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  1. #1

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    It is well known that playing jazz involves constant work, hence the question:
    Which jazz improvisation learning strategy is the most effective for you?

    1..Listening to CDs ...?
    2. Learning from books ...?
    3. Playing live concerts ...?
    4.Internet ...?
    5.I'm not interested in that...?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    6. Thinking things through

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    6. Thinking things through
    I think so too.
    A jazz musician is like a mixing machine.
    He mixes everything and then checks how it tastes.
    Of course, everyone has a different taste.

  5. #4

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    At first I used to read charts and read chord progressions.
    When I started to play the bass guitar, I wrote walking basses. Then I stopped writing them.
    On the guitar it takes more time because every guitarist starts with tricks and shapes and it is difficult to avoid them.
    The bass helped me to play better the saxophone.
    I forgot I play sometimes the piano and for my job I play it every time but not in a jazz context, I am just comping.
    I sometimes play the melodica... and more instruments.
    Now I play gigs as a guitarist with a looper.
    I learned some standards, less than 40.
    Those standards, I play them by heart on every instrument and I use substitutions. I can say I don't read the chords, I play the tune.
    Sure it helps me to improvise. So I learn from myself and the others too but more from myself.
    Maybe, some would say I should play with others, the other day I went to a jam session I played the saxophone, the bass and the guitar. As a "guitarist" it was the first time I played live in a jazz context. Nobody figured out it was my first time until I said it.
    So what can I say ? I learn by experimenting things, I try and I try.
    Do I listen to musicians ? Difficult to say, I am not very good, I feel more than I hear, I don't hear what the others play, I just feel.
    So... I can't answer the question.
    I make little things in a bigger thing, those little things connect them each other.
    Then this big thing becomes a part of myself but I have got to check it out because it is not working so well.
    So I restart everything.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    It is well known that playing jazz involves constant work, hence the question: Which jazz improvisation learning strategy is the most effective for you?
    This one:

    Effective strategy for learning jazz improvisation ...?-sqslb-resized-jpg

  7. #6

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    A mix of listening/internalizing and playing with people better than me.

  8. #7

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    For me, it has been recording. I hear the recording and tell myself ok Clint you need to get your act together. By having a knowledge base of listening, which I think everyone on here has, I'm able to diagnose the problems. This crap has to be in time and have better rhythm, it has to hit the changes better, etc. Beyond that, my other go to ways are instructional clips on utube, or listening to players for ideas.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    This one:

    Effective strategy for learning jazz improvisation ...?-sqslb-resized-jpg
    GreaT POST!!!
    You are great!
    You improved my mood by the end of the day.
    Jazzingly Yours
    Kris
    ps.
    It's just a small animal with big ears.

  10. #9

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    1. Playing with other people.

    I use all the tools on Kris's list (except #6), but the times when I've actually improved have been when I've had regular playing situations. Even if it's just casual jams/get-togethers, or lessons with a teacher who jams with you, you need to actually play, and not just study and practice.

  11. #10

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    i just keep at it ....

    gradually you do horrible things
    less often ....

    the other day day at a rehearsal I
    had to take a solo on ‘let it snow’ in C

    it was really nasty ,embarrassing
    when packing up the bass and pno said ‘ i really liked you’re solo on ‘let it snow’ tonight ....

    weird , you just can’t judge your own stuff

    So i just keep at it , try different things etc etc

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    1. Playing with other people.

    I use all the tools on Kris's list (except #6), but the times when I've actually improved have been when I've had regular playing situations. Even if it's just casual jams/get-togethers, or lessons with a teacher who jams with you, you need to actually play, and not just study and practice.
    +1 John A,
    Playing live with people is a kind of the best jazz learning and a lot of experience.
    You have to work in a team and then it is a lot of fun.
    Best
    Kris

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    +1 John A,
    Playing live with people is a kind of the best jazz learning and a lot of experience.
    You have to work in a team and then it is a lot of fun.
    Best
    Kris
    Rob MacKillop said the same thing in a different thread.

