#1
Here are 2 different approaches to guitar improvisation. Both are Jazz styles, John uses the ii-V-I, and and Joe uses the I-vi-ii-V. But you can see how different their approaches are, and how that affects the overall sound and style of their music.

They are also an hour each. So, you need some free time to really compare them, but imo, it's worth it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZMCbf1TfRc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Hn18o5dh4
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Nov 1, 2014,
#2
It's worth noting though that even though they are both in the context of jazz, they come from totally different worlds. Joe was born in the 20's and was became an active player in the early 40's, around the time bebop blew up. Meanwhile, John was born in the 50's and became active during the 70's, an era where fusion acts was coming up in jazz.

Not only did they start playing in different eras of jazz, but they had different influences growing up. I am merely saying this cause it is important to understand that many things affect the sound of a player, some of the most important factors are what time period they developed in, and which players they chose to take vocabulary from. This can still be applied today, we can see today that fusion is once again a big part of the jazz world, but in a different form than it was during the 70's. Then we had acts like Weather Report, Yellowjackets and Return To Forever. While todays fusion is more in the style of Guthrie Govan, Tom Quayle, Alain Caron, Adam Nitti etc. Listening to the young players on youtube it is very obvious that they are a part of this era of improvisational music and that they are copping vocabulary from players such as Guthrie.

Just thought i would throw that out there, seemed relevant.

Best Regards,
Sickz
#3
sickz valid points...I can see scofield doing standards..i cannot see joe doing miles/bitches brew..

wolf
#4
Yes of course, these guys have different influences and play different styles. Why, or what songs they play, or what year they play in is not the point I find.

They have different philosophies from a theory point of view, which yields a different style of play, and music.

Of course you would not hear them play the same sort of music. They play different stuff, and to do that, they use different philosophies in theory. The music sounds different.

But, you can use their strategies or philosophies differently to different ends, but only to some extent, because the philosophies themselves influence what you create. Just like a piano will influence you differently than a guitar will.

You can hear how they are different, what sounds they make. You can learn some aspects of one, or the other, depending on what you want to play.

For me, I don't play Jazz. I don't like fusion typed stuff. I have sort of a hybrid philosophy I guess in a way, but I want to learn more from Pass' philosophy at this point. I play acoustic so those thick chords work well, and his philosophy is simple, and allows for beautiful phrasing. But my phrasing will not be like his, I don't want to sound like Joe Pass, but I want the power his philosophy can give me.

I actually find he sounds a lot like oscar peterson, which funnily enough is my favourite pianist of all time. But it is not for the jazz feel I like it. It is for how poetic and flowing their philosophy lets them be.

I don't like that kind of miles davis stuff. But this was just to show how different philosophies can be and how there is no real right or wrong.

The Joe Pass tutorials on YouTube are gold to me. The best tutorials you could find imo. But that's for me, and the path I want to take. There are other paths that go other places.
#5
Alright, i see what you are getting at. I read " But you can see how different their approaches are, and how that affects the overall sound and style of their music" and i just needed to add that someones approach to something is not everything. We are subconsiously affected by the music we choose to learn and the music scene we are surronded by, i don't know, just seemed relevant at the time. Personally my philosophy is influenced by players like Clark Terry and Bill Evans, aswell as Zen teachings.
#6
I see it as rather apples and oranges... I listen to both, and as I'm working on fingerstyle chord-melody stuff myself, I tend to see Joe as "where I want to be".
He's very tasteful, and in watching some of his instructional stuff, he also has a very straightforward approach.... "figure out the melody and find chords that sound good." Jazz guys have a tendency to get a little obsessed with the theoretical aspects of esoteric harmony.

But I've got Abercrombie on my Pandora list as well....
#7
Right. Well there is where you want to go, and how to get there. If you were inspired to play in a similar manner to how Joe Pass plays, you wouldn't want to take an approach like Scofield does. That doesn't mean you couldn't learn a thing or two from his approach, but the philosophy and inspiration and all that, are mixed together.

I would like to see a video similar to these but made by guthrie govan. He has some tutorial videos out there, but the ones I've found have been very specific, rather than a general view of their approach.

You can see that Scofield takes a very involved theory approach, and his music sounds that way, and Pass has a more simple theoretical approach, and his music sounds that way as well. Guthrie, seems to me, to be between the two of them. I'd be interested to hear him in a video like these.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Nov 2, 2014,
#8
Quote by Bikewer
Jazz guys have a tendency to get a little obsessed with the theoretical aspects of esoteric harmony.



I would say some jazz guys have that tendency. Being a a jazz player myself i would say (atleast in my experience) that number is about 50/50. Many players obsess over the theoretical side of jazz, while other (and i am guilty of this) players obsess more over the aural tradition of jazz, learning mostly through copping vocabulary and language and altering it.

