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Old 12-15-2019, 03:01 PM
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Ludere Ludere is offline
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Default NGD, my first Archtop ... so now what?

So, I have long been a fan of smooth jazz, blues, velvety string arrangements ... as a kid my dad often had jazz greats playing on the stereo ... and the flow, the nuance, the vibe in general just all feels so natural to me. Now trust me when I tell you I'm nowhere near ready, but I keep thinking, what am I waiting for?

Since I wanted to start with a reasonably decent guitar, I did some research, read the threads here, and decided on a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin II ... been thinking about it for at least 6 months now, and I finally pulled the trigger ...

It just arrived! Still in the box acclimating and I'm really excited to check her out ...

So I ask you, the brain trust here on the AGF - where do I begin?

I know I'm not an accomplished enough guitarist to just take off running, so I would appreciate your suggestions for "baby steps", recommendations for players to watch and listen to, pretty much whatever you think would help me get started.

Thank you for whatever guidance you can provide.

~ Paul
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:25 PM
Wengr Wengr is offline
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If you are not already familiar, start with what they call the dirty dozen Jazz chords. Kind of the cowboy chords of Jazz.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:49 PM
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Congratulations on your new guitar! That's awesome!

Listening is one great place to start...so many jazz guitar greats to choose from. I think the first guitarists I listened to was Barney Kessel, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell but so many others to choose from. How about Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, and Herb Ellis.

If you're into a more contemporary sound, maybe Pat Metheny, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Corey Christiansen.

Too many great guitarists and styles to mention. Wouldn't hurt to maybe take some lessons too...it's great to have a good teacher who can help you get your feet wet.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:43 PM
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If you are not already familiar, start with what they call the dirty dozen Jazz chords. .....
I don't know about a dozen but now it's time to start studying jazz, blues and anything else you like the sound of on an archtop.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:28 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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Chords and tunes. Start with your maj7, m7, dom7 and m7b5 chords. Learn root position on string sets 6432, 5432 and 4321, then dom7b9, #9, #5, b5, then inversions. All doable in one year.

Melodies of tunes, learn as much by ear as you can.

Jazz is tunes, not theory.

If you actually want to play jazz, you have to listen to tons of it. Keep your guitar player jazz listening to less than 50%
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:45 PM
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Two words: Jackson Jeffrey Jackson:



Nice!
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:20 AM
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Pick tune you like, look it up in a fake book or on-line, print it out and start to learn it. Play the melody straight, in root position to get it in your head, then in
a middle position, for example I play tunes in key of Bb in third position, key of C in fifth position, key of G in fifth position as a starting point - that's where the natural scale falls easily under the hand. Then learn the chords - a couple or three ways of playing each of the chords, and learn the harmony and the root tone bass line. Then sing the tune, over your chords, then maybe start to play the melody and intersperse some chords, comp behind your own melody, and stretch the melody - embellish, change, create. If you do that, you'll have done most of what you need to say you've learned a tune, and are playing some jazz.
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:08 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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In addition to the advice given above, here's some stuff that'll get you off to a good start - and keep you both busy and interested for a while:

https://www.amazon.com/Mickey-Bakers.../dp/0825652804
https://www.amazon.com/Mickey-Bakers.../dp/0825652812
https://www.amazon.com/Rhythm-Guitar...dp/0786696907/
https://www.amazon.com/Mel-Bay-Maste...dp/0786602678/

The first two have been arguably the standard jazz/blues primer since 1955, the third the compers' bible since 1947 - and between them you'll develop the foundation to get you into the "classical archtop" chord-solo material in the Masters book (mostly historic antecedents of those "smooth jazz" arrangements in your dad's collection). FWIW you made an excellent choice for a first jazzbox - BTW I own one myself, and TMK Tony Bennett's guitarist is still using his on tour; FYI with a set of flatwounds (12-52 minimum/13-56 if you can handle it, in order to drive the top and get some "wood" into your tone) you'll not only get that classic early-50's pre-humbucker bop tone, but thanks to the lightweight body woods it also pulls some major Dynasonic-era Gretsch rockabilly mojo into the mix - a sharp contrast to the "thud-&-mud" of many vintage/traditional laminated archtop electrics. In addition, if you have a clean tube amp with a 12"/15" speaker (think blackface Fender/blue-check Ampeg, and leave the "British" voiced speakers to the hard-rock guys) you can get some sweet, almost acoustic-archtop sounds by rolling off the volume and using the neck pickup - great for both rhythm comping and some of those early/mid-30's pre-electric chord solos...
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:29 PM
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Thanks to all for the great suggestions and guidance ... looks like I have some work (play) to do ... !

