What Do You Have to Be Able To Do?

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  1. Hey guys I love this forum, I check it very regularly and I've recently thought of this question. What are the main abilities of the top players in this jazz era? I've realized that very good players are aware and capable of so much in music and that's what makes them so good. I'm just wondering what everyone here thinks are the main abilities that you would have going into the heavy world of jazz. So that I/we can work on them and have a larger goal in mind and develop more exercises to get me/us up to that level of playing.

    Some ovbious areas are time keeping/improvising and having ideas to use on tunes/technichal ability etc etc.

    i feel like in all the areas, there are lots of sub categories. eg. time keeping- playing infront of the beat and behind the beat.

    Maybe this could be a good page with lots of ideas of things to practice and work towards.

    Cheers everyone


  2. Matt

    i've thought about this, and my guitar teacher has put it this way -
    if you think about your playing as a pie chart, certain things require x amount of effort and in turn you receive x amount of capability, or more percent in your pie chart.

    learning the modes of major with 5 and 6 string roots (for guitarists) requires 5% effort and you get %30 increase - the most you'll ever get for such little effort.
    That being said, depending on your level and desire, you have to think about what your weaknesses are and adjust your practice accordingly.
    when you say top jazz players, i'm going to assume you mean like Kurt Rosenwinkel, and i think most players at that level today never stop putting in effort, and are always getting the little extra 1-2% boosts that require a lot of effort!

    as nir felder said - 'we all have such a long ways to go, and always will.'

  3. JorgeRubiales

    The thing is, there aren't many different scales or chords. You have your major and minor scales, symmetrical, and modes. You have major, minor, augmented and diminished chords, with their tensions. Of course, you can study other types of scales, but there aren't many of those, or their practical application can be achieved getting better at your common scales/chords.

    What I think is most important is to be able to completely dominate whichever concept you study, and do it in the whole range instrument. So, if you are learning to solo over ii-V-I, do it on every zone of the fretboard, and on every single string, pair of strings, three strings, etc. to the level when you hardly have to think about it.

    Back to study triads, anyone? lol (...i'll be the first)

  4. Basile865

    Its interesting to remove any kind of emotion from it and look at it objectively. I almost always play minor scales. Theres some good info at http://www.all-guitar-chords.com

  5. Quintricacy

    Although it might seem a little contrived, I think the key thing is to be yourself. Find some aspect of your playing that you're really good at doing or you find you really enjoy doing and see where you can go with it and where it might take you. It's all well and good to be able to play or get the sound of Kurt or whoever you may revere but unless you take it that little step further and put your own angle on it, you're stealing their hard work.

  6. docbop

    Guitar like many other endeavors requires about ten years of experience. It takes about that long to develop the ear, internalize lots of music, and experience working with other musicians. Also take a long to build the confidence in yourself and playing.

  7. Gey guys great replies, yah I see what y'all are saying. I'm thinking kind of superficially and maybe some of you don't like to think this way but it seems like it would be helpful to me. Im considering a list of abilities such as:

    1. Play all tunes in any key and all over the fretboard in all the (reasonable) positions.
    2. Have some ideas that can be used at breakneck tempos
    3. voice lead through tune with open/closed triads (theres probably other ways to voicelead through tunes i just don't know of them... mabye personalize your voice leading with any sounds you want to impose?)
    4. Have a really good sense of time!!
    5.a) (This one i think takes a life time)-improve though tunes to the best of your ability in all parts of the neck.
    5.b) chord solo's
    6. Comping (should be able to react to other players leave space/fill space)

    I'm running out of ideas right now but I guess if anybody has anything to add.
    This is kind of where Im trying to go with this.
    I'll follow my own path in music thats for sure and learn whatever I feel necessary.


  8. Triads are deep(... no joke).

  9. jazznan

    make music

  10. jazzacast55

    Being Creative is number 1 and writing your own tunes is huge, for me anyway, I remember this quote i read from Scott Henderson along the lines of, "It's a lot harder getting a record deal playing Stella then playing something original".

  11. silverwater

    Work transcribing into your daily routine. Transcribe anything at least once a day, even if it's just one lick, and even if you don't write it down.

    Not one person out there who can play his/her respective ass off hasn't transcribed.

  12. eSkills

    1. Tell a story with your solo
    2. Create engaging music
    3. Connect with your own ears by playing only what you hear
    4. Not think about superficial things while improvising.


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