wisedyes wrote:I'm a bit of a jazz player, Shakedown, so let me see if I can help you out with some things to work on.
You mentioned learning modes, and wondering how to use them. In jazz, what is actually far more important in soling in using chord tones. What you really need to concentrate on is learning arpeggios, in AT LEAST two different positions and on every string set, for Major 6, Major 7, minor 6&7, and dominant 7, 9, 13 chords. Use your scalar tones ( the modes ) and chromaticism to set up the arpeggios in your lines, or as connections between them.
For instance, in jazz, the biggest chord progression to know ( by far ) is the ii-V7-I move. This is a minor 7 ( the 2 chord ), followed by the dominant 7, and ending on the I Major ( usually a Major 7 ) of a given key. So, say in G Major, it would be Amin7, D7, G Maj7. You would want your lines to emphasize the chord tones of the chords ( A,C,E,G over Amin7, D,F#,A,E over D7, and G,B,D,F# over G Maj7 ). To play over this modally, it would be A Dorian, D Mixolydian, and G Ionian, which are all really just the G Major scale emphasizing different notes.
The other important thing to do is to learn the different jazz forms. Generally, there are four areas of jazz; jazz blues, rythm changes, modal compositions, and standards. Work on blues and rythm changes first; they cover the majority of jazz tunes you will ever encounter. Modal compositions are just that ( think "Kind of Blue" Miles Davis ), tunes built around a specific modal progression, and standards are learning how to really play a song - the melody ( head ), accompaniment, and soloing.
Some absolutely excellent method books to get you started on this would be Jazzin'the Blues in the Blues You can Use series by John Ganapes, the excelent All Blues for Jazz Guitar series by Jim Ferguson, the Beginning and Intermediate Jazz Guitar books by Jody Fisher are fantastic ( www.jodyfisher.com ), and another excellent book on soloing that I have just come across is by Garrison Fewell, Melodic Improvisation for Guitar. This book uses a different concept for building solos, using the arpeggios of the ii minor and I major chord over everything and embellishing upon that. All these books start simply and by the time you are done with them, you will be playing some pretty advanced, very hip stuff.
And yes, like it or not, rock and blues playing, while I love them too, are extremely limited in scope compared to jazz. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule ( like King Crimson - those guys are OUT there ), but in order to really progress beyond scratching the surface of what is possible, you have to break out of playing rock and blues. I look at music as a form of language, and most rock music is prety much on the order of Dick and Jane books, where as with jazz you're getting into Shakespeare. And just like learning any language, the more fluent you become, the more you increase your vocabulary, the more compelling speaker you can be.
Wisedyes - Thank you for the info you posted a while ago. I'll say, I lost track of this topic back then and didn't get too far into what you were saying (probably got sidetracked with something else that was troubling me at the time), but now I'm back on it and was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your post to get me started?
1.) how do you play "jazz blues"? or what do you mean by that really? any way to get me off the ground with it?
2.) I think I have the rhythm changes part down - I mean, based on what you said earlier (ii-V7-I), obviously I can comprehend that stuff, but is there more to it than just playig along to the chords, ala a rhythm guitarist?
I'm going to try to get started on these 2 first based on your recommondation, and worry about the modal comps & standards later once I get the hang of it. I think I'll order that book by John Ganapes as well - it's got a cd to play along to, so that should help. I like the sound of that other one by Garrison Fewell, too - was just practicing some basic stuff messing around with the ii & I arpeggios and I (think) I can see where that could lead, and it looks tasty.
Thanks again for the help - much appreciated!
EDIT: Gonna go with the Garrison Fewell, Melodic Improvisation for Guitar first - just ordered it from (ugh) Amazon....hey, they were almost $10 cheaper, and it's a down year for me