Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 58
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Here's my take on an old standard. Looking for comments, suggestions and perspectives. Thanks!


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I really love the way you use the middle registers of the guitar, that baritone/low tenor range.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I really love the way you use the middle registers of the guitar, that baritone/low tenor range.
    Thank you Lawson. I was remarking earlier today that when I play high volume music I get way up the neck but when I'm playing jazz I prefer the middle/lower registers. There's a certain warmth to it for me. More personal somehow. Appreciate you!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Hey man... sounded great. Could hear changes, nice melodic movement... lots of good stuff.

    To get better... you need at least better overall shape. The improv sounded the same all the way through. Not a bad thing, but never goes any where. So just simply organizing the shape... the physical shape, have a beginning, some type of high point... or low point and then a wind down to the end. There are many more possible shapes, that's just a simple example. You can use all the usual BS, melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and articulations etc.

    The flow of steady 8th notes with triple rhythmic figures to imply ? Anyway just improving your basic shape, say your going to take 2 or 3 choruses....physically understand the AABA form and how you want to use it.

    Again... I liked your playing...but you asked for comments. Just trying to help.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey man... sounded great. Could hear changes, nice melodic movement... lots of good stuff.

    To get better... you need at least better overall shape. The improv sounded the same all the way through. Not a bad thing, but never goes any where. So just simply organizing the shape... the physical shape, have a beginning, some type of high point... or low point and then a wind down to the end. There are many more possible shapes, that's just a simple example. You can use all the usual BS, melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and articulations etc.

    The flow of steady 8th notes with triple rhythmic figures to imply ? Anyway just improving your basic shape, say your going to take 2 or 3 choruses....physically understand the AABA form and how you want to use it.

    Again... I liked your playing...but you asked for comments. Just trying to help.
    Hey Reg, Thanks so much for your insightful comments and perspectives. I agree with everything you said. In fairness to me, I'm at the point in my development where I've taken the training wheels off for the first time. So I have a tendency to keep pedaling just to stay upright. But as hard as I pedal I'm not going anywhere as you correctly point out. Kinda the same thing over and over sliced a little differently. Some of this is recording-phobic, just trying to get all the way through it without any major disasters. Your comments also emphasize the need to incorporate more rhythmic diversity. My soloing seems kind of repetitive in that regard. In closing, your observations are spot on and I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me!

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Hey like I said... it was great, I listened to whole thing. Keep posting... the more you post or record etc... the less each example becomes part of the whole. I'm old... have millions of recordings etc... some great and many that suck. MANY.... So keep developing, it's gets easy, and you'll begin to see and hear longer... Being in the moment things. I basically know by what I start with... tons of possible results and can work with them in real Time.

    A pretty easy start is to have Targets.... specific locations where you want something to happen. Have a few licks or melodic ideas you want to develop in specific locations of the Tune. Then connect them, eventually you develop a bunch of different shapes of space that become internal, natural. Like how you remember directions how to get somewhere... eventually you know the map and you don't need directions.

    Have fun, enjoy it.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    A pretty easy start is to have Targets.... specific locations where you want something to happen. Have a few licks or melodic ideas you want to develop in specific locations of the Tune.
    Thank you again. Seems as if the obvious "targets" are the turnarounds. I have more than a couple already pre-fabricated. I think the challenge in HYMMJ is that the bridge is a little tricky and doesn't allow me enough time to set up for them. That aside, your guidance is very helpful. Best to you!

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Very nice. I especially like the way you negotiated the bridge.

    Since you asked for suggestions, here are a couple of things which occurred to me.

    1. Maybe swing the melody a little harder, even if it means taking more liberties with the timing of the notes as written.

    2. For the improv, perhaps consider playing more rests and longer rests. Doing so has the potential for making the lines stand out better. I like the extra space to appreciate what the rhythm section is doing under the solo.

    3. Scat singing as I play has the effect of making the rhythmic content of my lines more variable. Maybe that would work for you.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Here is a 10 year old example of tune I posted Have You meet... back when Fep (Frank) and I started the "Practical Standards" thread in the lessons section... Kind of humbling now, but you can see how I approached the tune... I never rehearse so it's rough, but you can see and hear how I have targets and how I develop ideas... which repeat etc... This was when I first joined JGF, pretty cool to see the early days on site.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I may have a comment for you, but first let me ask, who are a few players you really like (any instrument).

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Very nice. I especially like the way you negotiated the bridge.

    Since you asked for suggestions, here are a couple of things which occurred to me.

    1. Maybe swing the melody a little harder, even if it means taking more liberties with the timing of the notes as written.

    2. For the improv, perhaps consider playing more rests and longer rests. Doing so has the potential for making the lines stand out better. I like the extra space to appreciate what the rhythm section is doing under the solo.

