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  1. #1

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    Hi Folks,

    Probably like some of you I received a number of jazz related books/references for Christmas yesterday. One item I had put on my wish list and did receive was the subject book by Bert Ligon. It was identified as a technical resource on connecting chords using guide tones and other important concepts to create great jazz lines based on the study of hundreds of examples from great jazz artists.

    I received the book and it has over 250 lines from great artists and good discussion of what is happening in the line that makes it work and be special. The disappointment for me however is that there is no tab for the lines, you have to be able to read music to play the lines! What a bummer! I obviously wish I would have taken the time to learn how to do this. I guess I should have thought about that possibility noting it was published in 1996.

    Does anyone else have this book and have anything to offer about using it? If you can read music I am sure it would be very informative with great improvisation ideas. Are there other similar books out there on this topic?

    Hey maybe this might be a good project for Matt Warnock, develop tab and music samples for the lines in this book, what do you think Matt? Put me first on your waiting list.

    Happy New Year to all!


    Bill

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward
    Hi Folks,

    Probably like some of you I received a number of jazz related books/references for Christmas yesterday. One item I had put on my wish list and did receive was the subject book by Bert Ligon. It was identified as a technical resource on connecting chords using guide tones and other important concepts to create great jazz lines based on the study of hundreds of examples from great jazz artists.

    I received the book and it has over 250 lines from great artists and good discussion of what is happening in the line that makes it work and be special. The disappointment for me however is that there is no tab for the lines, you have to be able to read music to play the lines! What a bummer! I obviously wish I would have taken the time to learn how to do this. I guess I should have thought about that possibility noting it was published in 1996.

    Does anyone else have this book and have anything to offer about using it? If you can read music I am sure it would be very informative with great improvisation ideas. Are there other similar books out there on this topic?

    Hey maybe this might be a good project for Matt Warnock, develop tab and music samples for the lines in this book, what do you think Matt? Put me first on your waiting list.

    Happy New Year to all!


    Bill
    I have this book. I will take a closer look at it when I get back home after the holidays and add my 2 cents


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward
    Hi Folks,

    Probably like some of you I received a number of jazz related books/references for Christmas yesterday. One item I had put on my wish list and did receive was the subject book by Bert Ligon. It was identified as a technical resource on connecting chords using guide tones and other important concepts to create great jazz lines based on the study of hundreds of examples from great jazz artists.

    I received the book and it has over 250 lines from great artists and good discussion of what is happening in the line that makes it work and be special. The disappointment for me however is that there is no tab for the lines, you have to be able to read music to play the lines! What a bummer! I obviously wish I would have taken the time to learn how to do this. I guess I should have thought about that possibility noting it was published in 1996.

    Does anyone else have this book and have anything to offer about using it? If you can read music I am sure it would be very informative with great improvisation ideas. Are there other similar books out there on this topic?

    Hey maybe this might be a good project for Matt Warnock, develop tab and music samples for the lines in this book, what do you think Matt? Put me first on your waiting list.

    Happy New Year to all!


    Bill
    My friend, you may have to get ready for some stripes on your back, seeing as you are learning Jazz without trying to learn to read standard notation. The pros and experienced players kind of look down on that approach. I have had a few of those stripes myself, and they hurt!

    I am a slow music reader. I cannot convert the information readily. The same is true of my fretboard knowledge. So I found it helpful to write out the notes in advance in the book. Maybe this could work for you? After awhile, the repetition helped with my sight reading.

  5. #4

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    Hi Bill
    You might think my question is impertinent or irrelevant but why not learn to read notation? Rather than think of learning about jazz and improvisation as merely an exercise in where to put your fingers, notation would really inform your knowledge of pitch, interval, chordal/linear dialogue and even phrase shaping.
    A lot of us think of these things as being inseparable from the improvisational process. I might venture to say that most of those who read will say it's essential to helping create visual aspects of phrasing. Plus, it really opens up a potential in the resources available. No alto player would begin to tackle their craft armed only with flash cards of where to place their fingers.
    Is it a matter of time? Or just the inconvenience?
    Would you use it if someone created a thread dedicated to learning standard notation on the guitar?
    Who knows? You might even enjoy the ability to look at a piece of music, appreciate the beauty and clever nuance and instantly play it on the guitar.
    Truly, it's only a matter of acquiring a reading skill. Imagine what you'd be missing from this forum if you couldn't read.
    But it's your choice. I hope you unlock the information in that book either way. It's a rich and powerful resource.

    David

  6. #5

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    Hi Bill, I would have to agree with TruthHertz and AlsoRan on this. Sooner or later you will need to learn standard notation. Tab sometimes helps because there are usually a couple of different places you can play a note or a sequence of notes and tabs can eliminate some guess work. However, any serious study of music must include the reading of standard notation.


