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  1. #1

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    Hi!

    I'm a guitarist with a traditional shred/heavy metal/rock background, meaning my "heroes" growing up were guys like Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Marty Friedman etc, but I've become enamored by jazz. I will admit overall my favorite jazz is more of the Jazz Fusion a la Gambale, Holdsworth, Greg Howe, Di Meola etc, as well as those newer fusion guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller and the like, but I would say so far my favorite jazz guitarist is George Benson (if Benson played fusion it would probably easily be my favorite guitar stuff). I also specifically like a lot of the new "prog metal" fusion esque players like Plini, as well as r&b flavored stuff (hence why I think Benson is my favorite), like often when I've seen the live/full band versions of a lot of top pop acts the soloing style etc is right up my alley.


    With all that said, I'm interested in studying jazz guitar more formally, as I've viewed it as the most advanced harmonically/academically and I've always wanted to be the best improvisor I can be (I struggle with even rock stuff, I always have been a composer of solos) and my theory knowledge is also really just the essentials of rock, knowing the modes etc.


    Any suggestions on possible courses/guitar schools and the like I should check out? Ideally I'd get 1-1 lessons, but with COVID and other life responsiblities I am unsure if I can consistently afford those, so figure the courses etc would be the cheaper alternative for now, especially as I am unsure how deep I will get into jazz guitar. I've so far actually gotten lessons from Derryl Gabel (good but found it a little directionless/lack of a roadmap), and have considered various stuff ranging from Jimmy Bruno's guitar site to the George Benson method to Frank Gambale's courses, truefire courses etc, and am currently subscribed to Tim Miller's site. I've found with my actual experience (Tim and Derryl) it just is a little more directionless, and I will admit I want some handholding at least to start since I am knew to formally studying jazz. I also have that experience growing up of buying various books/videos and again not really having direction, it probably makes more sense for more advanced guys who have all the basics down to go that route. I'm also open to books if they are good method books, like Randy Vincent's Intro to Jazz has potential imo.


    You can also probably imagine I'm concerned if going to "straight" jazz a la Jimmy Bruno, Morten Faerestrand etc would be too differing from my own style, but I think I could just take the Jazz elements and add it to my own music which is definitely more of a rock direction.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Welcome. You could start here. If you click on the Jazz Guitar Lessons link in the JGO Navigation box at the top right of this page, you will be taken to loads of good stuff, a lot of it free.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Hi!

    I'm a guitarist with a traditional shred/heavy metal/rock background, meaning my "heroes" growing up were guys like Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Marty Friedman etc, but I've become enamored by jazz. I will admit overall my favorite jazz is more of the Jazz Fusion a la Gambale, Holdsworth, Greg Howe, Di Meola etc, as well as those newer fusion guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller and the like, but I would say so far my favorite jazz guitarist is George Benson (if Benson played fusion it would probably easily be my favorite guitar stuff). I also specifically like a lot of the new "prog metal" fusion esque players like Plini, as well as r&b flavored stuff (hence why I think Benson is my favorite), like often when I've seen the live/full band versions of a lot of top pop acts the soloing style etc is right up my alley.


    With all that said, I'm interested in studying jazz guitar more formally, as I've viewed it as the most advanced harmonically/academically and I've always wanted to be the best improvisor I can be (I struggle with even rock stuff, I always have been a composer of solos) and my theory knowledge is also really just the essentials of rock, knowing the modes etc.


    Any suggestions on possible courses/guitar schools and the like I should check out? Ideally I'd get 1-1 lessons, but with COVID and other life responsiblities I am unsure if I can consistently afford those, so figure the courses etc would be the cheaper alternative for now, especially as I am unsure how deep I will get into jazz guitar. I've so far actually gotten lessons from Derryl Gabel (good but found it a little directionless/lack of a roadmap), and have considered various stuff ranging from Jimmy Bruno's guitar site to the George Benson method to Frank Gambale's courses, truefire courses etc, and am currently subscribed to Tim Miller's site. I've found with my actual experience (Tim and Derryl) it just is a little more directionless, and I will admit I want some handholding at least to start since I am knew to formally studying jazz. I also have that experience growing up of buying various books/videos and again not really having direction, it probably makes more sense for more advanced guys who have all the basics down to go that route. I'm also open to books if they are good method books, like Randy Vincent's Intro to Jazz has potential imo.