@mr. beaumont: Thank you - what did you mean by "Keep your guitar player jazz listening to less than 50%" ... ?

@agfsteve: lmao

@Steve DeRosa: I appreciate all the guidance - my selection of the CW Kingpin II was in part influenced by your and others' endorsement of it here on the AGF ... so thank you for that.
At some point I think I am going to pair it with a Roland Blues Cube (Hot) - from what I've seen and heard, they should pair up pretty well ... or would a SS amp be considered blasphemous? It appears to sound pretty d*mn good ...

Again, many thanks to Wengr, Livingston, DenverSteve, MC5C, and all who responded with well wishes and guidance - much appreciated!

~ Paul
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:05 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
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...At some point I think I am going to pair it with a Roland Blues Cube (Hot) - from what I've seen and heard, they should pair up pretty well...or would a SS amp be considered blasphemous? It appears to sound pretty d*mn good ...
Depends on what kind of tone you're after - many hardcore jazz guys like the post-Polytone generation of dedicated analog SS jazz amps (Henriksen, Evans, certain DV Mark models, the now-discontinued Jazzkat line, etc.) as well as some of the cleaner-sounding major-name pieces (Peavey, Randall - the pre-1985 orange- or grey-stripe dual independent-channel combos are hidden gems if you need loads of clean SS power with some real tone - the blackface-Twin-clone Fender Frontman 212R, etc.), while for others only tubes will do. Don't know how much playing out you're going to do, but if you want to keep it clean you'll need plenty of headroom - big power in a guitar amp isn't always about massive volume (FYI both Leo Fender and Everett Hull - the founder of Ampeg - knew this) - so you're talking something in the neighborhood of 20W tube/40-50W SS to start; while there are some real bargains to be had out there in a suitable amp - inexpensive doesn't necessarily equate with "cheap" (you can still snag a Bugera V22 1x12" tube combo - my all-around road-warrior rig, BTW - for under $400 if you know where to look)- remember that your amp is responsible for a major part (some say the major part) of your tone, and the one thing you never want to do is cut corners in this department. If I were you I'd take my new guitar to some dealers and try out anything that looks promising - nothing beats a hands-on/side-by-side comparison test - forget about the current flavor-of-the-week (if you bought that Godin CW II you're definitely looking for a more traditional tonality), and go for something that'll not only satisfy but inspire you over the long haul...
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:27 PM
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Noted. Thank you, Steve.

~ Paul
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:59 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludere View Post
Thanks to all for the great suggestions and guidance ... looks like I have some work (play) to do ... !

@mr. beaumont: Thank you - what did you mean by "Keep your guitar player jazz listening to less than 50%" ... ?

~ Paul
Listen to horn players. Try to cop lines from Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:00 AM
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Ludere Ludere is offline
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Listen to horn players. Try to cop lines from Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins.


Great suggestion. Thank you!

- Paul
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:37 AM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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@mr. beaumont: Thank you - what did you mean by "Keep your guitar player jazz listening to less than 50%"~ Paul
I'm not Mr. Beaumont, but I'm pretty sure what he means is not to restrict your jazz listening to guitar in your journey to internalizing jazz music and not just guitar music.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
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At some point I think I am going to pair it with a Roland Blues Cube (Hot) - from what I've seen and heard, they should pair up pretty well ... or would a SS amp be considered blasphemous? It appears to sound pretty d*mn good ...
The good news is, there are many, many great options for jazz guitar amps. Let your own ears pick the one for you!

Nothing at all wrong with solid state and in fact you will see (hear) many solid state amps used by professionals in clubs and on recordings all the time. I personally think the Roland Cube (in its various iterations) could be a great choice and very affordable too.

Of course, tube amps have been used by many of the greats as well.

I kind of vacillate between SS and tube.

I would say my go-to amp is an older Acoustic Image Clarus 2R plugged into a Raezer's Edge Twin 8 speaker cabinet. I have collected quite a few amps over the years that I think have a nice jazz tone (to my ears) including a Roland JC22, Polytone Mega Brute, Polytone Mini Brute, Henriksen Bud Six and a Fender Princeton Reverb. Liked them all enough to never sell them.

But, I go back to my original comment...let your own ears pick the one for you.

Good luck!
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