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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Thank you for your reply. In order to attempt to answer your questions: ...
    Whatever, but to recapitulate, in your OP learning Jazz was not a goal, it was what you thought of as being possible vehicle to reach certain goals. I tried to point out that your choice of vehicle might be wrong, and may bring you to where you do not want to be. That's all. You are warned, can not say you did not know. All the best and good luck with all the pathetic advice you will get from benevolent cohorts.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    If you want to make efficient use of your time and have it become fun, leave out the shredding and pedal board stuff. It's not helping you, it's reinforcing old habits (and making you feel like jazz is too hard- it's not!).

    Listen to more jazz wherever you can, build up a collection. This will help you get the feel and vocabulary- without that all the theory is just letters and numbers on a page.

  4. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    Whatever, but to recapitulate, in your OP learning Jazz was not a goal, it was what you thought of as being possible vehicle to reach certain goals. I tried to point out that your choice of vehicle might be wrong, and may bring you to where you do not want to be. That's all. You are warned, can not say you did not know. All the best and good luck with all the pathetic advice you will get from benevolent cohorts.
    Ok. That’s cool. I take your point. But, specifically, what other musical (or non-musical) vehicles are you referring too? I’m perfectly willing to listen to any suggestions you or anyone else may have.

  5. #29

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    Playing jazz guitar at a competent level (where you can hang with a group) takes a long time. I've been at it five years--I'm a lot better than when I started, but I wouldn't say I can really hang too well. I practice a fair amount for a hobbyist, say 10 hours a week. (I came from a rock bass background.)

    When I started, I underestimated how much work is involved. Now it's too late to stop!

  6. #30

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    What you're already doing sounds like an absolutely perfect practice regimen.

    Really, the only negative seems to be that it isn't working for you -- at all.

    Well, there's always a minor sticking point. <g>

    I'd suggest some serious simplification.

    1. Pick one simple tune you like. Feel free to look at the chart as much as you need to.

    2. Play the chords as if you were comping for a soloist (I'm assuming that's something you can do, but if not, I can post about it upon request).

    3. Scat sing a solo over the first 4 or 8 bars. Do this repeatedly until you have sung a line you like.

    4. Figure out how to play it on guitar.

    5. Work through the rest of the tune the same way.

    That's it. That's jazz.

    The next thing to work on is being able to do the entire process fast enough to play in a group.

    Once you can do that, you're done -- at least until you get bored with what you can scat sing. At that point, you may want to build your musical imagination. The traditional way is to copy stuff from recordings. A lot of terrific musicians do this as a kind of project-based activity. That is, writing down, in standard notation, entire solos, and learning to play them with the exact articulation of the original.

    But, some musicians will admit that they never do this. They just listen to music they like and absorb whatever sinks in. Others will figure out the occasional interesting fragment.

    And, whichever way you do it, there's a great player who did it your way, and other great players who did something different.

    At the risk of belaboring the point, I think there are two basic skills.

    One is to be able to imagine a good line. People build this ability with listening and/or transcribing.

    The other is to be able to play, instantly, whatever you imagine. This, I think, comes mainly by spending a lot of time with the guitar in your hands playing all kinds of stuff.

    The underpinning of all of it is a well trained ear. Formal ear training can help.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ
    If you want to make efficient use of your time and have it become fun, leave out the shredding and pedal board stuff. It's not helping you, it's reinforcing old habits (and making you feel like jazz is too hard- it's not!).
    I say keep the pedalboard!



  8. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk
    they think of studying jazz as some sort of "boot camp" for improvising, rather than being motivated and inspired by the music itself. At some point, if you don't love the music you are playing, how can you sustain the effort it takes to get decent at it?
    Ok, yeah, there is something to this. I have to take ownership of that. I love some Jazz, but certainly not all Jazz. Hard Bop and Bebop do indeed sound very “old-timely” to me for lack of a better word. I love Kinda Blue, A Love Supreme, electric Miles, Cool Jazz, Modal Jazz, and Fusion. I love modern players like Metheney and Rosenwinkle. And I’m definitely a solid-body player. I just plain do not like the sound of a Hollowbody box.

    And yeah, in a lot of ways I do see Jazz as “improv boot camp”. So in that respect, I may always be on the outside looking in. That stings a bit as it could be my motivation is not “pure”. I guess there are worse things to try commit to though?

