The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #51

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Amplifying acoustic instruments to drummer levels is difficult, but by no means impossible. For gypsy, I find a Big Tone bridge pickup with a Tone Dexter through a Fishman Artist to be a workable solution. For resonator, a buddy of mine uses a highlander with a Baggs Para DI into a Fishman to create an excellent working rig. Using a sensitive drummer is another key. I love suitcase kits.

  4. #53

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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.
    Not "solved" but accepted and dogmatized. I think it's kind of sad. It's as though the right to artistic progress has been sacrificed at an alter of convention and ancestor worship. Ironically, very few of the most iconic jazz guitarists of the last several decades have adhered to that orthodoxy. Perhaps that's why they were able to become iconic.

  5. #54

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    It's been a long time since I owned a national steel. A '43 duolian, had it for decades. Its strengths were also its limitations. A very loud instrument acoustically, dominating. (I think this guitar played a part in my right-ear tinnitus ...) It was difficult to moderate. Ended up being rather one dimensional. But in the one dimension it most often was in - blues, roots, open tuning and slide - that national was impressive.

    Triolians are sweeter sounding, would perhaps be more flexible for different types of music. Maybe jazz too. I always wondered how that would work.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Not "solved" but accepted and dogmatized. I think it's kind of sad. It's as though the right to artistic progress has been sacrificed at an alter of convention and ancestor worship. Ironically, very few of the most iconic jazz guitarists of the last several decades have adhered to that orthodoxy. Perhaps that's why they were able to become iconic.
    Very few of the most iconic jazz guitarist of the last several decades play electric guitars with neck pickups? News to me.

    A "standard" relatively narrow range of instruments and tones stifles creativity? You mean like saxophones and pianos?

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by mad dog
    Triolians are sweeter sounding, would perhaps be more flexible for different types of music. Maybe jazz too. I always wondered how that would work.
    That's what I heard often a few years ago when I was researching which kind of resonator to get. Back then I wasn't planning on getting other guitar(s) anytime soon so I wanted it to be as versatile as possible.
    In the end I got the wood-body single-cone biscuit resonator from my signature, and haven't regretted it. Tricones are a bit too resonant to my taste, which is fine when you're using it for lots of open chords but not so much if you're playing melody lines.

    From what I read, the tricone design is in fact older but was basically put on hold because initially there were technical difficulties implementing it reliably. Instead, they built the single-cone version which is driven in a very similar fashion but of course without (need for) the T-shaped saddle.
    I don't find my reso any more difficult to moderate dynamically than any of my other guitars (i.e. not the easiest part of playing ...). Anyone who thinks you can't do volume contrasts should listen to Bob Brozman... e.g. here:


    (that documentary is also where I got hooked on Doug Macleod )

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Very few of the most iconic jazz guitarist of the last several decades play electric guitars with neck pickups? News to me.

    A "standard" relatively narrow range of instruments and tones stifles creativity? You mean like saxophones and pianos?
    Mind you expanded range of timbres is a selling point of the guitar as opposed to piano though for a composer/leader. (As well as the self sufficiency and relative portability of a guitar based group.) This has come to the fore with recent jazz.

    Just been listening to Uberhang again. Adam Rogers a Tele on the bridge pickup for most of that one, and it’s glorious. (Of course he also plays a 335 on the neck pickup a lot)

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Very few of the most iconic jazz guitarist of the last several decades play electric guitars with neck pickups? News to me.

    A "standard" relatively narrow range of instruments and tones stifles creativity? You mean like saxophones and pianos?
    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't we hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" (etc) that's a much bigger statement than than whether guitar have neck pickups. Iconic guitar players who don't fit the "standard" jazz tonal solution (either as a result of instruments or effects) include Holdsworth, McLaughlin, Stern, Frisell, often Metheny, DiMeola etc. And lest you think it's only fusion players, I'll add Gene Bertoncini and Ralph Towner.

  10. #59

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    Few examples of jazz players playing a resophonic. Lots of acoustic players. Lots of nylon string players. Lots of shoe gazers. Overall and out in the real world, I would guess the single coil crowd outnumbers humbuckers. Archtops are too specialized and good ones too expensive for the average guitar player.

    Doesn't matter. Nobody owns the definition of what jazz tone is. Though given the average age around here we see a lot of adherence to music produced in the 60's.

