Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    A lot of wisdom in those short little paragraphs.

    Conviction, based on preparation. Land those lines like you mean it.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Very true ..!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    >>>I tell my students all the time, you can only improvise as well as you can comp...<<<<

    Talk about a great line.




    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Yeah, he's preaching the Jazz gospel!

    God, grant me the ears to hear the changes,
    Courage to play my internalized Jazz vocabulary,
    And wisdom of meaningful musical judgement.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  7. #6
    It took me a long time to realize that playing changes is really about hearing the chords. Pre-hearing them in fact and hearing how they change. I knew this logically of course but you really understand it when you start to hear the harmony of the tunes you know and hear your lines in that context even without chords playing. Otherwise you're just playing fingering patterns. Which is good of course to the extend that those patterns are helping you to hear the changes eventually.

    Now I practice tunes by alternating chords and single lines, just with a metronome. If I don't hear the next chord then I play the chord, if I hear it then I play a line that goes with what I hear. Stabbing chord punctuations on the first beat or anticipating the first beat and playing a line right after it also helps with this. Important thing is to focus on hearing the chords and how they change. As you feel the changes better, you start swinging more and stab chords and play lines in more rhythmically free ways. It doesn't have to be strictly chords. Arpeggios, important chord tones that change, anything that has the sound of the basic chords and how they change works.

    It's frowned upon usually to play the roots or primary triads in your lines, but I find playing and singing roots or primary triad oriented patterns (like 1 2 3 5) over the changes also really helps with this. Playing predictable stuff is not boring until you can predict them.

    These are all standard stuff but when you do an exercise, play a pattern etc because you know exactly what weakness it's addressing (hearing the harmony) and how it is doing it makes practice far more productive than to do them because "it makes some sense" to you that they should be good for you.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 09-11-2019 at 12:11 PM.
    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    It took me a long time to realize that playing changes is really about hearing the chords. Pre-hearing them in fact and hearing how they change. I knew this logically of course but you really understand it when you start to hear the harmony of the tunes you know and hear your lines in that context even without chords playing. Otherwise you're just playing fingering patterns. Which is good of course to the extend that those patterns are helping you to hear the changes eventually.

    Now I practice tunes by alternating chords and single lines, just with a metronome. If I don't hear the next chord then I play the chord, if I hear it then I play a line that goes with what I hear. Stabbing chord punctuations on the first beat or anticipating the first beat and playing a line right after it also helps with this. Important thing is to focus on hearing the chords and how they change. As you feel the changes better, you start swinging more and stab chords and play lines in more rhythmically free ways. It doesn't have to be strictly chords. Arpeggios, important chord tones that change, anything that has the sound of the basic chords and how they change works.

    It's frowned upon usually to play the roots or primary triads in your lines, but I find playing and singing roots or primary triad oriented patterns (like 1 2 3 5) over the changes also really helps with this. Playing predictable stuff is not boring until you can predict them.
    Who frowns upon it? I have to say anyone who frowns upon that stuff that loses a lot of credibility in my eyes fwiw.... they need to spend some time with the music and less time reading (and writing) mode books.

    Don’t listen to what people *say*, you listen to what they *play*.....

    which is a whole lot of triads a surprising amount of the time haha. 1 2 3 5 too. *Especially* when it’s busy changes.

    It’s an educational shortcut imo. So much of the jazz is in the phrasing and rhythm; but that’s harder to teach than extended chords and ‘jazz harmony’ (not that those things aren’t important)

    Of course you can also do clever stuff with triads, but if you can’t do the basic stuff, you ain’t going to doing that...

    And if you turn up to a non jazz gig, or an early jazz gig or something those ‘boring’ triads are going to get you out of trouble.

    They get you out of a lot of tight spots...

    People ask ‘what do I play over the changes?’ and they should start by being able to play the changes, and then subs and movements through the changes and related ones. Bobby’s riff about comping speaks to that.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    To answer the original question:

    I can't recall how I first learned to play through changes. I can recall doing it before I knew any theory or had learned any vocabulary. So, I guess I was basing it on chord tones (probably by visualizing grips) and playing entirely by ear. At that time, most of the tunes I can recall playing were standards with conventional harmony. I recall thinking that Stella was unusually complicated.

    The next thing that happened came from studying with Warren Nunes. He taught a system. He showed me what a tonal center is and some scales that worked within a tonal center. Again, conventional harmony tunes. He also taught arpeggios (usually 4 notes) and different ways of using them over ii Vs. His books, even the slim volumes, were very helpful to get the concepts across.

    I learned more theory by participating in on-line forums like this one and trying to understand what other posters were talking about. That led me to the Berklee harmony book and Ear Master. I got something from those things, but not all that much, in retrospect.

