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  1. #26

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    In the spirit of brotherhood, and opposed to bickering, why don't we all just join Lawson? Not for competition but for camraderie. (Maybe he can share his backing track too? hehe.)

    I for one will admit to a selfish desire for somebody else to take an interest in that book, which I think is a treasure trove for Blues and Rhythm Changes, even though it's not exhaustive.

    I worked on the first Blues some time ago and now Lawson has inspired me to try the first RC.

    Anybody else?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    That's odd.

    People on the forum love to give me advice about my playing all the time.

    And I listen, offers another perspective.

    I may not share the same opinion about favorite players, but I think I'm encouraging to others as they are to me.

    Lawson, I may have mis-stepped with not respecting a musician you admire--I'll admit that. The last bit was in jest because I hate how the internet misconstrues our best intentions. But I don't think I've ever attacked your own playing. And you've never done the same to me, at least to my memory.

    The second I chime in, Reg has to shoot down my advice and tell me that I live on another planet and can't play--at least now he's found a way to do that more indirectly.

    I share what professional players, those that I studied with and continue to seek out--and can REALLY play--share with me. I get excited about what I learn and want to talk about it.

    I hate it when people attack what I'm studying over here on the forum, so I should stop doing the same. For that, I also apologize.

    That said, I don't see other high level and professional players around here slinging out personal attacks.

    Why is that, Reg?

    Join the conversation instead of shooting it down. Are you the keeper of all that is jazz guitar? Excuse me, if I've forgotten.
    I know that's frustrating. Let me try to give my impression, and i don't want to be discouraging or disrespectful at all. I've been struggling to play jazz on the guitar for about 35 years, having basically grown up playing guitar in a more folk vein. I went through a period where I could really talk the talk. I could explain what a great solo was, articulate theoretical insights, even critique others' playing. BUT... I couldn't play anywhere near the level I could talk. I am kind of clueless, and a true and certified asshole though I've been in recovery for a long time and I'm making progress controlling my obnoxious side! So one thing I've started doing is to say to myself (MYSELF, mind you) "Just shut up and play!" If you read my posts, I don't talk a lot about theory, approach, technique, etc. I just talk about what I'm doing and what I am working on, but otherwise, I just post my playing and try to learn.

    I think one reason people respond sometimes a bit harshly to you is that you talk way above the level at which you can actually play. I get that. It's fun to talk about theory and technique, approaches, all that. But I really want to hear that from somebody who has mastered what they are talking about, to at least a degree way ahead of me. I want to see it in their playing so when they say it, I say "Aha! THAT'S what you were doing!" I don't need another book or video recommendation (I have a huge library already).

    So man I like you, I am glad you are here. But maybe switch your posts to a ratio of playing to talking about playing that puts the emphasis on playing. Make us ask you what you're doing, how you figured that out, how you thought to play that idea.

    Theory is second-order reflection on concrete creative performance. We need the performance, then we can listen to the advice.
    Last edited by lawson-stone; 07-03-2021 at 10:28 PM.

  4. #28

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    Since we're offering unsolicited advice, Lawson, do another take and try playing it with all downstrokes, or at least as many as humanly possible. I have a hunch...

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Since we're offering unsolicited advice, Lawson, do another take and try playing it with all downstrokes, or at least as many as humanly possible. I have a hunch...
    Interesting-I will try, but I don't know if I can!

    And I'm always open to advice.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    In the spirit of brotherhood, and opposed to bickering, why don't we all just join Lawson? Not for competition but for camraderie. (Maybe he can share his backing track too? hehe.)

    I for one will admit to a selfish desire for somebody else to take an interest in that book, which I think is a treasure trove for Blues and Rhythm Changes, even though it's not exhaustive.

    I worked on the first Blues some time ago and now Lawson has inspired me to try the first RC.

    Anybody else?
    A fantastic book. I think the problem with it is that it's not broken down into consistent "lesson-sized" chunks that can be worked out in, say, a week. It's more like a textbook than a lesson book or method. I think one reason people don't use it is simple; it's hard. It's challenging. It took me a lot of work at 80 bpm just to get the notes figured out. The unceasing 8th notes also can feel unnatural, but I understand why he and Howard Roberts insist on learning to play 8th note lines. So I agree, great book, wish others would give it a whirl.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Interesting-I will try, but I don't know if I can!

