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(@redsfan75)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

Ok, so here's my current challenge.

I started playing when I was in my mid to late teens. Mostly Bluegrass and country rythmn. Played in church a lot but still rythmn. Later I moved to bass and played bass for many years in a wide variety of styles, keeping the rythmn guitar skills in the corner but not letting them get too rusty.

Now, I don't play bass with a group anymore, and I'll fill in at church only occasionally, so I've been dusting off the guitar more, and have re-kindled the passion for it that got me started on it many years ago. After a bit it started coming back pretty well, Chords and changes, strumm patterns and rythmns, all feel natural, and I can play songs pretty quickly as an accompanist or rythmnist. 8)

So the dilemma is this, while I have a very wide range of chords and rythmns, in so many ways I feel like a beginner. Scale patterns are familar because of the bass, but I've not focused on them in with the guitar. I pick up a book and it's focus is learning the stuff I know already. I pick up an intermediate lesson and it's got stuff in that I don't know that was covered in a beginner book. So I'm having a problem trying to figure out what parts from the beginner side I need to back up and fill in, and what parts to pursue going forward. I know I need to really get the scales and patterns down on the guitar, and I've been working on that.... So what now? :?

I tend to lean more toward the Jazz sound or even blues. I've got a nice semi-hollow body that's my main guitar, I've been looking at some jazz lessons and stuff but pretty much just floundering around for now.
I need a plan to proceed! :)

Any Advice?


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

If Jazz is your goal, and you're already pretty well versed as a musician, I'd pick up a copy of Johnny Smith's The Complete Johnny Smith Approach to Guitar

Start on page 1 and just work through it.

There's everything you need to know to be a fairly compitent Jazz player in this book. Not much hand-holding though. Johnny just puts the info down and figures that you know what to do with it.

The other possibility is Al DiMeola's
A Guide to Chords, Scales and Arpgeggios
. This book does avery good job of putting all the same information into a set of comprehensive lessons.

Each lesson will take a few weeks to get down with daily hard work. But this book will definitely get you there.

Once you have some chords under your belt, you need to start putting it into practice. So pick up a fake book and start doing your own chord melody arrangements. This is hard stuff and you'll probably need to spend a few minutes with a good instructor to get a handle on how to do it. But being able to link the chords and melody is what makes for great guitar jazz work.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@redsfan75)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

Those are great looking books, and the Al DiMeola really grabs my attention. He's a great artist, and that's real good stuff for my personal playing, and I plan on checking out, one if not both! :D

So now what suggestions would you have for me to follow, if I want to play with others and not be just a strummer.

Good rythmn playing is always a challenge, but I want to do more than provide the background rythmns.

So keep working on my scales, and... what??

Thanks for the advice.

I plan on working through some of Davids lessons and some other lessons I've found here. Seems to be really good stuff.


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

Both of those books will have you working on your scales and arpeggios along with the rhythm stuff.

Once you've worked through one or the other of those books, the next step is to start doing some chord melody work.

Get a fake book and find a song in it you really like. Now go listen to 4 or 5 guys you really respect playing that song. Hearing the different versions will give you some ideas of your own and show you how many ways a song can go.

Now, sit down with the lead sheet, your guitar, a pencil, an eraser, some blank staff paper an a cup of coffee and put together your own arrangement for guitar.

You want to have chords that hold the whole thing together. You want to have the melody be noticable. You want to have some lead fills here and there to tie it all together.

It's hard work, there's no doubt about it. But once you've done a couple you start getting a feel for what's possible.

Now that you have a song or two arranged out to your style, then play the hell out of them till you have every nuance down pat.

Then do it again!

Eventually you'll get to the point where someone puts a lead sheet in front of you and you can look it over, make a few notes, then start playing a passable version of the song.

If you really have no idea how to get started.. and find yourself looking at that fake book lead sheet with a blank stare, then go pick up a small chord melody collection that is already written out for you and learn a few of those songs first. That will give you a sense of what needs to get pulled together in an arrangement.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@redsfan75)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

Thanks for the input, going to the bookstore tonight! :D


   
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(@andrewlubinus89)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 181
 

Ear training is important too especially if you are heading in the jazz direction. You want to be able to hear the melody against the chord changes and it also helps systemize the crazy musical ideas you most likely have floating around in your head.

There are a number of free programs on the internet.

A hoopy frood knows where his towel is....


   
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