Jazz

Smoking GunsSmoking Guns Posts: 4,547
Is hard.  I don't want to be a Jazz great, but, I am digging in, learning to play the change, go a lil modal, and this shit is fucking tough.  It always seems like there isn't enough time to develop a tasty passage cause my mind is always thinking, fuck, I have to play the change again.  And I am trying to avoid big bends or vibrato and play more jazzy.  This shit will help my chops and improv I am sure, but its so hard to get behind it when you are thinking so much.  Props to the masters for sure.  Its so much easier staying in the same damn key and just rocking the fuck out.  And I know you can do that in jazz too, but I want to push my self to nail all the chord changes and be convincing at it.  I have been trying to get all my shapes of different keys in proximity so I am not moving all over the neck.  You begin to see the endless possibilities when you add the diatonic notes, but a misstep here and there its major crash and burn. 

Anyone have anything to share on some Jazz tips, experiences?
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Comments

  • My teacher is a pretty good jazz guitarist and sometimes he plays some amazing stuff. I think it's good that you are trying to learn this, it will help you become more versatile and learn to understand music better in general.
  • LegacyLegacy Posts: 878
    Is hard is absoultley right!

    I finished my guitar course last week which i had been on for the past two years, and by god the whole two last term was completely centered around Jazz.

    Not to mention pretty much all the guitar teachers save about one are jazz guitar freaks!

    It was pretty hard to take it all in after a while.

    *THOUGH* you won't hear it in my playing, it's really helped me and my playing *A LOT*, and it really helped me with modes and playing over chord changes.

    I've really learned to respect it and the guitar players who play it, though i have to be in a certain mood for it, and I'm rarely in the mood for someone say like Holdsworth (as good as he is, I think his guitar brain is way to complicated for me).

    I can get off easier listening to old Big Band Jazz like Glenn Miller, I'm quite fussy on what I like and don't when it comes to this subject.

    Stick with it SG :up:
  • ingveingve Posts: 1,616

    Experience with Jazz?

    Hmmm...

    This is not a good part of my life. When I was a teenager in high school the music teacher was a jazz fanatic. Fair enough, but he constantly derided all other forms of music and shoved his favoured style down our throats. Turn off number one.

    Turn off number two: "Uncle Frank". My mother's childhood best female friend was "Aunty Pat". Not really my aunt, just a courtesy title. Her obnoxious cunt of a husband was therefore "Uncle Frank". Having not seen these delightful individuals since I was about age 10, we happened to visit their part of the world when I was age 17. "Uncle Frank" asked me (in a loaded question) "What kind of music do you like, Tony?". I should have just feigned ignorance and saved myself from the diatribe that was to follow. "Rock & roll" I foolishly responded..... The rest of the night was structured around "Uncle Frank" lambasting anything other than "jazz", and launching very vitriolic and intensly personal attacks on not only the music that I liked, but on my apparent mental acuity (or more accuately the utter lack thereof) for enjoying this "baseless rubbish".

    Suffice it to say, I was turned off jazz very strongly. It really made me believe that all jazz fans were utter pieces of shit like those two turdmunchers. Yes, it affected me deeply.

