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Jazz Chording on a Tele

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by bottomfeeder, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    I’d try new saddles. GraphTech makes some 3 barrel TUSQ saddles that would also sound really good with a jazz rig. I use them on my tele and play mostly rock and blues.

    If you can’t get close enough intonation with another set of compensated saddles, try a 6 saddle bridge. I dabble in jazz chords and they sounded sour at certain neck positions until I swapped to the compensated saddles.
     
  2. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

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    Exactly which notes do you think are off? The 3d? The 7th? I mean, a 7b9 is a very dissonant chord, and not meant to dwell on for very long.
    I use compensated saddles, and my intonation is ok. I doubt any of the great jazz guitarists have come closer than ok. You can't expect too much from any guitar in any key when it comes to intonation, it's just an iherent flaw of the instrument. My suggestion is that you keep practicing. Technique is the problem in 90% of the cases, so start there.
    If you really crave highly accurate intonation, I don't think different saddles will help. You'll probably have to invest in a true temperament neck
     
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  3. BostonTeleGuy

    BostonTeleGuy TDPRI Member

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    Im guessing 12s wont help that. I get the same problem up in the upper register of my 52ri. I notice it on 10th fret plus + Jazz chords/octaves and because i dont have compensated saddles I can't get absolutely perfect. For me I just try and set that intonation on the 12th fret as close as I possible can to minimize.
     
  4. FrostyMorn

    FrostyMorn TDPRI Member

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    Is this also true of a common drop 2 major/minor chord in the same position? If so, sounds like the guitar needs a proper setup. Using a chromatic tuner, is the fretted note at the 12th fret exactly the same as the harmonic at the 12th fret?
     
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  5. jazzlake

    jazzlake TDPRI Member

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    This is really good. Tuning to open strings is something I rarely do, exclusively. It just doesn't seem to work out. I take what Tim does and play the 5th degree on the bottom, root, 5th, root, bar chord-esque. Then I move a tritone or similar with the lowest note on the 6th string then move up to the 5th (A), 4th (D) etc., getting all the octaves and 5ths in tune. And, if you have tall, jumbo, or extra jumbo frets be careful how hard the are pushing down.
     
  6. loicrechard

    loicrechard TDPRI Member

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  7. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

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    I feel your pain. My problem with jazz chords on my telecaster is the infamous, "user error syndrome".
    When your whole life your bending and pulling off, then all of a sudden perfectly still and exact pressure
    on the strings, it takes practice and patience to achieve crystal clear chords. I listen to Grant Green and wonder
    if he would sound as good on a Telecaster. Probably not, be we'll never find out.
     
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  8. greasamizer

    greasamizer TDPRI Member

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    To one and two: Go to 'you tube' and go to 'Ted Lerch'. He does a lot of Tellie stuff-and on them, a lot of jazz! One thing I keep seeing there is his mention of .o12 gauge strings. I think he goes toward rounds, I prefe3r flat gauge. I have built all of my Tellies and have wired them with every config. from stock to Jerry Donahue's. Playing jazz on a Tellie, especially with the hams I have for hands-is a bit easier than on the 'G-boxes'.
     
  9. lilqueenie

    lilqueenie TDPRI Member

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    Ed Bickert .. jazz musician just passed away.. played a tele forever.. great jazz player
     
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  10. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I haven't experimented with different brands of strings, some people do but I'm not into that. For my jazz standards setup I use a set of Dean Markley .012s. I use that same set on any guitar I want to play with a heavier gauge string. Then I tune down a whole set to D to D and sometimes yet another half step to C to C.

    I have a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Artisan that was my only guitar from the time I got it new until around ten years later when I started experimenting with other brands and pickup styles. I strung that guitar up with the .012s and loved the tone for chord melodies. But I love Ted Greene as someone else mentioned. He was my guitar teacher between '87-'89. He loved his Tele and a Fender Deluxe Reverb. IMHO G&L makes way better guitars consistent quality wise than Fender or any other company. G&L is my favorite guitar brand and I have owned many of them of many different models and I've never had one (out of around 20 or so) that disappointed. I can't say that for Fender or Gibson.

    I think having individual saddles is the best. I have a Fender (MIM) Classic Player Baja Telecaster and it has the old style 3-barrels of brass thing. It might be a "vintage" style of bridge but I don't consider it to be one of Leo Fender's best designs. It took me forever to get the intonation set on that guitar and I had to compromise between strings and just get it as close as possible.

    I know guys like their brass saddles and if that's you then its OK. But I stumbled upon a Fender American Elite HSS Strat at a pawn shop for a ridiculous low price so I brought it home. Instead if the "vintage" style bridge with bent saddles, it has solid steel saddles. I think those saddles add a lot of stability and sustain. The Rutters you have might be compensating but they're still sharing one saddle between 2 strings (if its the saddles I am thinking of). These are what I am thinking you have:

    Rutters Compensated.jpg

    The solid steel saddles I am talking about are like these (these are Gotohs I scarfed quickly for a picture off the Internet but there are different brands):

    Gotoh Tele Bridge.jpg

    Because you can tweak each string individually I think you can get a much more pure intonation. Then (IMHO) the solid steel saddles is stable and adds sustain.

