Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I didn't know what to call this thread but it's an extention of the one called "Jazz tone on a budget". We were hijacking the original thread as was noticed by TieDyed Devil but a number of good points were made.

    At present, we've established the guitar as originally a folk instrument, that many guitar players have learned to play quickly in a non traditional way and have concentrated on effects and gear rather than technique or the music itself. I find this important because I know there are many of you out there like myself who have tried to teach guitar and have gotten frustrated with students who want only to learn the way they want to, expecially adult students. I even had a student, an older dentist who had taken classical guitar lessons for 7 years and complained he couldn't play any songs. What was going on here? I knew he could read but he had no idea what music theory was. When I tried to show him how chords were constructed, he got mad at me and said "just teach me songs". I told him to go buy sheet music and read it. He never talked to me again. I envy you university guys who have students that are more serious and enjoy learning music on the guitar. Thanks for the rant.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Why not just teach him the song? There's always something cool to talk about inside a song ... structure, theory, connections to other tunes, etc.

    Do you really think you need theory to play songs?

    I'm not in university and I have a pretty strong roster of private guitar students learning how to read, learn theory, play songs, write songs, etc. Not all do all, but some do. Some do it as a hobby, and some are very passionate about it. Both are cool imo.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Teaching a the College/University level isn't all it's cracked up to be. You get slackers and attitude just like if you were teaching out of your living room. I'd say about half the people who are freshmen guitar majors cannot read a note to save their lives and then flunk out of their theory classes because of it.

    Most people come to University to study guitar because they didn't know what else to take in school so they auditioned and got in. news flash, most schools will accept anyone who shows even the slightest most remote level of talent. Why? Programs get funding based upon enrollment. If you have low enrollement kiss your budget goodbye.

    But sure there are great students who work their asses off. The problem with teaching on any level is that we as teachers subconciously expect our students to have the same drive and passion we do for the music/instrument. Then unfortunately when they don't get it or never practice we get flustered and cuss them upside down behind there backs and bitch about our jobs. Like Stack said, most people just want to sit down and strum and hum some Beatles tunes, maybe some Bob Dillian, perhaps a Jonny Cash song. We as "Jazzers" want more then that when it comes to our ability to play the instrument, but then we pay the price that they don't have to... we're hardly ever truly satisfied... while Billy is singing Brown Eyed girl to his baby daughter and thinks he's the greatest Dad on Earth... I think that's pretty powerful and pretty damn special.

    I've done the living room thing. I've done the basement studio thing. I've worked teaching for Music stores and I've worked for Universities and still do. I love teaching and I think that's what gets me through the shit students or the people who don't get that Tri Tone Subs are a good idea etc etc. My favorite students were little Kids who actually worked on it just a little bit. Because they make even a little progress and they're the happiest little campers on God's green Earth.... they leave that lesson and go to Dad or Mom and say "look what I can do." Maybe that can inspire them to come all the way and play complex chord solos, revolutionlize Shred or edit Segovia.. I'm not going to know. And with all the little kids I've taught over the last 15 years I'll never remember there names

    We play an instrument that has become a billion dollar industry unto itself (billion maybe? Dunno). Cheap guitars, amps, effects. Books upon books of how to play the same chords, straps and cases. Guitar Hero has made it worse now that kids thinking they can play guitar because they beat GH on Expert but have no idea how to make music happen. It's the same as Vocal teachers dealing with the American Idol effect. I actually had this email once.

    "Dear Jake, my Son is 8 years old and is very good at this video game called Guitar Hero, maybe you've heard of it. Anyway I was thinking that since he's so good at it then he should perhaps take up the real thing. Will his skills with Guitar Hero translate to the real instrument?"

    I can't say I replied to the email, which I feel a little guilty about. But I honestly couldn't have done it without being an asshole about it. Most people are completely ignorant about music, especially playing music on a High level. There is no need to have a teacher, a degree or know anything about theory etc. There is without a shadow of a doubt a need for passion, inquizitivity, drive and discipline.

