The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1176

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    ^ I was going to ask if anyone on the forum actually used BH or if it was just a hypothetical thread lol. Nicely done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Try and not get stuck in "stop time" with voicing out lines. If you don't have the notation thing together... just record or dub etc... the point is to do it in as real time as you can. You already have the basic form... the space.

    See what your ears actually like or hear.

    Hopefully not some worked out thing.... just play. And yes I get that the approach is better suited for solo of trio type of playing... And again please don't post others or what you can't play.
    Agree with what you're saying here. You don't want to be in a stop time sink hole, or constantly practice stuff that won't be practical for actual playing or actual live situations.

    OK... it's not a waste of time..... but if most of you put half the time spent trying to use BH scale chord approach into playing other styles and getting technique together... you might be better at playing. Not saying anyone is not wonderful guitarist etc... or that those old days weren't great.... but they're long gone. The late night after hours thing just doesn't happen much anymore.

    The approach tends to become sink hole for most.
    Disagree. I don't think taking on an advanced concept necessarily equates with something that is totally unnecessary. On the contrary, as a jazzer I think it's necessary to work in advanced harmony concepts to be upper level.
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 10-02-2022 at 02:56 PM.

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  3. #1177

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    Reg here's some not stop time, not planned out playing of BH on a bluez. I'm not the highest level player but BH is plenty usable.


  4. #1178

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    coool thanks for posting guys...

    So christian... I don't know what to say, help me out.

    Graham... I dig your style and you sound great. But you sound like the approach is generally an effect that doesn't seem to work with the other style voicing when you expand beyond the vanilla thing. Overall if i was playing with you... I would really need to limit what might play.

    Try playing a medium tempo or even up tune and create a comping part. Then solo over it. I'm just interested.

    I generally hear the harmonic movement getting muddy... very difficult to stretch or expand any playing possibilities. But thanks

    Jimmy you're cool... and thanks for posting... but you need to get your chops up man. I hate to say much. On a side note I played one of your teachers tunes last night... The Groover.... was great tune to perform.

    Anyway.... I don't know where to really go.... Jimmy I disagree about advance concepts. You miss to many details of advanced concepts with reference to applying them to the instrument when you don't have the technical skills on the instrument. But everyone has their own choices to make. Results are what they are.

    I would still say get the basics down... but if it makes you happy, why not.

  5. #1179

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Jimmy you're cool... and thanks for posting... but you need to get your chops up man.
    I know!

    On a side note I played one of your teachers tunes last night... The Groover.... was great tune to perform.
    Nice.

    Anyway.... I don't know where to really go.... Jimmy I disagree about advance concepts. You miss to many details of advanced concepts with reference to applying them to the instrument when you don't have the technical skills on the instrument. But everyone has their own choices to make. Results are what they are. I would still say get the basics down... but if it makes you happy, why not.
    Not gonna disregard BH, gonna keep it onboard advancing through the future. Not gonna disregard important things either like better rhythm/feel, better vocab, and better phrasing. They're not mutually exclusive.
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 10-02-2022 at 05:16 PM.

  6. #1180

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Graham... I dig your style and you sound great. But you sound like the approach is generally an effect that doesn't seem to work with the other style voicing when you expand beyond the vanilla thing. Overall if i was playing with you... I would really need to limit what might play.

    Try playing a medium tempo or even up tune and create a comping part. Then solo over it. I'm just interested.

    I generally hear the harmonic movement getting muddy... very difficult to stretch or expand any playing possibilities. But thanks
    Thanks, but like I said, I mainly use the BH stuff for those sort of solo chord-melody things. So mainly for harmonising the melody. I don’t really comp like that, I tend to keep it much simpler/sparse etc.

  7. #1181

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    Christian, just an observation (please don't be offended): I read what you said about that Round Midnight arrangement being a work in progress, but I have noticed that, to my ears, you sound way more confident and purposeful playing your own stuff like on your recent CD than in the "home" videos that I've seen in your posts over the years.

  8. #1182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Christian, just an observation (please don't be offended): I read what you said about that Round Midnight arrangement being a work in progress, but I have noticed that, to my ears, you sound way more confident and purposeful playing your own stuff like on your recent CD than in the "home" videos that I've seen in your posts over the years.
    This is not generally encouraging me to post more of my playing on the forum lol.

    i think the reasons are fairly simple, most often to do with available time. I’m not sure which “home” vids you mean but if they are the ones on the virtual jams etc I’ve usually been unhappy with them. So I’ve done less of this stuff. Also without Covid, it’s not the only thing I can do anymore.