    You can also probably imagine I'm concerned if going to "straight" jazz a la Jimmy Bruno, Morten Faerestrand etc would be too differing from my own style, but I think I could just take the Jazz elements and add it to my own music which is definitely more of a rock direction.

    Thanks!
    PM me. I specialize in introducing guitarists to Jazz. Especially those with a rock/blues background


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #4

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    Gosh I have a lot of advice but it’s hard to know what to suggest.

    if you like fusion, do fusion. Follow your heart. I don’t think Scott Henderson’s knowledge of jazz goes earlier than Weather Report really, but he’s still a great jazz player in his own unique way.

    You have to be passionate about straightahead jazz to play it. No point trying to learn it otherwise, time would be better spent making music you care about.

    So involvement with music has to start with some listening.... maybe someone can make recommendation.

    If you are curious about straightahead jazz, the horn players might be of more interest at first. Jazz is not about the guitar really in the same way as the forms of music you are used to. It’s much more about piano, horns and drums. The real shredders are the horn players haha. That’s the jazz musicians Holdsworth and Gambale were really influenced by.... not Wes or Benson.

    When I was first getting into jazz I found jazz guitar utterly toothless and uninteresting. I liked Brecker, Trane and Charlie Parker. The guitarists sounded like they were playing under a blanket.

    Now I play an ES175 through a Fender amp. It’s a process of evolution lol.

    Follow your heart, but start by getting turned on by the music. May I suggest a shit load of Chris Potter, Brecker, Henderson and Coltrane?

  6. #5
    Thanks for all the replies so far! Great advice!

  7. #6

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    Perhaps it would be worth considering as many private lessons as you can afford.

    It isn't necessary to have a lesson every week. An organized teacher can probably give a month's worth of material in a single lesson.

    And, a lot of great musicians are teaching on line with openings available.

    I think the challenge will be to find somebody that presents the information in a way that will work well for you. Or, even knowing what that might be.

    There is a substantial diversity of opinion among the regulars on this forum about just about everything. How do you select a teacher?

    If I were to teach someone in your situation who could read standard notation (and I don't teach any more, this is not a solicitation), I think I'd start with the same tune my teacher started me on, decades ago.

    I'd teach a chord melody on Don't Blame Me. Write out the first voicing, circle the root, and tell you to memorize it in every key. Do that for every chord in the tune.

    Then, talk about how to think about soloing over it.

    1. Transcribe somebody's solo.

    2. Learn the major, minor and dominant scales and arps that can get you through a vanilla version of the tune.

    3. Strum the chords, scat sing something and put it on the guitar.

    4. Do the same thing in a few other keys

    5. Next tune. All of Me. Stars Fell On Alabama. Misty.

    You may hate my tune choices and I wouldn't blame you. They come from my teacher, who was active in the forties and fifties. You want to learn Benson, which is outside of my little corner of music. So, you'd have to find a teacher who is focused on what you want. But, consider this -- Benson probably knew all those oldies as young musician.

    If the student couldn't read, we'd have to discuss that. I think it's an excellent idea to know how to read, but there are great players who can't. The student has to decide on it. It's maybe 6 months of work to get to the point where you can reliably read the heads of standards.

    Undoubtably, everybody else who responds to this post will have a different approach.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-05-2020 at 07:09 PM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Hi!

    I'm a guitarist with a traditional shred/heavy metal/rock background, meaning my "heroes" growing up were guys like Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Marty Friedman etc, but I've become enamored by jazz. I will admit overall my favorite jazz is more of the Jazz Fusion a la Gambale, Holdsworth, Greg Howe, Di Meola etc, as well as those newer fusion guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller and the like, but I would say so far my favorite jazz guitarist is George Benson (if Benson played fusion it would probably easily be my favorite guitar stuff). I also specifically like a lot of the new "prog metal" fusion esque players like Plini, as well as r&b flavored stuff (hence why I think Benson is my favorite), like often when I've seen the live/full band versions of a lot of top pop acts the soloing style etc is right up my alley.


