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  #31  
Old 12-06-2016, 01:42 AM
rwtwguitar rwtwguitar is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
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.
I am absolutely certain that you can play jazz on a flattop, but what matters is what sound you are after. Most iconic jazz recordings are on electric guitars set up in a particular way with a particular sound. If you want that sound, its hard to get it out of a flattop.

I've spent several years building guitars chasing that sound out of an acoustic. I couldn't get there with a flattop. I now build an archtop guitar with a composite carbon fiber soundboard. There is a clarity of tone, long sustain and balance across the fretboard and strings that define "jazz archtop" to my ears. When I try to play one of my older flattop guitars made in a more traditional way I feel like I've put a blanket over the guitar. And yet for other styles I love my flattops.

Like so much with guitars, our experience, culture, and musical history really define what is "right" in a guitar.
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  #32  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:20 AM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
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.

Me, for one, using an OM cutaway. It works well for me, but I play the same stuff on a narrow-necked jazz box, too. The choice of instrument has to do with the playing situation...brunch gigs work great on acoustic, and smoky Saturday night background jazz benefits from a neck-position archtop humbucker and small clean amp.

The music doesn't change that much with the instrument, though, although the archtop has a little glassier rounder high end and the acoustic has a little more percussion in the voice.
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  #33  
Old 12-08-2016, 08:01 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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Well, I'm playing fingerstyle jazz standards & other songs on my nylon string guitar.

I may not get the exact sound that an electric or arch top might have. But it sounds darn good to me and to others.

Earl Klugh, Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd & Ralph Towner weren't inhibited by playing their nylon stringed guitars.

Pat Metheny sounds awesome on his nylon stringed guitars on his 2 CD's (One Quiet Night & What's it all about) as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
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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  #34  
Old 12-08-2016, 08:10 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Joe Pass did a lot of recording using a nylon string classical guitar. Jazz is about melody, time, harmony. It's about playing things you haven't played before. It's not about an instrument.
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  #35  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:27 AM
Paultergeist Paultergeist is offline
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Originally Posted by jomaynor View Post
........
Also, since you're getting into gypsy jazz, John Jorgenson has several video instruction clips out there, and a couple of in depth DVDs, too.
Jorgenson has an amiable, easy-to-follow manner........
Thank you for taking the time to post/embed the John Jorgensen clip. I found that very insightful.
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  #36  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:30 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Default How Did You Learn Jazz?

One. note. at. a. time...
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  #37  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:48 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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My progress toward being competent at what I call jazz has three main components.

The social component is playing music with others. I believe that jazz is not the music itself so much as what happens in the communication between players when they really listen, the sum being greater than the parts.

The educational component is a book by Mickey Baker called "Improvising Jazz" which I picked up about 40 years ago. It is not about guitar playing, it is conceptual. It is still available.

The third crucial component is practice. I am a great fan of Chuck Sher's "New Real Book" series, but there are many scores which lay out intelligent harmonizations of the great American songbook, and playing through the changes and learning the tunes is the thing.
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  #38  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:33 PM
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For me, the eye opener regarding Jazz took place during a concert at Suummer Jazz WOrkshops a few years ago.

up on a big screen during the performance, the music was displayed.
someone sat there with a laser pointer, and bopped along the music as it was being played.

the music was marked to draw attention to the leads and solos and how so many of them were simply arpeggios or bits of ascending or descending scales.

it was possible to see and hear how a progression of altered chords changes and melody worked together.

Since then, I've been working steadily on comprehending the structure of the chords i've learned and played by rote memorization. When I 'grok' another one, it's such a satisfying feeling.

When I can hear a new chord name and successfully modify a chord I know to become the new chord, I'm so full of myself I could burst.
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  #39  
Old 12-08-2016, 03:03 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
The educational component is a book by Mickey Baker called "Improvising Jazz" which I picked up about 40 years ago. It is not about guitar playing, it is conceptual. It is still available.
Bruce, I think you mean Jerry Coker. Mickey Baker is famous for his guitar-specific books that introduced a whole generation to the standard chord grips we know and love (not to mention his collaboration with Sylvia ).
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  #40  
Old 12-08-2016, 03:08 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
Well, I'm playing fingerstyle jazz standards & other songs on my nylon string guitar.

I may not get the exact sound that an electric or arch top might have. But it sounds darn good to me and to others.

Earl Klugh, Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd & Ralph Towner weren't inhibited by playing their nylon stringed guitars.

Pat Metheny sounds awesome on his nylon stringed guitars on his 2 CD's (One Quiet Night & What's it all about) as well.
The nylon string guitar acquits itself beautifully in terms of jazz performance. That said, Metheny's One Quiet Night (not sure about What's It All About) is performed on a Manzer baritone, which I believe is a steel string instrument. Also, IMO, One Quiet Night is pretty far removed from jazz, although everyone has a different opinion as to what constitutes jazz.
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  #41  
Old 12-11-2016, 09:34 AM
rustystill rustystill is offline
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[QUOTE=godfreydaniel;5139917]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.

WOW, what a small world. When I was about 8 or 9 back around 1960 I began taking piano lessons from a guy named Eugene Mancini who was teaching out of Howard Morgan's upstairs studio near Main St Flushing, N.Y.. Probably 14 years later I looked him up again and took a few jazz lessons but that never went anywhere because I was really into bluegrass and down home country fingerpickin at the time (still am). Howard Morgan is cool!