    And now we sit on the precipice of what technology will give us in the way of interesting tones to play with. Just keeps getting better.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    IMO, that's the answer to every variant of "why don't we hear more of [anything but an archtop, semi-hollow, or tele] in jazz?" (etc) that's a much bigger statement than than whether guitar have neck pickups. Iconic guitar players who don't fit the "standard" jazz tonal solution (either as a result of instruments or effects) include Holdsworth, McLaughlin, Stern, Frisell, often Metheny, DiMeola etc. And lest you think it's only fusion players, I'll add Gene Bertoncini and Ralph Towner.
    I'm not saying other sounds don't exist or aren't valid. All I'm saying is that the "standard" sound persists for reasons other than groupthink and is no more hindrance to creativity than any other standard instrument is. All of the players you name reinforce my point about conventional electric guitars working better than other types in typical band settings, and things like classicals and flattops fitting better with different instrumentation (especially groups without trap kits).

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    I posted something like the following, but deleted it again yesterday .. but since we're still talking.

    You pointed out the main culprit of it all earlier. Cymbal wash ... playing clean guitar it's actually what affects your guitar choice more than anything, but rarely talked about. You want to avoid the cymbal wash.

    In a jazz setting you'll see dark and often dry cymbals like you're Zildjian K's or similar ... and there your neck pup guitar is brilliant. If the drummer on the other hand brings his Zildjian A's then your ES165 suddenly struggles and you'd prefer something with a bridge pup or maybe a tele.


    But I rarely see people talking about cymbal wash and guitar choice ,,, which is kinda curious.
    I've mentioned it a few times, as have others. For any guitarist performing on a regular bassist, the ambient chaos of a typically cramped and anarchic stage is just one of the variables over which we have little, if any, control. You learn to deal with it (more than one pickup, as you suggest, is one approach) or you learn to live with it. Bottom line - at the end of the night I make the same dough whether I'm happy with my sound, or if I'm not. Which is probably why, as I progressed, I became more and more concerned with influencing, if not controlling, conditions. First I started booking gigs. Then forming (and staffing ) bands. Providing PA. Taping every show and every practice and making sure everyone in the band got copies. Singing more and thus shaping the show. Etc, etc.

    The control freak process culminated with my solo album, UTONIA, cited in my signature. Every blessed note.* Every lyric. From my brain to reality on a budget of $100 and stuff I had lying around the house. In my house. No squabbling, no whining, just 12-16 hr days with a 4-track program and 4Megs of memory, learning the software from scratch. Nine months, start to finish. Biggest mistake of my life. For nine months, I was happy. Going back to Real Life kinda sucked, but so be it. It was worth it.

    * Not that I wouldn't have welcomed other players; the guys I was working with at the time had other priorities, and I fully understand and endorse that. But it also left me free to just get on with it.

  13. #62

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    The resonator sound is not popular, and doesn't translate well to amplification. Almost everyone plays amplified these days, there are few opportunities for purely acoustic instruments. Even horns have mics and/or other pickups attached now. The most practical amplification method for guitar is the magnetic pickup. Yes, of course there are other ways to do it, including piezos and various microphones, but they're all either a PITA or just don't sound as good. With a magnetic pickup and a regular guitar you just plug in and get an acceptable sound, usually without excessive feedback issues. It's possible to use a magnetic pickup on a resonator, but what's the point? The sound is not pleasing, not to the audience nor to most players. It's a tiny niche inside an already tiny niche. If you like the sound, you can certainly use it, but not many do.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The resonator sound is not popular, and doesn't translate well to amplification.
    Well, I guess that's true if you don't like the sound to begin with. Listen to someone like Justin Johnson or Sarah Rogo and you could at least change your opinion about how the amplified sound relates to the original sound.
    With a proper set-up/approach you get the same "ella or memorex" effect that you can get on an archtop: a sound where it's hard to tell if it's purely acoustic or not.

    There are also at least 2 serious makes of resonator electric guitar (I guess, you could call them semi-hollows) which surely wouldn't exist if really no one liked them.


