The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary

View Poll Results: How often do you record your practice?

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  • Never

    7 18.92%
  • Rarely

    10 27.03%
  • From time to time

    7 18.92%
  • Regularly

    13 35.14%
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Posts 26 to 49 of 49
  1. #26

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    I recorded a rough demo last night and after careful consideration I swapped from flats to rounds.

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  3. #27

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    Never! It shatters the fantasy.

    Actually I do it a bit. My first reaction is 'uurgh what's that?' probably because it doesn't actually sound like what I thought I was sounding like.... but then after a couple of plays, I end up quite liking it. It generally passes the 'would I listen to this if a guy was playing it in a bar' test so am normally happy.

    The only thing is that after a while I start to hear the repetition in the licks and phrases, although I'm not sure if that's me over analysing and knowing my own playing too well, friends have said that they don't hear it, non musically trained ones that is.

    To be fair though, if you listen carefully to any jazz guitarist, even the greats, you can hear repetitions all over the place.
    Last edited by KingKong; 02-06-2023 at 10:58 AM.

  4. #28

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    After recording more of myself. I think my improv would sound better if I played with more conviction. I need to know where I'm going and stick the landing. A few well placed notes sound much better than loose rambling runs.

  5. #29

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    Having a rig that you can just turn on and record at will is an advantage, e.g. having your amp, digital audio kit and computer easily accessible is of course a big bonus, I'm relying on a shoddy phone and a TV generated YouTube backing track at the moment due to personal logistics.

    Slight deviation from the thread but what are people using for their recording sessions as I'm thinking of investing? I'm interested in the minimum viable rig of course, not some kind of pro studio.... Software not a problem of course due to the good old pirate bay ......

  6. #30

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    I either use voice memo, or a Tascam DP-03SD. You're current setup sounds fine for self assessment. It doesn't have to be perfect, you just need to hear the notes and timing.

  7. #31

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    Can sound ok, surprisingly so actually, but its a pain, I have to get my amp out a a cupboard, wire it all up etc. I'd love a little music desk in the corner with it all rigged up ready when I want. Plus can get creative, over-dub a solo on the other instruments I am a virtuoso on......

    piano, harmonica, recorder, comb and paper, then a spoons solo for the grand finale!

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    I think my improv would sound better if I played with more conviction. I need to know where I'm going and stick the landing..
    The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

    I'm going to try an experiment again where I play completely wrong notes over a tune, but play them like I fucking MEAN THEM, with good time and groove and CONVICTION.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
    Never! It shatters the fantasy.
    :-)

    Actually I do it a bit. My first reaction is 'uurgh what's that?' probably because it doesn't actually sound like what I thought I was sounding like.... but then after a couple of plays, I end up quite liking it. It generally passes the 'would I listen to this if a guy was playing it in a bar' test so am normally happy.

    The only thing is that after a while I start to hear the repetition in the licks and phrases, although I'm not sure if that's me over analysing and knowing my own playing too well, friends have said that they don't hear it, non musically trained ones that is.

    To be fair though, if you listen carefully to any jazz guitarist, even the greats, you can hear repetitions all over the place.
    Music doesn’t make any sense without some repetition.

    Bach repeats this one lick (3-b9-1-b7 etc on a dominant chord) all the time. You’re in good company haha.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    :-)



    Music doesn’t make any sense without some repetition.

    Bach repeats this one lick (3-b9-1-b7 etc on a dominant chord) all the time. You’re in good company haha.
    The spontaneity of improv seems to be completely overblown. What do people think Monk, Coltrane and Parker practiced for 12 hours a day if not scales arpeggios and transcriptions? It's not like there's another part that opens up after you have enough jazz XP points.

  11. #35

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    I record myself playing (improvising) over a backing track every day, often so much that I don't give myself enough time to listen back to it all. So I have to make a mental note of which one(s) are worthy of listening back to, then I decide whether it's worth uploading onto youtube and social media and so on.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    :-)



    Music doesn’t make any sense without some repetition.

    Bach repeats this one lick (3-b9-1-b7 etc on a dominant chord) all the time. You’re in good company haha.
    Yeh that's precisely where I've nabbed it from.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    The spontaneity of improv seems to be completely overblown. What do people think Monk, Coltrane and Parker practiced for 12 hours a day if not scales arpeggios and transcriptions? It's not like there's another part that opens up after you have enough jazz XP points.
    I think I agree with this.

    I don't think anyone will ever play something on a performance or a recording that they have never played before. Not when cut down into maybe half bar chunks.

    My opinion is that these great players spent so long practicing and composing licks at home, as well as practicing linking it all together, that they were able to pull all sorts of stuff off when required.

    Of course there are performances where they e.g. mash the keyboard on a piano, or 'go mad on the sax', which is of course 'never before played' material, but that rarely sounds listenable in my opinion.

    I think you need good muscle memory to play fluent lines and you can only get muscle memory by repeating stuff over and over.

    So that's the eventual goal, have enough stuff learnt and practiced to be able to pull lots of different things out of the bag, and avoid the same old go-to favourites by using a vast array of go-to favourites!

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
    Yeh that's precisely where I've nabbed it from.
    haha I’m sure… ;-)

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    The spontaneity of improv seems to be completely overblown. What do people think Monk, Coltrane and Parker practiced for 12 hours a day if not scales arpeggios and transcriptions? It's not like there's another part that opens up after you have enough jazz XP points.
    Yep. I mean, I love Bill Evans but I think the saying ‘jazz is the art of making a minutes music in a minutes time’ is not very helpful. Maybe it was truer for Bill than most of us, but all you have to do is look into music to see repetition and phrases used in different places. And we all hear stories about master jazz soloists who do pretty much the same show, including solos, every night.

