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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Sounds like an excellent way to teach rock guitar to me. It might at least turn out players who can do something a bit more musical than the wannabe teenage shredders I hear every time I visit a guitar shop.
    Exactly, I was going to say pretty much the same thing. A rock player who can't lay down a simple blues/boogie rhythm is just a useless wanker, shredding in their bedroom and posting videos on youtube. I saw enough of that. Blues is where rock started, and thats where you should start, and you're lucky if you get a teacher like that.

    There is a guy in Russia, a rather accomplished shredder guitarist, and he said a very sensible thing. Ultimate test for rock players: can you play the rhythm part of Shoot To Thrill, an Ac/dc tune. He claimed nobody actually could from his students, who otherwise could play fancy solos. In his view, and mine too, if you can't- you're simply not good.

    So for me in jazz is the same thing, if you can't do simple 4 to the bar rhythm, sorry, you're not really a good jazz player yet.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Christianm77. Rhythm guitar is not Freddie Green circa 1938/39. It moved on.

    I _can_ play FG 30s/40s rhythm. I carefully studied it, and I love it. However, I play 50s-60s Freddie Green when I use that style (ultimately even getting an early-50s blonde Gretsch acoustic and jacking up the action). It's a gas.

    Still, I play rhythm more like Ellis or Hall than like Green--most of the time. It's a matter of what suits the occasion.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    What. A. Dick.
    lol.


    Just had to take a shot at the rhythm guitar n*zis on the internet. Tal sounds great...don't think he's even playing chords, is he?

    I like the Herb Ellis/Ray Crawford bongo trick...though I wonder if I pulled that out on a gig, would a lot of players "get" it?

  5. #54

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    Agree...the bongo thing that Ellis did a bunch in the Peterson Trio was neat, but it was a period piece for when the bongos were "of the moment." I wouldn't do that now.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Agree...the bongo thing that Ellis did a bunch in the Peterson Trio was neat, but it was a period piece for when the bongos were "of the moment." I wouldn't do that now.
    Seriously though, post Covid I really want to put together a drummerless trio. It's a goal.

  7. #56

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    I've been in a drummerless situation for a few years now...a Jim Hall/Bill Evans-type deal. It is tremendous fun.

  8. #57

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    I think it was Hep ,in another post, who remarked that the Jazz guitar, in its inception, was initially an accompaniment instrument. And, if I remember it correctly, that he could be happy fulfilling that specific role as a guitarist. This is relevant since the role of the early JG was to establish a steady rhythm that moved the music forward with the piano, bass, drums and orchestra. And, it was this essential role that served as a launching pad for guitar to later become a solo, lyrical instrument. So, I think it is fair to say that in comparison to other instruments, it came late to the melodic game. In doing so, as it evolved, it drew musicians from many different backgrounds/styles who ultimately constructed the multi-faceted face of the instrument today.
    So, when we use terms like "Jazz" and "improvisation" we must understand that they mean many things to many people and there is ,for me, no hard-set definition--although C@W/Rap/Hard Rock,for me, is not Jazz. What we must decide for ourselves is what these terms mean and to follow our instincts to fruition. If we look at JG's like Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Django,Grant Green, Bucky Pizarelli, Wes, Russell Malone, for example, we see widely varying styles/concepts of "what is Jazz guitar?" And, it is this richness in concept that makes this art form so interesting.
    The bottom line, for me, is to first become a good musician and secondly to follow your personality in developing your own sound since the worst "compliment for me would be for someone to say, "You sound just like Wes, Joe, or Kenny." Jazz is a creative art form and it should reflect the personal voice of the musician. Play live . . . Marinero

