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 i am an awful jazz player 
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Motorman

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:17 am
Posts: 329
Post i am an awful jazz player
absolutely positively awful. hahaha

i know my scales and arpeggios around the neck but when it comes to actually making music from that? its a nightmare...so boring, so cliche, doesnt sound good even when i am actually acknowledging the changes.

i think that, simply put, i havent learned enough jazz songs or jazz guitar solos. i dont have the vocabulary! does anyone know where to start? i just need some direction what songs should i start learning with good jazz guitar solos (nothing too ridiculous) that i can analyze? for example, i learned autumn leaves the other day and even though i can address the changes, the licks are just sooo dreadfully boring. ive tried transcribing really hip jazz guys playing over this but i think i need something a little less technically advanced that i can start transcribing. anything at all?

thanks!!


Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:21 am
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God Of The Sun
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 4801
Location: london baby
Post Re: i am an awful jazz player
you've answered all of your own questions

go transcribe some Miles, Sonny and Coleman

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Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:20 pm
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Viking Kong

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:20 am
Posts: 6727
Post Re: i am an awful jazz player
You just got to listen and transcribe a lot. I tend to gravitate towards guitar players when I'm transcribing. I love sax players but for some reason always have a hard time bringing sax sensibilities to guitar. A guy that is great to transcribe is Pat Martino, because he thinks in a very minor key tonality and plays off of it. He uses a lot of familiar shapes, but study the way he phrases it, and then use his licks. If you want to go really cool and hip, I'd go Scofield, his lines are very angular, much more so than most traditional jazz guys back in the day. A lot of guys we associate with being really good fusion guys like Henderson all come from that Scofield school of thought (or Frisell). Charles Altura is currently my favorite jazz/fusion guy. He plays through changes so smoothly, in some of the most smart ways that I've ever seen, without rehashing traditional jazz licks. That's important though...for us normal players, we should be using traditional jazz vocab. So learn a ton of licks and keep using them until you've learned so much about concepts and playing changes you don't have to use them anymore.

Outside of just listening and transcribing:
Learn concepts you aren't familiar with. You might want to learn your melodic minor modes better for those altered chords. Melodic minor is where all the hip stuff happens, along with the diminished scale and whole tone (and some uses of pentatonics). Learn new chord voicings besides your standard block chords as well, all inversions and substitutions.

A cool method to trying out new things, is really LIMITING yourself to doing one or two things. When you start with jazz, most people undoubtedly start by just play the chord tones/arps over each and every chord. This is the same kind of concept, but you could bring it to other areas of your playing.

For example: One of my favorite things is to superimpose minor7b5 arps over every minor, dominant, and altered chord in the chart. Minor7b5s are just so damn hip that it sounds way cooler than just playing your standard arps. Probably because m7b5s sort of hint at melodic minor flavors. Try doing this over a minor blues like Footprints or something similar. I tend to superimpose min7s or minor pentatonic over major chords, because m7b5s don't seem to work as well over Major chords.

Another thing I like to do, is play pentatonics over every single chord change. As you may or may not know, there are always about 3 pentatonics you could use for every given major or minor chord (altered chords you have one pentatonic scale).

For example, for a standard II V I: Emin7, A7#5, Dmaj7 progression, instead of playing your standard Emin7, A7#5, Dmaj7 arp (snore), you could do something like, Bmin pent, C min pent, Db minor pent...or E min pent, C min pent, Gb minor pent. You could also always turn all of these into min7 arpeggios.

With the same progresion and going with the Min7b5 arps and superimposition, you could play Bmin7b5, Amin7b5 or Gmin7b5, then Gb minor 7 arppegio.

There's always a ton of stuff you could do. Also learn harmonic minor like the back of your hand. Sometimes I tend to neglect that scale in favor of more "hip" ones, but harmonic minor is used way more than you might think.


Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:29 pm
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