    I know a lot of people who are musicians who play well who don't know a damn thing about the oral explaination of music, but they hear it. If I went to one of these guys and told him that F is an avoid tone in the key of C he'd look at me like I was growing a 3rd Eye. Does it matter what style of music... no. Shit I love well played music in any style weither it be some 90 year old cat on his stoop with a beat up Yamaha guitar singing old Ray Price songs or if it's Derek Trucks tearing the shit out of some blues or if it's Kurt Rosenwinkel expanding the voice of Jazz guitar today.

    Good music is good music. The only other kind is Music that needs improvement somehow, at least that's my opinion at least.
    Jake Hanlon - Jazz Guitarist, Composer and Educator
    Website - Buy Music - Youtube - STFXU

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I think that, first of all, every student is unique. There is no one correct way to begin to teach a student. The first thing to find out is what is the student's passion. What does he want to be able to do with that guitar? Theory may not be a good place to start when somebody wants to learn to play rock riffs or folk songs.

    When I began, I was taught to read. Then I learned some chords. I bought some song books and learned to play some tunes. I had no theory, but I began to notice things like I-IV-V patterns in different keys and I started to get chord families in different keys. I didn't know what it was called in terms of theory, but I used the knowledge as it appeared. Much later, I had a teacher who explained a lot of theory to me and gave me practical applications of that theory in music.

    The first thing we want to do is teach someone to actually play some music. Give them the win and the satisfaction. As the lessons progress, you can inject little pieces of theory as they apply to the songs. I believe that as a student progresses, eventually they will start to see how some things fit together.

    I think it is more important to teach good technique, especially in the beginning. Then get the student up to executing some songs, riffs, etc. Once that leap has been made, then it is time to add a little theory as part of the progression.

    I have a student who wants to play riff based stuff, but the first thing I did was teach him about reading music--notes and timing values. That was two lessons that gave him a foundation he can use for whatever music he wants to play. Last night, he was showing me some how to play like the stuff in guitar hero videos on YouTube. I became a translator and showed him what the videos couldn't. Guess what? He is excited that he can pull off a few licks and riffs. And he knows what eighth notes, etc are, so that helps him get the timings. So he is just getting started. Give him five years and, if I can keep his passion burning, he might be a monster.

    I have another student that learned to play classical guitar strictly from tab. His technique, artistry and execution is astounding. He's a prodigy. He was sent to me because he knew nothing of music theory--not even what key he was playing in. With him, my job is to explain sight reading, chord theory, keys, scales and relationships so that he can enter a music school with an understanding of the side of music he will need to understand. I'm sure he could get in anywhere based on a recital alone, but he wants to compose, so we are filling in theory gaps.

    Another student of mine simply wants to learn how to play songs. We've done many. But, now, we are beginning to explore a little improvisation. He has become ready to take that next step. And that is the thing--you gotta give the student what he needs for where he is at. The driven ones will soon develop a thirst for deeper knowledge. Starting a 12 year old with pure theory is like giving a first grader calculus. I believe in giving the student what he needs to get going. The rest will take care of itself.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Uh oh, I think I see what's happening here. I need to apologize here for a boo boo. I tried to write an earlier qualifying response but that's when my computer got glitchy and I couldn't post anything until now.

    I believe I used the wrong word when I said theory. What I meant was the basic principles rather than theory. I didn't mean scale harmonization, modes, improvisation theory or some of the advanced stuff we talk about here on the forum. I meant things like what is the difference between a major and a minor chord, why is a Cmaj7 not the same as a C7 or what does the word root mean. Don't forget that I mentioned that the student was about 60, a highly educated dentist and told me he had 7 years of classical guitar training. He said he was able to read music, knew time signatures, was familiar with the neck and had great learning skills. I then asked him to show me a few things so I could assess his level of skill. I asked him to play a C major scale and he said "what do you mean"? He then said "all I want to learn is how to play songs" ---and I don't mean jazz. I'm talking like Beatle songs, folk songs etc. I kid you not. This guy couldn't play a C major chord, a G major chord or anything. He didn't want to learn anything at all except "put your fingers here and there for this song. Put your fingers here for that song, etc. This guy wanted to be spoon fed. Why after that much training could he not go to a music store, pick up a book of folk songs and read the tune or read the chord symbols??? I didn't have a good starting place for this guy. All I wanted to teach him was how to LEARN to play a few songs. I'm sure that's how many of you guys approach the subject.

