The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    Pretty much. Vic Juris, the late great master who wrote a few books, said that was his goal as both an author and practitioner: To get a couple (one-two-threee) important things or concepts down from a book. If one gets that, it woud have been worth it.

    Now, that leaves unsaid the following why the above approach works: it would work because the student has a solid foundation (studying with a. Good teacher initially who laid it all out) and knows what they are looking for, has a good idea of what they want to achieve, and knows how to find and allocate resources to fit their vision and overall plan.

    The alternative is to throw crap against a wall and see what sticks: go from book to book, YouTube video to YouTube video, never with an idea of what one is doing or trying to achieve, overall.

    A good teacher instructs their student to be their own teacher-to begin a lifetime of personal inquiry.
    i think in my case probably more the latter


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Or it's called The Real Jazz Solos Book. It's a real book made up of a few solos from each of many of the greats.
    Amazon dropped a copy off today. Looks interesting. I didn’t know anything like this existed.

  4. #28

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    Advancing Guitarist is my constant companion. It won't tell you anything about how to play ATTYA in a jam, but then at some point, you'll find yourself playing everything with total investment and clarity and personal approach. Depends on how serious you are and how long you read it.
    For vocabulary building, I have gotten so much from Greg Fishman's Etudes. A workout on standard forms.

    Learn to read with your ears. Your listening will get deeper and deeper.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    It really depends on what "working through" means. It seems to me that for a lot of people working through books or video courses is just a way of avoiding doing the real work. That's why I think it's not that uncommon to meet musicians who have been dabbling with jazz for literally decades and still hoping that the next book or the course will open the door to jazz improvisation, comping or chord-melody arrangements.
    I have to say that this statement might be unfair to some folks who use/buy course books and have gotten real results, etc., but man, the statement fits me pretty well. "Avoiding doing the real work" is a little harsh - I don't feel that I'm avoiding the work, because these books are work - but there is a sense that maybe, just maybe this particular book will not necessarily "open the door" (or maybe it will!) but somehow get you on the "real" path. And that sense, in some way, shifts the responsibility away from you to the book, somewhat. Basically, we all get better by playing, playing, playing, every day all the time. Anyway, this thread isn't about our opinions on course books - it's about if you had to pick a book what would it be - but I couldn't help respond to this as I look at my massive stack of jazz books.


  6. #30

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    Like the old saying says, "If you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

    If you are fixated on finding a book when what you really need is a teacher, you are painting yourself into a corner.

    I've used many books and I've had several great teachers. I got something from each. And I've abandoned a few books and teachers too. Don't be afraid to try new things. There is no one-size-fits-all magic bullet.

    I think Navdeep (and John A.) really nailed it: study with a good teacher (or lots of them) will get you to the point at which you can really get something out of a book on your own, can extract what you seek from a tune or solo that intrigues you, and can reach the point at which you embark on a self-inspiring, self-motivated, lifelong musical journey that is uniquely yours.

    So, to reframe the original query a bit, the one thing you can do to improve your playing would be to study with a great teacher. A teacher that can impart the knowledge you need (on a variety of subjects, which will vary as you progress) and who inspires you artistically, which will motivate you to "do the real work."



  7. #31

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    Whaddya want to learn? Whaddya want to play? I assume many books are purchased because they address a particular style, and the broad parameters of that style - not the nuances - might, as Vic Juris suggests, be accessible in 2 or 3 main concepts. But they are just pointers. Thereafter, an hour spent transcribing the style , if you're advanced enough, would probably bring better results.

    The only extended engagment I have had with a single book is, like Kris, Linear Expressions. I'll continue to play from that daily for a long time to come.

  8. #32

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    Guitarist Ted Dunbar who was also a clever philosopher used to say about book study
    "for every page that you read, write 10 of your own".
    Books are not a replacement for bandstand education but are an additional tool, especially when we actively engage.

  9. #33
    Nothing earth-shattering to add, except that over decades of transcribing and doing my best to play whatever, it's my own book.

    Lead sheets, rinky little contrafacts I made up and bothered to write down for jobs where the bar owners didn't pay for ASCAP/BMI/SECAP fees. Off topic, but that's one of the best sources of "originals" I ever did: do it from necessity and just do a nice line over some little vamp or whatever, or I-iim--> etc.

    Now that I'm beginning again on guitar, my own "book" is full of ridiculous stuff like how many different "positions" to play in Ab and run the "Donna Lee" line....none of that is difficult, musically.

    But guitar is pretty difficult, so every one time I "learn" a tune, that means three or more times to flex on it.

    More than that. Just an average bop head, that's five or six different ways to play it.

    Goddammned right I'm figuring that shit out. I don't know wtf a "position" is, just that there's a million different enharmonic ways to perform that same melody. And I'm sure as shit not using any open strings, like a happy-go-lonesome goddamned mouse-shit sheepherder.

    Damn right I write that shit down, in pencil. And an eraser. And colored pens. I am not a smart man, Jenny! Lieutenant Dan, ain't got no legs! So I write it down, throw it away, and start again.

    But, yes, I have hundreds of pages of transcriptions in pencil, as well as the usual binders of lead sheets. That's my book.

    I like others' books as well. Bach's Ars fuga is nice. But, as far as guitar is concerned, even though I have and study Randy Vincent's various books, it doesn't get me as far as just sounding out by ear and writing *everything* down in all of these "positions."

    I don't find it desirable to play more than three strings on a rootless voicing, and I don't have the ability to mute strings with the fretting hand. So, I try to play voicings with as much information given, and maybe plunk down a root using thumb-over across the barrier.

    It's a lot of just sounding out something like G-C-F or G-C-Eb in the good strings, to get a nice little Ab tonic after an Eb7b9+ that doesn't sound like playing Darktown Strutter's Ball on the ukelele or whatever.