    And I'm always open to advice.
    I'm betting you can...right now it feels like you're trying to make it swing...which makes it into trochaic tetrameter

    This solo is a goldmine of ideas across many chords in position. And while, yeah, it's an exercise--even Joe wouldn't play that many straight 8ths, this is the kind of thing you could steal dozens of ideas from.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I'm betting you can...right now it feels like you're trying to make it swing...which makes it into trochaic tetrameter

    This solo is a goldmine of ideas across many chords in position. And while, yeah, it's an exercise--even Joe wouldn't play that many straight 8ths, this is the kind of thing you could steal dozens of ideas from.
    The bridge alone! The same basic line played in the context of the 4 chord-centers of the bridge is amazing. It was actually hard to learn precisely because it's loaded with ideas, just that 2-bar repeated phrase.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    A fantastic book. I think the problem with it is that it's not broken down into consistent "lesson-sized" chunks that can be worked out in, say, a week. It's more like a textbook than a lesson book or method. I think one reason people don't use it is simple; it's hard. It's challenging. It took me a lot of work at 80 bpm just to get the notes figured out. The unceasing 8th notes also can feel unnatural, but I understand why he and Howard Roberts insist on learning to play 8th note lines. So I agree, great book, wish others would give it a whirl.
    Right, he was obviously a master player first. His books needed a partner/teacher to ‘splain it to students. They weren’t as broken down or leveled as many others are.

    But that’s ok, intermediate players can deal with it and just wade in. It takes work but that’s a good thing.

    I’m having a tough year, but am going to pick up that study like you did.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I know that's frustrating. Let me try to give my impression, and i don't want to be discouraging or disrespectful at all. I've been struggling to play jazz on the guitar for about 35 years, having basically grown up playing guitar in a more folk vein. I went through a period where I could really talk the talk. I could explain what a great solo was, articulate theoretical insights, even critique others' playing. BUT... I couldn't play anywhere near the level I could talk. I am kind of clueless, and a true and certified asshole though I've been in recovery for a long time and I'm making progress controlling my obnoxious side! So one thing I've started doing is to say to myself (MYSELF, mind you) "Just shut up and play!" If you read my posts, I don't talk a lot about theory, approach, technique, etc. I just talk about what I'm doing and what I am working on, but otherwise, I just post my playing and try to learn.

    I think one reason people respond sometimes a bit harshly to you is that you talk way above the level at which you can actually play. I get that. It's fun to talk about theory and technique, approaches, all that. But I really want to hear that from somebody who has mastered what they are talking about, to at least a degree way ahead of me. I want to see it in their playing so when they say it, I say "Aha! THAT'S what you were doing!" I don't need another book or video recommendation (I have a huge library already).

    So man I like you, I am glad you are here. But maybe switch your posts to a ratio of playing to talking about playing that puts the emphasis on playing. Make us ask you what you're doing, how you figured that out, how you thought to play that idea.

    Theory is second-order reflection on concrete creative performance. We need the performance, then we can listen to the advice.
    I don't know man. I like to talk about theory and I can't play worth a damn. I say talk about and do what interests you. I am interested in Jazz Guitar because I love it, not because I hope to master it. If someone wants to give more weight to a better player then go for it. I got a lot out of the advice to transcribe stuff more from some of the better players, but I see no reason to discourage everyone from voicing their opinions.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I've always admired the exercise solos in The Joe Pass Guitar Style but other than just a slow read-down, I never really set about learning them. So I decided to give the first "Rhythm Changes" sample solo a shot. Per the method, it is unrelenting 8th notes, so it takes a lot of concentration for me to play it. What is amazing to me is that the whole solo can be played pretty much in a 5-7 fret range, basically one position with maybe a couple shifts. This is a bit slow, about 120, but I was happy to get it all the way through about 90% accurately.

    I gotta say I also just love how the guitar and amp sound. Sometimes I play just because I love to hear the sound!

    Anyone else tried this solo? I know several have done the blues choruses, but the Rhythm Changes are pretty sticky (for me).

