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  1. #1

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    I know Fep did a study group for this book back in 2012, but I was wondering if there was any interest in starting another one.
    I'll be working through the book either way, but it might be fun if others want to join in.
    Let me know. If this thread goes nowhere then I'll just do it solo.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by morroben View Post
    I know Fep did a study group for this book back in 2012, but I was wondering if there was any interest in starting another one.
    I'll be working through the book either way, but it might be fun if others want to join in.
    Let me know. If this thread goes nowhere then I'll just do it solo.
    Who is the author of this book ?


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  4. #3
    Joe Elliott

  5. #4

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    Thanks Matt. Yes, Joe Elliott...sorry, I should have included that in the OP.

    It's the origin (I think) of the connecting game, which gets mentioned around here from time to time and might be more recognizable than the title.

    It seems like it focuses on my weaknesses, so that should be very frustrating and beneficial for me.

  6. #5

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    I would like to join in.

    As I reflect on my playing, I think I was playing my best right as I was ending the period of time that I was going through that book. And, I credit the book and the group for that. My playing has fallen off since then as I haven't stuck to a improvising practice plan (I spend a lot of my time recording and songwriting and other instrument practice etc.).

    We got half way through the book but for me it would be best to re-start at the beginning.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  7. #6

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    Well that would be great Fep! Since you have experience leading a group and experience with the book, would you be interested in leading this one? I don't mind doing it if you don't want to, but I haven't done one of these study groups before so your experience might lead to a better group.

    I would still be into doing it even if there's only a few people. I'm frustrated with where my improvisation is currently and I think this book can help me IF I put in the time and stick with it. Some friendly group accountability would certainly help.

  8. #7

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    Life is a bit crazy for me at the moment so I don't know if I would have time to make videos, etc... but I would definitely be interested, and would do my best to keep up and contribute.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  9. #8

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    Mike, would you give leading a shot? I'll help out.

    Also, if the group wouldn't object, I'd like to add some supplemental stuff related to blues progressions but use the same practice principals as the book leads us through.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  10. #9

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    Hello Everyone , I am interested in joining this group , although I am new to jazz music but I would be great If i can learn from that group .
    many thanks

  11. #10

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    I have the book. I'll not join the group as I have gone through the book already. But one suggestion I have for those who'll go through the book is, instead of working with the "situations" described in the book, I think it's more beneficial to pick a tune that has most of the "situations" and apply the concepts of the book to the tune. Of course you can isolate individual situations temporarily until you get a bit comfortable navigating them. But it's best to plug them right back in the tune and practice playing the tune.
    I believe there are so many reasons why working in the context of a tune is better than playing ii V I's. Especially if you're planning on spending the next 2-6 months doing the exercises in the book.
    Just my 2 cents. I don't mean to muddy the waters. Book is a very useful simplification of chord-scale mapping. Let's you really focus on playing the changes without a lot of theoretical distractions.

  12. #11

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    I don't mind leading if nobody else wants to. And I'm definitely open to some supplemental material related to blues progressions.

    We can give this thread the rest of the week to give others a chance to see it. Maybe get started next week?

    I could definitely use some help/input on structure...how much material per week, due day, how to split up the material etc.

    -Ben

  13. #12

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    I always love me a new study group, but I can’t find this book on Amazon. Anyone have information on where to get it?


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  14. #13

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    Introduction to Jazz Guitar Soloing: Master Class Series https://www.amazon.com/dp/0634009702..._rteqlKVI5g4oi

  15. #14

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    I placed my order for this book on amazon but it will take 3 week to reach me .

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by asad View Post
    I placed my order for this book on amazon but it will take 3 week to reach me .
    That's OK. Start now by playing voice led arpeggios with steady eighth notes on long and short II-V-I progressions and rhythm changes and you'll be ahead of the game.

  17. #16

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    Could someone explain how the study group works? I get that there will be 'homework' but how do we communicate learning, etc... Thanks,
    Darryl

  18. #17

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    Hey gang,

    Last night I spent some time looking through some of Fep's 2012 group threads as well as looking forward in the book. A few thoughts...

    As is often the case, people don't like to follow rules. The author tries to impose certain guidelines...things like strict alternate picking, strict eighth notes etc. Those guidelines were ignored within the first page of the first thread of the previous study group.

