Any Jazz Pros have a favorite instructional system?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Mark the Moose, May 10, 2019.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    356
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    Erie, CO
    I've got a few months off and would like to learn jazz guitar. Before you snicker at the "few months" comment here's my background:

    20+ years as a pro jazz pianist and teacher. DMA in music composition. 13 years teaching music theory and aural skills to music majors at the university level. My guitar playing over the last 30 years, however, has been limited to bar bands and worship bands. My goal is to start transferring my jazz knowledge to the guitar with the full appreciation that it is a different beast than the piano, which is really what draws me to it.

    So I'm looking for a favorite instructional book or video series that will move me along in the chord-melody style and learn the application of the idiom to six strings. Suggestions?
     
  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,681
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    There are jazz pros, people who made their living playing jazz, in 2019?
     
  3. East Coast Rick

    East Coast Rick TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    13
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Location:
    Nova Scotia CA
    Jim Campilongo has some teaching material - probably not as classical jazz in nature as you may be looking for though. I took lessons from one of his students and he said that Jim was a superb teacher.
     
    El Tele Lobo and Mark the Moose like this.
  4. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,518
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    I won't be much help as I learned 90% of my harmonic jazz guitar chops by listening to and reading piano players and piano books respectively (Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett). The linear stuff from trumpet and tenor players (Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson). I also took private guitar lessons for years and went to University as a music major.

    But I will mention these few guitar centric editions ...

    Ted Greene - Chord Chemistry and Modern Chord Progressions (Chord Chem's "gold" is in the chapters that pre and procede the actual chord lexicon).

    Steve Khan - Chord Khancepts and Pentatonic Khancepts.

    Garrison Fewell - Jazz Improvisation for Guitar : A Harmonic Approach.

    Joe Pass - Jazz guitar style and Jazz Lines.


    Joe Diorio - Fusion (Not really jazz/rock fusion just a weird title).

    Don Mock - Melodic Minor Revealed (also editions on Harm Min and Dim/Aug).

    Pat Martino - Linear Expressions.

    *You may find some of my YT teaching material instructive as most of it is not geared towards the beginner but towards the player already versed in the theory and concepts of jazz ...
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXZhDGBauvWRdsrTm0Zr1BYK6wraKFhB-

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    Rowdyman, Blue Bill, ASATKat and 2 others like this.
  5. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    356
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    Erie, CO
    Fair enough. I rode the back end of that wave 20 years ago. I'm sure there are plenty of members who have made their living playing jazz at some point along the way who might have some direction.
     
  6. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    356
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    Erie, CO
    Thanks, I'll check them all out.
     
  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,681
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I'm not trying to poke fun.
    I got no kick against modern jazz :cool:
     
  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    59,061
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I’ve been learning jazz guitar for about 30 years now.
    I’m astoundingly mediocre at it.
    I’ll get it someday, I hope.
     
  9. Scorch

    Scorch TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Have you looked into Robert Conti 's chord melody assembly line ?
     
    Mark the Moose and El Tele Lobo like this.
  10. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,450
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    Mark the Moose likes this.
  11. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,083
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    +1 to everything Ken said. Additionally, Matt Warnock's site may be a good reference for you. Much of the material is geared towards intermediate-ish players, but it may be helpful to get some of the common fingerings, and guides for tunes and what not. I would imagine that after a while there, you should start getting comfortable transferring what you know from piano on to guitar.
     
    Matt G and Mark the Moose like this.
  12. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast again
    Except when they play it too darn fast?
     
    Mark the Moose and blowtorch like this.
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    48,471
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Knowing piano could be a big plus when it comes to chord melodies. Most (!) guitarists are pretty conservative when it comes to chord choices. You could apply some Bill Evans to your guitar playing.
     
    Mark the Moose likes this.
  14. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,083
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    When I first started learning jazz, I got frustrated because all my teacher showed me was the basic drop 2 shapes and it sounded cheesy to me to use those all the time. So I just worked on playing lines and basically ignored THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of being a guitar player. Then years later I started hearing Jim Hall and it opened my ears a little bit, then Ed Bickertt and it opened them a little more, then Lenny Breau, then Ted Greene... and eventually I realized that while we don't have all of the physical possibilities that pianists do, there is certainly a big harmonic world to explore.
     