    3. Scat singing as I play has the effect of making the rhythmic content of my lines more variable. Maybe that would work for you.
    Thanks for that. The bridge is kinda tricky so getting through it without a major disaster was my goal. It sounds OK to me. Your other recommendations are well taken. I agree that my reading of the head could have been a little more organic. Also your recommendation to "breathe" during the soloing is spot on as well. Funny, my first influence on the guitar is Albert King, who's a master of "playing the rests." And I'm reminded of when I heard Alan Holdsworth in a small club in LA ages ago. His lines were so long that they were exhausting. I remember wishing he'd take a breath now and then. Lastly, your scat singing suggestion is quite helpful. When I scat sing my phrasing has much more rhythmic diversity. So I'll keep that awareness moving forward. Appreciate you!

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    I may have a comment for you, but first let me ask, who are a few players you really like (any instrument).
    Some of my favorites are Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Trane, Art Pepper, Sonny Criss, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Gene Ammons, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Bird, Stanley Turrentine etc. The few guitar players I listen to are Wes, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green and Jim Hall. I like Sal Salvador too.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2
    Some of my favorites are Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Trane, Art Pepper, Sonny Criss, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Gene Ammons, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Bird, Stanley Turrentine etc. The few guitar players I listen to are Wes, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green and Jim Hall. I like Sal Salvador too.
    Listen to Dexter Gordon’s feel (he is one of best examples and my favorite time feel). It’s completely even 8th notes. You will swing more by keeping your upbeat essentially where you have it now, but push back the downbeats a little until you are closer to even.

    Not straight eighths, even eighths. Your upbeat is still swung.

    Get this down and rhythmic variety and you’ll level up for sure.

    You’re on the right track. All good advice above.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Listen to Dexter Gordon’s feel (he is one of best examples and my favorite time feel). It’s completely even 8th notes. You will swing more by keeping your upbeat essentially where you have it now, but push back the downbeats a little until you are closer to even.

    Not straight eighths, even eighths. Your upbeat is still swung.

    Get this down and rhythmic variety and you’ll level up for sure.

    You’re on the right track. All good advice above.
    A very insightful analysis of Dexter Gordon's timing. I've noticed he plays comfortably "behind the beat" but your explanation clarifies what makes his rhythmic approach so unique.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2
    A very insightful analysis of Dexter Gordon's timing. I've noticed he plays comfortably "behind the beat" but your explanation clarifies what makes his rhythmic approach so unique.
    Think of it as a range where you can find your own sweet spot for the down beat (the upbeat stays locked in either way). You play one extreme, Dexter plays the other.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    To clarify, if you can swing in the style of DG, and you can play the other extreme already (ding dinga ding dinga ding) you’ll find your own. Or at least just consider pushing the beats back some because the swing feel now is lagging behind the rest of your development. imo of course

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Yea swinging details of by corpse are cool... there are many levels of swing. Macro and micro. And may different physical approaches... but getting back to the targets... you might have it backwards.... usually the trunarounds set up the targets. Right... if you think of tonal targets as ...what's defining what your playing.... The harmonic rhythm thing... The turnarounds are just part of how you setup and frame targets...

    I mean you can expand, change, created different relationships with.... but the point is to imply, even if deceptive.

    It's cool, and fun to harmonically or melodically organize weak side of harmonic rhythm harmony, I mean that's the standard physical place to musically stretch or expand changes and melodic implications etc...

    You should make a vid of comping for HYMMJ.. See how you improve playing changes. All my gigs are cancelled for awhile... I'll jump in, etc... Might be fun.

    Maybe corpse will also post...

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    To clarify, if you can swing in the style of DG, and you can play the other extreme already (ding dinga ding dinga ding) you’ll find your own. Or at least just consider pushing the beats back some because the swing feel now is lagging behind the rest of your development. imo of course
    Very well put. Appreciate you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    but getting back to the targets... you might have it backwards.... usually the trunarounds set up the targets. Right... if you think of tonal targets as ...what's defining what your playing.... The harmonic rhythm thing... The turnarounds are just part of how you setup and frame targets...
    Well that clarifies it. What I meant by conflating turnarounds with targets is that the turnarounds "set up and frame" the targets as you correctly point out. Many thanks!

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2
    Thanks for that. The bridge is kinda tricky so getting through it without a major disaster was my goal. It sounds OK to me. Your other recommendations are well taken. I agree that my reading of the head could have been a little more organic. Also your recommendation to "breathe" during the soloing is spot on as well. Funny, my first influence on the guitar is Albert King, who's a master of "playing the rests." And I'm reminded of when I heard Alan Holdsworth in a small club in LA ages ago. His lines were so long that they were exhausting. I remember wishing he'd take a breath now and then. Lastly, your scat singing suggestion is quite helpful. When I scat sing my phrasing has much more rhythmic diversity. So I'll keep that awareness moving forward. Appreciate you!
    Thanks for the nice reply. I'm glad that was helpful.

