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  1. #1

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    How do you learn a song from a real book when there are just the chord symbols?

    Is it just left up to the player to decide what chord's to use and were to play them on the guitar?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    that's jazz, my friend. If you play the same voicing every time the chord comes up in a tune, you're doing something wrong! If you want to learn something exactly the way it's played on a recording, you gotta transcribe.

    realbooks offer a template, it's your job to listen, sub, and improvise as you go.

  4. #3

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    The Real Book songs as well as other "lead sheet" music, are truly only guidelines for improvisation. The chords can be substituted, altered or extended as your ear will suggest each time you play the song. The Real books, especially the older editions, have errors in them and should not be thought of a sacrosanct sheet music.

    wiz

  5. #4
    thx for your reply's

    how long does it take most of you to put together a song that's not to complex just chord changes I'm sure a chord melody is more time consuming ?

    also do you make sure that no chord voiceing is repeated more than a ceartin number of times?

  6. #5

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    practice makes perfect--once you get familiar with the common jazz chords that pop up in a lot of songs, you will be literally able to recieve a chart, count the tune off, and play.

    chord melody of course takes longer, as many folks like to at least partially arrange the head of the tune.

    my "never play the chord the same way twice" line was a bit facetious, but if your job is the rhythmic and harmonic backbone of the group, you need to be interesting. varying the rhythm you play in, and yes, the voicings you choose for each chord, is a big part of that.

    A good exercise is to be able to play the chords of the song, within a few fret span (meaning the voicings stay close by each other, no jumping around), in three different "areas" of the neck.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicfret
    how do you learn a song from a real book when there are just the chord
    symbols?
    You start by learning the melody. The melody is the song. Once that's in your head you'll be to fit the notated chords under it. And yes, it's totally your call which positions and fingerings to use.

    Regarding how long it takes to get the chords sorted, some players can do it on the first run through, and some need much more time. The more time you have, the better you can make it sound. It's not a race

  8. #7

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    Your goal is to be able to read through tunes and play them well the first time, like at gigs. More important than your voicing is to have good lead lines that work with the melody. The harmonic implications should become automatic, to the point where you don't have to think about chords, just where there going and your lead line, or what ever technique your using to comp. This obviously takes time, but if you don't start playing this way... you never will. If you spend time memorizing tunes, that's what you'll become good at, so at least split your between memorizing and being able to play( improvise ) comping. I also play chord melodies this way, I usually don't memorize tunes like traditional or classical guitar, I improvise my chord melody as I read the tunes. Again it's difficult to play this way unless you practice that style of playing. But you will with practice. Best Reg

  9. #8
    i understand a-lot of the things you all have been describing its took
    me a while though (lol)


    the one thing i have trouble finding is an exact transcription of recorded songs to go by, i guess sense they keep changing the song (improvising) or probably because im new to this type of music and don't know were to find it.

  10. #9

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    Hi,

    forget about transcriptions in the beginning, you won't learn much because you are only copying. In jazz, the journey is the reward. Have fun, checking all the things out by yourself, or even better with the help of a good teacher.

    How to learn a realbook standard:

    - get as much recorded versions as possible and listen to them (really listen, not just as background music)
    - learn the melody by heart
    - learn the chord names by heart
    - now search for (easy) chord voicings around the melody and play the song with the melody always being the highest note (in most cases you have to transpose the melody by one octave) of those voicings. It doesn't have to be sophisticated like a chord-melody you would like to perform in front of an audience. Memorise the voicings you use, knowing the location of the individual notes of the voicings will help when improvising, too.
    - next play all chords on the D and G string only by just using the 7th and 3rd of each chord
    - play the chords by only using triads all over the neck. The chords should be as close as possible on the fretboard and should contain as much equal notes as possible (small moves sound more jazzy)
    - this is advanced: play all chords on the 4 high strings (D - e) or the 4 middle strings using the interval of 4th only (sounds modern). Try to play different voicings on every beat. Doing this you can walk up and down the neck by just moving up or down one scale degree on every string, example for Cmaj7 (when using the major scale (a), when using the lydian scale (b)):

