Joe Pass books

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Ralyks, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Ralyks

    Ralyks The One Who Knocks Contributor

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    So I’ve been into Joe Pass quite a bit lately (namely the ‘Virtuoso’ album), and kinda want to start getting into some solo-jazz style playing in that vein. So I was looking into one of his books to start with to get a better understanding of his technique.

    Thing is, he has a LOT of books for his technique.

    So anyone out there with experience with his teaching material, where would be a good place to start? I can read standard notation, but won’t say no to anything with tablature either.
     
  2. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Part-time Elon Musk impersonator

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    IMO, I think this (dense) video is the best place to start:



    From there, I’d suggest working through his Chord Solos book at a casual pace (give his phrasing time to get into your bones). The other books can be consumed to fill in any gaps.

    He gets into this stuff in the video, but (grossly oversimplified):

    Pass’s dense phrasing and substitution vocabulary was dictated by his minimalist (freeing) approach to theory. He regarded chords as only having major, minor, and dominant tonalities, with every extension up for grabs and free to be altered, and any of the base triads of the progression able to be substituted - and those substitutions free to be substituted. He also shares a few of his personal rules (Try to only play comfortable chords shapes, never have the 7th as the top voicing, don’t substitute x for x if the next chord is y, etc.). What he imparts is more along the lines of “be mindful of my suggestions and you’ll sound like you know what you’re doing.”

    Because his approach to playing was “simply” to play over changes, and his approach to composition to come up with changes to play over, I think we get the most out of his stuff academically by just breaking his lines down to single chords and playing them in every key, then pasting the lines into progressions to see which dots connect with the most elegance.

    For that, this is a sweet resource:



    Feel free to PM me for other freely-available files I have organized.
     
  3. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Subscribed to see where this goes. Do you have any recommendations for stuff that covers more of his finger-style playing?
     
  4. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Part-time Elon Musk impersonator

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    @ElRay As in, stuff where he addresses fingerstyle technique, or just pieces of his with a fingerstyle approach? Because his hybrid stuff (pick or fingers) is more straightforward than I initially expected; with Travis/Chet picking being more complicated.

    He briefly explains his picking in the Solo Jazz Guitar video, and the pieces from Chord Solos (there are Guitar Pro files on UG or I can send them) have that “thumb plucks walking bass while other fingers play jazz grips” thing.
     
  5. Ralyks

    Ralyks The One Who Knocks Contributor

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    Those videos immediately came to mind when I posted this thread, so thank you for reminding me of them.

    I should mention, I’m beginning my study of Joe Pass in conjunction to working with Ted Greene’s “Chord Chemistry” And “Modern Chord Progressions” books. It just seems like a style I can see myself both enjoying playing and gigging solo, as well as applying it to my Metal/Rock playing.
     
  6. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I'm not 100% sure. I remember liking his later stuff better, and an interview where he mentioned that he wished he had gotten more into the finger-style playing sooner, so that's what I'm hinting at. I've just started getting more into his playing lately (thanks to a Family Apple Music Subscription), so hopefully I'll have a better idea soon of what I'm trying to get at.
     

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