#1
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. Feel free to just skip to the questions.

My school has a jazz band which I'd like to join. I talked to the director and if I can prove to him I'm good enough I'd be able to. He doesn't have much spare time so I have a little over two weeks.

He said that to be able to join I'd have to be able to read music. I don't really have a problem with that but I could be better. Most of there music is chords, the chord name is indicated on top and slashes for the rhythm. I wasn't there long enough to get a good look at it.

I mostly read music where they give you the notes, not just slashes so I'm fairly new to this.

Questions:
-Along with the chord name, the position should be marked right? If not it's open? Again, I only had a quick glance at it so I didn't notice any.

-What type of chords are mainly used in jazz? Dominant 7ths? Would that include major/minor sevenths? What other chords? As you can tell I don't know to much about jazz. Other then that I have a decent knowledge of chords in general.

-Any advice in general for the people who are experienced with this?

Thanks!
#2
Sometimes they'll give you a position on where to play the chord (or a chart of ways to play them, with several positions and voicings), but usually its up to the player.

You'll need to know all of your seventh chords, and all the extended and altered dominants for sure.
#3
Quote by isaac_bandits
Sometimes they'll give you a position on where to play the chord (or a chart of ways to play them, with several positions and voicings), but usually its up to the player.


From the one I saw it was pretty much all sevenths with no position markings.

I don't get how it's up to the player. My ear is not the best but if you play the same chord, just in a different position it sounds like a completly different chord, even though it's essentially the same thing.

So if it's up to the player, I just should play the chords in the position I'm most comfortable with? For now atleast.
#4
Quote by d1sturbed4eva

Questions:
-Along with the chord name, the position should be marked right? If not it's open? Again, I only had a quick glance at it so I didn't notice any.

-What type of chords are mainly used in jazz? Dominant 7ths? Would that include major/minor sevenths? What other chords? As you can tell I don't know to much about jazz. Other then that I have a decent knowledge of chords in general.

-Any advice in general for the people who are experienced with this?

Thanks!

1) positions are rarely marked, they're certainly not marked in non-guitar based music as jazz music often is. Open chords can be pretty rare in jazz too, lots of open chords are difficult to deal with since you can't add extensions/remove notes easily.

2) dominant 7ths are used a huge amount, also useful to know are Xm7b5 and X#9. Possibly slightly less commonly are X13's but they can be a bitch if you're not expecting them...

I don't get how it's up to the player. My ear is not the best but if you play the same chord, just in a different position it sounds like a completly different chord, even though it's essentially the same thing.

So if it's up to the player, I just should play the chords in the position I'm most comfortable with? For now atleast.


That's partly true - it will sound different, not totally different. The note ordering is significant, a chord played C G E will sound different to one voiced C E G. You then also have to think of more complex chords C E G B is different to C B E G, since the relation of C to B is more obvious. However with several musicians in a band you are unlikely to dictate entirely the above things. You can put note relations within your own chords, but if the pianist wants a A at the top he's damn well going to get it.

Therefore my advice to you is, make sure you're fully confident playing in the 'easiest' positions (for you), then start to experiment with different voices and see how they sound - it's difficult to get a feel for them without actually hearing it. Then as you grow in ability and confidence get a feel for your band and try and adjust your voicings relative to them.

The last part is incredibly hard and takes years of experience along with a band you know very well. So don't worry about it till you are confident in your own abilities. It's also a personal preference thing, doing it well you are going for a particular sound for a reason. If you don't understand you're reasoning properly there is no point trying to go for a sound. You won't ever be 'wrong' if you use a more simple/different voicing.

Final piece of advice, play what you can. If you've not played jazz before don't try and impress the whole band with your technical abilities if you're going to make mistakes, they'll be much more impressed by someone who can play a solid rhythm that they can work around. Same applies to first gigs too - don't overstretch.
Last edited by doive at Dec 16, 2009,
#5
Quote by doive
1) positions are rarely marked, they're certainly not marked in non-guitar based music as jazz music often is. Open chords can be pretty rare in jazz too, lots of open chords are difficult to deal with since you can't add extensions/remove notes easily.


Thanks.

So as long as I'm playing the chord, whatever position I choose would work? Also wouldn't be the only guitarist. What if we were playing the same chords in different position? It would still work?
#6
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Thanks.

So as long as I'm playing the chord, whatever position I choose would work? Also wouldn't be the only guitarist. What if we were playing the same chords in different position? It would still work?


The position doesn't matter, you can play the same chord, voiced the same in different positions. The actual voicing you use is up to you too. You want something which works with the rest of the band, so that all the important chord tones are present, and that is voiced in such a way that it sounds clear. You'll typically want to play less notes rather than more, want to play things which are easy to finger, and things which are open voiced enough that it doesn't sound muddy.

When working with another guitarist, things can be easier. If he's playing the chord already, you won't have to play the full chord. It will typically allow you to drop out notes, to play a chord which is easier for you. You will, however, need to work around what he wants. If he wants specific voicings, you might just have to let him have that highest note, as you would normally let the bass player decide what the lowest note is. You'll also make sure that your voicings work with eachother, as some chords can sound awful if voiced to closely, but really beautiful when the voicing is more open. Just communicate with him, and be ready to learn, and things shouldn't be a problem.
#7
I'm not quite sure how everything works. I never have played in a band, nor did I even think about it until now. I was under the impression that they give you the music, you practice it, then once you have it down then you play it as a band.

I don't think there's two guitar parts since there has only been one guitarist for the longest time, excluding the bass. However, the director didn't seem opposed to it. It should be interesting. The current guitarist isn't the type of person that I can get along with but we probably can work something out.

EDIT: Since there's another guitariat, I should be able to experiment a bit if I want to, right? Or would I be better of playing what's given to me?
Last edited by d1sturbed4eva at Dec 16, 2009,
#8
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
I'm not quite sure how everything works. I never have played in a band, nor did I even think about it until now. I was under the impression that they give you the music, you practice it, then once you have it down then you play it as a band.

I don't think there's two guitar parts since there has only been one guitarist for the longest time, excluding the bass. However, the director didn't seem opposed to it. It should be interesting. The current guitarist isn't the type of person that I can get along with but we probably can work something out.

EDIT: Since there's another guitariat, I should be able to experiment a bit if I want to, right? Or would I be better of playing what's given to me?


You probably should rehearse it, before going in and playing. Its not absolutely necessary, but it definitely helps, especially at the beginning since you won't be good at sight reading, and it sets good impressions with the other people. Any musical group sounds a whole lot better when people actually learn their parts on their own, and then when they rehearse they can worry about putting it together, and playing as a band (with dynamics and such), rather than working out notes and rhythms.

Typically if your playing in a jazz band you'll just be getting a chart. It won't be a fully transcribed guitar part. You sometimes get just a guitar part. Its usually a treble staff, with slashes to indicate strumming patterns, with chords above it. Sometimes there will be the "play time" symbol, which looks like //, across the staff which means to play whatever you see fit. Then there will be the occasional melody which will be notated. The chords will not be notated for you, just named, and you have to decide how you want to play them. Other times, you will get a master rhythm chart, which is the same idea, only the drum and bass parts will be on the same sheet, which is nice, because then you know what the other guys will be doing, and can work with that.

If you want to work with this guy, and your humble and willing to learn there shouldn't be problems. Don't go into saying you he "isn't the type of person you can get along with". You have to try to get along with him, since you will be working together. You'll enjoy it more if you have a good, time, and as thus, you'll want to play, and you'll get better.

As far as experimentation, you should play what's written. However, what's written is often fairly open-ended, and it won't be like a tab, where there's only one possible thing that you can play that is "what's written". At the beginning, you should just keep it simple, and not try to show off. Once you've been playing in a jazz band awhile, and you've improved, then you might be able to play the odd solo, where you can do quite a bit, and you can try and show off with some of your comping, but at the beginning, just nail the rhythms, and try the chords as best you can (since there's another guitarist, you might be able to get away with dropping the extensions at the beginning in favour of easier things to play). Just put the effort in rehearsing your part, and it shouldn't be too hard.
#9
what most likly going to happen is they will give you a simple lead shhet with chords + slashes or just chords (with melody) youl have to sight read it wich is not difficult and then solo maybe. jazz (GENRALLY) is not so focused on agangment as with most styles of music, jazz is about spontinaty, improvisation and communication the the musicians around you. bascially just do what doive said get some simple chord shaps frimly in your memonry so you wont be fixated in sight reading but can relax and add to the music. al so learn how to sight improvise over chords this mean sgetting used to 2 5 1's 36251's latin 2 5 1's etc. one you get into the swing of things expand on your simple concepts and then solo on "countdown"
Originally Posted by jmac72187
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#11
Thanks, this helps a lot.

Quote by isaac_bandits
You probably should rehearse it, before going in and playing. Its not absolutely necessary, but it definitely helps, especially at the beginning since you won't be good at sight reading, and it sets good impressions with the other people. Any musical group sounds a whole lot better when people actually learn their parts on their own, and then when they rehearse they can worry about putting it together, and playing as a band (with dynamics and such), rather than working out notes and rhythms.


I was thinking of asking him for a copy so I have a chance of working at it a little before auditioning. Good idea? By the way, he said to see him just before or after Christmas break.

Quote by isaac_bandits
Typically if your playing in a jazz band you'll just be getting a chart. It won't be a fully transcribed guitar part. You sometimes get just a guitar part. Its usually a treble staff, with slashes to indicate strumming patterns, with chords above it. Sometimes there will be the "play time" symbol, which looks like //, across the staff which means to play whatever you see fit. Then there will be the occasional melody which will be notated. The chords will not be notated for you, just named, and you have to decide how you want to play them. Other times, you will get a master rhythm chart, which is the same idea, only the drum and bass parts will be on the same sheet, which is nice, because then you know what the other guys will be doing, and can work with that.


I think that this is my biggest problem. I'm mainly used to, like if you were to play a C chord, the notes C E G would be on the staff. Shouldn't be to much of a problem I guess, I'm familiar with most of the chords.

Also I don't really have experience with playing with other people (besides what I do in lessons.) Something I just have to get used to i guess.

Quote by isaac_bandits
If you want to work with this guy, and your humble and willing to learn there shouldn't be problems. Don't go into saying you he "isn't the type of person you can get along with". You have to try to get along with him, since you will be working together. You'll enjoy it more if you have a good, time, and as thus, you'll want to play, and you'll get better.


It's not that I can't get along with him, as far as the band goes. I don't know, he's just really obnoxious, one of my teachers dread having him in class. I'm like the opposite, I keep to myself most of the time and don't give others problems.

God, I had other questions but I can't think of them right now. Thanks again for the help!
#12
Ok if you guys don't mind I got other questions:

There are many ways to play each chord but are their a certain fingerings in particular that are used in jazz?

If you went from a dominant 7th (1,3,5,b7) of the same chord to a major 7th (1,3,5,7), would you just (I don't know how to explain it) like go from b7-7 or play it in another position if it's easier?
#13
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Ok if you guys don't mind I got other questions:

There are many ways to play each chord but are their a certain fingerings in particular that are used in jazz?

If you went from a dominant 7th (1,3,5,b7) of the same chord to a major 7th (1,3,5,7), would you just (I don't know how to explain it) like go from b7-7 or play it in another position if it's easier?


Drop-2 voicings are fairly common for jazz. Look up a tutorial on youtube.

To go from X7 - Xmaj7, you could just move the seventh up a semitone, or you could go to a different position. It depends on the sound you want. That kind of progression is rare, but if you had it I'd imagine you'd want to bring out that chromatic bit, and would probably just raise the seventh while leaving the other notes in the same place.
#14
Quote by isaac_bandits
Drop-2 voicings are fairly common for jazz.


Ok, thanks.

So basically drop-2 voicings just drop the 5th? Well atleast in 7th chords which I'm most concerned with.

The chord that I'm most familiar with goes like 1,3,b7,1. So would that be considered a drop-2 voicing?

Also I shouldn't worry as much about that aren't drop-2? Well certainlly not barre chords. I know a few drop-2 voicings but I didn't know they were called that.

So what types of chords I should be familiar with? Also any chords I shouldn't be to worried about (major, minor, suspended...)? One more question, should I ask him for a copy to work on during Christmas break, even though I'm not in the band yet. I just want to be really prepared.

Sorry for all these questions
#15
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Ok, thanks.

So basically drop-2 voicings just drop the 5th? Well atleast in 7th chords which I'm most concerned with.


Drop-2 voicings are fully voiced seventh chord. Each chord tone is played exactly once. They start with the chord in close position: (1, 3, 5, 7), (3, 5, 7, 1), (5, 7, 1, 3) or (7, 1, 3, 5). Now, these chords are very awkward to play on a guitar, and sound somewhat muddy, since the notes are two close together. The solution to both of these problems is to drop the second highest note (Hence Drop-2) down an octave. This gives the voicings: (5, 1, 3, 7), (7, 3, 5, 1), (1, 5, 7, 3), and (3, 7, 1, 5). Then any seventh chord can be played with these voicings, which typically sound good and are for the most part easy to play. I'll give you an example:

Four voicings of Amaj7 on the top four strings:

e-4-5-9-12-
b-2-5-9-10-
g-2-6-9-13-
D-2-6-7-11-
A----------
E----------


If you play those you'll hear how they all sound nice, and you can play them without much difficulty.

You can derive the shapes for the other types of seventh chords yourself. These types of voicings prove very useful in jazz.
#17
Sorry to bump this thread. Got another question.

Is it ok if it takes you a little while to figure out the song you're supposed to play? I mean that you could play it without that much trouble but you'd have to take it home to figure it out.
#18
Ideally you should be able to sight read, or give them a once over so you dont get a suprise halfway though the song.

To do this you should have a repetroi of chords that will nearly always come up (the jazz chord lesson in my sig deals with the most common ones you will come across). You should also be familiar with the ii-V-I in multiple voicings and in every key (major and minor).

As for the melody, you just have to practice sight-reading melodys from sheet music as much as possible. Eventually it'll become easier.
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Dec 26, 2009,
#19
But for right now as long as I can play the song I should be fine?

I asked the director for some sheet music to work on over Christmas break, which he did (Zoot Suit Riot.) I pretty much got it down but to be honest I had to look up most of the chords.
#20
Well if someone gives you a lead sheet on the day and you say "Ok, I'll be back in 3 days when I learn this", It's not really going to go down too well. This is why you need to have a knowledge of "shapes" that you know how to use.

As I said, If you learn the ii-V-I and get 3 voicings of each "important" chord under your fingers (root on E string, A string and D string), you'll be doing alright.

It would help if you learned some chord construction theory too.

"important" chords;

major7
minor7
dominant7
minor7 (b5)
diminished7
minor/major7

major9
dominant9
minor9

dom13

Augmented

and some alterations, b9's, #9's etc


But you shouldn't stop there, they are just the ones you'll commonly run into.
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Dec 26, 2009,
#21
Ok, I'm currently learing the different shapes for each type of chords. That should keep me busy for a while
#22
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Sorry to bump this thread. Got another question.

Is it ok if it takes you a little while to figure out the song you're supposed to play? I mean that you could play it without that much trouble but you'd have to take it home to figure it out.


It depends on who you're playing with.

With a school band, they probably don't care all that much so its fine. Its good if you do, actually. Then you can bring it home, and figure out quite a few voicings for each chord, and make a really good and interesting part that you can play well.

