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Thread: Where do i start learning jazz improvization

  1. #1
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    Angry Where do i start learning jazz improvization

    hi, im having a hell of a time learning jazz improv, is there any good place to start, a good song to learn or a theory book i should read?
    my music tutorials:
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  2. #2
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    You might check out some of the materials put out by Jamey Aebersold:

    http://www.amazon.com/Vol-Play-Jazz-.../dp/B0002J6I8M

    http://www.amazon.com/Vol-Maiden-Voy...ref=pd_sim_m_4

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Improvising over Jazz standards is playing THE tune and putting your own interpretation on it.
    Improvising jazz melody is another story altogether.

    Might go to the horses mouth.
    http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by drumdead10000 View Post
    hi, im having a hell of a time learning jazz improv, is there any good place to start, a good song to learn or a theory book i should read?
    If you mean you are having a "hell of a hard time" with it, then I have to ask how long have you been trying? How many hours a day?

    Also - what do you mean by "jazz"? Do you mean fairly traditional stuff, like George Benson or Joe Pass. Or do you mean mean fusion stuff, like Alan Holdsworth or Scott Henderson? Or are you thinking of something else entirely?

    Ian.

  5. #5
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Perhaps you should check your own tutorials?

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Improv is never easy, dude. But you can always start by paraphrasing the melody.

    There's this post I just ready about improvising from the melody first. It's here. Read that.

  7. #7
    Registered User roel's Avatar
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    Dude, might you look up Jody Fisher's Jazz Guitar books. I continually study them, and I've applied most of them to my playing.

    This is the beginning book

    This is the "Mastering Improvisation" book
    Last edited by roel; 10-05-2010 at 09:47 AM. Reason: additional info
    Guitars Only blog http://u.bb/116565/guitarsonly

  8. #8
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    3 guidelines

    I was always wondering what "rules" or "guidelines" would help me know what note works over what chord and all that stuff. I learn this a while back in reference to that.

    1. Major has no flat 7
    2. Dominant has no natural 7
    3. minor has no natural 3rd

    These are 3 different families, if you will. This really opened up many doors for me, it simplifies the fact that it is easier to know what does NOT work, rather than going off the deep end trying to figure out if a note "fits" or not.
    Joey D




  9. #9
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Another 3 rules

    If you want to make anything work over any chord, one of my old teachers told me this.
    1. play fast
    2. play faster
    3. play as fast as you can.

    Lol
    Joey D




  10. #10
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Just found this a few months past.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx...eature=channel
    Have fun.

  11. #11
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    This is it

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    Just found this a few months past.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx...eature=channel
    Have fun.
    This is what I have been looking for. Now I get it. Wow. Thanks

    I have been studying jazz for a while but this guy clarifies some issues that I have been trying to resolve for years.
    Joey D




  12. #12
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyd929 View Post
    This is what I have been looking for. Now I get it. Wow. Thanks

    I have been studying jazz for a while but this guy clarifies some issues that I have been trying to resolve for years.
    Yes, I love that guy. As soon as I heard the first 30 seconds of that video I wanted to give him a big hug and buy him a beer.
    Watch all his others too - really excellent stuff. Cuts all the crap (and with humour), like only experienced jazz players can.

    I love the Dizzy Gillespie story, 3:50 in this one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_7Dg...eature=related

  13. #13
    Registered User Pieter-Jan's Avatar
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    I don't know if this helps anyone but I started learning jazz improvisation a half year ago. And this is where I got so far: (I still have my studies so I'm not going 24/7 on this). It's mostly the stuff my teacher recommended to me.

    Learning all the triads on the guitar
    These are small 'shapes' which you should make audible when improvising over a certain chord. This will give every chord in the progression it's own sound. And the solo will be much more interesting. There are three shapes "per string" as the lowest note can be the 1st, the 3rd or the 5th (standard, first inversion, second inversion).

    These are the major triads. You should learn the minor, diminished and augmented shapes as well. But you can derive them off the major shapes by looking at the 3d, and the 5th and altering them ...


    Learning arpeggio's
    The triads don't sound good if you don't use any other notes. But too much extra notes will kill you as a beginner. I recommend learning arpeggio's to add 1 or 2 extra notes.
    This was, for me, a GREAT way to deal with basic arpeggio's:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Learn them all by heart, but take your time! Don't rush over it. There's alot of great information in it!

    Charlie Christian
    This is the first jazz solo guitarist. He uses all of the techniques explained in the articles above (sliding into 3ds, neighbour tones, ...) and sticks very close to the arpeggio's so it's a nice idea to learn some of his solo's and examine every part of them. "Why does he play this note here?". For example, you might be wondering why he plays F over a C7 chord, that might be because the next chord will be a F7 chord ...

    Blues guitarists
    Check them out, learn them and analyze them. I'm talking about B.B. King etc. It's not jazz, but it's nice understandable improvisation.

    Write your own solo's
    Take a progression from a song you know and work on a really good solo. I try to make as much as possible and I feel like this really helps my improvisation. The things you think about for hours while writing will become extra vocabulary when improvising.

    I don't know if this helped ...
    Last edited by Pieter-Jan; 03-09-2011 at 10:32 AM.
    You can't have a theme and variations if you don't have a theme.

  14. #14
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter-Jan View Post
    I don't know if this helps anyone but I started learning jazz improvisation a half year ago. And this is where I got so far: (I still have my studies so I'm not going 24/7 on this). It's mostly the stuff my teacher recommended to me.

    Learning all the triads on the guitar
    These are small 'shapes' which you should make audible when improvising over a certain chord. This will give every chord in the progression it's own sound. And the solo will be much more interesting. There are three shapes "per string" as the lowest note can be the 1st, the 3rd or the 5th (standard, first inversion, second inversion).

    These are the major triads. You should learn the minor, diminished and augmented shapes as well. But you can derive them off the major shapes by looking at the 3d, and the 5th and altering them ...


    Learning arpeggio's
    The triads don't sound good if you don't use any other notes. But too much extra notes will kill you as a beginner. I recommend learning arpeggio's to add 1 or 2 extra notes.
    This was, for me, a GREAT way to deal with basic arpeggio's:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Learn them all by heart, but take your time! Don't rush over it. There's alot of great information in it!

    Charlie Christian
    This is the first jazz solo guitarist. He uses all of the techniques explained in the articles above (sliding into 3ds, neighbour tones, ...) and sticks very close to the arpeggio's so it's a nice idea to learn some of his solo's and examine every part of them. "Why does he play this note here?". For example, you might be wondering why he plays F over a C7 chord, that might be because the next chord will be a F7 chord ...

    Blues guitarists
    Check them out, learn them and analyze them. I'm talking about B.B. King etc. It's not jazz, but it's nice understandable improvisation.

    Write your own solo's
    Take a progression from a song you know and work on a really good solo. I try to make as much as possible and I feel like this really helps my improvisation. The things you think about for hours while writing will become extra vocabulary when improvising.

    I don't know if this helped ...
    I have recently learned some new forms, many of which I was familiar, but I only knew the forms with root in bass. My teacher showed me the same forms with 3,5, and 7 in the bass.

    There are only 2 inversions. 1735 and 3157. Here is a video I did of a minor I VI II V progression. First chord Ebminor7... Using all forms, with all bass notes.

    Point being I took a minor I VI II V and made the bass chromatic decending, rather than just root notes for bass. Here is the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/joeyguit...12/7nTm0Gy5va4
    Joey D




  15. #15
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Now I get it

    Joey D




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