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  1. #1

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    I wonder, what did you, as a jazz guitarist practice in the beginning, if you studied with a teacher? My teacher gives me almost purely one task at a time, and expects me to figure out stuff I can practice together with his clear task. For example, since my last session with him, I have been practicing arpeggios for Autumn Leaves for 1-2 hours every day. That was his task for me. Pretty clear. He also said I was expected to play through the whole form using arpeggios, with a metronome.

    To you who studied jazz at a school, what was the process there?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    make 2-5-1 phrase each lesson for 3 years.

  4. #3

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    To the OP, that sounds about right to me. I never went to fancy jazz school though...I would imagine the lessons are different at jazz school where the students are often already somewhat competent.

  5. #4

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    Check out Joseph Alexander's books. Blues, Major and Minor II-Vs etc. Chords.

    Jim Snidero's Easy Jazz conception for guitar.

    BTW - when you're doing the arpeggio drill, are you voice leading them?

  6. #5

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    systematic inversions of all diatonic chords on all string sets in all keys
    melodic patterns of major minor dominant diminished and augmented types in all chromatic steps

    then apply this thinking to song structures..standards

  7. #6

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    He made me wash his dishes and do his laundry before he gave me his monthly $100 lesson...plus he didn't even play guitar, he played sax.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    He made me wash his dishes and do his laundry before he gave me his monthly $100 lesson...plus he didn't even play guitar, he played sax.
    LOL!!!!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Check out Joseph Alexander's books. Blues, Major and Minor II-Vs etc. Chords.

    Jim Snidero's Easy Jazz conception for guitar.

    BTW - when you're doing the arpeggio drill, are you voice leading them?
    No, i just play through them everywhere on the neck. How do one voice lead arpeggios?

  10. #9

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    I had a very indulgent teacher which was me! So we just spent time learning some Wes Montgomery licks and playing around with them, then we learned some tunes, then we thought we better learn some jazz chords so got the Joe Pass chord book and messed about with those chords for a bit.

    Didn’t really worry about scales and stuff at that stage, but had a lot of fun! And got there eventually.

  11. #10

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    Well I only had two lessons in the first ten years (wouldn't recommend lol), one of which I don't remember (it was with a fusion guy), but one of them was useful:

    Dave Cliff told me to work on chord tones, embellishing melodies and 1 3 7 shell voicings. That wasn't a one on one session.

    If I'd listened to him right away, I would have progressed faster, I think. But I got obsessed with chord scales and until I read an interview with John Etheridge, who said (I paraphrase) 'chord tones, fool.' So I did that for about a decade.

    I had another lesson ten years later from a player you probably wouldn't know, and was told 'to work on my time', so I've been focussed on that for just over a decade.

    Since then I've had I think three one on one lessons, one was 'work on upbeats' and the other was Dave Cliff again who proceeded to murder me on Moment's Notice, and the last one was from Peter Bernstein.

    I think I've had about 4 or 5 lessons overall. They were all pivotal. Ultimately, the ideas are simple, but you need to apply them. Some people benefit from regular input from a teacher, and I think I would have advanced quicker, but it's been fun working it out myself.

    I've never really run out of stuff to work on. Really lessons are a chance to play with world class musicians, now. I learn as much by doing that, and I'd like to do it more.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well I only had two lessons in the first ten years (wouldn't recommend lol), one of which I don't remember (it was with a fusion guy), but one of them was useful:

    Dave Cliff told me to work on chord tones, embellishing melodies and 1 3 7 shell voicings. That wasn't a one on one session.

    If I'd listened to him right away, I would have progressed faster, I think. But I got obsessed with chord scales and until I read an interview with John Etheridge, who said (I paraphrase) 'chord tones, fool.' So I did that for about a decade.

    I had another lesson ten years later and was told 'to work on my time.'

    Since then I've had I think three one on one lessons, one was 'work on upbeats' and the other was Dave Cliff again who was complimentary, but proceeded to murder me on Moment's Notice, and the last one was from Peter Bernstein.