    It's understandable. I don't even use a pick, so strict alternate picking isn't happening for me. Strict eighth notes can get boring, and boredom leads to quitting. And that's exactly what we're trying to avoid.

    At the same time, there's something to be said for discipline and following the author's method.

    So we have a couple of options. We can stick to the book as close as possible. Like I said, the picking thing is out the window for me, so obviously I can't follow the rules 100%. I'm sure others have their particular things that don't fit with the guidelines also. But we can try.

    Or we can embrace the our inner creative rebel and do things our own way. Perhaps focusing on the connecting game but making our own exercises/challenges for the week. We could even call it the 'Connecting Game Study Group' and just use the book as a reference. Fep mentioned having some material on blues progressions...that's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.

    Tal175 mentioned trying to get the material worked into songs as quickly as possible. I think this is always good advice. However, personally, I do need some time looking at things in smaller chunks. Part of my problem, and my interest in this book, is that I get overwhelmed in a song situation. Too many things coming too fast (even at slow tempos) and my brain can't keep up. But if we get some major ii-V-I stuff together, and some minor ii-V-i stuff together, maybe practicing something like the A section of Autumn Leaves becomes beneficial. Or whatever song...just an example. My point being that, yes, it's all about the songs. But I need to work up to that. That's why I got the book in the first place.

    So I guess I'm looking for input and thoughts on how everyone would like this to go. Strict to the book? Do our own thing with the connecting game? I'm open to ideas.

  19. #18

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    The book tells you to navigate the changes using continuous 8th notes right off the bat. That's actually quite hard to do in the beginning. And keep trying to use 8th notes when one hasn't internalized the "positions" is not the fastest way to get there in my experience. Also it encourages "position thinking". I found it helpful to initially use quarter notes, half notes, even WHOLE notes. Yes, I'd play just the 3rds of each chord per bar, then just the 5ths etc. while I'd say the note names out loud and sing them (I still do). Until I could instantly know, not just the where to go but also the name of the notes for each chord. Then gradually move to 8th notes. But by then I'd know the key and be aware of the intervals and names of the chord tones.
    You can also achieve the similar effect by playing 8th notes at a super slow tempo. But I find thinking quarter notes instead more natural.
    I of course still work on this when I learn new tunes. Still takes time but gets easier. Being able to play 8th notes through the changes is the second stage of learning a tune for me (after learning the head and the chords).
    Last edited by Tal_175; 05-23-2019 at 12:28 PM.

  20. #19

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    I think the previous study group thread is a good place to start as far as pace and content. As often happens, this will probably evolve into it's own thing as the group gets going and shares their thoughts.

    For me, I like to follow the book and branch out on my own. I plan on first doing what the author says, accomplish that, and then come up with additional stuff if I feel like it.

    I'll do the constant eighth note thing as these really helped me 1) navigate changes on the fly and 2) feel the rhythm and the bar changes (8 eighth notes to the bar really places the bar change solidly in my mind). Probably doing constant quarter notes, no rests, would work for this also, which I would do if necessary. But, I won't proceed until I could do the constant-no rest eighth notes. I think part of the beauty of this book is it is quick and easy on the theory part but not so quick and easy on the practical practicing part. It really instructs on how to practice the material and get it into ones playing.

    I'll be posting videos as that keeps me honest in that I tend to force myself to be pretty fluent with the material before I'll push the record button. Also great for self review and to see ones progress over time. I could fly through this book in a week if I wanted, but I wouldn't really learn the material. maybe on a theory level but not to a practical/applied level. Again, videos slow me down, and make me spend more time on each lesson.

    The author seems to feel strongly about his alternating pick advice. Me, not so much. I'll probably break out some finger-picking and economy picking some of the time also.

    Like I said, all that is my approach. No pressure on anyone else to follow what I do. To each his own.

    Note: we did play over tunes in the prior study group, I think it was after we got a bunch of chapters under our belt. I think applying this to tunes is per the authors advice... if I remember correctly.

    Another note: I have communicated via email with the author. He wrote that he taught from this book at Musicians Institute for many years to hundreds of students to great success. He also said, he loves when he teaches this to a student that later comes back and kicks his ass on the bandstand or something to that effect. In my mind that gives some weight to following his approach.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  21. #20
    I'll offer my own thoughts on the eighth note thing, since I've never heard anyone else talk about it this way , but here's what I eventually arrived at when I was doing it: simply practice all of the iterations until you get comfortable. So, Am- D7 starting from A on the 6th string, several times till comfortable. Then, the same from C, then E... etc etc....

