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  1. #1

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    I have seen on this forum where many have tried to learn to play Jazz and then gave up. Many were kind enough to give their reasons before they "resigned" from the forum.

    I am still slowly progressing after 13 years of off and on applying myself. I guess the difference with me is that when I hear my favorite Jazz songs, it just makes me want to continue. I just love this music so much that I want to be able to play it at a relatively high level - Not Pat Martino or Wes Montgomery, but just be able come up with my own lines and ideas - and be able to transfer them to the guitar.

    I can hear a lot of the lines in my head. I don't want them to go to waste. I can do pretty good on Modal songs and songs with only a few changes. It gives me hope that I can improve and slowly transfer this level of expertise ( or lack of expertise, lol) to songs with more chords and changes.

    Just my thoughts.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    It definitely gets harder with each passing year. Some of this is due to having a bit less energy each year but also from increased life stress/complications/career responsibility, etc. Whenever I get frustrated with practice, I learn a tune...or I review old tunes I haven't played in a long time.

    As for the people who give up, from what I've seen it's usually the people who never really dig into the tunes to gain familiarity with the basic harmonic concepts. Tunes are essential...one has to internalize them. Then they become like "toys" that you can "play" with for running exercises (scales, arps, applying language, comping ideas), for actually playing with other people (with different feels, maybe different time signatures...though this is hard for me! and for different keys), for trying your hand at solo guitar, and even for mental exercises (transposing to different keys in your head; hearing a solo or song form, etc).

  4. #3

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    You need to love the MUSIC first and foremost ! Also you need to learn repertoire to apply the language. For me the main connection at first was trying to broaden my abilities to play more sophisticated Blues!
    As the years ha e gone on, it's more about loving great songs and understanding harmony and music better!

    If you have limited vocabulary as far as knowing scales, modes, and their relationships. This music will challenge you to understand how music especially harmony works, better.
    You should know all the notes on your fingerboard by heart, without thinking. And forget about chord and scale shapes altogether. This really is maybe the hardest part,the mindset guitarists have!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    You need to love the MUSIC first and foremost ! Also you need to learn repertoire to apply the language. For me the main connection at first was trying to broaden my abilities to play more sophisticated Blues!
    As the years ha e gone on, it's more about loving great songs and understanding harmony and music better!

    If you have limited vocabulary as far as knowing scales, modes, and their relationships. This music will challenge you to understand how music especially harmony works, better.
    You should know all the notes on your fingerboard by heart, without thinking. And forget about chord and scale shapes altogether. This really is maybe the hardest part,the mindset guitarists have!
    thats interesting
    the first paragraph IS totally me
    but the last para is not how I roll at all ....
    (we're all different , which is a good thing)
    (after five decades or so , I still don't know the notes on the fb very well)

    It's not what floats my boat

    The ear thing is what turns me on

    away from the guitar ....
    to hear something and to know functionally what's going on
    (that's a ii V to the tonic ,it's gone to the IV etc etc)
    ie. how tunes work functionally , and the emotional baggage
    that the changes carry , is very interesting to me

    On the guitar ....
    'sound-shapes' ,
    I hear a sound in my head (or something someone played)
    and I want to be able to find those shapes super-quick , instantly
    on the fingerboard
    this helps hugely with playing with other people and being spontaneous
    and I LOVE playing in a group ....

    To the op ....
    I think you've got to find out what turns you on
    (which can be a process in itself)
    and just do that , or do what you need to do , to do that

    also , learn a new tune !

  6. #5
    Shrouds have no pockets, not even for a guitar pick.

  7. #6

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    Pingu,
    Me personally - as long as I can play guitar, I will have some Jazz in my repertoire.

    I wonder if it was just a case of "all or nothing" for some that drove them to quit.. I am happy playing the few tunes that I know.

    Like Jads did in his formative years, I am slowly making the harmony more and more complex, especially with the Jazz Blues. Kind of mimicking what Richie Zellon teaches. Before I know it, I will be playing 2-5-1s like a champ. I can feel it coming, finally.