    With all that said, I'm interested in studying jazz guitar more formally, as I've viewed it as the most advanced harmonically/academically and I've always wanted to be the best improvisor I can be (I struggle with even rock stuff, I always have been a composer of solos) and my theory knowledge is also really just the essentials of rock, knowing the modes etc.


    Any suggestions on possible courses/guitar schools and the like I should check out? Ideally I'd get 1-1 lessons, but with COVID and other life responsiblities I am unsure if I can consistently afford those, so figure the courses etc would be the cheaper alternative for now, especially as I am unsure how deep I will get into jazz guitar. I've so far actually gotten lessons from Derryl Gabel (good but found it a little directionless/lack of a roadmap), and have considered various stuff ranging from Jimmy Bruno's guitar site to the George Benson method to Frank Gambale's courses, truefire courses etc, and am currently subscribed to Tim Miller's site. I've found with my actual experience (Tim and Derryl) it just is a little more directionless, and I will admit I want some handholding at least to start since I am knew to formally studying jazz. I also have that experience growing up of buying various books/videos and again not really having direction, it probably makes more sense for more advanced guys who have all the basics down to go that route. I'm also open to books if they are good method books, like Randy Vincent's Intro to Jazz has potential imo.


    You can also probably imagine I'm concerned if going to "straight" jazz a la Jimmy Bruno, Morten Faerestrand etc would be too differing from my own style, but I think I could just take the Jazz elements and add it to my own music which is definitely more of a rock direction.

    Thanks!

  9. #8

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    Get a subscription on Truefire. Terrific site. Follow the learning path for jazz and you'll get suggestions for other courses. I prefer Truefire to Artistworks. There's just way more content and the technology (notation and tab synced with the video) is just top notch.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Thanks for all the replies so far! Great advice!
    I'm curious if you have other musicians you know that wish to also play jazz and advance when it comes to playing in this style.

    I have a few friends that are similar to you; i.e. they are, for the most part, rock\heavy metal guitar players. We get together about once a month. Most of the time it is just two of us with acoustic guitars. At first we mostly just played rock songs (expect we didn't do them as "covers" but would rearrange them so each person could get an extended solo).

    (I learn music as a kid playing violin and switched to jazz guitar when I was 20, never really playing rock or even the blues).

    Overtime I showed them some "basic" jazz standards; (what my friends call those-really-old-songs!), like Sweet Georgia Brown. I.e. Songs that stayed in one key and didn't use those "funky jazz chords" (m7b5, Dom7#5, etc...). These guys have a really good ear and with only a few tips quickly learned the chords and could solo over them. As we continued to play I upped-the-ante by adding songs with more "changes".

    Of course all of the advise of taking lessons, using the Internet, and practicing are useful, but learning some jazz standards and playing them with others is useful.

  11. #10

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    It maybe a good idea to introduce yourself to Gypsy jazz. It's naturally shreddy genre, only on acoustic, and you will be learning a lot of great but harmonically simple jazz standards, that open the path to straight ahead jazz later. I seen a few people evolution like that: rock/blues- GJ- Jazz. Also, you'd be forced to swing, which most shredders lack, and is necessarily for jazz (non fusion).

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    It maybe a good idea to introduce yourself to Gypsy jazz. It's naturally shreddy genre, only on acoustic, and you will be learning a lot of great but harmonically simple jazz standards, that open the path to straight ahead jazz later. I seen a few people evolution like that: rock/blues- GJ- Jazz. Also, you'd be forced to swing, which most shredders lack, and is necessarily for jazz (non fusion).
    Good advise; Minor Swing isn't called the Bad Moon Rising of Gypsy jazz for no reason!

    I also know a few dudes that took up Gypsy jazz as a bridge between rock\blues and straight ahead (more harmonically complex), jazz standards.

  13. #12

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    I have a serious question for you - As a rock player with some technique and some scale knowledge etc, how much serious practice time are you prepared to invest for you to get reasonable at Jazz improv? 2 years? More? Less?