    Mark the Moose likes this.
  15. RCinMempho

    RCinMempho Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,040
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Location:
    Maryville, TN
    You would benefit greatly from a teacher.

    EDIT to add:

    If you can spend the money on a teacher, a good teacher could really help you maximize the time you have available. I think most "pro jazz" players probably take lessons their whole lives.
     
    Harry Styron and Mark the Moose like this.
  16. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    672
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Location:
    NE, Ohio
    Glad to know I'm not the only one!

    I proved that last Sat when the keyboardist played a request for Spain. I never played that song in my life, but as the melody and his solo went by I picked up the changes. No problem. But then he gave me that "do you want to take a solo?" look, and I obliged. Oy! I was lucky to peak out at mediocre on that one. :lol:
     
    Mark the Moose likes this.
  17. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    174
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Dock of the Bay, Georgia on my mind.
    I have tried many online courses and I've settled on Matt Munisteri's Peghead Nation course. He covers a lot of Freddie Green style rhythm which has opened up the fretboard to me in another way and it's finger busting.

    Tim Lerch's YouTube videos are inspiring too.
     
  18. gtroates

    gtroates Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    471
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington (USA)
    Spain is a problem when you first come across it, Blue In Green is a hard one to just jump into at a gig too. Like Giant Steps or many Wayne Shorter compositions it is a good idea to keep a mental list of the ones with hard changes and work on them systematically in practice sessions. Many challenging tunes can be simplified after becoming familiar through listening and concentrated practicing repetition, you will be more likely to think in bigger chunks of the tune’s progression and think up longer lines if you have an idea of what is coming up next. When a player looks like they can handle any tune thrown at them live it is usually because they have a large repertoire of memorized tunes and can quickly recognize similarities in chord progressions between new tunes and tunes they already know.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  19. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,078
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Location:
    Bucks Co. PA
    A good starting point (emphasis on starting) is Mickey Baker Book 1 and Ronnie Lee's Jazz Guitar Book. After that you could delve into The George Van Eps series of books,
    After that there are a million books. The best one is the one you actually use. Not necessarily guitar oriented.If you don't know your guitar well enough to learn from non guitar oriented books you need to learn your instrument first, Tabs just won't get you there.

    Any book by Arnie Berle will help a lot. Chord Progressions for Jazz and Popular Guitar is also good for beginners. If you don't read music learn it will shorten the learning curve greatly.
     
    Rowdyman likes this.
  20. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    That's a nice list, I'd like to comment on a couple of them,

    Chord Chemistry is a great book with trillions of examples, but my problem is not all that is practical for the way I play. Ted played impossible and beautiful guitar, and he played Teles. But my honest opinion, this is not a good place to start playing jazz, there are books that show easier and 1st class ways to create a starting foundation with chords. Chord Chemistry is a nice book to use as a reference book after your foundation is well ingrained.

    Both Steve Kahn's books are rich in modern ideas. I have both and spend most time looking at Pentatonic Kahncepts. I have taken his unusual pent ideas and written out etudes and lines and done my best to engrained some of it in my playing. Again, a bit advanced for a beginner but a great resource to have when you're looking for an answer.

    Pat Martino Linear Expressions, simply one of the most eye/ear opening book period, for me that is. I worked with the first exercise where he plays from the 2nd feet up to the 15th. I was blown away when I realized I could just play these lines over a lot of tunes with lines in random order, and it sounded like the language of jazz, just guided by ear I would have the whole solo in tab and in front of me for reference when using it over other tunes, and I can see the fretboard shapes of the lines, that means I could play an uptempo blues and play "my way" and then implant a Martino line. I do that with all my favorite players but Martino has been the best absorbed. Linear Expressions is pure gold.
    It's my feeling Martino wrote this book using the post surgery skills that he developed in therapy to retrain himself, in everything, but here we're just talking about guitar. And his way of thinking translates well to my simplistic brain.
    And a beginner could slowly play the book, or at least the wonderful 1st example. However there is also some heavy theory if you read it, so just play the "activities".
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    LazyBear and El Tele Lobo like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.