    Another point was my responsibility as a teacher. I worked for a local music school that was one of those that had a waiting list to get into. Other instructors taught flute, sax, bassoon etc. When many of these kids got into the local high school, they usually wound up in first, second and third chair positions consecutively. My responsibility was to teach what I knew to students and not let the students dictate to me how to teach them. I'm supposed to be the expert, the authority who knows how to teach. Does a doctor ask his patient "how do you want me to fix your broken leg?" I hope this clears up some of the confusion.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I feel you on that hot ford...totally see where you are coming from. I'll tell a student right from the start that I will teach them any style they want to play whether I like it or not, but they need to learn to read and spend half the lesson on technique. If they don't like that then they don't come back the next semester and a student who IS willing to learn will take their spot, no problem.

    The key is to be flexible but still insist that they become a MUSICIAN and not just another guitarist because there are too many guitarists and not enough musicians. I don't care if they want to learn some bullshit song with all power chords if they can tell me what chords they are playing and write the rhythm that they are playing. The upside is that the more they learn the less they want to play that kind of thing, at least in my experience.

    I just think back to when I started, if I had some teacher forcing jazz on me I would have probably left. Granted after a year or so I wanted to learn it but I was not ready for it when I started guitar. I think that the further into music a guitarist goes they start to get better taste in whatever style of music they prefer as their ears open up.

    And Jake I totally agree about kids - it is nice that they are generally there to please. They don't have preconceptions about "I just want to read tab off the internet, show me where to put my fingers, play it over and over until I can copy you with no idea what is going on hurf durfff". For the most part. The more into pop culture they are though, Guitar Hero, MTV, my dad showed me how to play Smoke on the Water etc. the more complicated that gets. Parents are the problem sometimes which is really a shame.
    Last edited by rio; 10-23-2008 at 10:11 PM.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Wow, I'm glad we straightened that out. I didn't want to come off as some kind of musical snob. Another thing about the basics of music. If you only read tab, how can you tell a horn player or a keyboard player what you want him to do in an arrangement especially if it's not just a short lick?

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Thanks, HFC, for bringing this discussion onto its own thread.

    I'm enjoying the discussion about pedagogy, and will return to that briefly from the viewpoint of a recalcitrant student.

    Meanwhile, though, I'd like to reinforce a couple of points from the original thread where HFC and I were lamenting how so many guitarists focus on the sound produced by their instrument rather than the actual music executed by the player. The sound of pop music is important. But there's such a thing, I think, as an unhealthy obsession with sound. Or to cast it in more familiar terms: an obsession with form over content. Go into a music store and you'll hear all manner of players playing a few repetitive figures while twisting knobs to evoke strange strange sonic mutations.

    I won't go so far as to single out sonic obsessions as either useless or harmless. To me it's very clear that pop music depends upon such sonic treatments; it's almost as clear that there are *some* musically-gifted players within the ranks of pop musicians.

    Here's where the argument turns to the guitar as a "folk" instrument in the broadest sense: as an instrument *of the people*. A beginner can learn to bang out a few chords on a budget instrument within a matter of days, and can be taught (or canlearn by ear) to mimic the essential changes of many pop songs. The musicianship really isn't an issue at this stage. The guitar is normally an accompaniment to the lyrics and sung melody of the song. No other instrument - as far as I know - provides the kind of immediate gratification that one can get from learning the basics of playing the guitar.

    Mastery of the instrument is an entirely different matter. A remark made by a guitarist I met in my college days has stuck with me after almost 40 years: You can spend a lifetime trying to master the guitar. And that, I think, is where we get into matters of pedagogy and of recalcitrant students.

