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  1. #1

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    Hello,
    i began studying jazz on guitar when i was like 20 years, then later i went for a full time saxophone studies and got a degree in jazz. Now i am taking again the guitar after more than 20 years. I am really impressed about my fingers laying confortably enought after all this time. I improvise on the sax over progressions and also have decent phrasing and sense of tension and release, and i would like to translate that to the guitar in a correct way.

    Coming from guitar i learned the sax thru fingerings and positions mostly, not the traditional way of reading and thinking the notes. I knew chords, tensions like a mental shape map i would use while improvising. Also knew some theory and things like ornaments, aproach notes and so...All this helped me surviving while i did the degree. In the meantime i was also incorporing the note names and transcribing and working on language, which helped to make more musical statements instead of the more mechanical way of playing when thinking in shapes.

    What i have notice is that i can rely on shapes on guitar, the same way as when i began my sax career. But i am not convinced by this way of learning and want to find a routine that put more emphasis on learning the notes on the fretboard, and knowing where i am at all times if this make sense.
    What i am trying to do now is just learning the notes string by string and then by position(four frets groups), and just playing very slow triads and seventh arpeggios.

    So, with all the tools that there are in my mind, it is easy to be overhelmed. I need some concrete efficient routine that i can rely on so to avoid relying too much on shapes and positions and think and hear the notes and melodies(hope that makes sense).

    What would you suggest? Is someone out there with a similar background?

    Thanks,

    Aingeru

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    This may be helpful. http://noodid.ee/degreeQuiz/degreeQuiz.html

    But the basic routine.. learn the patterns(diatonic,harm,alt) as whole and not just bits of them. You only have to do it once with each scale because guitar is awesome that way.
    Then attach everything new to the pattern so it kinda ties everything you know. That would make it simpler.
    The feeling of being overwhelmed, I think it just happens when there is no solid connections between chords-scales-licks-melodies etc. The big map can help to reduce this.

    To learn all the notes, it takes a few months when sightreading some music or exercises 30ish minutes a day. Thats not gonna be a big problem I think.

    But I bet better suggestions are incoming here soon

    Oh, and a beautiful routine for you for every morning:
    start with 1st finger (left hand... or the "neck" hand) on 1st string somewhere in the middle of the neck.
    play a desired scale/mode downwards while keeping the position of the hand.

    then start with 2nd or 3rd finger
    then 4th.

    then do the same from 2nd string. 1st, 2nd or 3rd, 4th finger. hold position.

    then from 3rd string.
    By ear.

  4. #3

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    It is a bit hard to be clear about what it is you can't do and how you accomplish the the many things you are able to do on both instruments.
    Two guesses as to possible helpful activity:

    1. I would suggest 5 frets instead of 4 because it takes that many to access
    a chromatic scale. Look for scales, arpeggios, melodies, available voicings, etc. in all keys, full range within the available notes. You will encounter both familiar and less familiar fingerings to the same intervallic scenarios including some that are varying degrees of "more awkward".

    2. Take anything that you know in one location and find it at all possible unison and octave locations.

  5. #4
    Excellent suggestions,
    emanresu, nice visual quiz, i think i am quite good on it when root is on 5th or 6th string, so i have to take it out of that position. Also plan to do some ear training where i choose a position and notes would sound randomly from a playlist i have, then find them on the guitar(two options here, playing a drone for reference, or just leave the notes sounding so more of an interval after interval exercise).
    That scale routine sounds nice also, so i would check it too.

    bako, i have just incorporated your first suggested exercise. Yes, i said 4 frets but i expand to 5 when needed, with the index finger going down or the little finger up a fret. It´s really tought.
    For the second one, i picked up a Sonny Rolllins line and I am trying to move it on the fingerboard.

    I remembered that one of the frustations when i began studying jazz guitar was developing voicings for the chords and connect them with voice leading, that seems like a really hard quest. Now i have more patience i guess haha.

    Thanks mates!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atratr
    Hello,
    i began studying jazz on guitar when i was like 20 years, then later i went for a full time saxophone studies and got a degree in jazz. Now i am taking again the guitar after more than 20 years. I am really impressed about my fingers laying confortably enought after all this time. I improvise on the sax over progressions and also have decent phrasing and sense of tension and release, and i would like to translate that to the guitar in a correct way.

