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Old 04-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
groovy-elephant
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What kind of scales did Wes Montgomery used?

I decided to start learning jazz, mainly because of Wes Montgomery, but I don't know wich scales are used in jazz. I play mostly blues and such, and I always improvise on the pentatonic scale. Can someone tell me with wich scales I can achieve a Wes Montgomery solo or something?
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
The_Sophist
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No one can explain Jazz to you on an internet forum. Pick up a textbook and study as much Jazz music as possible.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by The_Sophist
No one can explain Jazz to you on an internet forum. Pick up a textbook and study as much Jazz music as possible.

+1 Jazz is the most freeform style of music. No real jazz man is completely random, but a true jazz artist cannot be expressive within the boundaries of a seven note scale.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
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As a jazz musician, I can say for a fact that we use literally all the same scales as everybody else. There is no magical jazz scale or chord or anything that will make you play jazz. Major, Minor, modes, etc...

Check out the forums on www.allaboutjazz.com and ask them what scales Wes Mongomery used. Just be prepared for a serious baptism by fire.

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+1 Jazz is the most freeform style of music. No real jazz man is completely random, but a true jazz artist cannot be expressive within the boundaries of a seven note scale.


Ehhh. I'm frankly calling bull honky. Listen to Miles Davis blowing over "Summertime". The song is almost 100% pentatonic, but I absolutely defy you to call it anything but true jazz. A true jazz artist could play a single note and have it be the most expressive, beautiful thing you ever heard.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
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He plays lots of octave runs up scales of a chord playing behind, say Mixolydian or Dorian. Major harmony and Melodic Minor harmony will cover alot of the notes, theory wise.
Arppegios up chords too.

Just try looking at a score and seeing what he does over certain chords. His tone is a big part of his sound too, don;t forget he played with his thumb.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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"If you have to ask, you'll never know". The words of the great Louis Armstrong ring true here. Jazz isn't about what you use to do that job, it's about how you do it. Jazz is about being spontaneous. Jazz is about being honest, playing what you want to play because you want to play it. None of these words are going to mean anything to you, as Jazz means different things to different people, which is why you'll never learn Jazz by reading it, you learn Jazz by playing it.
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Wes had some incredibly creative and hip uses of the blues and pentatonic scales - hint is to try applying them outside of the "root" use. Pentatonic lines often have incredible melodic power and ambiguous tonality - take advantage of it. A lot of his playing, especially the later stuff, had quite a commercial bent (think road song, etc) but listen closely and you'll here some really fantastic bits where you least expect them. Wes could roll with the craziest avant-garde guys if he liked, he had the technique and knowledge and sounds, but he chose not to, instead having his own little moments within something a lot more marketable.

If you want to sound superficially like him, learn some good melody and glide octaves with your thumb. Otherwise, dig deep, immerse yourself, listen and imitate.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
Archeo Avis
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If you have to ask, you aren't ready. Pick yourself up some theory textbooks and find yourself a good jazz teacher.

Quote:
"If you have to ask, you'll never know". The words of the great Louis Armstrong ring true here. Jazz isn't about what you use to do that job, it's about how you do it. Jazz is about being spontaneous. Jazz is about being honest, playing what you want to play because you want to play it. None of these words are going to mean anything to you, as Jazz means different things to different people, which is why you'll never learn Jazz by reading it, you learn Jazz by playing it.


Every musician in the world applies those platitudes to every genre that they play, which makes them vague and useless. Jazz is characterized by certain conventions, just like any other genre. You aren't playing jazz just because you're playing what you want to play. You learn jazz the same way you learn any other genre of music: By studying it and practicing it. Better yet, find a teacher.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
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Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote:
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groovy-elephant
I decided to start learning jazz, mainly because of Wes Montgomery, but I don't know wich scales are used in jazz. I play mostly blues and such, and I always improvise on the pentatonic scale. Can someone tell me with wich scales I can achieve a Wes Montgomery solo or something?

well in jazz there are many things you can do and many things he did. one thing you need to do is be able to play through chords. so know your chord tones and how to change scales. learn the bebop scale, the modes and melodic minor to get you started. but even then sometimes jazz guys dont stick to these scales and rules. sometimes playing what may seem like a bad note is actually a good thing.

a big thing to wes's sound was the octave runs. so id say practice those by going up and down the neck with the scales you know using octaves. take them through all the strings as well.

honestly though, if you want to get into jazz you should probably either take a serious amount of time to listen to it and study it or get a teacher.a teacher would probably be best for learning things properly and quickly.
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