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  1. #1

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    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Good article docbop. Thanks for sharing that. I hope it serves to encourage more people to write. One of the greatest benefits of music school was being forced to write on a regular basis. After my first piece, I thought "Hey, this feels great! What was I afraid of?"
    There are so many subtle areas of my own personal musicality that were revealed to me, that I wouldn't have come to know, recognize or develop, had I not come to see composition as a possibility.
    David

  4. #3

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    Composing is good. Good composing is very good.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #4

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    Reason no. 7: Nobody gives a @#@# about someone who only plays covers, your just background music, and our budget for paying you is anywhere from $0 to not much.

  6. #5

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    I learn a lot from composimg. Much more than from learning another standard...

    That said...balance is important for jazz players. It's communal music. You don't get to just show up with your charts and say "but I'm a writer!"
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  7. #6

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    When I was playing out, I always included originals. It never occurred to me Not to play them—after all, most albums by my favorite artists included originals, so I assumed writing originals was a regular, normal thing.

  8. #7

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    To be true there's only one reason: you should start only if cannot do anything but start it right now...

    as for the rest - there are hundreds - just got to be fair to admit this is just an excercise which helps to master musical language

    Composing is good. Good composing is very good.
    And bad is very bad.

  9. #8

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    All the others translate: the painter sketches
    A visible world to love or reject;
    Rummaging into his living, the poet fetches
    The images out that hurt and connect.
    From Life to Art by painstaking adaption
    Relying on us to cover the rift;
    Only your notes are pure contraption,
    Only your song is an absolute gift.

    Pour out your presence, O delight, cascading
    The falls of the knee and the weirs of the spine,
    Our climate of silence and doubt invading;
    You, alone, alone, O imaginary song,
    Are unable to say an existence is wrong,
    And pour out your forgiveness like a wine

    The Composer by W.H. Auden



  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post


    And bad is very bad.
    Maybe the best reason to do it. Each successive one is better, and you've got the means to become good.
    Fear of being bad is one guarantee that you'll never be good.
    David

  11. #10

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    Maybe the best reason to do it. Each successive one is better, and you've got the means to become good.
    Fear of being bad is one guarantee that you'll never be good.
    It's not the fear... just knowledge.

    Composition... people call composers Mozart, Bach, Schubert... and Hollywood score-writers... and pop-song makers... and to be fair many origianlly jazz tunes are not big deal... one word and absolutely different meaning behind

    I mean the first real reason to compose is that you do not look for these reasons and just do it before any questions...

    PS
    Except for excercise in style or theory... or deliberate imitation of style.

  12. #11

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    I started writing songs as a kid for the simple reason that I had trouble learning songs off of records.

    The first ones were crap, and so was the next bunch and the next, but gradually I got better. And even writing a bad song ain't a bad way to spend an evening. (They all seem good at the time...) Composing is how musicians tinker at the workbench...
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12
    IMO, composing is a waste of time until you have reached a certain level of understanding. I wouldn't advise beginning players to compose as a major component of their learning. If you can't play over ii v i chords and solo over basic tunes like autumn leaves, composing jazz tunes has limited value .

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    IMO, composing is a waste of time until you have reached a certain level of understanding. I wouldn't advise beginning players to compose as a major component of their learning. If you can't play over ii v i chords and solo over basic tunes like autumn leaves, composing jazz tunes has limited value .
    I agree with you in terms of composing complete tunes. I do however often tell students to compose lines with whatever we are working on and write solos, so something like go write a chorus on All The Things You Are only using arpeggios and chromatic approach notes. Worked very well for me as a student and equally well as a teacher. I think that composing is an overlooked approach in learning improvisation (or it was for me anyway)

    Great article!

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

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  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by JensL View Post
    I agree with you in terms of composing complete tunes. I do however often tell students to compose lines with whatever we are working on and write solos, so something like go write a chorus on All The Things You Are only using arpeggios and chromatic approach notes. Worked very well for me as a student and equally well as a teacher. I think that composing is an overlooked approach in learning improvisation (or it was for me anyway)

    Great article!

    Jens

    Agree on the difference in writing out a chorus and writing a tune and I found writing lines very helpful. But if I was to do things over again in music school I would focus on arranging and composing. The school I went to ended up being know for its arranging and composing program and I was tempted to take that and opted for performance. The guitarist I knew who took the arranging and composing in long run turned into great improvisers. They said they sacrificed there guitar playing for a year or two (if they went on to film scoring), but the knowledge gained in studying arranging and composing opened up there improv, comp'ing, and whole approach to music.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Agree on the difference in writing out a chorus and writing a tune and I found writing lines very helpful. But if I was to do things over again in music school I would focus on arranging and composing. The school I went to ended up being know for its arranging and composing program and I was tempted to take that and opted for performance. The guitarist I knew who took the arranging and composing in long run turned into great improvisers. They said they sacrificed there guitar playing for a year or two (if they went on to film scoring), but the knowledge gained in studying arranging and composing opened up there improv, comp'ing, and whole approach to music.
    That is of course possible, though I was referring more to using it in guitar lessons.

    For me it helped me develop more of a taste in what melodies I prefer, not only what notes I prefer on chords and in general it helps you develop a taste in melodic devices and understand why (ot at least notice that) something does not work melodically even if it is sound harmony. It also forces you to come up with new stuff and you have to play it in the lesson so it is good for reading and technique. I would write a book, but since the students have to write all the examples themselves....

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  18. #17

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    I am quite surprised about the lack of conversation and sharing around original composition and the current players on the forum. Sometimes this seems the forum seems like a 1960's jazz appreciation society?

    Someone told Bud Powell (I think it was Powell or was it Max Roach) "You don't get to hang with the throng until you can play your own song".

    Even though a beginner I would love to read and participate much more in original composition. A goal of mine for this year is to write 3 originals, I gotta do that.
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez View Post
    I am quite surprised about the lack of conversation and sharing around original composition and the current players on the forum. Sometimes this seems the forum seems like a 1960's jazz appreciation society?

    Someone told Bud Powell (I think it was Powell or was it Max Roach) "You don't get to hang with the throng until you can play your own song".

    Even though a beginner I would love to read and participate much more in original composition. A goal of mine for this year is to write 3 originals, I gotta do that.
    I don't think that quote was actually about composing?

    It is for most topics much more practical to work on standards or originals that everybody knows, and to start really checking out each others compositions would be very time consuming.

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  20. #19

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    Correct JensL, Roach said it was directed at him to find his your own voice.