    I think I've had about 4 or 5 lessons overall. They were all pivotal. Ultimately, the ideas are simple, but you need to apply them. Some people benefit from regular input from a teacher, and I think I would have advanced quicker, but it's been fun working it out myself.
    How did you work on chord tones for a year? I mean how did you practice it?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    make 2-5-1 phrase each lesson for 3 years.
    Care to elaborate?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    How did you work on chord tones for a year? I mean how did you practice it?
    I worked on it for about a decade.

    I took tunes, practiced chord tones through them. Different positions etc.

    I used to do 7th chords, now I do triads as well and triad superpositions.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I worked on it for about a decade.

    I took tunes, practiced chord tones through them. Different positions etc.

    I used to do 7th chords, now I do triads as well and extensions of that.
    So basically arpeggios then, I guess? Well, you never get done with that :-)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    So basically arpeggios then, I guess? Well, you never get done with that :-)
    Indeed.

    BTW - I also went to Barry Harris's workshops since around 2005/2006 (IIRC) but didn't really seriously start applying that material until about 4 years ago.

    The main thing for me was just to play out as much as possible. I was out every night at jams, sucking, but getting better, for most of my twenties. That's how I got it together. Then I started getting gigs and real education began.

    I was also balancing my jazz playing against other stuff - a day job, studying classical singing - so I never quite put massive amounts of time into it, but I was pretty regular 2 hours after work, 3 days a week + long sessions at the weekend.

    I just didn't think there was much point thinking about playing jazz guitar professionally. Maybe I was right lol.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    So basically arpeggios then, I guess? Well, you never get done with that :-)
    BTW I was practicing arpeggios, but nowadays I would emphasise practicing chord tones.

    Difference being that arpeggios (from 'arpa' or harp) suggest a sequential order of the notes and a rapid speed whereas actually you need to be able to use chord tones structurally as well, so practicing non-sequential chord tones in 1/2 and 1/4 notes is a really good idea.

    I was a chord tone/passing tone and sub only improviser for a long time then. Funny thing is people used to say I sounded like a guy who knew a lot of chord scale theory.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    No, i just play through them everywhere on the neck. How do one voice lead arpeggios?
    Look for semitone connections and common tones between chords - for instance G6 and Bbo7:

    G B D E
    G Bb Db E

    You can use this to create motifs and ideas that lead through the changes, as well as linking arpeggios into seamless lines.

  19. #18

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    BTW I don't want to come across like I'm advocating my 'process' or journey, or make out that I am somehow special for being able t play jazz with relatively little teaching input. The point is I think I applied the information myself, which I think any good jazz musicians HAS to do, and the lessons I did have were very useful.

    The flipside of this is that I developed more slowly as a player, and I am a little more chippy and defensive about feedback than I should be, because I basically am not used to getting an outside opinion on my playing. I do think that's a bit of an issue in some ways. Comes from insecurity as well. Less bad than it was....

    But I suppose the point is that - if you like my playing that is - it is possible to get there largely under your own steam. Sounds like Graham did it this way too and I love his playing.

    The important thing is to love and study the music. And I wish I'd been more attentive to the detail of the music earlier.

    OTOH there are players who go and do jazz degrees who don't actually seem to want to play jazz lol. Funny old world...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Care to elaborate?
    Had to create&write&learn to play a 8 bar solo for
    II-V-I-I
    II-V-I-I

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    BTW I don't want to come across like I'm advocating my 'process' or journey, or make out that I am somehow special for being able t play jazz with relatively little teaching input. The point is I think I applied the information myself, which I think any good jazz musicians HAS to do, and the lessons I did have were very useful.

    The flipside of this is that I developed more slowly as a player, and I am a little more chippy and defensive about feedback than I should be, because I basically am not used to getting an outside opinion on my playing. I do think that's a bit of an issue in some ways. Comes from insecurity as well. Less bad than it was....

    But I suppose the point is that - if you like my playing that is - it is possible to get there largely under your own steam. Sounds like Graham did it this way too and I love his playing.

    The important thing is to love and study the music. And I wish I'd been more attentive to the detail of the music earlier.

    OTOH there are players who go and do jazz degrees who don't actually seem to want to play jazz lol. Funny old world...
    thanks Christian, yes that sounds about right. Also worth pointing out that I did start with classical guitar lessons ten years before I got into jazz, so that was a very valuable grounding in technique, reading music, basic scales etc.