    Might I add that I am just coming to appreciate throwing in the altered scale on V7 chords. I "rediscovered" it while playing an etude. I noticed that when playing modes (natural minor on the ii, mixolydian on the V7, and ionian on the IMaj7) it suddenly dawned that I was playing the same darn notes. Once I threw in Dorian on the ii min7 and the altered scale on the V7, I could suddenly harken back to many great Jazz songs that I have heard throughout my life. It was amazing, but now I have to learn the Altered Scale shapes as my training wheels for improvisation.

    Little things like this keep me going. I was hoping maybe others could find some solace in this as well.

  8. #7

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    How can you play any instrument well, without knowing where the notes are?
    Guitar is relatively easy to do this on since only has 5 strings and 12 frets to memorize.
    Spend one minute on each string for 5 minutes a day. With in a month you'll easily have it memorized.

    The main reason is to see which notes you are playing in any given chord. And then by raising or lowering them, you can easily understand what's actually going on. Other wise you are just memorizing random shapes without context.

  9. #8

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    The money.

  10. #9

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    I enjoy it. Plain and simple. There’s nothing more to it than that. I’ll keep playing as long as that is the case.

    a strong motivation is playing with others. I’d get a lot less playing done if it was just me by myself. Making musical noises with other people is very important to me. It also help pushing me in the sense that I feel I have to rise to the occasion - showing up and not having my **** down isnt an option.

    Which ties in with another aspect I enjoy, the process of learning and improving. I’ll never be a virtuoso, that’s ok. The process of improving and applying myself is easily as important in keeping me going as any goal

  11. #10

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    Good thread - I'm interested to hear from you all.
    I get frustrated more often than not and that's partly due to my ever growing ambitions. I began to try and learn some jazz guitar to play more melodically over more sophisticated blues changes and to gain a basic understanding of chord progressions in standards that were all Greek to me when I looked at a chord chart. I have progressed at both quite satisfyingly.
    Next in my ambitions was to be able to do some improvising over standard tunes / progressions - not so much at a very high level but at least without any major train wrecks. I can about do that as well by now but I feel like I keep repeating myself all the time and that's the next frustration.
    I may put the archtop away for a day or two and pick up an acoustic to fingerpick some blues for a change but as soon as I put on one of my favourite jazz albums I'm drawn back into the rabbit hole. Needless to say part of that is the music itself but also just the sound of a great sounding / well recorded archtop guitar. Sometimes I don't feel like practicing much but I keep noodling on my Eastman just enjoying its sound and if I noodle long enough I'm sometimes back in the game then and there.
    There's so many options to play over a single chord and many many more to play through a ii-V-I for example and I'm still discovering more of them.
    Learning tunes (the head/melody and chord changes) does come quite easily to me these days so that's another way to get over periods of frustration.
    Another one is to look back at what I have acchieved so far even if it took so long. I have becom a better guitar player and musician at large by learning some jazz.
    I have never seriously thought of giving up despite all the frustration. There's no deadline to meet so I can take all the time I want and need.

  12. #11

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    It's something to keep the mind occupied and practicing jazz is a of fun compared to so many other genres by being challenging in multiple dimensions (harmony, rhythm and speed)


    But I have no ambition as such. I just do my best, which differs greatly over time ... Kids and my day time job makes jazz merely my escapism. Only play for myself and while I strive to become better every year it's not like anyone will give a fuck. But I like it and it's fun

  13. #12

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    The reason I still keep banging my head against this particular wall is simply a love for the music and a strong desire to be able to play it.

    I do remain convinced that there's a method that will work for me - I'm simply yet to find it.

    Derek

  14. #13

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    Similar to members of Deathtongue, I keep playing jazz for four reasons: chicks, chicks, chicks, and dough!