    For me, this accommodation worked really well. Keeps you playing eighth notes and deals with what I believe is the actual problem: dealing with the technical issues which prevent the learning of what eventually becomes more music- and ear-focused. Anyway, I think the random, "change to the nearest chord tone" aspect is the hardest aspect when you're just learning.

    The exercises are really great ear training, but you somewhat have to get past basic technical first...

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by asad View Post
    I placed my order for this book on amazon but it will take 3 week to reach me .
    Chapter one is playing the pentatonic scale over chord changes. 1st: Am7 Dm7 G7 Ami7 . 2nd progression: |Am7 |Dm7 |G7 |Ami7| Fmi7 |Bb7 |Ebmaj7 |Bmi7b5 E7| . For the first progression only play from the Am pentatonic scale. 2nd progression: Am pentatonic scale for the 1st 4 chords, Ebmaj pentatonic for the next 3 chords/bars, last bar/last two chords Ami pentatonic.

    The next two chapters playing the arpeggios in position for the major key center that has the I chord root under the fourth finger on the 4th string (if you're familiar with CAGED that would be the C form).

    The arpeggios: I7 ii7 iii7 IV7 V7 vi7 viihalfdim7. Any key but if you choose D as the key center that would be, Dmaj7 Em7 F#m7 Gmaj7 A7 Bm7 C#halfdim7. All in the same position.

    Let me know if that's enough to get you started. If not, I'll post a video explaining it.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  23. #22

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    One way to bridge from playing patterns (like voice led arpeggios in the connecting game or chord outlines - even great sounding ones) to improvising, is to start applying extemporaneous variations.

    The term "bridge" is important here because it's not pure pattern playing, and it's not pure improvisation - it's bridging one's capability from one skill set toward the other.

    To explain:
    You take a defined (i.e. written) II-V-I pattern and play it around the circle of fifths. Make sure that you can do that without any problems, over and over. Then at a reasonably slow tempo play it again but require at least one variation per key. At first you may have to limit yourself to 2-4 keys until you get the hang of it.

    Probably the first variation to attempt is rhythmic variation. So for example, replace some steady eighth notes with a dotted eighth and sixteenth, substitute in triplets, etc. Speed some notes up while slowing others down, so to speak. Just make sure that you play all the notes from the original figure for each individual chord.

    Then you can play other variations such as - double a note, drop a note, add a note (heading into melodic variation there).

    The key is to be musical while varying the baseline pattern - on the fly. To get prepared for this you can/should work out these variation types in advance, and slowly if need be. Write them out if necessary, until you get the hang of it.

    This skill is part of the Assimilation Phase ("Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate").

    The point is that if we only play patterns, outlines, licks, arpeggios etc., we may find ourselves wondering when the mysterious and elusive ability to improvise might occur (as if by magic?). In other words, we may be practicing the jazz language but we are practicing it in a way that is not unlike the classical musician mastering his/her scales, arpeggios, etudes, etc. The bottom line is that we are practicing 100% memorized material, when the goal is to improvise material that is 0% memorized, or as close to that as possible.

    So, the connecting game is great but there is more to do.

    Make sense?
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 05-24-2019 at 01:13 AM.

  24. #23

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    Excellent Frank! That sounds great to me.

    I was think about it and leaning toward a similar approach. My idea was to stick to the book, but also have a weekly (or bi-weekly or monthly) 'challenge' type thing that folks could add on if they want to. Like the connecting game over a blues, or over one section of the Practical Standards song of the month. Things like that.

    I like the constant eighth note thing. While I wouldn't necessarily want to solo that way, it seems to reinforce the internal clock. It can be challenging, but when I get the constant eighth thing flowing with the metronome on 2 and 4, I feel like I've accomplished something.

  25. #24

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    My experience with study groups is that the best ask the participants to follow a text and post their work —regardless of how polished the posted performance. The study groups that are more general approaches to topics and follow no syllabus tend to fall apart quickly.

    Likewise, where the only people posting a video are people who worked through the material years before and post polished performances also quickly discourage ongoing participation.

    My suggestion is that if you are doing a chapter a month (for eg) that you work through just that chapter. Ask that people post videos of all exercises in the material regardless of how polished they are. Next month move on to the next chapter (or section, or whatever). That seems to keep participation high and the study group moving forward.


