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  1. #1

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    Does anyone here have this book? I have it and am not entirely sure how to approach it. It seems very, uhm, comprehensive, to say the least! If you have it and gained some benefit from it, please offer any suggestions for how to best utilize it. Am I better off just working on standards and transcribing? It's kind of intimidating for the novice. Also, I looked but were there any study groups for this book? Seems like that might be a good place to start. Thanks!
    Last edited by Jamesrohr1; 07-23-2019 at 04:58 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    discussed at length in a previous thread.

    Seems to generally be regarded as a very good book. I have another book by the author and it seems like a good one to me.

  4. #3

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    Yes I have the book, it's a really good one. But - there seems to be a trend here of treating individual books as if they were written by the hand of God. Meaning, they must be religiously studied from page 1 until the end.

    I would say, don't fall into that trap. What is needed instead is a "leveled" study plan. Such a plan is multi-faceted and draws upon several sources - by level.

    For example:
    • Technique
    • Reading
    • Etudes
    • Repertoire/Tunes
    • Improvisation
    • Recital/ensemble performance preparation and execution


    Taking on 1-2 of those subjects from beginner to advanced is not the way to study, regardless of style, from time immemorial. Having a good teacher or organizer of instrumental pedagogy is what is usually needed to help navigate such a study plan. At some point you must become your own teacher though. The trick is being honest with yourself as to the question of whether or not you are ready to do that.

  5. #4

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    Thank you. I appreciate your response. I am not really qualified to be my own teacher. However, I am unfortunately in the position of doing so as I do not live in an area with any teachers or folks to play with. No Jazz jams here and no concerts. I stumble quite a bit. Lots of false starts and rabbit holes. Thanks again.

  6. #5

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    Cool. Well you probably have an idea of where you are playing wise, right? Why not take a look at the Berklee 8 levels for guitar - or at least the first 4. Where do you assess yourself relative to those?

  7. #6

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    I don’t know what those are. I studied the three volume Berklee method back in college but my guess is that is not what you are referring to.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    Am I better off just working on standards and transcribing?
    Yes.

    Books are optional. Listening is not.

    It’s not a binary choice of course, but if you have to choose, choose contact with the music

    In general I would say the primary problem in jazz edu at present, is not lack of books or theory. It’s lack of practical skills and repertoire.
    Last edited by christianm77; 07-24-2019 at 03:42 AM.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    I don’t know what those are. I studied the three volume Berklee method back in college but my guess is that is not what you are referring to.
    Close but not quite. You can see the levels roughly described at Berklee Online's web site. The essence might be - do you know your major and minor scales, their modes and diatonic 7th chord arpeggios, your symmetric and pentatonic scales, and a good number of so-called "jazz guitar chords"? Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or advanced guitarist?

    If you have a sense of that you should be able to pick and choose a few exercises from that book that you think (1) you can handle, and (2) will provide the greatest benefit to your facility in the short term. Then move on to more advanced material gradually and keep it up. Just don't (1) make any single book your total focus, (2) spend too much time beating your head against the wall attempting material that is beyond your current playing level, or (3) spend too much time on material that is beneath your current playing level.

  10. #9

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    Yeah it's a fine book, but it'll probably be useless to you at this point.
    Here is the "learning jazz guitar" question:
    The skill set that typical jazz guitarist has and typical guitarist in other styles don't:
    - Know the notes on your fretboard and have at least rudimentary reading skills.
    - Know a bunch of scales and arpeggios inside out on your instrument.
    - Be able to do harmonic analysis of jazz tunes, understand substitutions and other harmonic devices.
    - Be able to apply scales arpeggios based on the analysis.
    - Be able to play the changes. That is the ability to be harmonically specific, and able to connect chord voices. Be aware of the relationship of what you're playing and the chord you're playing over.
    - Learn several voicings of each chord type and able to use inversions of these voicings on the fly.

    Moreover you need to acquire this skill set while learning repertoire and improving your time and ears.

    The book you are inquiring about is not gonna give you the skill set above. No book really does.
    What needs to be done to acquire all the above is simple and straight forward. But it takes a long time and it could be very dry. So the learning jazz question is how to acquire the skill set above in a reasonable time without boring yourself to death and burning out.
    There are ideas. But one needs to have sufficient drive.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-24-2019 at 11:34 AM.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

  11. #10

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    Also the skill set above is the basic prerequisite to playing jazz. You still need to learn how to use them musically in the language of jazz. But that's the fun part. Acquiring the skill set listed above is the hard labor and no book really can give you that (except the theory/harmonic analysis part perhaps).
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-24-2019 at 11:44 AM.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    So the learning jazz question is how to acquire the skill set above without boring yourself to death and burning out.
    There are ideas. But one needs to have sufficient drive.
    Thanks for the reply. Could you speak to this? I'm attempting to do the grunt work but it is sometimes very tedious. Also, as I am teaching myself, I'm never sure I'm working on the right things. How do you keep it exciting and fun? Or is it even supposed to be? Work is work.
    Last edited by Jamesrohr1; 07-24-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Could you speak to this? I'm attempting to do the grunt work but it is sometimes very tedious. Also as I am teaching myself I'm never sure I'm working on the right things. How do you keep it exciting and fun? Or is it even supposed to be? Work is work.
    I hope others will chime in as well, here is how I manage this problem:

    - I work on things always in the context of tunes. At any given time, what I'm doing is learning a tune better and better. This morning I was working on chord voicings and my time. How I did it is by just comping jazz/blues changes with a metronome. I wrote down random syncopated rhythmic figures, set the metronome to 2&4, applied some new voicings over blues. Yeah, I know the blues changes, have for a long time but when I work on new voicings over blues, to me that's just learning the blues better so I can apply it in a band settings and be able vary how I comp in interesting ways.

    - I keep a notebook of things to work on. Both short term and long term.

    - At any given time my note book has a list of things on my plate currently. When I sit down to practice I don't have to think about what I should do.

    - This is how I deal with the dry stuff. Put them in the list. I set time goals. Say if I'm learning drop 3 chrods, I have an item in the list that says drop 3 chords and inversions (15 mins). I just do it and move on. After a few days, weeks however long it takes for me to feel I have a good overview and familiarity with the chords, the item becomes: Apply drop 3 inversions to blues (20 mins). etc.

    - Note I don't consider something learned until I can apply it well. So no point in doing 5 position dorian scales and what not everyday. Get the gist of it first, then work on application to tunes (with metronome).

    So I always have a list of things to work on and how long to work on them. When I'm not practicing I'm thinking about my goals, how I'm progressing etc and update the list.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-24-2019 at 01:28 PM.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

  14. #13

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    Thank you. That's very helpful.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Could you speak to this? I'm attempting to do the grunt work but it is sometimes very tedious. Also, as I am teaching myself, I'm never sure I'm working on the right things. How do you keep it exciting and fun? Or is it even supposed to be? Work is work.
    Well the way I did it was to always be involved in playing music from day one. I was lucky there were classes and workshops where I was. Probably would have lost interest otherwise.

    Having to work on tunes for workshops etc gives focus.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Well the way I did it was to always be involved in playing music from day one. I was lucky there were classes and workshops where I was. Probably would have lost interest otherwise.

    Having to work on tunes for workshops etc gives focus.
    That's very cool. Nothing like that here though I'm afraid. I live waayyy out in the sticks.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesrohr1 View Post
    That's very cool. Nothing like that here though I'm afraid. I live waayyy out in the sticks.
    If you can find someone who can at least find their way around jazz changes and take regular lessons and jam, that can be just as effective as well.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass