#1
I've been idle from my guitar for a couple months now and I decided to come back. After thinking for a while of what to learn, I went completely blank, but later decided jazz would be interesting. I just love the clean, sharp sound of a jazz guitar.

My dilemma is I really have no idea where to start. Where should I begin?

Guide me to a website, book, article, anything. I just really want to be committed to learning this for I know it won't hurt my guitar playing at all.
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#2
Know your chords and how they're formed.
Learn to follow them when improvising.
Immerse yourself in the genre.
Study some recordings.
Learn to love the ii-V-I and circle progressions altogether
Learn some standards

I don't know shit about jazz but from what I've heard, something like that is how to do it.
#3
learn chord scales first, and then learn how to use suspended/add/dominant chords within the scale. thats jazz in a nutshell.
#4
first of all i would make sure you know how to read music, for this i suggest (although so full of info it can be hard/boring) modern method for guitar. (www.berkleepress.com/catalog/product?product_id=11250)
then get aebersold volumes (http://aebersold.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=JAZZ&Category_Code=AEBPLA) , get volume 1 and 30 for sure, and just see what others you would be interested in and get those, some of my favorites are herbie hancock, brecker bros, duke ellington, thelonious monk, free play, and odd times
#5
Yeah as said above.

Learn to read music (this includes how it relates to your WHOLE fretboard)
Learn the major scale (not on guitar, but how to construct it, what key signatures are, why there is in fact an E#)
Learn how chords are constructed in relation to the major scale. (including all your arpeggios/chord tones, notes that do/don't work and in what context over a certain chord)
Learn about common chord progressions (this could be done at the same time as above)
Learn how these progressions can be altered, and still have the same effect, but with more tonal contrast (things like substitution and passing chords)
Learn about the modes and how the altered notes effect and/or accentuate chord tones/colours

That should get you a very sturdy ground in improvising.
Then look at how others use this knowledge. Look at other artist's chord progressions and the melody they lay on top. You'd be surprised how little a lot of tunes really stray from simple chord tones.

You can always ask us about any of these things. Feel free to ask me whenever

EDIT: Books are a great thing, but can be very expensive. If you are prepared to get them, they are a fantastic resource and the good ones you will use forever. Although, I don't think they are totally necessary. Especially since you have us and heaps of online resources.

Plus, once you get one, you won't be able to stop. I recently bought a new bookshelf so I have somewhere to keep my books that are NOT music related.
Last edited by mdwallin at Dec 8, 2009,
#6
Quote by mdwallin
Yeah as said above.

Learn to read music (this includes how it relates to your WHOLE fretboard)
Learn the major scale (not on guitar, but how to construct it, what key signatures are, why there is in fact an E#)
Learn how chords are constructed in relation to the major scale. (including all your arpeggios/chord tones, notes that do/don't work and in what context over a certain chord)
Learn about common chord progressions (this could be done at the same time as above)
Learn how these progressions can be altered, and still have the same effect, but with more tonal contrast (things like substitution and passing chords)
Learn about the modes and how the altered notes effect and/or accentuate chord tones/colours

That should get you a very sturdy ground in improvising.
Then look at how others use this knowledge. Look at other artist's chord progressions and the melody they lay on top. You'd be surprised how little a lot of tunes really stray from simple chord tones.

You can always ask us about any of these things. Feel free to ask me whenever

EDIT: Books are a great thing, but can be very expensive. If you are prepared to get them, they are a fantastic resource and the good ones you will use forever. Although, I don't think they are totally necessary. Especially since you have us and heaps of online resources.

Plus, once you get one, you won't be able to stop. I recently bought a new bookshelf so I have somewhere to keep my books that are NOT music related.
So basically, review basic music theory and chords? Also, there is an E#? I thought after E, it just went F flat then F etc...?

Thanks for the replies, btw.
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#7
Quote by Holy.
So basically, review basic music theory and chords? Also, there is an E#? I thought after E, it just went F flat then F etc...?

Thanks for the replies, btw.


E is enharmonic to F♭; F is enharmonic to E♯. E and F are one semitone apart. Enharmonic means having a different name but being of the same pitch.
#8
Quote by Holy.
So basically, review basic music theory and chords? Also, there is an E#? I thought after E, it just went F flat then F etc...?

Thanks for the replies, btw.

well.. you just said there was an F flat... so why not E#?

This can be used in the context of strange scale like...

F# Major
F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E#

C# Major (has B# too)
C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#

Or chords.
If you wanted an Fdim7, the formula would be:
1, b3, b5, bb7
F, Ab, Cb, Ebb

Which could also be spelt as F, Ab, B, D. Which could be Bdim(add b9). But in the context of the chord progression that would look strange, you are more likely to put some weird voicing that isn't what is wanted, and it's just hard to read.


EDIT: Sorry, I kind of went off track, but you can see why we name notes weirdly, even though they all sound the same...

EDIT2: Just thought of a great example, that I just had to put in. See and sea are spelt differently, but sound the same. So do E# and F.


I though that was pretty good to be honest..
Last edited by mdwallin at Dec 8, 2009,
#9
Quote by mdwallin
Which could also be spelt as F, Ab, B, D. Which could be Bdim(add b9). But in the context of the chord progression that would look strange, you are more likely to put some weird voicing that isn't what is wanted, and it's just hard to read.


B D F A♭ is B°7, not B°add♭9. Remember: diminished chords are symmetrical and as thus, one can change the chord to an enharmonic spelling, and the chord quality will stay the same, only with a different root.
#10
Quote by isaac_bandits
B D F A♭ is B°7, not B°add♭9. Remember: diminished chords are symmetrical and as thus, one can change the chord to an enharmonic spelling, and the chord quality will stay the same, only with a different root.

ahh got me.. and I thought I was doing well

must remember B comes AFTER A...

I'm sure you will come across chords that go along kind of with what I said... (I hope)

ahem. Concentrate on what the FIRST few posts have said before you go onto things that will blow your mind too much. Because, if you have done the first steps, those things won't be hard at all to figure out!

Also learn some of the jazz conventions. For example most jazz musicians will relate any modes back to the major scale, while others may relate them back to a minor scale. Don't ask me why. I guess it's just because there are already so many things complicated in jazz, no point making more

I think I will be going to isaac for any future questions... he seems to know everything!
Last edited by mdwallin at Dec 8, 2009,
#11
Quote by isaac_bandits
E is enharmonic to F♭; F is enharmonic to E♯. E and F are one semitone apart. Enharmonic means having a different name but being of the same pitch.

Ok, makes sense. I really didn't think to hard on that one.

Anyways, I guess I'll just go over some of the things you guys said. I'm going to have to go over some basic theory (obviously).

By the way, does anyone know of any websites that can help me on these things you guys said and stuff I need to go over? Preferably something other than musictheory.net.
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Last edited by Holy. at Dec 8, 2009,
#13
Find a professional jazz musician, preferably who plays guitar in your area by checking out any jazz clubs near you. If you dig someone's playing, ask them if they give private lessons. You can also try and find someone who used to gig a lot and can play but now does the teaching thing more, for example maybe a guitar instructor at a jazz studies program at a local college. It's almost too daunting to approach learning jazz on your own. Getting a teacher is the best bet unless you are really dedicated.
12 fret fury
#14
I reckon the best way to "get into" Jazz (or any genre for that matter) is to listen to a lot of that genre and learn some songs. So for Jazz you could find some standards to learn (there is a book called The Real Book which has a load of them, I believe). I think that then, once you've got a few songs down and you are just enjoying playing jazz, you can start to apply theory to the genre and begin to learn what makes Jazz, Jazz.
#15
as people above have said its best to start listening to jazz before you start playing. After that id recommend you buy a couple of books firstly Jazzology, its an excellent book, it takes you from the very basic theory concepts like scales to much more advanced things, and gives lots of info on improvising. Second book i'd recommend is the Real Book which is full of standards. Both the books will keep you going for a long long time.
#16
Quote by Holy.
I've been idle from my guitar for a couple months now and I decided to come back. After thinking for a while of what to learn, I went completely blank, but later decided jazz would be interesting. I just love the clean, sharp sound of a jazz guitar.

My dilemma is I really have no idea where to start. Where should I begin?

Guide me to a website, book, article, anything. I just really want to be committed to learning this for I know it won't hurt my guitar playing at all.


Do you have any favorite jazz artists? favorite songs or recordings by a jazz artist?

If, not I would start there.

regarding understanding jazz from a theoretical perspective...

You're not likely to brush up on basic theory on the net, and then all of the sudden be prepared to understand jazz. There are alot of steps you'll need to take, and honestly the best place to get that is from a class, a teacher, or a book. (preferably all 3).

By all means brush up on your theory. Just don't expect to jump right into jazz.


So in short...

1) develop an appreciation for the music itself
2) If you want to understand the music theoretically....... study theory (in a few years, you may get to the point where you can make some sense of jazz)
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 9, 2009,
#17
You can use my tutorial on Playing the Changes: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/ii-v-i-playing-over-the-changes-t19.html

It'll take you through a ground up approach to the common II-V-I progression that's the basis for pretty much every classic jazz tune. It'll show how they are strung together to create songs, or "the changes", you hear in these tunes, it shows ways to play them chord wise, substitution wise, and how to use basic scale ideas into altered scale ideas.

Then you can take what's in the tutorial, get yourself a Realbook and see 100's of tunes that use these basic ideas. From there you can learn the melodies and understand where they come from and how to approach them in improvisation.
#18
Quote by MikeDodge
You can use my tutorial on Playing the Changes: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/ii-v-i-playing-over-the-changes-t19.html

It'll take you through a ground up approach to the common II-V-I progression that's the basis for pretty much every classic jazz tune. It'll show how they are strung together to create songs, or "the changes", you hear in these tunes, it shows ways to play them chord wise, substitution wise, and how to use basic scale ideas into altered scale ideas.

Then you can take what's in the tutorial, get yourself a Realbook and see 100's of tunes that use these basic ideas. From there you can learn the melodies and understand where they come from and how to approach them in improvisation.



^ I have to say, that was a nice tutorial
shred is gaudy music
#19
when youve progressed a bit this will be your bible
http://www.italway.it/morrone/WBTG-scores.htm

also ive struggled a lot with jazz so i cant denie its complicated,
but i study it now and it all makes sense and it's not all that hard
IF you've got good teachers
the biggest part is getting used to the sound of modulating chord changes
and to learn to make fluid melodies over them

dont listen to me though it took me very long
#20
Quote by Holy.
Ok, makes sense. I really didn't think to hard on that one.

Anyways, I guess I'll just go over some of the things you guys said. I'm going to have to go over some basic theory (obviously).

By the way, does anyone know of any websites that can help me on these things you guys said and stuff I need to go over? Preferably something other than musictheory.net.


Check out my guitar seminar in the link below - I absolutely can help you get there. Some of the suggestions that have been made I agree with - such as Abersolds series. Note reading, I prefer the MI book Music Reading for Guitar, as I think its far more progressive and, along the lines of what I do in my lessons, it saves a lot of wasted time and space and gets you there very quickly if you do the work.
#21
Quote by GuitarMunky
Do you have any favorite jazz artists? favorite songs or recordings by a jazz artist?

If, not I would start there.

regarding understanding jazz from a theoretical perspective...

You're not likely to brush up on basic theory on the net, and then all of the sudden be prepared to understand jazz. There are alot of steps you'll need to take, and honestly the best place to get that is from a class, a teacher, or a book. (preferably all 3).

By all means brush up on your theory. Just don't expect to jump right into jazz.


So in short...

1) develop an appreciation for the music itself
2) If you want to understand the music theoretically....... study theory (in a few years, you may get to the point where you can make some sense of jazz)

Yeah, you kind of put that in a realistic perspective.

Honestly, I know theory "pretty" well; I played saxophone for over five years, so I'm basically covered in basic theory - notation, note length, key signatures, etc. The thing is when I see theory applied to guitar, it busts my balls. I kind of understand how to apply theory to guitar in terms of what notes are what, why a G chord is called a G chord...

Anyways, everyone in this thread kind of made me realize I REALLY need to start learning theory on guitar.

I also agree with you on learning from the internet; I honestly don't want to be jumping around on the net and I don't want to be practicing in a room where I feel uncomfortable.

So basically, what books do you guys recommend for learning theory on guitar? I don't mind playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" from a theory book if I know it will help me with theory.
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Last edited by Holy. at Dec 9, 2009,
#22
Quote by Funkicker
when youve progressed a bit this will be your bible
http://www.italway.it/morrone/WBTG-scores.htm



I lived at that site for a long time. I even have transcriptions on that site (some of The Translator stuff is mine)

Mclaughlin is the master of Modal playing. John Abercromie is right up there too, check out Timeless...it's like a cross between Mclaughlin and Miles Davis!
Last edited by MikeDodge at Dec 10, 2009,
#23
Learn to construct chords, to read standard notation and buy a Real Book
And on the seventh day, I said "Go to your room!"


check out my jazz tab and ill gladly do a review of any of your stuff


I play the bass clarinet! How 'bout you? PM me!
#24
The first step in your jazz journey, will be to learn some new chord voicings.
In jazz, the most common chord forms are seventh chords (ex Cmaj7, Fm7) as opposed to basic major and minor chords (ex. C, Fm). There are 5 basic types of seventh chords that you will need to know to start with.