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  1. #1

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    Hi again guys,

    First forgive me if this should go in my original thread introducing myself (mods feel free to move this to that if so)- just thought it might be easier as a new topic specifically.

    So as mentioned, I signed up (again) for Truefire, and have managed to complete the Play Jazz Guitar 2: Rhythm & Lead Fundamentals course, and am working on the Bebop Licks course and 1-2-3 Jazz course you see as supplements (you can see the path here, as you don't need a login for that:https://truefire.com/learning-paths/...arning-path/a3).

    Now as mentioned, I come from a rock/metal/shred, maybe let's just call it "rock/pop" since the kind of music I have mostly been into/have made is the stuff that on Billboard it could just be on the general top 40 list, maybe "Mainstream Rock", but not Jazz/R&B/Classical etc. Also, in general my favorite jazz-associated players have been fusion guys like Holdsworth, McLaughlin, lesser known guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller etc, as well as even metal guys with jazz influences like Paul Masvidal, David Davidson of Revocation, and Chris Poland. Even though I've actually greatly enjoyed the Truefire lessons so far (having fun playing bebop licks and also playing along with progressions using basic Maj7, m7, and 9 chords), I find it highly unlikely that for me personally I pursue either what would be considered "true" jazz, and/or the general playing standards etc, I'm still of that mindset of writing original songs, probably still more normal rock/pop etc stuff, with the jazz being more of an influence/style, at least in terms of my writing/actual output.

    Now with that said, and also looking at the Rock learning path and all the various stylistic/improv and other worthwhile aspects of playing regardless of genre (see it here: Rock Guitar Learning Path - TrueFire), do you think it makes more sense to stick with the Jazz path, or focus on the rock path? I guess for me, with how Berklee and pretty much every prestigious "contemporary" school still has it's core focus in jazz, makes me wonder if regardless of genre it's still best to stick with the Jazz path, and then pick out courses I'm interested in outside of the path whenever I want, especially since I know you can't really learn jazz without playing with others and such. Especially considering how Jazz is kind of the top in terms of both harmony and improvising, I wonder if I focused on Jazz and even was an intermediate by Jazz standards that would overall be more valuable to even non-jazz playing than it would be for other avenues. Or as another example, how often the best contemporary singers all have classical/opera training, they just apply the technique to contemporary songs, so I'm wondering if the idea of learning jazz is the same? Or one should only focus on jazz if that is truly the genre they most want to play?

    Thanks for any replies/insight!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    then pick out courses I'm interested in outside of the path whenever I want,
    I think this is a good rule of thumb generally with true fire to be honest. The learning paths were a good idea but I found I was wading through quite a bit of waffle or teachers I didn't really find appealing.

    Whereas now I tend to pick courses on topics that interest me or teachers I know resonate with my learning style.

  4. #3

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    If it's about jazz you can't go wrong by subscribing to Frank Vignola's Jazz Studio on truefire. It's $ 10.00 a month now I think and worth every penny - new material added each month. You can try it for a month or so and if it's not for you you can unsubscribe any time.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by neonshaker
    teachers I know resonate with my learning style.
    That is the single most important thing .. Like Frank Vignola .. A great player and a popular teacher.


    But for me personally (and maybe only me) he just does not work as an online teacher .. at all.


    It's all about who you are as a person and off course what your skill level is. Life is imho too short to force yourself to power thru a course that doesn't inspire you.

  6. #5

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    I wouldn't think about studying stuff that I wasn't that interested in listening to or playing. If you really like the jazz, then stick with it, and listen to where it came from. If you are doing it because you think its good medicine, then re-evaluate what you are doing.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy Pratt
    I wouldn't think about studying stuff that I wasn't that interested in listening to or playing. If you really like the jazz, then stick with it, and listen to where it came from. If you are doing it because you think its good medicine, then re-evaluate what you are doing.
    Thanks, and I agree! I have enjoyed the learning the lessons so far, but I guess since it's the very beginning of Jazz it's like if a rock lover only just learned the cowboy chords, it's a bit early to say if you will like it imo. Do you think there's certain artists/jazz styles you should definitely be into to define getting into Jazz? Since as mentioned, if one only liked the fusion guys like McLaughlin, Henderson, Holdsworth etc then probably they'd be better off having an overall foundation in a more rock style.

