The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Tuba Skinny certainly use the resonator to great effect for the style they play, but it would mostly suck as a bebop instrument. Probably.....

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    I've always wanted one since a housemate used to have an old, great national tricone. Playing blues on the thing was SO fun! Expensive guitar though..

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    I wouldn‘t ‘ve used such hard words but yes, it’s kinda hard to imagine some Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson or Weather Report with a resonator guitar banging away in the rhythm section ….?
    On the other hand I think a resonator might have worked well for Lenny Breau playing solo. I've thought about it for decades but the buy in is pretty steep just to experiment.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    On the other hand I think a resonator might have worked well for Lenny Breau playing solo. I've thought about it for decades but the buy in is pretty steep just to experiment.
    Hi Jim,
    the "main attraction" of a resonator for me always was and still is a) the direct attack, b) the volume, and c) the short decay. These 3 attributes make it a really good choice for rhythm playing, playing 4-to-the-bar
    either alone or with drums+bass, an absolutely viable alternative to an archtop or Maccaferri-type guitar. When I think of Lenny Breau I hear sustained notes, clear 4/5/6-part harmonies , moving voices all over the place.... and a rather soft finger attack on light-ish strings (nylon or steel). Try that on a resonator and you'll see/hear/feel soon that this doesn't really work so well. A Dobro has a bit more sustain (why that is I don't know, the experts might explain) as does a Tri-Cone reso but the difference is not that big.

    IMHO the resonator concept has not been exploited to it's full advantage and I believe that there is still much potential there. The Delvecchio design (> Chet Atkins) didn't catch on and it could be that since most reso's were seen and heard in the bluegrass/country blues/ragtime scene which is not that present to the wider public (Bluegrass being an exception but the Dobro is the main weapon there) nobody stepped up and tried out new things... we're really all still quite conservative more or less when it comes to new things. I got flat-out unfriendly responses on the michael-messer-forum (all things Slide guitar and resonators) because I commented critically on the usually less-than-perfect intonation on many if not most reso guitars - one aspect that has not really been tackled and a working/reliable solution is not in sight. The guys showed me the cold shoulder saying that if these guitars were good enough for so-and-so I should just shut up and go on with life .... a pretty stuck-up bunch in my view.
    They could not comprehend that one could actually want to play something other than open chords, without a piece of metal or glass on a finger, duh .....

    THIS is an interesting development but unfortunately quite pricy (and the super-present mids are a bit unnerving but that's typical for a Dobro-type/spider cone guitar) :




  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Tuba Skinny certainly use the resonator to great effect for the style they play, but it would mostly suck as a bebop instrument. Probably.....
    Just like an un-amplified archtop would not really cut it within a Bebop rhythm section .... as an acoustic guitar used as an accompaniment/harmony instrument in any un-plugged situation it's hard to beat - a six-string banjo is the only contender I can think of. The great Johnny St.Cyr played that in Louis Armstrongs first lineup of the Hot 5 !
    Check him out here (in 1927 !!!!) :

    Lesson / Transcription: Johnny St. Cyr's 'bassline' on "Heebie Jeebies" — Dave Speranza

  7. #31

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    St.Cyr, Morton & Luminaries

    St.Cyr's solo at 2:10 but if you don't listen from the beginning Fate will punish you.


  8. #32

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    If you're playing a guitar in a bass + drums + piano + horns band, and you want to be able to solo with some expressiveness, you need a timbre that doesn't get lost in the mix (especially cymbal wash), has a somewhat compressed dynamic range, and has some sustain. Dobro ain't that. Neck pickup electric guitar is.

    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't he hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" Go to jam sessions. Every once in a while someone shows up with a [nylon string, that bizzarro Taylor piezo + lipstick tube pick-up thing, dobro, hockey stick with a bridge pickup, etc]. It sounds like crap and/or can't be heard. They come back next time with something more conventional, or move on to the next jam and sound like crap there.

    Jazz guitar tone is a solved problem, with a narrow range of well established solutions. More idiosyncratic approaches mostly don't work in ensembles. It's a different story in solo playing or combos with different instrumentation, but that's a small subset of jazz performance.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    If you're playing a guitar in a bass + drums + piano + horns band, and you want to be able to solo with some expressiveness, you need a timbre that doesn't get lost in the mix (especially cymbal wash), has a somewhat compressed dynamic range, and has some sustain. Dobro ain't that. Neck pickup electric guitar is.

    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't he hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" Go to jam sessions. Every once in a while someone shows up with a [nylon string, that bizzarro Taylor piezo + lipstick tube pick-up thing, dobro, hockey stick with a bridge pickup, etc]. It sounds like crap and/or can't be heard. They come back next time with something more conventional, or move on to the next jam and sound like crap there.