    I think the reason I taught myself jazz was because I had done the same with rock guitar, so it just seemed logical to carry on and approach jazz the same way. But it did take me a long time, then again I was under no time deadline or anything, it was just for the love of it, as you say.

    And of course still learning, we are ‘eternal students’ as Pat Metheny describes himself!

  22. #21

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    My first guitar teacher had me focus on Segovia's diatonic scales and not looking at the fingerboard as I played. My piano teacher, a couple years earlier, had me learn the scales in all keys and play them without looking at the keyboard.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    No, i just play through them everywhere on the neck. How do one voice lead arpeggios?
    The number one thing with voice leading arps to my ears is to change directions on the resolution to the next chord. Kind of the opposite of every exercise you see on arps for guitar honestly. But it's very bop and jazzy. I mean you should be ABLE to do both, but that direction-change forms an enclosure which is much stronger melodically.

    Very simple to play, but very good ear training for enclosures generally, especially if thou do them on 3rds to 7ths and voice versa. Tons of chord- tone- only mileage out of those. So: arp up, them down to the first note of the next. You can then play the next arp down or continue up after that first note direction change. Same thing the other way.

    Towards the top of my list of things I wish someone had shown me early on.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    The number one thing with voice leading arps to my ears is to change directions on the resolution to the next chord. Kind of the opposite of every exercise you see on arps for guitar honestly. But it's very bop and jazzy. I mean you should be ABLE to do both, but that direction-change forms an enclosure which is much stronger melodically.

    Very simple to play, but very good ear training for enclosures generally, especially if thou do them on 3rds to 7ths and voice versa. Tons of chord- tone- only mileage out of those. So: arp up, them down to the first note of the next. You can then play the next arp down or continue up after that first note direction change. Same thing the other way.

    Towards the top of my list of things I wish someone had shown me early on.

    Can you first define what voice leading arpeggios is? Sorry, but I am a little confused.

    Also, could you write out your exercise a little clearer? Sorry again, if I am slow. I didn't quite catch it.

  25. #24
    Voice leading is classical terminology from part writing. Short version is "resolve to the closest note" in the next chord.

    Am7 D7 could be A C E G ...A C D F#, all ascending.

    With direction change it would be A C E G ...F# A C D ...(ascending - ascending)....

    Or A C E G ...F# D C A (ascending - descending)....

    Voice leading probably isn't the best term for this type of melodic playing, but that's kind of the implication.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Voice leading is classical terminology from part writing. Short version is "resolve to the closest note" in the next chord.

    Am7 D7 could be A C E G ...A C D F#, all ascending.

    With direction change it would be A C E G ...F# A C D ...(ascending - ascending)....

    Or A C E G ...F# D C A (ascending - descending)....

    Voice leading probably isn't the best term for this type of melodic playing, but that's kind of the implication.
    Yes, thank you! This is a great exercise. I think this is the same as Jens Larsen talks about here, right?
    Autumn Leaves - Soloing with arpeggios - Jens Larsen

    Connecting the arpeggios

    The next exercise is a very good way to gain a strong overview of the arpeggios and chords. It is also helping you to develop your ability to think ahead. The idea is to start playing the arpeggios over the progression and then when ever the chord changes to continue the movement with the note that is the closest in the next arpeggio.

  27. #26

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    Good example of a voice lead chord progression which is played as a series of arpeggios would be a Bach prelude.

  28. #27

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    My first teacher started with method books so I learned to read.

    Then Colin Bower "Rhythms" as written and up an octave.

    Then a clarinet book. I recall playing Paganini's Moto Perpetuo (sp?).

    Then Pasquale Bona's book, which I never completed. I got about half way through and then it got really hard.

    The a fakebook (the old one with three tunes per page) from which he taught me chord melody.

    I don't recall any input about improvisation.

    My second teacher taught me Chuck Wayne's chords and arps. We did improvise, but I don't recall being taught anything other than "use the arpeggios" and "try to play on every chord".

