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  1. #151

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    You can't play jazz tunes without learning a little bit of theory... the chords require theory.
    The whole structure is theory... you can play by ear, but at some point the bass player is gonna ask what chord you are playing there

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    You can't play jazz tunes without learning a little bit of theory... the chords require theory.
    The whole structure is theory... you can play by ear, but at some point the bass player is gonna ask what chord you are playing there
    I play with rock and blues players and they know a lot of chords but no theory. E.g. someone wishes to sing a song we play but in a different key. I know the chords by their placement in the key (Imajor, IVmajor, Vdom7, etc...). Transposing is simple. The other guys just know the chord shapes. Period. Not even all of the chord names (major, minor, dom7 six, etc...). For each song, they memorized each chord voicing and where it is played on the neck. Transposing,,,,, forget-about-it!

  4. #153

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    Well there's a lot of silly stuff and click bait on YouTube.

    Also these videos commenting on each other are getting kinda tiresome. The worst are the fake "reaction" videos.

    I'd like to upload a spoof "first" reaction to the Beatles. "My friend says this band is really good. Gonna take a listen . . ."

  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzinNY
    Well there's a lot of silly stuff and click bait on YouTube.

    Also these videos commenting on each other are getting kinda tiresome. The worst are the fake "reaction" videos.

    I'd like to upload a spoof "first" reaction to the Beatles. "My friend says this band is really good. Gonna take a listen . . ."
    They're not expected to be successful. The guitar oriented band is a thing of the past.

    Or words to that effect, lol.

  6. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I play with rock and blues players and they know a lot of chords but no theory. E.g. someone wishes to sing a song we play but in a different key. I know the chords by their placement in the key (Imajor, IVmajor, Vdom7, etc...). Transposing is simple. The other guys just know the chord shapes. Period. Not even all of the chord names (major, minor, dom7 six, etc...). For each song, they memorized each chord voicing and where it is played on the neck. Transposing,,,,, forget-about-it!
    People are free to suck if they want. It's not theory's fault.

  7. #156

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    One of the biggest conceptual leaps someone interested in learning jazz guitar has to make from rock, blues etc is to go from playing music where the song has a specific part to creating accompanying parts.

    So; I’m not sure that has much to do with theory. It is completely possible to learn how to busk songs to a very high level by ear, and whether or not you know any ‘theory’ that’s one of the main reasons to learn a few hundred songs by ear. Whatever repertoire you play. The more songs you learn, the more you know in the useful musical in-your-fingers-battle-ready sense, not the purely intellectual sense.

    An obvious way to start this is with three or four chord harmonisations for Beatles songs etc, which on beginners guitar would be the three or four chord tricks most of us start with. Is that theory in itself? Kind of! It’s helpful practical knowledge. But we spend time burning that basic stuff into muscle memory and the ears. Not just mental theory. Jazz is no different.

    In jazz it’s knowing and being able to hear common structures like round the houses, the horse, Christophe, Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck etc. Which are all ‘street’ names for progressions in standards. Being able to break down a tune in this way IS a form of theory. But you have different names in different communities of musicians. Conrad Cork’s Harmony with Lego Bricks and Jerry Coker’s hearing the changes both use this concept and all use different terms; Pete Churchill teaches it here London at the jazz schools. But the best approach is really; learn a lot of tunes and use yer brain and ear. Use whatever names are current among the players on your scene.

    You also don’t start with Dolphin Dance. A tune like Lady be Good or Honeysuckle rose can be played with four or five chords.

    When a jazz player says they know no theory, 100% they have some concept of this. Because the no theory players who can actually play all seem to know a million tunes.

    The players most likely to learn this way today do more traditional jazz styles like trad, gypsy jazz and some bop players. (For me it was having to learn a couple of hundred trad and swing standards pretty much on the bandstand that got me going on this. Doing around 200 shows a year of that stuff. I got sick of it. But I learned so much.)

    The scale position/Nashville thing can be helpful but sometimes thinking about it can make it harder... on the other hand I’ve seen band leaders indicate chords with their hands using this system.

    but again that’s real world musical skills stemming from a specific need, not theory as an explanation for how music works. Which is a separate area of study sometimes confused with it.

    TL;DR LEARN A LOT OF TUNES!
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-29-2020 at 06:05 AM.

  8. #157

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    It's hard for me to imagine that there is no benefit in being aware of what notes or at least intervals (6, b9, 7, #11 etc. ) are in the voicings you play and where they are. Same with phrases, saying that there is no benefit in knowing how the notes in a phrase relate to the chord you play, at least when you first learn it, doesn't seem right to me. If you know these, I agree that you don't need to know a whole a lot more theory, just some understanding of major/minor functional harmony. I'm not saying there aren't great players who don't know even this much. But that doesn't mean their learning path would be the shortest or most effective for everybody (or even for themselves).

