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#1
whats a good scale for basic bluesy-jazz improv? Something that sounds good up-tempo.


also, when soloing, what are some basic rules for using the scale? (ex. what notes to bend, what intervals to play between?)
#2
Jazz if one of the most theoretically complex genres in Western music. There is no scale that will make you sound jazzy. If you want to play jazz, find yourself a very good teacher.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
Quote by rock_n_roll124
but there are scales that will definitely contain the notes that i would want to play.


...and what does that have to do with jazz? The notes you "want to play" will depend entirely on the context.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#5
kind of an oxymoron. If you are thinking of blues, there is the blues scale or the mixolydian mode. There is also the dorian mode for a more minor sound. Theres the altered scale as well (for a more kind of far out sound). However, whats more important in getting a "jazzy" sound is enphasizing the relationship between the chord thats being played and the notes you are playing (which are either chord tones or non chord tones). A very broad way to think about it is put a chord tone or natural tension ( root, third, fifth, ninth 11th--though usually not against a major chord-- or thirteenth) on the beat (the first eigth note in one quarter note) and a non chord tone (any other note) "off the beat" (the second eighth note of a beat--one quarter note in 4/4).
This is just my very basic understanding, please someone correct me if I said anything wrong.
#6
The major scale works pretty well, with some idiomatic alterations.

Listen to jazz, get the sound, play the sound. It's not so much what you play as where and how you play it.
#8
i'm not trying to instantly be fantastic at jazz, i just want to make my improv a little more jazzy. i mostly play blues.

i'll try messing around with mixolydian more.
#9
Quote by rock_n_roll124
i'm not trying to instantly be fantastic at jazz, i just want to make my improv a little more jazzy


Then start studying jazz theory.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#10
Jazz is all about chord changes and knowing what sounds good. You can generally get away without learning theory (modes, intervals, etc.) if you have a good ear, but so long as you know how to read sheet music (not TAB) and can sight read on the guitar.

There is no tab for jazz. It's also one of the best styles to play, because there is so much energy in the music.

Do yourself a favor and get a good teacher. This is coming from 7 years experience on the sax (a much easier instrument, in my opinion).
#11
Whatever you play needs to swing, that's a rule of thumb.
12 fret fury
#12
A few basic things in jazz.

Learn your Major Scale, and Modes, Melodic Minor Scale and Modes and Harmonic Minor Scale and Modes.

The Melodic Minor and Modes are probably the most freuqently used in jazz.

A quick google search and a theory sticky from UG can cover this far better than I can.

A little quick note though, you just cant expect to play a Half-Whole scale for instance, its not a play this and add water = instant jazz.

What matters is the chord/harmony your playing over. How the scales you use weave in tension and or resolution over that harmony.

A good starting point, would be to just google, "jazz theory" while this may seem a bit idiodic, its realistically quite usefull.

http://www.outsideshore.com/primer/primer/

This is a fantastic site to educate you in all things of jazz.

The other thing that will help is to pick up a real book, and any jazz transcriptions you can find.

For instance there's a whole lot here

http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/Jazz/transcriptions.html

But the main thing is to learn ALL the theory you can. Dont let anything get by.

Start analyzing the changes of some jazz tunes.

Listen to jazz

Play jazz.

Listening to jazz is a crucial element. If listen to a style, that is most likley to reflect in your playing.

Sorry if that wasnt a great help.

Archeo pretty much hit the nail on the head "Then start studying jazz theory."

That link I posted will cover 90% of the basics.
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 9, 2008,
#13
Quote by one vision
Instant jazz = Mixolydian.

But seriously, learn about jazz theory. There really is no particular "Jazz scale".


Definatley, learn jazz theory.

I've always thought the Half-Whole or Alt scale more jazzy.

Whatever
#15
Dorian very much so.

I try not to use just the Major modes, cause over a ii - V - I if you just play D Dorian, Mixo, Ionian ect.

It gets very straight.