When you learn it, don't look up how to play the chords. That doesn't help you much. If you don't know that type of chord, look that up, and just find the notes above the root for that chord. Then apply that to figure out what pitches are in that chord. Then find your voicings for it, yourself. It takes a while at the beginning, but after a while you'll get pretty quick. Its the process that is important; the end result isn't as much. Its not the end of the world if your a little sloppy for the first couple songs you play with your high school band. Its alot better to actually be able to come up with voicings in a couple years still.
#23
you should be able to work out chords using chord construction knowledge as well;
if you see a A9#11 and you dont know a position off the top of your head, you should be able to work it out by counting the scale degrees and applying the appropriate sharpenings or flattenings, or even better, just by knowing the notes of the chord
#24


I was practicing the piece I'm supposed to play, when I realized something. The song is well, supposed to have a swing feel to it. For each two eigth notes you supposed to play triplets. Well it's a little different. You play it like:
1-trip-let

I was playing it as straight eigths notes originally.

The thing is I just noticed it now (Saturday) and ideally, I should have it down by Monday or whenever the director has the chance to listen to me play. I'm not so great counting, especially triplets. I have the song down except for the 'swing feel.'

Anyways, what about other notes, such as the quarter note? Well, most of the time each quarter note is played after a rest, followed by another rest so I couldn't do much there, but besides that do you still play it as a quarter note?

Would I count triplets throughout the whole piece? Like for each quarter I would count 1-trip-let...?

Thanks again.
#25
Quote by d1sturbed4eva


I was practicing the piece I'm supposed to play, when I realized something. The song is well, supposed to have a swing feel to it. For each two eigth notes you supposed to play triplets. Well it's a little different. You play it like:
1-trip-let

I was playing it as straight eigths notes originally.

The thing is I just noticed it now (Saturday) and ideally, I should have it down by Monday or whenever the director has the chance to listen to me play. I'm not so great counting, especially triplets. I have the song down except for the 'swing feel.'

Anyways, what about other notes, such as the quarter note? Well, most of the time each quarter note is played after a rest, followed by another rest so I couldn't do much there, but besides that do you still play it as a quarter note?

Would I count triplets throughout the whole piece? Like for each quarter I would count 1-trip-let...?

Thanks again.


Swing time notation is a major headache for alot of people. Here are some basic guidelines, assuming eighths are swung (if its sixteenths being swung just change everything I'm saying by one flag).

Eighth notes are played as the first and last of the three triplets, so that the first eighth note is twice as long as the other triplet.

Quarter notes are played as if they are two consecutive eighth notes tied together (which always means one short and one long), which results in them just being normal length. If a quarter is played on the beat, it is played regularly. If a quarter is played on the 'and', it is played starting on the third triplet, and carrying on for the next two triplets of the next triplet. This means that an eight, quarter eighth pattern would be played with articulations on the first and third triplets of the first beat, and the third triplet of the second beat. Half, and whole notes follow this same pattern.

Triplets are played straight. They are like eighth notes with the middle triplet filled in. If you have eighth, eighth, triplet, triplet, triplet, the second eighth and three triplets would be the same length, and sound straight.

If you have dotted eighth sixteenth, its played like five tied sextuplets and one sextuplet.

If you have eighth sixteenth, its played like four tied sextuplets and two final sextuplets.

If you have sixteenth sixteenth eighth, its played like straight triplets, but you should never encounter this, as it is always (or atleast whenever I've seen it) written as triplets.

If you have four sixteenth notes their played straight.

Thirty-seconds just subdivide the sixteenth in two, whether the sixteenths were normal length, or shortened to sextuplets. Sixty-fourths, same idea.

All tuplets are just played as they would normally be played.


There's a general guideline of swing time for you. It really is a pain. Its much easier when they just notate it using quarter triplet and eighth triplet, but unfortunately many lazy people don't do this.
#26
Eighth notes are played as the first and last of the three triplets, so that the first eighth note is twice as long as the other triplet. Quarter notes are played as if they are two consecutive eighth notes tied together (which always means one short and one long), which results in them just being normal length. If a quarter is played on the beat, it is played regularly. If a quarter is played on the 'and', it is played starting on the third triplet, and carrying on for the next two triplets of the next triplet. This means that an eight, quarter eighth pattern would be played with articulations on the first and third triplets of the first beat, and the third triplet of the second beat. Half, and whole notes follow this same pattern.


