The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #526

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    it's another incarnation of fumblefingers.
    Tbf you think everyone is fumblefingers

    Im detecting a different vibe here

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #527

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    Wow! "There's some real gabbin' goin' on here," as the farmer down the road from me used to say. I've read the lion's share of comments and I fall into the Jimmy Smith Camp after a lifetime devoted to this madness. I think some prospective musicians want to disregard/minimize the hard work it takes to become first--technically proficient and later, artistically interesting players and want to believe it is sent in a bolt from the gods through divine intervention and their life is forever changed. But, the reality is that the gods are not that generous and there's the real gamble that after you've finished your journey . . . you really won't say anything interesting, musically. There IS an added element of "talent" to this madness that cannot be bought for any price. And, the tragedy of this realization can be both profound and devastating to the player who has experienced this epiphany. There are some people that are born to be artists. We see it in the early bloomers who grace the Jazz and Classical world and those fortunate FEW that have the gift sometime later in life. But, it begins with a seed that is genetic and not everyone has the seed. I've known serious musicians that have dedicated their entire lives to music. They are great technicians/craftsmen and you could call them for a "cold" gig without reservation. But, despite their mechanical talents, they've never said an interesting thing musically in their life. Music is Non-Verbal Communication of the highest order. And, unless you're a savant . . . you must turn back the sheets, look under the wheelbarrow, dig in the back of your cupboard, and check out your basement and attic . . . or you might never find grandma's diamond ring that no one else could find. Life is that way sometimes . . .
    Marinero

  4. #528

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Joe Pass definitely read music very well. There are a bunch of interviews where he talks about how he learned from etude books and how his father would give him Piano scores to read and make him practice 7-8 hours a day. Later on and he was a very prolific session player in LA for years. There are varying accounts of how well Wes could read (some say he couldn't read at all, some say he could read a little but not sight read).
    amen. video is built on a ridiculous false premise.

  5. #529

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Take that clip I posted. The 2 pianists at open studio. Adam the guy playing on the left is kind of mad at theory. He says stuff like you can't information your way to playing better. He always emphasizes hearing and transcribing kind of to the exclusion of technical stuff. Peter, the guy on the right thinks both are important. To my ear, Peter absolutely smokes because he takes advantage of both sides of things - ear and tech stuff. I like how his ideas sound like they're little cells of theoretical ideas whether it's a tonality, a rhythm, or some other device. Adam kind of just blows through things, and does sound good, but he doesn't seem like he has as good of a command to really excite with the music like Peter does.
    I actually preferred Adam's playing; his comping chords maintain a natural harmonic sound despite being complex, and I think his rhythmic sense is superior. Peter has tremendous facility and to my ear I also, like you, hear his "study" in his playing.
    I can usually hear in a guitarist's playing of a popular solo whether their primary constructive source was predominantly visual/verbal (standard notation) , mechanical (TAB), or auditory (by ear). It is different for various styles of music and tastes vary, but to me for Jazz the ideal is that none of those paths really show themselves, just all resolving into a highly confident extraordinary competence.

  6. #530

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    They both sound good. There's no way Adam's rhythmic sense is superior because they both hold it down but Peter busts faster and more technical stuff. Peter is one of my favorite players right now because I like how he uses interesting devices to make his lines exciting. He builds and sequences motifs really well and creates interesting phrases using some sort of idea like a rhythm or a tonality which I really like. To me that sounds really good rather than only focusing on making a flowing congruent line.

  7. #531

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    More half-educated commentary from the unschooled:

    What I hear from the keyboard players video is not so much how "theory" generates the music as how it facilitates analysis that can be fed into practice (in both senses of the term). When the guy on the left observes and demonstrates different ways of playing a blues turnaround (I think that's the structure he's dealing with), he names the players and the harmonic devices that he hears interweaving. An unschooled but observant listener (for example, me) might be able to make some of the same observations, but it would be somewhat limited, since the descriptive vocabulary would be something like "that part where Oscar Peterson goes. . ." but without the precision of the technical naming--and probably without the recognition of exactly why the figures are transformations or alterations of an underlying basic structure.

    As for which player's playing I prefer and how that might be connected to some underlying theoretical/ear-driven approach, I have no opinion, since I'm responding directly to the music, even when I have some idea of how to name the machineries that generate it.

    FWIW, my keyboard ear trained first on Ellington, followed in no particular order by Memphis Slim, Monk, Fats Waller, Randy Newman, and Mose Allison. Oscar Peterson I came to via Grappelli and Bill Evens via Tony Bennett. I suspect that stride and gospel lurk beneath much of my preferences. I have names for styles and traditions and can pick out the elements that I hear in them, but without the technical vocabulary--my ear picks up things I don't have names for.
    Last edited by RLetson; 11-27-2022 at 07:39 PM.

  8. #532

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    My favorite music and my favorite guitarists include some who are tuned in to theory and some who are not.

    I consider Jim Hall (who was a conservatory trained musician iirc) and Carlos Santana (apparently not a trained musician) to be influences. Others who I think of as influences include BB King and Chuck Wayne. I've heard BB discussing theoretical issues (e.g. how Charlie Christian used diminished chords), but I think it might be reasonable to assume that his playing was not heavily theoretically based. I could be wrong about that. Chuck apparently knew a lot of theory and taught a very organized approach to jazz guitar.

    The point is that my enjoyment of music doesn't seem to track how much theory the player knows or uses.

    Caveat: this discussion requires an agreed-upon clear definition of what is theory and what is not. That doesn't exist, so some seem to assume that anybody who can play is using theory, even if they're unaware of that fact. For me, it involves knowing some of the sorts of things that you see in a book on jazz theory.

  9. #533

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    The point is that my enjoyment of music doesn't seem to track how much theory the player knows or uses.
    I realized that my favorite players used specific theoretical approaches or were good at theoretical topics after being first attracted to their music by my ear. The first musician's playing I was attracted to while listening to jazz radio as a teenager was Monk. I liked how it sounded spiky and melodic. I didn't learn why it sounded that way until later when I learned piano and more about music. The same thing with this recent example of Peter Martin. I first heard him killing in his solos and thought I had to figure out why it sounded like that and was able to come up with theoretical descriptions of why his music is so effective. I also think it's self evident that he thinks that way to create it.

    Caveat: this discussion requires an agreed-upon clear definition of what is theory and what is not. That doesn't exist, so some seem to assume that anybody who can play is using theory, even if they're unaware of that fact. For me, it involves knowing some of the sorts of things that you see in a book on jazz theory.
    That isn't true. Music theory is any information that helps musicians play, formulate, understand, organize, or analyze music other than just hearing it and doing it.
    Last edited by Jimmy Smith; 11-27-2022 at 05:45 PM.

  10. #534

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    My favorite music and my favorite guitarists include some who are tuned in to theory and some who are not.

    I consider Jim Hall (who was a conservatory trained musician iirc) and Carlos Santana (apparently not a trained musician) to be influences. Others who I think of as influences include BB King and Chuck Wayne. I've heard BB discussing theoretical issues (e.g. how Charlie Christian used diminished chords), but I think it might be reasonable to assume that his playing was not heavily theoretically based. I could be wrong about that. Chuck apparently knew a lot of theory and taught a very organized approach to jazz guitar.

    The point is that my enjoyment of music doesn't seem to track how much theory the player knows or uses.

    Caveat: this discussion requires an agreed-upon clear definition of what is theory and what is not. That doesn't exist, so some seem to assume that anybody who can play is using theory, even if they're unaware of that fact. For me, it involves knowing some of the sorts of things that you see in a book on jazz theory.
    It would be better to reach a firm definition of both playing by theory and ear,
    perhaps by stipulating a qualifying term applicable to both... maybe training?
    Training would be books, lessons, methods, nomenclature... usual meaning:

    For example
    Playing by theory is primarily playing applying theory training (but not excluding any acquired playing by ear)
    Playing by ear is primarily playing without applying theory training (so not excluding passive acquired theory)

    This would allow
    - acknowledging individual current local position range/band of mixture within the theory <------> ear spectrum
    - reminding us that individual advancement may appear as movement in either direction through the spectrum

  11. #535

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    It would be better to reach a firm definition of both playing by theory and ear,
    perhaps by stipulating a qualifying term applicable to both... maybe training?
    Training would be books, lessons, methods, nomenclature... usual meaning:

    For example
    Playing by theory is primarily playing applying theory training (but not excluding any acquired playing by ear)
    Playing by ear is primarily playing without applying theory training (so not excluding passive acquired theory)
    Disagree with this. If you want to discuss a musician's level of training, that's a subject independent of how much theory they know and use.

    This would allow
    - acknowledging individual current local position range/band of mixture within the theory <------> ear spectrum
    - reminding us that individual advancement may appear as movement in either direction through the spectrum
    Agree with this, however.