Over the ii often times Dorian, Dorian #4, even Phrygian Nat 6th, Bebop Dorian.

Over the V, Mixolydian (sometimes) Half-Whole, Alt, Phrygian Dominant, Lydian Domiannt, even Aeolian Dominant, mabey a bit of whole-tone though its a pretty predictable sound. Never tried Bebop Dominant.

Over the I: Ionian, Lydian, Bebop Major which is ever so close to Ionian Augmented, Lydian Augmented (with caution) Lydian #2, or even the Minor 3rd, Semi-Tone Augmented Hexatonic thing: 1 #2 3 5 b6 7, I've never tried Harmonic Major. Be interesting though.

As Levine states in the Jazz Theory Book, you can even play pentatonic scales based from the I IV and V over a ii - V - I

Over the ii you can play I, IV or V pent scale, because the ii has no aviod tones
Over the V, both the I and IV have the aviod tone, I is to be avioded the most, because the root of the scale is the aviod tone, you can play IV the aviod tone is the fifth, but the most logical choice out of those three scales would be a V pent.

Over the I you could play I and V pentatonics. It is physically possible to use the IV pentatonic but the aviod tone is the root, so its not a good choice practically.

Than because you can safley play the pentatonic based from the V over all of them, this leads to a massive discussion about playing giant steps with three pentatonic scales, each based off the V of the three keys.

All this being said, I can barley play jazz at all. Though its fun trying.

Anyway, Im just rambling.
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 9, 2008,
#17
Yeah. I've always liked entering into a whole-tone through a melodic minor (the two are so similar).

Just playing a Melodic Minor scale, flattening the 2nd note, and omitting the root. Ending you up with a whole-tone scale

C D Eb F G A B - Db Eb F G A B Db

A really big favorite scale of mine is, of coruse this is oh so similar to the Half-Whole or Lydian Dominant.

1 b2 3 #4 5 b7. Which is made by combining the notes of a V and the tri-tone substitution of V.

Of course this could be seen as a Lydian Dominant b2, or a Half-Whole (omitted #2)
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 9, 2008,
#18
Quote by Galvanise69

All this being said, I can barley play jazz at all. Though its fun trying.


Burn your Levine Book. All it's allowed you to do is spout a lot of excess complication
in a music forum. You can play excellent jazz over a ii-V-I in your sleep and never
have to think about all that nonsense.

Try Jazz Theory Resources. I think it's a much better approach for anyone getting into
jazz. I think Levine's approach is all wrong for learning jazz. It's a better book for
someone who already knows how to put what he says into context.
#19
So, are you saying the books useless. Or since getting it I've turned into a bitchy know-it-all, spouting out useless things? (pretty true)
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 10, 2008,
#20
Unfortunately jazz cannot be defined with words. It doesn't even have to swing, necessarily (certainly not in the rigid and silly rhythmic definition and possibly not even in the looser, feel based definition).

The only way to learn to really learn jazz is a lot of listening and analysis. Scale approaches are useful for analysis and practicing, not for playing. So much of jazz is rooted in oral tradition that you completely miss the point if you merely imitate the harmony and scale choices of the masters (not that some haven't pretty much made careers of doing this). Ideally, you want your knowledge of these so complete that you eliminate all "left brain" processes and merely immediately link a specific sound, this sound part tradition and part you, to the physical movements required to produce it. (this being an absolute state impossible but critical as a guide at which to point)
#21
TS, listen to good jazz players like:

John Scofield
Wes Montgomery
Charlie Parker
Joe Pass

Learning Jazz theory is important, but playing a jazz solo is all about hitting the wrong notes at the right time (or vice versa even). It just takes a lot of practice.

Joe Pass does some pretty crazy shizzle though, like, for example, playing D Altered Scale (S Loc) over a Dmin7 chord let alone a D7 chord.

