Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 73

Thread: The guitar: A musical compromise?

  1. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    474
    I love the sound of a, good jazz guitar. I could melt, listening to Joe Pass. Herb Ellis backing up Oscar Peterson, with those little 'punches' and......stuff Even Charlie Christian, (if a guitar was ever going to be useless, it'd be with Goodmans band) I really like the variety a guitar brings to a big band. It breaks up the 'parade of horns' nicely. And the tone, nothing else sounds like it. Especially in a small ensemble, working nicely with the harmony.....(ooo, I'm gettin' all squishy.......and I haven't even gotten to the solo yet)

    Tuck & Patty, not strictly jazz material -(or is that 'strickly' ) but I love the way a guitar pulls off the chord-melody work.

    All that said, I really don't like to hear too much guitar. Extended solos, or even a cd like The Great Guitars, (Ellis, Kessel, Byrd). I like a variety of instrumentation to break things up. Otherwise I get bored with it.

    All a matter of taste, I guess. If you honestly find the guitar to be a redundant, or ill-suited instrument for jazz, maybe you should consider trying out a new instrument. It's not as though you have to give up guitar.

    How do you feel about violin ? (ala Grappelli / Reinhardt)

  2. #32
    The only way is up Skyport's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    56
    I look at it this way - the guitar is just another instrument in jazz. Sure, it has been elevated drastically since the days of rhythm guitarists such as Freddie Green in big jazz orchestras, but as a lead instrument in jazz it's not up there with the sax. The same goes for its status in classical music. It's not up there with the violin.

    However, as an instrument of rhythm, it is unequaled, and that is exactly why it is the sole instrument behind the genesis of rock and roll. It's true potential as a rhythmic instrument with the use of syncopated chords and melody lines incorporated into those movements wasn't truly exploited until one man came along and turned the music world upside down - Hendrix. When it comes to syncopated rhythm, nothing matches the guitar and that's the heart of rock and roll.

    However, in jazz, the sax is still king as a lead instrument. That's why I think it's somewhat better to play jazz with a fusion tilt ala Di Meola or Mike Stern, cause the closer you are to rock, the better it is to use a guitar.

  3. #33
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    522
    I think another problem is that to get sustain you have to add distortion. I don't like distortion especially in jazz settings.

  4. #34
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On Saturn
    Posts
    813
    Quote Originally Posted by mjo
    I love the sound of a, good jazz guitar. (if a guitar was ever going to be useless, it'd be with Goodmans band) I really like the variety a guitar brings to a big band. It breaks up the 'parade of horns' nicely.
    How do you feel about violin ? (ala Grappelli / Reinhardt)
    agreed... Reinhardt rules... Grappelli can shove that violin up his arse. I love Benny Goodman... I mean, clarinet??? thats not cool, but damn is that a great band... awesome arrangements, impecable soloists, memorable songs....etc...

    Also, as was posted before, the guitar is a RHYTHM INSTRUMENT!!! I think thats lost on a lot of people.
    anyway...(If you haven't already)...I recommend listening to Wes M - check out "Bumpin on the Sunset" or "Besame Mucho", awesome stuff. And common, some of those sounds Scofield gets... ... no sax of trumpet gets those timbres.... but I don't really like Methany and others... not wicked tones ala Sco.

    P.S. - I think trumpet is the "king" of solo instruments myself, not the sax... I'd take MD over Trane anyday.... but then again, I guess sax can play faster.... but its not as tasty.
    Last edited by Mateo150; 05-03-2005 at 09:14 PM.
    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

  5. #35
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    474
    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo150
    ... Grappelli can shove that violin up his arse.
    Oh, you're kiddin' !....?
    I love Grappelli ! If we're talking about limited instruments in a jazz group though, I guess violin would have to be a-top the list,....or darn close.

    -best...

  6. #36
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    521
    Thanks for all the replies! Looks like I wasn't the only one with something on my mind here! This turned out to be a good thread with lots of good views.

    Sustain is definately it with the solo issues. I kinda like long held notes. That's kinda hard on the guitar. Again though, I might like long notes because I've been listening to Shorter who holds his notes pretty long.

    I don't find the guitar redundant in jazz or anything like that. I just needed input and words about some of the stuff I should focus on to be a _jazzguitarist_, instead of being a jazzguitarist imitating a piano, or a jazzguitarist imitating a trumpet/sax, because the guitar always falls short of these things.

    I think Skyport (Happy birthday by the way!) and Mateo made an important statement, the guitar is a rhythm instrument, and deep down I have to acknowledge that. Things like 16'th strum patterns with muting here and there is really uniquely guitaristic. Generally any chording with muting is uniquely guitar and it is really percussive and could make any combo swing like hell if applied correctly. Sliding into chords with chromatic approach chords is also nearly impossible on any other kind of instruments, as is chords with vibrato on the top note. And the timbre of course.