    In fact, looks like Christiaan actually knows all this stuff and more. He has perfect pitch, when he plays a note, he knows what it is. He is a very good reader on violin. He can name the superimposed arpeggios in the licks he plays. He knows a lot of theory, he teaches 4 part string arrangement if I'm not mistaken. These are all the stuff he said in the two videos that I've seen of him.

    I don't think Chistiaan is the best ambassador for the no theory approach. He says he doesn't think this stuff when learning and playing gypsy jazz, but it is possible that he subconsciously leans on his internalized theory understanding or perfect pitch in critical moments of his development or practice sessions.

    An average beginner jazz player who literally knows next to nothing in the way of theory or fretboard and who doesn't have perfect pitch is in a very different place than Christiaan was when he was learning jazz. The room is pitch black for that player whereas Christiaan could see everything even though he says he didn't need to look.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-29-2020 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #158
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    An average beginner jazz player who literally knows next to nothing in the way of theory or fretboard and who doesn't have perfect pitch is in a very different place than Christiaan was when he was learning jazz. The room is pitch black for that player whereas Christiaan could see everything even though he says he didn't need to look.

    I don't hear Christiaan as only telling his personal story. To me he is more based on the Gypsy players like Stohelo and Birelli .. and the process gypsy players learn by in the Sinti communities, where the process is: This tune has four chord fingerings and here is a lick for every fingering. Once that sounds good you'll get another lick and then after a while you'll have lots of licks, lots of fingerings and lots of tunes.

    But agreed .. If it was only Christiaan's personal story then it is "pro level jazz violinist with perfect pitch and a music degree learns pro level jazz guitar in 5 (or whatever) years by transcribing the entire Stohelo Rosenberg catalog and 1000s of other tunes". That isn't something that most people can replicate


    I can only speak of my self, but that is the way I learned blues and rock. Just copying my heroes and to this day I can do a decent Knopfler or Gilmore impression from just sitting in front of my record player back in the day. Then when I started looking into jazz I got the impression that jazz was scale and theory based .. So I've spent far too many years of my life trying to make this or that standard sound good by applying the correct scales to the chords .. and playing correct arpeggios ... and it not that I sound bad .. I just never managed to sound good

    I'm pretty sure I would have gotten a lot more mileage out of getting shown licks and phrases by my first jazz teacher instead of being told stuff like .. Oh play the harmonic/melodic minor scale a half step up from the root when you see a dominant chord.

    Also if I learned this or that lick from say Wes or Pat there would always be stuff in it that I found it hard to explain thru theory and I'd just feel it was beyond me .. instead of just not caring and just playing the hell out of that lick.



    I mean with the theory mindset you end up with what Beato says about Donna Lee. He starts by demonstrating that there is a zillion chords in Donna Lee (which there isn't, but he just inserts lots of passing chords) and then he says:

    "Every chord has it's own scale and has it's own appeggio and you gotta learn all these thing, so by the time you actually learn to improvise over this stuff .. Freely .. It's taken years basically"


    Utter BS, no? (43:35 to 48:00 in the Re: Beato youtube) ... except that people (me ..see above) actually buy into this and get lost in a jungle of scales and arpeggios and never learn to play anything worth while.

  10. #159

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    Doesn’t matter about style/genre. Time spent using your ears is money in the bank.

    Modern tunes post Trane may need a bit more conceptual work. Can’t improvise a melody on Countdown by ear quite so much in the same way as you can on My Shining Hour; at least not at first. So: use what ever bits of info you find helpful.

    (Beginners unaccustomed to doing ear work might think it’s a helpful shortcut to play music from theory first, but really that was only ever for selling Aebersold books. You can’t sound good that way. It’s important for teachers to show student that they CAN do it, starting on simple stuff.)

    I think we talk in circles here, but as far I can see we are all basically agreed. Including the Beatos of this world.

    I think that’s it really?
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-29-2020 at 11:38 AM.

  11. #160

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    So for the purposes of jazz guitar I propose these informal definitions for "theory" vs "no-theory" approaches. These are basically what these approaches come down to in terms of what one spends time doing in their practice sessions:

    - The theory approach: Learning improvisation by studying the fretboard. The aim is to internalize various abstract musical structures on the fretboard. Triads, inversions, scales, modes, arpeggios, scale patterns etc. Of course this involves knowing how these structures are mapped to various harmonic contexts, but that's the trivial part. You can have a one page cheat sheet and be done with it. Ironically when most people worry about learning theory, they think are thinking about the second part.
    The point of this approach is to a) analyze transcribed phrases in terms of these structures, b) build your own phrases by combining these structures using various melodic devices (some of which are learned from transcriptions)

    - The no-theory approach: Build a library of highly polished language for specific tunes and harmonic contexts. Work on performance skills to master the application of these in musical situations. Trust that in time you'll become innovative with them. Do not worry about the building blocks of these licks or the note names, just concentrate on how they sound and your technique and articulation.