    FWIW, I studied jazz in Jacksonville, Florida with a guy who was a bebop guy from way back. When he told me to get a set of strings with a wound third I did what he said before the next lesson. Later at different music stores I heard a story that guys would go there for lessons with a set of 009's, or 008's or 010's with no wound third and... He had a set of wire cutters on a shelf in the studio room that he would use, reach up and chop the guy's 3rd string off during the lesson. Hahaha... I don't know what you can take away from that but to say I think real jazz standards and tone need a wound third. LOL. But that's me and he was m first serious jazz instructor so I did everything he ever said to do without question. No need to name drop, but he was a famous man with national recordings and I was lucky as Puck to get a chance to study with him. He did have a bit of an attitude though... Ha...

    I don't pretend to be a guitar tech, so I always take my stuff to a luthier (not a Guitar Center) to have it massaged. I think what others have said about making an adjustment at the nut or using a more advanced nut could be key, too. I like the idea somebody said about setting your guitar up for the style you play. If you play with .011's then G&L equips their instruments with .010's from the factory so you might need to tweak the nut a bit to get where you want to be. There's only a few things that can affect intonation.

    - the bridge saddles
    - the nut
    - how hard you press down the strings when fingering a chord

    As a wild guess (even through G&L has extremely great quality) maybe there is one fret just a thousandth of an inch too high. A good tech could do a fret dress for you and solve that problem in a jiffy.

    I don't pretend to be a guitar tech, or a recording engineer, or a car mechanic, or a plumber, or an electrician. Hand me some hand tools and watch me screw something up... LOL... I am what I call "severely mechanically challenged"... The one thing I do better than anything else on Earth is play guitar and I know my place in the universe. A guy who frames in houses for a living could get the job done in days whereas with me and my clutzy mechanically challenged self would take months and it would also be off square and screwed up. But hand the framer a guitar and he wouldn't know how to tune it, let alone play a chord melody to Body and Soul.

    A real luthier who builds guitars from hunks of wood is who I try to find where ever I live. If not him, then a tech that ISN'T at Guitar Center. (The last GC "tech" royally screwed up my Epiphone Les Paul. Glad I didn't take him my Artisan, no more GC-anything for me ever again.)

    There are some guys out there that are just blessed with the ability to tweak a guitar into heavenly play-ability and intonation. There are also exceeding talented recording engineers, car mechanics, plumbers, and electricians. I'm not any of those, either. I think the old saying goes "Jack of all trades, master of none." When I have one of my "wives" (my guitars) taken to have work on, only the best doctor or surgeon for me. I don't do brain surgery, either, LOL. I do know some people I'd like to do brain surgery on, though. Namely a few former family members, haha.

    I currently have 22 "wives" and each one I love with the same tender loving care, no matter their economic presence when new. My idea there is that I play the wives, I don't mess with their mechanical stuff. But that's just me. Some people are blessed with different abilities. I'm great with math and music, so I use both sides of my brain. But tools are not something I do.
     
  11. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    Nut cut to the absolute lowest possible height and saddles that can be adjusted individually. Compensated saddles should be close enough, but if you're too sensitive for them get individual saddles.
     
  12. ALNICOJOE

    ALNICOJOE TDPRI Member

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  13. ALNICOJOE

    ALNICOJOE TDPRI Member

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    Well you know what they say about guitar players... we spend half our time tuning and the other half playing out of tune...

    Question; what size frets on your guitar. If their jumbos you can pull a note sharp by pushing down too hard on one pitch. I've done this myself especially on longer scale guitars like a Tele with jumbo frets but not at the 10th fret, below the 5th fret where I really had to stretch

    You might consider changing how you tune your instrument. Look up johnny smith tuning method.

    Lastly and I don't mean to insult you here but are you 100% positive your guitar is strung correctly? It's it's not and the strings are slipping our your tuners are bad you'll never get it right.
     
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Inquiring minds...
     
  15. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    20210112_101023.jpg 20210119_105933.jpg

    "Track 3"


    Have fun
     
  16. Gorquin

    Gorquin Tele-Meister

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  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Ah! Chords with a half-step rub can be quite nice, in the right context.

    I do like the related drop2:

    CMaj7: xx2413

    Especially if you arpeggiate it and let it hang in the air. Of course, the whole point to jazz is not to play what's put in front of you ;), So you could do any of the following, instead.

    CMaj6: xx2213
    CMaj9(no root): xx2433 (let the bass play the root -- a good rule for many chords)
    C6/9: x(3)2233
    C(add2): xx2533
     
  18. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    I am completely new to jazz/this book/these chords so take what I said with a grain of salt.

    Like you mentioned, I tried to arpeggiate and approach that chord in different ways and eventually found better voicings to my ear. The dissonance between the g and b string is very jarring. I honestly thought I may have been doing something wrong hence why I contacted my pro musician acquaintance.

    My whole point in relating that story to the OP is the freedom that my friends response offered, basically, follow your ear and if "it" doesn't sound or feel right move on and find something that does.

    All of these "jazz chords" are really stretching my fingers and great for study, but I can see some being rarely if ever used.
     
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  19. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    True! The Ted Greene website is a trove of cool chords and progressions, if you want some more exercises and example. https://tedgreene.com/
     
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  20. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I put comp saddles on my Teles and eventually went back to uncompensated for the first two strings on some of them. For some, it's a good solution, for some, it is not.
    Edit: if you are using comps, switching to a wound G will make it flat.
     
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