Personally i would choose Pass any day over Scofield, even if i love Scofields playing to death aswell. Phenomenal players, both of them, but my preference is more towards the the older jazz style.

fingrpikinggood, i believe i might have a 2hr clinic by Guthrie on an external harddrive somewhere were he talks about his approach and answers questions and so on. If i am able to find it, do you want me to send it your way?
#9
Quote by Sickz
I would say some jazz guys have that tendency. Being a a jazz player myself i would say (atleast in my experience) that number is about 50/50. Many players obsess over the theoretical side of jazz, while other (and i am guilty of this) players obsess more over the aural tradition of jazz, learning mostly through copping vocabulary and language and altering it.

Personally i would choose Pass any day over Scofield, even if i love Scofields playing to death aswell. Phenomenal players, both of them, but my preference is more towards the the older jazz style.

fingrpikinggood, i believe i might have a 2hr clinic by Guthrie on an external harddrive somewhere were he talks about his approach and answers questions and so on. If i am able to find it, do you want me to send it your way?

Ya guy! For sure i'd be interested in checking that out. Videos like that, I find are invaluable. I mean, you could go to any guitar website and find all the chords and all the scales. But to me, the true gold is insights on how the greats use those things, which ones they use, and what kind of music they make with it. Idk how much I might take from him, maybe nothing. But no matter what, I'd love to hear about how he approaches music.

I think you're right about Jazz players, there are all sorts. But one generalization I think I'd make about all musicians studying music, is that so much emphasis is placed on which notes are played, whereas I find that timing and rhythm is such a huge important piece. It is to me, the most important. There are only 12 notes. Everything else is when you play them. But both are important. It is how they combine together and complement each other that the real magic is made, imo. I think this is a strength of Pass over scofield as well. You can see that scofield is quite focused on notes and scales but keeps a fairly costant rhythm of 8ths or 16ths or whatever it was. But Joe Pass has more sort of ebb and flow to his rhythm I find.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Nov 2, 2014,
#10
As above! All the guys I find myself really liking display that hard-to-define quality of "swing". It's musical.... It moves.
I can say the same thing about Doc Watson and Marc Knopfler. Lots of hundred-mile-an-hour bluegrass pickers, but Watson's stuff was always musical.
Likewise with Knopfler.... I've always felt that many "shredders" could take a few cues as to musicality from Knopfler.
#11
Joe has plenty of songs where he just plays straight 8ths or 16ths and Scofield has plenty of songs where he plays sparse, laid-back licks with lot's of pauses.

From what I've heard of them, I think of Joe as the shredder and Scofield as the pause for breath kinda guy.

Good thread. I had watched the Joe Pass vid before but not the Scofield one.
#12
Yeah I think of Sco as a fusion/funk guy vs Joe as a straight jazz guy.

I prefer Sco's playing. It's all about the pocket.
#14
Quote by Duaneclapdrix
Joe has plenty of songs where he just plays straight 8ths or 16ths and Scofield has plenty of songs where he plays sparse, laid-back licks with lot's of pauses.

From what I've heard of them, I think of Joe as the shredder and Scofield as the pause for breath kinda guy.

Good thread. I had watched the Joe Pass vid before but not the Scofield one.

absolutely Joe does play that way from time to time as well. But it is not only the rhythm either. I personally get easily tired of something which is rhythmically uninteresting, even if it is dynamic in pitch or interesting in pitch though. But these are two different approaches that sound different, even in 8th runs or 16th runs.

It's not so much about the pauses or not for me. It is the feel, the groove, the swing, the journey.

Quote by GuitarMunky
They are both fantastic guitarists. It's not a competition


Of course. The thread was not meant to discuss which was better. Just to compare and contrast two different styles. Two different approaches with two different results. Not a competition, just differences. One can have preferences, that doesn't make one guitarist better than another, but it might help you know what is a more suitable approach to guitar for where you want to be, for what style you want to play.

The point I was making was that there isn't better and worse. There isn't some set of theoretical concepts everyone needs to learn to become good at guitar. It is not linear that way. There is no point on arguing what way is the "right way", what scales everyone needs to learn, or what have you. That there is philosophy and approach which affects the music one makes. That some stuff might be great for one guy, but not another. Music is not some thing you need to read in a book, which is either correct or not. It is not math or science. It is the organization of sounds based on how they affect us, on how they sound to us. How you choose to organize that, affects how your music sounds. You might want to sound like scofield, or pass, or someone else, and that's cool. But if you want to sound like pass, then scofield's approach is not the best.

Different great guitarists have different approaches to the guitar. They aren't just all experts on "the way" and then use those concepts differently. In some cases, for sure they use the same concepts in different ways, like chord names, and major scale and what have you, but there is also a general philosophy and way to organize some of these concepts, how to use them, and some people use some concepts more than others.

There is not better or worse that way. There is not right or wrong. There is where you want to go, and how to get there.

That was the point I wanted to make. Exactly the opposite of "Joe Pass VS Scofield: who is better?" not competition, but compare and contrast.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Nov 7, 2014,