  7. #37
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,763

    In response to the original question

    When you strike a note on a guitar, you get a loud sharp attack and it immediately drops down to a small fraction of its attack volume. This is its Advantage and its disadvantage as well. Because of this, the guitar can be a very percussive instrument. Strumming guitar chords with a clean sound and not alot of mids and bass can create a nice white noise that does not need to be loud to be effective. It's kinda like and egg shaker. You can hear the rhythm of it yet the notes, (as long as they are not wrong) are not that well pronounced.

    Some people have found ways to change this aspect of the guitar. Take Carlos Santana for example. I do not want to endorse any gear here, but if you take a P*** R*** S**** guitar and plug it into a M**** B***** amp, you will get a sound that is smooth and the sustain is almost as loud as the original attack. Now the guitar can be used to sing out loud more like a wind instrument.

    Then there is muting. Because you have access to the strings, you can manipulate the tone with your hands and fingers. This is something that piano players are very jealous about. This technique make the guitar a very expressive instrument.

  8. #38
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    521
    Hmm, I've regained some faith in my main instrument again.

    It came to me when I tried out this beautiful sunburst hollowbody. The tone of that was something otherwordly. The very instant I plucked the first maj7 chord I knew that there is hope. It was way expensive though.

    I'm still playing jazz on an acoustic steelstring miked up, and for the singlestring lines it just sounds too damn thin. After two years of guitaring I think I'm getting why so many guitarists struggle with achieving the ultimate gear setup. It's about one's voice in music. We want to associate ourselves with the sounds we make.

    Currently, what I'm hearing in my head doesn't coincide with what comes out through my instrument - sonically speaking.

    Distortion can be fun, but I don't hear that just yet. I prefer to stay clean for the time being. Although I realize that electrifying things is the way to go sooner or later, I want to focus on other things right now.

  9. #39
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Factor
    I prefer to stay clean for the time being. Although I realize that electrifying things is the way to go sooner or later, I want to focus on other things right now.
    I don't like a lot of distortion either. However, someone once told me, and I have found it to be true, it takes a lot more equipment and processing to get that truly clean, natural, acoustic sound to come through in either a recording, or in a live amplified performance, than it does to distort it. So, what's a guy to do?
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
    www.soundclick.com/kenvarieur

  10. #40
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,763
    Quote Originally Posted by tucker97325
    someone once told me, and I have found it to be true, it takes a lot more equipment and processing to get that truly clean, natural, acoustic sound to come through in either a recording, or in a live amplified performance, than it does to distort it.
    I think that I have discovered the ultra clean tone for live situations. PM me for a schematic.




    Last edited by Los Boleros; 06-02-2005 at 01:08 AM.

  11. #41
    7-string MadhatteR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    83
    here's a long one...

    I think part of that attack/dwell volume probem has to do with jazz guitarists particular tone settings. It's like the attack makes the notes sound real staccato, not smooth at all. I am on a similar quest to find guitarists who can burn like saxes. I really love Sonny Stitt & Coltrane & Clifford Brown. Huge influences on my idea of playing & improvising.

    Just because people lots of people haven't made the guitar truly sing doesn't mean it's impossible to do so. I reccommend listening to Greg Howe 's song Jump Start on Introspection. He uses a little distortion, though, but that doesn't matter. Take his ideas & morph them & transfer them to pure jazz. If you really want to make your guitar sing, SING! It's what I'm working on now. Start off simple, & copy EXACTLY what you sing with your guitar. See whether the note change needs a pick attack, a hammer on, a slide, a tap, a bend a drop or raising of the bar (if you have one). Etc. Work on having a really light right hand pick attack to smoothen things out. Work hard & make it sing!!!! If it isn't sounding the way you want it, maybe add a little of the trebel you rolled off. Maybe abandon the "traditional" jazz archtop guitar sound & find what you hear in your head. I don't like archtops @ all. I don't like the way they sound I don't like the way they play. I would much rather have a guitar like an Ibanez RG7620 with a Floyd. That doens't diminish me as a jazz musician in the least. Sure the elitist guys might write me off, but who cares---I'm playing with the sound I love, raw unaltered electric guitar tone. (I like do archtop sound for chord solo stuff see Jimmy Foster below, but generally I don't. Plus foster makes his own instruments)

    I am studying jazz guitar in college. I might stick out like a sore thumb with my solidbody, but I don't care. I'm not going to blow my money on a 7-string archtop that I don't want so I'll fit in. I'm going to but a really nice electric (once I get the $ ). Let your playing speak for you.

    You could opt for one of those sustainer pickup units & play all 8-finger tapping for a super legato sound.