    There is another aspect of theory, which is an understanding of major/minor tonal harmony. It seems like this is sort of side stepped in this discussion. I guess because it's easy develop an intuitive understanding of it by learning a bunch of functional tunes?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 11-30-2020 at 12:56 PM.

  12. #161

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    I think quite a few discussions of this type talk as if theory a singular body of information transmitted by people who know theory to those who don’t. (If we accept the idea of theory as categorisation and pattern spotting.)

    The idea that theory is an exclusive right/wrong understanding is untrue of course. As I point out above one thing can have multiple interpretations. And those interpretations will affect how you hear and do music. Individuality is nurtured by allowing people to do what people do best and look out for patterns.

    Humans are pattern recognising machines, and it’s got us this far. If anything we are a little too keen to see patterns; whether it’s subscribing to conspiracy theories on Facebook, spotting the face of Christ in your rice crispies or inventing Schenkerian analysis.

    On that basis I find it hard to believe that everyone - whether they say they know theory or not - doesn’t invent some sort of theory whether it’s the one in the books or not. It’s just what we do. And even we do know the theory in the books it isn’t really understood on a deep level until we hear/see concepts and ideas being used by musicians.

    Part of the fun of music is discovering things for yourself.

  13. #162

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    I wanna hear this groundbreaking music that ya'll are making without using any framework since theory is so evil and makes music worse.

  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I wanna hear this groundbreaking music that ya'll are making without using any framework since theory is so evil and makes music worse.

  15. #164

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    The Beatles knew theory. It's obvious from their compositions.

    Edit: Oh hah did you mean like no framework stylistically? If so, good one. I think they really drew off of jazz standards for how to build their tunes. A lot of them are put together the exact same way.

  16. #165
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I wanna hear this groundbreaking music that ya'll are making without using any framework since theory is so evil and makes music worse.
    Oh get over yourself. No one here is claiming that theory is evil, just that transcribing and thus working on ear/mechanics will is a faster way to get good. Once good do whatever ... Not a single person here claimed that theory makes music worse.


    Transcribing will give you framework .. You don't need to read theory books for that. It's all in the music it self.

  17. #166

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    So transcribing Coltrane running straight up a Bb9 chord = good. And thinking hmm I can theoretically play a Bb9 arpeggio in my solo = bad. Checks out.

  18. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    So transcribing Coltrane running straight up a Bb9 chord = good. And thinking hmm I can theoretically play a Bb9 arpeggio in my solo = bad. Checks out.

    Trouble is that knowing that you can play a Bb9 arpeggio here or there rarely if never translates to actual melodic application of that Bb9 arpeggio.


    Melodic sounding playing is more than just playing an arpeggio. It's enclosure, it's passing notes and not to mention a lot of it is timing and rhythm.

    Are you claiming that learning to THINK Bb9 while THINKING enclosures, while THINKING syncopation is superior to lifting a couple of tasty Bb9 licks from Peter Bernstein or whoever your favorite player is and once they're solid playing around with them in terms of application?

    Are you really trying to tell me that you can read a lot of theoretical books and come out as a good sounding jazz player without actually sitting down and copying existing jazz players?

    Does it stoke your ego thinking "That is a Bb9 lick" as opposed to thinking that is that sound I first heard on that Peter Bernstein record, but which I since then also have heard in all these other players (that I have transcribed and added to my vocabulary)?

  19. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    The Beatles knew theory. It's obvious from their compositions.

    Edit: Oh hah did you mean like no framework stylistically? If so, good one. I think they really drew off of jazz standards for how to build their tunes. A lot of them are put together the exact same way.
    It all comes down to how one defines "knowing" something. This video provides a lot on this. Yes, their compositions clearly show they knew how to USE music theory but that doesn't mean they know musical theory from a theoretical POV.

    PS: Paul clearly drew from standards; E.g. Here, There and Everywhere is just the Major Chord progressive (IMaj, IImin, IImin, IVMaj, VDom7, and VImin7b5). You Never Give me Your Money is the same progressive as Fly Me to the Moon.

    While Paul told me he had never heard Stompin at the Decca, when I listen to Honey Pie, I say he was being forgetful!


    Last edited by jameslovestal; 11-30-2020 at 04:30 PM.

  20. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Trouble is that knowing that you can play a Bb9 arpeggio here or there rarely if never translates to actual melodic application of that Bb9 arpeggio.