    a)
    -8---7-
    -8---6-
    -7---5-
    -7---5-
    -------
    -------

    b)
    -8---7-
    -8---7-
    -7---5-
    -7---5-
    -------
    -------

    - record the chords of the song on your computer or on a tape recorder and play the melody over it. Interpret the meldoy, add tones, remove tones, delay notes, anticipate notes, experiment with phrasing, tone and sound
    - learn the scales you need to improvise over the song. One hint here: look at the melody. As long as there are no accidentials, chance is high, that the key doesn't change. Learn all scales in one and the same position first.
    - improvise over those recordings
    - transcribe two licks of your favorite recordings of the song and work them into your improvisations by varying parts of it (phrasing, articulation, etc)
    - play the song with other musicians (very important!). Look out for jazz sessions, where beginners are welcome
    - get a good book on harmony-theory

    As you can see, there's a lot to learn, but after a small number of songs you will learn tunes faster and faster. Many players get frustrated by the amount of material there is to learn. But you can also make good music by using relatively small vocabulary. That's where a good teacher is most helpful. He/she reduces the volume of information in portions you can digest. There is so much information available now, so many books, dvds, websites, that most beginners become overwhelmed and rush through all the material to fast, because they think, they have to learn everything in a couple of weeks. A good teacher also ensures that you can put everything you learn into music immediately. There's nothing more frustrating than working hard on material for month and not knowing how to apply it to real music (=songs).

    One book recommendation: The music lesson by Victor Wooten

    Have fun!
    Cheers, Chris

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicfret
    the one thing i have trouble finding is an exact transcription of recorded songs to go by, i guess sense they keep changing the song (improvising) or probably because im new to this type of music and don't know were to find it.
    You're right, it's hard to learn a melody from jazz versions of a song. And most singers vary melodies, adding blue notes and passing tone.

    Big books of sheet music are the best basic reference. You know the kind called The Giant Book of Jazz and 50 Late Night Classics and things like that? You don't need stuff that's designed for guitar, the best kind are the ones arranged for voice and easy piano. They're cheap (or even free) second-hand.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modalguru
    Hi,

    forget about transcriptions in the beginning, you won't learn much because you are only copying. In jazz, the journey is the reward. Have fun, checking all the things out by yourself, or even better with the help of a good teacher.
    Not sure I agree with that advice. I think transcribing is just as important at the beginning as other things, like learning chord voicings, etc. The rest of your advice on how to read a lead sheet is good tho.

  13. #12

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    i think modalguru was referring to the OP's quest for full transcriptions that are done for him already.

    They are, for the most part, not out there. There's a book called the jazz guitar bible that has some full transcriptions, with that TAB stuff too.

    It's an amazingly useless book. No direction as to what recordings the transcriptions are from, just guitar lines and some questionable chord symbols. Absolute crap for a beginner.

    You don't learn jazz by playing someone else's transcription note for note--you've gotta develop your ears

    The value of transcription is doing it yourself, so you can analyze how it works against what everyone else is playing. It's NEVER to early to start listening to melodies of tunes and figuring them out on the guitar.

    OP: learn the notes on the fretboard. Learn major scale harmony. Learn how to build chords like maj7's, m7's, dominant7's and half diminished. Listen to tons of jazz, devour all of it. Open that real book, learn some tunes. There's no one right way to play that melody, there's no one right way to play those chords. That's the beauty of it.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff
    Not sure I agree with that advice. I think transcribing is just as important at the beginning as other things, like learning chord voicings, etc. The rest of your advice on how to read a lead sheet is good tho.
    Hi,

    transcribing one or the other cool lick of a solo is a good thing. Trying to mimic the phrasing and articulation is a good thing, too, so is transcribing the chords and the theme of a song. Transcribing whole solos is a waste of time imho.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modalguru
    Hi,

