I learned on this book. The first part of the book is focused on chord study. There are tons of great jazz chords and basic, simple, progressions to learn and apply those chords. The reader is learning how to substitute jazz chords in a very simple and repetitive way. The second part of the book is focused on scales, various runs and riffs and soloing.

    There is no tablature, and I think that is best. It is in every guitarists best interest to learn how to read music. it's very easy and will only help the studying guitarist advance in the long run.

    This is not an appropriate book for a complete beginner. As a guitarist who had been playing for over 10 years, but with no jazz experience, this book was challenging. 20 years later, with a rusty music degree, it's keeping me on my toes. Not impossible, and a great motivator. I'm feeling great about reinforcing my core knowledge and technique as well as refreshing forgotten ones.

    If you complete this and the 2nd Baker book, you're well on your way to being able to hold your own in a jazz setting, provided you're also listening to jazz and playing along to records and with other musicians.

    I feel this would be a great folllow-up to the Berklee Modern Method for Guitar books.

  29. #28
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  30. #29
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    It has certainly been a journey ... beginning with Chapter 18 in Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar, which introduced jazz chords. Since that point I've worked through Easy Jazz Guitar: voicings and comping by Mike Diliddo; and Jazz Chords by Don Latarski.

    In spite of all that, I was frustrated with my ability to remember the chord shapes. I was about to dive into Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar Volume 1, but instead, I sought out a professional jazz guitarist / teacher. He had me learn by constructing the chords using the intervals. To memorize them, he had me write progressions for standards, like Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, Round Midnight, Misty ... with one chord per beat, four chords per measure. The upper structures were key to create voice leading that mimicked the vocals I heard in my head. He had me do this for chords with roots on the sixth and fifth strings. This worked ... it's not so much the shape I think about now, it's the chord name and its alterations. With that under my fingers, he and I are back to working on soloing.

    To keep the chord vocabulary growing, I've begun working on Randy Vincent's Three Note Voicings and Beyond. I'm taking the time to really work through this and so far, it's been very good. Randy includes written instruction with the exercises. It's almost as though he is sitting in the room with you.

    Back to the woodshed!

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdwaverider View Post
    It has certainly been a journey ... beginning with Chapter 18 in Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar, which introduced jazz chords. Since that point I've worked through Easy Jazz Guitar: voicings and comping by Mike Diliddo; and Jazz Chords by Don Latarski.

    In spite of all that, I was frustrated with my ability to remember the chord shapes. I was about to dive into Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar Volume 1, but instead, I sought out a professional jazz guitarist / teacher. He had me learn by constructing the chords using the intervals. To memorize them, he had me write progressions for standards, like Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, Round Midnight, Misty ... with one chord per beat, four chords per measure. The upper structures were key to create voice leading that mimicked the vocals I heard in my head. He had me do this for chords with roots on the sixth and fifth strings. This worked ... it's not so much the shape I think about now, it's the chord name and its alterations. With that under my fingers, he and I are back to working on soloing.

    To keep the chord vocabulary growing, I've begun working on Randy Vincent's Three Note Voicings and Beyond. I'm taking the time to really work through this and so far, it's been very good. Randy includes written instruction with the exercises. It's almost as though he is sitting in the room with you.

    Back to the woodshed!
    Learning to construct chords is definitely the right way to go about it, imo, even though it's a lot more work. I did the first Mickey Baker book and got a lot out of it, but after that I bought the Ted Greene books and learned his 200 essential chords. I first memorized them and then would create as many of them as i could in each position along the fretboard, concentrating on what the various intervals were.

    Once you start seeing the similarities and patterns it doesn't take as long as you initially fear it might, and I found that it also stopped me relying on scale shapes and patterns for single note playing. Instead I just see the intervals now.

  32. #31
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    Here's a method I like. YMMV


    How to build a great jazz chord vocabulary?-bossa_blues_3-jpg
    Check out my new book, Essential Skills for the Guitarist on Amazon.

  33. #32
    So znerken... almost all chord approaches, learning physical chords on guitar... are really just a process to learning how your fretboard works.... a 12 fret repeating pattern.

    Eventually,(or not), I say or not because most guitarist don't really learn how their instrument works or how to comp.