    My all time favorite is Jim Hall, who weaves the silences into art.

    I love Albert King's feeling. He's another master with completely unconventional technique. Upside down, backwards and bending notes further than you'd think it was possible. Albert Collins too, playing in a minor chord tuning with a capo way up the neck and sounding great. I digress.

    I am in awe of players who can do long strings of rapid notes while making interesting harmony. I would probably do it (ad nauseum) if I could! But, for some reason, I never listen to something like that twice.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I am in awe of players who can do long strings of rapid notes while making interesting harmony. I would probably do it (ad nauseum) if I could! But, for some reason, I never listen to something like that twice.
    I've seen John McLaughlin twice; once with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and quite some years later with another guitarist (Philip Catherine?) The number of notes I took home with me was zero. Same as when I saw Steve Vai (not really my cup of tea but we were comped in.) Incredibly challenging music that left me absolutely cold. You know, Holdsworth opened for Hendrix when he was in Soft Machine and, in a manner of speaking, played rings around Jimi. But, as we know, it isn't really about that. There's something closer to the essence of human existence in Jimi's playing. Albert Collins too for that matter. My two cents FWIW.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Yea I saw Jimi 3 times and got back stage etc... the drug fest years. Same with JM and always love Catherine... never really got in to Holdsworth... I'm old I remember The Soft Machine... and all the old bands. I don't remember Alan being in Soft machine... but I didn't follow them, I was already into jazz. (although played rock gigs all over, the social scene was much more fun... )
    I'm just interested... at what tempo of notes does that turn off thing happen. Or is it a chord tone thing.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea I saw Jimi 3 times and got back stage etc... the drug fest years. Same with JM and always love Catherine... never really got in to Holdsworth... I'm old I remember The Soft Machine... and all the old bands. I don't remember Alan being in Soft machine... but I didn't follow them, I was already into jazz. (although played rock gigs all over, the social scene was much more fun... )
    I'm just interested... at what tempo of notes does that turn off thing happen. Or is it a chord tone thing.
    It's not a tempo thing and not exactly a "chord tone" thing. If it's a "thing" at all I'd say it's a blues thing. Wes, Kenny Burrell, Trane and Dexter Gordon, for example, are all great blues players. (Interestingly Dexter Gordon didn't seem to record a lot of blues as a leader, although Watermelon Man with Herbie should establish his bona fides.) But, remember, Pat Martino is an incredible player and very funky in his own right. (Witness his playing with Willis "Gator" Jackson.) So, for me anyway, it winds up being able to convey a blues sensibility (Miles, Monk, Sonny Stitt, Bird, Sonny Criss etc ad infinitum) that marks the line between who I like and who I respect but doesn't reach me. Kinda like West Coast jazz.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Back in the Keystone Korner days, I once had a front row seat for George Benson. His technique for blizzards of notes was astonishing. But, I left before the set was over -- and I've loved some of his records.

    Sat right in front of the state for Metheny 80/81. He played a lot of notes too, although not like Benson. I stayed to the end and could have stayed longer. That was Paul Motian, Charlie Haden and iirc Dewey Redmon on that gig. Quite a band.

    I've seen some video of Vic Juris, just tearing it up with a lot of notes, and I really liked it. He was a great player. I saw him live twice in the last few years and neither time did he blast a lot of notes. Sounded great. RIP -- he just passed. Other players with that kind of speed sometimes make me feel excited listening to them, and I'm glad I did, but I usually don't play the same track twice. Vic was an exception, I think because he was so melodic even at that speed.

    So, for me, it's not tempo, or necessarily the number of notes. But, on average, I seem to gravitate to players who play fewer notes and make music where I can grasp melody more easily. So, Jim Hall is my all time fave, Paul Desmond on reeds, Miles or maybe Chet on trumpet. I admire Oscar Peterson, but I don't seek out his music. Just my taste, certainly not a lack of respect for what others do. Of course, I still wish I could do it.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Thanks guys for your explanations of why and what you tend to like... pretty standard answers. I was just curious.
    Good luck with your playing.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    But, for some reason, I never listen to something like that twice.
    I know, it's interesting :-)

    I did lots of notes once. I used to play bluegrass fiddle tunes so you can imagine. As I've got older I think the essentials of the music have sort of distilled themselves into an essence, The brain has absorbed all the sounds and simplified them, if that makes sense. The brain's very good at that, I believe, and it's not limited to music by any means. It's why we can go to bed with a problem and wake up with the answer...