    I think I just take time to be on top of the material enough to record it with a camera pointed at my face, and time is often a bit scarce with kids etc. so it’s probably better to be more selective about what I put out there, and much more exacting even it means less stuff.

    I’ll leave that shit to Matz who seems to be able to do this stuff on spec with zero notice and children yelling at him.

    Happier just recording audio and definitely playing live etc. i do think doing it is good for me though

  9. #1183

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    Duh, you edited your post while I was replying. Slow typer.

    Ha, I'm not everyone, just a voice, and definitely didn't think it was a bunch of lark's droppings, fwiw.

    I'm not into practise until perfect, even if I had the time, so it's not that AFAIK. Personally, I seem to be lacking the embarrassment gene and will post any old rubbish (being stupid probably helps).

    The "home videos" are the ones what you got on yer YT channel, innit. Looks like a domestic environment, I think.

    Cheers and nightie night zzzzz

  10. #1184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Duh, you edited your post while I was replying. Slow typer.

    Ha, I'm not everyone, just a voice, and definitely didn't think it was a bunch of lark's droppings, fwiw.

    I'm not into practise until perfect, even if I had the time, so it's not that AFAIK. Personally, I seem to be lacking the embarrassment gene and will post any old rubbish (being stupid probably helps).

    The "home videos" are the ones what you got on yer YT channel, innit. Looks like a domestic environment, I think.

    Cheers and nightie night zzzzz
    Hmm. No I think what you say kind of confirms my thoughts on the subject already tbh.

  11. #1185

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    I thought the clip was good. Nice and spiky with crisp runs. You usually don't hear guitarists play it like that. I also understand the time constraint issue. I better watch it myself with posting hastily.

  12. #1186

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    Thanks Jimmy

  13. #1187

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    If it's still the Barry Harris thread Could you guys share your thoughts about what do you find interesting in Barry's teachings. What do you especially like and what are you trying to internalize / what are you working at?

  14. #1188

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    You're welcome, Christian.

    ^ The no brainers that I'm trying to internalize are the 6th diminished and dominant family. To me, those sound really rich and are too good to write off as novelty.




  15. #1189

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    OK... it's not a waste of time..... but if most of you put half the time spent trying to use BH scale chord approach into playing other styles and getting technique together... you might be better at playing. Not saying anyone is not wonderful guitarist etc... or that those old days weren't great.... but they're long gone. The late night after hours thing just doesn't happen much anymore.

    OK... quick name me some BH tunes. Pick 10 tunes you like to play and create an arrangement with 2 or 3 part arrangement of head. Then try a chorus of simple solo.... now voice that out. What do you end up with.

    Try and not get stuck in "stop time" with voicing out lines. If you don't have the notation thing together... just record or dub etc... the point is to do it in as real time as you can. You already have the basic form... the space.

    See what your ears actually like or hear.

    Just for the record... I loved and thought BH was one of the great ambassadors of jazz.... just didn't like his playing that much. The approach tends to become sink hole for most. Barry could and did have his playing together before the family note approach became involved.

    Would love to actually hear anyone on this thread play a few samples of using BH approach playing some tunes.

    Hopefully not some worked out thing.... just play. And yes I get that the approach is better suited for solo of trio type of playing... And again please don't post others or what you can't play.

    Music isn't about saving the world... it's more about making it a better place to exist.
    Reg, it took me a while to find the time to anwer. I also took me a while to read through yet another one of your cryptic streams of consciousness. Not least because of having worked with toddlers and mentally disabled persons it has always been my personal aim to express my thoughts as precise and clear as possible. Maybe you should once in a while consider wasting a thought on the fact that I am not the only person on this forum whose first language is not English and there might be others worse at it than I am but willing to learn something regarding this music.

    But one of your core messages was clear: Instead of talking of Barry’s teachings all the time let me hear what you got out of it and how you practically apply it.

    First of all since I joined this forum I never made a secret of the fact that my technical chops regarding jazz are not yet on par with my knowledge and hearing and therefore I do not post audio or video recordings yet — neither here nor in the virtual jams nor elsewhere.

    I have been playing rock, blues, funk and reggae in a band for 10 years up to a semi-pro level where we got compliments about our groove by e.g. The Wailers, Maceo Parker or Spacey T from Fishbone who played with Mother’s Finest and Funkadelic. We literally where shaking crowds and I know what a good groove is. But I am not at the point yet where I am able to freely improvise with chords in jazz the way I am able to rhythmically improvise in those other styles of music. But at least I posted some of my chordal ideas (that I get many times spontaneously, sometimes through theoretical consideration) in that Chords and Progressions thread as you know.