  8. #7

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    I am not keen on paths, or journeys. I like the lessons on this site, because you can pick and mix: learn Autumn Leaves, play some chords, buy some lessons. You do not have to do as you are told, or make a monthly payment plan.

    The best thing about jazz guitar instruction, whether you want to be a jazz guitarist or not, is you learn a lot of theory. This you can apply to many differing styles of music. Rock, for all its charms, does not have theory; it has practices. Most rock teaching is about imitation, not innovation. You learn how to do things, but not why.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Thanks, and I agree! I have enjoyed the learning the lessons so far, but I guess since it's the very beginning of Jazz it's like if a rock lover only just learned the cowboy chords, it's a bit early to say if you will like it imo. Do you think there's certain artists/jazz styles you should definitely be into to define getting into Jazz? Since as mentioned, if one only liked the fusion guys like McLaughlin, Henderson, Holdsworth etc then probably they'd be better off having an overall foundation in a more rock style.
    Jazz encompasses a huge range on its own, as does rock. For me, there are several bedrock musicians I keep going back to: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lester Young, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson primarily from the swing era. Then Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans. You will notice a lack of guitarists - for me, in Jazz, the guitarists are Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. There are other great artists and great guitarists, but these are the ones I have been listening to for years and years, and keep coming back to. Ask 20 other people, and you would probably get 20 other lists, but I also think many of the ones I have mentioned would get mentioned very frequently.

  10. #9
    I would buy courses individually of whatever seems interesting to you. You can learn how to improvise and compose without learning straight ahead jazz.

  11. #10

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    Having confidently said that rock has no theory, I now find my local library has a copy of Teach yourself rock theory, by Tarshis, Steve. It was published in 1978. I must borrow it.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jco5055
    Hi again guys,

    First forgive me if this should go in my original thread introducing myself (mods feel free to move this to that if so)- just thought it might be easier as a new topic specifically.

    So as mentioned, I signed up (again) for Truefire, and have managed to complete the Play Jazz Guitar 2: Rhythm & Lead Fundamentals course, and am working on the Bebop Licks course and 1-2-3 Jazz course you see as supplements (you can see the path here, as you don't need a login for that:Jazz Guitar Learning Path - TrueFire).

    Now as mentioned, I come from a rock/metal/shred, maybe let's just call it "rock/pop" since the kind of music I have mostly been into/have made is the stuff that on Billboard it could just be on the general top 40 list, maybe "Mainstream Rock", but not Jazz/R&B/Classical etc. Also, in general my favorite jazz-associated players have been fusion guys like Holdsworth, McLaughlin, lesser known guys like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller etc, as well as even metal guys with jazz influences like Paul Masvidal, David Davidson of Revocation, and Chris Poland. Even though I've actually greatly enjoyed the Truefire lessons so far (having fun playing bebop licks and also playing along with progressions using basic Maj7, m7, and 9 chords), I find it highly unlikely that for me personally I pursue either what would be considered "true" jazz, and/or the general playing standards etc, I'm still of that mindset of writing original songs, probably still more normal rock/pop etc stuff, with the jazz being more of an influence/style, at least in terms of my writing/actual output.

    Now with that said, and also looking at the Rock learning path and all the various stylistic/improv and other worthwhile aspects of playing regardless of genre (see it here: Rock Guitar Learning Path - TrueFire), do you think it makes more sense to stick with the Jazz path, or focus on the rock path? I guess for me, with how Berklee and pretty much every prestigious "contemporary" school still has it's core focus in jazz, makes me wonder if regardless of genre it's still best to stick with the Jazz path, and then pick out courses I'm interested in outside of the path whenever I want, especially since I know you can't really learn jazz without playing with others and such. Especially considering how Jazz is kind of the top in terms of both harmony and improvising, I wonder if I focused on Jazz and even was an intermediate by Jazz standards that would overall be more valuable to even non-jazz playing than it would be for other avenues. Or as another example, how often the best contemporary singers all have classical/opera training, they just apply the technique to contemporary songs, so I'm wondering if the idea of learning jazz is the same? Or one should only focus on jazz if that is truly the genre they most want to play?