    There's just *so much* to learn about playing this instrument. Is there a "best" place to start? Personally, I don't believe that there is. There's a Bhuddist proverb: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." As a teacher you can try to guide a student toward the next step in his or her development, but you're going to get the best results when the student is engaged through virtue of being ready to learn what you have to teach.

    My mother's side of the family was made up largely of classically-trained musicians. I was surrounded by family members performing music and had every opportunity to take lessons - opportunities which I repeatedly declined. My mother, bless her soul, didn't force the issue. I'm sure that she would have preferred that I not make so much noise playing electric guitar, but that's what I was interested in and motivated to do. As a self-taught musician of that era, considering the relatively small amount effort that I put into actually *learning* the instrument, I did alright.

    When I got back into playing the guitar after a twenty-year layoff I realized two things fairly quickly:

    1) There are a *lot* of technically superior guitarists out there now, thanks to the virtual explosion in all aspects of the music industry - including instruction and instructional materials - since I had stopped playing in the late 1970s.

    2) Playing the same folk, pop and blues/rock songs that I had grown up (or songs in those genres, to be honest) with wasn't going to provide sufficient musical motivation for me.

    I saw two alternatives:

    1) Study classical guitar. I know my learning style. I'm independent and stubborn and enjoy learning the most when I can figure things out on my own. This seems not to be the way of classical music instruction.

    2) Try to learn something about jazz. I didn't arrive at this immediately, but rather after having spent a couple of years "chasing sounds" among the cornucopia of MI products that had sprung up like mushrooms during my twenty-year layoff. I gradually came to understand - mostly from looking for music lessons online - that the jazz guitarists had a lot more interesting things to say to me about the instrument than did folks teaching other genres of music. I was interested not so much in technique as I was in unlocking some of the mysteries of music itself, and the jazz guys seemed to me to have a leg up on this...

    My younger brother has been studying classical guitar for years and plays beautifully. His playing amazes me with the depth of expressiveness and emotion that he brings to the music. But to him, it's all notes on the page. The last time I visited him (several years ago) he marvelled at some lame improvisation I had tossed off without much thought. From his viewpoint the ability to improvise is a gift, not something that can be learned. (I strongly disagree with that, BTW.) At the same time, I looked upon his sheet music as some weird heiroglyphs that I'd never understand.

    My quest has become to bridge some of the gaps in my understanding of music. I'm picking my subjects based upon what motivates me at the moment. Could I learn more, faster with a teacher? Maybe. Probably. But doing so would go against all of my instincts. My life has shown me many examples of the truth of that Bhuddist proverb about the teacher and the student: when I have gone as far as I can on my own, the "teacher" appears in the form of a book or an article or a chance meeting with a fellow pilgrim who just happens to know how to teach me about the next part of the puzzle that I'm trying to solve.

    My outlook on education is difficult to reconcile with teaching as a profession. If you need to make a living as a teacher, you must think as a business person thinks. You need students to appear on a regular schedule so you can have a dependable income in order to be able to keep teaching. A good teacher will have plans and curricula that can be adapted to the needs of the students, and the ability to recognize when it's appropriate to lead the student and when it's necessary to let the student lead the way while you offer advice and insight.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Hey Hot Rod--we are really coming from a similar place, I think. When we speak of theory, I'm with you on the simple things like major scales and chord construction. I think they are ultimately essential to understanding.

    Your paint by numbers student isn't ready for any of that. I have a student just like him. I am showing him chord melody arrangements of some jazz standards. He doesn't want to connect the dots or figure out chord theory, scales--any of that. When I try to explain, I know he doesn't listen. He just wants to be able to execute something that sounds good to him. It helps him relax and his self esteem rises.

    I really wish he wanted to understand the why's but he doesn't at this time. I justify if this way: he's learning to play a lot of chords he never knew before, so his technique and execution are coming up despite his resistance to theory. He IS learning a lot. Will he someday master the instrument? I doubt it. He's 56 and he uses music and the guitar for fun and to relax. Its different if I'm dealing with somebody who wants to make a go of music as a career.