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    I have a serious question for you - As a rock player with some technique and some scale knowledge etc, how much serious practice time are you prepared to invest for you to get reasonable at Jazz improv? 2 years? More? Less?
    I think I have at least 2 years, meaning I don't really view reaching some "end goal" in a year or whatever, I kind of view playing/practicing as a lifelong pursuit. Even if I am blessed to eventually make a living playing music, I don't see myself having a mindset of "well now that I'm a pro there's no reason/need to get better" etc.

  15. #14

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    Yeah a lot of shred head rock players find Gypsy Jazz makes a good gateway drug. TBH Gypsy Jazz jams tend to do my head in a bit with the number of notes per second. Most of them calm down after a bit and realise that other things like swing and melody are important too :-)

    Most of them.

    There are also the less shred more jazz oriented fusion players, who I would consider to be John Scofield, Mike Stern, Scott Henderson and so on.

    But I have to say it was the horn players, pianists (and drummers!) for me early on. I guess I'm not that wedded to the guitar (although I still insist on playing the crappy thing, so there must be something I like about it haha.) But I was never really a shredder, more a blues guy.... my favourite Coltrane cuts were those really mediative ones like Tunji, where he just plays the blues over a hypnotic vamp.

    Jazz? Becoming a pro player?

    Pro players have niches. You have to find yours. I honestly think it's better if you do what you are passionate about and go all in than what you think is the right thing to do. Choose a thing and get good at it - specific is good, actually. You might find a way of monetising it!

    But being a well rounded musician is also important. You have to be able read and work on your ears (don't learn music from TAB EVER - listen to Mr Lukather - always read from staff notation and chord symbols and learn songs from recordings); you have to work on your time, both playing in a band and to a click; otherwise your prospects for employment will be limited, and you might miss out on falling into something that you absolutely love.
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-07-2020 at 04:27 PM.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah a lot of shred head rock players find Gypsy Jazz makes a good gateway drug. TBH Gypsy Jazz jams tend to do my head in a bit with the number of notes per second. Most of them calm down after a bit and realise that other things like swing and melody are important too :-)

    Most of them.

    There are also the less shred more jazz oriented fusion players, who I would consider to be John Scofield, Mike Stern, Scott Henderson and so on.

    But I have to say it was the horn players, pianists (and drummers!) for me early on. I guess I'm not that wedded to the guitar (although I still insist on playing the crappy thing, so there must be something I like about it haha.) But I was never really a shredder, more a blues guy.... my favourite Coltrane cuts were those really mediative ones like Tunji, where he just plays the blues over a hypnotic vamp.

    Jazz? Becoming a pro player?

    Pro players have niches. You have to find yours. I honestly think it's better if you do what you are passionate about and go all in than what you think is the right thing to do. Choose a thing and get good at it - specific is good, actually. You might find a way of monetising it!

    But being a well rounded musician is also important. You have to be able read and work on your ears (don't learn music from TAB EVER - listen to Mr Lukather - always read from staff notation and chord symbols and learn songs from recordings); you have to work on your time, both playing in a band and to a click; otherwise your prospects for employment will be limited, and you might miss out on falling into something that you absolutely love.
    I agree completely! With all your points, but I've found my main issue has been that "I want to be good at EVERYTHING" instead of focusing on what I really like and carving a niche.

  17. #16

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    You can't be good at everything. There isn't enough time.

    Well maybe good at most things. But not everything. And certainly not really good at everything. But you should also try loads of things out while you are still learning the ropes? SO certainly don't take this as discouragement from jumping into jazz if it truly appeals.

    It's complicated.

    I mean there's some things you can't afford to ignore for any style of music; working on your ear and time. Reading is a very useful skill.

    But, I would say listen to a lot of different music. You don't have to be a jazz musician to get turned on by jazz, and you don't have to be, say, a metal musician to get turned on by metal.

    So, it's not about being just in your lane and ignoring anything else, but it is a good idea to develop a sense of focus. OTOH, you don't want to closed off to trying new things. So it's a bit of a contradiction. Sorry!

    But I would say there's a lot of value in learning a tradition or approach to music thoroughly. For me that's bebop, straightahead jazz. I had to have something to call home. It's not that I want to play just like Jimmy Raney in 1958 even if that were possible, it's more; it gives me a place to stand. I'm actually naturally a bit of an eclectic. But I notice every even the most modern of my favourite NYC jazz players seemed to have a firm grasp of bop and straightahead repertoire, and as I loved listening to and playing that music, it seemed a worthwhile rabbit hole to explore for a while.