following that (widely taught and usually innefective method) does not give a good swing, but a more ungenuine hokey one (usually). The way to get a swing feel down is to play it alot, specifically to play along with recordings in that feel (and transcribe). The best way I can think to explain the feel is quarter notes should (unless otherwise marked) be a bit short. Beats 2 and 4 should have a slight enphasis, but nothing to extreme. Your eight notes should be more legato, and the on beats should be being accentuated (very subtly in length, not like the first 2/3s of a triplet) and laid on hard, almost like your carrying something heavy but not dropping it. You should listen to the way the basist (if he or she knows what there doing, but even if they arent for the good of the ensemble staying together) for the emphasis. If they are playing relativly straight, don't lay too hard on anything, but don't over swing. find a transcription and recording that go together on freddiegreen.com for the basic idea of swing rhythm guitar. its less about note elongation (extremely slight if at all) and more about a more legato feel that accentuates the on beats, unless your playing a very old swing arrangement (think traditional jazz).
#27
Thanks for all the help.

My main problem is timing/speed.

I can play it with the 'swing feel' but really slow. I can actually play sixtenth notes a lot faster when they are quicker then triplets. I guess it's a thing that I just have to practice.

Also I have to count out each beat out loud to play it in time. Not even with a metronome. When I use a metronome I usually just use when I'm playing just eighth notes or whatever, also to make sure my counting is consistant.
#28
I've been practicing the song.

I pretty much got the swing part down (of that song anyway) but it arises yet another problem. I can play each individual measure, even up to speed but when I play it all together the whole thing is out of time. In other words, it's not consistant.

The only way I can play it consistantly is by actually counting it out loud but I can only count so fast. It's hard for me to play different rhythms using a metronome. Any advice?

I could always go to my guitar instructor for help even though when I first came to him the first time he gave me the wrong chords (chords with completly wrong notes) and we didn't work on anything besides that. He rather teach me Iron Maiden, but he could be a really good techer, at times. Anyways, he could help me with the rhythm. The thing is my lesson is on a Tuesday, so the earliest I could see the jazz band director is on a Wednesday.

Feel free to ignore the last paragraph. I'll just practice it more. Any help would be great.
#29
basic practicing
break it down measure by measure then practice (slowly) stringing them together into phrases (following the phrasing of whatever your playing) then stringing those phrases together until you get the whole song down. also, practicing it starting from the end (play the last measure, then the last two, then the last three etc) is very effective. slow everything down then when you can play it comfortably speed it up. And I'd switch your guitar instructer if he can't properly read a high school big band lead sheet, even if hes not a jazz player, its a matter of competence.

EDIT: as far as timing goes, practice slowly with a metronome (even if it's just quarter notes) and your time will improve.
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Jan 3, 2010,
#30
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. Feel free to just skip to the questions.

My school has a jazz band which I'd like to join. I talked to the director and if I can prove to him I'm good enough I'd be able to. He doesn't have much spare time so I have a little over two weeks.

He said that to be able to join I'd have to be able to read music. I don't really have a problem with that but I could be better. Most of there music is chords, the chord name is indicated on top and slashes for the rhythm. I wasn't there long enough to get a good look at it.

I mostly read music where they give you the notes, not just slashes so I'm fairly new to this.

Questions:
-Along with the chord name, the position should be marked right? If not it's open? Again, I only had a quick glance at it so I didn't notice any.

-What type of chords are mainly used in jazz? Dominant 7ths? Would that include major/minor sevenths? What other chords? As you can tell I don't know to much about jazz. Other then that I have a decent knowledge of chords in general.

-Any advice in general for the people who are experienced with this?

Thanks!


This post really resonates with me. The local Band Leaders in the High Schools in our town send their would-be Jazz Guitarists to the Academy when they need Boot Camp preparation...usually a couple of months leeway. How it happens is the hot shot guitarist du jour shows up at these guys' office towards the end of the school year and shows them their skills, to which the leader says, Go to the Academy and come see me in September. Seems that sweeping Serrana, a Jason Becker song, does not a Jazz player make!

