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Thread: jazz guitar improvisation book for beginners with backing tracks

  1. #1
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    jazz guitar improvisation book for beginners with backing tracks

    hi everybody

    I would like to ask you guys for a favour. Do you know any jazz guitar improvisation coursebook or dvd that goes together with backing tracks so that one can start improvising over harmony? I have one jazz guitar coursebook but all that is included on cd is just the author playing solos over chord changes. No chance for a student to practise over backing tracks.

    Well, it would be great if I could get backing tracks on cd plus chord changes written in pdf or something.

    any comments will be appreciated

    regards
    rafal
    Last edited by rafapak; 12-19-2009 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2
    IbreatheMusic Author ChrisJ's Avatar
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    The Jamey Aebersold books have been the standard ones for as long as I can remember. Basically a book and play along CD. The biggest problem is that they are written for all instruments meaning you get the same charts for treble, bass and Bb clefs in each book which seems to irritate me for some reason. There are also dozens of books to choose from. I sort of think that play along CDs have limitations though. I mean, think about it: you could buy a Real Book and use Band in the Box or a Roland Jam Station like I do and you have an infinite amount of songs with an infinite amount of key, tempo and style changes.

    I thought about doing a play along for my own book and am still debating it.

    Jamey Aeborsold: http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...ed=0CDgQrQQwAw

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    I agee the Aebersold CDs/books are just what you need.
    As Chris says, you can program your own changes in BIAB, but you suffer MIDI sounds of varying cheesiness (depending on your system/version), and some argue that you don't learn a good jazz feel that way. (Computers can mimic swing to some extent, but they can't really do it.)
    Some opinions on BIAB here (including recommendations for GuitarPro):
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/sho...d.php?t=639074

    You can of course make your own backing tracks with a jam station, or recording software - but they will only be as good as you are!

    In contrast, the Aebersold CDs feature a real jazz rhythm section, and you can remove the piano (stereo one side) if you want to practice chords.
    Their disadvantage, of course, is you can't change the keys or tempos, but many of the beginner exercise ones (eg the ii-V-Is) go through the same exercise in various keys.
    (In fact, you could change the tempos using a program like Audacity or Transcribe, but you couldn't change keys very far without getting unnatural (and distractingly amusing) effects.)

    Another disadvantage is most of them are somewhat old-fashioned (not a lot of funk or jazz-rock on offer) - but if you're a jazz beginner that's fine. You need to cut your teeth on that standard stuff. (In fact, there's not really any vintage jazz either - no dixieland or swing AFAIK. It's mostly bebop, post-bop and modal.)

    Naturally, despite the real musicians backing you, you don't get the experience of them responding to what you do (which happens with a real band) - but you can't have everything!
    I don't know of anything better, for that specific purpose.

    One other problem with Aebersold is his (conventional) focus on chord-scale theory. His books list all the scales for the various chords - as if all you need to do to solo is noodle randomly on each chord/scale as it comes along (a lot of jazz beginners do just that...). Chord-scale theory is all very well (some useful knowledge there), but most jazz musicians regard it as beside the point, misleading. It focuses too much on harmony, when good improvisation is more about melody, rhythm and phrasing. You need to know how to negotiate chords, but don't spend too much analytical effort on them.
    Last edited by JonR; 12-28-2009 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    You may be able to do something with this.
    http://www.ralphpatt.com/Song.html
    Chord progressions on hundreds of jazz standards. Then look in the backing track section of this site (tool bar) to hear your selection (not 100% are in the backing track, but, a good number are) then using the chord progressions as a guide play along to these jazz standards.

    http://jazzbooks.thecodeworks.com/forums.asp
    Jamey Aebersold Jazz forum to discuss jazz with people that love jazz.

    http://aebersold.com/Merchant2/merch...Code=_HANDBOOK
    Jamey Aebersold Jazz Music Theory Book. A free E-Book that IMO has just about everything you need to get started.

    Not all together in one package, however, I think this will give you what you are looking for.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 12-28-2009 at 03:46 PM.

  5. #5
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    Here's some great stuff I've found on the internet.

    http://pdfdatabase.com/index.php?q=j...isation+theory

    The above is for jazz theory

    And the below is backing tracks

    http://www.jamtracks.ru/en/mpjam_jazz_standards.html

  6. #6
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwilliams View Post
    Here's some great stuff I've found on the internet.

    http://pdfdatabase.com/index.php?q=j...isation+theory

    The above is for jazz theory

    And the below is backing tracks

    http://www.jamtracks.ru/en/mpjam_jazz_standards.html
    Some of those are Aebersold BTs: the ones where you hear him counting "1 - 2 - 1-2-3..."

    (How you feel about getting that stuff for free is up to you... Of course, you don't get the accompanying book, which is at least as valuable. Great resource for checking them out tho.)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Some of those are Aebersold BTs: the ones where you hear him counting "1 - 2 - 1-2-3..."

