Selfish Thread - Teach Breen jazz/country/theory

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Breen, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

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    Hey guys and the wizards of TTT&T.

    I've not been on TDPRI often nowadays, too much of a good thing and all that, but I know I need to kick myself to improve on my playing. I really do hope you guys could point me out to some questions I have and as I go along.

    I WANT to find a teacher here, not easy for jazz as the good ones are expensive/professional, while the rest are learning as well. Moreover, I cannot afford one just right now. I had 4 jazz/theory lessons before with a Berklee man who is now retired from teaching, having burnt himself out. That 4 lessons are all the music lessons I had in my life and its stuff that has been absolute gold to me since.

    Anyhoo, I want to know how do you jazzbos get the form under you? I listen to jazz every 2nd day, but I can't play it. I listen to blues/country/rock every other day, and I can play it. This means the perceived difficulty of jazz guitar is a step I need to overcome.

    I have been memorizing and playing a short lesson of Stella by Starlight on the tube. I am doing great, I know what the chords/melody/movement is about kinda, but I cannot improvise or internally talk my way over it. This goes back to my question, how can I do so? Obviously I do not have the technical or musical abilities to try.

    In essence, question 1 is How do I get the form into my playing? And question 2 would be What do I do to get something going - Arpeggio woodshedding? Chords? Fretboard knowledge? What are the basics that needs to be grounded out?

    Question 3 - How do I play Western Swing and "advanced' country? I only know the sliding 6ths and utilizing the majminMixoPent scale.

    Thanks for hearing me out, I think these are question some others would want to hear out for those starting out on jazz. More questions would follow if the thread allows it, thank you so much for reading this!

    P.S Am I asking the right questions?
     
  2. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    This is a limited medium for learning anything - but sure, there is some great advice to be had on jazz here from some hard working and gifted minds.
    You are offering some of the the right questions - so I'll address one.
    Getting form into your playing. Its all about internalisation
    When I was a student, one of my best teachers, used to make me perform the melody(only) of every song that I professed to know.
    The brief was: play the 'concert version' of the melody - as a piece of music in its own right. Stella is actually a tough tune - so try this with Autumn Leaves or something simpler. Its not as easy as it sounds....

    I have worked with singers who know hundreds of standards - so I often learned tunes on the bandstand too.
    But it led me to great recordings of these tunes by various singers and instrumentalists but particularly Frank Sinatra,Sarah Vaughan, Bill Evans as well as Miles , Coltrane, Pops and others - anyone who played the melody of a tune with great conviction and a sense of shape.
    You find yourself singing the tune - and this is just an essential skill. I got to know some versions of tunes so well I could phrase the melody like Sinatra ,Sarah or Billie , sing the saxophone solo and the bass line- as well as voice lead the arpeggios through the whole tune.

    Which also reinforces the importance of being able to 'comp' well through the tune - practice holding the form down by singing the tune while you play the chords.

    Eventually you dont want to be just reading the chords/notes off the page - hear the whole tune in your head - and see the notes on the guitar in your mind. When you can do this - and this a great thing about the guitar - start singing the root notes of the chords while you play the melody - just one phrase at a time will do - its not easy!

    Joe Lovano said in an interview that he "learned everything from the tunes" - and I always take this to mean that the tunes inspire a type of aural learning - and also a means by which you put more abstract stuff (like chord /scales, arpeggios and complex rhythmic ideas) into practice.

    And listen a lot to definitive versions of those great tunes.
     
  3. Rob Moody

    Rob Moody Tele-Meister

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    Learning the tunes is gold advice. Context is everything, the solo has to work in with the song, not just be an entity on its own.
     
  4. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

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    Autumn Leaves was the piece the Berklee man gave me to learn. Somehow I can't get the melody for that down on the fingers but I can with Stella or Blue Bossa. I can do that real slow, and that just means I need to practice more on that.