    For the Tired Few - What keeps you trying to learn to play Jazz after years of trying-deathtongue-jpg

  15. #14

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    Jazz guitar is the most fun you can have sitting down.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Jazz guitar is the most fun you can have sitting down.
    I particularly like the part where when I hit a note or twenty that are "not in the dots" the whole group doesn't stop dead in its tracks and give me the stink eye and a lecture. they just keep playing.

  17. #16

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    I might be making progress!

  18. #17

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    It's the joy of playing in a group. Being able to play, being able to solo and for the band to do something, together, that nobody knew was going to happen. Then, to have coffee afterward and listen to musicians tell stories.

    It's all my idea of a good time.

  19. #18

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    Frankly, I don't know. After 30 years of working at it, the best I can do is dead-lame chord-melody and very poor line improvisation. I can learn solos by the masters, and manage to learn virtually nothing that I can re-use in other settings in my own way. If being an accomplished player were the goal, I'd have to quit. 30 years is long enough to know I haven't got it.

    But I love the music, I love the guitars, I love the sound of them. I love the idea of maybe someday playing a half-decent bop-style solo of improvisation. But for now, I'm just tired and feeling like I can't do very much.

  20. #19

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    No other style of music interests me enough.

    It helps I was introduced to jazz in my formative teenage years, and I took a lot of guitar lessons that taught me the basic tools I needed. I probably moved beyond bar chords and pentatonic scales to maj7, m7, etc. before i even know what to do with them.

    I only got but so far, though, and I knew jazz guitar can be a worm hole of technical study I didn't really want to go down. I think it's more important to be able to play tunes musically, with rhythm and good feel, than play 16 different chord re-harms of some tired old tune.

    A few years ago I did kind of quite playing much jazz, frustrated by lack of playing opportunities and intimidated by solo playing. Unless you get good at chord-melody, jazz guitar is either plunking out chords, or single note lines, right? For a while i dabbled in acoustic styles like Travis picking, looking for both variety and a short-cut to better solo playing. Eventually I got bored with that and came back to my jazz guitar roots, and even found a teacher to fill in the gaps where I left off.

  21. #20

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    I like playing and expressing myself musically. My improvisation may be somewhat pedestrian (e.g. too pentatonic, 8 note scale driven, etc..) but within a chorus, I'm typically able to get one melody line to "sing" in the style of Billy Bauer \ Jimmy Raney, and that makes me happy. It is all I need to play the next song, and the next one.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I love the guitars
    The joy of owning nice guitars is grossly underrated on internet forums .. Their are art and make you happy. End of story

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    The joy of owning nice guitars is grossly underrated on internet forums .. Their are art and make you happy. End of story
    I guess it depends on how one defines "nice guitars". If by looks, I feel that is overrated on internet forums.

    I could care less how a guitar looks. E.g. over 20 years ago my just married-to-wife purchased me a nice Martin. I was playing with my friend (he purchased the guitar for her since he knew what I would like), and she said how sad it was that the guitar was now so worn out looking. My friend just laughed and said something like "those are not marks of shame, but marks of love,,, that guitar sounds better today then it did when we purchased it!". (I was sold, but I'm still not sure about my wife).

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I guess it depends on how one defines "nice guitars". If by looks, I feel that is overrated on internet forums.

    Looks are a nice bonus ... but mean nothing is the guitar isn't a good build that plays well. My definition of a nice guitar is a good build. If you can get both then off course more power to you!

  25. #24

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    I recognize my own limitations, knowing that I do this because I enjoy it - the challenge of trying to learn how to do it. I am always a student of the instrument and will never master it in my own mind. I love the challenge of trying to understand this stuff - learning it because its important to me. It isn't always fun - its hard work and at my age (72) the brain cells and other relevant body parts don't work as well as they used to many days. But I keep on truckin, fully aware that I am trying to get better each day. I think that is what I am supposed to be doing. And it is what I want to do.