    I sometimes go to jam sessions to sing and play blues and I several times got feedback in the vein of “I can feel that you have been through things and you have something to say” but i am not yet able to tell a story through jazz lines. That is because of not knowing so many tunes yet (which I learn by rote including lyrics) and mostly for technical reasons and I am working on both. Next on my agenda is learning master solos by rote. So far about my reasons for not posting recordings here yet.

    I get the impression that you have a very superficial view of the different approaches in the teachings of Barry (BTW what do you mean by “family note approach”?). There is much more to it than just alternating sixth and diminished block chord inversions all the time — which are (much more) difficult to play on guitar (than on piano) as Christian has pointed out in his contribution to your assignment. [I will later post an older video of Italian pianist and BH student Andrea Papini which shows a trick to go through the chords of a sixth diminished scale in a smoother way that is easily adaptable on guitar.]

    But let’s concentrate on that sixth diminished topic anyway the study of which I do not consider a waste of time at all.

    1.) Practicing the chords of the different sixth diminished scales helped me to reinforce my knowledge of chord inversions in different drop voicings and their relation to the fretboard.

    2.) Aurally playing all those inversions helps internalizing the chord tones.

    3.) Because sometimes it is difficult to change from one chord to the next regarding fingerings I am forced to reconsider my chord fingerings and try more ergonomic alternatives which means working on technique (a.k.a. “chops”).

    4.) I have now always without having to further think about it secondary-dominant-ish passing chords available.

    5.) And last but not least (as I have already pointed out on several occasions) the sixth diminished approach and its ways of chord substitution for me was a key to a final understanding of how all those cats from the 40ies, 50ies and 60ies were getting those sounds that I always loved.

    And I have not yet touched regarding practice more than the surface of Barry’s concept of “borrowing notes” (which is different from the concept of “borrowing chords from another scale” a.k.a. “modal interchange”) which can lead to unusual voicings in a very intuitive and untheoretical way.

    It is not my intention to sound like the horn sections of let’s say Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller (though I love that music, too). But I would love to reach a point where I am able to transfer sounds from pianists like Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan etc. to the guitar. Of course this does not function 1:1 as the two instruments are very different in their possibilities but everyday I make a small progress. I do not intend to be avantgarde or innovative at the moment, I am a learner regarding jazz finding a lot of joy in what I am doing and I am sure one day people will perceive something personal in my playing. Until that day it is a journey according to the Clark Terry motto “Imitate, assimilate, innovate!”.

    I am also using the sixth diminished approach when I practice comping with shell voicings while learning tunes (root + 3rd + 7th resp. 6th or root + 7th resp. 6th + 3rd) to get what was Barry’s main point regarding harmony: movement instead of static chords.

    I have even started using applying it in two note comping which works nicely, too. I have yet to work that one really out but again: movement instead of simply playing 3rds and 7ths.

    Another thing that can be done with the sixth diminished scale is contrary motion as worked out on guitar by Thomas Echols a.k.a. “The Labyrinth of Limitations” — unfortunately I lack his superior classical technique so this is a thing for the future.

    All these things are little building blocks that one can integrate into his/her playing. Working on Barry’s stuff is not about learning etudes by rote. It is about researching in sounds. Barry would always learn from his students as well which was one of his reasons for teaching until shortly before his passing.

    Now you might ask how dare this guy write so much about a topic he is not yet ready to really implement? Well, first of all I think I have a pretty good grasp how those concepts work although I am not yet ready to really implement them. So what I write might be of use for others. Then writing about something helps me to order my thoughts about it. And last but not least I like the discussions with people interested in the same topic as myself in a thread the purpose of which is to collect as much material as possible on that topic if I got that right.

    To conclude this longish post: What I wrote about here was only one aspect of Barry Harris’ teaching. An extension of the sixth diminished harmonic approach is the “sixth on fifth” concept that I described further above and that I love to use on major chords, then there is the whole improvisational concept of adding half-steps to dominant, major and melodic minor scales which implies much more than “bebop scales”, then Barry’s special way of outlining chord changes via certain scale runs which I find extremly helpful in learning tunes etc. etc.

    The whole jazz thing can be a sink hole if I think about it. Most important is the practical application of concepts on tunes – that is what your assignment implied as well. I just do not feel ready yet to present myself playing with my personal way of applying BH. But I hope this post is showing a little bit what I am doing at the moment.