    I have used all the tools you have mentioned except for playing with other people. I am going to have to add this to my strategy next year.

    (I know, I know -- It's always next year and has been with me for the last ten years. Maybe next year will finally come in 2022? )

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    1. Playing with other people.

    I use all the tools on Kris's list (except #6), but the times when I've actually improved have been when I've had regular playing situations. Even if it's just casual jams/get-togethers, or lessons with a teacher who jams with you, you need to actually play, and not just study and practice.
    John A has this exactly right. The way to get better is to play as often as possible with the very best players you can. If you can tolerate being the worst player in the room, you have opportunity to progress at the fastest possible pace. There's homework involved too, but it's no substitute for playing in groups.

    I have a couple of additional suggestions.

    1. Record everything and critique it.

    2. Take lessons as needed. That may be continuous study or consultation about specific issues, depending on what you have identified as an area to work on.

    3. If people aren't inviting you, then you invite them. You need a place to play. Next need is a bassist (or, maybe, a kb who can kick bass, if you can't get a bassist). Once you have a bassist you can start regular meetings. Duo with bass is fun.

    4. Around here, there are lots of musicians interested in jazz. If you have a bassist, you will need a lead instrument and drums next. Unless, you can make guitar trio interesting, which is challenging. Keyboard is optional. A second guitar might be a reasonable thing if there's no kb.

    You'll need regulars and subs to avoid having to cancel a lot.

    5. Here are the keys to getting people to want to come back:

    a. Get interesting charts to play, not just RB pages. There are lots of sources. They can't be too easy. Most musicians want to be challenged if they're going to play for free.

    b. Tell people it's a workshop, not a jam. The difference is, you're open to doing things over if they don't come out right.

    c. Make sure the bassist and drummer are very happy with each other. If they aren't, you risk losing both of them.

    d. Have recordings available that you can listen to as a group. Especially important for nailing grooves.

    e. Try to do it the same time every week.

    f. If people aren't having fun, change something.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 11-26-2021 at 09:29 PM.

  15. #14

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    In short, it's best to find a job for your band.
    Only the basic condition has to be met:
    The owner of the venue for your band is passionate about jazz.

  16. #15

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    About bands, I disagree, as a saxophonist I tried various configurations. Every time there is a problem, when it is not a musical one it's something else.
    Nobody takes the time to listen to the other ones.
    As a saxophonist when more than two people are comping it's a mess.
    Piano and bass : the pianist wants to play too low or to play a solo at the same time, it doesn't work.
    Guitar and bass : no dynamics, the guitarist plays all the time.

    As a bass player, it was better, until they wanted me to play the saxophone instead.

    One day I met a guitarist, you may know what a guitarist is. It's the only person who knows everything and pushes down the others, it's also the first one who believes that everyone's dragging when he's rushing, that it's better to play ABA forms during his solos, that the métronome is wrong...
    Exaggeration ? Not a lot.

    How can you improve ?
    The looper is the best tool.
    It's just my opinion.
    The words are "possibilities" and "experimentation".

  17. #16

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    For me it starts by listening to a ton of jazz. Listen to everything jazz, then listen to all the other styles that have influenced the jazz idiom. Learn the history of the music and the players, and what each one added to it.

    Then you obviously have to practice the guitar, learn how to play the music. By far the best things for me have been learning and playing tunes, and transcribing solos.

    Then comes playing with other musicians, and the realization that jazz playing is all about listening and reacting, a constant collective improvisation. You practice all the things you do, so you can react to what the band is playing in the best possible way.

    Then with live playing, comes a second realization, that music is not about you, not about the band, but about everyone involved, so the audience as well. We all create it together, it's a physical and spiritual communion, the greatest joy of being a musician.

