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The First 100 Tunes Every Jazz Musician Should Learn
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jokron



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Location: Skelleftea, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HenryMars wrote:
The harmony issue is a valid observation .. I guess I view it as a challange. On the other hand there is a lot of popular music that can be converted to Jazz. Three chord wonder song writers have really dumbed things down.
Ever notice that you can usually tell when a song is put together by a singer/"guitar player"? Everything is really dumbed down. It is sad to say that the complex instrumet that I have spent almost 50 years of my life with has screwed up much of what we call popular music because any idiot can play three chords. Lets all capo up to the eleventh fret Rolling Eyes Songwriting as a craft is just about a dead art.


I really think that it depends on what purpose you have with your music. I have written several simple tunes based on simple harmonical end melodical ideas, and I don't feel bad about it and some people even like it... for example http://www.kronqvistmusik.se/Childhood%20memories.mp3 with wich I want to tell a story in a simple way... but now I have discovered the jazz music world and I don't attend to narrow my playing to just that world, I will still sing about some happy moments in my childhood...

...you know, I have a musical world that grows bigger and bigger for every new area I discover...and I still like to listen to Celine Dion, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Scorpions, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Luciano Pavarotti, Glenn Gould, Helmut Walcha, Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra and now I can also listen to Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheney, Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery who's names I hadn't even heard of two years ago when I wrote "Childhood Memories"... and I love them all!!!

There is different music styles in the world because there is different listeners...and if only one style or only the best where allowed to play or be played it would be a very poor and quiet world...

/Jan Olof
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzy wrote:
JakeJew, I completely agree.
Me too, I`m practicing a lot of jazz-guitar. And of course listen to a lot of jazz.
But I must admit I get sometimes as much inspiration when listening to f. ex. as you said J. Cash, especially The Eagles, Mark Knopfler and Coldplay.
I think it`s quite impressive hearing a really strong tune with few chords. That they can say so much with so little.
I try to write pop/country tunes in addition to write jazz tunes. Important to try different things.

...


I just recently started playing with a band where, for the first time, I'm doing pretty much all of the songwriting (for now.) It's acoustic guitar and drums and we both sing.

Writing songs is a whole different ballgame than taking a cool block chord solo. I think one of the hardest things to do is to write a great melody that works over a couple of chords. You just have to relax and let it come to you, no intellectualization will help.

My friend is a great songwriter, listen to the song "invisible hands" http://www.myspace.com/tinytornadoes recorded poorly, but still a great song, imo.

anyway, the song has just a few chords, and an interesting chord change for the bridge (going to the bVIImaj7b5 type of deal...) and she knows pretty much no theory, but probably writes better songs than anybody I've ever known in person. All about the melody, lyrics, the feel, etc.

Same thing with "pouring pouring", pretty much just three chords for the whole thing.
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ed norton



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Posts: 762

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't like the song Jake, but at least she can sing and play a little bit. More than I can say for some others on myspace. why don't you play something and post it, I don't want to listen to lesbian coffee house singers. It's like something I hear in a bad dream.
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ed norton



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like allot of my posts that sounds harsh to others but not me. Lyrically that might be the worst song iv'e ever heard. I absolutely hate the sarcasm that this girl and her whole generation inflict into their songwriting. It's so ironic that she sings UR bad and you know it, when she aint that good. I don't want to be insulted by a song, that's ridiculous. The only purpose I felt posting it could serve is to insult me with a typical jake style dig. Blah blah, you don't know me. If you want to hear a real songwriter try Carole King.
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed norton wrote:
Like allot of my posts that sounds harsh to others but not me. Lyrically that might be the worst song iv'e ever heard. I absolutely hate the sarcasm that this girl and her whole generation inflict into their songwriting. It's so ironic that she sings UR bad and you know it, when she aint that good. I don't want to be insulted by a song, that's ridiculous. The only purpose I felt posting it could serve is to insult me with a typical jake style dig. Blah blah, you don't know me. If you want to hear a real songwriter try Carole King.


She wasn't being sarcastic, you just misinterpreted. Bad as in bad ass. You're a bad ass, ed, you're great. Listen to the lyrics - don't try act tough, you've got the stuff, you're bad (ass), the ocean's in motion, birds escape cages, we're going the right way.

Not a dig dude, she's giving the listener props, not sarcasm at all. The song is just a little ditty about being yourself.