    Sounding good Lawson! I would say that Jeff’s idea might be a good one.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I don't know man. I like to talk about theory and I can't play worth a damn. I say talk about and do what interests you. I am interested in Jazz Guitar because I love it, not because I hope to master it. If someone wants to give more weight to a better player then go for it. I got a lot out of the advice to transcribe stuff more from some of the better players, but I see no reason to discourage everyone from voicing their opinions.
    I actually agree. I’m just explaining where some of the less congenial reaction comes from. Say what you want, nobody is obligated to listen and they also are free to respond.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    One of the first jazz guitar records I bought was this one (I think it was the only Joe Pass record they had in the local record shop), it knocked me out and I spent ages transcribing this solo. I learned a ton of bebop lines from this solo, a lot of this is probably in my playing to this day. Oddly enough, I didn’t hear any of Joe’s solo guitar stuff until much later, so for me the biggest influence was his single-note playing.



    Jimmy Raney also became a big influence for me, but for some reason I didn’t get any of his records until some years later (this was in the days before the internet and youtube - you had to save up your pennies and take the plunge buying a record without hearing it first!)
    That's how it was with me as well, Graham. Joe's '60s single-note playing is what I enjoy most from his catalogue and somehow I found the time years ago to transcribe the whole of Falling in Love with Love from that album along with I Love You from 'Intercontinental' (two of JP's longest and finest of the period IMO).

    Great to hear you once again, Lawson.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    LS,
    Try to pracise with straight 8ts.
    Avoid triple thinking.
    My 1 cent suggestion.
    Thanks-that fits in with another suggestion I have received as well, so I will give it a try.

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea lawson.... always love your sounds and guitars. Your playing what really seems to be ....what you like. You sound great, and comes through. (If your planning to go pro, tour etc... maybe some comments...but)

    Most talk about what they can't play, but like to believe they can and can give advice etc.... I would keep at what you like... (you seem to already have all the BS figured out)...
    Thanks for posting. Reg
    Thanks Reg. I fully embrace my amateur status and tend to play what gives me pleasure, even if I don't play it very well. I do strive for good tone. I think there is no excuse for bad tone. Any decent guitar can be played so as to sound good. I also want to keep improving and becoming a better player because I enjoy playing for others, though I rarely get the chance other than posting clips here.

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    I don't know man. I like to talk about theory and I can't play worth a damn. I say talk about and do what interests you. I am interested in Jazz Guitar because I love it, not because I hope to master it. If someone wants to give more weight to a better player then go for it. I got a lot out of the advice to transcribe stuff more from some of the better players, but I see no reason to discourage everyone from voicing their opinions.
    People can say or talk about anything they want. But nobody is entitled to be listened to or taken seriously on a subject unless they can show they have something substantive to offer. Fellow travelers can share ideas as peers, without lecturing one what the other "needs" to do. I profit from other players who are as limited as I am when they honestly share what's actually working for them and can demonstrate it. I don't need to hear what the coolest teacher or the latest book says unless the person sharing it can show me that it actually works for them. I'm an academic. I live with abstraction and theory all day long. In music, it's performance that counts.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    In the spirit of brotherhood, and opposed to bickering, why don't we all just join Lawson? Not for competition but for camraderie. (Maybe he can share his backing track too? hehe.)

    I for one will admit to a selfish desire for somebody else to take an interest in that book, which I think is a treasure trove for Blues and Rhythm Changes, even though it's not exhaustive.

    I worked on the first Blues some time ago and now Lawson has inspired me to try the first RC.

    Anybody else?
    The backing track(s) I've worked with are from the Aebersold Vol. 47 "I Got Rhythm" in All Keys" set. There is a slow track (#1 on the CD) and a fast track (#13 on the CD). I think my post used the fast track, but I slowed it down!

    I'd love some company in working on these exercises.

    Dutchbopper has a great recording of the blues solos on his Youtube channel.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Since we're offering unsolicited advice, Lawson, do another take and try playing it with all downstrokes, or at least as many as humanly possible. I have a hunch...
    So here's that attempt. (1) all downstrokes (a couple slips) (2) even 8ths (3) metronome only, no backing track.

    Interested in the hunch.

    NOTE: I kept botching the last 4 measures, so finally just recorded them separately and punched them in. You'll see a "hard edit" blink at about 1:09. I know, I know... I feel so dirty...


  19. #43

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    Nice!

