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  1. #1

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    For new Blog entry (since ages) click here.

    DB


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Good post, DB.

    Especially appreciate Clark Terry's advice.

    Here he is doing "Mumbles" live, which shows (to my mind anyway) a connection between speech rhythms and jazz rhythms.

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

  4. #3

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    Truth.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  5. #4

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    Good blog post. Agree with you. As for theory: I mainly use it to understand why certain things work the way they do and if I do understand the "theory" behind them it is much easier for me to memorize stuff and apply it in other situations. So: buy another book? Tempting... what would you say as a more experienced player than I am?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    Good blog post. Agree with you. As for theory: I mainly use it to understand why certain things work the way they do and if I do understand the "theory" behind them it is much easier for me to memorize stuff and apply it in other situations. So: buy another book? Tempting... what would you say as a more experienced player than I am?
    Somewhere I read the statement, "Theory is second-order reflection on a completed event." Something happens, we ask why, we build a model to explain it. Hopefully the model can predict more such events. But the theory is just the tag-along description.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Somewhere I read the statement, "Theory is second-order reflection on a completed event." Something happens, we ask why, we build a model to explain it. Hopefully the model can predict more such events. But the theory is just the tag-along description.
    Exactly! It's not a rule by which you have to go but an attempt at explaining why things work and a way to communicate those whys.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    Good blog post. Agree with you. As for theory: I mainly use it to understand why certain things work the way they do and if I do understand the "theory" behind them it is much easier for me to memorize stuff and apply it in other situations. So: buy another book? Tempting... what would you say as a more experienced player than I am?
    It's hard to determine what works for a particular person. Though I have a basic knowledge of the chord/scale relationship of course my interest in theory is very limited so I am not going to recommend something I never use myself. I never participate in any theory thread here. Bores the heck out of me.

    Playing transcribed solos or licks I find way more interesting, especially when the theory is applied to actual playing examples. I like Joe Pass' on guitar in that respect. Or Les Wise's Bebop licks (a genuine bebop bible, very comprehensive).

    I remember buying my first (and last) theory book "jazz guitar scales and modes" by Vincent Bredice in the mid 90s as a beginner. That did nothing for me. White pages full of black notes. I learned way more from Yoichi Arakawa's "Jazz Riffs for Guitar" which explained the chord scale thing using licks of the greats. Applied theory! From there I went on to study solos from Parker and Clifford Brown. And many licks from the great players that I changed to my own liking. Licks are more useful because they are shorter and more easily incorporated in your own playing. You start modifying the sounds that you have learned and create something personal.

    Later on you forget about all this and you just play.

    DB

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Somewhere I read the statement, "Theory is second-order reflection on a completed event." Something happens, we ask why, we build a model to explain it. Hopefully the model can predict more such events. But the theory is just the tag-along description.
    Exactly. Theory is an after the fact effort. In the 40s and 50s there was an aural tradition where people simply learned by imitating the great players. The whole chord scale relationship as such did not exist. But is has become an academic thing now.

    DB

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    Exactly. Theory is an after the fact effort. In the 40s and 50s there was an aural tradition where people simply learned by imitating the great players. The whole chord scale relationship as such did not exist. But is has become an academic thing now. DB
    In fact it still like that when I started jazz guitar in the 60s. About the only resources available to me was vinyl. I did take a correspondence course with Berklee around 71, but I think all I learned is what voice-leading is.

    To me music is more a reality than a theory.

    Speaking of voices DB: that's some very impressive singing you have on your blogt. And a very nice embouchure, if you don't mind me saying.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post

    I remember buying my first (and last) theory book "jazz guitar scales and modes" by Vincent Bredice in the mid 90s as a beginner. That did nothing for me.
    I studied from one of Vince's books, "Complete Guitar Improvisation Book", but I stalled out early, despite having a teacher. That book does have a world of solid info. (Met Vince once too at the U of Miami, where he taught. He really knew his stuff.) But I got a lot more out of Martino's "Linear Expressions" because I was playing lines that sounded good to me.

    Here's Frank Vignola teaching his "1,2,3" approach to playing over blues and rhythm changes. One reason I love Frank's playing and teaching is that although he knows his stuff, his playing is, as he says here always melodic, rhythmic, and bluesy.

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

  12. #11

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    Wow. And I say that because you're video addresses a gripe that I, and many others have about the Bebop Licks book and accompanying music. Many of us are at the very last uninspired by the music tracks while others I have read, downright despise them.

    It is my personal belief that if they had done as you did, and recorded a guitar that has excellent and inspiring tone, instead of the keyboard, then it would have been a much, much greater success. Heck, I was inspired by your few clips and it almost drove my back to go and pick up the book again.

    There are so many great sounding licks in there. And I really like how they build on each other. That is to say, you will find some of the minor licks you found in one chapter being used as part of a 2-5-1 in a later chapter.

    I think this was a lost opportunity for many guitarists like me, who might be lacking a little in imagination and need those inspiring examples to lock the licks in my head.