  16. #1190

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    The blind Italian jazz pianist Andrea Papini*) shows an easier way of moving through a sixth diminished scale in drop 2 voicings by playing only the top and bottom notes of the diminished (“soprano” and “bass”) which works on guitar as well. Alternatively you could play the minor sixth comprised of “soprano” and “tenor” (top and third voice from above) of the diminished.



    *) He is the one that can be seen translating Barry’s explanations into Italian on YouTube videos from workshops in Italy

  17. #1191

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisVane
    If it's still the Barry Harris thread Could you guys share your thoughts about what do you find interesting in Barry's teachings. What do you especially like and what are you trying to internalize / what are you working at?

    • Part of your question (regarding the sixth diminished approach is answered in my reply to Reg’s post. (I practice the dominant diminished and dominant b5 diminished scales as well BTW — the above said applies to them as well.)
    • The extra half-step(s) method for improvisation helps to distinguish between chord and passing tones by putting the chord tones on beats and the passing tones on “ands”, making it “rhythmically correct” as Barry used to put it. The exercise of repeating such descending scale runs with extra notes and each time leaving out one more note either at the beginning or the end provides you with little functioning melodic cells in time. [But you must be aware that jazz phrases often end on a chord tone on “and” — the word bebop (be-bop) is an onomatopoeic illustration of that — and sooner or later you have to break out of the habit of putting chord tones only on beats which is best done by learning bebop heads. Nonetheless these BH exercises are very usefull in learning the importance of chord tones.] Until now I did those exercises mainly internally and it is time to really lay them out on the fretboard.
    • Similarly “scale maps” of tunes outline the relationship between chord tones and passing tones and give you the sound and some base material for improvisation. I play those on guitar when practicing tunes.
    • “Barry Harry’s Chromatic Scale” is a great way of adding chromaticism.

    All those added chromatic passing notes are mainly a rhythmic thing and can be replaced by any other note.

    • Practicing triad and four note arpeggios (of all triads and seventh chords of a scale) in all inversions and both directions with a chromatic approach note in front of the first note gives you some ready-use-material for improvisation which you can either use directly on the same chord or use as a superimposed substitution (e.g. play such a Fmaj7 arpeggio over a II–V in C — typical bop cliché). I also try to breakup those runs in thirds into other intervalls and put the chromatic approach note in front of another than the first note, e.g. instead of (b)—c—e—g—b’ I might play c—(a#)—b’—g—e.
    • Then there is the possibility of “pivoting” (“pivot” is Barry’s term for octave displacement) which applies as well for arpeggios as well as for scale runs.

  18. #1192

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    In sum, Barry’s contribution was to provide profound letters to young poets, especially: “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. / Just keep going. No feeling is final.” Rilke would have dug it, man.

    How do you solve an introvert like (Ranier) Maria???



    KEEP GOING. No feeling is final. Jazz is basically rhythmic, anyway. All these implicit V7-I’s popping up out of nowhere, created where there was no movement.


    Mainly, he instilled the feeling to just pick up a guitar and not be afraid to play whatever.


    KEEP GOING. No feeling is final.

  19. #1193

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    hey... thanks for all the post. I don't mean quit totally. Just expand your ears. BH is a very closed loop. When you start to use Blue Notes and get away from Harmonic Min. It just gets way to muddy....

    I would also say... when you play a lot... I'm not really talking about practice, more of playing gigs with lots of different musicians. My ears hear different styles... and also how those styles can work together.

    There is no good or bad... it's all great. But you need to be able to hear and play different styles or harmonic/ melodic approaches. In general.... Harmonic min references work better with BH and dim. It's really old school, can be limiting. Maybe not to the ones using it.... but there are also other musicians usually playing.

    Dorian references generally work better with Melodic minor and blues better and will also somewhat adjust better with expanding harmonic references... like the 5th.

    But don't listen to me.... I play way to many notes and chords LOL... as a member of the forum who sat in on one of my gigs yesterday... He was making joke about me complaining about how fast my strings ware out... and said what do I expect... when I play so many notes.. It was a great moment while playing.

    Some of you are way more serious than Me. (about the music)

  20. #1194

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    hey... thanks for all the post. I don't mean quit totally. Just expand your ears. BH is a very closed loop. When you start to use Blue Notes and get away from Harmonic Min. It just gets way to muddy....

    I would also say... when you play a lot... I'm not really talking about practice, more of playing gigs with lots of different musicians. My ears hear different styles... and also how those styles can work together.