    Hunch confirmed. Listen to your two takes back to back, and how you're not ahead of the beat all on the second.

    Next trick is to even get you a little behind.

    So what's at work here? My thoughts, might not be right, but see if this makes sense to you...

    So in the first example your upstrokes are a little weak. Now that could be 1. That your upstrokes are a little weak or 2. That you are making them intentionally weak to force your line to swing...

    The net result is a lines that less swings than lopes, it's a old time country feel. And what it did to you was make you try and overcompensate, and you ended up getting ahead of the beat. Its tricky, ive said it before, a slow end of medium tempo tune is very hard to play long stretches of 8ths on and not sound square. This being an exercise, square is fine-- Joe wouldn't play that many 8ths at that tempo either-- it's an etude, its about ideas. But the rushing is a good thing to work on.

    Now in the video you did to a click, you are right on the beat, and you're keeping things much more even accent wise. Now, accents aren't a bad thing at all in my book, you just have to use them more as punctuation and less as a pattern for them to work.

    So where does this take you? Maybe in a few directions. I do think at slower tempos, the classic jazz sound loves a downstroke heavy approach. But now you can consciously work on upstrokes to...try to get them as even in length and volume as your downstrokes.

    I think it's worth trying. I've said to you before, when I hear you improvise, I think your note choices are always fine. You get your time feel confidence up to the level of your note choice confidence and I think you'll feel like you made some serious progress.

    Just my two unsolicited cents

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Nice!

    Hunch confirmed. Listen to your two takes back to back, and how you're not ahead of the beat all on the second.

    Next trick is to even get you a little behind.

    So what's at work here? My thoughts, might not be right, but see if this makes sense to you...

    So in the first example your upstrokes are a little weak. Now that could be 1. That your upstrokes are a little weak or 2. That you are making them intentionally weak to force your line to swing...

    The net result is a lines that less swings than lopes, it's a old time country feel. And what it did to you was make you try and overcompensate, and you ended up getting ahead of the beat. Its tricky, ive said it before, a slow end of medium tempo tune is very hard to play long stretches of 8ths on and not sound square. This being an exercise, square is fine-- Joe wouldn't play that many 8ths at that tempo either-- it's an etude, its about ideas. But the rushing is a good thing to work on.

    Now in the video you did to a click, you are right on the beat, and you're keeping things much more even accent wise. Now, accents aren't a bad thing at all in my book, you just have to use them more as punctuation and less as a pattern for them to work.

    So where does this take you? Maybe in a few directions. I do think at slower tempos, the classic jazz sound loves a downstroke heavy approach. But now you can consciously work on upstrokes to...try to get them as even in length and volume as your downstrokes.

    I think it's worth trying. I've said to you before, when I hear you improvise, I think your note choices are always fine. You get your time feel confidence up to the level of your note choice confidence and I think you'll feel like you made some serious progress.

    Just my two unsolicited cents
    Thanks for that very constructive feedback. I'll see what I can do with the suggestions. The exercise turned out to be both easier and harder than I expected.

  21. #45

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    So here I am again! This time, using up and down strokes (not strict alternating picking though) to try to give the up stroke the same force and sound as the down-stroke. Playing even 8th with the click again.

    Observations and advice welcome.


  22. #46

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    So of course, the next challenge is, can you prevent yourself from getting excited when the backing is music instead of a click?

    Nice work!

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    So of course, the next challenge is, can you prevent yourself from getting excited when the backing is music instead of a click?

    Nice work!
    Kind of a problem... I really like getting excited. Might need to slow it down.

  24. #48

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    So I know I'm presuming on you guys' patience. Here's one final (for the moment!) shot at the etude, using a backing track but keeping it even-8ths and using up and down-strokes. Not a lot of sliding or slurring (some). Then I got inspired at the end and played a chorus of my own... which is proof that, yeah, I need to work on these studies. But playing Joe's lines really does inspire me and I actually found a couple ideas from the etude that got used in my little attempt in the second chorus. So...

    BTW I thought I'd also note the L5ces is played into a DVMark Micro50 with a direct XLR line into the box for recording. The backing track is from Aebersold Vol. 47, Track #1, slowed down to about 100 bpm.

    Now I will leave you all in peace.

