#1
I have been playing jazz guitar for about 1 year now, and I would say that I am finally starting to get the idea of what its all about. Im moving away from simply using blues scales in my solos and my chord comping has gotten much better. I was wondering if anyone had some tips for me at this stage in the game. How do I really take my playing to the next level? Yes I know my chords and my scales and I obviously know practicing is number 1. Not looking for a "trick" to get better, just some ideas.

Maybe some heavily influential jazz guitar songs to check out, or a tune where I can try to emulate the solo then change it up and incorporate it somewhere else. Whatever.
Thanks
#2
Speaking as someone who only dabbles in playing jazz, I'd say the best thing for you to do is play more jazz. Play it until it becomes second nature, and most importantly play with other people.

Transcribing solos is always a good idea, particularly working out what horn and brass guys play. As far as what or who to learn next, at your stage I imagine that's really up to you and the musical style you want to mould for yourself. Do you want to be Django or Burrell or Stern? Jazz is quite a broad genre, there are many possibilities ahead.
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 Mar 16, 2012,
#3
There's all kinds of stuff to do. I would suggest:

-Learn the altered (lydian dominant) scale

-Learn non-guitar licks and solos

-Listen to jazz guitarists and try to emulate their styles

-Learn more standards (ALWAYS a good idea)

-Work on your chord inversions

-Try playing chord melody, come up with your own arrangements.

Ugh. Too many suggestions. Shutting up now lol. Hope that helps.
#4
Throw out your realbook and transcribe.

You learn phrasing, articulation, dynamics not to mention vastly improve your ears if you transcribe properly ie figure it out before you play it on your instrument. Eventually after a few solos you'll pick up language over ii V's and other common gestures/chords.

While you do that, learn all your scales, arpeggios (triads and seventh chords) in all inversions.
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#5
Jazz is lots of hard work
1. listen to tones of jazz.
2. work on your swing (swing is based on triplets) you got to get that in your fingers.
3. learn the major scale inside out
4. get accustomed to hear chromatic notes, chromatic notes are one of the primary things which give jazz it's unique sound.
5. learn how to analyze harmony this will help you understand the tune.
6. work on your swing comping on the beats and on the off beats.

get a teacher
#6
learn whats called Drop chords, drop 2s, 3s, and 4s...transcribing is a good idea too, but very impractical for someone who isn't quite there in the jazz guitar world. i play with guys who've been playing for 10+ years and never transcribe anything...DON'T throw out your realbook by the way...

When you ask what to do next...learn a new head everyday, the real book has over 400 tunes in it, and there's 4 volumes now, learn a new one everyday. there are a bunch of books you could get to work on whatever...my favorite is the Hal Crook How to Improvise book, that's the kind of book where you spend months at a time on 1 page, it's very detailed and demands a lot from a player. analyzing music is a good idea too but if you don't know how to do it then what good does that do you? you gotta think about what you can understand yourself, i'm not trying to pigeon hole you or anything, just be weary of things that you COULD learn, you might not get all of it and it may turn you off from learning
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Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#7
Quote by gerraguitar
learn whats called Drop chords, drop 2s, 3s, and 4s...transcribing is a good idea too, but very impractical for someone who isn't quite there in the jazz guitar world. i play with guys who've been playing for 10+ years and never transcribe anything...DON'T throw out your realbook by the way...

When you ask what to do next...learn a new head everyday, the real book has over 400 tunes in it, and there's 4 volumes now, learn a new one everyday. there are a bunch of books you could get to work on whatever...my favorite is the Hal Crook How to Improvise book, that's the kind of book where you spend months at a time on 1 page, it's very detailed and demands a lot from a player. analyzing music is a good idea too but if you don't know how to do it then what good does that do you? you gotta think about what you can understand yourself, i'm not trying to pigeon hole you or anything, just be weary of things that you COULD learn, you might not get all of it and it may turn you off from learning


What? How do you think jazz musicians did it before jazz theory came along and books were written on it? Countless hours in the shed transcribing. You absorb so much language by transcribing solos. Also, throwing out your real book is a great idea. I don't think notation has any place in music in general, but especially not in jazz. It turns the music into something visual which it isn't.
#8
Quote by Sóknardalr
What? How do you think jazz musicians did it before jazz theory came along and books were written on it? Countless hours in the shed transcribing. You absorb so much language by transcribing solos. Also, throwing out your real book is a great idea. I don't think notation has any place in music in general, but especially not in jazz. It turns the music into something visual which it isn't.


that's fine, i'm not gonna sit here and argue with you. jazz music has become a form of "classic" music that is for the most part only found in an academic platform. the most common form of jazz you see now is a regurgitation of what has already been written down and has been played the same way since the 20s. notation definitely has it's place in jazz and in music...you expect a beginner to transcribe parker heads? even back before jazz "theory" came along yes they did it by ear but they still wrote it down. you can't send beginners down a path like that. if you sit in your room all day audibly transcribing bebop solos than you are better musician than all of us, congrats
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Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#9
Quote by gerraguitar
that's fine, i'm not gonna sit here and argue with you. jazz music has become a form of "classic" music that is for the most part only found in an academic platform. the most common form of jazz you see now is a regurgitation of what has already been written down and has been played the same way since the 20s. notation definitely has it's place in jazz and in music...you expect a beginner to transcribe parker heads? even back before jazz "theory" came along yes they did it by ear but they still wrote it down. you can't send beginners down a path like that. if you sit in your room all day audibly transcribing bebop solos than you are better musician than all of us, congrats