    And though I have never again been unfortunate enough to actually meet "Uncle Frank" in person since he emotinally scarred me, I did once hold a three day party when I heard that he had fallen down the stairs at his home and broken both arms. 
  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,125
    My dad and his older brother were both jazz musicians.
    My dad was a singer in the Frank Sinatra mold and a pretty damn good one I must admit and my uncle was a great guitarist who graduated from Manhattan school of music in the 1940's. Growing up that was all that we listened too, it was on the radio all the time.
    And we'd go to concerts a lot so I got to see the Rat Pack reunion, I saw Mel Torme and George Shearing like 5 times, Dave Brubeck, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughn, I saw John and Bucky Pizzarelli a million times as a kid because they used to do restaurant gigs, I could go on and on.
    Consequently I know all the words and melodies to all of the popular standards.
    My second guitar teacher was a total jazz guy and he'd teach me tunes like As time goes by, All the things you are, Take five, etc.
    I really thought that I would wind up going to Berklee and becoming a jazz dude as well and toward that end for my 16th birthday my mom and dad bought me a 1967 ES-335 so I could have a "real guitar" as my dad used to say.
    Then I heard Yngwie and everything else fell by the wayside, the 335 got stuck in the case in the back of a closet (where it languishes still).
    When I asked my guitar teacher about Yngwie he kind of blew me off and said something like "he's only playing harmonic minor scales".
    Right after that I hooked up with the local Yngwie clone who taught me music theory in a very easy to understand way and all the scales and techniques I needed to know.
    When I was 18 playing in a Thrash band and deep in the throes of my classical obsession (thanks Yngwie) I read an article with Alex Skolnick where he talked about Charlie Parker.
    I remember walking into the living room, magazine in hand and asking my dad "have you ever heard of a sax player named Charlie Parker?"
    My dad laughed and handed me a stack of about half a dozen records and I went back to my room and started listening to them exactly as Alex had said trying to imagine playing that stuff on guitar and I was awestruck.
    At that point I had been studying composition and arranging with a classical violinist but he had to move back to Taiwan, but the woman who did my moms hair had a Son in law who had just graduated from Berklee and was now a guitar teacher. He was an Israeli guy named Moishe I went to him and took my 335 with me all into it and we started talking about scales and arpeggios. I had spent a long time working on my picking technique and he started to tell me I needed to hold my hand a certain way and it just wasn't cool. I asked him about sweep picking and he didn't know what it was and when I explained it to him he got mad at me, I went back maybe once or twice and he showed me a few things but I wasn't into him as a teacher and this became the first of many Israeli jazz guys that I would butt heads with in my life.
    After that I met a great teacher and player named Russ Brower who had just graduated from GIT and he became my teacher for a few years and taught me a lot about Metal, Jazz, Funk, Blues and tons of other stuff. He was the guy who turned me on to Al Dimeola, Larry Carlton and John Coltrane.
    Then when I went GIT I was fortunate enough to study with Scott Henderson, Joe Diorio, Ron Eschete and Norman Brown.
    Since I graduated school I've studied jazz with Alex Skolnick himself and most recently studied Gypsy Jazz with a guy named Stephane Wrembel.
    With all of that you'd think that I'd be a really great jazz guitarist but I'm not.
    The problem for me with jazz is that it doesn't turn me on the way that Rock does, it will always be my dads music and not mine.
    I understand it, I have some vocabulary but I've always lacked the desire to really follow through and become a "jazz guy".
    I am a big Bruce Lee fan and his Tao Of Jeet Kune Do has been really influential for me, his theory of discarding what is useless and keeping what is useful for your individual style is something that has influenced my playing dramatically. So there is a lot jazz stuff in my playing, licks, wide intervals, some of my approaches to playing over chords, my approaches to arpeggios.
    But what I play is not jazz, it's definitely rock.
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,653
    My first "real" guitar teacher was a Jazz guitarist. I hated half the stuff he made me learn.

    In retrospect.......I'm one lucky dude!
  • maybeyesmaybeyes Posts: 4,522
    One of the things I love about Jazz guitarists is their ability to improvise.  The stuff that flows is phenomenal.  When I improvise it is usually really good or an absolute train wreck (most times the train wreck appears).  So I haven't spent much time on improv.  However, one of the things I am doing after I get through this English Panto I am playing the music for is to spend some real time looking at and working on Jazz guitar playing.  I am looking forward to it knowing that I will likely end up learning how to play better and applying it to a rock setting as Joebuddha stated he has.  It will be hard work, but I think it will be a lot of fun.  Should open my eyes to some new music applications as well.

    Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.

  • It is just very mental to wear its hard for me to get a good "feel" because the chord changes come so freaking fast and so you only get a couple seconds to hit a note relative to chord you are playing and when you come up with something cool, you have to change...AGAIN! HA!  I am trying to get the swing picking thing down.. Working the neck pickup, tone rolled back.  When you nail it, it does sound awesome, but sometimes you just want to milk the overall key and take the easy way out.  This will help me I am sure and I love the challenge it presents. 
  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,125
    Check out this website!
    http://www.aebersold.com/
    I've had their play-along and instructional books for years they are the best around.
    His "New Approach to Jazz Improvisation" series is really amazing.
    I can really recommend the "Getting it together" and "Major and Minor in all keys" books and discs but I have about 8 of his books and I've used them all a lot over the years.
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,797
    There are many different kinds of jazz, but I don't like most of it. The harmonic patterns sound very unfamiliar to me, or I don't get the melody... I've watched jazz on TV each time I stumbled on a concert and there was a guy playing an electric guitar. I've never heard something that inspired me... I'm sure it was very evolved, but the solos sounded like wanking on scales and chords. I prefer blues... That said, I can enjoy fusion jazz when it's sufficiently rocking, and I can get along with big band jazz as ambient music.
  • shaggyshaggy Posts: 860
    My dads a huge jazz fan but I can't stand it & just don't get it. It's like 10 guys all playing a different song at the same time.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    Alot of the musicians I play with consider themselves " jazz " musicians . It really depends on your definition . To me Jazz is a hodge podge of styles all mixed together .