  12. #536

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    If you want to discuss a musician's level of training, that's a subject independent of how much theory they know and use.
    I do agree with that as stated. But by making a new term "theory training", the stipulation that "training" is "theory training" (with books,, lessons, methods, nomenclature) narrows more to what we all mean by formal music theory training. Yes, that is different from general training which may include many other things.

    A main confusion is what to call "theory" that is not from formal training but incidentally acquired or even invented by a musician using their own made up objects and relationships, musical thoughts with their own non-formal names, or even without names and only abstract representations. I'm looking for a concept that more clearly distinguishes formal theory from this kind of informal theory. I have suggested "applying theory training" (formal methods) to indicate its difference from more internal non-formal theory by calling the latter "without applying theory training".

    If you understand what I am trying to do, maybe you or others might suggest what kind of terms or stipulations would better make clear this distinction. I think making theory mean the recognizable standard formal music theory training does this pretty well... you did indicate agreement with the results (nice to see something with which we agree).

  13. #537

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    Academic theory vs skills?

  14. #538

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    The anti-theory posts all sound hostile in tone to me. I mean everyone knows the people on the forum are either really top notch players or people who are learning from them . I mean if you don’t like theory , then don’t study theory ,but some of the anti-theory posts are from people who use words like “diatonic” or “altered” or “scale “ . Its pretty rare to find a true savant , and the true savants probably know as little about the internet as they do about music theory. Just sayin it all seems kinda hostile and dis -respectful to the great players on here who like to discuss theory. I like theory and some of those theory threads are way too much to read , but I’m not one to insult anyone over their passion for knowledge . I mean Yo Yo ma can probably read Bach upside down , but plays the entire Cello suites by memory. Musical memory is from the ear IMO. When muscle memory fails your ear has to pull you through. When the question of theory and reading music appears amongst people I play with or play for , I tell them ask an orchestra musician about the ear . Ear is all part of the musical training in Classical and jazz . Sightsinging ect…
    How did you learn that? as they see the stacks of books . It’s a mixed process . I Don’t know what else to say. It is a tough question. What am I supposed to do ,tell my life story? . Learn a new tune by ear in front of them and still some will challenge . Its like that with everything nowadays. People looking to diminish other’s accomplishments .All of you teachers have a tough job.

  15. #539

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad26
    The anti-theory posts all sound hostile in tone to me. I mean everyone knows the people on the forum are either really top notch players or people who are learning from them . I mean if you don’t like theory , then don’t study theory ,but some of the anti-theory posts are from people who use words like “diatonic” or “altered” or “scale “ . Its pretty rare to find a true savant , and the true savants probably know as little about the internet as they do about music theory. Just sayin it all seems kinda hostile and dis -respectful to the great players on here who like to discuss theory. I like theory and some of those theory threads are way too much to read , but I’m not one to insult anyone over their passion for knowledge . I mean Yo Yo ma can probably read Bach upside down , but plays the entire Cello suites by memory. Musical memory is from the ear IMO. When muscle memory fails your ear has to pull you through. When the question of theory and reading music appears amongst people I play with or play for , I tell them ask an orchestra musician about the ear . Ear is all part of the musical training in Classical and jazz . Sightsinging ect…
    How did you learn that? as they see the stacks of books . It’s a mixed process . I Don’t know what else to say. It is a tough question. What am I supposed to do ,tell my life story? . Learn a new tune by ear in front of them and still some will challenge . It’s like that with everything nowadays. People looking to diminish other’s accomplishments .All of you teachers have a tough job.
    I’m not sure if you mean me, but if that’s honestly what you take from my posts, I’m quite sad. It seems I’m above all a terrible communicator

    and since also, I don’t learn, here’s another go.

    I’m self evidently a theory guy, for instance. but it’s not about me…. so I’m more pointing out that not everyone has learned and views music like I do. Dutchbopper is a great example, he used to lose patience with theory posting lol (including mine)

    I’m ok with that, it doesn’t honestly bother me that much.

    I don’t know why the idea that there isn’t simply one way to do things, just one route up the mountain, has appeared to put some peoples noses out of joint for some reason. Yet, these musicians are out there in the world and will be whether or not I talk about them. you may well meet and play with a few of them! Some of them are on JGO or at least used to be… look up DB, and hear how he plays and bear in mind he started learning jazz well into adulthood. Something to think about.

    So, there’s a diversity of ways to learn music, but it is possible to detect common threads, but one common theme among all good musicians seems to be the ears above all. The aural imagination I believe (as did Edwin Gordon and Lennie Tristano among others) constitutes the principle aspect of musicality. This is as true for the conductor who can hear a symphony in their head just from looking at a score, to the Manouche guitarist who learned Django’s solos as little more than a babe in arms.

    That’s what makes a musician a musican; everything else is in support of that, whatever it might be. That position is not anti theory at all, but it does mean that theory has a supporting role, rather than the central one some may feel it has. Ears first, theory second. Some even - heavens forfend - appear to do without it entirely.

    and if you think that’s BS, there’s plenty to get second opinions from. But honestly if you put it like this, I think most of the musicians I know would basically agree.

  16. #540

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I do agree with that as stated. But by making a new term "theory training", the stipulation that "training" is "theory training" (with books,, lessons, methods, nomenclature) narrows more to what we all mean by formal music theory training. Yes, that is different from general training which may include many other things.

    A main confusion is what to call "theory" that is not from formal training but incidentally acquired or even invented by a musician using their own made up objects and relationships, musical thoughts with their own non-formal names, or even without names and only abstract representations. I'm looking for a concept that more clearly distinguishes formal theory from this kind of informal theory. I have suggested "applying theory training" (formal methods) to indicate its difference from more internal non-formal theory by calling the latter "without applying theory training".

    If you understand what I am trying to do, maybe you or others might suggest what kind of terms or stipulations would better make clear this distinction. I think making theory mean the recognizable standard formal music theory training does this pretty well... you did indicate agreement with the results (nice to see something with which we agree).
    I agree with what you're saying about the spectrum between ear and theory or between informal/colloquial/applied theory and academic theory, but I don't think it's correct to define theory as only academic theory (and the rest as musicianship?). Theory is all info used for music other than just hearing it and doing it.

  17. #541

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    So, there’s a diversity of ways to learn music, but one common theme among all good musicians seems to be the ears above all. Theory has a supporting role, rather than the central one some may feel it has. Ears first, theory second. Some even - heavens forfend - appear to do without it entirely.
    Yes, agreed. The whole process of music, from learning to the greats, is ears first, theory to some degree as a supporting role. My take is that theory is only helpful when developed in tandem with musicianship and that some is essential for practically everyone but I am not going to force that on people.

  18. #542

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I’m not sure if you mean me, but if that’s honestly what you take from my posts, I’m quite sad. It seems I’m above all a terrible communicator

    and since also, I don’t learn, here’s another go.

    I’m self evidently a theory guy, for instance. but it’s not about me…. so I’m more pointing out that not everyone has learned and views music like I do. Dutchbopper is a great example, he used to lose patience with theory posting lol (including mine)

    I’m ok with that, it doesn’t honestly bother me that much.

    I don’t know why the idea that there isn’t simply one way to do things, just one route up the mountain, has appeared to put some peoples noses out of joint for some reason. Yet, these musicians are out there in the world and will be whether or not I talk about them. you may well meet and play with a few of them! Some of them are on JGO or at least used to be… look up DB, and hear how he plays and bear in mind he started learning jazz well into adulthood. Something to think about.

    So, there’s a diversity of ways to learn music, but it is possible to detect common threads, but one common theme among all good musicians seems to be the ears above all. The aural imagination I believe (as did Edwin Gordon and Lennie Tristano among others) constitutes the principle aspect of musicality. This is as true for the conductor who can hear a symphony in their head just from looking at a score, to the Manouche guitarist who learned Django’s solos as little more than a babe in arms.

    That’s what makes a musician a musican; everything else is in support of that, whatever it might be. That position is not anti theory at all, but it does mean that theory has a supporting role, rather than the central one some may feel it has. Ears first, theory second. Some even - heavens forfend - appear to do without it entirely.

    and if you think that’s BS, there’s plenty to get second opinions from. But honestly if you put it like this, I think most of the musicians I know would basically agree.
    No man I think its me that doesnt communicate . I mean you are a great player and many others here are as well. I just get bummed because it seems like the anti theory posts were sort of aggressive towards you and other players who do like to talk theory. I like it also . I think of you as well versed in theory , and also a great player . I am team Christian.
    Wow 6-10 months I have not posted anywhere , and No social media for 4 years. Maybe I have been in the basement too long . Do you guys still do tune of the month.? I finally figured out a simple way to make a damn video. I see that sharing your playing is the best way to make some friends around here. I only go here because its a place I know and I respect the players.

    sorry dude . I was actually praising you.

