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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    that was really good!

    now for the next months, whenever you play satan's doll, you can start with that passage and be confident to sound good from the get-go.

    now you need to do this with other licks or short passages. wes montgomery's solo starts with a beautiful triplet phrase that can be used over maj, min, dominant, and altered dominant chords if you understand basic functional theory. one simple phrase can be the gateway to a whole concept.

    by studying licks and phrases you'll also encounter technical challenges. solve them as they present themselves.

    recording and posting all your exercises and training chorusses gives you a goal and a sense of accomplishment. so do what you did times 500. post bebop heads (freight train could be a good starter, or blues for alice), exercises (like the joe pass major exercises or the blues or rhythm from the orange book), licks and improvisations.

    there is a very good guitarist on this forum called dutchbopper. his performance-orientated approach should be most inspirational.

    the biggest trap for beginners: overestimating theory while underestimating the amount of grunt work that has to be applied.
    Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. I understand your point about grunt work verses theory. The problem with Jazz is that there isn’t is logical, linear path to success. One can never know exactly what grunt work one is supposed to be doing. Especially when I’m trying to teach myself.

    I figure I can’t go wrong with Parker heads. Lol


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #102

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    I figure you be right. Good stuff. Keep going .

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Also remember jazz solos are often not nearly as ‘improvised’ as people think. Listen to what Steve Swallow says about it here (I just came across this clip yesterday!) - his comments on this start at about 3:30.

    Enjoying this thread. Great clip. Steve articulates something it’s taken me a long time to realise. I wish I’d known this long ago. (He doesn’t mention that Miles fired George Coleman for practicing his solos, but hey, Miles was a Gemini. :-))

    You get a lot of purist advice - ‘oh you must improvise truly.’ No. You should aim to make good music. And when you solo you ideally bring something of yours to the table.... but you don’t need to place that particular burden on your shoulders. Luckily most audiences are not mind readers, and players kind of get it.....

    Of course some people are true improvisers. But it helps to have a template... I think this Aebersold idea - here’s some notes on each chord, make a solo - is now what people think jazz improvisation is.... Well it’s kind of a template, raw materisls, but also there’s too many choices in there, no connection to the prior tradition and it can be really hard to prioritise things when the changes move quickly. Probably most players who use this end up working out/composing good sounding stuff they can use anyway.

    But the idea that pure improvisation is a big part of jazz is down to the confusion from European music perspectives which get hung up on the fact that the bulk of what makes jazz jazz isn’t written down and that the music is collaborative rather than hierarchical. Like classical musicians, even those interested in improv, really don’t understand it’s a spectrum from composition to improvisation.

    Furthermore there’s a bigger demarcation in today’s jazz performance practices. Big bands read from charts, small groups work from memory more often... in fact in the swing era, arrangements too were often never written down.... this changed later on.

    I am trying to always make myself a more flexible and listening player, and I’m always in dialogue with my own playing (should I play this line? Or something else?) but I think to start with a blank page and a pot of paints and saying ‘go have fun’ certainly works for some impetuous souls - but not for all, and in terms of developing a mature approach to jazz improv, is not sufficient.

    Anyway I’m planning to offer some more concrete ideas on this soon....

  5. #104

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    Great stuff, James! Well done. Excellent progress. I've been trying to work up a plan that might help me make some headway, too.

    Yes, that Carla Bley / Steve Swallow clip was great - I always thought that the great improvisers were doing something new every time. More than that, I thought they were hearing something in their heads a split seconds before needing to play it, immediately "transcribing" it to their fingers / lips and then playing it. Spookily enough, I just bought the boxed set of Charlie Christian live recordings and all the repeated tunes again shows how some solos were very similar, and at least partly composed.

    My plan, alluded to above, involves no improvisation for the time being. Although I might try and compose some solos in the near future though. For now, it's just about learning 10 tunes.


  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Anyway I’m planning to offer some more concrete ideas on this soon....
    These will be most welcome. Thank you.

  7. #106

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    I think I've figured out my problem . . .

    Frustrated and ready to give up!-practice-jpg

  8. #107

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    Ain't that the truth!!

  9. #108

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    If there was one book to learn to play it would be:
    The Real Book.
    Play every song in that book and you will be playing "jazz"...