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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    James,
    May I offer one more piece of “advice”? You probably harbor some idea of what a “top-tier” jazz guitarist is, looks like, plays, studies, etc.
    Consider relaxing or discarding that “picture”.

    Or said another way: Stop aspiring to be a “good jazz guitarist” according to one image only.

    First of all, in today’s internet world, 1,000 talented people probably started learning jazz guitar in the time it took to write this. Some will become renowned.

    Whereas there may have been a great-jazz-guitarist-prototype in past years (Wes, Joe Pass, Pat Martino), in 5 years (or months) there will be brand-new “masters”.
    So consider easing up of that type of self-imposed-goal (if you have it). Approach your mastery as if you, yourself were your only audience. Disregard those ghosts.

    James, I may read what I’ve just written and see it as pompous nonsense. So if it has value to you, print it because I’ll likely delete it.

    I’m suggesting we adopt a pioneer mentality (no role-models available) - to trust our own hearts, “callings” and tastes and aspire, gently, towards our own pinnacles (forgetting the past “greats”).
    “Be the first” to do it a particular way. Somebody has to be the first!

    Even if you don’t buy this completely, maybe doing it a little might relieve drudgery and add joy to your cool quest: MUSIC.

    The never-ending road to music-mastery is glorious. But we’ll always be “approaching the (next) beginning” in a sense.
    I don’t mind that!
    Enjoy.
    Thanks I appreciate the sentiment. That's quite a bit of baggage your asking folks to drop but I get what you're saying. Sometimes I need to just stay out of my own way.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    "Aim lower." Howard Roberts would take this as far as one could: get the first note right. That's it. One note. Then the next. Then the first and second together. Then the third. And so on. (There's a YouTube video of Clint Strong talking about this. Well worth seeking out.)
    Would you kindly provide the title of the Clint Strong, YouTube video you mentioned? Thank you

  4. #153

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    Anybody who can play the head of "Confirmation" with Bird, at tempo, is doing pretty doggone good. That's well done. You learn 8 or 9 Charlie Parker tunes, you'll have a deposit of fabulous jazz vocabulary. Sort out the phrases by chord progression, play them by position so you can move them around and change keys, and mix-and-match them in other settings.

    A guy who learns a dozen or so Charlie Parker phrases and can really use them is well on the way.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Anybody who can play the head of "Confirmation" with Bird, at tempo, is doing pretty doggone good. That's well done. You learn 8 or 9 Charlie Parker tunes, you'll have a deposit of fabulous jazz vocabulary. Sort out the phrases by chord progression, play them by position so you can move them around and change keys, and mix-and-match them in other settings.

    A guy who learns a dozen or so Charlie Parker phrases and can really use them is well on the way.
    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. Those Parker heads are no joke! I'll make sure to try to get some more of them under my fingers.

  6. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. Those Parker heads are no joke! I'll make sure to try to get some more of them under my fingers.
    Well "Confirmation" is a certified BEAR. So if you backed off and nailed a few blues heads, like "Relaxin at Camarillo" or "Billie's Bounce" you'd likely find them pretty easy.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  7. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    Thanks I appreciate the sentiment. That's quite a bit of baggage your asking folks to drop but I get what you're saying. Sometimes I need to just stay out of my own way.
    i tried to send this to you privately but you’re configured for no PMs.

    Hi James,
    I didn’t want this to be part of the thread.

    I wasn’t suggesting you “drop” anything.
    I was only suggesting, to combat your stated “frustration”, you could revisit the arduous path you chose for yourself.

    The method you choose might include some of the same parts of your current method - because you recognize their value.

    You know the joke:
    Me: (lifting my sore arm). “Doc. It hurts when I do this”
    Doc: “Don’t do that”.

    I’d be curious to know how you (generally) ended up with your current regimen.

    BTW: I’m not a very disciplined person nor skilled jazz guitarist. I study jazz mainly because it is a vehicle for exploring theory with the guitar. My other choice might have been classical.

    I’m sure you’ll find satisfaction continuing as you have - but your original post title pleaded for “relief”. So I gave you “permission” to “reboot”.

