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  1. #1

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    Hello everybody,

    at first I want to excuse for long time not writing but only reading and enjoying this forum.

    I started playing guitar at a more mature age and it was for the first time for me to really try to learn playing an Instrument. I started taking lessons with a really good local Pro (Hamburg, Germany). But although i was very committed in practising, it was rather frustrating because i had decided to get into Jazz. You can imagine, that there was lacking success. After a few years i quit the weekly lessons and was working with a huge amount of ressources since then (online courses, books, play alongs etc.). Lately I understood to work mostly on basics, learning to voice progressions and using for example arpeggios or scales with half step rules and the most important: to play in time.

    But although it is still fun to practise (and get lost therein), there often are times of frustration because i do not really play music. Now i feel that my main aim is to make music with the guitar, in general that would be alone.

    Can someone understand this? How are you approaching this subject "making music"?

    All the best
    Felix

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by xilef
    Hello everybody,

    at first I want to excuse for long time not writing but only reading and enjoying this forum.

    I started playing guitar at a more mature age and it was for the first time for me to really try to learn playing an Instrument. I started taking lessons with a really good local Pro (Hamburg, Germany). But although i was very committed in practising, it was rather frustrating because i had decided to get into Jazz. You can imagine, that there was lacking success. After a few years i quit the weekly lessons and was working with a huge amount of ressources since then (online courses, books, play alongs etc.). Lately I understood to work mostly on basics, learning to voice progressions and using for example arpeggios or scales with half step rules and the most important: to play in time.

    But although it is still fun to practise (and get lost therein), there often are times of frustration because i do not really play music. Now i feel that my main aim is to make music with the guitar, in general that would be alone.

    Can someone understand this? How are you approaching this subject "making music"?

    All the best
    Felix
    Your post is fairly common; 'In general' if 'that would be alone', than one's focus should be on chord-melody; There is a chord-melody sub-forum here on that. The most basic advise is to start on a fairly easy song and advance from there. BUT chord-melody takes a lot more patience so getting-a-song-down, even that first one will require a lot of practice and patience.

    While most of my time on guitar is playing-alone, I enjoy playing with music with friends the most; therefore I use either a looper or software (Band in the Box), create my own rhythm tracks and then play the melody and solo over these tracks, leaning song after song in this style.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 05-22-2020 at 03:16 PM.

  4. #3

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    Arrange a tune. Any tune.

  5. #4
    Thank you, that is encouraging. I like to hear that this seems fairly common. Maybe there are days when one is more unhappy with his playing than others. But both of your tips i will try to make work. It seems that there are songs, that are more easily to arrange, like for example "work song" and others, where my playing tends to get boring and redundant. I am working on Polkadots and moonbeams and maybe it is part of the game to get new ideas and make it sound better.
    Maybe i will get me a Looper. Bur for now i enjoy playing with a Bass-Player via Youtube, who has clips from lot of Jazz-Standards.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by xilef
    Hello everybody,

    at first I want to excuse for long time not writing but only reading and enjoying this forum.

    I started playing guitar at a more mature age and it was for the first time for me to really try to learn playing an Instrument. I started taking lessons with a really good local Pro (Hamburg, Germany). But although i was very committed in practising, it was rather frustrating because i had decided to get into Jazz. You can imagine, that there was lacking success. After a few years i quit the weekly lessons and was working with a huge amount of ressources since then (online courses, books, play alongs etc.). Lately I understood to work mostly on basics, learning to voice progressions and using for example arpeggios or scales with half step rules and the most important: to play in time.

    But although it is still fun to practise (and get lost therein), there often are times of frustration because i do not really play music. Now i feel that my main aim is to make music with the guitar, in general that would be alone.

    Can someone understand this? How are you approaching this subject "making music"?

    All the best
    Felix
    If you haven't seen IRealPro, check it out. It's a phone app that generates backing tracks for tunes, any tempo, key and many styles to choose from. It's $10 last I checked and you can download tunes by the thousands with a couple of clicks. It displays the chords, but no melody.

    Great practice tool. Not the same thing as playing with a live band, but closer than playing by yourself.

    Band In a Box is another program that does some similar things and has the advantage of showing standard notation for melody, with IRealPro does not.

