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  1. #1

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    Hey fellas, I feel totally stuck with chord tone solo, I think I can follow some changes with decent mental agility and without losing the swing feel (most of the time) but I dont know how to make progress and start developing more ideas, motifs, more linear lines and less arpeggio... etc... I just recorded myself so you can see what Im talking about, based on all the things you are.



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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Nice overhand technique! (had me confused for a sec!) I think you sound fine with your chord tone ideas, but yeah, you could do with some other moves to break it up a bit... Myself, I try to work on my chromatics by trying to work out ways to play all 12 notes in a way that still speaks the chord of the moment. There's lots of ways, start with enclosures and passing notes, check out Barry Harris, or just maybe make up your own ideas.

    If chromatics aren't your thing, then super impose alternative changes over the vanilla ones. Also, work in some of your favourite "language" from your fave players. Turn your fave lines into devices and play them through cycles. Then, as others will surely chime in and agree with, you can try to sound melodic without strictly spelling out each chord. Naturally, those who like to "skate" over changes don't always sound convincing, but if you weave in and out of it, you can. In fact, every top player does this to some degree, right? Easier said than done...

  4. #3
    Thanks prince, Ima going to start experimenting with passing tones and chromatics more, I actually did some in that video but using chord tones to me is like a mental preset, like a box and its hard for me to combine that with melodies and stuff, coming from blues/rock, its another world.



  5. #4

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    Hi Basshead. I don't think that sounds hokey at all. But to answer your question, check this lesson. It's called utilizing enclosures. They're tiny phrases which target chord tones in the next chord. This adds content which deviates from chord tones or diatonic sounding playing and it sounds sophisticated to lead into tones other than the root. The example is at 7 minutes with introductory examples before that.


  6. #5
    Thanks Clint, that lesson looks really cool and deep, oh btw what do you mean by hokey? good or bad?

    Hey Princeplanet, thanks for mention Barry, Im watching this talk he did in my country and its freaking me out!


  7. #6

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    You're welcome. What I meant is that the issue you mentioned isn't making you sound bad from being too diatonic.

    Another way to improve is to develop your phrases. Play a phrase, then force yourself to either play or make up a phrase which builds on the previous one instead of only looking for the next notes which will fit.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 07-27-2021 at 04:27 PM.

  8. #7
    Thanks Clint, developing phrases and motifs is hard but pays off, is like scat singing, you may suck at the beginning but it really helps, the thing is that if I have to develop a ritmic phrase... mmm it might be ok, but if I have to follow the changes with chord tones keeping the motif or ritmic idea going... then I find that too hard.

  9. #8

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    Hey Basshead... so I can hear the somewhat vanilla changes you were playing...
    Dbma7 (Abmaj)
    C-7 F7
    Bb-7 D-7 G7
    Cmaj7 etc..

    But yea to me... it's like vanilla, by that I mean there is nothing going on, your just spelling chords, with vanilla rhythmic ideas. Not bad... but you might as well just play chords with with no organization of how to use them.

    Playing is difficult, you go through the learning stage of getting chord tones together. Kind of where you are, that's how I was taught as a kid, but performing isn't about spelling changes or playing correct notes and resolutions etc.. that is about learning basics of music. Performing is about creating musical ideas with musical organization and then creating musical relationships with those organized ideas and developing them.

    Generally you start with the space in which your playing. The Form. Organization of space your performing in.

    I could hear your rhythmic ideas, and the repetition or perception of... That's good. And part of performing. The next step is using that aspect of a musical idea, (repetition of a rhythmical idea or rhythmic motif), with organization.

    You can start micro... use of that idea in short sections of time or space with organization. OK you can spell changes, cool. Now work on actually raising the level of what your doing with that skill. Take two chord... Chord Patterns, like II V's, I IV's, I bVII's etc.... And start using those chord tones and add the extensions.

    When you start using extensions don't just use them as embellishments , use them with Harmonic Musical Organization.... What that means is... the extensions, the embellishments, Have Harmonic Organization. They imply more than basic Vanilla changes.... they have Harmonic organization. Which implies musical organization of Space.
    The Chord patterns and how your performing, with them have and can imply Function, which means your using the space with defined guidelines of how different locations react, musically react.

    Your creating a Spatial Reference... that repeats. Simple example.... two bars. The 1st bar is Tonic or at rest and the 2nd bar is Dominant or unstable. Strong weak

    The simple concept is organized use of Space with Shape. The Shape is just organized use of that space.

    There are a lot of skills involved... but sounds like you can play. The general problem with most... it rhythmic skills.

    On guitar rhythmic skills generally come from picking skills.

    If anything sound interesting... just ask.

  10. #9
    Thanks Reg, Im playing all the things you are, Fm7 Bbm7... if you listen again you can probably follow the changes, if not, thats the main issue right there LOL

    So you mainly think my problem is rhythmic skills, interesting, about picking, I can pick really fast believe me, I can go 230bmp with different exercises, I come from that shreding world but hey, I might have problems I cant see, about swing feel, do you think Im going out of the pocket? you can hear the loop behind me, rush/drag? or just not clear?

    I get the idea of strong weak and space, not easy to do when trying to spell the changes so Ima gonna start focusing on just two chords and try to repeat some motifs and ideas instead of noodle around the changes, which supposed to be the holy grail for people like metheny or stern, at least to be able to spell the changes so you know where you are if you strech the gum, if you know what I mean.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    What I meant is that the issue you mentioned isn't making you sound bad from being too diatonic. Another way to improve is to develop your phrases. Play a phrase, then force yourself to either play or make up a phrase which builds on the previous one instead of only looking for the next notes which will fit.
    And there’s nothing wrong with “being diatonic” if it says what you want to say. Johnny Smith was a pretty diatonic player (in both senses of “pretty”) and he made some fine music. I recommend watching and living with this YouTube video of a 1960 recording by him of All The Things You Are that displays a transcription of his playing.