    (How you feel about getting that stuff for free is up to you... Of course, you don't get the accompanying book, which is at least as valuable. Great resource for checking them out tho.)
    thanks

  8. #8
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    jazz lines learnt by heart- no scales, no chords-
    hi guys

    I wonder what you think about mr. robert conti's method of teaching jazz guitar. He just shows how lines should be fretted and that is all. he doesn't tell what scale he is using over which chord e.t.c. btw he is excellent player. Do you think this method is good for learning jazz guitar. If you think it is good or if you think this is bad method can you tell why?
    I have a friend who told me that I should learn some lines by heart. He says he plays lines but doesn't know which scale he is using e.t.c


    _____________
    seena

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seena View Post
    Posts: 91

    jazz lines learnt by heart- no scales, no chords-
    hi guys

    I wonder what you think about mr. robert conti's method of teaching jazz guitar. He just shows how lines should be fretted and that is all. he doesn't tell what scale he is using over which chord e.t.c. btw he is excellent player. Do you think this method is good for learning jazz guitar. If you think it is good or if you think this is bad method can you tell why?
    I have a friend who told me that I should learn some lines by heart. He says he plays lines but doesn't know which scale he is using e.t.c


    _____________
    seena
    You don't have to know the names of the scales (or even notes) you are using. But you need to know how and why those phrases or licks work, so you can apply them in other suitable contexts.
    Eg, if you have a lick to fit a G7 chord, can you work out how to play it on a Bb7, or E7, or Db7, etc?
    And a G7 chord is not always used in the same way, so the lick might not always sound good. (It might work on the V7 chord in C minor, but not on the IV chord in a D blues... )

    The point about jazz chords is they tend to occur in sequences. If you just work with single chords (and licks that fit each chord), you end up with a very fragmented approach. It won't be a good solo, that's for sure. You have to link the chords - play phrases that cross two or more chords. You have to understand how chords move.
    You also have to understand the tune. So it's a mistake to just play off the chords and ignore the fact that it's a song, with a melodic identity. (The song's melody is the whole reason those chords are there in the first place.)

    As long as you can do all this (eg, learn to play, by heart, the melody of the tune you want to improvise on), then you don't need to know scale names. Names are only labels for sounds. If you can control and manipulate the sounds perfectly by ear (and fingers), you don't need the labels.

    However, if you want to talk to other musicians about what you are doing...

  10. #10
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    if you just play lines you will be limited. the scales and stuff like that are good because they provide names for sounds, so you can recognize them and use them at will. this will give you freedom. to be really good you should be improvising things you just came up with. things you've never heard before, and things noone else has ever heard before. improvisation imo should be you, all you, pure honesty, your mind in the moment. lines won't do this for you. scales won't do this for you. but knowing names of sounds will help you to recreate the sounds you imagine. this is why theory is really good.

    but again, every person is different and different approaches suit different people better.

  11. #11
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    Does anyone know anything regarding to Jazz Solos Fakebook Software?Someone recommended me this and told me that this book comes with software and is quite good for guitar improvisation.

  12. #12
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanaugusts View Post
    Does anyone know anything regarding to Jazz Solos Fakebook Software?Someone recommended me this and told me that this book comes with software and is quite good for guitar improvisation.
    The Aebersold books recommended above come with CDs, and many of them contain standards from the usual fake books. (Others have particular exercises, like ii-V-Is, or generic blues sequences.)
    These are the "traditional" amateur jazz practice tools, in that they've been around for years.

    They are not particularly guitar-friendly - no tab, eg. You are expected to be able to read notation (as all good jazzers should anyhow ).
    The books contain the melody and chord symbols for each tune, with suggestions for improv scales, and some theory info. The CDs are real jazz acoustic rhythm sections (piano/bass/drums, no midi), with stereo splits enabling you to cut out the piano.

    You don't get many tunes in one book/CD (maybe 10-12 at most), that's the only problem.

    A quick google found these, but I don't know what they're like:
    http://www.jazzguitar.be/store/backing-tracks.php

  13. #13
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    Backing Tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by rafapak View Post
    hi everybody

    I would like to ask you guys for a favour. Do you know any jazz guitar improvisation coursebook or dvd that goes together with backing tracks so that one can start improvising over harmony? I have one jazz guitar coursebook but all that is included on cd is just the author playing solos over chord changes. No chance for a student to practise over backing tracks.

    Well, it would be great if I could get backing tracks on cd plus chord changes written in pdf or something.

    any comments will be appreciated

    regards
    rafal
    A few of the backing tracks at www.coffeebreakgrooves.com have the chords
    displayed along side the free one minute previews.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerpikingorod View Post
    if you just play lines you will be limited. the scales and stuff like that are good because they provide names for sounds, so you can recognize them and use them at will. this will give you freedom. to be really good you should be improvising things you just came up with. things you've never heard before, and things noone else has ever heard before. improvisation imo should be you, all you, pure honesty, your mind in the moment. lines won't do this for you. scales won't do what testo fuel will do for you. but knowing names of sounds will help you to recreate the sounds you imagine. this is why theory is really good.

    but again, every person is different and different approaches suit different people better.
    I've never really found books that helpful. Anyone know of some video courses for Jazz guitar?
    Last edited by Havens; 04-21-2017 at 12:43 PM.

  15. #15
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    I would like to say thanks to jwilliams for giving links regarding jazz theory and backing tracks. It will help in learning about jazz theory & backing tracks.

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