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Old 01-11-2020, 11:19 AM
Mojo21 Mojo21 is offline
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Default Jazz Guitar: Why canít I get to like it?

Over the years Iíve dabbled with Jazz guitar but itís always been a love hate relationship. The love part is that I got to understand some cool theory and learn a whole load of chords etc but the hate part is that no matter how hard or many times I try I cannot bring myself to enjoy the sound and complex harmony.

Ultimately, it sounds like music by maths to my ear ó anyone else feel the same.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:28 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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One of the pitfalls from my own learning theory and harmony and scales and such was that I became overly analytical regarding both the music I wrote and the music I played.

Took a concerted effort to get back to feeling the music, feeling the lines I played; listening inside myself to hear what I wanted to play and following that inner directive.

I look at it like, "Once you've seen behind the curtain, you can still look and listen like an innocent...". Some notes just strike me more deeply than others... while I can appreciate all sorts of music, some REALLY speaks to me, and others do not.

Being able and adept at channeling all that "information" (theory, harmony, scales, etc.) into what I feel is needed and wanted for a particular piece is the discipline... bringing my heart to the music I play, and listening for the heart in the music I hear.

I'm not at all impressed by a lot of players, but I love listening to Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis... that's music I can truly FEEL!

... but, maybe jazz is just not for you? Personally, I try to bring that "jazz" sensibility to everything I play and write, all the while remembering that "just because I CAN, doesn't mean I SHOULD" when I'm writing or playing...
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:34 PM
godfreydaniel godfreydaniel is offline
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I tend to prefer styles of jazz/jazz guitar from the 1920s - 1940s. Someone like Greg Ruby carries on that tradition well. He recently came out with an instructional book on the great guitarist Oscar Aleman. I also like Bossa Nova, mostly from the 1960s. Joao Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa, Charley Byrd. Gene Bertoncini is a jazz picker I tend to like.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:02 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Jazz is a deep and wide genre. I don't like every kind of jazz. I really love gypsy jazz. Have you checked out D'jango, Birelli, the Rosenbergs, etc.? Those guys are simply the best guitar players in the world.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo21 View Post
Over the years Iíve dabbled with Jazz guitar but itís always been a love hate relationship. The love part is that I got to understand some cool theory and learn a whole load of chords etc but the hate part is that no matter how hard or many times I try I cannot bring myself to enjoy the sound and complex harmony.

Ultimately, it sounds like music by maths to my ear ó anyone else feel the same.
Don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.....

Seriously, if the music doesn't speak to me, I can't think of a good reason why I'd force it on myself.

If performance is part of your consideration (it's almost always been mine) you need to play what you feel or you'll be an impostor on stage!

That said, I love listening to many styles of jazz guitar, some not so much. I've never considered it for performance though, because my last name isn't Pizzareli and I don't think I could sing and play like that at the same time (I've always been a vocalist first - who accompanies himself on guitar)

Play what you love and don't force things on yourself!!
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:24 PM
RalphH RalphH is offline
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Jazz always sounds like instruments falling downstairs to me. Sorry jazz fans. You are very welcome not to like Slipknot and Slayer
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:11 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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The obvious names to bring up when someone says they don't like jazz guitar are Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian. Give them a try.

A couple less known names that guitar fans might be expected to like are Oscar Aleman:



And, on the what be thought of as the more hard core jazz side, Grant Green. Kind of a gateway example here (he's usually boppier).



And if, after all that, you still "don't like jazz guitar"? Well heck, that's perfectly O.K.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:18 PM
RalphH RalphH is offline
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That gives me flashbacks of being kept on hold for ages by my bank
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:42 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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As mentioned by fitness1, “if it ain’t got that swing” - you have to be able to get into the groove of the rhythm section (bass and drums), and from a listening perspective vinyl is able to provide the depth of that swing that digital media is not so convincing at.

Jazz guitar is a very lengthy (in time) phenomena - but I would point out the Grant Green clip provided above is a good example of how watered down jazz became after the classic be boppers of the early 1960s (of which he himself was a former pioneer).

Sorry to say, but if you really want to “get” jazz, you should try to wrap your mind around John Coltrane - and I found out a long time ago this forum is characterized by the completely different aesthetic of the Beatles generation.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:48 PM
RalphH RalphH is offline
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Or worse - their kids have arrived now I grew up listening to Guns n Roses and Metallica
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:54 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Jazz always sounds like instruments falling downstairs to me. Sorry jazz fans. You are very welcome not to like Slipknot and Slayer
Theoretically, that could be awesome.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:56 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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I grew up listening to Guns n Roses and Metallica
Our condolences.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
As mentioned by fitness1, ďif it ainít got that swingĒ - you have to be able to get into the groove of the rhythm section (bass and drums), and from a listening perspective vinyl is able to provide the depth of that swing that digital media is not so convincing at.

Jazz guitar is a very lengthy (in time) phenomena - but I would point out the Grant Green clip provided above is a good example of how watered down jazz became after the classic be boppers of the early 1960s (of which he himself was a former pioneer).

Sorry to say, but if you really want to ďgetĒ jazz, you should try to wrap your mind around John Coltrane - and I found out a long time ago this forum is characterized by the completely different aesthetic of the Beatles generation.
So what youíre basically saying is that:

1) you canít truly appreciate jazz unless youíre listening to records
2) you canít truly appreciate jazz unless youíre old
3) you canít truly appreciate jazz if your mind has been sullied by 60s pop

Thatís encouraging
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:13 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
So what youíre basically saying is that:

1) you canít truly appreciate jazz unless youíre listening to records
2) you canít truly appreciate jazz unless youíre old
3) you canít truly appreciate jazz if your mind has been sullied by 60s pop

Thatís encouraging
I think what has happened is the audience has radically changed from what it was 60 years ago. I think a good example would be when folks were going to work humming the tune ďMy Favourite ThingsĒ as reinterpreted by Coltrane back in Ď61. Music requires an audience to thrive in, and maybe for the genre of be-bop or swing, that audience is one (today) listening to records, catching the atmosphere of it. Iíve known some pro level jazz musicians, but the live audience is small in N America, still much better in Europe.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:42 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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I just finished listening to Coltraneís ďMy Favourite ThingsĒ online and that soprano sax almost sounds like a caricature of itself, stripped of natural organic timbre, and whereís the bass, the groove, the depth to the swing? Itís a good example of what compressed mp3 digital media has done to a lot of old, great music.
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