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  1. #1
    Is Jody Fisher´s Complete Jazz Guitar method worth studying it?, any experiences?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I did not find the first book helpful at all.

    I got much more out of Charlton Johnson's book, and Jimmy Bruno's online course.

  4. #3

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    Gosh, I really don't want to rip this Jazz Method, or anyone else's but I think the song etudes on the CD helped kill my will to stay with the course. They did not sound like any Jazz I had heard.

    But the series is a good introduction and reference for playing Jazz, and gets pretty in depth as the series goes on. I would still buy the whole set of books and DVD all over again. There is a lot of chord scale theory, arpeggios, soloing strategies, and all things Jazz - but the songs really turned me off because they did not sound like any Jazz I wanted to play.

    Conversely, the DVD that is available with this set accomplished what I needed and that was not only instruction but also inspiration. Jody Fisher is an outstanding instructor. The DVD was basically an introduction into Jazz improvisation and did not get as deep as the rest of the course gets.

    I would bet my house that if the songs had been more like my idea of what Jazz is, I would have absolutely loved it and would have been more motivated to learn and apply the ideas using the etudes. But that could be my own prejudices damning me.

    I will end by saying there are a lot of great scale patterns, charts, and diagrams in this series. I hope to go back and incorporate some of ones that I liked.


    ***The DVD that accompanies one of the books was very valuable to me, however! The music was great and it opened the door to my initial understanding of Jazz Improvisation.***
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 01-01-2014 at 12:00 PM. Reason: added text

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    There's always...yknow...Real songs...

  6. #5

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    My experience was similar to AlsoRan's. I made it about halfway through the intermediate book before I decided to abandon the series.

    Now I'm mainly sticking to Mr. B's approach and I'm much happier (if not a better jazz player ).

  7. #6

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    In support of Mr Fisher's work I would have to say that in terms of breadth and depth, it really is close to a 'complete' schooling on jazz concepts. Sure, you may not wish to play the etudes on the bandstand but I think Jody himself says to build your repertoire in tandem.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Foley
    In support of Mr Fisher's work I would have to say that in terms of breadth and depth, it really is close to a 'complete' schooling on jazz concepts. Sure, you may not wish to play the etudes on the bandstand but I think Jody himself says to build your repertoire in tandem.
    Stu,
    I edited my previous post to clarify my opinion so as to not do the author, Jody Fisher, a disservice.

    His method showed me that Jazz was actually doable.

    (We all have to be careful when we give a less than 100% positive review because the product may not work for you because of your limitations, while some sharp-minded soul could take the same material and fly. So consider the source, my friends.)

    In my opinion, all "comprehensive" Jazz methods suffer from the same thing in that they are trying to do what may be impossible and that's summarize Jazz. I have not found one yet that fully worked for me. But getting instructional material that concentrates on one topic, such as the Melodic Minor scale, because the best solos use a combination of many different soloing techniques INMO.

    For me, his method as about as complete as they come, but when I first tried it as someone new to Jazz and new to guitar (I had been playing for around a year), and without a whole lot of practice time, I was not sharp enough to be able to go "all the way" with it.

    I do recommend buying the Book 1 set with the DVD and at least giving it a try. There is a wealth of information for the beginner. Then, if it works for you, you can move on to the next books which give various Jazz Chord progression lessons, use of altered tones, a lot of arpeggio instruction, strategies for soloing over altered chords, and various scales such as the whole tone scale, and even great guidance on using chord melody.

    (FYI, I am finding that DVD instruction combined with study material has been working the best for me, since I can't really schedule in weekly instruction from a Jazz Instructor)

  9. #8

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    I think any beginner who picked up the Leavitt Modern Method series to practice reading and position playing and the Fisher Complete series to work on improv would end up pretty decent by the time they got through it.

    He does a really good job of laying out the thought-process of playing (something completely lacking in Leavitt's work) and gives you some really useable techniques, licks and tricks.

    I agree with other posters that the backing tracks are...hilarious. The one thing to keep in mind is that all of the etudes are built on common jazz chord progressions, so even though the tracks themselves are goofy all the skills are immediately transferable to playing over Aebersold stuff.

  10. #9

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    Spot on Mr AlsoRan, I completely agree. I think that maybe we have all been guilty of thinking that the next method that comes out is going to make us sound great within weeks but (I have no pretension of being a great player btw) I view the situation kind of differently now in that perhaps we should get the standard playing situations down, probably well rehearsed, and then practice these concepts in the background and eventually they will creep into our playing, allowing us to play a little looser, as it were.

    But I'm with you on the idea of learning, for example, all triadic possibilities, on all strings, in all inversions, a player wondering when it's all going to come together. It can be a bit dry.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Foley
    But I'm with you on the idea of learning, for example, all triadic possibilities, on all strings, in all inversions, a player wondering when it's all going to come together. It can be a bit dry.

    The funny thing is that I always find myself going back to one of the books in this series to fill in gaps that other methods might have, as our honorable colleague Mr. ECJ states above.

