What are some “easy” jazz standards?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by play_loud, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. play_loud

    play_loud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    First off I realise the words "easy" and "jazz" probably don’t belong in the same sentence (learning jazz guitar has for me been like learning to play the guitar all over again!). :lol: But here's where i'm at... I've been playing guitar seriously for over 3 years and I now want to take the giant leap out of the realms of rock n roll, blues and country.. into jazz! I've always been a fan from afar but have really only started to get into jazz seriously recently, so my jazz knowledge at this point is obviously not extensive.

    I also of course understand that you can’t expect to be able to play a certain genre with having first listened to a substantial amount of it so that is taking up quite abit of my leisure time lately.

    My question is this, could anyone recommend some "easy" jazz standards that would augment my current studies (I am self-taught in case you are wondering), as I am slowly getting confident with the basics but would also love to put my new found knowledge into practise. Where I could locate the sheet music (preferably tab, I can read notation but slowly) for these would also be greatly appreciated.

    On another note if anyone could recommend where I could find some decent, free jazz backing tracks that would also be of immense help!

    Thanks a bunch,

    Chris.

    p.s: anyone else taught themselves how to play jazz or am I idiotic for thinking I could do so (its worked for me so far with other genres)?
     
  2. sacizob

    sacizob Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,900
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Middlesex County, MA
    My signature is a place to start.
     
  3. play_loud

    play_loud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hahaha thanks sacizob that is hilarious.
     
  4. jazzbender

    jazzbender Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    270
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    Washington DC
    It might be logical for you to begin with jazz numbers that are heavily blues based, since that is what you have been playing and the blues is from whence jazz developed. Something like Duke's C Jam Blues comes to mind. It's a swing blues progression, which differs from 12 bar blues in that the V-IV-I in measures 9 to 11 is replaced by the II-V-I (not to mention the move towards the VI in bar 8). The II-V-I is EVERYWHERE in jazz so getting a basic understanding of how it works will help you leap forward. Learning songs is enjoyable, but the sooner you learn the mechanics, the faster you will learn.

    All The Things You Are is another that comes to mind. The melody is relatively easy and the chord changes are a fine example of the circle of 4ths (or 5ths if you want to get pedantic about it).

    Here's a good site for jam tracks:Vision Music

    Good luck and above all have fun!
     
  5. play_loud

    play_loud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    jazzbender, thank you so much, that is a great idea. I am currently reading a brilliant book by Alan Lomax entitled The Land Where the Blues Began, and I have since discovered the same thing; that this last 100 years has indeed been the century of the blues, in all its glorious forms. I don’t know why I didn’t think of focussing on blues oriented jazz in the first place, I guess my knowledge is lacking as to what exactly is out there. The 2-5-1 progression is the first thing I learnt about jazz, so I’m keen on witnessing some real life examples (by the sounds of it there are a lot). Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, I will check out both titles (Duke's C Jam Blues, All The Things You Are) in the morning.

    Cheers,

    Chris.
     
  6. dangelico603

    dangelico603 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    350
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Another thing you're really going to want to have a handle on is the cycle of fifths. A gazillion tunes use the cycle in the bridge (I Got Rhythm and most of it's derivatives). Some tunes use it in the A section like "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone". You should also check out Ralph Patt's web page. He has an incredible resource of chord changes for a bunch of tunes and backing tracks. Oh and start learning to read notation then you won't need to find the tab for something you can just use a fakebook. Hope that helps.
    Jason
     
  7. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,681
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Enniscorthy, Ireland
    satin doll

    autumn leaves

    take the A train
     
  8. emiller45

    emiller45 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    736
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Cortez, CO
    These are good places to start because recordings are easy to find and you can hear what they sound like as you plunder through the charts.

    I would also go along with C Jam Blues and some of the latin based stuff like "Girl From Ipanema".
     
  9. Robin Nahum

    Robin Nahum Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,273
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    PM on its way
     
  10. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,195
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    chicago
    i always recommend the "A" tunes--

    All of Me, All the Things you Are, Autumn Leaves, and take the A Train...

    and then stuff like "Blue Bossa," "Misty" "Tangerine" and a lot of ballads...

    as far as teaching yourself to play jazz, if you can already find your way around on the guitar you can teach yourself a lot--but the best way to learn is to hook up with a player better than you and let them, for lack of a nicer term that works as well, kick your ass.

    as a complete aside, my backside-kicker's name was joe--he was a piano player in his 70's and he taught me a ton while stomping on my ego! he went home a year ago this winter, but everytime i pull a little lick out that reminds me of him, i remember all he taught me...:(:)
     
  11. play_loud

    play_loud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thank you everyone for the recommendations, I will look into all of them.

    dangelico603, I have since realised that expecting to play jazz proficiently without being able to read notation quickly and efficiently may be a tall order. Advice taken.

    jazztele, almost all the guitarists I meet on the road are back side kickers (in some form or another)! But yes it is my eventual goal to find myself a tutor, thanks for the heads up. :p

    P.s I am glad to see some tele playing jazz guitarists out there!
     
  12. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,400
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    On the Bayou in da Tundra
    I know that it is trite, but the Girl From Ipanema is really good for learning how to use arpeggios and scales or modes.
     
  13. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    7,180
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    CHICAGO, IL.
    "What are some “easy” jazz standards?"

    When you start playing the changes to standards, you'll be surprised at how similar they are to one another.
     
  14. rotren

    rotren Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    433
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Jazz blues tunes like "Now's The Time", "All Blues"; minor blues tunes like "Mr. PC" and some latin like "Blue Bossa". I like melodic tunes like "Days Of Wine And Roses", and modal tunes like "So What".
     
  15. Dookychase

    Dookychase Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    326
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    Near New Orleans
    Take a look at Corey Christiansen's dvds. On one of them he teaches the melody and basic chord changes to several tunes.

    He does this real slow and explains it as he goes along. I recommend both of his dvds for a good beginning introduction to jazz.

    Dooky
     
  16. DavyA

    DavyA Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    453
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    Longmont Colorado
    +1 on reading notation. This is a HUGE help!! We easily get carried away with theory, but even just some basics will go a long way. And of coarse you have to know the fret board inside out and backwards.

    Then listen, listen and listen some more. Once you learn to hear the changes and understand what they are, the tunes get easier to play...Have Fun!
     
  17. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    2,731
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    London
    Straight No Chaser - another Jazz Blues progression
     
  18. MrSjHarlow

    MrSjHarlow NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    There's a large number of jazz backing tracks in Band In A Box. It's also fairly easy to find Fake Books" on the internet in BIAB format.
     
  19. play_loud

    play_loud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I very much look forward to getting back into it this weekend!

    Cheers,

    Chris.
     
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.