    So nowadays I tend to play quite slowly and minimally because I find I get more out of it. I've never liked solos that sound too technical, I prefer some feeling. I find just a blast of impressive but wall-of-sound stuff leaves very little lasting impression. An impression of speed, perhaps, but not much else to hang on to.

    It might be creeping old age but I'm not sure. I could still play fairly fast if I wanted to but there's no desire for it. I do occasional flurries instead! After all, most people agree that things only have any real impact when there's emotional content behind it... so that's probably it.

    But there's a danger of boring the listener if it's too minimal, of course. Middle way is best, probably, as in most things.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Lots of insightful advise in here, and I too hear a trail kind of repeating the same rhythms and riffs; it's all good but it lack big-picture organization.

    I agree with the comments and interpret them generally as a too short or narrow focus, your constructive attention is too locally focused, need to break out of "the moment" (which you do nicely a couple of times!).

    That is what I hear and read in the comments about shape and targets - these are what form the contours of a solo profile, the intelligibility of the story, the bigger non-local things, further ahead future things. This is why the blues was mentioned - all about musical story content, how it is told, how it grabs the listener.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    buduranus2 -

    I thought it was quite good. But the obvious thing is that repeated triplet, isn't it? You're sort of over-egging the dish. Apart from that it swung along nicely. I recorded it and took out the triplets except for one or two which enhanced the solo. I think there were about 15 of them!

    The other point is that it was all on the same sound level, right? So, because of that, there was an inevitable repetition of licks and notes. You weren't obviously playing the same solo three times over but a casual listener might be tempted to think so.

    Personally I tend to go from low to high because it creates movement towards an end, like a good drama. I suppose. Shifting the position is a good idea, not just for the ear, but to get different takes on the notes. There was nothing wrong with your scales, etc.

    I know how hard it is to do several solos in a row, don't think I don't. Once you're on that bronco it gets tricky. And the temptation is to plan it all carefully and then repeat... but that's death to improvising, of course, there's no freedom in it.

    It's a hard thing we've set ourselves... anyway, don't listen to me, I'm just an old duffer :-)

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Lots of insightful advise in here, and I too hear a trail kind of repeating the same rhythms and riffs; it's all good but it lack big-picture organization.

    I agree with the comments and interpret them generally as a too short or narrow focus, your constructive attention is too locally focused, need to break out of "the moment" (which you do nicely a couple of times!).

    That is what I hear and read in the comments about shape and targets - these are what form the contours of a solo profile, the intelligibility of the story, the bigger non-local things, further ahead future things. This is why the blues was mentioned - all about musical story content, how it is told, how it grabs the listener.
    Yes, of course. It's great to have so many constructive comments and suggestions. I took a swing at it last night and found out how hard habits are to break. At the same time, I'm pretty clear on what elements I can add or emphasize. More motivic development, phrase length, rhythmic diversity and, generally, a more "vocal" approach. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    buduranus2 -

    I thought it was quite good. But the obvious thing is that repeated triplet, isn't it? You're sort of over-egging the dish. Apart from that it swung along nicely. I recorded it and took out the triplets except for one or two which enhanced the solo. I think there were about 15 of them!

    The other point is that it was all on the same sound level, right? So, because of that, there was an inevitable repetition of licks and notes. You weren't obviously playing the same solo three times over but a casual listener might be tempted to think so.

    Personally I tend to go from low to high because it creates movement towards an end, like a good drama. I suppose. Shifting the position is a good idea, not just for the ear, but to get different takes on the notes. There was nothing wrong with your scales, etc.

    I know how hard it is to do several solos in a row, don't think I don't. Once you're on that bronco it gets tricky. And the temptation is to plan it all carefully and then repeat... but that is death to improvising, of course, there's no freedom in it.

    It's a hard thing we've set ourselves... anyway, don't listen to me, I'm just an old duffer :-)
    Agreed. In fairness to me I've played jazz in a group situation exactly once, and not for lack of trying either. So my playing, in jazz at least, isn't informed by the interaction that's fundamental to the style. On this track I played it safe all the way through to get a decent clip to put up for comments. As I may have mentioned previously, I've been working on Everything Happens to Me and I find that I'm naturally adding the elements that many forum members have recommended. Anyhoo, thanks again for your kind words of encouragement!

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Here is a 10 year old example of tune I posted Have You meet... back when Fep (Frank) and I started the "Practical Standards" thread in the lessons section... Kind of humbling now, but you can see how I approached the tune... I never rehearse so it's rough, but you can see and hear how I have targets and how I develop ideas... which repeat etc... This was when I first joined JGF, pretty cool to see the early days on site.
    Reg, that’s incredible man. Really great stuff.

    Bud, I love the sound you got there. Really nice too.

    Joe D

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Very nice tone, feel, and lines!