So, to answer your question, in Jazz Ensemble if you try and play full chords, there's a lot of duplication going on. Id suggest to you that the guitar voicings are best doing the upper voicings and leave the roots and bass chords to the bass instrument. You can play 2-3 notes in a chord that way. Rarely are you playing full chords in an ensemble.

If you do need to play roots etc, I suggest, starting with Freddie Green chords. Freddie Green has a chord approach that suits well for a lot of Jazz ensembles but its minimal in approach. Ive taught many a would be - even one currently that is completely blind, and hes smokin now!

Good luck... and brush up on your sightreading, drop the shredding for a while and focus on doing a good job, and you'll be surprised how far that will grow you up as a guitarist.
#31
Quote by tehREALcaptain
following that (widely taught and usually innefective method) does not give a good swing, but a more ungenuine hokey one (usually). The way to get a swing feel down is to play it alot, specifically to play along with recordings in that feel (and transcribe). The best way I can think to explain the feel is quarter notes should (unless otherwise marked) be a bit short. Beats 2 and 4 should have a slight enphasis, but nothing to extreme. Your eight notes should be more legato, and the on beats should be being accentuated (very subtly in length, not like the first 2/3s of a triplet) and laid on hard, almost like your carrying something heavy but not dropping it. You should listen to the way the basist (if he or she knows what there doing, but even if they arent for the good of the ensemble staying together) for the emphasis. If they are playing relativly straight, don't lay too hard on anything, but don't over swing. find a transcription and recording that go together on freddiegreen.com for the basic idea of swing rhythm guitar. its less about note elongation (extremely slight if at all) and more about a more legato feel that accentuates the on beats, unless your playing a very old swing arrangement (think traditional jazz).


Yeah, you definitely need to feel the swing. That was just a guideline for how the rhythms are typically changed. Alot of music is listening and getting into the same feel as everyone else.

Quote by d1sturbed4eva
I've been practicing the song.

I pretty much got the swing part down (of that song anyway) but it arises yet another problem. I can play each individual measure, even up to speed but when I play it all together the whole thing is out of time. In other words, it's not consistant.

The only way I can play it consistantly is by actually counting it out loud but I can only count so fast. It's hard for me to play different rhythms using a metronome. Any advice?

I could always go to my guitar instructor for help even though when I first came to him the first time he gave me the wrong chords (chords with completly wrong notes) and we didn't work on anything besides that. He rather teach me Iron Maiden, but he could be a really good techer, at times. Anyways, he could help me with the rhythm. The thing is my lesson is on a Tuesday, so the earliest I could see the jazz band director is on a Wednesday.

Feel free to ignore the last paragraph. I'll just practice it more. Any help would be great.


Well counting is one way. Its good to count it if its tough, but you should also try and feel it. If that's hard, listen to some music that's swung (alot of jazz and blues), and try to get a feel for what they're doing that makes it swing.
#32
Thanks everyone.

I practiced a lot last night, to the point I'm fairly confident with the song, well still not totally confident. I also talked to the jazz director again and it turns out that he's really busy this week so I have another week. That really helps because I have more time to practice, experiment with different chords and I also can go to my guitar instructor for help with the timing. I'm sort of a perfectionist (most of the time atleast) when it comes to stuff like this.
#33
Update:
Finally got to audition today. I think I did pretty well, atleast that's what he said. That being said I'm going be playing with them after midterms, which would be about 2 weeks.

To be honest, I'm surprised how well I did, atleast what I got from him. I didn't think it sounded that good. Maybe I play the chords in weird voicings or whatever. I have it so I only have to go down or up one fret so the voicings aren't very consistant I guess you could say.
#34
Sorry but I have another question. Maybe someone could led me to the right direction.