    My third teacher taught tonal centers, repertoire, and a kind of system of improv, focused on all chords being either tonic or dominant and interchangeable within the grouping.

    My fourth teacher, was a combo teacher, and taught tunes. His improv advice was "no licks! make melody!". He'd occasionally name a scale, like "Play a G7 scale", typically over something other than a G7.

    Nobody ever asked me to play through a tune with chord tones or specific intervals or anything like that.

    The one thing I think was missing from all of these lessons was focus on ear training. If I could do it all over again, I'd have spent as much time on ear training as on guitar technique.

    I don't consider myself a particularly talented musician, but I have been able to play in some great situations because I can read.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 10-06-2018 at 01:18 PM.

  29. #28

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    My first lessons (at the age of 10) were at a music school run by a gentleman named Frank Turso (His school was called The White Plains Academy of Music). I was assigned to his youngest teacher (who was probably in his early 20's) a fellow named Gary Roquefort. My interest was learning rock guitar (I was a huge fan of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Cream). But I was taught how to read music from the Mel Bay books for that entire year. At the time I resented the whole thing but worked at it as I was told by Frank and Gary that this was an important first step. I was captivated by the beauty of the D'Angelico guitar on the cover of those books.

    I have gotten many , many gigs in front of other guitarists due to my ability to sight read music. There has been a lot of jazz that I have learned by reading transcriptions. And my love of the archtop guitar has led me to become the caretaker of three vintage D'Angelico guitars.

    If I could go back in time and thank those guys, I would.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Voice leading is classical terminology from part writing. Short version is "resolve to the closest note" in the next chord.

    Am7 D7 could be A C E G ...A C D F#, all ascending.

    With direction change it would be A C E G ...F# A C D ...(ascending - ascending)....

    Or A C E G ...F# D C A (ascending - descending)....

    Voice leading probably isn't the best term for this type of melodic playing, but that's kind of the implication.
    Adding guide tone connections (3rds and 7ths resolving to each other) to the voice leading is very strong.

    For example on the II V I in G mentioned above a line like this:

    A C E G

    F# D F# A

    G B D F# A

    Or a descending start:

    A G E C

    D F# A C

    B - - -

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher

    Voice leading probably isn't the best term for this type of melodic playing, but that's kind of the implication.
    Why not? Modern harmony and traditional (i.e. "classical") harmony are based on common principles.

    What would you call it if you harmonized that smooth line with 3 or 4 more voices, say for for horns, strings, human voices, guitar ensemble, etc? Would it be voice leading then? And isn't a single voice just that - a voice?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Adding guide tone connections (3rds and 7ths resolving to each other) to the voice leading is very strong.

    For example on the II V I in G mentioned above a line like this:

    A C E G

    F# D F# A

    G B D F# A

    Or a descending start:

    A G E C

    D F# A C

    B - - -
    So you try to plan ahead and hit either the 3rd or 7 as the closest note(voice leading)?

  33. #32
    Some of them are, but I wouldn't call playing ascending arpeggios which resolve to other ascending arpeggios and then back down, full range of the instrument , "voice leading". People can call things whatever they want I guess. I'm not particularly interested in that conversation honestly. I just personally don't care for it myself.

    There are a lot of different ways to play arps melodically.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    BTW I don't want to come across like I'm advocating my 'process' or journey, or make out that I am somehow special for being able t play jazz with relatively little teaching input. The point is I think I applied the information myself, which I think any good jazz musicians HAS to do, and the lessons I did have were very useful.

    The flipside of this is that I developed more slowly as a player, and I am a little more chippy and defensive about feedback than I should be, because I basically am not used to getting an outside opinion on my playing. I do think that's a bit of an issue in some ways. Comes from insecurity as well. Less bad than it was....

    But I suppose the point is that - if you like my playing that is - it is possible to get there largely under your own steam. Sounds like Graham did it this way too and I love his playing.

    The important thing is to love and study the music. And I wish I'd been more attentive to the detail of the music earlier.