    Melodic sounding playing is more than just playing an arpeggio. It's enclosure, it's passing notes and not to mention a lot of it is timing and rhythm.

    Are you claiming that learning to THINK Bb9 while THINKING enclosures, while THINKING syncopation is superior to lifting a couple of tasty Bb9 licks from Peter Bernstein or whoever your favorite player is and once they're solid playing around with them in terms of application?

    Are you really trying to tell me that you can read a lot of theoretical books and come out as a good sounding jazz player without actually sitting down and copying existing jazz players?

    Does it stoke your ego thinking "That is a Bb9 lick" as opposed to thinking that is that sound I first heard on that Peter Bernstein record, but which I since then also have heard in all these other players (that I have transcribed and added to my vocabulary)?
    transcribing is great but when you’re trying to play your own ideas if you want continuity i.e. im going to play this idea up a tritone and it will work because i can resolve the line to 3,7,9 whatever when we get to I, a little theory will help.

  21. #170

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    No, I'm saying to do both.

  22. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    No, I'm saying to do both.

    But you're disagree with the premise that at the big majority of your work should be transcription and playing?

  23. #172

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    If I had it all to do over again, I'd would transcribe more and think about theory less.

    Transcribing is better for your ears and time, I think.

  24. #173

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    The definition of "theory " is clearly not universal in people minds, especially those who aren't formally trained. And it's too tempting to point out that every pop, rock, blues (virtually any folk style really) musician "didn't know theory", by virtue of the fact that they weren't music majors.

    1. The truth is, in beginning theory you learn about pitches, notes, and chords etc. Triads at first of course. The author of this video discusses mapping out chords from the root, 3rd and 5th in his initial comments, so the whole "non-theory" discussion falls flat on it's face before it even starts. Ask a non-musician if they can explain what a chord is, then the R, 3, 5 of same. (I did that very thing yesterday, as it happens). After they blankly stare at you, you will explain it to them. While you are doing that - even the smallest amount of that - you will be teaching them "theory". So whether this guy likes it or not, he's a part-time theory teacher.

    2. As was stated above, in music schools they refer to all instrumental study as "Applied" music, not Music Theory. So, making the point that "instrumental skill is not theory" is not some kind of revelation.

    3. Whether one "needs to know theory as a prerequisite to becoming a good guitar player" is very fuzzy. One can easily make the point that ANY teaching that these internet guitar stars engage in beyond showing someone how to play a piece of composed or transcribed piece/tune is teaching "theory", however limited. In other words, if one teaches even a little bit of improvisation, arranging or composition, then they are teaching a little bit of theory.

    4. So, in the end it's a matter of how much "theory" one knows, and how much they use that knowledge.


    I tried to watch this to see if some salient points were made but had to turn it off after a minute or two. It's not a serious discussion for serious musicians. It's promotional click bait and internet banter.

    It would be much more useful for this violin playing whiz kid to teach others how to play and advise them how much to practice, and let THEM decide what to do with the rest of their time. Instead he says "don't waste your time with theory" (paraphrasing) while also pointing out that he had to watch the other guys video more than once - because he was spending his time playing a video game! Can't make it up.

    Instead of watching this, one might be better advised to get a frontal lobotomy or some shock treatment.

  25. #174

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    If you’re really into the music you’re always gonna be doing both in the beginning transcribing is important but at some point you have to be honest about how you sound not how you sound playing Grant Greens solo on jean de fleur note for note. This literally just happened to me a couple weeks ago. I was like man ive loved this solo forever so im gonna learn it. And after a while its just basically a practice in memorization and its really honestly lost its meaning. I have a feeling you talk with the players that know 500 tunes and they’re gonna tell you that knowing how chords are functioning is a big part of playing this music. You can bullshit yourself and say “well thats not learning music theory” if thats not than idk what is. If you love something you hear learn it and vary it and figure out what the message of the phrase is. Transcribe a phrase every day but learn tunes and figure out how they work(aka “music theory”) every day too.

  26. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by DonovanT
    I have a feeling you talk with the players that know 500 tunes and they’re gonna tell you that knowing how chords are functioning is a big part of playing this music.

    You're kinda making the point of this thread, which is learn 500 tunes and the rest will take care of it self

    Take our resident Troll GTRMan who's been championing theory and hating on Christiaan for being 100% marketing and zero content ... When it came to the crunch his recommendation of theory was just one or two quick courses at Berklee (or where ever, not going to look thru this thread to find an exact quote)


    Theory is not rocket science and it's not like we are dumb here. Many of us casual players struggling with jazz have master degrees or more. The thing is knowing what 3 notes make up a C-major chord ain't going to make you sound like Charlie Parker sounding over a C-major chord. Oh .. but what if I learn what all the extensions are called, will that make me sound like CP? Once I know the difference between a b9 and a 9 will I have struck gold?