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  26. #25

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    If you don't mind, folks, I will pull out the book and try and mirror the pace. Too much medical and other stuff going on to be able to contribute much, and for that I am sorry.

    I do have one question right off the bat, on page 3, under "Prerequisites," item number 3, he recommends learning at least Pattern 1 of the given major scale shapes. I am going to try and faithfully follow the guidance and my question is, what key would you recommend?

    I would love to do it in "C," but Pattern 1 has you playing way up the neck. I want to play more around the 5th - 9th fret. I want to choose a key that is generally a common key of choice. Does anyone have a recommendation.

    Playing around the 5th fret leaves me mainly with three choices: E, F, F#, and G. I am starting to think it does not really matter because I am going to have to be able to transpose to another key anyway.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Playing around the 5th fret leaves me mainly with three choices: E, F, F#, and G. I am starting to think it does not really matter because I am going to have to be able to transpose to another key anyway.
    There are probably some better players here who can give better advice, but I would stick with F for now. Like you said, it's movable.

    Maybe even E and F. If I can't practice things in every key, I like to do them two keys, a half step apart. It puts the fretboard dots in a different place so you can't get too complacent.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by morroben View Post
    There are probably some better players here who can give better advice, but I would stick with F for now. Like you said, it's movable.

    Maybe even E and F. If I can't practice things in every key, I like to do them two keys, a half step apart. It puts the fretboard dots in a different place so you can't get too complacent.
    Excellent idea! The reason it is so good (for me) is that it seems 95% of the time, I am playing in keys that have roots on the dots, to by playing in E and F, I can get more training in using both roots on spaces and on dots.
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 05-24-2019 at 01:01 PM.

  29. #28

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    I'll start a section 1 thread on Sunday or Monday. I'm thinking it should include the introduction and chapters 1 and 2, and we'll work on it for a couple of weeks or until most of the group seems ready to move on. Open to input on that.

    Back in 2012, Frank did a new thread for each section of the study group. I think that's a great idea. It will keep things separate, and folks that might fall a little behind can still post in the section they're working on.

    The intro involves reading (not exercises) chapters 26-28. If you don't have the book yet, it might sound like a lot, but it's not long and it's light reading.

    A little preview...one of the things the author encourages is to make a list of 10 songs to learn over the next 3-6 months. I'm going to round that up to 7 months and say that I want to learn 10 new songs by the end of the year.

    So start thinking about your list of 10 songs, or whatever number you think is realistic for you. I think the number is less important than making sure it's something you can actually stick to and finish. 3 songs would still be progress.

    I would encourage everyone to post their list when they have it.
    Last edited by morroben; 05-24-2019 at 08:18 PM. Reason: wording/clarity

  30. #29

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    Ok, was looking for the stimulus of a study group with summer coming, and as luck has it, I already own this book! Not sure I can wrangle the posting but I'm game to get involved and keep up. Let's do this!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Excellent idea! The reason it is so good (for me) is that it seems 95% of the time, I am playing in keys that have roots on the dots, to by playing in E and F, I can get more training in using both roots on spaces and on dots.
    That's exactly why I like it.

  32. #31

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    A bit of recruiting for more folks to join the study group.

    Introduction to Jazz Guitar Soloing... I think they title can make this look like this is a beginners book. Not necessarily so... This is college level material and was (is?) the curriculum for classes at Musicians Institute.

    If you aren't fluent at arpeggios, the connecting game, the altered scale then the first half of the book is for you. I haven't done the last half of the book but looking at the chapter names they include; harmonizing the melodic minor scale, Locrian # 2, Lydian b7, chromatic connections, other melodic devices.

    I put together this video of some shortened cut up clips of a few of my videos when I went though the 1st half of the book. I think this shows bit of where this book will take you.

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    One way to bridge from playing patterns (like voice led arpeggios in the connecting game or chord outlines - even great sounding ones) to improvising, is to start applying extemporaneous variations.

    The term "bridge" is important here because it's not pure pattern playing, and it's not pure improvisation - it's bridging one's capability from one skill set toward the other.

    To explain:
    You take a defined (i.e. written) II-V-I pattern and play it around the circle of fifths. Make sure that you can do that without any problems, over and over. Then at a reasonably slow tempo play it again but require at least one variation per key. At first you may have to limit yourself to 2-4 keys until you get the hang of it.