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Ok, yeah, there is something to this. I have to take ownership of that. I love some Jazz, but certainly not all Jazz. Hard Bop and Bebop do indeed sound very “old-timely” to me for lack of a better word. I love Kinda Blue, A Love Supreme, electric Miles, Cool Jazz, Modal Jazz, and Fusion. I love modern players like Metheney and Rosenwinkle. And I’m definitely a solid-body player. I just plain do not like the sound of a Hollowbody box.
    Before jumping ship, make sure to check out some of the badass jazz guitar players who travel down some of the smaller jazz tributaries, including eg. Marc Ducret, Joe Morris, David Torn, Miles Okazaki, Liberty Ellman, Jeff Parker, Mary Halvorsen, Nels Cline, Isaah Sharkey, etc.

  10. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk
    Before jumping ship, make sure to check out some of the badass jazz guitar players who travel down some of the smaller jazz tributaries, including eg. Marc Ducret, Joe Morris, David Torn, Miles Okazaki, Liberty Ellman, Jeff Parker, Mary Halvorsen, Nels Cline, Isaah Sharkey, etc.
    I love Torn. He’s my guy. I have a ton of his stuff. I’ve liked the Nils Cline I’ve heard but I don’t have any of his stuff. I’m not as familiar with some of the others but I’ll certainly check them out.

    I also recently discovered Marc Ribot. Not sure how I missed him. I’m not sure if he’s straight Jazz or not, but I love his playing.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Ok. That’s cool. I take your point. But, specifically, what other musical (or non-musical) vehicles are you referring too? I’m perfectly willing to listen to any suggestions you or anyone else may have.
    So, if you read my first post, I already said what I thought you need not do and what I think you could do instead, in regard to proposed goals.

    In the meantime we learned more details, like you have degree in music, are listening to quite a few modern players, you are not stranger to jazz lingo ... I won't further comment on those, but I already see you will have fine company on this forum.
    Once more, good luck.

    Of course, by all means, search my links from below signature, you might get some ideas about what to do and what not to do.
    Also, by all means, search pkirk's links, where you find them, he is great player.

  12. #36

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    Is your internet connection good enough to get on Facebook and watch video?

    Find and join the Matt Warnock 'Play Jazz Guitar' group - it would be perfect for you. Great community, pitched at complete beginners to intermediate jazz players.

    Matt tackles a different standard each month. Takes the whole thing apart, learning the melody, the form of the piece, understanding of how the harmony is constructed, comping, a little chord melody and then soloing. He does a live workshop on each part which you can watch back later. Everyone posts up their own attempts at each task and provides feedback and advice.

    Sounds like exactly what you need.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Jazz and Improv is such an intellectual pursuit
    It doesn't have to be. On a basic level it's not intellectual at all. That's what the books and some 'teachers' would have you believe. Or they give that impression because of the way they talk.

    It's just music, only with icing on it. Instead of C, change a note, learn the shape, and play CM7. Instant jazz.

    What the others have said is right, you're trying to do too much at once and get there (wherever that is) too quickly.

    Take a simple tune like Satin Doll. In C, medium swing, a few chords. Slow it down, play something. Get the feel of it. Won't take long.

    But a good teacher is a good idea. You need someone to discuss with, show you stuff, simplify things. Yes, it will take time but if you're interested in what you're doing you don't think in those terms, you're just doing it and learning new things.

    That's it really. Seriously. You only get into the brain damage stuff much later on

  14. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It doesn't have to be. On a basic level it's not intellectual at all. That's what the books and some 'teachers' would have you believe. Or they give that impression because of the way they talk.

    It's just music, only with icing on it. Instead of C, change a note, learn the shape, and play CM7. Instant jazz.
    I get that, in its simplicity. The intellectual thing I’m referring to is trying to nail that arpeggio over each chord in a tune, while avoiding the root, emphasizing the 3rd and 7th, not losing the form, playing with good time, at tempo, while quoting the melody, etc, etc.

    It boggles my mind. Lol

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    I get that, in its simplicity. The intellectual thing I’m referring to is trying to nail that arpeggio over each chord in a tune, while avoiding the root, emphasizing the 3rd and 7th, not losing the form, playing with good time, at tempo, while quoting the melody, etc, etc.