    For the players who haven't been at this as long as I have, my advice is to keep at it. You may never learn how to do certain things but that doesn't mean your efforts are wasted. Try not to be too hard on yourself. But that is easier said than done. Keep trying to improve all the time. But recognize that you are human - you'll get frustrated, discouraged, and maybe even angry with yourself. But don't quit - unless you truly believe that this path causes you more pain than pleasure. Thats my two cents for what it is worth.

  26. #25

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    I'm going with what's important to me...

    There once was a boy who loved dogs and guitars. He met a girl. The end.

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I guess it depends on how one defines "nice guitars". If by looks, I feel that is overrated on internet forums.

    I could care less how a guitar looks. E.g. over 20 years ago my just married-to-wife purchased me a nice Martin. I was playing with my friend (he purchased the guitar for her since he knew what I would like), and she said how sad it was that the guitar was now so worn out looking. My friend just laughed and said something like "those are not marks of shame, but marks of love,,, that guitar sounds better today then it did when we purchased it!". (I was sold, but I'm still not sure about my wife).
    In aviation there are such things as HANGER-QUEENS they look like really nice airplanes but they dont fly well. I call some guitars HANGER-QUEENS such to me are rickenbackers they look cool but sound? Not so much.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    In aviation there are such things as HANGER-QUEENS they look like really nice airplanes but they dont fly well. I call some guitars HANGER-QUEENS such to me are rickenbackers they look cool but sound? Not so much.
    I thought a "hanger queen" was a really nice plane owned by a rich guy who never flew it. It just sat there. Kinda like these really nice guitars collectors buy and then just... sit them somewhere.

  29. #28

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    Nope. Hanger queens because they spend their time in a hanger and not flying. Common Navy and airline term. Eventually you start to scavenge them and they become, well, write offs.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Nope. Hanger queens because they spend their time in a hanger and not flying. Common Navy and airline term. Eventually you start to scavenge them and they become, well, write offs.
    Ah... high maintenance low function... I dated that girl in high school.

  31. #30

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    A hangar queen (not hanger) is an aircraft that just stays in the hangar because something is always broken, or there is a major airframe or powerplant issue too expensive to repair. Old airplanes (and helicopters, which are more my specialty) are not like old guitars. They do not get more valuable with age, but the opposite. Many couldn't be sold for the cost of replacing an engine or having other major repairs done. Hangar queens just sit around and slowly disintegrate, although sometimes one gets fixed up and earns its keep.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Ah... high maintenance low function... I dated that girl in high school.
    I think we all did. And most girls dated that guy.

  33. #32

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    Yea high initial investment, high operational costs, and low ROI.
    Guess there’s one in every high school. Seemed to lighten up in college but out in the work world whoa they got expensive.

    Man in these Covid times am I glad I left the airlines biz behind years ago. How are all those pilots keeping current? And getting everyone back up to mins once it’s over. Wow. Just wow.
    Good you, I was in one helicopter in my day and that was enough for me)

  34. #33

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    Some interesting comments here, as always. For those that are frustrated though, I can't help but wonder...did they ever really sit down and LEARN THE HECK out of 20, or 10, or even 5 jazz tunes? If every tune is a harmonic and form-based minefield, yeah, it will always be frustrating. The whole jazz thing really starts making more sense and becomes less frustrating after some tune familiarity and repertoire building. I just don't think there's any way around that.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    Some interesting comments here, as always. For those that are frustrated though, I can't help but wonder...did they ever really sit down and LEARN THE HECK out of 20, or 10, or even 5 jazz tunes? If every tune is a harmonic and form-based minefield, yeah, it will always be frustrating. The whole jazz thing really starts making more sense and becomes less frustrating after some tune familiarity and repertoire building. I just don't think there's any way around that.
    I did. Still do. Something just never clicks. I've learned maybe 75-100 tunes over the last 30 years, though I can't remember all of them. Many I studied very intensively. I just always sound lame.

  36. #35

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    WHAT KEEPS YOU TRYING TO LEARN TO PLAY JAZZ AFTER YEARS OF TRYING?