    Once you get past the orchestral drama and reach his solo at 1:28, you’ll find a nicely developed improvisation that’s an extension and development of your own approach. He’s “just” running the triads, but it’s so much more than an exercise.

    As I suggested to you in your blues thread, you might do well to learn a few of the licks you enjoy hearing (starting with that JS video, since it shows you the score). Play them again and again, first along with the original and then a cappella, at all tempos and in all keys, to get them into your muscle memory. As you do this, you’ll naturally find alternative notes and rhythmic patterns that will expand your concepts and chops at the same time.

    We used to learn from records by playing them at half speed (33s at 16) to slow them down. Today, you can control playback speed of digital files with simple digital players and not have to put up with the pitch drop. When I was 13, I spent most of my practice time for over 6 months memorizing as much of The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery as I could play exactly (and learning to fudge the parts I couldn’t yet play). It’s probably the most progress I ever made toward competence, and I still cop a few licks a month from recordings in my continuous struggle to get better. Try it - you’ll probably like it.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Basshead
    Thanks Reg, Im playing all the things you are, Fm7 Bbm7... if you listen again you can probably follow the changes, if not, thats the main issue right there LOL

    So you mainly think my problem is rhythmic skills, interesting, about picking, I can pick really fast believe me, I can go 230bmp with different exercises, I come from that shreding world but hey, I might have problems I cant see, about swing feel, do you think Im going out of the pocket? you can hear the loop behind me, rush/drag? or just not clear?

    I get the idea of strong weak and space, not easy to do when trying to spell the changes so Ima gonna start focusing on just two chords and try to repeat some motifs and ideas instead of noodle around the changes, which supposed to be the holy grail for people like metheny or stern, at least to be able to spell the changes so you know where you are if you strech the gum, if you know what I mean.
    Hey I didn't say You have lousy picking technique... my comment was in general, about most guitarist. I thought I said you could already play. Sorry if sounded like I implied anything different.

    But ... that being said, I have lots of skills and have pretty good ears.... I just said what I heard... if I knew what you were playing, I would have had a Reference for what you were playing, and would easily have made the connection.

    I obviously didn't and just said what I heard. Sorry.

    Yea... get away from noodling as fast as possible. Two chord vamps are great for getting up to speed, and eventually two chords become 4, then sections of a Form... and eventually your playing will naturally reflect Form with Shape.

    I'm not a believer of the slow then fast approach... Most just never get to that faster stage. And by fast I just mean playing jazz tunes at tempo.

    Again the spelling changes is just an early step in learning how to play, just like arpeggios and scales etc... It's pretty rare to have audiences say... man that was beautiful or wow... I could really hear you spelling the changes.

    Unless you perform for guitar players... LOL.

    Yea... I get the stretch thing, and the strong weak aspect is also just a starting point, one of many references for developing and shaping your playing.... from the micro two chords or two motifs to complete macro tune forms.

    Most of these musical organizational things are just BS to help train one from using the noodle organization ten step approach... of which I'm also very good at LOL.

    Post some examples of chord pattern playing... I'll try and also post example using from yours with physical examples of what I'm talking about. Sometimes it's easier to see and hear.

  13. #12
    Thanks Reg, I agree with all you say but one thing, noodling around the chord tones spelling the changes with a nice swing feel sounds cool to me and sounds like music to a lot of musicians.

    By chord pattern meaning comping? or you want me to record myself improv over a 2 chord vamp from youtube to see what I can do?
    Last edited by Basshead; 07-29-2021 at 05:28 AM.

  14. #13

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    Hey man... all good.

    Chord patterns are just that... anything that has 2 or more chords that has become through usage...common practice functional. Functional meaning... the series of chords can be used as or like... One Chord.

    Like II V's. (ex. D-7 to G7).... through common practice, we as jazz players, composers, arrangers etc... know and accept that... that chord pattern can have predetermined usages.

    There are a few possibilities of what that chord pattern can be, (how it functions when used). And those possibilities define what and where the choice of notes are from.

    ex. that D-7 G7, can be...
    -vanilla chord tones and embellishments
    -vanilla chord tones and diatonic extensions... Dorian and Mixo
    -chord tones and extensions from relative or parallel minor references
    -modal chord tones and extensions
    -Blue note chord tones and extensions, and where and what the BN's are derived from.

    The point is Chord Patterns have possibilities of what they imply musically. That II V could use the II- or the V7 chord as the tonal reference ... or even the implied Target... the I chord.

    Where I'm going is that simple 2 chord vamps can and usually do become much more through using Chord Patterns, which are standard jazz common practice of improv.... both melodically and harmonically. (soloing or comping).

    That's basically where vanilla chord tone noodling term comes from. Not bad or good etc... but very different.

    If you take the current jam tune Spain... that's why I suggested just playing the Gmaj7 to F#7 vamp.... there are many possibilities of where to pull noted from. and the rest of the changes are like a turnaround a large chord pattern, which can be influenced by what one does with that 2 chord vamp, the Gma and F#7 .

    Anyway... I would generally not suggest using backing tracts... best to make your own so you can make your choice of how you want to develop the vamp.

    It's not really about what you can do... it more about learning possibilities of where you can go. To help expand your use of chord tones and develop improv that's more fun and interesting. And musically organized approaches of how to get there.

    And eventually take those skills to gigs, performance etc..

  15. #14
    Thanks Reg, Ima start focusing on basic ii v then, see if I can make something that sounds like music.

    What about those parallel minor? is like the minor approach Martino stuff?