Jazz Fusion

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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*theanimal*05
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Jazz Fusion

#1 Post by *theanimal*05 » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:15 pm

I Recently have gotten into jazz fusion guitar.

Problem is i have no idea on how to play any of it. I try and play in that style but it just doesnt seem to work. I am very efficient in classical, blues and rock but not in jazz.

Can someone tell me what the conventions of Jazz/ fusion is and how i can compose and play using these conventions. Does it involve mixing modes and scales with the cromatic scale?

HOW DOES IT WORK!!

Christophar
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#2 Post by Christophar » Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:09 pm

Jazz is one of the many types of music.

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#3 Post by Moderator777 » Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:30 pm

Christophar wrote:Jazz is one of the many types of music.
Wow, thanks for clarifying this for people with an IQ below 50. :roll: How about a USEFUL post now?

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*theanimal*05
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#4 Post by *theanimal*05 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:23 am

YES PLEASE!!!!!!

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#5 Post by TheSquareRootOfElvis » Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:13 am

Well, now that we're all clear on jazz being a type of music. You need to get yourself a book on jazz theory ( "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine is great for anyone who wants to start improvising in a jazz style). There are plenty of great books and DVDs out there and alot of great information available free on the web - just type "jazz theory" or some such thing into a search engine and spend an hour or two sifting through the results. The best thing you can do though is find an actual real life jazz musician to give you some lessons - they're always desparate for money. You'll probably find one living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere holding a "will comp for food" sign.

Anyway, if you put in the time and effort it WILL eventually start to sink in. It takes time so don't worry if you don't seem to be picking it up as quickly as you would like. You'll probably feel like you're making no progress for weeks or months and then one day it will all start to fall into place.

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#6 Post by ernzzz » Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:04 am

maybe for a fussion context will be enough to know the pentatonic scales and the modes in all the fretboard.. have a extended chord vocabulary.. and know some harmony basics..

i think for more "real jazz" (and i discovered that not so long ago.. :P ) u will need to focus a lot more on each kind of chord.. what scales u can use with it, get familiarized, and know all the arpeggios that derivate from em.. and know as much harmony as u can (i call it "jazzy tricks")..

also i suppose one need to know the typical jazz intervals or turnarounds or whatever.. i still havent cleared that point..

what also works a lot its take a "fake book" or "real fake book", and just interpret the chords u see there.. (a teacher comes very handy here).. then just try to figure the melody notes somewhere near where u make the chord.. (and save that on ur mental scheme of scales and things..) and try to make a fussion of the chords u learned first, and some of the notes of the melody.. in most of standarts the melodies are easy.. not more than 5 or 6 notes per bar..

i still dont master that at any point.. have my few ideas.. but thats what one of my teachers do.. he plays mostly bossa, but can transport it to any style (or so it seems) and the level of cohesion and "orchestration" he gets its damn unbelievable...

of course i rule him on tapping :twisted: (i can dream too.. :lol: )

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#7 Post by Dynamite Dan » Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:46 am

Hi theanimal05!

I have the same problem, I don't know where to begin.

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#8 Post by MR4Y » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:46 pm

first of things: JAZZ WILL SLOW YOU DOWN NO MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY :mrgreen:

And continuing. Jazz is probably the most difficult type of music that exists, because they use all the things praticable in theory and playing either. To play jazz you need to lear new techniques like "approaching notes", "outside notes", etc... Learning to play jazz is like learning from the very beginning how to play the guitar. But, if you play jazz, you'll be able to play all the styles fo music.

Note- A jazz guitar teacher is highly recommended

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#9 Post by spanishphrygian » Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:24 pm

Jazz can be a dance form as well though. Your pinky will have to learn to Tango on the fretboard. I suggest learning a two note rhythmic figure first, like for instance: "dump de" because if it don't swing it don't mean a thing. After this point, its all up to you. Haha!

Oh yeah, I charge $500/hour for Jazz lessons!!! :twisted:

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#10 Post by arpeggio_owen » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:26 am

Yes i would suggest a jazz teacher. He/she will explain eveything in a way which when you encounter a problem you will look at some scales and be like ohh i see how that works. Or maybe thats just me, but jazz teachers are very good teahcers and once you have jazz down you can learn a broad spectrum of music.

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#11 Post by mesavox » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:08 am

The hardest part of jazz for me is the chords. Especially in something like Blue Monk or something like that. It all changes the 12 bar blues patter with substituted chords etc.

