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  1. #1

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    Hi all.

    Was thinking of tackling this slightly intimidating tune at some point. There's a Wolf Marshall and a Joe Diorio book - anyone got any experience with either of them? Are they both pretty good or is one a standout? Or any other suggestions? I've got a Pat Metheney version as well as the original to work through, but was thinking of getting one of these books as a sort of reference/study aid.

    Cheers

    David

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    The tune is simpler than you might think...there's been a lot written on it, but my suggestions for starting out would be:

    Analyze some of Coltrane's solo on it - you'd be surprised how simple and somewhat repetitive it is. Seeing the patterns makes it just a little bit less intimidating, as you realize you don't have to come up with something really clever for each chord.

    Memorize the form...even after I had been playing this tune at gigs for a while I still found myself just forgetting the order of key centers in the last 8 bars. If you look at the starting chord of every two measures you see a pattern through out the form - |: B, Eb, G, B, Eb, G, B, Eb : |

    Start really slow and just try to play simple things that hit the changes well. I really think with this tune that it makes sense to just play it really straight to start - and at a slower tempo - before you get too crazy.

  4. #3

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    Here's my Giant Steps story...
    I was doing a part time jazz Diploma course a few years ago and TBH most of the content was already embedded in my playing, so I spent my one-to-one sessions with a tutor going over Giant Steps to push myself, it'd always been a tune I wanted to tackle, but was intimidating. After biting the bullet I am now able to play over the changes, and fairly convincingly too! (only fairly).
    My road to getting to that point consisted of a few different things.
    Listening to the tune over and over again, literally hundreds of times, on my ipod, in the background, I even had it as my ringtone!
    Learning to comp the tune, using lots of voicings, as many small overlapping chords as I could, and also playing the head chord melody style.
    Thinking about the construction, it was an enlightenment realising it's mostly II V I's, and the three keys it consists of.
    Slotting in the II V I's, singing over them, practising II V I's a hell of a lot more than I was used to.
    PLaying the Coltrane I II III V lines over the progression, flipping them, inverting them, linking them together.
    Endlessly looping the Aebersold backing track and playing, for hours on end.
    LATER I actually started to improvise over the changes.
    I probably have spent more time on this tune than any other one, and I have benefited in so many ways.
    About 3 years ago I got hold of the Wolf Marshall book, and it added to my knowledge greatly, some really creative lines in it, linking the sections of the tune, and beneficial to jazz playing in general. A very rational analysis of the tune, well explained.
    Haven't seen the Diorio book I'm afraid, so no comment.
    Last edited by colski; 08-01-2012 at 10:39 AM.

  5. #4

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    The Joe DiOrio book is cool, but is geared toward someone who's bored with all the usual things they play on Giant Steps and want some unusual stuff to play. I think you'd get the most out of it after you're comfortable with the basics, like being able to play a R-2-3-5 pattern on all the changes.

    You can download a Mike Stern solo here Solo Transcriptions (Guitar) « saxopedia

  6. #5
    Thanks all for your input - really really helpful

    I will crack on with the head and get a feel for the chords I think - probably a good start as suggested!

    Cheers again

    David

  7. #6

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    Hi friend I just don’t know much about both of them .i really enjoyed tune of both guitarist. I will suggest you to listen once and then decide yourself.


    classical vs acoustic Archives - Starland Guitar

  8. #7

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    Hello DJL,

    Obviously it is vital to study Coltrane's solo and really absorb the changes and the many ways to get through them. Having said that, and if after having done that, one of the challenges from a guitar point of view is not to make it sound just like a mechanical exercise, and make sure the aim is still to create some 'music'.

    If you have a drum machine with a latin setting, I would suggest you try playing along to the changes with a latin feel, as opposed to just a straight ahead feel. What this will do is allow you to breath more naturally phrasing-wise, without the compulsion to fill in every quarter note, through every chord change, ala trane. Later on you can always come back to playing in a 4/4 straight ahead feel and playing more quarter notes if you are up for it, but you will find that you should start hearing it more musically, instead of mechanically, simply by taking this latin step. You will probably enjoy it more too as you learn, and not beat yourself up as much in a straight ahead format, as it slowly comes together.

  9. #8

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    Good ol' Joe.


  10. #9

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    Nice JP recording, thanks, BigDaddy!