Just so we're clear tho, that's not really my favorite - "invisible hands" and "pouring pouring" are tops in my book, I don't like how the other two came out from that show.
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've noticed that the generations like different things in songwriting. People my age (I'm 22, let's say people between 18 and 30) seem to have very different taste in music, especially songs, than people over 30. I think it's interesting.

I mean, I have a lot of respect for Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Caroline King, etc, but I think I'd rather listen to old blues from before the 60s or modern songwriters from the past 10 years.
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ed norton



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JakeJew wrote:
ed norton wrote:
Like allot of my posts that sounds harsh to others but not me. Lyrically that might be the worst song iv'e ever heard. I absolutely hate the sarcasm that this girl and her whole generation inflict into their songwriting. It's so ironic that she sings UR bad and you know it, when she aint that good. I don't want to be insulted by a song, that's ridiculous. The only purpose I felt posting it could serve is to insult me with a typical jake style dig. Blah blah, you don't know me. If you want to hear a real songwriter try Carole King.


She wasn't being sarcastic, you just misinterpreted. Bad as in bad ass. You're a bad ass, ed, you're great. Listen to the lyrics - don't try act tough, you've got the stuff, you're bad (ass), the ocean's in motion, birds escape cages, we're going the right way.

Not a dig dude, she's giving the listener props, not sarcasm at all. The song is just a little ditty about being yourself.

Just so we're clear tho, that's not really my favorite - "invisible hands" and "pouring pouring" are tops in my book, I don't like how the other two came out from that show.

I was so distracted by the hook that I turned it off. I was hoping you would tell me exactly what you did. my angry lesbian neighbors just moved, praise the lord. I am so quiet yet they criticize me without even saying hello. You should hear the bad music they blast, and it's made on machines by them. RnB with all the accents on 1 and three. I tried to blast some RnB while punching doors loudly on 2 and 4 , but they don't get it. So yeah I have some anger towards those people. As for me being a badass yep that's true. I just jammed along with the Benson video and I'm ditching all my "We want Cantor" changes. Benson f'n rules, and he makes me feel like a bad ass mo. Benson can teach some blues and so can Mimi fox, now there is a woman who melts my heart. Thanks of course to Mark Stefani, cause I wouldn't understand Benson without him. I always feel like you are digging at me Jake, probably the age difference.
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed norton wrote:
JakeJew wrote:
ed norton wrote:
Like allot of my posts that sounds harsh to others but not me. Lyrically that might be the worst song iv'e ever heard. I absolutely hate the sarcasm that this girl and her whole generation inflict into their songwriting. It's so ironic that she sings UR bad and you know it, when she aint that good. I don't want to be insulted by a song, that's ridiculous. The only purpose I felt posting it could serve is to insult me with a typical jake style dig. Blah blah, you don't know me. If you want to hear a real songwriter try Carole King.


She wasn't being sarcastic, you just misinterpreted. Bad as in bad ass. You're a bad ass, ed, you're great. Listen to the lyrics - don't try act tough, you've got the stuff, you're bad (ass), the ocean's in motion, birds escape cages, we're going the right way.

Not a dig dude, she's giving the listener props, not sarcasm at all. The song is just a little ditty about being yourself.

Just so we're clear tho, that's not really my favorite - "invisible hands" and "pouring pouring" are tops in my book, I don't like how the other two came out from that show.

I was so distracted by the hook that I turned it off. I was hoping you would tell me exactly what you did. my angry lesbian neighbors just moved, praise the lord. I am so quiet yet they criticize me without even saying hello. You should hear the bad music they blast, and it's made on machines by them. RnB with all the accents on 1 and three. I tried to blast some RnB while punching doors loudly on 2 and 4 , but they don't get it. So yeah I have some anger towards those people. As for me being a badass yep that's true. I just jammed along with the Benson video and I'm ditching all my "We want Cantor" changes. Benson f'n rules, and he makes me feel like a bad ass mo. Benson can teach some blues and so can Mimi fox, now there is a woman who melts my heart. Thanks of course to Mark Stefani, cause I wouldn't understand Benson without him. I always feel like you are digging at me Jake, probably the age difference.