    Probably the first variation to attempt is rhythmic variation. So for example, replace some steady eighth notes with a dotted eighth and sixteenth, substitute in triplets, etc. Speed some notes up while slowing others down, so to speak. Just make sure that you play all the notes from the original figure for each individual chord.

    Then you can play other variations such as - double a note, drop a note, add a note (heading into melodic variation there).

    The key is to be musical while varying the baseline pattern - on the fly. To get prepared for this you can/should work out these variation types in advance, and slowly if need be. Write them out if necessary, until you get the hang of it.

    This skill is part of the Assimilation Phase ("Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate").

    The point is that if we only play patterns, outlines, licks, arpeggios etc., we may find ourselves wondering when the mysterious and elusive ability to improvise might occur (as if by magic?). In other words, we may be practicing the jazz language but we are practicing it in a way that is not unlike the classical musician mastering his/her scales, arpeggios, etudes, etc. The bottom line is that we are practicing 100% memorized material, when the goal is to improvise material that is 0% memorized, or as close to that as possible.

    So, the connecting game is great but there is more to do.

    Make sense?
    I read your post carefully and I see the great logic in it. But, when I go to the book, the author talks about being able to get years of solos out of only a couple of positions.

    I have to be honest with you, if I can indeed create some nice solos - not earth-shattering - but nice solos using two positions, I will be happy with that due to my lack of free time to practice.

    Just my thoughts.

  34. #33

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    I haven‘t cared much about Jazz guitar lately as I have ventured elsewhere musically. However, that book really helped me and, like Fep said, I have not made much progress since then. I would be happy to tackle it again as a musical and technical practice routine that is immensely helpful.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank67 View Post
    I haven‘t cared much about Jazz guitar lately as I have ventured elsewhere musically. However, that book really helped me and, like Fep said, I have not made much progress since then. I would be happy to tackle it again as a musical and technical practice routine that is immensely helpful.
    Hello Frank.
    Do you find yourself improvising in your current favorite music genre?

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Hello Frank.
    Do you find yourself improvising in your current favorite music genre?
    Hello AlsoRan - nice to hear from you!

    It is mostly Pink Floyd and other rock music stuff these days that I am emotionally more connected to than jazz. Over the years I found myself not really enjoying that much listening to jazz; Hence I am also not feeling it the way I should in order to get better or even fluent at it. I always struggled with the 2+4 jazz feel that just doesn't come naturally to me. Gypsy jazz is something I sometimes listen too and where I also had some aspirations to learn the technique and vocabulary.

    But to answer your question - yes, I am improvising but the changes are very much simpler (not having to make knots in my head while trying to play at the same time); also many of the solo's are sort of so classic that they just need to be learned.

    I still feel that I got a lot out of that Elliot book in terms of the connecting game, the use of color tones, the writing and concrete use of licks, inside/outside and all that. I listened back to some of the stuff we did before the group fell apart and I think I was better than than I am now (not technically but in terms of putting it together, knowing scales and arpeggios etc.). I would be interested in revisiting that since I feel that this approach holds up for any kind of music, not just jazz.

  37. #36

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    My loyalty at the moment is to the Patterns for Jazz material, so I don't know how much active participation I'll have with this group. I've been looking to incorporate this material into my practice routine, though. I'll be following along and contributing if I can.

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  38. #37

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    The section 1 study group thread is open. Come join in over there.

  39. #38

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    Hello, I just found I soday (June 22) although I have been working on this book for the last few weeks, so it is great timing. I will try to join in and follow along.

    New to this forum and to posting. Really appreciate all of the posts and knowledge/experience sharing.

    Thanks,

    Joe

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcramer12 View Post
    Hello, I just found I soday (June 22) although I have been working on this book for the last few weeks, so it is great timing. I will try to join in and follow along.

    New to this forum and to posting. Really appreciate all of the posts and knowledge/experience sharing.

    Thanks,

    Joe
    Hi Joe, welcome to the forum.

    This was a thread just to judge interest. We started a separate thread once we actually got started. It's slow going over there and some of us are working on things outside of the book's exercises, but you're welcome to join in if you're interested. You'll find it over here...
    Intro to Jazz Guitar Soloing (Reissue): Section 1

    -Ben