    Jazz guitar tone is a solved problem, with a narrow range of well established solutions. More idiosyncratic approaches mostly don't work in ensembles. It's a different story in solo playing or combos with different instrumentation, but that's a small subset of jazz performance.
    Exactly that - we're talking about a tiny little corner, that's all.
    Btw, is a jam session where "All the things you are" and the other 5 standard Standards is called the yardstick that everybody is supposed to go by ?
    What a boring world that would be ....

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArnoldSchoenberg
    When I saw this thread, I thought of internal resonators on Selmer-Maccaferri guitars.
    The Maccaferri Internal Resonator

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Hi Jim,
    the "main attraction" of a resonator for me always was and still is a) the direct attack, b) the volume, and c) the short decay. These 3 attributes make it a really good choice for rhythm playing, playing 4-to-the-bar
    either alone or with drums+bass, an absolutely viable alternative to an archtop or Maccaferri-type guitar. When I think of Lenny Breau I hear sustained notes, clear 4/5/6-part harmonies , moving voices all over the place.... and a rather soft finger attack on light-ish strings (nylon or steel). Try that on a resonator and you'll see/hear/feel soon that this doesn't really work so well. A Dobro has a bit more sustain (why that is I don't know, the experts might explain) as does a Tri-Cone reso but the difference is not that big.

    IMHO the resonator concept has not been exploited to it's full advantage and I believe that there is still much potential there. The Delvecchio design (> Chet Atkins) didn't catch on and it could be that since most reso's were seen and heard in the bluegrass/country blues/ragtime scene which is not that present to the wider public (Bluegrass being an exception but the Dobro is the main weapon there) nobody stepped up and tried out new things... we're really all still quite conservative more or less when it comes to new things. I got flat-out unfriendly responses on the michael-messer-forum (all things Slide guitar and resonators) because I commented critically on the usually less-than-perfect intonation on many if not most reso guitars - one aspect that has not really been tackled and a working/reliable solution is not in sight. The guys showed me the cold shoulder saying that if these guitars were good enough for so-and-so I should just shut up and go on with life .... a pretty stuck-up bunch in my view.
    They could not comprehend that one could actually want to play something other than open chords, without a piece of metal or glass on a finger, duh .....

    THIS is an interesting development but unfortunately quite pricy (and the super-present mids are a bit unnerving but that's typical for a Dobro-type/spider cone guitar) :



    I have a limited experience with resonators but I played a few many years ago and I was struck by a combination of how even the note volume was string to string and the bell like clarity of the notes. That's something I'm always looking for in a guitar, even more than sustain. It shows very well in the first 40 seconds of so of the second video you posted. Everything was so even and clear. It made me think that moving voices within a chord would all be easy to hear without having to push those notes ahead of the rest of the chord.

  12. #36

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    o
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    If you're playing a guitar in a bass + drums + piano + horns band, and you want to be able to solo with some expressiveness, you need a timbre that doesn't get lost in the mix (especially cymbal wash), has a somewhat compressed dynamic range, and has some sustain. Dobro ain't that. Neck pickup electric guitar is.

    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't he hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" Go to jam sessions. Every once in a while someone shows up with a [nylon string, that bizzarro Taylor piezo + lipstick tube pick-up thing, dobro, hockey stick with a bridge pickup, etc]. It sounds like crap and/or can't be heard. They come back next time with something more conventional, or move on to the next jam and sound like crap there.

    Jazz guitar tone is a solved problem, with a narrow range of well established solutions. More idiosyncratic approaches mostly don't work in ensembles. It's a different story in solo playing or combos with different instrumentation, but that's a small subset of jazz performance.
    everyone just defaults to a 335 for a reason.

    i mean a 175 (or other laminate box) or tele is another option. Even an L5 can be a bit touch and go in a loud session.

    If you want an acoustic sound, use the Godin Multiac, very popular with eclectic/‘worldy’ jazzers.

    For instance, I’m sick of fighting with the sound for gypsy jazz guitars live. Its a thankless job. Your options esp. with drums are 1) sound like shit 2) deal with wailing feedback or both. (Actually I liked the Krivo micromanouche but it basically sounded like an electric archtop.)

    As I’m not playing with that band anymore I intend to spend the next ten years playing a sensible guitar through an amp.