They give you the chords, but if you aren't familiar with the song, atleast for me, you don't really know which to play. Like if you are supposed to play a Fm7, you still can play a Fm7 and still have it sound wrong. Or do you just play what sounds right even though you aren't familiar with the song. The thing with that is I was playing a chord that sounded good with the previous one (sorry, I don't know how to explain this well) but it was higher in pitch when it was supposed to be lower.
#35
Theres a balance between following the chart and following your ears to adheare to in a big band. Sometimes, there is an error in the chart (especially if you find your self playing in a combo and using fakebooks, but thats a completely different beast). I would say find a good, experienced teacher (who knows jazz) to help you with lead sheets. If a chord really sounds wrong, bring it up to the band leader, who will have a score and can tell you what chord is being played at what time. but also keep in mind that individual parts can sound off alone but good in the context of the band. Also, its possible the voicing you are using is exposing a dissonant part of the harmony (any voicing with a 7 and 1 next to eachother or a 1 and a 9 in the same octave), which if it really bothers you can warrent a change in voicing but will probobly jell in the ensemble (though you should not be playing four note chords to begin with--drop your roots and/or fiths). But listen to the song alot (preferably the same arragement, but its not always possible) and practice playing along with it outside of class.
Finally, if you are not familiar with jazz, there are some chords that may well sound bad to your ears, but are completely correct and what the composer intended. Eventually your ears will aclimate or you'll quit and play classical (or maybe become like wynton marsalis--an extremely talented regressive traditionalist hack).
#36
A couple of things to add about chords in jazz -

Open chords and 6 string voicings are rarely used. Typically 4 strings or less are used, even if the full chord contains more notes than that. Using all the strings often sounds too 'busy', it just doesn't fit with the jazz sound. Don't worry about playing chords in the 'right' position, in fact try to mix it up and make things interesting!

Another thing is that guitarists will very often play rootless voicings, and let the bass player handle the root note. Again this helps keep things airy and uncluttered, lets each instrument breathe. So try to learn as many of those voicings as possible.
#37
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Sorry but I have another question. Maybe someone could led me to the right direction.

They give you the chords, but if you aren't familiar with the song, atleast for me, you don't really know which to play. Like if you are supposed to play a Fm7, you still can play a Fm7 and still have it sound wrong. Or do you just play what sounds right even though you aren't familiar with the song. The thing with that is I was playing a chord that sounded good with the previous one (sorry, I don't know how to explain this well) but it was higher in pitch when it was supposed to be lower.


You want to stay away from large voicings, as other people have said. If you don't like one voicing for whatever reason, just change it. Sometimes you want to make sure that your highest note follows a specific melody, or that your lowest note does. You might want to have a more open voiced chord (some notes displaced by an octave), so that there is a more open airy sound (which is usually good in jazz), but you might want a closer voicing (with the notes all as close to eachother as possible), for a denser sound (but this isn't usually what you want in jazz, and it gets difficult to play).

You essentially want a part that sound open, and uncluttered, has the characteristic sound of that chord, doesn't conflict with other instruments, and is easy to play. It can often be pretty tough to do this, but with practice, it will get easier.

Another useful thing is to look at all the information on the chart, when you look over the piece. Does it list something about the style next to the tempo (funk, moderate jazz, swing, etc...)? What is the tempo like? What kinds of articulations are there? What dynamics are written? What other instruments are you playing with? All of these things can help you play a part that works right away, rather than having to play around for a while to get something.

If you really think the chord is wrong (or are just confused by it, or whatever) feel free to ask the director, or band leader. He'll have the score and be able to tell you what it says. Printing errors on your part do happen from time to time.
#38
I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but if you're in a rut and need a quick fix while playing in the band just stick to playing the 3rds and 7ths of the chords.
12 fret fury
#39
Ok, thanks for the help.

The only thing is I'd like to get to a point where I don't have to take it home, listen to the song a couple of times and work out every chord, which takes way to long. I know that I'd get better as times goes by but right now it seems impossible. Like you don't know the right voicing or pitch.

After I auditioned he was going to let me practice in one of the rooms until the rest of the period. Because of the reason I mentioned above, I made the excuse that I had to get back to class. Not the best thing to do. I guess I just need to practice a lot more.