    But then I basically fell into loads of gigs (~200 a year) playing swing music for dancers for a while. So I had to learn that music for money. And I'm glad I did, even though it seemed incredibly limiting at first. And it really helped with the bop stuff.

    So in the end, while I might think of myself as an eclectic, people hear me as a swing and bop guy. That's what I've spent the most time with honestly. Now I think I'm going other places. It's a journey.

    But everyone's different.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You can't be good at everything. There isn't enough time.

    Well maybe good at most things. But not everything. And certainly not really good at everything. But you should also try loads of things out while you are still learning the ropes? SO certainly don't take this as discouragement from jumping into jazz if it truly appeals.

    It's complicated.

    I mean there's some things you can't afford to ignore for any style of music; working on your ear and time. Reading is a very useful skill.

    But, I would say listen to a lot of different music. You don't have to be a jazz musician to get turned on by jazz, and you don't have to be, say, a metal musician to get turned on by metal.

    So, it's not about being just in your lane and ignoring anything else, but it is a good idea to develop a sense of focus. OTOH, you don't want to closed off to trying new things. So it's a bit of a contradiction. Sorry!

    But I would say there's a lot of value in learning a tradition or approach to music thoroughly. For me that's bebop, straightahead jazz. I had to have something to call home. It's not that I want to play just like Jimmy Raney in 1958 even if that were possible, it's more; it gives me a place to stand. I'm actually naturally a bit of an eclectic. But I notice every even the most modern of my favourite NYC jazz players seemed to have a firm grasp of bop and straightahead repertoire, and as I loved listening to and playing that music, it seemed a worthwhile rabbit hole to explore for a while.

    But then I basically fell into loads of gigs (~200 a year) playing swing music for dancers for a while. So I had to learn that music for money. And I'm glad I did, even though it seemed incredibly limiting at first. And it really helped with the bop stuff.

    So in the end, while I might think of myself as an eclectic, people hear me as a swing and bop guy. That's what I've spent the most time with honestly. Now I think I'm going other places. It's a journey.

    But everyone's different.
    Your reply makes perfect sense, and hell maybe I'll find out jazz isn't for me, I guess for me though it feels like I don't have at least the basic knowledge to know that yet..kind of like how if a person wanted to be a writer they should at least have learned the basics of writing/grammar first (luckily schooling teaches that, but music is solely lacking in public and other schools I've found).

    I'm currently exploring the Truefire jazz path, and I like how if I paticularly like a certain teacher/style/course I can focus on that...but it is smart to at least try to get through the "entry-level" jazz lesson first and complete that before I try to decide if I want to focus on bebop haha, or even just stick to rock with fusion stylings here and there.

  19. #18

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    Have you run across Alex Skolnick and Page Hamilton, each their own version of a jazz guy playing metal or a metal guy playing jazz..Maybe worth checking out for some inspiration and direction.

    PK

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by paulkogut
    Have you run across Alex Skolnick and Page Hamilton, each their own version of a jazz guy playing metal or a metal guy playing jazz..Maybe worth checking out for some inspiration and direction.

    PK
    Big fan of Skolnick! I know Page Hamilton but didn't know he was a jazz guy, I'll check more of his stuff out!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    I think I have at least 2 years, meaning I don't really view reaching some "end goal" in a year or whatever, I kind of view playing/practicing as a lifelong pursuit. Even if I am blessed to eventually make a living playing music, I don't see myself having a mindset of "well now that I'm a pro there's no reason/need to get better" etc.
    Sorry, I sucked you in with a trick question - Most Rock guys think it should only take them a couple of years to get their Jazz chops, like "Just show me what scales to learn" kinda thing. Actually everything about Rock shredders puts them at a disadvantage when turning their hand to Jazz - their technique is all wrong for it, the key centric scale heavy approach, the mindless noodling (not prehearing what they play), the whole approach, mental and physical, has to be thrown out and re started from scratch. How's your ears? Most rock noodlers can't hear anything, by that I mean start on any finger, any string in any position and play a simple tune you can hum, like "Happy Birthday". If you can't play that on your guitar in any key, any position immediately without a mistake then your ear is not even at beginner level, or at least your ability to transfer to your instrument what you hear or wish to play isn't. Then there is the matter of hearing what you wish to play - the Jazz Language - hearing great lines in your head before transferring it to the instrument. How to address transitions from chord to chord, how to target chord tones, how to target chord extensions, how and when to target chord alterations etc etc The countless ways to approach or encircle, chromatically. diatonically and both mixed. The hundreds of hours of listening and absorbing the stylings of others. Learning to improvise through chord inversions (comping), developing a Jazz sense of rhythm (this alone takes years). 10,000 hours of all the above, plus an extra 2,000 hours to undo atrocious habits entrenched by rock noodling.

