Jazz on an 8-string?

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by CombatWombat95, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. CombatWombat95

    CombatWombat95 SS.org Regular

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    Hey I've resently purchased an 8-string LTD, and i have become really interested in playing jazz on it, a la Tosin Abasi. But i have noo idea where to start in terms of the actual playing side. So if anyone has any tips, links or anything like that, please tell me. THX :shred:
     
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  2. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Are you bent on staying in Standard tuning? If you're willing to switch to all major 3rds, Ralph Patt has a bunch of stuff on his site for 8 string guitars.

    Ray
     
  3. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    For starters, we should establish some definitions: namely, what Tosin does is not jazz. The boundaries of jazz may be somewhat fluid, but it incorporates a specific rhythmic feel (swing) and approach to small-group improvisation, neither of which are features of Tosin's music, which is rhythmically a straight-eighths or sixteenths feel in a variety of meters and which appears to be almost exclusively composed, even in the solo sections. So you'll need to clarify whether you want to learn jazz, or whether you want to learn to play Tosin's brand of progressive shred.

    If you want to learn jazz, there are plenty of jazz instructional materials available. None of them, as far as I know, are aimed specifically at 8-string guitar, but the basic principles of jazz transcend the instrument: learning to feel swing rhythms, learning to understand jazz harmony, and learning how to construct improvised lines with/over/against specific harmonies. With a little work, any 6-string jazz guitar resources can be adapted for 8-string.

    If you want to learn to play like Tosin, the best thing to do is to study Tosin's music. He's got a series of videos on JamPlay that cover his basic approach and some of his specialized 8-string techniques, and which teach a couple of songs from AAL's debut album. The tabs for all the songs from that record are available on the Web. Study that stuff, adding supplemental technique- and theory-specific material when you don't understand how to play a particular passage or why he put those chords or those notes together.
     
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  4. Daken1134

    Daken1134 SS.org Regular

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    start by taking all the chords you know (assuming you have some chordal background with jazz) and establishing 7 and 8 string versions of them/inversions
     
  5. RichIKE

    RichIKE Warforged

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    Relevant. This guy can swing that 8 string for sure.
     
  6. ShadowFactoryX

    ShadowFactoryX OMNIHILITY

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    ^that was pure excellence
     
  7. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    If you drop the B down to an A and the F# to E, you can just move bass notes around much easier. Learn a few chord shapes and mess around with the bass note in different octaves.
     
  8. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    CE has hit the nail on the head. A lot of people toss out the word "jazz" the same way a lot of people say that something is "metal" because of some superficial features.

    +1 to your rep, good sir!
     
  9. SirMyghin

    SirMyghin The Dirt Guy Contributor

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    ^^^ which leads to the supreme over use of the descriptor jazzy (most often not appropriately), and typically when something deviates from run of the mill rock music (and I am lumping metal in with rock as pop music under a big umbrella). When what they usually mean is something like 'his phrasing is interesting'
     
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  10. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    ill simplify it even more; anything that doesnt use distortion and the pentatonic scale; is considered jazz these days ;o :ugh:

    but all music genre labels are lame anyways.. so its best to just ask "I want to learn something similar to this band" rather than specify a genre imo (except then you get judged by elitist kids due to the music you list) lol guess theres no winning.
     
  11. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    ^^^^^^ I wouldn't go so far as that, but I don't think you're hugely off-base either. "Jazzy" in common use seems to mean either "swings" (which jazz does, but often so does hip-hop, in both cases probably due to the blues influence; European folk music has some asymmetrical triplet rhythms happening as well); "has horns" (and is not, for example, marching band music); or "uses complex harmony" (which jazz borrowed from Western classical and pop music - there's no diminished-scale stuff in west African music, for example). The improvisational aspect, which to my mind is key to the experience of jazz, gets glossed over entirely. I can't help but wonder if this is partly due to the overwhelming shift in our experience-of-music from live performance to recordings: if that recorded solo by Miles or Monk or Marsalis is the same every time you listen to it, you can start to forget that any of those players would have played a completely different solo on that same piece at any other time they performed it.

    And boy, are we off the OP's topic....
     
  12. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    In my experience, 'jazzy' to the public is anything that swings, or has harmony that features a 7th. Playing with an R&B group, I was given the response by a few people (mainly classical musicians) that they aren't into "vocal jazz".

    We were performing Etta James, Nina Simone type stuff, not really jazz at all.
     
  13. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    I would totally place Nina Simone in the "jazz" category, personally, though I can see where one might argue for "R&B" or even "blues" as an identifier.
     
  14. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    "angular" melodies. You can't forget those :lol:

    Ray
     
  15. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    Not to be "one of those types" who nags about genre, but what why would you call what she's doing jazz?
     
  16. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    ^ irony much?

    "Not to be a nitpicker, but *proceeds to nitpick*"
     
  17. Xiphos68

    Xiphos68 SS.org Regular

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    (Some of his jamplay stuff)


    (Pretty cool lesson for poly-rhythms).

    Hope this helps, and good luck to your playing!
    :)
     
  18. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    I'm disassociating myself from the genre-core by opening my question with that statement.
     
  19. Captain_Awesome

    Captain_Awesome Cloudwalker

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    What this guy said, although jazz relies heavily on rhythm it wouldn't sound like jazz without the correct use of chords. A simple way to begin on an 8-string would be to simply work around shell shapes, i.e to go root, 7th, 3rd
     
  20. Kairos

    Kairos Quintessentially So

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    Tosin doesn't play jazz.


    Practice technique (like A LOT), theory (if you don't know theory yet), learn chord extensions, learn some exotic scale shapes, and where to apply them.
     

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