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  1. #1
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    Wes Montgomery Wes Montgomery-style Chord Solos

    Feedback and questions about this lesson:

    Wes Montgomery-Style Chord Solos

  2. #2
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    Looks like a great lesson, but above my head at this point.

  3. #3
    StraightNoChaser Guest
    This is the greatest way to jazz up any tune in your repertoire and a great way to advance your playing and bring a solo to great finale before going back into the 'head' and out,better still to do a couple of choruses in octaves as Wes the master did.I find that after you have susses the scales that are approriate,you can begin to see the patterns of the chordal lines that can be used,and there are patterns,scalar and also chromatic movements with chords.You also find yourself having to find new chordal lines to use rather than falling into using the same ones thus relieving boredom with a tune and your 'style'.Anyone not with Jim Bastians book in hand should remedy the hole in their library as soon as possible,although I think there are similar 'drop2' type publications around but believe me you need only this volume to be able to very effectively impliment this technique.It is the single most important book to enter my life (certainly as far as music is concerned) that I can remember.Time and perseverance with this technique yeald rewards upon rewards for your efforts especially as it makes for being able to lengthen your solos when you are a solitary player such as myself,when you can 'dance' with chords,for it is the greatest feeling as a guitarist .It also opens up places where you can see arpeggios and thus increasing your knowledge of the fretboard.Start with a blues and progress from there.

  4. #4
    Excellent!

  5. #5
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    Jim Bastion books

    I have been reviewing the first 2 of Jim Bastion's 3 Chord Melody books and have found them to be both very informative and useful in terms of practical chord melody phrasing techniques. These books are probably most useful for mid to advanced level chord melody guitar studies.

    wiz
    Howie

  6. #6
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    Great looking lesson. I'll have to find time for this--love Wes's playing.
    "So, never practice something you can play correctly at moderate tempo. No point: you can play it." ?Christian Miller, guitarist and teacher

  7. #7
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    Wes was an absolute genius on guitar. Hasn't been a jazz guitarist like since IMHO! And to think he did all of his stuff by ear only! Wow!!

  8. #8
    I agree ,very interesting lesson. Fist bit fine but then I started to get brain fade. Will re-visit in future months when I hopefully will have improved enough to understand.

  9. #9
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    I have Jim's first chordal bebop lines book, and have copped a couple off of it. I need to go back and get more. It really is a cool resource. Great lesson for our site.

  10. #10
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    Jim Bastion

    Hi Derek,

    I have the first two books in his chordal bebop series and I have really enjoyed working through them. There is a lot of very good chord techniques for both chord melody and comping in these books. I highly recommend them.

    wiz
    Howie

  11. #11
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    For whatever it's worth, I purchased all 3 of his books and they seem pretty good. I have not worked through any of them yet, though. I am just a total book whore and I'll pretty much buy anything. :-0

  12. #12
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    Say hello to everyone!I'm a jazz guitar fan who comes from China.I feel very happy to talk with you.At the same time,I'm still a beginner,so I really precious need a hand from everyone.Thank you!

  13. #13
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    Wes Montgomery, was the best, he still inspire me every day to play my Guitar

    Regards
    Tux

  14. #14
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    Hi Hike, welcome to the site.

    And tux, you better believe it! Wes was the best!

  15. #15
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    Hi FatJeff,thank you
    Wes is my hero,his works are human-based,very brilliant!
    And Mr.Pat Metheny,I like,too!

  16. #16
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    Yes Hiko, Wes is definitely my favorite guitar player. I really like Pat Metheny too, just totally different music - I only have one of his albums (Bright Size Life), but it is definitely great listening.

  17. #17
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    Wes Montgomery Wes Montgomery

    Have any of you ever tried the Wes Octave solos on either 99centguitar.com or guitar college4u .com ? I found some interesting lessons on Wes style on here.

  18. #18
    StraightNoChaser Guest
    Hey man,once you got the technique and overcome the muscle cramps (hahaha) its better surely to develope then your own soloing style with either and/or octaves/chords etc....I sure ain't into copying anyone.Transcribing solos surely should be just to learn what type of stuff is going on re;chords/scales etc.Never into learning someone else's solos note for note,not even Wes( I'm sure he would have agreed) otherwise its not improvisation ! Is that vicarious ? anyhows by this stage in musical history...its impossible not to be influenced by alot of things,music/styles etc.
    I personally just think that there are two types of guitaring.....#1.Wes Montgomery.....then#2... everybody else.
    In any case,to me this is why some days I play like a croc o shit,other days I can be flying.Improvisation must be dependant upon your mood,the weather,your environment and people around you or with whom you are improvising with.Even the way you look after your instrument can matter.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StraightNoChaser View Post
    Hey man,once you got the technique and overcome the muscle cramps (hahaha) its better surely to develope then your own soloing style with either and/or octaves/chords etc....I sure ain't into copying anyone.Transcribing solos surely should be just to learn what type of stuff is going on re;chords/scales etc.Never into learning someone else's solos note for note,not even Wes( I'm sure he would have agreed) otherwise its not improvisation!
    Disagree. For instance, both Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon were said to have learned Lester Young solos note for note.