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Seriously though, post Covid I really want to put together a drummerless trio. It's a goal.
    I hope you are really talking seriously (xD) because I would love to hear you playing in a drummerless trio. I have a friend here in Brazil that has some kind of a Nat King Tribute trio and I love them.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    I think it was Hep ,in another post, who remarked that the Jazz guitar, in its inception, was initially an accompaniment instrument. And, if I remember it correctly, that he could be happy fulfilling that specific role as a guitarist. This is relevant since the role of the early JG was to establish a steady rhythm that moved the music forward with the piano, bass, drums and orchestra. And, it was this essential role that served as a launching pad for guitar to later become a solo, lyrical instrument. So, I think it is fair to say that in comparison to other instruments, it came late to the melodic game. In doing so, as it evolved, it drew musicians from many different backgrounds/styles who ultimately constructed the multi-faceted face of the instrument today.
    So, when we use terms like "Jazz" and "improvisation" we must understand that they mean many things to many people and there is ,for me, no hard-set definition--although C@W/Rap/Hard Rock,for me, is not Jazz. What we must decide for ourselves is what these terms mean and to follow our instincts to fruition. If we look at JG's like Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Django,Grant Green, Bucky Pizarelli, Wes, Russell Malone, for example, we see widely varying styles/concepts of "what is Jazz guitar?" And, it is this richness in concept that makes this art form so interesting.
    The bottom line, for me, is to first become a good musician and secondly to follow your personality in developing your own sound since the worst "compliment for me would be for someone to say, "You sound just like Wes, Joe, or Kenny." Jazz is a creative art form and it should reflect the personal voice of the musician. Play live . . . Marinero
    That is correct, that's how I view it. My concept is rhythm function first, solo is just a icing on the cake. I love rhythm guitar in all styles and forms, and I'm pretty natural in adapting and locking in with the rhythm section. Or being the rhythm section.

    Last gig I did with the full band, we played a Van Halen song, followed by a Frank Sinatra song. No problem.

  11. #60

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    I recently read FG's biography by one of his sons, and the consensus from everyone involved, including one of the the posters here, djg, is that you've got to have an acoustic archtop that is set up in such a way, that is impossible to take a solo on it.

    If you really want to sound like FG, the action has to be so high, the gauge of strings have to be so thick, and the guitar you play has to project so loud acoustically, that you can only use it for sounding like FG.

    He used mammoth guitars like Strombergs and his Gretsch El Dorado, where the action on the low E string was one half inch high!
    Then you have to master the art of improvised jazz counterpoint with the bass, while at the same time developing the ability to all but muffle notes on any string but the D string, the string you're playing improvised jazz counterpoint with the bass on.

    I made the mistake of bringing my '35 D'A to a big band rehearsal without an amp, but I was just pissing in the rain. I had the action too low, I used strings that were too light gauge, and the guitar was only a 16" FG used an 18".

  12. #61
    FG style comping is obviously quite nuanced, so perhaps, as the OP, I should have just replaced "FG style comping" with "4 to the bar" comping. My point was just to share a simple observation that sometimes even experienced jazz guitarists struggle to make "4 to the bar" sound musical. It's the strike, the clean grab, the right length, the right release / dampening, the right tone, the right swing feel etc. Such a basic, fundamental skill, right?

    If I was a a band leader auditioning guitar players for bop or straight ahead type band, I probably wouldn't hire the guy that didn't have good, solid basic time feel underpinning their complex time. When I hear a guy sounding wishy washy with "blurry" time, I'm betting he would probably fail the 4 to the bar test.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Our own Jonathan Stout refers to himself as a pre-bebop guitarist. He can swing 'the old fasioned way.' He's also aware of the difference between the swing of Freddie Green and that of, say, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis (and so on). His blog is a great resource.

    Here he is with a block chord version of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." (Not the same thing but you'll be glad you listened.)

    Definitely an Allan Reuss fan. I hear quite a bit of difference between contemporaries such as George Van Eps, Freddie Green, Dick McDonough and Reuss let alone between that group and players of the younger generation like Barney and Herb.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    He is absolutely amazing on that cut. A tragedy he didn't live longer.
    Yeah, that solo's like Tristano's "Line Up" as played by Bud Powell. A great loss.

  15. #64

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    Remember, there are players who _can_ play like Green. However, contemporary swing bands and orchestras don't sound like the ones that played in the 30s and 40s. There has been an evolution of both the music and--in particular--the demand by young and old listeners for the music.

    I think that players like Hep to the Jive represent the best of what contemporary rhythm players are doing with acoustic and amplified acoustic archtop playing. It really glues together the _contemporary_ homage to swing that is being presented, these days.

    As has already been mentioned, even Freddie Green didn't (in the 50s and subsequently) play quite what he was doing in the earlier era--the music had moved on and his employer, the Count Basie organization, was presenting music differently than it had.

  16. #65

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    when I first started studying with Rodney Jones in the early 2000s, literally the first thing he wanted to hear was how I played four to the bar rhythm guitar. His opinion was that if a student couldn't do that, they should work on it until they could.