    Lots of reasons, but they come down to responsibility and obligation to the bands that call me to perform with them... I have a show with a horn band in nine days.

  37. #36

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    For me it’s bloody mindedness. This I think is the most important quality for a jazz guitarist above and beyond anything else (such as musical talent.)

  38. #37

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    One of the things I like about jazz is that fact that you can walk into a jam session (or could, anyway) anywhere in the world, and there's common repertoire. You can just play anywhere you go without having to figure things out or rehearse, or have a set arrangement. You can get that to a degree with blues/R&B (which I also play), but it's never a guarantee, and often times the level of playing is frustratingly low. So just being able to do that, and be able to cut it with better players keeps me wanting to learn new tunes and play better. The music itself also has a great balance of feel and intellect, so it stimulates both head and heart, which in itself is gratifying.

    John

  39. #38

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    After 35 years of playing I think I'm starting to make some progress ...

    TBH I stopped caring about how ' good ' my playing is years ago . The joy of spontaneously creating , when the band is really swinging and inventive and you can think of ideas and play them , is it's own reward . I know of no human activity quite like it .

  40. #39

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    This may not be a popular response with teachers but a musician must start with talent. If its not present, you may still become a good functional musician but you'll never have "it." And, that's O.K. if you're happy. However, dissatisfaction is the motor to success. The problem with most musicians is that they are dissatisfied with their playing and never move on. That requires talent, not just hard work . . . period.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    This may not be a popular response with teachers but a musician must start with talent. If its not present, you may still become a good functional musician but you'll never have "it." And, that's O.K. if you're happy. However, dissatisfaction is the motor to success. The problem with most musicians is that they are dissatisfied with their playing and never move on. That requires talent, not just hard work . . . period.
    Play live . . . Marinero
    Well I don't know anything about being a "great" musician or having "it" (whatever that is), but I think I know some things about learning jazz guitar as an adult and becoming reasonably competent as a non-pro (though I still have a long way to go to my goals).

    And from that perspective, I think your comments are actually very harmful as they will deter some people from putting in the necessary WORK. You don't need "talent" to become a decent amateur player...you need to put in the work AND you need to do the extra-curricular activities like ACTIVE LISTENING TO LOTS OF JAZZ (especially tunes you know! mentally track the tune all the way through, etc), attending live gigs, and playing with other people.

    If you want to be world class, talent is probably involved. But if you just want to get pretty good as a non-pro, talent is overrated. Remember that this thread was not about becoming world-class...it was about the line between amateurs who never quite get it and therefore give up vs. those who are still working at improving.

  42. #41

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    My aim is to create music that’s got a good balance of art, originality and entertainment. It doesn’t necessarily need to be jazz (whatever that means), but the jazz community seems to be a good place to help me learn to do it. It’s more about the journey than the destination. It’s the special moments that keep me going: discovering something new, realizing that something that used to be difficult now comes easily, gaining a deeper appreciation for a piece of music or for how others perform it, sharing the sense of creativity in an ensemble, or the simple satisfaction of playing a piece of music well.

    I begin to lose interest when it begins to seem more like a business or service than a purely creative pursuit, so I don’t perform much outside of casual family or community gigs.

  43. #42

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    I could hit like on every post in the thread so far.

    I share many of your views and priorities. Like TOMMO, I especially enjoy the sound of my guitar when I plug in. For me, it is like serenading myself.

