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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Someone here saying in a guitar forum that guitar players bore him? Pretty wild.
    Just to elaborate, maybe bore is not the right word. I listened a lot to jazz guitar over the years. Wes and Jim Hall are probably my favorites. These guys blow me away when I listen to them. But, in jazz, the players I find myself listening to over and over again are not guitar players.

    So, like Prince said, the music I'd like to play doesn't originate on guitar.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    "I just wanna play what I hear in my head - in real time! " prince planet

    Hi, P,
    Wonderful post (#24) by the way! I'm beginning to believe that how you learn, for many, is a generational thing. And, I never felt this way until I began reading many of the posts on JGF a couple years ago. This "New School" takes an art form and reduces it to a math equation. They pair scales, chords, modes as if they're completing a jig saw puzzle and when they're finished, their music all sounds the same. Predictable, banal, pedestrian. Then, once they're confident with their new found success, they rush to YT and begin posting to become the next YT phenom. Now, I'm not criticizing pedagogy which is an important aspect to personal growth but rather that the results of pedagogy do not constitute Art per se . . . they're merely a road taken in the formative years to find your personal voice("what I hear in my head").
    My generation(Baby Boomers) ,and older, did not eschew pedagogy ,in the least, but rather used it as a stepping stone to begin playing to get your first paid gig. We learned by playing the songs, over and over, and the evolution of our playing either progressed or it didn't. Simple. The better musicians got the best opportunities and played in working bands. The rest were delegated to garage band status. However, we continued to work on our personal sound and listened to as many of our favorite musicians "live" in clubs as possible. But, the difference ,then, was that live paid performance opportunities were everywhere--even for the less talented musicians. You could cut your teeth on a real audience, in a real club . . . warts and all . . . contrary to the virtual world that musicians are living in today. So, the goals were clearly different.
    I often think about my old landlord ,PZ, who began playing professionally with the Charlie Barnett Band when he was 18 and was one of the three top bassists in Chicago for his 65 year career. He played Jazz gigs, weddings, Shriner Circus, company picnics, the Chicago Lyric Opera-full time, Broadway shows, conventions, Ringling Bros. circus, Masonic conventions, inaugurations, polka gigs, German clubs, union conventions and played in pit bands that featured Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, etc. He once told me that he had played "Misty" , and other standards, 10 to 15 thousand times in his life and never carried music with him to any gig. So, how could today's "musicians" compare their virtual world to the experience of working live with thousands of diverse musicians over the course of a lifetime and the priceless give and take of those musical experiences? So, do you think what he "heard in his head" as a musician, as prince planet remarked, was the same or different from today's musicians? Do you see why some of us dislike so many of the younger, robotic players today who have experienced music in a virtual pathway rather than playing live?
    A final remark: one of my favorite performances of all time was Miles Davis" 1964 rendition of "My Funny Valentine" which is one of the most creative performances in the history of Jazz. Geez, I wonder how he mixed all those scales?? Enjoy
    Play live . . . Marinero




  4. #28

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    Compared to trumpets and saxophones the guitar has a sort of "abstract" or more "straight laced" kind of sound. I think a lot of that comes from breath instruments being able to produce changes in dynamics continuously, even throughout a single note. The guitar is more like a piano, the dynamics are set from the beginning of each note; to further manage dynamics you have to play more notes.

    My favorite guitarists are the ones that embrace the guitaristic aspects of the instrument and utilize it, develop it, and express it, rather than fight it and attempt to overcome it or suppress it. I'm referring to the mechanics but not technique - just treating the instrument physically as a string instrument.

    This does not necessarily extend to the conceptual approach to the instrument. The freedom to musically conceive entails the challenge to make one's conceptions manifest through the particular instrument. Part of that challenge on the guitar is not so much guitaristic as technique-istic... one's hard earned technique may have been acquired from the "stock repertoire" of "stock conceptions", so a novel conception may not have familiar footing in one's current technique (or one's novel conceptions may be limited to current footing in one's technique).

    Think about when you are working on something and having some trouble - is the problem conceptual (compositional/improvisational) or is it technique-ical (physical mechanical execution)?

  5. #29

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    Having come to guitar for the second time in my life years ago from the piano, I have taken that keyboard approach to the guitar, and have a harder time with guitaristic stuff as is found in rock music. My own conception simply doesn’t generally use hammer ons, pull offs, bends and whatnot since that was not the sound in my head when I came back from the keys to the guitar. I have to actively work on that stuff which is really backwards. I suppose if I hear something, whether a piano voicing I like or a single note thing from some other instrument, it doesn’t matter. I’ll find a way to approximate it on the guitar enough to satisfy my ears. The key is not thinking inside the box I guess, when I first came to the guitar I worried of the harmonic limitations, but that’s only a matter of your own ear and creativity I found out eventually. Look at Alan holdsworth or Ed bickert or george van eps. It’s only a means to an end like all instruments. And I will say, having played piano, I do not have “piano envy.” I love the piano, but do not miss playing it whenever I get my hands on one these days.