    transcribing one or the other cool lick of a solo is a good thing. Trying to mimic the phrasing and articulation is a good thing, too, so is transcribing the chords and the theme of a song. Transcribing whole solos is a waste of time imho.
    Well, I disagree that transcribing whole solos is a waste of time - especially if you're interested in seeing how great solos unfold over time. You can't see the large-scale patterns (the evolution of a solo, if you will) if all you do is transcribe a couple of notes here and a couple of notes there. But I guess it's better than not transcribing at all.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modalguru
    Transcribing whole solos is a waste of time imho.
    well, depends on what you want to do with it.

    I think the full act of transcribing and learning to play someone's solo note for note can eventually become a waste of time, but for beginners to see how a master constructed it, it's pretty valuable.

    I'm not in the habit of writing out much of what I transcribe anymore, and I'd never play someone else's solo note for note, but i'd be lying if I told you I'd never done it way back when...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I think the full act of transcribing and learning to play someone's solo note for note can eventually become a waste of time, but for beginners to see how a master constructed it, it's pretty valuable.
    I think you can learn very much about construction, dynamics, etc of a solo by just listening concentrated. You don't have to transcribe the whole thing.

    But what I've soon found out after starting out with jazz is, that anyone who can play well has his/her own approach anyway...

  18. #17

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    If you can't write out or hear what a tune is doing when you listen then find the area(s) you have problems with and work on it. Don't use programs to slow down the tune and don't write or play it out note per note. Try to write out or play at least by the bar or phrase. Your either trying to get your ears together or not. Don't waste time on transcribing tune you can hear already.
    I already gave some advice on Real Book playing earlier in thread.Best Reg

  19. #18

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    Real books are for pros who need to get through a song with no or limited rehearsal. They're just not a good resource for developing players.

    The repeated suggestions that developing players should drop all other approaches and start transcribing solos are not helpful.

    There is nothing wrong with learning melodies and other arrangements note-for-note. This is how students work with every other instrument.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fivebells
    Real books are for pros who need to get through a song with no or limited rehearsal. They're just not a good resource for developing players.

    The repeated suggestions that developing players should drop all other approaches and start transcribing solos are not helpful.

    There is nothing wrong with learning melodies and other arrangements note-for-note. This is how students work with every other instrument.
    Good points... I guest you need to decide where you want to go with music. I was under the impression that if your looking at a real book you must have decided. Best Reg

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by fivebells

    There is nothing wrong with learning melodies and other arrangements note-for-note. This is how students work with every other instrument.
    gotta disagree man, we're talking about jazz here--and lots of piano teachers teach with lead sheets, or fakebook charts.

    all you gotta have is a little knowledge beforehand, and a fake book is a valuable tool. Even a beginner can learn the melody from one, then compare it to a few recorded versions, and settle on "their way" of playing it.

    Full transcriptions are pretty rare for jazz, unless you sit and do them yourself. You're not gonna pick up guitar player magazine and get a bunch every month. So you make do with what is available--real books, recordings, and your ears.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicfret
    how do you learn a song from a real book when there are just the chord
    symbols?

    is it just left up to the player to decide what chord's to use and were to play them
    on the guitar?
    Yes, and you need to know which chords work best with that particular melody. There are several publications on chords that you can buy for a few dollars. One of my favorite is "Moving Through The Changes" by John Thomas

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modalguru
    Hi,

    How to learn a realbook standard:
    I know this is an older post but I just got my first copy of the real book today and there is alot of good advice on here

  24. #23

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    Could someone please tell me if the Real Books have melody lines as well as chords?

    Thanks

    Doug

  25. #24

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    Real Books do, iReal (the app) does not.

  26. #25

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    They do. Not necessarily the same text book melodies as they're penned by the original authors though and certainly not including original verses as a complete broadway published version would have but the short answer is yes.
    Melody and chords in chord symbol shorthand. They are intended to be working templates for improvisation and not detailed arranged pieces to be played note for note.
    A guideline to be taken off book ASAP.