    Knowing the circle of 5ths .. There is the secret to playing in the style of Pat Metheny?

    Substitutions? .. Mamma mia, Look at me .. now I'm Pat Martino .. Speaking of Pat Martino, will looking at chords as children of their parent diminished chords improve my playing?

    And what about knowing that you can apply 4 different modes of melodic minor over a dominant chord to produce different degrees of tension (with the 7th mode being the most popular) .. Is that what I'm lacking in order to play well?


    It's not like we don't know theory on this forum .. as a matter of fact I'm willing to wager that theory knowledge is far larger than actual playing skills. It's just that most of us haven't learned 500 tunes


    Edit:
    Btw, don't get me wrong .. I'm mostly having fun writing stuff like this ... But end of the day I really wish my first jazz teacher a couple of decades ago would have said. "You want to learn this tune? Well you know, I like this and that version. Let me get you started by showing you some of the most memorable phrases" instead of "Well over these chords play this scale and over this dominant play the melodic minor a step up from the root".

  27. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    But you're disagree with the premise that at the big majority of your work should be transcription and playing?
    No, I don't disagree with that. All facets of practice are important to me including playing, studying players, or transcribing. Or practicing arpeggios and trying to build my own lines; or practicing my inversions and trying to build chord melody etc.

  28. #177

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    You're kinda making the point of this thread, which is learn 500 tunes and the rest will take care of it self

    Take our resident Troll GTRMan who's been championing theory and hating on Christiaan for being 100% marketing and zero content ... When it came to the crunch his recommendation of theory was just one or two quick courses at Berklee (or where ever, not going to look thru this thread to find an exact quote)


    Theory is not rocket science and it's not like we are dumb here. Many of us casual players struggling with jazz have master degrees or more. The thing is knowing what 3 notes make up a C-major chord ain't going to make you sound like Charlie Parker sounding over a C-major chord. Oh .. but what if I learn what all the extensions are called, will that make me sound like CP? Once I know the difference between a b9 and a 9 will I have struck gold?

    Knowing the circle of 5ths .. There is the secret to playing in the style of Pat Metheny?

    Substitutions? .. Mamma mia, Look at me .. now I'm Pat Martino .. Speaking of Pat Martino, will looking at chords as children of their parent diminished chords improve my playing?

    And what about knowing that you can apply 4 different modes of melodic minor over a dominant chord to produce different degrees of tension (with the 7th mode being the most popular) .. Is that what I'm lacking in order to play well?


    It's not like we don't know theory on this forum .. as a matter of fact I'm willing to wager that theory knowledge is far larger than actual playing skills. It's just that most of us haven't learned 500 tunes
    Disagreeing makes one a "troll" huh? Oh, the indignity! And yeah, I disagree wholeheartedly and make no apologies for it.

    1. As the point was made by several of us, it doesn't have to be "OR" it can be, and is, "AND".

    2. What are your time estimates stated in both duration and effort, for "learning 500 tunes" - AND - learning means performing at a competent level. Here's mine:

    3500 man-hours
    750 weeks

    Taking two years of music theory in college requires:
    704 man-hours
    64 weeks - WHILE learning 24 pieces in the same time frame.

    The second approach is about 5 times as efficient as the first in man-time, and about 12 times as efficient in calendar time.

    Might want to think about throttling back a little on the computer games.

  29. #178
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Disagreeing makes one a "troll" huh? Oh, the indignity! And yeah, I disagree wholeheartedly and make no apologies for it.

    C'mon .. At least admit what you are .. and I dig, life is quite boring these days and we're all losing our minds. But don't bull shit. You are our resident troll here and we love you for it

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    C'mon .. At least admit what you are .. and I dig, life is quite boring these days and we're all losing our minds. But don't bull shit. You are our resident troll here and we love you for it
    Bullshit is one word.


  31. #180
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Bullshit is one word.


    Post some of your music, so I can get inspired?

  32. #181

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    between a b9 and a 9 will I have struck gold?


    Edit:
    Btw, don't get me wrong .. I'm mostly having fun writing stuff like this ... But end of the day I really wish my first jazz teacher a couple of decades ago would have said. "You want to learn this tune? Well you know, I like this and that version. Let me get you started by showing you some of the most memorable phrases" instead of "Well over these chords play this scale and over this dominant play the melodic minor a step up from the root".
    The best guitar teacher I had (Stu Goodis), provided a song a week. Each song was designed to advance some type of jazz musical "concept"; E.g. II\V and II\V\I (Out of Nowhere), or use of a half-step diminish chord connection between a II\V (Body and Soul), non-functional dominate 7th chords (Sweet Georgia Brown) etc...