    I kinda do that already on blues riffs and solos, the whole play what you can sing and make it tell a story bit. Not good, and sometimes it sounds like bad Benson, but will continue to work on that. Not done it in a more sophisticated context i.e jazz or pop as well as doing it with other instruments and is definitely an idea for me to work on. Thank you very much!

    Question - How do you comp? Right now the only way I do it in my musical baby brain is throw in a note somewhere while playing a chord then work it down or up the extensions, throwing in passing chromatic chords of any kind or form. I don't even know the names of the chords I play sometimes, I guess I could figure them out on paper. I know one could just play the doublestops, working on that as well.
    I realize your advice is for straight up chord on the sheet comping, and coupled with the melody singing is something I will try. I don't even sing much popular tunes on cowboy chords, would those help? I reckon they would/

    I guess thats how I learnt my very bedroom ear for guitar but in a wrong way. Whilst younger when I hear the widdly bits of Hendrix I'll try that out not knowing what it was actually, or randomly select notes for tapping just cause you wanna throw in the right hand. I think my jazz sense is kinda spoiled that way because I have not attempted to transcribe anything jazzy, sans Blue Bossa, and what inner workings I have on jazz is translated to wanton single note death destructions when I actually attempt it.

    Thank you so much for the direction pointing!

    I would love to hear more ideas from the wizards! Afterall, it is a selfish thread to MEEEeeeeeee*Darth Vader*eeeeeee....
     
  5. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Immerse yourself in the music ... but don't fetishize it (i.e., fill up a 40 gig ipod and not actully listen any of it). Listen actively and constantly even if it's only to one artist for six months.

    Learning one two bar lick\line in all 12 keys and how to adapt it to different feels, styles and genres is and beating it to death is better than a ton of licks that stay buried in the back of your brain and never come out.
     
  6. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

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    I was always afraid of this... Like why would you want to read a script in different voices and moods over and over again, when one good way would make it work. But to do good work in the first place work needs to be done and its only very recently that I'm maturing over it playing & practising wise.

    Thanks man hearing from you is always awesome.
     
  7. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    To this day, EVERYTIME I learn a new lick I figure out how to literally force in to everything I do.
    Of course it doesnt always work over everything but I like to get my ears used to hearing it in various contexts.
     
  8. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    You've gotten great advice so far, so it's time for my jazz is like satanism line...

    Jazz is like satanism...it's not for dabbling...you have to go all in if you want any of the benefits...

    Seriously, it has to become an obsession...I've had students come to me and say "I think I should learn a little jazz, as it will help my metal playing and it'll be a good challenge." It never works out for those people.

    So if you're willing to become obsessed, dive in. Listen constantly. In the car, while working out, walking the dog, in bed at night...the jazz sound has to become the music you hear in your head...if you can't hear it, you can't play it.

    You have to crack the code of the fretboard...know every note, every fret. Learn chords and how to make them...know what notes are in the chords you're playing, so you can apply them elsewhere...memorizing shapes and grips without going deeper is a waste.

    For starting out with jazz, I reccomend putting scales away. Play with the notes in the chords of the tune...connect the dots with chromatics. I put a vid on my site about chord tone soloing that might help you with that idea.

    Learning licks in all 12 keys is great...play them in different octaves too...don't fall in love with "guitarisms," just because a lick has open strings doesn't mean that's the only way it can be done.

    I'll post more ideas as I think of them. Hope this adds to the help you've already gotten here...
     
  9. 4514

    4514 Tele-Holic

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    Really interesting idea... I've never thought of it that way before. But it makes sense. When I first learned how to do that cliche country/rock lick where you bend from a 2 to a 3, hit the 5, then release from the 3 to the 2 and resolve to the 1 (trying to avoid TAB usage here...) I threw that lick into everything I could. Mostly because I was about 1 year into playing and it was the only cool lick I knew! But now I can imagine that lick in any context at any tempo in any key and the idea can go from my brain to my fingers at 2x light speed. The more automatic riffs licks and tricks you have, the better, for ANY genre.
     