    For myself: After comparing myself to others, I realized, I probably shouldn’t. I should try to do things the way that my tastes and goals dictate. Perhaps the ones I’m comparing myself did exactly that (they were original). Not everybody (including my girlfriend) approaches things this way.

    I know you’ll continue to succeed. Good luck.

  8. #157

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    Hi, James,
    There's a lot to swallow in the previous posts: some good . . . some, not so good. I believe in the organic approach:

    1. Study Classical Guitar: learn the mechanics of music--sight reading, theory, general pedagogy with your goal to become a musician where
    you can track your real progress. If you're an "ear musician," your road will be long and tedious with slow progress
    2. Listen to all quality music--Classical, Bossa and Jazz
    3. When you're confident in your mechanical skills, begin learning Jazz Standards. Always choose songs that you love since you'll be spending
    years with them
    4. As you become comfortable with the songs, add embellishments that sound good to your ears. Copying solos, for some, leads to robotic
    playing with old, tired, cliche riffs that do not express who you are as a musician. Use your ears!
    5. Then, in 15 or 20 years, you might be a good Jazzer. How's that for odds. . . unless ,of course, you're the next Wes or George.

    Good playing . . . Marinero

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    Would you kindly provide the title of the Clint Strong, YouTube video you mentioned? Thank you
    I am not the OP but I just happened to have watched the video recently. The question starts at 25:50.


  10. #159

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    @jamesrohr

    How’s it been going these past few months?

    Although I disagree with the specifics of some of what’s been said here I would say one important point that came up is being able to assess your progress.

    Educators talk about different types of assessment. If you have a teacher, their assessment and goal setting is key to driving the process onwards.

    If you are self taught you need to assess yourself and set your own milestones. In the end all musicians should eventually become self directed learners, so this is useful for everyone. We don’t tend to expect this of beginners but most interested in jazz are already past the beginner stage, and lessons may be a lot less frequent even if they are regular. Teachers at this stage may also assume the student will know how to direct their own learning.

    There are two main types of assessment - formative and summative. Both are important. Formative assessment is ongoing while summative is as the name suggests something that happens at the end of a section of study - so an end of term recital, music exam, big concert or something like that.

    Formative assessment is the kinds of calls you make when practicing - do I know that piece well enough? Did I play that picking pattern correctly? And so on. I suspect you may already be doing this type of self assessment, perhaps if anything too much! Because so much of practice is to do with, basically, working on stuff we suck at, some sort of long term assessment is really important to stop that feel of thankless grind.

    In my stage of musical life summative assessment is normally making a recording or playing a really nice gig. It’s not assessed in the academic sense but it still gives me a goal to work towards. I can video and record the concert and reflect on how it went later. Eventually I have a record of how my playing has developed over the years.

    I’ll also make little lists of things I would like to learn, like a list of tunes, perhaps ideas I’d like to explore and so on.

    I think you should certainly think about this kind of thing. I think I would go mad if I didn’t have things to work towards like this.

    Lastly some areas of learning can be assessed in a quantitative way - one’s knowledge of scales on the neck, a theory syllabus, performance on an ear training app, graded reading and so on. This is very useful because the numbers don’t lie. You can see your development in a very objective way. “Hey last March I only knew 1 position for that scale, now I can play it in 5.’

    However not all areas can be assessed numerically and it’s equally important to find ways to assess those. Certainly recordings, videos, internal reflection and feedback from peers are good ways to do this. Music and music education is not purely positivist....

  11. #160

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    As a closely linked point, I often see students that complain about their progress having plateued. Usually what these students need is a process for practice.

    Most are noodlers - so they will pick up the instrument and play, often very nicely, but not usually in a directed, purposeful way. In this case, getting them to do 5 minutes of actual, focussed practice can be really helpful. Also making sure that the distinction between practising and performing is well understood.

    I think that's important to note, because while noodling can actually be a really beneficial thing at the early stages when time on the instrument and a love for playing are the most important things, by the intermediate stage you want to be working more on specifics and details.

    As a basically self taught player, I avoided this type of work for years, and it did my playing no favours, even though in some ways I was a strong player. I feel if I'd really understood the process of practicing and self assessment, my playing would have improved much more quickly. In fact I would say I've only been practicing properly for half my playing life (about 12 years out over 20.)