    Another cat I haven't seen mentioned who is a GREAT 4 to the bar player is Martijn Van Iterson.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    FG style comping is obviously quite nuanced, so perhaps, as the OP, I should have just replaced "FG style comping" with "4 to the bar" comping. My point was just to share a simple observation that sometimes even experienced jazz guitarists struggle to make "4 to the bar" sound musical. It's the strike, the clean grab, the right length, the right release / dampening, the right tone, the right swing feel etc. Such a basic, fundamental skill, right?

    If I was a a band leader auditioning guitar players for bop or straight ahead type band, I probably wouldn't hire the guy that didn't have good, solid basic time feel underpinning their complex time. When I hear a guy sounding wishy washy with "blurry" time, I'm betting he would probably fail the 4 to the bar test.
    I think that’s true.

    here’s Ben Monder doing it:


    Mind you his teacher was Chuck Wayne who was a dab hand

  18. #67

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    The most common mistake people make often is to think they have to make 2 and 4 louder rather than a change of accent long-short-long-short.

  19. #68

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    Or all 4 the same length with a short, but fat articulation

  20. #69

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    I think there's real value in it, personally. I've been using a more Barry Galbraith/Ranger Doug kind of rhythm for the last few years, and it's become one of the various ways I study a tune--simply playing rhythm and singing lines.

  21. #70

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    After playing in big bands for 15+ years, the concensus among the other players and band directors was that most guitarists can't play swing rhythm guitar as well as they should, and bands are content without a guitarist, rather than one who can't swing right, or use the proper type of chords. It always made me feel special that I got respect for getting it right.

    JLCO curated this concert of authentic 30's era big band swing music, and it's a masterclass in how to play the genre. They even had James Chrillo play a big acoustic with a mic in front of it, which allowed him to approach it even more authentically than someone using electric guitar.

    Look, listen, and learn.


  22. #71

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    Playing swing rhythm guitar has been my main Gig for quite a while, and the fact that mit people don't get it right opened up a lot of doors for me, i got to play with some Bands, that i otherwise wouldn't have had the Chance to play with.

    I'll throw in some thoughts:

    The FG-comping thing is about Volume in a lot of ways, which is not a problem with an electric. So in order to achieve a convincing Sound i believe the attitude should always be a bit of a fight for being heard. That certainly can be done on an electric, but I gotta say, that i only really understood that stuff after playing acoustic for quite a while. You need to understand what it feels like not being able to just turn up the Volume to get it right.

    The other thing which hasn't been mentioned yet: Swing has always been music for dancing. There is something about playing for dancers, which (at least in my case) can only be unserstood in doing so. I feel like the slightest changes in your articulation can have a huge impact on how it feels to dance to the music, and therefore if the tune is taking off, or not.

    For me, besides Listening to the recordings, the best Ressource on this style of comping has been this Diploma thesis about the role of the guitar in that basie Band, which is linked on the freddie Green Website. There's explained in many Details how FG approached his comping style, and also how it changed over the years.

    Oh and lastly:
    I hate it when people tell you you can't play unamplified in a modern big band, because they are louder. I strongly encourage everyone to try it though because more often then not it does work out.

    Modern Bigband with a modern drumkit and me with a cheap plywood Höfner acoustic:
    In A Mellow Tone by Swingcat - Listen to music

    Paul

  23. #72

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    Hey Webby that sounds great! Excellent big band, they even have dynamics. I'm surprised by how loud the guitar is in the mix - was the mic next to it?

    The thing to remember whether acoustic or amplified is that the rhythm guitar isn't always needed to be heard, especially in loud tutti passages with big drums. It's nice when it pokes its head out in the quiet sections and sits low in the mix at other times and basically act as a nice stock or roux for all the other elements in the broth.

    Also acoustic band shells are AMAZING. We have a bandstand close to where I live with an old school band shell and it's amazing how everything balances.... The miking in a big band should just be a replacement for that IMO... subtle sound reinforcement, nothing more.

    (OTOH people sometimes expect me to play solos, so a volume pedal is handy....)