I don't mean to make this an argument, just a friendly debate. I know exactly what "academic jazz" is nowadays and I fully disagree with it. Jazz is a symbol of musical expression (at least it used to be) and there is nothing expressive about mindless imitation and playing scales. Also, how else do you propose one improves one's ear except by transcribing by ear (and training it)?
#10
learn all you 4 note chord inversions in ALL keys on ALL string sets..play chord scales in all inversions and in all keys...

while this will be a very tedious task..its a must if your serious about jazz..in doing so you will learn the fretboard in many ways and you will begin to see chordal relationships between keys..(while doing this type of study..note the base triads of each chord..and how close (fret wise) the I-IV-V chords are to each other)

for solo work..arpeggios and interval studies should be included in a daily routine...as with the above study suggestions..when you learn a new chord inversion..play the arpeggio of that chord.if its the first inversion begin the arpeggio from the 3rd note (3 5 7 1)...and so on...this will make you comfortable playing any inversion and its arpeggio and of course its related scale..in any position in any key

when your start to see the benefits of the above approach..begin to apply this to song structures...standards are perfect for such study as many of their harmonic and melodic structures use the above techniques

the works of cole porter and gershwin will highlight the above

play well

wolf
#11
Quote by Sóknardalr
I don't mean to make this an argument, just a friendly debate. I know exactly what "academic jazz" is nowadays and I fully disagree with it. Jazz is a symbol of musical expression (at least it used to be) and there is nothing expressive about mindless imitation and playing scales. Also, how else do you propose one improves one's ear except by transcribing by ear (and training it)?


I completely agree with you, jazz is a form of musical expression, I love to play it, but also it's important to understand ways of going about it. If people want to learn jazz then they should have a good grasp on music in general. I don't get the whole half to play through scales thing either, I know my scales but it doesn't mean I just run up and down them for solos. The ear training is very important, but if you're new to it than start off slow. Ear training books have simple melodies that build from the bottom up, there's a lot of ways to practice ear training.

For what it's worth I do somewhat wish jazz wasn't so academic, I go to school with a bunch of guys who want to break away from that, the only problem is sometimes you come across people who just use it as an excuse to cover up the fact they can't play through a real book chart. In the gigging world knowing "academic" jazz is a must though so I think there needs to be a healthy medium
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Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
Last edited by gerraguitar at Mar 16, 2012,
#12
First of all, learn a handful of standards.
Find a club/bar in your area that holds open jams. Hopefully you have one.
Go there, sit, and listen. Don't even bring your guitar the first couple times. Just absorb, get the feeling of the scene. Talk to people. Talk to the people who play. Talk to the owner of the building. Network. Get business cards.
Then bring your guitar and sit in on a song. It might go bad. Let it be a learning experience.


Basically all I'm telling you to do is go out and play and meet people. That 2nd part is a part most often overlooked by young players. Especially jazz musicians. Chances are you're not going to be Miles Davis and put together your own band to play with with you as the head man.
More likely than not, you'll get most of your gigs from other people who go "I need a guitarist for this gig, who can I call?" And hopefully they have your number and information and remember you enough to go "This guy can handle it, I'll call him up."

Playing music is probably some of the best bang for your buck you'll earn. My school pays me $50 for an hours worth of playing whenever there's an open house for prospective students. And no one's listening anyway so it's just fun and you can literally do WHATEVER you want.
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#13
Quote by gerraguitar
I completely agree with you, jazz is a form of musical expression, I love to play it, but also it's important to understand ways of going about it. If people want to learn jazz then they should have a good grasp on music in general. I don't get the whole half to play through scales thing either, I know my scales but it doesn't mean I just run up and down them for solos. The ear training is very important, but if you're new to it than start off slow. Ear training books have simple melodies that build from the bottom up, there's a lot of ways to practice ear training.

For what it's worth I do somewhat wish jazz wasn't so academic, I go to school with a bunch of guys who want to break away from that, the only problem is sometimes you come across people who just use it as an excuse to cover up the fact they can't play through a real book chart. In the gigging world knowing "academic" jazz is a must though so I think there needs to be a healthy medium


If you train your ear to the point where you can hear and identify chords and their chord tones instantly you can play over any tune by ear and you don't need real books or theoretical knowledge. It takes time to reach this point but if you don't train your ear then you will never get there. Also I hope you realize what an oxymoron the phrase "ear training book" is. It's like a guide to reading English on CD.
#14
Jimmy Bruno. He teaches jazz online. Find him and sit in for the next year or so. If you cant find what you're looking for with him, I'd be stunned. You'll pay for the privilege but if you do the work, you'll not be back here asking these kinds of questions.

Best,

Sean