    OTOH there are players who go and do jazz degrees who don't actually seem to want to play jazz lol. Funny old world...
    I think many people study jazz to learn from it. They don’t necessarily have it as their favorite genre. Perhaps they even love neo soul, and use jazz to become a good guitarist in neo soul. Jazz has so much to teach anyone. Just like people studying classical guitar to become better at guitar in general, or even music.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Look for semitone connections and common tones between chords - for instance G6 and Bbo7:

    G B D E
    G Bb Db E

    You can use this to create motifs and ideas that lead through the changes, as well as linking arpeggios into seamless lines.
    Yes, I did this with autumn leaves. Like Jens Larsen talks about in his video/blog post. Basically, I played eight notes for each bar, and on the next bar I jumped to the closest chord tone.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Some of them are, but I wouldn't call playing ascending arpeggios which resolve to other ascending arpeggios and then back down, full range of the instrument , "voice leading". People can call things whatever they want I guess. I'm not particularly interested in that conversation honestly. I just personally don't care for it myself.

    There are a lot of different ways to play arps melodically.
    Playing arps up and down for all 4 notes before changing direction is only the beginning skill set, and yes you should definitely learn to voice lead those.

    BUT

    We also practice arpeggios as "broken chords" or permutations. R 7 5 3 etc., etc. ad naseum. And yes, you should definitely learn to voice lead those too.

    Finally,

    You should learn to voice lead ANY type of jazz line, regardless of the type of line preceding the chord change - skips, steps, chromatics, wide interval leaps, etc.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Playing arps up and down for all 4 notes before changing direction is only the beginning skill set, and yes you should definitely learn to voice lead those.

    BUT

    We also practice arpeggios as "broken chords" or permutations. R 7 5 3 etc., etc. ad naseum. And yes, you should definitely learn to voice lead those too.

    Finally,

    You should learn to voice lead ANY type of jazz line, regardless of the type of line preceding the chord change - skips, steps, chromatics, wide interval leaps, etc.
    So how do you practice this? I guess the broken chord part is about practicing arpeggios as how you voice chords. So for example for a drop 2 chord with root in base, you play R 5 7 3, that’s what you mean? Pitch wise I guess?

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    So you try to plan ahead and hit either the 3rd or 7 as the closest note(voice leading)?
    What you play as the first note of "chord 2" depends on what you played as the last note of "chord 1". You are improvising so may not end on 3 or 7 in all cases.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Playing arps up and down for all 4 notes before changing direction is only the beginning skill set, and yes you should definitely learn to voice lead those.

    BUT

    We also practice arpeggios as "broken chords" or permutations. R 7 5 3 etc., etc. ad naseum. And yes, you should definitely learn to voice lead those too.

    Finally,

    You should learn to voice lead ANY type of jazz line, regardless of the type of line preceding the chord change - skips, steps, chromatics, wide interval leaps, etc.
    Bravo. Earth shattering.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I think many people study jazz to learn from it. They don’t necessarily have it as their favorite genre. Perhaps they even love neo soul, and use jazz to become a good guitarist in neo soul. Jazz has so much to teach anyone. Just like people studying classical guitar to become better at guitar in general, or even music.
    People who study jazz aND don't like it play shitty jazz.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    People who study jazz aND don't like it play shitty jazz.
    Jazz is a broad term. I think many jazz players play like someone who rambles unstoppable. Like someone just saying random letters as fast as they can, with no breaks. Then on the other hand, you have people like Miles Davids, who actually says something. Who actually tell a story. I like jazz, and I liked it before I started playing guitar. I love neo soul perhaps even more. One thing I really really love about jazz, is the concept behind jazz standards. It’s like having one language everyone could speak. I can meet a random person, and we can easily play together. I also love studying jazz, it teaches me so much. I also find that the more I study jazz, the more I appreciate jazz performances. After I spent many many hours on transcribing Miles’ solo on autumn leaves, I got really fond of it.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    So how do you practice this? I guess the broken chord part is about practicing arpeggios as how you voice chords. So for example for a drop 2 chord with root in base, you play R 5 7 3, that’s what you mean? Pitch wise I guess?

    Well you could but the reference was close not open voicing. Meaning, play all four tones within the same octave. Drop 2 is an open voicing.

    That said, when you play an arpeggio you can "octave displace" a chord tone also, but that wasn't what I was referring to.

