Jazz players: Howto and/or theory questions ?

jazzguitar

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
1,112
Location
Germany
Hi everybody,

I am considering writing an instructional article series about playing jazz on guitar, mostly intended for advanced amateurs.

To collect ideas what topics to deal with, I would like everyone who plays jazz here or any similar kind of improvised music, to suggest questions he/she always would have liked an answer to.

Topics may include sound, equipment, genres, harmony, scales, music theory etc.

(I am not sure that I can answer them all here, the purpose is to collect ideas and make sure the most frequently asked questions will be covered and nothing of importance is forgotten).

Thank you very much to every one contributing,
jazzguitar
 

Old Tele man

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2017
Posts
3,941
Location
Once banned always banned
Last edited:

ndcaster

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Posts
11,069
Location
Indiana
I wish I had had a teacher who'd have told me what *not* to do.

That would've saved me a bunch of time. Just like when a DIY guy at home tries to tackle some big project, a pro can come in and get it done a whole lot faster. At the very least, experience makes you efficient.

There are a lot of dead ends in instructional materials I see. If you could point out some things that would waste time and confuse various issues, that might help the youngsters.
 

Old Tele man

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2017
Posts
3,941
Location
Once banned always banned
Very true, but learning the "tricks of the trade" straight ahead, rather than 'weeding' thru the 'try this/try that' jungle of learning, lets you sit closer to the front of the class (wink,wink).
 
Last edited:

Old Tele man

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2017
Posts
3,941
Location
Once banned always banned
what about a tune using quartal harmony?

That's where the scalar notes forming a chord are 'quartally' stacked (layered), instead of triad-stacked:

TRIAD: C - E - G ...ie: R - 3 - 5

QUART: C - F - Bb ...ie: R - 4 - 7

With NO defined 3rd, they make great passing chords for resolving into the final or target (destination) chord. Think of them as jazz-version of heavy-metal "mu" chords.
 
Last edited:

Old Tele man

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2017
Posts
3,941
Location
Once banned always banned
I thought so -- we're all sloppy typers here! Leave them roots and 5ths for the bassist.

Yeah, that's another reason jazz chords seldom use more than 4 notes, lots of "unnecessary" notes can and are left out; hence d7 and "color" note are most important, with 5th and 3rd next in importance, but often/usually omitted too.
 
Last edited:

peteb

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Posts
4,818
Location
Cascadia
I am considering writing an instructional article series about playing jazz on guitar, mostly intended for advanced amateurs.

To collect ideas what topics to deal with, I would like everyone who plays jazz here or any similar kind of improvised music, to suggest questions he/she always would have liked an answer to.

Topics may include sound, equipment, genres, harmony, scales, music theory etc.


That's cool, sounds like a good use of time.

I broke down blues guitar, below, maybe it can help give ideas on breaking down the Jazz tecnnique and what makes it unique:





Blues Guitar:

Place of origin:
Mississippi Delta

Common Keys:
E, G, A, B, ?

Common song forms:
I,IV,V
12 bar blues

Common chord forms:
Major, minor, 1-5 (power), 7th, ?

Rhythms:
Syncopated
Shuffle

Scales:
Pentatonic
Blues scale
Blues Box - show picture here

Alternate scales:
Latin, Middle eastern, American Indian

Finger style techniques:
Slide, hammer on, pull off,
String Bending, vibrato, neck bending
 

stringslinger

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Posts
742
Location
Nashville, TN
Something that can be helpful is looking at jazz from a chronological standpoint. If you want to keep it to guitarists, move from Django and Charlie Christian to Wes to Jim Hall to Metheny to etc, etc. Obviously, those are just ones of many. In a way, this dives into historical styles but with specific faces attached to each period.

The BIGGEST regret I had with my jazz studies (15-17 yrs ago) is the obsession with harmonic expansion/alteration, and not melodic development. That, and honing in on alternate picking eighth notes. As someone else already mentioned, transcribe your favorite player. Doesn't matter the time period. I'm willing to bet the majority of the solo will be fairly diatonic, but with a sense of phrasing and development. The notes themselves aren't important, it's how you play them.
 

Old Tele man

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 10, 2017
Posts
3,941
Location
Once banned always banned
Last edited:

ndcaster

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Posts
11,069
Location
Indiana
The BIGGEST regret I had with my jazz studies (15-17 yrs ago) is the obsession with harmonic expansion/alteration, and not melodic development
so, so true

what is the simplest effective thing you can do confidently?

in the next chorus, how do you vary that rhythmically?

next, are there ways to insert new chords and thus new melodic material?

how do you build the next chorus to create more excitement?

how do you take the next chorus to church or shouting?

the education could be organic or "generative" or something -- with real-world tunes!
 




New Posts

Top