    Many people mentioned space - sometimes I think we get it into our heads that if we don’t address every chord, we are slackers. Consider letting some chords just go by.

    I think playing with Band in a Box and iReal makes this uncomfortable, because if you stop playing lines, it just continues to pump out fairly boring backgrounds, while a real rhythm section would fill that space with something responsive and dynamic. These apps are great tools, but they don’t really simulate how real people react to a soloist. They also don’t build intensity and volume from chorus to chorus - so it’s very hard to build your solo over a one dimensional dynamic.

    Changes in texture is also a nice option - double-stops, three-note voicing punches between lines, chord soloing - these all help flesh out the relative dynamic flatness of the clean electric guitar tone. Hundreds of Wes Montgomery solos follow the same process: single notes->octaves->chord melody, and no matter how many times he followed that format for chorus after chorus, it’s alway exciting because it builds intensity.

    Enjoy the process!
    Last edited by bengruven; 03-20-2020 at 02:32 PM.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by bengruven
    Very nice tone, feel, and lines!

    Many people mentioned space - sometimes I think we get it into our heads that if we don’t address every chord, we are slackers. Consider letting some chords just go by.

    I think playing with Band in a Box and iReal makes this uncomfortable, because if you stop playing lines, it just continues to pump out fairly boring backgrounds, while a real rhythm section would fill that space with something responsive and dynamic. These apps are great tools, but they don’t really simulate how real people react to a soloist. They also don’t build intensity and volume from chorus to chorus - so it’s very hard to build your solo over a one dimensional dynamic.

    Changes in texture is also a nice option - double-stops, three-note voicing punches between lines, chord soloing - these all help flesh out the relative dynamic flatness of the clean electric guitar tone. Hundreds of Wes Montgomery solos follow the same process: single notes->octaves->chord melody, and no many how times he followed that format for chorus after chorus, it’s alway exciting because it builds intensity.

    Enjoy the process!
    Aha, now I get it! The track is static so my playing is...static. Also, your observation that "if we don’t address every chord, we are slackers" is very insightful. For me, that feeling derives from an earlier point in my development when I had (more) difficulty with turnarounds. So I felt kind of inadequate. Now, I feel I need to play every turnaround just to demonstrate I can do it. As for your recommendations to add double stops and chords, I'm afraid I'm a single note guy. Maybe because my influences are primarily saxophone players. Lastly, your comments on how Wes constructs his solos is very insightful. I'm listening to Besame Mucho as I write. Appreciate you!

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2
    Yes, of course. It's great to have so many constructive comments and suggestions. I took a swing at it last night and found out how hard habits are to break. At the same time, I'm pretty clear on what elements I can add or emphasize. More motivic development, phrase length, rhythmic diversity and, generally, a more "vocal" approach. Thanks!



    Agreed. In fairness to me I've played jazz in a group situation exactly once, and not for lack of trying either. So my playing, in jazz at least, isn't informed by the interaction that's fundamental to the style. On this track I played it safe all the way through to get a decent clip to put up for comments. As I may have mentioned previously, I've been working on Everything Happens to Me and I find that I'm naturally adding the elements that many forum members have recommended. Anyhoo, thanks again for your kind words of encouragement!
    Pleasure.

    I haven't much doing at the moment so I just dashed this off. Happy to put my money where my mouth is...

    I don't know this tune. I mean, I know it but I don't know it. I sight-read the melody and really just used the chords as a guide. The only changed sounds are a bit of b9 and alt over the C7's. And it's only two solos. I wouldn't have risked three, I don't think. And if I did it again it would be different. That's the point, I think.

    It won't win any prizes but you can see how moving up is beneficial. If I criticised it myself objectively I didn't like the last Em7-A7, it sounded bland :-)


  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2
    As for your recommendations to add double stops and chords, I'm afraid I'm a single note guy. Maybe because my influences are primarily saxophone players.
    I think I get where you’re coming from, but I ask you to consider a few things, especially the expressive differences between saxophone and guitar. Certainly there is a lot to be learned in terms of vocabulary and phrasing from saxophonists - who plays jazz on any instrument that isn’t influenced by sax players? But think about the things a saxophonist can easily do that you can’t do, or would be very difficult to do - the dynamic range of a wind instrument is much greater, the volume and pitch of each sustained note is very flexible (I alway laugh when I am reading a guitar chart that has two whole notes tied together with a crescendo on the second whole note!), the attack and tone quality of each note is highly variable. These are all very limited on guitar, especially clean electric guitar. So you get to play the lines - the pitches and rhythms - of Bird or Coltrane or Dexter, but you just won’t have their expressive range.

    So adding some double stops and occasional three or four note chords is a way using some of the tools you have available as a guitarist that can bring variety and interest to your solos - I’m sure many horn players have wished they could play more than one note at a time!