    It boggles my mind. Lol
    if you're talking about playing entire arps over each chord, I can see the point of working on arps that way, just to build fluency and train your ear, but I wouldn't confuse it with making music.

    Jazz is about making interesting melody and keeping good time. And, of those two, time is more important.

    So, I would suggest, when you're actually trying to make music, to follow Charlie Parker and forget all the rules and just blow. Meaning, think of a melody and try to play it.

  16. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Meaning, think of a melody and try to play it.
    Ok, at the most basic level, I don’t entirely get that. Can you elaborate? How does one practice this sort of thing: thinking of a melody? Can I just compose a solo that is “correct” and has all the right notes and then just use it every time? That’s probably a stupid question as I know it’s not actually improvising. But I genuinely don’t know what you mean when you say to think of a melody. Why isn’t the original one good enough?

    I can honestly say that I have never, in my 32 year musical life, ever “thought of a melody”. I’ve learned and harmonized many of them. I may have composed a few. But I have never 1) Thought of a melody 2) Attempted to play it in real time.

    When it comes to soloing, in my background, you just pick the notes you know will sound good over the key and you play those until it sounds good. And once recorded, that is what you play every time. But there is no conscious thought of melody. Plus there is usually only one or two chords to think about.

    I mean there are, of course, times when when I was called on to play “melodically”, but that just means to slow down and hit some bluesy bends or something.

    This is is the crux of why Jazz seems so alien to me. Lol

  17. #41

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    Listen to a lot of jazz. A lot. So much of it is feel.

    I too was a shredder sort at one time, I've migrated to blues with jazz flavors, but in order to get the jazz side of the sound, I had to internalize the swing. Speaking only for myself, coming from a rock background, the hardest thing for me to learn was the groove in jazz.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    I get that, in its simplicity. The intellectual thing I’m referring to is trying to nail that arpeggio over each chord in a tune, while avoiding the root, emphasizing the 3rd and 7th, not losing the form, playing with good time, at tempo, while quoting the melody, etc, etc.

    It boggles my mind. Lol
    I'm sure it does boggle you. It would most people.

    Who says you've got to do all that? That's an exercise, it's not playing music. They've got you jumping through hoops and you don't see it.

    If it feels funny to you, don't do it. Play music, feel something. Simple.

    See all those posts you've written in English? Now rewrite them not using any word longer than 8 letters, placing emphasis on the consonants d, s, f and l. End each phrase with a word ending in e and don't use more than 3 adjectives in any one paragraph.

    Feel dumb? Exactly.

    sorry, it is a bit more complicated than that!

  19. #43

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    The problem posed in the OP was the struggle with jazz soloing/improvising. Well, here are some things which are important but DO NOT teach a guitarist how to effectively improvise jazz solos:

    • Songs
    • Comping
    • Chord melody arrangements
    • Scales
    • Chords
    • Arpeggios



    And here are some things which should be done - but by themselves - also DO NOT teach one how to effectively improvise jazz solos:

    • Study with a teacher
    • Play guitar method books
    • Listen to lots of jazz
    • Study jazz/modern harmony & theory
    • Read jazz improvisation books



    Finally, here is yet another thing that will either (1) not work for most, or (2) take an inordinate amount of time:


    • knowing your chord scales and arpeggios etc. and endlessly doodling to songs and backing tracks



    IMHO of course.

  20. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by mnorris777
    Is your internet connection good enough to get on Facebook and watch video?

    Find and join the Matt Warnock 'Play Jazz Guitar' group - it would be perfect for you. Great community, pitched at complete beginners to intermediate jazz players.

    Matt tackles a different standard each month. Takes the whole thing apart, learning the melody, the form of the piece, understanding of how the harmony is constructed, comping, a little chord melody and then soloing. He does a live workshop on each part which you can watch back later. Everyone posts up their own attempts at each task and provides feedback and advice.

    Sounds like exactly what you need.
    I do not currently have Facebook for personal reasons. But I am familiar with Matt Warnock. I think I have one of his e-books. Enthusiastic teacher.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Ok, at the most basic level, I don’t entirely get that. Can you elaborate? How does one practice this sort of thing: thinking of a melody? Can I just compose a solo that is “correct” and has all the right notes and then just use it every time? That’s probably a stupid question as I know it’s not actually improvising. But I genuinely don’t know what you mean when you say to think of a melody. Why isn’t the original one good enough?