    Coming from guitar i learned the sax thru fingerings and positions mostly, not the traditional way of reading and thinking the notes. I knew chords, tensions like a mental shape map i would use while improvising. Also knew some theory and things like ornaments, aproach notes and so...All this helped me surviving while i did the degree. In the meantime i was also incorporing the note names and transcribing and working on language, which helped to make more musical statements instead of the more mechanical way of playing when thinking in shapes.

    What i have notice is that i can rely on shapes on guitar, the same way as when i began my sax career. But i am not convinced by this way of learning and want to find a routine that put more emphasis on learning the notes on the fretboard, and knowing where i am at all times if this make sense.
    What i am trying to do now is just learning the notes string by string and then by position(four frets groups), and just playing very slow triads and seventh arpeggios.

    So, with all the tools that there are in my mind, it is easy to be overhelmed. I need some concrete efficient routine that i can rely on so to avoid relying too much on shapes and positions and think and hear the notes and melodies(hope that makes sense).

    What would you suggest? Is someone out there with a similar background?

    Thanks,

    Aingeru

  7. #6

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    Hello, nice to meet you.

    Check out Jimmy Bruno. You know a great deal already and probably do not need to learn to hear lines on the fly.
    By which i mean you don't need mechanics like scales alone to create lines.

    Bruno's method is a good route to connecting your hands to your ear.

    Also, he rationalizes basic chord voice leading, something you need differently on a guitar.

    I don't know much and can't play guitar or sax as I'd like but I certainly
    relish my early 50's "Naked Lady."

  8. #7
    Hey rabbit, i checked his website, i see he has some subscription thing going. Although it looks nice i am not onto spending money by now except for a private class, because i would like to focus the class on my weaker points.
    Yesterday i took 'There will be another you' and began studying it in fifth position with only chord tones concentrating on every note and knowing its function in the chord. As you would guess i went really slow, and, in order to focus more i only played between the first two chords, cause i noticed that the more changes i wanted to go thru i was beggining to use shape memory, of course not thinking the notes, and worst, not knowing the function of them.
    maybe today I´ll add another chord to my study. The slower i go the more i absorve.
    I am using Ireal in loop function with 'long tone' style, at 40bpm, and every chord played with string pads.
    Also applyed and exercise from Melissa Aldana, you go in one direction with chord tones and change to the nearest tone from next chord without changing direction, again, very slow.

  9. #8

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    Hi, A,
    My first instrument was guitar at 12. At 15, I began studying sax--my first was a C melody sax used by jobbers so they could play with piano/guitar without transposing keys. It was also in my price range. At 16, I bought my first tenor--Selmer band model and jobbed on guitar/tenor for 9 years. At 22, I bought a Selmer Mark VI and buried my energies on tenor exclusively for the next ten years. Then, when everything crashed for steady gigs, I studied Classical guitar and after a few years began jobbing again part-time until Covid. So when you say: "What i have notice is that i can rely on shapes on guitar, the same way as when i began my sax career. . . " I have no idea what you mean when you say shapes on the saxophone. The saxophone is a linear instrument where there are no shapes playing chords, scales, arpeggios as we have on the guitar. That's why many have difficulty improvising on the saxophone/trumpet/flute, etc. You must memorize each note by name and position on the instrument. This is where the guitar is very easy(relatively speaking) to improvise in all keys since the same chord, arpeggio, scale structures can translate easily into all keys. However, creative improvisation is a different matter.
    So, my advice to you if you want to move quickly since you have a degreed music background is to 1.) study with a formally educated Jazz guitarist and learn the fundamentals of the instrument, or, 2.) find a performer/teacher Classical guitarist for the same program. I would suggest #2 since you will heavily focus on proper guitar technique/pedagogy to simplify your playing as well as adding fingerstyle picking to your bag of tricks. This is in no way a slam against Jazz guitar teachers but a good one is hard to find depending on where you live in the country and the fees could be higher than studying with a Classical teacher.
    I hope this helps you but I want to emphasize again--IMO, there are NO similarities between these different instruments other than the end result is music. They both require different concepts of playing.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  10. #9

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    I'd suggest learning to read on guitar. That will get the entire fretboard automatic in a matter of months.