    Then you go home... practice more..!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    Piano and bass : the pianist wants to play too low or to play a solo at the same time, it doesn't work.
    Lol. Spot on. Pianists can't figure out how to leave enough room below middle C cuz they're used to playing by themselves and they can't improvise sparser or higher voicings on the fly.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    About bands, I disagree, as a saxophonist I tried various configurations. Every time there is a problem, when it is not a musical one it's something else.
    Nobody takes the time to listen to the other ones.
    As a saxophonist when more than two people are comping it's a mess.
    Piano and bass : the pianist wants to play too low or to play a solo at the same time, it doesn't work.
    Guitar and bass : no dynamics, the guitarist plays all the time.

    As a bass player, it was better, until they wanted me to play the saxophone instead.

    One day I met a guitarist, you may know what a guitarist is. It's the only person who knows everything and pushes down the others, it's also the first one who believes that everyone's dragging when he's rushing, that it's better to play ABA forms during his solos, that the métronome is wrong...
    Exaggeration ? Not a lot.

    How can you improve ?
    The looper is the best tool.
    It's just my opinion.
    The words are "possibilities" and "experimentation".
    This is the tough start to playing in a band, and it's hard to disagree.
    These are the people.
    Finding the right musicians who play well and are nice is also a challenge for a musician.
    There is a rule - play with those who are better than you.
    Often this can only be a jazz fantasy.Life is life.
    Playing with the machine / looper / solves many problems to some extent.
    .....but if there is no electricity, you are alone.
    You can only say to the looper, 'You've played beautifully - don't leave me.'

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    For me it starts by listening to a ton of jazz. Listen to everything jazz, then listen to all the other styles that have influenced the jazz idiom. Learn the history of the music and the players, and what each one added to it.

    Then you obviously have to practice the guitar, learn how to play the music. By far the best things for me have been learning and playing tunes, and transcribing solos.

    Then comes playing with other musicians, and the realization that jazz playing is all about listening and reacting, a constant collective improvisation. You practice all the things you do, so you can react to what the band is playing in the best possible way.

    Then with live playing, comes a second realization, that music is not about you, not about the band, but about everyone involved, so the audience as well. We all create it together, it's a physical and spiritual communion, the greatest joy of being a musician.

    Then you go home... practice more..!
    This is a perfect case.
    Often very difficult to implement for various reasons.
    There may, for example, be great artist-musicians who can mix things up in the band.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Lol. Spot on. Pianists can't figure out how to leave enough room below middle C cuz they're used to playing by themselves and they can't improvise sparser or higher voicings on the fly.
    A pianist in a band is completely different from a pianist playing solo.
    Often, the so-called solo pianists are completely unable to cope with the rhythm and band feeling.

  22. #21

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    We can ask ourselves: what does team play mean to you?
    I mean jazz music...no sport.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    There is a rule - play with those who are better than you.
    Often this can only be a jazz fantasy.Life is life.
    Playing with the machine / looper / solves many problems to some extent.
    .....but if there is no electricity, you are alone.
    You can only say to the looper, 'You've played beautifully - don't leave me.'
    They are busy, I barely know where they are and they have never known I was here.
    About the looper, the looper never plays by itself, it just plays what you play.
    I can play without but it is not very fun for the audience.
    Sometimes it isn't fun at all with.
    Last edited by Lionelsax; 11-27-2021 at 06:41 AM.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    We can ask ourselves: what does team play mean to you?
    I mean jazz music...no sport.
    It's like making love, having fun by experimenting, discovering what we can do and figuring out it works well when there is a kind of understanding.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    They are busy, I barely know where they are and they have never known I was here.
    About the looper, the looper never plays by itself, it just plays what you play.
    I can play without but it is not very fun for the audience.
    Sometimes it doesn't fun at all with.
    I know how looper works because I also use it.
    I have a very advanced looper, where I can practically install dozens of ready-made backing tracks.
    I practice with this looper a lot.I also record my guitar loops directly at a concert.
    Cool .

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I know how looper works because I also use it.
    I have a very advanced looper, where I can practically install dozens of ready-made backing tracks.
    I practice with this looper a lot.I also record my guitar loops directly at a concert.
    Cool .
    I've got the cheapest one I found. Sometimes it stops working by a kind of freezing.