    Thanks for any replies/insight!
    Life’s too short to learn shit you aren’t interested in

    I learned that the hard way haha

  13. #12

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    That said, and this is probably a bit moot in the pandemic, my journey with straightahead jazz was that I was always involved in playing situations.

    I’d have to learn the tunes that were being played: so I ended up learning the straightahead repertoire and moved into becoming a more ‘jazz’ player over time.

    I think it has to start with the music.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I am not keen on paths, or journeys. I like the lessons on this site, because you can pick and mix: learn Autumn Leaves, play some chords, buy some lessons. You do not have to do as you are told, or make a monthly payment plan.

    The best thing about jazz guitar instruction, whether you want to be a jazz guitarist or not, is you learn a lot of theory. This you can apply to many differing styles of music. Rock, for all its charms, does not have theory; it has practices. Most rock teaching is about imitation, not innovation. You learn how to do things, but not why.
    Theory is a parasitic organism that grows on music after sufficient time and starts to leach the life from it.

    No surprise ‘rock theory’ now exists.

    Imitation and oral learning is the real shit. Don’t be put off or confused.

    (This is true for ALL music.)

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Theory is a parasitic organism that grows on music after sufficient time and starts to leach the life from it.

    No surprise ‘rock theory’ now exists.

    Imitation and oral learning is the real shit. Don’t be put off or confused.

    (This is true for ALL music.)
    Alright, I'll bite.

    Music provides multidimensional enjoyment. Mostly it evokes emotion. At other times it's more intellectual. Often it's both. There can be a "wow" factor in following Coltrane's solos for example that has to do with understanding what he's doing. The same is true with painting and photography appreciation.

    I don't know anything about ballet. I have a general idea about elegant motion, synchrony with music, and the limits of the human body. I saw this video that opened my eyes to how masterful ballet can be. If I didn't understand the rules and the general limits I would have missed a great deal. Take a look.

    I agree that focusing on theory misses the larger point of music. But being completely ignorant of theory narrows appreciation.


  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Theory is a parasitic organism that grows on music after sufficient time and starts to leach the life from it.

    No surprise ‘rock theory’ now exists.

    Imitation and oral learning is the real shit. Don’t be put off or confused.

    (This is true for ALL music.)

    Theory is the foundation. Without it, you have a shaky edifice. Imitation and oral learning are primitive without theory, unless you just want to sound like somebody else. If you're confused, study some theory, and you won't sound so ignorant.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Theory is the foundation. Without it, you have a shaky edifice. Imitation and oral learning are primitive without theory, unless you just want to sound like somebody else. If you're confused, study some theory, and you won't sound so ignorant.
    That sounds like bullshit ... I'm with Christian here. Theory is a system of categorization.

    Imitation followed with experimentation is where your ear is born. Theory may be useful if you an accomplished player already, but absolutely useless if you're not .. I fell in to the trap of studying theory far too much and it has taught me to explain all sorts of shit, but not to play a single phrase that actually sounds good.

    There isn't a single great player, who didn't start with a shit load of transcribing. Even someone like Pat Metheny gigged as a Wes clone in his teens.


    But prove me wrong. Post examples of players who theory elevated from mediocre players to good players?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Theory is the foundation. Without it, you have a shaky edifice. Imitation and oral learning are primitive without theory, unless you just want to sound like somebody else. If you're confused, study some theory, and you won't sound so ignorant.
    Primitive.

    Interesting word. Lots of resonances and associations.

    Anyway, some things that I notice about music theory:
    - musical forms tend to acquire more of it over time.
    - its easy to put in books and teach at colleges. (More so than other elements of musical experience which can be hard to articulate in text.)
    - mostly people who have sunk lots of time into theory feel it's important. (Not terribly difficult to understand that psychology!)
    - some people really really like theory

    So it it the foundation?
    - many people who have learned theory can play great!
    - Conversely some great players know little or no theory....
    - OTOH I get students who know a ton of theory who can't really (by their own admission) make music...

    So theory doesn't by itself doesn't appear be the foundation for actually doing music. If anything it seems to be a mixed blessing, helping sometimes, but acting as a distraction at other times.

    What does seem to unite the good players is a focus on listening to and learning music by ear in various ways; be it songs, solos, lines, chords, whatever. The more the merrier.