    Or look at it another way - could you imagine a jazz pianist who doesn’t play any chords in his solos - just single note lines - because he was influenced by sax players? I don’t think you’d hire that guy...

    Just consider it - add a few double stops - put a pause here and there in your lines and interject a couple of chord voicings - you might find you like it, and it gives your listener something new to hear.

    Here’s a bit of a short example from my favorite guitarist, Ed Bickert. In his solo on this blues (00:42), Ed puts a lot of space between his first phrases, later he adds a few chords punches in the spaces and plays some phrases with double stops - and then only at the end before the drum solo does he play a nice fully harmonized phrase. I think it’s delightful.



    Again, as I said in my first response - you have really nice lines, tone and feel and you can just roll with that and sound great. But I suspect you put this video out for comment because you feel - like probably everyone here - that your playing needs something more, so why not take advantage of the unique qualities of the guitar?

    all the best!

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by bengruven
    I think I get where you’re coming from, but I ask you to consider a few things, especially the expressive differences between saxophone and guitar. Certainly there is a lot to be learned in terms of vocabulary and phrasing from saxophonists - who plays jazz on any instrument that isn’t influenced by sax players? But think about the things a saxophonist can easily do that you can’t do, or would be very difficult to do - the dynamic range of a wind instrument is much greater, the volume and pitch of each sustained note is very flexible (I alway laugh when I am reading a guitar chart that has two whole notes tied together with a crescendo on the second whole note!), the attack and tone quality of each note is highly variable. These are all very limited on guitar, especially clean electric guitar. So you get to play the lines - the pitches and rhythms - of Bird or Coltrane or Dexter, but you just won’t have their expressive range.

    So adding some double stops and occasional three or four note chords is a way using some of the tools you have available as a guitarist that can bring variety and interest to your solos - I’m sure many horn players have wished they could play more than one note at a time!

    Or look at it another way - could you imagine a jazz pianist who doesn’t play any chords in his solos - just single note lines - because he was influenced by sax players? I don’t think you’d hire that guy...

    Just consider it - add a few double stops - put a pause here and there in your lines and interject a couple of chord voicings - you might find you like it, and it gives your listener something new to hear.

    Here’s a bit of a short example from my favorite guitarist, Ed Bickert. In his solo on this blues (00:42), Ed puts a lot of space between his first phrases, later he adds a few chords punches in the spaces and plays some phrases with double stops - and then only at the end before the drum solo does he play a nice fully harmonized phrase. I think it’s delightful.

    Again, as I said in my first response - you have really nice lines, tone and feel and you can just roll with that and sound great. But I suspect you put this video out for comment because you feel - like probably everyone here - that your playing needs something more, so why not take advantage of the unique qualities of the guitar?

    all the best!
    I very much appreciate you taking the time to help bring me along. Your comments are very encouraging and well taken. And your observations about the differences in timbre and dynamic range between the guitar and saxophone are unassailable. Most definitely the reason I put this clip up for comment was to draw upon the individual and collective knowledge and experience (equals "wisdom") of the forum members. It's taken me three years to get my basic concept together and many forum members, including yourself, have been very complimentary and encouraging. So now it's time for me to take a breath and jump back in to see if I can build on my foundations. Thank you again!

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Accomplished work. You've really got the basics locked down great IMO.

    Out of the comments here the one I find myself most agreeing with are Reg's. The solo doesn't really evolve. So that's the next step, I think. His comments are the ones I would make.

    Feel wise... I don't mind this. I do think that triplet figure is a little repetitive, but I think more attention to the shape of the solo would help here. You could practice straightening out your 1/8s as corpse suggests, but I don't find your feel annoyingly bouncy...

    And an important resource here is space, sure... Don't have the same density of notes all the way through.

    Obvious parameters to explore to develop a solo
    Fewer notes ---> more notes
    Shorter phrases ---> longer phrases
    Long gaps ---> shorter gaps
    Lower ---> higher
    Harmonically simple ----> harmonically complex/substituted
    Single notes -----> chords
    slow ----> fast
    statement of melody ----> increasing embellishment

    and so on

    So another thing to try is starting each phrases on a different beat or upbeat.

    First phrase on 1
    Second on 1+
    Third on 2
    and so on

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bengruven
    I I alway laugh when I am reading a guitar chart that has two whole notes tied together with a crescendo on the second whole note!), t
    all the best!
    I can't recall seeing that written on a guitar chart, but it is possible to do something -- if you play with a volume pedal.

    I recently saw Jeff Buenz play. Great player on bass and guitar. He uses a volume pedal a lot and makes swells in volume a part of his basic sound.