    At that point, I made a decision. I found it nearly impossible to learn anything from fingerboard diagrams with dots for scales or arps. So I decided to memorize all the notes, by name, in all the chords and scales I use. I drilled myself by playing with backing tracks, eventually settling on IRealPro. I still do that. I also decided, at some point, to give up trying to sound like a classic jazz guitarist with a classic jazz vocabulary. Not that I didn't aspire to that -- I just couldn't do it. I simply couldn't hear the music that way.

    Then, with age and arthritis looming, I decided to try to develop my own style and I focused on that. Basically, it's scat-singing to myself and trying to play those lines, as best I can while using the aforementioned theoretical knowledge to reduce clams.
    It was then that the phone started to ring more often. But, tbh, the phone would ring even more if I could play a more conventional version of jazz guitar.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Yeah that don’t play the root business.

    been transcribing a Miles solo and the first phrase of three notes is all the root. Second phrase starts on the root and ends on the root. Not boring and predictable it builds tension, where is this gonna go?
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  11. #10
    Roots and primary chord tones are particularly important when learning the tune's changes IMO. Of course you can use them creatively in the solos as well (inversion, rhythmic variations etc).

    There has been a subtle but important mental shift in the way I practice playing changes since I realized that it's all about hearing the harmony.
    Well we know playing and connecting patterns, arpeggios, guide tones, scales etc over the changes helps you practice:
    1- Navigating changes of the tune around the fretboard.
    2- Developing basic phrase building material to apply variations to and embellish.
    3- Hearing the harmony and the way the voices move through the changes.

    The shift is, I used to more consciously focus on 1 and 2 and expect to acquire 3 in the process. Now I'm more focused on the 3 and acquire 1 and 2 in the process.
    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    What helped me was "up the arp , down the scale"

    eg. 251 in C
    Play notes DFACBAGFE
    bang !

    the simple beauty of that line ... did it for me
    got it from Dave Cliff , only had one lesson

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    What helped me was "up the arp , down the scale"

    eg. 251 in C
    Play notes DFACBAGFE
    bang !

    the simple beauty of that line ... did it for me
    got it from Dave Cliff , only had one lesson
    That's actually the outline number 2 (Round Midnight outline) in Bert Ligon's Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony book. It's one of the 3 outlines the entire book is dedicated to.
    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for this thread. I am s l o w l y learning how to play with my brain fully engaged. The info in this thread is helpful advice.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    That's actually the outline number 2 (Round Midnight outline) in Bert Ligon's Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony book. It's one of the 3 outlines the entire book is dedicated to.
    Everyone teaches that

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Everyone teaches that
    And just about everyone uses the idea even if they haven't really thought about it... it is a natural way to control melodic tension.

    With three components with which to control tension (rhythmic, harmonic, melodic), pretty much everyone knows about rhythmic and harmonic tension, but the melodic aspect may not be so well known as a thing (but its form is taught and utilized by everyone).

    Making larger increments of movement from note to note or moving to a higher note adds melodic tension.
    Moving in smaller increments between notes or moving down reduces melodic tension.

    Of all the possible combinations, a phrase that "arps up then scales down" offers the strongest cycle of melodic tension. Melodic tension and its control is another musical dimension - just the natural result of the combinations of direction and distance between subsequent notes.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    And just about everyone uses the idea even if they haven't really thought about it... it is a natural way to control melodic tension.

    With three components with which to control tension (rhythmic, harmonic, melodic), pretty much everyone knows about rhythmic and harmonic tension, but the melodic aspect may not be so well known as a thing (but its form is taught and utilized by everyone).

    Making larger increments of movement from note to note or moving to a higher note adds melodic tension.
    Moving in smaller increments between notes or moving down reduces melodic tension.

    Of all the possible combinations, a phrase that "arps up then scales down" offers the strongest cycle of melodic tension. Melodic tension and its control is another musical dimension - just the natural result of the combinations of direction and distance between subsequent notes.
    That's true but that lick also has guide tones built into it for ii-V-I.
    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    That's actually the outline number 2 (Round Midnight outline) in Bert Ligon's Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony book. It's one of the 3 outlines the entire book is dedicated to.
    what are outlines 1 and 3 may I ask ?

    (i don't want to buy the whole book
    ok I'm cheap , I admit it !)

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    what are outlines 1 and 3 may I ask ?

    (i don't want to buy the whole book
    ok I'm cheap , I admit it !)
    PDF courtesy of The Google:


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...XmZ57OqSIDE1iO

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Great , many thanks

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    That only scratches the uppermost surface of Ligon's book. When those very outlines are presented in the book he shows more variations than that, and from there the variations continue and continue. That's where it really gets good.

    You get what you pay for.

  22. #21
    Yeah the book also discusses various melodic devices like enclosures, CESH etc and shows how to apply them to the outlines to create variations. It also has many variations of the outlines taken from real recordings.
    It takes a pretty good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. -- Chet Baker