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A month to learn jazz guitar

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8 Jun 2011 13:46 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
So for my senior year in high school, I'm finally playing guitar for the school. In our Jazz band.

I saw some of the music, and it looks easy. But looks can be decieving.

So I think I should prepare. Where to start? I've never used jazz guitar in a Jazz setting. What should I freshen up on? What should I learn? Any bands/musicians to listen to?

I'm going out of state (without my guitar unfortunately) in a couple days, for 2-3 weeks. So by then I need to practice like never before, but I need the right stuff to practice. So suggestions are welcome!
8 Jun 2011 14:03 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
While you are gone, practice stretching your fingers and pushing your fingertips onto the edge of a credit card or some thing and practice flexing your index finger in a barre chord position. Keep your strengh, fingertip hardness and flexibility with excersizes like this.

And try to get a peek at the music again, and practice some of the actual songs if you can.
8 Jun 2011 15:08 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
Licks: 3
Karma: 22
Chords! Try to find progressions of really difficult to finger chords and practice switchung back and forth as fast as possible.


Try playing and switching between those 2 chords as fas t as possible.

8 Jun 2011 15:30 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
My guess is that it might be relatively simple. When I was in high school jazz band (as a drummer), I remember it primarily being swing music. So I doubt you'd get anything super complex.

I would suggest really focusing on chords and progressions. I think you will be asked to provide comping parts to songs primarily, just doing a rhythm section style, and not so much of a lead instrument, so chords would be important.
8 Jun 2011 15:51 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
I believe Most of it is comping and rhythm stuff.
I'm happy with that. I get an extra hour per day to play and not do work.

But I feel like I should be prepared incase we do something out of the ordinary. Plus I like Jazz, I feel I should learn it more, so even if I just get rhythm, I'd like to learn more for show-off and to get more of it into my everyday style.
8 Jun 2011 16:19 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
yeah, your just going to be comping.

get your self a fake book and start going through tunes (never in a high school jazz band so ask around for pop tunes [i'd ask btimm].

I would start with "All the Things You Are," "autumn leaves," "Tune UP,"

As for what to know, get your Drop 2 voicings down and I'd also learn drop 3 voicings [depending on arrangement and other instruments, they might not be used as much]

also read up on shell voicings.

that should be more then enough

as for people to listen to I'd say Freddie Green




9 Jun 2011 03:37 | Quote
Joined: 03 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 7
I agree with the above tips. I have a few of my own, but is the jazz group a triplet? How many musicians are in the group, and what instruments?

Heres some of what I have learned from perfoming with a four man jazz group with piano, drums and chello (me on guitar):

1. For guitar, find the triads of some chords and add one more finger to get to a #dim7 or maj7 or m7 (really depends on the chords of the song) so that the guitar doesn't clash with the other instruments. For instance, your piano player or other guitarist are playing the full chords; You need to be playing the "stripped down" version of the chords when they do this.

2. Jazz is about the swing, tensioned harmonies, and precision. You need to practice your timing with the other instruments and get into a "groove" so that you stay with the group.

Good luck, hope it helps. Jazz is an amazing genre with lots of creativity.
9 Jun 2011 04:49 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
There is guitar, bass, and a bunch of saxophones, a trombone, trumpets, etc...
Most likely no piano since people keep detuning it by smashing the keys everyday.
9 Jun 2011 09:30 | Quote
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
My school has a jazz band with a similar set up, they play caravan, autumn leaves and in the mood so I'd start by learning those songs and looking at some of the great versions of them, for example joe passes version of autumn leaves.

Also everything above and I once read a tip that when playing with instruments in the bass registers on bigger chords leave the root out for a clearer sound.
9 Jun 2011 14:36 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
I got a more in depth look at the music today (two hours with the actual songs I'm going to play)
Most the ones I got through were mostly 7th and 9th chords, with a huge gap for improv somewhere through it.
I also met the other guitarist I'll be working with, which he was the bassist this year and I've known him for a while.

Most songs were a moderate swing type.
Mostly 1/4 and 1/2 notes
usually one chord per measure
3/4 or 4/4 time
13 Jun 2011 03:19 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
United States
Karma: 8
work on playing rythem guitar in the following styles: Funk, latin, swing.
learn how to comp in Freddie Green style Four to the bar. (for swing) work on reading standard notation. Practice to a metronome. Freddie Green Played in The Count Basie Band. Also listen to The mingus Big band because it was/is the greatest big band ever. :)

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