  6. #30

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    @pauln,

    you’re very right about what guitarists generally learn. It’s too often so guitar focused that it’s very difficult to conceptualize outside that framework. We need more lesson material that breaks the chains of the limitations of thinking through only the lens of the guitar. One of my own projects right now is devising ways of teaching the guitar in a way that’s not necessarily so guitar focused so that a student can take the guitar in whatever direction they want. I’m not sure how to do it but I’m sure thinking about what the answer might be.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcharles
    Having come to guitar for the second time in my life years ago from the piano, I have taken that keyboard approach to the guitar, and have a harder time with guitaristic stuff as is found in rock music. My own conception simply doesn’t generally use hammer-ons, pull offs, bends, and whatnot since that was not the sound in my head when I came back from the keys to the guitar. I have to actively work on that stuff which is really backwards. I suppose if I hear something, whether a piano voicing I like or a single note thing from some other instrument, it doesn’t matter. I’ll find a way to approximate it on the guitar enough to satisfy my ears. The key is not thinking inside the box I guess, when I first came to the guitar I worried of the harmonic limitations, but that’s only a matter of your own ear and creativity I found out eventually. Look at Alan holdsworth or Ed bickert or george van eps. It’s only a means to an end like all instruments. And I will say, having played piano, I do not have “piano envy.” I love the piano, but do not miss playing it whenever I get my hands on one these days.
    I think the piano is a great instrument to inform ones playing of the guitar. The piano has to be the king of playing/understanding harmony and melody. Guitar is perhaps the king of articulations (bends, slides, hammer-ons, harmonics, growls, etc. lions and tigers and bears), IMO. Piano and guitar seems to be a good double.

  8. #32

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    I wonder if any of that is necessarily the case. I’m in two minds

    i think it’s absolute folly to try and conceptualise the guitar too much like the piano; you’ll throw out the baby with the bath water and spend years trying to force square pegs into round holes. Otoh my absolutely basic jazz piano skills have been super helpful with jazz guitar in all sorts of ways.

    is not wonderful that we play an instrument where a C major scale can be played a hundred different ways? And also, how much of pain in the bottom is that?

  9. #33

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    I think of instruments as "sound makers" that are applied to music. electronic/computerized filters have been adapted to many instruments and from there layered over
    musical settings.

    pure "acoustic" music has a magical quality all its own..in all styles..to hear Bach played on any instrument is spell binding to me..

    amplified and effects modified music to me is trying to create the magic of an orchestra..where one sound morphs into different and multiple sounds giving the illusion of more than one player

    the electric guitar became a prime example of this aspect..mainly because it is an very intimate instrument - one that you can "hold close" to you and feel the wood react and with the
    ability to bend strings and use fretboard tricks .. it became almost magical at producing sounds no other instrument could make..and in the hands of extraordinary players who have
    advanced technical abilities as well as the musical knowledge of how to apply harmonic/melodic/rhythmic forces in their playing

    where the evolution of music and technology will be in the near and far future is something I wish I could be part of ..as listener and musician

  10. #34

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    Lately, I've been listening to "Get Me Joe Beck". Live album, done in one evening in a small club. Guitar trio. Joe hadn't played with the bassist or drummer before. They played hoary standards.

    Should be boring, right?

    Absolutely the opposite. There are a couple of moments where I thought "guitar trick", but the bulk of the album is stunning and I'm thinking about the harmony and melody and not how Joe got there. Also, the interplay between the musicians, creating this music on the fly.

    Amazon.com

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Lately, I've been listening to "Get Me Joe Beck". Live album, done in one evening in a small club.
    That album sure is a jewel!

  12. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Compared to trumpets and saxophones the guitar has a sort of "abstract" or more "straight laced" kind of sound. I think a lot of that comes from breath instruments being able to produce changes in dynamics continuously, even throughout a single note. The guitar is more like a piano, the dynamics are set from the beginning of each note; to further manage dynamics you have to play more notes....
    Can't say I agree: you can bend and color notes many ways on guitar---in that simulated air column way I broached in the OP, or a in purely guitaristic way. But I find it anything but straight-laced or set---and, more to the point, the misconception that one HAS to play more notes---for WHATEVER reason---is the exact trap that leads to the ennui the previous poster complained about. (And---being that he mentioned Jim Hall, at least in part the reason why Hall averred in print that he found guitar players boring. I KNOW he found guitar retread licks boring. He never played them)...

  13. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by dcharles
    @pauln,

    you’re very right about what guitarists generally learn. It’s too often so guitar focused that it’s very difficult to conceptualize outside that framework. We need more lesson material that breaks the chains of the limitations of thinking through only the lens of the guitar. One of my own projects right now is devising ways of teaching the guitar in a way that’s not necessarily so guitar focused so that a student can take the guitar in whatever direction they want. I’m not sure how to do it but I’m sure thinking about what the answer might be.
    You bring to mind a very thought-provoking quote from Tom Harrell in a 1997 DB interview (paraphrased): 'Through education we learn to stay within the 'assigned' roles of our instruments. Yet Ornette Coleman speaks of using horns as rhythm instruments; (Mal Waldron? Just went looking for the issue, couldn't find it) speaks of using the piano as a drum....'

    He goes it one further in his last statement, and we'd all best listen: 'They tell you there's nothing new, it's all been done, but I don't think like that. You just have to find the magical spaces in the music'...

  14. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I like Reinier Baas and I can’t think of a guitarist who uses the guitar more and yet sounds original.
    Agree! I believe him to be a trend-setter. He's fresh and new AND grounded in what's here already. The 1st guy to turn my head since Toninho Horta...

  15. #39

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    Oh, I think guitar players are painfully boring, but only because they're aping the wrong shit.