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Hey Webby that sounds great! Excellent big band, they even have dynamics. I'm surprised by how loud the guitar is in the mix - was the mic next to it?
    Thanks a lot!
    Actually no, just a Zoom-Recorder in Front of the Band (Center)
    That is one of those Bands that certainly wouldn't hire me if it wasn't for the lack of rhythm guitarists.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The thing to remember whether acoustic or amplified is that the rhythm guitar isn't always needed to be heard, especially in loud tutti passages with big drums. It's nice when it pokes its head out in the quiet sections and sits low in the mix at other times and basically act as a nice stock or roux for all the other elements in the broth.

    Also acoustic band shells are AMAZING. We have a bandstand close to where I live with an old school band shell and it's amazing how everything balances.... The miking in a big band should just be a replacement for that IMO... subtle sound reinforcement, nothing more.

    (OTOH people sometimes expect me to play solos, so a volume pedal is handy....)
    100 times yes!!!
    I strongly believe that at least for Big Bands less is more concerning amplicication!

    Paul

  25. #74

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    Well you do a bang up job! I'm sure they're glad to have you.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The most common mistake people make often is to think they have to make 2 and 4 louder rather than a change of accent long-short-long-short.
    Wouldn’t that make it charleston?

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Sounds like an excellent way to teach rock guitar to me. It might at least turn out players who can do something a bit more musical than the wannabe teenage shredders I hear every time I visit a guitar shop.
    Having studied the music of Son House, as well as Rev Gary Davis, MJH, and several other names in that genre for at least 6 years with the help of two master players, one of which recorded on Kicking Mule... I have come to the conclusion that, paradoxically, while this music is a stepping stone to rock, learning it has very little to do with learning modern rock.

    I will grant, however, that the skills could be applied to creating some new genre.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Wouldn’t that make it charleston?
    No, Charleston is 1 and 2+

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Wouldn’t that make it charleston?
    No, Charleston is 1 and 2+


  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Having studied the music of Son House, as well as Rev Gary Davis, MJH, and several other names in that genre for at least 6 years with the help of two master players, one of which recorded on Kicking Mule... I have come to the conclusion that, paradoxically, while this music is a stepping stone to rock, learning it has very little to do with learning modern rock.

    I will grant, however, that the skills could be applied to creating some new genre.
    Sounds like solid rhythm is not your thing.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    modern rock.
    I have to confess this distinction doesn’t mean very much to me.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Sounds like solid rhythm is not your thing.
    Not sure if I understand your reasoning there, this music is all about solid rhythm.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I have to confess this distinction doesn’t mean very much to me.
    Dunno either, but there sure is a difference between Elvis Presley and ACDC?

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Dunno either, but there sure is a difference between Elvis Presley and ACDC?
    AC/DC is modern rock? Ok. They are all about basic blues and rocknroll rhythm. If you dont see connection between early blues/rocknroll and AC/DC than you really dont understand how it works. I dont know about Presley, but say Chuck Berry, and no, there is no difference between him and AC/DC.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    AC/DC is modern rock? Ok. They are all about basic blues and rocknroll rhythm. If you dont see connection between early blues/rocknroll and AC/DC than you really dont understand how it works. I dont know about Presley, but say Chuck Berry, and no, there is no difference between him and AC/DC.
    I didn't say I don't see connection, and this kind of discussion is kind of fruitless.

  36. #85

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    Freddie Green, big-band, and Django-style players use the four-in-a-bar comp. It is stylistic so belongs to certain genres within jazz. It might sound a bit strange to break out into the style in a modern jazz setting where band members expect a looser, more minimal accompaniment. Having said that the style can be adapted to many situations. For example, if you watch John Pisano he plays with a kind of broken-up four-in-a-bar. If you watch Martin Taylor in a duo situation, he comps four-in-a-bar block chords—even over bebop—but keeps his bass moving. You're right in that the style takes time to master. It primarily serves to drives the rhythm. Modern jazz comping also requires time to master, but doesn't drive the rhythm. It outlines harmony offering alternative interpretations, however, confusion sometimes arises where rhythm is concerned. Improvising a lot rhythmically when comping can be a distraction when the accompanist is trying to stand out. Personally, I like four-in-a-bar, or a less complex rhythmical comping with clear sign-posting. Nothing wrong with hitting that chord on the first beat of the bar where it matters IMO.