    I can honestly say that I have never, in my 32 year musical life, ever “thought of a melody”. I’ve learned and harmonized many of them. I may have composed a few. But I have never 1) Thought of a melody 2) Attempted to play it in real time.

    When it comes to soloing, in my background, you just pick the notes you know will sound good over the key and you play those until it sounds good. And once recorded, that is what you play every time. But there is no conscious thought of melody. Plus there is usually only one or two chords to think about.

    I mean there are, of course, times when when I was called on to play “melodically”, but that just means to slow down and hit some bluesy bends or something.

    This is is the crux of why Jazz seems so alien to me. Lol
    I hear you--I'm also coming at this from rock, where I often played with my eyes rather than my ears.

    With time and work, though, I'm getting better at hearing what I'm playing as I play it. This video is strictly-speaking about bass, but I think it applies here.


  22. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ
    leave out the shredding and pedal board stuff. It's not helping you, it's reinforcing old habits (and making you feel like jazz is too hard- it's not!).
    Aw man, it’s hard to abandon my roots. Lol. I’m not sure I can do that. But I understand what you’re saying.

    And even after all the helpful advice I’ve received here, I’m still pretty sure Jazz is the most inaccessible music there is. And although this is probably a matter for another post, I’m pretty sure that Jazz and Jazzers kind of like the the fact that it’s somewhat inaccessible. That’s part of the appeal really. “We know things the layman doesn’t. Yay us. We’re smart”.

    How is Jazz NOT hard? Not being snarky. Just show me some easy Jazz so I can check it out!

  23. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    The problem posed in the OP was the struggle with jazz soloing/improvising. Well, here are some things which are important but DO NOT teach a guitarist how to effectively improvise jazz solos:

    • Songs
    • Comping
    • Chord melody arrangements
    • Scales
    • Chords
    • Arpeggios



    And here are some things which should be done - but by themselves - also DO NOT teach one how to effectively improvise jazz solos:

    • Study with a teacher
    • Play guitar method books
    • Listen to lots of jazz
    • Study jazz/modern harmony & theory
    • Read jazz improvisation books



    Finally, here is yet another thing that will either (1) not work for most, or (2) take an inordinate amount of time:


    • knowing your chord scales and arpeggios etc. and endlessly doodling to songs and backing tracks



    IMHO of course.
    Cool. Then what is left? What is the solution?

  24. #48

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    A very important part of the answer can be found in post #10.

  25. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I'm sure it does boggle you. It would most people.

    Who says you've got to do all that? That's an exercise, it's not playing music. They've got you jumping through hoops and you don't see it.

    If it feels funny to you, don't do it. Play music, feel something. Simple.
    sorry, it is a bit more complicated than that!
    OK, Ok. I hear you. I don’t want to jump through hoops. I just want to communicate. How do I do that? How do I skip the technical stuff? How do I play music? How do I feel something? How do you get there? What is the procedure?

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1
    Ok, at the most basic level, I don’t entirely get that. Can you elaborate? How does one practice this sort of thing: thinking of a melody? Can I just compose a solo that is “correct” and has all the right notes and then just use it every time? That’s probably a stupid question as I know it’s not actually improvising. But I genuinely don’t know what you mean when you say to think of a melody. Why isn’t the original one good enough?

    I can honestly say that I have never, in my 32 year musical life, ever “thought of a melody”. I’ve learned and harmonized many of them. I may have composed a few. But I have never 1) Thought of a melody 2) Attempted to play it in real time.

    When it comes to soloing, in my background, you just pick the notes you know will sound good over the key and you play those until it sounds good. And once recorded, that is what you play every time. But there is no conscious thought of melody. Plus there is usually only one or two chords to think about.

    I mean there are, of course, times when when I was called on to play “melodically”, but that just means to slow down and hit some bluesy bends or something.

    This is is the crux of why Jazz seems so alien to me. Lol
    If I may, two questions.

    1. Can you scat sing?

    2. If you know a tune, say Happy Birthday, can you play the melody starting on any note without mistakes?