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  1. #1

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    I've gotten a lot of advice on this forum. Most of it good, some not so much. But hands down, the very best advice I have ever gotten on this forum, was to try to pat my foot on 1 and 3 when the tempos get past medium/medium-up. For some reason that has changed how playing feels for me, made things noticeably more legato (why? don't know!). Faster tempos don't feel as oppressive. It seems so... unexciting. It was hard for me to implement this, and I'm still working on it, but patting on 1 and 3 instead of on every beat has made a huge difference in my playing.

    What about you? What's the best piece of advice about playing jazz guitar you ever got on this forum?

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  3. #2

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    The best advice I've read on this forum was to back away from the keyboard, pick up my guitar and practice more.

  4. #3

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    Oddly enough, to tap on 2 and 4, but at moderate tempos. And feel that as a kind of backbeat.

    Worst on-line advice was not on this forum. It was to do the following:

    Take all possible triads maj, min, dim, aug maybe some sus2's (I forget) etc and pair each one with every other possible triad in every key. That creates a very large number of hexatonic scales. Then, pair each hexatonic with every possible bass note.

    Hope that reincarnation is real, and, at the end of several lifetimes of doing this, you can finally learn a song.

  5. #4

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    easily ....

    “time on the instrument” Pierre

  6. #5

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    "Learn songs." I've heard it over and over from many credible sources... but I'm a thick head...

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by losaltosjoe
    "Learn songs." I've heard it over and over from many credible sources... but I'm a thick head...
    Mine follows in these footsteps:

    Learn the melody to the songs in 3 different positions on the fretboard. This really helped my solos sound more melodic which for me is key to making a solo 'sing' instead of just scale and chord tone noodling.

  8. #7

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    When you guys remark how tapping your foot on 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 was helpful, are you comparing that to
    (a) tapping every beat 1,2,3,4 or
    (b) not tapping your foot at all?

    I don't really tap my foot at all but I think it might help my time...

  9. #8

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    Go back to the harmonica.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    When you guys remark how tapping your foot on 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 was helpful, are you comparing that to
    (a) tapping every beat 1,2,3,4 or
    (b) not tapping your foot at all?

    I don't really tap my foot at all but I think it might help my time...
    For me it's 1&3 as opposed to 1-2-3-4. It seems to "slow down" my perception of things and I play more smoothly somehow. Don't totally understand it.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    easily ....

    “time on the instrument” Pierre
    Whatever happened to Pierre? I miss him.

  12. #11

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    I think the best advice I've ever gotten (-some from before I showed up here) was:
    Play every day.
    Learn songs.
    Learn the fingerboard
    Learn to read music.
    Record yourself.
    Improvise some every day.

  13. #12

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    i am not sure if somebody told me this, but i learned (guitar and otherwise) that challenging myself is key.
    how big or small the challenge is, doesn't really matter.

  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    easily ....

    “time on the instrument” Pierre
    ^^^^^^ This. Absolutely. Merci, Pierre!

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Mine follows in these footsteps:

    Learn the melody to the songs in 3 different positions on the fretboard. This really helped my solos sound more melodic which for me is key to making a solo 'sing' instead of just scale and chord tone noodling.
    Or play the melody in a different key (it's fun to draw a number from to being b2 to 11 being a M7 appart) and try to not just transpose on the neck.

    Envoyé de mon SM-G930F en utilisant Tapatalk

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    For me it's 1&3 as opposed to 1-2-3-4. It seems to "slow down" my perception of things and I play more smoothly somehow. Don't totally understand it.
    In music of alternating sounds that would be what we perceive as the pulse - wouldn't it? When I play rythm I mostly tap on 1+3 and strum on 2+4 unless I try to do something funky. So I share the quarternotes between hand and foot.

  18. #17

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    Geez, this forum has been going for well over a decade, and the above is the best advice you've read from this (or any other) forum? Either the advice is ordinary, or it's going over everyone's heads??

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Geez, this forum has been going for well over a decade, and the above is the best advice you've read from this (or any other) forum? Either the advice is ordinary, or it's going over everyone's heads??
    Sorry you don't approve. Sometimes the best advice is simple stuff that we don't really "get" until it's said a certain way, or in a certain context.

    Don't know why you feel like you have to slam other people's contributions.

  20. #19

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    Not that it matters cept to me. Been a forum member 4/6 years. No advice per se but learned a lot just reading and learned exactly where I actually was musically and it’d be best to just read and keep my mouth shut or someone else would know where I actually was musically haha but I love picking up bits and pieces

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Sorry you don't approve. Sometimes the best advice is simple stuff that we don't really "get" until it's said a certain way, or in a certain context.

    Don't know why you feel like you have to slam other people's contributions.
    Actually, I think you're all selling yourselves short. I'm pretty sure just this forum alone has provided many of us (including myself) with some profoundly important epiphanies, beyond the obvious (like some already been mentioned). Off the top of my head (some are contentious):

    - CST is BS.

    - Bebop scales are BS.

    - Chromatically embellishing chord tones is the sound of Jazz (i.e, an important part of it's "Language").

    - Barry Harris is worth checking out - Bop should be a core Jazz study approach, regardless of preferred style.

    - You don't always need to land chord tones on strong beats.

    - Everything is V or I.

    - Drop 2 is king.

    - Practicing a dozen or so common chord progressions (a lot) can unlock the mystery to many tunes.

