February 22, 2016 at 10:41 pm #1669
Hello there !!
I am a musician, a guitar player, but I have to say I’m located in a country where jazz isn’t natural and its teachers are not that well acquainted with this genre that I love so much. I recently heard this wave of modern jazz players and I was blown away, I want to walk those same steps with my take on it of course, but I want to know what should I know?? What do these players use to sound the way they sound? Is there any book, a place, someone you could recommend me to check out?
Thanks in advance for the help.
Att: Daniel C.February 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm #1670
Hi Daniel and welcome to the forums! I apologize for taking so long to respond.
What kind of music do you usually play and at what level? Without knowing much about your musical background, I can tell you a few things that I know are very important to learning jazz and improvisation in general. Maybe you already know some of these, I apologize if you do, but since I don’t know much about your background I’m going to mention them anyway:
– In jazz, learning how to hear is as important as knowing how to play. This means that working on developing your ear is very important. If you like Kreisberg (which by the way I love), Rosenwinkel, Lund, etc., trying to learn their tunes, voicings and solos by ear is the best way to learn. Learning and transcribing solos by ear is a very common practice among jazz players.
– Learning the standard jazz repertoire is very important. Jazz players usually know hundreds of songs (called jazz standards) that they use as a vehicle for improvisation. You can of course purchase or download lots of “Fake Books” (books with hundreds of jazz standards), but most importantly, you need to LISTEN to a lot of jazz not only to know the repertoire, but to become familiar with the vocabulary.
– Learning where modern jazz guitar players came from is also very important. Check out jazz guitar players like Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Joe Pass, Jim Hall and Pat Martino as well as non-guitarists like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Then there’s the jazz guitar players that I suppose you might already be familiar with, that have directly influenced the newer generation of players: John Scofield, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell (as well as other rock players).
Ok, so now you know you need to Listen, Listen and Listen. Let me get a little more specific now. In order to play jazz tunes, improvise, accompany other players, you need to practice and know the scales that are most commonly used in jazz so you can develop some jazz vocabulary, as well as chord voicings, harmony and rhythm. But this is just a staring point. Rather than recommending a book, I will refer you to some online videos. If you don’t have access to a jazz guitar teacher close to you, which is ideal, the videos should help a lot more than any book out there. There’s nothing like seeing and hearing what you are learning. There’s also no better way of practicing all of this stuff than by playing with other like minded musicians, so finding other jazz players close to you would be ideal as well.
Jazz guitarist Tom Lippincott has a series of instructional videos on modern jazz guitar. Tom is both a great player and teacher. Here’s a quote from his “Modern Jazz Guitar Lessons” description:
Guitarists with unprecedented virtuosity and originality have driven the instrument’s rise in prominence and have established a new “modern sound” that is becoming part of the jazz vocabulary. Players such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Stowell, Gilad Hekselman, Adam Rogers, Lage Lund, and Nir Felder are inventive, ingenious, and forward-thinking while still managing to maintain a strong connection to the tradition. If you have heard these and other modern jazz guitarists and wondered How do they get that sound?, then this series of classes is for you.
Here’s the link to Lippincot’s “Modern Jazz Guitar Lessons”: http://www.mikesmasterclasses.com/index.php/Modern-Jazz-Guitar-Part-I/Detailed-product-flyer.html. These lessons are not free, they are about $30, but they are worth it and super recommended. Here’s a YouTube preview of the class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_38jZd5OTQ
Tom Lippincott also has other classes that should be very helpful if you need to cover jazz guitar basics or other styles here: http://www.mikesmasterclasses.com/index.php/Masters/Description/Tom-Lippincott.html
I hope this helps!
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