    Since you probably already know the notes you want -- and, after learning to read, you'll know where they are -- yoiu'll be in good shape.

    If you're going to practice scales and arps, it can help to have organized fingerings; others are better sources for info on that than I am. I'd suggest, though, practicing them on each string individually, as if the guitar was a one string instrument. That's when you really know the notes you want and where they are.

    For reading, most on here will recommend William Leavitt's books. I never used them so I don't know.

    I like Colin and Bower "Complete Rhythms". Play everything as written and an octave up, in different spots on the neck.

    After that, there's all kinds of material. It may be that whatever you have for saxophone is fine. Just make sure you can read in 12 keys plus an enharmonic equivalent (Gb F#).

    What you're trying to do is get to the point where your fingers find the next note you're thinking of -- without conscious thought about where to find that note. That's time on the instrument.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I'd suggest learning to read on guitar. That will get the entire fretboard automatic in a matter of months.
    Yes!

  12. #11
    Marinero, when i mention shapes on the sax i am refering to the position of the chords, so if i think Cmaj i recall instantly the fingerings for each tone and tensions as well as the scale, and ornamentations, chromatics, and so on...of course shapes do not repeat on sax, which i noticed when i was learning the sax by myself. I just learned chord forms and build from those to play and study. Then scales and so...I confess that when playing i recall those chunks of fingerings faster than the notes, although i can name every note i play....i know it is kind of strange for sax players to understand, but not for guitar players i guess.
    I would follow the learning notes slow and reading suggestions, but i need the most basic levels of reading i guess, or just slow everything to death so that i can keep going when sighreading.

  13. #12

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    I know exactly what you are feeling. I'm a lapsed sax player trying to transition to guitar. Transitioning from the instant pitch understanding on sax to the squishy "each pitch occurs on multiple strings on multiple positions on the neck..." thing on guitar is really hard for the sax brain to get. I've been trying to get along based on scale/arp fingering patterns and my ears but am finding myself increasingly frustrated by not being able to really fluently/instantly map the notes to the fingerboard.

    I'm thinking that I really need to stop working on everything else and just work on making that mental map happen if I want to make any real progress.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atratr
    Marinero, when i mention shapes on the sax i am refering to the position of the chords, so if i think Cmaj i recall instantly the fingerings for each tone and tensions as well as the scale, and ornamentations, chromatics, and so on...of course shapes do not repeat on sax, which i noticed when i was learning the sax by myself. I just learned chord forms and build from those to play and study. Then scales and so...I confess that when playing i recall those chunks of fingerings faster than the notes, although i can name every note i play....i know it is kind of strange for sax players to understand, but not for guitar players i guess.
    I would follow the learning notes slow and reading suggestions, but i need the most basic levels of reading i guess, or just slow everything to death so that i can keep going when sighreading.
    Hi, A,
    The difference between sax and guitar is that with sax you must memorize everything: chords, scales, arpeggios, etc. However, on guitar, if you're playing a G Major scale(1 sharp) on the 6th string/3rd position, you can easily shift to A Major scale(3 sharps) by simply moving up two frets to A. You don't have to memorize the sharps since the PATTERN IS THE SAME. This also works with chords and arpeggios. Ergo, guitar is, initially, an easier instrument to learn than a woodwind. And, this is the reason that so many people play guitar since it is, at first, so accessible.
    In regards to improvisation, the same analogy applies . . . however, facility on an instrument and creative improvisation are pigs in a different pen. Not everyone can improvise freely on any instrument--its the Black Magic of music and some will never get it no matter how much time they devote to its discovery. But, that's another discussion. I hope this makes sense to you in your new journey. My advice: learn the finger/fret board, learn proper technique from a qualified teacher, and discover/practice the simple patterns of the instrument. I hope this helps you.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  15. #14

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    With guitar, everything is a mess at first. Like a proper mess. Like messy kitchen.. or worse. Kitchen after moving to a new house.

    And when getting more into it, it's not like you'd clean up the mess. But learn to live with it

  16. #15

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    The last bit there. You dont need to be near guitar to learn. Just imagine where everything is. While eating a sandwitch or something. Should help.

  17. #16

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    Hey!

    Another idea!

