#1
This is quite a departure from the usual thrash metal or death metal that I ask about, but my guitar teacher recently showed me some George Benson and I thought it was fantastic. Also I have been listening to Guthrie Govan/The Aristocrats a teensy bit recently. So pretty much as the title says, I wanna learn a little bit of jazz but I don't really know any jazz guitarists.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I am assuming that this is some kind of jazz:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLXpEt42W-8

I pretty much wanna learn stuff that sounds like that.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Sep 15, 2015,
#2
If you actually want to understand jazz, you need to go back in time and listen to the historical progression of jazz - Guthrie Govan is a fusion player - ( fusion of jazz and other styles like rock, funk etc. which came about in the late 60's and 70's - that tune is more reminiscent of 80's fusion) - if you want to be good at fusion you need to understand jazz - jazz comes before fusion.

If you want a quick primer on jazz guitar check these out:

Charlie Christian - one of the first lead players ever and plays quite slowly so you should be able to pick it up by ear. He's Wes' main influence.

Wes Montgomery - he's less technical than Benson so you should be able to pick some of it up - I'd recommend his trio recordings. He's the grandmaster of jazz guitar. He started out by learning all of Charlie Christian's solos.

Grant Green - he's great because of his phrasing.

George Benson - Wes' next in line - he's like a more technical version of Wes. I still prefer Wes because of his phrasing - but George is a monster.

John Scofield - he's a jazz guitarist who really focused on funk - most guitarists today copies him quite a lot - A Go Go album is the reference for him.

As far as songs go - pick something you like from any of those players and get to work.
#3
There are several players I can recommend. Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton are perhaps two of the most accessible players that play very melodic solos and don't go into a "jazz comma" where it sounds like somebody practicing scales. Check out their work with the band Fourplay (Ritenour did the first few albums and left to be replaced by his friend Larry Carlton). You may also know Larry's work with Steely Dan on their AJA album (by the way that's another place to hear great jazz guitarists). Good stuff and an excellent example of players interacting with each other and working around a melody or theme without losing the heart of a song (something that happens way too often in jazz circles).
There are lots of Fourplay videos on YouTube.

Try "101 Eastbound" by Fourplay. It's a nice example of their work. Also check out the video on YouTube of Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather "The Paris Concert". Steve Lukather is a founding member of Toto and was a student of Larry Carlton's.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 15, 2015,
#4
As Reverb notes... There are a wide variety of jazz guitar styles and it's best to familiarize yourself with the genre.

In addition to the historic players listed, you have "straight" jazz, bop, blues-based, big band, gypsy (Reinhardt and others) and modern movements like "jazzgrass", fusion, etc.
My particular favorite is chord-melody playing....Solo guitar.
#5
One thing to consider about jazz is that degrees of difficulty like beginner "beginner" and "intermediate" don't exist in the way they do in rock. Rock or metal or classical guitar usually consists of certain riffs and leads and other parts that you're expected to play note-for-note, so the difficulty is based on a preexisting piece that is to be duplicated.

Jazz performance commonly consists of trading off heavily improvised solos over a single repeated chord progression of usually 4, 8, 16, or 32 bars. Common tunes, which are referred to as standards, can be played at a variety of tempos, and the soloist is often left to decide how technical they want their solo to be based on skill level, preference, what they feel is appropriate for the performance, etc.

In other words, the same tune can contain a beginner level solo or something very advanced, even in the same performance. Jazz in many ways is not as technical as other genres such as metal, fusion, and country in that lead playing doesn't typical have the same sheer speed or variety of playing techniques required. A lot of the difficulty of a high level jazz performance is based more on selection of notes and understanding how to play over changes.

The real difficulty of a tune is based on the chord progression itself. A longer progression with more numerous and complex changes will generally be more difficult than a basic ii-V-I because you simply have to think more about the changes and you have to account for a larger variety of harmony.

The best way to learn songs is to find a list of basic jazz standards with simple changes. Listen to different performances of those tunes and see what players do.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Sep 17, 2015,
#6
Quote by theogonia777
One thing to consider about jazz is that degrees of difficulty like beginner "beginner" and "intermediate" don't exist in the way they do in rock...


I Agree. For starting out with rhythm maybe get yourself some tabs of the chord changes because learning all the inversions and voicing can be difficult in itself. For learning how to solo, practice over the simple ii-V-I progression because that's the basic chord change of many Jazz Songs and you simple must be able to get good at that.
#7
As theogonia notes, rhythm is where the difficulty really lies. Many jazz players lack serious taste in their soloing (as well as just playing boring arpeggiations over chords) but moreover suck ASS at rhythm playing. Not to say I'm in a great position to judge, mind. Simply that if a hypothetical student who I am hypothetically qualified to teach asked me to teach them jazz, the first thing I'd do would be to look at chords and, a little later, how heads/leads 'work' over them. Asides from how beguiling the most simple of jazz progressions can be, you need to be able to mentally and intuitively 'hear' extensions and inversions of different chords in a specific progression. In one progression a very dissonant chord or even a tone cluster might sound quite complementary or at least build a releasable tension, whereas in another something as simple as throwing in a 13th in your solo or rhythm playing can be the height of indecency. You gotta really get your own feel and comprehension of context and rhythm before you look at busting crazy solos.