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    Freddie Green, big-band, and Django-style players use the four-in-a-bar comp. It is stylistic so belongs to certain genres within jazz. It might sound a bit strange to break out into the style in a modern jazz setting where band members expect a looser, more minimal accompaniment. Having said that the style can be adapted to many situations. For example, if you watch John Pisano he plays with a kind of broken-up four-in-a-bar. If you watch Martin Taylor in a duo situation, he comps four-in-a-bar block chords—even over bebop—but keeps his bass moving. You're right in that the style takes time to master. It primarily serves to drives the rhythm. Modern jazz comping also requires time to master, but doesn't drive the rhythm. It outlines harmony offering alternative interpretations, however, confusion sometimes arises where rhythm is concerned. Improvising a lot rhythmically when comping can be a distraction when the accompanist is trying to stand out. Personally, I like four-in-a-bar, or a less complex rhythmical comping with clear sign-posting. Nothing wrong with hitting that chord on the first beat of the bar where it matters IMO.
    See above.

  38. #87

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    Why can't "modern" compers play like Freddie Green?

    Just because they are not Freddie Green

  39. #88

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    Is this playing like FG?




    Inviato dal mio iPad utilizzando Tapatalk

  40. #89

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    Why can't "modern" compers play like Freddie Green?


    Sign of the times. I read that as 'Why don't modern computers play like Freddie Green?'

    Sorry, carry on... :-)

  41. #90

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    Seems like a good time to put a link to that FG site again. Lots of great info about the style (and associated comping styles) here:

    A Comparative Study of Rhythm Guitar Styles

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by user404
    Is this playing like FG?




    Inviato dal mio iPad utilizzando Tapatalk
    Not in the least. It is closer to La Pompe. FG played nearly even quarter notes, not that heavily accented rhythm.

  43. #92

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    Some good FG here, you can hear him quite clearly at about 1:30, also at 5:20.


  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by user404
    Is this playing like FG?




    Inviato dal mio iPad utilizzando Tapatalk
    No, but you might get into a polka band with this.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    Not in the least. It is closer to La Pompe. FG played nearly even quarter notes, not that heavily accented rhythm.
    yes i know, i'm not a good "swing rhythm" player, I'm just a rock player and I started studying jazz from 1 year.

    I think that many "modern" player wants to focus on which scale to use over a chords but not intereseted about rythm.

    something like "Malcolm young vs Angus" (someone talks about acdc)

    So... How to improve my rhythm FG swing style? any books/video/method?
    thanks

  46. #95

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    User404, check out the Matt Munistieri course on Peghead Nation website on early jazz rhythm guitar.

  47. #96

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    Great suggestion! I was struggling with a book to recommend tbh.

    You need to hear and feel it, so video is a much better idea than books. And Matt is one of my favourite rhythm players, sure for many others too.

  48. #97

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    Charlie Christian was a superb four to the bar rhythm player. Something overlooked about his playing I think.






    Also Oscar Moore was a master of the art too!


  49. #98

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    " Only if you are a guitarist on a swing scene, especially playing for dancers, you are good at it (comping)."
    Hep To The Jive

    Hi, H,
    I don't know how I missed this line the first time through but this is, for me, the entire nut in the shell. And, your comment applies to all dance music. When I was playing full time--middle 60's through early 80's, the bands that got booked all the time were the ones who could swing because people who went to "shows" wanted to dance to the music. Music wasn't a parlor sport. You got your best threads out of the closet, a few dabs of Brylcreem in your hair, a splash of English leather in appropriate places, and your most comfortable shoes. And, you went for the music and to dance(did I mention ladies?). And, the bands that were the most popular were the best ones for dancing. Implicit in this, of course, was the bands ability to "swing" whether it was R@R, R@B, Funk, Big Band, etc. And, that meant that the *rhythm guitarist had to keep the beat going along with the drummer and the bass. This is no different in Jazz although the vagaries of rhythm are more interesting and complex.
    So, when popular music and Jazz(swing/big band) transitioned from a dance form to a parlor art, rhythm took a dramatic shift into something less visceral but more cerebral. . . and, for me, this was the coup d'etat for the popularity of Jazz among the masses. Play live . . . Marinero


    *(see above) When I first started forming bands in the 60's, guitarists were divided into two groups: rhythm and lead guitarist--both having a defined function within the group. I wonder if groups still use these terms today? M

  50. #99

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    and now we have a very popular vintage scene with that same music (old school jazz, rock and roll and so on) repackaged for young people.

  51. #100

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    Here's some true Old School Chicago style dance. Hope you enjoy! Play live . . . Marinero