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15

The admonition I run into again and again, attributed to such lights as Thelonius Monk and Louis Armstrong is "play the melody." Of course you will syncopate it, put a little ornamentation here and there, but simple is fine That covers soloing pretty well, but what about comping? Guitarists with jazz chops rarely hang on the same voicing for more than a ...


7

One golden rule. Play less. Lay out. Leave space. If there's someone in the group who CAN play jazz, allow him room to do it. And have fun! Let the music go where it will. Don't rehearse it to death. If it's your turn to play a solo, the melody will be just fine.


3

As the only chordal instrument, you and you alone can play chords under the soloist. However, full-blooded chords may work well in blues/rock and roll, but only sometimes in jazz. The occasional number will benefit from nice 5 or 6 string chords - maybe arpeggiated, but since the bassist will be rooting and fifthing to a degree, you can find the other notes ...


3

First of all I want to say congratulations on your decision to learn guitar. As you have already discovered, it is not an easy instrument to master - but once things begin to come together and you start learning to change from chord to chord and play songs, it is very rewarding. And since there is always room for improvement no matter how good you become, ...


2

We all have a different tolerance for the amount of time we can focus on a task and actually be productive. After that time, the law of diminishing returns creeps in, and even if you push past it, it is likely you are not making any further advancement, and can in fact be damaging the skills you worked on by becoming unfocused and sloppy. It was mentioned ...


2

With the guitar being a positional instrument, meaning one can play the same tune in many different keys but retain the same fingering and strings, merely moving where on the neck the tune is played, then knowing note names as the tune unfolds is not necessary. The relationship between the tonic and other notes, as far as where they are relatively speaking, ...


1

I was guitarist in a 3-person jazz combo, with bass and drums. I played a lot of melody and two-part harmony, with chords very occasionally thrown in. A good bass player will keep it interesting. To the extent that worked, a sax/bass/drums combo would also work. So in that light, consider yourself icing on the cake and...add flavor.


1

Start simple. Take a familiar tune like "Happy Birthday" and pick a starting note. Lets just pick "G" (this means you will be playing the tune in the key of C Major). Keep trying to play the song, re-starting from the beginning every time until you can get through the entire thing. At first, this will be difficult. You'll play the first 8 notes, and ...


1

I suggest starting with lead sheets, with melody and chords only. The term "playing by ear" was always a pejorative when I was young. It meant some kind of illiterate flailing at the instrument, maybe learning rote patterns with no idea of how they worked together musically. (Think of little kids playing "Heart and Soul" with four hands - great fun.) But ...


1

Here are some suggestions, have a try and let us know how it goes: Get a feel for the tune CD player / Media player, play a tune that is not too complicated you have never learnt Listen to the whole tune a few times until you can hear in your head what the next melody will be before it plays Learn in parts - Play a few seconds at a time (a phrase) and ...


1

Practice, practice, practice. What you are experiencing is 100% natural. Every guitarist out there had this problem at first. It's very common for guitar methods to give you the C chord as your first one. This chord is very hard for beginners. Keep practicing, and play chords that you find are easier (like D, E, and Am). You'll get it, just be ...


1

If you are really struggling, make your first 3 chords E A and B7. They all work together, and with them, you will be able to accompany literally hundreds of songs. E and A are quite easy to play separately, and the change from one to the other is simple. If you leave your index finger on 3rd string 1st fret, it can stay there for both chords. It acts as an ...


1

You build relationships with you pieces. You can compare it to having a girlfriend. If you only spend three weeks with one and then go on to the next one you are going to have some unhappy women on your hands. I would say that you should not expect a grade 4 - 6 exam to take anything else than 3 - 6 months to prepare for.


1

In addition to the good technical advice you're getting, I'd also suggest getting an idea of what your audience expects (e.g. my listening to past years' acts etc). "Jazz" covers a wide field, from wildly experimental collective improvisation to playing pop standards from 80 years ago, with some pretty solos added. "Downtown Jazz Festival" typically suggests ...


1

The only way to constantly improve is to spend time with musicians with skills at a level higher than yourself (unless you are a prodigy) because any source can only teach you so much. The most reliable way to do this is with a teacher. When you feel like you are not learning you need to move to something / someone else. Basically, your requirements and ...


1

I am a big fan of practice journals, and think any serious music student should have one. As a professional musician I have a ton of music that I have to work on at all times to be ready for the various rehearsals and performances I have going on. My practice journal helps me stay organized and avoid getting overwhelmed. On top of the organizational aspect, ...


1

Re: The below answer, I didn't notice I had dug up a really old thread, and thought I was looking at an unanswered question. Sorry to raise thread, but i think the below is still a valid suggestion for anyone starting out playing together for the first time. Anyway.... One thing that I ran into when I first started playing with other guitarists was that, ...



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