    I always have my foot on my volume pedal and now I'm trying to do a little bit of what I heard him do.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I can't recall seeing that written on a guitar chart, but it is possible to do something -- if you play with a volume pedal.
    Excerpts from two big band charts I recently played:

    Have You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-d1012dff-1f11-4739-a0ee-42f5542a81c2-jpgHave You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-93ff806f-26b4-45ea-87ec-84dd8e74c457-jpg

    The fortepiano (fp) is even more ridiculous than the crescendo/decrescendo. I think it’s just a copy/paste thing or an arranger who hasn’t really thought about the physics of a plucked string. It is useful to see it even if I can’t do it, because it makes me aware of what the horns are doing so I don’t spoil the effect.

    I get your point about volume pedals and I’ve used them for years in fusion, pop, country groups, but I don’t think anyone is expecting a guitar player in a big band to use one for shaped dynamics. It’s not a problem, it’s just amusing to see, like when saxophonist arrangers write out impossible guitar chord voicings - it’s just funny and you learn to adapt and not make a big deal over it.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Accomplished work. You've really got the basics locked down great IMO.

    Out of the comments here the one I find myself most agreeing with are Reg's. The solo doesn't really evolve. So that's the next step, I think. His comments are the ones I would make.

    Feel wise... I don't mind this. I do think that triplet figure is a little repetitive, but I think more attention to the shape of the solo would help here. You could practice straightening out your 1/8s as corpse suggests, but I don't find your feel annoyingly bouncy...

    And an important resource here is space, sure... Don't have the same density of notes all the way through.

    Obvious parameters to explore to develop a solo
    Fewer notes ---> more notes
    Shorter phrases ---> longer phrases
    Long gaps ---> shorter gaps
    Lower ---> higher
    Harmonically simple ----> harmonically complex/substituted
    Single notes -----> chords
    slow ----> fast
    statement of melody ----> increasing embellishment

    and so on

    So another thing to try is starting each phrases on a different beat or upbeat.

    First phrase on 1
    Second on 1+
    Third on 2
    and so on
    Hey Christian, Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. All your points are well taken. Your specific recommendations are quite clear and easy enough to implement. I see now that I can introduce more asymmetry and rhythmic/melodic contrast to keep things more organic. I forget where I heard it (possibly Rodney Jones) but someone recommended starting phrases on the upbeats as a means of introducing more syncopation. Your recommendations also remind be of an instructor who busted me for "playing to the bar lines." So, on this tune at least, guilty as charged. Anyhoo, I very much appreciate your encouragement and suggestions and look forward to working them into the mix!

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bengruven
    Excerpts from two big band charts I recently played:

    Have You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-d1012dff-1f11-4739-a0ee-42f5542a81c2-jpgHave You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-93ff806f-26b4-45ea-87ec-84dd8e74c457-jpg

    The fortepiano (fp) is even more ridiculous than the crescendo/decrescendo. I think it’s just a copy/paste thing or an arranger who hasn’t really thought about the physics of a plucked string. It is useful to see it even if I can’t do it, because it makes me aware of what the horns are doing so I don’t spoil the effect.

    I get your point about volume pedals and I’ve used them for years in fusion, pop, country groups, but I don’t think anyone is expecting a guitar player in a big band to use one for shaped dynamics. It’s not a problem, it’s just amusing to see, like when saxophonist arrangers write out impossible guitar chord voicings - it’s just funny and you learn to adapt and not make a big deal over it.
    Yea... I generally just play repeated single note tremolo with attacks to match dynamic. Man I've played most of Jaco charts... they're tough. Sounds like fun BB. That's... Used to be a ChaCha right.Who's arrangement.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Here is a 10 year old example of tune I posted Have You meet... back when Fep (Frank) and I started the "Practical Standards" thread in the lessons section... Kind of humbling now, but you can see how I approached the tune... I never rehearse so it's rough, but you can see and hear how I have targets and how I develop ideas... which repeat etc... This was when I first joined JGF, pretty cool to see the early days on site.
    That's wonderful playing. I so like knowing that some of the folks on the forum giving advice can also really play. Increasingly, as I struggle to improve, I only want advice from people who can play. Thanks for posting that!

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I so like knowing that some of the folks on the forum giving advice can also really play. Increasingly, as I struggle to improve, I only want advice from people who can play.
    Let me offer a different perspective. Last year I met a guy with encyclopedic knowledge of chords and applied theory. It was fascinating and humbling that it was all so second nature to him. I picked his brain for as long as I could before I hit the saturation point. Before he left he said let's play a tune and suggested All of Me. Pretty easy in the overall scheme of things. When it came time for him to solo he was very hit and miss, mostly miss. Then he handed it off to me and his eyes got big as saucers. And I just kind of do the basic thing like in my OP. He left slump-shouldered but I reached out to him shortly thereafter to ask if I could study with him. For whatever reason he demurred. So I would ask you to reconsider only wanting to learn from those who can play. For myself, I'm just looking for the knowledge wherever I can find it. Best to you!