    Well done, yet again, DB.
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 11-12-2019 at 09:15 PM. Reason: spelling of "gripe"

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    It is my personal belief that if they had done as you did, and recorded a guitar that has excellent and inspiring tone, instead of the keyboard, then it would have been a much, much greater success. Heck, I was inspired by your few clips and it almost drove my back to go and pick up the book again..
    How true of so many guitar books: a CD of bleak riffs, disconnected from each other, played on indifferent instruments. By contrast, DB’s video brightened my day.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Speaking of voices DB: that's some very impressive singing you have on your blogt. And a very nice embouchure, if you don't mind me saying.
    Yes, she did a great job scatting that Brownie solo. She's from Italy by the way.

    DB

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Wow. And I say that because you're video addresses a grip that I, and many others have about the Bebop Licks book and accompanying music. Many of us are at the very last uninspired by the music tracks while others I have read, downright despise them.
    It is my personal belief that if they had done as you did, and recorded a guitar that has excellent and inspiring tone, instead of the keyboard, then it would have been a much, much greater success. Heck, I was inspired by your few clips and it almost drove my back to go and pick up the book again.
    Well done, yet again, DB.
    Thanks. Yes, I agree the tracks of the licks should have been played on guitar rather than on keyboard. They sound kind of dull that way. I have owned the book for years and only listened to some tracks this week by the way! But indeed, the book is a great resource.

    DB

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    Thanks. Yes, I agree the tracks of the licks should have been played on guitar rather than on keyboard. They sound kind of dull that way. I have owned the book for years and only listened to some tracks this week by the way! But indeed, the book is a great resource.

    DB
    I guess it's a money issue. A few books on Charlie Christian have good material but all the examples are MIDI keyboards that sound, well, cheesy and crappy are the nicest terms I can think to describe them. (Or unlistenable.) It's a shame.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #16

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    Herb Ellis rates a mention here.
    His teaching was non-academic. He played (mainly) out of familiar shapes and he played brilliantly.
    Three of his books / CDs are still in print: Swing Blues, Rhythm Shapes, and All the Shapes You Are. (The first is about 12 bar blues, the second about rhythm changes, and the third about All the Things You Are as a gateway to playing over any jazz standard.)

    The books are chock full of lines. (Blues choruses, 8-bar rhythm lines, and "vamps"--lines--over each chord of ATTYA.) Very little theory. Herb's idea was that learning phrases, good ones, was a better way to learn to play jazz than practicing scales and arpeggios, etc. (Some have done well that way, no question, but it is not the best way for everyone.)

    Here's a video of Herb and Barney Kessel playing the theme song to "The Flintsones" (aka a rhythm changes tune). You can see his approach in action. Conceptually, it's a LOT simpler than it looks. The execution, at his level, is not so simple... ;o)

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

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post

    The books are chock full of lines. (Blues choruses, 8-bar rhythm lines, and "vamps"--lines--over each chord of ATTYA.) Very little theory. Herb's idea was that learning phrases, good ones, was a better way to learn to play jazz than practicing scales and arpeggios, etc. (Some have done well that way, no question, but it is not the best way for everyone.)
    Herb probably learned it that way in the 40s and 50s. Like all of his generation. Nobody was pontificating about secondary dominants and tritone subs on the internet in those days.

    DB

  19. #18

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    I found Les Wise's Jazz Improvisation For Guitar tremendously helpful. And it cannot be said often enough that theory is descriptive of what has been done and not necessarily prescriptive of what should be done. Rhythm/melody/harmony space/tension/resolution are the factors that drive my music.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 11-03-2019 at 04:49 PM. Reason: tYp0
    Best regards, k

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    Herb probably learned it that way in the 40s and 50s. Like all of his generation. Nobody was pontificating about secondary dominants and tritone subs on the internet in those days.

    DB
    He learned a lot off of Charlie Christian records. He did go to North Texas State for a semester or so. They didn't have a gutiar program, so he studied bass. He couldn't afford to stay so he went out on the road...

    One thing about Herb is that he was a great rhythm player. He said he enjoyed that, and of course, when he was in big bands early on, it was a lot more comping than soloing. ;o) (Still is, for most guitarists.) Freddie Green once commented about how solid Herb's time was and how he could steady a group that might otherwise be erratic. Freddie and Herb made an album together, btw.

    Joe Pass was Herb's favorite gutiarist and one of the things they could do when playing together is both solo at the same time and sound great doing it. Herb said in an interview that it was easy for them to do that because they each supported what the other was doing. It's amazing to hear though.

    Here's a taste of that.

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

  21. #20

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    I just (finally) learned the head to Donna Lee. Gotta say, if a beginning player were to learn that and a few other bop heads, in a few keys, they'd have their next 5 years of practice mapped out for them pretty easily.

