The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Next one from nevershouldhavesoldit.


    JGBE Virtual Jam (Round 82) - Mo Better Blues-bill-lee-forum-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Thank you, never, pretty tune.


  4. #3

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    Love this tune, I have a live video of it, playing with a looper. Guitar is an Elferink Tonemaster through an old Princeton reverb.


  5. #4

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    I got a sneak preview of that the other day on YouTube by accident, Alter. Very nice :-)

  6. #5

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    Fun jam kinda tune...I hear it as a gospel thing...that also sounds a little like Don McLean's "Vincent."


  7. #6

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    Kris, almost got a steel guitar vibe! Twangy honky tonk gospel...like hearing you play like this.

    Rag, definitely hear Vincent here too...very pretty.

    Alter, would never have considered this one for a solo piece...I should reconsider! Laid back, soulful, and in pocket. Great stuff.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Alter, would never have considered this one for a solo piece...I should reconsider! Laid back, soulful, and in pocket. Great stuff.
    Thanks. But of course with the looper it's kind of cheating Anything can become a solo piece as long as the form is short!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    Rag, definitely hear Vincent here too...very pretty.

    .
    Thanks...except I was playing the wrong backing rhythm. Strictly speaking, that is.

    What Alter was doing was right, it's supposed to be punchy, syncopated. I don't know what they call that, a slow jump blues? Funky? So that'll teach me to rush into things.

  10. #9

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    Incidentally, I was checking out other versions of it. To be honest, I found the track from the movie a bit lifeless. There's a nice piano version by Gordon Webster which has some feeling but very few people seem to have recorded it. That I've heard of anyway. I'm really surprised it's not more popular, especially with sax players.

    Cover versions of Mo' Better Blues written by Bill Lee [1] | SecondHandSongs

  11. #10

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    Well, I've done it again with the right rhythm. It's not as easy as it looks because, after the melody, it's a question of finding variations and improvisations. it probably needs fast, spikey runs but I'm not good at that. And to keep it up for 4 or 5 minutes without messing it up is no small thing. The other one I did was much easier because it lent itself to jazzy sounds like C7alt but, with this, I didn't even consider being adventurous till about the 4 minute mark. I think what Alter did (solo, in public) is an immense tribute to his skill.


  12. #11

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    Here we go. Fun tune -- a little Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; a little Let it Bleed (I bet Spike's dad would cringe at that comparison ...). On to checking you guys out ...

    Last edited by John A.; 08-07-2022 at 10:48 AM.

  13. #12

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    In my version I think I played:

    Cmaj7 -/- E-7 Eb-7 D-7
    D-7 G13 G#5 Cmaj7 G7 Cmaj7 G7

  14. #13

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    The temptation to not try to play "jazz" over this tune is strong.


  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    In my version I think I played:

    Cmaj7 -/- E-7 Eb-7 D-7
    D-7 G13 G#5 Cmaj7 G7 Cmaj7 G7
    Alter, sorry, would you mind if I ...?

    You did the same thing three different ways but you only looped the third one. They were all variations on the same progression but using different shapes in various positions. The second one went jazzy but the one you finally looped was straighter.

    CM7/F - C7 - FM7/Em7 - Dm7
    Dm7 - G7 - CM7/G7 - CM7/G7

    That's the absolute basic one but what you were actually doing was improvising on the chords and fills themselves as you went (which is probably why you don't remember exactly).

    Besides, it's not about 'the chords' so much as the sounds and effects they were making. The idea isn't to bash out chords but to make a musical and melodic background but not one that is going to interfere with the single string solo later.

    The problem with this sort of analysis is it becomes dry, like explaining a joke or trying to explain something spontaneous, it reduces it to something to be copied... but you weren't copying.

    I can do it but I don't know how much to write up. I can say one thing, you never used the Ebm7 :-)

    The most obvious subs are the ones for G7 -

    G11/G9 --- 3x321x - 3x320x

    G11/G7b9 --- 3x321x - 3x310x (or G13b9 if you leave the top E open --- 3x3210)

    Then

    C69/G7#5 (sometimes G13/G7#5)

    CM7/G7b9/B (like a Bo --- 7x676x)

    The other thing is your use of C/E --- x7555x --- as a fill and also two different shapes for the Dm7 and Em7:

    x5756x and x5356x


    (I actually hate all this writing it up but it might be useful to somebody!)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    The temptation to not try to play "jazz" over this tune is strong.
    Ha! With most people it's the other way round, the temptation to play blues etc over jazz

  17. #16

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    Most of my playing on this video probably comes from listening to R&B, Blues, Soul Jazz etc, idioms that I love a lot. You see a lot of double stops, mixing minor and major pentatonic, major and dominant tonalities etc in those styles. Think Al Green, Kurtis Mayfield, that sort of music..!

    Ideally when playing on a tune like that, you can pay different changes and substitutions every cycle. Of course if you loop it it makes sense for it to be something relatively simple and neutral, so you can play different stuff over it.

  18. #17

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    Absolutely, but of course the skill is playing it through without making it bland or messing it up, and you did that perfectly.

    I think when a player goes beyond just 'playing the chords' and incorporates almost an improvised solo in their playing then they've got it.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    The temptation to not try to play "jazz" over this tune is strong.

    What exactly do you mean by not playing jazz?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    What exactly do you mean by not playing jazz?
    With tunes like this, I fall into a trap of sorts, trying to shoehorn my limited bag of jazz tricks into these changes, when what I really want to do is play blues or funk the way I used to play before I started focusing on jazz—thinking too damn much instead of just playing.

  21. #20

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    John, love that "go for it" attitude...dirty tone, bends, some fast stuff...all the things I enjoy in your posts.

    Wzpgsr, nice laid back feel. This is definitely a tune where a person can try to get too fancy for their own good...short forms present their own challenge, for sure!

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    With tunes like this, I fall into a trap of sorts, trying to shoehorn my limited bag of jazz tricks into these changes, when what I really want to do is play blues or funk the way I used to play before I started focusing on jazz—thinking too damn much instead of just playing.
    Ah. I think this falls into the general category of “Doc, it hurts when I go like this. What should I do?" "Don’t go like that." My middle name is "Helpful"
    .

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    With tunes like this, I fall into a trap of sorts, trying to shoehorn my limited bag of jazz tricks into these changes, when what I really want to do is play blues or funk the way I used to play before I started focusing on jazz—thinking too damn much instead of just playing.
    I make that the key of F#! Is this self-torture??? !

    Do it in F and just use F maj/Dm pentatonic and a bit of F blues, the rest will follow naturally. Your old blues feel will come right back. You WON'T lose the jazz stuff when you get a jazz tune and swing backing again.

    Have a little faith, baby :-)

  24. #23

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    This should get the juices going


  25. #24

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    Jeff: good to have you back on board. Cool version, digging the Jerryisms.

    Wzcheezwizzhowdoyoupronouncethis: Per your comment about the trap of trying too hard to jazz things up, I do hear that a bit, but the feel is nice. I guess I’d say just let yourself stretch out a bit longer and play what you feel, not what you think you should play.

    Rags: it’s your thing, do what you wanna do.

    Kris: fun stuff

    Alter: Great stuff. Definitely digging the double stops and r&b feel, and really digging the guitar tone.

  26. #25

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    Of course, it would also be a mistake to separate jazz from blues. The blues sound is an integral part of jazz. Blues-blues may be a harder style than jazz-blues but the essential principles are the same. Certainly the scales are.