    No one believes you when you say it's more like 20 years work, because they think they will be "different" - after all, it only took them 2 years to get good at flashy blues licks! haha.... It's like if I ask you to clean the windows at the Empire State building, you might think you can do the ground floor in a coupla hours. But it takes days, then the next floor, then the next.... many years later you've finished but by then you need to start again from the ground up. It always takes longer than you might first think, not twice as long, but 10 times as long. Ask anyone here.

    Still think you'll be different? Come back to this thread in 2 years, then again in 10. How did you go? It might be easier to remain a rock player and to learn a handful of jazz licks, that's what most rock players eventually settle for. Yes that's like settling for checkers instead of World Championship level Chess, but you get out what you put in, and all that malarkey....

    Not trying to put anyone off, helping people cross over from Rock to Jazz is becoming a mission for me, and the best thing I've found to help is to shock them into the realisation of how much work it takes. You will soon appreciate how damn hard it is to be even an average Jazz guitarist!

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet

    Not trying to put anyone off, helping people cross over from Rock to Jazz is becoming a mission for me
    god help us...

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Sorry, I sucked you in with a trick question - Most Rock guys think it should only take them a couple of years to get their Jazz chops, like "Just show me what scales to learn" kinda thing. Actually everything about Rock shredders puts them at a disadvantage when turning their hand to Jazz - their technique is all wrong for it, the key centric scale heavy approach, the mindless noodling (not prehearing what they play), the whole approach, mental and physical, has to be thrown out and re started from scratch. How's your ears? Most rock noodlers can't hear anything, by that I mean start on any finger, any string in any position and play a simple tune you can hum, like "Happy Birthday". If you can't play that on your guitar in any key, any position immediately without a mistake then your ear is not even at beginner level, or at least your ability to transfer to your instrument what you hear or wish to play isn't. Then there is the matter of hearing what you wish to play - the Jazz Language - hearing great lines in your head before transferring it to the instrument. How to address transitions from chord to chord, how to target chord tones, how to target chord extensions, how and when to target chord alterations etc etc The countless ways to approach or encircle, chromatically. diatonically and both mixed. The hundreds of hours of listening and absorbing the stylings of others. Learning to improvise through chord inversions (comping), developing a Jazz sense of rhythm (this alone takes years). 10,000 hours of all the above, plus an extra 2,000 hours to undo atrocious habits entrenched by rock noodling.

    No one believes you when you say it's more like 20 years work, because they think they will be "different" - after all, it only took them 2 years to get good at flashy blues licks! haha.... It's like if I ask you to clean the windows at the Empire State building, you might think you can do the ground floor in a coupla hours. But it takes days, then the next floor, then the next.... many years later you've finished but by then you need to start again from the ground up. It always takes longer than you might first think, not twice as long, but 10 times as long. Ask anyone here.

    Still think you'll be different? Come back to this thread in 2 years, then again in 10. How did you go? It might be easier to remain a rock player and to learn a handful of jazz licks, that's what most rock players eventually settle for. Yes that's like settling for checkers instead of World Championship level Chess, but you get out what you put in, and all that malarkey....

    Not trying to put anyone off, helping people cross over from Rock to Jazz is becoming a mission for me, and the best thing I've found to help is to shock them into the realisation of how much work it takes. You will soon appreciate how damn hard it is to be even an average Jazz guitarist!
    Wouldn’t it be better just to be evangelical about weaning rock players off the dreaded tabz?

