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  #61  
Old 09-13-2013, 04:49 AM
trion12 trion12 is offline
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Originally Posted by IndianaGeo View Post
Hi All,
I like jazz...love it sometimes. But when I go to try and play it on a guitar, I have no sense of what to do, what notes to hit, how to improvise over 9ths, 7ths, and 13ths chords in a progression I don't really have my head around. Is there some way of looking at jazz in a way that has some structure, some 'method'? Or is it all by ear, experience, etc. ?
Much of what you have heard in this thread has been technical in nature - some of it right and some of it wrong. In any case detailed technical info in an unstructured manner is probably not going to help you and will more likely only confuse you further. The essence of what you need to know is as follows.

Every serious jazz player is also a serious student of music. That's the only way to get your head around it and get good at it. That means getting familiar through hours and years of listening to get this stuff ingrained into your being.
It means learning about how music is structured and the theoretical logic behind it. It means practicing the application of that logic on your instrument so that you have the facility to grab the sounds you want in the moment and apply them in a way that feels right which you will understand from your hours and years of listening. It means learning tunes so that you can use all this stuff for real and learn the "standard" repertoire.
And finally it means forgetting all of your exercises and just being free to play in the moment because you have ingrained all this stuff so that you can make music and not exercises.

If you aren't willing to do all of this you won't get too far and if you don't want to get far thats fine, but don't be under any illusions as to the work required to get good at this stuff.

Having a guide isn't a bad idea when you embark on a journey to a strange new place. A good teacher who can lead you through a structured learning process will be of far more usefull than a bunch of responses on an Internet forum no matter how well intentioned they are.

Aaron

Last edited by trion12; 09-13-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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  #62  
Old 09-13-2013, 06:50 AM
TJE TJE is offline
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Which of it is wrong? It would be nice if u'd go into more detail!
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  #63  
Old 09-13-2013, 07:20 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I haven't seen anything "wrong" in this thread (unless maybe I said it myself ), but Aaron is absolutely right about the process.

Jazz is as deep and sophisticated as classical music - albeit in different ways - and you need to spend years on it before you start really getting it.

But you can feel it from the start - you can get the vibe. You can build up from simple basics (eg 12-bar blues, major scales, ii-V-I sequences).
In fact that's the best way to go. Crazy to dive into the deep end of 11th and 13th chords, altered dominants, melodic minor modes, all that ****...

I'd start with Louis Armstrong. He's really the origin of it all - at least as far as the recorded canon goes. He was the first to make solo improvisation (personal interpretation) a major expressive part of the music, even though he was still working at a time when jazz was popular dance music.
And his music is simple! It can often sound crude and cheesy to modern ears, but all the great jazz improvisers owe LA a debt. He's the daddy of them all, and they all know it.
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  #64  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:17 AM
TomiPaldanius TomiPaldanius is offline
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Only thing I know about jazz (well almost) is that it is basically the first American music art form and was developed by ear players who modified ragtime tunes by jazzing them up. Basically all great things have been developed by ear players who were considered "low class" for the highly educated music readers and composers.

People looked down for the musicians who changed Joplin's rags because you cannot be better than the composer who wrote it perfectly already.

But to be honest, you rarely hear extremely beautiful improvised music.
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  #65  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:47 AM
stevejazzx stevejazzx is offline
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Originally Posted by TomiPaldanius View Post
Only thing I know about jazz (well almost) is that it is basically the first American music art form and was developed by ear players who modified ragtime tunes by jazzing them up. Basically all great things have been developed by ear players who were considered "low class" for the highly educated music readers and composers.

People looked down for the musicians who changed Joplin's rags because you cannot be better than the composer who wrote it perfectly already.

But to be honest, you rarely hear extremely beautiful improvised music.
I don't think this is really correct.
Essentially Jazz is an elongation the blues, ragtime, soul easy listening and certain forms of classical music. But the heart of it - and I think it has been mentioned already here, although I am not sure - is an advanced substitution process for the 3 chord blues. What jazz has grown into now is something quite extensive but I rarely hear jazz sounds that are not still rooted in the blues or least reference the sound or structure.

In terms of the upper class musical establishment frowning upon ragtime or blues players I think this is somewhat of an exaggeration. Many composers would have understood its roots and influences and certainly some 20th composers (Gershwin, Debussy, Stravinsky etc) openly used and borrowed from the repertoire.

I suppose the points above can be argued but in terms of rarely hearing beautiful improvised music I think you are completely wrong.
Go listen to Miles, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker,
Metheny, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt....and many, many, many more.
Its extremely beautiful nearly everytime.
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  #66  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:52 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by TomiPaldanius View Post
Only thing I know about jazz (well almost) is that it is basically the first American music art form and was developed by ear players who modified ragtime tunes by jazzing them up.
Pretty much, yes.
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Originally Posted by TomiPaldanius View Post
Basically all great things have been developed by ear players who were considered "low class" for the highly educated music readers and composers.
I'm tempted to agree, but I suspect classical aficionados would have rightful objections .
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But to be honest, you rarely hear extremely beautiful improvised music.
Well, that's a matter of taste/opinion. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder...

If music is fully improvised (no initial structure or material), it's likely to appear formless and hard to understand, unless of course the player introduces formal elements.