    Arpeggio permutations are all the possible orderings within a single octave such as:

    R 3 5 7
    R 3 7 5
    R 5 3 7
    R 5 7 3

    3 5 7 R
    3 5 R 7
    etc. etc.,

    Warning - they do not all sound musical. Some sound a bit too jagged.

    So how do you practice it? Different ways. After playing basic arpeggios up and down through the tune, take another pass at it by creating arpeggiated lines in each section. Add some space (i.e. rests) here and there, but not much. Decide where to start a line note wise, play an arpeggio idea whether it's a straight arpeggio or arpeggio permutation or even some other type of line, then smoothly voice lead at the chord change and continue on as such while creating musical sounding lines with rests inserted effectively/tastefully.

    You can play straight 8th notes, use 8th note triplets, start on the off beats here and there. Just make certain that the chord changes sound smooth as opposed to abrupt - unless intentionally abrupt.

    Then learn to alternate back and forth between smooth line paying and melodic motifs/licks.

    I heard a Sonny Rollins solo the other day on the radio where he just kept effortlessly switching back and forth - lines/licks/lines/licks... Good stuff.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    Well you could but the reference was close not open voicing. Meaning, play all four tones within the same octave. Drop 2 is an open voicing.

    That said, when you play an arpeggio you can "octave displace" a chord tone also, but that wasn't what I was referring to.

    Arpeggio permutations are all the possible orderings within a single octave such as:

    R 3 5 7
    R 3 7 5
    R 5 3 7
    R 5 7 3

    3 5 7 R
    3 5 R 7
    etc. etc.,

    Warning - they do not all sound musical. Some sound a bit too jagged.

    So how do you practice it? Different ways. After playing basic arpeggios up and down through the tune, take another pass at it by creating arpeggiated lines in each section. Add some space (i.e. rests) here and there, but not much. Decide where to start a line note wise, play an arpeggio idea whether it's a straight arpeggio, arpeggio permutation or some other type of line, then smoothly voice lead at the chord change and continue on as such while creating musical sounding lines with rests inserted effectively/tastefully.

    You can play straight 8th notes, use 8th note triplets, start on the off beats here and there. Just make certain that the chord changes sound smooth as opposed to abrupt - unless intentionally abrupt.

    Then learn to alternate back and forth between smooth line paying and melodic motifs/licks.

    I heard a Sonny Rollins solo the other day on the radio where he just kept effortlessly switching back and forth - lines/licks/lines/licks... Good stuff.
    Sorry if I am the slow kid in class now, but would you define the difference between a line and a lick? I really learn from all this, so thank you.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My first lessons (at the age of 10) were at a music school run by a gentleman named Frank Turso (His school was called The White Plains Academy of Music). I was assigned to his youngest teacher (who was probably in his early 20's) a fellow named Gary Roquefort. My interest was learning rock guitar (I was a huge fan of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Cream). But I was taught how to read music from the Mel Bay books for that entire year. At the time I resented the whole thing but worked at it as I was told by Frank and Gary that this was an important first step. I was captivated by the beauty of the D'Angelico guitar on the cover of those books.

    I have gotten many , many gigs in front of other guitarists due to my ability to sight read music. There has been a lot of jazz that I have learned by reading transcriptions. And my love of the archtop guitar has led me to become the caretaker of three vintage D'Angelico guitars.

    If I could go back in time and thank those guys, I would.
    Sight reading is a good skill. I see that as one big benefit of using the Modern Method books.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Bravo. Earth shattering.
    Uh, the counsel is to a beginner.

    It seems that you're engaged in something called "not invented here". In other words, because you didn't say or think it first, it's bad/stupid/invalid. That's an insecurity/ego/arrogance reflex. I see it at work every day, and sometimes am guilty of it myself. Gotta watch that stuff.

    Later, alligator.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    I think many people study jazz to learn from it. They don’t necessarily have it as their favorite genre. Perhaps they even love neo soul, and use jazz to become a good guitarist in neo soul. Jazz has so much to teach anyone. Just like people studying classical guitar to become better at guitar in general, or even music.
    I know for a fact that you are right, because I have taught some of these kids. You seem quite young yourself, maybe?