    Theres no difference in process for any form of music. The only thing is the guitar instructional industry has been a parasite on guitar playing for the past 30 odd years. (Which is not to start instruction is de facto bad, but a lot of it has been concerned with shortcuts... because amateur guitar playing is a bigger business than professional.)

    All the great rock players learned by ear without exception. And yes, some of them (Lukather, Vai etc) can read too.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Big fan of Skolnick! I know Page Hamilton but didn't know he was a jazz guy, I'll check more of his stuff out!
    Page studied jazz guitar at Manhattan School of Music IIRC


    As regards his straightahead jazz playing today he seems to embrace his role as ‘enthusiastic amateur.’

    But he’s a very adventurous musician. I saw him play some crazy drum and bass, free jazz, metal fusion stuff with a trumpeter about 20 years ago. It was great!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Wouldn’t it be better just to be evangelical about weaning rock players off the dreaded tabz?

    Theres no difference in process for any form of music. The only thing is the guitar instructional industry has been a parasite on guitar playing for the past 30 odd years. (Which is not to start instruction is de facto bad, but a lot of it has been concerned with shortcuts... because amateur guitar playing is a bigger business than professional.)

    All the great rock players learned by ear without exception. And yes, some of them (Lukather, Vai etc) can read too.
    Nothing wrong with tabs though haha. Yes, the tabs help guitar teachers to stay in business. It's an industry! Sometimes I tell my students you should try to figure out a song by ear, and thinking if they did, they will not be back. It took about 5 lessons when I started out, before realizing I can learn those songs on my own. I stopped showing up for the lessons right there.

  26. #25

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    It’s also worth pointing out Satriani studied with Lennie Tristano and Lennie was apparently fine with him singing Tony Iommi and Hendrix solos.
    although Joe did some jazz solos (I think he just likes jazz) it wasn’t a requisite by the sounds of it.

    It seems for Lennie the learning process was the important thing as much as the music itself. I think this is the understanding I’m coming to.

    For those unfamiliar with Tristano’s approach to music education, the idea is you must be able sing a solo all the way through before you play it. Pretty hardcore!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Nothing wrong with tabs though haha. Yes, the tabs help guitar teachers to stay in business. It's an industry! Sometimes I tell my students you should try to figure out a song by ear, and thinking if they did, they will not be back. It took about 5 lessons when I started out, before realizing I can learn those songs on my own. I stopped showing up for the lessons right there.
    Haha yeah. Me too actually. Although I did classical lessons for about a year which was helpful.

    It being Christmas just doing Jingle Bells yesterday with my child beginner students. (Tis the season for ear training, because everyone can sing Christmas tunes right? The trick comes to able to sing a solo like you can sing Jingle Bells; but more on that elsewhere.)

    Some kids pick this up shockingly fast, and all of them get into it without a problem. With adult learners I think they can do it better than they think, but it’s harder for them to just go for it. Adults think far too much.

    Introducing these kids to tab as anything other than an aide memoire is imo an abuse of my responsibility.

    But as you say it’s also a very bad business model haha. That’s why need progressively more complicated music. Hey maybe jazz has a purpose after all!

    But yeah if you need guitar lessons to learn rock riffs?

  28. #27
    I'm enjoying the discussion here! Yes I am well aware I can't quickly become a "true" jazz player, hell I can't guarantee that playing straight jazz will be my new goal, I at least just want to get some positive skills etc from jazz that I can translate to my own original music (which currently is rock based but I don't give myself limitation when I write stuff)...considering that even in rock I am a bad improvisor etc I figure exploring jazz may not make me an amazing jazz musician, but I can at least probably be a very good rock musician/improvisor/develop great ears for rock.

    I already regret spending my formative years (I'm almost 30) just like exclusively using tab because I was obsessed with playing "exactly" like the original artist played the music, instead of using my ear to develop my own style/way of playing solos/songs that fit my playing.

  29. #28

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    He did! He was there for a Master's a few years ahead of me. We didn't cross paths there but would wave at each other occasionally coming in and out of Harry Kolbe's shop....