    Comments, observations, and advice are welcome.


  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    So I know I'm presuming on you guys' patience. Here's one final (for the moment!) shot at the etude, using a backing track but keeping it even-8ths and using up and down-strokes. Not a lot of sliding or slurring (some). Then I got inspired at the end and played a chorus of my own... which is proof that, yeah, I need to work on these studies. But playing Joe's lines really does inspire me and I actually found a couple ideas from the etude that got used in my little attempt in the second chorus. So...

    BTW I thought I'd also note the L5ces is played into a DVMark Micro50 with a direct XLR line into the box for recording. The backing track is from Aebersold Vol. 47, Track #1, slowed down to about 100 bpm.

    Now I will leave you all in peace.

    Comments, observations, and advice are welcome.

    That’s coming along great.

    The next step that I would normally go into with student sis being able to consistently feel the swung ‘ands’; this isn’t something I think you should practice ok guitar for now.

    Instead try counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and along with the track, making sure the ands are swung like in a shuffle. Now, accent the ands so that they are louder than the numbers. Eventually try speaking just the ‘ands.’; this will teach you to find the pocket.

    You can also practice saying ‘ten, ten to ten, ten to ten, ten to ten’ with the ride cymbal, paying special attention to how the ‘to’, the ride slip note, lines up with the drums

    (another good exercise is to put on L’il Darlin by Basie and try and sing (or play) the melody along with the record. That’s a sloooowwww swing.)

    Part of what Jeff is getting you to do with the downstroke thing is give more emphasis to the ‘ands’ in your playing BTW. But I don’t think it’s a thing you can try to effect in your playing; I think you have to learn to feel it and then it comes out in your playing. You can’t force swing.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    imo, the easiest and most natural way to emphasize the "ands" is to simply not attack the beat at all. and when we do not attack every note, it is maybe not a good idea to associate up-or downstrokes with off- or onbeats.

    swinging means hearing stuff different. like using the beats as "landing pads" and not starting areas, if you get my drift. galper makes a point about the One being the *end* of the bar. this kind of attitude is required to swing, imho. if the ears know, everything else will follow. if you can not hear it clearly, how are you supposed to fix it?

    it can help to put different feels next to each other. so my unsolicited tip for lawson would be to practise the solo with a latin backing track, downstrokes even 8s. and then again with a swing track. maybe a tad faster, which makes things actually easier here.

    with the swing track i would try to work out every possible slide/hammer-on into the beat and mark them in the sheet music. that is quite some work since most fingerings would have to be revised and there would be little actual position play (actually an advantage). but per aspera ad astra etc. the above would do wonders for your swing feel and synergize (sp?) with the stuff learned from raney. dont make the above vid your last. you're just getting started with the solo. good things will happen.
    heads up Lawson; this is one of those areas where you are going to find apparently conflicting advice from different people.

    I agree with basically all of what djg says here; however I’m not certain I would recommend the slurring thing right now.

    What djg describes is what I spent a while doing with my playing. This is an approach that emulates typical sax tonguing on the guitar. It’s a good thing to practices Actual jazz phrasing is also … more complex.

    The downstroke only thing is what I would recommend FIRST. Phrasing on the guitar is a complicated problem with lots of factors and there’s a lot to work on; but aside from the articulation thing there’s a quite lot of historical precedent in the old school players for focussing on downstrokes. it’s a pretty old school plectrum guitar thing, Charlie Christian, Billy Bauer, George Van Eps, Django, Bucky Pizzarelli etc. Even Joe Pass.But it’s not the only way the old guys played…

    But that’s based on what I think I would teach if you were my student. It’s not the only way to go about it.

    Obviously there’s quite a low speed ceiling (though higher than one might think) so you’ll have to adopt other things to play faster, be it slurring, alternate picking or whatever, but by the time you need to do that I think it will have done its work.

    One player who uses both these approaches; downstrokes only for medium eights, and hornlike slurring for faster playing is Mike Moreno. So the two things are not in fact contradictory, but can be complementary. Obviously quite a modern player.

    Of the more classic players, I feel Wes integrates the thumb down stroke thing with considerable left hand slurring. Grant Green also uses slurs quite judiciously, but I’m not so clear on his technique.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 07-06-2021 at 07:19 AM.