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Thread: The Wonderful Word of Jazz Music

  1. #1
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    The Wonderful Word of Jazz Music

    Hello all, I'm really getting interested in learning how to play/write jazz music. So what I want to know is, where do I start? What things do I have to learn to get started with jazz, and also take it further than the beggining. I don't really have the money to be buying books or anything, but is there anything I can read online or dowload so to get me started? The help is very much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    starting messing around with seventh chords 9th chords, 11th chords 13th and 6ths to get used to the sound of those chords, and thier different voicings. Check out the songs "All of me" "Autumn leaves" "take the A train" "Satin Doll" just to name a few of the hundreds of standards, you don't have to learn to read sheet music, but its like trying to write a letter to someone with out knowing how to read what your writing. Understanding of how chords are built, including the extensions that I have listed above, learn all those chords by memory. There more though, others will cover some of it I"m sure, but this will get you started.

  3. #3
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    Okay thanks a lot. I can read sheet music, just not really complex rythems.

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    if you need help with rythmns then I suggest a snare drum book, get one and a practice pad and a pair of snare sticks,and go at it, snare has some odd rythmns .

  5. #5
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Get a Jazz fake book. I know you don't want to spend any money but there is no other way to get all those standards. Then when you buy a jazz CD, look up the tune and see if it's in the book. Dive in and start learning from the classics.
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    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    Insteresting site I found... http://www.outsideshore.com/primer/primer/index.html It has a startards section. I just search them in either Guitar Pro or Power Tab. Time to start learning lol

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    If you're going to learn jazz, coming from more of a rock background, assimiliating the vocabulary is essential. It's important to bear in mind that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - it takes more than learning some chords and learning to play over changes. You have to really "hear" jazz. If you really want to do this, I'd recommend buying some jazz cds and putting your rock cds away for a while, until it starts making aural sense. In my opinion, that is much more important than learning which scales go with which chord etc. when you're starting out.

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    I agree, in order to understand a genre you have to submerse yourself in it. Or it will take a life time to understand any of it.

  9. #9
    Registered User Unhorizon's Avatar
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    Teaching jazz to yourself, in my opinion, is extremely difficult. There are so many "rules" (which of course are soon broken) that you have to know that aren't written in books. The best thing you could do, if you are serious about learning jazz, is to find a teacher. This is the best way. This will make sure you practice every week, stay focused, and will just give you more and more material and actually explain what it means and help you understand. For 50 dollars a month you can't get a better deal than that. Of course you want to find someone that plays jazz gigs regularly and has been for a while so you know they know what they are talking about.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    You don't need to take the fun out of music by pressuring yourself with theory and greatness issues. Playing jazz, classical, and everything would be much more fun if there weren't the pressure applied by the theory heads and shred heads to be great. I find those guys that talk theory endlessly have somewhat lifeless music in improv jams, and shred-heads I just don't like cuz they're all about the D, and you know what Deez stand for. If what you know is a major chord, play a major chord. Learn from there, find a tune you like and learn it. If your interested in teaching, by all means structure yourself and whatever, but if you want to write music, I'm not sure that all that "music school" mentality helps a whole hell of a lot for that. It'll help, but songwritings a different ballgame than knowledge. I've been playing for about 4 years, and the first couple I wanted to get good, and I thought Jazz/Blues was the way to go. But really, in the past couple of years I've been learning simpler stuff that I like (e.g. a Grateful Dead tune) and have progressed much more than I had when I was trying to become good, and as far as entertaining people, not many people really enjoy jazz standards, maybe you can impress them and entertain them that way, but really, lets be honest with ourselves. Anyway, I think you have a good start finding that standards site, and don't worry so much about knowing what modes go here and there. Focus on rhythm, and being able to play a chord progression for a long time (5 min) and have it be able to sound different while maintaining the progression and timing. Don't limit yourself to just Jazz, limit yourself to good music. I don't really see a whole lot of differences in musical genres theory wise, Its just more differences in phrasing/rhythm. Greenday's song "wastebasket" (i think thats the name) has the same structure as Pachobel's (s.p. error) Cannon in D. Jazz is more about rhythm rather than anything else. In my opinion.