    PK

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    I'm enjoying the discussion here! Yes I am well aware I can't quickly become a "true" jazz player, hell I can't guarantee that playing straight jazz will be my new goal, I at least just want to get some positive skills etc from jazz that I can translate to my own original music (which currently is rock based but I don't give myself limitation when I write stuff)...considering that even in rock I am a bad improvisor etc I figure exploring jazz may not make me an amazing jazz musician, but I can at least probably be a very good rock musician/improvisor/develop great ears for rock.

    I already regret spending my formative years (I'm almost 30) just like exclusively using tab because I was obsessed with playing "exactly" like the original artist played the music, instead of using my ear to develop my own style/way of playing solos/songs that fit my playing.
    The joke is you’d get closer using your ears anyway.... because tab doesn’t give you all the nuance you’d pick up through close listening. OTOH it represents someone else’s best guess as to how it was played - And they might not have more of a clue than you sometimes!

  31. #30

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    Obsessing with getting your fav artists music exactly as played is a positive thing in my book. I was like that too, just because I was very inspired. There is no harm in it at all, because most likely you will fail anyway, so the difference is your style. Many interviews I read would confirm that, famous musicians saying I tried so hard to copy this and that, but end up playing like myself. The trying is the key though.

  32. #31

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    There is also value in getting it ever so slightly wrong...

    Without mutations you can’t have evolution

    Bruce Forman worries that everyone is getting it too accurate.... programs like Transcribe make it possible to get really exact.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Not trying to put anyone off, helping people cross over from Rock to Jazz is becoming a mission for me, and the best thing I've found to help is to shock them into the realisation of how much work it takes. You will soon appreciate how damn hard it is to be even an average Jazz guitarist!

    Rock/shred guitarist new to jazz, suggestions for online courses/schools etc-full-metal-jacket-jpg

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Hi!

    I'm a guitarist with a traditional shred/heavy metal/rock background, meaning my "heroes" growing up were guys like Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci, George Lynch, Marty Friedman etc, but I've become enamored by jazz. I will admit overall my favorite jazz is more of the Jazz Fusion a la Gambale, Holdsworth, Greg Howe, Di Meola etc, as well as those newer fusion guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller and the like, but I would say so far my favorite jazz guitarist is George Benson (if Benson played fusion it would probably easily be my favorite guitar stuff). I also specifically like a lot of the new "prog metal" fusion esque players like Plini, as well as r&b flavored stuff (hence why I think Benson is my favorite), like often when I've seen the live/full band versions of a lot of top pop acts the soloing style etc is right up my alley.
    ...
    You can also probably imagine I'm concerned if going to "straight" jazz a la Jimmy Bruno, Morten Faerestrand etc would be too differing from my own style, but I think I could just take the Jazz elements and add it to my own music which is definitely more of a rock direction.

    Thanks!
    Welcome. I took the "shred route to jazz". You are in good company.
    I bypassed the more modern players(because it was already familiar to my ear) and went old school: Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel. Still have so much to learn, lol.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick

    Rock/shred guitarist new to jazz, suggestions for online courses/schools etc-full-metal-jacket-jpg
    Damn straight!

  36. #35
    OP I think you are one the right path with the Truefire courses. That is a very accessible way to get some tunes under your hands and you can later decide how much energy you want to put into jazz. I don't think there is anything wrong with just casually wanting to learn some jazz tunes and a little theory. I would also recommend listening to as much jazz as you can.

  37. #36

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    Another “other style into jazz” guy here. I played fingerstyle country blues and american primitive for several years. While there is some very advanced right hand stuff going on there, the left hand mostly hangs in first position. The main challenge is currently to get all those jazz chord voicings into my left hand.

    I have several TrueFire courses as well but my issue with TrueFire is that they don’t explain much, it’s mostly “play this”, but not why. Tim Lerch and Sheryl Bailey are notable exceptions.

    I discovered Barry Greene and his teaching style and material is much more inspiring to me. Also way more difficult, so I’m in at the deep end... check him out.

    For an example of how jazz can apply to a pop/rnb situation check out the TrueFire neosoul lessons by Rory Ronde. Truly amazing material there even though he doesn’t explain much.
    Last edited by frankhond; 12-17-2020 at 02:15 AM.