    I totally dig instrumental music . I love Miles Davis , John Coltrane , Bill Evans , McCoy Tyner etc . But the guys that are " into " those cats turn their noses up at David Sanborn or anybody with some funk or R&B influence .....but I consider David Sanborn jazz .  :036:

    One thing I've noticed ....alot of " jazz " and  blues musicans devote themselves to one style . Thats all they play and all they listen to . Everything else is inferior . The guy at Berkley who teaches Joe Pass thinks Mike Stern has totally bastardized jazz guitar . Just the suggestion that Holdsworth is a jazz musicain amongst the Jim Hall or Joe Pass devotees is like inquiring about their wive's vaginas . The single minded dweebs that seem to populate the jazz world make it tough on everybody . Thats why the genre of jazz is in trouble . The jazz guys say " Thats Rock " and the rock guys say " Thats Jazz " and it gets lost in a no mans land .

    The coolest aspect of jazz for me is learning how to swing . I've been workin' on it for a few years with limited results . What works for me is listening to jazz guys and trying to absorb what I can . John Scolfield , Mike Stern , Scotty Anderson & Pat Martino have appeal to my ears but the guy who I consider to be the Tony Iommi of swing is Jimmy Bryant . Lots of slower grooves that I can understand and apply to my own playing . I have tons of jazz guitar music ...with the exception of the Joe Pass shit  . 

    I think its great your expanding your frame of reference . :up:
  • [quote author=jebbudda link=topic=9604.msg147189#msg147189 date=1260423506]
    Alot of the musicians I play with consider themselves " jazz " musicians . It really depends on your definition . To me Jazz is a hodge podge of styles all mixed together .

    I totally dig instrumental music . I love Miles Davis , John Coltrane , Bill Evans , McCoy Tyner etc . But the guys that are " into " those cats turn their noses up at David Sanborn or anybody with some funk or R&B influence .....but I consider David Sanborn jazz .  :036:

    One thing I've noticed ....alot of " jazz " and  blues musicans devote themselves to one style . Thats all they play and all they listen to . Everything else is inferior . The guy at Berkley who teaches Joe Pass thinks Mike Stern has totally bastardized jazz guitar . Just the suggestion that Holdsworth is a jazz musicain amongst the Jim Hall or Joe Pass devotees is like inquiring about their wive's vaginas . The single minded dweebs that seem to populate the jazz world make it tough on everybody . Thats why the genre of jazz is in trouble . The jazz guys say " Thats Rock " and the rock guys say " Thats Jazz " and it gets lost in a no mans land .

    The coolest aspect of jazz for me is learning how to swing . I've been workin' on it for a few years with limited results . What works for me is listening to jazz guys and trying to absorb what I can . John Scolfield , Mike Stern , Scotty Anderson & Pat Martino have appeal to my ears but the guy who I consider to be the Tony Iommi of swing is Jimmy Bryant . Lots of slower grooves that I can understand and apply to my own playing . I have tons of jazz guitar music ...with the exception of the Joe Pass shit  . 

    I think its great your expanding your frame of reference . :up:

    [/quote]

    Man, they are definately a different breed for sure....  I just want their ability to play the change so damn well...  If I had that, I could virtually play to any song without being told what key the song is in before starting.  I could just watch everyone's hands and blaze away and be a billy badass.  Right now I have to know the key, or atleast be told the chords, or fumble through and figure out by ear.  Even beck can get a little too Jazzy for me, so ya, I am not a real fan, but I really do respect their skill. 
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,943
    Jazz.
    There´s so much.
    And some of it´s really great, but except from Charlie Parker and Django, I don´t listen to much of it.
    My favorite Jazz Guitar players are Django, Emily, Jim and Joe.

    Django:
    Emily:
    Jim:
    Joe:
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I like Emily .  :biggrin2: 

    Jim Hall and Joe Pass totally put me to sleep . Plus my ear doesn't like alot of the dissonent chord changes and the guitar tone sounds dead .

    Its hard not to like Django...Its the guitar tone that makes it almost unlistenable to me . :ahhh: :ahhh:

    I have some great CDs by John Scolfield ....Blue Matter ...Loud Jazz ...A Go Go....I bet you'd dig it .

    Mike Stern is another guy that has grown on me over the years .

    John Mclaughlin is another .






  • What dino's could hang with a pure jazz player?  Not saying better, but hold their own.... Beck?  I could see someone like Gilbert and Buckethead being able to pull it off with no sweat.
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