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Jazz Improv

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:28 pm    Post subject: Jazz Improv Reply with quote


I'm trying to merge from Blues to Jazz;

Problem comes for me when i try to improvise; i can't get past major/minor pentatonics!!!!!!

Any help greatly apprieciated

thanks in advance,

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I mean to say is;

If i'm playing through a blues, in say Bb; what notes could i add to Jazz-it-up a little?????
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Delaware Deano

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:27 am    Post subject: Blues to Jazz Reply with quote

I am also interested in this topic very much. I have been learning lots of jazz licks, but most of them seem to be working in the 5-4-1 section of the song. Any suggestions anyone?

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steve ellis

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:55 am    Post subject: jazz blues Reply with quote

hi gulliver & delaware,
IMO you next step should be to work on chords as apposed to scales. Try to improvise lines using the basic chord notes, ie Bb7 - Bb D F Ab etc.
Next work on exercises that strengthen and enhance these chords. For example try approaching each chord tone from a semitone below, a scale tone above, a combination of both. Use patterns eg Bb D Bb F D F Ab F etc. Try Parker type figures on them eg, C Eb C C# D (this one targets the 3rd, D).
Then learn some chord substitutions and apply all that you've learned, found and practised to these. Eg Play Fm7 over the Bb7.
Then try some extented or altered chords, eg, Bb9, Bb7#5#9, and apply the same stuff.
Blend it together with your scale doodlin', rip off heaps of jazz licks from the pros to get ideas and your phrasing together, and your jazz boat will be well and truly launched.
Hope this was helpful and that I was on the right track.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:47 pm    Post subject: Blues To Jazz Reply with quote

Everyone will have their own ideas about this, but I believe if you're trying to graduate from Blues to Jazz playing you should seek out a competent teacher and take lessons, at least for a few months to get the basics down. I played club music, i.e., Rock, Country, Blues & Soul (basically anything I could make money at) for almost 25 years. And, just like you, when I felt the urge to play Jazz, which is to say - IMPROVE - as a guitarist, I finally dropped my pride and took lessons from a guy who was very proficient in playing Jazz - and this is most important - he knew how to TEACH the approach to Jazz. And after only 3 months of lessons with this person, I had a good foundation of the basics, and found that I could take any song and play it from a Jazz approach. Because as everyone who seriously studies and plays it knows, there's a standard bag of tricks that you use for practically all Jazz music. You'll find that all the Standards, as well as the Bebop stuff is connected through certain basic chord patterns and progressions. However, for me - I would have never found that stuff out just sitting at home and fishing around for it. Plus, though you may discover some of it that way, it'll take you a lot longer, and you'll still not know some of the most important aspects of it, simply because you won't know what questions to ask or where to look for it. It was 7 years ago since I took those lessons from a Jazz guitar teacher, and since then, I have played about 70 Jazz gigs a year since 2000, having hung up my Rock & Roll shoes in favor of something more challenging. If you do seek out a teacher, first ask around and see if anyone can recommend anyone in your area who's considered a hot Jazz guitarist. Once you find someone, ask if you can hear some of their work, i.e., CD or demo tape cuts. If you agree to take lessons with him (or her), only sign up for the minimal in the beginning. Then, after each lesson, evaluate whether this person was actually getting the necessary info across to you, clearly and concisely, or whether they just took your $25 for the half hour and you don't feel like you know anymore than before. When I took lessons, I brought a hand-held cassette recorder with me each time, and taped the whole lesson while it was being given. Since my instructor was delivering a lot of info to me on a rapid-fire basis, I was able to replay my lesson over and over later and remember, as well as actually understand certain things I wasn't able to grasp on the spot. Hope this helps, and best to you in finding your way into Jazz. Once you become immersed in this style of music, you'll never be satisfied in going back to playing elementary "cowboy" chords with all the others.
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Joined: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 25
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject: jazz improv Reply with quote

Here's how I learned to play single note lines: First learn your major scale - not too great a task since you're already comfortable with the pentatonic. Be able to shift between the two - since all the notes of the pentatonic scale are in the major scale, it's no big deal. I learned the major scale using the CAGED system, but don't forget to learn the scale up and down the neck as well. Then check out Jimmy Bruno's article on tonal circles:
Beyond that, my only advice is to learn to play the melody especially if standards are your thing - improvising around the melody is much more interesting than just trying not to play any wrong notes! Now just get some of those Hal Leonard jazz play alongs and jam out! And be sure to learn to play octaves if you want to sound like Wes Montgomery! Wink
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Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 3
Location: twin tiers NY/PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:31 pm    Post subject: learning jazz Reply with quote

The best way to learn is first learn how to read>>> essential to play with other jazz musicians. While doing this listen alot to jazz artists, not only guitarists, but other instrumentalists as well.

Some artists to listen to include: Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass. Etc.

Learn how to play and spell triad major, minor, aug, and dim. Learn major scale and modes, harmonic minor, melodic minor and modes, whole tone and diminished scales.

Get a qualified teacher to work with you step by step.

Learn how the scales go with the chords, buy a real book (Sher or the new 6th edition of the original that just came out), and learn standards.

Next play with others who are better at playing jazz than you are. They will teach you alot.

Finally buy a transciber or transcriber software. This allows you take portions of fav recordings and slow them down to learn from them.

Using this machine transcribe... anything and everything, but find songs you have lead sheets for so you know the underlying harmony and original melody.

For every jazz tune you learn, try to find as many recordings of it as possible including vocal recordings if they exist, and listen, listen, listen, play, play, play.

Good luck.
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