    I love sax tremendously, so this is not disrespectful @ all. The only thing that a sax can "do better" than a guitar is increase the volume of a sustaining note. But if you play with a vol pedal or the vol knob halfway up, you can move them to give a little extra volume on a sustaining note.

    Guitar can play chords, & sax can't so that's a huge improvement, plus you can play solos with the same amount of virtuosity as a sax.

    If anyone wants to know how special the guitar is, read about the uinqueness of its tuning system in the book Fretboard Logic. read Vol 1 until the light bulb goes off. It took years before the blessing of the guitar's tuning system sank in. Infact, it happened 2 weeks ago.

    For chord work, check out Jimmy Foster, a 7-string jazz traditionalist from New Orleans (www.FosterGuitars.com) he has some CD's on his site. I'd like to see a sax play that!!


    Hope this helped,
    Mad hatteR

    PS an Acoustic Image head & a Raezer cab is great for clean tone.
    http://www.jazzguitarresources.com/guitars.html -read this
    http://www.jazzguitarresources.com/a...#AcousticImage
    Last edited by MadhatteR; 06-02-2005 at 03:55 AM.
    "An object at rest CANNOT BE STOPPED!" - The Evil Midnight Bomber (What Bombs at Midnight) [The Tick]

  12. #42
    The only way is up Skyport's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    56
    The Fretboard Logic series is superb. I went through volumes I & II, and am currently working on III. It opened my eyes and changed the way I viewed the fretboard. And now I don't worry about it any more, I feel like I'm free to do what I want on it.

    But on the subject of the actual sound of the guitar in jazz and in music in general, I am no big fan of the acoustic guitar when it comes to lead guitar playing. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying that its my opinion that electric guitar is where it's at when it comes to lead guitar, just as acoustic is where it's at when it comes to fingerstyle playing, in my opinion. I truly admire guitarists like Al Di Meola who shred on acoustic guitars, but he's a master of articulate, dynamic picking, and if your mastery of technique lies in other areas such as legato, blues-style vibrato (like B.B. King), etc. then you're in for a rough time when trying to add flavor to acoustic lead guitar playing. Not to mention the tone/response factor.

  13. #43
    The only way is up Skyport's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    56
    By the way, has anyone heard Bill Frisell, and if so what do you think of his approach to electric jazz guitar playing?

  14. #44
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,123
    I don't like responding when I haven't read everything...but whatever.

    A lot of talk about jazz and I have to say that no matter how you cut it, the guitar is pretty much the only widely accepted electric jazz instrument. It surpasses electric keyboard and bass in this regard.

    Also, it has probably the smallest dynamic range of any instrument. The difference between the softest note you play and the loudest is nothing when compared to a sax or drums. But that doesn't mean it isn't there. Look at a guy like Jim Hall. His volume at mid range is much softer which gives the ellusion of a greater dynamic range.

    As for Frisell...I'm going to see him in a few weeks and I'm very excited. He has a very unique vibrato technique. He describes it as playing a chord and hearing one of the notes out of tune, then bending the neck so that one note goes in tune but the rest go out...kind of a give and take...very unique. He's also a jazz guy that isn't affraid to give a nod to someone like hendrix. The only thing that kind of bugs me is that a lot of Frisell records sound like the sax player forgot to show up.

  15. #45
    7-string MadhatteR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    83
    Skyport, I agree with you about the whole acustic vs electric deal, it's what I feel too. Of course, like you said, there are exceptions.

    I have listened to some bill frisell, not alot, & he has such a unique sound. that huge soft hazy speciness is really fun to listen to.

    Fretboard logic is EXCELLENT, a must have for everyone. I just started book 2.

    Last night when I wrote the big post, I was tired, so it jumps around alot & may be hard to follow. Let me summarize it & add a little to it here.

    Melodic instruments all seek to emulate our God-given instrument, the voice. Guitar is further away from the voice than sax is, not as far as piano is, but through hard work, you can still make it sing. Infact, the sax isn't the closest instrument to the voice. The Theremin is the closest thing to sounding like a human & can do exactly what the voice can do--no words unless you use a vocoder or talkbox--& under the control of a great player it sounds hauntingly close. it's really eerie how colse it sounds check out www.thereminworld.com for clips. No instrument is the voice, but that's where the challenge is---trying to express yourself through an instrument rather than the voice. It can be done & the guitar is a wonderful way to express yourself.
    "An object at rest CANNOT BE STOPPED!" - The Evil Midnight Bomber (What Bombs at Midnight) [The Tick]

Similar Threads

  1. Why do you play guitar...?
    By hellogoodbye in forum iBreathe Cafe
    Replies: 126
    Last Post: 10-09-2005, 05:17 AM
  2. Guitar Quiz
    By Black_the_Sky in forum iBreathe Cafe
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-29-2005, 02:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •