Jazz Exploration

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by notpetrucci, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. notpetrucci

    notpetrucci Member

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    Im a young guitarist with decent experience with most styles and a good list of influences. Recently I've decided to audition for a school here in Charlotte for the arts as part of the Jazz Ensemble. While i've spent the last maybe 4 years focusing primarily on Blues and more ambient textured stylings, I've never really gotten deep into playing what I would call "true" Jazz. While I admire players like Wes Montgomery and Mike Stern, even horn players like Coltrane and Miles, I've just never had that push to pick up my Strat and get all jazzy on it. Untill now...

    Any tips or online lessons for an up and coming jazz guitarist would be greatly appreciated.

    -Jon
     
  2. flexshock55

    flexshock55 Guest

    I'm probably not much older than you (college kid), but my advice would be to read up on jazz chord voicings, improv & more improv skills, learn how to mix some fast diminished and chromatic fills into solos, and study some old standards from wes montgomery, charlie christian, etc.

    I've always liked jazz guitarists who actively integrate an overall melodic theme into their playing, like Charlie Byrd, John Carlini (playing older standards like Star Dust by Hoagy Carmichael), and Joe Pass.

    Check out Chord Solo Guitar Vol. 2 by Carlini to see some good guitar jazz solos with semi-complex voicings. Also, Legends of Jazz Guitar Vols. 1-3 for Joe Pass & Charlie Byrd. Netflix has all these titles in stock if you don't want to buy.

    I think Charlie Parker had said to put more emphasis on the major (2, 3, 6, & 7) intervals than the perfect (1, 4, 5, & 8) tones for soloing. Not to say that's a set-in-stone rule, but it gives a more jazzy feel.

    Just my two cents. -Chad
     
  3. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I've been playing, studying and teaching jazz for a long time. My advice is to learn some solos by some of those players you admire - Miles, Coltrane, Wes, Stern, etc. There's lots of published transcriptions out there to help you, and as much as you possibly can, start picking out melodies, chords and solo bits by ear.

    You will undoubtedly get many recommendations for jazz method books here - there are many good ones out there, but don't let the 'bookworm' aspect take over. The time you spend listening and picking things out by ear is where it really comes together. Let the books supplement this, not the other way around.

    And I'll start with my three favorites: one 'guitar specific' (Mick Goodrick's "The Advancing Guitarist"), and two non-'guitar specific' (Jerry Coker's "Patterns For Jazz" and Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory")
     
  4. countandduke

    countandduke Member

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    Here's a couple things you should do ASAP. Peruse the Jamey Aebersold books at www.jazzbooks.com His books have backing tracks to almost every jazz tune out there.

    Get yourself a Real Book, they are legal now and start with tunes that don't have a ton of changes. Duke Ellington has lots of good songs some with easy changes and some with more challenging ones.

    Start learning the chords and melody to as many tunes from the Real Book and you'll be good.

    Seriously though, the Jamey Aebersold books are really good and start very simply. He's probably taught more people to play jazz than anyone else. There are tons of good books on his website too. The Coker books rank among the best.

    Good luck.....

    Chris
     
  5. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    Although you MUST certainly learn the theory behind jazz, the main ingredient is LISTENING to the artists and standards upon which the jazz idiom is based.

    Although reading music is not a pre-req for playing jazz, it will facilitate your ability to take in information

    Mark Levine's Jazz theory book is the most comprehensive I've seen

    It has a list of 600 standards and key artists who played them in the book

    About 250 of those ar marked as "must know"

    For playing, you need a big dose of charlie christian and Django Reinhardt

    Here's a bunch of solos and audio and transcriptions of Charlie Christian
    http://www3.nbnet.nb.ca/hansen/Charlie/ccsolos.htm

    learn those by memory and by ear
     
  6. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    Another thing:

    For comping chords, you need to learn where the 7th's and 3rd's are for any major 7, dominant 7, and minor seven

    these are played as 2 note chords on the 3rd and 4th strings.

    Be able to play through an entire standard by comping with just the 7th and 3rd only and avoid chugging those big cowboy chords over a tune
     
  7. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Here's some Jazz charts/tunes:

    http://guitar-primer.com/Charts/index2.html

    I'm sure you're familiar with Bues. This site will help you cross over some of what you do now and get it from a jazz guitarist perspective. It's a VERY useful site:

    http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/3573/lessons.html

    I can't beleive this is free: the Jazz Anatomy link on http://www.guitarplayertv.com Mimi Fox gives a FULL blown lessons on chords, comping, and scales. Here's the tab/notation ( along the right side): http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?storycode=14309&navcode=507&mainone=1


    Other than that, pick up the book Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene ($10 on amazon.com). It will show you the bulk of the concepts that a majority of the great jazz tunes are written with. The book is a legend and will show you things you can use the rest of your life.
     
  8. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    you'll have fun ... i played guitar in my HS jazz band and also at my college ... playing guitar in a jazz band is pretty laid back becauae you are strictly comping 90+% of the night .. you might get 1 or 2 solos, and that'll be plenty ... practice your chart reading skills to get down any little cues or rhythmic figures to go along with the grips ... stay away from barre chords and cowboy chords ... never mind the roots and 5s of chords (that's what the bassist and piano player are for) ... pay attention to the 3s and 7s and altered 5s and any upper extensions (9s, 11s, 13s) that get tossed in ... get a warm mellow tone that is clean clean clean ... forget the bridge pickup ... listen to freddy green to learn your place ... then forget him lest you sound really stale (i was swingin' straight "4 to the bars" and my director laughed at me and said 'that style is older than you and me put together - find your own groove') ... when it comes time to solo, no bent notes ... learn your arpeggios, stay close to the melody, and make it swing ..

    have fun
    t4d
     
  9. notpetrucci

    notpetrucci Member

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    Thanks so much to everyone who has provided info thus far. Its such a blessing to be part of a group of people who love their instrument and love seeing other people share that love. All these resources are amazing and everyone's personal experience is something that without, I'd still be running scales to a metronome.

    Good Mojo to all,
    -Jon
     

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