    P.S. - If you go the teacher route, you want from a good music teacher what you get from a good physics teacher. The ability to take complex theory and mathematics and explain it simply in every day examples. Ditch the guy who can only talk "G7 harmonizes with the inverted D triad .... etc. etc."
    Last edited by Mateo150; 03-01-2005 at 02:48 AM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    I already have a teacher and I've been taking lessons for about 2 years now. He's really good at teaching, he like makes everything simple and he can play most styles. I'm not sticking with just jazz, and I'm not doing it to get into it professionally or anything. I just want a new style under my belt and maybe be able to mix it with my own style. I just want to be able to maybe even start a jazz band with a few people someday. I'm ganna ask my teacher about teaching jazz when I go see him this week. Thanks for the help though.

  12. #12
    Taiwanese shredder btangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo150
    You don't need to take the fun out of music by pressuring yourself with theory and greatness issues. Playing jazz, classical, and everything would be much more fun if there weren't the pressure applied by the theory heads and shred heads to be great....
    First of all, why should he feel pressured in anyway to play anything?! But hey, the fact is, if you want to learn jazz and do it well, you have to know some theory. Rather, it helps A LOT to be familiar with your scales, chord progressions. Especially since improvising is a major characteristic of jazz. Teaching yourself anything isn't easy, but there are ways to make it a less daunting task. I'll stop beating around the bush and tell you how I do it.

    1. Listen listen listen. LISTEN TO JAZZ! Familiarize yourself with jazz rhythms first! The jazz rhythm is something that's hard to grasp just because it's so different from everything else. The more you listen, the better.

    2. KNOW YOUR THEORY. Know the common jazz progressions, and understand why they are used. Memorize the pentatonic, and jam with it. Knowing which notes are in a scale is useless unless you know how to use it. So, the next step is obvious.

    3. JAM JAM JAM. Play to jazz tracks, get a feeling of how YOU would use the scales.

    4. Check out some jazz rift books. There are lots of signature licks jazz players use. Get a hang of how these players use their scales and incoporate that into your own playing.

    5. KEEP AT IT! There's no shortcut, it's not easy, and you'd probably sound terrible at first. It doesn't matter, if you have the heart and interest you'll grasp it sooner or later.

    Good luck. Exploring through blues/jazz really helped develop my ears and my vision of the fretboard.
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  13. #13
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help btangle. I know a lot of theory, enough to get by lol, and I'm still learning. The only thing I would need to do is listen to jazz, play solo's to jazz backings, and learn jazz chord progressions/rythems. Oh, and another thing, is there any site where there are jazz licks?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo150
    You don't need to take the fun out of music by pressuring yourself with theory and greatness issues. Playing jazz, classical, and everything would be much more fun if there weren't the pressure applied by the theory heads and shred heads to be great. I find those guys that talk theory endlessly have somewhat lifeless music in improv jams, and shred-heads I just don't like cuz they're all about the D, and you know what Deez stand for. If what you know is a major chord, play a major chord. Learn from there, find a tune you like and learn it. If your interested in teaching, by all means structure yourself and whatever, but if you want to write music, I'm not sure that all that "music school" mentality helps a whole hell of a lot for that. It'll help, but songwritings a different ballgame than knowledge. I've been playing for about 4 years, and the first couple I wanted to get good, and I thought Jazz/Blues was the way to go. But really, in the past couple of years I've been learning simpler stuff that I like (e.g. a Grateful Dead tune) and have progressed much more than I had when I was trying to become good, and as far as entertaining people, not many people really enjoy jazz standards, maybe you can impress them and entertain them that way, but really, lets be honest with ourselves. Anyway, I think you have a good start finding that standards site, and don't worry so much about knowing what modes go here and there. Focus on rhythm, and being able to play a chord progression for a long time (5 min) and have it be able to sound different while maintaining the progression and timing. Don't limit yourself to just Jazz, limit yourself to good music. I don't really see a whole lot of differences in musical genres theory wise, Its just more differences in phrasing/rhythm. Greenday's song "wastebasket" (i think thats the name) has the same structure as Pachobel's (s.p. error) Cannon in D. Jazz is more about rhythm rather than anything else."