    He would provide 2 sheets of music; one with just the chords and their relationship to the key and if that was altered (e.g. IVDom7 instead of just IV which is major7th and scale that would work over the "unique" part of the song (i.e. the reason why that song is song of the week), etc... Of course the first 5 or so songs had a lot of scale recommendations but after that only a few bars would need them). The other sheet was the chords without any additional notation and the melody.

    A CD was provided with a few sections with Stu playing a backing track, the melody, and one soloing over said backing track. In addition he would provide a few versions by guitar players he liked, pointing out specific bars where he felt the guitarist was doing something I should transcript (in order to add that to my bag-of-tricks).

    After a year or so and around 50 tunes, I stopped with the lessons and was able to add songs on my own following this overall process \method.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 11-30-2020 at 09:06 PM.

  33. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Post some of your music, so I can get inspired?

    Hey, I thought that was pretty funny. Irony and all that.

  34. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Hey, I thought that was pretty funny. Irony and all that.
    I mean ... Who's advice am I going to follow. Players like Christiaan and Christian that have tons of music on display ... or some random dude with plenty of attitude, but nothing on display?

  35. #184

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    Take his advice if ya like. I'm not giving any. I'm saying there's no need to tell people NOT to study something. It's more productive to tell them what TO do.

    And I get the Gypsy approach, it's very down to earth. Paco De Lucia was brilliant and said that he didn't understand a lick of theory, and even said he couldn't, if I recall.

    But - Plenty of musicians study music theory and it serves them well. One is to learn it while young, in order to support a life long career/devotion. That's the same as with any other topic one learns in school, right?

    Parting shot - even for adults, it doesn't take much time. It's very easy to learn and is enjoyable. Playing and composing are much more challenging.

  36. #185

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    Trying to boil it down to a bottom line - you have to be able to *hear* and *feel* music to be able to play it.

    Whatever else you do on top of that is fine with me, I honestly don't care. Do what ever helps. (Expecting would be professionals - learn to read as well.)

    But the first thing is apparent right away to anyone with ears, so I'd say it's a matter of priority to get it touch with it. If you are in touch with it, the world's your oyster, really.

  37. #186

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    I'm not convinced GTRMan has a strong conception of the amount of work it takes to be even a middling professional player.

    One important moral function of a guitar teacher to aspiring professionals is to show them this abyss and see if they still want to do it. Lots of ways to do that.

    You are Sisyphus pushing the rock up a mountain. It's between you and your psychology whether or not that's your idea or heaven or hell.

  38. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonovanT
    players that know 500 tunes and they’re gonna tell you that knowing how chords are functioning is a big part of playing this music. Y.
    Just a comment on that point. A musician who knows that many tunes and can play them in any key without thinking, may or may not have theoretical knowledge of how chords are functioning, whatever that might mean.

    For the sounds that I can hear and have internalized (mostly from playing the sound in multiple tunes for years) I hear the sound in my mind and my fingers go there. I don't think about the "function" of the chord. My fingers just seem to know how to play the sound I'm pre-hearing. I can do it quite well for some sounds and quite poorly for others. I can't explain that, but it has been my experience over decades of playing. Moreover, I can do it for sounds for which I can't recall ever thinking about function.

    For example, take I Should Care. The first note of the melody in the standard key is C. I hear a chord in my mind and I know (without being able to explain how) that I can get that sound with xx7978. I can usually hear that application. I can, as an afterthought, analyze it, but I didn't get to it that way and the analysis doesn't help.

    In fact, if I understand the comment to which I'm responding, I don't think that people who know a zillion songs accomplish that by thinking at all about chord function. Rather, they learn the song the same way a non-musician can sing a pop tune. You hear it, you remember it. Your vocal cords make the sounds. The musicians we're alluding to do it the same way, except their ears and experience allow them to do it with both melody and harmony. We can all do part of it. If I play a song you know and hit a wrong chord, you'll know it. They do too, but they also know the right one.

  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I'm not convinced GTRMan has a strong conception of the amount of work it takes to be even a middling professional player.

    One important moral function of a guitar teacher to aspiring professionals is to show them this abyss and see if they still want to do it. Lots of ways to do that.

    You are Sisyphus pushing the rock up a mountain. It's between you and your psychology whether or not that's your idea or heaven or hell.

    I'm sure that I don't. But you are setting up strawman arguments, and based on "street" player philosophy. Why? Is it more romantic?


    The flip side is that I am convinced that you do have a conception that theory has been taught to many thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of musicians and composers for over 200 years at least. Somehow, somehow, somehow they managed, lol.