    I believe that the driven students will respond and the others that don't will never achieve a sense of mastery. But, hey--if they are happy, then they are getting what they need from playing music.

    Interesting discussion!

  11. #10
    Ray C. Guest
    I think similar to TieDyed's post, it's really more a "human factor" thing than it is a "music" thing.

    For example, I knew two teachers when I was teen; one who was a very serious cat who weeded out students based on their seriousness; the other a very open guy who just loved guitar. In fact he saw guitar (this was in the late 70's) as the replacement of the house piano. If you were more serious, he had a study plan for you as well, but was driven by that idea that the guitar should be the folk instrument of our time, and had no problem with students who just wanted to bang out a few pop songs or learn the basic chords in the first position. And this agreed with his business imperative-he needed students to help pay his bills.

    Educational institutions have a different mandate, but at the private level, I think a teacher has to check his ego at the door and not impose his aesthetic/ethos about music to such a degree that it deprives the student what they are looking for. Or at the very least, when you put your shingle up, you should be very clear about who/what you teach. I have no beef with that, but I think to be fair to all, it should be something known up front.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Concerning the (adult) student's motivational framework, it seems that there are but three (plausible)choices for teacher to offer - learning music as:
    - an occupation (a performer and a competent slacker, doing the job but only so);
    - a profession (a musician building an impressive portfolio of mostly irrelevant or flatly suspect achievements and collaborations, that is to say, someone striving to become an indispensable member of the "world of jazz");
    - a calling (an artist chasing the unattainable goals or, someone in the pursuit of learning).
    The above stated may not be accurate but is true - as far as the university curriculum is invoked.
    Nevertheless, the contents in this thread suggests that, when it comes to the amateur's motives, there are only two choices: satisfying the (easily disenchanted) interest in the instrument or developing and refining the permanent interest in the music and in the ways it is created. This "either - or" situation is apparently unappealing to this forum's teacherdom - and rightly so. It transpires that jazz (guitar) is a discipline which is difficult to be handed over (bestowed?) outside the institutional setting of the school.
    Lest someone is led to believe that this ranting of mine comes from my guitar teaching, please rest assured - this is only an interpolation of my spell of teaching art history at the state university, so ... all of it may be irrelevant and confusing. Hence, my apologies ...

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bojan View Post
    Concerning the (adult) student's motivational framework, it seems that there are but three (plausible)choices for teacher to offer - learning music as:
    - an occupation (a performer and a competent slacker, doing the job but only so);
    - a profession (a musician building an impressive portfolio of mostly irrelevant or flatly suspect achievements and collaborations, that is to say, someone striving to become an indispensable member of the "world of jazz");
    - a calling (an artist chasing the unattainable goals or, someone in the pursuit of learning).
    Bojan...I really enjoy your posts. They always come from a unique perspective.

    I think you can another choice for teachers to offer: ACTIVITY (someone who plays to simply experience the jazz tradition and learn to live in the moment)

    I was lucky in my early quest for jazz education to stumble upon a course given by the Dean of Music at the University of Manitoba some 20 years ago. His name was Dr Bernie Rose (sax player) and he had a PhD in Music but his real musical education came from being a Jazz session man in New York. His approach to teaching Jazz was rooted in the original tradition of learning to improvise in small combos. He tried to re-create the spirit of the late night jam session. We were broken up into 5 small combos and worked on familiar standards. During the course, he introduced history lessons about how the jazz language changed over time and how it was communicated between musicians thru imitation and variation. At the end of the course, all the combos converged on a local jazz bar and we jammed the night away. It was a great experience. Next course- switch combos and do it again.

    All this to say that it is possible for a University to teach jazz to adults in a way that recognizes it as simply a human activity. Leave the pursuit of artificial goals to the individuals.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    I knew he could read but he had no idea what music theory was. When I tried to show him how chords were constructed, he got mad at me and said "just teach me songs".

