Jazz Approach for Guitar?

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by zman5999, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. zman5999

    zman5999 Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been playing guitar for awhile now, and for the last year or so I've been learning Jazz guitar. However, I've come to notice that while I don't have a technical or theoretical barrier, my approach to phrasing and rhythm is still grounded in rock music :/ Does anybody have any tips on how to "purge" this approach from my playing so that it's supplanted by Jazz?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, even if it's just a small piece of advice. :yesway:
     
  2. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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  3. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    Listen to more jazz. If you have to, stop listening to rock music for a while.
     
  4. zman5999

    zman5999 Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  5. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Focus on regular targets in your playing, by which I mean chord tones every bar/half bar. Focus on writing a melody which links them together (rests are still allowed!) and look at different trajectories you can take. Focus on this, rather than licks.
     
  6. Emperor Guillotine

    Emperor Guillotine The Almighty Ruler

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    Phrasing has been the hardest thing for me to develop (at least since I have zero formal musical background and am completely self-taught). Something I would heavily recommend is taking your favorite songs (after training your ear - but since you don't have any theoretical barriers you probably can already do this) and begin transcribing the vocal lines onto guitar.

    From there, you will have a good way to develop melodic leads with phrasing that is memorable or fun to sing back. Then keep the notes you have selected for your lead, mess around with the divisions of time (usually for me, it is a short central "theme", just a small sequence of notes, that I repeat but with different note groupings and note lengths when each repetition comes around), take the rhythm and throw it off to create a swing or syncopation. Reason I mention these two is because they both play a strong role in jazz rhythmically.

    And this. The skill of connecting different sections fluidly has been another thing that is hard for me to grasp since I've been writing in a spastic tech-death band for the past half a year. My drummer actually has been able to help me smooth out transitions and make ideas flow better rhythmically which is something I can feed off of as I select what notes I want to use.
     
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  7. RevChristoph

    RevChristoph SS.org Regular

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    Listen to non-guitar jazz players. This greatly helped me out, as I don't like most jazz guitarists.
     
  8. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    ^So much this. Instruments where the player needs to breath will help you to create natural sounding phrasing, as breathing is usually somewhat similar to how the listenener will breath and take in spoken phrases.
     
  9. Emperor Guillotine

    Emperor Guillotine The Almighty Ruler

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    Allan Holdsworth: the guitar player who always wanted to play the horn.
     
  10. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Even Holdsworth I find to be pretty meandering. More keen on Larry Carlton and that ilk.
     
  11. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    Hell yes to Larry Carlton. One of my biggest influences as a guitarist - check the solo in this song (starts at 2:19) - he says he did this in 2 takes...........:

     
  12. Suho

    Suho Guitar Guardian Contributor

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    Pick a couple of catchy jazz or standard tunes that you like. Doesn't matter if there is any guitar in the song or not. In fact, in the beginning I would say to focus on a vocal melody. One of my favorites is "Fly Me To The Moon." Just listen to where the emphasis is placed, where a note might be held onto for just a tad longer than if sung in straight time, and where the vocals breathe. One important "technical" bit of advice re: phrasing is paying attention to holding one note until the next one sounds to make the melody a seamless phrase and not choppy notes. I also like "Luck Be A Lady" - yeah, I love Sinatra!
     
  13. wespaul

    wespaul Octaves of Manhattan

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    This has been my jazz guitar bible for the past year -- http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Guitar-Complete-Edition-Book/dp/0739066374

    There's a wealth of information in this book (it's actually 4 books in one, a whopping 320 pages). It's structured in a way to build your skills from the ground up and immediately applying what you learn. It covers everything from comping, to soloing, building chord melodies, and the theory to tie everything together. I wish I had this book when I first started playing jazz!
     
  14. shadowlife

    shadowlife Contributor

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    Transcribe jazz horn solos by players you like- play along to the recordings.
    If transcribing is too time-consuming, get a book of solos, and use those to play along.
     
  15. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    But still have a go at transcribing some here and there.
     
  16. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Yeah, doing a whole solo is a bit of an undertaking. Transcribe simple melodies first. Stuff like Happy Birthday, Three Blind Mice, really really basic. If you can't do that yet, you're not going to be able to do Charlie Parker.
     

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