#1
I'm starting in a Jazz band tomorrow, and I've been wondering if you can use pentatonic scales for soloing? I haven't really played that much jazz, so any thing that I should know about when joining a jazz band would be a help! Thank you in advance.
#2
You should definitely know more. Jazz is pretty much the most theory oriented genre.
#3
Have you ever heard jokes about jazz musicians these days?
For example: "what is the difference between a jazz musician and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of 4"!

Yeah... Those aren't jokes.
#4
Quote by RiffsanBridges
I'm starting in a Jazz band tomorrow, and I've been wondering if you can use pentatonic scales for soloing? I haven't really played that much jazz, so any thing that I should know about when joining a jazz band would be a help! Thank you in advance.

Chords, chords, chords and chords. And more chords.
Actually called Mark!

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#5
Quote by Jyrgen
You should definitely know more. Jazz is pretty much the most theory oriented genre.


Yeah I know that, but I only got into this band because the last guitarist they had, had absolutely no experience. Besides, I just needed to know if it was possible to use a pentatonic scale in Jazz or if it wasn't.
Last edited by RiffsanBridges at Jan 8, 2012,
#6
Quote by RiffsanBridges
Yeah I know that, but I only got into this band because the last guitarist they had absolutely no experience. Besides, I just need to know if it was possible to use a pentatonic scale in Jazz or if it wasn't.

Well not in the same way you could do in a blues based environment: you can't use a single pentatonic scale over a whole jazz song, because the harmonic content changes around.

seagull's suggestion is excellent advice.
#7
Quote by RiffsanBridges
Yeah I know that, but I only got into this band because the last guitarist they had, had absolutely no experience. Besides, I just needed to know if it was possible to use a pentatonic scale in Jazz or if it wasn't.

Jazz is all about understanding chords - you're either playing them or playing over them, as a musical genre it's far more immediate than most.

To be honest pentatonic scales aren't going to be an awful lot of use to you, the one thing that even a non-jazz listener will pick up on from the music is the chromatic shifts the music uses. The pentatonic scale misses out the half steps so you don't really have anything to work with when it comes to incorporating those little shifts. It's far more practical to look at the chords themselves and work out what you can do to reinforce or destabilize them - that's a big part of jazz, keeping the listener off balance, whereas the whole point of the pentatonic scale is to keep things safe by omitting the more awkward intervals.
Actually called Mark!

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#8
You can use anything in Jazz, so long as it sounds good. Arpeggios are particularly good to know, since you can follow the chords individually rather than playing one scale as a blanket over the whole progression, but pentatonics will be fine for now.

As a starting point, make sure you learn the form and structure of the pieces you're going to play: the order of the verses/choruses/bridges/solo sections. The form and structure of the piece is the only thing that's not likely to change; everything else, from chords to melody, is probably going to be improvised to some extent.
Listen out for what everyone else is playing and try to compliment it. For example, if the bassist decides to take a solo and you're playing guitar, you should bring the volume down or play a less complex strumming pattern so that you're not getting in the way.
#10
Seagull, I agree that the point about keeping listener off balance, and the pentatonic is kind of predictable and safe...maybe if he throws in some other notes from the chords with the pentatonic scale, but from what little I know about Jazz is there is a lot of modulation, so, you'd have to be pretty good at improvising and knowing what outside notes will fly and tie into the proceeding keys? I dunno...funny to see this thread as I just found some good sites on Jazz chords. I don't plan on joining a Jazz band but I thought the chords could be cool to know to use in more rock stuff to kinda spice it up. Plus itll push my hand on some theory.

I see the consensus is learn the chords, I would also like to learn the added notes to make them "jazz" chords and why, but in time, lol...that a lot of learnin. What else besides that should I work on? I always seem to jump too far ahead when I take on new stuff, and end up back tracking. So once I know the chords and at least have some grasp on the theory behind them...what should I look to next?

Not tryin to hi-jack your thread, and if you see as though i did, i will delete and make a new one. But I also thought this info could be helpful to you doing a jazz band.
Last edited by shinedown98 at Jan 8, 2012,
#11
Quote by shinedown98
Seagull, I agree that the point about keeping listener off balance, and the pentatonic is kind of predictable and safe...maybe if he throws in some other notes from the chords with the pentatonic scale, but from what little I know about Jazz is there is a lot of modulation, so, you'd have to be pretty good at improvising and knowing what outside notes will fly and tie into the proceeding keys? I dunno...funny to see this thread as I just found some good sites on Jazz chords. I don't plan on joining a Jazz band but I thought the chords could be cool to know to use in more rock stuff to kinda spice it up. Plus itll push my hand on some theory.

I see the consensus is learn the chords, I would also like to learn the added notes to make them "jazz" chords and why, but in time, lol...that a lot of learnin. What else besides that should I work on? I always seem to jump too far ahead when I take on new stuff, and end up back tracking. So once I know the chords and at least have some grasp on the theory behind them...what should I look to next?

Not tryin to hi-jack your thread, and if you see as though i did, i will delete and make a new one. But I also thought this info could be helpful to you doing a jazz band.


I would say some good things to do when starting of with jazz would be.

1) Learn (as said) many chord variations.
2) Learn the inversions of these chords.
3) Learn how to arpeggiate these chords.

That's just my 2 cents, but i think that is a good start for starting jazz.
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#13
Quote by shinedown98
do most jazz players finger pick, or more of a mix.


Does it really matter? If it feels better using fingers for you, do it. If a pick is better, use it.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#16
Most important thing for a guitarist in jazz is comping, someone above mentioned chords. You should listen to some jazz guitarist in a band setting, sometimes they only comp using one note. Strange thing about learning chords and how they work is you get an ear on what to play over them. Check out jazzbooks.com they have anything you should ever need. If you really get into jazz though try to find a good instructor around you and get together with as many musicians as you can!