    That is interesting and in direct contrast with what I was taught. I had a local legend jazz instructor that was all about teaching songs. He did teach scales and chords etc. but always tried to emphasize that learning songs was the key. This was Bill Thrasher the author of the 'Joe Pass Guitar Style' book. Btw, Joe Pass learned to play by just learning tons of songs.

    Telling him you wanted to learn songs would have been music to his ears.

    Here's quotes from part of one of Bill Thrasher's handouts (circa 1980):

    Music, if it had to be described in one word, is (mostly) SONGS... by which I include Bach Fugues, East Indian ragas, Operatic arias, bop improvisations, and the entire gamut of pop, folk, jazz, country, Latin (etc.) tunes; and that lovely ditty you're going to dream up next Thursday.

    It should therefore be obvious that any system of musical education which does not include, as its PRIMARY ingredient, the the frequent and consistent playing of a great number and variety of SONGS, is hardly likely to produce competent performers. Talkers maybe... but not players.

    Unless you already possess ears like Dumbo, then, the main task is to play as many songs as possible in the briefest possible time: Collect songbooks, sheet music, copy records, and emphasize QUANTITY over quality... 3,000 "barely-correct" tunes are much better for your musician's "ear" than two dozen memorized show-off pieces. (This Paragraph may be taken with a grain or two of salt by those interested only in some specialized field such as Classical or Flamenco).

    You might begin now to make up a list of songs you like, that you'd enjoy playing. Think big: If you dig Beethoven's Ninth, add it to your list, and keep the list growing. As that list of titles reaches a half-page (or so), I'd like a copy of it; along with a list of the groups or individuals whose music appeals to you.
    Bill Thrasher and players of that ilk, amazed me with the quantity of songs he could play from ear. Thousands and thousands.
    Last edited by fep; 10-24-2008 at 11:22 AM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Ahh, now we're getting somewhere. It looks like everyone got the essence of what I've been talking about. My whole point, and I should have said it this way before was to build a sense of self reliance into the student. That's the way I had to learn. I'm originally a bass player having taken lessons from a guy my father knew who did local gigs. Of course the objective was to learn how to play songs because they are the building blocks for any musician's repetoire no matter what the musician's reason for playing is. First I learned to read. Then I learned scales. Then he taught me how chords were built. Then he taught me how to play and hear progressions. All of a sudden, it hit me. To make a long story short, the whole subject of music was immediately and totally demystified. With that knowledge I was able to untangle the web of notes and chords and my repetoire grew like crazy. Now I was able to go to any music store, buy a book of songs and learn to play them in the comfort of my own bedroom. Also, I was able to listen to jazz records and actually hear what was going on. From there, I was able to put technique to music and do what I needed to do. That's the kind of self reliance I was trying to teach my students. When they could pick up a piece of music like Fly Me To The Moon or Can't Buy Me Love and play the chords (not with chord melody) then I could get into some of the more advanced theory using the song as a teaching tool. Then the student could take other songs and do the same regardless of what style of music the student wanted to play with me only as guidance.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    I am very grateful for your effort and patience in reading through the hectoring tone of my inarticulate mumbling. And yes, you are right in proposing the study of jazz (guitar) as an activity of self-realization or self-abandon, all of which, actually, brings me back to the ... topic of my obsession: the distinction between education and training, knowledge and skill, cultivating and rearing ... as was illustrated by the previous posters in the thread.
    In my understanding, learning means acquiring the capacity to teach. Thus, what I see as a recurring motive of this thread are the answers, experiences and suggestions relating to a single question: who's teaching the teacher?

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Who's teaching the teacher? The teacher gets his knowledge from a number of sources.

    The first is the student. As the student grows, questions come up that the teacher may never have considered. Thus, the teacher is put on the spot. If the teacher is worth his/her salt, the teacher will research the question and get a valid answer for the student. Now both of them have learned something new. The whole idea here is that to be a good teacher, you must also be a good student and never think you know all of it. Even the student may come up with something the teacher may never have heard before. This brings up another point. What happens when the student becomes better than the teacher? Should the teacher be embarrassed? Should the teacher keep the student feeling inferior? Should the teacher sabotage the process? Absolutely not. The teacher should take great pride in having taught a student so well that he/she becomes self reliant enough to go off on his/her own. You started that student off and gave them the correct direction.

