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  1. #201

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    Here's one I like. Walking the wire, no net. Really good solid jazz guitar playing. And guess what, he's a poster here. You can talk to him! He will talk to you!


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Here's one I like. Walking the wire, no net. Really good solid jazz guitar playing. And guess what, he's a poster here. You can talk to him! He will talk to you!

    Now thats what im talking about lol. Thats a really nice solo. Something im trying to aim for improvising wise. I will definitely reach out to him!

  4. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot81
    Now thats what im talking about lol. Thats a really nice solo. Something im trying to aim for improvising wise. I will definitely reach out to him!
    Hi, that’s my video. I would try and explain my approach like this. Bear in mind I had been playing jazz for about 25 years when I made that video, so not a quick process!

    When I started learning jazz I had some theory and scales from doing classical guitar, but no jazz knowledge. Also there was no internet then and I had no books. So I just copied bits of solos I liked off records and played around with them on different tunes and gradually built up some lines to use. I also learned a number of tunes by ear (I had no fakebooks then) and worked out the chord changes by ear. The only book I got then was the Joe Pass chord book as I wanted to know the common jazz chord shapes (I had been playing rock guitar so didn’t have a clue about jazz chords).

    So really I just kept on like that for years and eventually could play lines on different tunes. But I would say a lot of what I play is really made up of little bits and pieces of existing ideas which I just re-combine on the fly, as it were.

    Later on I learned more theory etc. but that always came second for me.

    The main players I copied stuff from were Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker. Charlie Parker a bit less, simply because I found his solos a bit too fast and complicated to learn from. But I did steal some Parker ideas here and there.

    I must admit I find it difficult to explain this stuff because I just followed my ear and intuition really.

  5. #204

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    That's how you get better ... excellent. Play, record and post it.

    I'd suggest working on your time first and foremost. Specifically, be as critical as you can be that those 1/8th notes fall exactly when and how you want them to. My advice is take your solo, slow it down by 50%, and play it over and over and over, being deliberately intentional to make the groove a little stronger.

    I think most time issues for most players are technical, rather than not hearing or feeling the time correctly. The only way to work through that is slowly. Exaggerate the evenness of every note in the line. Repeat. Repeat. Ad nauseum.

    You wont improve the things (I think) you need to improve on by playing at that tempo. Period.

    I'd second the idea that the CP omnibook isn't a great place to start ... unless you're simply a super talented mofo. It's like a calculus book when you're in the 3rd grade. Unless your name is Will Hunting, that won't be super useful. There are a LOT of more productive ways to approach jazz.

    Also, I'd suggest using any solo transcription book as a reference when you get stuck instead of as the source.

    Learning the scales and arps and voicings is useful, but not nearly as important as (a) playing with good feel, and (b) learning lines. The world's greatest writers rarely have the world's largest vocabulary. A dictionary isn't a lot of fun to read.

    I actually like the doubling up of notes. I think most jazz players don't do that enough. We move on to another note too soon. I might scale it down a little, but the idea of it isn't something to shy away from.

    I'm new here, but this forum seems pretty awesome. A superb resource with some super helpful folks.

  6. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Hi, that’s my video. I would try and explain my approach like this. Bear in mind I had been playing jazz for about 25 years when I made that video, so not a quick process!

    When I started learning jazz I had some theory and scales from doing classical guitar, but no jazz knowledge. Also there was no internet then and I had no books. So I just copied bits of solos I liked off records and played around with them on different tunes and gradually built up some lines to use. I also learned a number of tunes by ear (I had no fakebooks then) and worked out the chord changes by ear. The only book I got then was the Joe Pass chord book as I wanted to know the common jazz chord shapes (I had been playing rock guitar so didn’t have a clue about jazz chords).

    So really I just kept on like that for years and eventually could play lines on different tunes. But I would say a lot of what I play is really made up of little bits and pieces of existing ideas which I just re-combine on the fly, as it were.

    Later on I learned more theory etc. but that always came second for me.

    The main players I copied stuff from were Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker. Charlie Parker a bit less, simply because I found his solos a bit too fast and complicated to learn from. But I did steal some Parker ideas here and there.

    I must admit I find it difficult to explain this stuff because I just followed my ear and intuition really.
    So when soloing you don't really think in scales? or is it just might learn which notes work over each chord and just improvise without thinking too much about which notes fit?

  7. #206

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    The notes that work over each chord...are in the chords!

  8. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot81
    So when soloing you don't really think in scales? or is it just might learn which notes work over each chord and just improvise without thinking too much about which notes fit?
    I don’t think about scales much when playing. It’s more like melodic lines that connect the chord tones. Everything we play should be a melody or melodic fragment.

    In my head, once I know a tune reasonably well, I can hear the sound of the chords (especially root, 3rd and 7th) and I know what lines and notes will fit. I can usually hear them without a guitar in my hands.

    One thing to work on is major and minor ii-V-I progressions, and the altered notes on the V (dominant) chord in those progressions. If you can play correctly on those, and recognise them wherever they occur, you can nail about 50% of what occurs in all jazz standards. Because they are everywhere in the tunes.

  9. #208

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    As above :-)

    Thinking only in scales is very, very limiting. But then so is thinking only in arpeggios. One needs everything, a bit of a scale here, an arpeggio there, an altered sound in the right place. And, as Mr. Beaumont said, the right notes are in the chords, or around them.

    Incidentally most of the great players did it the way grahambop described. They listened, wore out their old LPs, learned tunes by ear, and played with others. Playing with others is a hell of an instruction.

    I think you're having trouble settling on a tune. Rhythm changes, I'm afraid, is usually played fast in Bb and I wouldn't recommend it personally unless it was slowed down considerably.