I'd also advise against working too strictly with conventional chord structure and composition. There should be an element of intuition, really. When you analyse some pieces you'll find that the key changes, modulations, extensions and 'implications' (as in, implying other chords within or over one chord, implying sub-key changes within a larger chord cycle which allow you to solo in multiple non-relative keys, other theory wizardry) which the original writer might not have done in contrivance. You can't just rely on the same old typical progressions if you want to offer something really stimulating because a lot of it does some weird-ass stuff. But that's going into a debate over innovation so I'll leave that there.

In my shitty opinion.

EDIT: if you want some 'interesting' songs to study rhythm-wise, ones I began with were that one from the jungle-book and I Got Rhythm. They have some basic key changes and uses of leading chords despite how dry they can be depending on the rendition.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 17, 2015,
#9
Quote by Circleof5jives
Its not an easy genre but definitely one that will make you a better guitar player overall.


I always hear jazz musicians say this. But that's opposed to what? The genres that won't make you a better player overall?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#10
In jazz you can make the simple tunes as hard as you want. There are many virtuosic performances of "Autumn Leaves", even though it's among the first and easiest jazz tunes everyone learns.

It'll probably take a while to get up to speed with Fusion, but it's all rooted in traditional jazz. Understanding how to move between harmonic changes is the key concept. Fusion is also heavy on the technique, so having solid chops is also a requirement for really getting into the fusion genre.
#11
Have you tried jazz up your blues? You should know some basic blues stuff, which you can jazz up a bit. Just take a regular A7/D9/E9 chord, but change it to jazz chords (Search on google how to play a A7/D9/E9 jazz chord. Play it like a standard twelve bar blues.

This helped me to get used with different jazz chords.

Take care !
#12
- just some advice if you want to get into jazz i reccommend you get your hands on this book http://www.amazon.com/The-Real-Book-Sixth-Edition/dp/0634060384
- as far as easy jazz tunes go, try learning blue bossa and autumn leaves.
- Jazz is a beautiful genre and can help ANY guitarist improve for sure!
- as far as banjocal opinion goes, i completely disagree:
-most jazz players i know are excellent with rhythm and can read music well enough to tell time signatures at the very least.
- Good Jazz players have the most expressive lead playing IMO as well because they usually know theory extremely well and can actually hear themselves play better than other genres of guitarist do because of this.
- Jazz is a completely different ballpark from metal in many ways and one can argue that jazz is the most expressive genre out there. i wish you luck!
#13
Quote by theogonia777
I always hear jazz musicians say this. But that's opposed to what? The genres that won't make you a better player overall?


Like I'd be curious to hear about genres make you a worse player overall.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#14
Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! I'll make sure to try everything mentioned here, though I am probably gonna start with Autumn Leaves. Once again, thanks
#15
Quote by theogonia777
Like I'd be curious to hear about genres make you a worse player overall.



Punk?
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#16
*resists temptation to share a shit ton of ultra-technical punk + punk derivatives*
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 26, 2015,
#17
Quote by rbvintage
Have you tried jazz up your blues? You should know some basic blues stuff, which you can jazz up a bit. Just take a regular A7/D9/E9 chord, but change it to jazz chords (Search on google how to play a A7/D9/E9 jazz chord. Play it like a standard twelve bar blues.

This helped me to get used with different jazz chords.

Take care !


check out Kenny Burrell..jazz blues at its finest..
play well

wolf
#18
Quote by Matriani
Punk?


Faster punk (crust, skate punk, crossover, etc) rhythm guitar requires more right hand stamina than jazz. Downpicking eighth note power chords or tremolo picking 16th note power chords at around 200 bpm (or more) is not as easy as a jazz musician might think.

Also any genre that allows you to learn to play accurately with distortion (ie without unwanted note bleeding or open note noise) helps your technique. Ever hear a guitarist that has only ever played clean or acoustic play high gain for the first time? Whether they play jazz, bluegrass, classical, etc it isn't pretty. With high gain, you have power under the hood that a clean/acoustic guitar player is not prepared to handle and so you get a noisy mess.

It's like getting a great BMX rider on an MX dirt bike for the first time and expecting them to perform up to snuff.

Granted, it works in reverse as well in both the guitar example and the bike analogy, where somebody that has only played high gain electric will not fair so well playing acoustic since they are not prepared not to have that power under the hood.

It's two very different worlds. Dirt is economy of motion, light strokes, and muting to hold back unwanted sound that easily pours out. Clean is working to coax sound out of the instrument that comparatively produces much less than a distorted electric due to the lack of compression and sustain of distortion.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.