    Neo soul seems to be thing right now.

    You know, I'm not even sure I'd say jazz is my favourite genre to listen to. I love all music. I don't really do genres. Some jazz artists leave me cold.

    As a player I like it probably more than any other music to play, but I do love playing all styles. It's actually been very difficult for me to single one thing out, but I seem to have gravitated towards bop and straight-ahead for some reason. I love loads of guitar players, all styles. Name someone you love and I'm probably a fan, or will be when I hear them.

    Anyhoo, 'jazz guitar' - jazz guitar is such a useful area of study because guitarists are, of course, largely shit at music from an academic standpoint.

    Obv. they don't have the skills anything like a pianist who has probably being playing classical since age 6. Even horn players can read and play in sections etc.

    As you know, jazz offers a route into being a 'proper' musician for a guitarist, by which I mean acquiring necessary skills for the trade - ear training, reading, counting, theory, technique (beyond executing speed licks) and TIME/FEEL etc. Just about every other instrumentalist has the edge on us in this respect. Even if you play another instrument, reading and technique on the guitar are TOUGH.

    Thing is, none of that is really jazz per se. It's just the stuff you have to do to learn to play jazz, because it's not guitar centric music. Perhaps if this stuff was taught to guitarists day one there'd be no need for serious guitar students to learn jazz per se. OTOH, being able to play jazz probably makes you more flexible and better at listening as a musician, which are transferrable skills.

    I think to their credit young players who are serious about music cotton on to this in a vague way and think 'I must get jazz chops' lol. But - it's particularly difficult as a teacher when they want to learn jazz without listening to jazz. There's this vibe that jazz is an academic box to tick more than a form of music you might check out for listening pleasure.

    Anyway, I'm in two minds. I think it's definitely true what you say. OTOH I hate the idea of someone doing jazz out of duty only almost as much as I hate the prospect of teaching them. I'd much rather leave jazz out of the lessons and focus on the music they were interested in. Life's too short and the fundamental skills of being a good musician are common to all genres IMO...

    That said, I can get students fired up. Jazz is a lot of fun. Difficult, serious, fun like climbing mountains or something. I think I'm good at communicating that because no-one ever made me study it.

  47. #46

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    It kind of depends on what you call 'the beginning.' Before I got the idea to learn jazz guitar, I learned basic chords from my Dad and brother, and I spent years playing folk guitar in church and school groups. in high school, I played bass in rock and jazz bands and took some private lessons on electric bass from a local guitar teacher. These early experiences taught me a lot about playing with good meter and good pitch, playing in ensembles, sight-reading, memorizing tunes, and other basic musical skills. I also studied classical guitar for a couple of years as a non-jazz music major in college, so I had some mechanical technique under my belt and some conception of how to produce a good tone acoustically before I got serious about playing jazz.

    For purposes of this discussion, let's assume you have basic musical skills and want to turn from "playing music" to "playing jazz guitar." In that context, I'll define 'my beginning' as my first private guitar lesson as a jazz major at a four-year university that offered a jazz degree. At that first one-hour private guitar lesson I was shown how to play all diatonic scales and modes in all positions on the neck. I understood the concepts right away because I had already had two years of study at another college as a classical guitar major, with a concurrent two-year theory block that taught me classical diatonic and chromatic harmony. So I could already construct and hear all of the diatonic scales and modes, but it took a year of intense daily practice before I could actually do what my teacher showed me in that first hour. At that point, I probably practiced two to four hours a day in addition to other homework in theory, ensemble classes, and general ed requirements.

    The other thing we started on at that first lesson was to transition from my scale-oriented conception of improvisation to an arpeggiated approach. My teacher played a highly arpeggiated style that he said was influenced by Barney Kessell and Pat Martino. We read and played my teacher's own written etude on Blue Bossa as my introduction to this arpeggiated style, and then he assigned me the task of figuring out how to play all major and minor arpeggios to the ninth in all positions. Again, I understood the concept and could hear it long before I could actually do it. It took me at least a year to master this; in some ways, I am still working on arpeggios everywhere on the neck to this day, although I'm applying them in different ways than I did as a beginning player.