It's a good aesthetic argument whether "beauty" presupposes some kind of formal elements. Can randomness be "beautiful" (if we define "beauty" sensibly)? If we perceive something random as "beautiful" does that mean that we have imposed a formal element on it? Imagined pattern where none exists?
Can chaos be beautiful? What about the sounds of a rainforest? There's no overall structure, and certainly no planning. But do we imagine the functionality of each individual sound (bird calls etc), so that the presumed complex of meaning gives it beauty? Do we always look for meaning (hoping for beauty) in any random noise?

Have I gone too far for a "jazz" topic?
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  #67  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:12 AM
TomiPaldanius TomiPaldanius is offline
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But do we imagine the functionality of each individual sound (bird calls etc), so that the presumed complex of meaning gives it beauty? Do we always look for meaning (hoping for beauty) in any random noise?

Have I gone too far for a "jazz" topic?
I hear music in nature and when I am sitting down at my house balcony I feel very calm and relaxed. Birds singing perfect fifths up and some birds minor thirds down. It is unbelievable how the nature is the music.

I travel to the beach and hear the sea. Actually it is music to me. Weird.
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  #68  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:20 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by TomiPaldanius View Post
I hear music in nature and when I am sitting down at my house balcony I feel very calm and relaxed. Birds singing perfect fifths up and some birds minor thirds down. It is unbelievable how the nature is the music.

I travel to the beach and hear the sea. Actually it is music to me. Weird.
Not really.
The sea has a rhythm, that much is obvious. Birds have pitch, and repeated patterns. That's plenty for "music"

But how does improvisation fit with that? Are the birds improvising? Is the sea?
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  #69  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:21 AM
JanVigne JanVigne is offline
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"I hear music in nature and when I am sitting down at my house balcony I feel very calm and relaxed. Birds singing perfect fifths up and some birds minor thirds down. It is unbelievable how the nature is the music."




Given we are discussing a distinctly Western Music genre, what do birds sing in Japan?


Seems we still need to see those flatted fifths, ninth's, eleventh's, etc as sourced from somewhere other than a PHD student's dissertation.
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  #70  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:26 AM
TomiPaldanius TomiPaldanius is offline
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Originally Posted by JanVigne View Post
"I hear music in nature and when I am sitting down at my house balcony I feel very calm and relaxed. Birds singing perfect fifths up and some birds minor thirds down. It is unbelievable how the nature is the music."




Given we are discussing a distinctly Western Music genre, what do birds sing in Japan?


Seems we still need to see those flatted fifths, ninth's, eleventh's, etc as sourced from somewhere other than a PHD student's dissertation.

I dont know about Japan. I live in Thailand. I know Cuckoo sings minor third down and actually that is the most common first musical interval babies sing naturally at first without any teaching. It is also the easiest interval for children to sing.

Edit: But to make things clear minor third down doesn't mean minor tonality. It is the fifth to third in major triad.
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  #71  
Old 09-13-2013, 11:05 AM
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iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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Default one of the easier ways of thinking...

Is just to go back to triads...

All of the chord extensions can be covered by this approach. For example, take a C major chord (C-E-G). Play an Em minor triad (E-G-B) over it and you have a C maj 7th in combined sounds (same with 9th G maj, 11th B dim and 13th D minor). Its just another way of thinking regarding chord extensions by stacking triads.
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  #72  
Old 09-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Its just another way of thinking...
You are correct...
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  #73  
Old 09-13-2013, 11:27 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Boy, we've come a long way from the original post.

It seems jazz conversations end up getting a bit philosophical, which is fine--improvisation is a big topic and more philosophical approaches, spiritualit, what have you, are valid parts of the process. But going back to basics for a minute--let's take early jazz through bebop or so...the common thread is often this:

If the rest of the band stopped playing during a solo and the soloist continued on by themself, you would still be able to "hear" the chord changes in the solo.

That's basic jazz in a nutshell there. The beautiful thing about those extended harmonies is that they give you a lot more options for making this happen--a lot more "inside" choices.

OP, why not pick a tune and a few of us could go through it, maybe thinking aloud as to how we would approach it, hopefully in video form. At a certain point you can't talk much more about jazz, we need to hear some of it.
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  #74  
Old 09-13-2013, 11:57 AM
usb_chord usb_chord is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post

OP, why not pick a tune and a few of us could go through it, maybe thinking aloud as to how we would approach it, hopefully in video form. At a certain point you can't talk much more about jazz, we need to hear some of it.
If he doesnt pick one, how about All Blues?
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  #75  
Old 09-13-2013, 12:14 PM
IndianaGeo IndianaGeo is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Boy, we've come a long way from the original post.

It seems jazz conversations end up getting a bit philosophical, which is fine--improvisation is a big topic and more philosophical approaches, spiritualit, what have you, are valid parts of the process. But going back to basics for a minute--let's take early jazz through bebop or so...the common thread is often this:

If the rest of the band stopped playing during a solo and the soloist continued on by themself, you would still be able to "hear" the chord changes in the solo.

That's basic jazz in a nutshell there. The beautiful thing about those extended harmonies is that they give you a lot more options for making this happen--a lot more "inside" choices.

OP, why not pick a tune and a few of us could go through it, maybe thinking aloud as to how we would approach it, hopefully in video form. At a certain point you can't talk much more about jazz, we need to hear some of it.

Great idea Jeff. I don't know too many jazz tunes but here's one I found that I like that and that you all probably know as it seems to always be listed on lists of definitive guitar jazz tunes.. here it is.. Autumn Leaves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAsEfhU2Ehg

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