There really are no rules man.
#22
Heh, before I rant, I cant believe no one has said this. Make sure you stick to chord tones over stressed beats and remember to keep in rhthym and use phrasing. Rhthym and phrasing are alot more important than note choice. My band co-ord said that you can use as many (or as few) notes as you like, just as long as you keep in rhthym
Quote by edg
Burn your Levine Book. All it's allowed you to do is spout a lot of excess complication
in a music forum. You can play excellent jazz over a ii-V-I in your sleep and never
have to think about all that nonsense.

Try Jazz Theory Resources. I think it's a much better approach for anyone getting into
jazz. I think Levine's approach is all wrong for learning jazz. It's a better book for
someone who already knows how to put what he says into context.
Are you serious? Is this some joke?

Quote by mdc
There really are no rules man.
What?

To every art there is a method and, not realy rules but special 'conventions' to creating art. When I write I dont feel I'm painting a picture, I feel I'm writing as essay. First I jot my ideas down (loose, unsingable and boring noodlings on guitar for melody and rhthym), than I add some sense.
I do the same thing when I'm writing an essay. I jot my ideas for writing said peice and use TEEL (if you're australian, you'd get this) and paragraphing to shape it together (add sense to your ramblings). Just like there are sort of rules to writing good essays (TEEL), there are sort of rules to writing good music.

Jazz actually has rules.

Mark Levine points out just a few of these rules.

Don't tell galvanise he's spouting crap just because he knows what he knows. Some of us are happily lurking his posts and enjoying he's ramblings (like me!!).

Please continue Galvanise.
#23
Quote by demonofthenight
What?

Well, I said that in a somewhat laid back manner, sorry (particularly to the TS) if that's misleading. There are rules, just...ya know...whatever.

To every art there is a method and, not realy rules but special 'conventions' to creating art.

Jazz actually has rules.

Ok. It's cool

Don't tell galvanise he's spouting crap just because he knows what he knows.

I didn't tell him anything.

I'd like to hear one of your jazz recordings.
#24
Quote by mdc
Well, I said that in a somewhat laid back manner, sorry (particularly to the TS) if that's misleading. There are rules, just...ya know...whatever.


Ok. It's cool


I didn't tell him anything.
That post wasnt really ranting towards you. I can take the laid back sort of thing. I was more ranting to edg. Sorry.

Quote by mdc
I'd like to hear one of your jazz recordings.
...

Rather not. They're not very good.
#25
Quote by demonofthenight
That post wasnt really ranting towards you. I can take the laid back sort of thing. I was more ranting to edg. Sorry.

Oops, I actually missed edg's post.

These ppl who use initials as a user name, nothing but pests!
#26
Quote by mdc
Oops, I actually missed edg's post.

These ppl who use initials as a user name, nothing but pests!
Good, now start begging mods to change your name to fluffyasskitten like I have.

And just to derail the thread a bit, does anyone have any suggestions for writing ellington style swing jazz?
#27
I have a jazz DVD with some tab for "Ellingtons Doll" I think. Not sure if it'sswing or not (will check it out). Haven't looked at it in ages, I could scan it or just give you the chords through ASCII text.
#28
for ellington - all that will help you is studying his arrangements. He is one of if not the best of arrangers in jazz (along with mingus, gil evans, graettinger, etc) And while his music is primarily made from the tin pan alley repertoire he does some pretty crazy things with it. As well, he wrote for his band: He arranged his parts with the specific players in mind and tailored them to their ability and style. I'm assuming the "ellington's doll" piece you have is a version of satin doll, which won't really help with arranging at all.

re edg's comments: I agree and support his point of view. I like levine's book but you're reading too much into it. Your main reference should not be a book but the music itself.
#29
Quote by Galvanise69
So, are you saying the books useless. Or since getting it I've turned into a bitchy know-it-all, spouting out useless things? (pretty true)


No, it's not useless. I just don't think it's a very good book for LEARNING jazz. It's
more appropriate for someone who can already play jazz, but wants to refine their
playing -- they can put Levine in context....