    My city's symphony first chair violinist can outplay this guy - not improvising mind you - but violin playing, and that's not trash talk. Lots of these great classical musicians and virtuosi are conservatory taught, and most certainly studied theory, plus more.

    If classes in theory, composition, counterpoint, conducting - and let's throw literature and history on the pile while we're at it - prevent one from becoming a great musician, how did they do it? Do they have super powers? Do they have more hours in a day than a Gypsy or Blues Man?

    So, you are, to use your words, a "middling professional player" or greater, yes? And you said it yourself, you're a theory nerd. So you've managed to become a jazz guitar pro and yet love studying theory as well. I'm sorry but it appears to me that you're arguing against yourself on this point.

    Again, I find this to be promotional clickbait and internet chat. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    Last edited by GTRMan; 12-01-2020 at 12:47 AM.

  40. #189
    I think Miles said learn the shit and then forget it and just play. Maybe there is no such thing as a wrong note as long as it sounds good, at least in solos

  41. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    You're kinda making the point of this thread, which is learn 500 tunes and the rest will take care of it self

    Take our resident Troll GTRMan who's been championing theory and hating on Christiaan for being 100% marketing and zero content ... When it came to the crunch his recommendation of theory was just one or two quick courses at Berklee (or where ever, not going to look thru this thread to find an exact quote)


    Theory is not rocket science and it's not like we are dumb here. Many of us casual players struggling with jazz have master degrees or more. The thing is knowing what 3 notes make up a C-major chord ain't going to make you sound like Charlie Parker sounding over a C-major chord. Oh .. but what if I learn what all the extensions are called, will that make me sound like CP? Once I know the difference between a b9 and a 9 will I have struck gold?

    Knowing the circle of 5ths .. There is the secret to playing in the style of Pat Metheny?

    Substitutions? .. Mamma mia, Look at me .. now I'm Pat Martino .. Speaking of Pat Martino, will looking at chords as children of their parent diminished chords improve my playing?

    And what about knowing that you can apply 4 different modes of melodic minor over a dominant chord to produce different degrees of tension (with the 7th mode being the most popular) .. Is that what I'm lacking in order to play well?


    It's not like we don't know theory on this forum .. as a matter of fact I'm willing to wager that theory knowledge is far larger than actual playing skills. It's just that most of us haven't learned 500 tunes


    Edit:
    Btw, don't get me wrong .. I'm mostly having fun writing stuff like this ... But end of the day I really wish my first jazz teacher a couple of decades ago would have said. "You want to learn this tune? Well you know, I like this and that version. Let me get you started by showing you some of the most memorable phrases" instead of "Well over these chords play this scale and over this dominant play the melodic minor a step up from the root".
    I think every player you want to sound like(you're list?) would tell you to learn everything you can. It's not what you're doing that will hurt you it's what you're not doing. I understand the want to just transcribe though. I just think it takes more than that to really get inside this music and be able to tell your story.

  42. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    The flip side is that I am convinced that you do have a conception that theory has been taught to many thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of musicians and composers for over 200 years at least. Somehow, somehow, somehow they managed, lol.

    If classes in theory, composition, counterpoint, conducting - and let's throw literature and history on the pile while we're at it - prevent one from becoming a great musician, how did they do it? Do they have super powers? Do they have more hours in a day than a Gypsy or Blues Man?
    Lmao. Yes, how on earth did they do it?!

  43. #192

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    Learning a bunch of tunes and doing a bunch of transcriptions will open up many doors. But it will never open up the same doors as learning all your inversions and arpeggios all over the neck. They're both important wtf lol.

  44. #193
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Learning a bunch of tunes and doing a bunch of transcriptions will open up many doors. But it will never open up the same doors as learning all your inversions and arpeggios all over the neck. They're both important wtf lol.
    So any clips of you demonstrating how you apply knowing those arpeggios all over the neck to jazz improvisation .. or at least of you playing so that it will inspire me to put in that work?

  45. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Just a comment on that point. A musician who knows that many tunes and can play them in any key without thinking, may or may not have theoretical knowledge of how chords are functioning, whatever that might mean.

    For the sounds that I can hear and have internalized (mostly from playing the sound in multiple tunes for years) I hear the sound in my mind and my fingers go there. I don't think about the "function" of the chord. My fingers just seem to know how to play the sound I'm pre-hearing. I can do it quite well for some sounds and quite poorly for others. I can't explain that, but it has been my experience over decades of playing. Moreover, I can do it for sounds for which I can't recall ever thinking about function.

    For example, take I Should Care. The first note of the melody in the standard key is C. I hear a chord in my mind and I know (without being able to explain how) that I can get that sound with xx7978. I can usually hear that application. I can, as an afterthought, analyze it, but I didn't get to it that way and the analysis doesn't help.

