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  #46  
Old 01-04-2017, 09:36 AM
JGinNJ JGinNJ is offline
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When I learned the basics of jazz guitar years ago, the Mickey Baker book others have mentioned was a starting point- along with having a good teacher.
Essentially you have to learn chords and scales up and down the neck, and apply them to playing jazz tunes & standards such as in the "Real Book". To put all this in context, listen to the whole range of jazz even if you emphasize gypsy jazz and guitarists.
If you can find another guitar player on the same path, it will help tremendously to play together.
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  #47  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:31 PM
Davis Webb Davis Webb 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 speific suggestions for books, web sites, tools etc. to help someone trying to pick up jazz chords and progressions? Thanks.
The problem with Jazz is that you need to be able to read music to make any progress in it in a reasonable amount of time.

Can you site read?
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  #48  
Old 01-05-2017, 09:04 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by Davis Webb View Post
The problem with Jazz is that you need to be able to read music to make any progress in it in a reasonable amount of time.

Can you site read?
I can read site maps and site plans. And yes I can sight read sheet music.
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  #49  
Old 01-05-2017, 10:31 PM
funkymonk#9 funkymonk#9 is offline
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I learned the same way Wes Montgomery did....i take the guitar out of the case and throw a slab of meat in the case, that's what it likes and the guitar plays heartlily.
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  #50  
Old 01-06-2017, 08:49 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I'm going to say that being able to read music, and sight read charts, is almost irrelevant to playing jazz except in a few situations. For every icon who was highly educated musically (say Miles Davis) there is another guy who couldn't read music at all (Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt). But understanding harmony, by ear or by rote, is almost the root of jazz. That, and time sense - swing. On guitar, sight reading is complicated by the extreme variation of how to place notes on the fretboard to best effect - many notes have three or four places they can be played on the fretboard. Piano - one place per note. A friend of mine was completing a Masters degree in Guitar Performance - so a highly skilled and trained classical guitarist. In one blog post she complained about how guitarists always let the side down when asked to sight-read charts in a band setting. Later in the same post she commented on how she had transcribed a classical piece three months earlier and was now starting to get to grips with how to actually play it on the instrument. The dichotomy struck me - complaining about lack of sight reading expertise (in some of the most highly trained guitarists you will ever find) and needing three months to figure out how to play a piece that she transcribed.
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Last edited by MC5C; 01-07-2017 at 07:25 AM.
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  #51  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:03 PM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I can read site maps and site plans. And yes I can sight read sheet music.
If you can read sheet music then you are golden. Just download a few Jazz standards. They are free on the internet.
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  #52  
Old 01-06-2017, 09:28 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by Davis Webb View Post
If you can read sheet music then you are golden. Just download a few Jazz standards. They are free on the internet.
Yes, that's what the Django Fakebook is. Melodies are the easy part. As I stated in my original post "I feel totally lost with the jazz chords - its like learning to play guitar all over from scratch." The chord melody type of accompaniment is the tough part that I'm slowly learning.
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  #53  
Old 01-07-2017, 07:28 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I found this article interesting when thinking about chord-melody playing: http://www.guitarplayer.com/artists/...joe-pass/13697

In particular the analysis of the chord structure used. At the beginning of each paragraph is a little clickable box with the notation of the section being discussed. Thus; http://www.guitarplayer.com/Portals/...11Pass.Ex2.jpg
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Brian Evans
1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
1943 Paramount (made by Kay) mandolin
1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
2003 Epiphone SG electric
2010 GoldTone PBR-CA resonator
2015 Evans electric archtop
2016 Evans archtop

Last edited by MC5C; 01-07-2017 at 07:38 AM.
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  #54  
Old 01-07-2017, 01:58 PM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Yes, that's what the Django Fakebook is. Melodies are the easy part. As I stated in my original post "I feel totally lost with the jazz chords - its like learning to play guitar all over from scratch." The chord melody type of accompaniment is the tough part that I'm slowly learning.
I hear ya. I spent years listening to Montreal and Toronto jazz legends, Herbie Spanier and I were friends, he was my older mentor. Although a trumpet player, he jazz comped with chords on the piano in a way that made it hurt.

The basis of it is still melody, its having a melody in your head which you express with chords instead of notes, so leading notes and changes do the work. The only way I have seen anyone learn that is learning all inversions of chords up the neck then, instead of using a note (think about the opening phrase of "somewhere over the rainbow"), use the chord pattern to state the melody. There are a couple notes in every chord that will propel the melody forward, its simplifying the chords to their basic triads then adding tonal color with 9ths, 11ths, 13ths.

I wish you luck on this journey. I use chordal melody combined with lead work solo, one-man band stuff and I can only work well in certain keys. Mastering that fretboard is something that takes, I would say, personal instruction. I do not think it can be learned on your own. You need to copy experts. Copy....copy...copy..