    The teacher also gets info by experimentation. You have to keep trying different stuff or else you stagnate. Miles Davis said something about this. When he was asked " Hey Miles, why don't you play $#^*^ anymore?". Miles said " I did that already. It's time to go on to something else". (I paraphrase).

    Third, the teacher needs to listen to many other musicians and never stop seeking new ideas and info. That way, new directions or approaches to music can be discovered.

    Thus, IMHO, the teacher must forever continually strive for excellence and keep the ego in check. Without that, the teacher is doomed to mediocrity.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Dear Teachers, what about a self-taught old man? Probably I'd be your worst student...However, dear HFC, in case of toothache, can you suggest me any dentist?

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Hey pineapple. I'd love to suggest a dentist but I live in the USA. Unfortunately I don't know anyone in Italy. All the guys I knew were in my old neighborhood in New York. It was an old New York Italian neighborhood. It was a great place to live.

    A self taught old man? I'm basically the same. Once I left the bass, I taught myself guitar. You wouldn't be the worst student, you'd probably be one of the best. Self taught, especially if you're playing any jazz, means you have the strong desire to play the instrument. All I'd have to show you was a few things and you'd come up with many new ideas.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Hy HFC, I was joking at the dentist...
    My self taught method is:
    1- read a good jazz guitar manual understanding 70% at least (done)
    2- read the bible, "The theory of harmony" by A. Shoenberg, understanding 30% (done)
    3-try to read "Structural functions of harmony", understanding only few lines.
    4- try to 'learn' a jazz standard a week from the Real Book with some help from YouTube (on going).
    5- Play the same tune with the chromatic harmonica, to better understand the melody.
    6- Try to avoid to divorce because guitar, harmonica and music
    All suggestion welcome. Thank you

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I knew you were joking about the dentist, pineapple. I just couldn't come up with a good response.

    I like your study method. I sort of did it the same way. The good thing is I won't have to worry about the last one. I bought all my guitars before I got married. The wife likes to hear me sing.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Pineapple, my learning style is very similar to yours, ( except I don't study theory a la Schoenberg). I also learn standards, play along with youtube originals, and play melodies on the recorder, ( flute instead of harmonica).

    I also got a degree in music many years ago but it was all classical, and Music Ed.

    So far, the wife doesn't seem to mind the endless droning of my jazz standards!!


  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    I just want to chime in here about the experience I just had while practicing just now. First I have been playing off and on for the last 30 years down at the folk side of the neck. I would imagine I started playing for the same reasons a lot of you started, that is the first time I made the guitar make the sound I intended it to I was hooked for life. Since then I have played mainly for fun and sometimes for church but never anything too serious. My playing is what I call noodling. Well a few months ago I decided that I would like to learn about Jazz to enhance the sound of the church band a bit. That lead me to this site and this forum. I set up a study plan and have been going over my scales and arpeggios and while I was noodling around I ran a major 7 arpeggio from 1, 7, 5, 3 and then to the 4th. I stopped and thought that sounds real nice so I worked on that little run for a few minutes with different tempo's etc and thought to myself it would really nice to run that down and play a chord at the fourth and at first I stumbled a little bit at what that chord would be. Now here's the point. To find the right chord I started at the root and went through the chord progression up to a Maj 7 at the fourth. I know that all of you would have just played this right off the bat but I would have NEVER NEVER been able to figure this out if I hadn't been working on thinking about what I was playing and going through the scales like a scale not like a pattern. Heck I wouldn't have been up the neck that far. And if someone had trying to teach me that I could have mimiced what they played but I would not have learned it. So my long winded point is I was I had to be open to learn and had to have the desire to learn the reason behind what I was doing not just doing it. I know that this may seem like a small thing but that ability to find that chord takes me back to the first time I pulled off switching from an open G to a C
    Last edited by jasmeece; 10-26-2008 at 05:41 AM.