    Good teachers are obviously helpful here. I don't think they have to be jazz musicians to teach the process of learning. In fact, most of the jazz education experiences I've had have been focussed on information and material over process.

  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    @jamesrohr

    How’s it been going these past few months?

    Although I disagree with the specifics of some of what’s been said here I would say one important point that came up is being able to assess your progress.

    Educators talk about different types of assessment. If you have a teacher, their assessment and goal setting is key to driving the process onwards.

    If you are self taught you need to assess yourself and set your own milestones. In the end all musicians should eventually become self directed learners, so this is useful for everyone. We don’t tend to expect this of beginners but most interested in jazz are already past the beginner stage, and lessons may be a lot less frequent even if they are regular. Teachers at this stage may also assume the student will know how to direct their own learning.

    There are two main types of assessment - formative and summative. Both are important. Formative assessment is ongoing while summative is as the name suggests something that happens at the end of a section of study - so an end of term recital, music exam, big concert or something like that.

    Formative assessment is the kinds of calls you make when practicing - do I know that piece well enough? Did I play that picking pattern correctly? And so on. I suspect you may already be doing this type of self assessment, perhaps if anything too much! Because so much of practice is to do with, basically, working on stuff we suck at, some sort of long term assessment is really important to stop that feel of thankless grind.

    In my stage of musical life summative assessment is normally making a recording or playing a really nice gig. It’s not assessed in the academic sense but it still gives me a goal to work towards. I can video and record the concert and reflect on how it went later. Eventually I have a record of how my playing has developed over the years.

    I’ll also make little lists of things I would like to learn, like a list of tunes, perhaps ideas I’d like to explore and so on.

    I think you should certainly think about this kind of thing. I think I would go mad if I didn’t have things to work towards like this.

    Lastly some areas of learning can be assessed in a quantitative way - one’s knowledge of scales on the neck, a theory syllabus, performance on an ear training app, graded reading and so on. This is very useful because the numbers don’t lie. You can see your development in a very objective way. “Hey last March I only knew 1 position for that scale, now I can play it in 5.’

    However not all areas can be assessed numerically and it’s equally important to find ways to assess those. Certainly recordings, videos, internal reflection and feedback from peers are good ways to do this. Music and music education is not purely positivist....
    This is a great application of mainstream educational assessment principles to music. I never thought of my clips before as summative assessment, but that really turned a light on for me. Thanks.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  13. #162

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    "I think that's important to note, because while noodling can actually be a really beneficial thing " Christianm77


    Hi, C,
    If by "noodling" you mean playing around with ideas in a undirected manner(free flow), I would agree. I call it doodling(US?) and it is one of the most important things a serious musician can do AFTER he has finished his formal practice. Doodling fires one's creative instincts and allows a free flow of undirected ideas to materialize. Many times, I have rewritten new beginnings, endings or turnarounds by the power of free association. This works for me in my Classical, Bossa and Jazz playing. Indispensable for the creative musician. Good playing . . . Marinero

  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    "I think that's important to note, because while noodling can actually be a really beneficial thing " Christianm77


    Hi, C,
    If by "noodling" you mean playing around with ideas in a undirected manner(free flow), I would agree. I call it doodling(US?) and it is one of the most important things a serious musician can do AFTER he has finished his formal practice. Doodling fires one's creative instincts and allows a free flow of undirected ideas to materialize. Many times, I have rewritten new beginnings, endings or turnarounds by the power of free association. This works for me in my Classical, Bossa and Jazz playing. Indispensable for the creative musician. Good playing . . . Marinero
    Yes I agree.... there’s also a freeness about noodling which is really nice. Performances should have that freeness. (Of course there’s a directed quality to performances lacking in pure noodling.)

    I actually should make more time for myself to do this. It’s not goal oriented but you often end up with a tune or something at the end of it.

    OTOH a lot of what I do is to strict deadline and I work well this way too. Say I have a rehearsal tomorrow. I have to write a new tune. Just blat one out and get it done and don’t think about it too much.

    But that quality of playfulness should always be there. It’s easy to forget.