#1
So I've been playing for about three years now and I want to expand my musical boundaries on the guitar. I'll be honest though, I've never really learned any music theory, just scales and chords, and I've never learned to put any structure into my improvisation. I've just been noodiling up and down the fret board and playing along with songs I've learned. I've been quite dissatisfied with my playing overtime and not to mention disapointed with the little I've learned in three years. I've come across kids who have been playing only a year and are miles ahead of me. I think learning Jazz guitar will give me a better understanding of the music theory and the guitar in general. How should I start out?
#2
i wish i could give you an easy answer, but there just isn't one. in my opinion this site is really good at giving people BS answers that are really inaccurate when it comes to learning certain things, jazz tends to be a big one. when it comes to jazz you coul go at it a few ways, but at the end of the day you have to realize that jazz in general has become a very academic music. the library of jazz studies books out there are endless. get your hands on a Real Book, best $30 you'll ever spend. as far as chords, keep learning them, once you feel like you've learned enough it really sucks when you realize you havent, there's drop 2s, 3s, 4s, all the inversions, etc. jazz can be so fun, i love it myself, but for guitarists who want to jump on the jazz bandwagon have a lot of issues to get through. i also suggest taking lessons with a really great jazz instructor, doesn't even have to be a guitarist. banacos was one o the best jazz teachers ever, a pianist, and any single guitarist in boston would tell you that the best teaching they got was from him.
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Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#3
A teacher would be useful.

First of all, do you actually like jazz? Do you ever listen to jazz?

I could give you a few tips for learning jazz guitar, but so often people come on here asking about it because they are dissatisfied with their playing and see jazz as some magical way to become a better guitarist - the only way you can really become a better guitarist is to be more motivated to practice, and if you dont like jazz then it will be a more effective and motivating use of your time to practice rock songs than to analyse a jazz chart.

So answer this - who is your favourite jazz guitarist? Who is your favourite Jazz singer? What is your favourite jazz tune? What is your preferred era/subgenre of jazz?
If the answer to those questions is that you have no idea then go listen to some Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane and some Miles Davis. You'll either love it or hate it.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
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Last edited by Hydra150 at Feb 28, 2012,
#4
Quote by Hydra150


So answer this - who is your favourite jazz guitarist? Who is your favourite Jazz singer? What is your favourite jazz tune? What is your preferred era/subgenre of jazz?


Is this open to everyone!!

Pat Martino, Nat King Cole, "Star Eyes", I like the Hard Bop era alot, but I like it all really, not a huge fan of fusion but it really depends on who we are talking about.
Fender Strat Deluxe
Fender MexiStrat
Epiphone Sheritan
Ibanez Artcore
Fender Twin Reverb silverface
Roland JC120
Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#5
Quote by gerraguitar
Is this open to everyone!!


I might as well then - Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, It Dont Mean A Thing, I like cool Jazz but these days I'm listening to a lot of big band swing (particularly Ella/Duke stuff) and there's a special place in my heart for fusion as it was the stuff that got me into Jazz. My favourite guitarist changes all the time though.

And Im fairly new to Jazz myself. I dont want to put the threadstarter off Jazz - it's not too hard if you have a passion for it, but practicing something you dont like is gruelling - I was in his position a couple years ago.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Feb 28, 2012,
#6
Great points already in this thread, so I'll just echo.

...Why did you start playing guitar in the first place? Did you listen to a type of music that you wanted to emulate? I'm guessing your answer is probably "yes".

Many guitarists naively try to start playing Jazz without ever having listened to it or being interested in it at all. If you want to learn Jazz you need to listen to it...you need to understand the history, and you need to work from the bottom up and listen/love/transcribe the shit out of stuff.
#7
My first easy "jazz" song I learned was Girl from Ipanema, which is Bossa Nova; but it covers many essential jazz chords you can learn.
I incidentally learned finger-picking (rythmic) from it so it was an important song to learn as far as I'm concerned. It's simple, cool, girls love it and if you learn the lyrics you'll pick up a bit of Portuguese. Full of win

Otherwise I learned Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt which is completely different and much harder. If you are a metal-head, Django was a big influence among the more sophisticated metal guitarists.

That's all I know as far as Jazz is concerned, but it's not really my style.
Last edited by Tchekitchek at Feb 28, 2012,
#8
Hey, you! don't come into this here thread and be helpful - us jazz heads are trying to be pretentious here!
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Feb 28, 2012,
#9
Quote by Hydra150

So answer this - who is your favourite jazz guitarist? Who is your favourite Jazz singer? What is your favourite jazz tune? What is your preferred era/subgenre of jazz?

If it counts, Paul Waggoner. As for singer's, none really, I prefer instrumental Jazz but I like Billie Holiday a bit. I quite enjoy Jazz Fusion and everything on Guthrie Govan's Erotic Cakes album. Al Di Meola, Metal with Jazzy elements.
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#10
To be a good jazz musician you MUST listen to tones of jazz. Rhythm especially the ability to "Swing" is in IMHO the most important factor, this is true for comping and for soloing. A major part of jazz is improvisation and this requires a strong brain to hand signal which develops by listening and practicing. jazz is great I love jazz.
#11
When I listen to Wes Montgomery, I sometimes hear a virtuoso, other times hear a teen being stylish and all that, and at other times, his playing had a childlike innocence to it.

Wes is definitely good to check out. He doesn't purely play guitar as if he wanted to be a horn player. Not that this is a bad thing, but Wes does not forget about the inherit quality of the guitar, which is something I like.

Also, Miles playing on kind of blue, I just smile when I hear flamenco sketches or blue in green. He draws my ears very close as if I'm there in the same room.

For singers, I love Frank Sinatra. Dunno if he's considered jazz, but he sings like a horn player plays his horn. All those rhythmic nuances and joyfullness. He's a good "voice player"

Lately been into Kurt Rosenwinkel. I like some stuff, Zhivago is a nice track, and currently listen to some big live sets of him which are interesting.

Also love Joe Pass for his fingerstyle solo work.

Kenny Burrel, good guitar player, haven't heard much, except for bluesy kind of tracks. I hate comparing, but Wes imo does the blues stuff more to my taste.

And....I'm too lazy to continue.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 28, 2012,
#12
I will admit I'm not big on the genre when it comes to listening to it, but when I do listen to it, I normally listen to less guitar-based Jazz. I like the Dave Holland Quintet, Vice Guardilini Trio, Return to Forever, and the Police. Al Di Meola, Andy Summers and Alan Holdsworth are the only Jazz guitarists I can name off the top of my head.
#13
Uh, The Police are a Rock/Reggae band ...

If you do want to learn jazz then I suggest that, as someone has already mentioned, you invest in a Fake Book (a decent knowledge of chords is required) and learn to play a few tunes. Then analyse the tunes, looking of for modulations and ii - V and ii - V - I progressions - knowledge of keys and scale construction is needed. Ive got Mickey Baker's Complete Course for Jazz GUitar and it is good for learning chords and progressions, but it's hard work.


Edit: Actually, I'd strongly recommend studying Jody Fisher's complete jazz guitar books [Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane and some Miles Davis] would be a good place to start, they are all very big names in jazz.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Feb 28, 2012,
#15
Yeah, I did a search to see if you were completely insane and found some jazz stuff. Im a big fan of Al Di Meola and Return To Forever too btw, they may be what got me into jazz in the first place.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do