  44. #43

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    "And from that perspective, I think your comments are actually very harmful as they will deter some people from putting in the necessary WORK. CoolVinny

    Hi, C,
    This is exactly the response I did not want since it was not my intention to deter the "hobbyist," but rather to bring some reality to those who believe that if you put in enough hours on your instrument you'll be a Jazzer.
    In the Classical world, most top artist/performers have a very limited amount of students they accept for teaching. In order to study with Segovia, Bream, Yepes, for example in the past, the student had to be recommended by a renowned teacher and then audition for the maestro. Only the cream of the crop were accepted and the number one consideration was "talent" in the eyes of the teacher. And, the reason was that they wanted to work with a musician who had the ability to be exceptional and nothing less. For the rest, there are thousands of teachers who will gladly move them down the musical road ad infinitum to their real or imagined dream.
    In Jazz, there was really little difference in approach. Many top performers took a limited amount of students as their "gift" to the genre for future generations and their standards were no less demanding. For example, in another post, I mentioned Chicago saxophonist Joe Daly who took a limited amount of students in the 60's/70's. Before being accepted, you had to be recommended by a teacher and have the ability to play all major/minor scales and chords by rote. So, if he said play an Edim7 chord in two octaves and then modulate to G you could do it. If you couldn't, he asked you to leave since he felt he was wasting his time. And, if you weren't progressing as fast as he liked, you also got the boot. The end result was he only taught the top prospects in Chicago during his tenure. So, to some, this might sound brutal and the antithesis of a good teacher but, in reality, he consciously weeded out those who lacked both talent and seriousness.
    So, to return to the OP's original post, my comments are not meant to dissuade anyone from pursuing the quest for beauty in their lives and the enjoyment we have when we play a passage beautifully but rather to emphasize that if you want to choose music for a lifestyle/vocation, there are no amount of hours you can play that will get you there if you don't have talent(this ,of course, excludes popular music where 3 chord guitarists become millionaires). That's the myth debunked.
    Perhaps one last example might provide better clarity. As a young person, I played baseball from Little League through college. And, the determining factor to move upward from every level was the ability to hit the pitching. In Little League, a player could consider himself good but to move to high school baseball, he had to be able to hit a curve ball and fast ball. But, the biggest dropout point was from high school to college ball where if you couldn't hit a 90 plus mph fastball, curve and slider, you couldn't make the team. This was in the 60's/70's and today, high school pitchers are all throwing well into the nineties with a dizzying array of junk balls, to boot. In the pros, many pitchers now throw 100 mph fastballs. The point is that talent has its levels but if you expect to play in the pros, no amount of practice will enable you to hit the pitching unless you have the hand/eye co-ordination to match(talent). This is the parallel to music. Don't delude yourself to think you'll be the next Wes, Pat, or Renee if you just put in the time. You may have to accept that you only play Little League or High School ball and . . .what's wrong with that? No amount of time will create talent if there's none there.
    One last point: countless colleges and universities across the country offer Jazz Studies programs. The positive of these programs is the total immersion into music and the ability to play with others in group settings while learning the tools of the trade. However, the downside is that they are producing generations of musical robots who learn solos by "the greats" as part of their studies and never really develop their own style or improvisations but rely on past memorized riffs of other players. When you hear them play, they have the technique but no personal voice . . . and, their solos are predictable. This, for me, is not the pathway to individuality but rather group thinking . . . the antithesis of Jazz and great Classical music.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  45. #44

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    If I could afford it and my time schedule for teaching would be limited to only so and so many students you can be sure that I'd have my pick instead of taking on anybody who asks for lessons so I can generate some income...

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero

    Hi, C,

    Sounds like the usual catholic excuse for not being good yourself. It takes God given talent! .. And sure, som people are totally tone deaf and will never be good, but funnily enough most world class players put in absolutely insane amount of work into "their God given talent" .. At least in their formative years. Once you're good then your good.