    I don't mean to be disrespectful to you, but after playing for four years, do you really think that you're at a good place to educate someone else on what path they should take? You may be precocious, and talented, but it takes more than that. I'm not sure about your ability to accurately judge the playing of people who "talk theory endlessly" or "shredheads" either. Those statements sound like generalizations to me, and while they may be true in some cases, there more exceptions than you seem to admit. Overall, judging any group of people so carelessly is either arrogant or sloppy thinking. In my opinion.

    Secondly, "not many people enjoy jazz standards?" Who are these people? Most of the people that I know have a genuine love and appreciation of many jazz standards and artists. They aren't all musicians either. Playing standards is about much more than impressing people. Not only are many standards brilliant examples of the compositional development of jazz, pop, and music in general throughout the 20th century, but I would also say that playing them shows a respect for tradition and the minds that helped music to become what it currently is.

    Jazz is about rhythm, I'll give you that much.

  15. #15
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaser
    I don't mean to be disrespectful to you, but after playing for four years, do you really think that you're at a good place to educate someone else on what path they should take? You may be precocious, and talented, but it takes more than that. I'm not sure about your ability to accurately judge the playing of people who "talk theory endlessly" or "shredheads" either. Those statements sound like generalizations to me, and while they may be true in some cases, there more exceptions than you seem to admit. Overall, judging any group of people so carelessly is either arrogant or sloppy thinking. In my opinion.

    Secondly, "not many people enjoy jazz standards?" Who are these people? Most of the people that I know have a genuine love and appreciation of many jazz standards and artists. They aren't all musicians either. Playing standards is about much more than impressing people. Not only are many standards brilliant examples of the compositional development of jazz, pop, and music in general throughout the 20th century, but I would also say that playing them shows a respect for tradition and the minds that helped music to become what it currently is.

    Jazz is about rhythm, I'll give you that much.
    Don't mean to be disrespectful to you, but after how many ever years you've been playing, are you making money and are successful from music, are you justified in giving advice? No need to sling mud, I'm not a washed up 40 year old hack trying to talk down on people here. Whats so wrong with the advice I gave? Its not like I said I was some great player, would it make that much of a difference If I wrote I had been playing for 20 years. My only advice was to surround yourself with non-arrogant people and have fun, and not be around people who are about showing off (i.e. shredheads) or about people who want to feel intellectually superior or test your knowledge (theory heads), I've met nice guys who were shredders and theory heads, in fact live with a jazz guy now, really nice guy, don't like talking music with him though, fun to play with though. I wrote some tidbits on musical selection that I'm accustomed to experiencing. I'm only 21 years old so true, I've not the lifetime that others do. From my experience, theory heads and shredheads are like how I described, and they are generalizations, but geez, calm down Oprah, profiling/generalizing is just a simple fact of life and a part of good investigation and learning. Case in point, Arabs at airports... your saying its arrogant and sloppy to profile them??? And I do feel that I'm qualified to assess (not judge) the playing of those who I come across, I'm not trying to be mean about it and I didn't say it was some rule of life, just an observation, and my opinion as I said. I've been around and live in the city, most people don't pay to see jazz. Doesn't mean they don't like it, I actually like jazz, but I've run across many people who say they like it. Ask them to name 5 standards and 5 contemporary artists, they can't or takes them a very long time to come up with the answers. Most justify their jazz/classical appreciation on a cultural level, but, its not whats in their car CD player most of the time. I stand by my comment that the majority here in the U.S. (even though most would say they like jazz) don't seek out jazz music. Anyway, I did write in my opinion, you could of just said you disagree. Think you misinterpreted a lot of what I said, especially about what I said about the general public and its relation with jazz.


    this site was posted a while back, checked it out a little bit, seems pretty cool. I think most of the licks are supposed to be in swing though it isn't noted that way.

    http://www.jazzguitar.be/jazzguitar_licks.html
    Last edited by Mateo150; 03-02-2005 at 01:18 AM.
    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

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