    David

  27. #26

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    I wouldn't* just play a melody line straight out of the Real Book without at least having heard the tune, though. Some of what's notated is a little sketchy.

    *(OK, I probably would, but only at a jam session or something. And it wouldn't have been a tune I called. And only if there were no horn players at this particular session.)

    Edited to add: Also, if you like going the e-book route, be aware that the electronic versions of the Real Books are photos of the paper versions. Meaning that you can't change the font size. Meaning that if you're trying to use it on your phone, you're going to have trouble making it out. I lug three paper editions around. I'd much rather just bring my iPad, but it's just not legible enough.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Real Books do, iReal (the app) does not.
    Thanks,Mr. B. I was looking at getting the Real, Real Books (Paper books!)

    Doug

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    They do. Not necessarily the same text book melodies as they're penned by the original authors though and certainly not including original verses as a complete broadway published version would have but the short answer is yes.
    Melody and chords in chord symbol shorthand. They are intended to be working templates for improvisation and not detailed arranged pieces to be played note for note.
    A guideline to be taken off book ASAP.

    David
    Thanks, David. I wasn't looking for a score, only a guideline to give me a better idea of the song's chords and melody. Along with some heavy listening to performances of the song.

    Doug

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe
    I wouldn't* just play a melody line straight out of the Real Book without at least having heard the tune, though. Some of what's notated is a little sketchy.

    *(OK, I probably would, but only at a jam session or something. And it wouldn't have been a tune I called. And only if there were no horn players at this particular session.)

    Edited to add: Also, if you like going the e-book route, be aware that the electronic versions of the Real Books are photos of the paper versions. Meaning that you can't change the font size. Meaning that if you're trying to use it on your phone, you're going to have trouble making it out. I lug three paper editions around. I'd much rather just bring my iPad, but it's just not legible enough.
    Thanks, Joe. Yes, a guideline on paper was what I was looking for.

    Doug

  31. #30

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    Yeah, folks get riled up about Real Books, but if you use them as a guide, and still make sure to listen to the actual tune and use your ears uber alles, the Real Book can be a great resource.

  32. #31

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    There are so many real / fake series, and they all include melody and chords for a full chorus:

    The original (as far as I know) Real Book 1 and 2, published by Sher, is excellent. It is based on specific performances by jazz greats, not on the composer’s version. And they are reliable. I have the original spiral bound 2 inch thick paper versions. They were old when I bought them, now they’re ancient but they do the job very well.

    The Real Vocal Book is the worst - its treatment of chords is terrible in many places.

    The numerous fake books are somewhere in the middle in term of reliability.

    Many people love to hate these books. Real time-served pros like Jimmy Bruno often say they never learnt tunes that way. I guess they had the luxury of learning tunes from other musicians or by ear from the radio.

    But for anyone learning standards today they are the go to resource in my opinion, if used wisely. I always use them in conjunction with recordings of classic performances. I often start by going as far as I quickly can with a recording by ear, then comparing with the book.

    People often complain that the books' melodies or chords are wrong (and sometimes they are - especially the Real Vocalists book's chords). But how often do jazz players play exactly the same melody or the same chords anyway?

  33. #32

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    A lot of people put the RB down for various reasons. One is that it's better to learn tunes by ear. Another is that it's riddled with errors.

    I'm going to speak about some benefits.

    1. It standardizes things, and not every song is riddled with errors. If, as an intermediate player, I had to play only tunes everybody at the jam knew, I would not have had an opportunity to play very many tunes.

    2. When playing with intermediate players who "know" the tunes, it becomes more than an intermediate challenge to figure out what chords they're playing. I found it to be an advantage for everybody to be on the same changes. Of course, in the long run you want to be able to have good enough ears to know what everybody else is doing and respond accordingly, but not everybody can do that.