  7. #6
    I took the same route. Not being good enough to even think about getting on stage at the local jam session, i decided chord melody would allow me to play the music i loved until i got my improv chops down.
    It's a very practical skill, too, because if you bring your guitar to a casual party/picnic/camping you're unlikely to find other jazz players who have also brought their instruments (unless you arrange it ahead of time.) So you can entertain a crowd or family or potential love-of-your-life with some really beautiful music beyond those cloying folk songs everyone seems to know. Especially if you can't sing.
    Honestly, i didn't find it that difficult and it's a very enjoyable puzzle once you understand there are many ways to play harmony under a given melody. Certainly, the melody can be embellished but the melody is what the audience hears clearly and it literally is the tune, while the harmony can be reworked endlessly to create truly sublime sounds.
    A priceless byproduct of this for me was throwing away the crutch of tablature and learning to read music properly. So even though it was not my ultimate goal, which was ensemble playing, everything i learned in playing chord melody made me a better ensemble player - from repertoire to chord voicings to reharmonization to reading music. And if I were to try busking, i wouldn't have to share the tip jar!

  8. #7

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    I'd start with simple stuff and then work up to jazz complexity.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by xilef
    Hello everybody,

    at first I want to excuse for long time not writing but only reading and enjoying this forum.

    I started playing guitar at a more mature age and it was for the first time for me to really try to learn playing an Instrument. I started taking lessons with a really good local Pro (Hamburg, Germany). But although i was very committed in practising, it was rather frustrating because i had decided to get into Jazz. You can imagine, that there was lacking success. After a few years i quit the weekly lessons and was working with a huge amount of ressources since then (online courses, books, play alongs etc.). Lately I understood to work mostly on basics, learning to voice progressions and using for example arpeggios or scales with half step rules and the most important: to play in time.

    But although it is still fun to practise (and get lost therein), there often are times of frustration because i do not really play music. Now i feel that my main aim is to make music with the guitar, in general that would be alone.

    Can someone understand this? How are you approaching this subject "making music"?

    All the best
    Felix

  10. #9

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    Maybe working on techniques - without applying the techniques to tunes - is something to be done early and late in one's development.

    Early on, you need enough technique to play a song.

    Then, you have to focus on applying techniques to songs so that the technique isn't a detached, intellectual exercise.

    Later, when you have the ability to work on a technique in isolation and have no difficulty applying it to a song, the focus on technique makes sense again.

    For the intermediate player, it is possible to dive into an abyss of technique and neglect the songs.

  11. #10
    Thank you. Yes, I think there are two directions to follow. The one to get able to play something with good tone (to get the technique), to execute music, the other is to develop musicality. For me this has to deal with remembering melodies, harmony, the songform, to get creative with soloing.

    But this is no shortcut and it is important to get musical results along the way. As long as i can get to a point where i am rather satisfied with something like a musical statement, motivation can last. On the other hand i have to avoid making pressure to myself.

    Maybe it is something personal too. For me it is also the question how do I learn? This has to do with the difference in noodling and practicing and to be patient.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by xilef
    Hello everybody,

    at first I want to excuse for long time not writing but only reading and enjoying this forum.

    I started playing guitar at a more mature age and it was for the first time for me to really try to learn playing an Instrument. I started taking lessons with a really good local Pro (Hamburg, Germany). But although i was very committed in practising, it was rather frustrating because i had decided to get into Jazz. You can imagine, that there was lacking success. After a few years i quit the weekly lessons and was working with a huge amount of ressources since then (online courses, books, play alongs etc.). Lately I understood to work mostly on basics, learning to voice progressions and using for example arpeggios or scales with half step rules and the most important: to play in time.

    But although it is still fun to practise (and get lost therein), there often are times of frustration because i do not really play music. Now i feel that my main aim is to make music with the guitar, in general that would be alone.

    Can someone understand this? How are you approaching this subject "making music"?

    All the best
    Felix
    I don't really understand your question. Do you mean you want to play a tune instead of playing exercises? Then learn a tune. There are a hundred online sites and books which will show you simple arrangements of jazz tunes for solo guitar.

    Here's one on YouTube:



    And one here on this site. There are others too:

    Satin Doll - Easy Arrangement For Guitar + Chord Study

  13. #12

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    A good solo doesn't have to be difficult at all. Hard to remember that when struggling with all kinds of ambitions.
    Best advice from B.Purdie: "most important.... lots of drum-jamming here.... is to always have fun"