    Tune your guitar to all M.3's. That way EVERYTHING is the same everywhere. It'd be the simplest instrument to learn.. but.. yeah, you do that. Then come back and tell us how you're doing

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    Hey!

    Another idea!

    Tune your guitar to all M.3's. That way EVERYTHING is the same everywhere. It'd be the simplest instrument to learn.. but.. yeah, you do that. Then come back and tell us how you're doing
    Ralph Patt's Jazz Web Page

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu


    The last bit there. You dont need to be near guitar to learn. Just imagine where everything is. While eating a sandwitch or something. Should help.
    Yesss, that´s a practice i do sometimes, i have done it on sax a lot, kind of visualisation, nice video!

  20. #19
    I am not to go alternate tunings, haha, just the messy standard one and go learning and gaining expression, with no hurries and all the fun i can have. Even planning of making out some tunes for a trio band.

  21. #20

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    What about the saxophone makes you want to stop playing it and play guitar instead? Variety?

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    What about the saxophone makes you want to stop playing it and play guitar instead? Variety?
    Nothing makes me want to stop playing the sax. But i was a guitar player before that, and i see guitar playing very refreshing, and as i feel confortable enought on it i think quite useful for composing. Just that. I also enjoy the varying sounds you can get out of a guitar.



  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    What about the saxophone makes you want to stop playing it and play guitar instead? Variety?
    Hi, B,
    There's a very practical perspective playing guitar vs. sax. When I was a horn player, I was a renter and didn't own a home. I moved from several apartments due to pressure from the neighbors and experienced continual insecurity about playing(4 hours daily) every day. I tried silencers, playing in the closet(neurotic), and even going to the park on warmer days. I finally connected with North Park College/Chicago who allowed me to use their practice rooms despite not being a student. Finally, I rented an apartment from PZ, principal bassist for the Chicago Lyric Opera and I could blow my brains out every day, all day/night. It's a real issue. However, if you have a classic archtop or a solid with earphones/amplifier, you'll never be a pest. Why do you think most saxers are so aggressive? You'd be too when you live with saxus interruptus.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  24. #23

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    right on marinero...that's why sonny rollins played on the bridge!!

    sax and big city apartment living don't go well together!!! for the player...or the neighbors!!



    cheers

  25. #24

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    It was a lot safer to do that in Sonny's time than now... Today in a lot of places it is a good way to loose a horn and a lot more...

  26. #25

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    there's be those who lived there, that'd tell you that those days were more perilous than recent gentrified days...pre-covid anyway...now it's all the wild west...ugh

    blow great sonny rollins blow...and jim of course!



    cheers

  27. #26

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    Thanks for the great video, Neatomic! Sonny was sure young in the video! Play live . . . Marinero

  28. #27

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    I started on saxophone about a zillion years ago including some time as a music major before switching to engineering. Now I play mostly guitar. Don't think saxophone has ever helped with playing guitar at all. Maybe broadened my listening habits a bit and gave me a better appreciation of horn players. And maybe a few things about the discipline of practice. But in my experience, sax and guitar are just too different.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Hey!

    Another idea!

    Tune your guitar to all M.3's. That way EVERYTHING is the same everywhere. It'd be the simplest instrument to learn.. but.. yeah, you do that. Then come back and tell us how you're doing
    I doing basically the same thing as the OP, trying to transfer my saxophone facility to guitar, and can relate for sure. To play any chord on saxophone I just rip it off, years of repetition make it second nature. It's maybe a little easier for me because I also play bass so have some knowledge of fingerboard geometry.

    But the struggle is real. I play all voices but my main gig is baritone in a big band section. If I don't practice putting big air into it, I'll never cut it in the section. My poor neighbors, not to mention the wife. I could easily play 4 hours or more a day, but my wife, who doesn't complain, would go insane.

    Instead of 3rds I am committed to all 4ths tuning. I have yet to find a downside. It makes sense! All you have to do is tune up the B and E string a semitone each, and then you have a logical instrument. Any chord voicing is the same across any group of strings!

  30. #29

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    Can't resist a little derailment...

    interesting bari sax interview:


  31. #30

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    Jason is as great player, and right about air. Some of his other opinions are sort of controversia.

    here he is at his best, if interested. With Mark Whitfield!

    Last edited by Sam9; 02-07-2021 at 07:28 PM.