    Even now there are certain players who, when they start to play at a jam, I put my guitar down. I know that they'll be playing an idiosyncratic set of changes by memory and there's an excellent chance I won't be able to pick up on them quickly enough -- or, they'll change every chorus and there will be no way for me to know what chord they're going to play next. And, they have done what some recommend, learned by ear and played from memory. I understand that somebody with better ears might be able to make great music out of it, but I'll never be that guy, at least not reliably.

    3. Even when I know a tune, having the book in front of me doesn't hurt. Often there will be an "extra" change that I don't remember and don't hear -- so having the book results in some expansion of vocabulary. Or, I'll have a momentary brain freeze and miss a change. I have even heard one top pro says that he likes reading, even though he doesn't need to, "because it frees me up". I assumed, but never asked, that he meant not having to remember the changes allowed him to think about other things. I'd guess that applies to more advanced material.

    4. After years of doing exactly what many recommend against, i.e. face buried in the book, I eventually learned quite a few tunes. Now, when I go to jams, I don't have to read much and, it is better that way. I doubt I'd have ever done it without the RB. I wouldn't have known which tunes to focus on, many more tunes would be called, and my practice time would thereby be diluted. The RB if nothing else, is finite.

    Basically, I think the RB helps make jazz accessible to players who might not otherwise have been able to play combo jazz. It's not elite professionalism, but, to me, it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    5. One last point. Around here, there are very few RB gigs and the better players aren't interested in them. The days where you learned a couple of hundred standards and that was it are largely over. Usually, the bands I hear are playing arrangements. Often, the leader/arranger isn't reading, but all the sidemen are.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Yeah, folks get riled up about Real Books, but if you use them as a guide, and still make sure to listen to the actual tune and use your ears uber alles, the Real Book can be a great resource.
    Yeah, but it's not like <abe simpson voice>back in the day when it was the illegal version, and the changes were wrong, but you played the wrong changes anyway, because everyone else was playing the wrong changes, and dammit, we liked it that way!</asv>

  35. #34

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    I'd love for someone to construct an irealb
    type gadget that also had the melody on it too ...
    (transposable real books !)

    Not gonna happen I know ....
    (don't bother telling my why)

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    I'd love for someone to construct an irealb
    type gadget that also had the melody on it too ...
    (transposable real books !)

    Not gonna happen I know ....
    (don't bother telling my why)
    This idea would be the greatest. I'd pay a large sum for it and it would be worth every penny!

    However, there is the old wikifonia database out there which you can download and then pull into muse software. It works great!

    I followed this a couple of years ago and couldn't live without it. Muse will take the arrangements and transpose etc etc and then print to a pdf. It really is great.

    Download for Wikifonia all 6,675 Lead Sheets! | General Arranger Keyboard Forum | Synth Zone Forums

    The database is by composer which means you have to google the composer's name first. However I just read that you can do a windows search by song title

  37. #36

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    Real Book is a valuable resource, usually notated in the key signature of the most popular version of a particular song
    which makes it easy to use, simply hum along to the song and follow the melody, but like others have said, no real "intros" or
    "outros" you have to figure out all of the ornamentation on your own, but very good tool for getting acquainted with some of the best music ever written.

    I have Real Book 1 and 2.. and also wrote a Geocache puzzle "The Real Book"... currently needs maintenance!!

    GC61GVK The Real Book (Unknown Cache) in California, United States created by papawooly

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Yeah, folks get riled up about Real Books, but if you use them as a guide, and still make sure to listen to the actual tune and use your ears uber alles, the Real Book can be a great resource.
    Yep. When did, if ever, Miles Davis ever play the actual complete original showtune melody of Autumn Leaves?

    Answer: never. They took liberties with the melody even before blowing on it.

  39. #38

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    You can find many books online that have melody lines as well as chords. Search and compare writing styles for better content.

  40. #39

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  41. #40

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    It depends on your goal.

    If you just want to get familiar with the fingerboard, the RB will help. Read everything in more than one octave.

    But, the RB won't put you in every possible key. And, it won't have a lot of more complex rhythms, double time passages and weird accidentals.