    For instance, Garrison Fewell has a book that gives a great approach to soloing using triads stacked on top of one another. But the graphics in the Jody Fisher book 1 gives you a good picture of the shapes for all triads and their inversions, which Garrison's book lacks (maybe on purpose?).

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    [snip]
    Garrison Fewell has a book that gives a great approach to soloing using triads stacked on top of one another. But the graphics in the Jody Fisher book 1 gives you a good picture of the shapes for all triads and their inversions, which Garrison's book lacks (maybe on purpose?).
    Aye, they must be in collusion to sell more books!!

  13. #12

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    Hi AlsoRan, yeah I have Garrison's melodic approach book as well. A way of thinking that produces great results. To the op's original question, I would say that Fisher's material is a solid base and definitely worthy of perseverance if one considers it as training material and gets the standard chord progs down independently. This will make you laugh, I've just ordered Mimi Fox's and Fareed Haque's stuff from truefire, and my missus just bought me a dozen books for Christmas. Information overload I think.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jckoto3
    Aye, they must be in collusion to sell more books!!
    Ha! Ha!

    No, I just meant that maybe Garrison felt leaving out chord diagrams and such forced the student to deal more directly with the guitar fretboard. You know some Jazz teachers want you working things out on the guitar, not through the "crutch" of a diagram.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Foley
    This will make you laugh, I've just ordered Mimi Fox's and Fareed Haque's stuff from truefire, and my missus just bought me a dozen books for Christmas. Information overload I think.
    If I may, let me add that the Fareed Haque course has been a Godsend for me. I am comping with smaller chords shapes now, and much more freely, almost talking through the guitar as I throw in the various color tones. Mind you I am just comping over the Blues in G progression but it just felt so free for me.

    And the improvisation one from Fareed (Bebop Survival) is paying great dividends. So much less to think about now. These will be my "go to" approaches to the guitar and I will add the theory from other sources in to the mix like adding ingredients into a cake mix.

    I am thrilled about discovering it and it came at a great time in my guitar journey.

    (And I have got those Jody Fisher books to help me name and understand the mechanics of what I am doing using Faree'ds courses)

  16. #15

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    Fareed's comping course looks great. I haven't got into it yet, but looks highly practical. I ordered Don Mock's masterclass DVD yesterday. Couldn't resist it. However this means, sadly, that I haven't got time to play guitar anymore, because I'm too busy reading about it

  17. #16

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    I'm too busy reading posts here to play guitar

  18. #17

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    The Jody Fisher books have some good stuff in them and like most books out there, they will probably add to your understanding of jazz guitar. Those books were published a while ago and I think there are a lot more helpful resources available today. I remember one of Jody's first websites (back in the day) and being floored with the amount of material on them. He filled a gap for sure! Get the books if you are a book person, and check out all the other great stuff out there.

  19. #18

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    From the four books, the 'Intermediate' is the best, really packed with exercises and concepts that if you play the guitar already,know some scales and chords and want to start playing jazz it can be good at teaching you the basics of jazz..Any book you stick at it and are disciplined in practice will make you play better by adding more weapons in you knowledge arsenal.As with any other book or method:Work with real songs the concepts you just learn and listen... a lot!

    This are the concepts that I think helped me the most from each book.

    Beginner - I got it just to complete the series,I would say its Chord Scales and theory
    Intermediate - ii-V-I,Arpeggios,spelling the changes and the use of altered Chords
    Mastering Improvisation - The Altered Clusters
    Mastering Chord/Melody - How to use different voicings and subs in arrangements.

    They are the most comercial in bookstores and music shops. I needed some 'jazzy chords' to play in a gig I landed so I got 'Mastering Chord/Melody' thinking..well this is what I'm looking for,some jazz chords AND melodies..I didn't know the right term of 'soling with chords' lol.Being the last from the series the book didn't help me in my level I was back then,so I end up using it as a Jazz chord dictionary and some references.

    Coming from rock and latin,the blues led me to jazz territory few years after getting the Chord/Melody book in the bookshelf getting dust I give a try at the Intermediate Book and worked thru it,I got the rest later on one by one just to have them for later reference among other methods in my shelf.
    Last edited by AlteredDave; 01-03-2014 at 09:34 PM.

  20. #19

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    I have it. It is on my "to do" list. I have read it. That sounds weird. I mean, compared to other methods I have seen and used, it is very descriptive and informative in it's text and graphics. I can't speak to the media materials. Haven't looked or listened.

  21. #20

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    Are these the same series of books he published in the mid 1990's?


    If they are, I can't remember the details, but I enjoyed them at the time, especially the Improv sections.

  22. #21

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm thinking about buying the Jody Fisher method but I have a couple of questions: should I get the whole thing or just some books? The whole method is cheaper (30€, including audio downloads) than buying each book (10€ each, without audio). I'm not sure about this because a 320 pages doesn't work really well on a music stand, should I bother at all?
    Second question is about the DVD, the first book alone in his audio + video downloads format is 38€ on Amazon, that is quite a jump. Is it worth it?
    Side note: I'm a beginner currently going through the first Leavitt book and having fun with "Blues You Can Use" by John Ganapes. I'm trying to come up with a decent learning plan.