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  7. #6

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    (been reading for a while, but I think this is my first post - howdy from Austin)

    Bert Ligon's "Connecting Chords..." is one of my all-time top 5 jazz books. It came along at the right time to solve a problem that was vexing me, and it solves it incredibly well.

    What is the problem? Harmonically specific soloing.

    It's straight forward to figure out which scale goes with which chord (yeah, there are options, but not all that many), but just knowing the scale didn't result in hip lines for me (and it didn't result in lines that demonstrated that I knew what I was doing - which was one of my goals then, and probably still now).

    What do I mean? Consider: || Dm7 G7 | Cmaj7 ||

    This is a diatonic (ii - V7 - I) in C. So the C scale should work, right? Well, yeah, but you also need strong notes on strong beats, or it still sounds like you're hunting.

    This whole book is dedicated to exploring (IIRC) 3 basic soloing patterns. The buttloads of transcribed clips are presented because they are variations on those three themes. By practicing these 3 patterns (and some of my favorite variations) in all 12 keys, and over the changes of songs, it unlocked my ability to come up with solo lines that are harmonically specific.

    Back to the two-bar sequence above. Say I want to play and 8th note line over that - where there 2 beats each of Dm7, G7, and... I don't care how many of C, because with this line I'll resolve on the 1st beat of the 2nd bar...

    I can play (as 8ths): F, E, D, C, B, A, G, F, E

    The bold notes hit on the down beats when the chord changes hit. So:


    • For Dm7, I'm on F, which is the (minor) 3rd of D
    • For G7, I'm on B, which is the 3rd of G
    • For Cmaj7, I'm on E, which is the third of C


    This was really powerful when I Grok'd it and started practicing its variants in all 12 keys (Band in a box, and iReal are great for accompanying this). The pattern above is one of the 3 patterns explored in depth by this book. I won't go into the other 2, but they are also basic, bread and butter patterns that I find incredibly useful.

    I have bought several copies of this book and given them away. And Bert is a really nice guy and a fine player on both guitar and piano, and is a professor at the U of South Carolina.

    If you are trying to get a handle on harmonically specific jazz soloing (and if the reading isn't a show-stopper), this book is worth more than its weight in gold.

    YMMV ;-)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Hi Bill
    You might think my question is impertinent or irrelevant but why not learn to read notation? Rather than think of learning about jazz and improvisation as merely an exercise in where to put your fingers, notation would really inform your knowledge of pitch, interval, chordal/linear dialogue and even phrase shaping.
    A lot of us think of these things as being inseparable from the improvisational process. I might venture to say that most of those who read will say it's essential to helping create visual aspects of phrasing. Plus, it really opens up a potential in the resources available. No alto player would begin to tackle their craft armed only with flash cards of where to place their fingers.
    Is it a matter of time? Or just the inconvenience?
    Would you use it if someone created a thread dedicated to learning standard notation on the guitar?
    Who knows? You might even enjoy the ability to look at a piece of music, appreciate the beauty and clever nuance and instantly play it on the guitar.
    Truly, it's only a matter of acquiring a reading skill. Imagine what you'd be missing from this forum if you couldn't read.
    But it's your choice. I hope you unlock the information in that book either way. It's a rich and powerful resource.

    David
    Hi David and all,

    Thank you all for your comments, they are much appreciated! I can see from the multiple comments that there is indeed a very strong feeling about how important and beneficial it is to be able to read music in being successful and good at jazz improvisation. I am committed to putting forth all the effort I can to be as successful as I can at jazz improvisation. If learningto read music is this important I am ready to pursue this. There is somuch to learn to play jazz music it is somewhat overwhelming. As such being able to expedite all I need to try to learn including reading music is very important.

    David I would definitely follow a thread dedicated to learning standard notation on the guitar. Prior to coming back to my computer and responding here I also took a look on Youtube searching under “Learning to read music” and can see there is quite a lot of material on this subject. Getting advice on which way to pursue this most expeditiously from folks like you all is very much appreciated. I am eager to unlock all the great stuff in the subject book that is for sure.

    If you have specific courses or youtubes you think would be good to purse this effort please let me know.

    Thanks again for your comments and suggestions!


    Bill

  9. #8

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    Hi Bill,

    i am also a bluegrasser turned jazzer. Reading notation is not hard if you practice it a bit daily. Youll get it in a short time.

    That book is one of my all time favorites. I got a LOT from it!

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petimar
    Hi Bill,

    i am also a bluegrasser turned jazzer. Reading notation is not hard if you practice it a bit daily. Youll get it in a short time.