Good luck! I only entered this discussion because I spent a lot of money on jazz classes over the years and without putting even MORE time into it, I had to stop. Country seems to work me well. I admire your drive. Yer gonna make it.
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  #55  
Old 01-08-2017, 06:18 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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A friend of mine is starting to publish some of her PhD work on learning jazz guitar on a new web page, released today. I thought some of you might like to follow it, although it's early days yet. https://thescientificguitarist.wordpress.com/

You can sign up to be part of her research on-line in the "current studies" tab.
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1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
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1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
2003 Epiphone SG electric
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2016 Evans archtop
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  #56  
Old 01-08-2017, 08:37 PM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
A friend of mine is starting to publish some of her PhD work on learning jazz guitar on a new web page, released today. I thought some of you might like to follow it, although it's early days yet. https://thescientificguitarist.wordpress.com/

You can sign up to be part of her research on-line in the "current studies" tab.
Wow, that is a great link! Thanks so much.
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  #57  
Old 07-17-2017, 05:13 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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This is a great thread, thanks. I am in a similar situation as the OP and though I have always enjoyed listening to various forms of jazz I found it daunting to learn. Most recent example, I wanted to learn the song San Antonio Rose which got me into Western Swing and I found a Eldon Shamblin transcript for that song which is just too much of a challenge. Some of the barriers that I encounter:

1) My head is musically conditioned for triads, but reading about jazz it seems that the comping and chordal methods adds one more note so just for the theory this expands the universe enormously coming from the triad tradition. I think it would help if I had a keyboard as it's easier for me to translate a score to a keyboard than a fretboard. But just the theory of chords is a huge step up. And my memory isn't that great unfortunately.

2) I also can't figure on how to play just 4 notes on different strings, as I find left hand muting very challenging. So I tend to pluck the strings fingerstyle without a pick, but that's not the right way to do it I guess.

3) Even I took on the task of learning chords, then there is the next challenge of a large number of possible chord progressions. And having fakebooks with 1000 or more titles is not exactly helping this either.

So can you tell I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of jazz. I may give it some more tries nevertheless. And I play an Ovation Adamas which although not Archtop might be suited for the task I hope.

Last edited by merlin666; 07-17-2017 at 05:19 PM.
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  #58  
Old 07-18-2017, 01:27 PM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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An awful lot of jazz players use a pick, but hybrid with pick and fingers for comping or "popping" chords. I use pick and three fingers for chords. Rarely do jazz players strum the chords in chord melody, but strumming with a pick is very common in rhythm comping work. Don't worry so much about damping the strings you don't need, just finger the chord and let nature take it's course. If you are rhythm comping, just play a few notes of the chord, don't worry about getting every note in. Freddie Green played a lot of one (!) and two note chords. If you are chord melody, try focusing on the melody note and just add one or two other notes that sound nice. They don't have to be a formal "that's a chord out of a book" chord, they just have to sound nice and imply the harmony. A melody note, a root and a third almost always sounds nice. You have your harmonic base, your major or minor, and your melody note. I play one tune where the melody is a flat 9 of the root, so I can play the root, a minor third and the flat nine, and I have the key elements of the m7b9 chord that is the actual chord for that beat.

You can leave out a lot of the notes in a chord, including the root if the root is implied by the harmony. For example, in a II/V/I, you can leave out the root of the V chord, which is a dominant chord, and play something like a 7/9/13 chord thusly: for G 7/9/13, play F on 4th string, B on 3rd string, E on 2nd string and A on 1st string. You have the 7th, 3rd, 13th and 9th. It's a great chord, very easy to play. If you are playing with a pick and don't want to use your fingers as well, try playing four note chords just using the DGBE strings and don't use the EA strings at all. Or the same thing just using the middle four strings and never playing the E strings. Very interesting to try, opens up new ideas.
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Brian Evans
1935 Dobro model 25 resonator
1943 Paramount (made by Kay) mandolin
1946 Epiphone Zephyr electric archtop
1957 Hofner Senator archtop
1962 Gibson Melody Maker electric
1963 National Dynamic lap steel
1996 Landola jumbo
1998 Godin Artisan TC electric
2003 Epiphone SG electric
2010 GoldTone PBR-CA resonator
2015 Evans electric archtop
2016 Evans archtop
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  #59  
Old 07-18-2017, 02:29 PM
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min7b5 min7b5 is offline
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I still need to read through this thread But I thought I'd quickly chime in by saying that I mostly learned jazz by buying the Real Book in middle school (back when they were illegal and you had to know a guy) and sitting on my bed with it and a chord book and learned the changes and melodies to dozens of tunes. I firmly believe if one mostly just focuses on tunes the rest will more or less fall into place. Starting by learning mainly mode patterns, arpeggio shapes, esoteric rules, getting flat wounds and a fedora... is taking the long way around.

I always tell my students to pretend they have a jazz gig coming up. What would the set list look like? Write it down (for real, on paper) and start working on it. Learn to play the chords in different areas for each tune, learn the melodies in two or three octaves, make up a cool intro and ending...maybe play along with a swing drum loop... If someone did that stuff every day for a few months, things like taking solo or coming up with a chord melody version would almost happen on their own. Then, later, if you toss in little bit of advanced theory, some patterns, etc, it'll explode.
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  #60  
Old 08-02-2017, 11:05 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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I got my start in my high school stage band -- big book full of old-school charts with lots of crazy altered chords and Freddy Green comping. I was totally lost.

I finally went and talked to my neighbor Mr. Hansman, who played in a lounge trio at The Supper Club across town. He said, "Keep your right hand going no matter what. You're a percussion instrument. And those chords are taken from the piano chart. Don't sweat it. Just find two or three notes in each chord change that are convenient to play and aren't wrong."
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