    But anyway, this discussion has been had elsewhere; and usually everyone here who can play to a high standard seems to end up agreeing on the fundamentals. No pro jazz or rock/pop session musician that I've talked to about IRL this says any different... The emphasis has to be practical, and using the ears and imitating sounds are perhaps the most important steps towards becoming a real musician, as well as actually playing it with other musicians.

    I can usually tell if someone hasn't done this work by a couple of notes. It's like 'I play music pretty good I learn it from a book.' And if I can tell, you can bet your ass that so can actually good musicians lol.

    In contrast to the rock guitarists of the 60s and 70s and the jazz players of the 40s and 50s, we live in an information rich world; so the temptation is to think that the information is what's important. Whereas, in fact, it's the music itself. Of course.

    Someone who is ambitious has to know what to prioritise, and in general an aspiring professional will find their path easier if they:

    - sound consistently good (i.e usually by playing the simple things REALLY WELL.)
    - play good groove and time
    - are able to learn music by ear very quickly,
    - sight read well,
    - turn up on time wearing the right outfit, and
    - are a good hang

    (I've not achieved all those things wonderfully, I must admit haha...)

    Beyond the world of music colleges, which have their own preoccupations and criteria, theory is not really a requirement to be a working musician, but if it helps or if you find it fun, why not?
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-17-2020 at 07:13 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Alright, I'll bite.

    Music provides multidimensional enjoyment. Mostly it evokes emotion. At other times it's more intellectual. Often it's both. There can be a "wow" factor in following Coltrane's solos for example that has to do with understanding what he's doing. The same is true with painting and photography appreciation.

    I don't know anything about ballet. I have a general idea about elegant motion, synchrony with music, and the limits of the human body. I saw this video that opened my eyes to how masterful ballet can be. If I didn't understand the rules and the general limits I would have missed a great deal. Take a look.

    I agree that focusing on theory misses the larger point of music. But being completely ignorant of theory narrows appreciation.

    There's an interesting conversation to be had about the schism between practicing an art and appreciating it that is beyond the scope of this thread (lol.) Both are very valid things IMO by the way; but I'm primarily concerned with the former in my everyday practice.

    Much music theory to emerge in 19th century and early 20th century Europe was concerned with musical analysis for appreciation by the emerging middle classes in higher education; music itself was of the Artisan class traditionally, although by the 19th century the cult of the Artist and the emergence of that middle class had altered societal perceptions of music.

    In any case, the central fact of the square peg of the liberal arts education model in the round hole of preparing musicians for professional life, is you can't teach anyone to be a professional musician in four years, even assuming the colleges are teaching all the right stuff.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Theory is a parasitic organism that grows on music after sufficient time and starts to leach the life from it.

    No surprise ‘rock theory’ now exists.

    Imitation and oral learning is the real shit. Don’t be put off or confused.

    (This is true for ALL music.)
    Theory is Death.

    Do as you are told. Follow your elders. Do not stray from the path of righteousness.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Theory is Death.

    Do as you are told. Follow your elders. Do not stray from the path of righteousness.
    No that's not what I meant exactly...

    I put it very blunt... I'd just had a conversation with a teacher who sees the world much in the same way haha... He's a music college professor lol... but there's nuance to it.

    Theory itself is like an academic superstructure built onto music after the fact, to explain it and rationalise it. Often this can be sharply at odds with the way people within the tradition have learned, although over time the academic, theoretic side can dominate the old practical, artisanal side.

    Tradition is more freeing than people think, I think. The need or desire to innovate is a horrible mental prison sometimes, can actually stifle creativity.

    I actually see theory as opposed to tradition. Tradition contains flux and evolution within in it, because it is primarily oral and based on doing; that changes generation to generation. To take an extreme example, Konnakol has been going on for thousands of years, perhaps, but there's no definitive practice, there's no big book of Konnakol... it's an evolving tradition.

    OTOH theory codifies and immortalises.

    We see it again and again. I think it's the primary way living musical languages become dead musical languages. To immortalise is to kill. Change is life.

    Barry Harris's teaching could be understood to be theory, for instance... but its aim is always to make music rather than explain it.... to make beautiful things out of simple elements using learned skills and patterns. A craft.

