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  #16  
Old 11-27-2016, 01:04 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Jazz isn't linear. There's no "learn this first."

If you're going to learn to play jazz, you're going to need to be ok with several pots on the stove at once.
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  #17  
Old 11-27-2016, 02:28 PM
rwtwguitar rwtwguitar is offline
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The OP's original description of where he was at musically is very similar to me. Subtract 20 years of playing and substitute chord-melody of gypsy-jazz.

I got bit about two years ago and have been on this jazz journey ever since. FWIW, I have had to relearn the guitar in many ways. I think that is in large part due to the fact that guitar, especially as a soloing instrument, came to jazz very late in the game. For blues/folk/rock the guitar has been central to the music's development. So I think part of learning "jazz" is learning to think like a horn player.

To me, playing jazz has meant unlearning to think of the guitar as a "chordal" instrument. Thinking of "jazz chords" and chord progressions was holding me back and confusing me. Horn players can't play chords, they play intervals stacked on top of each other. Jazz chords can seem endlessly complicated if you are trying to memorize the near infinite combinations of thirds and whole notes that make up a four voice chord. But adding a bass note and another voice a third above to a melody note is not so challenging.

I would suggest first and foremost learning single note MELODY lines well for jazz tunes. That is where horn players would start. Then add the supporting bass line. That's where our instrument really shines. Add in a third voice usually some kind of third from the bass to taste and you are doing a good job of playing a lot of standards quickly.

I would add a whole page on my musings on this, but frankly that is too presumptuous. I'm just starting my journey in jazz. The point is that thinking of complicated chord structures can kill progress and enjoyment. The best and most iconic jazz musicians didn't play chords. To get the flavor of their playing I have found, at least for me, that forgetting chords is a necessary step forward.
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2016, 02:36 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I don't see how (or why) folks here want to separate melody and harmony in jazz. So what if a horn player can't play chords? You bet they know 'em!

Also, if you're going to be a jazz guitar player, keep in mind, much of your time will be spent comping...which isn't just "playing the chords to a tune." It's another improvised part, often in which the top note becomes a countermelody of sorts...

A jazz guitar player has to know both. Plain and simple.
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  #19  
Old 11-27-2016, 02:40 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwtwguitar View Post
Horn players can't play chords, they play intervals stacked on top of each other.
IOW, chords.
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  #20  
Old 11-27-2016, 02:53 PM
rwtwguitar rwtwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
I don't see how (or why) folks here want to separate melody and harmony in jazz. So what if a horn player can't play chords? You bet they know 'em!

Also, if you're going to be a jazz guitar player, keep in mind, much of your time will be spent comping...which isn't just "playing the chords to a tune." It's another improvised part, often in which the top note becomes a countermelody of sorts...

A jazz guitar player has to know both. Plain and simple.
I don't know if you are referring to my post, but for the OP I am not advocating "separating melody from harmony". I pretty much am saying EXACTLY the same thing as Jeff. It isn't about learning the chords to a tune. The harmony are also voices that you improvise. You need to know how these other voices interact with the melody and each other. That said, IMO you must really know the melody to be able to comp well.
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  #21  
Old 11-27-2016, 02:57 PM
rwtwguitar rwtwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemonk View Post
IOW, chords.
I was making a distinction between playing a chord and an arpeggio. I think playing arpeggios makes you think about the notes differently than you do when you think of a chord of notes played simultaneously.

Are you saying you think that the way a horn player arpeggiates is the same as a guitar player or piano player playing chord?
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  #22  
Old 11-27-2016, 03:55 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwtwguitar View Post
I was making a distinction between playing a chord and an arpeggio. I think playing arpeggios makes you think about the notes differently than you do when you think of a chord of notes played simultaneously.

Are you saying you think that the way a horn player arpeggiates is the same as a guitar player or piano player playing chord?
Well, in a sense, yes.

But the point I am trying to make is that I think it is a mistake to advocate that the way to learn jazz is to practice single note improvisation outside of a harmonic context. It is a common misconception to think of "jazz chords" as weird sounding, impossible to grab grips. Chords are, as you've said yourself in so many words, harmonized melodies, nothing more, nothing less.
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  #23  
Old 11-27-2016, 04:14 PM
rwtwguitar rwtwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemonk View Post
Well, in a sense, yes.