    Take someone like Metheny .. Because of playing the guitar 24/7 he actually failed elementary school and was an an-alphabet until his mid 20s


    Maybe there is a limit on how good you can become but I guessing any of the "Tired" people in this thread could have become working pro's, if they put in the hours and had a bit of guidance in their youth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Don't delude yourself to think you'll be the next Wes, Pat, or Renee i


    No one here is trying to be the next Wes, Pat or Renee (whoever that is)

    On the contrary .. This is a thread of people with a deep love of jazz that can't let go despite well knowing that they probably never find the time needed to get good (or Git Gud as it is called on the internet)


    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    but rather to bring some reality to those who believe that if you put in enough hours on your instrument you'll be a Jazzer.
    C'mon ... Who are you? .. What are your credentials? .. Sound to me like you're just difficult to work with and like to put people down


    Show me the money .... What the gives you the right to be the great judge of what it takes to become a jazzer? You're just some fellow that never made it on his own and now is blaming lack of talent and maybe God for his lack of success, aren't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    One last point: countless colleges and universities across the country offer Jazz Studies programs. The positive of these programs is the total immersion into music and the ability to play with others in group settings while learning the tools of the trade. However, the downside is that they are producing generations of musical robots who learn solos by "the greats" as part of their studies and never really develop their own style or improvisations but rely on past memorized riffs of other players. When you hear them play, they have the technique but no personal voice . . . and, their solos are predictable. This, for me, is not the pathway to individuality but rather group thinking . . . the antithesis of Jazz and great Classical music.
    Jesus Christ ...

  47. #46

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    I consider the time I give myself each day to play a true gift. I have loved the music for over 45 years now and it is a great joy to pick up the instrument every day.

  48. #47

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    It doesn’t matter if you are any good or not unless you are planning to do it for a job.

    The main thing is you enjoy it.

    That said, I happen to believe for most making progress and seeing it happen is an important part of that.

    (It may surprise people here to know many actually great players have similar misgivings. Even people like Allan Holdsworth. Many pro players have quite a complex relationship with their art. It’s not like you ‘git gud’ and this all disappears.)

  49. #48

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    "It doesn’t matter if you are any good or not unless you are planning to do it for a job." Christianm77

    Hi, C,
    That's exactly my point and I'm surprised that some readers missed it. Playing an instrument does more for the soul than Badminton or Chinese Checkers. However, don't be deluded into professional aspirations and wake up broke and disillusioned when the world(including yourself) doesn't find you the "Second Coming" after 20 years of effort and struggle.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  50. #49

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    I love the music.

    I love guitars.

    I enjoy a challenge...though I have to keep the frustration part in check. If you don't enjoy the challenge or can't keep the frustration in check, there are easier genres of music you can play. That option is available. But for some reason we don't take it.

    Jazz is just such a deep thing, you're never going to get there. So enjoy the journey.

    If you take a step back and really look at the big picture, you've probably made a lot of progress. For example...

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Frankly, I don't know. After 30 years of working at it, the best I can do is dead-lame chord-melody and very poor line improvisation. I can learn solos by the masters, and manage to learn virtually nothing that I can re-use in other settings in my own way. If being an accomplished player were the goal, I'd have to quit. 30 years is long enough to know I haven't got it.
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone

    But I love the music, I love the guitars, I love the sound of them. I love the idea of maybe someday playing a half-decent bop-style solo of improvisation. But for now, I'm just tired and feeling like I can't do very much.


    Seriously Mr Stone...you have improved SO much in the last couple of years. You sound really good. I know it's hard to see when you're inside of it, but trust me, I've been watching.

    And this is probably true of many others in this thread, it's just that Lawson Stone posts a lot of videos and I'm a youtube subscriber.

    And on the rare occasions I can stop beating myself up, it's true of me too. I couldn't play this well a few years ago. I didn't understand harmony as well. It took me longer to learn a tune. My chord melodies were even worse.

    I think most of us are making progress.


  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    However, don't be deluded into professional aspirations and wake up broke and disillusioned when the world(including yourself) doesn't find you the "Second Coming" after 20 years of effort and struggle.

    It's more likely that we play to keep our minds of our professional aspirations ... A decade or is it closer to two in Government administration .. It's cool and all .. and I actually do make a difference in the world ... but sometimes you need something to take your mind of the daily bullshit

    Like me everybody else here seems at least middle aged too ... I have absolutely no idea who in this thread you're talking to?


    Cheers Marinero .. Play well!