    There's a tune on the Practical Standards thread at the moment called Satin Doll. It's medium swing, in C, and has pretty basic chord changes. You could give that a go, if you like, but it's just a suggestion.

    By the way, do you read music, even badly?

  10. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Okay, it's a start. But why different chords? Why not the ordinary chords for that tune?

    Your emphasis here is on improvising. What are you going to play over these chords? Does the MB book give you any ideas for lines or is it just chords?
    the mickey baker book starts with chords and at one he says to apply the chord idea to songs you are learning.

    in the second half he starts talking about soloing, I have been following the book systematically in order, maybe I should skip to the soloing half and work on a lesson from each section together

  11. #210

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    Here are some common approaches to improvisation in the order of difficulty (IMO):

    1- Melody. Rhythmic variations. Embellishment of important notes.
    2- Harmonic generalization. Just thinking in the key of the moment instead of consciously making chord changes.
    3- Harmonic specify. Outlining the harmony in the solo. Using guide tones and other chord tones. Targeting them as chords change. Note this doesn't mean using only chord tones.
    4- Theme and variation. Starting with a clear theme/motif and developing it.

    There are of course also more advanced approaches but mastering these 4 and being able use all them in the course of a solo is a good place to aim initially. I've been working on these for years. I work on them over tunes, not in isolation. Mastery of the fretboard and having good time are the key skills. Strive to know where you are at ALL times (bar and beat) when playing tunes. Ear develops by exposure but singing and being mindful really accelerates ear training.
    I find that if you don't have the fretboard together, you're just spinning your wheels.

    Sent from my a$s

  12. #211

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    I've been thinking about this issue again.

    How to get better at improvising?

    Doesn't it depend on your level and what the weakness is?

    There are lots of ways to be, say, less improved, at improvising.

    In no particular order:

    You don't think of good enough lines.

    You don't have enough chops to execute ideas.

    You can't find the notes that go with the chords.

    You have no jazz vocabulary.

    Your time needs improvement.

    You don't know any tunes.

    You don't hear chord changes.

    You can't hear extensions or tensions against harmony.

    etc etc etc.

    For an intermediate or advanced player, the issue is one of diagnosis and then planning the intervention.

    For the novice player, the issue is how to go about introducing the entire craft of improvising.

    If I had to pick just a couple of things that are likely to be useful to almost anybody, I'd think about these.

    1. Ear Training. Maybe you can hear even the wildest harmony and immediately know what the chords are. Maybe you an immediately imitate the most jagged melody. Maybe you can identify one wrong note in a room full of sound -- know what note it was and what note it should have been. But, if you can't do all of that, then ear training isn't going to be a waste of time.

    2. Play as much as you possibly can with the best musicians you can possibly play with. I don't know exactly how it will happen, but you will find a way to get better.

    3. Find a balance. This often means making sure you don't focus excessively on abstract applications of theory. Make sure you're applying everything in a way that sounds good. And, even if you don't care about anything else, be absolutely certain that your time is perfect on every note you play.

  13. #212

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    To the OP, you'll drive yourself crazy trying to come up with the 'perfect' approach. Less posting, more practicing. Learn one tune per week and internalize it. Choose tunes that you like. Repeat weekly. Go.

  14. #213

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    I have been working more on the changes of Takin the A train and wrote some lines to fit over the changes, definitely eye opening when it comes to actually learning song as opposed to just focusing on the theory aspect of things.

  15. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot81
    Right now I'm going through the Mickey Baker jazz book and I finding the chord ideas very helpful. The thing I have been trying to do is getting better at soloing. What are somethings I should do to get better. I have Charlie Parker Omnibook and learned 2 heads and some of the solo in one. But how do I transfer that to my own playing? I was told to look and analyze my favorite lick and transpose to different keys.
    Another idea I thought of was writing solos based on chord progressions for my favorite standards. For example I love how High the Moon, so with that I was thinking of just writing lines for those changes, would that be a good approach?
    All in all im looking for any tips that would help me getting better at soloing over jazz changes!
    Hi Patriot81! I’ll list some of my best tips to answer your question:

    1. Don’t practice scales too much! Learn as much scales as you can, both practical and theoretical. But never overuse them! The secret is not the scales, it’s the chord tones. Practice chord tones by both playing and learning new standards. When you do this the tonal vocabulary expnads and you’ll know how the musical puzzle is structured.

    2. Abstract composition. Sit down in your armchair and just relax for a few minutes. Sit down and discuss with yourself about music. Think about a chord progression, don’t matter how long it is. Write this chord progression on a paper and practice it until you just want to vomit. When you have practiced enough with your abstract composition, don’t practice it again for a long while. Write a new at a later point when you’re ready for it. Begin composing the progression with easy major or minor triads and challenge yourself with more advanced harmonics when your tonal vocabulary is expanded. For me abstract composition is very important to keep up my musical coordination. When you practice it you learn not only the fundamentals of composing music but also how to improvise over it.

    3. Learn as much standards as you can! Do I have to say more about this? Standards are probably the heart of jazz tradition and is a crucial way to both learn the history of jazz and the language of jazz harmonics.

    4. Don’t be sad that you’re not as good as your heroes by this point. Remember, everyone have practiced myriads of hours to be better on our instrument. I think we all are a little bit anxious when we see a new chord progression to improvise over. Farlow, Metheny and Pass have all been beginners and felt uncomfortable with improvisation. In the end we will all feel safe with the challenge when we have practiced enough. You have all the time in the world to be a better improvisor, start your practicing today!

    5. Have fun while you’re practicing. Many people forget about having fun while they practicing. Listen to jazz music (preferably everyday), smile and maybe even buy a new amp or pedal is my examples of how to keep up the mood while you’re practicing improvisation.

    Hops this tips will guide you right on your way to be a better improvisor.
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 06-17-2019 at 09:22 AM.