But the point I am trying to make is that I think it is a mistake to advocate that the way to learn jazz is to practice single note improvisation outside of a harmonic context. It is a common misconception to think of "jazz chords" as weird sounding, impossible to grab grips. Chords are, as you've said yourself in so many words, harmonized melodies, nothing more, nothing less.


That makes sense. I certainly agree that noodling on single lines and ignoring harmony is a mistake. I would likewise disagree with anyone advocating that as a path to playing jazz.


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  #24  
Old 11-27-2016, 05:37 PM
godfreydaniel godfreydaniel is offline
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I took lessons from a jazz player named Howard Morgen. He used the book "Jazz Guitar Method" by Ronny Lee (a Mel Bay book) to teach jazz chords. Very easy to understand.

We also used Ted Greene's "Chord Chemistry", but that's definitely not one you want to start with. I had a lot of trouble with that one.
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  #25  
Old 11-27-2016, 08:08 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Chord Chemistry isn't a method book.
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  #26  
Old 12-04-2016, 01:01 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Chord Chemistry isn't a method book.
No it's not - totally correct. But that book and Greene's Modern Chord Progressions are great once the player has some grounding.
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  #27  
Old 12-05-2016, 09:33 AM
gfsark gfsark is offline
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Noobi here. My studio guitar class at the local college is taught by a jazz guitarist. So this semester has been an eye-opening challenge to keep up with chords and chord progressions, and musical ideas that are unfamiliar to me. The classroom discussion constantly goes back and forth between: what's behind this particular chord progression and what approach would you take to solo over it? The instructor demonstrates both chords and soloing ideas. Then we play. And solo.

And the method our instructor has written, has a concise and extremely useful chord chart, as well as scale practice, and sight reading exercises. Guess I don't quite see the distinction between needing to learn single note improvising and learning the chordal structure harmonies.

I will say positively, that hanging out with an extremely talented instructor and a dozen other students all of whom are more advanced than me, is a great way to learn.
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  #28  
Old 12-05-2016, 02:26 PM
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Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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IMO, a lot of really unhelpful answers here, especially the "you just have be able to hear it and feel it, man" variety. Of course jazz guitar can be taught. And gypsy jazz is just jazz.

For starters, the OP asked about chords. Page 1 of Mickey Baker's Book 1 has almost all the chords you need to comp on any tune. The next few lessons are good exercises on developing your technique with them. Forget the 1001 chords in every inversion kind of books.

Next, the best all around technique method: Wm Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar.

Last, and this part is more individual as for what works for you, the books that helped me the most with soloing are David Baker's How to Play Bebop series. Some will object that there should be more emphasis on chord arpeggios, and they have a point, but that is where bebop departs a lot from swing.

Also, get a couple of George Sher's New Real Books, which are the most accurate version of both chords and melody for jazz standards. Don't wait until you have mastered technique to play tunes. I made that mistake, and it held me back for years and made practice not fun.

I am not qualified to name sources that are specifically about Gypsy jazz, but it does not use different chords and single notes from other jazz--it is a style for using what all jazz players do.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 12-05-2016 at 02:32 PM.
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  #29  
Old 12-05-2016, 06:25 PM
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Curious. Who is doing most of the jazz playing on a flattop acoustic guitar versus and electric guitar and/or archtop? Draw backs of an acoustic flattop guitar for jazz?

A number of jazz scores I have looked at with numerous and continuous block chording way, way, up the neck would seem fairly fatiguing on an acoustic flattop as well as the issue of sustain and base note sound quality running out of gas up there more on an acoustic than on an electric.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 12-05-2016 at 06:37 PM.
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  #30  
Old 12-05-2016, 07:01 PM
Dave Richard Dave Richard is offline
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Hey Zomby, Ted Bogan was the first guitarist I ever saw, playing comping backup, saw him with with Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong(Mariposa Folk Festival, 1975). Did you ever get to see him play?

Dave
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