Nah I'm really not digging at you Ed, never. Not with my music, not on this forum. I think you're right, probably a generational thing.
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Jeffrey_Burr



Joined: 04 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to the three chord wonders, please look out for the original sheet music for some of your favorite standards. Many of our favorites began as rather hokey pop tunes. The jazz players added lots of denser harmonic motion. Learning something about the source and history of the standards helps with the perspective too. We're not talking about some brief "golden age" between "I Got Rhythm" and "Shadow of Your Smile". Pop pre-dates the Beach Boys. It pre-dates Bing Crosby. Stephen Foster and Scott Joplin were (are) hugely popular writer of three-chord songs. Pop stars maybe, depending on your definition.

Not much has really changed. Despite the fact that someone figured out you can make a shitload of cash marketing ever-more vulgar dance music to kids, great songwriters continue to blossom. Production became a more important factor, as the technology improved and the market shifted from sheet music to definitive recordings by the composers themselves. This is not a bad thing. The Shins and The Flaming Lips are two of my favorites from lately. How about Beck and Radiohead? Brad Mehldau has found the latter to be a very fertile source of songs for jazz interpretation. Recently I've been getting really into Brazillian pop from the 70's as well. All the most successful songwriters there were apparently well-versed in jazzy harmony and pop production - Ivan Lins, Chico Buarque, Marcos Valle, Gil Gilberto...great songs. The 70's were a great time for songwriting overall - Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, etc. etc. Most jazzcats are too lazy or lack the vision to put these songs to use.
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rudi



Joined: 21 Aug 2006
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Location: Portsmouth England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must admit, I dont know most of those tunes. I dont just mean to play, but have just not heard of them (maybe if I actually heard them, it would be different). Sad

My jazz inlfuences comprise mostly later (more instrumental) stuff. How about the 10 most important tunes? I could find 10 somewhere and start learning them (100 is too much like work to suit me).
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Mike Detlefsen



Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HenryMars wrote:
Songwriting as a craft is just about a dead art.


Well, I won't agree or disagree with that, but I think I would paraphrase it to read "Writing a good melody is pretty much a dead art." My preference in music is to have a distinct melodic line in there somewhere. This is something I don't hear as frequently in more comtemporary instrumental music. I've been a listener of pretty much all types of instrumental music for 50+ years, and played guitar for 35+ years.

Obviously, this is in the ear of the beholder, but I seem to hear more and more guitar pieces, especially from the fingerstyle players, that are endless repetitions of arpeggios just strung together that could be reassembled in just about any order and sound the same. This is a bit of a simplification, naturally.

I believe this is a major factor behind my preference for the "old standards." I like taking something with a good melody and using that as a launching point, and then returning to it once in a while.

Maybe I'm not listening to the right stuff, but all this seems to be something that a lot of contemporary music is lacking. I could be accused of being unsophisticated (probably with some justification), but I have listened to a lot of classical guitar (and played some) and some of that stuff is pretty subtle.

My $0.02 worth. Tomorrow I may have a different opinion. Very Happy
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Mike Detlefsen"]
HenryMars wrote:
Songwriting as a craft is just about a dead art.


Well, I won't agree or disagree with that, but I think I would paraphrase it to read "Writing a good melody is pretty much a dead art." My preference in music is to have a distinct melodic line in there somewhere.
Quote:


please explain why? Do you seriously mean that?
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Mike Detlefsen"]
HenryMars wrote:
Songwriting as a craft is just about a dead art.


Well, I won't agree or disagree with that, but I think I would paraphrase it to read "Writing a good melody is pretty much a dead art." My preference in music is to have a distinct melodic line in there somewhere. [quote]

please explain why? Do you seriously mean that?
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Mike Detlefsen"][quote="HenryMars"]Songwriting as a craft is just about a dead art.
Well, I won't agree or disagree with that, but I think I would paraphrase it to read "Writing a good melody is pretty much a dead art." My preference in music is to have a distinct melodic line in there somewhere. [quote]

please explain why? Do you seriously mean that?
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Mike Detlefsen



Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzy wrote:

please explain why? Do you seriously mean that?


I probably mean it.

The oldies tend to have a distinct, recognizable melody, for instance: Autumn Leaves, Tangerine, Take the A Train, All of Me, Fly Me to the Moon, Summertime, and on and on. I could hear these once, and days later pick out the melody on my guitar so someone could recognize it.

I can't say the same about a lot of the more recent pieces. I can hear a piece and the next day I could hear it again and not know it. It's just not distinctive. Not a universal truth, but if you want a universal truth, I can't help.

I can be convinced otherwise with proof. I don't hold any opinion stongly enough to stick to it regardless of valid evidence. Very Happy
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