    There are different styles.... but for the most part.... you don't need that many chords.... what will serve you better is lots of lead lines... little melodic figures that can be voiced

    X X X X X 11...Eb
    X X X X X 8 ....C
    X X X X 9 X ....Ab
    X X X X 7 X ....F#
    X X X X 8 X ....G

    could become . (you could add roots)

    X X 8 9 9 11... C7b13 #9
    X X 8 9 9 8 .... Gb7#11
    X X 8 9 9 X .... C7b13
    X X 5 7 7 X .... E-9
    X X 6 8 8 X .... F-9

    or... play C13 chord first.. blues feel

    8 X 8 9 10 10.... C13 3 beats

    X X 8 9 9 11... Gb13
    X X 8 9 9 8 ... Gb9#11
    X 9 9 9 9 X .... Gb9sus
    X 7 8 8 7 X .... Gb13
    X 8 8 8 8 X .... F9sus

    X 6 7 8 8 X .....F9


    The point is you eventually learn that voicings.... the filler notes, the grip... what ever you want to call the voicings... are just notes below a lead line that have harmonic implications..... One voicing can be almost any chord.

    Chords can have many different implications... different names, depending on how you choose to use that voicing.

    You get this.... chords don't have fixed labels.... A-7 can be any chord. just change the root.

    What takes time is to learn is how to use different voicings to create chord patterns... and part of learning this is to learn and develop leadlines.... Melodic lines on top of those voicings....

    There are many approaches of how to learn chords, voicings, grips... what ever you choose or your teacher chooses to learn the fretboard....to be able to play any chord anywhere on the neck with any note on top...... NOT just basic CHORD TONES

    Start with All Major scale diatonic chords.... then melodic minor... harmonic minor and Major.... I personally don't like the BH approach.... maybe more of an effect, like diminished, whole tone and other symmetrical organizations. But is organized like Martino's approach etc... They are not the norm... not a good basic reference to start with..... cool relationship and have a sound etc... but personally become mud... especially on guitar, beyond solo wk.

  34. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    So znerken... almost all chord approaches, learning physical chords on guitar... are really just a process to learning how your fretboard works.... a 12 fret repeating pattern.

    Eventually,(or not), I say or not because most guitarist don't really learn how their instrument works or how to comp.

    There are different styles.... but for the most part.... you don't need that many chords.... what will serve you better is lots of lead lines... little melodic figures that can be voiced

    X X X X X 11...Eb
    X X X X X 8 ....C
    X X X X 9 X ....Ab
    X X X X 7 X ....F#
    X X X X 8 X ....G

    could become . (you could add roots)

    X X 8 9 9 11... C7b13 #9
    X X 8 9 9 8 .... Gb7#11
    X X 8 9 9 X .... C7b13
    X X 5 7 7 X .... E-9
    X X 6 8 8 X .... F-9

    or... play C13 chord first.. blues feel

    8 X 8 9 10 10.... C13 3 beats

    X X 8 9 9 11... Gb13
    X X 8 9 9 8 ... Gb9#11
    X 9 9 9 9 X .... Gb9sus
    X 7 8 8 7 X .... Gb13
    X 8 8 8 8 X .... F9sus

    X 6 7 8 8 X .....F9


    The point is you eventually learn that voicings.... the filler notes, the grip... what ever you want to call the voicings... are just notes below a lead line that have harmonic implications..... One voicing can be almost any chord.

    Chords can have many different implications... different names, depending on how you choose to use that voicing.

    You get this.... chords don't have fixed labels.... A-7 can be any chord. just change the root.

    What takes time is to learn is how to use different voicings to create chord patterns... and part of learning this is to learn and develop leadlines.... Melodic lines on top of those voicings....

    There are many approaches of how to learn chords, voicings, grips... what ever you choose or your teacher chooses to learn the fretboard....to be able to play any chord anywhere on the neck with any note on top...... NOT just basic CHORD TONES

    Start with All Major scale diatonic chords.... then melodic minor... harmonic minor and Major.... I personally don't like the BH approach.... maybe more of an effect, like diminished, whole tone and other symmetrical organizations. But is organized like Martino's approach etc... They are not the norm... not a good basic reference to start with..... cool relationship and have a sound etc... but personally become mud... especially on guitar, beyond solo wk.

    I totally agree on this, but I still would like to have a clear approach on how to practice this. I have spent a lot of time on arpeggios lately, and they certainly increase fretboard knowledge!

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken View Post
    I totally agree on this, but I still would like to have a clear approach on how to practice this. I have spent a lot of time on arpeggios lately, and they certainly increase fretboard knowledge!
    So Freboard knowledge... one huge subject

    Comping is a different subject, You use fretboard knowledge and technique to comp.