    Also, reading through the RB won't provide a check on accuracy, unless you have some way of having a computer play the melody.

    If the goal is to read big band charts, including being voiced with the horns, then you need to learn the way they do. You read something along with a section. It's rarely the melody. There are lots of hits designed by the arranger to be cool but not familiar, you have to initiate and release notes with the section, you have to count rests, and you have to read articulation marks (which the RB doesn't have at all).

    I recently came across a book by Bob Mintzer with 15 "easy" etudes which you can play along with to make sure that you have nailed the timing of the notes. It's that kind of thing. This is closer to the way the horn players learn (that and having played in a section since 4th grade).

    And, "reading" as defined by Herb Ellis, isn't being able to figure something out slowly. It's having the music abruptly put on your stand and, before you can find the first repeat, it's counted off and you're playing.

  42. #41
    I am an amateur.
    Let’s assume a friend finds Misty in my Real Book. She says: “Will you play Misty? I want to sing it.”
    I am “advanced” enough where I can play each of the chords in several ways.
    I can also spell the chords. And I can play the melody.
    But I have no strategy as to WHICH voicings I should use.
    For example: I can play Dm7, and CMaj7 in several positions.
    I seek a strategy (even just the start of a strategy) to address this too-many-choices dilemma.
    I accept that this question might be too difficult to explain in posts.
    I’ll add this:
    I recently learned Shell Voicings because of this “too many choices” frustration.
    Sorry if this is way-dumb and thank you.
    David

  43. #42

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    Lots of things... voice leading, forming and placing chords to emphasize the melody line, or emphasize progression shifts, or emphasize a particular motif, or style, or support a particular rhythm - swing, bop, ballad, bossa, blues... but in your own mind you must have a single idea of what you want as the end result.

    Your central strategy is to decide to produce a particular sound, then let the various things you know contend among each other in your mind to be selected for expression - if you first have a clear sense of what you want the song to sound like, then it just becomes a matter of selecting what most sounds like the way you want to sound, easy, natural, authentic.

    Recognizing the right sound is so much easier than trying to evaluate and eliminate many sounds - let the different sounds compete for your attention and go with the one that makes the strongest musical argument... easy to do if your desired sound is clear in your head.

  44. #43

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    One or two songs at a time. There's no point in being overwhelmed. Some songs are better chosen for beginner, intermediate, or advanced, IMO. Choose few, and wisely! After you learn one real good, then move to another, rinse- repeat.

  45. #44

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    Pick a song. It's one song at a time, like another poster said.

    Pick a voicing for the first chord of the song.

    When it's time to change to another chord find a voicing that only requires a minimal amount of movement from the first chord.

    Suppose the first chord is Dm7 and the second chord is G7. All you need to do is move one note, C to B.

    If the first chord was Cmaj7 and the second chord was Dm7, you'd move C to D, E to F, G to A, B to C.

    If the first chord was Cmaj7 and the second chord was E7, you'd be starting with C E G B and moving to E G# B D. Easiest way to do that is to move the G to G# and the C to D.

    Now, for the third chord, do basically the same thing. Minimal movement.

    Some tips:

    It's one tune at a time and you can't rush it. But, soon enough, you'll find that the chord changes you identified for one situation will apply to others.

    This is only one way to do it. It's a good way, but the ultimate test is whether you like the overall sound. So, you could do bigger movements if you like the sound. The issue is still finding one chord change at a time, always within the context of playing a song.

  46. #45

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    If you are playing as a duo with a vocalist I’d suggest focusing first on the bass voice. Try to make the bass voice line compelling enough that the vocalist could sing just to that.

    Then use your knowledge of inversions and shell voicings to add a couple of more voices between the bass and melody. Try to make each of the three voices you are playing sing like a choir. I find it easier to play this way in fingerstyle than with a plectrum.