    We may wish to get away from our own cliches after a while, but we have to have them to start off with to be a functional improvising musican… everyone learns licks to build a vocab….

    Even for the Platonic ideal of a truly spontaneous jazz improviser (Sonny Rollins or someone?) jazz is not the art of making a minutes music in a minutes time, because the preparation required to do that requires as we all know years of intensive work….

    Imo the idea of composition/improvisation as a binary distinction imo has more to do with classical music’s C19th baggage than actual improvisation and I think it has a negative impact on the teaching of jazz.

  16. #40

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    Originality and spontaneity are cool to a degree, but I personally don't think it's the core value of improvising. What's "meaningful" to you might not be meaningful to the listener. To really drive the message home, you have to connect to the history of jazz and all the melodies, harmonies, rhythmic structures, etc. that hold everything together. Quoting popular heads is as cliche as you can be, but it's so powerful from the listener's point of view. This is why I value transcription so highly. I feel a responsibility to engage with a community and tradition spanning ~100 years. I think that even musical book-smarts misse the mark in this regard. Learning what "modes" you can play over chords and/or coming up with your own personal scale patterns or applying unique reharmonizations is all good and well, but if you're not doing it in a way that engages with the recordings and performances in the tradition, you're missing out on the ability to connect with others (both listeners and players). It's like knowing a bunch of fancy words in a foreign tongue but not being able to have a basic conversation in the language.

    So yeah, you got to record. You gotta see if what you think you sound like is what it actually sounds like. The players you love to listen to are the "ground truth", i.e. the model you want to emulate/approximate/draw inspiration from, and they form a baseline to compare your playing to. You gotta hear your playing jiving with the tradition and vice versa.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Originality and spontaneity are cool to a degree, but I personally don't think it's the core value of improvising. What's "meaningful" to you might not be meaningful to the listener. To really drive the message home, you have to connect to the history of jazz and all the melodies, harmonies, rhythmic structures, etc. that hold everything together. Quoting popular heads is as cliche as you can be, but it's so powerful from the listener's point of view. This is why I value transcription so highly. I feel a responsibility to engage with a community and tradition spanning ~100 years. I think that even musical book-smarts misse the mark in this regard. Learning what "modes" you can play over chords and/or coming up with your own personal scale patterns or applying unique reharmonizations is all good and well, but if you're not doing it in a way that engages with the recordings and performances in the tradition, you're missing out on the ability to connect with others (both listeners and players). It's like knowing a bunch of fancy words in a foreign tongue but not being able to have a basic conversation in the language.

    So yeah, you got to record. You gotta see if what you think you sound like is what it actually sounds like. You gotta hear your playing jiving with the tradition and vice versa.
    yep. I always think the commonly used tack of giving a beginner a pool of notes … well let me put it this way, it seems like a lot to expect a newbie to play an unfamiliar style of music and also improvise in that style. The results are unsurprisingly almost never very musical.

    For some people (people such as myself) who are confident inflicting themselves on the world it as well enjoying the systematic/engineering problem side of it, and might be able to fake it till they make it. Teenage boys, for example.

    But there are many people who may be both less culturally assertive in that way and/or are sensitive enough musicians to know that the results sounds bad and to be, quite reasonably, embarrassed by them.

    There are other ways. I think encouraging students to vary or paraphrase a melody for example is a good approach. Certainly I can’t see why beginners shouldn’t work out their solos until they are conversant enough to mix it up.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    I think encouraging students to vary or paraphrase a melody for example is a good approach. Certainly I can’t see why beginners shouldn’t work out their solos until they are conversant enough to mix it up.

    I noticed quickly that when I had something worked out, even rudimentary things like the first two notes, the whole solo went better. Otherwise I ended up starting everything the same and melodically wandering around until it was over.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    I noticed quickly that when I had something worked out, even rudimentary things like the first two notes, the whole solo went better. Otherwise I ended up starting everything the same and melodically wandering around until it was over.
    yeah! Sometimes the best way to freshen up improvisation is composing

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    haha I’m sure… ;-)
    I'm not sure what you are amused by here Christian, it does feel like you have gone and transcribed some of my playing and are now mocking it slightly!

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
    I'm not sure what you are amused by here Christian, it does feel like you have gone and transcribed some of my playing and are now mocking it slightly!
    Well maybe you have, or maybe not.

    I thought you was having a little jest. Maybe you are dead serious and have a bunch of Bach death licks at your beck and call.

    tbh until I hear you play…..

  22. #46

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    Pretty sure he posted in the Autumn Leaves thread.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller View Post
    Well maybe you have, or maybe not.

    I thought you was having a little jest. Maybe you are dead serious and have a bunch of Bach death licks at your beck and call.

    tbh until I hear you play…..
    This is quite an amusing coincidence and misunderstanding...

    I thought you were referring to the somewhat ropey sounding version of Summertime I posted a couple of weeks ago, this, post 52: Minor Keys

    When I play the stuff over the 7th chords it reminds me of Bach and that's why I ended up playing that way.
    Problem is that at the moment I ain't got much else!

  24. #48

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    Oh I didn’t listen to that haha. Tbh I mostly listen to white noise to get rid of the voices.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    I noticed quickly that when I had something worked out, even rudimentary things like the first two notes, the whole solo went better. Otherwise I ended up starting everything the same and melodically wandering around until it was over.
    This is an interesting idea AllanAllen and it works!

    I tried knocking out some stuff over my go to set of you tube backing tracks for some standards and yep, picking 2 random ( yet suitable) notes to start phrases with made a difference in terms of leading into some reasonable variation.