    Chick Corea addresses this and other related topics in this thread: Chick Corea article - The Myth of Improvisation - The Gear Page

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarnut View Post
    Have any of you ever tried the Wes Octave solos on either 99centguitar.com or guitar college4u .com ? I found some interesting lessons on Wes style on here.
    Yeah, I've checked out the Wes licks. They seem pretty cool, I just haven't spent the time to really internalize them yet. The video lessons are pretty well thought out and there are some good tips in there. 16 lessons (an hour's worth of material) for 10 bucks, not at all a bad price.

  21. #21
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    Guitar Wes Montgomery

    I guess I'm fairly new at the Improv Soloing.. What I do, I do nicely, but at this moment I am not fast, but pretty fluent on the slower work. Perhaps some speed will come later.
    There is so much to learn, and maybe memorizing some solos isn't for some, but for others like me, who are just getting started, well, been working three years on jazz now..It helps to have something from memory, to see how to play with another guitarist or backing track..
    Somedays, I too sound like HOCKEY POO POO...Others it seems as you , that things just seem to fall into place...Thanks for replying and let me know of anything you study that seems to help make the jazz guitar fall into place..
    I'm working on chord melody to There'll Never Be Another You, and just getting started with All The Things You Are, which to me is a monster, with all the changes, but I can at least do the first part A ...so At least Im moving along...
    What are some of yall working on ?
    ((((((((@))========%%%

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarnut View Post
    I'm working on chord melody to There'll Never Be Another You, and just getting started with All The Things You Are, which to me is a monster, with all the changes, but I can at least do the first part A ...so At least Im moving along...
    What are some of yall working on ?
    ((((((((@))========%%%
    There's a guy on YouTube named Jake Reichbart who offers some homegrown DVDs detailing his chord melodies. He has one that goes into his overall method for arranging CM, and he also has one specifically on All The Things You Are. I have both of these and they are quite good (I don't care for his version of ATTYA on YouTube, but the DVD itself goes into some voicings that I find quite unique).

    Currently I am working on getting through end-of-semester juries. After that hell is over, I'll spend the summer just trying to nail down a few rudimentary things: working the melodic minor sound into my playing, improving my chord melody playing, and expanding my repertoire. And oh yeah - Wes style octaves. :-)

  23. #23
    I too have reached a plateau on speed, and trying to change chords on each beat is beyond me. What exercises could help me? I really want to play these Wes M. chords but I'm in a slump on them!
    Dick C.

  24. #24
    The technique of playing a chord on every eighth note or every quarter note is not as important as the melodic concept....many of Barney Kessel's chord lines are syncopated riff type figures in a big band riff style. In other words, working on your concept is more important than working on your technique. Practice for concept rather than technique. Listen to big band horn lines and think about using that approach for the Wes or barney style chord lines. Study (and transcribe, and sing) the lines that were used in big bands. Also, study lines of chords (as in the exercise)....over time the two will merge for you.

    If you can't play the exercise lines as written, play them all in half notes just to start realizing a string of chords that can become a line. Sing the line first.

    Whenever you have a technique problem that you can't get past, practice for concept....transcribe, sing lines, slow things down further.

    I wasted alot of time in earlier years trying to practice for speed. It is a waste of time with no good end. Don't even think about speed....in many cases I suggest to students to not practice scales. The melodic concept is developed solely by transcribing, listening, singing what you practice (developing ear to hand skills), learning tunes, singing intervals and bebop lines (then playing them too), writing things out, keeping a journal of ideas....these are what progress is made of and they will all produce technique in a very different manner than if you are FIRST practicing for technique. Practice for concept.

  25. #25

    He has left a lot of guitar people

    playing his material and asking questions day after day and finding the secrets that made his music become a part of our lives.

  26. #26
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    I have transcribed a lot of Wes Montgomery's material. Below enjoy seeing how Wes tackled improvising with chord solos.... and single note solos also.