  47. #46
    Thank you, KirkP.
    I find this very helpful and somewhat in line with what I was hoping for / expecting.
    I generally use my fingers (not a plectrum).
    Obviously, I’ll need to “arrange” tunes somewhat.
    I can’t “sight-arrange” - so my process might work something like this:
    - I look at the arrangement.
    - I see the bass movement. Perhaps that seeing will suggest a “good” set (or a couple choices) of voicings.
    - Next, I’ll study the melody.
    - Finally, I’ll harmonize my Voicings.
    What I’ve written here begins to explain how I got into Shell Voicings. Without Shell Voicings I may have quit.
    everything was too confusing. Too many notes in the voicings I chose.
    Shell Voicings allowed my to strip things down (There was too much going on in those chords I was choosing).
    For example, sight-reading chords, I would grab a 5-tone Dm7 on the 5th fret - or a 5-tone CMaj7 on the 3rd fret.
    The chart called for Dm7 and CMaj7 AND I PROVIDED THEM but I knew it was nonsense.
    So I took up Shell Voicings and Freddie Green type coucings which calmed me down because they were simple/bare tones (3 note chords).
    now I see the next hard steps.
    xase in point: A flat5 suggests a 4th note besides the shell of 1 3 7.
    Thanks

  48. #47

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    Two possibilities to address a 7b5 chord with 3 notes

    Omit the 3rd:

    C Gb Bb

    Omit the root:

    F# A# E

  49. #48

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    The b5 can be played in the bass voice. I do this often with min7b5 chords. For example in

    | Emin7b5 | A7 | Dm |

    the b5 of E is Bb, half step above the root of the next chord so can sound nice in the bass.

    Of course, if the melody includes a b5 the accompanist doesn’t need to play that note at all.

    And don’t feel compelled to keep three voices going with every chord change or to limit your accompaniment to chord tones. I try to think of the chord tones as stepping stones, but I try to feel free to approach or enclose them with scale or chromatic notes, as you might hear the middle voices doing in a choir arrangement. (I sang in a choir about 25 years ago, and I’ve always thought it gave me a little better sense of what to do with those middle voices in guitar arrangements.)
    Last edited by KirkP; 05-13-2019 at 01:29 AM.

  50. #49
    Thanks to all who have offered strategies for approaching RB tunes.
    Strategies offered seem to include;

    By the way: This exploration of mine suggests a term: “Sight-chording”, alongside “Sight-Reading”. I open Real Book. I see a tune like I Remember Clifford. I know at least one voicing (or “grip”) for each chord in the tune (so what!). But I still need to (routinely) choose a set of “logical) voicings. “Sight-chording” = a strategy for choosing chord Voicings on a new tune.

    Strategies so far:
    - Begin with bass movement. KirkP offered: “Make bass movement “compelling” enough to allow singer to sing over just that bass playing.” (This tip seems a very helpful strategy)
    - Default to Minimal Movement (MM). MM seems like a good study avenue because MM patterns will likely be highly re-usable. I’ve seen several minimal-movement ii-V-I methods were n books (especially “Rhythm Guitar” by Roger Edison).
    - Be realistic to avoid getting overwhelmed. Each tune will need study to sound good
    - Can omit root. Can even omit the 3 on chords like b5, #9, etc.
    - Allow Shell Voicings seem to be my saving-grace, use other voicings “where applicable”.

    FYI: I mostly play a steel string acoustic guitar without a plectrum andcwithout amplification. I have a “hollow-body” Ibanez with a Peavey 30 Classic tube amp, but I still haven’t used it much. I know I probably “should” if I want to play

    Finalky, when I need volume and lack amplification, I’ll use a plectrum and choose off-the-shelf, “common” (minimum 4-tone) “common” voicings (grips).

    I am grateful to JazzGuitar.be. Wonderful community. Thank you

  51. #50

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    Surprising nobody seems to have mentioned, this is where the Mickey Baker book can help, there are lessons where it says if the chords are these play this, and there is a page where he says now go get some sheet music and apply this stuff.