    OTOH recording is another thing. Can be great to have different sounds to enliven a project. Why not a dobro for a tune? I think Bruce Forman plays one sometimes.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Exactly that - we're talking about a tiny little corner, that's all.
    Btw, is a jam session where "All the things you are" and the other 5 standard Standards is called the yardstick that everybody is supposed to go by ?
    What a boring world that would be ....
    IME, jam sessions bring out a lot more than 5 tunes. But, sure, there's a core repertoire of a list of tunes that you should know if you show up at a jam. There's debate as to exactly which tunes constitute that list, but I don't think many people would debate that ATTYA belongs on it. If someone calls it and you say you don't know it, vibers gonna vibe. I imagine sheep would bleet.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    If you're playing a guitar in a bass + drums + piano + horns band, and you want to be able to solo with some expressiveness, you need a timbre that doesn't get lost in the mix (especially cymbal wash), has a somewhat compressed dynamic range, and has some sustain. Dobro ain't that. Neck pickup electric guitar is.

    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't he hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" Go to jam sessions. Every once in a while someone shows up with a [nylon string, that bizzarro Taylor piezo + lipstick tube pick-up thing, dobro, hockey stick with a bridge pickup, etc]. It sounds like crap and/or can't be heard. They come back next time with something more conventional, or move on to the next jam and sound like crap there.

    Jazz guitar tone is a solved problem, with a narrow range of well established solutions. More idiosyncratic approaches mostly don't work in ensembles. It's a different story in solo playing or combos with different instrumentation, but that's a small subset of jazz performance.
    Absodamnlutely! Very well put, Sir! I thank you!

  15. #39

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    I do want a dobro though

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Exactly that - we're talking about a tiny little corner, that's all.
    Btw, is a jam session where "All the things you are" and the other 5 standard Standards is called the yardstick that everybody is supposed to go by ?
    What a boring world that would be ....
    I think you have the same issues with drums generally. Jam session tend to be loudest, but even so…

    Bruce Forman is interesting on this - basically on acoustic as soon as a drummer plays a Tom, you may as well have not turned up. Brush drums on snare and maybe a little hi hat and feathered bass work well in my experience. Ride cymbal not so much.

    my experience has been that most jazz drummers have a very inflexible approach to instrumentation playing time that is Philly Joe/Jimmy Cobb or GTFO. The ride cymbal is the centre of the technique, so that’s a tricky one for an acoustic guitarist. A percussion player is a safer bet… but that points you more towards various non-swing grooves.

  17. #41

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    To sidetrack a little, St. Cyr's banjo sounds unbelievably clear and "civilized" in these old recordings vs. modern six-string banjos, whose two bottom strings muddy everything up. I know some people replace them with lighter gauges and tune them an octave up. Still redundant compared to a four-string tenor or plectrum banjo.

  18. #42

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    This is not at all pertinent to resonator guitars in a jazz context:


  19. #43

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    Lonnie Johnson used one in his duets w Eddie Lang


  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Jazz guitar tone is a solved problem, with a narrow range of well established solutions.
    I like this, but can you imagine how quiet this place would be if everyone felt it was actually true? Nothin' else to talk about except theory and politics :-)

  21. #45

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    Which is why I like Jerry Douglas so much. Also check the Mark O'Connor solo around 2:20.




    Then there is the non-traditional wing of bluegrass. Like the Skip, Hop, and Wobble album.


  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    If you're playing a guitar in a bass + drums + piano + horns band, ...

    May have been common back in the day. Pretty rare now.

  23. #47

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    Noted Bebop wizard Bruce Forman plays a National Reso in a Duo setting with drummer/percussionist Jay Bellerose (who also plays with Anthony Wilson and Larry Goldings and ...) and it swings hard ...
    Check out his BEBOP shredding here :


    And read up in his own words what HE thinks about the Reso guitar :

    Spotlight: Bruce Forman’s Junkyard Duo | guitar moderne

    Funny side note : when I posted pics of my Reso on FB I immediately got reactions, pretty much all of them saying : Oh great, you're playin' the Blues now ? Figures .....

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Noted Bebop wizard Bruce Forman plays a National Reso in a Duo setting with drummer/percussionist Jay Bellerose (who also plays with Anthony Wilson and Larry Goldings and ...) and it swings hard ...
    Check out his BEBOP shredding here :


    And read up in his own words what HE thinks about the Reso guitar :

    Spotlight: Bruce Forman’s Junkyard Duo | guitar moderne

    Funny side note : when I posted pics of my Reso on FB I immediately got reactions, pretty much all of them saying : Oh great, you're playin' the Blues now ? Figures .....
    Yeah re my posts on this very project above, notice drummer playing a suitcase.

    I can imagine the reaction I’d get suggesting such a thing to most drummers lol. Sounds great tho

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Hot Club of Jupiter is no more?
    Not sure what’s happening with them. I’m not playing guitar for them anymore though.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Not sure what’s happening with them. I’m not playing guitar for them anymore though.
    Sorry to hear that. Their loss, I'm sure. As you know I am a fan. Best of luck with your future projects!