How did I learn jazz though, well that depends on what type of jazz because there are quite a few styles of jazz that all sound very different. I really didn't resonate with lots of the jazz I was hearing in the 60s mainstream. In the 70s I remember hearing Louis Armstrong's intro solo on West End Blues which hooked me into early jazz styles. I began finding records and doing the back and forth with the needle thing copying licks and figuring out songs. Over the years I've dabbled in numerous styles of jazz but always seem to go back to the early stuff. Right now I'm going back to basics and listening to a lot of Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson and working out Joe Venuti solos on guitar. A great book I'm currently working with is Eddie Lang's Guitar Method http://www.djangobooks.com/Item/Eddie_Lang
It's a little different than some be used to but if you empty your cup and just go with the concepts and exercises, it can lead to some really cool musical space, especially for styles played on steel string acoustic guitar (flat top or archtop).

-Jim
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  #42  
Old 12-11-2016, 12:47 PM
k_russell k_russell is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Long time musician (43 years). Long time guitar player (40 years). I mostly play bluegrass, folk, Americana and blues. I've recently got hit by the gypsy jazz (and jazz in general) bug. I feel totally lost with the jazz chords - its like learning to play guitar all over from scratch.

I listen to a lot of GJ to develop an ear and feel for the genre. I have downloaded the Django Fakebook which has over 200 GJ/swing tunes. I still feel lost and confused on jazz - it seems like learning the basic cowboy chords for bluegrass, folk, Americana etc. was so much easier all those years ago.

Does anyone have specific suggestions for books, web sites, tools etc. to help someone trying to pick up jazz chords and progressions? Thanks.
One thing that I found helpful was accompanying my niece when she played a melody on her clarinet. I started with the simplest first position chords and worked toward more complicated ones. I would add a bass line or some extra harmony notes when they seem appropriate. As she progressed to more complex music, my comps had to keep up. I will really need to work once she learns to improvise (coming soon).

If you know someone that plays a monophonic instrument, lure her or him (along with their instrument) over with some food or beverage one evening.

For references, I keep Mickey Baker's 2 books on Jazz guitar near by along with the book Chords for Jazz Guitar by Charlton Johnson (a more recent find).

You my also find Julio Sagraras's classical guitar books helpful. His first book (Lessons 1-3) includes a number of studies that focus on harmonic intervals. I play these studies to keep my ears accustom to the sounds of different harmonies.
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  #43  
Old 12-12-2016, 06:34 AM
815C 815C is offline
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I want to be a jazz guitarist when I grow up. I've been at it since the late 1970's. When I get it down, I'll let you know how I did it!

What I've done so far:
  • Studied jazz guitar/theory at North Texas State University (now University Of North Texas) off & on for 3 years
  • Played a LOT of jazz gigs (both with bands and as a solo guitarist doing chord solos)
  • Listened to a lot of jazz (this seems to be VERY important)
  • Learned a lot of jazz songs (also very important)

I think if I had a student that "wanted to learn to play jazz" I'd start that student out with the following:
  • Learn one intermediate chord solo
  • Learn to "comp" the chords to an intermediate jazz standard
  • Learn to play the melody of that same jazz standard
  • Learn an intermediate solo over that same jazz standard. This would come by playing the chords to the standard and humming or scatting a vocal solo over the chords, and then figuring out how to play what was hummed/scatted
  • Repeat the above steps over and over
  • Learn to spell chords (e.g. C7(#5) = C - E - G# - Bb)

The Jazz Guitar Forum is a good resource --> http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/
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  #44  
Old 12-12-2016, 10:32 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemonk View Post
Bruce, I think you mean Jerry Coker. Mickey Baker is famous for his guitar-specific books that introduced a whole generation to the standard chord grips we know and love (not to mention his collaboration with Sylvia ).
Yes, Jerry Coker! I have always had trouble with authors, being better at titles. Same with tune names.
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  #45  
Old 12-12-2016, 01:37 PM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Long time musician (43 years). Long time guitar player (40 years). I mostly play bluegrass, folk, Americana and blues. I've recently got hit by the gypsy jazz (and jazz in general) bug. I feel totally lost with the jazz chords - its like learning to play guitar all over from scratch.

I listen to a lot of GJ to develop an ear and feel for the genre. I have downloaded the Django Fakebook which has over 200 GJ/swing tunes. I still feel lost and confused on jazz - it seems like learning the basic cowboy chords for bluegrass, folk, Americana etc. was so much easier all those years ago.

Does anyone have speific suggestions for books, web sites, tools etc. to help someone trying to pick up jazz chords and progressions? Thanks.
Get a "Fake Book".

Listen to LOTS of jazz guitarists.

Transcribe and learn as many jazz solos as possible (guitarists AND non guitarists).

Learn all your extended 7th chords to start, and all their inversions on the guitar. Then you can use your inversions and try to add notes to play simple melodies. This is the start to learning jazz "comping" (accompanying).

After you do your minor 7th inversions, then see how they apply when extending them to a 9th chord. Then 11ths (used less, but a few really good ones) and 13ths.

That'll be a darn good start... ;-)

As an aside... A trumpet player I studied with asked me if I listened a lot to McCoy Tyner (sp?), pianist. I said "yup". He said, it sounds like you guys are trying to fit all the chords into your accompaniment. Using lots of chord inversions and added notes to enable greater melodic possibility during accompaniment.
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