    Wes Montgomery's Improvised Chord Solo Beginning @ 1:57 into the tune
    " Lolita "

    YouTube - ????? ?? Bomberomusician


    Wes Montgomery's Improvised Chord Solo (Trading 4s) Beginning @ 2:22 into the tune " Freedie Freeloader "

    YouTube - ????? ?? Bomberomusician


    Wes Montgomery's Improvised Chord Solo Beginning @ 2:34 into the tune " Jingles "

    YouTube - ????? ?? Bomberomusician


    Wes Montgomery's Improvised Chord Solo in " Stella By Starlight "
    This example shows in detail split screen how Wes would effortlessly Improvise with chords throughout an entire tune !

    YouTube - ????? ?? Bomberomusician

    Enjoy!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by StraightNoChaser View Post
    Hey man,once you got the technique and overcome the muscle cramps (hahaha) its better surely to develope then your own soloing style with either and/or octaves/chords etc....I sure ain't into copying anyone.Transcribing solos surely should be just to learn what type of stuff is going on re;chords/scales etc.Never into learning someone else's solos note for note,not even Wes( I'm sure he would have agreed) otherwise its not improvisation ! Is that vicarious ? anyhows by this stage in musical history...its impossible not to be influenced by alot of things,music/styles etc.
    I personally just think that there are two types of guitaring.....#1.Wes Montgomery.....then#2... everybody else.
    In any case,to me this is why some days I play like a croc o shit,other days I can be flying.Improvisation must be dependant upon your mood,the weather,your environment and people around you or with whom you are improvising with.Even the way you look after your instrument can matter.
    almost. Wes got into jazz guitar by being paid to go up on a bandstand and play Christian's solos note for note. he developed his own style too, of course.

    there is bad improv and there is good/musical improv. the long tradition of learning jazz solos note for note (even admitting that they are imperfect) is still used because it get results. simply put - it helps players "get inside" what it takes to make great sounds - sounds made by masters.

    once a player gets a handle on that (which can take years) they can begin to let themselves come through the music, so to speak.

    similar techniques are used by developing composers, and even developing literary professionals.

    most people do not come out of the chute, sounding wholly original, and dazzling everybody in the process. there are exceptions of course (Charlie Christian perhaps? and dare i say Allan Holdsworth? anyway, you get the idear)
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 02-26-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by StraightNoChaser View Post
    Hey man,once you got the technique and overcome the muscle cramps (hahaha) its better surely to develope then your own soloing style with either and/or octaves/chords etc....I sure ain't into copying anyone.Transcribing solos surely should be just to learn what type of stuff is going on re;chords/scales etc.Never into learning someone else's solos note for note,not even Wes( I'm sure he would have agreed) otherwise its not improvisation ! Is that vicarious ? anyhows by this stage in musical history...its impossible not to be influenced by alot of things,music/styles etc.
    I personally just think that there are two types of guitaring.....#1.Wes Montgomery.....then#2... everybody else.
    In any case,to me this is why some days I play like a croc o shit,other days I can be flying.Improvisation must be dependant upon your mood,the weather,your environment and people around you or with whom you are improvising with.Even the way you look after your instrument can matter.
    Way off track here. Wes said in many interviews that he learned to play all of Charlie Christian's solos. Further listening to Wes' playing will tell you that he paid more than a little attention to not only Charles Parker and the bebop players but to blues also.

    How well you solo or improvise depends not on the weather, the environment, that hot dog with chili you had for lunch or any thing other than how much vocabulary you have and how well you have learned to employ it. The best way to acquire vocabulary is to copy the masters. That's how the best players have always done it.

    Regards,
    monk

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    Way off track here. Wes said in many interviews that he learned to play all of Charlie Christian's solos.
    Yeah, that's one of the things I remembered from reading interviews with Wes. He also said once that he started out playing those solos with a band but he had to lay out otherwise because he *only* knew the solos!

    Charlie Parker knew several Lester Young solos note-for-note. From my reading, Lester's solo on "Lady Be Good" (-64 bars) was learned / memorized by a multitude of budding sax players.
    "So, never practice something you can play correctly at moderate tempo. No point: you can play it." ?Christian Miller, guitarist and teacher

  30. #30
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    Interviews with Benny Goodman bandmembers who were contemporaries of Charlie Christian said that CC would learn to sing Lester Young's solos, then apply phrases he liked to his guitar. They also stated that CC could reproduce many Django Reinhardt solos.
    Last edited by monk; 02-27-2011 at 10:11 PM. Reason: spelling

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