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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!June 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm in reply to: Private Teacher or Online Lessons – What is the Best Way to Learn? #1600
Hi noob and welcome to the forums!
I general, I would say that the best way to learn the guitar, or any instrument for that matter, is with a private teacher. The feedback that you get in a face-to-face setting is invaluable. With an experienced teacher, you should be able to improve at a much quicker pace and without developing too many “bad habits”. Having said that, there is also a wealth of information online that you have access to 24/7 that you can use to complement your learning, later on.
My suggestion is that if you can afford it, get some private lessons from an experienced guitar teacher in your area, and once you have a good foundation to work with, use all the online tools that are available to you. Everybody is different, but taking anywhere from 6 months to a year of lessons would be ideal (at least). Practice hard and don’t get discouraged as learning an instrument takes time.
Don’t be fooled by good guitar players that CAN’T teach, there are a lot of those out there. Playing the guitar well DOES NOT mean you can teach how to play it. So ask around for a good teacher. A good teacher should be able to take you from point A to point B by focusing on learning songs and providing real musical applications for everything you learn. For example, the best way to learn chords is in the context of a song, so learning a simple 3 chord song is the best way to learn your first chords.
Once you learn basic chords and have mastered a few songs, you can hit youtube and learn other songs on your own. This would be a great way to complement your private lessons and can actually help you improve faster.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Here’s Scott Henderson playing a killer solo using the Zvex Fuzz Factory. The tune is called “Mysterious Traveller” (originally by Wayne Shorter). Enjoy!
Scott Henderson – Guitar
Jeff Berlin – Bass
Dennis Chambers – Drums
And this is Scott Henderson’s Favorite Fuzz Factory Setting:
Gate: 7:00 (off)
Drive: 5:00 (all the way up)
Stab: Between 2:00 and 4:00
Fuzz Factory’s are all a little different, so my settings might not apply to yours. Vol about 10 o’ clock, Gate off, Comp about 2 o’clock (this one is tricky, because even though the Fuzz Factory is true bypass, turning this one up not far enough can make it leak even when bypassed), Drive all the way up, Stab somewhere between 2 and 4 o’clock. I have two Fuzz Factory’s and on one it’s 4 and on the other it’s 2.
Here are more settings. These were taken from the old Zvex forums (which I believe no longer exist) and made by forum members.
Name / Gate / Comp / Drive / Stab
60’s Fuzz 2:00 8:30 3:00 5:00
Arpegio 12:00 3:00 3:00 3:00
Bonkers Fuzz (1) 2:00 2:00 11:00 3:00
Bonkers Fuzz (2) 1:00 1:00 11:00 3:00
Clean Fuzz 5:00 2:00 11:00 5:00
Clean to OD 5:00 2:00 10:00 5:00
Fizzy Fizz 10:00 1:00 11:00 12:00
Fuzz Bright 1:00 12:00 1:00 4:00
Fuzz Distortion 12:00 12:00 3:00 9:00
Fuzz Mellow 1:00 12:00 1:00 9:00
Fuzz Splutter 3:00 12:00 3:00 9:00
Fuzz Squeal 9:00 12:00 3:00 9:00
Hi-Compression 3:00 9:00 5:00 5:00
Hi-Octane 2:00 to 3:00 7:00 7:00 5:00
IYW 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00
Juice Face 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00
Mellow Mud 2:30 7:00 7:00 9:00
Metal Distortion 4:00 10:30 7:00 5:00
Modulated Mud Fuzz 12:00 11:00 5:00 7:00
Modulated Sticky 12:00 1:00 5:00 7:00
Modulated Sticky Fuzz 9:00 3:00 9:00 3:00
Muse-esque 2:30 3:15 5:00 5:00
No-Name Fuzz 1:00 11:00 2:00 7:00
No-Name Fuzz 10:00 7:00 12:00 5:00
OD / Fuzz 7:00 7:00 7:00 5:00
OD Squeal 7:00 12:00 3:00 3:00
Pitch Drop 7:00 12:00 5:00 7:00
Please Fuzz 12:00 7:00 3:00 2:00
Punky 2:30 – 3:30 7:00 7:00 5:00
Random Fuzz 1:30 7:00 5:00 4:00 (approx)
Resonant Fuzz 7:00 7:00 12:00 4:00
Smashing Pumpkins-esque 2:00 9:00 5:00 10:00
Soft Fuzz 1:00 7:00 7:00 Variable
Spastic Muff 5:00 7:00 5:00 5:00
Squaler 9:00 9:00 9:00 9:00
Squealer Fuzz (2) 7:00 8:00 1:00 7:00
Static / Low 12:00 12:00 5:00 7:00
Stooges Fuzz 3:00 7:00 3:00 5:00
Super-Heavy 3:00 9:00 5:00 5:00
Sweet Sustain 1:00 7:00 10:00 1:30
Traditional Fuzz 9:00 7:00 11:00 to 1:00 11:00 to 1:00
Traditional Fuzz (1) 9:00 7:00 1:00 5:00
Traditional Fuzz (2) 2:00 7:00 3:00 5:00
Velcro 7:00 5:00 5:00 2:00
Weezer-esque 2:30 7:00 7:00 5:00
Whale 7:00 1:00 5:00 9:00
What the Fuzz? 7:00 7:00 5:00 5:00