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    That’s an interesting conversation. I think there’s good players that offer advice in a “take it or leave it” way. Going out of the way to record lesson videos like Reg for free is extremely above and beyond. I personally doubt I will ever post a lesson or music video just because it takes time and there’s nothing in it for me.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Hey Lawson, thanks for the kind words....really. I do get frustrated sometimes, for as corpse said... it does take time. Not so much the playing part... I generally just play, I'm not worried about getting examples perfect.. but the posting and loading parts sometimes drives me crazy... But I am from the school that someone teaching something should be able to cover. At least to the point of being able to play Live etc... Jazz isn't from the memorize tradition (PO).

    The other side is it's fun to hear all the BS... much better than the news.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    [QUOTE=bengruven;1017675]Excerpts from two big band charts I recently played:

    Have You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-d1012dff-1f11-4739-a0ee-42f5542a81c2-jpgHave You Met Miss Jones – looking for comments, suggestions-93ff806f-26b4-45ea-87ec-84dd8e74c457-jpg

    The fortepiano (fp) is even more ridiculous than the crescendo/decrescendo. I think it’s just a copy/paste thing or an arranger who hasn’t really thought about the physics of a plucked string. It is useful to see it even if I can’t do it, because it makes me aware of what the horns are doing so I don’t spoil the effect.

    I get your point about volume pedals and I’ve used them for years in fusion, pop, country groups, but I don’t think anyone is expecting a guitar player in a big band to use one for shaped dynamics. It’s not a problem, it’s just amusing to see, like when saxophonist arrangers write out impossible guitar chord voicings - it’s just funny and you learn to adapt and not make a big deal over it.[/QUOTE

    If I've seen that before, it didn't register.

    I doubt that it would occur to me, on first reading, to swell the volume. Maybe if I was voiced with the horns and they were doing it? Maybe.

    Most likely, the arranger just left it in from the conductor's score, or something like that, as you mentioned.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    So no takers for working on comping... no problems. (Use to be a Cha Cha), So Bud or OP I listened again... still cool. But I was trying to understand what you mean by Blues. Did you work with those Uncle Willie Thomas licks, I couldn't put my finger on it, but that #9 3 5 13 1 lick you use to start most of your lines reminds me of his approach. It's cool... but is that what you hear as Blues like. Anyway... I'll post some different approaches for playing same tune somewhere...

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    So no takers for working on comping... no problems. (Use to be a Cha Cha), So Bud or OP I listened again... still cool. But I was trying to understand what you mean by Blues. Did you work with those Uncle Willie Thomas licks, I couldn't put my finger on it, but that #9 3 5 13 1 lick you use to start most of your lines reminds me of his approach. It's cool... but is that what you hear as Blues like. Anyway... I'll post some different approaches for playing same tune somewhere...
    Well, to me, blues is a particular resonance, a certain tonality or sonority that's immediately identifiable. Like the difference between Lee Morgan and Shorty Rogers. So, for me, even if the structure isn't a blues, my playing is still informed by the blues. The blues has its own "emotional logic." John McLaughlin doesn't have it but Kenny Burrell unquestionably does. The blues has certain linguistic elements that we recognize even if we can't articulate them in words. The difference between being "correct" and being "right." We can learn to speak a foreign language "correctly" but to a native speaker it isn't "right." I'd say that blues lines are the strongest and if we use those as a foundation and embellish them with the harmonic elements of jazz we're in the game. That's my recipe FWIW.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    So it's just... feel. I like your line... Informed by the Blues. I wrote a tune years ago called... "In Search of Blue"
    It was for the sax player....
    Attached Files Attached Files

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    So it's just... feel. I like your line... Informed by the Blues. I wrote a tune years ago called... "In Search of Blue"
    It was for the sax player....
    Wow. That was very atmospheric. Just the right ambiance for this moment (early evening post sunset). The sax reminded me of John Klemmer, who I haven't thought about since forever. Listening to Touch right now.

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    LOL, by coincidence, I just happened to jam on Miss jones as well the other day Hope you don't mind me posting, btw, if you want me to remove it, I can do it.

    Playing my (very inexpensive) Harley Benton hb 35


  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Observations...

    Overall, you're totally on the right track

    You play the head stiff and on top of the beat/almost ahead? Then when you solo, you totally relax and groove.

    You mine the same territory over the A a bit too much...I think you handle the bridge quite well,but after, instead of heading somewhere new, you go back.

    Overall I enjoyed your playing, good groove, nice tone, good phrasing. I look forward to hearing more.