    There is no good or bad... it's all great. But you need to be able to hear and play different styles or harmonic/ melodic approaches. In general.... Harmonic min references work better with BH and dim. It's really old school, can be limiting. Maybe not to the ones using it.... but there are also other musicians usually playing.

    Dorian references generally work better with Melodic minor and blues better and will also somewhat adjust better with expanding harmonic references... like the 5th.

    But don't listen to me.... I play way to many notes and chords LOL... as a member of the forum who sat in on one of my gigs yesterday... He was making joke about me complaining about how fast my strings ware out... and said what do I expect... when I play so many notes.. It was a great moment while playing.

    Some of you are way more serious than Me. (about the music)
    Yet another post by you that leaves me clueless (except for the nice anecdote in the end).

    “Harmonic minor reference”, “dorian reference” — reference to WTF???

    How should anyone understand what you are talking about without you explaining it?

    Or is it your personal fun to stay cryptic and leave people clueless?

  21. #1195

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    Reg just likes to troll. As if playing for $100 a night is the definition of what all jazz has to be. If someone practices material above blowin tunes at a bar, it's unnecessary, or now it's 'muddy', and if they don't play at upper level, then any advanced material they work on somehow prevents them from working on basics.

  22. #1196

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    hey... thanks for all the post. I don't mean quit totally. Just expand your ears. BH is a very closed loop. When you start to use Blue Notes and get away from Harmonic Min. It just gets way to muddy....

    I would also say... when you play a lot... I'm not really talking about practice, more of playing gigs with lots of different musicians. My ears hear different styles... and also how those styles can work together.

    There is no good or bad... it's all great. But you need to be able to hear and play different styles or harmonic/ melodic approaches. In general.... Harmonic min references work better with BH and dim. It's really old school, can be limiting. Maybe not to the ones using it.... but there are also other musicians usually playing.

    Dorian references generally work better with Melodic minor and blues better and will also somewhat adjust better with expanding harmonic references... like the 5th.

    But don't listen to me.... I play way to many notes and chords LOL... as a member of the forum who sat in on one of my gigs yesterday... He was making joke about me complaining about how fast my strings ware out... and said what do I expect... when I play so many notes.. It was a great moment while playing.

    Some of you are way more serious than Me. (about the music)
    I would like to hear you playing, did you upload something to youtube?

  23. #1197

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlot
    I would like to hear you playing, did you upload something to youtube?
    Reg is a hell of player.

  24. #1198

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    When I technically explain musical concepts or approach with relationships to playing and understanding jazz. Most don't really read them or just don't understand.... Now when I try and keep it simple... I'm full of... ?

    MrBop..

    Harmonic Min. reference generally implies Maj/min functional Harmony and melodic organization'
    Ionian musical guidelines.

    Dorian Min references generally implies Modal functional harmony and melodic organization and guidelines.

    They are different. If your really interested... I have thousands of posts with detailed explanations and examples.
    You might need to go back 10 years... Or you want I'll be glad to try and start over.... it hasn't changes.

    Yea Jimmy I actually like the shitty bar or pub gigs. I've performed at 100's of jazz festivals and the BS showcase gigs... worked in the pits for musicals, shows etc... I even toured years ago. It all became work... I like gigs where we play a few sets of unrehearsed music.

    Marlot.... what would you like to hear?

  25. #1199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    When I technically explain musical concepts or approach with relationships to playing and understanding jazz. Most don't really read them or just don't understand.... Now when I try and keep it simple... I'm full of... ?

    MrBop..

    Harmonic Min. reference generally implies Maj/min functional Harmony and melodic organization'
    Ionian musical guidelines.

    Dorian Min references generally implies Modal functional harmony and melodic organization and guidelines.

    They are different. If your really interested... I have thousands of posts with detailed explanations and examples.
    You might need to go back 10 years... Or you want I'll be glad to try and start over.... it hasn't changes.

    Yea Jimmy I actually like the shitty bar or pub gigs. I've performed at 100's of jazz festivals and the BS showcase gigs... worked in the pits for musicals, shows etc... I even toured years ago. It all became work... I like gigs where we play a few sets of unrehearsed music.

    Marlot.... what would you like to hear?
    Unfortunately the posting history in your profile goes only back until the end of 2019. The search engine of this forum is often whack as well. So I will have to dig manually through the early posts in the Improvisation and Chords and Progressions departments …

  26. #1200

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Head
    yeah he is a new guitar god