    That book is one of my all time favorites. I got a LOT from it!
    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your input on this. You and I definitely have a lot in common regarding our love of diversity in music!

    Here is a sample of music from the trio I play with.



    I am going to point our mandolin player to your jazz instructional site for mandolin players.

    I think he could really benefit from it.

    Best Wishes!

    Bill

  11. #10

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    I believe that Bert Ligon's main instrument is piano. I understand he can play guitar as well, but his book was not written for guitar players. It was written for all instruments. It's a pretty good example of why learning notation is so beneficial: it gives you access to material not explicitly written for guitarists.

    I think it's a good book for beginner and intermediate players who are getting their feet wet playing changes. It's by no means exhaustive -- the "7 to 3" movement is just one voice leading tendency. But it's the most common one, and you can get a lot of mileage out of it.

    As I recall, there are three basic lines, and the remainder of the book are elaborations/variations on those basics. If learning music notation is too daunting at the moment, just learn those three basic lines, try a sampling of the other examples to get some ideas, and go from there.

  12. #11

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    We're sort of the opposite. I can't read tablature at all. I look at it and see Chinese or Greek. I just never bothered to try to learn it. There just isn't that much tab available for jazz music. It's limited to one instrument, in one tuning, and I don't want to spend time and effort on something so limited. My reading of standard notation is slow enough as it is. I can read, but not at tempo. I really should practice it much more, but it has never been a priority, and may never be. It's not like it's going to help pay the bills at this point, and spending time with the grandkids is more important than spending it with a book of etudes.

  13. #12

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    I have this book but haven't worked in it for a long time. (Two years, maybe?)

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward
    Hi Folks,

    Probably like some of you I received a number of jazz related books/references for Christmas yesterday. One item I had put on my wish list and did receive was the subject book by Bert Ligon. It was identified as a technical resource on connecting chords using guide tones and other important concepts to create great jazz lines based on the study of hundreds of examples from great jazz artists.

    I received the book and it has over 250 lines from great artists and good discussion of what is happening in the line that makes it work and be special. The disappointment for me however is that there is no tab for the lines, you have to be able to read music to play the lines! What a bummer! I obviously wish I would have taken the time to learn how to do this. I guess I should have thought about that possibility noting it was published in 1996.

    Does anyone else have this book and have anything to offer about using it? If you can read music I am sure it would be very informative with great improvisation ideas. Are there other similar books out there on this topic?

    Hey maybe this might be a good project for Matt Warnock, develop tab and music samples for the lines in this book, what do you think Matt? Put me first on your waiting list.

    Happy New Year to all!


    Bill
    Hi, I have tabbed out the first 60 licks or so, as well as a the examples in the first intro part. I could share them with you in. Mid,. Pdf,. Guitar pro, plain text tab, whatever. Just ask. Note the fingerings reflect my personal view and are not in any way definitive

    Inviato dal mio GT-I9060I utilizzando Tapatalk

  15. #14

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    I tried to post a substantive response 2 days ago, but it was my first post and either 1) I did it wrong, or 2) it is still in the moderator's queue.

    Howdy from Austin. If this goes through, and the other post does not appear, I will try to re-create it.

    Moderator(s): no need to let this one through if the other post still exists, and gets through.

    Cheers,
    John

    EDIT: my original post is now #6 in the thread.

  16. #15

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    you got through this time...

  17. #16

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    I just downloaded this. I think it will be helpful.

  18. #17

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    I love this book for teaching. I can't say I personally used it a lot as I discovered it after I had already been taught similar concepts by teachers (and done a lot of transcription myself of bebop lines.)

    It is not a holy grail or 'the only book you'll ever need.'

    I use it for a specific purpose and that is to get students who have not played any jazz language to see some of the logic of bebop/8th type of lines, and start thinking about rhythmic and melodic placement with a lot more detail than they probably had previously. I highly recommend this book for anybody who is new to jazz language, as a supplement to a lot of other work and work with a teacher.

    This thread highlights one of the many reasons it's great to know how to read music: you are then exposed to instructional content written by musicians that are not guitarists.

    You CAN learn how to play jazz without learning how to read, but it sure is useful.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminjoe
    Hi, I have tabbed out the first 60 licks or so, as well as a the examples in the first intro part. I could share them with you in. Mid,. Pdf,. Guitar pro, plain text tab, whatever. Just ask. Note the fingerings reflect my personal view and are not in any way definitive

    Inviato dal mio GT-I9060I utilizzando Tapatalk
    Wow, I would love to see what you have tabbed out for those first 60 licks! I would say PDF and or plain text or maybe both? I am not familiar with the other formats. My e-mail address is bluegrassbillward@gmail.com Thanks so much for your generous offer!