  11. #10

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    The best thing for Giant Steps (or really any jazz related thing) is to steer away from "guitar concepts for so and so". There's some exceptions, but the reason us guitarists have hard times playing lines and things like that is because we think of interval stuff and position playing, rather than playing melodies which is what a sax man would do.
    My suggestion, and what got me going, is to transcribe a solo. The coltrane one is obviously first choice, but there's some other good ones. The Bernstein one suggested is great. I know Pete and he's a guy that doesn't plays through positions. The Pat Metheny solo on the 99 trio album is a great one too.
    After that, take write your own lines for Giant Steps changes. For different parts of the tune (by write them out, I really mean take a piece of sheet music, and a pencil and really write it out. Analyze what each note is in relationship to the chord it's on). Remember to start basic. No alterations, straight Ionian, Dorian, and Mixolydian. After that you can make little alterations, such as lydian for ionian, or adding passing tones.

    The Pat Metheny solos are really weird, but even he doesn't use many alterations over Giant Steps.
    Last edited by jtizzle; 09-08-2012 at 06:32 PM.

  12. #11
    Check out these versions, what an amazing player !





  13. #12

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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tstrahle
    Interesting ! I'll check it out. Like the chord (Eb6) in the 18th fret, hope I'll get it properly.

    Greetings from France

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by raetiger2992
    Interesting ! I'll check it out. Like the chord (Eb6) in the 18th fret, hope I'll get it properly.

    Greetings from France
    We love France. Taken the family to Paris twice. Thinking about going to Corsica.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by tstrahle
    We love France. Taken the family to Paris twice. Thinking about going to Corsica.
    I'm living in Brittany (Bretagne), in the north-west of France. Unfortunately I never went to Corsica ...

    Nice jazzguitar-talk !

  17. #16

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    Hey DJL you may also want to invest in the Aebersold Countdown to Giant Steps play- along book. It has a lot of helpful excercises and repetitive rhythm section loops to practcie over and then a second cd which is basically Coltrane's Sound for you to play over and learn from. It is a great resource for getting it together.I have used it for years as a sort of litmus test for where I'm at with playing challenging changes. Have Fun!!!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddy b.
    Hey DJL you may also want to invest in the Aebersold Countdown to Giant Steps play- along book. It has a lot of helpful excercises and repetitive rhythm section loops to practcie over and then a second cd which is basically Coltrane's Sound for you to play over and learn from. It is a great resource for getting it together.I have used it for years as a sort of litmus test for where I'm at with playing challenging changes. Have Fun!!!
    That's a great suggestion Eddy.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by raetiger2992
    Check out these versions, what an amazing player !



    Nice! Is it me, or is Don playing with a different right-hand position/technique in each those videos?

  20. #19

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    @Tstrahle thanks for the Giant steps chord melody.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh
    @Tstrahle thanks for the Giant steps chord melody.
    Thanks man. Have fun with it.

  22. #21

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    Here's another extremely similar chord melody version I learned many moons ago. It also made me have to admit that tab can have a valuable function when it comes to specific guitar fingerings/voicings.

    Bmaj7 D7 Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 Am7 D7
    B6/9 D6/9 Gmaj7 Bb13 Eb6/9 Am9 D6/9

    E--14---10----7----------6-------7----5---|
    B--14---10----7-----8----6-------5----5---|
    G--13----9----7-----7----5-------5----4---|
    D--13----9----5-----6----5-------5----4---|
    A-----------------------------------------|
    E-----------------------------------------|


    Gmaj7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 F#7 Bmaj7 Fm7 Bb7
    G6/9 Bb6/9 Ebmaj7 F#13 B6/9 Fm9 Bb9

    E--10----6-----3-----------2------3----1--|
    B--10----6-----3------4----2------1----1--|
    G---9----5-----3------3----1------1----1--|
    D---9----5-----1------2----1------1----0--|
    A-----------------------------------------|
    E-----------------------------------------|


    Ebmaj7 Am7 D7 Gmaj7 C#m7 F#7 Bmaj7
    Eb6/9 Am9 D6/9 G6/9 C#m9 F#9 B6/9

    E--6------7---5----10----11---9-----14---|
    B--6------5---5----10-----9---9-----14---|
    G--5------5---4-----9-----9---9-----13---|
    D--5------5---4-----9-----9---8-----13---|
    A----------------------------------------|
    E----------------------------------------|


    Fm7 Bb7 Ebmaj7 C#m7 F#7
    Fm9 Bb13b9 Eb6/9 C#m11 F#13 repeat from beginning

    E--15---15-----18-----14----14---|
    B--13---12-----18-----16----16---|
    G--13---13-----17-----16----15---|
    D--13---12-----17-----14----14---|
    A--------------------------------|
    E--------------------------------|
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 09-25-2012 at 04:00 PM.

  23. #22

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    Here is a take I did of Giant Steps using the Abersold play-along. The tempo is brisk around 308, there are also two slow versions(bossa and medium swing), but nothing really in-between.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soco
    Here is a take I did of Giant Steps using the Abersold play-along. The tempo is brisk around 308, there are also two slow versions(bossa and medium swing), but nothing really in-between.

    Nice job.