The basic thing is that there is just a lot to remember. It's a bit like grammar. So many rules and exceptions to the rules, etc. etc. etc. lol

One thing you should do is, if there is a local college, join the jazz band. You might not even have to enroll to just sit in... often jazz bands and concert bands allow people to sit in and play from the community. To play at a gig you might have to compete, or if unenrolled, you might not get to play at gigs, but you should be able to get in on the practice and learn to comp and solo in turn etc.

Jazz slows you down indeed. Especially when learning it. Jazz teachers in any degree, will be more anal than you ever thought possible with what note fits where etc. Michael Stienel at a recent jazz confernce when he critiqued the combo band that played for lunch, out of all that stuff, he picked out the note in thier solos that needs to be on dominate 2 chord or something like that. These kids were ripping.. sounding amazing and he heard that one note missing in each of thier solos and to him at least, it had to be there to be right. Now, given he wasn't talking about acceptable, he was teaching... educating. Learn the rules, then break them. LOL. None the less, that guy can rip on the trumpet.

Obviously the biggest thing is to keep listening. Learn to hear why it sounds like jazz. In that, jazz is no more complicated than anything else. It has it's sound and if you can feel that, hear it... sort of have it engrained in your brain, you can play it convincingly and all that complicated stuff will make more sense anyway.

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#12 Post by spanishphrygian » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:22 pm

A serious word of warning though: what ever you do don't become a moduler player. I mean there are a lot of people that go to schools and find teachers that will tell you which chord goes with what scale and such, but music is not math and you are missing out on the whole point if you are being a formula player.

If you are lucky enough to chose from a variety of teachers, I believe that it would be wise to get one that has a holistic approach, not one that is only going to tell you the things that you can learn from books like a m7 chord goes with the Dorian mode or the Dom7th goes with the mixolydian mode. This is pure rubish and nothing but math!

One really needs a teacher that can give you the background of the peace that you are playing. For intance we will work on such and such peice during so and so's period (like his Modal period). The piece was writen in the mid forties and was influence by so and so's experience Eastern philosophies and Greek systems of Improvisation. The piece's title suggests such and such of a feel and... I think you know what I mean.

Then there is a whole art to the dynamics over certain notes, how much swing you should have a certain parts. Even at which point you should play in what registers.

I would sugest only a teacher that teaches studying the whole culture behind one peace teaches you to consider how you can come up with your own interpretation of it.

One that teaches you how to phrase and helps note the struture of the whole song and parts of the song.

In short: I would be aware of the types that merely are concerned with "this scale goes with that chord"

There is so much more to art that that. Math is good with that you know. You can sit around with books and fare quite well with it. I am an olde school man that believes that you can only learn a real art form the old school way.

Good luck! Go out and learn from as many living breathing humans as you can! (buy some books if as a last resort!)

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#13 Post by Ricardo » Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:58 am

I recommend the DVD by John Mclaughlin. It covers a lot of ground starting with easy scales and vamps, and gets you moving quickly with hands on exapmles. You have to play with the band on tv and follow the chart before going to the next lesson. You will be doing "jazz fusion" after just a few hours.

Warning, it is pricey, there are no tabs, and you have to be familiar with chord chart symbols. But it will make you understand some things about modern jazz, that is for sure.

Ricardo

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#14 Post by lydian7 » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:27 am

If you want a reference book to get you started that explains the application of Jazz fusion (i.e. which scales to use over which chords/harmonic progression), then I recommend the book Getting into Jazz Fusion Guitar by Scott Miller. It has a CD containing progressions that enable you to improvise in all the various modes of the Major/Minor, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, and symmetrical scales. You can get it from Amazon.com and most good music shops. :)

Personally, I wouldn't recommend setting your sights on learning any particular style of music, as to do so requires a certain amount of plagerism and a lack of originality. I would recommend studying the theory and practice of 'Jazz' guitar styles, and using that information to adapt to your own style of writing, rather than simply writing in a common idiom.

Steve Vai was asked in an interview on an online guitar site if he would recommend people study a wide variety of styles. His response was very interesting, and he actually said he discouraged people to be a 'jack-of-all-trades' type of player, and he encouraged people to study the music that they felt a connection with, not to simply study a style because it sounds impressive or fashionable. What I'm trying to say is, if you feel a connection to Jazz Fusion, then by all means study it and apply it to your own, unique musical vision. :)

~Moka

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#15 Post by smj » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:25 pm

It's no secret that all the really great jazz players have deep roots in the blues....and I think a lot of students miss that. A lot of students get hung up on the academics and mechanics of jazz too early on in the game before certain things are in place.

Learn to swing. If you can't swing and sound good on a basic 12 bar blues....I would start there. McLaughlin, Corea...Coltrane...you name it...they've all spent time with the blues and it's deeply rooted in their playing no matter how far out they get.

Sean Meredith-Jones

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