    For those of you who have encouraged me to learn to read music don’t think this means I am not going to pursue this. I do intend to still learn how to read music and I am convinced that effort will be well worth it. Also, just since making that decision I have done some research on books and youtube instruction video's to learn how to do this and it is not as daunting as I imagined it might be. I can do this!

    I would however love to have a early look and try of some of those lines that Benjaminjoe has are tabbed while I am in the process of learning how to read music.

    Bill

    Last edited by Bluegrass Bill Ward; 12-28-2017 at 03:24 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagalactic
    I tried to post a substantive response 2 days ago, but it was my first post and either 1) I did it wrong, or 2) it is still in the moderator's queue.

    Howdy from Austin. If this goes through, and the other post does not appear, I will try to re-create it.

    Moderator(s): no need to let this one through if the other post still exists, and gets through.

    Cheers,
    John

    EDIT: my original post is now #6 in the thread.
    Hi John,

    Thanks for your substantive post (now no 6) in this thread! It is indeed a great contribution and does encourage me all the more to really dig into this reference to improve my knowledge and skills in how to create really interesting and good sounding lines across chord changes. I am a relative newcomer to playing jazz but am finding it fascinating, fun and very challenging all at the same time.

    You obviously put a tremendous amount of work into your efforts working with this book and it sounds like it was incredibly successful for you. I am going to do my best to do the same. I take it you can probably read music and so the fact that the book assumes that ability/knowledge was not a hurdle you needed to deal with.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Bill



  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward
    Wow, I would love to see what you have tabbed out for those first 60 licks! I would say PDF and or plain text or maybe both? I am not familiar with the other formats. My e-mail address is bluegrassbillward@gmail.com Thanks so much for your generous offer!

    For those of you who have encouraged me to learn to read music don’t think this means I am not going to pursue this. I do intend to still learn how to read music and I am convinced that effort will be well worth it. Also, just since making that decision I have done some research on books and youtube instruction video's to learn how to do this and it is not as daunting as I imagined it might be. I can do this!

    I would however love to have a early look and try of some of those lines that Benjaminjoe has are tabbed while I am in the process of learning how to read music.

    Bill

    Just keep in mind that the point of the book isn't to show you licks, but to show you the author's perceptions of some systems behind the construction of the lines. So to just play them from a tab is not all that useful. As a middle ground, to use tabbed examples to accompany the text gives a better idea of the point of the book, but i'm not sure if benjaminjoe's tabs have all the example numbers written in

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass Bill Ward
    Hi John,

    Thanks for your substantive post (now no 6) in this thread! It is indeed a great contribution and does encourage me all the more to really dig into this reference to improve my knowledge and skills in how to create really interesting and good sounding lines across chord changes. I am a relative newcomer to playing jazz but am finding it fascinating, fun and very challenging all at the same time.

    You obviously put a tremendous amount of work into your efforts working with this book and it sounds like it was incredibly successful for you. I am going to do my best to do the same. I take it you can probably read music and so the fact that the book assumes that ability/knowledge was not a hurdle you needed to deal with.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Bill


    Dropbox - abert ligon.pdf enjoy, but as others have said take your time to understand what Ligon is trying to say!

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  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminjoe
    Dropbox - abert ligon.pdf enjoy, but as others have said take your time to understand what Ligon is trying to say!

    Inviato dal mio GT-I9060I utilizzando Tapatalk
    Thank you, Got it and well said. Thinking about this some more I am going to take my time, spend more time and effort on learning to read music first before really getting into what the book is trying to share.

    One of my big challenges with trying to learn jazz is learning patience!

    Bill

  24. #23

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    Why does this vaguely remind me of the Jerry Bergonzi approach?

    -Chris

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by h1pst3r88
    Why does this vaguely remind me of the Jerry Bergonzi approach?

    -Chris
    In what way? Curious to know.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana
    In what way? Curious to know.
    Bergonzi certainly has stuff on using be-bop scales but he has a whole lot of other things too. That could be said about pentatonics or hexatonics as well since he covers that stuff too...

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Just keep in mind that the point of the book isn't to show you licks, but to show you the author's perceptions of some systems behind the construction of the lines. So to just play them from a tab is not all that useful. As a middle ground, to use tabbed examples to accompany the text gives a better idea of the point of the book, but i'm not sure if benjaminjoe's tabs have all the example numbers written in
    Yes they have, number and name ;]

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  28. #27

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    Jagalactic,
    I tried the line you described . . . aha!
    A question comes to mind: Playing 8ths, how would you make that fit the progression where the ii and V chords last 4 beats each?
    This has probably been dealt with elsewhere on the forum . . .
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Kommetjie; 10-07-2019 at 10:55 AM. Reason: not addressed to anyone