    Now to go back in time and slap 18 year old me.
    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

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I just (finally) learned the head to Donna Lee. Gotta say, if a beginning player were to learn that and a few other bop heads, in a few keys, they'd have their next 5 years of practice mapped out for them pretty easily.

    Now to go back in time and slap 18 year old me.
    I cannot tell you how much that encourages me. I thought I was the last jazz guitarist NOT to know the head to "Donna Lee." Learning a bunch of bop heads has always been an aspiration of mine. Maybe when I'm done with the Raney book.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I cannot tell you how much that encourages me. I thought I was the last jazz guitarist NOT to know the head to "Donna Lee." Learning a bunch of bop heads has always been an aspiration of mine. Maybe when I'm done with the Raney book.

    How about it? I probably started it, stopped it, learned it but never got it up to tempo, forgot it, changed fingering ideas, etc a dozen times over the last 15 years.

    Laziness.

    I'm up to about 175 on it. I'll be happy to get it up to about 200...that's where the original is, I think. It's become a bit of a "musical sports competition" in the years since, I suppose.

    But it's really just a string of good bop licks.
    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

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    How about it? I probably started it, stopped it, learned it but never got it up to tempo, forgot it, changed fingering ideas, etc a dozen times over the last 15 years.

    Laziness.

    I'm up to about 175 on it. I'll be happy to get it up to about 200...that's where the original is, I think. It's become a bit of a "musical sports competition" in the years since, I suppose.

    But it's really just a string of good bop licks.
    Maybe there are several who'd like to do it together? If so, I could wait on the last Raney solo and learn DL with you and anyone else interested. 200 would be the max I could do too, likely more like 180. But just knowing it would be worth it.

    Should we announce a study group? Think maybe 8 bars a week, to attract beginners? Just musing aloud here.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Maybe there are several who'd like to do it together? If so, I could wait on the last Raney solo and learn DL with you and anyone else interested. 200 would be the max I could do too, likely more like 180. But just knowing it would be worth it.

    Should we announce a study group? Think maybe 8 bars a week, to attract beginners? Just musing aloud here.
    I think it's a great idea.

    As an aside, I'd be lousy to go to for fingering advice, as I definitely adapted this to suit my predominantly "3finger" fretting style.
    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

  26. #25

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    I think it's not a choice between licks vs theory. Best way to make use of licks is to combine learning licks with some basic theory. You get more out of a lick if you analyze it and see why it works in that particular harmonic situation. That would help you make up variations of the lick and find out other harmonic situations it can be applied to (as well as it's variations).

    It's also good to dissect licks and learn individual line building techniques it utilizes; triad inversions, octave displacements, use of triplets and other rhythmic devices, use of altered notes, approaches, enclosures, scale patterns, chromaticism etc. etc. Then you can use these to come up with fresh ideas.

    Say if a part of the lick is an ascending triad inversion starting on the 3rd, what happens if you start from the 5th and descend or start higher and use octave displacement, a different inversion etc.
    If it's a major 7 lick, what happens if you apply it to a dominant chord starting from the 7th. If it's a minor lick, what happens if you applied it to a major chord starting on the third etc.
    You can also mix and match ideas between licks or find creative ways to string them together. I think a little theory goes a long way when you are working on licks.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-04-2019 at 04:27 PM.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    How about it? I probably started it, stopped it, learned it but never got it up to tempo, forgot it, changed fingering ideas, etc a dozen times over the last 15 years.

    Laziness.

    I'm up to about 175 on it. I'll be happy to get it up to about 200...that's where the original is, I think. It's become a bit of a "musical sports competition" in the years since, I suppose.

    But it's really just a string of good bop licks.
    I think it's around 220. I've been working on it on and off. I won't give up until I can play it along side the recording I like this youtube video, although she doesn't always phrase it like Bird did:

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I just (finally) learned the head to Donna Lee. Gotta say, if a beginning player were to learn that and a few other bop heads, in a few keys, they'd have their next 5 years of practice mapped out for them pretty easily.

    Now to go back in time and slap 18 year old me.
    Yeah Donna Lee, Confirmation, Joy Spring and solo's on these tunes (especially Bird and Brownie solos) make up the ultimate bebop licks book. As a bonus, they also teach how to use the bebop scales.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-04-2019 at 03:43 PM.

  29. #28

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    Received the book a couple of days ago. Sampled a couple of phrases - good stuff. This is a great resource for ideas for phrases and will be very useful for years to come.
    Thanks for the tip, DB!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Now to go back in time and slap 18 year old me.
    You have articulated the single most compelling argument for time travel research I've ever heard.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    Received the book a couple of days ago. Sampled a couple of phrases - good stuff. This is a great resource for ideas for phrases and will be very useful for years to come.
    Thanks for the tip, DB!
    You're welcome Tommo. It's a great book indeed. An encyclopedia of jazz vocabulary.

    DB

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by unknownguitarplayer View Post
    You have articulated the single most compelling argument for time travel research I've ever heard.
    Should your research pay off before mine, feel free to get a slap in on me. I might need a couple.
    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