  19. #543

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    Maybe theory is to music as math is to physics...

  20. #544

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    This is a good point to revisit ye olde aptitude
    test (pattern recognition) for playing by ear...?

    =========================
    Aptitude Test (Guitar) for Playing By Ear
    =========================


    Music Appreciation:
    Which ordinal album was the turning point for James Gang, Eagles, Radiohead?


    Performance:
    Which fretting finger has the toughest tip?
    In most songs, your guitar solo is performed in which verse?
    In a three piece band ("trio" in jazz lingo):
    - The drummer shows up when?
    - How much do you take home?


    Classical:
    The fast movement of a concerto or symphony is usually which one?
    Beethoven's best Symphony?
    Picardy is the worst sounding what?


    Theory:
    Major seventh, dominant seventh, minor seventh, and both diminished and half diminished form stacks of what interval?
    A ditone is what major interval?
    Major enharmonic equivalent of diminished fourth?
    Series of augmented intervals produces the circle of what?
    The interval between a major scales' tonic and mediant?
    The major interval between the fourth and fifth harmonics?
    What is the interval between the pair of nonharmonic tones called Cambiata?
    Which seventh chord inversion is indicated by 4/2?
    The alto clef places middle C on which line?


    Scoring:
    Less time to complete indicates higher aptitude for playing by ear.

  21. #545

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    There's a simple and effective test for aptitude to play by ear. Ask the person to listen to a few bars of a tune of average complexity, then hum it back. If the person can't do it, there's no hope. I know of a classical teacher who does this when deciding whether to accept new students. There's an argument that a musician plays an instrument primarily with his/her ears, with all other parts of the body in a supporting role.

  22. #546

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    Without showing them what melody is first? The jackass teacher at my elementary school did this to us without first explaining what pitch is. I'm now a good musician..

  23. #547

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    I remember in the third grade we were herded into the cafeteria one afternoon for a "screening test" about the time that some of us would begin the music playing (instruments) part of the music program. A woman tapped pairs of rhythmic patterns and we all marked an answer form whether the two patterns were the same or different, I guess about twenty-five sets of those. Then she did a similar number of sets of pitch pairs with us marking if they were the same or different, or perhaps which was higher or lower... don't recall that.

    I do remember thinking that the tests were ludicrously easy; I had been listening to music my whole life and always had a strong interest in it. Shortly after that I was very excited to be learning to read music and play Bb clarinet (still have it, still play it). A few years later would come six years of classical piano. I still have that piano and play it too. However, it is the guitar I would really love the most for the last 50 years.

  24. #548

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat
    There's a simple and effective test for aptitude to play by ear. Ask the person to listen to a few bars of a tune of average complexity, then hum it back. If the person can't do it, there's no hope. I know of a classical teacher who does this when deciding whether to accept new students. There's an argument that a musician plays an instrument primarily with his/her ears, with all other parts of the body in a supporting role.
    i don’t agree there’s no hope. It’s a muscle you can build.

  25. #549

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    Ran Blake wrote a whole book about this, The Primacy of the Ear. Of course it can be learned. Blake tells you how.

    Years ago, at the US Open, I was listening to Nick Bolletieri giving a mini lecture on tennis while promoting a recent book. A guy in the audience around my age at the time (thirty-ish) asked about learning the one-handed backhand or changing his grip at his age, and Bolletieri gave him the all too common, alomst humiliating answer that it was too late to do so, and it was impossible unless he had learned that grip before he was 12. Which is a massive crock of toxic elitist BS, but the guy maybe lived on to believe he could not change his game 'cause it was too late at 32 or he was not "gifted" enough. It pissed me off considerably, and in subsequent months, thanks to an amazing teacher I was working with at the time, I rebuilt my game entirely at the time, especially on the back hand side. Nothing is impossible with deliberate, conscious practice where no detail is left unterned. One day it all came together, with an "in the zone" experience of hitting hard and fast all possible shots for almost an hour without a single bad one, it's a truly amazing experience, which I believe is accessible to EVERYONE.

    Moral of the story: you may never be an Ellington or a Metheny, but don't ever let anyone tell you you can't learn to play, if that is what you truly want.

  26. #550

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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyrich99
    Maybe theory is to music as math is to physics...
    nah