It's very basic premise, what it starts out teaching at the very beginning, assuming
no prior knowledge of the reader, is that chords are taken out of context and every
chord implies a scale/mode. I think mostly what you'll get from someone starting in jazz
with that approach is someone who can do a lot of talking, but not a lot of walking.

Take Jazz Theory Resources -- a 2 volume set that's at least as big as Levine's if not
bigger. If you just got Volume I, you would barely see any mention of a mode at all.
Almost none whatsoever. A very different approach. That's because the author
(Ligon) strongly believes the progression is what you play over, not individual chords.
#30
Quote by Nick_
. I'm assuming the "ellington's doll" piece you have is a version of satin doll, which won't really help with arranging at all.

Don't know. Fair enough, I'll stay out of this one.
#31
No, it's not useless. I just don't think it's a very good book for LEARNING jazz. It's
more appropriate for someone who can already play jazz, but wants to refine their
playing -- they can put Levine in context....

It's very basic premise, what it starts out teaching at the very beginning, assuming
no prior knowledge of the reader, is that chords are taken out of context and every
chord implies a scale/mode. I think mostly what you'll get from someone starting in jazz
with that approach is someone who can do a lot of talking, but not a lot of walking.


+1.


Levine over complicates stuff much too much if you don't have a lot of knowledge already. I found that to affect me. I didn't really start getting stuff out of his book to improve my playing until recently.

My suggestion for anyone learning jazz at a beginners level(like me) is to get a teacher, andd try to go to a few seminars to get some ideas in your head. Then with a teacher you'll probably start with basic stuff, like Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, the usual beginner standards. Instead of going: "z0mg dorianz #4 oover this and then locrian #2 over the m7b5 and then lydian dominant over blah" try thinking of chord tones. Just play one note each bar, but make sure you land on a chord tone, know which one it is, and where else you can play it around the neck etc etc.


IMO, people that get obsessed with modes with all sorts of crazy alterations forget about the important notes within that mode, ergo, sounding like a scale wanker.


+1 to Demon on phrasing as well.
#32
Well it's just because it will have been re-arranged by somebody else and isn't of much use to someone looking at ellington's arrangement for ensemble. Without ellington, it's a merely a nice, simple, fairly standard tune.

If you can get yourself a copy of the score of one his arrangements, you'll have something to work with. lincoln center runs an annual ellington contest for high scool ensembles: Schools that are registered end up with some ellington arrangements each year, so maybe ask around the places that seem likely to see if you can borrow one.

Of course all this probably won't do you much good if you don't have a decent sense of "conventional" arrangement techniques to compare it to.
#33
arpeggios with 7th , 6ths , will help ,
try and create chromatic lines that connect the arpeggios ,
#34
If you don't want to learn all the theory, you could just pick up a few records and transcribe parts of them.
#35
Man jazz is mental lol
Think Ill be sticking to simple classical for a few more years
#36
I agree with edg. As I said, I wont go burning it just yet, when I get some more money, Ill try and grab some of the books reccomended by yourself.

I dont want to get caught up in petty things that dont matter overly.

Sorry if I ofended you (to edg) your obviously far smarter than me, (doesnt take a guy with more than half a brain to see that). I'd (as well as probably all UG'ers) would do well to take your advice.
#39
Learn the blues scae, its basically a minor pentatonic with a extra note added inbetween the 4th and the 5th. So the A blues scale would be - A, C, D, D#, E, G, A.

There are many other scales of course, but thats the one I like to play with the most, obviously in diffferent positions all over the fretboard etc.



I WON'T GET TO GET WHAT I'M AFTER, 'TIL THE DAY I DIE


Quote by ealtdharkon

If there's fluff of the muff,
She's old enough!

...gotta warn you though, witty rhymes do NOT hold up in court...


#40
I was reading through an earlier April '08 issue of Guitarist magazine and found a good beginner's Blues to Jazz solo tab under the heading 'Beyond the Pentatonic'. In fact, just recorded myself playing it (see link in my sig).
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