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Ready to learn some jazz... what should I do?


(@honeyboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 70
Topic starter  

I'm an experienced guitar play and I want to learn to play some jazz guitar. Any suggestions on the best way to go?

Rick Honeyboy Hart

"It's about tone, taste, and technique... in that order."

http://www.bluesguitarinsider.com
http://www.rickhoneyboyhart.com


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

That all depends on what you mean by "learning some jazz".

If you want to be able to play basic rhythm guitar for jazz tunes, you'll need to learn chord extensions and alterations. I've done a couple of GN lessons for those: Extended Chords and [url- https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/altered-states/ ]Altered States[/url]. You'll also want to learn some basic comping rhythms - typically syncopated patterns that work with the tune.

If you want to be able to do basic leads over jazz changes, you'll want to work with scales and arpeggios over basic ii-V-I progressions - the most common progression in jazz. You can work on that with backing tracks, just as you would for rock or blues. Then you have to cope with the modulations... knowing exactly where you are in relation to the chord changes, and what your 'key of the moment' should be. I like to teach this awareness with simple modal tunes, like Miles Davis' "So What", basically a vamp that changes keys by a half step. Try to avoid bebop for a while... some of those tunes will change chords every couple of beats, and can be very fast (up to 300bpm!), which means you're sometimes staying in one key for just over one second!

If you really want to 'learn' a jazz tune, there are three basic steps:

1.Learn the chord changes completely. That means not only knowing how to play them, but what keys you're modulating to and when, and what relationship the chords have to the key of the moment (i.e., is it the IV chord?)

2. Learn the melody so well you can do it cold - and know exactly where the chord changes interact with the melody. It will be really helpful to both knowing the tune and developing your ear if you know how big the melodic leaps are (i.e. up a minor sixth here...)

3. Using what you've learned about the tune, try to reharmonize it in different ways. Reharmonization is a big topic, but you can start with using chord substitutions and see how they change the feeling of the tune. Work with your reharmonized progression and see how it changes the improvisation you can do over it.

Really learning a jazz tune that way - so that you can really have a conversation with other people when you're all throwing in little twists on the basic tune - can take months.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@honeyboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 70
Topic starter  

Noteboat thanks so much. That was really a detailed and well-thought-out explanation. I think I will print that out and put on my desk for reference.

By the way... have you used TrueFire.com at all? I like some of the jazz lessons I've seen there. What you think?

Again thank you!

Rick Honeyboy Hart

"It's about tone, taste, and technique... in that order."

http://www.bluesguitarinsider.com
http://www.rickhoneyboyhart.com


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
 

Noteboat! Can you give me an example of a few jazz tunes I can learn the chords to? And a page where they are written down so I can learn them. I just don't know where to start with the resources..... and I think the best thing for me to personally start with would be a few songs that I could play along with - listen - learn and repeat kind of learning. I just want it written so I know for sure I am using the right chords.

P.s! I found a cool jazz standards site http://www.jazzstudies.us/ - Always wondered tho u get chords with a line like........ F_7 is that diminished? And a triangle thing - is that augmented? They seem to work in code!

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

That looks like a great site for lead sheets.

And yes, it is sort of a code. Many jazz charts are (or were) hand written. A minus sign means minor, so G-7 is the same as Gm7. A triangle is used for major.... major 7th is implied (so C followed by a triangle would be Cmaj7), although I see the notation on that site uses both (C triangle 7)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@tecker)
New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 3
 

It's a good idea to start by learning the standards and reading lead sheets. Additionally, you could also work on improvising with the jazz modes/regular modes.


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(@kc0bbq)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 21
 

Noteboat! Can you give me an example of a few jazz tunes I can learn the chords to? And a page where they are written down so I can learn them. I just don't know where to start with the resources..... and I think the best thing for me to personally start with would be a few songs that I could play along with - listen - learn and repeat kind of learning. I just want it written so I know for sure I am using the right chords.

The comp for Blue Bossa is a good one to practice, and there are a million things you can do to mix it up with either fingers or a pick. The bossa rhythm is a good one get your brain working.


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