  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It's possible to use a magnetic pickup on a resonator, but what's the point? The sound is not pleasing, not to the audience nor to most players.
    One of the best resonator pickups I've heard is the Myers system, which uses microphone capsules - so it's a bit more prone to feedback at higher volumes than magnetic or piezo units. I made my own with a pair of wireless lapel mics held in a small top hole by a foam pop shield on each side of the top, and I do fine with them at decent volumes in blues bands with keys, second guitar, and even horns. This is a Myers, but it looks the same as what I made for my tricone:

    Why no (or so few) resonators?-myers_reso_pup-jpg

    On my style O, I installed a self-contained bridge / piezo pickup / biscuit that includes a bridge and sits on the center of the resonator cone. There are a few of these on the market at present. There are also a few good contact pickups for Tricones, e.g. the K&Ks, the Schatten, and the Pick-Up The World. There are also some magnetic pickups that preserve a lot of the acoustic character of a resonator. Lollar makes a SC with controls in a self contained single cone cover plate called the Hot Plate. I know National sells them, but I don't see it on the Lollar website.

    The thin Lace top mount humbucker for archtops works well on a resonator, and their new "Matchbook" pickup looks like a great one. I haven't tried it yet but will be ordering one - for $80, it's worth exploring for use when my mic setup causes feedback. The Krivo humbucker is a beautifully made piece that's truly unique - I don't know how they do it, but it will work well with any metal strings from phosphor bronze to nickel, and it does sound right.

    I've been sorely tempted to buy a Krivo for my tricone, but I like the sound of my mics and don't use the guitar on stage enough to justify another $220 pickup for it.



  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Lonnie Johnson used one in his duets w Eddie Lang
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    <a href="https://youtu.be/eBpwKcnEzL8" target="_blank">Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson ~ Handful Of Riffs - YouTube</a>


    I'm actually pretty sure Lonnie was using the 12 string he's pictured with at beginning of that video.
    In fact, there's an EXHAUSTIVE discussion of that guitar here (by none other than Fraulini Guitar's Todd Cambio):
    Lonnie Johnson’s Mysterious 12 String – Fraulini Guitars
    I, too, mistook the extra resonance of the paired strings for that of a resonator until I listened closer and realized it was a different thing: a 12 string (or rather a 9 or 10 depending)

    As for Resonators in pre-bop jazz, I'm a big fan. Besides being sheerly LOUD, I don't think anyone's touched on the substantial additional "natural reverb" they have. It's not the same thing as "sustain", but it can definitely help the sound to fill out.

    I use my National Style 1 Tricone a good bit - it's great for outdoor gigs, or solo gigs... or anything where there's less natural ambiance than one might want, and where the additional resonance is helpful. <br><br>Of course, I usually play one of my acoustic archtops for a reason in most settings - that extra resonance can be too much of a wash.

    As far as post-1945 jazz styles, I'm last person to ask....
    That said, I've become friends with Doug Wamble over instagram because we'd bonded over resonators being played in jazz.
    While he has a diverse range of "americana" (for lack of a better word) textures woven into his playing, especially incorporating slide, he's a legit jazz player... And by "legit jazz player"... I mean he currently teaches at Juilliard, recorded with Wynton Marsalis, and here he is leading his quartet at Small's back in October... so yeah, legit

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    As far as post-1945 jazz styles, I'm last person to ask....
    You often hear (or I did at least) that jazz and blues share common roots, and I'd expect that to be more obvious in earlier jazz. Yet I don't really recognise a lot of the kind of blues I'm used to hearing played on resonators in, say, the music on your last album. I'm not certain if that's because that kind of blues seems less focused on melody runs than on harmony ("polyphonic fingerpicking" where that extra resonator wash can be exploited to good effect)?


    [quote]
    ... Doug Wamble ... leading his quartet at Small's back in October...
    /QUOTE]

    Interesting, this made me realise the resonator sound might well be a better match to a sax than most other guitars (not played through some complex pedalboard).

  18. #67

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    Bob Brozeman was great. Unfortunately he was a personally messed up dude.

    Bob brozeman - Google Search


  19. #68

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    Who cares (beyond those who knew him personally, possibly)?

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Who cares (beyond those who knew him personally, possibly)?
    Well supposedly a child molester who killed himself over it.

  21. #70

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    *supposedly*, and yeah, apparently Brozeman himself cared enough about the fall-out of the allegations that he preferred killing himself.

    Neither the allegations nor the suicide have anything to do with his music or musicianship (shared sensibilities/sensitivities aside).