    In fact, if I understand the comment to which I'm responding, I don't think that people who know a zillion songs accomplish that by thinking at all about chord function. Rather, they learn the song the same way a non-musician can sing a pop tune. You hear it, you remember it. Your vocal cords make the sounds. The musicians we're alluding to do it the same way, except their ears and experience allow them to do it with both melody and harmony. We can all do part of it. If I play a song you know and hit a wrong chord, you'll know it. They do too, but they also know the right one.
    people who know a zillion tunes(Jazz and standards on a jazz style) definitely have their shit together. Its not “ohh ii is sub dominant so I could play...uhh ... IV ill play IV! Oh and whats the next Chord I? No, vi? Nope oh its V!! Lol come on just cause you learn them as sounds doesn’t mean you cant investigate the sounds and just cause you learn theory doesnt mean you cant hear.

  46. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    So any clips of you demonstrating how you apply knowing those arpeggios all over the neck to jazz improvisation .. or at least of you playing so that it will inspire me to put in that work?
    Sure, just for you I threw together a crappy phone video of me demonstrating the concept of how practicing arpeggios can be applied to making music. And don't get on my case about it not being inspirational music. It's me sucking on a first take demonstrating one way how I utilize theory to practice.


  47. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    My city's symphony first chair violinist can outplay this guy - not improvising mind you - but violin playing, and that's not trash talk. Lots of these great classical musicians and virtuosi are conservatory taught, and most certainly studied theory, plus more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Lmao. Yes, how on earth did they do it?!
    Thing is all those virtuoso usually rise to prominence long before they're old enough to attend conservatory. I'm willing to wager quite a bit of money that the first violinist you mention despite "only" being first chair in your city started playing violin at the age of 4 or maybe 5, if he was a late starter and has put in a sick amount of hours just playing (and since it's classical also reading) music.


    Anyways let's enjoy one of the biggest current classical violin stars Hilary Hahn at the age of 15



    Btw .. It seems like you have quite the dislike for internet jargon, but never the less .. The official internet term for the virtuoso violin players you describe is Ling Ling's after internet meme Ling Ling. The thing about Ling Ling is that according to legend he practices his violin 40 hours a day!

    Let's end with upcoming star Chloe Chua flexing her knowledge of theory at the age of 11



    Here she is at the age of 13 giving lessons to two run of the mill (but still with plenty of experience playing in symphony orchestras) classical violinists

    Is she focused on notes, chord and theory .. and is it practical stuff like vibrato, tone, looseness of wrist, fingerings and other stuff directly related to playing? Should be the former, shouldn't it?

  48. #197

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Is she focused on notes, chord and theory .. and is it practical stuff like vibrato, tone, looseness of wrist, fingerings and other stuff directly related to playing? Should be the former, shouldn't it?
    It's classical. All they do is play precomposed music. You don't need any theory to do that smarty pants. Besides knowing how to read.

  49. #198
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Lmao. Yes, how on earth did they do it?!
    OK, so the answer to that question is

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    It's classical. All they do is play precomposed music. You don't need any theory to do that smarty pants. Besides knowing how to read.
    That they don't do it?

    C'mon .. Let's be coherent here

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Sure, just for you I threw together a crappy phone video of me demonstrating the concept of how practicing arpeggios can be applied to making music. And don't get on my case about it not being inspirational music. It's me sucking on a first take demonstrating one way how I utilize theory to practice.


    No offence .. But the thing is that I can do that too and have put in year in exercises like that (unfortunately seems like that time would have been better spent actually learning licks)

    And you know what ... I sound just as crappy as you, when actually trying to play anything that sound reminiscent of actual jazz like you do at the end of that video. I actually sound a lot like you tbh.


    The ultimate nightmare when trying to play with that approach is a tune like Autumn Leaves, which guaranteed will end up sounding blander than English cooking


  50. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    And you know what ... I sound just as crappy as you, when actually trying to play anything that sound reminiscent of actual jazz like you do at the end of that video. I actually sound a lot like you tbh.
    I can play better than that. It's me demonstrating material that I have to think about in real time. But yeah I'm not pro and need all the help I can get. So I'm gonna use all the resources available to me: listening and getting the info straight from the music like you say, AND working out theory.

    Me on guitar, organ and left hand bass, plus the drum track:


  51. #200

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    The ultimate nightmare when trying to play with that approach is a tune like Autumn Leaves, which guaranteed will end up sounding blander than English cooking.
    You have to friggin practice. What do you expect? You'll suddenly feel the gypsy force? You gotta learn the tune, learn the chords everywhere, learn the arpeggios, have melodies and parts that you know work in different places.. It's a lot of work. You don't just arrive one day because of your aural skills.