    - The Altered scale is overrated and/or over used.

    - Once you outgrow the training wheels, don't be afraid to go down an empty street, there's plenty left if you look for them.

    - You can play anything over anything with strong and wilful phrasing and resolved targeting.

    - You don't always find your unique voice, it eventually finds you.

    - Ignore advice (including any or all of the above) if it doesn't relate to specific styes you wish to specialise in (unless it's about Bop!).

    - Developing the ability to pre hear (audiate) what you play is what it's all about.

    - Playing what you sing is often just "singing what you play".

    - There are as many opinions about Jazz guitar as there are players.

    - People who obsess about gear will probably never become great players.

    - There is too much to learn in a single lifetime - but this is a good thing! (It's about the journey not the destination).


    ... and this is just a shortlist!

    So thanks to all the forum members over the years who either shared, or helped lead me the above!

  22. #21
    Cool thread.

    For me, one thing that has struck me over the years is the need to find truth in what other players say, do distill down to the truth in the context etc. Very often things present on the surface level as a dichotomy. Which one is right? After about 5 years or so, I arrived at something like: "Both, but it's up to me to figure that part out." If great players who can otherwise play together say things which seem to be in opposition, maybe you don't understand an aspect.

    Great players on this forum and elsewhere have stated these seeming contradictions:
    1. "Learn how the music works. Chord inversions, spellings, scales, basic theory"

    and also...

    "Forget the theory, and just play/transcribe etc".

    2. "Get your technique together" vs. "Forget all of the chops stuff and learn tunes".

    There are tons of these on a forum like this. Great players say something in a dramatic way to make a point, and then folks like me obsess over the implication that the other aspect is somehow false. A lot of it has to do with who they were talking to at the time and what the context was. I consider both sides of all of the above true, BTW, because the people who stated them could PLAY.

    Probably the best actual advice for me was Reg's insistent "Get your technical skills together." The way he laid it out, I really thought that this advice was for higher-level players than myself. I put it off for too long because of that, and I regret it. I think it's funny how often that recommendation gets refuted.

    The first time I read the introduction to Barry Harris's DVD booklet (on getting your technical skills together), I thought that it could've been written by Reg.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Actually, I think you're all selling yourselves short. I'm pretty sure just this forum alone has provided many of us (including myself) with some profoundly important epiphanies, beyond the obvious (like some already been mentioned). Off the top of my head (some are contentious):

    - CST is BS.

    - Bebop scales are BS.

    - Chromatically embellishing chord tones is the sound of Jazz (i.e, an important part of it's "Language").

    - Barry Harris is worth checking out - Bop should be a core Jazz study approach, regardless of preferred style.

    - You don't always need to land chord tones on strong beats.

    - Everything is V or I.

    - Drop 2 is king.

    - Practicing a dozen or so common chord progressions (a lot) can unlock the mystery to many tunes.

    - The Altered scale is overrated and/or over used.

    - Once you outgrow the training wheels, don't be afraid to go down an empty street, there's plenty left if you look for them.

    - You can play anything over anything with strong and wilful phrasing and resolved targeting.

    - You don't always find your unique voice, it eventually finds you.

    - Ignore advice (including any or all of the above) if it doesn't relate to specific styes you wish to specialise in (unless it's about Bop!).

    - Developing the ability to pre hear (audiate) what you play is what it's all about.

    - Playing what you sing is often just "singing what you play".

    - There are as many opinions about Jazz guitar as there are players.

    - People who obsess about gear will probably never become great players.

    - There is too much to learn in a single lifetime - but this is a good thing! (It's about the journey not the destination).


    ... and this is just a shortlist!

    So thanks to all the forum members over the years who either shared, or helped lead me the above!
    Somehow such things ought to be in an FAQ somewhere.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Cool thread.

    For me, one thing that has struck me over the years is the need to find truth in what other players say, do distill down to the truth in the context etc. Very often things present on the surface level as a dichotomy. Which one is right? After about 5 years or so, I arrived at something like: "Both, but it's up to me to figure that part out." If great players who can otherwise play together say things which seem to be in opposition, maybe you don't understand an aspect.

    Great players on this forum and elsewhere have stated these seeming contradictions:
    1. "Learn how the music works. Chord inversions, spellings, scales, basic theory"

    and also...

    "Forget the theory, and just play/transcribe etc".

    2. "Get your technique together" vs. "Forget all of the chops stuff and learn tunes".

    There are tons of these on a forum like this. Great players say something in a dramatic way to make a point, and then folks like me obsess over the implication that the other aspect is somehow false. A lot of it has to do with who they were talking to at the time and what the context was. I consider both sides of all of the above true, BTW, because the people who stated them could PLAY.

    Probably the best actual advice for me was Reg's insistent "Get your technical skills together." The way he laid it out, I really thought that this advice was for higher-level players than myself. I put it off for too long because of that, and I regret it. I think it's funny how often that recommendation gets refuted.

    The first time I read the introduction to Barry Harris's DVD booklet (on getting your technical skills together), I thought that it could've been written by Reg.
    I liked Reg’s advice to practice your arpeggios in a more sheets of sound style, as opposed to a 13578 style. (See Joseph Viola’s book - on scales, ironically).

    The other thing is, believing that one can have success playing jazz without building a strong technique is like saying one can play in the NFL using a conditioning plan focused on couch, pizza, beer, and the remote control.