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  1. #1

    Jazz Guitar Fakebook

    I've been struggling to learn jazz chords. I have a bunch of chord books, and have made slow progress playing through them and trying to apply them to jazz tunes. I also have a bunch of books of solo guitar arrangements of jazz tunes, which I've also made slow progress playing through, trying to absorb the chord grips.

    But I think I've found the best, quickest way to learn chords by playing through the Jazz Guitar Fakebook, which provides chord diagrams for many jazz standards. They're not always the best chord arrangements as far as smooth voice leading or keeping the melody note on top, but they're a fun way to learn chords and tunes at the same time.

    If there are more books like this, I'd love to hear about them. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  2. #2
    Probably not exactly what you are looking for, but I originally learned all my jazz chords from the Joe Pass Chord Book. The good thing is that all the chords are playable (no difficult stretches) and there aren’t hundreds of them. Joe was a believer in keeping things simple and that’s the philosophy of the book. In fact most of the chords I still use come from that book, even after 30 years.

    Some people dislike the book because Joe did not spell out by name what all the extensions of the chords are, he just groups them i.e. major, minor, dominant etc. But that didn’t bother me, I just went through the book, worked out the extensions and wrote out the full chord name against each chord. Which was a good way of learning them.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I originally learned all my jazz chords from the Joe Pass Chord Book.
    I have that book and agree that it's great, and I hope to eventually get much of it under my fingers. But initially for the jazz chord novice, the vast number of chords and shapes in that book can be overwhelming.

    The beauty of this fake book is that someone new to jazz chording can immediately start playing tunes and sound pretty good. It's definitely not the be-all and end-all, but it's a great way to get your fingers wet and learn a bunch of standards.

  4. #4
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    When you learn these chords and shapes, make sure you learn all the intervals in them. If you don't, you'll really regret it in the future. In the end, you'll need to be able to construct your own chords to serve your purposes.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveRoberts View Post
    I've been struggling to learn jazz chords. I have a bunch of chord books, and have made slow progress playing through them and trying to apply them to jazz tunes. I also have a bunch of books of solo guitar arrangements of jazz tunes, which I've also made slow progress playing through, trying to absorb the chord grips.

    But I think I've found the best, quickest way to learn chords by playing through the Jazz Guitar Fakebook, which provides chord diagrams for many jazz standards. They're not always the best chord arrangements as far as smooth voice leading or keeping the melody note on top, but they're a fun way to learn chords and tunes at the same time.

    If there are more books like this, I'd love to hear about them. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I think you should learn songs from a fake book and go to as many jams as you can.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    I'm wondering if part of your "struggle" is that you might be seeing all of these chords as "hand shapes to memorize" rather than in an ordered, structured way.

    Google "Fingerboard Breakthrough - Howard Morgen." It could change your life!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dickbanks View Post
    "Fingerboard Breakthrough - Howard Morgen." It could change your life!
    Thanks. I have several of Morgen’s Books, and there’s a lot of good stuff in there as in all of the method and arrangement books I have. But nothing has surpassed playing through this Fakebook for learning and applying chords to jazz standards. It’s hands-on educational and a lot of fun.

  8. #8
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    From what I can tell from the book sample on Amazon it's got most of the basic "jazz chords" you're likely to need to get going, and there are 200 tunes, fer chrissakes. Another fake book like this one isn't really necessary, you just need to apply what you're learning in that book and augment it with chords you pick up from other books you already own.

  9. #9
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    It appears that the only thing making this FB a "guitar" book is the presence of chord-grid diagrams, which basically take up a lot of space and make for a very large and cumbersome book. Once someone knows the main chords, such a book would be a little aggravating since, without the grids, tunes would take up much less space and maybe 300-350 tunes could fit into the book.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    ... chord-grid diagrams, which basically take up a lot of space and make for a very large and cumbersome book.
    I've got the Kindle version, so that's not a problem. It's definitely not the ultimate gig book, but it's a nice starter gig book for someone looking to learn chords to a lot of standards.

    And it's true that another gig book like it isn't necessary once you have the chords down from this book. But I wouldn't mind having another one in the meantime while I'm still learning these chords. Of the 200 or so tunes in this book, I might play about half of them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    When you learn these chords and shapes, make sure you learn all the intervals in them. If you don't, you'll really regret it in the future. In the end, you'll need to be able to construct your own chords to serve your purposes.
    Amen!

  12. #12
    Worth noting that you don’t need hundreds of chord shapes to comp your way through the average standard. I probably use about 20-30 most of the time. Some chords are just reductions of others, e.g. all chords with root on 6th string such as 3x443x can be reduced to very useful shell chords e.g. 3x44xx .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveRoberts View Post
    I've got the Kindle version, so that's not a problem. It's definitely not the ultimate gig book, but it's a nice starter gig book for someone looking to learn chords to a lot of standards.

    And it's true that another gig book like it isn't necessary once you have the chords down from this book. But I wouldn't mind having another one in the meantime while I'm still learning these chords. Of the 200 or so tunes in this book, I might play about half of them.
    I'm not totally knocking it--I have it! But what it doesn't really give you is the hallmark of jazz chords and comping, the oscillation on a static chord, say between a Maj7 and Maj 9 on 1 and 3; or the use of diminished chords for passing chords, the use of some voicings for chromatic root movement, etc. The shapes themselves are only about half the total picture.

    Also, the fact that the tunes often are two-pages is even harder when it's on a tablet or Kindle. When I use a lead sheet I prefer it all on one page if possible.

    But hey, obviously I bought the book too, so I can't be too down on it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  14. #14
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    Actually I think this book is a marketing move. There are lots of rock and pop guitarists who would like to move into jazz, and they know there is a lot of keyboard centered, or horn centered music out there. There is a densely encoded set of chord symbols and conventions they don't recognize simply because it's a different musical universe. So just like there are guitar-centered pop fake books, this book would come up on a search when a guitarist googled "guitar, standards, fake book" and boom. Just what they were looking for.

    So I think it has a market and a use.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Worth noting that you don’t need hundreds of chord shapes to comp your way through the average standard. I probably use about 20-30 most of the time. Some chords are just reductions of others, e.g. all chords with root on 6th string such as 3x443x can be reduced to very useful shell chords e.g. 3x44xx .
    You can do it with 6

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    You can do it with 6
    actually two should be enough.

    3x23xx
    3x24xx

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