    Just telling you what I studied in that lesson is a bit misleading, though. At the same time, I was learning tunes in one or more ensemble classes, studying harmony and getting ear training in a theory class, playing every gig I could (where I learned more tunes, learned more about playing gigs and met other players who taught me lots of cool stuff), studying audio production (the school had a small studio), and going to all the local jam sessions. And I was still playing guitar in cover bands and wedding bands; my library of stolen licks covered a continuum from Eddie Van Halen through Larry Carlton and Robben Ford to Wes, Joe Pass, and Pat Martino. I transcribed like a fiend. My first transcriptions ever were Charlie Christian's I Got a New Baby, Larry Carlton's solo on Kid Charlemagne, and some four pages, both sides, of Pat Martino's solo on Trick.

    As I said, it's kind of hard to know where YOU are beginning from, so if you want suggestions about how to approach playing from a point before or after this spot on my own timeline, please ask. Everyone's journey is different, and everyone learns differently. I am not saying that this is the only way to approach things, I can only tell you how I learned.

    That said, I would suggest that the single most important thing you can do is to listen to a lot of jazz, so that you can strengthen your conception of jazz melody, harmony, and performance. Learning theory and technique is good, but learning how to put it together is better.

    And don't feel like you have to follow a lot of rules; taking risks and learning YOUR way of doing something is an important part of developing your own musical voice and conception. There are sooooo many inspiring players out there... there really isn't just one way to do anything in music.

    Another important activity is to go see your musical heroes play live. I find that seeing a great musician always inspires me. I'll add that the video posts on this forum are also inspiring and informative. Thanks to all of you who do so. I plan to put something up someday, once I kind of get the video production aspect together!

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Sorry if I am the slow kid in class now, but would you define the difference between a line and a lick? I really learn from all this, so thank you.
    Sure - very generally speaking at least.

    In talking about voice-led arpeggios we have been talking about lines, although only scratching the surface of the topic (lines that is). How to form them, what they're made of, how to connect chords, etc. The obvious example of a line would be a steady stream of eighth notes flowing along, up and down, smoothly and logically. That's a compositional and improvisational skill/practice. But if that's all a player does, or if he does it too long, it can become a bit monotonous.

    A lick or motive or motif is more like a statement. It may be more speech like. It sounds like an expressive idea, and is frequently short.

    If that's not clear enough I'll post some famous examples from the masters.

    Cheers.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by znerken
    Sorry if I am the slow kid in class now, but would you define the difference between a line and a lick? I really learn from all this, so thank you.
    this could be just terminology..I say line most of the time..if I hear some one play a group of notes..I may say "nice line" some others may say "nice lick" it does not have to adhere to any "rule of construction" for me its personal choice .. when I first hung out with blues players they would call it a "riff" .. hey man..nice riff...that sort of thing..in the "line/lick/riff" it may include any alteration of tone..bend/hammer-on..electronic effect etc ..as you progress in your playing you will "collect" some Licks/lines that you will find fit in many different situations..if you have a group of notes that you like ..learn them in all keys and positions you will find at some point they will unlock some melodic/harmonic ideas along the way..and they will grow..you may begin by using them as an intro to something then find you can place them in the middle of something and of course at the end of something

    keep stretching your ears

  50. #49

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    I think of licks as good-sounding ideas that lie well beneath the fingers and have become clichés as a result. And I don't mean "cliché" derogatorily so much as "an idea that works so well that it becomes widely loved and widely used." Putting it another way, a lick is something you memorize and use, but a line is something that you compose in real time as you improvise. You can take a lick and build a line from it. And you can steal a good idea from a line and use it as a lick.

    YMMV, this is just how I look at it.

    Here's another explanation:



    Sorry, couldn't resist :-) After the initial joke about licks, the vid is very long and its not jazz. But PG is a helluva player and there's good info on mechanical technique in there.


    SJ

  51. #50

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    Oops. Well I didn't mean lick in that way exactly. And I certainly didn't mean riff.

    I'll just change my term to "motif" or "motive". But to be honest, traditional definitions, or even rock or R&B definitions don't perfectly describe what I'm referring to in jazz improv.