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  1. #1

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    ... or Bertie teaches Del to play jazz.

    As mentioned over in the improvisation section on the "Frustrated" thread, I'm another of those players coming from other styles struggling to play jazz (by this, I mean, improvise over the standards to a basic, but competent, level). I've tried many times, but to no avail.

    So anyway, I thought it was time for another go, before it's too late.

    And I've decided on a new approach based on Bertie's efforts to learn a language - in his case, not jazz, but English. Bertie is 16 months old and isn't worried about making a fool of himself. He's not worried about grammar or building a coherent story. He's not even worried about sentences. Just the occasional word that is (allegedly) recognisable, is enough for him to giggle in delight and dribble a bit. Much like me with jazz, to be honest.

    So I've set myself a real simple "Step One" - just learn ten tunes. No hip changes, just the simplest vanilla stuff I can find. No worries about playing things in all keys. Just learn some tunes. Allied to this I'm trying to learn a few licks - not to memorise them, just to get a bit of a jazz feel into my playing.

    It's going okay - kind of like Bertie's English on a good day. Although I'm still a long way short of ten songs, thus far. But one that I have learned in a simple manner is After You've Gone. And here is a composed solo in which I've used a couple of licks from Matt Warnock's "Easy Licks Book" which I play over and over in an effort to get them under my fingers. There's also a (fluffed) lick from Dirk's easy licks lesson on this very site, too.

    Anyway, really early days, and I'll hopefully add to this thread as I progress.


    Cheers
    Derek

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I like that song and I enjoyed that :-)

  4. #3

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    I think you are off to a great start. Just keep at it.

  5. #4

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    The chords shown on much sheet music can be overly complicated. Ralph Patt's Vanilla Book is a great resource, with the basic vanilla chords for many jazz tunes. There are also backing tracks if you're interested in that.

    http://www.ralphpatt.com/Song.html

    Backing Tracks

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I think you are off to a great start. Just keep at it.
    Agreed. And a nice guitar tone as well!

  7. #6

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    Good work. Kudos!

  8. #7
    Thanks for the comments and the encouragement, folks :-) Much appreciated!

    Step one, is on-going...

    Derek

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The chords shown on much sheet music can be overly complicated. Ralph Patt's Vanilla Book is a great resource, with the basic vanilla chords for many jazz tunes. There are also backing tracks if you're interested in that.

    http://www.ralphpatt.com/Song.html

    Backing Tracks
    I was going to mention Patt's Vanilla Book. It's easy to see basic changes to hundreds of standards, and in so doing, you learn to see patterns of chords / changes. It makes it all seem less complicated.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger
    ... or Bertie teaches Del to play jazz....
    Nice! That's the way to do it. Sounds good.

  11. #10

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    Sounds good to me as well. You're off to a good start for sure!

  12. #11
    This is a re-post - I was about to post Del's Tiny Steps # 3 - but when I looked back I found that Post # 2 has gone. No idea where. I was starting to doubt I ever posted it, but a quick Google does point to it, except there's nothing comes up when I follow the Google link.

    So here's # 2 again, which is a composed solo over Satin Doll - one of the ten songs I set out to learn. The intention isn't (wasn't) to solo at this stage, just to get some chords and melodies under my fingers. But I got tempted to rustle up a line or two. Meanwhile Bertie, the inspiration for this new approach to jazz, has now got a fair few words under his very young lips. More words than I have jazz phrases....

    So here's video # 2 again, before I get onto # 3.



    Cheers
    Derek

  13. #12

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    Nice job! Great sounding and looking guitar. Where did you get your background tracks?

  14. #13
    Thanks jumpnblues. Re. the backing tracks, I recorded them myself. Part of the plan (the main part really) is to learn a bunch of songs - rhythm and melody - so the backing tracks are me. It's just not very exciting to post a few minutes of rhythm playing!

    Cheers
    Derek

  15. #14
    Update # 3

    Well little Bertie, now at about 20 months, is rabbiting on and, now, quite frequently says something intelligible. His vocabulary is growing, albeit still limited, and it's rare he puts two words together (usually just "Oh dear"). Of course, his pronunciation is poor, but the kid's only been at this talking lark a few months.

    About the same time, actually, since I started this blog / thread...

    So how do I compare?

    Well, I have the advantage that I know that I'm learning something and I can thus apply all sorts of learning strategies (good and bad), whereas Bertie has the advantage that he's got nothing else to do all day but learn this language, and he's at the age where stuff sticks. I'm at the age where nothing sticks, and I only have an hour or so after work.

    So evens, so far, and my attempts at jazz are about the equivalent of Bertie's attempts at speaking. I think he will pull ahead soon, and he'll be saying sentences and holding conversations long before I can do the same with a jazz guitar.

    I think the key thing for me to remember, is unless Bertie is a genius, it'll be 15 or 16 more years, maybe (probably) a lot longer, before he is able, or in a position, to make proper / valid / relevant / learned / original speeches. I need to remember this when my basic jazz playing seems extremely slow, poorly articulated, and derivative.

    Anyway, there it is. The next post will be all about distractions and tangents, which are the bane of my jazz journey at the moment.

    Meanwhile, here's a version of Coquette I did on the gypsy jazzer. Only this week I snapped the neck so my gypsy jazz (one of those aforementioned tangents) is now being practiced on a dreadnaught...



    EDIT: Oh, and here's the current state of that guitar:

    Del's Tiny Steps...-broken-jpg

    I'm told, by a professional luthier, that it's easily fixable. Just have to wait six months(*) for the lock-down to be over.

    (*) My estimate. I'm not "in the know".

    Cheers
    Derek

  16. #15

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    That's some mighty fine playing there, Derek!

    As for the headstock break: as far as I know it's really not a big deal to fix that but you should take provisions that the crack stays clean and dry with no humidity seeping into the bare wood in the crack. Maybe ask your luthier what you should do about that.