    You need an organized approach on how to organize the fretboard.... this means anything and anywhere you play on the neck... is a reflection of how you physically see, hear, play etc...the guitar. Getting even more detailed.... You have a reference system where that 12 fret repeating organization always has a fingering organization reference.

    Simple version.... you hear Cmaj9, the neck instantly becomes one big starting grid, (pattern), of Cma9... or what you want that Cmaj9 to be. You need to make a choice of what that is.

    For me... I use 7 note position patterns that all have basic reference on low E string... and cover the other 5 strings and again the 12 frets.

    This doesn't mean I can't change that... or I'm stuck etc... I just have a basic default fretboard and fingering organized system that I always use for my basic starting point....

    I have an already organized fingering organization that covers the fretboard.... I don't need to think or figure anything out.... it's my default reference. I don't need to think, it's an internalized reference.

    I can move anywhere... and play that Cmaj9.

    What I can also do is create relationships with that Cma9... I can make it Lydian, Ionian.... I can see and hear... D9sus, A-11... maybe see and hear that Cma9 as I chord... and see V chords, G13sus, maybe G13b9....

    What happens... I can make that Cmaj9 any type of reference I choose... break it down into three triads...C, E-, G... with inversions and develop them... maybe go into some of Jordon's directions. Or create a lead line and voice that lead line with Cmaj9 ...like

    X X X X X 7
    X X X X X 5
    X X X X 5 X
    X X X X 1 X
    X X X X 3 X which could become

    X X 5 5 5 7 Cma7
    X X 2 2 3 3 C6/9
    X 5 3 5 5 X D-9
    3 X 3 3 1 X G-11
    X 3 2 4 3 X Cma9

    I could play whatever I choose or what the context implies I should play...

    And I would be comping in some type of style.... I would be using voicings that I choose to support that Lead Line that create Chord Patterns that I choose to support... whatever I'm playing.... a soloist, a vocalist.... a head etc...

    So you don't just play those grips of chords... If that's what you know... you can still use them but use them in a STYLE of comping.

    Yea... you need to do the basic homework and make... choices with respect to fingerings.... buy you should end up with collections of voicings that you can adjust to fit the Lead Line and Harmonic Context.

    Maybe... I'll try and put together common chord patters, lead lines with voicings that I like. I think Matt and posted some examples But we could just start... You do need to get the fretboard together, make choices on what organization you want to use for your default system. So you don't have to memorize everything all the time... It's really difficult to play Jazz in time when you don't have your technical BS together.

    You can also just organize whatever voicings or grips of chords you already have together and learn how to have different notes on top to help have a voice leading approach... I think Christian has posted some examples.... but That is Not what I'm talking about when I say Comping. But you can still take those voicings and begin to create chord patterns with lead lines.

    Again when you just start doing this without an organization of the fretboard... it becomes complicated
    pretty quick. Better to work on both at same time.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post

    Maybe... I'll try and put together common chord patters, lead lines with voicings that I like. I think Matt and posted some examples But we could just start... .
    that’d be fantastic, especially a vid!
    White belt
    My Youtube

  37. #36
    Take the first two bars of Have You Met Miss Jones?. They are Fmaj7 to D7.

    If you like, you can play, say, 1x221x for one bar and then, say, 5x453x for the second bar.

    But, I think one benchmark for good comping is that it ought to sound good and be interesting even if there isn't a solo going on.

    So, players like to introduce some kind of melodic content into it. And, as Reg pointed out, that melodic content can be harmonized.

    Pianists do this all the time. My favorite is Ralph Sharon, who played with Tony Bennett for years. His comping was masterful in its subtle melodic content.

    So, in Miss Jones, we could think of a series of half notes for those two bars. Arbitrarily, let's take G F E Eb. Start on xxxx8x and descend to xxxx4x.

    Then, you can harmonize each note. I like this:

    x8798x Fmaj9. You could leave out the lowest note
    x5556x could be called F69 or Dm11. You could leave out the lowest note
    xx555x Am7
    xx454x D7b9

    This leads in perfectly to playing the Gm7 with a D on top as in xx333x.

    From there, you have more options. One way to think about it would be to continue the half note line and pick the notes you want. Scat sing something. I just tried it and sang D up a minor third to F. Then I put it on the guitar and played it xx336x. Then Db and C. xx232x and xx231x.

    After a moment's thought, I changed xx336x to xx876x and then played xx875x for the C7. I thought it sounded better.

    So, that's the idea. Try to get some melodic content in the harmony and change chords with the groove to create a feeling of forward motion. In fact, I called it a half note line, but I actually push every chord by playing it an eighth note before the 1 and 3.

    If you listen to Ralph Sharon check him out two bars before any bridge. He'll play what amounts to a two bar composition. Melody, rhythm, harmony, all to lead to the first chord of the bridge during two bars when Tony is not singing melody unless he's holding a note.

    How do you get there? Here's a way. There may be better ways.

    Learn the basic voicings that Chuck Wayne and, apparently, others have taught. With just those and a free pinkie, you can get almost any note on top of a chord. That's a start.

    Then, learn the notes, by name, in the chords you use, so you can always find chord tones.

    Then, every time you encounter somebody playing a sequence of chords in an interesting way, find the chords on the guitar. Try to get them in two octaves and in different fingerings, if you can. And, in all keys. Don't gloss over the recommendation for all keys.
    Eventually, you'll hear what you want in your mind and your fingers will find it in any key, but you have to build that ability and it takes time. This sort of thing is available in books too.

    Addendum: Years ago, I studied with Sid Margolis. He had been a big band player, 30s-50s. He taught "fill in progressions".

    For example, he taught that, for 8 beats of C7, instead of playing 3x231x for 8 beats, play two beats each of the following:
    x3431x x5333x x6757x x7858x. As best as I can recall. The melodic line is on the B string, C D F# G.

    He taught another one for maj7 chords and a couple of others I only dimly remember. I think the Fmaj7 one was
    1x223x 3x231x 4x343x 5x353x. To my ear, the melodic line is heard on the G string A Bb B C.

    I do recall that, when he comped, he was moving constantly no matter how long it said to stay on the same chord in the chart.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 09-26-2018 at 10:25 PM.

  38. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'Tis safer under the bridge...
    Posts
    7,141
    I rediscovered this book in my tsundoku stack: Creative Chord Substitution for Jazz Guitar: Guitar Book .

    Check out the contents page to see if it suits you, znerken.

    Hope you have Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry.

    Can you find a jazz teacher in your city in Norway?
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  39. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    112
    I learned differently since I learned to play piano first, but I'm teaching jazz guitar to my daughter using the Joe Pass way. He see's only 3 chord families; major, minor, and dominant. Everything else falls in one of those families, I'm also teaching her that math is a big part of music etc.. this along with having her learned the fretboard (I have my own system) has gotten her far along quickly.


    Cheers,
    Arnie..

  40. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East of Eden
    Posts
    5,771
    Learning chord vocabulary really needs to be in the context of tunes, or at least common progressions and cadences.

  41. #40
    I have a number of books but the one below really helped me with how to build and use chord voicings. Very clear and concise. The author (Jack Petersen) uses the term "raised" instead of "dropped" but the results are identical.


    Chords Galore: A Systematic Approach to Voicing Chords on Guitar - Kindle edition by Jack Petersen. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


    Jack Petersen (guitarist) - Wikipedia

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Find all the possible uses of each interval structure/shape you learn, practice inverting them and changing individual notes and fixate and the sounds you really like, and move them to all strings groups.

    Also, listen to Pianists.
    As a younger member here (35yrs) I don't have the vast background/knowledge that some of the more seasoned members... but I've recently "discovered" Bill Evans... it wasn't until after I listened to Portraits in Jazz and heard Blue in Green and recognized it, but without Miles parts... then did I look into him more and found out he played on Kind of Blue... The man was a genius and painted absolutely beautiful landscapes in music... a definite favourite of mine...

  43. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    northeast Penna
    Posts
    283
    Quote Originally Posted by r_o_b_s_o_n View Post
    As a younger member here (35yrs) I don't have the vast background/knowledge that some of the more seasoned members... but I've recently "discovered" Bill Evans... it wasn't until after I listened to Portraits in Jazz and heard Blue in Green and recognized it, but without Miles parts... then did I look into him more and found out he played on Kind of Blue... The man was a genius and painted absolutely beautiful landscapes in music... a definite favourite of mine...
    I'll always remember, maybe 30 years ago or so, I wanted to start to investigate jazz. So I bought my first record - Kind of Blue, because it had a sticker on it that said something like "Best selling Jazz recording" or something like that. Anyway I put it on and was instantly mesmerized by Evans. It really felt like it should have been billed as a Bill Evans album.
    Still mesmerized to this day.

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