  10. jjh37854

    jjh37854 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have gotten HUGE benefit from this site

    jbguitarworkshop.com
     
  11. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    I'm hardly more than a beginner with jazz guitar but have
    been working at it for years and have a few thoughts that
    might help.

    1. If you can't play the heads of the tunes, then you'd better
    work on that. Get band-in-a-box and memorize the heads of
    some tunes you like until you can play them easily.

    2. It's tempting to look for shortcuts, but you have to accept
    that to play jazz decently you're going to have to get lots
    of *materials* down pat -- scales, arpeggios, licks, etc.
    Just accept this and pick one manageable thing to learn
    at a time. For example, learn minor 7 arpeggios all over
    the neck. Invent exercises for yourself, using band-in-a-box,
    to make sure you've really got it.

    I emphasize: accept that it's going to take a while!

    3. For comping, simple shell voicings are really useful. These
    are often thee notes, containing the 3rd, the 7ths, and often
    the root.

    http://www.jazzguitar.be/jazz_guitar_chords_basic_shell.html

    4. Try to transcribe and memorize jazz solos by the greats
    by ear. This will improve your technique, your ears, and
    your jazz vocabulary. A program like 'transcribe' helps a lot.

    http://www.seventhstring.com/

    It's said that Pat Metheny had memorized *all* of Wes Montgomery's
    recorded solos by the time he started at Berklee. I guarantee that
    if you transcribe one or two of Wes's solos you will gain huge
    respect for Wes's playing.

    5. Practice a lot :)
     
  12. ' burn 08

    ' burn 08 Tele-Afflicted

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    Man I love reading this stuff
     
  13. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    flat five mentions Band in a Box. Amazing program.
     
  14. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

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    I have realized that! It really needs devotion and not a master of all trades approach, which is my musical character unfortunately. The earth and its 24 hours....... Slight problem is I am in the midst of creating and hopefully recording guitar for a blues funk band, and I know THAT needs devotion as well. Well if James Franco can take 3 degree programmes in different schools, open a art exhibition and act in Hollywood movies at about the same time, something could be done for this *optimism never killed anybody*

    When we talk about notes in a chord, how do y'all wizards think when there is a for example 7b9#13. What goes through your head when you see chords. For me its straight forward playing it and that I could apply a Super Locrian (I think!) on it for example. I worry about little else and worry that I don't worry more!

    Lets talk at a fundamental level, and not superimposing and converting it to another more straight forward arppegio etc. I know I can't handle that stuff yet.


    I don't know how to sound nice while playing the chord tones. I'll look into your vid :p jazztele thank you so much for the contribution! I gotta find a way to really absorb jazz. Sadly, I listen to jazz for the past couple years much more then blues or country, yet I can't grasp it on guitar. Horrible and frustrating.


    Wow Jimmy Bruno. For real its all free?

    Thanks flatefive! I'm gonna attempt Wes' Days of Wine and Roses. That should occupy me for the year. Or should I go West Coast Blues?
     
  15. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you want to tackle a Wes tune to start I'd personally start with 'D Natural Blues'. Easy chord progression (D blues) and a lot of patented Wes lines are in there.
     
  16. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well the first thing you're gonna have to do is understand that a #13 and a b7 are the same note.
     
  17. mtown

    mtown Tele-Meister

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    There are some good books by Corey Christiansen published by Mel Bay. I have the Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown ones. He takes you through these in the style of the artist. There are a lot of good short and long 251 licks that can help you get some jazz vocabulary in your playing. Best to learn them in all 12 keys.
     
  18. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Where do you see it called #13 ?
     
  19. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Ok, what does this code mean. 7 means either major7 or flat7. flat 9 is one half step above the tonic, so you will have a diminished sound going on in the chord. sharp 13 doesn't make any sense because, for example in C a natural 13 is A, sharp 13 is going to be B flat. The type of 7th called out in the voicing should cover what quality of 7th will be used. To start learning how to break down the chord voicing code just remember:
    9 = 2nd one note above tonic
    11 = the 4th
    13th = the 6th
     
  20. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    ha, I can see he's got all the help he needs!
     
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