    OTOH part of the job of the elders within the jazz tradition has always been to tell learners to both copy the past, and also not to copy it.

    It might seem like a contradiction... but what you need to be told is completely dependent on where you are.

    Jazz managed to keep itself fresh through this paradox.

    Anyway apologies to the OP lol....
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-17-2020 at 07:56 PM.

  22. #21

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    LOL .. I haven't heard that reference in ages .. So fitting in this discussion .. Gotta love that this isn't a 100% American forum


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Theory is Death.

    Do as you are told. Follow your elders. Do not stray from the path of righteousness.
    Like all the non-believing followers and nihilists, you have no idea what theory really is. In fact, copying and transcribing is much closer to "following your elders" than figuring out the relationships in the harmonized diatonic scale. Somehow, the naysayers have fixed on theory as book-learning, when it is (in jazz, anyway) the practical and applied study of harmony. Studying classical theory out of a book is not the way jazz players learn advanced harmony, by the way.

    You guys. Open your minds a bit, maybe you'll start to like your own playing occasionally.

  24. #23

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    @ronjazz it seems by ‘music theory’ you mean ‘practical information that helps you play music and understand how it can be composed and improvised?’ I call this craft, know how, practice.

    That’s not necessarily what theory is. But let’s park that and use your definition.

    (Pattern recognition and categorisation are a basic aspect of human intelligence of course.)

    If you start with the music and use any theory you find helpful, including that which you invent yourself, and you’ll be OK. If you read ‘theory’ and expect music to emerge you won’t.

    So music first....

    not terribly complicated or controversial, I don’t think. Or in disagreement to what you said?
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-18-2020 at 12:22 PM.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Theory is a parasitic organism that grows on music after sufficient time and starts to leach the life from it.

    No surprise ‘rock theory’ now exists.

    Imitation and oral learning is the real shit. Don’t be put off or confused.

    (This is true for ALL music.)

    Excellent stuff, but theory sells teaching books, teaching dvds, online lessons and other nonsense. Music Theory is a business like any other, we all need to make a living somehow.

  26. #25

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    Music theory, in rudimentary forms, apparently exists from ancient civilizations going back to 1500 BC and likely further back as people tried to explain pitches, intervals and tunings. We [academic institutions] have just figured out ways to define their relationships to students in order to justify [probably a harsh word] their jobs.

    I have no doubt that many musicians from any genre initially picks up an instrument and start to play without ever knowing if they need to play a minor 7th or whatever. They just play what sounds 'right' at the time. Trial and error. Learning the instrument and becoming a proficient 'musician' is not hindered by knowing theory or not.

    I don't wish to bash theory, it is a wonderful tool, but the practicality of playing an instrument does not need this knowledge.

    I figure at this point that the OP is no longer around.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzereh
    I figure at this point that the OP is no longer around.

    Threads where OP posts a single question on here and disappears are traditionally some of the longest ones
    Last edited by Lobomov; 12-18-2020 at 03:40 PM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If you read ‘theory’ and expect music to emerge you won’t.

    So music first...
    Thats a quite lovely quote.

  29. #28
    I've transcribed a fair amount of jazz solos and didn't get much out of it by itself. I couldn't take the phrases out of the transcriptions and use them elsewhere. Analysis has helped me get more out of transcribing and take pieces out of the solo and use them elsewhere.

    Now, I am not much of a player so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I find that although theory by itself is probably useless, but analyzing real jazz phrases with theory is a useful way to deconstruct them and use them in other contexts.

    I've also found that focusing on specific things like connecting guide tones has been helpful. Bert Ligon's books are great, IMO.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I've transcribed a fair amount of jazz solos and didn't get much out of it by itself. I couldn't take the phrases out of the transcriptions and use them elsewhere. Analysis has helped me get more out of transcribing and take pieces out of the solo and use them elsewhere.

    Now, I am not much of a player so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I find that although theory by itself is probably useless, but analyzing real jazz phrases with theory is a useful way to deconstruct them and use them in other contexts.

    I've also found that focusing on specific things like connecting guide tones has been helpful. Bert Ligon's books are great, IMO.
    My experience with transcription is love/hate. I have to listen better to transcribe. It's time consuming and hurts my brain after a short while. But it can open up potentials in creativity.